SYNOPSIS: IASbaba’s TLP 2016 [23rd August] – UPSC Mains GS Questions [HOT]

  • August 24, 2016
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IASbaba's Hot Questions, IASbaba's Think Learn Perform 2016, IASbaba's TLP - 2016, Think Learn Perform (TLP)- 2016, UPSC Mains Answer Writing - 2016, UPSC Mains Questions 2016
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SYNOPSIS- IASbaba’s TLP 2016 [23rd August] – UPSC Mains GS Questions [HOT]


Note: Today instead of 3, we have provided 5 questions from World History. It is to ensure that you cover as much ground as possible in the TLP itself. Questions 1, 2, 3, 6 and 7 will be reviewed and provided synopsis by us. Questions 4 and 5 are for your practice and peer review only.

1. Colonialism was a specific structure which was neither capitalist nor pre capitalist. Rather it was a combination of semi feudal and semi colonial elements. Do you agree? Substantiate.

  • Here, the question is in the form of a statement. The evaluator wants your opinion, whether the given statement is correct or wrong.
  • Evaluator wants you to provide justification for your opinion by giving some evidences (examples) and since it is world history, evaluator expects you to provide examples/evidences of structure of colonialism in other countries as well.


In this paragraph you have to give your opinion along with some sentences explaining why colonialism is a unification of all the above structures, why it has overlapping features with many ideologies and not purely a capitalist or feudalistic.

1) You can compare the principles of capitalism or feudalism with colonialism.

Colonialism does mean the introduction of capitalist relations of production or capitalist structure into trade, industry, agriculture and banking; the introduction of bourgeois state structure, legal and property relations, but not the development of capitalist production or productive powers. The structure of colonialism cannot be considered as capitalist as there is no capitalist development when the social forces of production are not developed nor constantly revolutionized.


2) simply, define colonialism, capitalism and feudalism. Explain the exploitative nature of colonialism, non laissez-faire nature, welfare was not the motive and also explain why it was not purely pre-capitalist.


Provide evidences of different colonies, how colonialism had combination of semi feudal and semi colonial elements.

The development of agrarian relations in the colonies—India, Indonesia, Egypt and Latin America—provides an interesting example of semi-feudal structure of colonialism.

There were massive efforts to transform pre-colonial agriculture into capitalist agriculture. But since this was done under colonial conditions, the result was a semi-feudal, semi-colonial agriculture dominated by the colonial state, world capitalist market, landlords, merchants and moneylenders and exhibiting many capitalist features—bourgeois property relations, commercialization and other elements of capitalist agriculture.

Provide examples of polices such as permanent settlement, zamindari system, subsidiary alliance etc., slavery in Africa and forced labour (Begar) in India.

Semi colonial elements such as African and Indian colonies were made supplier of raw material and market for European produced manufactured products.

Policies such as one way free trade policy followed by European countries, imperial power wanting  to control the political and social system of their colonies with the little efforts for their improvement, influence by spreading Christianity, non-association of natives in legislative and executive functions. Also many colonies were not subjugated directly but were brought under spheres of influence by colonial powers.

Best answer 1: veracity29

Best answer 2: Heidi

The traditional elements prevailing in the colonies were stronger than the modernizing events in the capitalist world. The remnants of feudal and semi-feudal elements in the colonies have been utilized for exploitation and suppression by the colonial powers.

Colonialism was neither Capitalist nor Pre-Capitalist because,

1- The method and relation of production was not modern but traditional (absence of major industries and factories)

2- The economy wasn’t purely capitalist, but was based on feudal land ownership system (Zamindars, hereditary-rights, land-grants)

3- Failed attempts to modernize the colonies due to strong traditional elements (casteism, forced-labour)

4- Failed land-revenue systems causing stagnant production and revenue-losses (permanent-settlement didn’t favor capitalism)

Semi-feudal & Semi-colonial Elements

1- Colonialism continued a land-revenue system based on feudal exploitation (Zamindari-system, high-revenue).

2- Society and economy were based on land ownership which dictated social order. (landed-aristocracy, unsecured-peasants)

3- Imposed rules and laws irrespective of the conditions in the colonies. (White man’s-burden, imperialism)

4- Non-association of natives in legislative and executive functions especially the landless and downtrodden (Voting-right based on land-ownership, appeasement by titles)

Colonialists and landed aristocracy shared strong association and mutual support through out the colonial history. They supported each other. Feudal elements made economic and social exploitation easier for imperialist. This makes us in agreement with the fact that, colonialism was a combination of semi feudal and semi colonial elements.

