SYNOPSIS- IASbaba’s TLP 2016 [19th April] – UPSC Mains GS Questions [HOT]

  • April 20, 2016
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SYNOPSIS- IASbaba’s TLP 2016 [19th April] – UPSC Mains GS Questions [HOT]


1. India is a severely under housed country. What reasons would you attribute for the housing deficit in the country. Also suggest strategies to address the deficit, particularly for the lower most strata of the society.

  • Intro:

As per economic survey (ES) 201617 India currently faces housing deficit of 18.78 million housing units, 95% of it pertain to Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) and Lower Income Groups(LIG).

  • Body:

The reasons are as follows:

  1. Poverty: 22% of Indian population still lives below poverty line, for whom getting a square meal is the priority of the day, they cannot afford to buy houses.
  2. Population: Indian population has grown at the rate of 1.2%, but the urban population has increased at the rate of 2.4%,
  3. Urbanization: ES estima5es that by 2030, 50% of Indian population will be living in urban areas as against current 30%.
  4. Income inequality: income inequality is practically seen in housing segment, where 1.2 crore housing units are vacant in higher income segment. The developers lean more towards this segment,
  5. Credit: Black money: one of the major reasons for increased demand is the black money, between 2001-2011,38 million urban housing units were constructed, whereas 24million households were added to urban areas in the same period. Thus a lot of these units have been purchased as Benami properties.
  6. Government regulations: many state governments have banned riverbed sand extraction, because of which sand prices have exponentially increased causing hardships for lower income groups.
  7. Interest rates for housing loans are prohibitively high, which prevents EWS and LIG groups from approaching the banks for loans.
  8. Red tapism: land acquisition, multitude of clearances, variety of taxes has also hindered the housing
  • Strategies:
  1. The Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 is seen as a significant move towards ensuring consumer protection and standardizing business practices and transactions in the real estate sector.
  2. Housing for All Scheme 2022 which aims to handover houses to the needy with all modern amenities. It aims to supply 2 crore houses to urban poor
  3. Prioritizing urban and rural poor for housing loans, as loans are largely made available to middle and higher income groups.
  4. Interest subventions: government should share the burden of interest of housing loans taken by EWS and LIGs.
  5. Slum development: 17% of Indian population lives in slums, so insitu slum development schemes with private sector participation through CSR will be a good step.
  6. Real Estate Investment Trust, PPP and FDI should be encouraged to operate in affordable housing segment, by providing suitable incentives.
  7. GIS systems should be used in missions such as AMRUT,HRIDAY, RURBAN mission etc. for scientific planning of land use.
  8. Benami transactions Act must be effectively implemented to prevent multiple properties bought using Black money.
  • Conclusion:

Write a brief intro and conclude.

Best answer:Affu

India has been assessed to have a deficit of about 18.78 million housing units in urban areas, and more than 95 per cent of the same pertain to economically weaker sections and low income groups of the
society. This housing deficit is as much real in rural areas as it is in urban areas
1.Increasing pressure on land for various competing uses and non availability of it to poor at affordable prices. This problem is aggravated by real estate speculations in urban areas
2.regulatory hurdles, red tapism, lack of speedy clearances, high fees and taxes, unfavorable development norms especially for low income groups
3. High gestation period of housing projects, spiraling land and construction cost and non availability of adequate credit
4.The majority of Indian home seekers are workers moving into cities and looking for housing that would be compatible with their starting incomes. Affordable housing with proper transport is the key for attracting them, which lacks in most of the cases, whereby they are forced to live in squatters, slums
The government acknowledges the importance of housing issue in the country and has launched a massive campaign that promises to provide HOUSING TO ALL its citizens by the year 2022(AMRUT MAHOTSAV)

1.Free the land from hands of land grabbers through enhanced transparency in land titles-national land record modernization
2.greater coordination among Centre and state to implement the newly enacted real estate regulation act to cater to the needs of housing of all
3.reduce the number of clearances required through unifying processes and making procedures simple through ICT
4.Availalbility of faster, affordable, reliable source of credit
5.incentivise developers to provide transport facilities to attract more population

The right to ad­e­quate hous­ing is recognized as a basic human right by the United Na­tions and its constituent bod­ies, to which India is a signatory and is also an important component of right o live with dignity under article 21 of our constitution. Hence, there is a dire need to make the dream of housing for all come true through concerted efforts at all levels 

2. In a globalised world, political developments in one country affect others in one way or the other. Political analysts keep on forecasting the future of the world on the basis of these developments. Considering yourself to be one such analyst, project the future of India if Donald Trump wins the US elections.


