IASbaba’s TLP 2016 [11th February]: UPSC Mains GS Questions [HOT]: Synopsis

  • February 13, 2016
  • 12
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IASbaba’s TLP 2016 [11th February]: UPSC Mains GS Questions [HOT]: Synopsis


1. Terror financing and the nexus of external state actors with terror outfits pose serious threat to India’s internal security. Examine in light of the revelations made recently by a convict to the Indian authorities.

Terrorism finance (TF) has been termed as the life blood of terrorism, one of the most important factors sustaining its continuing threat, both from within and without. The recent revelations by David Coleman Headley, an LeT operative-turned-approver highlights the nexus between external state actors with terror outfits.

Some important revelations:

  • Two unsuccessful attempts were made in Mumbai in September and October 2008 which failed, before the final strike at multiple locations in south Mumbai on November 26-29, 2008.
  •  The names of officials connected to the Pakistan Army and of their role, its dreaded Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), the LeT and others who were involved in the conspiracy, planning and execution of the 26/11 attacks which killed 166 people and injured hundreds more.
  • Named LeT founder Hafiz Saeed and his close associate Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi — both suspected right from the beginning since the investigations were launched by Indian agencies after the attacks.
  • He said he was also given ‘Daura-e-Ribat’ training, an intelligence course in which setting up of safe houses and reconnaissance are taught.
  • Naming two people directly linked with the Pakistan Army and the ISI — Major Iqbal and Major Ali
  • He was given leadership training, how to handle AK-47 assault rifles, bombs and explosives.
  • About the motive behind joining the LeT, Headley said he wanted to assist the Kashmiris fighting against the Indian Army in the border state
  • Ease of getting visa along with the repeated visits to India(7 times)


In the light of the above revelations, let us analyse how terror finance operates:

Fake Indian Currency Notes (FICN) are produced in Pakistan and to a much smaller extent locally in India. FICN is used to fund groups like LeT, Al-Badr, Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami (HuJI), Khalistan Commando Force (KCF), and Dawood Ibrahim-run operations

Second, terrorist and criminal groups have developed the ability to introduce counterfeit currency into the Indian and world markets with relative ease.

FICN is smuggled though a ‘hub and spoke’ business model. While Pakistan is the hub of the operation, the spokes are both direct and indirect. The direct routes include the Munnabao–Khokrapar and Attari border routes, as also across the fence. The indirect routes emanate from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Nepal and Bangladesh. However, Thailand, Malaysia, Myanmar and Sri Lanka have also been used as transit points. Lately, China has also emerged as a transit point.

In addition to the more traditional methods used for inducting FICN in the country, there have been cases wherein courier services have also been used. China figures prominently amongst the countries of origin in this regard.

The 26/11 Mumbai attacks were possible only due to the complete support of ISI. According to Headley,every big action of L-e-T is done in close coordination with ISI. The money which was used by Headley for his surveillance activities in Mumbai was provided by Major Iqbal of ISI. Headley believes that the money, with which the first boat costing Rs 25 lakhs was purchased, was also provided by ISI.

State sponsorship of TF is also evident in the case of terrorist groups demanding Khalistan and their close association with the ISI and ISI- backed groups like LeT.


Terrorism finance in the Indian context is distinct and in terms of sourcing and patterns. It needs to be reinforced that any solution to the existing nature of threat can only evolve through a thorough understanding of these sources.

The nature of the threat also highlights the enormity of the challenge. While some of the sources of TF have their roots outside the country, and will need international cooperation to limit their adverse impact, others like extortion are very much a domestic limitation that has festered for far too long. A concerted effort aimed at strengthening existing laws, capacities of enforcement agencies, and creating an environment for speedy justice needs to be ensured if terrorism is to be curbed across the country.

2. What do understand by ‘free basics’? Why the government has decided to disallow this initiative? Does this decision go against the interest of Indians? Critically examine.

What is  Free Basic?

  1. Facebook initiative in collaboration with telecom providers.
    2. Provides essential internet services at subsidized rates.
    3. Selective content and services beseeching net-neutrality.
    4. Net-neutrality: all internet sites should be treated non-discriminatorily.

Why disallowed by TRAI?

  1. Walled garden violates net-neutrality.
    2. Internet service providers become gate keepers.
    3. Monopolization and cartelization.
    4. Disadvantageous to new start-ups.
    5. Fragmentation of cyber space.
    6. Hindrance to free flow of data.
    7. Differential pricing promoted.
    8. Distortion of consumer choice.

Critical examination of impact on Indians?


