Think Learn & Perform (TLP): GS Mains Synopsis [Day 55]

  • October 25, 2015
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Think and Learn-2015, TLP Mains 2015, UPSC, UPSC Mains- Think and Learn-2015
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TLP: GS Mains Synopsis [Day 55]


Q.1) What are your views about live in relationship? Is it against the Indian culture? Critically examine.

The Top Answer for this Question is written by – Nithin Kunneraparambil


Ans) ManuSmriti classifies marriages into 8 different types and one of them is Gandharva Vivaham. Gandharva Vivaham can very well be regarded as the Concensual agreement between two parties to live together, share moments of happiness and grief etc. So to begin with, Live in relationship was acknowledged in Ancient India’s most misogynist text as well. Though later it ceased to exist. Hence to call it against Indian Culture may not be true in some sense. The quest for the MONOLITHIC INDIAN CULTURE has made us believe in such notions.

The Nair women in Kerala used to practice something called as SAMBANDAM, where she could have multiple partners, Divorce wasn’t that big a deal and was often initiated by the women herself, there were no “MANGALSOOTRA”. This is also found among many Goldsmith caste of Kerala called “MUSHARI” as well. So Indian Culture is a very complex one and to give it a monolithic shade and label some practice against the culture is the work of some gingoistic group.

The live in relationship of the recent times should be read along side with GLOBALIZATION, INDIVIDUALISM and URBAN PHENOMENON. The post globalized word has induced certain amount of financial freedom and Social acceptance of unmarried women. Which has left its imprint on MARRIAGE as an institution. It has led to

  1. Liberation and Empowerment of women
  2. Positive impact on married couples(men starting to respect their wifes)

Even the SC has granted it a green signal as the time calls for.

So in many sense, LIBERTY of an Individual to live life ina a way she/he wants is absolute. Culture is a evolutionary phenomenon, so such changes are welcome sign.

With all of them being said, FAMILY as an institution is much needed for the stability of the Society. A complete make over into live in relationships as of now is impossible. After all, the corner stone of our culture is “ANTIQUITY AND CONTINUITY”.

Q.2) The rights of LGBT community are being vociferously put forward by the civil society. At the same time they are being contested by some sections as they feel that the notion of homosexuality is alien to the land of India and it can distort the traditions and values of our civilization. What stand you would take on this issue. Give arguments to substantiate your stand.

The Top Answer for this Question is written by – Jimboomba


Ans) The portrayal of homosexuality as an anathema is antithetical to the accommodative and assimilative ethos of Indian tradition.

The opponents of LGBT rights often resort to ancient Hindu scriptures to justify their claims.Such claims are based on the false premise that Indian culture condemns homosexuality.On the contrary ,the land of KamaSutra had historically very permissive sex laws.the Rig Vedic hymn of “Vikriti Evam Prakriti” meaning what seems unnatural is also natural is believed by scholars to be recognition of homosexual dimension of human life. Historical literary evidence indicates prevalence of homosexuality until 18th century.

The ostracisation of LGBT community began with the incorporation of the notoriously conservative Victorian ideals into the Indian psyche. The controversial section 377 criminalises even oral and anal sex among hetero sexual along with homo sexuality.At the center of these laws were Lord Macaulay belonging to the anglicist school , who vehemently disliked Indian civilization.

Homo sexual are just normal people who have a different sexual orientation.Almost every major economy moved to accept and acknowledge that it is perfectly all right to have a different sexual orientation. Acceptance of different view points and diversity of thoughts is a cardinal value of Indian cultural milieu .By criminalizing homosexuality , we are violating the rights of persons having different sexual orientations.

It is high time to remove section 377 ,the colonial era vestige from our statute books and join the progressive societies in the rest of the world in accepting the LGBT community .This is the ancient Hindu view as well as the modern view.

Q.3) Case Study


As in-charge of an airport customs area, you are faced with a tricky situation. There is constant tussle between your subordinates and the officials of the agency mandated to secure the airport infrastructure. There are regular complaints from the junior staff regarding mistreatment by the personnel of the security agency. In retaliation, your subordinates have started to harass their counterparts by making false allegations of  possession of contraband and nexus by the security personnel. All of this is creating undue tension and negativity at the airport. More importantly, it is affecting productivity of both the organizations. What would do in this situation? Which qualities you must show to handle the situation?

The Top Answer for this Question is written by – Vidhu


Ans) The management of customs and security are 2 very important functions at an airport. Any mis-conduct, misbehaviour at the airports directly affects the passengers, airport staff and the reputation of the city/country.

The qualities which need to be shown in this situation are:

  1. Leadership by example
  2. Professional ethics and adhering to the code of conduct
  3. Impartiality and objectivity

I would follow the below series of actions in order to control the situation

  1. Inviting the officer in charge of the security agency and discussing the situation between the 2 organizations and propose to set up an independent enquiry to investigate the charges made on the security personals and customs officers on the allegations.
  2. Will advise my staff the keep their actions within the code of conduct and show professionalism. Openly putting allegations against a prestigious security institution without any substantial proof brings disrepute and loss of integrity
  3. If the charges are found incorrect then would recommend for proper punishment for the officers. Will recommend proper actions against security personals if the charges are found to be correct.
  4. With the officer in charge of security and the airport chief official, will draft a code of conduct and responsibilities document which the personals should adhere while dealing with each other.
  5. Along with the officials will set up a proper grievance redressesal platform so that all reports come through a properchannel and appropriate action can be taken easily.

