IASbaba’s TLP 2016 [24th March]: UPSC Mains GS Questions [HOT]: Synopsis

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  • March 25, 2016
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IASbaba’s TLP 2016 [24th March]: UPSC Mains GS Questions [HOT]: Synopsis


1. Although technology helps in improving governance, there is no alternative to enhancing interdepartmental coordination and reducing the number of agencies in India. Do you agree? Substantiate.



With the emergence of technological revolution in India focus is more towards integrating technology with governance. It has been further strengthen in recent years with several e-governance initiatives like Digital India, Bharat Net, E-biz etc. However for smooth and seamless functioning inter-departmental coordination and reducing number of agencies are necessary. How technology helps in improving governance:

  1. It helps to bring transparency in the government process. Initiatives like citizen charter, RTI has worked well due to e governance.
  2. It helps in enhancing accountability.
  3. It makes process of single window clearance feasible.
  4. It makes governance process cheaper and faster. An application to govt. department can be made online instead of sending through post.

Do you agree?

Give your stand ( here the synopsis has been provided for an affirmative stand.)



Significance of interdepartmental coordination and reduced number of agencies in India are-

  1. Wider perspective with comprehensive outcome- like in JAM trinity in which new accounts are opened (financial inclusion), universal identity cards are given (better identification), subsidies are rationalized (reducing middlemen) and energy security is ensured (environment conservation). This is only because of the integrated effort of union govt, state governments, banks and UIDAI.
  2. Responsibility sharing and accountability- presence of separate border forces like BSF, SSB, ITBP, AR and Indian Coast guard improves accountability and guilt of the failure too becomes easy like during Pathankot airbase attack.
  3. Improving efficiency and reduced overlapping- MEA and MOIA are merged to bring more clarity and efficiency. Same can also be done for ministry of information and broadcasting and ministry of communication and information technology.
  4. Professionalization and standardization- integration of experts ensures wider opinions and views like a joint venture of ministry of defense and ministry of science with ISRO would help in successful launching along with fulfilling goals of MII.
  5. We have too many agencies under ministry of mines like NALCO, IBM, GSI and HCL etc. they all can be coupled under a department of ministry of mines and the same can also be done for various insurance agencies. It would reduce ambiguity and would be easy for citizens to interpret govt. schemes.
  6. Check Red tapeism: More government department needs more bureaucrats which lead to more red tapeism. It gives spurt to corruption, nepotism etc
  7. Delay in decision making: According to a report some departments have almost eleven levels of hierarchy. It delays decision making, impact investor confidence, consequently harmful for overall growth of the country.
  8. Interaction with people: Lesser departments provide more time and space to interact with locals/civil societies/NGO’s. It increases public trust among government and act as cushion to resentments.
  9. Unity of command and accountability: Often the officers are under multiple commands from different departments. E.g for corruption related issues officers are accountable to both Lokpal and CVC.
  10. Financial prudence: With India moving more and more towards market economy it is financially prudent to reduce the number of departments to save precious government resource to provide more infrastructure to spurt business environment.



The real success of governance is the smooth and flawless execution of the policies developed on the paper. Government has lately realised this fact and has integrated various welfare schemes and come up with more robust centrally sponsored schemes.

Best answer: Apurva

Technology has definitely played a major role in improving governance. While introducing cashless transaction technology will give the government a trail to black money, other initiatives like online registrations, bill payments, and digitization of government offices have eased governance to a large extent. However, lack of interdepartmental cooperation has served as a serious lacuna in Indian governance.

1) Public service: Lack of interconnectivity between departments often leads to degradation in the quality of public service as is often observed in case of retired citizens applying for pension or the families of deceased trying to acquire pension. They are often made to run from pillar to post and even then the work is not done. Interconnectivity between departments will definitely ease chores for the general public.

2) Taxation: Interdepartmental coordination in taxation can play a major role in detecting tax abuses.

3) Defence: As has been proposed by several committees, the requirement of a Chief of Defence Staff(CDS) interlinking the three Indian forces and representing them before the Indian government is absolutely essential to ensure that Indian moves in the field of defense are not solely guided by bureaucrats but also have necessary input from the experienced armed forces.

4) Intelligence: There is dire need to cut down on the large number of intelligence agencies and instead set up a comprehensive, multi-limbed, decentralized, and well coordinated intelligence agencies somewhere along the lines of the proposed NATGRID. This will not only reduce government expense on intelligence, but will also ensure quality intelligence.

5)Welfare: Instead of a large number of agencies catering to a particular cause in an uncoordinated and unprofessional manner, the country would do better at inclusive development by streamling the functions of agencies and assigning them clear cut roles. For example, government insurances for life, healthcare, accidents as well as crop insurance could all be provided under one banner and instead of setting up different agencies for each, more money and focus could be given to the penetration of these schemes. Similarly, corruption in PDS and subsidies is because of involvement of more than one agency or person.

