SYNOPSIS: IASbaba’s TLP 2016 [30th August] – UPSC Mains GS Questions [HOT]

  • September 1, 2016
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SYNOPSIS- IASbaba’s TLP 2016 [30th August] – UPSC Mains GS Questions [HOT]


Note: Today instead of 3, we are providing 6 questions on Freedom Struggle. It is to ensure that you cover as much ground as possible in the TLP itself. Questions 1, 4 and 6, 7 and 8 will be reviewed by us. Questions 2, 3 and 5 are for your practice and peer review only.

1. Discuss the contributions of Raja Rammohun Roy to the social and cultural awakening in the 19th century India.

Raja Rammohan Roy is rightly known as “the Father of Modern India” in recognition of his epoch making social, political and educational reforms.

(Though his father Ramakanto was very orthodox but he wanted his son to have higher education and after the basic formal education in Sanskrit and Bengali in the village school, Ram Mohan was sent to Patna to study Persian and Arabic in a madrasa. After that he went to Benares (Kashi) for learning the intricacies of Sanskrit and Hindu scripture, including the Vedas and Upanishads. He learnt English language at the age of 22 years.)

Educational Reforms:

Ram Mohan viewed education as a medium to implement the social reforms. He came to Calcutta and started an English college from his own savings. He was well aware that the students should learn the English language and scientific subjects and that’s why he criticized the government’s policy of opening only Sanskrit schools. According to him, Indians would lag behind if they do not get to study modern subjects like Mathematics, Geography and Latin.

Government accepted this idea of Ram Mohan and also implemented it but not before his death. Ram Mohan was also the first to give importance to the development of the mother tongue. His ‘Gaudiya Byakaran’ in Bengali is the best of his prose works.

Political Reforms:

Ram Mohan Roy was a staunch supporter of free speech and expression and fought for the rights of vernacular press. He also brought out a newspaper in Persian called ‘Miratul- Akhbar’ (the Mirror of News) and a Bengali weekly called ‘Sambad Kaumudi’ (the Moon of Intelligence). In those days, items of news and articles had to be approved by the government before being published. Ram Mohan protested against this control by arguing that newspapers should be free and that the truth should not be suppressed simply because the government did not like it.

Social Reforms:

Among his efforts, the abolition of the sati-pratha-a practice in which the widow was compelled to sacrifice herself on the funeral pyre of her husband-was the prominent. His efforts were also instrumental in eradicating the purdah system and child marriage. In 1828, Ram Mohan Roy formed the Brahmo Samaj, a group of people, who had no faith in idol-worship and were against the caste restrictions.

These points should be backed by facts.

(Since everyone has read about it in detail, social reforms can be elaborated further according to the question.)


Best Answer 1 : Jyoti

Remembered as the “Maker of Modern India”, social and cultural reformer Raja Ram Mohan Roy was a visionary who lived during one of India’s darkest social phases.His pioneering efforts can be seen as follows:

Social Reforms:

1)His greatest achievement in the field of social reforms was abolition of Sati in 1829.
2)He advocated abolition of polygamy and wanted women to be educated and given the right to inherit property

3)Established Brahmo Samaj which proclaimed freedom from the bondage of caste and from the authority of scriptures.They advocated and performed inter-caste marriages and widow marriages and opposed the purdah system.

4)He advocated western learning as a means through which India could progress

5)He greatly valued freedom of press and spread of information. He was the first Indian who was the editor and owner of any newspaper(Samvad Kaumudi)

Cultural Reforms:

1)He translated the Vedas and the Upanishads into Bengali with the aim of bringing to the knowledge of the people the original texts of their religion.

2)Advocated belief in a universal religion based on the principle of one supreme god. Wrote books such as “A Gift to the monotheists”, “The Precepts of Jesus”, “Manzarat-ul-Adiyan” which highlighted the similarities and dissimilarities in various religions and advocated oneness
3)The Brahmo Samaj was the first important organization of religious reform. It forbade idol-worship and discarded meaningless rites and rituals.

Thus through his efforts he ushered in a new era into the Indian culture and society and is aptly called the “Father of Indian Renaissance”.

Best Answer 2 : Angelwings



2. The revolt of 1857 was a desperate effort to save India in the old way and under traditional leadership. Critically comment.

3. It was a result of the intrinsic nature of foreign imperialism and its harmful impact on the lives of the Indian people that a powerful anti-imperialist movement gradually arose and developed in India. Elucidate.

4. “Under the British Indian despot the man is at peace, there is no violence; his substance is drained away, unseen, peaceably and subtly- he starves in peace and perishes in peace, with law and order!” Comment.

