SYNOPSIS: IASbaba’s TLP 2016 [5th Sep] – UPSC Mains GS Questions [HOT]

  • September 7, 2016
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SYNOPSIS- IASbaba’s TLP 2016 [5th Sep] – UPSC Mains GS Questions [HOT]


1. The integration of the princely states was a result of the successful interplay of persuasion, diplomacy and force. Do you agree? Substantiate.

(This is a straight forward question where people have written some very good answers. In these questions, there is hardly something new which you can write to surprise the examiner. But people generally lose their marks by committing some trivial mistakes.)

Points to remember while answering this question:

  • Role of VP Menon and Lord Mountbatten was equally important as Sardar Patel. You need to mention about them.
  • You need to specifically mention the names of the Princely states. And not their current names.
  • Persuasion, Diplomacy and Force needs to be distinctly mentioned.
  • Many of you have mentioned the exact number of Princely States. Don’t do that. Different numbers are given in different accounts. It better to write more than 500 small and large Princely states were there.
  • Persuasion: Most of the Princely states agreed to join Indian Union after persuasion from Mountbatten, Menon and Patel. They were reasoned and assertively asked to join the Union.
  • Diplomacy: Brilliant piece of diplomacy was seen in the case of Bopal, Plebiscite of Junagarh and Kashmir (Hari Singh was asked to first sign the Instrument of Accession and then the Army was sent to push the rebels Out.). Many of you have mentioned Pakistani Army or Pakistan Government backed rebels attacked Kashmir. Try to stick to non controversial Government Source saying, Pakistani Tribal Pathans.
  • Force: Force was used against Nizam of Hyderabad and later in the case of Goa and Daman and Diu. Many of you have written the complete story of Hyderabad which was not required in the answer.

Best Answer: Rishabh

The integration of over 500 princely states without waging a civil war was no mean feat. The lapse of paramountcy had created a big problem. The credit for the current territory of India goes to the then home minister Sardar Patel and VP Menon. Following were the methods deployed to integrate the princely states together:

1) Persuasion: Nehru who had excellent relations with the then viceroy Mountbatten convinced him to take hold of the situation and the viceroy extended invitations to all the princes for a meeting, seeing the background of the viceory many princes signed the instrument of accession early on. Many were persuaded with the offering of privy purse and role of governors in the Union. Eg Mysore . Jodhpur was assured of enough trade routes and ports for its trading rights helped integrate them.

2) Diplomacy: Indian integration of Junagadh , when the Nawab refused to join India and instead joined hands with Pakistan, India cuts of all essential supplies and transportation lines to the state. Patel had even instigated the vassals and the chiefs to revolt against the Nawab. Finally plebsite occurred and without the use of any weapon , Patel had won.
Attack on Kashmir by the tribals ,since Kashmir had not signed the instrument of accession till then , Maharaja Hari Singh appealed India for help and India put down the condition that only after the signing of the accession possible help could be rendered. Bhopal was also closely won over diplomatically by Patel.

3) Force: The Nizam of hyderabad was in favour of PAKISTAN but the general opinion was to stay put, Operation Polo and Catepillar were launched to curb anti nationalist feelings of the Nawab.
Indian naval forces were the first to reach the Karawati base in Lakshwadeep instead of the Pakistani forces .

Integration of Goa came through use of force as the Portuguese revolted .

The above steps shaped what we call the “Union of India” in current times.

2. What did ‘Kamraj Plan’ recommend and what were its objectives? Do you think the plan was unique having no parallels in India’s post independence political history?


K Kamraj, was the Chief Minister of Madras state, in the wake of Sino-Indian war 1962 suggested to the Prime Minister of India the following things:

  1. senior Congress members should leave the ministerial posts, both at Centre as well as State levels.
    2. they should take up organizational work for the Congress party in the country
    3. Nehru should remain as PM and lead the country yet other ministers should help the congress. Many leaders including Kamraj,Morarji Desai, Lal Bahadur Shastri resigned from their posts.

