SYNOPSIS- IASbaba’s TLP 2016 [12th April] – UPSC Mains GS Questions [HOT]

  • April 13, 2016
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SYNOPSIS- IASbaba’s TLP 2016 [12th April] – UPSC Mains GS Questions [HOT]



1. Consumption of liquor is a personal choice. Would you agree? Critically examine the statement in light of the decision of the Bihar Government to put blanket ban on liquor consumption in the state. Is it not parental governance?


  • Intro :

Write a brief intro regarding the problems of alcohol consumption.

  • Body:
  • Consumption of liquor a personal choice:
  1. THE constitution of India under article 21 gives right to liberty along with right to life, this right to liberty extends to making choices and decisions with respect to what one intends to do with his life, this includes eating or drinking anything one likes, including alcohol.
  2. The law confers voting rights to its citizens above 18years, assuming that they are politically mature enough to decide whom to elect ,the laws regarding alcohol consumption are a little strict which allows drinking between 21 -23 years as age appropriate to drink.
  3. This implies that they are mature and knowledgeable enough to decide on the merits and demerits of consuming alcohol. What to drink and how much to drink depends on the person and his economic status. Majority of rural population drinks toddy and urban India drinks Country made liquor.
  4. According to OECD report drinking in India has increased by 55% in 20 years (1982-2012). In the report of WHO 90% of women are considered teetotalers whereas men are reported to consume three times more than women.
  5. Recently Bihar government proposed blanket ban on alcohol sale and consumption in the state, this was done as total prohibition was election plank of the current government. This was done as majority of women voters voted in support of this issue.
  6. The government seeks to reduce the number of alcoholics in the state with this move, because drinking has been associated with many social evils such as domestic violence/wife beating, increased economic vulnerability of families, deaths and accidents due to drunken driving and reduced family’s savings and  the accompanying health problems and expenditure.
  7. The government is even ready to forgo the huge incomes from sales of liquor.


  • Paternal attitude of the government:
  1. People in democracy elect representatives to make decisions on their behalf, as such the elected governments will have paternalistic attitude while forming welfare policies,
  2. The constitution of India under art 47 enjoins upon every state to follow total prohibition of alcohol.
  3. the conflict between art 21 I.e., right to drink and art 47 to increase the nutritional levels and standard of living ,will always tilt towards art 47 as common good of most is important than choice of few/ this is evident from the banning of beef consumption by few states, where the issue was religious sentiment, it becomes all the more important in the case of alcohol where actual lives and families are harmed.
  4. The government rather than being a stubborn adult, or being a step father( allowing rich to drink, while banning the poor) must act like a sensible adult, and objectively ascertain the costs and benefits of such decision
  • Conclusion

Briefly write your opinion and conclude.

Best answer: CSE2016 ASPIRANT

There are various issues which lead to dispute between the personal liberty and values related to social morality. Front runner among them is consumption of liquor. Liquor consumption is indeed a personal choice. However, recent Bihar government’s decision to put blanket ban has opened up the debate again.

Personal choice

(1) Article 21 provides every citizen right to live and liberty. Hence, it’s upon an individual to decide what is good for him.

(2) Alcohol consumption is already banned for people below certain age. Adults are knowledgeable enough to monitor themselves.

(3) It is part of ritual for some tribes to take alcohol with rice. Their tradition cannot be impinged upon.

(4) Alcohol consumption becomes necessity in extreme climate.

However, liquor at times MAY NOT be a PERSONAL CHOICE.

(1) Peer pressure, lack of awareness, depiction of liquor consumption by protagonist in movies and depression may force person to become alcoholic.

(2) It may create vicious cycle which makes rehabilitation of person difficult

Its parental governance

(1) According to Gandhian directive principles (Article 47) , it is the responsibility of government to maintain public health and take suitable measures to curb production, consumption and distribution of alcohol.

(2) Alcoholism has been linked with socio-economic ills like poverty, domestic violence and other immoral activities due to which law and order situations may arise.

However, ban is not a perfect solution and may do more harm.

(1) Addicted persons may get alcohol from black market at higher cost putting extra pressure on their incomes.

(2) State may loss substantial amount of revenue in addition to increased expenditure on policing.

States should come up with some innovative solutions like increasing taxes, awareness programs, bigger warnings on bottles, etc instead of retrograde step of ban

2. You must have witnessed passionate discussions on the developmental discourse of India. There appears to be a reasoned consensus that development can’t be sought in spite of the people. What do understand by this? Analyse and contextualise.



  1. The kind of debates that run on news channels and print media, there is substantial evidence that in many places local people have been displaced due to massive developmental projects. Now this is called development despite the people. The kind of parental governance which India has witnessed for the past 7 decades has not created enough dividends for the common people.

The reason lies in the fact that the developmental discourse in India lacks wider acceptability. One can’t ignore the very people for whom the development is meant for. The intent of the state can’t be questioned, but if you actually ask those people whether they require those projects in their area, the answer in most of the cases wouldn’t be affirmative.