(Question 4 was only for peer review. So here we are providing only the guidelines to attempt this question.)


Your Introduction should include the reference and context of this statement.


You should compare the conditions of peasants, Artists, Workers, rulers etc. in Native Indian rules and British Rule

  • The difference was there in the basic interest of the parties. Even though Native rulers also exploit the local people but ultimately the money get invested locally whereas in case of Britisher the money went to England and the local here suffered.

Also mention the reasons why and how their conditions become worse.

  • The peasant saw that the government took away a large part of his produce as land revenue; that the government and its machinery— the police, the courts, the officials—favoured and protected the zamindars and landlords, who rack-rented him, and the merchants and moneylenders, who cheated and exploited him in diverse ways and who took his land away from him.
  • The artisan or the handicraftsman saw that the foreign regime had helped foreign competition ruin him and had done nothing to rehabilitate him.
  • Later, in the twentieth century, the worker in modern factories, mines, and plantations found that, in spite of lip sympathy, the government sided with the capitalists, especially the foreign capitalists.


It should reflect the idea propounded in the body of the Answer.

Best Answer1: – vengeancee

It is generally believed that when pain rises anger begins, but when pain supersedes everything else in life it leads to numbness. Above statement is reflective of the fact that intense imperialism & oppressive British rule led to severest of exploitation possible which went on for decades, the argumentative poor Indian was no longer his original being, and made peace with his misery.

Peasant had started losing their land, losing their income, and was at prey of oppressive zamindar. They had no resort to judicial, police to give them healing touch, and after decade & century of subjugation they made peace with pain.

Artisans whose prowess transformed to worthlessness after British came in power saw their own downfall, and they lost everything they had from skill to market to income to life.

Workers at factories had long working hours & inhumane conditions, there was no question of leisure hour & family time when entire family was involved in same activity.

Plantation workers faced double edged effect of British imperialism where they lost monetarily against merchants as well as planters. Hard working conditions made their life utter gloomy, and starving in peace.

Such awful & rotten life surrounding poor Indians were symbolic of their numbness in life that lost all their hopes.


Best Answer2 -Skylar7450 



5. Several developments abroad in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries encouraged the growth of militant nationalism in India. Discuss.

6. The emphasis on Atmashakti or self-reliance was an integral aspect of the Swadeshi movement. Why so much importance was attached to this philosophy? Which means were adopted to achieve the same?

One of the important aspect of the Swadeshi Movement was the great emphasis given to self-reliance or ‘Atmasakti’ as a necessary part of the struggle against the Government.

The only strength which could be used by Indians to fight the colonialists was the inner strength which could come from Atmashakti only.

Importance of Atmashakti or self-reliance:

  • Nationalists wanted to bring emphasis on re-assertion of national dignity, honor and self respect.
  • They wanted to instill confidence among the Indians that Indian industries and enterprises controlled and run by Indian people could protect and promote them.
  • There was a conscious effort by British to divide India on communal lines, hence “Atmasakti” was potential effort to raise conscience among fellow Indians to understand British policy and remain united.
  • Self-help and constructive work at the village level was envisaged as a means of bringing about the social and economic regeneration of the villages and of reaching the rural masses. (Social reform and campaigns against evils such as caste oppression, early marriage, the dowry system, consumption of alcohol, etc.)
  • Atmasakti was able to draw for the first time large sections of society into active participation in modern nationalist into the ambit of modern political ideas.
  • The social base of the national movements now extended to include a certain zamindari section, the lower middle class in the cities and small towns and school and college students on a massive scale. (including women)

Means adopted to achieve the same:

Promoting Swadeshi education: National Council of Education was setup to intensify these efforts. Primary education in vernacular language was encouraged. Opening of national colleges across the country.

Swadeshi festivals and melas: The Swadeshi period saw the creative use of traditional popular festivals and melas as a means of reaching out to the masses.

Traditional folk theatre forms: such as jatras i.e. extensively used in disseminating the Swadeshi message in an intelligible form to vast sections of the people, many of whom were being introduced to modern political ideas for the first time.

Revival of Indian art and literature: It led to the composition of nationalist songs and poems.

Boycott of foreign goods and services: Swadeshi was complimented by boycott of foreign goods and services. Shops selling foreign goods were picketed and goods were burnt in public.

Fostering indigenous industries and other enterprises: Many textile mills, soap and match factories, handloom weaving concerns, national banks, and insurance companies were opened.

Best answer Lizzy

Partition of Bengal has resulted in swadeshi and boycott movement. An important aspect of swadeshi movement is ‘Atmashakti’ which means self reliance. The main intention of the movement is to use all Indian goods and boycott of British goods.