The major objectives of this plan were:

  1. strengthen the Congress organization after the 1962 war losses
  2. remove the lure of power and prestige from the minds of congressmen which they might get by being ministers
  3. work for the Congress organization and for the country as a whole.
  4. to bring young leaders forward into the government and the Congress.

Significance and uniqueness:

  1. It is significant for its far sightedness and catering to the demand of bottom up approach of development.
  2. It also tried to achieve the exact opposite of what politics is known for- power and corruption.
  3. It was unique in the sense that no party or leader has come up with such idea or followed that idea since 1963.


Write a short conclusion.

Best answer: Peeku

Kamraj plan was an effort to strengthen the Congress party internally and was made by K Kamraj, the then Chief Minister of Madras. It was made to infuse a new life into the party and restore the balance between the party and the government. The plan recommended that leading Congressmen like cabinet ministers, Chief Ministers etc should voluntarily resign and focus on strengthening organizational aspect of party. Nehru was made authority to decide whose resignation to accept. Response was immense and saw resignation of Babu Jagjivan Ram, Lal Bahdur Shastri, Morarji Desai, S K Patil etc.

The main objective of the plan was to dispel from the minds of the Congressmen the lure for power, and creating in its place a dedicated attachment to the objectives and policies of the organisation. It was about re-connecting with the masses and knowing their concerns. The plan also aimed at building the party at grass root level after disastrous war with China which had demoralized Indians immensely.

Politics revolves around holding position and having power, and this plan was exact opposite. The leaders chose to abandon their positions to win the confidence of the nation which makes it unique and unparalleled in India’s post-independence political history. The plan is an example of selflessness, sacrifice and political generosity.

3. The early neglect towards becoming agriculturally self-sufficient and over dependence on food aid resulted into christening of the country as a ‘ship to mouth’ economy. Discuss. How the crisis was addressed? Who were the drivers of the transformation that followed?


Introduction should contain –

  • Meaning of ‘ship to mouth’ economy
  • India’s five year plans and mentioning of those FYPs that neglected Agriculture.

Provide reasons for the early neglect – (should include these points)

  • Land tenure system at the time of independence and how the intermediaries did not contribute towards improvements on the farm.
  • Concentration of land ownership in a few hands (Vast inequality in landholding). The big landlords challenging the land ceiling legislation in the courts, delaying its implementation.
  • Loopholes in development policies and legislation. Failure of landreforms.
  • Successive droughts, famine and wars fought between India and China, and India and Pakistan.

How the crisis was addressed?

  • The Indian government, which had neglected agriculture in its early development plans, partly based on the old Soviet belief that the future was in steel plants rather than rice farms, saw its mistake.
  • India became self- sufficient in food production thanks to the green revolution.
  • Land reforms resulted in abolition of the hated zamindari system.
  • New hybrid seeds were imported from Mexico, banks were forced to lend to farmers and price incentives were put in place. India’s farmers responded magnificently, and the country became self-sufficient in foodgrains within five years.

Provide the names of the drivers of the transformation that followed and conclude the answer.

Best answer: Snowy



4. With the exponential rise in the number of telecom users in general and internet users in particular, ICT can become a potent tool of social and economic inclusion. Examine.

(A very general question with lots of data/ information available with the students. Indicative guidelines have been given as most of the points are already been covered under the best answers mentioned below.)


Introduction: –

Your introduction should include the growth story of telecom/ICT in India (in brief)

Add facts/ figures with proper references.


(This link contains data related to telecomm growth.)


Body: –

Your answer’s body should mention the areas in which ICT can play an important role for economic and social inclusion. You can either go with separate heading for each sector or Under the broad headings of Social and economic inclusion. It is up to you.

Conclusion: –

Your conclusion should mention the challenges in front of the penetration and usability of ICT based solutions in India (In brief) and then end in an optimistic note.


