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2015

General Studies Paper-3:Insights Secure Compilation


May to August 2015

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General Studies Paper-3:Insights Secure Compilation May to August 2015

Table of Contents
Economic Development ............................................................................................................... 15
1Q. Write a critical note Indias Digital India programme, concerns raised against it
and measures needed to address these concerns. (200 Words) .......................................... 15
1Q. Recently the government announced an open-source policy that makes it mandatory
for all future applications and services to be designed using the open-source software
(OSS). What do you understand by open-source software? Examine its benefits and also
highlight effect of this policy on various stakeholders. (200 Words).................................. 16
1Q. Critically comment on the recent initiatives taken by the government to improve
financial inclusion and the challenges these initiatives face in reaching out to the poor
and needy. (200 Words) ...........................................................................................................17
1Q. Compare and contrast the economic growth of India with that of Chinas since 2008
global economic crisis. Critically examine what this economic growth means to Indias
large population. (200 Words) ............................................................................................... 18
2Q. Do you think Indias economic progress and its inclusive growth strategy has
reduced poverty and inequality in the country? Critically analyse, especially with
reference to the plight of tribal population. (200 Words) .................................................... 19
1Q. Do you think more investment, both public and private, would help in poverty
reduction? In the context of India, critically examine. (200 Words) .................................. 19
2Q. Examine the linkages between job growth and manufacturing sector, and discuss
how should India reform the manufacturing sector to generate more jobs. (200 Words)
....................................................................................................................................................20
1Q. In recent months, Indias exports are decreasing. In your opinion, what needs to be
done by the government to boost exports? Discuss. (200 Words)....................................... 21
1Q. Looking at the way Indian economy is growing at present, can it be termed as
Goldilocks Economy? Substantiate. (200 Words) ............................................................... 22
1Q. Do you think the agricultural growth and the expansion of good jobs in industry and
services can go hand-in-hand to bring rapid elimination of poverty in India? In the light
of fears expressed by a section of society that land acquisition for developmental projects
is affecting food security in India, critically comment. (200 Words) ................................ 23
1Q. Recently there was controversy regarding the proposal to establish the Public Debt
Management Agency (PDMA) by the government. Many economists argue that it is
prudent to leave debt management to the RBI alone. Analyse the issue. (200 Words) .... 24
1Q. It is said that if India is to acquire a global role relative to its economic, geographic
and demographic size, its economic growth needs to be underpinned by major
productivity shifts and open markets and not by focusing more on redistribution.
Elaborate. (200 Words)........................................................................................................... 25
2Q. In your opinion, what are the underlying characteristics that allow a sector to
transform an economy and durably raise living standards? Which sector in India has the
potential to transform Indias economy and why? Examine. (200 Words) ...................... 26
1Q. In your opinion, how should Indias labour laws be reformed? In the light of recent
debate on the issue and governments initiatives in this regard, critically discuss. (200
Words) ....................................................................................................................................... 27
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1Q. When it comes to economic growth models in developing countries, some analysts
think that India will become more like Mexico than China in coming years. Critically
examine why. (200 Words) .....................................................................................................28
1Q. It is argued that the plunging crude oil prices arent just a boon for corporate India
and the consumer but are an invaluable opportunity for the government to push for
faster reform of pricing and distribution distortions in the oil and gas sectors. Elaborate.
(200 Words).............................................................................................................................. 29
1Q. Some suggest that India needs to form an economic union with a free trade area
within the Union of India. Examine the rationale behind such an idea. (200 Words)......30
1Q. Do you think liberalisation of legal services should be allowed in India? Discuss the
issue examining merits and demerits of the same. (200 Words) ........................................ 31
2Q. In your opinion, what problems do recent scams in job market reflect in Indias
employment trends. Also examine the causes of such large-scale corruptions. (200
Words) ....................................................................................................................................... 32
1Q. It is said that a uniform liberal policy for foreign investment in retail offline as well
as online is required to address various issues. Critically examine what these issues are
and consequences of such liberal policy on stakeholders. (200 Words) ............................. 33
2Q. The government recently said that after diesel deregulation, a new gas price formula
and roll out of the Direct Benefits Transfer in cooking gas, the next stage of development
in the oil sector would focus on kerosene subsidy reforms. Critically examine how these
reforms have affected common man and why is there a need for kerosene subsidy
reforms. (200 Words) .............................................................................................................. 34
1Q. The post-1967 period saw the launching of a series of radical economic policies which
were to have long-term effects on Indias developmental effort. Critically examine what
were these policies, why they were launched and what effect they had on the Indian
economy. (200 Words) ............................................................................................................ 35
1Q. Large factories account for a smaller share of Indias industrial workforce than they
did three decades ago. Examine why. (200 Words) ............................................................. 36
1Q. Write a critical note on the Start-up India programme, recently announced by the
Prime Minister of India. (150 Words) .................................................................................... 37
1Q. Recently the Union cabinet approved the spectrum sharing policy finalized by the
Telecom Commission. Examine the implications of this policy for the telecommunications
sector and for the consumer. (200 Words) ............................................................................ 37
2Q. At least in two areas public sector pay and industrial policy the tiny but
prosperous Singapore holds lessons for India as it celebrates the 68th anniversary of its
independence. Elaborate. (200 Words) ................................................................................38
1Q. Recently it was reported in media that the Indian tech start-ups are shifting their
headquarters to the United States and Singapore. Critically examine why and suggest
how can India stop this trend and encourage these companies to operate from India.
(200 Words).............................................................................................................................. 39
1Q. Recently the Telangana government introduced the Right to Clearance policy in
order to speed up clearance of industrial projects. Critically comment on the merits and
demerits of this policy. (200 Words) ......................................................................................40
1Q. Recently the government withdrew the excise and customs duty exemptions given to
the Ordinance Factory Board and public sector undertakings (PSUs) in the defence
sector. Examine why and explain the possible implications of this move. (200 Words) .. 41
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1Q. It is said that India needs a comprehensive national capital goods policy to realize
the potential of this sector. Discuss the need for such a policy, its framework and the
potential of this sector. (200 Words)...................................................................................... 42
1Q. Write a critical note on the objectives and significance of a new scheme Arya
(Attracting and Retaining Youth in Agriculture), launched by the Indian Council of
Agricultural Research. (200 Words) ...................................................................................... 43
1Q. Write a note on the National Skill Development Mission and the role of private sector
in skilling the unskilled. (200 Words) .................................................................................... 43
1Q. It was recently reported that the International Labour Organisation (ILO) is opposed
to Indias labour reform measures. Write a critical note on these measures and examine
why ILO is opposing to them. (200 Words)...........................................................................44
1Q. Do you think the recently launched Indradhanush, a seven-point programme to
rejuvenate public sector banks (PSBs), will be able to provide a competitive, profitable
and customer-friendly banking sector? Critically examine. (200 Words) ......................... 45
2Q. It is found that the Indian economy went through a period of jobless growth when
five million jobs were lost between 2004-05 and 2009-10. Critically analyse the causes of
this pattern of growth. (200....................................................................................................46
1Q. Kerala is accepted as a developmental model whereas Uttar Pradesh as a basket
case. Why do you think such disparity exists between two states within India? Critically
examine. (200 Words) ............................................................................................................. 47
2Q. Do you think there should be a law to ensure minimum wages applicable to all
employees across that country including sector-specific minimum wages for industrial
workers? Substantiate. (200 Words) .....................................................................................49
1Q. Critically analyse the structure, objectives and issues arising out of of the Goods and
Services Tax system that the government wants to introduce in India. (200 Words) ......50
1Q. What are the objectives of of the proposed Indian Financial Code (IFC)? Examine
why this proposal has given rise to controversy. (200 Words)........................................... 51
1Q. Recently the government responded to the grim situation facing public sector banks
by committing Rs 70,000 crore as fresh capital over the next four years. Critically
comment on this measure. (200 Words) ................................................................................ 52
1Q. What do you understand by Round-tripping? Examine the relationship between PNotes and Round-tripping. Recently SEBI, Supreme Court and Government have
initiated measures either to bring back black money or to curb its circulation. In this
regard, discuss why addressing issues related to P-Notes and Round-tripping is critical.
(200 Words).............................................................................................................................. 53
1Q. It is argued that the release of revised draft of the Indian Financial Code (IFC) by the
ministry of Finance will undermine the autonomy of RBI. Do you agree? Substantiate.
(200 Words).............................................................................................................................. 53
1Q. It is argued that the fixed maximum retail price (MRP) is an archaic and
dysfunctional mechanism that hurts both retailers and the consumers it seeks to protect.
Do you agree? Substantiate. (200 Words)............................................................................ 54
1Q. It is argued that holding large foreign exchange reserves, especially in US Dollar
denominated securities will undermine monetary independence of India and will have
fiscal implications. Critically examine why this argument is made and if it has any
merits. (200 Words)................................................................................................................. 55

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1Q. What do you understand by equity-based crowdfunding? Critically examine the role
of internet in crowdfunding and the various challenges its posing to regulators in
developing countries like India. (200 Words) ....................................................................... 56
2Q. Do you think India should use its huge foreign exchange reserves to finance
infrastructure projects or to recapitalise fund-starved banks? Critically discuss. (200
Words) ....................................................................................................................................... 57
1Q. It is said that there is a need for stronger regulatory framework to deal with the
menace of Ponzi schemes across the country. Examine why Ponzi schemes are considered
as menace and what regulatory mechanism is needed to deal with them. (200 Words) . 58
1Q. Critically discuss the implications of the recommendations of Pay Commissions for
the economy. In your opinion, what should government do to address these implications.
(200 Words).............................................................................................................................. 59
1Q. What do you understand by tax terrorism? It is said that Indian entrepreneurs are
faced with instances of tax terrorism affecting their morale. Critically examine. (200
Words) .......................................................................................................................................60
1Q. It is warned that the hat the non-performing asset (NPA) problems of the Indian
banking system might pose a serious crisis to the sector. Critically examine why NPA has
become a problem, their effect on the economy and steps needed to address this issue.
(200 Words).............................................................................................................................. 61
2Q. Recently the Union government announced details of a new gold monetization
scheme. Examine what are its objectives and how does it seek to realize its objectives.
(200 Words).............................................................................................................................. 62
3Q. There is a general perception that due to land acquisition problems many private
and public projects are either stalled or not started at all. Critically examine the validity
of this perception. (200 Words) .............................................................................................. 63
4Q. Recently the government decided that investments by non-resident Indians (NRIs),
overseas citizens of India (OCIs) and persons of Indian origin (PIOs) would be treated as
domestic investment instead of treating them as FDI. Examine why this decision was
taken and its likely impact on the Indian economy. (200 Words) ......................................64
1Q. Do you think the social impact assessment made compulsory for all category of
projects before their execution? Substantiate. (200 Words) ................................................ 65
1Q. What challenges exist if government wants to provide 247 power to all households
in the country? Critically examine. (200 Words)..................................................................66
1Q. Are Indian pilots any less trained, competent and experienced than their
counterparts in other countries? In the light of such allegations made by certain sections,
critically examine. (200 Words) ............................................................................................. 67
1Q. Recently a panel headed by Bibek Debroy submitted its recommendations on
railway restructuring to the government. Analyse its recommendations and suggest
what needs to be done to modernise and make Indian Railways efficient and profitable.
(200 Words)..............................................................................................................................68
1Q. Discuss the importance of microgrids for the Indian economy. (200 Words) ............69
2Q. We are not facing a shortage of energy. We are facing a technical challenge in
capturing it and delivering it to consumers. With reference to Indias power problems,
critically comment on the statement. (200 Words) .............................................................. 70
1Q. The Union government has ambitious renewable energy targets of 100 gigawatts
(GW) of solar power and 60GW of wind power by 2022. However, the government is
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also facing large deficits and competing budget priorities, and will need cost-effective
ways to achieve these targets. Elaborate and discuss these cost-effective ways. (200
Words) ....................................................................................................................................... 70
1Q. There is a certain paradox in the fact that India, since the 1991 reforms, has been
trying to attract foreign direct investment for its development when the outward flow of
FDI by Indian corporate houses is rising. Elaborate the statement and examine the
causes of this paradox. (200 Words).......................................................................................71
1Q. It is said that power sector reforms being undertaken in India are not rightly focused
on systemic problems haunting this sector. Critically examine and suggest what should
be the right approach of government towards reforming power sector. (200 Words) .... 72
1Q. Recently, the Supreme Court of India, in an order said that regulations framed by
electricity regulatory commissions imposing obligation upon captive power plants and
open access consumers to purchase electricity from renewable sources is legal and
necessary. Critically discuss how this order would affect energy sector in India. (200
Words) ....................................................................................................................................... 73
2Q. Examine the challenges faced by state governments in production, transmission and
distribution of power. Also examine recent measures taken by states to bring power
reforms. (200 Words) .............................................................................................................. 73
3Q. To address energy insecurity, the government of India had mooted the concept of
strategic petroleum reserves in 1998. At present the demand for the same is growing
stronger with each passing day. Discuss why such reserve is needed. (200 Words) ........ 75
4Q. Examine the challenges faced by union government in the execution of the national
optic fibre network (NOFN) project? Examine the benefits of this project and suggest how
its execution can be sped up. (200 Words) ............................................................................ 75
1Q. In recent years, in India, the growth of hydropower capacity has diminished thanks
to various factors. Discuss what are these factors and possible solutions to address them.
(200 Words).............................................................................................................................. 76
1Q. It is observed that the construction of highways in India is lagging behind due to
various reasons. Critically discuss what are the causes delay and measures being taken
by the government to address these delays. (200 Words) .................................................. 77
1Q. Despite its long coastline and strategic location on world trade routes, which gives it
a natural advantage to control and direct shipments, India has not managed to get a
dominant grip on shipping, even in its own continent. Critically examine why and
suggest what India needs to do control and direct shipments in the region. (200 Words)
.................................................................................................................................................... 78
1Q. Critically analyse the merits and demerits of Indias defence procurement policy
(DPP) and discuss the steps needed to address demerits of this policy. (200 Words)....... 79
1Q. Farmers unions and political parties have been demanding the implementation of
the Swaminathan minimum support price (cost plus 50%) to address agrarian crisis and
farmers distress. Do you think implementation of this recommendation alone would
address the agrarian crisis issue? Critically examine. (200 Words) ................................. 80
1Q. Critically analyse the interrelationship between governments minimum support
price scheme, cropping pattern and crop production in India. (200 Words) .................... 81
1Q. Few states in India are known for efficient and others for inefficient administration
of Public Distribution System (PDS). Critically analyse such two extreme situations and
examine why PDS is in such a state in India. (200 Words) .................................................82
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1Q. Critically comment on the implications of the latest round of revisions made by the
Food Ministry to the Public Distribution System (Control) Order which was notified by
the Department of Food and Public Distribution recently. (200 Words) ...........................83
1Q. Do you think Indias minimum support price policy (MSP) is a sound policy vis a vis
increasing efficiency in agriculture? Critically analyse the merits and demerits of present
MSP policy. (200 Words) ........................................................................................................84
2Q. Recently the Union Cabinet approved a new policy on urea. Examine how this new
policy would affect producers and consumers in India. (200 Words)................................ 85
1Q. Recently the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) notified the new priority sector lending
norms. Discuss these norms and associated issues. (200 Words) .......................................86
2Q. As mandated, the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) recommends
MSPs at national level for twenty three crops, but effectively price support operates
primarily in wheat and rice and that too in selected states. Examine the consequences
and effectiveness of measures taken by the government to address this issue. (200
Words) ....................................................................................................................................... 87
1Q. Recently the union cabinet gave its nod to set up the National Agriculture Market.
Critically discuss the need for such a market and its impact on APMCs and farmers. (200
Words) .......................................................................................................................................88
1Q. Recently the union government proposed to reform 50 regulated wholesale markets
(mandis) across 10 states in order to help create a national common market for
agricultural marketing. Write a note on the role of mandis and examine how this
proposal would help agricultural marketing in India. (200 Words)..................................89
1Q. Critically analyse the characteristics on Indias agriculture markets and examine if
India setting up a national market for agricultural commodities would address problems
faced in agricultural marketing. (200 Words)......................................................................90
1Q. Write a note on the recent initiatives taken by the government to reform agricultural
marketing in India. (200 Words) ........................................................................................... 91
1Q. Write a critical note on the objectives, significance and performance of Soil Health
Cards (SHC) programme. (200 Words) ................................................................................ 91
1Q. It is said that power tillers, should logically be preferred over tractors by Indian
farmers and despite being cheaper and more efficient, they are lagging behind tractors.
Examine their advantages to Indian farmers and how they can be made more appealing
to them. (200 Words) ............................................................................................................... 92
2Q. Examine why Krishi Vigyan Kendras were set up and critically evaluate their
performance. (200 Words)...................................................................................................... 93
1Q. Critically analyse the potential of agribusiness to address agrarian distress in India.
(200 Words).............................................................................................................................. 95
1Q. It is argued these days that the reform of Food Safety and Standards Authority of
India (FSSAI) is urgent and essential to ensure the growth of food processing industry in
India. Critically examine why. (200 Words) .........................................................................96
1Q. Write a critical note on the objectives and performance of the National Mission of
Food Processing (NMFP) Scheme . (200 Words) ..................................................................96
1Q. India should move away from end-point control to risk-based inspection of all food
products from farm-to-plate to ensure safety of every item, including raw ones
consumed by people. Elaborate. (200 Words) ..................................................................... 97
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1Q. Food safety laws in India is said to be one of top challenges faced by the food
processing industry in India. Critically examine why. (200 Words)..................................98
1Q. Critically comment on the objectives of governments Mega Food Park scheme and
the progress made so far in establishing them. (200 Words) ............................................100
1Q. It is argued that at this moment what India needs to sustainable solar irrigation
program. Examine why and elaborate. (200 Words) ........................................................ 101
1Q. Is there scope for India to add unirrigated millions of hectares of land to irrigated
land without building new dams? Critically discuss how. (200 Words) .......................... 102
1Q. Write a note the objectives and the importance of newly launched Pradhan Mantri
Krishi Sinchai Yojana(PMKSY) for Indian agriculture. (200 Words) .............................. 102
1Q. With examples discuss the factors that determine cropping pattern in India. (200
Words) ..................................................................................................................................... 104
1Q. The ICAR has acknowledged that the generally considered ideal fertiliser ratio of
4:2:1 doesnt hold for all regions of the country. Examine why and also comment on the
present trend followed by farmers in various parts of the country. (200 Words) .......... 105
1Q. In recent years, farmers in India are switching to other crops such as oilseeds,
soyabean etc from cash crops. Examine why and analyse the recent trend in cropping
pattern. (200 Words) ............................................................................................................. 106
1Q. Examine how and why farm mechanisation and crop diversification can help Indian
farmers. (200 Words) ............................................................................................................ 107
2Q. Examine the reasons for the failure of Indias pulses production to keep pace with the
rise in demand. Suggest what needs to be done to address this demand supply gap.
(200 Words)............................................................................................................................ 108
1Q. Write a note on the cropping pattern of pulses in India. Examine why its prices in
India are increasing and what needs to be done to control its price and make it
affordable to poor. (200 Words)........................................................................................... 109
1Q. It is found that there has been a major change in the composition and mix of the
cattle population in India. Discuss these changes and examine the causes and its
implications. (200 Words) .................................................................................................... 110
1Q. Write a note on the recent trends in the economics of meat market in India and the
challenges facing the sector. (200 Words)............................................................................ 111
1Q. In Karnataka, Canine Research and Information Centre (CRIC) near Mudhol
tehsil has achieved a twin objective of reviving the pure-bred Mudhol hound while
providing a source of additional income for members of the S.C. and S.T. communities in
the region. Discuss the significance of this achievement and examine if this model can be
adopted for other native breeds of different animals that can be reared for profit. (200
Words) ......................................................................................................................................112
1Q. Critically examine Indias current deep-sea fishing policy and guidelines. (200
Words) ......................................................................................................................................113
1Q. Write a note on the problems faced by poultry industry and its recent growth trends
in India. (200 Words) .............................................................................................................113
1Q. Critically comment on the issues related to implementation of governments new
deep-sea fishing policy based on the recommendations of the Meenakumari committee.
(200 Words).............................................................................................................................114

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1Q. Write a short note on EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) model of
investment and its merits over PPP model. (150 Words) .................................................... 115
1Q. The previous version of public-private partnership (PPP) has been hailed both as
huge success and failure. In order to revive this investment model and make it successful
again, what needs to be done? Discuss. (200 Words) .........................................................116
2Q. What do you understand by telemedicine? Examine its opportunities and recent
developments, especially in India. (200 Words) ..................................................................118
3Q. Does the radiation from cellphone towers damage human health? Discuss. (200
Words) ......................................................................................................................................118
1Q. What do you understand by Call Drop? Why is it caused? Examine and also discuss
its impact on consumers. (200 Words) .................................................................................119
1Q. Explain the differences between 3G and 4G technologies. It is argued that in India 3G
technology as good as dead. Examine why. (200 Words) ..................................................119
1Q. Write a note on the science and technology behind desalination plants, their locations
and uses. (200 Words) ........................................................................................................... 120
1Q. You are asked by the government of India to propose a model of digital village to
make villages self reliant and self sustainable. Briefly outline your model and explain
what elements would you incorporate in your model and why. (200 Words) .................121
2Q. Discuss why solar installations in India is still not a popular option both in rural and
urban households. (200 Words) ........................................................................................... 122
1Q. Discuss the benefits of Big Data to economic development of a nation. (200 Words)
.................................................................................................................................................. 122
2Q. Why is LED lamp more efficient than CFL or incandescent lamps? Also
compare their environmental impact. (200 Words).......................................................... 124
1Q. Examine the differences between GSLV and PSLV launch vehicles. It is said that
GSLV would become a competitor to PSLV. Examine why. (200 Words) ........................ 124
2Q. Do you think the two consecutive successful launch of GSLV-Mk-II would make ISRO
self-reliant space agency? Discuss. (200 Words)................................................................ 125
1Q. Discuss the significance of the Satellite Instructional Television Experiment (SITE)
and its association with India. (200 Words) ....................................................................... 126
1Q. What path did India choose its after independence to develop the science and
technology field in India? Do you think, compared to USA, Japan and Other scientifically
developed countries, India chose a wrong path? Critically comment. (200 Words) ...... 127
1Q. Discuss the contribution of A P J Abdul Kalam to indigenisation and development of
new technology in India. (200 Words) ................................................................................ 127
1Q. Write a note on the Breakthrough Listen project and its significance for humans.
(200 Words)............................................................................................................................ 128
2Q. In recent years, there is an increased interest among scientists in Pluto. Examine
why and also discuss how more understanding of the Pluto helps understanding Earths
history. (200 Words)............................................................................................................. 129
1Q. Write a note on the significance of NASAs New Horizons Mission. (200 Words) .... 129
1Q. Write a note on the working principle of the Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR)
and its importance for Indias nuclear energy program. (200 Words)............................ 130

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1Q. Write a note on ISROs future missions and their significance to India. (200 Words)
...................................................................................................................................................131
2Q. Critically examine the uses of understanding of neutrinos, and significance of its
research for India. Also critically comment why set-up of neutrino research facility in
India is being opposed. (200 Words) ....................................................................................131
3Q. Write a note on the significance and applications of ISROs GAGAN (GPS-aided geoaugmented navigation) system. (200 Words) .................................................................... 132
4Q. Write a note on the European Space Agencys (ESA) Philae Mission and its
significance. (200 Words) ..................................................................................................... 133
1Q. What do you understand by DNA Profiling? Critically examine the concerns raised
against Indias DNA profiling Bill and comment if they are valid. (200 Words) ............ 134
1Q. Write a note on the meaning and applications of Synthetic Biology.Also examine the
ethical issues involved in its application. (200 Words) ...................................................... 134
1Q. Are antibiotics completely safe for humans? Discuss. (200 Words)........................... 135
1Q. Write a critical note on the origin and sources of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome
coronavirus, or MERS-CoV and its threat to humans. (200 Words) ................................ 136
1Q. Write a note on the science and methodology of Indias Revised National
Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP). (200 Words) ................................................ 137
1Q. Budgetary cuts, failure to make appointments in time, and political interference in
the past year have affected all aspects of science development in the country and lowered
the morale of the scientific community. Critically comment. (200 Words) .................... 138
1Q. Critically examine Indias achievement in the indigenisation in the production of
defence products. (200 Words) ............................................................................................. 138
1Q. Critically examine Indias achievement in the indigenisation in the production of
defence products. (200 Words) ............................................................................................. 139
1Q. Write a note on Indias Astrosat. (150 Words).............................................................. 140
1Q. What do you understand by Digital Amnesia? Examine its causes and consequences.
(200 Words).............................................................................................................................141
1Q. It is said that though Big Data is the future, India should worry more about the Dark
Data. Elaborate and examine why. (200 Words) ............................................................... 142
1Q. What do you understand by Autonomous Weapons? Recently, prominent scientists
and entrepreneurs have called for global ban on these weapons. Examine why. (200
Words) ..................................................................................................................................... 143
1Q. Recently a report from the Department of Telecommunications recommended that
the voice over internet protocol-based (VoIP) domestic calling services, including
applications such as WhatsApp, should be brought under licensing. Critically comment
on this recommendation. (200 Words) ............................................................................... 143
1Q. Write a note on Tools for Brain-Computer Interaction (Tobi) project. (200 Words)144
1Q. Recently Google tested its latest version of self-driving car. Critically examine the
technology used in this car, its uses and concerns expressed on its uses. (200 Words) 144
1Q. What are the objectives of internet.org launched recently by Facebook? Comment on
the controversy surrounding its launch. (200 Words) ....................................................... 145

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2Q. Internet apps such as Skype and Whatsapp are under attack for providing free
service of internet-based calls and media exchange. Examine the merits and demerits of
such services and discuss if these free services should be regulated. (200 Words) ......... 146
1Q. Considering Indias large working population and its ambition to become factory of
the world, do you think India should encourage usage of robots in its manufacturing
industries? Critically comment. (200 Words) ..................................................................... 147
1Q. .it must be understood that IP is also located in unforgettable trademarks in the
creativity of writers, singers and others, in Geographical Indications (GI), and in
traditional knowledge. Critically examine the benefits of GI and explain why there is
lack of awareness on GI compared to intellectual property rights. (200 Words) ........... 148
1Q. To realise the twin dreams of Innovate in India and Make in India, the
government needs to build a competitive, thriving environment by prioritising scientific
research with a strong intellectual property (IP) system. In the light of the statement
critically analyse nature of Indias present IP regime, the changes it requires and its
importance to Indias economy. (200 Words) ..................................................................... 149
2Q. Ten years have passed since the Indian Patents Act, 1970 was amended in 2005 to
bring the countrys laws in line with the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of
Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). Critically discuss its salient features and their role
in making India the Pharmacy of the Third World. (200 Words)................................... 151
Environment and Biodiversity................................................................................................... 152
1Q. Critically discuss the components of environmental remediation of contaminated
sites and rehabilitation of affected people, and the policy measures taken by the
government and related agencies to address this issue in India. (200 Words) ............... 152
2Q. Experts have warned that Indias extreme vulnerability to climate change will have a
direct impact on the health of its population. Elaborate. (200 Words) ............................ 153
1Q. Do you think banning plastic bags is an environment friendly measures?
Substantiate. (200 Words) .................................................................................................... 154
1Q. Critically discuss the importance of social forestry programme in combating climate
change. Also comment on its implementation in India. (200 Words) .............................. 155
1Q. Write a note on the differences between biofuel, bioethanol, biodiesel and biogas.
Examine efforts made by India to to popularise these fuels. (200 Words) ...................... 156
2Q. What do you understand by unsustainable fishing? Examine its causes and
consequences. (200 Words)....................................................................................................157
1Q. Recently the US government released new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
rules and a Clean Power Plan to address the challenges of climate change effects. Critical
comment on the significance of the plan and examine why some sections are opposed to
this. (200 Words) ................................................................................................................... 158
2Q. Critically comment on the actions taken by India referred to as the Nationally
Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) under the UN Framework Convention on
Climate Change (UNFCCC) to address the climate change effects. (200 Words) ............ 159
3Q. It is said that the Kanha Tiger Reserves goal-oriented strategies and systematic
conservation practices have over the years made it an embodiment of the concept of
biodiversity conservation in the country, one that others can emulate. Examine why.
(200 Words)............................................................................................................................ 160
1Q. What do you understand by Compensatory Afforestation in the Indian context? The
recently introduced Compensatory Afforestation Fund Bill, 2015 (CAF Bill) has given rise
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to many apprehensions amongst environmentalists. Critically examine what these


apprehensions are and comment on the other objectives of the Bill. (200 Words) ......... 160
1Q. Name any three most dangerous invasive species and explain how these species affect
native ecosystem. Also suggest measures needed to address their threats. (200 Words)
.................................................................................................................................................. 162
2Q. Critically examine how illegal mining of river sand in various parts of India is
affecting the ecology of rivers and lives of people in the vicinity of these rivers. (200
Words) ..................................................................................................................................... 162
1Q. Write a critical note on each of the following in about 100 words: ........................... 163
a) Teraethyl Lead (TEL) ........................................................................................................ 163
b) Biopurification ................................................................................................................... 163
1Q. Do you think recent weather anomalies such as extreme heat waves, heavy rains,
untimely floods and other similar weather phenomena are the result of global warming?
Critically examine and, if its true, suggest who needs to do what to combat the impact of
global warming. (200 Words) .............................................................................................. 164
1Q. Write a note on the international convention of 2001 on civil liability for bunker oil
pollution damage of the International Maritime Organization and its significance to
India and world environment. (200 Words) ....................................................................... 166
2Q. India must signal serious intent, both because it wants to be seen as a responsible
global player, and because an effective climate agreement is firmly in its own interests.
With reference to upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris in
December, critically analyse the statement. (200 Words) ................................................ 166
1Q. The new draft National Wildlife Policy, framed by the Ministry of Environment,
Forests and Climate Change, suggests amending existing laws to allow hunting of
animals like cobras to accommodate religious and cultural practices. Do you think this
exception is required? Examine the key issues and concerns regarding this policy and
critically comment on them. (200 Words) ........................................................................... 168
1Q. Write a critical note on the Global Apollo Programme and examine why India is
considered as pivotal to this program. (200 Words).......................................................... 168
1Q. Should ecotourism be encouraged in India? why? Critically comment. (200 Words)
.................................................................................................................................................. 169
1Q. Recent years have seen rise in the population of wild lions and tigers in India.
Critically examine the reasons behind this success and comment on Indias wildlife
conservation policy in general. (200 Words) ...................................................................... 170
2Q. With suitable illustrations, critically examine the role of local communities in
conservation of wildlife across the world. (200 Words) .................................................... 170
1Q. Write a critical note on the role of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) in addressing
the problem of environmental pollution and degradation in India. (200 Words) ........... 171
Disaster Management ................................................................................................................ 172
1Q. Write a critical note on the role of media in disaster management. (200 Words).... 172
Security........................................................................................................................................ 173
1Q. CAG in its report, commented that in an era of heightened coastal security concerns,
Indian Coast Guard (ICG) remains ill-equipped to discharge its enhanced role and meet
the challenges of today. Critically discuss. (200 Words) ................................................... 173
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1Q. Compare and contrast the structure, mandate, role and abilities of Indias armed
forces with that of paramilitary forces. (200 Words) ........................................................ 174
1Q. For many years defence analysts are suggesting that India should create the post
of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS). Critically examine why this suggestion is made and its
importance for national security. (200 Words) ...................................................................175
1Q. Critically analyse the security threats that India faces in its Western border outside
Jammu and Kashmir region. (200 Words) ......................................................................... 176
1Q. It is said that a major factor preventing the return of normalcy in Kashmir is the
opposition to the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1990 (AFSPA). In the light of
allegations of human rights violations, critically comment of the implications of AFSPA
and recommend changes to the Act to address the concerns raised against it. (200
Words) ......................................................................................................................................177
1Q. It is not beyond the realm of possibility that Pakistan would see in this so-called new
doctrine of pre-emption, an opportunity to deploy its nuclear and missile capabilities
against India. In the light of Indias recent hot-pursuit against insurgents in its
Northeastern region and possibility of such pursuits in its western borders, critically
comment on the statement. (200 Words)............................................................................. 178
1Q. Critically analyse the challenges facing the government in the defence sector. In your
opinion, how should government respond to these challenges? Discuss. (200 Words) .. 179
1Q. In your opinion, what should be the approach of Indian government and security
agencies in dealing with security challenges within and across Indias borders? In the
light of recent attack on insurgents camps by the Indian Army across Indo-Myanmar
border, critically examine how has India managed various security challenges in its
borders post Kargil War. (200 Words) .............................................................................181
1Q. Critically analyse the role of Myanmar, Bhutan and Bangladesh in addressing
internal security threats that India is facing along its Eastern and North-eastern
borders. (200 Words) .............................................................................................................181
1Q. Discuss the challenges faced by India in managing various security challenges in its
eastern borders at present. (200 Words)............................................................................. 182
1Q. Critically analyse the agreements signed by India with its island neighbours in the
Indian Ocean to curb black money. (200 Words) ............................................................... 183
1Q. Critically comment on the recent black money law and examine the merits and
demerits of the same. (200 Words) ...................................................................................... 184
2Q. Analyse the significance of recent recent agreement signed between the governments
of India and the United States to implement the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act
(FATCA) for both the countries. (200 Words) ..................................................................... 185
1Q. Critically comment on the recent black money law and examine the merits and
demerits of the same. (200 Words) ...................................................................................... 186
2Q. Analyse the significance of recent recent agreement signed between the governments
of India and the United States to implement the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act
(FATCA) for both the countries. (200 Words) ..................................................................... 187
1Q. Recently the government has decided to offer tax rebates to encourage transactions
through credit and debit cards. Critically examine the rationale behind this move, its
merits and demerits. (200 Words) ....................................................................................... 188

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1Q. It is argued that the steps taken so far, including the Black Money Bill, to bring back
an estimated $1.5 trillion stashed abroad are completely ineffective. Critically discuss.
(200 Words)............................................................................................................................ 188
2Q. Critically comment on the provisions of recently passed Black Money Bill and their
effectiveness in addressing the issue of black money and corruption in India. (200
Words) ..................................................................................................................................... 190
1Q. A recently set-up Special Investigative Team (SIT) on Black Money has recommended
several measures to tackle the issue of black money circulation in its three separate
reports. Comment on the important recommendations of these reports. (200 Words).. 190
1Q. Recently the The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms
and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies was in news and it is argued that this agreement
has become anachronistic vis a vis cybersecurity issues. Critically examine. (200 Words)
.................................................................................................................................................. 192
1Q. Cyberspace desperately needs an international legal regime, and India is well poised
to offer a zero draft diplomatic jargon for the starting text of any negotiation that
acknowledges both its burgeoning digital economy and its constitutional commitment to
free speech and expression. In the light of the statement, critically comment on the
existing laws that govern and address cyberspace issues, and examine what role can
India play in cyberspace governance. (200 Words)........................................................... 193
2Q. Do you think the Information Technology Act 2000 is well positioned to address the
threats of cyberwarfare and other threats emanating from the cyberspace? Critically
examine. (200 Words) ........................................................................................................... 194
1Q. It is argued that India should work through the BRICS group (Brazil, Russia, India,
China and South Africa) to develop an alternative to the U.S. hegemony over internet. In
the light of concerns expressed over the ownership of Big Data, internet architecture and
governance mechanism for internet, critically comment on the statement. (200 Words)
.................................................................................................................................................. 195
1Q. A recent study has indicated a dramatic rise in attacks by cyber criminals on Indian
entities in recent years. Critically examine how these crimes should be tackled by
concerned agencies and government. (200 Words) ........................................................... 196
1Q. Critically discuss why some of pressing security challenges that India is facing in its
north eastern region are inextricably linked to developments taking place in Myanmar.
(200 Words)............................................................................................................................ 197
1Q. One of the most disturbing effects of civil unrest is children participating in
violence. Critically analyse how unrest in different parts of India have made children
vulnerable to exploitation, trafficking and misuse. (200 Words) ..................................... 198
1Q. Do you think religious stimuli is the sole reason impacting the rise of Islamic
extremism across the world? Critically analyse. (200 Words) ......................................... 199
1Q. Critically examine the factors that have helped the emergence of Islamic State in the
Middle East. Do you think this organisation poses greater threat than Al-Qaeda and
Taliban? Substantiate. (200 Words) ................................................................................... 200
1Q. In the light of increasing naxalite violent activities despite governments efforts to
stall them, in your opinion, what should be the critical components of counterinsurgency
strategy followed by the government agencies? Critically discuss. (200 Words) ........... 201
1Q. Critically comment on the success of the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear
Weapons (NPT) in stopping proliferation of nuclear weapons around the world. Looking
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at ongoing geopolitical struggles around the world, do you think non proliferation can
be achieved? Discuss. (200 Words) ..................................................................................... 202
1Q. Does India need a a coherent national strategy to take on Islamic State and
to prevent Indians from joining this organisation? Critically examine. (200 Words) . 203
1Q. In your opinion, what should be Indias strategic response to separatist movements,
insurgency and terrorism? With emphasis on separatist movement in Jammu and
Kashmir, critically analyse. (200 Words) .......................................................................... 204
1Q. Critically analyse how Indias neighbours have assisted or hindered Indias efforts to
curb terrorist activities of state and non-state actors affecting its internal security. (200
Words) .....................................................................................................................................205
2Q. Critically comment on Indias approach towards handling insurgency and
insurgents in the northeastern region. Do you think a referendum should be conducted
and wish of the majority people in the region be granted? Justify. (200 Words) .......... 206
1Q. Critically comment on Indias approach towards dealing with the Naga insurgents in
the Northeast. (200 Words) ..................................................................................................207
1Q. Critically comment on Indias approach towards dealing with the Naga insurgents in
the Northeast. (200 Words) ................................................................................................. 208
1Q. The Islamic State is making inroads into new territories and spreading violence
thanks to many factors including the absence of collective offensive against it. Critically
analyse the reasons behind success of ISIS. (200 Words)................................................. 209

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Economic Development
Topic: e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and
potential;

1Q. Write a critical note Indias Digital India programme,


concerns raised against it and measures needed to address these
concerns. (200 Words)
Digital India programme is a comprehensive approach to leverage the technology for
the developmental purpose. It aims at creating digital infrastructure, delivering
services digitally and making people digitally literate. Under the digital infrastructure
government plans to expand the access to internet thorough National Optical Fiber
Network and mobile internet access.
Government also plant to expand the range of services delivered online with services
like digital locker and e-hospitals in addition to missions under National Egovernance plans. Program also aims at levering technology to impart skills and
make people digitally literate with focus on digital classroom and e-education.
But critics have pointed out shortcoming and raised their concerns. Some of them
are:
1. Lack of implementation is basic issue. The National optimal fiber network is
behind the schedule and there are no sign of accelerated implementation.
2. Absence of Privacy Law expose the users of these programmes to risk of
identity theft, misuse of database and cyber abuse.
3. E-governance programme without process re-engineering is just adding
another layer without bringing efficiency. Also it would limit the access to
vulnerable and marginalized people.
4. Today, only 9 per cent of those who live in rural areas have access to the
internet, compared to 64 per cent of those who live in. 2006 National Optical
Fibre Network project to connect more than two lakh gram panchayats was
sluggish from the start, and lagged five years behind schedule by 2013. The
project has been subsumed under Digital India but the government is laying
only 500 km of fibre optic cable a month way behind the stated goal of
30,000 km every month. Thus, less immediate use to rural areas. Also, issue
of power in rural areas to access internet.
For program to be successful, government needs to address the genuine concerns
raised. There is need for privacy law and data protection measures to increase trust
of people in such programs. It would help in increase usage of government services.
New protocols may be developed in this regard. The formation of the NCIIPC is
crucial in this regard.
A robust institutional framework and implementation focused approach along with
measures to ensure safety and security of data is essential for Digital India to
succeed in its mission of empowering the citizens.

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1Q. Recently the government announced an open-source policy that

makes it mandatory for all future applications and services to be


designed using the open-source software (OSS). What do you
understand by open-source software? Examine its benefits and also
highlight effect of this policy on various stakeholders. (200 Words)
Open Source Software (OSS) is a term referring to the software programs whose
source code is publicly available and the copyright holder allows anyone to study and
modify the source code. Thus it is a collaborative method wherein the future users
can easily become co-developers. Examples are Linux operating system, Android, etc.
The government recently announced the policy for mandatory usage of OSS for
central government offices to develop any applications and services. Such a policy
has wide implications on all stakeholders namely the government, technology
companies or suppliers and the public.
Benefits of OSS:
1. Open source code is meant to be a collaborative effort where programmers
improve upon the source code and make the benefits available to the
community.
2. The Open source model is based on a more decentralized model of production,
thus helps in reducing the monopoly of large commercial firms which are
primarily centralized model of production for revenue maximization
3. OSS will help in reducing government's cost of procurement of commercial
softwares.
4. OSS can be modified and customised to suit spatial and temporal diversities.
5. Many developers can contribute to customize it. Thus it is more participatory
6. If software is open source, it can be easily adapted to the changing needs by
making incremental changes rather than building a new software from
scratch.
7. Due to reduced costs, more social expenditure can be done but workforce
needs to be trained for handling OSS with technicalities.
8. Use of OSS will make government functioning more transparent.
9. Thus, gives boost to digital india programme
For technology companies, this is a not so welcome step as they are suppliers of
Closed Source Softwares or Proprietary tools. Hence, they stand to lose a share of
their revenues. India is growing market and still in nascent stage. The government
policy mandates the justification for using Closed Source Software if used in
preference to OSS, this feature is troubling for the suppliers.CSS is proprietary
product and profit maximization provided the incentive for its development. That
will be reduced.
Citizens will get better services as the quality would have been customised by many
developers. But there are safety concerns as OSS are more prone to data thefts and
attacks. We are already under much threat and our cyber laws framework is still
evolving. So safety breach is a big concern. Besides, the policy is mandatory for
central government offices and recommended for states
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So the step is in the right direction and we shoudl strike a balance between OSS and
CSS on a case-to-case basis.

Topic: Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.


1Q. Critically comment on the recent initiatives taken by the

government to improve financial inclusion and the challenges these


initiatives face in reaching out to the poor and needy. (200 Words)
Kickstarting virtous growth cycle, govt has taken many steps to bring the unbanked
population into the fold of financial markets.
These steps are:
1. PMJDY with overdraft facility and accident insurance
2. Payment Banks and private bank licenses by RBI
3. Thrust on m-banking by PSBs
4. Banking Correspondents and branchless banking
5. Clubbing various social security schmes like PM Suraksha Bima Yojana into
bank accounts
Challenges before these initiatives
1. Many newly opened accounts have remained dormant
2. Economic viability of payments banks has to be monitored regularly;
managing partnership with main banks will be a challenge for them
3. Technology penetration and its accessibility is an issue in rural areas. NOFN
project is running behind timelines
4. Illiteracy and lack of financial awareness leads to rural population being
hesitant to transact via bank accounts.
5. Inability to transact due to network/service downtime
6. Complex user interfaces and inadequate grievance redressal mechanisms
7. Non-transparent fees and other terms; Business correspondents have been
accused of siphoning off money
8. Fraud that targets customers, inadequate data privacy and protection

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Govt has to take into account all such bottlenecks while monitoring the schemes of
financial inclusion and ensure that inclusion of underprivileged genuinely benefits
them while improving government's delivery mechanisms.

Topic: Economic growth and development

1Q. Compare and contrast the economic growth of India with that
of Chinas since 2008 global economic crisis. Critically examine
what this economic growth means to Indias large population. (200
Words)
India and China had followed different strategies and growth model before the 2008
global economic crisis. While Indian growth story was led by domestic
consumption,chinas economy was fuelled by export. But this started to change after
2008 in substantial way.
1. Both the countries resorted to fiscal stimulus to revive the economy and
reduce the impact of crisis on domestic sector.
2. China was more impacted than India due to its heavy reliance on export. The
reduced demand in global market forced it to change the model of
development.
3. China reoriented its economy to stimulate domestic demand. These included
encouraging consumption spending by reducing retail interest rates,
incentivising housing sector and diversifying industrial sector.
4. India also focused on diversification of its export market. The export to nontraditional region like Asia, Africa and Latin America was encouraged. It paid
dividend by accompanied diversification in product and geography.
5. China explored alternative ways to utilize its excess industrial capital and
huge
foreign exchange reserve though setting up institutions like AIIB and One
Belt One Road initiatives.
Both the economies have been successful in their efforts to an extent. The
accompanied fall in global commodities prices due to reduced Chinese consumption
has also benefited India(reduced import, reduced CAD and subsidies and increased
funding for infrastructure).

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2Q. Do you think Indias economic progress and its inclusive


growth strategy has reduced poverty and inequality in the country?
Critically analyse, especially with reference to the plight of tribal
population. (200 Words)
India is now a two trillion dollar economy and has grown at a fairly good pace pot
1991 reforms. In terms of inequality, India stands at Gini coefficient of 33.9 which is
not a bad number. Poverty numbers have also gone down since 2010 where around
100 million people have risen above poverty line as per Rangrajan committee report.
Despite these positive statistics, the ground situation does not look the same. The top
10 percent of population have nearly three quarter of wealth which shows skewed
distribution of wealth.
Tribals are the section of society who have particularly been at the receiving end.
This can be said because:
1. As per XaXa report, tribals are significantly below the average Indian in terms
of economjc and Social indicators like health and education.
2. Tribals inhabit those areas which are rich in minerl wealth and thus face the
brunt of displacement. Forest rights act 2006 (FRA) considered a landmark
legislation for tribal rights is marked by several deficiencies.
3. Besides tribal population, there are apparent inequalities with respect to
women, Muslim population, and scheduled castes. Though the givernment
strategies have helped these sections, thus there is lot to be done.
This calls for reform in government strategies like push to MSME sector, financial
inclusion through successful implementation of Jan dhan Yojana, greater
transparency in FRA, better public service delivery in backward areas. All this would
take India towards fulfilment of inclusive development.
1Q. Do you think more investment, both public and private, would

help in poverty reduction? In the context of India, critically


examine. (200 Words)
At a juncture, where investment rates and savings rates have remained muted over
the years post-recession, indeed, picking up of investment is what India needs
urgently. However, mere investment is not enough to tackle poverty as war against it
has to be fought on multiple fronts.
Growth of public investment will give a push to infrastructure sector that will result
in efficient supply chains, lowering prices and ultimately helping poor against
inflation. Added to this, private investment which is being supplemented by FDI in a
big way, will help create jobs and provide both forward and backward linkages with
diverse sectors of economy.
Such emphasis on investment by govt may spruce up IIP and GDP numbers, but
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Govt's focus on investment has to also include social sector (allocations for which
have been pruned significantly recently) apart from physical infrastructure. Wellmeaning legislations like NFSA, RTE, MNREGA are being stifled due to lack of
timely payment of wages or non-implementation in other cases
Private sector has also a role to play in poverty remediation by going beyond
minimum CSR spending. Govt has rightly widened the type of projects (included
toilets for schools, slum rehabilitation recently) that can be taken up under CSR.
Trickle-down effects having been long discarded in India as early as 1970s, it would
be better to learn from the past and focus more on directed poverty alleviation
programmes aided by efficient and timely delivery of services.

2Q. Examine the linkages between job growth and manufacturing


sector, and discuss how should India reform the manufacturing
sector to generate more jobs. (200 Words)
Over 300 million young Indians are set to enter our labour force by 2025. With an
average age of 29, Indias population is in the middle of a demographic boom. For
creating employment opportunities for such a large number of people, growth in
manufacturing sector is often cited as the way forward, as it was seen in the case of
China.
In the liberalisation era of post-1990s, we have not been able to create enough jobs in
the manufacturing sector. In fact, we can say that there has been jobless growth in
this sector. So, out major initiatives such as Make in India should not only focus on
the large capital intensive industries & increase in GDP, but also small and medium
scale enterprises (SMEs) which will provide the bulk of the jobs. SMEs are labourintensive, they can ensure inclusive growth of people everywhere in the country.
Poor physical connectivity, regulatory barriers, and weak institutional capacities are
major barriers in this sector
Steps to improve:
1. Reforming labour laws will encourage employers to keep more workers in
formal roles with work-linked wages and social security benefits
2. MSMEs being greater contributor of jobs in manufacturing sector, they should
be given more financial support through initiatives like MUDRA Bank and
also technical support leading to large scale of production
3. Creation of strong networks of manufacturing units & integrating them with
global supply chain is required to make use of export-led growth in
manufacturing, especially in textile and apparel industry.
4. Expediting GST and providing timely credit to MSMEs will provide further
impetus.
5. Finally, focus should be on skill development [National Policy for Skill
Development and Entrepreneurship 2015] as an effective roadmap to promote
entrepreneurship. Skill India should focus on not just increase in number of
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ITIs but increase participation of industries in curriculum design, providing


staff for ITIs and provide practical training. This will reduce gap in demand
and supply of labour.

