SYNOPSIS: IASbaba’s TLP 2016 [8th Sep] – UPSC Mains GS Questions [HOT]

  • September 12, 2016
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SYNOPSIS- IASbaba’s TLP 2016 [8th Sep] – UPSC Mains GS Questions [HOT]


1. The nature of struggle for women’s issues has been changing with time. Draw a comparison between the nature of movements centered around women in the 19th century India and post independence India.

Note: Here the question clearly asks about the comparison between “Women Movements” before and after independence. Many of you have mentioned different movements and not the comparison and many of you have also mentioned about the role of women in different National Movements which was not asked.

The comparison can be made broadly in three aspects-

  • Nature of the Movement
  • Aim of the movements
  • Leadership

Nature of movements: Before independence, the movements were not popular and mass based. They were lead by Charismatic leaders who tried to bring the attention of British Government towards these evils and persuade them to pass revolutionary laws. They also tried to create awareness through their organisations etc.

Movements in free India were more mass based involving popular leadership. People especially women were more aware of their rights and fought to assert them.

Aim of the movements: Pre independence movements were started by people who were moved by women’s plight. They wanted to save women from unjustified and cruel customs which were there from ancient times eg. Sati, Child Marriage, Polygami, witch hunting, low social status etc.

Post independence movements were basically towards three aims- Empowerment- political rights, employment, equal wage for equal work etc.; Health and Education- right to education to girl child, improvement in maternity health etc. and Social: female infanticide, dowry, objectification of women, equality of women. Many movements are going on against physical and sexual abuse against women.

Leadership: Pre Independence movements were led by western educated people. Almost all were males and there was negligible participation of women. They were influenced by the British culture and wanted to improve the condition of Indian Women. Eg. Raja Rammohum Roy, bahramji Malabari, Ishwar Chand VidyaSagar, Jyotibaphule etc.

Modern movements saw more participation of women and women organizations and leaders came to the frontline. Eg- Nandita Das, Medha Patkar, Women organizations like SEWA, Mujlis, Saheli etc.

(You can add examples of more leaders and organizations in the answer to support these points. Do not write more about the organizations.)

Points were missing in most of the answers but amongst them the best answer selected is


Best Answer : CSE2016 aspirant (ABG)

The struggle for women’s issues drives it’s nature from the conditions persisting at that time Consequently, there is a vast difference between nature of 19th century and post independence women’s rights movement.

(1) From Recognition to assertion of rights :

In 19th century, women’s rights did not have any legal backing. By struggle, ban on derogatory traditions like Sati and Child marriage was enacted. Hence, struggle then was to recognise those rights.

However, post independence, women have been backed with constitutional rights. Present women struggle is to assert these rights. Ex : Asserting equality (Article 14) by temple entry movement.

(2) From single reformer to civil society :

19th century struggle was possible due to few intellectuals who tried to raise their voice for women’s rights, eg. Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar. However, present day society civil society itself with women at forefront participate in movement.

(3) Role of women in nation’s growth :

Present day movement is concentrated on assimilating women in progress of nation by increasing their participation in labour force, giving them political rights, providing them adequate health and educational facilities. This was not possible in 19th century India. Ex : Women probing into erstwhile male dominated fields like Air force fighter plane pilot.

The post independence struggle for women’s rights was only possible due to the foundation laid by the stuggle before and the ideals of freedom struggle developed.

2. What are the principal factors behind declining child-sex ratio in India? Is enforcement the only way to address this problem? Can persuasion with an objective to change social attitude play a role? Discuss.


India has seen a drastic drop in the child sex ratio from 927 in 2001 to 919 in 2011 with some states doing even worse.


Reasons for skewed child sex ratio:

  1. Patriarchy – It has ingrained a pre conceived notion about giving preference to male child in the family.
  2. Poverty- lack of income and food turns a girl child into a burden for the family.
  3. Illiteracy – makes most sections of society unware of the potential of girls, principles of equality, etc.
  4. Societal norms– like dowry system forces parents to go for female foeticide/ infanticide.
  5. Technology – wrongful usage of sex detection machines despite laws have further aggravated the issue.
  6. Religion – in Hindu religion it is still the son who performs the last rites of parents, this strong religious mind leads to preference of a male child.
  7. Ineffective implementation of laws– like PC-PNDT, Dowry Prohibition Act, PSHWP Act etc.