Importance given to self reliance because:

  1. Nationalists wanted to bring emphasis on re-assertion of national dignity and self respect.

2.They wanted to instill confidence among the Indians that Indian industries could not flourish except under an government controlled and run by Indian people which could protect and promote them.

  1. It came to mean not just the adoption of Indian goods but also becoming self reliant in the production of local good and services.

4.It message of swaraj can reach masses with more intensity.

Means adopted were:

  1. Promoting Swadeshi education: National council of Education was setup to intensify these efforts. Primary education in vernacular language was encouraged. Opening of national colleges across the country.
  2. Growth of many indigenous industries in textiles, soap, chemicals, banking, insurance, etc.

3.Revival of Indian art and literature. It led to the composition of nationalist songs and poems.

With the movement of self reliance a remarkable aspect is women came out to protest and students played a major role in its success.

7. The 11thInter State Council (ISC) was convened after a gap of 10 years. Do you think this constitutional forum remains underutilized? Can the idea of cooperative federalism be realized best through the Inter State Council (ISC)? Discuss.


Give a brief Introduction about Inter State Council, its need and mandate.

(Few Details are added only for reading purpose)

What constitution says about interstate council?

Article 263 of the Constitution of India provides for the establishment of an Inter-State Council.

  1. Provisions with respect to an inter-State CouncilIf at any time it appears to the President that the public interest would be served by the establishment of a Council charged with the duty of – 
  2. a) inquiring into and advising upon disputes which may have arisen between States;
  3. b) investigating and discussing subjects in which some or all of the States, or the Union and one or more of the States, have a common interest; or
  4. c) making recommendations upon any such subject and in particular, recommendations for the better co-ordination of policy and action with respect to that subject, it shall be lawful for the President by order to establish such a Council, and to define the nature of the duties to be performed by it and its organization and procedure.”

The genesis of the article can be traced directly to Section 135 of the Govt. of India Act, 1935 provided for establishment of Inter-Provincial Council with duties identical with those of the Inter-State Council. At the time of framing of section 135 of the Government of India Act, 1935, it was felt that “if departments or institutions of coordination and research are to be maintained at the Centre in such matters as Agriculture, Forestry, Irrigation, Education and Public Health and if such institutions are to be able to rely on appropriations of public funds sufficient to enable them to carry on their work, the joint interest of Provincial Governments in them must be expressed in some regular and recognized machinery of Inter-Governmental consultations.” It was also intended that the said Council should be set up as soon as the Provincial autonomy provisions of Government of India Act, 1935 came into operation.

In the Constituent Assembly debate held on 13 June 1949, the article on Inter-State Council was adopted without any debate.


The Inter-State Council was established under Article 263 of the Constitution of India through a Presidential Order dated 28 May 1990, which stated that:

The Council shall consist of: –

  1. a) Prime Minister – Chairman
  2. b) Chief Ministers of all States – Member
  3. c) Chief Ministers of Union Territories having a Legislative Assembly and Administrators of UTs not having a Legislative Assembly – Member
  4. d) Six Union Ministers of Cabinet rank in the Union Council of Ministers nominated by the Prime Minister – Member


Major Focus/Agenda during last 10 meetings:

  1. First 7 discussed the Recommendations of Sarkaria Commission
  2. 9th meeting – adopted 139-point Action plan on Good Governance for implementation.
  3. 10th meeting – Six point of Consensus after detailed review of the status of implementation of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Act, 1989.

Though the council was utilized in its earlier days but it remains dormant for later period. The 11th meeting happened after 10 years.

Reasons for Underutilization

  1. One party dominance.
  2. Presence of other bodies like NDC, planning commission, Niti Aayog etc.
  3. Coalition government – became a kind of inter-governmental forum
  4. No condition of necessary meeting
  5. Lack of political will

What has been discussed under the 11th meeting

  1. Punchhi commission recommendation
  2. Aadhaar
  3. Education
  4. Internal Security

What is cooperative federalism?

Cooperative federalism refers to a concept in which the state governments, local governments, and the federal government share responsibility in the governance of the people. They cooperate in working out details concerning which level of government takes responsibility for particular areas and creating policy in that area. The concept of cooperative federalism put forward the view that the national and state governments are partners in the exercise of governmental authority. It is also referred to as the new federalism.

How cooperative federalism can be realized through interstate council?

  1. Discussion and consensus making – GST bill etc.
  2. Part of policy making- Internal Security, Education
  3. Discuss major recommendations – Punchhi, Sarkaria etc – That will help in solving contentious issues like Governor etc.
  4. By increasing the frequency of meetings
  5. Its role should be increased and more contours should be added.