1Q. In recent months, Indias exports are decreasing. In your


opinion, what needs to be done by the government to boost
exports? Discuss. (200 Words)
Strong growth in exports are needed to ensure that the targets of 'Make In India' and
accelerated job creation in the manufacturing sector can be met. In the past few
months, the exports have seen a contraction. A few steps can be taken to boost
exports 1. Ease of Business - The government has been focusing on improving the ease of
business. This should help to that companies can be easily set up or expanded.
This process must be strengthened.
2. Tax Reform - The Goods and Services tax (GST) would help to create a single
unified market in the country. It will remove a lot of distortions and
streamline a company's logistics. Hence, it must be brought forward at a
reasonable rate of taxation with as few exemptions as possible.
3. Focus on a few 'Sunrise Industries' - For fast returns, there must be increased
focus on a few high growth industries like food Processing, footwear
manufacturing etc.
4. Labour Reforms - A key problem cited in the skewed business structure in
India, which favours small-scale manufacturing which is inherently inefficient
is the stringent labour regulations. Reform of these laws would help the
businesses scale up.
5. Incentives for exporters - Incentives in the form of excise duty subvention, soft
loans etc. would be beneficial in promoting exports.
6. Services related exports can be quickly scaled up and are more remunerative.
Thus, the government should also focus on this segment for more value.
7. Diversification of Export basket - The Indian Export basket is skewed in
favour of commodities. The global crash in commodities prices has thus
adversely affected Indian exports. The government must see this as an
opportunity and attempt to diversify its export baskets.
8. Reviewing the SEZ policy and tweaking it to ensure better utilisation of the
land and other incentives provided.
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9. Agricultural exports suffer from the poor quality of produce and lack of
uniformity in size and shape of produce which are not accepted by many
countries. Strict implementation of APEDA quality norms would give boost to
agricultural exports which is India's strength.
10. Improving infrastructure like roads, rails and communication which would lift
off current hindrances in the transport of goods.
11. Land: Ensure proper, adequate and timely land acquisition without negating
interests of common people
12. Government (or the RBI ) can allow the rupee to depreciate(as is happening
now),to boost export competitiveness.
13. Diplomatic steps to open up goods and services in which we are leaders from
the negative lists of our trade partners, such as pharmaceutical, services and
automobile manufacturing.
14. Engagement in new destinations such as Latin America, Africa and other
island nations.
15. Single window clearance and easy access to financial mechanisms for activities
related with exports.
16. Setting up of more SEZ, NIMZ, industrial parks
17. More focus on MSME (~40-45% of our exports) and traditional sectors
(handicrafts, artisans, handlooms) where we can access an edge over others.
18. Tariff and Non Tariff barriers: High import duties. CVD should be dealt with
19. Empowering the export promotion council and community boards like Silk
board for better production and marketing of those products. Agricultural
Export zones in the country which are around 60 can be given tax exemptions
and subsidy for export purposes.
20. India should quickly solve the dispute on coal, iron ore and other mining
issues because if dispute will solve then again mining will boost and so export.

1Q. Looking at the way Indian economy is growing at present, can it

be termed as Goldilocks Economy? Substantiate. (200 Words)


A Goldilocks economy is one that is neither too aggressive nor too defensive. It stays
within stipulated limits of inflation and is conducive to moderate growth. The
monetary policy in such economy tends to be a balanced one, i.e. neither too high
interest rates that they deter industrial expansion, nor ultra low so as to boost up
inflation. Goldilocks Economy is an nations economy which is neither too hot
(Inflationary) nor too cold (facing recession.)
A hot economy shows symptoms like high inflation, high inflation leading to very
high Nominal GDP which sometimes projects stagnant economy as growing fast.
Such unhealthy symptoms dont attract FDI and Qualified Foreign Investors for FII.

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A cold economy has symptoms like high unemployment, stagnant or receding


economy, high unemployment leads to high inflation for limited products but
unlimited demands leading to Phillip curve scenario. This situation also shows fragile
situation of nations economy.
India at present show Goldilocks economy which means neither cold nor hot but a
fine balance. Goldilocks economy is characterized by a low unemployment rate,
increasing asset prices (stocks, real estate, etc.), low interest rates, brisk but steady
GDP growth and low inflation. Because of Indias monetary and fiscal policy for last 1
year
Our economy is on the growth path with last fiscal corresponding to 7.3% growth rate
and will become the fastest growing economy in the world surpassing China in
current
fiscal.
Also government is taking pro-growth measures. Governments' "Make in India"
initiative, increase in FDI caps in Defence and Insurance. All these measures ensure
that economy is on the right path and will continue to grow with higher rates in the
future. Inflation rates are also within the margins. With RBI adopting Inflation
targeting conditions are expected to be far better in the future.
However there are concerns about deficit monsoon that may cause food inflation.
Also with the global demand falling for manufactured goods, export won't contribute
unless there is good domestic demand. Overall at present conditions are far better to
call India a Goldilocks economy

1Q. Do you think the agricultural growth and the expansion of good

jobs in industry and services can go hand-in-hand to bring rapid


elimination of poverty in India? In the light of fears expressed by a
section of society that land acquisition for developmental projects
is affecting food security in India, critically comment. (200 Words)
Past experience of concentrating on only one sector to the neglect of others as was
done post independence with industrial sector clearly show that unless all the sectors
grow in tandem, integrating the sleeves, benefiting from the growth in other sectors,
a country cannot have sustainable and inclusive growth.
Agriculture employs 50% of our population, so growth in this sector is a must if we
have to realise our goal of poverty alleviation and economic growth. Manufacturing
and services being dynamic sectors with high productivity can provide jobs to
increasing youth population and add value to indian products. These sectors have
high linkages as in agricultural growth provides goods for industries which inturn
provides market for services sector. The Gujarat growth model is a perfect
illustration of how these three sectors can grow hand in hand.
Some of the concerns with land acquisition and focus on industrial sector are:

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1. Loss of land - In most parts of India, there is only a single crop grown whereas
the climate and soil are suitable for three crops. Moreover, India's farm yield
is depressingly low. So loss of land will affect food security does not hold
steady ground.
2. Farmers loosing employment - Land acquisition definitely displaces farmers
from their land but it has the advantage of moving farmers up the value chain.
They can enter industrial sector which provides income and social security
unlike agriculture which has been highly risky.
3. Industries will provide job to skilled workforce - That is true but there are
industries which employ unskilled workforce also, China specials in that.
Moreover, government has launched Skill India as a complimentary to Make
in india.

1Q. Recently there was controversy regarding the proposal to


establish the Public Debt Management Agency (PDMA) by the
government. Many economists argue that it is prudent to leave debt
management to the RBI alone. Analyse the issue. (200 Words)
Why PDMA needed ?
1. Fragmented jurisdiction in public debt management: Before the creation of
PDMA, the central Bank or RBI used to manage the market borrowing
programmes of Central and State Governments. On the other hand, external
debt was managed directly by the Central Government. Establishing a debt
management office would consolidate all debt management functions in a
single agency.
2. PDMA can be the catalyst for wider institutional reform, including building a
government securities market, and bring in transparency about public debt.
3. It is considered as an internationally accepted best practice that debt
management should be disaggregated from monetary policy, and taken out of
the realm of the central bank
Arguments for PDMA
1. If debt management is with RBI, there will be conflict of interest. RBI has to
reduce the cost of govt debt (lower interest rate) and also manage inflation
levels (higher interest rates)
2. Reports of Narsimhan committee, Vijay kelkar and Percy Mistry committees,
there is an emphasis on the formation of a separate agency
Arguments against PDMA/ Challenges
1. Previously RBI too had handled the debt management in a transparent and
efficient manner. The present system of debt management is working good, as
it has helped in maintaining debt at a manageable level always.
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2. RBI is already prohibited from interfering in the primary market according to


the FRBM act, and the govt bonds are solely auction driven. So, a separate
agency is not needed
3. Other countries like UK, had also reverted to assigning the debt management
activity to national banks, after forming similar separate agencies
4. Mutual coordination can become difficult
5. RBI also manages states debts and the PDMA is not very clear on what
happens to that function. PDMA under central government have implication
for federal structure of India.
6. Even though if a separate public debt management agency is to be created, it
must be done gradually and systematic fashion
This agency should be independent. Proposed agency is under the supervision of
central government.

1Q. It is said that if India is to acquire a global role relative to its

economic, geographic and demographic size, its economic growth


needs to be underpinned by major productivity shifts and open
markets and not by focusing more on redistribution. Elaborate.
(200 Words)
Redistribution is a mechanism to induce equity and inclusiveness in society, but it
itself cannot reap benefits unless there is enough to redistribute. The rising and
shining India can be developed when we can adequately use its geographic and
demographic dividends .This can be made possible through major economic changes
that can help in enhancing productivity in economy
Enhanced productivity is a pivot for India's economic growth through which we can
maximise our geographic and demographic gains.
Geographic gains can be maximised by using its rich fertile land in most productive
manner [promote mechanised farming, cooperative and contract based farming, use
of biotechnology , climate resilient agriculture etc]. Similarly strategic location in
tropical region be used for solar and wind energy generations using latest
technologies breakthrough. The peninsular shape can be used to promote major sea
trade, tourism development and energy generation. Himalayas Mountains, deserts
and other geographical features can also be a value asset if properly used for
sustainable development with help of newer and better technologies.
Demographic dividends can be reaped through major skill development, factor
market reforms, use of technology and flow of funds. All this will cumulatively
enhance productivity of formal and informal sector, create jobs and induce
manufacturing sector growth.

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India urgently need funds, technology and globally recognised best management
practices to make all this possible. One of the ways to avail these is through opening
up markets in trade, services and flow of funds. A carefully planned and meticulously
implemented economic plan can help India acquire a global role relative to its
economic, geographic and demographic size.

2Q. In your opinion, what are the underlying characteristics that


allow a sector to transform an economy and durably raise living
standards? Which sector in India has the potential to transform
Indias economy and why? Examine. (200 Words)
For a sector to transform an economy and durably raise living standards, following
are some characteristics needed:
1. Employment generation capacity and ability to absorb skilled, semi-skilled
and unskilled labours
2. High productivity and Product quantity to meet domestic need and produce
surplus for exports
3. World standard product qualities to challenge competition in world market
4. Expansion prospects
5. Dynamic in ability to change according to need of hour
It would be wrong to say that any one sector can transform Indias economy. It
should be cumulative effort from all three-Agriculture, Industry and services sector.
However, Industry seems to take the lead in transforming India, due to following
reasons:
1. India will have advantage of Demographic dividend for at least next 2-3
decades. But most people are either semi-skilled or unskilled. Agriculture
sector is already over-employed and service sector needs skilled labours. So
industries only provide opportunity for employment generation at large scale
2. Indias industry has been mostly laggard till now, due to constraints ranging
from policy making to lack of capital and infrastructure. But, now with govt
policies focusing of generating investment through FDI and developing
infrastructure, Industries can improve upon their quality and quantity and
expand. This will give impulse to export. Make in india programme can give it
the boost.
3. Expansion of industry, particularly agro-based industries also give impetus to
agriculture which is still employing around 60% of India's population

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1Q. In your opinion, how should Indias labour laws be reformed?


In the light of recent debate on the issue and governments
initiatives in this regard, critically discuss. (200 Words)
That India's complicated labour law regime is in dire need of reform is an open secret

Issues:

1. Since 1947, India has crafted a plethora of labour laws involving safety at
workplace, wages, social security and industrial relations. added layers of
complexity to the overall labour law landscape. On the one hand, it has
distorted the labour market and on the other it has increased compliance costs
of companies. These laws are a big reason for the substitution of capital for
labour. This has hurt Indian labourin terms of employment, training and
opportunitiesand has not helped anyone.
2. There are over 200 laws related to labour. Labour being in concurrent list,
many states and even centre have enacted laws. So many laws leads to
confusion about regulation giving rise to inspector raj.
3. Due to the complex and massive numbers of labour laws, industries prefer to
hire contractual labourers not covered under these laws and without any
social security or termination protection. (Industrial dispute act demands
government approval in case company having more than 100 employees
wants to lay off its employees)
4. Another major weakness in current labour reforms is less focus on
apprenticeship. Our education system is not responsive to need of market
therefore apprenticeship becomes important.
Solutions:

1. Bundle related laws into a specific legal code for a particular industrial aspect.
For example, laws related to social securitysuch as the Employees Provident
Fund and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, the Employees State Insurance
Corporation Act and other lawswill be bundled into a single social security
law or code. Similarly, laws on remuneration of employees will be merged into
a single law. This drastically reducing the number of laws that companies are
subjected to reduces compliance costs.
2. If each state were to have its own variant of labour law reforms, the issue of
compliance costs will return. Thus, union govt should spearhead the efforts so
that there is uniformity of changes, which will be appreciated by the
companies.
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3. Laws for formation of trade unions should be relooked and multiple trade
unions in one entity should be avoided.
4. Security and equal working conditions of women.
5. In view of undue harassment by the inspectors, recent step by govt for a new
inspection scheme based on a computer based allocation o indutry for
inspection and transparent publication of report on the website is a good
measure.
6. Use of e-technology is another area which needs to be stressed upon.
Designing single window portals for clearance of various formalities will help
not only in reducing red tapism and quicker compliance.
7. Liberalising apprenticeships. Labour information system should be
maintained.
8. Flexibility to undertake layoffs, ensuring adequate benefits and a reasonable
notice period is needed. Eg rajasthan has passed act which allows firms
flexibility to terminate upto 300 employees without govt approval, unlike the
industrial disputes act under which a firm employing more than 100 workers
need to get permission from state govt for lay off which is usually not given or
delayed.
9. Contract labourers should be covered under workmen's compensation act for
accidents, with inflation linked wages and limited social security benefits from
employee state insurance act and maternity benefit act extended to them

1Q. When it comes to economic growth models in developing


countries, some analysts think that India will become more like
Mexico than China in coming years. Critically examine why. (200
Words)
The International Monetary Funds (IMF) forecast that the Indias growth rate is
likely to exceed China by 2016 has recently grabbed world attention. However, some
analysts believe that India will become more like Mexico than China in coming years.
This is because:

1. China has invested large physical capital in manufacturing while Indias


low productivity manufacturing sector is full of small size firms. Ex: The
share of MSMEs in manufacturing employment is 84% in India versus
24.8% for China. Similarly in Mexico, more than two-fifths of the
countrys workers are employed in small and informal businesses. Small
firms cannot reap economies of scale, cannot employ the best technology
or management and thus are relatively less productive.

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2. Both Mexico and India have a demographic advantage, at least for the
next 20 years. However, if not properly skilled, trained and employed, the
young population will continue to experience disguised unemployment
3. Democracy in India and Mexico, in contrast with Communist rule in
China, will not enable an iron fisted control of labour. Thus, china was
able to provide cheap labour.
4. Government policies play a key role by providing adequate infrastructure.
Public spending on infrastructure in Mexico and India is far behind that in
China. due to excessive red tape, difficulty in land acquisition, lack of basic
infrastructure and anti-business labour laws; possibility to attract
investment is difficult.
Thus for India to emerge as next China; we need to focus above mentioned points;
else we might become next Mexico which in spite of showing great potential in
1994 prior to signing NAFTA was unable to achieve the much talked about economic
potential.

[Additional information - Both Mexico and China focused on export-led


industrialisation (not on import-substitution industrialisation). Mexico also signed
free trade agreement with US but as2/5th population was in small and informal
sector which did not receive attention, labour also remained not as cheap as china.
Thus, while china succeeded with its policy of export-led industrialisation, Mexico
did not]
Topic: Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial
policy and their effects on industrial growth.

1Q. It is argued that the plunging crude oil prices arent just a boon
for corporate India and the consumer but are an invaluable
opportunity for the government to push for faster reform of pricing
and distribution distortions in the oil and gas sectors. Elaborate.
(200 Words)
India produces only 20% crude oil of total domestic demand while 80% , we have to
imported from other countries, which is a heavy burden on Forex reserve, Global
plunge of oil prices has increased the profitability of corporate and reduces the
burden on Forex reserve as well as reduces the CAD, it seems the right time for GOI
to take some strategic decisions which will be helpful for long turn, some of these are
as follows-

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1. It's the right time to Bharat emission norms through out India, which will help
to reduce pollution by gradually shifting toward less polluting source of
energy,
2. Though Govt has liberalized petrol prices but it lead to surge in use of diesel
vehicle thus diesel prices should also liberalized,and should make market
based,
3. Kerosene subsides should be eliminated on it's place govt should strive to
provide clean source of energy at affordable rate like LPG and solar power to
poor section of society,
4. Govt can utilize this opportunity by investing more in clean energy
development, and focusing more in R&D in this area and make clean energy
available and affordable to public,
5. Coal cess can be converted in to the carbon tax.
6. It is the best time to develop strategic storage of oil within the country to best
utilize the fall in price and also to combat the future uncertainties in Geo
political
environment.
Energy requirement of India is going to boost in near future, in the era of
unstable geopolitical environment, the need to reduce global warming, and
need of faster economic growth, and to tackle increasing CAD, India needs to
take this opportunity, to implement their policies in such a manner that all the
above factor can be dealt in efficient manner.
In the long run, leakage and distribution distortion stops, because, the products are
now sold at market rates, rather than a few goods meant for the poor being sold at a
lower price. At the same time, use of direct bank transfer via Adhaar card to the very
poor, allows the govt to distribute social benefits more effiecientl.
Deregulating crude oil to market forces has its own political fallouts. Yet, by
providing targeted subsidy and govt intervention only in emergency, pricing and
distribution distortions can stop, leasing to greater socio- economic efficiency

1Q. Some suggest that India needs to form an economic union


with a free trade area within the Union of India. Examine the
rationale behind such an idea. (200 Words)
Economic Union, with a free trade area within the country, crudely means the
formation of a market an all India level, where goods and services from one state can
move, without restriction and taxation, to any other place in India, creating a
national market.
Pros

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1. Manufacturers can sell their products throughout their country. The no of


customer increase, in turn, raising their profits
2. Customers benefit as their available choice increases.
3. Also, with greater competition, price goes down, and there is a general
improvement in quality of products.
4. This improvement in quality and affordability also has repurcussions in the
international market, as the demand increases. This in turn, promotes exports
and consequently, the forex reserves increases.
5. States with unique outputs especially stand out. Thus an inter state trade, will
hopefully promote outputs such as the intricate handicrafts of North East and
the Pashmina wools from Kashmir
At the same time, there are concerns over the outputs from the poorer states like
Bihar. They suffer from decades of economic backwardness, and more competition
will only choke their nascent industries.
On a whole, as the example of economic integration of EU has shown us, that
economic union propagates economic prosperity. The govt has taken initial steps like
creation of a national GST tax system. The need now is to work together with states
to slowly trim of ancient acts such as APMC and ECA to truly benefit from a ONE
INDIA

1Q. Do you think liberalisation of legal services should be allowed

in India? Discuss the issue examining merits and demerits of the


same. (200 Words)
The Indian government is considering opening up its legal services sector for foreign
firms to practice in India. Both the Bar Council of India and Society of Indian Law
Firms, bodies that represent the legal sector in India, have agreed to the proposal on
certain conditions. First there should be a level playing field and second there should
be mutual recognition agreements on qualification and licensing in reciprocity. The
proposal has many merits as well as some reservations.
Merits:
1. This will induce competition in the sector and overall the efficiency of legal
services delivery will be enhanced.
2. The standard of legal education as well as educational institutions providing
legal education will be raised.
3. As India is a growing economy, many MNCs operate in India and are planning
to come to India. Also, many Indian MNCs operate abroad. This will create
provision of the MNCs to work with legal firms that they are comfortable with.
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If TATA sets up a company in UK then TATA will prefer legal council from
India. Same applies for Apple.
4. The foreign legal firms will engage local talent. This means more employment
as well as positive interaction of local talent with these firms.
Reservations:
1. Some factions of the lawyer community are opposing the provision as they site
the example of Indian accounting firms which have gone into oblivion.
However, unlike accounting, law has a local flavour. These firms will provide
services for corporate and mergers and acquisitions rather than arguing a case
in supreme court
2. There may not be level playing field between Indian and foreign law firms.
This issue can be taken care of by opening up the sector in a phased manner
and involving initially only corporate services and transactions.
3. Will subject Indian law firms to undue competition and disadvantages
because they are not financially strong as large international law firms and
have no sufficient requisite experience to compete against them.
In a globalized world, the above proposal is not out of place and in fact beneficial for
the legal fraternity in the long run. If the foreign firms confirm to the same rules and
regulations as Indian law firms there is no strong reason why the sector should not
be opened up. This is in line with the Prime Minister's vision to transform India into
a legal services powerhouse.

2Q. In your opinion, what problems do recent scams in job market


reflect in Indias employment trends. Also examine the causes of
such large-scale corruptions. (200 Words)
Increase in the percentage of people who are in their productive ages of their life This
increase coupled with the structural aspects of economy, with the degrading value
orientations is leading to various scams in the public sector job market.
Firstly, the growth of organised employment is not meeting the pace at which
population is growing. Still 90% are in the unorganised sector. So, the competition
for the organised sector jobs is very higher, and it's even more in case of a public
sector job which has got it's perks in the form of respect, security, salaries etc.
This competition had led to illegal practices by circumventing the procedures for
assured job prospects. The political and mafia nexus had created backdoor
opportunities in very lower to higher level jobs. Numerous incidences like leakage of
question papers, corruption by members of boards of state PSC's etc. (vyapam scam)
Social value attached to these public jobs had not only made the job seekers blind but
also their parents who are willing to shell out huge monies out of their pockets
irrespective of their economic condition hoping for returns in the form of bribes,
dowry etc.

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Even the opaqueness in the policies and whole process and non-enforcement of
guidelines of central government and failure to adopt successful models like UPSC by
the states coupled with technological advances had led to a large scale increase of
corruption

1Q. It is said that a uniform liberal policy for foreign investment in

retail offline as well as online is required to address various


issues. Critically examine what these issues are and consequences
of such liberal policy on stakeholders. (200 Words)
Currently, FDI policy is different for online and offline retailers.
While India does not allow foreign investment in e-retail, there are no restrictions on
online marketplaces. Most e-commerce companies have, therefore, rejigged their
structure to become marketplaces. i.e e-commerce companies tell that they only
provide the platform where traders can sell their products but the companies are
themselves not engaged in selling any product. This is as good as opening up the
sector fully - except it raises compliance costs and, thus, reduces gains to consumers.
With the easy access to foreign capital that allows them to offer deep discounts, have
snatched business away from the brick and mortar retailers.
Troubles of offline retailers:
While 100 per cent foreign ownership is allowed in cash and carry (wholesale), the
rules are different for single-brand retail and multi-brand retail: 100 per cent foreign
investment is allowed in the former, while there is a cap of 51 per cent in the latter.
There are other restrictions as well on multi-brand retail: 30 per cent of the stock
must be sourced from local vendors and there has to be an upfront investment
commitment of $100 million. More important, it is left for each state to decide
whether it wants foreign-owned retail stores or not. Most states have welcomed
foreign-owned cash-and-carry stores, because of the supply-chain efficiencies they
bring in, but are reluctant to open up multi-brand retail because that could upset
small retailers. Thus, global retailers have remained cold to India. Britain's Tesco is
the only overseas retailer to have entered India. As a result, offline retail has got
starved of funds, while their online counterparts are awash with money that they
have used for customer acquisition effectively.
What is required at the moment is a uniform liberal policy for foreign investment in
retail: offline as well as online. Liberalising the sector can bring in more investment
and employment opportunities also. Even for online retailers, negotiating the maze
of rules is far from easy. Almost all of them spend a lot of time ensuring that they
remain marketplaces, which in essence means they just provide a trading platform.
This is unproductive work and also breeds inefficiencies. Thus if govt wants to make
India an attractive investment destination, retail could be a good starting point.

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2Q. The government recently said that after diesel deregulation, a


new gas price formula and roll out of the Direct Benefits Transfer
in cooking gas, the next stage of development in the oil sector
would focus on kerosene subsidy reforms. Critically examine how
these reforms have affected common man and why is there a need
for kerosene subsidy reforms. (200 Words)
India has consistently faced a huge subsidy bill. Subsidies in India have added fiscal
pressure on the government. In view of fiscal consolidation government has taken
the following reforms:
1. Diesel deregulation - This has allowed diesel prices to be market linked. Due
to lower oil prices this has brought favourable gains to the common populace.
Transport costs have declined, inflation in food & non-food products has
eased, no hike in electricity tariffs, overall cost of living has come down & govt
capital locked in subsidies now could be diverted for welfare schemes.
However once oil price rises people could face the brunt of a reversal.
2. DBT in cooking gas - Now on subsidy will be directly transferred to bank
accounts of beneficiaries. Undue influence of middlemen will come down,
handling of cash will make people financially mature & reduction in leakages
will help in easing fiscal pressure. However many beneficiaries who remain
out of the banking system will be missed out now.
3. New gas price formula -- Rangarajan proposed doubling of gas prices has been
rejected and revised prices are lower by more than $2. Gas is also a universal
intermediary thus lower prices will bring positive gains for common people in
terms of eased inflation, lower cost of electricity inter alia. Gas prices have
increased over time & are bound to increase in future unless exploration costs
down, which requires massive capital investment. Lower gas prices may be a
disincentive to domestic explorers.
Case of Kerosene subsidy
1. The government presently offers subsidy on PDS Kerosene which is made
available through a network of fair price shops.
2. This adds pressure on the subsidy bill and also contributes majorly to the
under-recoveries of the state-owned oil companies.
3. At the same time kerosene subsidy is highly mistargeted. With most of the
benefit accrued by high-income households & industries which use kerosene
in
bulk.
Kerosene is a big environment polluter. About half of the rural population use
kerosene for their energy requirement. The government subsidy incentives
this
by
keeping
prices
low
for
kerosene

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Thus the next logical step for the government is to decontrol kerosene. However this
must be done cautiously as it is the 'poor man's cooking fuel' & any rise in prices
might adversely affect food security of a vast rural populace.

1Q. The post-1967 period saw the launching of a series of radical


economic policies which were to have long-term effects on Indias
developmental effort. Critically examine what were these policies,
why they were launched and what effect they had on the Indian
economy. (200 Words)
Faced with issues like successive droughts, spike in defence expenditure due to
Pakistan war, devaluation of rupee and trade liberalization due to the pressure from
the West and inflation, India had to defer 4th Five Year Plan, depend on annual
plans and the response was characterized by a shift to previous strategies and took a
more 'Left' turn due to the political scenario then. Garibi Hatao slogan and Socialism
were in vogue.
1. 14 major banks were nationalised to extend the credit to the poor and help in
rural expansion. So were the coal industry and insurance.
2. Monopolies and Restrictive Trafe Practices Act was passed which curtailed big
businesses.
3. Manu sectors were kept reserved for small sclae industries so as to help
employment.
4. Many sick units were taken over by the State
5. Foreign Exchange Regulation Act was passed which severely restricted the
foreign capital flows.
6. License quota was introduced to check capitalist activities and it actually put a
check on production, prices and expansion.
These measures had some positive effect like pulling is out of the crisis situation that
we faced. We became food sufficient due to Green Revolution. We absorbed effects of
droughts and oil shocks in later years and also the industrial base was widened with
aim at maximising welfare. Economic indicators improved and so did social welfare
schemes.
But the model proved unsustainable due to various fallouts. Import substitution led
industrialization bred inefficiency and led to losses. Trade unionism grew and
takeover of sick units drained national exchequer. License Quota Raj became
notorious for stifling entrepreneurship and curtailed production, capacity and
expansion. Small scale industries were too many but too small to make any
innovations. More importantly we missed out totally on the East Asian miracle
whereby economies of 4 Asian Tigers boomed ahead. Political landscape was
increasingly dominated by subsidies and one upmanship in populism. Gradually the
dire situations of 1991 arrived when we had no option but to follow Liberalization,
Privatization and Globalization.

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Topic: Changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial


growth.

1Q. Large factories account for a smaller share of Indias industrial


workforce than they did three decades ago. Examine why. (200
Words)
The manufacturing sector in India has shown a downward trend in the strength of
workforce engaged in large industries than they did three decades ago. The reasons
for the decline are the following :
1. Production technique: There has been a gradual shift from labour intensive to
capital intensive workforce resulting in lower requirement of labour due to
upgradation in technology.
2. Outsourcing: Earlier the manufacturing firms used to manufactures all their
requirements in-house. But with the introduction of LPG reforms and greater
integration it resulted in outsourcing of the goods which was more expensive
to manufacture.
3. LPG reforms: The LPG reforms did away with the system of licence for most
industries. This helped reduce the monopoly of a few industrialists and helped
smaller factories in entering the same market.
4. Cheaper imports: With the introduction of new economic policy in China in
1978 the manufacturing sector there got a boost. This resulted in cheaper
goods being produced there and the cheap imports further act as a
disincentive for Indian industries to expand.
5. There has been an increased use of robots in large industries which are more
efficient as compared to labour force.
6. Policy Paralysis: Large units require stable policies, easy land acquisition,
24X7 power supply, tax concessions etc. lack of consistent policies is reflected
in India's poor rank in ease of doing business.
7. Skill development: Finding skilled labour is a concern for large units. focus on
NSDC is a welcome step.
8. Rigid labour laws.
The decline in workforce is an alarming trend which needs to be looked into as an
idle unemployed population may give rise anti social elements. The government has
taken certain measures to increase the workforce like Make in India and skill them
through Skill India program. With increased stress on manufacturing and rise in flow
of FDI there is definitely a bright future for India especially for the industrial
workforce.

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1Q. Write a critical note on the Start-up India programme,


recently announced by the Prime Minister of India. (150 Words)
With an objective to encourage self-employment and job opportunities,governments
time and again encouraged entrepreneurs.We may ponder upon two major questions
while we come across the recent call for 'Start-up India'.
1. Do we need a new programme ?
Not really. Its rather necessary to integrate and improve synergies among the
existing scheme of things. Among the major initiatives we have, MUDRA Bank - to
provide credit assurance, support especially to dalit entrepreneurs, Atal Innovation
Mission (AIM),Self Employment & Talent Utilisation (SETU) taken up by NITI
Aayog to support start-up ecosystem with technical, financial, advisory support.
Rather being a stand-alone thing ,'Start-up India' should be an umbrella mission
connecting, spear-heading the above projects.
2. How to enhance the 'Start-up' eco system ?
Low cost, reliable credit support is the bedrock for the success of any start-up.
Multitude of angel funds, venture capitalists have come up today, but it needs to be
furthered by suitable policies to meet the credit demands. Rather than asking the
already stressed Indian Banks to provide more credit, suitable modifications to
encourage first-time entrepreneurs in the Priority sector lending can be done.
Domestic, foreign avenues for credit, technical and management support to be
enhanced.
Its also imperative to diversify the start-up ecosystem which is crowded around IT,
Software area into potential sectors of Agriculture, food processing ,logistics,
electronics sectors so that a sustainable growth engine can be delivered.

1Q. Recently the Union cabinet approved the spectrum sharing


policy finalized by the Telecom Commission. Examine the
implications of this policy for the telecommunications sector and
for the consumer. (200 Words)
Spectrum sharing is the process of pooling down of the spectrums by the telecom
firms to enable efficient utilization of the whole spectrum. Its implications can be:
1. Wider spectrum for the involved parties would enable to focus larger
geographic area, broader consumer base and avoid congestion.
2. Reduced operation costs for the telecoms and potential for technology
upgradation.
3. Increased revenue for the Govt. through sharing fees.
4. Consumers to receive better QoS, high data speeds at fair costs.
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However, with the strong regulatory environment of India, the cost-benefit analysis
may lead to a deduction of loss to the telecom providers/customers due to the risks
involved:
1. Geographical or time constraints imposed by regulator can inhibit telecom's
expansion of service.
2. Reduced freedom of choice or flexibility as to how spectrum should be used
might narrow down the scope for upgradation.
3. With widening m-governance, there is a potential for negative impact on the
economy if spectrum sharing fails, including critical functions such as public
safety.
The sharing and licensing fees or switching costs could be routed by the
telecom service providers towards usage costs by customers, beating
the very purpose of spectrum sharing.
Hence, all these parties i.e. Service Provider, Regulator and Consumer are crucial for
a successful spectrum sharing environment. The regulator must facilitate
competition by ensuring adequate spectrum for all parties. It can provide incentives
to the providers which achieve QoS standards and spectrum utilization efficiency
faster. Undoubtedly, better data services are a boon for governance as well as socioeconomic reforms, but before launching it full fleshed, there must be a rigourous
cost-benefit and risk assessment of spectrum sharing.

2Q. At least in two areas public sector pay and industrial policy
the tiny but prosperous Singapore holds lessons for India as it
celebrates the 68th anniversary of its independence. Elaborate.
(200 Words)
Singapore's public sector pay and industrial policy holds lessons for India in its
march from third world country to a first world one. India can emulate Singapore in
two fields Public sector pay and Industrial policy.
Public sector pay: Singapore has a competitive pay system comparable with the
private sector jobs for the public servants. Thus will attract the most able to hold the
crucial
positions
in
government.
In India, Central Pay Commissions need to restructure the salary structure from the
current increasing of salaries into multiples to more indexed salaries in tune with the
skills and development in the labour market, and must match the high paying private
sector jobs.This might not lead to the reduction in corruption but skills of the
bureaucrats must be incentivised and pay should not be a deterrent for the youth to
opt for the services.
In the industrial sector Singapore has invested in having proper tax regime, labour
skilling for manufacturing jobs. India has jumped from the agricultural economy to a
service sector economy, thus unskilled workers were not absorbed by any of the
sectors. The recent Make In India Campaign is a welcome step in this direction
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.Singapore's size didn't stop it from boosting its economy and having good
governance. India 's population can act as a boon for it provided the human resource
are optimized fully.

1Q. Recently it was reported in media that the Indian tech start-ups

are shifting their headquarters to the United States and Singapore.


Critically examine why and suggest how can India stop this trend
and encourage these companies to operate from India. (200
Words)
India is not only having huge market option but also talented pools of workers but
still the starts ups are more interested in getting listed in Singapore or USa rather
than in India , following can be few reasons,
1. Red tapism: In this competitive era when Govt takes month to clear a project
the company would lose the share.
2. Capital Required: its easier to raise money from equity market in US or
Singapore then in India and also availability if angel investor etc.
3. Market: Though the market potential is huge but the national per capita
income is still low hence the prospectus of profit or new ideas clicking are
rare.
4. Raising money and acquisition opportunity in US and Singapore is quite
easier
5. The complex and high taxation along with arbitrary enforcement regime has
been a factor. Such a perception got reinforced after retrospective taxation and
imposition of MAT on FII in recent past.
6. Restriction of foreign capital in areas like Multi-brand retail, E-commerce has
been factor for shifting of base for major ecommerce company Flipkart to
Singapore.
7. Aspiration and ambition to capture the global market beyond the India has
also
been factor.
To change the above scenario and encourage start-ups, following measures can be
taken,
1. Minimal laws: Laws are effective when they are few and enforced.
2. Faster Clearance: the required wings of govt should be connected and work
with one another for faster results.
3. Capital at low interests for the start-ups though separately managed funds.
4. Improvement of infrastructure
5. Faster judiciary that solves the conflict instead of dragging on and is
burden on the firms.

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SEBI's new guidelines (such as liberal listing, exit options, relaxation in use of fund
raised) which are in right direction to enthuse start-ups.

1Q. Recently the Telangana government introduced the Right to


Clearance policy in order to speed up clearance of industrial
projects. Critically comment on the merits and demerits of this
policy. (200 Words)
Telangana recently announced its maiden Industrial Policy. It has a unique feature in
the form of a Right to Clearance (RTC) which is modelled on the RTI act. RTC
recognises that businesses have a right to know why project proposal are being
delayed and to demand redress for unnecessary delay. The RTC will impose a fine of
Rs 1000 per day on the designated bureaucrat in case of delay.
It also lays down the policy of automatic deemed approval in case of government
departments missing the laid down deadlines for project approval.
This policy has have the following impact1. It will improve accountability as any delay in clearance of a project will have to
be accompanied by the reasons for such a delay.
2. It will promote investment and provide a conducive environment for
industries.
3. The provision of fine of Rs 1000 per day on the offending officer will ensure
timely clearances.
4. Such out-of-the-box thinking will act as an example to other states and will
force them to match or exceed this offer for fear of losing investments to
Telangana.
On the other hand, the policy can have the following ill effects 1. The same timeline to evaluate different types of projects is a big problem.
Some projects might genuinely require more time for proper evaluation.
2. It might lead to incomplete evaluation by the bureaucrats for fear of the fine.
3. Such fast track clearances might have unwarranted environmental effects as
they might not be properly studied.
4. Some not so well conceptualised projects may get passed, which may have
adverse impact on larger public in the future.
As India adds nearly a million people to the workforce every month and will do so for
the next 20 years, it is necessary to have policies that promote industrial
development and job creation. However, at the same time it is also necessary that
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speed in implementation does not compromise on the quality of implementation.


Only then will the Right To Clearance be a boon for the citizens and not just for the
promoters of the businesses.

1Q. Recently the government withdrew the excise and customs duty

exemptions given to the Ordinance Factory Board and public sector


undertakings (PSUs) in the defence sector. Examine why and
explain the possible implications of this move. (200 Words)
India is the largest defense importer in the world. The government has resolved to
change this fact and revitalize the defense manufacturing in the country to create
jobs while at the same time saving valuable foreign exchange. Such a goal also
improves the strategic autonomy of the country.
The recent withdrawal of the excise and customs duty exemptions given to Ordnance
Factory Boards and Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) in the defense sector was
done due to following reasons:
1. Give a boost to make in India for defense manufacturing. As this would
incentivise investment by private manufactures.
2. This prioritises efficiency in the market and the PSUs and OFBs will be forced
to become efficient to stay in business.
Implications
1. Effectively, this clause acted as a bar to the entry of foreign technology and
capital into India in the defence sector. As long as the clause existed,
multinational companies used to find it more worthwhile to tie up with public
sector units, because it would translate into a significant cost advantage.
Often, given the state of the public sector, this caused delays and led to the
production of sub-standard equipment. With the exemptions gone,
multinational corporations are likely to choose partners on the basis of
efficiency and effectiveness alone. This should make the industry more vibrant
and induce greater investment
2. The creation of a level playing field should give a huge boost to the private
sector in defence. spur innovation and investment from the private sector
3. India is one of the biggest buyers of defence systems in the world and most of
the equipment is imported. By producing them at home, the local economy
can get a significant growth impetus
4. Under the offset clause, overseas suppliers are required to plough back a
chunk of their business into India. Some multinational corporations have
openly questioned the ability of the public sector units to deliver, with whom
they are forced to sub-contract because of the excise and customs benefits
enjoyed by them. The removal of this clause will make them more confident
about manufacturing in India
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Such schemes have created enough distortions in the market and need to be avoided.
In the past, backward area tax benefits led businessmen to set up factories where
they made little sense. Over time, they were bound to become unviable and sick.
Similarly, the reservation of a large number of goods for production in the smallscale sector had disastrous effect: it created an incentive to stay small. This robbed
industry of a great deal of efficiencies. The removal of the duty advantage for public
sector units in defence was another distortion that has now been ironed out.

1Q. It is said that India needs a comprehensive national capital

goods policy to realize the potential of this sector. Discuss the need
for such a policy, its framework and the potential of this sector.
(200 Words)
Capital goods refer to those goods which are required for the production of other
goods, rather than for consumption. (eg comprising textile machinery, machine
tools, electrical and power equipment, plastic machinery, construction equipment)
Need for a National capital goods sector policy: A robust and well developed capital
goods sector is vital as it can serve as an engine for India's manufacturing growth. It
becomes even more vital in light of the 'Make in India' campaign. It contributes 12 %
of manufacturing output.
Framework: The basic framework should focus on creating markets for the goods,
increasing export potential, technological support, better IPR policy, involving
MSME sector, human resource development and skilling etc .Besides, attracting
credit through FDI, dealing with WTO guidelines, taxation issues , preferential
trading agreements, environmental concerns, safety concerns etc are some other
areas which needs to be looked at.
Potential:
1. Currently, capital goods are 12% of our manufacturing output. They can be
increased to 20% by 2022 according to the vision of the policy.
2. A robust capital goods sector will fire up the manufacturing sector, as there is
a direct correlation between them.
3. It will provide jobs and help harness our demographic dividend.
4. It also increases our export competitiveness and which can have positive
cascading effects on various other sectors of the economy like defence,
infrastructure. Thus it can truly be the backbone of India's growth.
Topic: employment

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1Q. Write a critical note on the objectives and significance of a new

scheme Arya (Attracting and Retaining Youth in Agriculture),


launched by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research. (200
Words)
The Indian Council of Agricultural Research has recently launched ARYA (Attracting
and Retaining Youth in Agriculture). The scheme envisages the increasing
participation of youth, to sustain agriculture and allied activities through scientific
methods. The objectives and significances are--1. To increase the profitability of Agriculture.
2. To improve the quality of life in Rural Areas.
3. To transform Youths especially Rural into Agricultural Entrepreneurs.
4. To implement scientific methods of farming in Agriculture.
5. To increase production in Agriculture allied activities.

Arya is to be implemented by Krishi Vigyan Kendras which each would train around
200-300 youths. These youths will be trained in Farming, Bee Keeping, Dairy &
Poultry Farming, Cattle rearing etc. and will be helped in getting Loans from Banks.
Negative impacts of the Scheme-1. It will train youth for Agriculture while the Manufacturing sector requires
more young workers.
2. It's prime focus is on Rural youths. Giving vocational training to them may
result in a dropout in Higher Education by them.
The Attraction and Retention of Youth in Agriculture is though launched with good
intention, It may result in keeping the Rural youth backward and away from the
Mainstream. Therefore, an equal emphasis should be given on training the Urban
Youths who, with their deep pockets and better learning abilities can ot only increase
the land holding size but can also increase the share of agriculture in the overall
GDP.

1Q. Write a note on the National Skill Development Mission and the

role of private sector in skilling the unskilled. (200 Words)


National Skill Development Mission is a part of Skill India launched by the Indian
Government. It aims to train 400 million Indians by the year 2022.
NSDM is an ambitious scheme to tackle the problem of unemployment rampant in
India due to low-skilled people. Along with other schemes such as Pradham Mantri
Kaushal Vikas Yojna, Skill loan schmes and National policy for skill development and
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entrepreneurship,it aims to reap the demographic dividend of India by providing


adequate institutions and opportunities for the youth. It seeks to include Industrial
Training Institutes(ITI), Vocation training at school level, and polytechnics to
achieve its mission.
The role of private sector in skill development is very crucial as they are the ultimate
beneficiaries. Private sector has many ITIs, more than the government ones. Yet, the
quality of courses offered is not upto the mark. Onsite industrial training should be
provided to the work force so that people can be efficiently take up the task at hand.
Private sector should cooperate with education institutions and outline their
requirements, so that training can be a part of academic curriculum. Apprenticeship
and internship should be encouraged by the private sector to expose students to
industry standards.
India is at the pinnacle of its economy transformation, and a skilled, vibrant
population is very much needed to take the country forward. Both the private sector
and government should play an active role in this regard.

1Q. It was recently reported that the International Labour


Organisation (ILO) is opposed to Indias labour reform measures.
Write a critical note on these measures and examine why ILO is
opposing to them. (200 Words)
To realise the dreams of make in india and to tap the demographic dividend of the
country, it is essential to have the reforms in labour market.Further there is also
need to upgrade the ease of doing business.
Labour reforms:
1. Number of minimum employees increased from 100 to 300 to have
permission from government, in case of retrenchment.
2. Merging all the labour related central laws in to four labour codes i.e wages,
industrial relations, social security , safety and welfare.
3. Procedural facilities - New portal for filing of returns, to get rid of licence raj.
4. Apprentice ship act - To include more students in this, by augmenting the
areas of coverage.Further, it increased the stiphend also.
5. With the Labour laws amendment bill, small establishments can be excluded
from the cumbersome labour compliances.
6. Smart cards for unorganised sector labors and self certification of the
documents etc.
7. Exempt the factories having 20 workers( power suply) and 40 workers (
without power suply) will be out of purview of factories act. Due to strict
labour laws, Indian firms remain small thereby loosing economies of scale
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advantage and unable to compete on global market. This reduce potential of


export and job creation.
8. Another proposed amendment mandates that shelters and restrooms be
provided in factories that employ at least 75 people instead of the 150 as at
present.
Objections raised by ILO includes lack of provision for collective bargaining
(proposed Labour Code on industrial relations emphasizes arbitration) and not
allowing outsiders in union activities. While concerns of ILO are legitimate in certain
sense but they shouldnt ignore the good provisions and intents of such reforms. The
ultimate aim is to provide productive and gainful employment along with decent
working conditions to millions of youth. All stakeholders should work in
coordination and harmony to achieve that.
According to the World Bank, rigid labour laws are a hindrance to growth for India.
The maximum number of employee that can be absorbed is in manufacturing sector.
Currently, the share of Manufacturing in GDP in India is only 16% while that of china
is 32%. If India envisages of Make in India then its labour laws needs to be in line
with international standard and not so rigid.

Topic: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of


resources,

1Q. Do you think the recently launched Indradhanush, a sevenpoint programme to rejuvenate public sector banks (PSBs), will be
able to provide a competitive, profitable and customer-friendly
banking sector? Critically examine. (200 Words)
Recently the govt launched Indradhanush, a 7 point program to rejuvenate the public
sector banks. Through this program the govt aims to:
1. Better senior appointment
2. Establishment of BBB(Bank board bureau)
3. Pump more capital
4. Reduce bad loans
5. Empower management
6. Improve accountability
7. Better governance
Positive aspects of Indradhanush:
1. Would curb increasing NPA. Currently they have increased to 4.5% of GDP.
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2. Would ensure better focus on recruitment, appointment, accountability and


governance.
Challenges: But there are some reasons to be skeptical about Indradhanush:
1. High on platitudes: Improve accountability, better governance, empower
management are platitudes mentioned by every committee. No specific
measures have been specified to achieve these objectives
2. Half measures: even after many recommendations, govt has not diluted its
stake below 50% even when it can easily maintain a majority share.
3. External dual control: Dual control of RBI and finance ministry is the source
of many problems but no effort has been made to address this. Also
externalvigilance by CVC and CBI has affected risky decision making.
4. Failure to streamline RBI role: Dept of banking supervision and dept. of
banking regulation have failed to control NPA or to create a competitive
banking sector.
5. BBB has 2 govt officials and RBI governor. Thus, it would be difficult t ensure
independent appointments.
6. Disinvestment has not been talked about. Reducing govt's stake is key to
banking reforms. Infusing capital will increase stake of govt.
7. Help to PSBs through capital will not ensure level playing field for private
sector banks.
8. Places too much importance on market to raise capital. It is very time taking
as the PSBs do not enjoy confidence.
9. While the senior appointments have been addressed well, what about the midlevel and junior bank officials? execution of policies are in their hand. they
were not addressed in this project.
10. Further addressing the issue of Non-performing assets failed to explain how
the system of fast approval and clearance for big infrastructure projects would
be done. the project did not discussed about any effective mean to monitor
and regulate bad loans or training of banking officials which is highly
recommended in order to update the work force.
Thus though the Indradhanush is hopeful to create a hopeful or customer friendly
banking sector, as long as these challenges are addressed, this novel initiative would
become another effort, lost in pages of history.