The enforcement of the laws, however stringent will not be effective as it will not lead to change in the societal attitude towards the girl child, to change societal attitude strong social influence along with financial inducements is necessary, which can be done in the following ways:

  1. Lightening the financial burden to raise a girl child: schemes like Mid-day meals, Kanya Samvriddhi Yojana, Ladli scheme etc. have to be effective pushed so that education and marriage are no longer financial burdens to the parents.
  2. Role models: women achievers like P.V.Sindhu, Sakshi Malik etc. have to be co-opted as brand ambassadors for women empowerment.
  3. Awareness about girl child’s worth: schemes like Beti-bachao, beti-padhao have to be made use of to make people realize a daughter’s value and as a future asset, these can significantly alter how people feel about their daughters.
  4. Education: increasing the level of education along with strong human-rights values can help in loosening of the Patriarchal mindsets of the future generations which can provide environment of equality and freedom to the girl child.


Write a short conclusion.

Best answer: Shernizaad

Declining child sex ratio in India is a cause of concern and has marred India’s progress towards socio-economic development. The reasons behind this could be:-

1) Patriarchy – It has ingrained a pre conceived notion about giving preference to male child in the family.

2) Poverty- lack of income and food turns a girl child into a burden for the family.

3) Illiteracy – makes most sections of society unware of the potential of girls, principles of equality, etc.

4) Societal norms- like dowry system forces parents to go for female foeticide/ infanticide.

5) Technology – wrongful usage of sex detection machines despite laws have further aggravated the issue.

6) Ineffective implementation of laws- like PC-PNDT

However, the issue of declining child sex ratio is a comprehensive one touching different aspects like economic,social,legal and therefore mere enforcement of laws would not be enough. It is important to strengthen the education system with the focus on subjects teaching gender equality. It is equally important to create awareness among the masses about the potential of a girl child. For this , initiatives like Beti bachao Beti Padhao is in right direction. There is also a need to reverse the impact of lack of finances and hence Sukanya Samriddhi yojana is a positive initiative. Having said that, effective implementation of laws is the need of the hour to make everything fall in place.

3. Does India have a population policy? What are its objectives? What is the need of having a population policy? Elucidate.


Your introduction should give a brief history about the population policy in India. You can also give the data substantiating the need of a policy (in brief)


Objectives on population policy,2000

  • The immediate objective of the NPP 2000 is to address the unmet needs for contraception, health care infrastructure, and health personnel, and to provide integrated service delivery for basic reproductive and child health care.
  • The medium-term objective is to bring the TFR to replacement levels (2.1%) by 2010, through vigorous implementation of inter-sectoral operational strategies.
  • The long-term objective is to achieve a stable population by 2045(Revised it to 2070), at a level consistent with the requirements of sustainable economic growth, social development, and environmental protection.

What is replacement level fertility? (reference)

  • “Replacement level fertility” is the total fertility rate—the average number of children born per woman—at which a population exactly replaces itself from one generation to the next, without migration.

National Socio-Demographic Goals for 2010 (for reference)

  • Address the unmet needs for basic reproductive and child health services, supplies and infrastructure.
  • Make school education up to age 14 free and compulsory, and reduce drop outs at primary and secondary school levels to below 20 percent for both boys and girls.
  • Reduce infant mortality rate to below 30 per 1000 live births.
  • Reduce maternal mortality ratio to below 100 per 100,000 live births.
  • Achieve universal immunization of children against all vaccine preventable diseases.
  • Promote delayed marriage for girls, not earlier than age 18 and preferably after 20 years of age.
  • Achieve 80 percent institutional deliveries and 100 percent deliveries by trained persons.
  • Achieve universal access to information/counseling, and services for fertility regulation and contraception with a wide basket of choices.
  • Achieve 100 per cent registration of births, deaths, marriage and pregnancy.
  • Contain the spread of Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS), and promote greater integration between the management of reproductive tract infections (RTI) and sexually transmitted infections (STI) and the National AIDS Control Organisation.
  • Prevent and control communicable diseases.
  • Integrate Indian Systems of Medicine (ISM) in the provision of reproductive and child health services, and in reaching out to households.
  • Promote vigorously the small family norm to achieve replacement levels of TFR.
  • Bring about convergence in implementation of related social sector programs so that family welfare becomes a people centred programme.

