IASbaba’s TLP 2016 [15th March]: UPSC Mains GS Questions [HOT]: Synopsis

  • March 16, 2016
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IASbaba’s TLP 2016 [15th March]: UPSC Mains GS Questions [HOT]: Synopsis


1. Do you believe in the role of branding for promoting tourism? Why do we need brand ambassadors for various aspects of our culture? Isn’t culture itself a brand? Critically analyse. (Note: The question may appear to you as irrelevant for GS papers but keeping in mind the changing nature if questions being asked by UPSC, you can expect such questions in Paper 1, culture portion.)

  • Intro
  1. Write briefly about tourism industry in India, its evolution and contribution to economy and employment, 6.5% of GDP and 11% of employment directly or indirectly.
  2. .along with branding cleanliness, safety ,helpful and efficient administration along with good infrastructure help in pulling in tourists.
  • Body
  • Need for branding :
    1.Its spreads global as well as domestic awareness
    2. It builds positive attitude and breaks negative stereotype ,eg stereotype being India is land of snake charmers and crowded and unhygienic with no toilets.
    3. It tells the consumer what they can expect from the service, mental or spiritual relaxation and physical adventure.
    4. It differentiates and highlights the product from similar available options eg both India and Bangladesh have sunderbans, branding helps to show why Indian side is better than Bangladesh side.
    5. It conditions the values and aligns positive emotions
    6. It established permanent identity which aids loyalty. Eg: hyderabadi biryani, people will know what they are getting every time
    7. Reduces temporal costs of consumer in doing research
    8. Corollary of branding is quality assurance and trust generation, it sets the benchmark for minimum standard of services that can be expected.
  • Role of brand ambassadors
  • Effect on tourists
  1. Since they are well known personalities have mass appeal not just in India but abroad as well,I.e, ride on the popularity of the ambassador eg, Incredible India with Amir khan and Gujrat tourism with amitabh bacchan
  2. Having a brand ambassador lends credibility to the brand, which generates feel good factor among the followers
  • On the local population:
  1. They help in shaping the attitudes and behaviors of local population towards not just tourists but also to cleanliness and maintenance of sites eg: atithi devobhava campaign with Amir khan.
  • Culture being its own brand:
  1. Culture is the way of living of local people, and is very vibrant and enchanting, India being land of diversity, it has many cultures,
  2. Culture itself appeals to only a segment of people who relate to it eg: no of foreigners coming to Varanasi for spiritual experience, as such its appeal is limited,
  3. Branding helps in highlighting those aspects which people can relate to easily,and as such encourages them to take the journey
  4. Culture may not be able to attract people in many new and evolving sectors like medical tourism, and natuopathy where only good branding can attract tourists,
  5. Some people may like a place because of its heritage monuments, others may like for local cuisine, branding helps in synthesis of these elements and increasing the appeal.
  6. Branding helps in collecting different traits and selling them as a package
  7. In a globalized words, many sister cultures can be found in different countries, brand helps in differentiating and highlighting the uniqueness eg:buddhist culture in India and Buddhist culture in Myanmar
  • Conclusion

      Write your opinion and conclude.

Best answer : SVSR

‘Branding’ is the one of the reputation generating techniques used in marketing strategies. Since tourism has good potential of revenue & forex generation, economic activity and employment generation, Indian government also adopted this technique to make our tourism industry more attractive and value addition to its services.

Why do we need brand ambassadors for various aspects of culture?
> Modern world is highly mechanical with mundane aspects of urban life. People are cultivating less interest towards culture and focusing more on fashion and celebrity aspects in leisure hours.

> Emphasis of a celebrity on a particular aspect has the more potential to reach wider sections of people.

> Paves way for identifying the importance of particular culture and increases tolerance in the society.
> Instills optimism about culture in the minds of people.

This is the reason why we appoint ambassadors even for various government initiatives like Total Sanitation Campaign (VidyaBalan), Timely tax payments (Sachin Tendulkar), Immunisation programmes and vaccines (Amitab) etc.

No doubt Culture itself is a brand. But, in order to be more effective some kind of push is required to maintain its identity especially during the bleak periods of society wherein people are fond of adoption of outside cultures. Moreover, it also provides upholds our cultural greatness in national and international fora. For example, the branding of ‘Buddhist Circuit’ for famous tourist places of Buddhism in India and proving special facilities for it would promote tourism better. Alike, on the Medical tourism front also India has huge potential, especially with cultural medicines like Ayurveda, but there are issues connected with bogus and quacks disturbing it; branding and official recognition prevent these negative forces as well

2. There were many apprehensions regarding the adverse effects on the river ecosystem of Yamuna recently. Were these concerns ill founded? Analyse in light of the possible damages that human interventions can cause to a river ecosystem.

