SYNOPSIS: IASbaba’s TLP 2016 [6th Sep] – UPSC Mains GS Questions [HOT]

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  • September 10, 2016
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SYNOPSIS- IASbaba’s TLP 2016 [6th Sep] – UPSC Mains GS Questions [HOT]


1. The nationalization of banks in 1969 was an attempt to bring in economic democracy through democratizing capital. Do you agree? Which factors prompted the State to nationalize banks in India? Discuss.

Know the issue:

After independence the Government of India (GOI) adopted planned economic development for the country. Accordingly, five year plans came into existence since 1951. This economic planning basically aimed at social ownership of the means of production. However, commercial banks were in the private sector those days. In 1950-51 there were 430 commercial banks. The Government of India had some social objectives of planning. These commercial banks failed helping the government in attaining these objectives. Thus, the government decided to nationalize 14 major commercial banks on 19th July, 1969.

Objectives behind Nationalisation of Banks in India:

Social Welfare : It was the need of the hour to direct the funds for the needy and required sectors of the Indian economy. Sector such as agriculture, small and village industries were in need of funds for their expansion and further economic development.

Controlling Private Monopolies : Prior to nationalisation many banks were controlled by private business houses and corporate families. It was necessary to check these monopolies in order to ensure a smooth supply of credit to socially desirable sections.

Expansion of Banking : In a large country like India the numbers of banks existing those days were certainly inadequate. It was necessary to spread banking across the country. It could be done through expanding banking network (by opening new bank branches) in the un-banked areas.

Reducing Regional Imbalance : In a country like India where we have a urban-rural divide; it was necessary for banks to go in the rural areas where the banking facilities were not available. In order to reduce this regional imbalance nationalisation was justified:

Priority Sector Lending : In India, the agriculture sector and its allied activities were the largest contributor to the national income. Thus these were labeled as the priority sectors. But unfortunately they were deprived of their due share in the credit. Nationalisation was urgently needed for catering funds to them.

Developing Banking Habits : In India more than 70% population used to stay in rural areas. It was necessary to develop the banking habit among such a large population.

Economic democracy requires an economy that is based on, and rewards, cooperation rather than competition. An economy in which enterprises are cooperative ventures rather than top-down authoritarian institutions.

The nationalization of banks in 1969 was surely an attempt to bring in economic democracy through democratizing capital:

  • Bank ownership shifted to government and decision making power was democratized.
  • More accountability towards people and government with reduced hegemony of capitalist.
  • Conversion of banking from class banking to mass banking.
  • More branches spread to rural and suburban regions resulting into more financial inclusion.
  • More loans and credit to vulnerable and weaker so more empowerment. Diversification of banking operation to cater the demand of various sectors like agriculture, SME etc..


Best answer: ASHUTOSH

The nationalization of banks in 1969 was the most significant attempt to achieve the directives provided in constitution under DPSP .

It was an attempt to bring in economic democracy through democratizing capital in following ways====

  1. Bank ownership shifted to government and descion making power was democratized.
  2. More accountability towards people and government with reduced hegemony of capitalist.
  3. More branches spread to rural and suburban regions resulting into more financial inclusion.
  4. More loans and credit to vulnerable and weaker so more empowerment.
  5. More loans for agriculture under green revolution resulted into huge success of green revolution and bumper production aand prosperity.
  6. Various neglected sector like education, health , SME and manufacturing industries got necessary capital and credit under PSL.
  7. more credit to common masses and various welfare programme like insurance, health, housing , sanitation, infrastructure, road ,rail etc.

Various factors responsible for this move are::::

Social === create more facilities for funding of social sector schemes and more welfare of people form weaker and marginal section.

Political === due to pressure from other parties like left ,cpi etc and to attract more vote bank from ritual and suburban areas.

Economic==== due to increasing informal credit institutions and people’s problem with credit at reliable and reasonable cost and save them from harassment of money lenders particularly in rural and agriculture sector.