2. How did the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire lead to the First World War? What were the immediate political fallouts of the war? Discuss.


Balkan which constitutes present day Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia and Herzegovina etc. was ruled by Ottoman Empire but since 1870s people of the area who were called as Slavs started to question the authority and wanted to overthrow the monarchy by internal reforms.


  1. This led to the weakening of empire which made the region a hot bed of rivalry for territory and trade among then major European powers like Britain, Germany, Russia and Austria-Hungry.
  2. European powers which were opposed to each other in Europe were prepared to collaborate when dealing with the Ottoman Empire. Because France had occupied Tunisia in 1881, and Britain had occupied Egypt in 1882, they both agreed, between 1902 and 1905, that Italy should acquire the Ottoman Province of  Libya.
  3. Bosnia and Herzegovina, which was a Slav dominated region was put under the
    protection of Austria. This led to hostility between Austria and
    Further, Austria had signed tripartite alliance with Germany
    and Italy.
  4. This rivalry led to assassination of duke of Austria which became the immediate cause for the WW1.

Political fallouts:

  1. End of the four dynasties : Austro-Hapsburg empire, Germany
    empire, Czar empire of Russia, and Ottoman empire.
  2. Emergence of newly independent states : Because of disintegration of
    Ottoman empire, Hapsburg empire such as Hungary, Poland,
    Czechoslovakia, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
  3. Emergence of new super powers: USA ended its isolation and developed hegemony over world. Japan emerged as superpower in Asian continent.
  4. Self-determination movements: Intensification of self-determination movements in the colonies of Asia and Africa.
  5. League of Nations: league of nations emerged as the world body to prevent future catastrophe of previous scale.


Write a brief conclusion.

Best answer: BHAWANA


Morocco crisis and Balkan crisis are two important landmarks for the development of WW 1. The former was however not culminated in war but the later lead to the surge of nationalism.

Balkan which constitutes present day Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia and Herzegovina etc. was ruled by Ottoman Empire but since 1870s people of the area who were called as Slavs started to question the authority and wanted to overthrow the monarchy by internal reforms. This led to the weakening of empire which made the region a hot bed of rivalry for territory and trade among then major European powers like Britain, Germany, Russia and Austria-Hungry.

It started with Austrian annexation of Serb speaking Bosnia and terminated in series of wars with Serbia as the center. Formation of alliances engraved the situation and came out as WW1 in 1914.


>>formation of new states by disintegration of empires like Russia and Austria-Hungry in the form of Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Finland and Czech-Slovakia etc.

>>Post war dictatorship too was seen with the rise of Bolshevism, Nazism and fascism. Though it was to restore order in the aftermath of the war.

>>Civil rights like freedom of expression and participation of people were deemed as threat and were curbed excessively.

>>Democracy was severely undermined to cope with post-war Europe.

>>An international organization in the form of national league too was formed but it
proved a failure as second WW could not be prevented by it.

3. Rise of Nazism in Germany and that of Fascism is Italy during the inter war period were two different yet similar developments that laid the foundation of the Second World War. Elucidate.

  • In the above question, the following keywords are to be taken care of- Nazism, Fascism, Different yet similar and how they laid foundation of WW2.
  • It is a straight forward factual question, which many aspirants have answered very nicely.


WW I gave birth to two ideologies – Fascism in Italy and Nazism in Germany, which changed the course of World Politics and economics. Italian were dissatisfied by perceived injustice by Allied forces that they did not give deserved share to Italy in war exploits. Germany was forced to accept the one sided terms of Treaty of Versailles, which created a feeling of vengeance amongst the Germans.


  • Both were based on Jingoistic Nationalism. They fed on the emotions of their countrymen.
  • Both Mussolini and Hitler, were strong dictators who infused their ideology into general public through press and educational institutions.
  • Both the countries followed expansionist policy and tried to expand their borders by means of force. They both encouraged wars and believed in the concept of “might is right”.
  • They were strongly against communism and any sort of democracy.


  • Fascism believed in superiority of the nation (Italy) which Nazism was based in superiority of Race as well as nation. The kind of atrocities seen against Jews under Nazi regime was not seen under Fascist regime of Italy.
  • Hitler did mix religion with government matters but Mussolini allied with the Church.
  • Mussolini initially was against Germany supported the allied nations, but later was influenced by Hitler’s style of rule and allied with him.

Events leading to WW2

Germany and Italy both encouraged arms race and manufactured sophisticated weapons like warplanes, submarines etc. Germany even made conscription compulsory.