Part I: Should deal with apprehensions and whether these were ill founded or not

Expert Committee constituted by the Ministry of Environment and Forests in 2013 held that –

  • Despite several interventions, the river remains critically polluted and its space continues to be encroached upon for different purposes.
  • This has reduced the flood carrying capacity, groundwater recharging capacity, and other biodiversity related ecological functions. The morphology of the river and the wetland functions are also altered by embankments, bunds, roads, flyovers etc.
  • No development activity should be permitted within the river zone that encroaches upon the active floodplain, obstructs the flow or pollutes the river (solid waste or wastewater).
  • Any new construction/developments should have a regulatory regime which needs to be worked out separately keeping in view that these areas do not cause any impact whatsoever on the water quality or flow of the river.

The event did not take the cognizance of the any of the above nor environmental loss the festival might cause. There is enough evidence and scientific study that proves the apprehensions regarding the adverse effects on the river ecosystem are not ill founded.

Part II: Possible damages that human interventions can cause to a river ecosystem

Human beings have an impact on river ecosystems. The relationship living organisms have with each other and with their environment is extremely complex. Event would cause irreparable damage to the delicate ecosystem of Yamuna floodplains.

  • Yamuna serves as a home to myriad varieties of birds and animals, they would certainly be distressed by sudden changes to their dwelling units.
  • Marshes which act as natural cleaners (thereby reducing pollution in the river) were filled up for the event. A large number of plants were also chopped off. (Biodiversity loss)
  • Wetland destruction: Usually the suburban areas to river are consists of wetland which are one of the most vulnerable ecosystem. Permanent or temporary structure further diminish its presence. An enzyme was poured into the river to supposedly clean it up but such an intervention by a private party without proper research can be a bad precedent (Exotic Species)
  • Marine species : They are already facing threat from pollution and warming, erection of pontoon bridges further disrupts their ecosystem
  • Hardening of soil: India’s north-western states already facing groundwater problem. Events like this could lead to soil hardening which blocks water percolation

Part III: Give a good small conclusion (Optional – depending on your word limit)


Best Answer: Wonder Woman

Yamuna river which is often considered as the lifeline of Delhi, is gradually dying. Rampant industrial pollution and untreated sewage is choking the river. The river is dying a slow death and many environmentalists are making efforts to clean the river which is not only of economic but also religious importance. Hosting of a large cultural festival in the floodplains of Yamuna has raised many apprehensions and rightly so.

  1. Yamuna floodplain in Delhi is already heavily encroached upon and is an economically sensitive zone having a cultural festival here where a huge 7 acre stage was erected and tents put up, pontoon bridges built, heavy equipment were deployed for this purpose and for this vegetation had to be cut and also area had to be flattened. This meant encroaching an already sensitive area.
  2. In the process of flattening the floodplain, the surface has been hardened, and that has in turn impacted the groundwater recharge capability of the area.
  3. The work has changed the natural gradient of the floodplain and small water bodies and wetlands have been filled up . This may destroy the habitat of various species that dwell there.
  4. An enzyme was poured into the river to clean it but no prior research was done to prove its credentials.
  5. After the festival a lot of garbage, plastic bottles, polythene cover most of the area which will lead to pollution of the river which is already polluted.
  6. It seems that Delhi has not learnt any lessons from the recent floods in Chennai where encroachment of floodplains was an important factor giving rise to floods.

There are many idle lands which could have been used for this event such as sport stadiums, Nirankari samellan grounds in Delhi. This is not the first time that environment is taking a backseat, many sites such as the construction of Aakshardham temple has also been done on the floodplains of Yamuna. There is no use of making policies to clean Yamuna on one hand and on other encroaching and polluting the floodplains. The concerns of environmentalist were well grounded. NGT panel has decided to visit the floodplains and assess the damage this is the right step in the right direction, Its now important that such events do not take place in ecologically sensitive zones.

3. Discuss the recommendations of the Lodha committee on cricket administration in India. Do you think corruption will decline if these recommendations are implemented fully? Critically analyse.


The sports governance in India is in a poor state and badly needs an overhaul. The poor state of affairs is reflected in the poor performance of Indian athletes, CWG scandal, Termination of Indian Olympic Councils’s recognition few years back and conflicts in Hockey and badminton federations. The Lodha panel recommendations which come in the aftermath of the IPL scandal has the potential answer to the challenges.