2Q. It is found that the Indian economy went through a period of


jobless growth when five million jobs were lost between 2004-05
and 2009-10. Critically analyse the causes of this pattern of growth.
(200 Words)
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Indian economy works paradoxically. While the years between 2004-05 and 2009-10
gave us the fastest ever, an incredible, 9% growth rate, an opposite picture emerged
in the labour market. Here's why
1. Services led growth- The period was marked by a stagnation of manufacturing
and decline in agriculture sector, in relative terms. India has shown a lot of
expertise and growth in the services sector. Yet, services sector brings far less
employment than the manufacturing and agriculture, where more physical
labour is required.
2. Greater infusion of technology- In many instances, growth in technology,
reduces the demand for labour. A vivid example comes from the automobile
sector. Here, Robots have reduced the requirement of people.
3. Disparity - The few rich have become richer, while the numerous poor still
perish. Yet, measurement of GDP is only based on the principle of aggregate.
Thus, it fails to take into account the quality of growth and employment.
4. The employment rate has also gone down because the public sector, which
used to employ more people, relatively speaking, has slowed down.
5. Similarly, organised businesses, which requires lesser labour has grown more
than the MSMEs.
6. Casualization of work force also increased because of increasing labour wages
and other factor costs. India's archaic and rigid labour laws need to reform .
Creaking infrastructure, poor power supply and land availability issues are
other commonly cited reasons for the fact that India has seen no addition of
labour intensive manufacturing units.
7. Low participation of women workforce in India.
By, conceptualising MAKE IN INDIA, the Indian Govt has sown the seeds of change.
Yet, more steps like focussing on agriculture, skill development and implementing
the promised details, is required before the largest growth rate of GDP, makes
meaning to the majority of us

1Q. Kerala is accepted as a developmental model whereas Uttar


Pradesh as a basket case. Why do you think such disparity exists
between two states within India? Critically examine. (200 Words)
Kerala and Uttar Pradesh represent the two poles of India. While, Kerala is a
national leader in almost all social indicators like health and education, UP continues
to be a laggard in socio-economic terms, unable to wriggle out of the BIMARU
tagline.
Reasons
1. Social- The prevalance of bias and civil divide over religion and caste
continues to bog the state down. Instead of working for common social and
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economic benefit, the various factions spend their times, trying to underscore
each other Kerala, in contrast, thanks to reformers like Periyor suffers from
less of factional divide and has see more equitable growth. Patriarchal
mindsets towards gender parity and wasteful practices like dowry and other
social contracts have affected economic security of vulnerable in north. In
contrast, women-based SHGs have been actively promoted by state govts in
Kerala (eg Kudumbshree)
2. Political UP, unlike Kerala, suffers from the large state problem. It has a
population greater than nine tenth of all the countries in the world. This
impedes the administration and regulation in the state In such situation,
corruption, which eats away the social benefits, can be carried more easily in
UP than Kerala
3. Historical UP was the centre of the colonial self-minded British rule. Ever
since, the battle of Buxar, in 1764, it was ruled by the British who were least
concerned about dvelopment. Kerala came under the kingdom of Travancore,
who were almost sovereign enough to follow development policies
4. Geographical Kerala had unique advantages such as access to sea, cultivation
of spices. This allowed Kerala to trade right from the Roman times. UP is far
from sea. In fact, almost every year, it has had to bear droughts and floods.
5. People from Kerala can move and do move to the Gulf. Jobs there are well
paid. So migration helps as a conduit to ease the population pressure and also
brings remittances. Whereas people migrate out of UP to mostly wok as
labourers, This hardly brings any remittance to the state.
6. Prevalence of discriminatory and caste politics in UP
7. The awareness among the Kerala people also led them to compel the govt for
proper and efficient working thus corruption is either absent or negligible thus
it is the people who influence the govt decisions or we can say that it is people
centric government. While in UP it is the govt which influence the decisions of
public at large thus give opportunities of malfunctioning, corruption,
autocracies, discrimination and use of money and muscle in different
dimension of people.
These factors created a vicious cycle for UP, slowing growth and development. Only
dedicated govt planning and a support from the Aam Aadmi can allow it transform
itself from the Africa of India to Scandinavian Nation like

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2Q. Do you think there should be a law to ensure minimum wages


applicable to all employees across that country including sectorspecific minimum wages for industrial workers? Substantiate. (200
Words)
The concept of minimum wage for employees is being mooted, on the lines of MSP
for
farmers.
Benefits
1. The exploitation of workers will be cut.
2. This long standing demand will also please the trade unions, leading to lesser
strikes and shutdowns
3. Greater wage will in turn promote consumption, and could give a fillip to the
economy
Yet minimum wage for the entire country should not be introduced. Here's wh
1. Consumers hurt- Greater price of labour input will aggrevate the inflation
burden on the common man.
2. Unemployment- Economics shows us that with limited funds available with
the owners, rise in wage will only mean decrease in the number of people
employed.
3. Exports hurt- The Chinese spectacular export led growth was made feasible by
artificially containing the price rise of labour. That allowed it to keep its export
cheap,grow and finally cull poverty to only marginal limit
4. One size fits all for the entire country does not incorporate the variations
between the various states.
The move is supported by reasons like:
1. Right to livelihood: Art. 21 of the Indian constitution gives right to life, which
includes in its ambit right to livelihood. Right to livelihood is incomplete if
people do not get enough for survival through the means of livelihood.
2. Minimum wages would ensure equality and reduce disparities: Labourers are
the wheels of an industry but when it comes to giving them their share they
get the least possible. A minimum wage would ensure their fair share and
reduce the disparities in comparison to the people at the helm.
3. Prosperity: Workers are highly dissatisfied with the employers due to less
wages. A minimum wage would generate satisfaction in workers and they
would cooperate with the employers leading to the growth and prosperity of
the nation.
4. Raise standards of living: 29.6% of the Indian population lives below the
poverty line (Rangarajan Committee report) and mostly belongs to the labour
class. MInimum wages would raise their standard of living.
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5. Law would remove ambiguity: A law would remove the ambiguity associated
with the amount of wages which should be given to the workers to different
sectors.
6. Sector- specific minimum wages required: The kind of effort required in
differs for various industries. Hence, minimum wages for different sectors
should be different.
People at the bottom of the pyramid are the greatest contributors to the development
of a nation. Giving them minimum wages would ensure our maximum growth.
However, as a long term measure, skill development must be emphasised.

1Q. Critically analyse the structure, objectives and issues arising


out of of the Goods and Services Tax system that the government
wants to introduce in India. (200 Words)
The Good and Services Tax (GST) is an indirect tax levied on value-added goods and
services at each stage of sales and services, using a tax credit mechanism.
India is going to follow a dual-GST system- Centre GST and State GST, with all states
having a uniform tax rate. The powers of deciding the tax rates, exepmtions,
inclusions, procedure will be under the ambit of GST Council comprising of both
Centre and States, in which Centre will have 2/3rd voting rights.
Objectives:
1. GST system seeks to create a uniform tax system across the country, which
will be less complex and more business friendly. This will also help in smooth
inter-state trade.
2. It seeks to remove the cascading effects of taxes.
3. It will increase the tax revenue for the government, because of increased tax
base, better compliance and less exemptions. Hence will contribute around
2% to GDP.
4. Since, the producer will pay less taxes, will lead to decrease in prices of goods
and services.
Issues:
1. States argue that they will suffer from a loss of revenue. Hence, Centre has
decided to compensate it fully for 5 years.
2. This will result in major loss for manufacturing states like Jharkhand, Gujarat
etc., because GST is charged at the final stage of consumption not at
production.
3. Some of recent amendment proposed are also contentious. State will be
allowed to levy additional 1% tax, this violates the basic fundamental principle
behind GST. Maximum cap of GST is 20%, which critics argue is too high.
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4. Setting up infrastructure both at Centre and State level will also be a


challenge.

1Q. What are the objectives of of the proposed Indian Financial


Code (IFC)? Examine why this proposal has given rise to
controversy. (200 Words)
The Financial Sector Legislative Reforms Commission drafted the IFC in 2013 to
review and draft a new legislatons for the Indian financial system as it is considered
to be fragmented,with gaps,overlaps ,in consistent and arbitrary. The objectives of
the proposed Indian Financial Code are
1. Consumer protection:Regulators should ensure that financial firms are doing
enough for consumer protection. eg by ensuring competition and Financial
Readdress Mechanism.
2. To monitor the failure probability of financial firms.
3. In case of financial failure the firms should protect the interests of small
customers.
4. To check the inbound and outbound capital flows .
5. Setting up of a statutory body of Financial Stability and Development Council
for minimizing systemic risks.
6. Development of market infrastructure by and its redistribution.
7. Setting up of monetary target by the finance ministry and the Monetary Policy
Committee to achieve it.
8. Single Agency to manage government debt.
The criticisms of the IFC code are:
1. To constitute a Monetary policy committee the maximum members of which
will be from the government would reduce the regulatory and authority of the
RBI.The influence of government's discretion on monetary policy due to
electoral politics and budgetary expenditure might affect the macro economy.
2. There is a conflict between the RBI and the government as to who would
regulate the NBFCs,as the IFC bill defines them as financial service
provider,which then becomes bank.
3. The International financial stability report of the IMF suggests that that the
India's supervisory of banks,securities market and insurance is well developed
in compliance with international standards.
4. in the aftermath of Global meltdown in 2008, most of the suffered nations are
now giving more autonomy to their central bank. However the trend is reverse
in india.

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There is a need to have effective legislation for the financial sector considering recent
scams like the Sharda, through a more cooperation among the current agencies
however tempering with RBI 's autonomy which has saved the country from major
International financial shocks needs to be thought of.

1Q. Recently the government responded to the grim situation facing

public sector banks by committing Rs 70,000 crore as fresh capital


over the next four years. Critically comment on this measure. (200
Words)
The Government has recently decided to infuse 70000 crore in the PSB's over a
period of 4 years.This is a step in the right direction as1. It will help strengthen the balance sheet of banks which are very weak due to
large amount of NPA's.(more than half in the infrastructure sector)
2. PSB's are the ones which are responsible for implementing various social
sector schemes of the Government (for financial inclusion)due to which their
large amount of resources are diverted. For instance, most of the accounts
opened under Jan Dhan Yojana has increased the transaction cost of these
banks.
3. PSB's provide a major chunk of credit in the economy , be it the rural lending
or the priority sector areas or large infrastructure projects.
4. It is also very necessary for meeting the BASEL-III norms in the years to
come.
Although recapitalisation is necessary but there should be some supplementary
measures which should be adopted to ensure its effectiveness for banks1. The interference of politicians and bureaucrats in the functioning of these
banks should be reduced.Otherwise bad money will replace good money by
further increasing the NPA of banks.
2. There should be incentives for superior financial performance by these
banks.This should be done to avoid moral hazards so that the banks donot
take it for guaranted.This year only 1/5th of the capitalisation to the banks will
be based on performance.
3. PSB's should atleast be held more accountable in the non priority sector
lending.
This capital to banks may not provide additional finances to businesses as it will be
absorbed in strengthening the weak balance sheets, but recapitalisation is the first
step towards healthy functioning of PSB's provided certain precautions are taken.

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1Q. What do you understand by Round-tripping? Examine the

relationship between P-Notes and Round-tripping. Recently SEBI,


Supreme Court and Government have initiated measures either to
bring back black money or to curb its circulation. In this regard,
discuss why addressing issues related to P-Notes and Roundtripping is critical. (200 Words)
he term 'round tripping' is a process in which the money returns back to the same
place from where it had originated.This is basically done to avoid paying taxes and
escaping other legal essentialities.
P-notes are the offshore derivative instruments which are issued against the Indian
securities by the foreign portfolio investors registered with SEBI. Thus, it is an easier
way of investing in the securities of other countries without any registration with the
regulator of that country.
P-notes are one of the instruments which assists in round tripping.This can be
explained as: An Indian sending unaccounted money to tax havens through hawala
transaction and the hawala operator in the tax haven investing that money into the P
notes issued by an FPI registered with SEBI. In this way, unaccounted money can be
converted into legitimate source of income.
The FM whitepaper talks about the role of P notes in money laundering.This helps in
tax evasion and which ultimately leads to revenue loss for the Government. P-notes
are basically 'hot money' which can be pulled in and out at any point of time
increasing the volatility in the market.An ex-NSA of India even pointed out the link
between P-notes and terrorist money.Terrorists can use these as instruments for
their transactions as there is complete anonymity about the final receiver of P-notes
or they can also use it as a tool of financial terrorism by increasing the volatility.Pnotes are also often criticised for evasion of capital gains tax.
All the above arguments point out to the fact that either there should a mechanism to
trace the final beneficiary of P notes or they should be gradually phased out by
proper consultations with the intermediaries.

1Q. It is argued that the release of revised draft of the Indian

Financial Code (IFC) by the ministry of Finance will undermine the


autonomy of RBI. Do you agree? Substantiate. (200 Words)
The FSLRC through it's IFC has recommended the formation of a MPC to decide on
the policy rates. Commission recommended for 7 members to be part of this
committee out of whom government has 3 nominees and the commission gave veto
power to the governor. These two aspects denote the importance attached by the
commission to RBI's autonomy in delivering it's functions
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The revised draft IFC by Government has changed the provisions for MPC, there by
bringing it under the control of government by making 4 members to be nominated
by government to MPC and also doing away with the Veto power of the RBI governor
There are differences between government and RBI, each of them taking a different
stand on setting monetary policies as the pressures acting on them would be
different. In case of government there will be numerous pressures on the government
like from industry bodies, corporates for easing the monetary policies on the other
hand RBI will strictly go by pure financial considerations and will also be very
cautious in it's approach
More over the government may also succumb to the populist pressure and the
coalition politics, which may be more harmful to the financial health of Indian
economy. RBI being an autonomous body doesn't have to be part of these political
pressures and can adapt the best suited policies
Any efforts to curtail the autonomy of RBI should be viewed with caution and such
efforts on part of the government needs reconsideration

1Q. It is argued that the fixed maximum retail price (MRP) is an

archaic and dysfunctional mechanism that hurts both retailers and


the consumers it seeks to protect. Do you agree?
Substantiate. (200 Words)
The printing of Maximum Retail Price (MRP) was introduced by ministry of Civil
Supplies, Department of Metrology, in 1990 as an amendment to the Standards and
Weights act, 1976 with aim to protect consumer interests and prevent tax evasion.
Earlier, the producers could print MRP or Retail Price and in the case of the latter,
retailers often demanded much higher prices. The responsibility of enforcing MRP
regime lies with Department of Metrology. Today MRP regime is being viewed as
anti-competitive and insufficient in protecting consumer and retailer due to various
reasons:

1. MRP does not cover services but only goods.


2. All essential commodities do not come packaged like fruits, vegetables, etc. are
sold loose and hence are out of MRP regime.
3. Many people end up paying more than MRP in restaurants, movie theatres,
etc. Also many items retailers charge for services which were not to be
considered for pricing process like cooling charges while selling packaged
water.
4. Sometimes, MRP oriented is ridiculously high and actual price may be very
much discounted like on fire crackers, automobile spare parts.
5. The responsibility of ensuring compliance is with the state metrology
department and often these raids, etc. are marred with allegations.
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6. In rural areas, yes the MRP prevents information asymmetry for illiterate
consumers but the cost of distributing commodities over a large hinterland is
often neglected by the producers printing MRP Thus, the retailer in rural
areas often makes loss and reduces his stocks so causing lack of choices to the
consumers.
7. The whole concept of MRP is averse to competition in retail, promotes
collusion and akin to producers deciding profit margins for retailers. The
whole idea seems to be the case of "one-size-fits-all" situation with scant
regard for geographical diversity.
So it would be better if retailers in rural areas were allowed to decide their own prices
which will surely make profits for them and this will attract more distributors and
eventually offer best price and most choices to the consumers. However, abolishing
MRP will have an immediate aftermath of shooting up of prices and exploitation of
consumers and this is where government has to step in with information driven
technologies like mobile apps, etc. to protect consumer interests by proper
dissemination of information. Such a step will ensure proper balancing of interests of
consumers, producers and multiple levels of retailers and also be in sync with the
global best practices.

1Q. It is argued that holding large foreign exchange reserves,

especially in US Dollar denominated securities will undermine


monetary independence of India and will have fiscal implications.
Critically examine why this argument is made and if it has any
merits. (200 Words)
The argument that holding foreign exchange in USD denominated securities will
undermine monetary independence is gaining ground in the backdrop of 2008
financial crisis. It is being feared that even the world's biggest economy, US can
default and leave countries like India in a tight spot. While it is true that 90% of our
reserves are in Foreign currency assets, most of which are parked in US treasury bills
but it doesn't really seems to be have fiscal implications on India due to following
reasons:
US dollar became a fiat currency in 1974 when President Nixon ended the Bretton
woods system of backing it up with gold. Though there were fears of depending on a
such a currency then but with time the currency has grown only to become more
stable and reliable. All major economies which do not have a hard currency, like
China, Brazil etc have a large share of their foreign exchange in USD.
But with an increasing economy of India and weak global situation, it wouldn't be
wrong if India diversify its reserves. Following are some possible methods:
1. Sovereign Wealth fund: investing forex in other high returning financial
products like equity. But RBI says it'll go for it only after having atleast
$750 billion of reseves.
2. Increasing the share of gold and other currency assets.
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Hence India can continue with its reserves' large share in USD, at the same time
looking out for other alternatives.

1Q. What do you understand by equity-based crowdfunding?

Critically examine the role of internet in crowdfunding and the


various challenges its posing to regulators in developing countries
like India. (200 Words)
Crowdfunding platform is an internet based market place for issuers to sell their own
securities to raise capital. Thus the central role of the Internet and its wide reach
would increase the number of persons potentially affected, which can be significantly
greater than the traditional means of fundraising. Younger investors may get
influenced simply because of its link to social media and the Internet.
Due to the nature of crowdfunding, it has several risks:
1. The three parties (investor, intermediary and the issuer) may reside in 3
different jurisdiction with different regulations
2. There is possibility of genuine websites being used by fraudsters or of false
websites being established, simply to defraud the investors
3. Retail investors may not be able to understand the risk in these investments
and there is a possibility that investors may not practice diversification
principles, thus they will be unable to bear the loss of investments.
4. Uninformed and unsophisticated investors (retail investors) may act with a
herd mentality.
5. There may be no secondary market in which investors can sell their
investments and exit and hence, there is a risk of illiquidity.
6. Black money could be invested.
SEBI's role in crowdfunding, which is proposed, will mainly be to:
1. Oversight and regulation of the Crowdfunding market in India
2. Issuance of guidelines/circular regarding information required to be disclosed
in offer letter or on an ongoing basis or requirements of due diligence and
screening or any other matter
3. Conduct of periodic inspections or audits and enforcement regulations.
The proposed structure for crowdfunding will provide an enabling framework for
crowdfunding, which will have the following benefits:

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1. Crowdfunding provides a much needed new mode of financing for start-ups


and SME sector and increases flows of credit to SMEs and other users in the
real economy.
2. Banks have become increasingly constrained in their ability to lend money to
the ventures or start-ups which may have high risk element. Hence, there is a
need for funding for SME through alternative sources.
3. New and potentially radicalinventions may get funded.
4. It increases competition in a space traditionally dominated by a few providers,
[film makers, software developers, scientists and others have successfully raised
funds for projects through corwdfunding. Social campaigns like teach for india also
used. Musical festivals and musical albums also used.]

2Q. Do you think India should use its huge foreign exchange
reserves to finance infrastructure projects or to recapitalise fundstarved banks? Critically discuss. (200 Words)
Foreign exchange is the precious component of country's fiscal health. With india
attaining its all time high exchange reserve of $350 billion, there are suggestions to
put it to use by investing in capitalisation of banks, and funding of infrastructure
projects to ensure growth. RBI rightly rejected the idea of using it at present for
various reasons. There are many reasons to not risk foreign reserves. Among them
are1. Reining volatile conditions in global market and economies do not rovide
suitable conditions.
2. India being import oriented economy with imports dominating exports by
large margin.
3. Fall of oil prices along with reduced prices of indian imports has led to
increase in foreign reserves.
4. India not completely in sustainable growth path with slowdown of
manufatcuring and services
5. Uncertainty in Infra projects and banks with High NPAs restrict space for
risking forex reserves in them.
6. RBI could not use forex to shield the mismanagement of govt finances by
political authorities.
India rather than investing and risking precious forex reserves should shore up its
reserves to sustainable levels by aiming to doubling the current amount within
specific
period.
once india diversifies its exports along with that attains sustainable levels of forex
reserves with improved levels of exports and reduction in imports or at least zero
imports, it would be prudent to use forex for developmental purposes as the present
levels are not sustainable considering volatile situation of west asia and diminishing
exports to western nations.

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1Q. It is said that there is a need for stronger regulatory framework

to deal with the menace of Ponzi schemes across the country.


Examine why Ponzi schemes are considered as menace and what
regulatory mechanism is needed to deal with them. (200 Words)
Ponzi schemes are fraudulent investment schemes that promise a huge return to
investors in a very short period. Due to the highly attractive terms, such schemes
usually attract a lot of people. How the scheme really operates then is that is takes
the money by later investors to pay back the earlier investors. Thus, it builds some
sort of credibility further attracting more people.
Ponzi schemes are a major menace due to the following reasons:
1. These schemes mostly target the poor and financially illiterate, who very often
lose the savings of their lifetime, thus causing immense hardships to them.
2. A ponzi scheme has no investment plan. It works on what is called 'robbing
Peter to pay back Paul' mechanism, which is fundamentally unstable and
sooner or later fails.
3. Such schemes undermine the confidence of people who then prefer not to
involve their money in any investment. Thus, it causes a loss of investment for
the legitimate businesses.
4. Presently 80k crore of public money is stuck under Ponzi schemes
5. It could also use money to support terrorism, it could be used for channelizing
black money
In view of above strict regulatory mechanisms are needed to deter any ponzi scheme :
1. The market regulator must approve of any scheme asking for money from a
large number of investors and such approval must be prominently displayed.
2. The regulators must work with financial intermediaries like banks to keep tabs
on such activity.
3. A strict law which has exemplary punishment for such schemes must be
enacted. Make consumer protection act stronger
4. Capacity building of financial regulatory bodies at local level,specially in cities.
5. There must be closer cooperation between
police/administration to check these sups

regulatory

bodies

and

6. Increased vigilance by financial intelligence authorities.


7. Literacy and awareness campaigns. Increase the number of BCs in BC model
so that more people can have access to formal banking
8. Achieve coordination among state level coordination committees (SLCC)
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9. Small and payment banks increased reach can help in financial inclusion
10. As a long term approach, include moe people under social welfare schemes
and social security net.
11. SEBI now has powers to access call records as well as carry out search and
seizure, among others. SEBI can make mandatory for all Firms to registered
with SEBI who want to Rise fund more than 100 Cr.

While this regulatory mechanism will help, ultimately the biggest impact will come
by educating people about the pit falls and risks associated with any of the highly
attractive schemes so that they can be empowered to take sound financial decisions.
1Q. Critically discuss the implications of the recommendations of

Pay Commissions for the economy. In your opinion, what should


government do to address these implications. (200 Words)
Pay commission Appointed Mainly to revise the salary and allowances of the
employee of the Centre Govt and After that Mostly State appoint the State Pay
commission. There are nearly 35 lakh employee of the Centre Gov Alone. So the Pay
revision effect the Whole economy as Under.
1. Inflation :- The Increase in Salary increase the demand in economy while
Supply will not increase due to pay commission. So the inflation is the natural
outcome of the Pay Increase.
2. Deficit :- In Indian we have Generally 4%-5% Fiscal deficit and pay revision
make more pressure on the fiscal conditions. Elected Govt do not like to cut
the Welfare expenditure or increase the tax so it lead the more borrowing
which increase the Fiscal defecit.
What needs to be done?
1. Apart from raising the pay and allowances for employees, the
recommendations of most pay commissions in the past have also suggested
measures to rationalise and reduce the government's staff strength. Govt
should consider this as well
2. It is widely recognised that there has been a steady deterioration in the
quality and competence of government employees, in spite of periodic salary
revisions at all levels. The salary revision at the lower level of employees has
mostly raised their wages to levels that are much more than what the market
or the private sector pays. This has resulted in a huge rush for government
jobs at the lower level of bureaucracy. Unfortunately, however, this has not
led to any qualitative improvement in skills at this level because of lack of
adequate and proper recruitment and screening methods. the salary levels for
the higher levels of staff in the government has been much below the market
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or what the private sector pays to people with similar profiles. This has
resulted in an exodus of talent at the top end of the pool of government
employees, undermining the overall quality of employees at senior levels in
government departments. Thus, govt should balance this.

1Q. What do you understand by tax terrorism? It is said that Indian

entrepreneurs are faced with instances of tax terrorism affecting


their morale. Critically examine. (200 Words)
'Tax Terrorism' essentially means undue exercise of power by tax authorities to levy
taxes using legal or extra-legal means. The Vodafone case is a classic example, when
despite a SC order ruling in favour of the company, tax laws were amended,
retrospectively, in a manner that Vodafone was made liable for a tax on past
transactions. Essentially, tax terrorism is an outcome of the existing tax framework.
1. Complex tax structure -- Numerous taxes apply even on seemingly simple
transactions. Such a web of taxes acts adversely to smooth flow of business.
2. Ambiguity in laws -- This bends the law in favour of those who implement it.
Vague definitions have led to dispute over applicability of MAT, CGT etc in
cases like the Vodafone.
3. A weak advance ruling mechanism allows tax disputes to arise, which
ultimately get solved in courts.
4. High handedness -- The IT Act allows CBDT to send notices just based
on suspicion that one has under-reported his income or miscalculated taxes.
Such discretion on the authorities, at times, is misused.
Consequences
1. Ease of doing business ranking is a testimony to the tax terrorism. Foreign
investors fear such tax terrorism.
2. This has resulted into non-compliance even by the entrepreneurs who are
willing to comply since either way they are prone to litigation.
3. Such opaqueness about tax obligations results in lack of predictability in
incomes and hence, difficulty in charting out future plans.
However the issue could be resolved through a range of measures.
1. The Advance Ruling Authority could be given more teeth. This would avoid
unnecessary litigation.
2. Simplifying indirect tax structure through implementing the GST would be
positive for the health of the private sector in India.
3. The Direct tax code could be implemented to disentangle the direct tax
framework. However the GAAR provisions must be revised, may be to SAAR.

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4. The Corporate law service cadre could assist in creating synergy between tax
authorities & corporate sector.
5. An Anti-tax Terrorism Bureau could be setup with quasi-judicial powers to
investigate & rule on cases of tax terrorism.
To unlock India's true economic potential, public & private sector need to work
together, & not at loggerheads. Tax evasion must be eliminated root & branch, not
through tax terrorism but tax compliance.

1Q. It is warned that the hat the non-performing asset (NPA)


problems of the Indian banking system might pose a serious crisis
to the sector. Critically examine why NPA has become a problem,
their effect on the economy and steps needed to address this issue.
(200 Words)
Non-Performing assets in respect to banks are defined as the loans that are in
jeopardy of default i.e loans on which interest or principle is not being paid for 90
days.In recent years volume of NPAs have increased considerably and stands out to
be around 5% in the present perspective which is a matter of concern.
Reasons for this includes:
1. Excessive lending by banks owing to various reasons like meeting the targets
of priority sector lending, governmental pressure to push financial inclusion.
Around half to the NPAs are in priority sector. Further unseasonal rains and
other natural adversities impacting the agricultural sector have also added to
the woes of NPAs.
2. Large number of stalled projects and the problem in PPP mode infastructure
projects have increased the problems for banks who have given loans heavily
for such projects.
3. Willfull defaulters like Kingfisher also results in increase in NPAs for banks.
4. Lack of accountability in NPAs and poor professionalism.Poor governance in
public sector banks as compared to private banks have also resulted in higher
share of NPAs in PSB as cited by PJ Nayak committee report
Effect on economy:
Increase in NPAs results in less disposable money with banks other than impacting
their balance sheets.This puts pressure on banks to reduce their lending and as a
result the its adverse impact is being seen in pace of development,financial
inclusion,loans to priority sector impacting poorer people.This puts pressure on
Government of not only infusing capital to distressed banks but also increasing the
pace of development putting pressure on its fiscal expenditure.In nutshell NPAs
disturbs the whole economic cycle and impacts everyone.
Steps needed to address it:

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1. Early detection of signs of distress and taking coercive steps well in advance as
directed by RBI
2. Improving upon the loan recovery methods by strengthening debt recovery
tribunal and debt recovery appellate tribunal.
3. Better implementation of SARFAESI act,2002
4. Improved governance in banks, better administration over loans given by
banks.
5. Develop long-term bond market in india. This will ease banks to concentrate
their energy in other sectors. Recently, in budget government has proposed to
raise long term debt of the order of 20,000 crore per year by IFCI to fund
these projects. (National infrastructure fund)
6. Encouraging asset reconstruction companies to improve balance sheets of
banks.
7. Curb on populist measures of waiving off the loans for farmers else trend
should be changed to providing cash benefits from contingency funds.
8. Plug and Play model for auctioning the projects only after availing all the
required clearances
9. Cash infusion into banks, to strengthen their financial status which can help
them to lower their interest rate, thus balancing the dept:equity ratio.

2Q. Recently the Union government announced details of a new


gold monetization scheme. Examine what are its objectives and
how does it seek to realize its objectives. (200 Words)
India is known to be one of the world's largest importers of gold. It imports anything
between 800-1000 tonnes of gold every year to meet its insatiable desire for this
metal. This makes the yellow metal imports one of the main components of India's
burgeoning CAD besides oil imports. Despite the presence of large gold holdings in
India, at almost 20,000 tonnes, it is neither traded nor monetized. Instead,
individuals and institutions prefer to hoard the metal and hedge themselves against
inflation and currency depreciation. It is against this background that the
government recently announced the Gold Monetization Scheme (GMS) in the Union
Budget (2015-16). The following are the main objective of GMS:
1. Change the customers' perception of gold from being a traditional savings
instrument into a financial savings instrument;
1. Reducing reliance on imported gold by mobilizing idle gold held by
households and institutions. This will not only provide a fillip to the gems and
jewellery sector but also help reign in CAD;
In order to realize the above mentioned objectives, the government seeks to take the
following steps:
2. Income tax, wealth tax or capital gains tax will not be imposed on the interest
interest earned by the customers on their gold savings account, thus
encouraging the middle class especially to take part in this scheme. Further,

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given that the minimum amount of gold to be deposited with the bank is
proposed to be set at 30g, even the small depositors are encouraged
3. Allowing banks to set off their CRR and SLR requirements against the gold
deposits will not only encourage banks to participate but also help free up cash
reserves which can be used for lending purposes.
4. Banks have been given various options for using the gold collected, including
selling to generate foreign currency, selling coins to customers and lending to
jewellers.
5. The customer will have the option of redemption either in cash or in gold at
the time of maturity, thus allowing the customer the flexibility of choice.
(choice however, should be made at the time of deposition)
Despite its apparent advantages, there are certain issues regarding the GMS that
remain to be answered including
1. Whether depositors can be questioned by the tax department on their gold
holdings especially in light of the government's drive against black money
2. Currently the scheme is silent on the verification of ownership of the gold
deposited
3. The success of the scheme largely depends on the quick melting of the gold to
be deposited, thus the government need to have in place a well established
network of melting centres.
4. Quality checking can also be an issue. Large number of BIS quality testing
centres are needed
5. The depositor will not be able to get the gold in original form. The gold has to
be melted and solidified in standard form of bricks, coins and biscuits. This
will have some negative impact as jewellery has an emotional link with people.
Some may be given by their parents etc. So, households may not be
encouraged to deposit their jewellery.
6. Another big hindrance will be the tax on conversion of physical gold into the
gold deposit scheme. That is, if the gold was bought at Rs 1,000 per 10 gram
and converted into a gold deposit scheme at Rs 25,000 per 10 gram, there will
be a capital gains tax of 20 per cent with indexation.

3Q. There is a general perception that due to land acquisition


problems many private and public projects are either stalled or not
started at all. Critically examine the validity of this perception.
(200 Words)
Union govt proposal to amend the existing land acquisition bill with amendments for
reviving investments in infrastructure and industry has gathered controversies. govt
is of the opinion that due to improper acquisition procedure, many public and
private project have been either stalled or not started at all.
Though their claim is alright keeping in mind the non willingness of foreign player to
invest in india due to flawed procedure. These amendments may somehow increase
the foreign investment and growth of world class infrastructure in india.
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But if we go deeper into this issue it comes out to be the over-exuberance and a credit
bubble as the primary reasons rather than lack of regulatory clearances for stalled
projects in the private sector. Though it does occur for the govt projects.
A close analysis of the list of stalled projects provided by the ministry reinforces the
Economic Survey conclusion that projects are stalled mainly because of unfavourable
demand conditions and loss of promoter interest.
Another point of criticism is the use of the Land Acquisition Act for securing land for
public and private projects which has diverted from its public projects priorities to
private project like hotels & malls. The land acquired for SEZs is an example of this
misuse of the Land Acquisition Act. large scale land acquisitions alters the pattern of
livelihood of many so need is that acquirer should accepts the responsibility for
financing resettlement and rehabilitation of all affected persons. Moreover, rather
than separate negotiations with individual landowners a collective negotiation
framework should be provided by a law analogous to the laws for collective
bargaining in labour relations.

4Q. Recently the government decided that investments by nonresident Indians (NRIs), overseas citizens of India (OCIs) and
persons of Indian origin (PIOs) would be treated as domestic
investment instead of treating them as FDI. Examine why this
decision was taken and its likely impact on the Indian economy.
(200 Words)
The government has recently decided to treat foreign investments made by the NRIs,
OCIs and PIOs, under Schedule IV of FEMA 1999 on a non-repatriable basis, at par
with domestic investments made by Indian residents. This decision has been taken
on account of the following reasons:
1. It falls in line with a series of similarly placed reforms, which have been
undertaken with the objective of encouraging the inflow of FDI into the
country, especially in the manufacturing sector in order for the nation to be
able to take advantage of the demographic dividend.
2. It would allow for greater assimilation of the NRIs, OCIs and PIOs with India's
growth story. Again this decision is in line with other decisions that have been
taken by this government in the recent past to win over this constituency like the decision to allow voting rights to NRI and the merger of the PIO and OCI
schemes (amended the Citizenship Act to merge the PIO and OCI cards,
offering benefits like a life-long visa and exemption from appearing before the
local police station on every visit). Besides the obvious economic benefit that
this move will have, it will also reaffirm the role of this constituency in
projecting India's soft power.
While the impact of this move cannot be gauged precisely, it is likely to have the
following implications for the Indian economy:
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1. Increased investment across sectors and greater inflow of foreign exchange


remittance, thereby leading to economic growth of the country;
2. As the investment will be on a non-repatriable basis, the FDI would be of a
permanent nature. This will translate into greater stability for the economy,
besides creating a revolving fund for investment because the amount once
invested would not be eligible for repatriation outside India.
3. As the NRIs, OCIs and PIOs will now not be subjected to the FDI ceilings, this
decision will allow space to be vacated by them on the FDI landscape, which
can then be filled by foreign investors.
All in all, this move will be beneficial for the economy as it could stoke a fresh round
of fund flows into the country, besides drawing the overseas Indians into a closer
huddle with India.

Topic: Infrastructure; Growth and Development

1Q. Do you think the social impact assessment made compulsory


for all category of projects before their execution? Substantiate.
(200 Words)
SIA: It is scientific measurement of the projects impact on whole society at large
generally and the local people displaced or suffered due to project specifically. It
measures positive, negative long term and short term impact on society. In this a
major input is taken from local people and considering the social risks at large.
Primarily it tries to bring more inclusive, sustainable biophysical and human
development.
Relevance of SIA:
1. Increase legitimacy of acquisition.
2. Provide feedback.
3. Better inclusive Growth of society and area particularly.
4. R&R will be better.
5.
SIA should not be made compulsory and a positive exclusion can be made of class of
projects excluded from it e.g. Security, Defence, Public purpose project with legally
defined definition of what counts as Public Purpose like Metro project, mining etc.
But exclusion should be as minimum as possible because ours is a Democratic
country and social impact assessment report serves the purpose of acceptance of it by
people. Proper rehabilitation and resettlement plans are needed to be placed in with
an independent regulator to ensure it. Options like land pooling model of Gujarat is a
well tested model and if possible should be used in implementation.
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In case of other projects like PPP, Private organisations manufacturing units should
compulsorily seek SIA. A better rehabilitation and resettlement package is to be
offered after consultations under SIA, in return of land which should include some
developed land, job and skill development and development of area e.g. Building
school, Hospitals etc.
Topic: Infrastructure power

1Q. What challenges exist if government wants to provide 247


power to all households in the country? Critically examine. (200
Words)
The following are the challenges faced :
1. Vast number of connections to be made and large demand : 80 millions
households need to be connected and the remaining 250 million households
connected need proper uninterrupted supply of electricity.
2. Large dependence on coal (non-renewable source): To provide for the
increased demand a large amount of coal is required and so large amounts of
coal reserve needs to be exploited. Moreover India does not have reserves of
anthracite variety coal so needs to import it for more efficient production of
electricity.
3. Low renewable energy setups: The current requirement is 100GW from solar
energy and 60 GW from wind energy. There are limited renewable energy
setups so a high initial investment is required to set up such plants.
4. High transmission & distribution losses: High T&D losses exist , which hasn't
been reduced due to lack of technology up gradation and investment. These
losses has to be curtailed to increase the availability of electricity.
5. Non- viability of electricity boards: Most of the state electricity boards have
become non-viable due to energy thefts, misuse of electricity subsidy given for
agriculture use and lack of cost linked tariffs. Due to government interference
the state boards are unable to increase tariffs with the increase in cost of
production.
6. Lack of capacity of Coal India to match up to the demands of the industry. The
recent captive power plant coal auction allowing limited private participation
is an improvement in this direction. But direct mining by commercial coal
miners can help in bringing competence, investment and technology to the
sector.
7. Lack of rail connectivity to pithead
8. Lack of speedy environmental and forest clearances
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9. Renewable energy sector: even though national clear energy fund has been
increased to 200 per tonne, no fund under this has been disbursed.
Hence, it is important for the government to overcome the challenges otherwise
24X7 power supply to all households by 2019 will remain a distant dream.

Topic: Infrastructure airports

1Q. Are Indian pilots any less trained, competent and experienced
than their counterparts in other countries? In the light of such
allegations made by certain sections, critically examine. (200
Words)
There was a report in bloomberg news which stated that indian pilots with little
flying experience got there flying hours inflated by paying extra. This caused FAA
(federal aviation administration)to downgrade indian aviation to category II from
category I
1. While such illicit practices have been conducted by a few suspect institutions,
the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), the auditor for the sector
has also detected and highlighted such practices.
2. While there might be a few such under-trained pilots, in order to be accepted
as pilots by any airlines, they need to clear a rigorous screening mechanism
which includes ground school, simulator training and line flying before they
are allowed to fly airplanes. Thus, only the truly competent pilots are able to
fly the airlines.
3. Apart from this, there are stringent DGCA norms are pilot training,
certification and recertification that have to be adhered to by the airlines.
4. There is a comparitively larger number of pilots than vacancies in India. Thus,
the increased competition ensures that only the very best are inducted by the
airlines.
5. While these conditions give some measure of comfort, steps need to be taken
by the DGCA to ensure that the unethical practice of under-logging flying
hours is stringently stamped out.
While it cannot be denied that there are a few 'black sheep' in the Indian aviation
sector, their actions should not be allowed to tarnish the reputation of the entire
sector.
Topic: Infrastructure Railways
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1Q. Recently a panel headed by Bibek Debroy submitted its

recommendations on railway restructuring to the government.


Analyse its recommendations and suggest what needs to be done to
modernise and make Indian Railways efficient and profitable. (200
Words)
Railways can be the engine for high speed growth of the country. According to the
Economic Survey, an increase in the output of the railways by Rs 1 will increase
output of the economy by Rs 3.3 due to its forward and backward linkages. Thus, it is
imperative that reforms in railways are fast tracked and it is modernised. In that
respect, the recommendations of the Bibek Debroy committee merit a serious look.
The Debroy committee has based its recommendations on three pillars
1. Commercial Accounting - The panel favours a shift to a modern IFRS type
commercial accounting which will provide better information about the costbenefit analysis of different activities and thus help railways take sound
operational decisions based on its merits.
2. Changes in Human Resources - The Committee recognizes that the 16 zones of
Railways have evolved in different ways and have different requirements.
Thus it favours substantial decentralization of powers to DRMs and General
Managers. It is also in favour of lateral entry for various specialists that the
railways require.
3. Gradual Liberalisation - The committee is in favour of gradual entry of private
operators in freight operations, but only after an independent regulator with
statutory backing is appointed to ensure that the Ministry does not continue
to do both the jobs of policy formulation as well as regulation.
4. Restructuring - The committee favors a separation of the core functions of
railways from its additional responsibilities like running schools, hospitals etc.
5. Merging the Railway budget into the general budget after all such reforms are
done in a time frame of 5 years.
In order to make the railways efficient, the following steps could be taken 1. A statutorily backed independent Railway Tarriff Authority (RTA) should be
established to ensure that setting fares becomes depoliticised.
2. Railways must make more investments in track modernisation and must
decongest the popular routes.
3. Small tweaks could ensure that the average speed of passenger trains could
rise to 160-200 kmph. This could be an interim measure before more modern
'bullet trains' are inducted.
Topic: Infrastructure Energy
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1Q. Discuss the importance of microgrids for the Indian economy.


(200 Words)
Micro grids are independent and self sufficient grids, particularly present in rural
and remote locations where people generate electricity combining different sourceslike coupling diesel and renewable sources. Typically, they are around 2-3MW
catering to the demand of the 5000 inhabited households.
Impact on Indian Economy1. Huge infrastructure costs can be avoided by promoting micro grids especially
in hilly areas such as Western Ghats and north east areas.
2. Skill development and employment generation are the advantages due to
promotion of micro grids in the rural areas.
3. Local industries such as power looms will not face problems of power
shortage, lead to development of local economies.
4. Efficient use of local resources such as wind, solar energy and use of biowaste
to generate electricity develops the local economy.
5. In future surplus from may integrate to large centralized grids (bottom-up
model rather that top down model)
6. Primary sector- Agricultural productivity will increase in leaps and bounds
once power reaches the fields. It will ease sowing, tilling, mechanical drilling,
ploughing and faster leveling of field. The increased output will economically
empower the individuals, help them come out of poverty. It would reduce
wastage and pilfrage.
7. Secondary sector- Availability of power would ensure proliferation of cottage
and village industries. It would generate the employment opportunities
locally. Already Indian economy is witnessing undisguised employment in
primary sector. Microgrids
8. Tertiary sector- Provision of the banking facilities such as by regional rural
banks, credit financing, lab to land initiatives- could increase financial
inclusion, which will have multiplier effect on the Indian economy.
Micro-grids can act as the catalyst for bringing about socio-economic development.
The success of 24X7 solar microgrid in the Dharnai village(Bihar) has generate
livelihoods at large scale and increased the per capita income.

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2Q. We are not facing a shortage of energy. We are facing a


technical challenge in capturing it and delivering it to consumers.
With reference to Indias power problems, critically comment on
the statement. (200 Words)
India has the third largest reserves of coal, significant thorium reserves, capacity for
solar power, numerous rivers with hydropower feasibility, tidal energy, geo thermal,
wind and newly found abundant coal bed methane and shale reserves. Still large
proportion of population without electricity access. The reason for this paradox are
mostly technical such as :
1. Coal - Poor coal quality of indian reserves and inadequate coal washing, coal
gasification technology.
2. Solar - Lack of storage batteries technology, insufficient micro grid and low
capacity of our national grid does not allow extensive usage of solar power.
3. Nuclear - Thrid stage nuclear generation uses thorium reserves. We still
haven't reached there. Moreover, no progress on Fourth generation nuclear
reactors.
4. CBM and shale require state of the art fracking technology which is
unavailable.
5. Other renewable energy require technology upgradation to make them
affordable and comparable to other resources.
These technological challenges have not allowed us to adequately capture our
resources. Moreover, coupled with AT&C loses, inability to stop thefts and
inadequate distribution network has made electricity expensive. Nevertheless, the
government through the Deendayal gram jyoti yojana, IPDS, National solar mission
and recent coal auction seeks to resolve these issues.

1Q. The Union government has ambitious renewable energy


targets of 100 gigawatts (GW) of solar power and 60GW of wind
power by 2022. However, the government is also facing large
deficits and competing budget priorities, and will need costeffective ways to achieve these targets. Elaborate and discuss these
cost-effective ways. (200 Words)
The ambitious target of 1000GW of solar power, and 60 GW of wind power, though
highly laudable, seems a bit farfetched given the narrow fiscal space, which
government is having. Therefore, in order to get near the targets we need to follow
certain
zero
cost
strategies
which
are
:
1. Rapid Development of Wind Power: According to some studies India have a
potential of 100 GW in wind power itself, utilizing the on-shore winds. With
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per unit cost in range of Rs, 5.7/unit, it already has secured lead over imported
coal. The thrust to this sector can be provided by effective land acquisition,
resource mobilization, transmission interconnection and guaranteed off take
2. Roof top Solar Power: Second vital area is the development of roof top solar
powers. With the thrust in production of Solar Photo-voltaic cell this field will
also see high price reduction, and parity with industrial rates of power
generation, which runs primarily on diesel.
3. Off-grid solar power: The third area of focus should be distributed model of
off-grid solar power, which with further research can also be developed into
zero cost effective model.
Topic: Indian economy resource mobilisation

1Q. There is a certain paradox in the fact that India, since the 1991
reforms, has been trying to attract foreign direct investment for its
development when the outward flow of FDI by Indian corporate
houses is rising. Elaborate the statement and examine the causes
of this paradox. (200 Words)
According the OECD, between 2006 and 2012, FDI outflow from India was $103.30
billion, while inflow was merely double that number. Most of these investments are
in the form of mergers and acquisitions.
This is the contradiction with the Make In India scheme the government is so keenly
taking ahead. Few major reasons for such outward flow is largely because of the
following reasons:
1. India being a power hungry nation, needs to secure sources of energy that are
easily accessible. This can be seen from the fact that companies like GVK,
Lanco, Adani are investing in coal mines of Australia.
2. 2 Indian companies feel that they need to acquire foreign competitors in order
to learn from their technology thereby saving years of research and
development.
3. Environment has become more conducive for the Indian companies to invest
abroad. Annual investment ceiling for establishing JVs and subsidiaries has
been raised from $75,000 to $125000.
4. Increase in the acquisition of land especially in the African nations, the
agriculture sector is going to see a huge growth in African nations. Even small
investors are rushing to these nations.
5. The prestige generation for the companies is also a motivator behind such
investments abroad. Like the acquisition of range rover and jaguar cars
production by TATA.

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6. After lukewarm domestic industrial environment, in order to overcome the


loss incurred here they invest abroad.
Investment by Indian companies abroad is a welcome move, which is required in line
with the principle of free movement of capital in the globalised world but realization
of Indian investments within India makes huge difference to the Make in India
campaign and results in generation of huge employment.

1Q. It is said that power sector reforms being undertaken in India


are not rightly focused on systemic problems haunting this sector.
Critically examine and suggest what should be the right approach
of government towards reforming power sector. (200 Words)
Power sector in India is need of some urgent reform. Though some effort has been
done in this regard, but most of these efforts remain misplaced and ill directed.
Reforms in power sector have been thought to be increase in generation capacity.
That is indeed important, but there are reforms in the area of transmission and
distribution that needs attention:
1. State electricity boards need to be professionalized so that they function
efficiently.
2. Technology up gradation and up scaling of distribution infrastructure is the
need of the hour
3. Political doles such as "free electricity" need to be avoided so that state
electricity boards do not run into chronic losses.
4. Private players must be involved in the distribution business and a robust
regulatory mechanism must also be evolved for DisComs.
5. Special task force for prevention of power theft, which is another reasons for
losses in electricity boards
There are other systemic reforms needed:
1. Focus of huge untapped renewable energy resources.
2. Shortage of coal must be checked through transparent processes for allocation
of mines and single window clearance for initiating work on them.
The demand for electricity in India is ever rising. Various state governments and the
central government have started identifying the systemic issues in the power sector.
With targeting each such issue holistically, there is hope that the power sector would
become a shining sector in India.