Although this was not liked by other European powers, but they neglected it as Both of them were against communism.

Both Germany and Italy neglected the presence of League of Nations, which was a toothless organization. They kept following expansionist policy and what league did was to slam weak sanctions, which were ignored by them.

Due to aggressive policy of Nazis and Fascists, expansion of army and accumulation of arms, a war of catastrophic scale became imminent.

Best Answer 1: Night Fury

(The answer is not complete yet presentation and content is very good.)

Best Answer 2: The Credible Hulk

Nazism and Fascism arose during the same period and although Hitler attributed Mussolini as his ideological mentor, the two movements were quite different:

  • Nazism was based on the ideology of racial superiority, Fascism was more driven by nationalism.
  • Nazism committed massive ethnic cleansing while Fascism had no such agenda.
  • While Fascism was more a response to the economic and diplomatic under-performance of the incumbent communist government, Nazism bred out of enormous humiliation of Germany by the Allies at the end of WWI.

That said, there were a few crucial similarities between the two which contributed to intra-regional tensions laying the foundation of WWII:

  • Extreme nationalism and severe muffling of the political dissenters.
  • Policy of expansionism and military up-scaling.
  • Severe dislike of the extra-state actors’ interference in domestic affairs which was perceived to be done to undermine national security.

Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, were gradually drawn together in an alliance, further aggravating the security dilemma of the Allies. Germany’s invasion of Poland turned out to be the last straw culminating into the full scale WWII.(175 Words)

4. New political ethos emerged in the aftermath of the First World War. Which were those political ethos? Elaborate. (Hint: Nationalism, socialism, self-determination etc.)

5. Which major ideological conflicts were at play at the outset of the Second World War? How did they culminate into the war? Discuss.

6. India’s success in the Tokyo Olympics will come only through more investments and developing a sporting culture in the country. Discuss.

  • Here, the question is asking for a discussion. So the answer should discuss about the need of Investments and Sporting culture in the Country. Apart from that if anything else is needed than that should also be discussed.
  • Answers should contain facts/ examples / comparison with other countries to substantiate your point.


It should include the present condition / tally of recent Olympics etc. will give you an opportunity to present the picture in a better way. You can also add why India as country should /can perform better.


First discuss the present status of Infrastructure and Culture in India in brief. Than you Discuss the need of improvement in investments and sporting culture etc.

Here you should know what all comes under Sporting culture and what all can be done.

  • Investments in the training centers-to ensure better facilities, better coaching, better exposure: Dipa Karmakar example
  • Khel Ratna Award, Monetary benefits, Job Security, Pension
  • Private Sector investments like ISL, Kabaddi League, Boxing league, Wrestling league
  • Encourage investment in sports as part of CSR of the companies
  • Sports Universities / National academies should be setup.
  • Program like PANCHAYAT YUVA KRIDA and KHEL ABHIYANS etc. should be promoted at village level.
  • A program on the lines of Beti Bachao Beti Padho Beti Khilao to encourage female athletes in the sports world
  • Sports should be encouraged through the school system.
  • Media/Films should promote the sports- Chakde India, Dangal, Sultan etc.

Apart from Investment and Sport culture we should also focus on

  • Improving the conditions of Sport councils etc. – Lodha committee type recommendations for other sports.
  • Corruption, Nepotism should be checked.
  • Strict Anti-Doping, spot fixing agencies should be created.


  • This should be a summary of your answer’s body. It should reflect the idea that India has the potential to be the best one. Going by the rise of economic might and demography, if we can just provide the better infrastructure with proper grooming we can do wonder. By following above mentioned recommendation we hope to see the change soon.

Best Answer: Saurabh

(He has crossed the word limit slightly yet presentation and content is very good)

The Olympic medal tally represents the sporting talent in the country, which in actuality speaks volumes about the youth power of that nation. India’s performance in the Rio Olympics is far from satisfactory considering India’s size and demography.

Sporting infrastructure and mindset play a major role in excelling in global competitions like Olympics. Following steps are a prerequisite:

1) Increasing investment by government through setting up of better training facilities, providing commensurate remuneration to coaches etc is absolutely imperative
2) Corporate support through setting up facilities, sponsorship of internal tournaments like “Pro Kabaddi”, promoting potential sportsmen in their organizations can be of great help
3) Sports must be made an essential part of curriculum and not be just an “extracurricular” discipline, so that it is taken up seriously by teachers and parents
4) Government must also provide job security and pension to athletes so that they can lead a dignified life after they retire
5) School curricula must have stories about sporting icons so that a change in mindset is brought about

However, there are some other factors that play a part too:
1) Professionalization of sporting bodies is an absolute must
2) Corruption and nepotism in the sport bodies also needs to be weeded out
3) Talent hunt and sport training must be institutionalized and made into a long term process, rather than an adhoc one which starts just months before a major tournament

India has the requisite wherewithal to excel at major competitions like the Olympics. We have certainly made some improvements in the near past, but this should be more consistent rather than momentary.