Way forward====

Even after 50 years total financial inclusion remains a dream but recent initiative like payment bank, small finance bank , MUDRA, white atm, mobile banking, m-pesa, DBT, UPI, with institutional reforms like BBB, INDRADHANUSH, consolidation measures are in tune with aimed goal 

2. What were the key features of the Shimla Agreement signed by India and Pakistan post 1971 war? Critics say that the agreement was a lost opportunity for India. What do you think? Critically Comment.


The Shimla agreement was the result of the Bangladesh liberation war of 1971 fought between India and Pakistan.


Following are the major features of this agreement:

  1. It mandated sending about 93,000 Prisoner of Wars (PoWs) taken in captivity by the Indian forces; back home.
  2. That in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations they will refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of each other.
  3. The two countries agreed to solve all differences peacefully at the bilateral levels.
  4. The two sides also agreed to convert UN ceasefire line in Kashmir into Line of Control and that no side would transgress the line and use force to provoke the other.
  5. The two sides would take steps to promote people to people contact and also cooperation in science and technology, culture and trade.
  6. Both governments also agreed to take all steps within their power to prevent hostile propaganda directed against each other.

It was a lost opportunity because:

  1. India failed to get a permanent solution for its border problems including the Kashmir issue, even after being in a decisive position with 90,000 Pakistani PoWs
  2. The agreement did not prevent Pakistan from going back on the terms of the agreement, which it did soon after signing the agreement.

It was not a lost opportunity because:

  1. Feeding and providing for 90,000 Pows was economically not possible and would have been counterproductive, if India had overplayed this card.
  2. It helped in strengthening India’s image as a peace-loving nation in the world community.
  3. India could not have imposed harsher conditions, as world powers like USA, China ,Russia were leaning more towards Pakistan than India



Write a brief conclusion.


Best answer: thevagabond85

1971 India-Pakistan war was a major event in India’s post independent era. India emerged victorious and consequently Bangladesh(formerly East Pakistan) was created.

The historic Shimla Agreement signed between India-Pakistan had following key features: 

  1. To resolve mutual differences by peaceful means through negotiations.
  2. To take all steps within their power to prevent hostile propaganda directed against each other
  3. Encouragement to people to people contact – for this steps to resume communications, postal, telegraphic, sea, land including border posts, and air links including overflights should be taken.
  4. To promote exchange in the fields of science and culture, trade and cooperation in economic fields.
    These and other features of the Agreement aimed to address the basic causes which led to war.

It is believed India lost historic opportunity for the following reasons: 

  1. India, as a victor of the war and having large Prisoner of Wars(PoWs) of Pakistani army under its siege, was in a better position to negotiate the terms of the Agreement in it’s favor.
  2. Kashmir issue which had long been the issue in bilateral relation could have been bargained in it’s favor in exchange of PoW. It has still remained unresolved.
  3. There was no explicit international pressure on India given USA’s opposition was countered by USSR.

However, such criticism is incorrect for following reasons: 

  1. With each day passing by pressure on India was self perpetuating as providing food to such large PoW was becoming challenging .
  2. Pakistan could have not yielded in India’s favour and some believe it would have abandoned all attempt to demand back the PoW.

Thus, although Kasmir issue remained could not have been resolved but India could have definitely done more to resolve other low hanging fruits e.g Rann of Kachch issue.

3. The economic reforms introduced in 1991 were compelled by circumstances and propelled by crisis. Elucidate.

Reading this question it looks like a factual question, but answering this question you reflect your ideology and how you perceive the facts on the basis of your knowledge.

The question clearly states about the circumstances and the crisis.

You have to objectively state the circumstances and the crisis which led to adoption of economic reforms:


  • Closed economy based on imports. Exports were minimal. Since crude oil was a major imported product, two successive oil shocks had a very adverse impact on the economy taking inflation to a new high.
  • To increase revenues, government raised the taxes which in turn raised the public distress.
  • Disintigration of USSR also proved to be disasterous as it was India’s strong ally and in the event of crisis, it couldn’t come for India’s aid.
  • Public Sector Units (PSU), which were started as welfare industries, were facing too much loss and Government couldn’t afford them anymore.