  1. Development has become a buzzword these days in the political and societal discourse in India. Elections are contested and won on the development plank and various indicators are being used to measure “development”.

 However, the general meaning of development has mainly economic connotations; hence there is the talk of “growth rates”, “gross capital formation” etc. But, development is just a means to an end which is the raising the living standards and happiness of the people in general.


Analyse and conceptualize

  1. Nuclear power plant: With an aim to meet growing power needs, nuclear power is viewed as a clean and emission free alternative. Kudankulam power plant in Tamil Nadu aimed at sustainable development has led to farmer displacement and challenge to fishermen livelihood as Gulf of Munnar‘s biodiversity stands endangered. A nuclear power project also brings with it radioactive waste and security issue in wake of Fukushima like incident.
  2. Dams: Dams are supposed to suppress floods, provide water for irrigation, and generate hydro power. However, it also harbours negative social and ecological impact as was seen in building of numerous dams across Narmada River that led to displacement of farmers and tribal people and the dissent in the form of Narmada Bachao Andolan.
  3. Industrialization: Several industries like the leather factory in Agra across the Yamuna bank, etc have led to severe pollution of water bodies which are used for human consumption (water, fish, etc). Also, plans like POSCO project in eastern Odisha threaten several livelihoods and land ownership.
  4. Flyover: Infrastructural development like flyovers are aimed at easing traffic, however, the recent flyover collapse has exposed the plight of the shop owners underneath it and also that of the commuters.
  5. Trades and conferences and tourism: are aimed at giving India an image in the global platform. Recent controversy around the World culture festival reported displaced farmers and created pollution, point towards the exclusion of general citizenry in such events. Often luxury hotels are built to boost tourism and also create employment. However, it comes at the cost of lands of the public.


Way forward:

1) Development needs to be citizen centric (bottom up approach).

(2) It should cater to the basic needs of the people (like education, healthcare, nutrition).

(3) Proper planning is must for successful dissemination of project’s profits to people.

(4) All the development programs should accompany feedback response forms from targeted citizens.

(5) Ensuring equitable distribution of resources as per DPSP should be main motive behind any project.

(6) Social impact assessment.


As said by Amartya Sen – “Development is equal to freedom is equal to social justice.” Therefore, to attain social justice and equitable development, we must follow an inclusive development model.

Best answer: Gaut1609

Developmental discourse in India has always remained a hotly debated issue. There are always two sides to a developmental project, on one side there are people who are benefiting from the project on the other there are people who has to make sacrifices without gaining much from the project. This has raised challenges to various infrastructure projects and a continuing battle between the government and the opposing groups.

It is true that development can’t be sought in spite of people which means people should be the centre of the developmental planning and there should be consensus among people going through the cost benefit analysis and effective bargaining in term of rehabilitation and resettlement of the affecting people.

Since independence various developmental projects has been taken up by the government where major planning decision was taken by the planning commission without much regard to consensus and requirement of people. This lead to massive displacement of peoples from there land and most of them without proper regard to rehabilitation and resettlement which created resentment among displaced people and conflict between haves and have not’s. This has also created inequalities in the society and calls for a bottom-up approach taking people at the centre of planning.

73 rd and 74 th amendments to the constitution reflects the growing awareness among the policy makers about the bottoms up approach and a consensus based development. Further developments like right to forest act 2006, recognizing the right of forest dwellers, LARR 2013, making mandatory social impact assessment of developmental project and compulsory rehabilitation and resettlement of people shows development has to take place not in spite of people but with the people.

Protest like narmeda bachoo andolan , against the construction of steel plant by posco, mining of bauxite by vedanta shows that people are not going to accept governments diktat and will fight tooth and nail for their rights and livelihood.

Thus government has to tread the tight rope keeping balance between the development of the country and the rights and livelihood of the affected people. The earlier centralized approach has already created a wide trust deficit which has to overcome to fulfill the national ambition of smart cities, economic corridors, bullet trains, expressways etc.

3. When asked for his definition of Swaraj, Gandhi articulated his vision as: Truthful relations between Hindus and Muslims, the removal of untouchability and bread for the masses. Do you think that his vision of Swaraj is as relevant today as it was 8 decades back? Elucidate.


Essentially, Gandhiji was a moral prophet who had holistic view of human life and wanted all aspects of life – social, economic and political to be dovetailed for the creation of a harmonious and exploitation free society.

True for Gandhiji’s ‘Swaraj’ holds a greater vision and holds great relevance even after 8 decades. Even though our nation has progressed and achieved in different aspects, also following the Gandhian principles in our Constitution and way of living, there are still gargantuan tasks lies before us which makes our nation still among the developing societies.

For Swaraj of Gandhian vision to work in contemporary times it requires that we regain our faith in the capacity of human beings and restore locus of power in all the communities equally. With increasing incidents of riots between the Hindu and Muslims it is imperative to take cognizance, as it may even aggravate non-state actors like ISIS to reach the Indian soil which is a grave issue world over. So without the interference of miscreants our own roots need to be strong with all the communities.

