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Think Learn & Perform (TLP): GS Mains Synopsis [Day 57]

  • October 28, 2015
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Think and Learn, TLP Mains 2015, UPSC, UPSC Mains- Think and Learn-2015
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TLP: GS Mains Synopsis [Day 57]

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Q.1) “The Treaty of Versailles was a dictated peace”. Do you agree?

 

The Top Answer for this Question is written by – Vardan Maheshwari

 

Ans) Treaty of Versailles was one of the peace treaties at the end of World War 1 that marked the end of war between Germany and Allied Powers.

 Though labelled as a treaty of peace, Versailles document turned out to be a dictation due to the following clauses:

a)WAR GUILT CLAUSE-It forced Germany to accept the responsibility for the war & the damage.

b)NO GERMAN REPRESENTATIVE-The clauses of the treaty were decided only by Britain, France and US.

c)HEAVY WAR REPARATIONS-Heavy reparations were imposed on Germany in spite of its incapacity to afford the same.

d)DEMILITARIZATION OF RHINELAND-It was made a buffer zone between France and Germany and German army was to maintain only 100000 soldiers.

 

-Thus from the above clauses, it is clear that the real intention behind the treaty was to make Germany GRAPPLE WITH ITS ECONOMY AND NEVER BE A THREAT TO FRANCE AND BRITAIN IN FORESEEABLE FUTURE. 


Q.2) ’League of Nations bear considerable similarity with United Nation of contemporary times’. How far you agree with the statement?

 

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

 

Ans) League of nations (LON) and United nations (UN) were created as supra-national bodies after first and second world war respectively. Both bodies were supposed to promote security, peace and co-operation in world. League of nations is considered failure, due to its failure to avert another catastrophic war, but UN is considered a relatively successful body in this regard.

But in recent times, changing geo-political realities and diminsihing legitimacy of UN have raised its comparison with the dysfunctional nature of erstwhile league of nations:

A. UN has been ineffective in averting acts of aggression by major powers like Annexation of crimea by russia, Invasion of iraq by NATO etc. This has similarity with helplessness of LON in preventing german aggression during 1930s

B. The operations in syria by both russia and NATO members are without the approval of UNSC. undermining its importance. Similarly, institutions of LON was rendered ineffective by violations by powerful members

C. LON as dominated by western European nations with little voice to african and asian continents. Still, UNSC lacks the representation of the two most populous continents of world, and hence is less credible.

Still it would be far fetched to term UN a failure similarly to league of nations because :

1. UN have been successful in averting outbreak of another major war,even during the tense cold war years

2. Institutions of UN such as WHO, UNESCO, UNHRC are doing great service to humanity.

Thus, with some impending reforms, UN can again regain its stature as the premier body responsible for world’s peace. 


Q.3) Write a short note on the nature of World War 1 and discuss its impact on the Women.

 

The Top Answer for this Question is written by – Adityaka

 

Ans) The World War 1 was a war between Imperialist countries to redivide the already extensively colonised continents of Asia and Africa in the pretense of promoting independence and self determination of countries. The main reasons for it being called a World War were;

– Extent of the war was not limited to European countries but also trickled to their respective colonies in Asia and Africa.

– The damage was not restricted to the armies and their soldiers but also extended to the civilians in the form of famines, epidemics and aeroplane bombings.

– The economy of the whole world was affected.

– It saw the use of dangerous weapons as well as the tragic use of poison gas.

 

The reasons for the outbreak of the war were;

– Already existing imperialist tensions between European nations, particularly Germany which had recently unified and industrialised and was on the look out for colonies.

– Formation of dynamic alliances and increasing militarization. Also, growing chauvanistic nationalist sentiments, particularly those of Slavs and Germans.

 

Roughly 10 million people lost their lives, mostly men. This had a significant tragic societal impact on the wives, mothers and sisters. It transformed the demographic structure of the region. Furthermore, women were actively a part of the war efforts. Nurses were called upon in the battle fields, women responders were employed for the extensive network telegraphic communications. 


Q.4) The American Revolution was essentially an economic conflict between American capitalism and British Mercantilism. Comment.

 

The Top Answer for this Question is written by – Saurabh Sharma

 

Ans) American revolution denotes the struggle of 13 British colonies along the north-eastern flank of the north america with the british empire. These colonies were economically exploited by the britain. The resentment of the american colonies started as a protest against this exploitation culminated with the formation of an independent nation of the USA.

Following facts further reflect on this:

Some of the important industries like iron and steel were not allowed to be developed in these colonies. The colonies could import most of their products only from Britain. Besides, their imports were heavily taxed. The ships used in their trade has to be only of Britain.

The tobacco and cotton produced in these colonies could be exported only to Britain. The colonies had no representation in the british parliament. Hence they were often subjected with undemocratic and unjustified taxes, the proceeds of which were used in the betterment of the mainland Britain. The westward expansion of the colonies was checked as several british aristocrats had bought land and they did not want to forego the rent earned from these lands.

Hence the unequal treatment of the britain towards its American colonies fueled a rebellion with the aim of achieving economic concessions. But when Britain came hard against such retaliation, the people of America were convinced that freedom is best way to fulfil their industrial aspirations.