(More points can be added)


It should reflect the idea that InterState Council is one of the most important tool for cooperative federalism and its maximum utilization should be done by improving its functioning, methods and areas.

Best Answer 1: SherniZaad

Indian Constitution under article 263 empowers the President to establish an ISC for effective coordination between Centre and States and between States.

However, the recent meet up of ISC after 10 years of gap has raised the issue of its full utilization since its inception. The reason for this irregularity lies in the loose provision which says ISC “may” meet atleast thrice in a year.

The forum remained underutilized due to following reasons: –

1) Lack of regular meetings- after 10 years- remains the most prominent one.
2) one party dominance in Centre and states for a very long period suppressed the need for ISC.
3) Presence of other bodies like National Development Council, Planning Commission and the most recent Niti Ayog sidelined the existence of ISC.

However, cooperative federalism is gaining importance in recent times and ISC could prove to be a catalyst in achieving it.

1) Centre -state coordination is very important in the field of health and education and ISC can be a platform for this.

2) National security – one of the biggest concerns – coukd be achieved only if all the states come forward , discuss and share their intelligence .

3) scheme implementation by Centre alone is a difficult task and cooperation of all the States is a must which can be taken care of in ISC meetings.

4) Moreover, regular meetings will create a feeling of healthy competition among the states to give their best.

5) problems of fund devolution to local bodies can also be solved here.

Thus, it would be in the best interests of our country with so many states and a strong Centre to make full use of Interstate Council. It will help to promote competitive and cooperative federalism and help to tie the country together in all the aspects.

Best Answer 2: Skylar7450




8. The year 2016 marks the 25th anniversary of economic reforms. It is said that the process of reforms that started in 1991 remains a work in progress. Do you agree? Justify.

As India celebrates 25th anniversary of the 1991 reforms, there have been a flood of retrospective assessments in the national media. We want you to be aware of the issue whether 1991 reforms were successful or there is still unfinished work.


(Give small description about the reforms)

The 1991 reforms focused on dismantling of government controls and greater reliance upon the private sector and market forces. There was a huge criticism and fears that it would be ruinous for the economy. However, results of many assessments shows that India has done quite well after the reforms. But in some areas, there is still a concern as reforms have failed to address and there still remains unfinished work.

Cover different areas:

  1. Gross domestic product (GDP) growth –
  • 1991 reforms have transformed India from a low-income economy to middle-income range.
  • India is also currently the fastest growing emerging market country at a time when both the industrialized countries and the major emerging market countries have slowed down.
  • If we judge only by gross domestic product (GDP), we can say the reforms succeeded.
  1. The impact of the reforms on the poor –
  • In the pre-reform period the percentage of the population below the poverty line increased. In the immediate post-reform period percentage in poverty declined.
  • In more recent years, when growth accelerated sharply, the percentage of the population in poverty declined much faster than before. (Provide some examples of statistics if you know any) This achievement is now internationally recognized.
  • However still poverty is a concern (as numbers in poverty are still too large)
  1. Failure to deliver basic services –
  • Education – quality of education provided is poor
  • Health – High out of pocket expenditure, poor public expenditure
  • Clean drinking water and sanitation – Open defecation is still practiced
  1. Jobless growth – Provide short description
  2. No trickling down effect – Provide short description

Conclude your answer:

As a result the reforms initiated are still an ongoing process. Moreover, owing to the dynamic nature of today’s economy there shall always be a perpetual need of reforming and adaptation to new issues as they arise.

Best answer: Yogesh Bhatt

India has taken a big step in 1991 and accepted LPG policies. Since 1991, India has seen handsome growth in terms of GDP numbers and thriving foreign reserve. In spite of that reform started in 1991 is ongoing journey because

1-         No trickling down effect– As per expected economy growth could not transferred to economic development and even today India is home of maximum poor people in world.

2-         Ongoing social transformation– we had economic reforms but still India have not seen social transformation supported with economic growth so gulf between poor and rich is increasing.

3-         Second phase of economic reforms– like GST, tax reforms., Banking reforms, coordination with global markets and groups, are need to be more cohesive.

4-         Social sector investment– after 1991 reforms it was expected to have focus on social areas like health, education, road, and so on but still India is laggard in these fronts.

5-         Gulf between rural and urban India– after 1991 reforms India has developed many metro cities which are hub of financial growth but rural India has left behind and still 70% population is waiting for fragrance of economic reforms.

6-         Primary sector development– Agriculture and allied sector which provides maximum livestock support is largely untouched by reforms after 1991 reforms.

Beyond doubt many changes has been made in India after 1991 reforms but still reforms are half achieved as it need to supplement with political reforms, social reforms, and administrative reforms for better India.

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