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1Q. Recently, the Supreme Court of India, in an order said that


regulations framed by electricity regulatory commissions imposing
obligation upon captive power plants and open access consumers
to purchase electricity from renewable sources is legal and
necessary. Critically discuss how this order would affect energy
sector in India. (200 Words)
The recent order of Supreme Court related to purchase of renewable power is
concerned with the enforcement of renewable purchase obligation (RPO) rules.
1. Such obligation relates to the compulsion to purchase certain percentage of
total power requirements from the renewable sources such as solar, wind etc
2. Such a ruling will have mixed impact on energy sector, it will reduce the
dependence on fossilised sources of power such as coal, gas thus scarcity of
imported coal could be minimised to some extent.
3. It will also result in growth of renewable energy sector such as solar power
which is at a nascent stage at present despite having huge potential.
4. An obligation on purchase of renewable energy will however mean that cost of
power will increase as the per unit cost of renewable energy is higher that of
fossilised sources.
5. Also there will be problem in feeding the power in grid due to lack of
connectivity of power generated from renewable sources.
So the present ruling is going to further the government's policy of action plan
against climate change and a thrust on renewable sources but the need is also to
ensure that power may not become too expensive for producers as well as consumers
and also to address the technical bottlenecks in implementing the RPO.
2Q. Examine the challenges faced by state governments in

production, transmission and distribution of power. Also examine


recent measures taken by states to bring power reforms. (200
Words)
Problems of Power Sector
Production
1. Despite huge capacity addition, generation is unviable many a times due to
high cost of imported fuel.
2. Despite having one of the largest coal reserves, India lags behind in coal
production. Recently the coal blocks were e-auctioned opened to private
players after the SC de-allocated the coal blocks. This is a progressive step to
enhance fuel capacity and bring down production costs.
3. Untapped potential of North East despite its potential due to low
infrastructure and development of north east.
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4. Environmental clearances and SC decisions have also hindered in fast clearing


of generation units e.g. SC ruling on study of Hydro power sources in
Uttarakhand.
Transmission & distribution
1. Low cost recovery - due to the populist measures of government , power
subsidies for agriculture , high AT & C losses due to power thefts.
2. low efficiency of the transmission equipment due to outdated technology and
extended life
3. Lack of adequate grid connectivity to all areas thus creating islands of power
surplus and power deficit. Thus some areas having excess power cant enter
into power sale to power deficit regions. e.g. excessive power crunch in NE
and South India whereas unutilized capacity in eastern zone.
4. Cross subsidization of commercial power has lead to inflated price on one side
and misuse of free power by certain farmers.
Need of the hour
1. Rationalization of subsidies
2. Control power thefts so that price recovery is improved
3. Modernization of equipment & transmission lines to enhance grid
connectivity to NE also.
4. Balancing environment with power generation.
5. Enhancing the capacity of CIL by technological intervention and railway
wagon increase.
6. Feeder separation e.g. Gram Jyoti in Gujarat
7. Promotion of New & Renewable energy sources through compulsory RPO
scheme
to
incentivize green energy units.
Steps taken by states:
1. J&k: A separate budget for power with significant increase in allocation.
Increase in allocation to harness its huge hydro power potential to provide
24*7 power
2. UP: Promise to provide 22 hours electricity in rural areas and 24 power in
urban area by 2016, Double the electricity supply
3. Odisha: Strengthening the power infrastructure, Increase in allocation to
conserve energy and boost energy efficiency.

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3Q. To address energy insecurity, the government of India had

mooted the concept of strategic petroleum reserves in 1998. At


present the demand for the same is growing stronger with each
passing day. Discuss why such reserve is needed. (200 Words)
Oil is a basic necessity for any production process. Oil derivatives are universal
intermediaries and thus any shortage in their supply affects the entire economy. The
concept of a strategic reserve was mooted in light of the 1990s oil crisis; however it
still remains a critical infrastructure because:
1. 80% of domestic oil need is imported primarily from West Asia. The region
has been in the grip of constant crisis, especially now with the ISIS onslaught,
Yemen crisis, Civil wars inter alia. Meeting our demand through reserves is
thus important.
2. India's trade deficit is largely driven by oil imports. Oil prices are very
sensitive & mainly globally driven. Thus in periods when oil imports become
financially unviable it is crucial to maintain reserves.
3. West Asia is ridden with politically unstable states. Even major players like
Iran have faced the brunt of economic sanctions recently. In a climate of
uncertainty we should ensure that our domestic supply is met in intermittent
periods through reserves.
4. Strategic reserves also provide autonomy & leverage in foreign policy to the
nation in times of crisis.
5. Even in internal security crisis when borders are to be sealed such reserves
will provide the country elbowroom to manoeuvre such moves.
6. Building of strategic reserves will also allow India to feed its neighbours in
times of natural calamities such as recently in Nepal.
7. The time is opportune because the oil prices have dipped to new lows. Existing
reserves must thus be filled to their capacity before any upswings in oil price
occur.
However, in light of the enormous cost of building reserves alternatives are proposed
in the form of exclusive fuel supply agreements with West Asia especially in view of
our proximity with the region. Such proposals are welcome, but they cannot
substitute reserves as a strategic asset & hence the govt must move to fulfil Vision
2020 of creating strategic reserves for 90 days of domestic supply.

4Q. Examine the challenges faced by union government in the


execution of the national optic fibre network (NOFN) project?
Examine the benefits of this project and suggest how its execution
can be sped up. (200 Words)
This programme has very huge potential in modernising sectors like agriculture,
cottage, E education, MSME, Animal husbandry, Govt services like PDS, agriculture
extension, Health care, Grievance redressal etc
But it has faced several challenges:
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1. The limited capability of BBNL to execute the project efficiently.


2. Coordination between various agencies like Finance, Revenue, Telecom, Land
acquisition etc is also a major road block.
3. Coordination between States and centre is also a major issue on how to
implement it i.e. Private sector or Public sector or combined partnership.
Benefits of this project:
1. It will connect all Panchayats to Blocks and Blocks to District and District to
state capital and state capital to New Delhi. This form of connectivity will
bring Govt closer to people.
2. Improve coordination between agencies and improve transparency and
accountability by digitisation of records.
3. It will help making decision making more inclusive right starting from
planning, implementation and feedback and making governance bottom up.

1Q. In recent years, in India, the growth of hydropower capacity has

diminished thanks to various factors. Discuss what are these


factors and possible solutions to address them. (200 Words)
There is huge hydro power potential in Himalaya. Many mighty rivers like Ganga and
Brahmaputra flows from Himalayas.But currently hydro power generation capacities
addition has been dismal. There are various causes for these:
1. Large hydro power projects create situation of mass displacement.
Displacements invite protests. This hamper progress ion these projects.
2. Himalaya is seismically very active region, only second to pacific rim of fire.
Large structure likes dams have concern of breakdown in case of earth quake.
Concerns about landslides and Uttrakhand like situations cannot be denied.
3. Impact on biodiversity is major concern. Large dams change local ecology.
4. Green clearances is another problem. Huge amount of investment that are
made in large dams want prompt clearances.
5. Politically river water sharing is also a major issue.
6. Shortage of financial resources
7. Private sector is not getting enough incentive given protest
Measure:
1. Harvesting hydropower capacity of NE-states and Nepal and Bhutan with help
of National Grid.
2. Increase in use of renewable energy and develop small & mini hydro plants if
possible
3. Quick resolution to interstate disputes
4. Adopting advance technologies from foreign countries and availing loans from
new banks such as AIIB & NDB

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5. Providing proper rehabilitation and compensation to displaced person and


allow their participation for selecting the area for construction to avoid
obstruction in later stage. Comprehensive feasibility analysis can convince
local communities of benefits of projects

Topic: Infrastructure: Roads,


1Q. It is observed that the construction of highways in India is

lagging behind due to various reasons. Critically discuss what are


the causes delay and measures being taken by the government to
address these delays. (200 Words)
Highways constitute only 2% of the total metallic roads but carry 40% of the total
load. The length of highways constructed in 2014-15 reflected a marginal increase
from that in 2013-14. The pace of construction has increased from 11.6 km/day to 12
km/day. Construction of highways has faced slowdown due to various reasons:
1. Delay in project awards for the past few years only ~ 50% of projects
planned were actually awarded.
2. Systemic bottlenecks land acquisition, environmental clearances, delays in
procurement etc have added to project delays.
3. Issues related to dispute redressal Over 1500 cases involving NHAI are
under
various stages of litigation. These add to a staggering figure of over 10k crore.
4. Slow down in core sector like cement & steel has delayed the supply of
construction material.
5. Companies debt ridden - Aggressive bidding during the high growth phase
and subsequent slow down has made their balance sheets highly debt ridden.
6. Profit oriented private firms lost interest in stalled highways projects.
7. Opaque investment policy & complex tax system has kept foreign investors
aside.
8. Lack of diversified source for funding has made the financier debt-ridden.
Credit crunch - Banks are over leveraged, corporate bond market not
sufficiently developed, public investing in gold and land rather than in equity
or bond markets.
Way forward:
1. Addressing systemic delays Recently govt has amended norms for swifter
environmental clearances for linear infra projects. Amendments to the land
bill will also further this cause.
2. Overhauling dispute redressal In this regard the BK Chaturvedi Committee
was constituted to design a framework for swift dispute redressal. The govt is
considering its recommendations.
3. Plug-and-Play Mode Govt recently introduced this scheme where regulatory
clearances will be assured by govt agencies prior to awarding infra projects. So
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that
the
winning bidder could straight-away get to implementation.
4. Mobilising resources Govt has taken adequate steps in mobilizing resources.
Institutionalising savings through JDY, KVPs etc. Gold monetization scheme
is
also a step in this direction.
5. Expanding the corporate bond market Since long-term financing is required
bank
lending has limited capacity. Thus the corporate bond market must be
deepened & expanded.
6. Instruments such as Infrastructure investment trust for long term credit.
7. Public awareness to diversify savings from gold to capital markets.
8. Emphasis on EPC rather than BOT.
9. Exit policy to allow companies easy exit.
10. Hybrid annuity model This has been introduced to re-allocate risk sharing
between public & private parties.

Topic: Infrastructure: Ports,


1Q. Despite its long coastline and strategic location on world trade

routes, which gives it a natural advantage to control and direct


shipments, India has not managed to get a dominant grip on
shipping, even in its own continent. Critically examine why and
suggest what India needs to do control and direct shipments in the
region. (200 Words)
Indias 7,500-km coastline with 13 major ports and its strategic location on world
trade routes gives it a natural advantage to control and direct shipments to boost the
economy by means of trade. Yet, India has not managed to get a dominant grip on
shipping,
even
in
its
own
continent.
Reasons:
1. Failure to plan or execute projects, which resulted in non-utilization of 45 per
cent of allocated funds.
2. Fund allocation towards water transport is meager & port sector has less
allocation in budgets.
3. Naturally we have low draft ports. our dredging facility is not good nor we
have capital.
4. Our ports are running at high berth occupancy rates. so we cant be a transit
point.
5. Indian shipping industry is subjected to some 12 types of taxes. This increases
the cost.
6. Large vessels cannot enter Indian ports. They dock at sri lanks and send cargo
via smaller vessels.
7. Ageing fleet. Needs to be modernized
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8. Main seafarer supplying countries: china, Philippines, turkey, Ukraine. India


has not taken advantage of its demographic dividend to supply more officers
in international maritime sector.
9. Coastal shipping is not promoted well.
10. High import duties on bunker oil & spares.
11. Non avaibility of concessional finance for the acquisition of coastal vessels.
12. Lack of separate berthing facilities at major port and inadequate cargo
handling facilities at minor ports.
Suggestions:
1. Selection of minor ports have to step in right direction as the present this
demand is being met by rail and road transport system.
2. Revival of project like Sagar mala to create a string of ports around India's
coastline to safeguard maritime interests
3. Reduction in the turnaround time for ships by easing customs processes at
major ports. As the turnaround time decreases, ports' overall productivity will
increase.
4. MOU with other nations to build port in respective nations to secure the
economic interest eg.The Chabahar port there recently.
5. Improvement in rail and road connectivity of ports, for speedy evacuation of
cargo.

Topic: Indigenization of technology and developing new technology

1Q. Critically analyse the merits and demerits of Indias defence


procurement policy (DPP) and discuss the steps needed to address
demerits of this policy. (200 Words)
India has been the largest importer of world of defence products accounting to
10% of total import. In 2013 a defence procurement policy was released to
increase the domestic share in defence procurement which will provide impetus
to domestic manufacturing and will reduce the import bill.
Merits of the policy:
1. The offset clause which gives a boost to the Indian manufacturers with a
mandatory obligation of the foreign entities to source 30% of their
requirement from Indian vendor.
2. The locking in of the requirements at an earlier stage which would make
the whole system transparent.
3. Categorization of the vendors with Buy (Foreign) being accorded the least
priority. This move will reduce the high import costs of defence
equipments
Demerits of the policy:
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1. Although the offset clause is mentioned, in most of the cases, the orders
are given to the Defence PSUs thus hampering the businesses of the
private sector.
2. Though it asks for increasing the share of indigenous technology, no major
incentive was provided to domestic industry
3. The purchase of critical components is purchased from foreign original
equipment manufacturers instead of manufacturing. This allows them to
bypass the offset clause.
4. No substantial technology transfer occurs as critical components are still
purchased. Thus there will be only make in india, not create in india
with respect to critical components.
5. Due to lack of clarity on long term planning of procurement needs, the
private sector is averse to investing hugely in terms of R& D and
indigenous production.
Need of integrated procurement agency instead of piecemeal procurements:Army, Air force and navy sometimes take different routes to buy missiles. Instead
a common procurement route will give more bargaining chip and leveraging
capacity.

Topic: Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies

1Q. Farmers unions and political parties have been demanding the

implementation of the Swaminathan minimum support price (cost


plus 50%) to address agrarian crisis and farmers distress. Do you
think implementation of this recommendation alone would
address the agrarian crisis issue? Critically examine. (200 Words)
Agrarian issues have been one of the most haunting issues in India even from the
Britishers time. Several commissions have been appointed till date to find solutions
in the agriculture sector.The National Commission for farmers led by
Mr.Swaminathan was one such commission. Swaminathan MSP, which recommends
total cost plus 50% of the cost to be given as the MSP, is one of its major
recommendations.
But implementation of Swaminathan MSP seems almost impossible and seemingly
does not end the agrarian distress because of the following reasons:
1. Mechanically finalising MSP with regards to the cost of production alone does
not seems proper. One needs to consider several factors such as its impact on
cost of living,world market rate, change in raw materials cost and availability
to name a few.
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2. Simply increasing MSP to 50% will only benefit farmers producing high
quantity of farm produce. Most of the Indian farmers follow subsistence
farming, so increasing MSP alone will not bring a drastic change in their lives.
3. Already developed countries are unhappy with Indian subsidies as evident
from the Doha development round talks. They are pressurising India to
reduce subsidies. Such an increase in MSP would again make issues in
different economic forums.
4. Increasing MSP would result in farmers giving their produce to the govt:
agencies like FCI, which would result in increase in dumping of food grains in
govt: godowns than making them available in consumer market.
5. Increasing MSP would lead to increase in cost of other consumer goods which
would again result in poverty.
6. MSP will not benefit for the long term. It will only provide marginal increase
in profit for a short time.
In effect, increasing MSP will not address the agrarian distress prevailing now.
Rather than focussing on MSP, govt: should take steps to benefit the farmers in the
long time. These include a rapid change in farm technology , increasing the skill set
for the farmers, absorbing the agrarian sector workers to the other sectors to name a
few.

1Q. Critically analyse the interrelationship between governments

minimum support price scheme, cropping pattern and crop


production in India. (200 Words)
Ensuring assured price support through mechanism of Minimum Support Price
(MSP) has played a crucial role in green revolution which made country self
sufficient in food production.
MSP continue play a important role in deciding cropping patter and crop production
in India as is evidence from followings:
1. Farmers response to government price support by increasing production of
cereal during the green revolution.
2. Even the traditional water deficient state like Punjab and Harayana become
major producer of Rice due to high MSP.
3. In recent years, the state bonus has played a role in increasing production of
paddy in Chhattisgarh and wheat in Madhya Pradesh
4. The high state advised price for sugarcane in UP and Maharashtra has been
factor in high crop acreage under sugar cane in these regions.
5. The low productivity and low MSP along with absence of procurement
mechanism and infrastructure for purchase of pulses and oil seed has been
reason for their low area and low production.
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6. Cultivating a hectare of land of Cereals give an average output of 2400 kgs ,


whereas cultivation of pulses on the same land would yield only about 750 kgs
7. Profitablity :- A farmer would earn about Rs. 38000 for every hectare of Jowar
grown in comparison to Rs. 33000 that Urad Dal would give him
8. These differences are not entirely due to MSP. Factors like technological
advance and R and D in production techniques have a huge role to play. R and
D in pulses hasn't progresses as much it has in rice and other cereal crops.
9. Additionally, due to increased Profitablity in cultivation of cereal crops, pulses
are cultivated on less fertile and marginal lands.
These factors have largely influenced crop production and cropping pattern in India.
Despite the fact that india imports one-fifth of its pulses from abroad and pulses
having an inflation rate higher than average food inflation rate, these differences
indicate the many fault lines that lie within intra - food crop MSP levels. These
differences need to be ironed out to make India equably produce food crops across
the spectrum based on local needs and priorities.

1Q. Few states in India are known for efficient and others for
inefficient administration of Public Distribution System (PDS).
Critically analyse such two extreme situations and examine why
PDS is in such a state in India. (200 Words)
Public Distribution System or better known as PDS is the mechanism of distributing
basic food and non-food commodities to the needy sections of society at subsidised
prices. During its long journey, its implementation greatly varied from state to state
which represents two extremes.
A case study of two states- Bihar and Chhattisgarh
Bihar- PDS in Bihar is afflicted with several problems like misappropriation of
foodgrains at all levels, anomalies in distribution, inclusion and exclusion errors and
large scale corruption. The major reason for this state of affairs was the inadequate
food production in the state which resulted in the absence of a strong food lobby in
the state . The absence of a well-functioning civil society and media resulted in
making the poor virtually voiceless. But some substantial changes can be noted like
the introduction of a system of tracking coupons, preparing a new list of ration cards
by SECC.
Chhattisgarh- Initially upto 2004, problems in Chhattisgarh were due to irregular
supply to the FPS and large scale diversion to open market. This was mainly due to
the absence of appropriate incentive structure and suitable monitoring mechanism of
the supply side. To overcome the hurdle, the Chhattisgarh government introduced
CPDS which changed the whole scenario. The incentive structure for the FPS
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operators improved. At the same time, the monitoring and surveillance was
strengthened through computerized tracking of the trucks and painting the trucks
with yellow colours made it difficult to stop and offload grain at locations other than
the scheduled delivery points. Expansion of PDS coverage, reduction in PDS prices,
doorstep delivery of grain, de-privatisation of ration shops and grievance redressal
have helped in its improvement. Now, the state is a role model to be followed.
Transfer of FPS to local bodies such a panchayats from private players. Bogus BPL
cards were weeded out through a centralised PDS system. Increasing the profit of
FPS owners.The main reason why FPS owners become corrupt is because they
usually run in losses. By increasing the percentage of profit, a lot of spillage was
stopped. Mills were raided frequently and fined if they purchase rice and wheat from
FPS owners. Rice festival is organised every month. In that particular day vigilance
officers will be available at FPS and people can buy their ration at their presence.
The reason for this huge state of difference is the lack of political will and urban bias
of PDS which raises questions on its universal status. Corruption is rampant and
therefore leakages are generally making PDS ineffective and impinges on its
efficiency. Caste system also lodges its presence in rural areas, damaging the soul and
spirit of PDS.
There is a need to remove the structural inequalities and biases. Without structural
change, freedom from hunger will only remain rhetorical.

1Q. Critically comment on the implications of the latest round of


revisions made by the Food Ministry to the Public Distribution
System (Control) Order which was notified by the Department of
Food and Public Distribution recently. (200 Words)
National Food Security Act (NFSA) was passed by the parliament to ensure two-third
of India gets food at a subsidised rate. The recent Public Distribution System (PDS)
Order is seen by some analysts to curtail the provisions of the act.
The recent PDS order notifies three things- Phasing out of Antyodya Anna Yojana
(AAY), count of beneficiary to be determined by decadal census list and limiting the
benefits to the citizens.
Implications:
1. By adding no new beneficiary houses in the AAY schemes, government is
trying to phase out the programme slowly. This would let many poorest of the
poor families not to be included in the future list.
2. The count of the beneficiaries would now be dependent upon census figure
and not on the population estimates of the Registrar. This would not let the

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state government to revise the beneficiaries on yearly basis. Thus a new


beneficiary can be added only after a decade.
3. The most impacting of all the three orders is to limit the benefits to the
citizens, and not to the residents. This would make all the Indian residents
who has not got the citizenship out of the ambit of the biggest nutritional
legislation. It would also let all the migrant not to avail the benefit of NFSA.

1Q. Do you think Indias minimum support price policy (MSP) is a

sound policy vis a vis increasing efficiency in agriculture? Critically


analyse the merits and demerits of present MSP policy. (200
Words)
Minimum support price was introduced by the government in 1960's in the wake of
Green revolution.It is the minimum price at which government buys crops from the
farmers and is announced before the sowing season.Presently MSP is being
announced for more than 20 crops but main emphasis remains of two crops i.e rice
and wheat.
Arguments supporting MSP
1. Provides an economic assurance and security for the farmers and motivates
them to grow targeted crops.
2. Production of targeted crops increases. For example India once an importer of
Wheat is now one of the largest producers of it and has huge surplus stocks
catering to both domestic and international demands. Increase in exports of
food grains helping on to reduce CAD is another advantage of it.
3. Increased production also helped in achieving food security and catering to
the requirements of National food security act.
4. With farmers having adequate knowledge of MSP they can't be exploited by
middlemen for lower prices.
5. It motivates Farmers to take steps to increase production as government
assured to procure unlimited produce at the announced MSP.
Arguments against MSP
1. Has distorted cropping pattern.MSP have resulted in crops like rice being
grown in Punjab and Haryana which are not suitable for it. This impacts soil
health and results in problems like overexploitation of ground
water,alkanity,alkanity etc and decreases productivity in the long run.
2. As MSP mainly focuses on rice and wheat therefore it have resulted in
attainment of food security at the cost of nutrition security (pulses etc).
3. Governments increasing MSP every year due to one or other reasons have also
resulted in conflicts. Example of fights between sugar cane growers and mill
owners is a case in point.
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4. All farmers are not being able to take the benfits of MSP because of reasons
like low awareness about the prices, no connectivity etc and continues to be
exploited by middlemen.
5. Bone of Contention in Agreement of Agriculture at WTO, though the issue is
resolved temporarily.
6. Impact of Inflation: MSP to include cost of production and profitability for
farmers and be linked to the index of inflation
7. The proposal to set MSPs at 50 per cent above the weighted cost of crop
output agriculturally advanced areas in NW will benefit more where the cost
of production are high due to costly inputs. Also, rich farmers will benefit
more than the poor and small ones. Also, there will be no incentive to farmer
to adopt better practices and innovative methods to reduce the cost of
production
8. Private investment in agriculture will not be forthcoming because private
sector will feel that govt will interfere in setting MSP.
Steps should be taken to rationalize agricultural subsidies, incentivize investment in
farming and create a more level playing field for big and small farmers alike.

2Q. Recently the Union Cabinet approved a new policy on urea.


Examine how this new policy would affect producers and
consumers in India. (200 Words)
A highly regulated & controlled regime over a long period for urea discourages
efficiency and new investment; as a result today domestic urea production is unable
to meet domestic urea demand; forcing GoI to import urea (demand is 30 mt but
production is 22mt, forcing govt to import 8mt). To resolve the situation GoI recently
came up with new policy on urea (The government says the new urea policy will
increase annual production by two million tonnes (mt) and cut the yearly subsidy bill
by Rs 4,800 crore)
1. Incentivize domestic urea manufacturing - GoI to reimburse fixed cost
incurred by domestic units that produce 100% more than their reassessed
capacity along with a part of variable cost.
2. Promote energy efficiency - incentive given to domestic manufacturers will be
linked to annual energy consumption. Thus focus on reducing the carbon
footprint and with reduced energy consumption, prices for consumers will
also come down.
3. Freed transportation of P & K based fertilizers - reduce monopoly of few
companies in a particular area; permitting any company can sell P and K in
any part of country; thereby boosting competition. This competition may also
reduce the price for the consumers.

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New urea policy is a step in right direction; to substitute urea import by domestic
manufacturing; enhancing our CAD; at the same time is in line with "make in India"
[Additional information Other recent initiatives :
government also pressed units to produce more neem urea which is more efficient
and less polluting.
government had approved a gas pooling policy, under which all urea units would get
gas at the same price.]

1Q. Recently the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) notified the new
priority sector lending norms. Discuss these norms and associated
issues. (200 Words)

PSL has been a major instrument of RBI for achieving financial Inclusion and
ensuring that the banks cater to the needs of the masses. Recently, the Reserve Bank
of India (RBI) notified the new priority sector lending norms which are as under:

1. loans to sectors such as social infrastructure, renewable energy and


medium enterprises will be treated as PSL; thus adequate attention has
been paid to emerging priorities such as climate change, social inequality
and fund scarcity among MSEs
2. while retaining a 40% PSL target for domestic banks, the distinction
between direct & indirect agriculture has been dispensed with; a subtarget of 8% for small & marginal farmers within agriculture, a target of
7.5% & 10% for micro-enterprises & weaker sections has been prescribed;
thereby adopting a more holistic approach towards agriculture. However
banks will be inclined towards lending agro-companies who are more
creditworthy than individual (medium & large) farmers.
3. PSL targets of foreign banks at 40% with sub-targets being applicable for
banks having more than 20 branches. Further, they have been given a 5
year timeline to achieve the targets. RBI has adopted a incremental and
balanced approach, thus ensuring fair competition along with retaining
the attractiveness of the sector for foreign banks.

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However, concerns remain especially over how the banks are going to implement
these provisions especially when their balance sheets are unhealthy and levels of
NPA are unacceptably high. Also, banks may not reach their targets due to presence
of MUDRA with the same objective. Positive impact of the shift would be- it makes it
hard for banks to miscalculate under sectoral lending. Refining through subtargeting would help those like marginal farmers get their due.

2Q. As mandated, the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices


(CACP) recommends MSPs at national level for twenty three crops,
but effectively price support operates primarily in wheat and rice
and that too in selected states. Examine the consequences and
effectiveness of measures taken by the government to address this
issue. (200 Words)
The commission for agriculture costs and prices recommends Minimum Support
Prices (MSP) for twenty three crops to union government at national level. But the
two major fallouts of green revolution i.e. its limitation to wheat and rice
and covering only some parts of India where irrigation resources were available have
rendered the effectiveness of price support to rice and wheat and that too in selected
states. Even in these states the major beneficiaries are big-farmers as they have
resources for huge surplus production and their pressure on state governments for
procurement of their produce. To address this issue Government has taken following
measures with their consequences:

1. It is trying to rationalise the price support offered to different crops, but this
will work effectively if state governments also limit their support above MSPs.
2. It is decentralising the procurement of food-grains for PDS to state
governments and limiting their share to the requirement of their own state's
PDS. By doing this monopoly of states can be broken and every state will have
its own share of procurement. This has dual benefit of reducing transportation
cost and providing income security to poor regions farmers.
3. It is asking states to procure food from small-farmers though no effective
and targeted policy is introduced in this direction.
4. Many schemes for increasing the production of other crops like oil-seeds
and pulses are been initiated and scope of green revolution is expanded to
include hitherto untouched area. It will have many positive consequences if
implemented effectively.
5. Online procurement monitoring system is being developed to provide daily
information of procurement countrywide.
India has achieved food security as a result of green-revolution but its ill-effects are
need to be solved by correcting the balance of crops grown and inter- state parity.
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Topic: marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related


constraints;

1Q. Recently the union cabinet gave its nod to set up the National

Agriculture Market. Critically discuss the need for such a market


and its impact on APMCs and farmers. (200 Words)
A Common national agriculture market is essential for fair prices to agricultural
commodities, control food inflation and promoting investment in agriculture and
food processing sector.
It would have following impact on farmers and APMCs:
1. Increase options for farmers and increase their price realization by ensuring
unrestricted movement of agricultural goods.
2. It would promote value addition and integration of supply chain which would
be beneficial for farmers and economy
3. APMCs which have operated under the monopolistic market would face
pressure to upgrade their infrastructure, decrease commission and provide
more facilities at Mandis to remain relevant.
4. APMCs would be motivated to expand grading, packing and marketing and
move up the value chain to leverage the liberalization.
5. Would help in their checking inflation and shortages in some regions by
reducing inter-state disparities in terms of availability of these products in
markets in the respective regions of states.
6. Would lead to transparent e-auctioning of the process of purchasing
agricultural commodities by traders/retailers in the mandis from farmers
which would in turn reduce the exploitation, price manipulation and delayed
payments to farmers and also the role of middle men.All these would mean
farm growers would be able to fetch better price for their produce.
Demerits:1. Might be considered by some as infringement on the rights and domain of
states as agriculture is a state matter(although listed in Concurrent List ) and
they are best suited to regulate it as local knowledge is necessary in this field .
2. Increased inter-state trade on agricultural commodities might create
shortages of commodities locally as farmers would likely to sell their products
where they would get high and better prices.

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3. Likewise, traders would refrain buying locally and use 'single license' to
purchase from other regions.
However, it would largely have a positive impact on the market of agricultural
commodities as the recent scenario is not good for farmers .They are often
manipulated on prices and delayed payments by traders and the fee charged on
traders operating in mandis ultimately fall on farmers.The APMCs have failed to
check all these.

1Q. Recently the union government proposed to reform 50

regulated wholesale markets (mandis) across 10 states in order to


help create a national common market for agricultural marketing.
Write a note on the role of mandis and examine how this proposal
would help agricultural marketing in India. (200 Words)
Important points:
1. The survey said an un-integrated and distortion-ridden agri market was one of
the most striking problems in agricultural growth.
2. National Common Market: The state governments would have to switch to
modern practices such as

A single trading licence for the entire region,

Single-point levy of market fee (mandi tax) and

Electronic auction for price discovery in the identified mandis.

3. For instance, in Punjab, food grain is taxed at 14 per cent but Madhya Pradesh
levies a little less than five per cent. At present, most wholesale markets in
different states are governed by the respective (APMC) laws.
4. The APMCs charge multiple fees, of substantial magnitude and often nontransparent - market fee on buyers, licensing fee from commission agents and
fees from a whole range of functionaries. Commission agents also charge a fee
on transactions between buyers and farmers
5. Absence of a uniform national market has been several times blamed for the
wide disparity between farm gate and retail prices, sometimes as much as 100
per cent.
6. It also said that all states should drop fruit and vegetables from the APMC
schedule of regulated commodities.

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1Q. Critically analyse the characteristics on Indias agriculture


markets and examine if India setting up a national market for
agricultural commodities would address problems faced in
agricultural marketing. (200 Words)
India's agriculture markets are regulated be archaic Agricultural Produce Market
Committees. These committees were set up to provide platform to farmers to sell
their produce directly at market prices and to decrease the role of intermediaries.
Many changes has taken place in the economy of India since Independence. These
committees instead of benefiting producer and consumer worked in opposite
direction. The characteristics of Indian agricultural markets emerged due to APMCs
are:
1. Market got fragmented and this fragmentation resulted in different price level
of commodities.
2. We are frequently facing problem of plenty at one market and scarcity at
another market. It resulted in either price-depression and loss to producer
and inflation and loss to consumer.
3. It created new kinds of intermediaries who cartel and depress price for
producer and increase for consumer under the nose of APMCs.
4. Contract farming and cooperative farming which are the needs of modern
time got disincentivised due to number of rules and regulations.
5. Many non transparent levies by states and commission agents are levied
which are not audited or scrutinised.
6. No major investment is done in modern infrastructure in the form of cold
storage, modern warehouses etc. Plenty of food is wasted due to these reasons.
7. Inclusion of fruits and vegetables under the purview of APMCs has resulted in
large wastage.
As a remedy to these problems national market for agricultural commodities is
proposed this will integrate all the markets and provide transfer of commodities in
various parts of country. Though national market is the major reform in agricultural
marketing but it also has to assist with other solutions. Creation and maintenance of
infrastructure in the form of storage, transportation is a big requirement. Use of
online commodity market needs dissemination of information among farmers for
this they have to be provided with internet connectivity. To engage private sector
many incentives and easing of foreign investment is required. Time has come to free
agriculture marketing from clutches of APMCs and a national market with private
participation and huge infrastructure is needed

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1Q. Write a note on the recent initiatives taken by the government


to reform agricultural marketing in India. (200 Words)
Agricultural marketing has an an important role to play in the overall agricultural
development. It provides economic security to farmers by way of fair and
remunerative compensation for agricultural produce. At the same time, it ensures
affordable and accessible food products to consumers thereby reducing the inflation.
Keeping in view the role of agricultural marketing in Indian agriculture, the
government has taken various steps for its harmonious development.

1. The Dept of agriculture has advised the states to create a single market
throughout state territory with a single licence so that agriculture product
can be moved without any restriction.
2. Govt has worked towards developing the national market and for this
purpose an e-platform will be designed from the agriculture tech
infrastructure fund(ATIF) so that marketing of agriculture produce will be
done through all states without any restriction.
3. Central govt requested the state govt to exempt fruits and vegetables from
the purview of APMC act and many state govt has responded positively to
this move of central govt. Kisan mandi are also being developed in some
regions.
4. Besides this, government has also decided to improve the warehousing
and transportation of agricultural items, opening new cold chain and
logistical improvement. Recently, the approval has been granted for
setting up of 17 new mega food parks for processing and export of
agricultural commodities.
Amendment Consumer Protection Act,1986 to make hoarding a non-bailable offence
and improve 3-tier grievance redressal system.
Topic: e-technology in the aid of farmers
1Q. Write a critical note on the objectives, significance and

performance of Soil Health Cards (SHC) programme. (200 Words)


India Government recently launched Soil Health Card(SHC) scheme which would be
providing to the farmers the assessment report of soil health and its needs based on
scientific lab tests.
The objectives of this scheme are1. To disburse 14 crore SHCs within 3 years.

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2. To provide crucial information regarding soils depleting health and nutrient


composition.
To provide information regarding corrective measures to be taken.
3. Overall to increase agricultural production, boost farmers income.
The significance of scheme are multiple1. Assist farmer in supplying needed micr-,macro-,and secondary nutrients to
the soil through proper fertilizer mix up which at present is dominated by
urea.
2. Will provide information based on different crops thus helping farmer select
most appropriate crop pattern hence reducing risk of low productivity or crop
failure.
3. Will lead to diverse crop pattern which at present circles around wheat & rice
and thus better production of diverse agricultural products hence effect on
food inflation and economy as a whole.
4. This scheme on combination with others like krishi sinchayi yojna, easy loans
to farmers, better monsoon forecast could help the agriculture sector perform
better.
However its significance depends on its steady and effective implementation which at
present looks sluggish as many states have not even started taking soil samples for
test like Arunanchal Pradesh, sikkim while some has taken sample but slow in
distributing the SHCs like Tamil nadu. Hence scheme needs boost in efforts.

1Q. It is said that power tillers, should logically be preferred over


tractors by Indian farmers and despite being cheaper and more
efficient, they are lagging behind tractors. Examine their
advantages to Indian farmers and how they can be made more
appealing to them. (200 Words)
A major reason behind the problems faced by the Indian agriculture sector like low
yields and unscientific farming is the small and fragmented landholdings which
makes use of technology prohibitively expensive and not very beneficial for small and
marginal farmers. Tools like power tillers which are adapted to the small and
fragmented nature of Indian landholdings provide a way out of this. The power tiller
has the following advantages -

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1. Low capital costs - The power tiller is much cheaper than even the smallest
tractors even with the low subsidy. Thus, it is more affordable by small
farmers.
2. Low operational costs - Power tillers run on less fuel and also require less
maintenance compared to tractors.
3. Suited for Indian Soils- Indian soils are prone to compaction under the heavy
load of a tractor with a driver sitting in it. This danger is vitiated by the power
driller.
4. Suited for rugged terrain - In rugged terrain especially where terrace farming
is practiced, power driller is the only viable option.
While power driller has many advantages they are still not popular compared to
tractors. This is due to the larger manual labour required and issues with safety that
have plagues power drillers. The following steps could be taken to promote them 1. More research should be conducted to ensure that safety can be enhanced.
2. Products like the robotic controller which greatly enhances safety and reduces
the need for labour must be promoted side by side to complement each other.
3. Village panchayats and gram sabhas can be used to educate farmers benefit of
power tillers
4. Banks can be asked to prepare loan schemes favouring more to power tillers
5. Govt can incentivise companies to promote power tillers by giving them tax
exemption etc

2Q. Examine why Krishi Vigyan Kendras were set up and critically
evaluate their performance. (200 Words)
Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) are the frontline agricultural extension center funded
by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR). The KVKs focus on training
and education of farmers, rural youth, on field demonstration of new and improved
farming techniques etc.
It was felt that the Indian Farmers do not have knowledge about scientific farming
methods, the soil-crop linkages, fertilizer requirements etc. Hence, KVKs were set up
to ensure a last mile linkage, which would provide farmers with information and
training about scientific farming, mitigation measures in case of adverse climatic
events, consultancy services regarding the type of crops to be sown, the type and
amount of fertilizer to be used etc.
However the KVKs have not had the impact that was envisioned.

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1. KVKs have different organisational structures. While some come directly


under ICAR, others are monitored by State Agricultural Universities or even
Civil Society Organisations. This has led to problems of monitoring and coordination problems.
2. While the KVKs have had some impact by proving training and some advisory
services, their mandate was very expansive which they have not been able to
fulfill due to lack of budgetary support.
3. One KVK has been established in every district in the country. However, a
district could be very large (Upto 38000 sq kms). Hence, one KVK has not
been enough to cover the entire district. Thus, the impact on KVKs has been
only in the immediate surrounding areas. Scientists have thus reduced field
visits.
4. The KVKs do not have integration with the weather monitoring and
forecasting services. This impacts their ability to advise farmers about the
mitigating steps in case of adverse climate.
5. Lack of constant power is hindering research
6. Centre usually releases fund by june end, then there wont be enough time left
for field demonstrations as by that time, farmers would have made their
sowing decision
7. Low staff strength and infrastructure facilities
8. Advisories from the kendras are vague and outdated. On the other side, the
kendra staffers complain farmers stubbornly believe they know best. Eg:
discourage farmers from growing paddy during the kharif season as rains
could be less, and encourage them to plant alternative crops like pulses and
jowar. But in west UP, the farmers ignore the advice, as neelgai (the Asian
antelope) does not allow pulses to survive. Farmers are unwilling to hurt the
animal because it is considered sacred.

While KVKs have had some impact, there is potential to do a lot more. The
government must look at reviewing the locations of KVKs, meet the manpower
requirements and also consider setting up more than one KVK in a district. KVKs are
essential in order to reach the goal of at least 4% growth in agriculture. They must be
empowered to help proactively in achieving that target.

Topic: Food processing and related industries in India- location and


significance

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1Q. Critically analyse the potential of agribusiness to address


agrarian distress in India. (200 Words)
Agribusiness is the business of agricultural production, which involves all the
activities in the value chain right from input supply, production, processing,
marketing and retailing. In India, the farmers are effectively delinked from
processing and marketing activities. The the result is that the profits are hauled away
by the multinationals and the farmers are distressed to a point of committing
suicide.
Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) are farmer owned producer companies which
aggregate, process and market their produce. Their expansion beyond few well
established FPOs is a nascent step to counter the plight of the farmers, which has the
potential of increasing farm incomes from subsistent to prosperous.
Positive scope of agribusiness
1. Protection from market risks-: Contract farming protects farmers from market
risks for those crops whose price is determined by market forces in case of
price crush.
2. Productive farming due to use of innovative technology and expert support
regarding soil care, right use of fertilizers farming becomes more productive.
3. More profit -: Value addition provides more profits to farmers. Profit dirctly
reaches to farmers instead of intermediaries.
4. Enhance business-: By plugging there stocks in banks farmers can get easy
loans for enhancing their business getting loan for various activities
5. Development of farming skills When farmer turned into a manufacturer from
a producer then he will turned into an innovator who will tried to find profit
even into farming waste
However, such companies face a variety of challenges to their growth.
1. Firstly, they are unable to raise enough capital from the member farmers.
After the companies are listed, their shares are not allowed to be traded in
order to prevent takeovers by affluent private companies. However, this also
prevents them from raising capital in the share market.
2. Working capital is limited because of the preference of the buyers to pay at
later stages, while farmers need it desperately during harvest.
3. High Taxes: Agri processed foods are taxed at higher rate which increases cost
of manufacture , The proposed GST when it comes into effect will help solving
this problem
4. A company requires managers to over see smooth running which owners cant
participate in. High paid managers can be hired only by well established FPOs.
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Growth of the agribusiness demands a multi-pronged strategy involving increased


finance to bridge capital needs, provision of lower interest loans in order to increase
profits, categorizing FPOs as a priority lending sector. Introduction of GST is likely to
reduce the multiple taxes paid by such companies.

1Q. It is argued these days that the reform of Food Safety and

Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is urgent and essential to


ensure the growth of food processing industry in India. Critically
examine why. (200 Words)
Recently, there has been arguments about the role of FSSAI in the development of
the food processing industry of India especially after the 'Maggi row' which was
banned in India but the same Maggi was cleared by countries like- Britain, Canada
etc. It is argued that reforms of FSSAI is urgent for the development of food
processing sector of India because1. There is delay in the clearance of the products by the FSSAI. In present also
there are thousands of products which need approval from the FSSAI.
2. The procedure for testing of safety of product is very cumbersome because
there is no mention of procedure in Food safety and standard Act. Thus,
FSSAI applies procedure according to its own discretion.
3. Imported materials is stuck at the port Just because they don't get clearance
from the FSSAI as some of them don't have proper labelling.
4. In many cases, permission is withheld on the flimsiest of grounds - because
the labelling of the packages does not conform to arbitrary norms specified by
the FSSAI, which differ from the widely accepted global standards.
These delays and discretions deters foreign companies to invest in the Food
processing industry of India. Less than two percent of India's perishable food
products are processed to increase the shelve and to add value in it. For this, there is
urgent need to reform the FSSAI but in the process the government has to ensure
that standard and safety of food is not compromised. Recently FSSAI has prepared
standard procedure for testing of various products which is an welcome move.

1Q. Write a critical note on the objectives and performance of the

National Mission of Food Processing (NMFP) Scheme . (200


Words)
Food processing levels are quite low in India at 3% when compared to 30-70% in
developed countries and wastage of agri produce is as high as 40%. National Food
Processing Mission was launched to address these problems and create potential for
higher revenues.

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The objectives of the program are:


1. Promote Primary Processing centres close to the farms and link them with
Clusters through hub and spoke models.
2. Facilitate exports of high value products like Cheese, Peanut butter etc and
encourage such facilities through subsidies.
3. Develop food processing clusters, FP parks and Agri SEZs; Contract farming,
Warehouses (Cold chains) development were also given an important role by
providing tax rebates.
This scheme has resulted in some positive outcomes like
1. Exports from Agri SEZs have increased over the years.
2. Exports of Meat,Marine products have improved.
3. FP clusters have been established in Kar- Tumkur, AP-Sri city etc.
But the performance of this scheme on the whole has left us much to be desired with.
1. Warehouses, processing facilities have not been developed.
2. In the absence of APMC reforms, contract farming and private procurement is
virtually absent.
3. Record productions of sugarcane, ground nuts, and vegetables were seen but
wastage was higher as export opportunities shrunk.
It has been a sunrise sector in last few years giving employment to lot of youth. It has
provided the link between farmers and industry which in turn increased farmers
income and life style. But being a nascent industry it requires lot of improvement in
processing of fruit and agricultural products which is only 2% in comparison of brazil
and china performing at 40-70%. Value addition to agriculture produce also low at
20%.
NMFM has to be revitalised by taking all adequate steps taking into account all the
shortcomings seen observed over the past 3 years.

1Q. India should move away from end-point control to risk-based


inspection of all food products from farm-to-plate to ensure safety
of every item, including raw ones consumed by people. Elaborate.
(200 Words)
Recently the detection of Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) and lead beyond
permissible standards in the popular fast food Maggi manufactured by the global
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food giant Nestle by the Food Standards and Safety Authority of India has ignited
debate about Food Safety in India.
The Food Standards and Safety act, 2006 provides for end point control, where the
final food product is subject to tests to ensure that is adheres to standards. However,
given the low penetration of processed food in India, it has been suggested that India
should shift to a risk-based inspection of all food products from farm-to-plate. Such a
shift will mean that all components of the food chain come under regulation and
those parts which are at greater risk of contamination would be tested more
frequently.
Food safety is an integral part of Food Security. Hence, it is imperative that we
ensure access to food adhering to certain minimum standards to reduce the risk of
diseases. A large part of the Indian market, where a lot of food is consumed raw and
where food processing is done by many small producers, escapes the regulatory net.
The farm to plate approach is internationally recognised and recommended by the
Codex Alimentarius, which is a collection of international food standards, guidelines
and codes of practice covering all major foods. It will help in better focus on the root
cause of the problem and will also incentivise quality control at all levels of the food
supply chain. It will also ensure that the over worked Indian laboratories can better
manage their work while at the same time ensuring better coverage. Thus, it is
essential that the country shifts from end-point testing to a risk-based testing in a
farm-to-plate approach.

1Q. Food safety laws in India is said to be one of top challenges


faced by the food processing industry in India. Critically examine
why. (200 Words)
The food processing industry in India is one of the most opportunistic industries
with huge possibilities of growth to make its presence at the global scale. With
around half the population engaged in agricultural activities, it is often termed as the
"sunrise industry" of India. However, the recent issues of food safety pose a serious
challenge to it and are deteriorating its international reputation. The recent issues
like:
1. Residue and contamination: The 90s issue of pesticides in coca-cola, flies in
Alphonso mango export to EU and recent presence of mono sodium glutamate
and lead in Maggi.
2. Onus on manufacturers: Food safety and standards ACT-2006, puts the onus
of such issues on the manufacturer but in many cases they don't have control
on the quality of raw materials supplied to them.

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3. Agricultural shortcomings: small farm holdings and heavy use of fertilizers


and pesticides in production, the level of which is difficult to monitor each and
every produce.
4. Lack of Infrastructure: Many daily use items reserved for small-scale
industries and many manufactured by unorganised sectors, poor
infrastructure to match the international standards.
5. R&D problem: perishable commodities are hoarded, then artificially ripened
such as calcium carbide for bananas and mangoes, preservatives etc. Safe and
healthy innovative methods need of the hour.
6. Lack of coherence: Multiple laws have been enacted in India to ensure food
safety standards. These laws are implemented by various ministries and
departments. However, incoherence and inconsistency creates an
environment of confusion in the food sector
7. Lack of trained manpower: Due to insufficient training and expertise to safety
inspectors has resulted in undue harassment of the industry
8. Missing Global standards: Food safety laws are still not in tune with the global
safety practices and hence our food processing exports face action under the
SPS agreement.
These problems pose a serious challenge to the food processing industry:
1. International competition & advantage to developed countries: mechanized
farming, international standard of food safety properly followed in developed
countries. Indian food exports don't stand a chance against these products.
2. WTO restrictions: sanitary and phyto-sanitary measures of WTO checks the
safety measures and recently Indian mango and some other food product
exports to EU were banned under these SPS measures.
3. Negative externalities: Such restrictions on an international level send a very
negative signal and deteriorate the overall reputation of Indian exports.
Though there are challenges at the global level but these needs to be tackled by
indigenous R&D to develop technologies to minimize post harvest losses and prevent
accumulation of chemicals in the food supply chain. Recent steps such as FSSA act2006, mega food parks, setting up of food processing labs and broad media coverage
certainly boosts the confidence of stakeholders and adding to this, financial crunch
management and appropriate investment in this industry would be a welcome step.
Enactment of the Food Safety Act and the constitution of Agriculture and Processed
Foods Export Development Authority (APEDA), however there is still a huge scope of
improvement
[Additional information:
1. Contamination of mustard oil with argemone oil in 1998 and contamination of
imported milk and infant formula with melamine in 2008 are among the few
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events that raised food safety concerns among consumers and policymakers in
the region and globally.
2. Some countries have taken novel initiatives like mobile food courts in
bangladesh, the establishment of a food standard and safety authority in india
and certification of street food vendors with a "clean food, good taste" logo in
Thailand
3. In 2015, world heath day theme focuses on food safety. ]

1Q. Critically comment on the objectives of governments Mega


Food Park scheme and the progress made so far in establishing
them. (200 Words)
With the aim to give boost to the food processing industry in the country Mega Food
Park Scheme was launched in 2008.MFPS is based on cluster approach where a
number of FPI would be available at a single point. It is based on hub and spokes
model and includes Farm collection centre, primary processing centre and central
processing centre. They provide facilities like grading, sorting, pulping, cold storage,
warehousing, value addition etc. Thus it increases the shelf life of the farm produce
and at the same time reduce wastage.
However, since the launch of the scheme only 4 parks are operational and the
scheme is facing certain constraints like:
1. Most parks would need 30 to 50 acres of land - difficult to acquire without the
active support of state governments, which are often found wanting
2. Securing bank finance and getting other necessary approvals are also
problematic in the absence of facilities for single-window clearance
3. It is not easy to get the right kind of tenants or co-partners, basically
processors and ancillary players, for these projects
4. Typically, a mega food park should have 30 to 35 units, including service
providers, which are often difficult to put together.
5. The availability of farm produce suitable for processing in mechanised units is
another limiting factor, given that most of the traditionally grown fruits and
vegetables are normally meant for direct consumption. This would require
introduction of new seeds in the raw material catchment areas and adoption
of contract farming which is often unsuccessful without government
endorsement.
6. Basic necessities, such as uninterrupted supply of power, gas and clean water,
are not guaranteed for many of the proposed food parks.