(More points can be added. See the best answers)

(Note: many of you have started criticizing the previous governments in very harsh words here. The economy was inefficient, growth was not there, policy making was not good, bureaucracy was corrupt etc.

You need to remember that you are aspiring to be a part of the same structure. If it is so bad, why are you preparing for it? Also, all those people who had been there for 25-30 years in service, they were making policies. You are ridiculing their experience with the knowledge that you have acquired through some ncerts, newspapers and coaching notes.

India was a welfare state. A large amount was spent on welfare schemes and policies. We had a close economy because that was the need of the time. Otherwise we would not have been able to compete with them and Indian industry would never have flourished.

We are the product of this system and don’t think twice while availing the highly subsidized healthcare and education. The literacy rate increased from almost 12% at the time of Independence to 75%. If no one was working and everything was so inefficient, how did that happen?

Be very careful while writing your answers.)

Crisis: (You all have written this portion very nicely)

The culmination of all the above factors led to a severe financial crisis when Indian treasury became empty.

India faced BOP crisis and FOREX reserves were left only for 15 days.

India turned towards IMF to get loan. IMF made economic reforms of Globalisation, Liberalisation and Privatisation, as a precondition to provide loan. And in this crisis situation, India had to accept that.

However, reforms gave impetus to rapid economic growth of the country and helped India in becoming one of the major economic powers of the world.

Best answer 1 : Vengeancee



Best answer 2 : Harsh


Best answer 3 : Night Fury


4. Cloud computing can be an effective tool of e-governance. In the light of this statement, discuss the GI-Cloud or MeghRaj initiative. What are its advantages?

Introduction: –

Your introduction should include the basics of cloud computing and its growing importance as an effective tool of e- governance.

Body: –

  • Details about GI – Cloud or MeghRaj Initiative.
  • Need of MeghRaj
  • Advantages of MeghRaj in e- governance model

Conclusion: –

Your conclusion should mention the challenges in brief

What is cloud?



Definition of cloud computing adopted for GI Cloud

The US National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) definition of cloud computing is the most widely adopted one and has been adopted by the Government of India for GI Cloud.

It states the following:

Cloud computing is a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.

The model defined above comprises of five essential characteristics (viz. on-demand self-service, ubiquitous network access, metered use, elasticity and resource pooling), three service models (infrastructure as a service, platform as a service and software as a service), and four deployment models (public cloud, private cloud, community cloud and hybrid cloud).

Cloud Computing for E-governance can be useful in following ways:

  • Reduce IT labor cost by 50%
  • Improve capital utilization by 75%, significantly reducing license costs
  • Provides much needed scalability


E-Governance with cloud computing offers integration management with automated problem resolution, manages security end to end, and helps budget based on actual usage of data. At a global level, Cloud architectures can benefit government to reduce duplicate efforts and increase effective utilization of resources. This in turn helps the government going green, reducing pollution and effective waste management. Enterprises and Small and Medium businesses are already reaping the benefits of cloud by using the pay-as-you-use service model, its massive scalability and ready availability. Since government requires a massive infrastructure it is important for government to use cloud computing on long term basis. A unified e-government infrastructure, based on cloud and SOA architectures is required, that paves the way for interagency information sharing and workflow and is enabling the delivery of seamless services to the public. Cloud architectures allow rapid deployment of turn key test environments with little or no customization.