Thus we see that despite the enhancement of technology, India is yet to overcome clumsiness in its governance owing to the large number of agencies. This has led to corruption, inefficiency and public disenchantment. Thus we need to make amends to this approach in order to use our resources and finances in a sustainable fashion and develop inclusively.

2. Terrorism crosses boundaries without passport. The recent attacks in Brussels only perpetuate this notion. What according to you should be done at international level to address the issue? Analyse.


Introduction and Analysis

Recent attacks in Paris and Brussels supports the notion that terrorism knows no boundary, what seems changed is the way terror activities are being performed today. The global reach of terrorism is no more a theoretical possibility: it’s right at our doorstep whether we live in Paris, Mumbai, Baghdad or Beirut.

The recent attacks on Paris and Brussels shows two things – One, the geopolitical developments in West Asia and Afghanistan post-9/11, and in the backdrop of the Iraq war, have had deadly implications for the West. And two, while organisations that carry out these attacks have changed over time, the pattern and modus operandi of these attacks have remained unchanged.

A significant, and seemingly successful, modus operandi of contemporary jihadi terrorism is to get the ideologically inclined to virtually ‘sign up’ for the jihadi cause and outsource the staging of attacks to these individuals and groups without direct links to the organisational structures of the terror group. The other method is to use the battle-hardened returnees to carry out strikes.

The difference between the attacks in Mumbai and the Paris attacks seems to be the presence of external handlers. Though both attacks displayed high levels of sophisticated planning and execution, the former was planned and directed by the LeT leadership based in Pakistan, and the Paris attacks seems to be have been self-directed, more of a home grown extremists.



There is a famous adage which says – “The arrow shot by the archer may or may not kill a single person. But stratagems devised by wise men can kill even babes in the womb.”

Therefore, the primary step is to have a coordinated effort at International level to tackle the root cause of terror. It is unfashionable today to talk about ‘root causes’ when discussing strategies to counter terror: the immediate reaction is to declare a war on terror. There is only so much we can achieve by using force against apocalyptic ideologies, and that is precisely why getting to the root causes of the financial, political and ideological ecosystem that sustains the global jihad is extremely important. (Cite examples, choose any 4 from below)

  • Implementation of UN’s Comprehensive convention on International Terrorism, as it would freeze the flow of funds for terrorism and sanction against states which sponsors terrorism. Thus it attacks the root nerve of the terrorism)
  • Reforming UNSC to represent the real “world nations” like India, Germany etc, this would enable the permanent members to take stand based on “global good” rather than their narrow national benefit.
  • Curtailing Terrorism and Crime syndicate by greater global coordination and intelligence sharing. Main emphasis should be on checking money laundering especially via Tax havens.
  • UN sponsored peace programmes to revitalize and bring stability to the failed states like Libya and Syria which serves as “global hub of terrorism”.
  • “Global Cyber Standards legislation” by world nations along with technological giants like Twitter, Facebook to eliminate their pan-world identity.
  • Global religious forums must come together to propagate peaceful and true interpretation of holy texts to counter radicalization.



Though terrorism is a global phenomenon, the local grievances are a root cause for its spread. Curtailing religious rights in the name of freedom of expression and mocking at religious sentiments as in the case of France led to growing grievance of minorities. Thus took the course of terrorism. The international efforts must be coordinated with domestic reforms to ensure stability of the nation. India must spread its ideology of “vasudeva kudumbakam” to stand in solidarity with those nations affected by terrorism.

Best answer: Saurabh

Terrorism which was initially considered to be a phenomenon associated with Asian countries has now spread its tentacles to other parts of the world, including Europe and America. This has made it a truly global issue and one of the major problems of our time.

Terrorism is not a simple law and order issue, but involves varied dimensions pertaining to training, ideology, funding, arms etc. Since the issue is complex and global, it requires sustained international effort:

1) As enumerated recently by the Indian PM, a Comprehensive Convention on Terrorism needs to be put into place to have a clear cut definition of what constitutes “terrorism”.

2) Intelligence failure is one of the major impediments to containing terrorism. Hence, all the countries under the aegis of the UN must setup a centralized intelligence unit, which must have sophisticated capabilities to collect and disseminate intelligence globally

3) Money laundering through Hawala provides funding, hence the countries must step up cooperation in preventing illicit money flowing around in the economy. Double taxation agreements, uniform norms of transparency for banks and proper financial intelligence would do the trick

4) Organized crime syndicates provide funding and manpower support to terrorism. An international coordination between law enforcement agencies to bring such elements to book. For example, Dawood Ibrahim, an international smuggler and the prime accused of 1993 blasts is still hiding in different countries

5) Most terror acts are associated with the systematic brain washing of few individuals. The governments must formulate a model curriculum to impart the essential values of oneness, harmony, peace etc. into the students in the educational institutions. Also, there must be a proper monitoring of the propaganda in the religious institutions, without interfering too much into their affairs

6) Areas where there is no state control such as tribal areas in Afghanistan must be brought under international monitoring, so that it does not become hiding grounds for terrorists

7) Citizen awareness using social media and other means

8) Last but not the least, a spade must be called a spade. States which sponsor terror directly or indirectly must be issued stern directives and measurable goals to eliminate terror from their soil.

