Think Learn & Perform (TLP): GS Mains Synopsis [Day 91]

  • December 7, 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 91]


Q.1) ‘Knowledge means nothing without prestige and culture as its the culture that withstands shocks, not a simple mass of knowledge’. Critically comment.


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


Ans) Knowledge is something which a person gather through education, observation and experience. Culture on the other hand could be described as the way of life, which is aggregate of the combined knowledge of the society.


Its culture which provides identity to a mass of knowledge. Our vedic culture has provided weight to ideas like Vasudhaiv kutukmbkam, Atithi devo Bhava, Yoga etc which have found resonance all over world.Culture is also instrumental in perpetuation of knowledge over generations. Our culture has preserved the ancient knowledge and texts with various traditions. Additionally, culture acts as a bridge in conflicting bodies of knowledge and results in assimilation. India culture is characterized with different ideologies in co-existence in harmony with each other. On the other hand, lack of robust culture results in conflicts , like what we are witnessing currently in Middle east where followers of one set of idea trying to violently subdue others.


But sometimes, culture could be counter productive to knowledge building also. It puts great focus on traditions and conformity. Thus , Gallileo was persecuted for going against cultural beliefs, Practices like Sati conitinued due to faulty interpretations. And, in the recent times, caste and gender discrimination is perpetuating due to cultural resistance of the new idea and knowledge.

Thus, Culture is the bedrock of body of knowledge. It should be robust enough to weather and assimilate shocks and flexible enough to allow progressive changes. 

Q.2) Swami Vivekananda once said that circumstances had forced upon us, the need of woman’s protection. Critically comment on the importance of arming women with their own choices and education.


The Top Answer for this Question is written by – Another Brick In The Wall


Ans) World Bank in its recent report categorically said that economies with gender inequality will loose out in race for development. Women for long has been suppressed, subdues and discriminated as second category of citizens. Patriarchal society and its regressive practices and norms have not been reformed over time and huge disparity still persists. Cases of examining women for their “purity” (periods ) entering temples and increasing cases of crime against women in name of dowry only suggest that the plight of women still remain in doldrums.

It is in this context that women empowerment has become an inevitable need. A lot of women problems are because of their dependence on men financially. The very say of women is curbed because she is seen as a sink of money (dowry) rather than an earner. Further giving choices and education to women will help in following ways:-

1) It will help build their confidence.

2) Once non-dependent, they can exercise their choices

3) It is proven beyond doubt that women are better resource managers than men, hence will help in coming out of poverty.

4) a financially empowered women will ensure her future generation girls are not subjected to any discrimination


Also in Indian context the need is rather more because of its lowering sex ratio, particularly in age group 0-6. Government has been taking steps like “Beti BAchao Beti Padhao” , women reservation in armed forces, but still a lot needs to be done. 

Q.3) Intellectuality is not the highest good; morality and spirituality are the things to strive for. Examine the values attached with this perception in the life of a civil servant?


The Top Answer for this Question is written by – The Rock


Ans) Intellectuality means knowledge and understanding. Civil servants use Intellectuality in making decisions objectively in a globalized and diverse environment , thus promoting efficiency and rule of law. Ex : knowledge of tax laws improves tax compliance .

As civil servants are required to serve interests of marginalized communities , where values like compassion and integrity is required , morality is required . Morality refers to values that guides our actions. Ex : Setting up of schools in naxal affected areas based on efficiency vs equity and compassion .

However , civil servants may face ethical dilemmas where they have to balance public and personal interest while upholding institutional integrity and confidentiality . Spirituality helps in choosing the right path in this regard. Ex : “Performing Nishkama Karma” or performing our duties in a detachment spirit . Spirituality also helps in job satisfaction and cooperation in an organisation.

Thus, civil servants should imbibe intelligence , morality and spirituality as means , to promote public interest.

High Order Thinking


Q.1) Sentiments and perception have replaced performance and ideas in the politics of India. Sentiments can be driven through innovative marketing strategies and perception can be manufactured. In a situation like this, how far the attribute of ‘attitude’ plays it’s role? Examine.


The Top Answer for this Question is written by – Cosviny


Ans) Sentiments and perception have replaced performance and ideas in the politics of India. Sentiments can be driven through innovative marketing strategies and perception can be manufactured. In a situation like this, how far the attribute of ‘attitude’ plays it’s role? Examine.