Q.5) “He was as great as a man can be without virtue”. Critically analyse the statement regarding Napoleon.

 

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

 

Ans) The above statement, made by Tocqueville, reflects the nature of Napolean’s rule in France during the first decade of 19th century. His greatness could be measured as :

A. He was considered as a military genius , who had won numerous wars and created a vast empire in the continental Europe

B. He reduced the influence of church and birth privileges and brought meritocracy and equal opportunity for all the sections of society in administration.

C. He drafted Napoleonic code,which was considered as model code for governance in Europe for a long time.

Still his greatness was overshadowed by the shortcomings of his character:

A. His penchant for wars and empire building resulted in ruthless suppression of people and soldiers.

B. He showed contempt towards the German and Slavic races, though his own army consisted a significant proportion of them.

C. He was also against the women rights and considered women

inferior to males.

D. Most crucially, he had a dictatorial mindset, even though he came to power on the backdrop of removal of monarchy and despotism. He turned out too be another despot.

 

Thus, although he was man of great talent and skills, but the lack of human virtues denies him the place among the truly great persons of world history.


High Order Thinking

 

Q.1) Religious sentiments and personal freedom were at loggerheads during the recent controversy surrounding the ban on slaughter and consumption of meat. Why do such conditions arise? Does our Constitution lacks clarity in this regard? How much responsibility do you attribute to the political class for this controversy?

 

The Top Answer for this Question is written by – Praneeth

 

Ans) Recent controversy surrounding ban on consumption of meat during the Jain Parushyan festival has once again led to conflict between sentiments and personal freedoms.

Such conditions arise because:

— In a multi-religious country with different sentiments, some religious groups attempt to safeguard their sentiments and culture.

— Attempts to polarize the community before elections with such demands.

— Tolerance levels in society in general are declining. This makes it easier for such groups to get popular support.

 

It would be incorrect to say that Constitution is not clear on this:

— The Constitution provides both individual and group rights under Art 25-28 to follow any religion and their beliefs and practices. The state responsibility is to protect such rights. But, nowhere is it mentioned that state has to protect their sentiments.

— Also, mere hurting of sentiments don’t qualify as grounds for imposing reasonable restriction on rights under Art 19/21.

However, the actions of SC aren’t clear. It upheld 2 day ban in past. Also, it hasn’t interpreted Right to food habits under widened scope of Art 21.

Role of Political class:

The political class in their attempts to protect their vote banks lend political support to such demands. Sometimes parties are ideologically affiliated to religious groups.

This is a very sensitive issue and needs to be dealt carefully. The state should interfere in religious affairs only in larger interests of society, else such bans not only curtail personal freedoms but also threaten secular fabric. 


Q.2) Acts of sedition can be serious internal security threat to the country. However, the very concept of sedition needs a closer review with respect to it’s interpretation, scope and misuse by the state. Examine the issue in light of the recent controversy surrounding the Maharashtra Government’s circular on sedition.

 

The Top Answer for this Question is written by – Radhika M

 

Ans) “Affection cannot be manufactured or regulated by law.” So aptly put by the father of the nation who himself criticised section 124A of IPC , saying, “it’s the prince among the political section of IPC designed to supress the liberty of citizens.”

It has been an unpopular section since its inception for trail and imprisonment of the most lovedfreedom fighters of all times before independence.

Before 1947 the reason behind implementation of this section was to promote British exploitation and that the native intelligentsia may not be a hindrance in doing so.

After independence and adoption of this section seems redundant almost and the reasons are :

1. We have separate laws for waging war against state , assaulting prez or any public servant, unlawful assembly, rioting, defamation and many more which themselves are sufficient for punishment under sedition so why have another law.

2. It has not been properly interpreted and this has been cause of contention.

For example, charging some students under this section for cheering Pakistan cricket team.

3. The major victims of this law have been writers, journalists ,activists and others who have tried to critisize politicians and unfair policies of governtment and voice the opinion of supressed section of the society. Hence, it’s seen as a tool in the hands of powerful people to curb criticism against them

4. In a democracy each individual has the right to put forward his views even if it is an expression of disaffection, if its done peacefully. 124A prevents so. For example, the imprisonment of a cartoonist for making a cartoon critisizing government.

 

In one of the most benchmark cases of bombay high court, where section 124A’s strict interpretation in Marathi language by the police was condemned , it was held that “sedition as an offence requires the element of incitement to violence AND disaffection against a government established by law. Mere criticism will not a tract this section .”

Hence there is an urgent need to incorporate this provision in the act for it’s interpretation by the state. 


Q.3) The recent policy change with respect to auction of oil and gas blocks is a step in the right direction to attract investments in the petroleum sector. Do you agree? Examine the issue in light of the advantages of the revenue sharing model over the production sharing model.

The Top Answer for this Question is written by – Indushree

 

Ans) Her answer can be seen in these images –

a) https://a.disquscdn.com/uploads/mediaembed/images/2714/2528/original.jpg

b) https://a.disquscdn.com/uploads/mediaembed/images/2714/2527/original.jpg

 

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