Best Answer 1 : SherniZaad

One of the fastest development India has witnessed in any field is the ITC especially after the 1991 reforms. “Reforms” are termed successful only if they are able to “Transform”. ICT has immense potential of bringing socio- economic transformation in following ways:

Social Transformation:

1)Education Revolution – various online platforms (IASBABA) and government services using ICT (SWAYAM, MOOC) etc. are already creating the impact.

2) Telemedicine – medical benefits are now reaching even the remotest of places bringing health facilities to all. Schemes like m- cessation, kilkari are brilliant steps in health sector.

3) Judicial services– move towards e- courts and using ICT tools have made judicial accessibility easier.

4) Agriculture – India’s most neglected sector is now hoping to see success using ICT like E Market, kisan portal, etc.

5) equality – ICT doesn’t discriminate and provides the benefit cut in across gender, caste, religion which strengthens India’s social fabric. Ex- Mahila-e- haat aims to empower women bringing gender divide.

Economic Transformation:
1) Subsidies – need of India but marred with leakage and corruption has now become effective due to JAM trinity, Pahal etc.

2) Good governance – “maximum governance minimum government ” is possible with the help of ICT in the form of e- governance, digital India, etc., potent of increasing employment opportunities and economic development.

3) Financial inclusion – banking services are now at the touch of the screen and schemes like PMJDY, MUDRA etc. will help reach the benefits to marginalized sections.

Effective usage of ICT has massive power to transform the Indian society from its roots. It now lays in our hands how positively we use this tool to make India inclusive and a better place for all. Digital India can help achieve this goal faster.


Best Answer 2: CSE2016 aspirant (ABG)


Best Answer3: – Dark Energy




Best Answer 4:   Anjlika Gupta (Though she has crossed the word limit but mentioning here as it contains points in detail.)

In the era of Globalization, expression and exchange of ideas and dissemination of information has an added dimension different from paper and ink to touch and blink. With virtual reality gearing up to turn technological wheel, Information and communication technology (ICT) even in its primitive form can be a boon to society in following ways: –

  1. Governance– With good governance being the motto of democratic parties, transparency is its essence. This transparency can be achieved by employing ICT in its root sense. Providing the information online on websites, Webapps etc. like GARV for rural electrification are giving added dimension to governance. People could actively participate in policy making by providing an online or telephonic portal for same.
  2. Health Sector- Telemedicine, mCessation, Kilkari, Mobile academy are certain government initiatives. However, there is still room for improvement by providing opportunity for public feedback of the initiative and government hospitals.
  3. AgricultureKisan Vikas Patra, Krishi call centres, mKisan,e-National Agriculture Market, PM Fasal Bima Yojana. These intiatives are using technology to help provide immediate and better results to farmers. This sector however, suffers from one-way communication where farmers cannot provide feedback. Traditional and local wisdom in agriculture could be put up on a site and used by farmers all over the nation.
  4. Justice– recent initiative of e-courts for providing online information of courts should be extended to rural courts as well.
  5. City Governance– Rural or Urban area governance requires participation of all sections of people. However, in this domain in India still lacks behind due to lack of any strong communication and grievance redressal systems. Apps like MYCITY, that connects the urban and rural bodies of governance and people of the city can be a positive step in the direction.
  6. Helping people with disability– Technology could be modified to suit the needs of Blind, deaf, people with impaired speech to do their chores every day and also have a voice in decision and policy making.

Inclusion in in itself not only entails financial but also social, cultural, economic and political. An inclusive and participatory society acts not only as a bulwark to government and policy initiatives but also perpetuate those initiatives which are highly important for a progressive democratic society.

5. The recently concluded Indo-African Forum Summit was a reaffirmation of India’s commitment of partnering in the developmental project of Africa. However, in real terms very little has moved on the ground in terms of resource mobilization, people to people contact and confidence building vis-a-vis China. Do you agree? Critically examine.

(Indicative guidelines have been given as most of the points are already been covered under the best answers mentioned below.)