Ans. In politics, what government do is not important when people’s emotions are highly charged by propagandist ideas. This is more about vote bank politics when people’s emotions and sentiments are exploited for narrow political gain. let us examine the role of attitude under this background:-

1. Attitude of people about politics have been largely negative and indifferent. But now Many social movements like India against corruption making the citizen active in politics or atleast aware about it. this attitudinal change came from innovative use of media, social media over Internet and use of cap and captions. This has been positive side of rousing sentiments through marketing strategy.

2. But some times, in Politics, few fringe groups aided by political party are diverting the attention of people away from government functioning and its evaluation. The media is used to manufacture people’s perception of Nationalist Idea along Communal and religious line. Recently , We saw issue of Beef eating is not at all significant issue in Democracy with lot of grave problems but lot of intellectual and political investment are wasted upon it for cheap politics.

Thus, attitude of people about politics or political culture is manipulated and frames by marketing strategy with planned propaganda which is most of the time for narrow political interest. the political awareness and judgement among people would stop this malpractices. Government, civil society and social-political activists can educate citizens on such practices and a desired attitude can be built by discussion, debate and deliberations. 

Q.2) Despite improvements on the macroeconomic front, some of the crucial indicators including savings, investment, capital formation and exports are not picking up. It has been pointed out that lack of public investment and inadequate growth in private demand have been the principal factors behind this. What do understand by this argument? Elucidate.


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


Ans) India has been said to be in “sweet spot” due to favourable macroeconomic conditions. Current account deficit has reduced significantly, Inflation is at moderate level, our forex reserves are record high and our demographic advantage provides us a huge domestic market. In fact, currently India is viewed as the prime engine of world growth with slowdown in china.


But these macroeconomic pluses are yet to be reflected in real sector. Currently:

A. Our savings ratio has dipped below 30%.

B. Our exports are in red for last 10 consecutive methods.

C. Index of Industrial production is showing tepid growth of 2-3%

D. There is not enough capital formation in country, displayed by low investments by corporate.


There are various factors attributed to this phenomenon:

A. Private sector in India is sitting on huge debt pile, as reported by credit Suisse report “House of Debt”, and have little resources for investment and capital augmentation.

B. Economic survey exhorted government to increase public investment, but with impending implementation of OROP, 7th Pay commission etc. the fiscal space has been reduced with government.

C. Although, RBI has considerably decreased key policy rates, but the effective monetary transmission has not taken place.

D. There is also global slowdown, resulting in tepid demand and cyclical slowdown in commodities.

E. Policies like inverted duty structure, Infrastructure bottlenecks , ease of doing business etc are proving to be show spoilers.


Thus, merely having favorable macroeconomic indicators would not result in growth in real terms. Government need to put in concerted efforts, by passing key legislations like GST, by sound policies like export promotion, labor laws ,bankruptcy code etc to usher in tangible growth in India. 

Q.3) Soft power can’t be underestimated in pursuing India’s foreign policy. In fact the proper branding and packaging of Indian culture and civilization complimented by the huge Indian diaspora living in different parts of the world can add considerable weight and momentum to India’s engagement with the world. Critically comment.


The Top Answer for this Question is written by – Mumtaz Ahmad


Ans) During the past decade, the attempts to leverage India’s soft power in strengthening diplomatic ties is on a rise. The hard power diplomacy of capital surplus and military power economies such as China, US, Saudi Arabia could be matched from the soft front:

1. The uniqueness of our ancient culture and heritage has been an attractive spot in the global platform.

2. India has focussed on cultural and historical ties to strengthen diplomatic relations as the case with Buddhism followings in Myanmar, Vietnam.

3. India’s ‘Look West’ policy for economic ties with West Asian economies is based on people-to-people contacts. This region has a huge presence of Indian diaspora.

4. The successful portrayal of Yoga, AYUSH and eco-tourism has given significant vantage points to attract tourism and global acknowledgement.

5. The India’s democratic values, pluralistic culture and global peace has been significant leverages on soft power.

6. The ever-increasing Indo-Africa diplomatic affinities on account of similar issues of poverty, health, demography and growth potential has been initiated through soft ties.


The philosophy of ‘Vashudhev Kutumbakam’ is the bulwark of India’s soft power on global platform which needs to be strenghened through greater people-to-people ties, cultural contacts. The recent instances of bitter relations with China needs to be tactfully handled to keep pace with this policy.

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