High Order Thinking

Q.1) Do you think that the absence of a uniform civil code is repugnant to the ideal of secularism in India? What in your view are the factors that have stalled the process of moving towards a uniform civil code? Is there a way out? Discuss.

The Top Answer for this Question is written by – Patience


Ans) “Do not confuse religion with personal law. Uniform Civil Code pertains to the latter” – The Supreme Court.

The above statement sums up the question at hand. The Secularism vs UCC debate stems from the fact that India has a positive outlook towards secularism. The government seeks to protect all religion rather than ignoring them as practiced in countries like US, UK etc. This creates a fear among minority religions that any unformalization of laws such as via UCC is discriminating against them. Instead, absence of a UCC itself is against the very principles of Indian secularism. Right to Equality as guaranteed by article 14, 15 and 16 is implicitly violated as people are discriminated on the basis of religion.

Factors stalling implementation of UCC

  1. Lack of Parliamentary will – Over the years weak coalition governments have failed to see through UCC.
  2. Emergence of regional/identity politics – It thrives on religious discrimination and vociferously condemns UCC.
  3. Out of judicial jurisdiction – The Supreme Court has time and again recommended UCC. But it can’t enforce UCC by itself.

The Way Forward

  1. Political will along with democratic participation – UCC can never be a one shot deal. It will require constructive debate and participation of all stakeholders including citizenry.
  2. Transparency in actions on part of government to secure such a sensitive topic.
  3. Mass sensitization program lead by the Central government.

Religion aside, UCC is important for our development as citizens and society as a whole. Gender neutral laws is one such benefit.

Q.2) While we realize the significance of indigenization of technology in strategic areas, our imports of arms, military vehicles, aircraft and carriers are increasing. Do you find a dichotomy in our indigenization objectives and our growing dependence on imports? Critically examine.


The Top Answer for this Question is written by – Praneeth


Ans) India is the largest importer of defence equipment. We do realize significance of indigenization of technology in strategic areas and have achieved it in a few fields – Space technology. However, dichotomy continues in defence sector. Some reasons:

— Issues with DRDO and other Defence PSUs – Failure to implement projects on time due to lack of all-round professionalism (Missile program has been a success), involvement tin too many projects (e.g. bio-toilets projects), failure to attract the best technical talents in the country – e.g. Not many IITians join them.

— Absence of effective and regular information sharing between the MoD and the industry. The acquisition plans are shared at the last minute leaves the DRDo or industry with little time to plan.

— Monopoly enjoyed by DRDO in defence research – In USA the private sector is an active participant in not just defence manufacturing but also research.

— Indigenization cannot happen overnight, while there cant be delay in addressing defence needs. Urgent need of Jet fighters led to the diluted Rafale deal – off-shelf buying without technology transfer.

— Improper implementation of the 30% Offset policy under foreign defence deals which was aimed at giving a fillip to domestic manufactures.

— Private sector involvement in manufacturing is impeded by lack of modern technology. For, this they need foreign support in the initial stages.

— Sector is not fully open to FDI – only 49% (100% in some cases) – absence of majority stakeholder powers discourages foreign players from entering.

Way forward:

DRDO restructuring is a must. Monopoly of DRDO in research should end and private participation in R&D should be encouraged. FDI cap should be relaxed to truly encourage private participation in defence manufacturing and success of Make in India and indigenazation.

Q.3) Is political bitterness responsible for a dysfunctional Parliament? Examine the issue in light of the recent stalemate in the Parliament. Is our national interest the first casualty of the prevailing stalemate? Elucidate.

The Top Answer for this Question is written by – Amit


Ans) Recent stalemate of Parliament brings in the larger issue of disturbing trends of Parliamentary logjams and disruptive tendencies creeping into the functioning of the highest legislative body ,our Parliament,the ‘temple of our democracy’. The factors responsible for the same are –

1.A disturbing trend of both opposition and ruling party indulging in such practices (whenever in power) making it a vicious cycle.

2.Political and parochial interests taking precedence over larger national interests.

3.Egoistic tendencies playing out in open with none ready to blink the eye first.

Such a situation leads to –

  1. Delayed crucial bills like GST,land acquisition among other halting the reform agenda of the govt of the day.
  2. Wastage of scarce public money which could be put to more productive use.
  3. Erosion in the faith in democracy.
  4. India’s image in the eyes of foreign investor being sullied.
  5. Most importantly,disenchanted youth further drifts away from engaging in active politics,a major setback to nation.

All these impinge on our national interests.In a democracy,differences of opinion are bound of occur.However,engaging the concerned party in a healthy and constructive debate on the floor of the house will not only resolve the stalemate but also further the cause of our vibrant democracy.National interests should always take precedence over anything else.

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