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7. The idea of shared infrastructure, which may prima facie appear sound, does
not always appeal to the prospective entrepreneurs as the needs of different
units vary, requiring specialised facilities. The service providers, too, are
usually unwilling to set up the required facilities unless they are assured of
sufficient year-round business.
Agro processing is having huge potential to raise non farm income of farmer. As
more than half of population is dependent on Agriculture Govt should pursue this
scheme more vociferously to bring technology, investment into this sector. It will act
as Sun rise industry for economy as a whole providing raw material and food security
and earning For Ex etc

Topic: Different types of irrigation and irrigation systems


1Q. It is argued that at this moment what India needs to sustainable

solar irrigation program. Examine why and elaborate. (200 Words)


A solar irrigation program may prove to be a gamechanger for the following reasons
1. Broadbasing irrigation-Currently only 45% of India's net sown area is
irrigated. As the cost of electricity generation from solar panels is falling solar
panels can be used by small farmers too.
2. Mitigating climate change- Replacing the 9 million diesel pumps with solar
will help reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 25 MT. Crude oil imports needed
to produce diesel, will also fall.
3. Solar energy target- The government aims to generate 100 GW of solar power
by 2020. If farmers using solar pumps sign power purchase agreements then
this target can be met. Farmers can sell surplus soar power to the States.
4. Skill development- India lacks skilled manpower to install 100 GW of solar
power. Presently it can only handle 2000 MW.The Skill India initiative will
help greatly in this regard.
5. Integration with the grid-Solar pumps require huge subsidies by the
government of 60% or more on total cost. Solar pumps can be integrated with
microgrids, which will additionally provide power for household consumption.
Private players will encouraged to invest since there will always be demand for
power for irrigation.
6. Countering groundwater depletion - Solar pumps can be monitored to ensure
that farmers do not extract groundwater beyond a sustainable limit.
Solar irrigation can spread irrigation to large parts of the country, while dovetailing
with the 'make in India' and solar mission schemes. To make it sustainable, it must
be viewed as a component of rural electrification via solar microgrids.

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1Q. Is there scope for India to add unirrigated millions of hectares

of land to irrigated land without building new dams? Critically


discuss how. (200 Words)
Dams are a major source of water for irrigation in India. However due to economic,
social as well as ecological burden, alternative sources of irrigation are being
emphasised upon. These can be:
Canals: Canals are built to divert flow of river water into desired area for the
purposes of irrigation. These are quite beneficial for agriculture especially in north
Indian states as the rivers in this area are perennial. However they require periodic
maintenance which may be expensive. For example, Indira Gandhi canal on river
Ganga has provided most parts of Rajasthan with sufficient supply of water for
irrigation.
Tanks: Tanks are built to store water for future use. These are built especially in
southern states as the rivers in this area are seasonal. Mission Kakatiya of Telangana
emphasises on building tanks across the state.
Bamboo irrigation system: It is used in hilly areas of north eastern states especially
Meghalaya. A network of bamboo is created across the sloppy surface of hills. Out of
the holes made in bamboos, water trickles down to the surface.
Therefore alternatives are available for dams, though dams are a more efficient
source of water for irrigation and moreover can serve purposes other than irrigation.
Therefore, decision to make use of which system of irrigation must be based on
physiography of the region, financial viability and administrative convenience of the
project.

1Q. Write a note the objectives and the importance of newly


launched Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana(PMKSY) for
Indian agriculture. (200 Words)
The newly launched Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana(PMKSY) will meet
following
objectives:
1. To increase the area of agricultural lands covered by irrigation and reduce
dependency on monsoon.
2. To improve on farm water use efficiency by adopting water management
techniques adoption of precision-irrigation and other water-saving
technologies to reduce wastage of water.
3. Enhancing recharge of
conservation practices .

aquifers

and

introducing

sustainable

water

Importance of PMKSY:

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1. Will seek to integrate the labor force available under the MNREGA with the
scheme to facilitate the completion of various irrigation projects thus utilising
it to create durable and useful assets which was a long standing problem
facing the MNREGA .
2. Will make a proposed investment of Rs 50000 crores spread over next five
years.
3. Seeks to encourage enthusiatic participation of states and local bodies by
allowing states to draw up a District Irrigation Plan (DIP) and a State
Irrigation Plan ( SIP),thus promoting greater level of vertical cooperation .
4. Aims at bringing ministries like ministry of water, ministry of irrigation,
ministry of rural development, departments, research and financial
institutions engaged in creation/recycling/potential recycling of water under a
common platform .
5. Will put a 3 level strict monitoring mechanism viz. District, State, and
National levels
[Other important information: On one hand there are severely water deficit regions
like parts of Rajasthan, Saurashtra, Vidarbha, Rayalseema etc. that bear brunt of
annual draught, while on the other side there are regions like eastern India and
western Ghats (windward) that are among wettest regions in the world. Key
challenge is to engineer inter basin water transfer. There are some success stories at
regional basis under which water is transferred from one basin to another. For eg.
1. Indira Gandhi canal Transfer of water from Indus basin to deserts of Rajasthan
2. Periyar project Transfer of water from Periyar basin to Vaigai basin
3. Kurnool Cudappah Canal Transfer of water from Krishna basin to Pennar
basin
Similar projects can be replicated elsewhere like in Bihar where monsoon brings
devastating floods annually. Earlier there were talks of ambitions projects like Ganga
Cauvery Link Canal and Garland canal. These aimed at creating massive transfer
systems at pan India level. But these were neither affordable nor practical. So, only
option is region based water transfer.
First target will possibly be mapping of water bodies throughout India. We have 85
large reservoirs with capacity of about 253 billion cubic meters of water. Other
important assets are the ancient ponds in villages. All these can be mapped along
with relief of land through satellite imaging or geo tagging, which can provide useful
inputs for rain water harvesting and watershed development. Swaminathan
committee suggested promoting the farm ponds as are prevalent in south India.
These are small ponds held commonly by 2-3 farmers.]

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Topic: Major crops cropping patterns in various parts of the country,

1Q. With examples discuss the factors that determine cropping


pattern in India. (200 Words)
Crop pattern refers to the proportion of area under different crops at a particular
period of time.
Factors affecting cropping pattern
Geographical Factors:
1. Type of soil e.g black soil in Deccan plateau is good for cotton
2. Type of climate In the summers where temprature is high tropical crops
like- Gaur, bajara while in winter temprate crops like musturd, wheat is
grown.
3. Type of rainfall e.g In the dry regions where the rainfall is scanty
and/uncertain, more dependence on rainfed crops like coarse cereals. Water
logging areas cultivate rice.
4. Type of topography e.g tea is grown on gentle slopes
Economic Factors:
1. Most important in determining the cropping pattern of the country
2. Price and Income Maximisation: Price variations exert an important influence
on acreage shifts. The variation in the inter-crop prices led to shifts in acreage
as between the crops. The maintenance of a stable level of prices for a crop
provides a better incentive to the producer to increase the output than what a
very high level of price does, if there is no uncertainty of this level being
maintained over a number of years.
3. Farm Size: There is a relationship between the farm size and the cropping
pattern. The small farmers are first interested in producing food grain for
their requirements. Small holder therefore devotes relatively small acreage to
cash crops than large holders.
4. Insurance against Risk: The need to minimise the risk of crop failures explains
diversification in a farm
5. Availability of irrigation: Irrigation: irrigation availability led to cultivation of
rice in arid areas of Punjab and Haryana. Lack of irrigation in Bundelkhand
region led to cultivation of coarse cereals more.

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6. labour availability: major reason of tea plantations succeeding in Darjeeling


and not in Himachal Pradesh was availability of labour from Up and Bihar
and not in HP
7. Subsistence farming
Historical factors
1. Plantations introduced by British
2. Tenure Under the crop sharing system, the landlord has a dominant voice in
the choice of the cropping pattern and this helps in the adoption of income
maximising crop adjustments.
Government Policies:
1. The legislative and administrative policies of the government may also affect
the cropping pattern. Food Crops Acts, Land Use Acts, intensive schemes for
paddy, for cotton and oilseeds, subsidies affect the cropping pattern.
2. MSP farmers shifting to wheat, rice
3. Green Revolution skewed cropping pattern in Northern India towards wheat
and rice from coarse cereals and pulses
Social factors
8. Food habits also play a role East and South India prefers rice as staple food
while it is wheat in North India.

1Q. The ICAR has acknowledged that the generally considered ideal
fertiliser ratio of 4:2:1 doesnt hold for all regions of the country.
Examine why and also comment on the present trend followed by
farmers in various parts of the country. (200 Words)
The idea of the NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium) use ratio of 4:2:1 for the
whole country was formed in the 1950s, after fertiliser trials in seven states were
undertaken to improve food production and fertility. It has been realised that there
cannot be a single norm of an ideal nutrient mix valid for the whole country. It varies
from crop to crop and area to area, depending on the nutrient status of the soil and
numerous other factors. Yet, most government publications, including the annual
economic surveys, have been using 4:2:1 as the yardstick for assessing imbalance in
fertiliser application. Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), has now
acknowledged the mistake of treating 4:2:1 as the standard for nutrient application.
However, when judged against the new normative proportion indicated by the ICAR
- 5.2:3:1 - several states are found to err woefully in balanced fertiliser application.
Notable among them are Punjab, West Bengal, Haryana, Gujarat, Bihar, Rajasthan
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and Assam. The report also points out that in Andra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, all the
three plant nutrients are being used in excess of the actual need while in many other
states the fertiliser application is dismally inadequate.
In a state like Rajasthan, for instance, the actual NPK use ratio is as skewed as 25:11:1
whereas ideally it should be 10:5:1 under the prevailing agro-conditions there. most
farmers either take arbitrary decisions about the fertiliser use or are misguided on
this issue. The application of nitrogen (urea) is generally much higher than is
necessary in most cases. The government's ill-advised fertiliser pricing policy,
marked by wide disparity in the prices of urea vis--vis phosphatic and potassic
fertilisers, seems one of the key reasons for this. The lack of soil test-based counsel to
the farmers about the use of nutrients is the other significant factor responsible for
injudicious fertiliser application. there is no move yet to rectify the disparity in the
prices of different fertilisers. While phosphatic and potassic fertilisers have been
decontrolled and brought under the nutrient-based subsidy scheme, the same has
not been done for urea.
The government is now trying to address this menace by issuing soil health cards to
farmers and expanding the network of soil testing laboratories.

1Q. In recent years, farmers in India are switching to other crops

such as oilseeds, soyabean etc from cash crops. Examine why and
analyse the recent trend in cropping pattern. (200 Words)
Indian farming suffers from excess cropping of water-intensive crops like sugarcanes
in dry areas. This is one of reason for agricultural and farm distress. The high
dependency on Monsoon adds to worry.
The recent initiative from government which has emphasized the crop diversification
and climate-appropriate agriculture and cropping are helping the shift from switch to
value added and less water intensive crops:
1. The Soil Health Card: The campaign to provide soil health card with nutrient
information of soil would help the farmers to educate about most viable and
appropriate cropping pattern suiting the climatic conditions in region.
Shortage of infrastructure like soil testing labs is hindrances but its a move in
right direction.
2. Higher MSP increase in Pulses and Oil Seeds: From last two years, the MSP
has tried to address the issues of higher MSP in cereal and lower in Pulses and
oil seed. The recent move to increase pulses MSP by 7% in move towards the
Crop-neutral MSP regime.
3. Erratic monsoon and depleting ground water conditions: This force farmers to
move towards less water intensive crops.

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4. Market Demand: Increasing demand and higher price realization for


Horticulture (flower, vegetables) and Pulses has added to this changing
cropping pattern.
These changing pattern are not national rather regional in character. Some of trends
are
1. The Maize production has increased in regions like Bihar (increased
connectivity, strategic location for export to SE Asia, higher prices)
2. Move towards Vegetables & floriculture in vicinity of urban areas
3. Increased Soya Production in Madhya Pradesh (better linkage to market ,
availability of good quality inputs and suitable climate)
4. Increased acreage under crops other than sugarcane in Maharashtra due to
government efforts of Beyond Sugarcane & Jalyukta Shivar Abhiyan (aimed
at creating decentralised water sources).
Though these are gradual changes, but nevertheless direction of change is good for
farmers, economy and environment.

1Q. Examine how and why farm mechanisation and crop


diversification can help Indian farmers. (200 Words)
The mechanization and crop diversification of farm would help Indian farmers in
following
ways:Benefit of mechanization
1. Reducing the input costs of sowing seeds and planting crops saplings in fields
significantly
2. Reducing the dependence of farmers on labour and reduce their exposure to
the risk of fluctuating labor costs.
3. Quick and timely plantation of crops in the fields and reaping them at the end
of the crop season which would further help in timely selling of farm produces
in the market or to FCI at proper price.
4. Would also help in efficient addition or spray of fertilizers and pesticides in
appropriate amounts so that each portion of the field receive the proper
amount needed .
5. Farming in developed countries is highly mechanized and that's why farm
outputs are high there. Implementation of these techniques in India would
increase productivity significantly, reducing the burden of farmers apart from
increased income.
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Crop diversification:1. Growing crops that need less water would help in tackling the problem of
deficient rainfall.
2. Use of crops that are resistance to the impact of rain would help in dealing
with unseasonal rainfall.
3. Use of pest resistance crops varieties would reduce loss of crops to pest
infections and diseases.
4. Improved varieties of seeds prepared through various techniques would
increase farm productivity also.
5. Help in retaining soil fertility
6. This will help in reducing the usage of fertilizers, reducing input cost and
import bill.
7. If diversified crops are planted. There is a higher chance of proofing the
agriculture produce against 100% crop damage due to adverse climatic
conditions.
8. Improving food and rural income security
9. Crop diversification will improve nutritional security due to availability of
different crops in the diet
10. It will also help in tackling rural indebtness because of less chance of total
failure of the crop.
11. Apart from needing less water, pest resistance and increased yield, these crops
seeds also take less time to grow till they become suitable for harvesting. This
would allow farmers to grow crops a lot of times in one year.

2Q. Examine the reasons for the failure of Indias pulses


production to keep pace with the rise in demand. Suggest what
needs to be done to address this demand supply gap. (200
Words)
Pulses are a major source of protein, especially in vegetarian diets. Not only that,
pulses require less water and fertiliser and also enhance soil fertility through
nitrogen fixation. However, the production of pulses has lagged in relation to its
demands. The reasons for it are as follows
1. In spite of increase in the MSP of pulses, there is lack of interest from farming
community to produce them as there are no proper infrastructural facilities
made available by the government for their procurement at MSP.

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2. Cereals like paddy, wheat are favoured by the farmers because for the same
reason higher returns because of the procurement at MSP by the government
and designated agencies.
3. Another major issue being the productivity, the productivity of pulses is very
low because of the farming practices. Fluctuation in the yields of pulses is also
high and is easily susceptible to pests and diseases.
4. Pulses are majorly grown in rainfed areas, wherever there is proper irrigation
facility farmers opt for cultivation of wheat and paddy.
5. Government hasn't laid much stress on the research and technological
interventions in pulses as in the case of cash crops.
6. Restrictions on export - While India is the largest producer of pulses, its own
consumption is very high and hence, it is a net importer. Thus, the
government has placed many restrictions on trade in pulses. Even though, the
international prices for pulses are very high, the farmers cannot take
advantage of the fact.
Steps to address the demand-supply gap:
1. Providing proper infrastructural facilities for agencies like NAFED for
procurement of pulses from farmers at MSP, this might increase production
of pulses because of higher returns.
2. Short duration and pest-resistant pulses are needed to be developed.
3. Advantages of cultivating pulses like nitrogen fixation, increase in soil
fertility, lower cost of production should be promoted by government through
KVKs and other mechanisms.
4. Pulses are needed to promoted in the form of mixed crop with traditional
crops and as a second crop.

1Q. Write a note on the cropping pattern of pulses in India. Examine

why its prices in India are increasing and what needs to be done to
control its price and make it affordable to poor. (200 Words)
Pulses constitutes the main protein element of Indian diet and its of great
importance it is grown both in Kharif (mung, urad) and Rabi (Gram). Most of the
pulses are grown in drier regions of Western and central India as the climate their
supports pulses.
Recently pulses have seen high inflation owing to several reasons:
1. Reduction in supply as wheat and rice which have better MSP (Minimum
support price).
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2. Low productivity of pulses which creates less incentives for farmers to grow
pulses.
3. El nino and western disturbances are also responsible for less productivity
hence price increase.
4. Lack of irrigation in pulses growing areas which are mostly dry or semi arid
regions and makes crop vulnerable to failure.
5. Growing demand due to higher living standards which is specially manifested
in the form of protein inflation.
It is of utmost importance to control the prices of pulses so that it remain accessible
even to poor. For that
1. We need to import pulses in short term to ease prices.
2. Promote high yielding variety of pulses among farmers to improve
productivity
3. Extend NFSA to cover pulses. This will incentivise farmers to grow more
pulses
4. Rationalize MSP for Pulses in comparison to other crops.
5. Promote irrigation in these areas with innovative ways like watershed
development.
6. Developing culture of mix farming and crop rotation to enhance production of
pulses as well as health of soil.

Topic: Economics of animal rearing

1Q. It is found that there has been a major change in the


composition and mix of the cattle population in India. Discuss
these changes and examine the causes and its implications. (200
Words)
The population of cattle in India has seen a considerable decline over the last two
decades. However, this conceals the differential growth in the number of indigenous
and cross bred varieties as well as males and females in these categories. Although
there are considerable variations in these trends in different states of India , but a
common thread that links all these states is that the population of both indigenous
and cross bred males has declined and the population of cross bred females has
increased with a higher growth rate than indigenous females.
The major cause of decline in the number of males in both the categories is that the
male cattle are considered much less useful and are therefore abandoned as early as
possible. Small landholdings on which farmers do not find it economically prudent to
maintain bullocks, and rich farmers use tractors. With decline of make cattle,

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prospects of reproduction would decline thus affecting cattle population.


The increase in the number of cross bred varieties is due to1. Fragmentation of farm land over the years which doesn't make it financially
viable to afford a cow.
2. Excessive cross breeding to get better milk yields.
3. Decline in grazing grounds due to rapid urbanisation.
4. Decreased utility in agriculture due to shift to cash crops and increasing
mechanisation.
The decrease in the indigenous cattle breed can have many unwanted consequences
which makes it necessary to conserve them as1. Although they provide less milk yield but their milk is highly nutritious.
2. They can survive on agriculture waste products and have a lower feed intake.
3. They can survive in extreme drought conditions and are disease resistant.
4. They provide quality compost manure for many crops.
Thus, the government has taken various initiatives like Gokul Mission, Kamdhenu
Breeding centers etc. in this regard. Hope that they are implemented to the fullest.

1Q. Write a note on the recent trends in the economics of meat


market in India and the challenges facing the sector. (200 Words)
Livestock sector is an important source of livelihood for the poor. Recent trends in
meat market are encouraging.
1. In 2014, India has emerged as worlds third largest exporter of meat.
2. Meat exports have steadily increased since last 5 years
3. Beef is the biggest contributor to our revenues.
While these are encouraging trends, there are several challenges to the meat market:
1. State policies Banning on slaughter in states like Maharashtra will lead to
decline in industry.
2. Quality India fetches less value per kilogram of meat as compared to other
countries. The quality needs to be enhanced by both: Breeding techniques and
encouraging feed-fodder cultivation. Use of antibiotics in poultry is harmful
for human health.
3. Slaughter houses There is lack of organized slaughter houses in the country.
Further, even established slaughter houses are far from modernization and
hygiene. Therefore, the industry is far from potential.
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4. Epidemics Frequently occurring epidemics cause huge losses. Our disease


verification and reporting system is still not satisfactory.
5. Diversity The ecosystem (policies, funding, markets) etc. for other meat
products like goat, sheep and other poultry sector is not well developed as that
for beef.
6. Lack of domestic market due to religious considerations.
India needs to overcome these challenges by increased funding, modernization and
developing a domestic market as well. This industry can be a big support in poverty
alleviation.

1Q. In Karnataka, Canine Research and Information Centre (CRIC)


near Mudhol tehsil has achieved a twin objective of reviving the
pure-bred Mudhol hound while providing a source of additional
income for members of the S.C. and S.T. communities in the
region. Discuss the significance of this achievement and examine if
this model can be adopted for other native breeds of different
animals that can be reared for profit. (200 Words)
The Mudhol hound is one of the most healthy dogs to have around and do not have
any particular health issues attached to it. Their lineage and breeding has made sure
that they can combat the Indian weather conditions. Mudhol hounds have a
reputation of being fiercely loyal to their owners and are excellent hunting dogs. They
are still used by local farmers to hunt wild fowl and rabbit in the scrubby grasslands
that dominate the landscape between lush sugar plantations all over Bagalkot.
Since 90 per cent of the Mudhol hound-owning families in the villages belong to
Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe communities, funds were sought from the
Ministry of Social Welfare to provide a pair of pure-bred puppies each to S.C./S.T.
families that had experience in rearing these dogs. With an average litter size
between 8 and 12 and the prevailing price for one Mudhol pup ranging between Rs.
6,000 and Rs. 8,000, the initial beneficiaries have gained up to Rs. 50,000 each on
selling the litter.
Significance has two purposes- the first is to revive the pure-bred Mudhol hound,
while the second is to encourage alternative animal husbandry practices with a builtin social welfare agenda. Encouraging farmers to rear Mudhol hounds so that their
puppies could be sold to dog lovers, providing them with income with minimal
investment, just as how cows, sheep and goats were traditionally reared by them to
profit from the sale of their young making this model to be adopted to other native
species too.

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1Q. Critically examine Indias current deep-sea fishing policy and


guidelines. (200 Words)
Deep-sea fishing begins at the end of the continental shelf and generally at an
average sea depth of 200m. Expert Committee report headed by B Meenakumari by
defining deep sea fishing as fishing activities beyond 12 nautical miles from the
coastline acknowledging the distance rather than the depth of the sea. It further
recognized fishing vessels of length above 15m as deep sea fishing vessel. This almost
covers all the vessels of the India.
It allows private investment in the deep sea fishing (enterprises with 49 % foreign
equity can now operate in EEZ). This will increase competition and conflict with the
traditional fishers as they use to do fishing beyond Territorial Sea (TS). Further they
would require license for beyond 12 nautical miles. In that case, they would be depart
from fishing in their TS.
To help breeding in monsoon a 60 days moratorium is placed on fishing in coastal
areas from june to july. This has also been objected by fishermen as it will adversely
affect their livelihood.

1Q. Write a note on the problems faced by poultry industry and its
recent growth trends in India. (200 Words)
Poultry is one of the fastest growing segments of the agricultural sector in India
today. However, there are problems being faced by the poultry industry which can be
summed as:1. Regional imbalance of poultry products - Production is not evenly distributed
in the country. More than 60% of broilers are produced in 5 states (Andhra
Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Punjab and West Bengal). This creates
logistic and quality issues related to transport and production. Moreover,
unequal demand of poultry meat and egg, have resulted in unequal growth of
the industry.
2. Recent heat waves in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana region has resulted in
high chicken prices due to killing of birds. Thus, chicken prices have
increased.
3. Avian influenza was another issue which has resulted which has devastating
effect on Indian poultry, and it still continues to haunt the sector due to low
demand and less exports
4. Shortage of raw material is another issue. Price of soybean meal, the major
and only source of protein has increased about 75%, which has forced the feed
manufacturers to comprise in terms of diet given to birds.
5. Shortage of human resources is another problem because of the absence of
veterinarians , researchers ,in areas where expertise knowledge is required.
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6. Indian poultry sector is still unable to tap the benefit of international market.
Lack of adequate cold storage, warehouses is the major factor affecting poultry
sector in India.
7. Majority of the production is by unorganized which is another threat faced by
sector.
8. Increasing antibiotics level in poultry products too are creating long lasting
harmful effects like drug resistance in people. For solving this problem health
ministry and other medical institutions have issued the guidelines for less/no
use of antibiotics for animals.

1Q. Critically comment on the issues related to implementation of


governments new deep-sea fishing policy based on the
recommendations of the Meenakumari committee. (200 Words)
Fishing in india has been a traditional occupation and india has many communities
of fishermen. The 12th FYP also suggested a renewed focus on this sector by
modernization of fishing trawlers, introduction of mother vessels and upgrading cold
storage facilities

Background: Murari committee report in the mid-1990s and the deep-sea fishing
policy of 2004, though meant to revive this sector, actually led to its further decline.
There was a sharp reduction in the number of large fishing vessels operating under
joint ventures as a result of this policy. This left the bulk of the fishing resources of
India's vast exclusive economic zone (EEZ) either unexploited or underexploited.
Also, there is, therefore, little scope for raising fish output in waters up to a depth of
200 metres.

What the repost says and the associated issues:

1. Fishing vessels of length 15 m or more be allowed to operate in EEZ


(between 22 km and 370 km beyond territorial waters) after getting a
letter of permission from the centre. These ships can be owned or
acquired by Indian entrepreneurs or by joint ventures with up to 49 per
cent foreign investment. It can thus help boost deep water fishing.
However, traditional fishermen fear that such fishing ventures will
threaten their livelihood by encroaching into some of the areas, which are
now within their reach.

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2. The report notes that productivity from the coastal zones has either
plateaued or is on the decline due to over-exploitation. There is, therefore,
little scope for raising fish output in waters up to a depth of 200 metres.
However, waters beyond a 500-metre depth are not optimally tapped and,
thus, offer considerable scope for augmenting fish output. This zone
abounds in tuna and tuna-like species, which are in great demand
globally. This could harm the marine ecology.
3. Report notes that Indian fishing industry is ill equipped both in terms if
technology and finance. Thus resources remain untapped. So, it suggested
that the Indian fishing companies should be encouraged to either get hold
of larger and well-equipped fishing ships or form joint ventures with
foreign companies. The inadequacy of Indian fishing activity in the EEZ
has left the field open for poaching by foreign trawlers. This, however,
may come at the cost of livelihood of local fishermen.
4. The panel asks to create a buffer zone between the near-shore and
offshore regions (between 200 metres and 500 metres in depth) to
augment resources in the coastal as well as deep-sea regions. Though it is
still unclear whether the buffer zone will be a "no-go" area or selective
fishing will be allowed, fisher folks generally tend to view it as a denial of
their right to operate in these waters.
Though india needs a blue revolution and modern technology, it should not come
at the cost of livelihood of the traditional fishermen. A more comprehensive
approach including all stakeholders and technological innovation funded by govt is
needed.
Topic: Investment Models

1Q. Write a short note on EPC (engineering, procurement and

construction) model of investment and its merits over PPP model.


(150 Words)
Under an EPC contract, the contractor designs the installation, procures the material
and constructs the project and is paid for it by the government. In some cases, the
contractor carries the risk for the schedule as well as the budget in return for a fixed
price under what is called a lump sum contract, or a lump sum turnkey
contract. PPP is a venture funded and operated through a partnership of
government and one or more private sector companies. It involves a sharing of
financial, technical and operational risk. EPC is being preferred over PPP today
because there are no takers for the PPP model projects among the private sector
companies. The reason for this is as follows:

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1. The economic slowdown has resulted in reduction of the payback capacity of a


project. The financial risk has become too high for the private contractor to
consider it feasible.
2. Land acquisitions and governmental clearances take way too long. In a PPP,
obtaining clearance is in the scope of the private party whereas in the EPC, it
is in government scope
3. In EPC, Project can be completed at a predetermined cost and schedule.
Hence the price and date of delivery is guaranteed before start of project. This
will do away with the kind of delays we face today.
4. The level of performance expected is specified and guaranteed for in the start
of the project itself.
5. The contractor would get a higher level of flexibility in his working.

1Q. The previous version of public-private partnership (PPP) has

been hailed both as huge success and failure. In order to revive this
investment model and make it successful again, what needs to be
done? Discuss. (200 Words)
PPP has had its share of success and failures. The huge infrastructure projects across
the country are testament to their success whereas the large number of stalled
projects are proof of their failure.
Steps for revival:
1. PPP needs to be transformed into FPTP I.e first public than private. Public
investment upfront during the high risk period and then private investment
during the low risk period
2. Need to develop our corporate bond market for long term financing.
3. Recapitalisation of PSBs with stringent measure to ensure the folly of NPAs
doesn't return.
4. Indian economic diplomacy of attracting foreign investment presently is in the
right direction and should be followed by ensuring "ease of doing business".
Diversifying source of funding, from banks to other source such as pension
and insurance funds, mutual bonds and share market, liberalising FII and FDI
norms for accessing foreign cash and grants from WB, ADB, AIIB, NDB etc.
5. Plug & Play Model: bidding post approval of all required clearances fro the
concerned union & state ministries.
6. To cater to dynamic needs of the infrastructure projects setting up hassle free
institutional mechanism like Renegotiation Commission.
7. A system of rating of private partners should be undertaken by the regulatory
authority which would be of immense help in future contracting.

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Technology

Topic: Science and Technology- developments and their applications


and effects in everyday life

1Q. Recently the Union Cabinet cleared guidelines for spectrum sharing.
What are the objectives of these guidelines? Do you think they would
solve some of the pressing problems faced by consumers of
telecommunications services? Critically examine. (200 Words)
In India, spectrum is divided among operators in small and fragmented manner.
Spectrum sharing will allow telecom companies to pool their spectrum holdings,
leading to improved spectral efficiency. Sharing can also provide operators additional
capacities in places where there is network congestion. For consumers, this is likely
to lead to better quality of services fewer call drops and faster data speeds.
The regulator also recommended allowing the trading of spectrum. As of now, only
government is allowed to allocate spectrum to telecom firms through auctions. It will
enable telecom companies, who have a lower subscriber base or un-utilised
spectrum, to trade or share it. This move would be a boon for the industry, which will
ultimately benefit the end consumer through better services.
But unfortunately, due to many of the restrictions placed, the full potential of
spectrum sharing cannot be made use of. Some of the difficulties are listed below.
1. Smaller players might have some idle spectrum left wasted, because they will
not be able to pay the government the difference of money whenever they
want to share spectrum with a company which has bought spectrum at market
price
2. For all the allocated spectrum to be converted into auctioned spectrum, it will
take a few years and until then there will be a lot of idle spectrum lying around
with all its potential wasted
3. Double taxation - TRAI has stated that all revenue from spectrum trading
should be counted as a company's adjusted gross revenue, on which spectrum
user charge will be levied. This is in effect a massive burden on the spectrum
owner for having to pay twice for the same spectrum.
4. Since the spectrum sharing is so expensive a lot of companies are not exactly
eager to engage in spectrum sharing business as of now. For the consumer,
this means that the problem of dropped calls and slow internet will persist.

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2Q. What do you understand by telemedicine? Examine its


opportunities and recent developments, especially in India. (200
Words)
Telemedicine is the use of telecommunications and information technology to
provide clinincal healthcare at a distance. Opportunities for telemedicine
1. Telemedicine is helpful for people living in rural areas. This is very crucial for
India, since 72% of the population lives in rural areas.
2. Telemedicine helps overcome the shortage of health professionals. India
currently has only 0.7 physicians per 1000 people while China and Russia
have 5 and 1.5 respectively.
3. Telemedicine is a better option while dealing with particularly infectious
diseases like swine flu.
Developments in Telemedicine
1. The Indian government has launched the SEHAT initiative to connect 60,000
common service centers nationwide and provide health care services to
citizens. This will dovetail with the Digital India Initiative.
2. In 2009, KIDROP programme was launched in Karnataka to screen infants
for retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), a leading cause of childhood blindness.
Its success has led to it being replicated in two more States.
Telemedicine is a very useful way for the government to provide affordable
healthcare to all, with the help of private players and NGOs.

3Q. Does the radiation from cellphone towers damage human


health? Discuss. (200 Words)
Radiation can be defined as the transmission energy in the form of waves. Radiation
which emits from Cell phone or cell tower is of Non Ionic in nature which has very
low energy and can induce only thermal effect due to generation of heat. Radiation
from cell phone or cell tower has less penetration power unlike ionic radiations like
UV rays, Gamma rays which can penetrate into the human body and cause health
issues. Exposure to radio frequency fields by mobile phone is 1000 times greater
than mobile tower.
In India Handsets are not allowed to emit radiation more than 1.6 watt/kilo which is
called SAR or specific absorption ratio and India's safety factor is 10 times stiffer
than in 90 per cent countries that follow standards set by the International
Commission on Non-ionising Radiation Protection. However mobile towers does not
damage human health as long as the emission levels is kept under control and are
within the regulations.

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1Q. What do you understand by Call Drop? Why is it caused?

Examine and also discuss its impact on consumers. (200 Words)


Call drop is defined as hanging of call when the talk between two individuals isn't
over or before one of them had hung up. It occurs due to technical problems like
network and connectivity issues. According to TRAI (Telecom regulatory authority of
India) dropped call rate(DCR) below than 3 out of 100 is permissible. But DCR in
some metropolitan is above one in ten. This increases frustration among the
subscribers and tastes there patience.
The reasons of call drops are:
1. Unprecedented growth in subscribers: India now has more than 900 million
mobile subscribers, second highest in the world. The capacity to sustain this
huge number in terms of spectrum and bandwidth allocation has not been
augmented. This result in congestion of the network and hence drop in calls.
2. Towering problems: We have more than 500,00 towers but need another
1,00,000 to be able to provide better signals. Unfortunately the public outcry
against installation of towers in the populated areas has resulted in a difficulty
for the service providers to install more towers.
3. Shortage of spectrum available to the telecom companies in the lower band
width. This is because of large number of players in the telecom market and
reservation of lower band for defense services by the Government. Generally
there are three frequencies in India for GSM, on which the mobile signal
travels. i.e. 900, 1800 and 2100 MHz. 900 and 1800 for 2G and 2100 for 3G.
There is also one technical constrain, lower the frequency, better will be
transmission. In India lower frequency is kept for military purpose, not for
civil.
4. Lesser number of towers than are required for efficient transmission over
longer distances. This is because the telecom companies are reluctant to share
towers and there is no uniform procedure to get permissions for installation of
towers which is to be given by the municipal body of that area.

1Q. Explain the differences between 3G and 4G technologies. It is

argued that in India 3G technology as good as dead. Examine why.


(200 Words)
Differences in 3 G and 4 G
1. High speed of at least 100 Mbites per second in 4G while 3G usually has speed
of 200 kb per sec.
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2. 4G requires new technology phones and new towers supporting 4G technology


while 3 G covers most urban areas of india
3. 4G is basically 4 generation of technology while 3G is third generation
technology.
4. 4G is particularly useful for watching videos , youtube and those who use lot of
internet while 3 G is good for FB, Emails , Whatsapp , Weather, Google maps .
5. 4G is available only on new phones like iPhone 5 , Samsung galaxy 3 etc while
3 G is available on cheap phones too with 2G technology embed ed in it .
6. LTE (long term evolution) , Wimax and HSPA + are some deployments of 4 G
which provide fastest speed .
The reasons 3G technology's importance will only decline in india are :1. Lack of investment :- Telcos investment in 3G is low due to lack of demand for
it. High Central and State Government taxes are also responsible.
2. Spectrum prices :-Spectrum prices in india are very high compared to global
prices. Thus companies prefer to invest in 4G rather than 3G.
3. Price of 3G devices :-3G enabled devices are not priced within the reach of
most. There is a glaring lack of penetration in the rural market. Moreover 3G
services offer poor quality in most parts of India.
4. Spectrum usage :- Previously 2G, 3G or 4G technology could be offered on
separate bands. New rulesallow allservices to be offered on all bands, reducing
investment in 3G.
5. Emergency of other technology :- Wireless based technologies like bluetooth
and Wifi are becomimg very popular due to their good quality.

1Q. Write a note on the science and technology behind desalination

plants, their locations and uses. (200 Words)


Desalination plants are installations that remove minerals from water on a large
scale to provide fresh water. The various types of desalination plants are:
1. Vacuum distillation based-These plants boil water at less than atmospheric
pressure and consequently at comparatively low temperatures. Input energy is
waste heat from industrial processes.
2. Reverse Osmosis based-These plants use membranes to separate salt from
water. They are less energy intensive than plants operating on vacuum
distillation
3. Ion exchange process
4. Membrane process
5. Geothermal desalination
6. Solar desalination

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Among them reverse osmosis (RO) type of membrane desalination process is the
most energy efficient and is prevalent widely. RO uses semi-permeable membrane &
pressure difference to separate salt from water. It produces brine concentrated salt
solution as waste product. Brine, having higher density and concentration, stays in
sea bottom and may cause for ecological concern. Hence it is washed with natural
outlets or outfall of waste water treatment or power plant to reduce the damage.
These plants are generally located near sea coast for raw material supply i.e. salted
sea water and also removal of brine.
Dry countries like Middle East, Australia, deserts like California, island countries like
Maldives, Lakshadweep, coastal cities like Chennai, tuticorin, marine vessels have
more desalination plants than places where ground water is easily available.
These are used to produce fresh water for human and irrigation. In the context of
ground water depletion, lack of rainwater harvesting techniques and climate change,
India is entering into Transfer of Technology(TOT)agreements with countries like
Israel which can be a better prospect for future.
1Q. You are asked by the government of India to propose a model of

digital village to make villages self reliant and self sustainable.


Briefly outline your model and explain what elements would you
incorporate in your model and why. (200 Words)
Digital India in its mere sense was profoundly using Information Communication
Technology for the improving the standards of people living in rural places. It
directly has its influence in employment, reduction In corruption , increase in
Literacy , good infrastructure , grievance addressable etc.
Agenda of digital India was to discourage Migrations of people to urban by providing
all facilities in villages.
Following would constitute DI:1. Having Banks or Atms so that people dont need to travel long distant for
their money withdral (Pension etc.) and implementing Jhan dhan yojana to
end corruption.
2. Having internet so the youth is attached to the world for employment news ,
Innovation Ideas etc.
3. Web hospital so that in mere emergency doctors can assist aganwadis for first
aid and can also have weekly counselling program to mothers and children
with expert doctors far away.
4. Community radio which broad cast Schemes , Weather conditions ,
announcements etc.
5. Use of technology like projectors ,tabs so that students really experience and
enjoy education.
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6. Online Bio-metric attendance to children which sends status to parents cell.


7. An education room with Big Tv which always provide basic education so that
elders be educated when time premits , so that all above can be fully utilized.
8. Online farm counseling rooms to advice using best practice for sustainable
Agri development.
Over all promotion of E-gov can improve administration

2Q. Discuss why solar installations in India is still not a popular


option both in rural and urban households. (200 Words)
Solar energy is seen as the one of the major alternative to the energy generated by the
conventional resources. It is one of a major tool for enhancement of 'Green GDP'.
India is also emphasising on the use of Solar power and has a target to generate
100000 MW of energy by solar power till 2022. But solar power energy is just
contained at the level of the government, in Indian household it is not a popular
option because1. Since equipment of solar energy are very expensive and need a lot of care so
the installation cost for the solar power panel is very high. Along with this
initial cost for generation of power is very high.
2. There is maintenance involved with the solar panel after a particular time and
Indian households don't have expertise in how to maintain them.
3. Generally in India Solar panel are of big size and cover a significant space of
the roof which Indian household don't like.
4. There is no storage facility if a household generates extrapower. He can't sell
to the government as happens in Germany.
5. No effective advertisement by the government- Though at the central level
government is emphasising the solar energy but there is no proper
advertisement from it for installation at the household level.
But since India is committed to reduce its greenhouse gas emission so it have to
enhace its 'Green GDP' and should encourage households to generate solar power by
providing subsidies in the intallation process, providing incentives and purcahsing
extra power.

1Q. Discuss the benefits of Big Data to economic development of a


nation. (200 Words)
Big data is a popular term used to describe the exponential growth and availability of
data both structured & unstructured; it is a combination of structured data such as
bank account numbers & balance as well as unstructured data such as call centre
data,
customer
feedback,
social
media
patterns and emails etc
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such massive volume of data if subjected to thorough analysis can provide valuable
insights
into
customers/beneficiary
behaviour
and
eventually
help
firms/corporations/governments to improve upon their decision making (better
consumer targeting); translating into higher efficiency & productivity.

1. Companies can use Big Data to record their customers' preferences like
timings, likes and dislikes, habits, etc. aprt from their age, location, etc.
This will allow the companies to tailor their products accordingly and offer
customized services. This will bring more satisfaction to the customer and
more brand value to the company. Eg- banks can send sms to a customer
about the nearest atm when the customer is abroad (if they know about
customers plans of travelling abroad)
2. Weather data from various sources & places can be collected and duly
analyzed to bring out better prediction of weather events such as
monsoons, cloud burst; help us adopt precautionary measures to
minimize causalities.
3. Massive data with UIDAI can be used to ensure DBT to prospective
beneficiaries; thus improving governance.
4. Analysis of fund transfer, emails, web accounts can enhance our
preparedness to tackle emergent situations such as rioting & terrorism.
5. Energy consumption data can help us evolve smart grids, be energy smart
and direct power supply to most needed places during acute shortage.
6. Data in the space sciences are collected and possible consequences and
nature of cosmic phenomenon are observed using Big data.
7. In rapid changing environments like stock markets Big data is of greater
help for drawing patterns, graphs, analysis and accuracy.
8. Data on agriculture collected through satellite can be used for insurance
purposes, studying agriculture patterns etc which can be used as inputs to
make agricultural decisions
9. Data of the world can map consumption patterns according to which
industry can adjust production
10. Big data on genes has helped us map DNA and further study of patterns
can unlock huge potential for pharma sector
Big data requires high costs and expertise for running algorithms, so government can
incentivize the Indian IT sector towards capacity building. However it must be
remembered Big Data in itself is not of use unless it is structured and analyzed. There
is a need to build institutional capacity to make use of such data and the same time
enhancing skill of people to provide actionable inputs from such data.

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2Q. Why is LED lamp more efficient than CFL or incandescent


lamps? Also compare their environmental impact. (200 Words)
Light Emitting Diode (LED) bulbs are more efficient than Compact Fluorescent
(CFL) and traditional incandescent bulbs because LED bulbs produce light by
running an arc of electrical current between two electrodes. This method of
generating light is a more efficient than generating light by the heating of tungsten
filaments in incandescent/halogen bulbs and exciting mercury gas by electricity in
CFL bulbs.

This gives LED bulbs following advantages over the other two varieties:

1. They use less power (watts) per unit of light generated.


2. LEDs have a longer lifetime, since they don't have a filament and are solid.
3. LEDs are more robust as they turn on instantly. They are also less
sensitive to temperatures and humidity.
4. In the long run they are less expensive.
5. They have a higher output and lesser heat losses.
These advantages translate into a positive impact of LEDs on the environment:
1. Since they use less power, they have a smaller carbon footprint and result
in lesser greenhouse emission;
2. Because they are long lasting, smaller number of these bulbs go into
landfills;
3. Unlike CFLs, LEDs do not contain mercury or other heavy metals like lead
and cadmium. Therefore, they result in lesser environmental
contamination and less personal exposure of humans to hazardous
material. According, they are a more efficient and environment friendly
choice over CFLs/halogen bulbs.
Topic: Awareness in the fields of space; Achievements of Indians in
science & technology
1Q. Examine the differences between GSLV and PSLV launch

vehicles. It is said that GSLV would become a competitor to PSLV.


Examine why. (200 Words)

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2Q. Do you think the two consecutive successful launch of GSLVMk-II would make ISRO self-reliant space agency? Discuss. (200
Words)
Yes, the consecutive successful launches of the GSLV give a strong indication towards
ISRO's growing self-reliance. However, there are still challenges on its way to realise
complete self reliance.
The GSLV Mk II is for two tonne satellites, where as there is a more important space
for four tonne satellites for which India still does not have the matching capacity
(although the GSLV Mk III is being developed). Managing sustained levels of high
funds is a challenge for ISRO. Though efforts such as the Chandrayaan I and II,
Aditya, the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) are recent highlights, these can be in a way
deemed to be preliminary levels of advanced space technology. We are still not ahead
of the curve in terms of predicting newer uses and innovation for space technology.
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As such, other space faring nations have realised more ambitious goals (such as
manned flights to space by China, the international space station and so on). But the
recent successes of ISRO have assured us of a means to earn foreign exchange as well
as save Indian money, which can give the much needed financial muscle to Indian
space efforts in the coming decades.
True self reliance in every sphere can be realised only if there is a domestic and
indigenous space industry that provides all the required high technology inputs and
is allowed to partner with the top scientific institutions to continuously invest in
R&D and innovations, which can make imports and foreign technology redundant. In
this context, recent initiatives such as 'Make in India', efforts towards a secure and
predictable IPR regime, and allowing the private sector participation in high
technology space efforts of India is welcome.
All these can ensure that ISRO and in turn India can become net exporter of
technology and ensure complete self reliance.

1Q. Discuss the significance of the Satellite Instructional Television

Experiment (SITE) and its association with India. (200 Words)


Satellite Instructional Television Experiment was a result of direct broadcasting
satellite developed by the USA, It enabled application of technology to solve real life
problems
in
a
country
like
India
Its association with India can be traced back to the 1970's whereby Tv sets were
installed for community viewing in schools and Panchayat centres of about 2400
villages. It helped in the following ways:
1. Accessibility: Backward and inaccessible parts of the country was reached
through battery powered TV sets to air programmes on agriculture, health.
2. Participation: Use of local language helped in effective communication.
3. Education: Helped in broadcasting educational programmes and teacher's
training.
4. Innovation: Collaboration of SITE with local community like Kheda
Communications Project aided innovations in communication. Similarly
programmes like Krishi Darshan lead to new agricultural practices.
5. Collaboration: The ISRO brought about scientists, engineers, folk culture
experts ,film makers etc to a single platform to provide for creative
programmes.
The SITE came as a solution to solve ground level problems by optimizing technology
usage and encouraging local level participation for innovative solutions.