  1. Rural poor deprived of internet
  2. Hindrance to greater penetration.
  3. Lower tariff accessibility denied.
  4. Prohibits diffusion of digital technology.

Pros :

  1. Right to equality promoted.
  2. Freedom of choice promoted.
  3. Initiatives of GoI: Project loon, Digital India, Make-in-India, National optical fibre plan, USOF & Promotion of DTH & cable TV

You may either support or contradict the decision of the government.

Best answer: Avatar The Rock

Free basics is an initiative towards greater internet connectivity, by providing free access to limited internet sites. It operates by collaboration between internet service provider and telecom operator.

The government has disallowed this initiative because 

  1. Against the principles of net neutrality, where all internet sites should be treated equally in a non-discriminatory manner
  2. Leads to fragmentation of cyber space, thus affecting free flow of information and data
  3. Against the start-ups, this cannot access wider market, due to prototype restrictions, thus impeding government “Start up India” initiative
  4. Can lead to monopolization and cartelization, which hinders competition and growth of internet.

Scholars argue that government actions is against the interest of Indians as poor unconnected population would be deprived of internet and its benefits like e-health , e-educaiton and skill development . Though , this may impact in the short run , it would promote greater competition and create a level playing field for all , thus helping in improving internet penetration in the longer run . Ex : Lower tariff with greater penetration of telecom companies

Simultaneously, government is also exploring ways to improve internet penetration by following measures 

  1. Increase resource allocation, through Universal service obligation fund
    2. Strengthen National Optical fibre network and national e-governance plan
    3. Capacity building of regulatory bodies for promoting transparency and monitoring in internet usage
  2. Promote digital literacy

Such initiatives will promote equitable and sustainable internet access to all without affecting net neutrality.

3. The recent trend of domestic leagues being organized for sports like badminton, hockey, football, tennis etc will have mixed results for Indian sports. Discuss.

Mixed results means the question has 2 parts:


  • Encouragement for students and parents to pursue career in sports, which was earlier regarded not as mainstream and lucrative option. This will provide a boost to domestic talent and respect to sports personnel.
  • It will create a sense of professionalism in Indian sportsperson which is very important for performance in international stage. India’s desire to win more gold medals in Olympics and to qualify in FIFA world cup can only be quenched by infusing money and professionalism in sports.
  • Also a good platform for girls to show their potent eg. Sania mirza, saina nehwal hence led to women empowerment.
  • It will also lead to infrastructure development and more employment generation.
  • Generates employment opportunities in various related fields like advertising, marketing, construction, etc.
  • Excessive focus on one sport has led to scandals, corruption, and monopoly over viewership. This diversification shall bring in efficiency due to competition.


  • Most of these sports are more an entertainment material, with the quality of sport questionable.
  • Most of these leagues are dominated by foreign players and coaches with meager opportunities to domestic players.
  • Commercialization of sports. Bidding on the players and spending huge money on them will make the game an issue of money, rather than talent and entertainment. This might lead to betting and match fixation which will deteriorate the value of sports.
  • Players may sometimes prefer to play in these leagues rather than national team expecting huge gains which goes against ethos of sports, patriotism.


Finally take a decision, whether to encourage these leagues or not…

(Encourage the leagues, however need independent regulation to maintain the quality of the sport)

Best Answer: Bhavana H S

The trend of domestic leagues for various sports gained momentum after the success of Indian Premier League (IPL), the new ways in which domestic and international players are auctioned and bought has added a totally different dimension to sports.

Similarly Indian Super League, Hockey India League, Indian Badminton League have started to attract new players and support from audience.

1) Such sporting events give the necessary exposure and confidence to our players, they will also be trained along with other international players, and can improve their game.

2) Revenue from sale of tickets can be used to improve the facilities at stadium, use it to purchase equipment’s, fund the player’s trip abroad and other such requirements.

3) Public is made aware about other games (other than cricket), thus it may motivate them to participate in such sports and take the training.

4) India’s representation at international sporting events may increase, it will also increase the medals won at Olympics and commonwealth games.

5) It creates a feeling of healthy competition among different regions, it strengthens the feeling of unity and favours nationalism, as the final list of players selected to represent India will be selected from among the teams of different regions.

Contrary to these it may cause

1) Increase in corruption

2) Separatist attitude and regionalism

3) Dismal performance outside India as players are used to play in front of home crowd.

4) No support to other sporting events except cricket.

5) Poor performance at Olympics, as athletics, gymnastics and many other sport categories are not represented at all.

6) Use of cheerleaders and other extravagant advertisements mask the game itself.
Proper regulation to such sporting events is necessary, and it should have the main motto of promoting the game and true sportsmanship.

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