Key drivers and potential benefits of GI Cloud

  • Optimum utilisation of existing infrastructure: The government has already invested in core ICT infrastructure build-up. The GI Cloud can initially be built on the existing infrastructure, or by its augmentation. Cloud computing will enable optimum utilisation of this infrastructure and reduce duplication of cost and effort.
  • Rapid deployment and reusability: Applications developed by one entity (for e.g. departments at the centre and states and private organisations) can be made available on the e-Gov AppStore. These applications can be deployed and re-used by other departments with the required customisations. As a result government departments will have the freedom to focus on their core objectives including policy, programs and process improvements or new applications development where a similar application does not already exist.
  • Manageability and maintainability: The GI Cloud will provide a single directory of services providing integrated visibility and control helping departments to dispense with the requirement of lengthy procurement and maintenance of ICT infrastructure, an exercise which many find difficult to perform.
  • Scalability: Applications and infrastructure deployed on the common GI Cloud platform can take advantage of the virtualised nature of the cloud to scale as required. This essentially becomes more useful for applications where there is a burst of demand for ICT resources at regular intervals.
  • Efficient service delivery and agility: Faced with the continued budget challenges all government departments need to find ways to deliver their services to citizens and business as economically as possible without compromising the achievement of desired outcomes. GI Cloud shall provide the framework for government department at the centre and in states to enable roll out of such services much faster compared to current the traditional mode. Easy and quick access to ICT resources will lead to a faster and more agile service delivery of citizen-centric services by the government.
  • Security: A security framework for the entire GI Cloud will lead to less environmental complexity and less potential vulnerability. This will also help GI Cloud (Meghraj) Strategic Direction Paper bring out the essential interoperability across various cloud environments in the country.
  • Cost reduction: The pay-per-use model of pricing in cloud will ensure that ICT resources and applications are made available without significant investment in infrastructure purchase and maintenance.
  • Ease of first time IT solution deployment: Ease of procurement of software as a service provides an opportunity to agencies going for first time automation to leapfrog as they can buy services directly without going through the entire IT evolution cycle.
  • Reduced effort in managing technology: Since most cloud offerings are based on prebuilt standardised foundation of technology that facilitates better support, GI Cloud will reduce government’s effort in managing technology. Easy provisioning of computing resources will ensure more consistent technology upgrades and expedite fulfilment of IT resource requests.
  • Increased user mobility: Cloud will facilitate user mobility and collaboration through shared data and applications stored in the cloud when authorised –anytime, anywhere availability.
  • Standardisation: There are outstanding issues that are being faced and dealt by all government departments in order to maintain the reliability, portability, security, privacy, and citizen-confidence & trust in government services. GI Cloud shall prescribe the standards around interoperability, integration, security, data security and portability etc. GI Cloud shall consist of framework for citizen services to comply with standard practices, eliminate vendor lock-in scenarios, etc.

(Good Read: http://search.iiit.ac.in/uploads/CloudComputingForEGovernance.pdf)


Best Answer: MDA

National e-governance plan was aimed at highly accessible and affordable govt service delivery. The largescale procurement and application development initiatives that followed were tardy due to complex procurement process and lack of expertise. Here, Cloud computing can be an effective tool of

e-governance to address governance challenges as rapid urbanization, financial pressure and technology obsolescence (in ICT usage).

DeitY has undertaken a cloud computing initiative called GI-Cloud or Megharaj based on US

NIST’s model of cloud computing. It has five important characteristics: on-demand self –service (self –service portal), ubiquitous network access (multi location cloud, secure VPN access), metered use, elasticity (multiple cloud solutions) and resource pooling. Thus, it has the following Advantages:

# Efficient: will make use of existing infrastructure, thereby reducing duplication of cost and effort.

#Cost reduction: Uses OPEX (operating expense budget) which is pay per use

#Re-usability: app developed by one dept. can be reused by another with customization. This leads to better focus on core objective and rapid deployment.

# Ease of maintenance: will provide a single directory of services and integrated visibility

#Scalability: can be improvised to cater to increased demand, say in SMART city mission

#will lead to faster service delivery with less chances of error, ex: in DBT

#Standardization: shall adhere to the prescribed standards of integration, security and portability (given by GoI).

Cloud computing can further the motive of e-governance (service delivery, transparency, citizen awareness and grievance redressal) by providing a faster, easier and cost-effective platform that can be used by multiple government agencies. Way ahead lies in taking due care of security, interoperability and licensing.

5. Why having an LPG connection important for woman empowerment? In this regard, do you think Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana can make a difference? Examine. Also discuss its other advantages.

Introduction: –

Your Introduction should include the relationship between women empowerment and LPG connection. Give examples like SDG, HDI etc. to showcase the inter relation.