Population growth in India continues to be high on account of (for Reference)

  • The large size of the population in the reproductive age-group (estimated contribution 58 percent). An addition of 417.2 million between 1991 and 2016 is anticipated despite substantial reductions in family size in several states, including those which have already achieved replacement levels of TFR. This momentum of increase in population will continue for some more years because high TFRs in the past have resulted in a large proportion of the population being currently in their reproductive years. It is imperative that the reproductive age group adopts without further delay or exception the “small family norm”, for the reason that about 45 percent of population increase is contributed by births above two children per family.
  • Higher fertility due to unmet need for contraception (estimated contribution 20 percent). India has 168 million eligible couples, of which just 44 percent are currently effectively protected. Urgent steps are currently required to make contraception more widely available, accessible, and affordable. Around 74 percent of the population lives in rural areas, in about 5.5 lakh villages, many with poor communications and transport. Reproductive health and basic health infrastructure and services often do not reach the villages, and, accordingly, vast numbers of people cannot avail of these services.
  • High wanted fertility due to the high infant mortality rate (IMR) (estimated contribution about 20 percent). Repeated child births are seen as an insurance against multiple infant (and child) deaths and accordingly, high infant mortality stymies all efforts at reducing TFR.
  • Over 50 percent of girls marry below the age of 18, the minimum legal age of marriage, resulting in a typical reproductive pattern of “too early, too frequent, too many“. Around 33 percent births occur at intervals of less than 24 months, which also results in high IMR

Need of population policy

  • skewed female and child sex ratio which is spreading from urban into rural areas.
  • Migration: -The Census 2011 has given the picture of interstate and intrastate migration triggered by employment, business, education, marriage and other variables. While migration is welcomed by the manufacturing, construction, software and service sectors, it can spell trouble when it leads to insider-outsider tension. Unplanned migration to the metros and large cities also puts pressure on the infrastructure, housing and water availability. If this is factored into of the population policy, it would make for more foresight and greater coordination, and avoid the inevitable outcome of mushrooming slums and unplanned habitations.
  • Ageing factor: – The growing population of the elderly and the increase in life expectancy accompanied by chronic diseases have the potential to deflect resources from the primary task of providing education, skill development and increasing employability. In the next 10 years, the elderly will account for 12% of the country’s population. Until now policies on the elderly have been buffered with soft talk about old-age homes and protective laws—despite the fact that the elderly is virtually unable to take recourse to such provisions. Dependency ratios are increasing rapidly while the joint family system has disintegrated. The market of caregivers is today unregulated, expensive and undependable. The business opportunity to match the growing needs of this population cohort after factoring in their growing disability needs to be a part of the population policy.
  • Sustainable development
  • Economic factors

(you can add more points)


You should end by saying that a new population policy is the need of the hour. Population policy draft is already in public domain. It should be implemented as soon as possible.

What is dependency ratio? (Reference)

  • The dependency ratio theory is an age-population ratio of those typically not in the labor force (the dependent part) and those typically in the labor force (the productive part). It is used to measure the pressure on productive population.


Best Answer: Night Fury


Best Answer: vengeancee

In 2000, National Population Commission under Chairmanship of Prime Minister was formed & it released India’s Population Policy in 2000. In review meeting held in 2010, policy & its targets were revised.

Objective of revised Population policy:

1) Population stabilization by 2070.

2) Lowering TFR (Total Fertility Rate) to 2.1

Need for such population policy:

1) Poverty, unemployment: are direct effect of rising population in India where economic resources are not enough to provide equal resources to everyone.

2) Illiteracy, poor health: in wake of large population limited State owned services can’t fulfill needs of ever growing size.

3) Policy Planning purpose: Problems like urbanization, De- Ruralization can be effectively tackled when Population growth is taken into account.

4) Avoid demographic trap: incase population growth doesn’t behave as per estimates, it could lead to serious socio-economic implications.

5) Provisioning basic services: after review of population studies, schemes like Janani Suraksha Yojana , Indira Gandhi Maatritva Sahyog Yojana were launched.

Failure of Policy in 2000 should be taken as guiding steps for further decision makings, recent Census data are encouraging when for first time in over 80 years, population increase reduced in absolute numbers. These are encouraging signs, and should be taken cue of.


Best Answer3: Dreamz Unlimited 



4. Developing an indigenous manufacturing base for defence equipments is not only imperative for India’s security and strategic needs but is also a lucrative economic proposition having many positive spillovers. Do you agree? Examine. Also discuss the significance of the Make in India scheme in indegenisation of defence technology.


You should outline the defence sector condition in India at present (in brief) / or the status of defense budget etc.


Strategic importance of indigenous manufacturing:


  1. Stockpile of arms in war times – to avoid kargil like situation
  2. Data breach – Recent Submarine related data
  3. Getting obsolete technology or take time which is strategically harmful – INS viraat etc.