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1Q. What path did India choose its after independence to develop

the science and technology field in India? Do you think, compared


to USA, Japan and Other scientifically developed countries, India
chose a wrong path? Critically comment. (200 Words)
Science and research development is still in a nascent stage in our country even after
more than 60 years of independence. The Indian varsities are being criticised for lack
of innovation.
CAUSES FOR RETARDED SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT IN
INDIA:
1. Research is not fully funded by the government.
2. Lack of adequate infrastructure including laboratories,
3. Lack of coordination between research and industry. hence, science and
research is not applied to business and at the same time the researchers are
not able to comprehend the demands of the industry.
These are the results of the path adopted by India for the development of science and
technology post-independence. We focussed mainly on setting up institutions like
IITs and IIMs and confining their focus in academic direction like publications.
Unlikely, the countries like USA, Japan etc went for fully funded research, allowed
private companies to take IPRs on them and developed a synergy between science
and industry.
Despite the above failures, software led exports has provided the much needed boost
to our trade and bears some evidence for the kind of coordination emphasized above.
Personalities like Vikram Sarabhai, Homi Bhabha on whom vast powers were
conferred did justice to their work. Growth of incubation centres and IPRs have
contributed to S&T development. Translation of science into application has to be
done on a priority basis. Science can lead to progress only when applied as a team
1Q. Discuss the contribution of A P J Abdul Kalam to indigenisation

and development of new technology in India. (200 Words)


Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, the 11th President of India was one of the most prominent
figures the country has produced after gaining Independence. His remarkable
achievements can be classified into 3 sectors-1. In Space Research-- Dr. Kalam, during his early career days as developed
India's first indigenous Satellite launch vehicle (SLV-III) capable of sending
the rockets in Space.
2. In Defence--During the 1980s when there were embargoes by developed
countries to stop India acquire Nuclear technology, he came up with his own
solutions to develop India's Nuclear weapons. The Indian Missiles such as
Agni, Prithvi, Nag, Trishul etc. were all the brainchild of Dr. Kalam. He also
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developed various auxiliary devices for Missiles and Rockets enabling them to
carry extended payloads.
3. In Social Welfare-- The technology used by Dr. Kalam in making the Rockets
and Missiles lighter was later utilized by him to develop 'Kalam Raju it is a
coronary stent used in heart surgeries. The economical 'Kalam Raju Tablet'
developed by him for Rural Youth enabled them to progress.
The various achievements of Dr. Kalam in the indigenization and development of
various technologies have resulted not just in strengthening India's muscles in the
field of Space and Defence but also in the strengthening of the Indian Youth making
the India Proud to have him and making him the 'People's Prez'.

1Q. Write a note on the Breakthrough Listen project and its


significance for humans. (200 Words)
'Breakthrough Listen', is another name for 'Search for Extra Terrestrial Life' (SETI)
project started and funded by 'Yuri Milner' of Russia and backed by physicist
Stephen Hawking. It aism at finding out 'Intelligent life' in the universe by listening
to the Radio Signals of more than 100 Galaxies and millions of Star Systems.
Additionally, it will search for their light signals. It is a significant project for humans
in Short and Long term.
In Short term- It will increase Investment in the Space Research leading to
developments in the current technology. It is especially beneficial for India who is
known for it's expertise in space advancement.
In the Long term1. It will help figure out whether life exist in the Universe elsewhere or not.
2. If life exists in universe other than on Earth, then it will give us a focused
approach towards a Galaxy or Solar System in the vast Universe.
3. The existence of another civilization can help us with their technology.
4. It will help us in Predicting Space related uncertainties and may help us in
avoiding a danger on Earth.
5. It may help us finding an Earth like planet where Human Civilization can find
it's second home.
The 'Search for Extra Terrestrial Life' may prove to be one, opening the lock of
thousand doors and therefore should be actively supported.

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2Q. In recent years, there is an increased interest among scientists


in Pluto. Examine why and also discuss how more understanding of
the Pluto helps understanding Earths history. (200 Words)
Pluto was discovered in 1930 and the ninth planet of solar system.But in 2006 it was
declared as a dwarf planet by the international astronomical union.The enhanced
images of Pluto released by NASA New Horizons in Hubble space telescope created
much interest among the scientist to know the similarities between the earth and the
orange
shades
of
dwarf
planet,Pluto.
Evidences or the similarities :
1. pluto's atmosphere comprises of nitrogen,methane and carbon monoxide.Its
atmosphere is 50000 times less dense than the earth's surface.
2. pluto gravity is about 6%of earth's gravity and the surface temperature is 233*c
3. pluto is the place in solar system to study the hydrodynamic escape(rapid loss
of hydrogen)which is the major reason behind our earth being a suitable place
to live in.
4. pluto and the life of earth is the likely the presence of organic compounds
more complex than the frozen methane on Pluto surface and water inside the
dwarf planet. Charon, Styx, nix, Kerberos and hydra are the moons present in
Pluto.It is 40 times farther away from the sun and orbit sun in once every 248
earth years.
5. Several special instruments like spectrometer,infrared camera and detector
are used to depict the exact nature of pluto.
Now the interest towards the exploration of pluto is continued by the scientist of
NASA. Valuable insights about the origin of solar system,planet,satellite systems
can be discovered with the help of data obtained from New Horizon which will
create a rise in scientific fervour all round.

1Q. Write a note on the significance of NASAs New Horizons

Mission. (200 Words)


NASA's New Horizons Mission is the first spacecraft which successfully fly by the
dwarf planet Pluto, for its exploration in the Kuiper Belt along with its moon Charon
and other dwarf planets in the belt.
Its significance:
1. Spacecraft will send the close-up images of the surfaces of the Pluto , Charon
and other dwarf planets in Kuiper Belt.
2. Its first close-up image of the surface revealed that the surface is youngest
ever found in the solar system, of about 100 million years old, false proving
the previous theories that Pluto made up of ice and rock.
3. Proving the volcanoes, rift valleys, fault line shows the presence of active
tectonics.
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4. These images would not only provide geological phenomena of the Pluto
(mineral , oil and natural gas exploration) but also help in understanding the
various new phenomenon that occurs over the Pluto and the Belt.
Now the time has arrived that India must show their successful presence beyond
Mars to mark the self-sufficiency in space exploration and making Indians once
again feel proud.

1Q. Write a note on the working principle of the Prototype Fast

Breeder Reactor (PFBR) and its importance for Indias nuclear


energy program. (200 Words)
Working principle1. The PFBR marks the second stage of India's 3 stage nuclear power
programme. It is a 500MWe reactor, using Mixed oxide fuel reactor
(plutonium - uranium oxide) and liquid sodium as a coolant. It has an
operational life of around 40yrs.
2. Use of liquid sodium creates additional safety requirements as sodium
explodes and burns when come in contact with air. For this, two independent
shut down systems are installed, designed to shut down the reactor within a
second.
3. The power island of this project i being engineered by BHEL.
4. It produces more fissile material than used, to be used later in other thermal
or breeder reactors.
5. It is being prepared at Kalpakaam(Chennai) at Indira Gandhi centre for
atomic Research(IGCAR).
Importance for India's Nuclear energy programme1. For a large country like India, long term energy security based on indigenous
resources is an inevitable need.
2. Will dictate composition of India's energy mix.
3. Will help in increasing India's nuclear capacity in tune with it's need for
power.
4. Will help in reducing India's dependency on foreign states.
5. When successfully commissioned, will signal India's triumphant entry into its
third stage of nuclear power programme.

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1Q. Write a note on ISROs future missions and their significance to


India. (200 Words)
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is one of the leading space agencies
in the world. It has many projects in the pipeline that are critical for the strategic and
economic security of India.
1. Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) - This is a constellation
of 7 satellites which will be used to provide position co-ordinates for India and
the neighbouring environment. This is critical for its military and strategic
uses as those cannot depend on US backed GPS or Russian backed GLONASS
systems.
2. Reusable Satellite Launch Vehicle - This mission will reduce the cost of
delivering satellites into orbit by 1/10th. No other space organisation has such
a system.
3. Cryogenic Engine - ISRO is also in the final stages of testing an indegenous
cryogenic engine. This technology will help India launch payloads of upto 4
tonnes into the geostationary orbit. It will also help India develop Inter
Continental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs).
4. Chandrayaan 2 - After the unprecedented success of Chandrayaan 1, ISRO is
already working on Chandryaan 2 which will be launched in 2017.
5. SAARC Satellite - This was proposed by the Prime Minister, as a means of
fostering scientific co-operation between the SAARC nations. Thus, it will
have a diplomatic pay-off.
6. Aditya satellite to study the sun.
7. India's human space flight programme.
8. Venus and solar systems exploration programmes( still at inception).
Apart from this, ISRO has many other projects in the pipeline. And it can be seen
that ISRO's projects not only expand the frontiers of science but also help to
safeguard the strategic security of India.

2Q. Critically examine the uses of understanding of neutrinos, and


significance of its research for India. Also critically comment why
set-up of neutrino research facility in India is being opposed. (200
Words)
Neutrinos are IInd most widely occurring particle in universe, and found in three
forms (e, mu and tau). It is charge less, thereby enabling it to travel through planets,
stars, rocks, human bodies without any interaction; and this characteristic has
opened new domains for humanity.
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1. Geological: help in detection of oil and mineral deposits (meeting energy


security), unraveling tomography of early geological defects (early warning
system from any seismic activity).
2. Data Transmission: to send data seamlessly without any transmission loss.
3. Medical field: detection of particle traversing human body and detection of
abnormalities (cancer detection)
4. Nuclear-terrorism: can prevent pilferage of nuclear fuels by early detection.
5. Great significance for India, will enable to regain our superiority in neutrino
research, boost science and technology and above all will be a national pride.
However, installation of INO at Bodi West hills region of Theni district attracted
controversies, mainly being
1. Ecological concerns: Risks to buffer zone of Mudumalai, Idukki forests and
nearby animals, risk to Mullaperiyar dam due to rock blasts and its mutagenic
properties. But IISc have clearly mentioned this will not affect nearby forests
as well as careful environmental impact study have been done allaying any
risk
to
dam.
Also,
neutrino
has no mutagenic properties.
2. Accusations of secrecy and lack of transparency (was earlier considered a part
of US Fermi labs project). But it has been cleared that its totally indigenous.
3. Mistake of considering Neutrino as neutron and try to link up with neutron
bomb GOI have cleared this initiative, and in years to come India will be
utilizing and capitalizing on its immense potential.

3Q. Write a note on the significance and applications of


ISROs GAGAN (GPS-aided geo-augmented navigation) system.
(200 Words)
GPS-aided geo-augmented navigation (GAGAN) system was developed as a joint
venture between ISRO and the Airports Authority of India. GAGAN would provide
position to airplanes in the Indian airspace with an accuracy of 3 m. This would help
improve the safety of the airplanes especially in difficult weather or terrain.
The applications of GAGAN are numerous 1. It will be used for Flight Management Services (FMS) and will help the
airlines save money by managing climb, descent and engine performance
profiles.
2. Increase safety by providing an accuracy of ~3m, and hence helpful for
landing in tough weather and terrain such as Mangalore and Leh.

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3. Karnataka Forest department used GAGAN to create a database of its


forestlands which is publicly available.
4. GAGAN is also proposed to be used by the Railways to ensure safety at
unmanned level crossings and provide track alignment data by identifying
tracks under stress.
5. The experience of developing GAGAN was useful in developing the IRNSS
system.
6. Help in study of ionospheric behaviour over Indian region.

4Q. Write a note on the European Space Agencys (ESA) Philae


Mission and its significance. (200 Words)
Philae is a robotic European space agency lander that accompanied the rosetta
spacecraft until it landed on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko more than 10
years aftr departing from earth. Philaes mission was to land successfully on the
surface of a comet, attach itself and send back data about the comets composition,
launched in 2004 on an Ariane 5G+ rocket along with rosetta spacecraft.
The scientific goal of the mission focuses on elemental, isotopic, molecular and
mineralogical composition of the cometary material, the characterization of the
physical properties of the surface and sub surface, the large scale structure and the
magnetic and plasma environments of the nucleus.
The significance of the mission lies in the following facts 1. The comet is believed to be one of the oldest comets, dating from the
beginning of the solar system. Hence, it will act as a time capsule of the
conditions at that time.
2. The mission acts as a technology demonstrator. The insights from the mission
will help plan inter-planetary missions, missions to other comets, asteroids
etc.
3. Such missions could also pave the way for commercial mining of asteroids,
many of which are believed to have several rare elements.
4. The knowledge gained from the mission would help us better understand the
evolution of the solar system.

Topic: Awareness in the fields of bio-technology

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1Q. What do you understand by DNA Profiling? Critically examine

the concerns raised against Indias DNA profiling Bill and comment
if they are valid. (200 Words)
DNA profiling is a technique which is used to identify individuals by the
characteristics of their DNA. A DNA profile is a small set of DNA sequences that are
likely to be different in the unrelated individuals.So, this profile is used for
identification of related individuals.This can help in verification of missing persons
and unidentified bodies, investigation of crimes,maintaining database of convicts
and research work.
But In light of the DNA profiling bill, several concerns are expressed
1. Very private information can be collected and misused.
2. As it is a cumbersome process, it will further slow down the justice delivery in
India.
3. Errors in testing can result in false convictions and punishments.
4. It also has a controversial clause of taking samples from intimate parts of
living persons.
5. The clause relating to pedigree may lead to racial and communal profiling.
6. The scope of the bill is too wide as it has allowed the use of DNA data even in
civil cases like abortion, paternity disputes etc will make the database to be
too large to be of any use.
Although this technique is being used in western countries successfully and also
there is a provision of penalty for misuse of data in the current bill , but the bill
already provides so many overreaching powers to the authorities. Thus, the above
concerns are genuine and the bill should provide for adequate safeguards to address
the above issues.

1Q. Write a note on the meaning and applications of Synthetic


Biology.Also examine the ethical issues involved in its application.
(200 Words)
Synthetic biology is a recent branch of biology whose principles are used to design
and construct biological parts, devices and systems, and also to redesign natural
organisms
to
meet
useful
purposes.
Synthetic biology is having applications in:
Human application in medicine

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1. Novel drugs and antibiotics, vaccines: to tackle antibiotic resistant microorganisms, increase efficacy, decrease side effects. For example: Hybridoma
technology for rituximab (anti CD 20) for Rheumatoid arthritis, Hepatitis B
vaccine. (rDNA technology)
2. Ligand targeted delivery systems: to treat certain cancerous tumours
3. Role in genetic and degenerative diseases, such as Alzheimers, Parkinsonism,
etc. For example, three parent gamete fusion to remove mitochondrial
diseases, stem cell therapy for pancreatic islet cells (diabetes mellitus)
Food security: pesticide resistant varieties (Bt cotton), high yielding varieties, protein
or mineral enriched cereals, single cell protein, delay in rotting with better quality
and colour. These can enable to meet demands of rapid growing population and
decreasing farmland and environmental risk concerns.
However, just like another face of coin, this technology possesses certain risks with
ethical issues. For Ex.
1. Toxicity and allergens: allergenic properties of donor can be transferred to
recipient.
2. Affecting genetic diversity and ecological balance: being exotic species can
wipe out native species, leading loss to significant genetic pool and new risks
of novel viruses and bacteria due to horizontal gene transfer.
3. These transgenic genes can jump over to cause new diseases or unknown
cancerous conditions.
4. Most important of all Bioterrorism/ biological weapons, as earlier done by
using anthrax and botulism toxin.

1Q. Are antibiotics completely safe for humans? Discuss. (200

Words)
Antibiotics are medicines used to treat various types of bacterial infections or
diseases caused.They work in different way over bacteria like destroying the cell wall
of bacteria or stop the mechanism of multiplying the bacteria.
Reasons in favour of using it are:1. They are relatively save because they target processes required for microbial
life and leave the rest of our cell alone.
2. They are used in food preservatives.
3. They are used in treating infectious diseases in animal.
4. They also used to control bacteria and fungi that damage fruit and grain.
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5. Small amount of antibiotics are added to livestock to stimulate the animal


growth.
Reasons against using it are:1. Untargeted destruction of both 'good' and 'bad' bacteria.
2. With regular exposure to antibiotics, bacteria develop self resistance to fight
against antibiotics.
3. Antibiotics if given to child lead to effects on childs microbial development
and later lead to obesity.
4. It disturbs the normal pattern of bacteria like bifidobacterium which plays
crucial role in immune system of child.
5. They target our entire microbiome.
6. They became less and less effective with more amd more intake.
With the use of technological test such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR) panels
are helpful in finding the infection related to whether infection are cause due to virus
or bacteria.According to necessity treatment can be done.besides having both pros
and cons, antibiotics should be used in extreme cases or danger having our
body.Merely using, it won't pay actual benefit.

1Q. Write a critical note on the origin and sources of Middle East

Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus, or MERS-CoV and its threat to


humans. (200 Words)
No proved data, but so far research suggests that MERS(Middle East Respiratory
Syndrome) coming from camels during spring season when they nurse their young
calf. It is mostly occuring in Saudi Arabia and Jordan area which are dry season
Risky for people with underlying health conditions and pulmonary and vestibular
diseases.
For the first time the disease is exported to non-Middle east nations like South Korea
and China because non-compliance of restricting the affected person from travelling
abroad.
People dies because of illness of vital organ like kidney failure and often pneumonia.
There are threats that, such communicable disease may spread because of mass
influx of people in Mecca(Saudi Arabia) for holy pilgrimage. The virus is also most
dangerous to people having underlying health problems or pregnant ladies. The virus

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also does not transmit very easily amongst humans. Most of the victims have either
been health care workers or family members in close contact with infected people.
MERS-CoV turned up in three-quarters of samples taken from camels across Saudi
Arabia, according to a study published in early 2014. Camel herders and people who
visited a camel farm or consumed unpasteurized camel milk have been among those
infected. The virus has also been found in bats, suggesting that they may be a natural
reservoir.

1Q. Write a note on the science and methodology of Indias Revised

National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP). (200 Words)


Revised National Tuberculosis Control Program is the state-run tuberculosis control
initiative of the Government of India. RNTCP incorporates the principles of directly
observed treatment-shortcourse (DOTS). DOTS is a systematic strategy which has
five components
1. Political and administrative commitment: Since TB can be cured and the
epidemic reversed, it warrants the topmost priority, which has been accorded
by the Government of India.
2. Good quality diagnosis: Good quality microscopy allows health workers to see
the tubercle bacilli and diagnose properly.
3. Good quality drugs: An uninterrupted supply of good quality anti-TB drugs
must be available. RNTCP provides a box of medication for the entire
treatment for every person registered.
4. Supervised treatment to ensure the right treatment: The RNTCP uses the best
anti-TB medications available in a right way.
5. Systematic monitoring and accountability: Standard recording and reporting
system, and the technique of cohort analyses are used to keep an account of
every person treated.
The second phase on RNTCP which includes DOTS expansion and enhancement,
addressing TB-HIV, MDR-TB and other challenges, contribution to health system
strengthening, involvement of all health care providers, engaging people with TB,
and affected communities and involving in research have strengthened the program
and have contributed towards eradication of TB.
The program thus provides, free of cost, quality anti-tubercular drugs across the
country through the numerous Primary Health Centres and the growing number of
private-sector DOTS-providers and thus benefiting the common man.
Topic: Achievements of Indians in science & technology;

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1Q. Budgetary cuts, failure to make appointments in time, and

political interference in the past year have affected all aspects of


science development in the country and lowered the morale of the
scientific community. Critically comment. (200 Words)
Science & technology is a critical facility for any country to transit to a developed
state. It has been a priority, for our country, since independence, however for the
past few years the sector has faced significant challenges:
1. Budgetary cuts -- The sector has seen consistent decline in plan allocations
especially since the Twelfth Plan. This has stalled various critical research
projects, as well as capacity building efforts.
2. Fund flow is another issue. Budgetary allocations are often delayed due to
systemic hurdles. This delays procurement process, thus hampering research.
3. Politico-bureaucratic interference -- In recent years institutional autonomy
has been breached by undue political interference in matters of appointment,
policy-making etc. Appointing bureaucrats to important decision making
posts distorts synergy.
4. Delay in appointments -- In the past one year there has been consistent delay
in appointing heads to critical research organisations. Several CSIR labs
remain headless.
5. Research stipends have been another important issue. Several scholars have
protested & demanded an increase in remuneration. However their demands
remain unfulfilled. This would discourage students from pursuing research &
lower
the
morale
of
existing
scholars.
These issues have caused major hurdles in the development of science & technology
in the country. Nonetheless the current government seems determined to turn
around this situation. Science is the edifice of a prosperous nation & it must be given
its rightful share.
1Q. Critically examine Indias achievement in the indigenisation in

the production of defence products. (200 Words)


India is among world largest importers, this fact clearly shows that we lack in
meeting
demand of our defence forces. Out indigenous efforts have shown results but there is
a lot of cost escalation and breach of time-limit one after another. This is evident
from the facts:
1. Tejas aircraft had taken more than 2 decades and 20,000 crore rupees.
Even after the completion armed forces were not ready to induct these
aircrafts but as a result of negotiation between forces, DRDO and government
the aircraft is given 1st level clearance now. DRDO is not able to develop its
indigenous Kaveri engine due to restricted access to high-end defence
technology by countries such as USA, JAPAN etc.
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2. Arjun Tank project was sanctioned in late 1970s, it was rolled out for trial in
few years back. Even after all these years it is said to be too heavy to use in
actual war operations. Now DRDO is working on using composites to reduce
the weight.
3. First indigenous nuclear submarine (arihanth) was developed in
associated with BARC by DRDO. But it has insufficient fuel inventor because
of which it cannot go for long deployment and further improvements are
necessary.
4. India has co-developed BrahMos missile with Russia. It is one of the best in
its class and air, land and water variants are under development.
5. AGNI V has given India the status of ICBM holder country in 2013 though
the project on integrated guided missile development was started in 1983.
This along with dhanush, nirbhaya, prithvi, akash missiles has improved
our deterrence.
6. India's first indigenous Aircraft carrier INS Vikrant is to be undocked
for sea trials.
Future measures:
1. Improve expenditure on higher education to improve the quality of scientists.
2. Improve public R&D expenditure in defence sector and encouraging private
players to contribute.
3. Encouraging private and foreign investment in defence sector. Pruning of
licence requirements for 50% of the products on the list is a welcome
step. DPP-2013 has already introduced the policy of parity between DPSEs
and private players.
4. ToT is the key here, foreign players are not willing to transfer high-end
technologies, and creative incentives are needed to put in place for this
purpose
5. Providing guarantee of purchase is important for motivating this sector. A
comprehensive defence production policy is needed that can clarify the
important issues.

1Q. Critically examine Indias achievement in the indigenisation in

the production of defence products. (200 Words)


India is among world largest importers, this fact clearly shows that we lack in
meeting
demand of our defence forces. Out indigenous efforts have shown results but there is
a lot of cost escalation and breach of time-limit one after another. This is evident
from the facts:
7. Tejas aircraft had taken more than 2 decades and 20,000 crore rupees.
Even after the completion armed forces were not ready to induct these
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aircrafts but as a result of negotiation between forces, DRDO and government


the aircraft is given 1st level clearance now. DRDO is not able to develop its
indigenous Kaveri engine due to restricted access to high-end defence
technology by countries such as USA, JAPAN etc.
8. Arjun Tank project was sanctioned in late 1970s, it was rolled out for trial in
few years back. Even after all these years it is said to be too heavy to use in
actual war operations. Now DRDO is working on using composites to reduce
the weight.
9. First indigenous nuclear submarine (arihanth) was developed in
associated with BARC by DRDO. But it has insufficient fuel inventor because
of which it cannot go for long deployment and further improvements are
necessary.
10. India has co-developed BrahMos missile with Russia. It is one of the best in
its class and air, land and water variants are under development.
11. AGNI V has given India the status of ICBM holder country in 2013 though
the project on integrated guided missile development was started in 1983.
This along with dhanush, nirbhaya, prithvi, akash missiles has improved
our deterrence.
12. India's first indigenous Aircraft carrier INS Vikrant is to be undocked
for sea trials.
Future measures:
6. Improve expenditure on higher education to improve the quality of scientists.
7. Improve public R&D expenditure in defence sector and encouraging private
players to contribute.
8. Encouraging private and foreign investment in defence sector. Pruning of
licence requirements for 50% of the products on the list is a welcome
step. DPP-2013 has already introduced the policy of parity between DPSEs
and private players.
9. ToT is the key here, foreign players are not willing to transfer high-end
technologies, and creative incentives are needed to put in place for this
purpose
10. Providing guarantee of purchase is important for motivating this sector. A
comprehensive defence production policy is needed that can clarify the
important issues.

1Q. Write a note on Indias Astrosat. (150 Words)


Astrosat is India's first space observatory, which is to launched in October this year.
The main features of the Astrosat are
1. It is 1,650 kg spacecraft, which will orbit earth at 650 km and study distant
celestial bodies including - stars, galaxies, black holes and other cosmic
objects.
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2. It will carry four X-ray payloads, one UV telescope and a charge particle
monitor, which will allow it perform observations in ultraviolet (UV), optical,
low and high energy X-ray wavebands at the same time.
The launch of the spacecraft will be especially beneficial for the Indian astronomical
community, as it will reduce the community's dependence on data from external
sources like the Hubble. The launch will also make India a member of the exclusive
space club of countries with space observatories, which currently includes - U.S.,
Europe, Russia and Japan As with the launch of MOM, the scheduled launch of
Astrosat has yet again proved to the world, India's space capabilities.

Topic: Awareness in the fields of IT, Computers

1Q. What do you understand by Digital Amnesia? Examine its


causes and consequences. (200 Words)
Amnesia literally means 'Without Memory' and is caused by Brain damage, disease
or Phychological disorder. Digital Amnesia is the losing of memory with the
advancement of technology.
Causes:
1. The storage of information in the mobile phones, tablets, computers etc.
increased the Human dependence on them and decreased the use of memory
in remembering the facts. Examples-Contact details, book names etc.
2. The Cloud computing and saving of information on Google etc. has resulted in
the access of information from anywhere in the world. The applications for
information saving too have caused the Humans to over rely on technology
leading to Amnesia by Technological use.
3. Technological advancements and availability of portable devices like
smartphones, pendrives.
4. Unlimited storage capacity offered which is quite higher than the human brain
capacity.
Consequences:
1. The newly emerged disease will result in the lowering of retaining and
recalling memory as Humans will be using it less for such purpose.
2. It will create over dependence on technology leading to a world where
technology will be required to survive and live in the world as we need food.

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3. The Security threat to Digital devices or cyber attacks will not only be
hampering the devices but may result in masses becoming bankrupt in
seconds.
4. Due to over dependence on technology in case of no internet or power
connection human mind has lost its spontaneity.
5. Since copy-paste is the new funda developed, a lazy attitude towards writing is
developing.
6. Since majority of examinations in India are written than computerized, the
students also face speed related problems.
With the development of technology, the Human life should improve without any
possible harm. But, over usage of advancing technology is causing the negative
effects. It is time we avert this harm or there may be new diseases becoming part of
our living.

1Q. It is said that though Big Data is the future, India should worry

more about the Dark Data. Elaborate and examine why. (200
Words)
Big data is generated from our day to day activity online. The concerned authroity or
companies gather vast amount of data and try to correlate them or find pattern
according to their need. Dark data here refers to the data about the people living in
village and rural area. Such data are collected by governement during different
census.
From government perspective both big data and dark data are important but
between the two, dark data should be greater priority. We all know that most of the
scheme of government are directed towards the poor people. A large number of such
poor people lives in village where there is no internet penetration. Data related to
their activity and aspiration can only be known from different government census &
survey. This data indicates whether they are getting benefitted from government
schemes or not. What problems they are facing at local level or with bureaucracy? We
also need a proper structure regarding how we collect the data. Sometimes we collect
the data and later we find huge mistakes or anomalies within data. We can definitely
minimise such anomalies via various means and use of technology. In a democracy
it's very important for government to be aware about the issues and aspirations of it's
people. Big data people are vocal enough. We need to know about the people living in
dark parts of our country.

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1Q. What do you understand by Autonomous Weapons? Recently,


prominent scientists and entrepreneurs have called for global ban
on these weapons. Examine why. (200 Words)
Automatic weapons are robotic devices capable of taking their own decision with less
or no human interaction using the technology Artificial Intelligence. As always
science can be both Boon and Bane depending upon the utilization.
Many say Automated robots can be disastrous when used in battle field because:
1. If one country produces these it leads to rate race for weapons by all countries
which is disastrous.
2. Many times decision in battle field is taken on humanitarian sense and since
Robots are predefined so cant comply with world humanitarian law and
military code of conduct.
3. If these are into terrorist hands it can lead to catastrophe.
4. Moral to restrict war due to human loss will be effected which can result in
increase frequency and intensity of armed conflict.
5. Other like if Malfunctioning, if fallen into evil minded, cannot differentiate
civilian and terrorist etc.
There is also an optimism like:
1. Can be used during Natural Disasters, emergency ,Maoist insurgency etc.
2. During internal terrorist attacks and example if was used in Punjab terrorist
attack we could save many police and military officer.

1Q. Recently a report from the Department of Telecommunications

recommended that the voice over internet protocol-based (VoIP)


domestic calling services, including applications such as
WhatsApp, should be brought under licensing. Critically comment
on this recommendation. (200 Words)
Brainstorming over Net Neutrality had brought in a variety of disciplines and angles
which are most important for the future development of communication services.
Increase in the intertwining of telecom and internet services is posing new challenges
as well as advantages to the state and people.
Arguments for regulating the VoIP domestic calling services:
1. Demands by the telecom operators like Airtel, vodafone as VoIP services
displace the level playing field in market there by distorting the revenue
models. Example applications like whatsapp had destroyed the revenue to
operators from sale of SMS packs
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2. The above phenomena may decelerate the investment in telecom


infrastructure in areas like broadband width, speed, quality of service
3. Non regulation may lead to security lapses
4. Increase in congestion within existing bandwidth there degradation in quality
of services as OTT service providers are not concerned with capital investment
Arguments against regulation:
1. Telecom operators make good revenue in the form of data usage and this
bound to increase
2. Increase in smart phones and net connectivity will help to bridge the
communication gap in an effective and less capital intensive manner
3. Regulations may hamper the progress in innovations as this market is in a
growth phase
4. Complexities involved in the whole process like determination of tarrif,
monitoring them. Improper understanding of these services shouldn't result
in haphhazard regulations
Any decision taken by India will have far reaching consequences in setting a future
path for rest of the world and the future of such services.
1Q. Write a note on Tools for Brain-Computer Interaction (Tobi)

project. (200 Words)


Tools for brain computer interaction is a project initiated by European union which
will make the life of disabled people easy and will help in rehabilitation process of
disabled people like who have motor problems. This tobi project have electrodes that
will be given to patient to hold that will then monitor the brain activity without
actually interfering with brain electrical signal and will ten interact with computer
that will in turn send signal of activity to motor control in initiate voluntary
movement like in case of a paralysed limb thus controlling and restoring motor or
muscle activities of such person. This is a non invasive technique and is based on
electroencephalogram technique.
1Q. Recently Google tested its latest version of self-driving car.

Critically examine the technology used in this car, its uses and
concerns expressed on its uses. (200 Words)
Revolution in ICT technologies promises to make driving safer, convenient and
reduce human errors. Mainstreaming of these technologies will take few years but
regulators across the world have to collaborate on making them more reliable.
Working Mechanism:
Human beings use their visual, auditory senses to control the speed, direction of the
car and memory to remember the route. Cameras with 3d-vision capability can
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replace the human vision by detecting, tracking of obstacles on the road. Audio
processing is generally done to detect loud noise or horns. LIDAR (light detection
and ranging) system is used. The range finder mounted on the top is a 64-beam
laser. This laser allows the vehicle to generate a detailed 3D map of its environment.
Proximity, Moisture sensors can detect the environmental conditions and adjust
accordingly. All this data is processed in split seconds of time and given to robotic
control system in the car. This system will then take actions like applying brake or
accelerating etc. GPS signal are used make sure that the car is on the right path. Data
can also be sent to nodal centres for monitoring, diverting traffic.
Though all above are proven technologies, the reliability of the system in the chaos of
urban traffic hasn't been tested. Driving has already been made safer with
technologies like assisted parking, GPS navigation and automatic airbags. So
eventually driverless cars will become a reality.
The main aim of these computer controlled cars is that it can eliminate human error
which is a factor in road deaths due to accidents. Self driving cars could also improve
traffic congestion and transport the elderly and disabled. It will also help in reducing
pollution as these are based on electricity.
Range of concerns like security from hackers, reliability, loss of employment do
remain but these can only be tackled when strict regulatory mechanisms are in place.
It is not designed for a long trip. It lacks airbags and other required safety features,
so it cannot go more than 25 miles per hour. Being electric, it needs to be recharged
after 80 miles. It can drive only in those areas that have been thoroughly mapped by
Google. LIDAR technology can't detect some potholes. They also cant be used when
humans, traffic police, are managing the traffic.

1Q. What are the objectives of internet.org launched recently by


Facebook? Comment on the controversy surrounding its launch.
(200 Words)
Internet.org is an initiative undertaken by internet giant Facebook. Under the said
initiative, Facebook plans to tie up with Reliance Communications to offer the latter's
subscribers free access to a pre-selected bouquet of over three dozen websites
including Facebook, Microsofts Bing search engine, Reliance Astrology and some
content and news sites. The stated objective of Facebook is to make available internet
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to people who dont have it by lowering the cost of accessing internet, thereby raising
awareness of the internet's value.

However, this initiative has come under increasing criticism because of the following
reasons:

1. This initiative is violative of the principle of net neutrality, according to


which all traffic on the Internet must be treated equally by internet service
providers. The internet.org initiative by providing a limited websites,
which include Facebook as the centrepiece, omits a huge part of the
internet.
2. In addition to this, the other issue relates to the fact that all participants in
internet.org are all players with commercial intent. Therefore, by this
initiative, they bag a competitive advantage over the others.
3. Further, this initiative undermines an user's autonomy to choose what
website he/she wishes to access as Facebook makes the choice without
consulting the user.
While countries such as Chile and Slovenia have banned such zero-rating schemes,
many European countries are considering the same. In this light, India must also
make an objective assessment of the advantages and disadvantages of such initiatives
and bring in appropriate legislation on the issue of net neutrality.

2Q. Internet apps such as Skype and Whatsapp are under attack for
providing free service of internet-based calls and media exchange.
Examine the merits and demerits of such services and
discuss if these free services should be regulated. (200 Words)
Merits

1. Innovation is the root of scientific development. These apps are the expression
of technological innovativeness.
2. Such apps have increased the connectivity among people, while redefining
ways of doing business
3. Whatsapp is being used by police depts now, where people can report a crime
without actually visiting the police station and ask for help
4. It has strengthened the social fabric, where relatives living far away can talk
regularly, without worrying about call rates
5. They have immense contribution to education; medical field through distance
use and learning.
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6. Can also be used by the government to spread/raise awareness among the


populace
7. e-Commerce, has been game changer especially for MSMEs and Traditional
products who can market and sell their products to a wider
Demerits:

1. There have been several incidents where militants are being recruited through
such social networks. Has made committing crimes easy especially transnational, because its very tough to track down the origin of Criminals.
2. The uploaded pictures can also used unethically by some anti social elements
3. They might be quick medium of spreading rumours and communal violence.
4. They are eroding the revenue base of ISP companies. SMS has virtually came
to a halt by the advent of whatsapp.
5. They provide the platform for which OTT service providers dont pay and reap
benefits. OTT companies have grown far bigger than cellular companies like
the giant Google itself.
6. These are highly sensitive to network quality and congestion which can impact
the continuity of calls at times
7. Further they do not work in the absence of power supply which can be a great
disadvantage for rural areas.
However, it may be noted that technology is essentially value-neutral and can be
either used or abused. The onus is completely on us to use it to its fullest extent and
deter its misuse. A regulation on these services will only impede the revolutionary
potential of these services. It may also open these services to further regulation and
susceptible to subversion by Corporates and other vested interests. These services are
Global-commons and shall be treated as such. Meanwhile, legislation should be
enacted to deter their misuse.
1Q. Considering Indias large working population and its ambition

to become factory of the world, do you think India should


encourage usage of robots in its manufacturing industries?
Critically comment. (200 Words)
In the 21st century world, the reliance of technology is much more than ever.
Therefore, artificial intelligence can be employed to help with the growth of the
country. This can best be manifested in the manufacturing sector and its advantages
are:
1. It eliminates human prejudices and all other socio-psychological factors at
workplace which can hamper productivity & efficiency.
2. Only maintenance costs are involved mostly and no need for expenditure on
wages that would have to be given to human beings for the same work.
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3. High productivity, economy, efficiency, effectiveness, reduction of error and


better quality of work can be achieved.
4. They can be employed in hazardous industries as well.
5. With rising wages, thrust on robotics in logical which can also induce
competitiveness into our manufacturing. As our manufacturing sector has to
compete at global level, use of robots also leads to economies of scale which is
good for competition at global level. In other words, if the world is going
robotic, Indian manufacturing cannot remain aloof from the trend.
6. Robot factories offer the Indian information technology (IT) sector a new
growth opportunity.
In case of India, the 2nd most populous country, with a favourable demographic
dividend but strife with poverty & unemployment, this may not be entirely
favourable scenario. Also India being a welfare country, the govt is obliged to work
for the prosperity of its citizens. Large proportion of our people dont even have their
basic needs fulfilled thus emphasis should be given to upgrade their skills and give
employment to them.
But development cannot be left to suffer by completely abandoning reliance on AI.
Hence there is a need to strike a balance b/w the two so that growth in
manufacturing sector as envisaged via schemes like 'Make in India' can be achieved
along with peace & prosperity of the people.
Topic: issues relating to intellectual property rights

1Q. .it must be understood that IP is also located in


unforgettable trademarks in the creativity of writers, singers and
others, in Geographical Indications (GI), and in traditional
knowledge. Critically examine the benefits of GI and explain why
there is lack of awareness on GI compared to intellectual property
rights. (200 Words)
Geographical Indication is a genre of Intellectual Property. It is awarded to those
products that are specially linked to a particular geographical regions. These could be
naturally grown crops like Assam Chillies or manufactured products like Jaipur
Pottery.
Benefits of GI
1. The GI tag allows the producers of the objects to claim a premium for their
products.Thus, it is financially beneficial to them.
2. The GI tag can also pique interest of consumers and thus raise demand for a
product again benefiting the producer.
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3. GI tag also helps the original producers of the product to tackle the
reputational problems caused by fake products.
4. Products having GI tag also have a high demand in the export market. Thus,
they also help to bring in valuable foreign exchange.
While there are a lot of benefits to having a GI tag, there is comparatively a lack of
awareness about the same. This is due to the following reasons:
1. Intellectual Property Rights like patents, trademarks etc. generally concern
very sophisticated products or large organisations which are aware aboutthe
benefits of IPR. However, GI is focused towards traditional products which
mostly involve the poorer section.
2. There is no concerted effort by the administration to conduct awareness drives
for the affected people so that they can utilise the GI tag properly.
3. Information about GI tags is rarely available in the vernacular and hence,
inaccessible to the people.
4. The government must leverage the potential of GI tags. India is a vast nation
with diverse cultures and heritage. Proper leverage of the GI tag would help a
vast section of poorly paid artisans to come out of clutches of poverty while at
the same time conserve the heritage of the country.
5. Scarcity of raw material making them to choose alternative employment
eg.Thanjavur veena -raw material Jackfruit tree which was scarce now.
6. There is lack of standardization of the quality which poses a challenge to get
them legal status
7. Market and pricing are fragmented, the intermediaries devalues the product

1Q. To realise the twin dreams of Innovate in India and Make in


India, the government needs to build a competitive, thriving
environment by prioritising scientific research with a strong
intellectual property (IP) system. In the light of the statement
critically analyse nature of Indias present IP regime, the changes it
requires and its importance to Indias economy. (200 Words)
Indias current IP regime:

1. IP in India is regulated by several laws, rules and regulations under the


jurisdiction of different ministries/departments.
2. Clauses in the Patents Act of 2005 provide for a high standard of patentability,
allows for compulsory licensing provisions and pre- and post-grant objection

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to patents. Not all of these are in tune with established international best
practices.
3. Enforcement environment remains challenging with high levels of physical
and online piracy
However, patent laws in India are compliant with the Agreement on Trade-Related
Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).

Importance of a strong IP regime to Indias economy:

1. IP has direct bearing on FDI in research and technology oriented sectors. This
would in turn increase economic growth, entrepreneurship, productivity,
access to technology and productive employment.
2. Less than 50,000 patent applications are filed every year in India. India
attracts only 2.7 per cent of global R&D spend. Some analysts attribute this to
Indias IP regime.
3. It would foster innovation and creativity in our knowledge economy
Changes required in Indias IP regime:

1. While Indias IP laws are robust, there is a need to review IP-related rules for
better enforcement- especially to prevent and punish piracy
2. Need for uniformity and harmonization in the IP policies to improve
predictability, transparency and effective implementation
3. Need for setting up patent benches in high courts for fast enforcement. Setting
up of commercial courts is a welcome step in this direction.
4. Spread more awareness among people regarding benefits of IP rights.

[Additional information: According to GIPC ( Global Intellectual Property


Center), economies with robust and higher IP protection have 50 per cent
more innovative output and are 40 per cent more likely to invest in research
and development.
statutes governing different kinds of IP in India are the Trade Marks Act,
1999, Patents Act, 1970, Copyright Act, 1957, Geographical Indications of
Goods (Registration and Protection), 1999, Protection of Plant Varieties and
Farmers' Rights Act, 2001, Biological Diversity Act, 2002. nodal department
for trademarks, patents, designs and geographical indications is the
Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP), which functions under
the Ministry of Commerce and Industry; copyright is administered by the
Ministry of Human Resource Development, plant varieties and farmers' rights

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is administered by the Ministry of Agriculture; and biological diversity is


administered by the Ministry of Environment and Forests.
The 'Make in India' vision cannot survive in the long-term without concrete
measures to build a concurrent 'Create in India' movement.]

2Q. Ten years have passed since the Indian Patents Act, 1970 was
amended in 2005 to bring the countrys laws in line with the
Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property
Rights (TRIPS). Critically discuss its salient features and their role
in making India the Pharmacy of the Third World. (200 Words)
Indian patent act was amended to bring it in sync with TRIPS agreement as per
India's commitment to WTO which made the patent laws more stringent with
necessary safeguards.
The salient features of Indian Patent act post amendment are

1. Changing patent definition from process patent to product patenting.


2. Addition of section 3d to the Act against evegreening of patents to prevent
undue benifits to the patent holder. (Novartis)
3. Provision of compulsory licensing under which license can be given to
companies every before expiry of the tenure of original patent holder on the
grounds of public interest. (natco pharma)
4. Making enforcement of provisions more strong with establishment of
Intellectual Property Apellate tribunal in cases of appeal against the decision.
India is being regarded as the pharmacy of the third world as its generic drug makers
supply affordable drugs to poor countries such as sub-saharan african nations for
diseases such as Malaria and AIDS augmenting public healthcare systems. However,
Indian patent regime is criticised as inadequate in protecting IPRs with outcomes
such as putting India in Priority Watch list by US, Need is to strike a balance between
public interest in terms of affordability and a need to protect IPRs in order to support
innovations.

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Environment and Biodiversity


Topic: Conservation; Environmental pollution and degradation

1Q. Critically discuss the components of environmental


remediation of contaminated sites and rehabilitation of affected
people, and the policy measures taken by the government and
related agencies to address this issue in India. (200 Words)
Major tragedies like Bhopal Gas Tragedy, BP oil spill along USA coast, mercury
contamination in Kodaikanal etc highlights the significance of environmental
remediation of contaminated sites. The major components associated with it:
1. Isolating the affected place and scientific analysis of environmental damage
caused. Analysing agency should work without any interference and should
either be independent or a court monitored probe.
2. Proper responsibility should be fixed on the culprits and should be forced to
clean up the site and monetarily also compensate for it.
3. Standards should be formulated for different pollutants.
4. Independent probes and social reviews should also be done to verify the
cleanup.
5. Lessons learnt and probe reports should be formulated and made public.
Components related to rehabilitation of affected people:
1. People should be vacated from the affected site and proper arrangements
should
be
made
for their living
2. Relocation arrangements should be made
3. Penalizing the responsible people for causing the damage and make them pay
for rehabilitation of public
4. Proper safety clauses and penal clauses should be included in agreements
5. Adequate compensation should be provided
The policies and measures taken by the government and related agencies
1. The Supreme Court Monitoring Authority Committee urged TNPCB to
independently access contamination of Unilever's site in Kodaikanal but the
regulator has not taken even a single soil sample in the last 14 years and
Unilever's report remains the basis for the clean up.
2. The site of Union Carbide's factory in Bhopal still remains dangerously
contaminated and continues to claim lives as inspection by the government
has not been done.
3. Launch of National Air Quality index.
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4. National Biodiversity Act.


5. Work of National Green Tribunal.
[Add information: The development objective of World Bank assisted Project on
Capacity Building for Industrial Pollution Management is to remediate ten highly
polluted sites two in Andhra Pradesh and Eight in West Bengal on pilot basis, to
develop a National Programme for Rehabilitation of Polluted Sites (NPRPS) as well
as to build human and technical capacity in selected Pollution Control Boards. The
estimated cost of the project, to be implemented for a period of five years, is USD
75.39 million.
The main outcome of the project is development of a policy, institutional and
methodological framework for the establishment of a National Programme for
Rehabilitation of Polluted Sites. This programme will be implemented as a National
Mission and will undertake a comprehensive approach to remediation of legacy
polluted sites all over the country]

2Q. Experts have warned that Indias extreme vulnerability to


climate change will have a direct impact on the health of its
population. Elaborate. (200 Words)
Climate change will have an over-arching effect on all physical and psychological
aspects of human health.
1. Rising temperatures will lead to rise in the population of vectors like
mosquitoes which will also increase their geographical spread to erstwhile
cooler areas. this will lead to increase in prevalence of diseases like malaria,
chikungunya, dengue etc
2. Increase incidence of heat waves will lead to dehydration, heat strokes etc
3. Changing climate patterns will alter the life cycle of plants which may lead to
pollen, spores etc of plants at atypical times leading to allergies
4. Encroaching sea water into coastal groundwater aquifers will increase salinity
which may increase salt content of drinking water making it unfit and causing
metabolic disorders
5. In the medium and long term, increase incidence of drought and floods will
lead to reduction in crop yields in various areas which may lead to hunger and
debilitating diseases like protein energy malnutrition. the variety of crops
grown may also be reduced leading to loss of macro and micro nutrients in the
diet causing various deficiency disorders.
6. Increasing temperatures, heat waves will lead to psychological problems like
anger, irritabilty etc which may have cascading effects like accidents, violence
etc, changing climate patterns will affect bodily rhythms and also lead to
mood aberrations, depression etc

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Apart from these harmful affects some positive aspects may be present. The old in
colder areas will benefit for rising temperatures. More crop variety will be grown in
these regions leading to improvement in local nutrient availability. However these
will be far outweighed by the harms of global warming and emission reduction along
with livelihood security are the need of the hour to prevent long term health
deterioration.

1Q. Do you think banning plastic bags is an environment friendly


measures? Substantiate. (200 Words)
The deleterious effects of plastics on environment are hardly hidden from us but our
desire for greater convenience prevents us from giving up the use of plastic bags. The
plastic bags leave a great impact on our environment:
1. Injurious to marine life: when plastics reach water bodies they threaten lives
of sea plants and animals.
2. Poisonous gases like dioxins are released when plastics are burnt. They can
cause ashtama and other diseases.
3. Plastics block drains. Water from drains overflows and becomes a breeding
ground for diseases.
4. They add to municipal waste.
5. It is difficult to dispose them. Using landfills might contaminate ground water.
In this light banning plastic appears to be a solution. But will it work? India banned
plastics less than 20m in 2002. Many states in India like Rajasthan and Jharkhand
have taken steps to implement this but with little effect.
The reasons why it has not worked properly are:
1. Lack of enforcement mechanism: We have law but no implementation due to
inactive authorities.
2. The alternatives to plastic bags i.e. paper and jute bags are expensive.
3. Paper bags are made from wood which comes from deforestation. This is no
less damaging to the environment.
4. Only plastic bags less than 20m in thickness are banned. Hence, people
continue to use plastics not falling in this category.
A ban without taking into account the far-reaching consequences will not fetch
results. A plastic ban coupled with viable alternatives is the need of the hour.