Introduction: –

Your introduction should tell about the Indo- Africa relationship in brief and also include the recent developments (Indo- Africa Summit, visits by President and PM to various countries, trade deals etc.)



Brief mention of Africa as a continent i.e. strategic, economic, energy etc.

Your answer should focus on India’s present status in Africa w.r.t. China in terms of resource mobilization, people to people contact and confidence building.


  • You should mention the differences in Indian and Chinese approach – Neocolonialism, trade
  • Mention the areas where Chinese have upper hand – Infrastructure, Investment
  • Mention the areas where Indians made significant progress – telecom, pharmaceuticals
  • India’s contribution in African nation’s nation building and developmental process – Peacekeeping etc.
  • Challenges in front of India w.r.t. china. – Extent of economy, reach, aggressiveness ( OBOR) etc.



You should conclude by stating the different approach of India’s diplomacy in terms of Africa and how they are making inroads in African countries slowly but steadily.

Best Answer 1: SherniZaad

India and Africa trace their connection since colonial era. Their friendship deepened during Non-alignment movement and now the recently held Indo- African summit aims to take this friendship to new heights. However, the growing Chinese intervention in Africa is suppressing India’s efforts in following manner: –

1) Africa’s trade balance with India is mere $70b whereas that with China its $200b.
2) India’s bureaucratic hurdles and red tapism have slowed down the progress of Indian projects unlike China’s who are swift and quick in this line. ex- naval base at Djibouti.
3) Recent racial discriminations of Africans in India have marred India’s cultural and friendly ties with Africa.

However, despite the black spots, we can’t deny India’s philanthropic intentions of developing Africa in the following ways: –

1)India’s generic drugs help cure life taking diseases like AIDS in Africa.
2) recent pulse growing deals in Africa aims to provide employment opportunities as well as tackle food security in Africa which is known for its hunger and malnutrition.
3) India also provides line of credit, educational benefits in the form of scholarships etc. to boost inclusive growth in Africa and people to people contact.
4)It’s also investing in countries like Mozambique for energy exploration.
5)Private Indian Companies see huge potential in Africa and are investing greatly.
6) India sends highest UN peacekeeping forces in Africa.

However, Chinese investment style seems more of fulfilling their own self-interest of accomplishing OBOR, Maritime silk route initiatives rather than upliftment of Africa. Moreover, India Africa summits, regular visits of Indian dignitaries to Africa show India’s seriousness and positive interests towards Africa’s development.


Best answer 2: MDA

Indo-African relations that largely hinged on the common struggle against colonialism, poverty, disease, illiteracy and hunger have witnessed a major break-through in economic ties (Africa’s fourth largest trading partner) and strategy change through IAFS. However, the Delhi Declaration 2015 and the India-Africa Framework for Strategic Cooperation (establishing a monitoring system) also show that Africa is gauging India’s commitment on real time resource mobilization, people contact and confidence building.
Areas of concern:
# 9 billion USD concessional credit( LOCs) was approved for 140 projects in over 40 countries of which only 60 projects are complete
#Lack of significant progress in the establishment of capacity building institutions in Africa as promised at the previous two summits
# Since IAFS-II in 2011,only 24,000 scholarships across 300 training programmes in 60 institutions have been utilized
#Africa’s expectation in public health goes beyond the supply of affordable medicine to cover assistance in developing the continent’s public health services capacities.
Even though India-Africa trade stands at USD70bn against China’s USD200bn, Chinese approach to Africa is that of ‘neo-colonialism’ marked by establishment of its Confucius Institutes, media presence. India is engaged in people to people contact. China-African relations revolve around trade and Africa’s industrialization. Indo-African relations revolve around ‘progress through partnership’ which takes a longer gestation period.
India already enjoys Africa’s support on key issues like UN security council reforms etc. Way ahead lies in understanding intra- and inter-state politics in Africa, improving maritime security, engaging with African students (against racial attacks), terror-sensitization and addressing Africa’s take on climate change issues.

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