Body: –

  • Brief Introduction about PM Ujjwala Scheme
  • How it caters the problem arise due to unavailability of LPG.
  • What are the challenges – identification of bpl, supply-chain issue etc.
  • Advantages of the scheme and in general advantage of LPG over traditional sources.

Conclusion: –

Your conclusion should show optimism and say how this step is an important one in the right direction.

Facts: –

As per India Energy security scenarios 2047: –

Currently, in a country with 25 cr. households, 31% urbanisation (Census 2011) and a per capita income of Rs 39,143 (CSO 2013) approximately 1104 TWh of energy is used for domestic cooking. Primary source of fuel used for cooking determines energy and time required for cooking as well the health impacts due to cooking activities.

  • Currently, 87% of rural households and 26% of urban households depend on biomass for cooking. Using biomass is inconvenient as procuring the fuel takes up time, requires effort and its use poses severe ill effects on health. In fact, 400 million people in India (of which 90% are women) are exposed to the negative health impacts associated with indoor air pollution from use of biomass, resulting in respiratory, pulmonary and vision problems.
  • In addition to the health impacts, there is more drudgery as women spend up to 5-8 hours per day on cooking activities, with 20% of that time devoted to the collection of fuel (Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves 2013).
  • Additionally, energy per unit of biomass is less than half that of modern sources of fuel and its efficiency of use is significantly lower.
  • When it comes to modern fuels, only 29% of households use LPG and 0.1% of households use electricity as a primary source of cooking fuel (Census 2011). This could be because of lack of reliable affordable access to electricity and bottlenecks in supply of LPG, especially in rural areas. Switching to modern fuels such as electricity, PNG and LPG is desirable as they are more efficient, clean and will not affect final energy demand significantly.

Impact of traditional sources of fuel on Health: –


Access to clean Energy is a gender issue: –

Empowering women and improving their status are essential to realising the full potential of economic, political and social development. The Sustainable Development Goals for 2030 includes a Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. Goal 5 includes measures relevant to the energy sector, including to end all discrimination against women and girls, recognize and value unpaid care and domestic work through the provision of infrastructure, ensure women’s effective participation and equal opportunities, and enhance the use of enabling technologies.

Gender equality matters if energy sector development is to contribute to economic growth and broader development goals. Access to clean cooking energy is a particularly gendered issue, because women are primarily responsible for cooking in virtually all cultures. In the past, energy access programmes and policies have focused mainly on providing electricity connections and have neglected cooking energy. While 1.3 billion people lack access to electricity, more than double that number – about three billion people, mainly in South Asia but also in Africa, parts of Latin America and elsewhere – still rely on solid fuels for cooking and heating. Cooking energy access will be a key contributor to meeting Goal 5 on gender equality and to reducing poverty.

  • Historically the main obstacles to wider LPG use in developing countries have been affordability and availability.

Why women want LPG?

  • Women want LPG for cooking. Even with constraints such as fears of accidents, often higher fuel expenses, and supply issues, women often choose LPG when they have the option. Fuel switching from traditional biomass fuels to modern fuels for cooking such as LPG can reduce women’s work and time burden, improve health and decrease deaths.
  • Secondary benefits can come from how time saved is used by women to improve their and their families’ lives, whether through income generation, education or leisure. There are likely to be considerable safety benefits due to switching from kerosene to LPG. Modern energy in the form of LPG can also improve the delivery of health services.

What is PM Ujjwala Scheme?



Other Advantages

  1. Lower Emissions will help in climate change initiatives like – INDC (Paris summit etc.)
  2. Reducing health burden
  3. Participation of women in economic activities – Workforce participation
  4. Reduce the burden over forests, reducing man- animal conflict etc.

(You can add more points)

Best Answer1: MYK

Giving a greater voice to women by improving their economic, political, physiological and social status can be acknowledged as WOMEN EMPOWERMENT. With over 48% of the Indian population being women, substantial efforts to mainstreaming them, enhance their participation in decision making, providing them access to assets etc. are attempts at empowering them.