Global position: –

  1. Disturbed neighborhood
  2. UNSC seat – Hard power
  3. Self-reliant power

Economic proposition: –

  1. Burden on BoP
  2. India’s focus on developing its own manufacturing sector
  3. Jobs/ Demographic dividend

Spillover on other sectors: –

  1. Patents/ Technology
  2. Medical sector
  3. Will improve the supply chain overall
  4. Will provide jobs and increase the number of ancillary industries

(You can add more points)

Make in India in defence sector:

FDI policy

  • 100% FDI in defence sector: Up to 49%, automatic route; FDI above 49%, through Government route where it is likely to result in access to modern technology or for other reasons to be recorded.
  • The defence industry is subject to industrial licenses under the Industries (Development and Regulation) Act, 1951 and manufacturing of small arms ammunition under Arms Act , 1959
  • The requirement of single largest Indian ownership of 51% of equity removed.
  • A lock-in period of three years on equity transfer has been done-away with in FDI for defence.
  • FDI in the defence sector is subject to other security conditions.

Procurement Policy:

  • The defence procurement is governed by the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP).
  • IDDM (Indigenous Designed Developed & Manufactured) as 1st priority during purchase of equipment’s notified in 2016 as part of Defense Procurement Policy is component of Make in India.

Offset Policy:

  • The key objectives of the defence offset policy is to leverage capital acquisitions to develop the Indian defence industry. Mandatory offset requirements of a minimum of 30% for procurement of defence equipment in excess of INR 20 Billion have been envisaged.

(For References)


  • Third largest armed forces in the world
  • 1% of budget spent on capital acquisitions
  • 60% of requirements met by imports

Silver linings in defence exports:

India exported defence equipment to 22 countries, including to the US, the UK, Israel and Russia.

  • India exported forging equipment, electronic assemblies, flight control panels to the US
  • It sold transmitting tubes to the UK
  • MIG and Sukhoi 30 aircraft spares and services to Russia.
  • Cheetal helicopters to Afghanistan
  • Dhruv helicopters and bulletproof jackets to Nepal
  • Sukhoi 30 avionics and MIG spares to Malaysia
  • Offshore petrol vessels and ammunition to Mauritius
  • Jaguar aircraft spares and services to Oman.

Best Answers1: – vengeancee

Few decades back India’s automobile sector was opened to 100% FDI with apprehensions, but today we see India as major automobile hub, and may become the largest hub in future. Such lessons are imperative, and developing India as manufacturing base for defense equipment’s is not just strategically or economically relevant, but has various spillovers.

1) Forex, employment, industrial, export led growth could be possible especially when considering huge turnover defense contract generate.

2) “State-of-the-art” production in India will modernize defense industrial setup, and give strategical advantages.

3) Strategical autonomy & anonymity: Recent leaks by French company could have led to major security implications for buyer country like India.

4) Transfer of technology or Joint Venture with other developing countries could help India in generating Forex, as well as soft power.

However, certain challenges do persist like:

1) Lack of funding in Defense Research.

2) Lack of private sector participation.

3) Lack of facilities in PMEs (Professional Military Education) Institutions.

Significance of Make in India:

1) 100% FDI permitted recently on case-to-case basis is progressive step in light of Make in India.
2) IDDM (Indigenous Designed Developed & Manufactured) as 1st priority during purchase of equipment’s notified in 2016 as part of Defense Procurement Policy is component of Make in India.
3) Tax, land, revenue benefits given by MII are needed for successful manufacturing base creation.

Recent launching of INDU (Indian National Defense University), acceptance of Dhirendra Singh Committee recommendation, changing Blacklisting Policy are some positive steps taken in this regard.

Best Answer2: – DS27



5. How the launch of Unified Payment Interface (UPI) will help in moving towards a cashless economy? Examine. Also discuss the impediments in realising the objectives of UPI.


A cashless economy is a system where flow of cash or physical currency is non-existent and all monetary transactions are done electronically via internet enabled banking or wallets, and debit or credit cards, at most abolishing or at times reducing physical presence between two transacting parties.

Unified Payment Interface (UPI) has made digital transaction for individuals as easy as sending text messages. In addition to peer-to-merchant, UPI allows seamless peer-to-peer transactions. The introduction of the UPI-based money-transfer apps has given India one of the most advanced payment systems in the world and will help the country move rapidly towards a cashless economy.