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1Q. Critically discuss the importance of social forestry programme

in combating climate change. Also comment on its implementation


in India. (200 Words)
Social forestry emphasis on development of trees outside the forest.
Groups of social forestry:
1. farm forestry,
2. community forestry,
3. extension forestry
4. agro-forestry
Objective of social forestry
1. To decreases dependency on natural forest for fuel wood, poles, timber and
fodder.
2. To create jobs.
3. To protect environment and aid agriculture.
Advantages of social forestry:
1. Decrease pressure on natural forest by increases production of timber,
fuelwood,fooder etc.
2. Cover barren lands.
3. Raw material for pulp industry.
4. Employment generation in rural areas.
5. Forest restoration and improve ecological balance.
6. Help in research.
Importance of social forestry programme in combating climate change.
1. Increase in carbon stocks.
2. Act as Co2 sinks.
3. Mitigates air pollution.
4. Acts as alternative source of forest , which help in controlling deforestation
which in turn reduce contribution of carbon from deforestation.
Implementation in India: Social forestry started in India mid of 80s with financial
assistance of World Bank and European Union. It helped in conservation and
afoorestaion of forrst. The forest policy act 1988 supported the social forestry which
made it as peoples movement. Government initiatives to support social forestry like
MGNREGA, Silviculture and Forestry Research, Natural Regeneration and
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Enrichment of Forests etc and Awareness campaigns like of vana mahotsava,


environment day, wildlife week

1Q. Write a note on the differences between biofuel, bioethanol,


biodiesel and biogas. Examine efforts made by India to to
popularise these fuels. (200 Words)
Bio Fuel: These are fuels made from living organism or the waste they produce; by
the process of carbon fixation. Bio fuels are categorised into 1st, 2nd and 3rd
generation bio fuels. 1st generation bio fuels are made of food crops like corn, 2nd
generation from those crops that are not food crops like jatropa and from food crops
unfit for consumption like waste vegetables etc. 3rd generation is made from algae.
Bioethanol, biodiesel and biogas are a class of Bio Fuels.
1. Bio ethanol: It is produced from fermentation of carbohydrate and cellulosic
material of crops and other plants and grasses. It is generally used as an
additive to increase octane number of fuel.
2. Bio Diesel: It is a methyl or methly ester of fatty acids produced by trans
esterification of oils and fats obtained from plants and animals. It can be
directly used as fuel.
3. Bio gas: Biogas is methane produced by anaerobic digestion of organic
material by anaerobes. It can be produced either from biodegradable waste
materials or by the use of energy crops fed into anaerobic digesters to
supplement gas yields.
Bio fuels form an essential element of energy security of India. Being an environment
friendly fuel it also addresses the climate change imperatives. India has a dedicated
National Bio Fuel policy that acts as an overarching framework for bio fuels in India.
Our Bio fuel production is based mostly on Jatropa. To popularise Bio fuel
Government has taken following initiatives:
1. Making 10% blending compulsory for transport sector and declaring intended
target of 20% blending by 2017 in National Bio Fuel policy.
2. Making availability of blended fuel at all major cities.
3. Allowing major transport sectors to purchase biofuel directly.
4. Jatropha incentives of Goverment have been identified as a part of achieving
energy independence. SBI has signed an MoU to provide loans for Jatropha
cultivation. Various platforms for spreading awareness, such as Cinema halls
are being utilised to popularise the uses of Jatropha.

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5. Indian Railways have started using bio diesel mixed with its fuel with great
success.
6. Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas announces the opening of various
outlets for High-Speed Diesel mixed wit Bio Diesel.
7. Karnataka government has started biofuel parks to supply biofuel to transport
corporations.
There is a need to further synergise the biofuel use as its not only environment
friendly but also has strategic significance by reducing CAD and reliance on crude
imports. But simultaneous we should ensure that food crops are not diverted for it or
else are food security would be jeopardised.

2Q. What do you understand by unsustainable fishing? Examine its


causes and consequences. (200 Words)
Sustainability refers to the endurance or the capacity to last.Sustainable use of
natural resources is important for providing posterity with the natural wealth is our
very responsibility and also enshrined in the objectives of various global sustainable
goals.
Causes:
1. Massive overfishing practices. Specially by advanced countries with better
fishing technologies. Japan, USA are good examples whose pacific fishing
grounds have been overly-exploited.
2. Poor Management practices - inadequate regulations, slack implementation of
sustainable fishing and ignoring scientific principles, lack of transparency.
3. Economic compulsions lead to excessive fishing by low-income countries of
South East Asia who greatly rely on fish for cheap protein food sources.
4. Unfair Fisheries agreements by developed nations with poor, developing
nations.
5. Destructive practices - Advanced Trawlers, Cyanide fishing, Dynamite fishing
etc
6. Irrational subsidies to boats, fleets and presence of pirates aggravates the
problem.
7. Very low extent of no-go areas globally.
8. Unnecessary slaughter:- There is massive by catch of other marine species and
juvenile fish.
9. Lack of regulations in the Marine Protected Areas (MPA).Though many
fisheries are declared as MPAs, only 1.2 percent of them are regulated.

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10. With the flourish of Tourism, number of restaurants in the coastal regions
increased. Most of them prefer unsustainable methods to meet their demands.
Consequences :
1. Leads to extinction of several aquatic species and damage natural wealth
beyond repair.
2. Traditional fishing communities losing ground to giants fishing firms.It
deprives them of livelihood and drags them into poverty.
3. Scarcity of Fish, a cheap source of protein, will affect the nutrition and
consumption of low, middle classes.
4. Loss of nation's natural wealth to developed foreign countries.

1Q. Recently the US government released new Environmental Protection


Agency (EPA) rules and a Clean Power Plan to address the challenges of
climate change effects. Critical comment on the significance of the plan
and examine why some sections are opposed to this. (200 Words)
The US governments new EPA rules and Clean Power Plan will reduce USA s
emission levels by one-third and increase reliance on renewable sources of energy.
The Plan is very significant in economic, medical, environmental and regulatory
terms.
1. Economic-The Plan will spur investment in clean energy and create lakhs of
jobs. By 2030 the US will meet 28% of its energy needs from renewable
sources.
2. Medical-The Plan will reduce premature deaths due to power plant emissions
by 90% by 2030 compared to 2005.
3. Environmental-The new rules will lead to coal based power plants being
phased out completely by 2030 reducing emissions drastically. It is the US s
first step ever to cut emissions.
4. Regulatory-EPA rules allow States to set their own emission targets. States
that invest early in renewable energy will be rewarded.
Demerits of Clean Power Plan
1. The Plans emission targets are quite modest compared to the EUs resolution
to cut emissions by 40% over 1990 levels.
2. Ahead of COP21 in Paris, the US as the second largest emitter of greenhouse
gases has only shown moderate ambition. It may not be enough to limit global
warming to 2 degrees C (UN set target).
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1. Republican Party-The Republicans of the USA oppose the EPA on the grounds
that it has not achieved previous goals and is unlikely to do so now.
2. Supporters of coal use-US states where coal makes up most of the energy
basket and provides large scale employment are opposing EPA and may resort
to legal action.

2Q. Critically comment on the actions taken by India referred to


as the Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) under
the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to
address the climate change effects. (200 Words)
Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (under UNFCCC) taken by India to
address the climate change effects are:
1. Increasing the Solar Energy generation target from 20,000 MW to 100 GW by
2022.
2. Increasing carbon tax on coal from Rs 50 to Rs 100 per tonne.
3. Raising the excise duty on petrol and diesel to check consumption.
4. Price deregulation of Petrol and diesel to reduce subsidy and increase cost
thus
checking consumption.
5. Strictly enforcing BEE star rating scheme for appliances,
6. Removing anti dumping duty on solar panel imported from USA, China.
7. Instituting Partial Risk Guarantee fund under framework for energy efficient
economic development.
8. National air quality index
These steps shows the commitment of India towards UNFCCC despite its status of a
developing nation with local commitments to fulfill. But seeing the direction of
advancement of global climate change talks and the obligations to submit intended
nationally determined contribution targets before the Paris talks(COP21), India
needs a more focused approached. It needs to do the sectoral review of emission
status and fix sectoral targets while taking their future growth in mind.
Simultaneously green technologies should be developed indigenously and procured
from where they are available. This would not only meet the global obligations but
will also bring more compactness to our climate change mitigation strategy.

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3Q. It is said that the Kanha Tiger Reserves goal-oriented


strategies and systematic conservation practices have over the
years made it an embodiment of the concept of biodiversity
conservation in the country, one that others can emulate. Examine
why. (200 Words)
The reasons Kanha's conservation strategies should be emulated by other states are
:1. In situ conservation :- Kanha has played a pioneering role in in-situ
conservation of the entire flora and fauna found in the reserve. Some specific
animals that have been conserved in-situ are the tiger, bear, barasingha and
wild dogs.
2. Maintaining a buffer zone :- Kanha was the first tiger reserve to introduce a
functional buffer zone in 1995. Kanha has also relocated all human
inhabitations outside the core area , immensly aiding conservation.
3. Involving locals :- Kanha has successfully involved locals in biodiversity
conservation by setting up committees and drawing up programmes for this
purpose. Socio-economic upliftment of locals thanks to these programmes has
changedtheir attitude towards conservation for the better.
4. Monitoring mechanism :-The monitoring strategiesinclude use of trained staff
as well as photography and other techniques to monitor flora an fauna.
Experts from different institutionsalso give inputs regarding the biodiversity
status in Kanha.
5. Restoration of the ecosystem :- Unlike other reserves, Kanha has recovered
from previous ecological harm. Degraded sal , bamboo and grasslands have
been revived successfully. The grasslands in particular support the barasingha
and blackbuck.
6. Relocation of species :- Certain species from Kanha like tigers and barasingha
have been relocated to other reserves like Panna, Satpura and Pench. Thus the
chance of conserving biodiversity successfully have improved.

1Q. What do you understand by Compensatory Afforestation in the


Indian context? The recently introduced Compensatory
Afforestation Fund Bill, 2015 (CAF Bill) has given rise to many
apprehensions amongst environmentalists. Critically examine
what these apprehensions are and comment on the other objectives
of the Bill. (200 Words)
Compensatory afforestation means afforestation done in lieu of diversion of forest
land for non forest use. For this money is collected from companies to whom forest
land is diverted. Centre proposed CAF bill,2015 which has following objectives:

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1. To provide an appropriate institutional mechanism, both at the Centre and in


each State and Union Territory
2. To provide safety, security and, transparency in utilization of amounts realised
in lieu of forest land diverted for non-forest purpose
3. Ensure expeditious utilization of accumulated unspent amounts available with
the ad hoc Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning
Authority (CAMPA)
But recent CAF Bill has many flaws which have been
environmentalists as:

highlighted by

1. The bill promotes breaking of large forest land into smaller patches which
disrupts landscape connectivity, affecting dispersal of animals, creates new
edges that expose forest to exploitation and severe degradation. Therefore
there is no consolidation of OGF (old growth forest) but fragmentation of
them.
2. The species raised are non native to the areas where they are planted. This
causes degradation of indigenous or native species. E.g KIOCL ( Kudremukh
Iron Ore Company Ltd.) planted trees in Bhadra river basin which has
destroyed natural grassland over there
3. The compensatory afforestation has only increased tree cover as VDF(very
dense forest) and MDF(moderately dense forest) has declined. This was
highlighted by Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science & Technology,
Environment
&
forest.
This
shall
be
taken
into
account.
4. Bill also does not provide for natural restoration and regeneration of degraded
forest
5. Misutilisation by centre and state government due to corrupt practices in
utilisation and cover-up exercise to meet the norms of CAMPA.
6. With essence of mono-culture and compulsive in nature, Planned man made
afforestation can not compete with the natural forest generation.It is well
known fact that biodiversity generation in man made forests will be several
times lower than what usually found in natural forests.
7. Over-exploitation and slow rate of Regeneration will reverse all the attempts
of increased forest cover of 24.01%(as per latest FSI ) which still is miles short
of one third forest cover in the country.
The need of the hour is to promote consolidation of OGF, restoring degraded ecology
and using funds for non native plantations only in extreme case when forest is
extremely degraded with no trace of native species

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1Q. Name any three most dangerous invasive species and explain

how these species affect native ecosystem. Also suggest measures


needed to address their threats. (200 Words)
Three most dangerous invasive species include:
1. Nile Perch: Introduced in lake Victoria led to extinction of Lake Victoria in
east Africa led eventually to the extinction of an ecologically unique
assemblage of more than 200 species of cichlid fish in the lake.
2. African Catfish: It was introduced to improve aquaculture but currently it is
posing threat to indigenous catfishes.
3. Lantana: They came from Central and South America and are spread in South
Africa . They competes and replaces indigenous species.
Measures to address threat:
1. There should be effective mechanisms to prevent their introduction in first
instance.
2. There should be monitoring of pathways from where these species enter . For
example Canada is suffering from aquatic invasive species problem . The
pathway through which they enter Canada is shipping, boats; .the best
example being zebra mussels which is an invasive species in Great Banks.
3. Newly detected invaders should be removed quickly as these species have a
tendency to multiply because they have no predators in new environment .
4. There are certain sites that are vulnerable or potential sites for invasion , a
careful assessment of such sites needs to be done.
5. Biological control is another method in which invaded species are eaten up by
another species ,it works well for invertebrates.
Invasive species are causing biggest threat to biodiversity after habitat loss and
fragmentation and therefore their control becomes significant to protect local flora
and fauna . Various efforts are already in place but lot more needs to be done.

2Q. Critically examine how illegal mining of river sand in various


parts of India is affecting the ecology of rivers and lives of people in
the vicinity of these rivers. (200 Words)
Due to boom in real estate/ construction activities specially in post liberalization
era,there has been a major spike in the sand (beach and river basin ) requirement.It
has resulted in unscientific and indiscriminate sand mining against the prescribed
rules,also known as illegal sand mining.Many states of India like Tamilnadu (
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Cauvery etc,Karnataka,Gaujarat,Madhya Pradesh,Mahashtra etc have witnessed


increased incidences in recent past. It has affected the river ecology and lives of
people nearby as
1. It pollutes the rivers ( low PH, mix of various metal oxides, reduces oxygen
and thus, increased BOD ). This badly affects river biota.
2. Instream sand mining results in the destruction of aquatic and riparian
habitat through large changes in the channel morphology. Impacts include
bed degradation, bed coarsening, lowered water tables near the streambed,
and channel instability.
3. Polluted water and also reduced ground water levels due to sand mining lead
to drinking water shortage and also agrarian distress in the vicinity, which in
turn has triggered an exodus of people to urban clusters, upsetting the
economic and cultural balance of a society. Also, creates social -tension
4. Illegal sand mining also results in damage to physical infrastructure ( like
railways, bridges, highways etc) nearby, resulting in further economic distress
of the community.
5. The indiscriminate mining has also destroyed hills, eroded biodiversity
spheres, denuded forests and degraded fertile soil. It has changed the physical
characteristics of river basins, impacting heavily the socio-economic condition
of local people.
6. Sand mining generates extra vehicle traffic, which negatively impairs the
environment.
Having said that, we certainly need sand for to meet the increasing demand. Sand
mining also employs nearly 1.1 millions in the country. Hence, the need to is better
implement legislative mechanisms and various judicial pronouncements for
sustainable sand mining. Effective and periodic monitoring is also a must.
Additionally, we should also look for quality yet affordable alternatives to sand to
meet ever increasing demand for sand without compromising riverine ecology and
badly affecting people nearby due to illegal sandmining.

1Q. Write a critical note on each of the following in about 100


words:
a) Teraethyl Lead (TEL)
b) Biopurification
Teraethyl Lead (TEL)-

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1. TEL is an organolead compound(chemical compounds containing a chemical


bond between carbon and lead). It is a toxic colourless synthetically made oily
liquid and was mixed with leaded petrol in 1920s as a patented octane
booster/ anti-knocking agent that allowed engine compression to be raised
substantially, which helped in increasing vehicle performance or fuel
economy.
2. But its negative impact related to neurotoxicity (lead poisoning), damaging
effect on catalytic converters and were main cause for spark plug fouling
which lead to start of its phase out in 1970s
3. Currently, it is still used as an additive in some grades of aviation gasoline and
in some developing countries
Biopurification:
1. It is the natural process of exclusion of harmful elements from human body
(to maintain optimum level) that has evolved through millions of years of
human evolution.
2. Also known as Shodhan in ayurveda which is also known as Panchkarma
therapy.
3. For example: Calcium and Barium are found in tandem. While calcium is
useful for us, barium is poisonous. Our body has evolved in such a way that it
produces protein that effectively absorbs calcium while being almost
ineffective for Barium
4. According to concept of biopurification, natural concentration of harmful
elements in human body should be far lower than toxic levels
5. This concept of biopurification was first conceptualized by Clair patterson, a
geochemist in trying to nullify Robert Kehoe's (medical scientist) claim for
higher toxic natural level of lead in human body.

1Q. Do you think recent weather anomalies such as extreme heat


waves, heavy rains, untimely floods and other similar weather
phenomena are the result of global warming? Critically examine
and, if its true, suggest who needs to do what to combat the impact
of global warming. (200 Words)
In the recent past, weather anomalies like extreme heat waves, heavy rains, untimely
floods etc. have increased in intensity as well as occurrence. However, while there is
no certainty and linking any individual weather anomaly to global warming is
impossible yet we can make a probabilistic determination of the linkages between the

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two. A study by swiss researchers has linked 75% of the heat extremes from 1901 to
2005 to global warming. Such linkages have been corroborated by other studies also.
Role Of Stakeholder In Combating Global Warming;
At Individual Level:1. Here we just need to change life style. Ex-for short distance we need to use
cycle and public transport rather burning petrol in car and we should switch
off light, fan TV etc when we dont use it.
2. Should make house in such a way that we will get natural light and air so there
will be less use AC and light. In short, we should innovate and adopt every
step where we can mitigate global warming.
At community level:1. Here we can go for social forestry and should make aware people and should
work with Govt and NGOs.
2. In rural areas community global plant can be made where waste from village
will discharge and people will get gas from that plant so use of cow dung and
wood so no rise in co2 and no global warming.
At govt level:1. Govt should spend at least 2 percent of GDP in research of green technology.
2. There should be proper implementation of carbon tax.
3. Govt should shift from non-renewable energy source to renewable energy
source.
At international level:1. Here developed nation should provide know-how of green energy and along
with capital to developing and least developing countries.
2. Montreal and kyoto protocol should be reformed and strictly implement.
3. All nations jointly work on research and develop of green technology so that
result will come fast and financial burden will less.

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1Q. Write a note on the international convention of 2001 on civil


liability for bunker oil pollution damage of the International
Maritime Organization and its significance to India and world
environment. (200 Words)
Oil spill damage has widespread implications both for marine ecology and
environment. Coating of oil on water level affects buoyancy of sea-birds, leads to
ingestion of oil by mammals and is hazardous for sea corals. Its long term impacts
are decreased supply of oxygen and sunlight, affecting food web, decreased fish and
wildlife
populations
and
livelihood
options
of
littoral
residents.
In view of these, recent proposal (June, 2015) to accede to Bunker convention is
praiseworthy.
Bunker convention (IMO):
1. Adopted in 2001 and came in force in 2008, to ensure that adequate prompt
and effective compensation is available to persons who suffer damage caused
by oil spills when carried as fuel in ships bunkers.
2. It applies to damage caused in territorial and EEZ (200 nautical miles) water,
and include state vessel anywhere and foreign vessel in states water.
3. Every ship over 1000 tonnes will require to have a certificate to enter or leave
India.
Benefits:
1. Global environmental benefits which includes protection of marine life and
effective compensatory mechanisms.
2. It has huge implications for Indian trade, now her ships can visit foreign
ports with domestic issued certificates (earlier required foreign compliance
certificates)
3. Protection of its immediate marine environment which is a livelihood
source of its residents.
4. Protection to Indian water from oil spill hazards and will bring out
effective compliance standards to be met by owners and manager of
vessels.

2Q. India must signal serious intent, both because it wants to be

seen as a responsible global player, and because an effective


climate agreement is firmly in its own interests. With reference to
upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris in
December, critically analyse the statement. (200 Words)
Climate change today has become a buzz word and concerns as well as efforts are
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1. Various developed countries like EU and US has already declared their


intended reduction in carbon emissions for future and are persistently arguing
for developing countries like china and india to declare their own intended
nationally determined contributions (INDCs) .As china also recently in a deal
with us has promised to peak its ,emissions by 2030 .So it's clearly india's turn
to do the similar pledges which will clearly reflect its Intent to be a responsible
player in global arena.
2. An effective climate change agreement is very much in interest of india given
its high Social, Ecomical and Geographical vulnerabilities like still being a
developing as well as agrarian economy with a large chunk of population still
living
under
absolute
poverty
e.tc
steps like upgrading its copenhagen pledge (I.e. reducing the economy's
carbon emission intensity to 20 to 25 percent below 2005 level by 2020) by 10
to 15 percent more reduction in intensity by 2030; commitment to bend the
mission curve downward; more deeper emphasis on "co-benefit approach" to
climate change along with few specific immediate action like emphasising on
renewable energy etc become quite advisable.
However, acceptance of any binding cuts in carbon emission or acceptance of a
Peaking Clause will undermine the India's Stand for Common but Differentiated
Responsibility.
Developed nations assume the historical responsibility for contributing major
portion of CO2 during Industrial revolution. Thus, developed nations should go for
much deeper cuts before asking developing nations to accept the responsibility.
Most of the developing countries are facing widespread poverty and the process of
economic development will require energy consumption at large scale
Finally as recent economic survey says- india must stand for a 2015-climate
agreement which should be Comprehensive, Balanced, Equitable, Pragmatic and
conforming to the cardinal principles of United Nation framework for climate change
like "common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR)"; financial and
technological transfer by developed countries; providing adequate carbon space to
the developing countries etc.

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1Q. The new draft National Wildlife Policy, framed by the Ministry

of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, suggests amending


existing laws to allow hunting of animals like cobras to
accommodate religious and cultural practices. Do you think this
exception is required? Examine the key issues and concerns
regarding this policy and critically comment on them. (200 Words)
The new Draft National Policy on Wildlife by the Ministry of Environment and
Forests has opened a proverbial can of worms as this suggests amending existing
laws in order to allow hunting of animals like Cobras to accommodate religious and
cultural
practices
based
on
the
recommendation
of
the TSR Subramaniam Committee.
It is undoubtedly a regressive step. While it is important that religious and cultural
practices are not hindered, however, in cases where those practices have a larger
impact, such practices cannot be sanctioned.
Such a policy will have the following ill effects
1. It will encourage poaching of such animals which could endanger their
survival.
2. In the garb of legitimate hunting or cultural practices, many illegal activities
might also be propagated.
3. It opens the door on similar demands by other cultural groups in case of other
flora and fauna.
4. It will lead to grave cruelty to animals which are ultimately included in the list.
5. Can even lead to illegal international trade in wild life which will put India in
bad light as India is signatory to CITES.
Thus, it is true that in a multi-cultural, multi-religious society like ours, we have to
respect the sentiments and way-of-living of people, at the same time, we would need
to evolve our cultures and traditions. The Nyishi tribals of Arunachal Pradesh have
learned to embrace artificial fibreglass casques instead of hunting the endangered
hornbills for headgear that is evolution. This way, would serve both the purposes humane treatment to our wildlife and better time-aligned and forward looking
traditions.

1Q. Write a critical note on the Global Apollo Programme and


examine why India is considered as pivotal to this program. (200
Words)
1. Global Apollo Program plan is the brainchild of a group of scientist,
economists and businessmen of UK to make the cost of clean energy lower

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than the conventional sources of energy within 10 years. However, it calls for
15 billion pound a year spending on R&D of green energy.
2. The nations joining the programme would get a place on the global
commission that would coordinate and direct the research to avoid
duplication but each nation has to commit .02% of GDP spending on R&D
within their own country.
3. This global commission will develop a roadmap of research, development and
demonstration of projects to achieve its objects. A similar, though smaller
commission already exists to coordinate R&D on semiconductors and has
resulted in continuous falls in computer chip costs.
4. India has ample source of solar, hydel and wind resources which can be
harnessed sustainably.
5. Furthermore, India has 2nd largest workforce in the world, which if provided
with direction-able platform, can achieve much in R&D.
6. Therefore with .02% of GDP contribution, India can help this international
mission to maximize the results.

1Q. Should ecotourism be encouraged in India? why? Critically

comment. (200 Words)


Ecotourism signifies tourism involving exploration of natural landscape as national
parks, wildlife sanctuaries and biosphere reserves to enjoy scenic beauty of rich
varieties of flora and fauna,.
Experts argue that promotion of ecotourism is necessary to disseminate wider
knowledge of nature, strengthening conservation efforts. It plays a significant role in
empowering local communities by providing them alternative sources of livelihood.
Further, resource generation by the way of ecotourism can be further invested in
conservation efforts.. It shall stimulate commitment on the parts of forest officials in
performance of their duties.
However, ecotourism is not free from challenges. Environmentalists point out that it
hinder free mating process among animals. Crowded tourism aggravates challenges
of waste accumulation, pollution and poaching activities. Displacement of locals for
expansion of tourism projects is another serious issue.
However, complete abandoning of ecotourism shall not be feasible option. Adequate
regulatory framework with efficient implementation of environmental laws should be
pursued. Utilising local expertise with comprehensive rehabilitation measure shall be
sustainable strategy forwardFbiotech

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1Q. Recent years have seen rise in the population of wild lions and
tigers in India. Critically examine the reasons behind this success
and comment on Indias wildlife conservation policy in general.
(200 Words)
Reasons behind increase in their population:
1. Creation of national parks and WL sanctuaries under wildlife conservation act
1972
2. Providing enabling environment inside Forest like availability of preys, water
ponds and raising population of deers and small herbivorous so that
Tiger/Lion doesnt venture out which leads to animal-human conflict and
mortality.
3. Restricting Forest tourism to peripheral areas and not core areas where Tiger
mate and small cubs generally are taken care by pride. Thanks to pro-active
judiciary
4. Better trained Forest Guards and rangers to tackle poaching. Better use of
technology to track poaching activities like drones, night vision cameras, e-eye
etc
5. Taking help of villager surrounding the Forest area because they know the
best about animals. Also if animal venture out, then trained villager can shoo
them away and inform forest officials and not simply kill the animals. Such
trained villagers get salary and are recruited and called Vanya Prani Saathi
But, recent steps to improve ease of doing business and attempts to exempt
clearances for linear projects through forests can threaten the wildlife.

2Q. With suitable illustrations, critically examine the role of local


communities in conservation of wildlife across the world. (200
Words)
Recent conservationists across the world are coming up with suitable strategies to
incorporate local communities into overall conservation strategy; this is in line with
age old wisdom that man & wild have co-existed in symbiotic relationship since ages;
some highlighted success stories along with reasons are:
1. Active support of Maldahris, a nomadic tribe of cattle-rearers in Gujarat's Gir
and farmers in vicinity of Gir national park; led to significant rise in Lion
population; farmers around Gir have protected Lions by resisting retaliation
when Lions prey on cattle, protecting Lions from poachers and building
parapet walls around farm wells to minimize accidental deaths of Lions; in
return Lions helped control population of Nilgais & wild Boars; chief destroyer
of standing crops; thereby helping farmers.
2. Proactive involvement of local communities to install early warning systems in
Valparai, Tamil Nadu led to reduction in man-elephant conflicts; minimizing
causalities.
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3. Bishnoi community in Rajasthan; due to its belief in non-violence &


love/mercy towards wild animals has staunchly led conservation efforts in
Rajasthan; resisted poachers; regions inhabited by Bishnoi's are safe haven
wild animals like black buck & migratory birds.
4. Bushmen in Kalahari's and African Massai's have been re-trained to serve as
forest rangers & guides; previously they were hunting communities with life
revolving around wild.
5. The poachers of Zambias Luangwa Valley are turning in their illegal snares
and guns, and in return, they are being trained in farming, beekeeping,
carpentry, and other livelihood skills. They are also turning the snare wire into
decorative jewelry.
For conservation to succeed; it needs support & acceptance from local communities.
an active network of local communities, NGOs and Forest Department aided with
early warning systems, conservation strategies could transform man-animal conflicts
to man-animal coexistence.

1Q. Write a critical note on the role of the National Green Tribunal
(NGT) in addressing the problem of environmental pollution and
degradation in India. (200 Words)
National Green Tribunal was set up under National Green Tribunal Act,2010 with an
aim to provide protection to environment,conservation of forests and other natural
resources along with enforcement of legal rights for environment and giving relief
and compensation for damages to persons and property. Some of the main
judgement of NGTs are:

1. Banning any diesel vehicle of more than 10 years old in Delhi and NCR region.
2. Penalising the Construction companies in Bellandur wetland in Banglore.
3. Proposed plan for rejuvenating the Yamuna river for 52km stretch in Delhi
and UP region.
4. Cancelling clearance of CG coal mine, Vedanta and POSCO in Odisha.
5. Sand mining order put a ban on all forms of Illegal River and Ocean bed sand
mining which were rampant across the country are very important in
sustainable development and environmental protection.
However despite various proactive support being taken by the tribunal the pollution
levels has been continuously rising over the years. This is due to lack of effective
support from government both at the centre as well in states. Inefficiency of Central
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and State pollution control boards is another reason for it. This often results in
delays in implementing the tribunal's decision. Without adequate support from the
government side NGT is unable to have a vigilance throughout the country due to its
limited capacity and staff. Further despite solving a long number of cases still there is
a long list of pending cases in the tribunal which adds to the problem. Lastly the
tribunal is not having suo-moto powers which also restricts its ambit in the area of
environment.

In the act there is a provision for appeal to tribunal within a period of 6 month
of origin of cause of environmental problem. This is small time for reflection of
negative impacts of environmental changes. This shall be increased to considerable
time. There are also certain issues related to appointment of members and
chairperson. It has come under attack with pro-corporate bodies for hindering the
development project with its activism and government is considering to dilute its
provisions but it will be against the spirit of constitution and sustainable
development.

Citing the increasing pollution levels in the country having a adverse impact on
health the role of NGT gains more importance.The Central and State government
should work in collaboration with NGT to secure the environment with better,faster
enforcement of NGT orders

Disaster Management
Topic: Disaster Management

1Q. Write a critical note on the role of media in disaster


management. (200 Words)
Media can play a major during disaster. They can aid in information dissemination
about help-line, aid-distribution camps, emergency phone number or the needs of
the people. Further, they can also help in quashing rumors and prevent panic
situation. Media can also help in mobilizing resources [money, volunteers etc] from
other areas. Their impetus on disaster also forces government to upgrade Disaster
management as a priority.
Also, they also have a role in disaster preparedness and disaster mitigation. They acts
as very effective channels for communicating disaster awareness [for e.g. recent
media coverage on earthquake has heightened awareness among people] and steps to
taken in course of disaster. For example, media can run short commercials or
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educational programs about cyclones and Tsunamis in coastal areas. It can also make
people aware about safe shelters, evacuation tactics designed by government, and
better ways to build their homes and public infrastructure in coastal cities. Further
they can enforce government accountability by highlighting the government's acts of
commission or omission w.r.t. disaster management.
However, their role has come under severe criticism especially during Nepal
earthquake. In their search for TRPs and sensationalism, media has ignored the
journalistic ethics. They have resorted to exaggeration of ground situation and even
interviewing people who are in distress. Further, as much they can quash rumors,
they may also aid in proliferation of rumors. Also, at-times it has been seen that
media tends to shift focus on non-important issues as was witnessed during
Uttarakhand floods when the visits of politicians were given more space than the
disaster management.
Thus, the need of the hour is to also involve a humanistic angle to journalism. Active
media is the need of the hour but not at the cost of ethics and ethos of humanism

Security

Topic: Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate

1Q. CAG in its report, commented that in an era of heightened

coastal security concerns, Indian Coast Guard (ICG) remains illequipped to discharge its enhanced role and meet the challenges of
today. Critically discuss. (200 Words)
Indian Coast Guard remains ill-equipped and is in dire need for upgradation in
technological reach, personnel training and greater coordination with other security
agencies like Indian Navy. This is essential for safeguarding Indias huge and
vulnerable coast line. After the Mumbai attacks, in which the perpetrators used the
marine route, greater need was felt and initiatives have been taken in the line but still
remain insufficient as pointed out by the recent report of the Comptroller and
Auditor General of India.
The steps taken by the government in the direction include the following
1. Information Management and Analysis Centre (IMAC) which will act as a
single point reference interlinking the newly inducted coastal radar chain. The

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importance also lies in it being a joint venture between the Navy and the Coast
Guard.
2. National Maritime Domain Awareness (NDMA) - It aims to integrate several
agencies to one fold.
3. Training centres for Coastal Security Group
4. Increased marine Police stations in coastal states.
5. Navy and Coast Guard are coordinating more effectively in matters related to
coastal security. Both have opened coordination under there respective
jurisdictions.
6. Govt of India, under coastal security scheme have authorized ICG to purchase
new interceptor boats, open more police station and increased its manpower
capabilities.
There is a greater need for securing Indian maritime border by efforts from all ends Law enforcing Agencies, diplomatic efforts for greater cooperation among others.

1Q. Compare and contrast the structure, mandate, role and abilities

of Indias armed forces with that of paramilitary forces. (200


Words)
The paramilitary forces were defined in 2011 as the organisations that provide
particularly close support to the Indian defense forces and have a sizable portion of
the regular defense forces. Currently India has three Paramilitary organisations.
These are 1. Assam Rifles - Assam Rifles has the distinction of the oldest paramilitary force
in the world. Assam Rifles operates in the North Eastern part of India and
complements the Indian Army in countering the insurgency and guarding the
borders. It comes under the Ministry of Home Affairs.
2. Special Frontier Force - Raised after the 1962 war, the SFF consists of soldiers
of tibetan lineage. It is tasked with guarding the borders with China as well as
certain intelligence gathering activities. It reports to the Intelligence Bureau.
3. Coast Guard - The Coast Guard is a naval paramilitary force. It deals with the
security of India's coast and focuses on preventing smuggling and protecting
the territorial waters.

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Earlier forces like Border Security Force (BSF), Central Industrial Security Force
(CISF) etc were also known as paramilitary forces. However, these are now known as
Central Armed Police Force (CAPF).
The three paramilitary forces mainly aid the armed forces in guarding the land as
well as maritime borders to prevent any unwanted intrusion.
Armed Forces
On the other hand the armed forces are tasked to ensure the safety and security of
the nation against any foreign power. The defense forces are divided into three
components 1. Army - India has the largest volunteer standing army in the world with more
than a million personnel. The army is tasked with guarding the borders of the
country. It is also deployed in a counter-insurgency role.
2. Navy - The navy guards the maritime interests of the country. It also protects
India's economic interests by protecting merchant convoys through piracy
infested areas.
3. Air Force - They ensure that Indian air space is protected against any
unwanted incursions and also provide a supporting role to other forces.
1Q. For many years defence analysts are suggesting that India

should create the post of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS). Critically


examine why this suggestion is made and its importance for
national security. (200 Words)
All the three arms of India's military have been headed by three different officers,
without any explicit integration between them. The Defence Minister is the only
person above them, and being a politician, he is not expected to be aware of the
intricacies of such coordination between the three arms of military.
Following are the reasons for the need of CDS:
1. It will provide the three arms with a unity of purpose required in operations
involving more than one form of military and establish a synergy between
three forces.
2. It will act as the direct link between the defence ministry and the country's
military and as a single point of advice to the defence ministry. Advice will
also be unbiased. Permanent CDS will be independent of service chiefs and
can provide effective and professional leadership and also be in a position to
render unbiased advice to the government.
3. It will help the ministry in drafting better defence policies as the CDS would
be able to provide a larger picture of the condition of military.
4. It will also help in fixing accountability as in multi-dimensional operations,
CDS will be responsible for is success or failure.
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5. CDS can lead to better inter budgetary allocations among three wings. Now
each chief differs on how it should be done.
6. CDS can also ensure no duplication of efforts among three wings.
7. Differences among the Chiefs of Staff should be resolved by the military
professional acting as the arbitrator like CDS would be able to take a detached
view and present an objective analysis of the situation along with the available
options and the advantages and disadvantages of pursuing each option
8. As India is aspiring to become a global power, sooner or later it has to have
off-shore military footprints. This requires jointness, rapid reaction
capabilities, enhanced efficiency and effectiveness of the planning process
through intra and inter-Service prioritization, which a CDS can ensure
9. It will make available the policy advices directly by military expert which is
missing due to civil bureaucracy in the middle
However, a CDS may not have the full experience of every force except his own in
which he served. This may lead to friction between CDS and the head of other two
forces and may prove counter-productive. Also, concentrating power, as well as
responsibility, in one person may not produce desired result. A body like a Council
headed by CDS can produce desired results.
Challenges:
1. The position of service chiefs will become less important with coming of CDS
leading to opposition from defence forces
2. The civil bureaucracy will lose its power; hence it is resisting the reform
process.

Topic: Security challenges and their management in border areas;

1Q. Critically analyse the security threats that India faces in its

Western border outside Jammu and Kashmir region. (200 Words)


Brothers make good friends but sometimes worse enemies. This is quite true of
Pakistan which under the ISI has resorted to all means retaliatory and retributive to
soothe its 'festering Kashmir wound' .the security nuisance created has not only been
restricted to Kashmir but encompasses the entire western border as follows1. The recent Dinapur cross border terrorist attack has revived the ghosts of
khalistani millitancy and highlighted the LeT connect with radical Sikh
groups.
2. The pakistani trawler which got blown off the Gujarat waters due to an alert
coast guard averted another 26/11 attack.
3. The golden crescent in the western vicinity has been responsible for illicit drug
trafficking in Punjab rendering two thirds of its youth addicted and the
political dispensation vulnerable.
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4. Money laundering particularly through hawala transactions has been


operative in the Ludhiana region for quite some time.
5. Small arms smuggling has been a frequent occurrence across the Rajasthan
deserts.
It is high time we shun "strategic confusion" and evolve a definite policy towards our
estranged neighbour. It should go hand in hand with a robust and collaborative
institutional and civic intelligence framework supplemented with ICT
technologies. The fragility of our western border if not reinforced might make us
relive the Punjab pandemonium of 90s ,very well threatening our sacred democratic
ethos.

1Q. It is said that a major factor preventing the return of normalcy

in Kashmir is the opposition to the Armed Forces (Special Powers)


Act, 1990 (AFSPA). In the light of allegations of human rights
violations, critically comment of the implications of AFSPA and
recommend changes to the Act to address the concerns raised
against it. (200 Words)
AFSPA is imposed on areas were armed forces required to work in aid with civil
authorities. however for AFSPA to become valid area should be declared disturbed by
the State or central government. The deployment of army is based on the
appreciation regarding a state of law and order or threat to internal security.
Criticism of AFSPA:--1. Violating fundamental rights as can be seen

Sec 4(a) in which army can shoot to kill violates article 21 which gives
right to life.

Section 4(b) search without warrants violates right to liberty and article
22.

Dispersion of civil assembly by armed forces under section 121 violates


right to assembly

No judicial magistrate permission required while arresting --violate


article 22

Stop and search any vehicle

2. Overrides CrPC.
3. Violation of human rights
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4. Abuses by army, and are rarely punished for crimes.


5. It alienates the people from army and then from the rest of the India. A feeling
of other worldly is generated in their mind.
Way ahead:
1. Jeevan Reddy Committee recommended AFSPA be repealed and some of it's
provisions
incorporated in other laws such as CrPC, unlawful activities which give
protection to forces.
2. Create

committees

at

district

level

with

representatives

of

army,

administrators and public which will report, assess and track complains in
that area.
3. All investigations should be time bound reasons for the delay must be
communicated with the aggrieved.
4. All cases of human rights violation should be fast tracked.
5. Amendments In Laws :The lacunae in the Act, as a result of definitional voids
with respect to terms like disturbed, dangerous and land forces need to
be amplified to ensure greater clarity
6. The onus of proving the alleged person as terrorists should lie with the forces.
Sec 7 should be suitable amended to this effect.

1Q. It is not beyond the realm of possibility that Pakistan would see

in this so-called new doctrine of pre-emption, an opportunity to


deploy its nuclear and missile capabilities against India. In the
light of Indias recent hot-pursuit against insurgents in its
Northeastern region and possibility of such pursuits in its western
borders, critically comment on the statement. (200 Words)
In the recent spate of jingoism after India's 'hot pursuit' of militants in Myanmar has
raised expectation of a similar strike on the western front against Pakistan. However
such comments fail to take into account the difference in the tactical as well as
strategic situation on the two fronts. ['Doctrine of pre-emption' is a principle in
which a country disregards constraints of national boundaries and carries out preemptive attacks outside their borders to deal with national security or sovereignty
threats]
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The attacks on militants based in Myanmar was arguably conducted with the
concurrence or at least within knowledge of the Tatmadaw (Myanmar's army), which
has been conducting operations against militants. Any such operation in Pakistan
would not only have to tackle the militant groups but would also have to face a
hostile and well trained Pakistani army.
And the biggest difference is the fact that Pakistan has a nuclear deterrent. This was
the reason that the Kargil Conflict was not escalated as a full blown war. India's
revamped 'Cold Start' doctrine has also led Pakistan to develop tactical battlefield
nuclear weapons. These are most dangerous as a battlefield commander has full
control over them and theoretically, it can be used against any such pre-emptive
strikes by India.
What has to be kept in mind is that more than the difference between the forces
which are considerable, it is the difference in the psychology of the people which is
the deciding factor. Pakistan's psyche is marked by losing 4 wars to India. India's
apparent success and economic and military might also breed envy. Add to this the
lingering issue of Kashmir which ignites passion across both sides of border. The use
of even the threat of use of Nuclear Weapons in such a potent environment should
give policy planners a pause. India needs to ensure the safety of its western front
without any unwarranted adventurism like pre-emptive strikes in Pakistan.

1Q. Critically analyse the challenges facing the government in the


defence sector. In your opinion, how should government respond
to these challenges? Discuss. (200 Words)
The problem faced by government in the defence sector can be summarized as below
:1. The woes of the DRDO:

The research and manufacturing


embarrassingly poor .

Saddled by the problem of utterly slow bureaucracy and inordinate delays


in decision making and progress of critical defence research programmes .

It is facing huge shortage of skilled manpower and infrastructure such as


advance labs .

capabilities of

the

DRDO

are

2. Slow and un-moving acquisition process:

The defence acquistion process of critical millitary hardware has been

Distressingly slow and unresponsive to the need of the time, locked


motionless at the bureaucratic level in the defence ministry, worsened

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further by delayed supply of ordered military equipment and escalating


costs than estimated before .

No proper structure in Indias acquisition hierarchy that owns the


acquisition process. There are gaps in targets, responsibility and
accountability.

3. The diplomatic efforts so far have been unable to persuade countries like the
U.S to share and sell their cutting -edge technology. The upper cap of 49% in
FDI in defence sector has been unable to generate sufficient enthusiasm and
interest among major foreign defence players to share their technological
knowhow.
4. Lack of properly framed defence policy and likely hurdles in acquisition of
land for defence purposes further complicates the problem.
5. Lack of Coordination between all three wings of Defence. So, there is a debate
going regarding need of Chief of Defence wings.
6. Inefficient DPSEs: The DPSEs like HAL, BEL etc. are not able to live up to the
countrys expectations. There are a number of projects which are delayed and
there are some which are envisaged decades ago but are still in pipeline such
as multi-role helicopters which were to be manufactured by HAL.
Steps that needs to be taken:1. Focusing more on indigenous defence technology development by appropriate
funding of researches and hiring skilled manpower by DRDO and other state
and private owned entities in defence.
2. The Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) has to be urgently revamped to
cut the bureaucratic steps to a bare minimum. Looking into international
practices, like USA where there is a special integrated Defense procurement
agency which coordinates the requirements of the armed forces
3. Indias acquisition process must become the enabler of an indigenous defence
manufacturing base that delivers on quality, timeliness and capacity.
4. Creating a structure that owns the acquisition process and has officers of all
departments influencing defence indigenisation and must work under one
head, who will oversee the process of drafting policy and implementation.
5. Private sector: Treat them as equal partners and offer them big projects to
boost their capabilities
6. Increased % expenditure of GDP in phased manner to 3% in time bound
manner.
Since government is the sole buyer of defense manufacturing by private firms, thus
long term contracts and perspective plan with clearly stated objectives is key to
investor's confidence

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1Q. In your opinion, what should be the approach of Indian


government and security agencies in dealing with security
challenges within and across Indias borders? In the light of recent
attack on insurgents camps by the Indian Army across IndoMyanmar border, critically examine how has India
managed various security challenges in its borders post Kargil
War. (200 Words)
Post Kargil war Indian government has taken the several step to counter any
challenge at border posts. These includes:1. Various agreements have been signed between India and bordering countries
like Pakistan, china, Bhutan, Bangladesh to maintain tranquility at border.
2. To undermine any misunderstanding official meeting at bordering countries
are being arranged.
3. India work on the principal of not violating the cease fire first.
4. Operations all clean was launched with the helped with Bhutans army to wipe
out militant.
5. Cooperation between intelligence agencies of India and bordering countries
has been increase.
6. It has intensified the patrolling at border area to check any infiltration
However recent attack on Indian army camp clearly shows the need of improvement
in this regard. In this regard the need of the hour is to better cooperation between
intelligence agencies of bordering states. Rehabilitation of local immigrants would be
a viable step. Development project in less developed bordering area of Manipur,
Arunachal Pradesh, and Nagaland will deter the youths of this states to involve in
militancy and other antinational activities. Better cooperation of army personal with
local will help to tackle any Manipur like attack in future.

1Q. Critically analyse the role of Myanmar, Bhutan and Bangladesh


in addressing internal security threats that India is facing along its
Eastern and North-eastern borders. (200 Words)
Ties with Myanmar, Bhutan and Bangladesh are extremely crucial for India when it
comes to fighting terrorism. The recent deadly ambush on dogra regiment is
supposed to be planned in Myanmar .National Socialist Council of the Nagaland
(NSCN), has claimed responsibility for the ambush, however security agencies
believe the involvement of other terrorist groups too.
1. India and Myanmar: Not just the menace of NSCN, UNLF, but there is
probably already set up of other terrorist groups in Myanmar like Laskar-etaiba and Jais-e-mohammad. Several Rohingya Muslims have already
infiltrated into India and living here as illegal migrants (after bangladesh govt
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has banned their immigration).With such a huge population of Rohingya


Muslims in India, it is obvious that terror groups would want to win them over
in a bid to disrupt peace in India.
2. India and Bangladesh: ULFA and the NFDB (S) have found to be operating
both in Myanmar and Bangladesh with the help of the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen
Bangladesh. Porous boundaries associated with illegal migration are the
invitation for terrorism.119th amendment done by India's govt will definitely
be a positive step to stop this migration and thus terrorism. Combined
training exercise of army of both countries should be started like that with
Bhutan could also be a solution
3. India and Bhutan: India and Bhutan enjoy 699 km of common border, which
is manned by the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) on the Indian side and the Royal
Bhutan Army (RBA) on the Bhutan side. RBA officers and army are also
trained in India. So there is less intrusion of terrorists from Bhutan.
All these terrorist organizations work under the banner of different causes, but have
just one motive. Cornering India through the formation of a Greater Bangladesh is
their agenda. The problem is not just one, but several .All three countries need to
work together and in tandem and if the same is not done soon then the problem
could only worsen. Indian government has appealed time to time to
Myanmar and Bangladesh in curbing out these problems.

1Q. Discuss the challenges faced by India in managing various


security challenges in its eastern borders at present. (200 Words)
Various security challenges faced by india at its eastern border are Drug trafficking ,
arm trafficking (recently, mentally ill people in Manipur were used to transfer arms
across the border. If they get cought, they will not know who gave them the weapons.
Thus security forces will be helpless) human trafficking , illegal smuggling of animal
part or artefacts, intervention of various outside forces( state as well as non state
actors) , in migration of people etc.

Challenges in effective tackling of above said security issues are :

1. `Porous borders:- Eastern border is close to Golden triangle and India acts
as a passage for drug trafficking. Porous border also lead to smuggling of arms
to insurgents in North east states (NNC (Naga National Council) and MNF
(Mizo National front) get arms from across the border)

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2. Geographical challenges:- North east states are connected to rest of india


by chicken neck and also difficult terrain in region often become major
obstacle.
hostile
terrain
replete
with
dense jungles, hills, swamps & rivers are difficult to manage
3. Border fencing issue: unlike Indo-Pak border, fencing along our eastern
border is far from completion; further fencing itself is a challenging task due
to presence of marshes, swamps, & big rivers etc; Infact innovative proposals
such as floating fences are under implementation.
4. Political factors:- It includes failure to pass land boundary agreement bill ,
regional political pressure etc.
5. Land acquisition issues: delays in land acquisition have reduced the pace
of border fencing; at some places state government has been unable to acquire
land for construction of border outposts; at a few places protests have broke
out against border fencing.
6. Environmental clearances: particularly from various forests such as
national parks, tiger reserves etc are prime cause for delays in border fencing,
road & outpost construction etc.
7. Repeated insurgencies: particularly in north-eastern states have further
deteriorated the security condition; can be attributed to lack of development.
Therefore need of the hour is to expedite the process of fencing along the border,
develop required infrastructure, provide adequate livelihood to locals and engage
various factions/insurgents in political dialogue process. Ii will not only secure our
borders but also help us on foreign policy front.