Terrorism is a scourge on the civilized world and needs to be uprooted. International cooperation has increased on the issue, but a coherent global policy is still absent. 

3. The diaspora of India perhaps is one of the most dynamic lot in their countries of residence. They range from blue collar workers to CEOs of high value MNCs. How can the potential of this vibrant lot be tapped by India? Suggest a roadmap.



India’s diaspora is a 25-million strong constituency having a huge reservoir of intellectual talent and economic resources.

The vibrancy can be fathomed by looking at the different occupational positions Indians hold from being unskilled to semiskilled blue collar workers in gulf countries to highly technically skilled Indians working as doctors engineers, professors to being CEOs of MNCs Satyanadella and Sundae Pichai of Google significant are the remittances to the tune of around $80 b that they add to India’s forex reserves.



Roadmap for tapping the potential:

  • Political:
  1. Giving them voting rights either by proxy or postal ballot will give them more political voice and say in running of their country
  2. With the LM Singhvi committee recommendations and further reforms the Indian government has made India more favourable to these people and also acknowledged their contribution to the India’s success story. Introduction of PIO cards and OCI’s was a good step
  • Economic:
  1. They should be allowed to set up ventures and projects in India which shall lead to economic benefits being accrued to India e.g. they can participate in the “Make in India’ campaign and ‘Start Up India’ campaign
  2. They can also help in technology transfer which can improve service delivery and better implementation of projects in India
  3. Another important aspect is that they can bring in International best Practices in production, supply chain and human resource management that will improve the efficiency of Indian enterprises
  • Education:
  1. NRIS must be encouraged to invest in educational institutions in India to improve infrastructure and increasing the skills and knowledge
  2. NRI teachers must be encouraged to come back to India and take up teaching in Universities and R&D Institutions.
  • Social

Enhancing the social and cultural ties by celebrating the festivals such as Holi, Diwali, etc. in their respective localities which shall also develop people to people contacts, this will help in spreading of Indian culture overseas

  • Foreign policy

Diaspora can be utilized to garner support for policies which are beneficial to India, for this lobby or associations of Indians must be actively engaged

  • Others:
  1. Relaxing of visa regimes to facilitate multiple visits and lifelong visas ,this will help in fast handling of projects
  2. Pensions for NRI workers: govt must provide NPS like facilities for NRI workers to provide them social security after retirement or return to India
  3. Celebration of Pravasi Bartiya Divas and awarding Prawasi Bharatiya Samman is a right step in acknowledging and facilitating NRIs for their efforts towards India , categories of award must be increased by field and also by geographic regions to honour more NRIs
  • Conclusion:

Conclude the answer by writing your opinion in brief.

Best answer: CSE2016 ASPIRANT

Indian diaspora is spread all around the world in substantial numbers. They are considered very important by the countries of their residence for their overall growth.

Vibrancy of Indian diaspora is showcased by :
(1) From silicon valley in USA to the management of construction firms in middle east, Indians find themselves in top echelons.
(2) Most of the blue collar workers (like taxi drivers, construction workers) in western countries and middle east comprise Indians.
(3) They provide valuable human capital, which is missing in those countries.
(4) Abundance of Indian origin ministers in cabinets of Canada, advisory commission of US president is an example of importance of Indians in their political setup.

Road map to tap their potential by India :

(1) Focus on reverse brain and wealth drain :
—–> They should be encouraged to invest in India and boost ‘Make in India’ campaign.
—–> NRIs, PIOs entrepreneurs should be motivated to take part in ‘Start up India’ initiative.
—–> Interaction sessions by successful NRIs, PIOs entrepreneurs and technocrats can aid ‘Skill India’ initiative.
—–> Increase in remittances and grants should be aimed.

(2) Inciting Indian nationalistic feelings in NRIs, PIOs
—–> Though they reside and owe allegiance to country of their residence, campaigns by MEAs and Indian government, visits of Indian officials, ministers and addressing them can attract them to work for betterment of India.
—–> Their security concerns should be adequately addressed.

(3) Conduction of cultural festivals and events like Bhartiya Pravasi Divas.
—–> They will provide them forum and facilitate their assimilation back in India.

(4) They can usher digital and educational revolution in India
—–> Indians academicians and students staying abroad should be welcomed to India and given critical positions.
—–> It can solve the problem of Indian universities failing to figure in list of top 100 world universities.

Government should realise the importance of Indian diaspora spread all over the world and should not allow this valuable resource from remaining untapped

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