SYNOPSIS- IASbaba’s TLP 2016 [31st March] – UPSC Mains GS Questions [HOT]

  • April 1, 2016
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SYNOPSIS- IASbaba’s TLP 2016 [31st March] – UPSC Mains GS Questions [HOT]


1. Recently the Kochi airport in Kerala became the first solar operated airport of the country. Such examples can become models to follow for similar projects in the future. Why such projects must come up regularly in a developing country like ours? Elucidate.

  • Intro:

India lies in the tropical belt where sunlight is abundant it has more than 300 days of sunlight. Kochi became first solar operated airport of our country, it’s a significant step towards efficient energy utilization

  • Body

India needs such projects for the following reasons

  1. Demand and supply: with growing population ,the demand for energy has outstripped supply, since conventional and other energy sources have geographic and technical limitations, only solar energy will prove to be most convenient
  2. Rural electrification: India currently has 18,000+unelectrified villages, and agriculture is the largest consumer of electricity, so to provide livelihoods and better services to rural areas, onsite and continuous electricity generation is possible only through solar energy projects
  3. Pollution and climate change: Indian under COP21 has made a commitment under the INDC framework that it will reduce the its carbon emissions by 30-35% of 2006 level by 2030,these targets can only be achieved by drastically reducing conventional energy consumption and by switching to more eco friendly solar energy.
  4. The by products of thermal energy are harmful to both environment and human beings, production of solar energy is clean with no such harmful effects.
  5. Global warming: because of the increased emissions by thermal power they are unsustainable and erratic nature of rains because of global warming has made hydro energy unreliable, so to continuously supply electricity, solar energy is needed,
  6. Costs: the costs of imported coal, efficient machinery etc. will only rise in the future, but solar energy is becoming cheap because of technological innovations, I.e., from 8rs/unit to costs are now 4rs/unit, this will even go down by further R&D
  7. Employment: solar energy equipment industry is in nascent stage in India, as the industry grows, it will provide more employment. This will boost the make in India initiative and can make India one of the major producer of solar equipment.
  8. Energy efficiency: since transmission losses are zero, as energy is consumed on site, it will enhance energy efficiency, eg: government buildings, trains, stations etc. can have their own units.
  • Conclusion:

Briefly write your opinion and conclude.

Best answer: CSE2016 ASPIRANT

Solar operated Kochi airport is a watermark in Indian energy and science and technology sectors. Such examples can become models to follow for similar projects in the future. Upcoming infrastructural projects, like lighting the highways, electrification of remote areas, water treatment plants can use this technology economically and efficiently.

Importance of such projects for developing countries like India :

(1) It will decrease the dependence on crude oil import from gulf countries, thus reducing CAD and helping fiscal recovery.

(2) India’s INDC in CoP 2015 of cutting down carbon level by 33-35% of 2006 carbon level in 2030 will get boost. ISA launched by India and 1,00,000 MW of solar energy by 2022 goal will bolster.
—-> Countries like India can assert their dominance in world.
—-> It will further strengthen international commitments in field of clean energy and climate talks.

(3) R&D sector of country will prosper. It will pave way for not only research in solar energy, but also other renewable sources of energy like nuclear and biogas energy.

(4) Developing nation’s cause to protect domestic manufacturers of solar panels and related accessories in order to boost indigenous industries and subsequently achieve their goal to shift to solar energy will be addressed in world forums like WTO.

(5) Developing countries face social problems like unemployment, poverty and casteism. These innovative and economical solutions will decrease the cost of living along with providing employment opportunities and inclusive growth.

Though solar energy is an excellent alternative, there are some issues like high dependence on climatic conditions, discontinuous supply, etc, which need to be solved through extensive R&D in this field. Projects like Kochi airport will further

2. Automation and digitalisation of public services forms the most cardinal component of e-governance. Can you identify some of the sectors in public service delivery where such paradigm can be followed? Examine the potential of e-governance for transforming these sectors.



Digitization, automation, and other advances are transforming industries, labor markets, and the global economy. Automation and digitalisation which is the most cardinal component of e-governance is affecting every single sector of the economy. Every sector, whether it’s retail, financial services, shipping, manufacturing, and even agriculture, now takes inputs and uses technology to drive much of what it does.