Today world is highly integrated because of liberalization and globalization policies. In such a scenario, any imp political change in one country is bound to have effects on many other countries in many ways. One such imp political change in near future is USA 2016 presidential election. Businessman Donald Trump is emerging as an imp candidate for republican nomination and if he gets elected as the president, it can make following impact on India.

Negative effects:

1) With his speeches on how Indian, Chinese and other migrants are stealing American jobs it can be assumed that sharp decline in H-1B visa for India will follow.

2) Present Indian and American leadership has had good relations and economic, defence ties rebuilding similar ties may take long time.

3) Considering Trump’s reactionary speeches, India can see the effects of WTO conflicts at several other fronts.

4) Superficial supremacy is highlighted by Trump which creates breeding ground for racist and anti immigrant attacks.

5) Republicans have negative attitude towards climate change, Trump’s entry might further strengthen this attitude.

6) Trump’s limited knowledge on foreign and nuclear policy can affect the world when every country is looking for other country’s help at a point when terrorism is spreading widely.

7) Trump’s unfavourable view about women will be a setback for India who is raising concerns over gender inequality and discriminatory practices.

8) Foreign policy crisis- his stance of- banning Muslim immigrants, building wall along Mexico border, against support to migrants of Syrian crisis etc speaks the language of intolerance and lack of empathy. India as a secular nation with Muslims being largest minority will find it difficult to share such ideas and align our foreign policies to work amicably.


Positive effects:

1) Trump is willing to completely withdraw from Afghanistan this may result in greater Indian role in Afghanistan’s development.

2) He has shown interest in withdrawing from a larger US role in NATO which can have several implications for Middle Eastern countries and in turn for India.

3) As a businessman he realizes the potential of Indian market and has personally invested here so it can be assumed that government led by Trump would be bullish on Investment in India.

4) Trump perceives Pakistan as threat to world security and has shown interest in promoting ties with India to check Pakistan this can have positive implication for Indian security regime.

5) Nuclear deals agreement with India will be expedited.

6) Indians play a major role in the development of American industries (most of them serving as top management); no president (including Trump, who is a businessman himself) will ever try to lose the support of Indians.

7) Brain drain: – His encouragement of providing jobs to Indian students who study there will increase Brain drain.


India and USA relationship has crossed a threshold barrier which is well reflected in the US India civil nuclear Deal, and the continuing deepening of economic and defence relationship. No leader can turn its back to the most promising country in the bleak global outlook and India will remain an important Pivot in US International Relation.

Best answer: KK



3. Elections are going on in many states of the country. The politicians seem to have circumvented the regulations of the Election Commission by adopting unconventional means to patronise the voters. Can you identify these means. Also suggest ways to address the same.


The Election Commission, being a Constitutional body, is empowered with all gears to ensure elections free and fair at all levels. Even though the ECI has brought forward many rules and regulations to conduct elections by creating level playing for all parties irrespective of power, many parties often breach these rules and politicians have been successful in circumventing EC restrictions using unconventional means to patronise voters.

(Write any 4 points)

  • Appealing to voters on religious and caste grounds:

Candidates instigate communal feelings to attract voters. This is a serious concern for the security of state.

This can be monitored by making the candidates to submit a draft of their speech before an authority. Permission to campaign to be granted only after scrutinizing and finalizing the speech.

  • Using mass media:

Paid news to glorify their acts and criticizing ruthlessly the opposition parties. Political parties have started to own channels in TV’s and radio. They use this as a platform to do wrong propaganda.

This can be controlled by restricting political parties to do propaganda only on government owned media. This will be helpful to check on propaganda that misleads people.