Topic: Money-laundering and its prevention

1Q. Critically analyse the agreements signed by India with its island
neighbours in the Indian Ocean to curb black money. (200 Words)
India has taken number of steps on domestic as well as international front to curb
black
money.
It has signed number of agreements with island nations like Mauritious and
Seychells in indian ocean which act as tax havens and black money is routed through
them
back
in
India
as
investments.
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Some agreements include automatic exchange of information on account holders in


banks of these nations. Agreements on better coordination among their Enforcement
directorates have also been signed. Double taxation avoidance agreement (DTAA)
also
find
important
place
among
these
agreements.
However there are some concerns. The banks in tax havens do not give information
on account holders so easily. The information will only be shared if Govt. of India
proofs that the account holder has acquired wealth via illegal means. Further the
DTAAs have not been so effective in dealing with tax avoidance. No agreements and
framework have been prepared on how to take on menace of Participatory notes and
shell companies based in these tax havens

1Q. Critically comment on the recent black money law and examine

the merits and demerits of the same. (200 Words)


Undisclosed foreign income and assets(Imposition of Tax) Bill,2015, seeks to put
curb on the menace of black money stashed abroad and also tax evasion. The law
applies only to the residents and not to the professionals working in foreign countries
and NRIs.
Pros1. Will help to get a better perspective of the real economic situation of the
country once all the unaccounted money is put to the rule book
2. High penalties as imposed by the law(Being 90% of the value in case of nondisclosure of foreign assets and income) and stricter punishment(upto10years
jail term).
3. Made tax evasion a predicate offence and thus liable for an action under the
Prevention of money laundering act, 2002, will enable the enforcement
agencies to attach and confiscate the accounted assets held abroad.
4. Compliance window tries to make the people come forward by themselves
5. Assets amounting to less than 5 lakh not reported out of ignorance does not
entail penalty
Cons1. The law does not prescribe the method to bring the black money back to the
country.
2. Bill is based on the premise that only foreign accounts and assets are the main
source of black money, neglects domestic black money.
3. Fails to provide a mechanism to retrieve the information from foreign govts.

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4. Domestic laws and international treaty obligations blocking the detection of


black
money
are not addressed.
The law though is a very important step to curb black money but still is not a holistic
approach to control the generation of black money and neglects domestic problems
like providing excess power to tax authorities neglecting failure of tax administration
system, and the larger problem of domestic black money.

2Q. Analyse the significance of recent recent agreement signed


between the governments of India and the United States to
implement the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) for
both the countries. (200 Words)
Foreign Accounts Tax Compliance act signed between US and India ushers in a new
era of taxation cooperation between the two governments providing significant
benefits to each country.
FATCA places in a mechanism for automatic and systematic exchange of tax related
information of resident of USA in India and vice-versa to ensure undisclosed assets
dont remain untaxed.
For India,
1. FATCA Will aid in its thrust to uncover Black Money stashed abroad
2. Complement the Black Money ACt-2015 by providing requisite Information to
launch tax investigations
3. Insulate Companies in India from 30% withholding tax that would have been
levied by US Revenue Services in case of no intergovernmental FATCA
4. It will serve as a broader model for more bilateral collaborations between
different countries including the various tax havens.
5. Economic significance--- india-us agreement on FATCA will foster genuine
investments contributing to positive growth. The tax compliance will bring
legitimate revenues to both the countries that will benefit the fiscal situation
of both the countries.
6. Money-laundering---the tax evasion has important linkage with money
laundering and illegal proceeds. Terrorism financing are now using
sophisticated financial channels to find anti-state activities. Checking such
proceeds by regulating tax information will bring both the countries closer in
counter-terrorism efforts.
For USA, FATCA ensures bringing more tax evaders having offshore assets under the
radars of tax investigation being conducted by it IRS ( Internal revenue Service) to
enhance tax transparency and ensure an equitable tax regime.
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Hence FATCA brings good news for tax administration in both India and USA.
1Q. Critically comment on the recent black money law and examine

the merits and demerits of the same. (200 Words)


Undisclosed foreign income and assets(Imposition of Tax) Bill,2015, seeks to put
curb on the menace of black money stashed abroad and also tax evasion. The law
applies only to the residents and not to the professionals working in foreign countries
and NRIs.
Pros6. Will help to get a better perspective of the real economic situation of the
country once all the unaccounted money is put to the rule book
7. High penalties as imposed by the law(Being 90% of the value in case of nondisclosure of foreign assets and income) and stricter punishment(upto10years
jail term).
8. Made tax evasion a predicate offence and thus liable for an action under the
Prevention of money laundering act, 2002, will enable the enforcement
agencies to attach and confiscate the accounted assets held abroad.
9. Compliance window tries to make the people come forward by themselves
10. Assets amounting to less than 5 lakh not reported out of ignorance does not
entail penalty
Cons5. The law does not prescribe the method to bring the black money back to the
country.
6. Bill is based on the premise that only foreign accounts and assets are the main
source of black money, neglects domestic black money.
7. Fails to provide a mechanism to retrieve the information from foreign govts.
8. Domestic laws and international treaty obligations blocking the detection of
black
money
are not addressed.
The law though is a very important step to curb black money but still is not a holistic
approach to control the generation of black money and neglects domestic problems
like providing excess power to tax authorities neglecting failure of tax administration
system, and the larger problem of domestic black money.

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2Q. Analyse the significance of recent recent agreement signed


between the governments of India and the United States to
implement the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) for
both the countries. (200 Words)
Foreign Accounts Tax Compliance act signed between US and India ushers in a new
era of taxation cooperation between the two governments providing significant
benefits to each country.
FATCA places in a mechanism for automatic and systematic exchange of tax related
information of resident of USA in India and vice-versa to ensure undisclosed assets
dont remain untaxed.
For India,
7. FATCA Will aid in its thrust to uncover Black Money stashed abroad
8. Complement the Black Money ACt-2015 by providing requisite Information to
launch tax investigations
9. Insulate Companies in India from 30% withholding tax that would have been
levied by US Revenue Services in case of no intergovernmental FATCA
10. It will serve as a broader model for more bilateral collaborations between
different countries including the various tax havens.
11. Economic significance--- india-us agreement on FATCA will foster genuine
investments contributing to positive growth. The tax compliance will bring
legitimate revenues to both the countries that will benefit the fiscal situation
of both the countries.
12. Money-laundering---the tax evasion has important linkage with money
laundering and illegal proceeds. Terrorism financing are now using
sophisticated financial channels to find anti-state activities. Checking such
proceeds by regulating tax information will bring both the countries closer in
counter-terrorism efforts.
For USA, FATCA ensures bringing more tax evaders having offshore assets under the
radars of tax investigation being conducted by it IRS ( Internal revenue Service) to
enhance tax transparency and ensure an equitable tax regime.
Hence FATCA brings good news for tax administration in both India and USA.

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1Q. Recently the government has decided to offer tax rebates to

encourage transactions through credit and debit cards. Critically


examine the rationale behind this move, its merits and demerits.
(200 Words)
Recent announcement by government of financial incentives like tax rebates on
cashless or e transactions is a crucial step in right direction for a highly cash centric
economy like India .Few possible benefits of cashless transactions are
1. Most-tractable - (unlike cash transactions which are least traceable at
economy level)-so better monitoring and regulation possible which will help
reduce menace of Black Money. These transactions will be documented hence
will reduce the size of black economy.
2. This step will lead to shift in cashless transaction which will help in reducing
tax evasion. Hence, tax base of the government will increase.
3. This will help in reduction of cost overheads of printing notes, maintaining its
security features and incidence of usage of counterfeit notes.
4. Incidences of loss of money through theft will reduce.
Demerits:
1. If the system is not widely used then it will reduce the revenue of the
government.
2. It will be difficult of the elderly population to shift to e transactions.
3. Online transactions may cause cyber crimes and cyber thefts.
4. It will not cover be possible to cover rural areas where there is lack of
awareness of e transactions.
5. Surcharges are levied on use of credit/debit card transactions. If this is not
removed, providing tax rebates alone will not incentivise people to use them
6. Many traders and manufacturers are reluctant to accept payments through
card
7. Payments through cards is bound to increase in future due to the ease and
convenience of carrying them and making payment for online shopping. Thus,
govt seems to be incentivising something which is naturally going to happen
in future even without any govt incentives.

1Q. It is argued that the steps taken so far, including the Black

Money Bill, to bring back an estimated $1.5 trillion stashed abroad


are completely ineffective. Critically discuss. (200 Words)
Black Money has become a major problem for India. In keeping with its electoral
promise of tackling the issue decisively the government has taken a lot of steps.
1. After getting elected, the government constituted a high level Special
Investigation Team (SIT) on Black Money under two former judges of the
Supreme Court.

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2. The government negotiated with foreign banking havens like Switzerland and
Leichenstein to co-operate in investigations on black money in bank accounts
opened by Indian citizens in their jurisdiction.
3. The government also introduced a bill on Black Money in the Lok Sabha to
tackle the issue.
4. Promotion of plastic money to reduce cash transactions.
While laudable and showing determination to face the problem, the government has
not shown major results in bringing back the estimated $1.5 trillion of black money
stashed outside. The measures taken by the government focus on investigating black
money and trying to reduce generation of black money. Till now the government is
dependent on voluntary disclosure by the citizens to ensure that black money is
retrieved from foreign locales.
To tackle the problem effectively, the government needs to focus on both aspects of
the issue. Work on reducing generation, while at the same time work to bring back
already generated black money for use in the country's development. The
government can take the following steps:
1. CBI/ED can register a FIR on receipt of information of illegal accounts
through intelligence sources, and then obtain a letter of request under 166A of
CrPC from a designated court. Then the agency can seek swiss cooperation
under its international judicial assistance law to confiscate the account
2. Using the german or the French method monetary inducements are used in
these countries to will senior bank officials as was done with HSBC in geneva.
3. US method senior bank officers of union bank of Switzerland, who were
based in Washington DC branch were arrested on charges of espionage to
pressurise swiss authorities into giving information about citizens who had
illegally opened accounts.
4. Legislative method - India can pass a law nationalizing all foreign accounts by
Indian citizens. Then it can negotiate with the tax havens to get the money
back while exempting the genuine accounts that have been voluntarily
disclosed to the government.
The government must intensify its efforts to bring back the black money stashed
outside the country. Any delay, only helps the account holders to move the money
and thus escape the dragnet of justice.

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2Q. Critically comment on the provisions of recently passed Black


Money Bill and their effectiveness in addressing the issue of black
money and corruption in India. (200 Words)
In last session of Parliament passed the Black money bill. This bill is enacted with the
view of bringing back the black money and stopping the black money going abroad
but there are many loopholes in the bills.
1. NRIs are not included in the bill, they dont need to declare their incomes.So,
Indians who are moneyed, work out an arrangement with NRIs to hold their
wealth and show their incomes through legal arrangements.
2. The provisions of the Bill will be applicable only if the government is able to
detect incomes and wealth held abroad. The Bill has no mechanism for doing
so.
3. An amnesty scheme is offered to come clean.There will be no punishment if
one discloses the assets and incomes abroad in the specified period and pays
the taxes within six months. Thus, the inexperienced ones who had held illegal
wealth abroad in their own names and earned incomes on them would have a
chance to come clean.
4. The black wealth of most experienced Indians would be parked there via shell
companies in tax havens and hence not be counted as Indian money. For this
people use layering.
5. The Bill contains no mechanism to identify funds going out or being held
abroad. The government argues repeatedly that it will get information via the
Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) or Tax Information Exchange
(TIE) agreement with a number of governments. But these channels only
record tax information on sources of disclosed income.
6. Doesn't proposes any mechanism to stop the generation of black money
So the bill has many provisions for jail term and harsh penalties but it will not work
as there are many loopholes. If we really want to stop this black money games first
we need to plug the gaps in our system by which people get this black money, then
we need to make arrangements to stop this going out and then we need to make
arrangements to stop it from coming back via Mauritius and other routes.

1Q. A recently set-up Special Investigative Team (SIT) on Black


Money has recommended several measures to tackle the issue of
black money circulation in its three separate reports. Comment on
the important recommendations of these reports. (200 Words)
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1. Senior government officials (like RBI governor, SEBI chief, CBI director,
secretaries of govt depts. etc) shall file affidavits that they do not possess
illegal money abroad. There are allegation sthat government officials are the
most corrupt. This provision partially addresses this.
2. The SIT has recommended that India's double taxation treaties and mutual
assistance treaties of income-tax with other countries be redrafted as they are
one-sided. This recommendation comes in light of the fact that despite having
a double taxation avoidance agreement with Mauritius, several money trails
have gone cold due to lack of assistance from authorities there.
3. The second major recommendation of the SIT is to amend the Prevention of
Money Laundering Act (PMLA) to introduce a provision under which the
Enforcement Directorate (ED) would be able to attach the properties of those
who do not bring back black money within the stipulated time frame.
Currently, the ED has the power to only attach properties bought with the
proceeds of crime.
4. All cash above 10 lakhs in possession shall be made illegal. Similar restrictions
have been put in place by many European countries. While this would control
holding of unaccounted money to a large extent, it must be seen that small
transactions, which make a bulk of common mans daily transactions, are not
affected.
5. Special courts to hear income tax prosecution cases must be set up. Currently,
as many as 5000 IT prosecution cases are pending and so additional courts
will bring relief.
6. A central KYC Registry should be established with all law enforcement
agencies, Registrar of Companies and financial institutions having access to its
database. Such inter-connection will help identifying multiple transactions by
one person with different IDs.
7. The Financial Intelligence Unit, which is the national centre for receiving,
analyzing and disseminating information related to suspected cases of money
laundering, must be harnessed to exchange actionable intelligence on
proceeds of crime in other jurisdictions.
8. Department of revenue intelligence need to be given power to check
any irregularities in Special Economic Zones, which are free from any
government oversight for now
The above mentioned recommendations are progressive and will go a long way in
helping curb the menace of black money. While, they sound ideal on paper, the real
challenge lies in their effective implementation. In a report by Global Financial
Integrity India has emerged at 4th rank among 25 countries for illicit financial
transaction. Given the huge amount of illegal capital stashed away in foreign
accounts and a parallel black economy running in India, government need to act on
these recommendation as soon as possible.

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Topic: basics of cyber security;

1Q. Recently the The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls

for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies was


in news and it is argued that this agreement has become
anachronistic vis a vis cybersecurity issues. Critically examine.
(200 Words)
The Wassenaar agreement is an agreement signed between several nations in 1995 to
control the import and export of arms, ammunitions, and technologies that have the
potential to be used for military purposes. At present there are 41 member nations
who
have
signed
this
agreement.
In 2013 a new clause was added to the agreement which deals with the import and
export of "intrusion softwares". This clause has created the following issues with
respect to the increasing threat of cyber securities issues:
1. Strict control over countries and MNCs in export and import of cyber security
softwares. So technologically backward countries cannot buy such softwares
from another country which would help them to safeguard their national
interest.
2. Without such cyber security softwares the country's critical data becomes
openly available to other countries which would affect their national security.
3. Since import of such softwares is illegal according to the agreement, countries
would opt to buy such systems through illegal or illegitimate channels. For
example, recently India tried to buy a intrusion software from a company
named "Hacking Team".
4. It becomes difficult for conducting researches and product development in the
field of internet security.
5. It would again hamper the consultancy companies in different countries to
produce security softwares for clients residing in another country.
Even though Wassenaar agreement was signed for a good cause, which is for the
purpose of non proliferation, clause regarding to cyber security does more harm than
good to the globalized world. The arrangement which was inked way back in 1996
could not anticipate the growth of internet and the related security issues. In the
present context where technology is changing every day the western countries should
take steps to revise the old and obsolete arrangement instead of enforcing it more
strictly.

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1Q. Cyberspace desperately needs an international legal regime,

and India is well poised to offer a zero draft diplomatic jargon


for the starting text of any negotiation that acknowledges both its
burgeoning digital economy and its constitutional commitment to
free speech and expression. In the light of the statement, critically
comment on the existing laws that govern and address cyberspace
issues, and examine what role can India play in cyberspace
governance. (200 Words)
Rising role of cyber space in the economic growth, social aspects of development, and
national security has brought the issue of its governance in forefront. India having
worlds 3rd largest net-user base and fast emerging digital economy along with
constitutionally imbibed spirit of freedom of speech and expression ;is well posed to
play a more important and more visible role in cyberspace governance.
Currently the cyber governance regime remains highly US centric where only legal
document governing it is NATO-formed TALLINN MANUAL which is alleged of
several short comings like its Western bias nature; unsuitable mere imposition of
international laws governing physical spaces to cyberspace too which is intrinsically
different ; and issues like equity,transparency,accountability, grass-root participation
lack ,accountable and security remaining open and unresolved.
Existing institution coordinating and cooperating with various stakeholders are nonprofit organization, largely based out of USA, like ICANN. International Telecom
Union (ITU) under UN and Internet Governance Forum (IGF) have emerged as some
of other platform to discuss and deliberate on the global governance architecture of
Internet.
So undoubtedly there is a void of a proper and fair international legal governance
framework in cyberspace and India can and should play a frontrunner /initializing
role by taking steps like 1. Offering a Zero draft /initial agreement framework for a new just and
innovative international data protection law
2. Voicing at regional and international forums like UN for a New Internet
governance order based on the principals of Multilateralism(involving all
stake holding states) as well as Multi-stakeholderism (involving non-state
actors like private sector and civil society also)
3. Organising International conferences (like NETmundial by Brazil last year!)
For discussing the issues like replacement of Tallinn manual with a new law
etc
4. Pushing for in International court to prosecute transnational cyber crimes etc
5. Strengthening domestic cyber security infrastructure especially that related to
Critical Information.

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2Q. Do you think the Information Technology Act 2000 is well


positioned to address the threats of cyberwarfare and other threats
emanating from the cyberspace? Critically examine. (200 Words)
The Information Technology Act, 2000 was originally passed to facilitate the ecommerce transactions. However, it has been amended from time to time tackle the
various threats that emanate from cyberspace.
1. Section 70A mandated the establishment of a special agency which would be
responsible to set the standards and issue guidelines to ensure safety of
Critical Information Infrastructure (CII) which includes 12 sectors like
banking, defense, aviation etc.
2. Section 70B mandates the establishment of an 'Indian Computer Emergency
Team' (CERT-IN) modeled on a similar force in USA. Cert-In is mandated to
deal with cyber security threats like hacking and phishing and strengthens
defense of the Indian internet domain.
3. provision of Lawful interception,
However, the bill is weak on data protection. The bill has provisions for against
wrongful loss or wrongful gain but does not protect the privacy. Hence, it does not
prevent companies from selling or sharing consumer data with others. The bill also
does not define cyber terrorism, nor has any provisions against the same. Issues like
spam, child pornography etc are also not adequately tackled by the bill.
IT act does not contain a coherent strategy which can leverage synchronized efforts
of public and private sector. Multiplicity of agencies (more than dozen) including
MHA, CERT-IN (Computer Emergency Response Team India), National Centre for
Protection of Critical Information Infrastructure, state police etc deal with cyber
crime. The lack of coordination hinders smooth functioning. The much awaited
Cyber Coordination Centre is yet to be established.
The real issues are lack of capacity of enforcement agencies. The police lack capacity
to tackle the modern, technologically advanced crimes like financial frauds,
impersonation, identity theft leave alone cyber warfare and cyber espionage.
While most of Critical infrastructure lies in private sector, a workable mechanism to
involve private sector in cyber security response is yet to be evolve. The efforts to
establish Data Security Council of India on PPP basis and Permanent Joint Working
Group (JWG) with involvement of private sector under aegis of National Security
Secretariat are steps in Right direction.
While the government has tried to update the bill to deal with the challenges of
cyberspace, the dynamic nature of the sector means that the government is always
playing catch up. The government has also been guilty on tardy implementation.
Even the best law is no good if implemented poorly. In view of some lacunae in the
bill and the changed conditions in the sector, it is desirable that a comprehensive bill
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dealing holistically with cyber-security is brought by the government which deals


with all aspects ranging from spam to the more dangerous Denial of Service (DoS)
and Computer Network Exploitation (CNE) attacks. That would be the first step to
develop a comprensive and dynamic framework of cyber-security

1Q. It is argued that India should work through the BRICS group

(Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) to develop an


alternative to the U.S. hegemony over internet. In the light of
concerns expressed over the ownership of Big Data, internet
architecture and governance mechanism for internet, critically
comment on the statement. (200 Words)
The internet is the most evolving phenomenon of our lives, with the ability to shape
our lives and the choices we make. It is thus important to treat it as a global
commons and not the monopoly of a single country the USA. With the EU too
wedded to the USA to be able to challenge this hegemony and develop an alternative,
it is definitely wise for India to work through the BRICS group.
1. With all major social networking and communication sites having their
servers in the USA and Canada (except China), these companies have vast
amounts of big data that reveal our preferences, choices as well as private
details. They are arm twisted by the US govt to share such data without our
permission.
2. The internet architecture is also dominated by the USA. All major tech logistic
companies Apple, Facebook, twitter, whatsapp, Microsoft etc. are
headquartered in the USA and as such must comply with the govt directions
there
3. As far as the governance mechanism is concerned, it is operated by ICANN
(Internet Cooperation on Assigned Names and Numbers). For all its
arguments of its global character, the fact remains that it is a body dominated
by the USA and staffed primarily by US citizens.
BRICS group have a common interest in developing and alternative to this
hegemony.
1. With China operating its independent architecture, and having banned the
abovementioned sites, it has the necessary expertise and wherewithal to
provide an alternative framework.
2. The new architecture can be built around the principle of equity and
inclusiveness, and this will help India assert its voice in a space where it has
been traditionally absent.

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3. India can work to modify the new architecture to incorporate provisions that
are consistent with its jurisprudence and philosophy. Recently the SC had
rebuked govt officers for using gmail for official communications.
Although it may be difficult for India to reconcile on issues such as internet freedom
and political rights, yet the pursuit is worth it. If the BRICS bank is anything to go by,
the success of an alternative internet framework is also very much in reach.

1Q. A recent study has indicated a dramatic rise in attacks by cyber


criminals on Indian entities in recent years. Critically examine how
these crimes should be tackled by concerned agencies and
government. (200 Words)
In the past few years Indian economy has been going digital at a fast rate - ecommerce has exploded; leading to growing online transactions. Government of
India
&
various
states
have
launched
many
e-governance initiatives to improve governance. Rising mobile penetration
particularly internet enabled smart phone users. On a flip side this has led to a spurt
in cyber crimes targeting Indian entities & naive first internet users; To tackle this
menace all concerned agencies including government should come up with a suitable
strategy
Steps that can be taken:
1. Individuals: should be educated to create backups & also understand the need
for it. They must be educated not to reveal their sensitive personal
information indiscreetly.
2. Businesses should enhance their cyber security spending. Study the best
practices across globe and frame their cyber security measures accordingly.
Organizations should designate a Chief Information Security Officer.
3. Conducting cyber security drills to assess the preparedness of the
organisations.This should be increased further according to the present
situations.
4. Govt should set up nodal centres to tackle cyber threats - National Cyber
Coordination Center & a computer emergency response team are a welcome
step. NCCC - will screen online threats and coordinate with the intelligence
agencies to handle issues related to the national security such as hacking and
espionage. NeTRA ( Network Traffic Analysis System) and Cetnrlaized
Minitoring System will go a long way in ensuring national security. They need
to remain technologically updated always. Also, a balance must be struck
between the need to surveillance for security and intrusion into private lives of
citizens. This will also help winning citizens cooperation in dealing with cyber
threats.

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5. Come up with innovative measures such as ethical hacking so as to find out


the weakness in the existing architecture and then fix it.
6. Fishy emails and spam lure employees with attractive offers, then slowly steal
data. NIC should create filters to block such emails,mandatory continuous
training should be provided on safe practices.
7. Strengthen the legal framework. Give statutory status to national cyber
security policy. Quick investigations and prosecutions should be done.
8. Upgrading the critical IT infrastructure in nuclear facilities, Electricity grids,
Oil storage and Weapons facilities.
9. Raising a corps of trained professionals who specialize in dealing with and
neutralizing threats in cyber-space. National cyber security policy aims to
train 5 lakh people. Increase in training centres to facilitate advanced training
in cyber crime investigations which is now undergoing at limited centres.
10. Taking steps to build our own servers instead of depending on external servers
by engaging IT organizations which could decrease the cases of snooping.

Topic: Security challenges and their management in border areas;


linkages of organized crime with terrorism

1Q. Critically discuss why some of pressing security challenges that

India is facing in its north eastern region are inextricably linked


to developments taking place in Myanmar. (200 Words)
Indias North eastern region needs special attention and participates in the Indian
journey of development and economic prosperity. But many security, socio-economic
and infiltration challenges are pulling it back. Many are linked with the Myanmar
unstable political scenarios with which North eastern sister states share longest
border.
Myanmar is semi-democratic and military ruled nation where the taste of
Constitutional Democracy is yet to come. This army dominated government (more
than 80% parliamentarian are army officers) always supported North eastern
extremists and make their border porous for arms supply, smuggling. Recent case of
red sander, rhino horn and poached animals are found to reach China through
Myanmar only.
Persecution of Minority Rohingya Muslim by majority Buddhists also a reason of
increased infiltration along the border. Myanmar also poses security threat to
Bangladesh also because of infiltration. Many Burmese minorities first reach
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Bangladesh then reach India risking their life later to join extremists, local business
to further disrupt hard earned peace in North east.
Relations between NSCN (Khaplang), ULFA(United Liberation Front of Assam),
NSCN (National Socialist Council of Nagaland) and the Myanmar government have
been on the upswing in last decade with various proof of securing hideouts for
wanted criminals/extremists of North east in Myanmar.
Myanmar's growing closeness to China evident in growing presence of Chinese
companies in Myanmar is also a cause of security concern because of oft used
Chinese policy of gaining strategic influence by using its economic strength.
Myanmar army dominated govt also supports secessionist forces of North east for
their personal gains like smuggling, arms/ammunition supply etc. Myanmar
government has entered into an five point agreement with Khaplang faction of
NSCN; which includes ceasefire, freedom of movement for unarmed cadres in
Myanmar and opening liaison office to facilitate talks; proving Myanmar's active
involvement in India's north eastern problem. Such goodwill gestures to Rebel group
will further erodes the long form trust and diplomacy between India and Myanmar
consistent with Indias act east policy.
Topic: Linkages between development and spread of extremism.

1Q. One of the most disturbing effects of civil unrest is children


participating in violence. Critically analyse how unrest in different
parts of India have made children vulnerable to exploitation,
trafficking and misuse. (200 Words)
Human trafficking is the3rd leading illicit trade world over & problems like terrorism
add salt to the injury. India is grabbed by terrorism both at the frontiers and inside.
Findings from various reports indicate:
1. Children (as low as 6yrs) are snatched from their families by Maoists to use
them as spies, couriers, self explosives, etc., particularly in the affected zones
trafficking in persons report 2015, US.
2. According to UNs report, organizations like salwa judum, Maoists are
indoctrinating children.
3. Reports say that they are creating children squads like bal dastas, bal
sangam, bal manch not to educate but to act against government.
4. National commission for protection of child rights report indicates
recruitment
of
children and adolescents to fight for terrorism.

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5. Depriving them of Education by destroying govt. schools and threatening the


Teachers. This is influenced by the Taliban and Boko-Haram strategy to keep
children away from Education lest they become pro-democracy.
All these indicate that the terrorists not only cause trouble to the administrative
machinery but also destroying the future of the next generation through coercion or
false promises.
Following problems are responsible & need to be addressed in these conflict zones to
get rid of this menace:
1. Poverty
2. Lack of adequate infrastructure like all-weather roads, schools, banks,
electricity, sanitation in houses and schools, clean water
3. Surveillance on school dropout and quick corrective action
4. Lack of awareness banking, agriculture, etc.
5. Lack of industrial investment thereby creating jobs and regular source of
income in affected region government has to show pro-activeness in this
respect.

1Q. Do you think religious stimuli is the sole reason impacting the
rise of Islamic extremism across the world? Critically analyse. (200
Words)
Spread of Islamic extremism has been a widely acknowledged threat to world
security especially in middle east, spreading slowly in all directions. Explaining
Islamic extremism as a result religious stimuli is not entirely correct. Though on the
surface it seems to have religious tint, detailed account reveals that there are other
factors underlying leading to rise of islamic extremism :
1. Failure of political systems: middle east ,hub of terrorism has witnessed malgovernance characterised by corruption, repression,lack of participation and
large scale unemployment especially among youth.
2. Most of these radical Islamic groups have emerged out in regions where
governments practice sectarian discrimination rendering many sects
unrepresented in government and limited political participation
3. Unhappy and frustrated youth wanted to vent their anger, which was
capitalized by Islamic radicalists.
4. Metamorphism of terrorism as an organization and profession characterised
by recruitments, cadre-ization etc, sense of purpose, glorification of violence
etc.
5. Repeated interventionist policies and interference of the Western powers led
by the U.S.A in Iraq and other middle east countries generating anger and
hatred locally .
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6. Inter-competitions between regional influential countries like Saudi Arabia


and Iran etc to gain strategic grounds in the domestic affairs of neighbouring
countries
Arguments for:
1. All most all these deadly radical Islamic groups are driven by primary goal of
establishing a worldwide Islamic caliphate or imposing self-rule in the areas
under their control ,ruled and governed by Islamic Sharia law and reformed
by radical ideas and misinterpretations of religious texts , they hold zero
tolerance towards other religions ,sects and ethnic groups.
2. Increasing number of people , from western countries,even though they have
good economic opportunities there ,are radicalized by Islamic propaganda and
joining cadres of ISIS also
This has grown to a stage where it has created a state (ISIS) for itself and is
aggressively expanding. There is need to understand the underlying causes to curb
and counter the spread effectively.

1Q. Critically examine the factors that have helped the emergence of
Islamic State in the Middle East. Do you think this organisation
poses greater threat than Al-Qaeda and Taliban? Substantiate. (200
Words)
The Islamic State (IS) is a radical islamist group that has captured vast swathes of
territory in eastern Syria and across Northern and Western Iraq. The following facts
have contributed to the meteoric rise of IS 1. US withdrawal from Iraq - The US troops withdrew from Iraq without
ensuring that institutions had been set up in Iraq to ensure its stability and
security. Thus, the IS found a comparatively weak Iraqi army.
2. Conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia - Iran and Saudi Arabia are the two
major powers in Middle East. While both are Islamic countries, Saudi Arabia
is a Sunni-majority state while Iran is Shia majority. Coupled to this Saudi
Arabia is a monarchy while Iran is a theocracy.
3. Instability in the Middle East - After the Arab spring, there has been a lot of
instability in the region. There have been regime changes, demands for greater
freedom by the citizens and a crackdown in different states in the region. The
instability has been compounded due to the oil supplies from the region which
has led to interference by other powers.
4. The late response of the West and the limited success of the airstrikes has
helped the IS linger on. Also, strategic paradoxes like the West's desire to
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topple Assad and at the same time the need to use the Syrian Army against IS
have led to confusion. The role of Hezbollah, though effective has been viewed
with suspicion by S. Arabia
Thus all these factors have combined together to form a potent mix which has been
exploited by the IS to achieve ascendency in the region.
The Islamic State (IS) is much more dangerous than Al Qaeda or Taliban due to the
following reasons
1. IS is not a conventional terrorist organisation but is more like a modern state.
Thus, it has established institutions based on its ideology in the area it
controls. This also provides safe haven to many terrorists.
2. While Taliban did rule in Afganistan, the territory which IS controls is much
more valuable as it has oil resources which can be used by IS for generating
finance.
3. The IS has also been more successful in radicalising a lot of people. Even
young children or citizens of advanced countries like Britain have joined IS.
Thus, IS is a very disturbing force and can potentially destabilize the entire Middle
East and by doing so can affect the economy of the entire world.
1Q. In the light of increasing naxalite violent activities despite

governments efforts to stall them, in your opinion, what should be


the critical components of counterinsurgency strategy followed by
the government agencies? Critically discuss. (200 Words)
Naxalism is a major challenge to India's internal security. An effective counter
insurgency measures are essential to establish peace and tranquility in Indian
territories. Major components of a counter insurgency initiative are
1. Ideological: The basic ideology of the naxal movement is that of alleging the
state to be anti poor which resulted in the deprivation of the people living in
the affected areas. This ideology has been deep rooted in the cadres as well as
the residents. A strategy which counters this ideology and checks its spread is
thus imperative.
2. Developmental: It has to be realized that the current situation in the naxal
affected areas is due to governance and development deficit at some point of
time. There can be no substitute for development and the developmental
strategy should focus on overall development of the region through education,
employment, health care, women empowerment, local governance, etc.
besides recognizing that majority of the population is tribal and the
development should not deny them of their habitat.

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3. Police: The violent activities of the naxalites needs to be taken care of with a
strict hand. Although, assassination, extreme use of force, should be taken as a
last resort. The state and central police should largely comprise of personnel
belonging and willing to work in the affected areas so that their knowledge
and acquaintance can be used to further developmental work. Force alone is
also detrimental. A balance has to be kept. We need force to ensure peace to
pursue development projects.
4. Intelligence - Effective intelligence network to know firsthand their operations
and hideouts for minimal but effective counter attack is the prime component.
Use of local communities, enlisting locals into police forces should be done.
5. Technology - It can be the difference between insurgents and our forces.
Technology ensures accurate, minimal and effective efforts. Allow the
geography of those regions make technology critical. Use of Eco towers for
energy, solar panels, GPS, drones etc.
6. Coordination - Coordination between different counter insurgency forces that
is the state intelligence, police, Special Forces such as Octopus and the central
para military and intelligence makes counter insurgency effective.
7. Local communities - These people are the encouragement for Naxalites. They
are the main recruits. It is essential that we resolve their grievances and win
their trust in the Government and indian constitution.
8. well motivated security forces: the basic needs of our forces on ground are not
being duly attended to; ration & supplies, medics/paramedics, air support etc
are either lacking or missing; such petty issues can make or break motivation
of our soldiers; adversely affecting their resolve to fight naxalites.
On the whole, the strategy should be a mix of force and favour. The motive should be
to win their hearts and minds. A comprehensive and holistic strategy with the stated
components will make these communities join mainstream India.

1Q. Critically comment on the success of the Treaty on NonProliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) in stopping proliferation
of nuclear weapons around the world. Looking at ongoing
geopolitical struggles around the world, do you think non
proliferation can be achieved? Discuss. (200 Words)
The Treaty of Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), which entered into force
in 1970, has the following objectives - (A) prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and
weapons technology (B) promote cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy,
and (C) achieve the general and complete nuclear disarmament.

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Success of NPT in stopping proliferation of nuclear weapons around the world is


being rightly questioned because:
1. After 1970, when the treaty came into effect, four more countries acquired
nuclear weapons. These were India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea. So
compliance isn't mandatory and non-compliance doesn't have costs, or at least
costs that can deter countries from acquiring these weapons.
2. The treaty is arbitrary and discriminatory and is seen by many developing
states including India as a conspiracy of the nuclear 'haves' to keep the nuclear
have-nots in their place.
3. The NPT is state-centric and increasingly, the problem the NPT faces come in
the form of non-state actors and its suitability to deal with such problems is at
best debatable
It is extremely difficult to imagine a completely nuclear arms free world because of
the following reasons:
1. Flawed nature of the NPT that divides the world into nuclear haves and havenots
2. Security dilemma which leads to nuclear arms race (as in the case of India and
Pakistan developing nuclear weapons; also seen in Saudi Arabias case)
3. The perception (often true) that possession of nuclear weapons gives more
prestige and respect in the international regime and a sense of security
4. Unwillingness of nuclear weapon states to move towards complete timebound nuclear disarmament
5. Lack of faith in collective security

Topic: Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges


to internal security.

1Q. Does India need a a coherent national strategy to take on


Islamic State and to prevent Indians from joining this
organisation? Critically examine. (200 Words)
India is home to 2nd largest Muslim population in the world and no Islamic terrorost
organization can skip India as a target. Islam in India jas seen many shades during
its long history from being rulers to being divided along communal lines during
partition to a sort of alienation in today's India. But fortunately due to India's
accomodative spirit, we have remained free of Wahabbism or Salafism.
ISIS's meteroic rise from detritus of a civil war tp a near state like apparatus has been
phenomenal and poses a great challenge. Though a few misguided youth from India
have joined, but a strategy needs to be formulated.

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1. Firstly, areas which show communal tensions must be focussed and police
should be revamped to prevent any untoward incident and report any
missing persons.
2. Secondly, disgruntled youth population needs to be made aware of laws,
brotherhood and compassion. Here the service of preaching maulvis and
eminent perosns could be obtained by incentives to mobilise opinion and
educate history of Islam in India which embraced each other. Madarsa
modernization schemes should be implemented in these areas on a priority
basis.
3. Thirdly, fringe elements and organizations should be banned from these
areas.
4. Fourthly, terrorists and those violate laws should be punished speedily to
break stereotypes created due to prolonged media coverage.
5. Fifthly, intelligence agencies should keep an eye on those travel between
India, Pakistan and West Asia. These steps will ensure there is no mass
feeling of alienation amongst disgruntled youth.
If ISIS were to target India, Pakistan's radical elements will be first affected and
happenings there will let us know of impending crisis. Indian army meeds to he
modernized and international efforts should be mobilized to prevent falling of
Pakistan, a nuclear state, into the hands of ISIS.

1Q. In your opinion, what should be Indias strategic response to


separatist movements, insurgency and terrorism? With emphasis
on separatist movement in Jammu and Kashmir, critically analyse.
(200 Words)
India is facing growing threats from insurgency ,terrorism and separatists across it's
inland regions and frontiers and therefore there is exigency to take bold measures
based on pragmatism and careful planning and execution with support of all the
available machinery within the government at central and state level. These
measures should includes the following:Security:
1. Prompt action by security forces backed by precise and strong intelligence
services .
2. Capability of India's intelligence agencies must be enhanced with use of
advance technologies and best practices in the area .
3. wining support of locals in the counter operations and their active
involvement through recruitment in the armed forces and reserve forces.
4. intense training of security forces to enhance their capability in guerrilla
warfare and fighting in forests and treacherous terrains
economic:1. generating employment opportunities for locals
development and recruitment in government jobs.
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2. providing educations and imparting vocational training that make them


employable .
3. carrying development works locally through improved infrastructure ,roads,
housings ,urbanization.
Cultural and social:
1. poverty eradication, improvement in social indicators .
2. countering the growing influence of anti-states actors on the youths by
providing mainstream education through schools and organizing exchange
visits to rest of the India to learn and appreciate diversity, traditions and
different cultures .
The counter-operations against the separatist movement of J&K has achieved a great
success in restoring the peace and stability in the valley which has been largely
peaceful off late barring a few occasions .This has been possible only because the
promptness and active actions of armed forces backed by active intelligence
gathering .However, threats loom high in wake of recent spur of separatists activities
in J&K .The development work in the region has remained stagnant for years and
unemployment remain high.Very few have any formal education .For the long term
peace , the economic and socio-cultural measures mentioned above should be
implemented.

1Q. Critically analyse how Indias neighbours have assisted or

hindered Indias efforts to curb terrorist activities of state and


non-state actors affecting its internal security. (200 Words)
Both internal as well as external territorial boundaries of India face security
challenges in the form of Naxalism, separatism, insurgency or terrorism. In order to
counter these threats, India has intensively engaged with its neighbours to seek
stabilised boundaries.
Countries such as Bhutan, Burma and Bangladesh have coordinate with india's
efforts in countering insurgency, drug trafficking and money laundering across the
borders. Recently, Burma displayed an attitude of cooperation in thwarting
insurgents along indo-Burma border. Likewise, nepal has helped India in tackling
violent activities of Maoists along indo-nepal border.
However, the attitude of nations such as Pakistan and China has been cold-hearted
in this regard. Despite both the countries wrangling with threats of terrorism in some
form or the other and theoretically proclaiming commitments towards counterterrorism efforts with india, Yet failed to manifest credible actions in this regard.
Pakistan, even to this day has taken no significant investigation and prosecuting
process to bring the perpetrators of 26/11 to the book and instead released its
mastermind, Rehman Lakhvi on bail. Moreover, it is frequently engaged in ceasefire
violations along the borders.
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Likewise, china too, in spite of condemning terrroism in all forms has recently
supported pakistan action of lakvi release. Also, its incursions into e borders along
arunachal, issuing staple visas all reflect its dubious stand regarding security
cooperation.
Thus, india should raise these ambiguous stand of her neighbours at international
forums to articulate security interests and persuade them to take responsive step
towards counter-terrorism initiatives

2Q. Critically comment on Indias approach towards handling


insurgency and insurgents in the northeastern region. Do you think
a referendum should be conducted and wish of the majority people
in the region be granted? Justify. (200 Words)
Indias northeast region has been facing the problem of insurgency since long and it
has affected the developmental process in region. The Indian governments approach
has not been proactive rather its short sighted, ad hoc and piecemeal. This misses the
bigger picture and fails to take a holistic view of problem.
Insurgency in north-east is diverse and complex in nature. The various ethnic groups
and clan rivalry has further complicated the situation.
Indian government has tried to engage in dialogue with moderate fraction and make
them stakeholder in local power equation. The ceasefire with NSCN (K), NSCN (IM)
and other Naga group was in existence for decades, but no conclusion has been
reached so far. The recent abrogation of ceasefire by NSCN(K) has shown that
extremist fraction are losing their patience.
The various accords like Assam Accord, Mizo Accord etc has shown that strategy of
dialogue and power sharing can work but it may not last long if all stakeholder re not
involved. The lack of effective implementation of Assam Accord has shown that
Assam still suffer from insurgency. Same is situation in other states of NE.
The lack of comprehensive and holistic engagement with all stakeholders,
irrespective of their ideology and composition, is missing. The grievance arising out
of complex ethnic, social and religious composition of region cant be solved by
referendum. Such a move would only further complicate the situation. The Nagas
want
Greater
Nagaland
but
this
is
in
conflict
with
Meities
who want their own state.
Heterogeneity of population necessitate that all the ethnic groups and stakeholders
be taken into confidence by speeding up developmental process, providing
democratic avenues for power sharing and giving due representation to all the
legitimate voices.

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1Q. Critically comment on Indias approach towards dealing with


the Naga insurgents in the Northeast. (200 Words)
North eastern part of India has been plagues by many insurgencies in different parts.
Out of them the Naga Insurgency has been the longest running insurgency which
began soon after Independence in 1947, led by Naga Nationalist Council (NNC)
under Angami Phizo.
After the rebel group gave up armed resistance and came to the negotiating table
with the government, the state of Nagaland was created in 1963. However a new
rebel group National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN) was established in 1980
with the purpose of establishing a sovereign state of 'Greater Nagaland' comprising of
areas from Myanmar, Nagaland, Mizoram etc.
The Indian Government has always followed the position that it will not negotiate
under the threat of violence. Thus, till the time the insurgent groups swear on armed
activity, they are repressed by use of instruments like the armed forces, police etc.
However, if they renounce violence then the government engages with them to settle
their grievances in a democratic manner.
This has been the policy of the government in Nagaland as well, where a cease fire
between the government and the insurgent groups have been in place since 1997.
However, there are many problems with the governments approach 1. Use of repression by armed forces has alienated the civilian population of the
region, thus providing support and cadres to the insurgents.
2. The government has tried to turn the various groups against one other for
tactical gains. However, this policy has caused a lot of collateral damage in the
form of civilian deaths.
3. The central government has not kept the state government in the loop on the
question of its negotiations with the insurgents. This deprives the government
of local insights and input in the matter.
4. The excessively long duration of negotiations - 18 years and continuing has
been the cause of considerable heartburn among the people. Also, govt does
not negotiate with khaplangs (myanmarese) but only with issac muivah
faction of NSCN
5. Close co-operation and co-ordination with neighbouring countries like
Myanmar and Bangladesh to ensure that there are no safe havens for
insurgents.
On the other hand the government policy has ensured that the number of deaths due
to militant violence has been brought down. It must now ensure that it can negotiate
a permanent solution to the problem and thus help bring peace and attendant
prosperity to the region
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1Q. Critically comment on Indias approach towards dealing with


the Naga insurgents in the Northeast. (200 Words)
North eastern part of India has been plagues by many insurgencies in different parts.
Out of them the Naga Insurgency has been the longest running insurgency which
began soon after Independence in 1947, led by Naga Nationalist Council (NNC)
under Angami Phizo.
After the rebel group gave up armed resistance and came to the negotiating table
with the government, the state of Nagaland was created in 1963. However a new
rebel group National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN) was established in 1980
with the purpose of establishing a sovereign state of 'Greater Nagaland' comprising of
areas from Myanmar, Nagaland, Mizoram etc.
The Indian Government has always followed the position that it will not negotiate
under the threat of violence. Thus, till the time the insurgent groups swear on armed
activity, they are repressed by use of instruments like the armed forces, police etc.
However, if they renounce violence then the government engages with them to settle
their grievances in a democratic manner.
This has been the policy of the government in Nagaland as well, where a cease fire
between the government and the insurgent groups have been in place since 1997.
However, there are many problems with the governments approach 6. Use of repression by armed forces has alienated the civilian population of the
region, thus providing support and cadres to the insurgents.
7. The government has tried to turn the various groups against one other for
tactical gains. However, this policy has caused a lot of collateral damage in the
form of civilian deaths.
8. The central government has not kept the state government in the loop on the
question of its negotiations with the insurgents. This deprives the government
of local insights and input in the matter.
9. The excessively long duration of negotiations - 18 years and continuing has
been the cause of considerable heartburn among the people. Also, govt does
not negotiate with khaplangs (myanmarese) but only with issac muivah
faction of NSCN
10. Close co-operation and co-ordination with neighbouring countries like
Myanmar and Bangladesh to ensure that there are no safe havens for
insurgents.

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On the other hand the government policy has ensured that the number of deaths due
to militant violence has been brought down. It must now ensure that it can negotiate
a permanent solution to the problem and thus help bring peace and attendant
prosperity to the region
1Q. The Islamic State is making inroads into new territories and

spreading violence thanks to many factors including the absence


of collective offensive against it. Critically analyse the reasons
behind success of ISIS. (200 Words)
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is an Islamic extremist terrorist group
controlling territory in Iraq and Syria, with limited territorial control in Libya and
Nigeria. ISIS today is emphatically not a problem limited to West Asian geopolitics,
with just some collateral implications for Indias diaspora, and for oil prices, its
spread has wider implications growing social unrest and threat to democracy being
the major ones.
The main reasons of success of ISIS can be attributed to lack of coherence among
major world powers to demolish ISIS, economic self sufficiency of the terrorist
organisation, weaponry, its talented but distracted youth force and the upcoming
intra-jihadi politics.
The main states and organisations that are presently challenging the ISIS are NATO,
European Union and Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf. The Asian
superpowers like Russia and China has shown passiveness towards the ongoing
struggle and India too has taken a protectionist stance rather than aggression. This
has made the war on terror weak.
ISIS has been able to keep up its financial reservoirs through illicit proceeds from the
occupation of territory, oil revenues, sale of antiques and artefacts, taxation and
extortion and donations. The international community has been unable to keep a
check on this funding.
ISIS is known for its well-funded web and social media propaganda. Most of the
digital caliphates business is conducted online, from recruitment and propaganda to
battlefield strategy and instruction.
Global reach and decentralised operating style makes this brash and brutal
organisation uniquely placed to attract disaffected Muslim youth including those
in the West, struggling with alienation and economic slowdowns.
Intra-jihadi politics complicate the picture with existing and newer, more extreme
jihadist organisations (Nigerias BokoHaram and Somalias Al-Shabaab) are
increasingly allying themselves with the IS.
To tackle the problem of ISIS it is imperative that world as a whole resolve to take
stringent actions against terrorism and adopt zero-tolerance policy towards
terrorism, be it in any part of world because terrorism is not danger just to a person
or a nation but to entire mankind and its eternal values of liberty and peaceful
coexistence.
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