7. Atrocities against Dalits are on a rise and so is the assertion of Dalit identity and rights. Are we witnessing a Dalit uprising in the country? Give your opinion on the issue.

For answering this type of questions, you should first analyze the question and identify the demand areas. Most of the answers have Dadri lynching etc. as the example and also have wrong facts in the answers. Please avoid.

Here, question is asking for your opinion on whether we are witnessing a Dalit uprising in the country or not. So you can argue by telling what do you understand by ‘uprising’ and why it can be considered as an uprising or is it just a movement of small faction.


You can start with giving historical examples of BR Ambedkar, Jyotiba Phule, Dalit panthers etc. and then link it with the present scenario.


You can also start with giving details of recent events of atrocities etc.


Are Atrocities against Dalits rising?

  • Historically, Dalit Movement is the result of the constant hatred being generated from centuries from the barbaric activities of the upper castes of India. Since Dalits were assigned the duties of serving the other three Varnas, that is all the non– Dalit, they were deprived of higher training of mind and were denied social-economic and political status.
  • But in recent times, the safeguards provided by Constitution and efforts of leaders like B R Ambedkar, Babu Jagjeevan Ram, Kashiram, Mayawati etc we have seen the rise in social conditions of Dalits.
  • So there is a threat to traditional post bearers as the educated Dalit is not only rising its voice but also asserting its identity socially, politically and economically as well.
  • This is why the atrocities against them are rising slightly. Apart from that, Rise of new media – (Social media, 24 X 7 tv) also helped them gaining mass audiences and the instances of atrocities are getting attention.

Is it an uprising?

Technically uprising means a usually violent effort by many people to change the government or leader of a country. However, in this case, even though there were some violent protests happened but over its more of like a silent uprising where efforts have been made in every single dimension to improve their position and standing. Rising education level, economic status, presence in bureaucracy, politics shows the same.


So overall we can say that due to changing economic and political standing of Dalits, social change started happening and which resulted into the conflicts and atrocities. But due to the rising awareness about their fundamental and political rights, Dalits are able to assert and fight back against it. In coming days it will help in improving their social standing too.

Additional Info:

Rise in education level of SC/ST – according to Census 2011

Primary occupies the top position in terms of percentage share to total literates in 2011 for both total (24.1 per cent) and SCs (27.7 per cent) and for STs, it is below primary (29 per cent).

The percentage share of graduate and above to population of 15 years and above has shown improvement from 5.7 per cent to 8.2 per cent for total, 2.2 per cent to 4.1 per cent for SCs and 1.5 per cent to 2.6 per cent for STs during 2001-11.

The percentage share of graduate degree other than technical degree to total graduate and above has declined by 7.2 per cent for total, 7.7 per cent for SCs and 7.5 per cent for STs during the decade 2001-2011.


Best Answer: Mukesh_MAX 

The past year or so has seen a number of incidents involving atrocities against Dalits. The clashes between Dalits and upper castes have been quite common even in independent India, especially in rural areas. But the latest incidents like Dalits being beaten by “cow vigilantes” in Gujrat etc. have set a bad precedent.

But the new Dalit class is not passive. Educated, employed and self-sustaining Dalits are equally assertive of their fundamental rights like any other castes.

Moreover, the new Dalit class is not ashamed of its identity in social milieu but is highly assertive of its entitlements and vociferously protests any cattiest bias/activity that hurts them. The recent protests against the atrocities are a testimony to this. Also, the new Dalit entrepreneurs class (like DICCI) is changing Dalit’s image from a “job seeker” to “job provider” and entering into the domains that were traditionally the stronghold of higher castes.

Is there a Dalit uprising happening?

Dalit uprising is surely happening in the spheres of education, social upliftment and with respect to their entitled rights. But if uprising connotes to overhauling the system towards an egalitarian society, then it is far away from it. It is because Dalits are separated by geographies, access to public services and literacy level. A complete uprising can only occur when Dalits emerge as an integrated class and voice their uniform opinion.

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