In this regard, giving LPG connection under UJJWALA, which aims to give 5 cr LPG connections to women is in my opinion important due to following reasons:

  1. Physiological – Improves health as it helps protect women and their family members from noxious gases and smoke strongly linked to lung cancer, cardiovasular and other ailments
  2. Economic – Less health issues indirectly adds to low bills on medical expenses
  3. Political – Low time spent by women on dung cakes, collection of fire wood enabling them to participate keenly in PRIs
  4. Environmental – Clean energy with low carbon footprint. Can aid in achievement of SDG.
  5. Social – Gas connection in name of women enhances their role in family amidst a patriarchal set-up.

However, having said that, the scheme has a flip side too. Subsidies in LPG connection like any sectoral scheme is unsustainable. The after service part – gas filling centres, delivery and procurement need a capital expenditure.

Further, to address needs of 5 crore BPL women is a good start but still bottlenecks related to service delivery and access to main target group is a challenge which can be achieved via linking through AADHAAR card or Jhan Dhan Account.



Best Answer 2: MDA

In the UN declared International decade of sustainable energy (2014-24), 2014-16 have been dedicated to the theme “Energy for women and children’s health and economic empowerment”. This global target necessitates transition to LPG.

Around 4 million premature deaths (UN reports) occur worldwide, affecting mainly women, due to inhaling of carcinogenic smoke emanating from biomass heating. Collecting firewood also puts women at risk of attack and rape and deprivation of a basic right to education, further propagating gender inequality (against MDG). It also hampers maternal health and increases child mortality rate. LPG being a portable, clean and efficient energy source is thus important for women empowerment.

In India, though LPG has reached a considerable population (mainly urban and affluent), the bottom of the pyramid is still grappling with the upfront and refill cost. Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana aims to address affordability issue by giving Rs 1600 per LPG connection to BPL women and availability issue by driving investments in the entire gas value chain (through PSUs like IOCL) not as a business but as a social empowerment tool. However, this first mandates proper identification of beneficiaries and a sustainable network system. Though PMUY promises universal coverage of cooking gas in the country, our gas imports are likely to increase. Nevertheless, PMUY will induce reduction in indoor air pollution, health hazards and drudgery leading to additional income generation (GDP boost). It will also provide employment for rural youth in the supply chain of cooking gas. Again, supply chains stand at a risk of manipulation and leakages.

Financial inclusion, a key to LPG connections accessibility is well addressed through schemes like PMUY. Its success largely revolves around consumer education and awareness (through schemes like ‘Give it Up’) and research and establishment of new refineries, through PPP, to reduce imports.

Best Answer3: – SherniZaad

Women especially in rural areas are prone to non-communicable diseases like lung cancer, cardiovascular problems, etc. whose main cause is household pollution generated due to cooking on firewood, coal, etc. Hence, LPG connection for each household tries to address the poor health condition of women making a move towards empowering them.

The recently launched UJWALA scheme which provides LPG connection to woman of every BPL household is a step towards addressing women empowerment issue in following ways: –

1)Health – it will bring down the health problems associated with indoor air pollution .
2) Equality – providing connection in the name of women aims to recognize her importance in her family thus trying to bridge gender gaps.
3) Productivity – will increase women’s productivity because the time spent on coal and fire wood collection could now be utilised in some other income generating activities.
4) Saving– Women are known for thrifty savings and those savings could now be saved and increased instead of spending them on medical treatment.
5) Motherhood role– improvement in health and saving of time will help her to concentrate on taking care of her children’s health and education better.

Besides empowering women, UJJWALA has some other advantages as well:-
1) Rural development – productive women workforce will add more to the contribution towards GDP leading to overall development.
2) Environment – it will reduce deforestation, control air pollution thus improving the environmental conditions.
3) Bridge socio-economic gaps– change in patriarchal mindsets, increased productivity, savings and income generation will lead to fill the socio economic gaps lingering in our society.

However, subsidies are unsustainable means to achieve development since they increase government expenditure. Give it up scheme and now imposing income caps to avail the LPG subsidy would help in offsetting the burden marginally.

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