Think Learn & Perform (TLP): GS Mains Synopsis [Day 56]

  • October 27, 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 56]


Q.1 “Constant development is the law of life, and a man who always tries to maintain his dogmas in order to appear consistent drives himself into a false position.” –Mahatma Gandhi. Comment.


The Top Answer for this Question is written by – Amit


Ans) Human’s historical evolution is is the biggest testament to the fact that the change is only constant. Anything which is adaptable to changes remains relevant and those which remain indifferent either perish or render obsolete.


We find such example from various walks of human history –

1)Political- The authoritative regimes in middle east which remained indifferent to rising popular aspirations were brought down.Arab Spring is a case in point.

2)Economic- Chinese socialistic model of development giving way to a more liberal economic model in 1978 as per the demand of changing circumstances is again a case.Nearer home,planning commission (specially in post LPG era) replaced by NITI Ayog points to the same fact.

3)Social- Prevailing social evils in the era of renaissance and enlightenment started losing ground in early 19th century (socio-religious movement) Indian society and were either repealed and embraced larger reforms to avoid going into oblivion.

4)International:Repeated demand for the reforms in U.N.S.C to better reflect the present day global realities can also be seen in the same context


Thus,we see,flexibility and adaption is the key.Keeping pace with the changes does not only help survival but also remain an active and productive contributor to the development of the societies or institutions we are part of.It will,in a way,shall also reduce the tension in the world we live in. 

Q.2) The delay in rolling out the GST is not the result of any lack of consensus with regards to it’s importance to the economy, incentives to the business environment of the country or the benefits to the consumers. Rather it is the crisis of political economy that is inhibiting the state to pluck this low hanging fruit. Critically comment.


The Top Answer for this Question is written by – Wizard

Ans) GST is lauded as the biggest Tax Reform in India since Independence. GST will be comprehensive indirect tax to be applied on manufacturing, sales and service throughout India replacing myriad indirect taxes levied by centre and state. It will help in creating a national market, check inflation, better tax collection and increase export competitiveness of Indian product.

There has always been broad consensus on GST by all major party. However it was constantly delayed by different parties using different parliamentary tools so that ruling party don’t reap the praise of reform.

Though there are few bone of contention on GST in including land and liquor, however the major opposition was in regard to appropriation of the political gain. BJP led Gujrat government was the major opponent of the bill and delayed the passing of bill in 2011-12 and now it’s the turn of Congress which is trying to delay the rollout of bill from April 2016 through parliament obstructionism and demand to send the bill to parliamentary standing committee.

GST is believed to trigger huge investment in India and increase GDP by 2%. It is hence disheartening to see that major parties put party’s interest ahead of nation interest. 

Q.3) There can’t be further reiteration of the fact that it is imperative to continue dialogue with Pakistan irrespective of the repeated irks and skirmishes from across the border. In light of this statement, how do you think should the attempts of Pakistan to internationalize the Kashmir issue be seen? Is this a serious diplomatic challenge? Elucidate.


The Top Answer for this Question is written by – Amit


Ans) India and Pak have fought three wars (1948,1965,1999) over Kashmir.U.N’s intervention post 1948 was superseded by Shimla Accord in 1974 where both parties agreed to find a mutually acceptable bilateral solution to the issue and India position continues the same till date.However,of late,Pak has been raising it internationally-


1.Pakistan wants to put pressure on India to yield some space and extract a favorable outcome.

2.Frustration in Pak due to failure of many overtures between the two countries based on 1974 accord.

3.By mobilising international support,Pakistan wants to engage in talks with India from a position of strength

4.India being a major regional power,Pakistan feels without an International overtone to issue,Pakistan may not get an acceptable deal from India which can be sold to its domestic constituency.


The situation is certainly a diplomatic challenge –

1.Given our long standing position for a bilateral solution in the spirit of Shimla Accord.

2.There are fears that such internationalization of issue belittles India’s effort to get a UNSC seat as it portrays India as a irresponsible and aggressive power.

3.Finding solution to Kashmir issue becomes really difficult as it derails any peace talks between the two countries whenever there is any momentum.


Thus,both India and Pakistan should engage themselves in outcome based,constructive dialogues starting with issues which are easier to resolve so as to build confidence between the two.It should be noted that both of them also feel to be on equal footing/pedestral vis-as-vis these talks. 

Q.4) The cyber security ecosystem in the country requires to be more robust and agile in order to realise the objectives of Digital India. In view of the statement, examine the necessity of having a National Encryption Policy. What has been the recent controversy over the draft National Encryption Policy?


The Top Answer for this Question is written by – Rahul Agarwal


Ans) Digital India is an ambitious program of Union government to create digital infrastructure, improve digital literacy and to provide government services through e-portals. It has been tipped as the next revolution to improve governance , create equity and empowerment of the people at the grass root. But, as our critical infrastructure and essential services migrate to the digital ecosystem,their vulnerability to malicious cyber attacks also increase.

Cyber attacks may result in theft of data, identity theft, denial of service attacks etc. Also, critical installations like power plants, communication networks could be crippled by cyber attacks. We have also seen internet as a tool for spreading rumours and hate crimes. Violence against north-east people in bangalore, muzaffarnagar riots and presence of IS recruiters on social networking sites have raise concerns about the cyber security.

Government has often find its apparatus incapable to avert cyber crimes, due to the encryption standards used by the digital companies. Encryption is a method , by which a raw data is coded into a different format, which can only be deciphered by the intended user.It reduces the chance of data theft, when information is exchanged over the internet. But, it has been observed that unscrupulous elements also use this security feature to circumvent the scrutiny of law enforcement agencies.

Therefore, government came up with draft encryption policy recently, but its provisions were highly contentious. It was asking users to keep unencrypted data on their devices for a period of 3 months.This would have highly compromised the privacy and security of citizens. Also, it mentioned about lowering the encryption standards, which could have jeopardized the data safety and integrity. After the furore,the draft notifications have been rolled back by the government, and though an encryption policy is required, it should not compromise on privacy and safety of citizens. 

Q.5) A rigorous scheme for evaluation of performance and integrity of the bureaucrats needs to be established before the actual constructive wastage as envisaged by the recent circular by the government signaling the weeding out of inefficient and corrupt civil servants. Discuss. Do you think that the recently released circular is nothing but old wine in new bottle? Critically comment.


The Top Answer for this Question is written by – Amit


Ans) Recent scheme for evaluation of performance and integrity of the bureaucrats has noble intentions of bring -in much needed efficiency and establish a culture of integrity in senior bureaucrats(with more than 30 yrs of service) by –

1. Compelling bureaucrats to put more diligence in to score a better review

2. Bringing in professionalism in the departments

3. Weeding out the inefficient lot would make place for better candidates

4. Would inculcate sense of accountability and responsibility in higher bureaucracy which will slowly but surely percolate to lower rung


However,critics argue that it may not bring-in larger changes as –

1. It may further increase politicization of higher bureaucracy as they would like to be in politician’s good books

2. Leaving the front line and middle level bureaucracy from the purview will provide little benefits

3. Without an independent ,transparent and objective assessment mechanism in place,the scheme will yield little benefits as its predecessor ones.


Thus, a better mechanism could be to have regular objective assessment in place while also granting sufficient autonomy in the implementation of the programs and evaluating on the metrics of the delivery of those programs and policies. Lower bureaucrcy (after a certain level), as they are the ones implementing policy and programs on ground, should also be bring in the fold as the values of efficiency and integrity should be inculcated and made to nurture right from bottom.

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