  • UPI will make e-commerce transactions easier— improvement in the ease of making payments, the ease of saving and the ease for buying financial products
  • UPI will facilitate micropayments and person-to-person payments: e-payments on delivery & digitizing last-mile payments
  • UPI will allow customers to instantaneously transfer funds across different banks with the use of a single identifier which will act as a virtual address and eliminate the need to exchange sensitive information such as bank account numbers during a financial transaction

For instance, let us imagine a situation where a farmer sells his produce in the mandi and gets paid in his account. He immediately gets a confirmation on his mobile phone and uses the same to pay his daughter’s school fee even before leaving the mandi.

Some facts/stats:

According to a recent report by Google, total payments through digital instruments in India could increase by about a factor of 10 by 2020. Also, by 2023, the proportion of non-cash transactions is estimated to overtake cash. These projections may sound somewhat unreal to many at the moment, but technology has surprised us in the past, and Indians have shown the ability to adapt, especially when it comes to mobile phones.

The Google study notes that the number of mobile wallet users has surpassed the number of mobile banking users and is now three times the number of credit card users.

More than 233 million Indians have never been to bank and most accounts have a zero balance.

UPI interface will bring banking to the unbanked.

In order for UPI to succeed, the transaction fees will have to be set very low and banks have to keep it affordable as the average wage in India is around 284.43 INR/Day. RBI’s vision of cashless ecosystem and digital banking will be supported by UPI by boosting the adoption of mobile banking transactions as well as increasing smartphone adoption.

(Use some points from above)

Conclude the answer by highlighting some impediments in realising the objectives of UPI:

Briefly discuss on

  • Digital illiteracy or digital divide between urban and rural India,
  • Security concerns, prone to data hack or cyber theft,
  • Large section of population still remaining economically excluded from formal system,
  • Reluctance of customers to transact digitally as they are wary of exposing their bank account details

You can add other points too – poor infrastructure and internet connectivity, mobile penetration, technical issues etc

Best answer 1: CSE2016 aspirant (ABG)

India is a cash heavy country with cash making 12% of GDP. Launch of UPI (Unified Payment Interface) by National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) comes as a welcome step for India in moving towards cashless economy.

(1) Mobile based interface

India has over 1 billion mobile sets, with 240 million smartphones. As the UPI is smartphone based, accessibility will improve.

(2) Easy, instantaneous and 24*7

These features make it attractive for large segment of population and hence will help in FINANCIAL INCLUSION.

(3) Advantages over debit, credit cards and net banking

No bank details required and inter-operability between different bank accounts makes the process smooth.

(4) It will save thousands of rupees in maintaining ATM booths, keeping details of transactions, etc.

(5) Secure : High level of encryption and double authentication makes it highly SECURE.

(6) Multi usage : It has diverse usage like P2P money transfer, payment and collection, etc.

Impediments :

(1) DIGITAL DIVIDE : High proportion of people are not digitally literate.

(2) SECURITY : It will not be readily accepted by people till it’s security algorithm gets time tested.

(3) Competition with attractive E-wallets offered by private firms.

(4) SMARTPHONE PENETRATION : Rural areas and poor people still do not have access to smartphones.

UPI can play an important role in making ‘DIGITAL INDIA’ initiative and JAM trinity successful. Need is to work on NFON (National Fibre Optics Network) initiative to digitally connect even the remote areas of India.

Best answer 2: thevagabond85

UPI launched by NPCI provides for peer to peer money transfer using portable devices e.g. mobile, tablet etc. It removes the need of user’s personal details e.g. name, account number by providing a virtual address which can be used for sending or receiving fund.

It will help move towards a cashless economy as :

# It’s usable by all hand held devices thus making it truly uniform by providing separate interface for different devices but keeping underlying architecture same. Those who can’t afford smart phones or internet can simply utilize SMS(USSD) for fund transfer.

# It is made keeping in need of retail shops as UPI removes the need of having costly scanning device. All it requires is downloading UPI app for corresponding bank freely available.

# It will make the fund transfer real time overcoming hurdles of existing methods e.g IMPS, RTGS which took hours for processing.

# There is also provision for recurring payments which can make easier payment of bills etc.

# As more and more users(customers & sellers) adopt to new system ; operational cost for bank can be reduced substantially by removing/reducing ATM etc.

Impediments :

# Digital illiteracy esp among rural population and senior citizen might not use this system.

# Security concerns – since it caters devices of different protocols there might be some security concern to be taken care of.

# Real time transfer using technology means no time to undo the mistake on sender’s part.

UPI is indeed revolutionary step in moving towards a cashless economy which can reduce cost of operation, boost demand, reduce black money footprint without neglecting concerns of any sections of society.

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