Sports governance in India today suffers from the following problems

  1. Corruption in fund management
  2. Collusion, nepotism in players selection
  3. Rampant betting
  4. Centrality of money making than performance in the game


  • Governance : Any organisation is as good as the people manning it. Restructuring governance to bring in accountability, collective participation bodes well for the future of sports. Fixed tenure,age limit, an apex council, inclusion of professional managers, equal representation of all state bodies for decentralisation and division of powers are steps in the right direction.
  • Transparency : Bringing sports bodies under the ambit of RTI shall usher transparency, citizen participation and uphold the trust of the stakeholders. Disclosure of assets of office-bearers, Inclusion of players in apex council furthers accountability.
  • Check Conflict of Interest : Exclusion of ministers, govt servants will address the roots of the malice. Bodies like BCCI,IOC have seen large political interference.
  • Legalising betting has the potential to unearth black money, criminal nexus in sport bodies. The nearly 3 lakh crore betting industry entering mainstream economy will bring in huge tax revenues.

Thus the public trust ,ethical conduct and well being of sports shall be upheld by replicating the lodha model as a template for sports administration in India.


Your stand:

Give your stand. Whether you think that recommendations would help curb corruption.


Critical analysis:

How Lodha’s committee recommendation on BCCI reforms can help change things:

  1. To reduce corruption,
  2. a) it recommends bringing BCCI under RTI.
  3. b) Creation of an obundsman’s office like Lokpal has been recommended
  4. To reduce corruption and collusion
  5. a) Each state has been given an equal voting right
  6. b) Players selection will be done by a body of former players
  7. To reduce political control and crony capitalism, it has been recommended to keep ministers and bureaucrats out of the governing bodies
  8. In order to check illegal betting and match fixing, betting is proposed to be legalized so that it can be kept under better monitoring.

How implementation could be a problem:

  1. No effective measures suggested to prevent cartelling and to break nexus build up by commercial interests.
  2. Not addressed the issues of Local level administration like vested interests and corruption in selection of players and Members to Governing Council.
  3. Legalisation of betting has serious implementation level problems like recognition of agencies and taxation.
  4. Adding bureaucratic nominees would lead to interference and loss of autonomy.
  5. Cricket body associations might create deadlock situations.
  6. BCCI is not funded by Govt. nor it receives any grant, hence inappropriate to include it under RTI purview.


Nonetheless, it needs to be remembered that these are only recommendations & may not be implemented. In order to bring further reforms, further steps are necessary such as

  1. International collaboration required to check corruption at the highest levels such as the one found out in FIFA recently.
  2. Public needs to voice its opinion to keep their game free from unethical practices
  3. Sportsperson have better internal knowledge and command respect and popularity. Their forum should come out and highlight the corruptions.


Best answer: CSE2016 aspirant

Following revelation of match fixing in 2013 ipl, Lodha committee was constituted to study how the game is controlled and governed in India and provide its recommendations to clean the game.

Recommendations of lodha committee

  1. Governance

Tenure of the office holders should be fixed. One person should be incharge of a single office only.

This will solve the problem of concentration of power in some hands.

  1. Interests of ex players

There should be association of retired international and first class players.

  1. Legalise betting .But any player or official engaged in cricket should not be allowed to involve in betting.
  2. Creation of posts of ethics officer, ombudsman and election officer.To keep a check on election process and enhancing accountability
  3. One state one member one vote.It aims at effective decentralisation of governance.
  4. Bringing bcci under rti. People have rights to enquire about the functioning of bcci. This will enhance the faith of people in game.
  5. No politician or person holding government position should be allowed to become member of bcci. This is required to avoid political interference in game.
  6. Detachment of ipl and bcci

This will solve the problem of conflict of interest.

Corruption will decrease by following the recommendations as

  1. Transparent election of members
  2. More say of players and women
  3. Cases of betting under purview of authorities and hence better check.
  4. Concentration of power will reduce.
  5. Accountability of bcci will increase.
  6. Image make over of the game.

However, some provisions may do more bad than good

  1. Legalizing betting may encourage it instead of curbing it.
  2. Considerations from bcci side should also have been considered by the committee for better implementation.
  3. Bcci being a private body may not like the interference in their working and may create friction between it and judiciary.
  4. Spirit and method of implementation of the recommendations is also important.

Hence, Supreme Court should ensure that recommendations of committee are followed and the voices of bcci should also be considered in the decision.

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