The practice of certain form of untouchability, which is a crime, is still prevelant in ‘Bharat’. The untouchability of some form whether it is manual scavengers, entry in temples (sanctum sanctorum) seems appalling in this new technology driven and rational minded world.

With technological superiority and gaining momentum in the globalised world inequality seems more worsening; with same struggling to get proper meals leave afar the nutrition. On the one side, there is rampant wastage of food in urban areas and religious places, and on the other, farmers and other rural dwellers are committing suicides in their quest for basic necessities of life.

Long after India’s ‘Tryst with destiny’ we have an eventful journey of the young democracy. But India’s growth story is marked by huge disparities, that are further accentuated by casteism and communalism, rearing along them hatred and divisiveness, which are politically motivated.

The simple life of the Mahatma advocates principles, each of which is heavy with profound wisdom. We need to relook and search for basic inherent human goodness and keep the principles of father of the nation as a fundamental change embedded in each individual’s moral perception.


Best answer I: Sherlock v 2.0 

Unlike the narrower meaning of just independence from a foreign rule and unification of country, Gandhian ideology of swaraj stresses on socio-economic harmony among the citizens. It points indirectly towards communal harmony, upholding human dignity and eliminating hunger among the masses.

In line with his vision Indian Constitution was incorporated with different liberal rights, principles and needed restrictions to avoid exploitation of individuals. Abolition of untouchability, religious rights of individuals, encouraging socialist measures in employment are some of them.

While many nations which formed after India were torn apart, India can be seen united despite having multiple religions, culture and languages. This points to the value that we as a nation incorporated. But the recent incidents of godhra riots, Muzaffarnagar riots, divisible verbal comments on chanting of Bharat Mata ki Jai between two communities and fabricated Intolerance echoes that anti communal harmony forces weren’t died. It is at this context the words rendered by Gandhi regarding communal harmony are still relevant and we have to cherish it further.

Untouchability prohibition was directly incorporated in fundamental rights and many laws like SC,ST prohibition of atrocities acts were promulgated in order to bring social change about untouchability. The results achieved were also commendable like representations in Parliament, legislative assemblies, coming into main stream of education and their standard of living improved. But at the same time incidents like a dalit student suicide in a central university, opposition to marry a dalit person from the social heads, treating them as secondary traits in villages till date point to the fact that Gandhis ideal of removal of untouchability is still relevant and have to cherish his ideal in this matter also.

Bread to all doesn’t appear a big deal when India is seen as one of state succeeded in green revolution and also largest producer of cereals, milk and other pulses. In addition, many programmes like Mid Day meal scheme, ICDS, and MGNREGA, Food security act were being implemented to eliminate hunger in people. But in reality, India wasn’t able to reach MDG goal of halving the number of people starving with hunger. High incidence of malnutrition in children, Maternal deaths due to lack of food security and poor disbursal of PDS goods, rising inequality day by day points to the doubt whether bread/food security is really an alien object for masses. Hence at this point Gandhi’s ideal to eliminate hunger is highly relevant and have to work towards his ideals to cherish the real value of swaraj.


Best answer II: SVSR

The vision of our Father of our Nation – Mahatma Gandhi – was highly progressive, inclusive and sustainable in nature. It is applicable in every part, moment and at all times of life of a country. A thorough hindsight into India’s as well as the world’s problems would reveal the necessity and applicability of his vision Swaraj for policy making.

1) Communal tensions are not cooled down completely since India’s independence of nearly 7 decades. There are incidents like Gujarat communal riots, Muzaffarnagar clashes, communal killings etc., continually rising here and there. Despite the vastness of India’s diversity and mutual respect for all religions, recently, the levels of India’s tolerance has been negatively projected. India’s independence will have no meaning if the trust deficit between Hindus and Muslims, which was ignited by the British for its vested interest, continues.

2) Observing the gravity of untouchability during the times of independence, our forefathers included its eradication in the Constitution itself. And, the consequent Civil Rights Act, SC, ST Atrocities (Prevention) Act etc., have reduced levels of untouchability to a maximum extent. However, a new variety of discrimination (principle of untouchability) has been emerging in the form of widening gap between the rich and the poor. It is also highlighted in the World Bank’s report that inequality index has been grown substantially. This envisioned the necessity of inclusive development without which the sense of independence – promotes welfare and equal opportunity of all – will dither.

3) Food security for all has become a pipe dream for India. On the one side, there is rampant wastage of food in urban areas and religious places, and on the other, farmers and other rural dwellers are committing suicides in their quest for basic necessities of life. There are reports like NFHS-4 stating the existence of severe malnutrition, anemia and stunted growth of children and women particularly in rural areas. Our development and growth rates which are aimed at reducing social ills like poverty, hunger and diseases, are futile with the failure of these objectives.

Therefore, in all these case, Gandhiji’s vision of Swaraj is highly relevant and needed to be included in our policy design and decision making.

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