Sectors in public service delivery where such paradigm can be followed:

  • Touch upon all 3 sectors first i.e., Service, Manufacturing and Agriculture

For instance,

Service Sector: Indian IT industry is betting big on digitisation and automation to maintain its growth momentum. E-Governance will act as a helping hand to the entrepreneurial zeal of startups and helps IT industries to seek to maintain its dominant position in the global market in 2016. (Give some examples – Digital India, Skill India and Startup India – all aimed at making digital services the backbone for delivering citizen services.)

  • Now cover public services such as education, health, public utilities, allocation of foodgrains, security etc. with some examples as given below
  • e-education, Automation and Digitization in University Libraries, resource centre as a virtual classroom including training in all gap areas,
  • telemedicine and LED light at the centre of village along with wi-fi inclusion,
  • fair price shops (FPS) have been automated by installing ‘Point of Sale’ devices.
  • CCTNS, Central Data Centre, Army Cloud and Digi-Locker


Potential of e-Governance in transforming public service sectors

e-governance has the potential to enhance the e-literacy of the citizens, to build a congenial environment for infrastructure creation and can result in horizontal sharing of information between various sectors for inclusive growth.

e- Governance with the use of ICT helps to achieve faster documentation, information and speedy delivery of services.

e- Governance can expedite pending and slow moving cases, better coordination of courts (e-courts) and police stations under a single uniform system for tracking crimes and criminals, ease of complaint filing procedures, accountability and transparency.



Technologies that digitise and automate life and work such as the mobile Internet, the cloud, the automation of knowledge work, digital payments, and verifiable digital identity; Smart physical systems such as the Internet of Things, intelligent transportation and distribution systems, advanced geographic information systems (GIS), and next-generation genomics and technologies for rethinking energy — for example, unconventional oil and gas (horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing), renewable energy and advanced energy storage. If these technologies used effectively in India could add between $550 billion to $1 trillion of incremental GDP growth in the next ten years. This is equivalent to the entire manufacturing sector’s contribution to the GDP currently. It is equivalent to 20-30 per cent of India’s incremental GDP growth. Therefore, the potential of e-governance in transforming these sectors is high and every leader or policy maker should care about digitalization and innovative automation of public services.


Best answer I: Oliver Queen

Automation and digitalisation of public services are the heart of e-governance. with the advent of smartphones and accessible internet services to remotest corners in the hinterland, public service delivery outlets can never be so up close and personal.

e-courts with automated decision-making processes, online registration of general diaries, criminal history repository linked to all courts and police stations in the country

along the lines of MAHILA E-HAAT, can have portals for STAND UP INDIA with accessible information on start up initiation, business management and refinancing

toll taxes, bus and taxi fares, courier services can be seeded through adhaar linked accounts.

registration of OPD tickets and admission forms in hospitals, real-time online data of beds and drug availability in govt hospitals, first aid online portals to buy time in emergencies. Self-study portals where students teach other on variety of subjects and issues throughout india

empowering agri-market portals with more options and wider reach, ease of insurance coverage and DBT under JAM trinity, soil health and weather information which is crop and region specific provided on mobile and online

— can expedite pending and slow moving cases, better coordination of courts and PS under a single uniform system for tracking crimes and criminals, ease of complaint filing procedures, accountability and transparency
–women will have more visibility on men dominated business ventures, MSMEs with a wide network and base under shared cause
–less cumbersome procedures of admission and registration in hospitals, less patient load and quick treatment possible with reliable and transparent protocols, students of different background and class can help each other on different subjects, stress management and career counselling all under a single umbrella
–awareness of govt schemes and benefits, access to expert opinion in agriculture, land records digitalisation

automation and digitalisation in e-governance can not only shape our daily life but also can offer quick and affordable solutions to all.

Best answer II: ashis kar

To bring in more transparency ,curb corruption and efficiency in delivering public services GOI has launched the National e-governance plan. For optimum results from the plan automation and digitalization needs to implemented in tandem.
Some of the public delivery sectors where automation and digitalization can be implemented by centre:

–>Postal services: Complete computerization and networking of all services, setting up of CRC(computerized regional centres) is need of hour.
–>Banking: centre is running mission mode projects in banking sector to streamline availability of essential e-services 24×7.
–>Passport: With growing demand for visas and India’s medical tourism , automation and digitalization has been started by Consular, Passport and Visa division to keep up the pace.
–>Pensions: Govt is striving to reduce the distance between pensioner and govt. Digitalization of Dept of pension and pensioner’s welfare, implementation of UAN by EPFO are welcoming steps.
–>UID: For effective monitoring of welfare schemes and targeting beneficiary.
–>Central excise: Implementation of software ACES(automation of central excise and service tax) has brought in more transparency and accountability to tax payer’s services.
–>Income tax: Introduction of PAN module, e-filling of tax and returns, Refund Bankers Scheme, e-sahyog(for easy filling and returns) has been in tandem with NeGP.
–>E-procurements: Procurements by govt account for 3-5% of GDP. Automation in this sector can bring in efficiency of allocation of funds, mapping and competition among bidders.
–>E-courts: This can transform Indian judiciary, it has clear objective to re-engineer process and enhance productivity . It can also help with shortage of man power.

Apart from this states can also improve governance by brining automation in municipalities, PDS making use of Aadhar. Health care sector got a boost with RSBY scheme. Also The LAND NATIONAL RECORDS MODERENIZATION programme can help reduce land disputes and help track agri-loans.

According to world bank report India’s demographic dividend is uneven. Hence along with digitalizing and automating public services it is vital to focus on digital literacy of masses to bring out the best of E-governance.

3. What do you understand by the Swiss model of Public -Private Partnership? Discuss its features and its potential in India?


Swiss Model also known as Swiss Challenge System is model where any person with credential suo-moto submit a development proposal to government. He will be called Original Proposer. His proposal will be made online and second person can give suggestion to improve and beat the proposal. Then an expert committee formed will accept the best proposal. The Original Proposer will be chance to accept new ideas if it is an improvement on his proposal. In case the Original Proposer not able to match the more attractive and competing counter proposal , the project will be awarded to the counter proposal.


  1. Cut Red Tapism: Swiss model of PPP eliminate corrupt practices that can come in way of complex process of clearing the bid for PPP.
  2. Timeliness: direct involvement of government with the private player eases the the process and also reduces time
  3. Ensures innovation, technology and Uniqueness .
  4. Supplement PPP in sectors that are not covered under PPP.



  1. Local governments can use this as an opportunity to solve multiple issues which are otherwise left unidentified.
  2. New entrepreneurs with effective solutions can propose and bid online .
  3. Implementation in various projects along with other PPP model such as BOT or Hybrid as done in case of construction of houses in states of Maharashtra, West Bengal , UP and Delhi.
  4. Helps avoid running from pole to pole for approvals as the using an online portal acts as a single window and reduces the time consumed.


  1. Selection of bidders proposing different technical specifications is difficult considering the technical expertise of the expert committee.
  2. Statistics from other countries has shown that participation of very few Challengers degrades the performance of the model
  3. Can encourage formation of cartels.
  4. Lack of Transparency in terms of selection of projects can benefit companies with good political affinity.


With India’s GDP pegged to grow at over 7%, developing infrastructure is on top priority of the govt. However Govt may not have the necessary funding to back this kind of expenditure so it has to engage with private players. Till now Swiss Model has been successful in completion of small projects buts its success for larger projects remains to be seen. Recently Kelkar panel has also raised questions on transparency of the system and information asymmetry in procurement process for in the projects awarded via this model. A strong legal system is need of the hour if India wants to benefit from this model.

Best answer: Vengeance

Swiss model has recently emerged as an important method to award contract to private players or enter in Public-private Partnership. Here, private party submits a bid, then the bid is made public for other parties to challenge, it is followed by regular bidding, and original party is given the Right to increase his bid, and also the first Right of refusal.


1)Red-tapism is avoided, as private party themselves come with the bid & process is not initiated with Governmental agencies.

2)Timelines is shortened as first step itself which is time consuming takes no time which is project proposal by private players.

3)Transparency ensured by further bidding otherwise some nexus may be created between Government & private player.

4)Original bidder given advantage to match the highest bid, which allows & promotes this model.

Potential in India:

1)Governmental agencies suffer from bureaopathology, this move when incorporated with PPP will lessen bureaucratic delays.

2)Innovation will be brought in which is most necessary in developing economy like India.

3)Infrastructural constraints like roads, electricity will be solved greatly.

4)Schemes like MII, SI, DI call for investments which require robust structural framework promoted by these challenges.

Recently Kelkar Committee called for discouragement of Swiss Challenge, but Supreme Court gave a green light, necessary caveats should be placed to make it growth model for India.

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