  • Social media:

Whatsapp and other instant mediums of social media which are instant and difficult to regulate due to logistical and other technological compulsions are being used and misused by political parties to their advantage. Eg, viral videos of fabricated issues, and morphed images etc

The Election Commission should have its own team of brilliant IT professional to check the misuse of the online space.

  • Freebies:

Populist measures – free electricity and water, distribution of laptops, cycles, T.V, liquor & cash distribution etc at cost of state expenditure.

This has been not only a political nuisance but also a financial nuisance. The political parties woo voters through freebies and ending up in eroding the public exchequer.

A law to make material promises in manifesto an offence is needed. This will also make parties to go for developmental promises, which will have a positive impact in the society. Halting measures on freebies and irrational schemes and strict implementation of Code of Conduct.

  • Bribing voters:

Huge flow of money during election time has been controlled by EC. But it has not always been successful in monitoring those illegal flows.

All political parties registered with EC have to be declared public bodies under RTI act. Through this accounts of these bodies can be audited. Though this has been done for national parties, it has not been effectively implemented.

  • Posting or transferring of favorable officers:

Posting of officers in state bureaucracy that are loyal to a particular party to coerce people into voting to a particluar party.

Election commission could transfer such an officer by exercising its power to hold free elections. This was done in Kolkata’s police commissioner case.

Best answer I: El Nino

Over the period of time multiple reforms by various agencies legislature, Judiciary and election commission have been made. Education and awareness among people has also increased. Still politicians manage to circumvent all these efforts and are able to patronize voters for personal and political gain.

Emotional appeal before election – Based on caste, class, community, and religion during year of election. Eg: Kapus, Jat reservation, Ram mandir issue etc

Last hour welfare measure – Such as Telangana creation before 2014 general election, Food security act, LAAR act to appeal to farmers, OROP, MPLAD fund utilization is mostly in last year of the tenure etc.

Populist measures – free electricity and water, distribution of laptops, cycles, T.V, liquor & cash distribution etc at cost of state expenditure.

Candidate’s expenditure – There is capping in expenditure of candidates during election, but there is no such limit on expenditure on political party. So the excess expenditure is done for candidate subtlety by party.

Indirect influence in state election – Centre government may influence state election by some measure at central level and circumventing model code of conduct. Eg: intension to declare a state as special category state by centre during state elections.

Some of the measures that could be

  1. State funding of election – this will minimise black money expenditure, funding by business houses etc
  2. Cap on the expenditure of political parties during elections
  3. Media self-regulation – Fair focus on all political party and fair information to viewers. Media must stay impartial.
  4. Implementation of VVPAT is the acronym of “Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail
  5. Liquor ban during election.
  6. Parties should be made accountable for their manifesto.

Free and fair election is the mean to sustain the democracy and trust in the political system. So it is the need of every section of the society to ensure and participate in the reformative process and uphold the constitutional mandate.

Best answer II: Ganga kinare wala 

Elections in India are regulated by a model code of conduct which has been evolved by a consensus among the parties after its successful implementation in Kerala in the 1960’s.However, there have been cases of violations of the MCC by the parties by unconventional ways in the following ways:

  1. In the speeches, many a times some references to a particular candidate by a clever word play is done which by a strict interpretation would be a violation. Eg, referring to the origin of a candidate
  2. Whattsapp and other instant mediums of social media which are instant and difficult to regulate due to logistical and other technological compulsions are being used and misused by political parties to their advantage. Eg, viral videos of fabricated issues, and morphed images etc
  3. On the polling day, cleverly using the clothes or wearing badges to entice the voters towards a political party.
  4. Using mobile phones to record proceedings in a sly way inside the booth station and recharging the mobile phones of the electorate.


  1. The Election Commission should not too harsh and allow some manoeuvrability and clever play with words to not to scuttle the freedom of speech and the humour involved, but in cases where there is blatant violation of the law of the land the FIR should be registered
  2. The Election Commission should have its own team of brilliant IT professional to check the misuse of the online space.
  3. There can be special Election police force to tackle law and order issues pertaining to the election process in India.


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