SYNOPSIS: IASbaba’s TLP 2016 [29th Sep] – UPSC Mains GS Questions [HOT]

  • October 11, 2016
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SYNOPSIS- IASbaba’s TLP 2016 [29th Sep] – UPSC Mains GS Questions [HOT]


1. NGOs may be called as a product of the perceived and demonstrated inadequacies of the state led traditional model of development. Do you agree? Discuss.


Write a short introduction.


  • Shortcomings of the state led model:
  1. The state led model deliberately or otherwise leads to an element of centralization where policies are formulated with a good intention but miss some of the public concerns.
  2. State needs inputs from various quarters, collecting which is time and labour consuming, which leads to delay in policy making or even outdated policies.
  3. State led policies have also witnessed some contradictions in the past which hamper the whole idea of development.
  • Factors responsible for the NGO’S to be a critical part of the development process:
  1. Lack of various resources with the government to link critical pieces in the development process.
  2. NGO’S with the grass root level help to spread the governmental policies and programs far within the country.
  3. NGO’s act as a platform for the civil society to convey its grievances in the governance and issues with the government, helps in conducting social audits etc.
  4. Undertake various activities for social development, help people connect with the mainstream economy with the help of SHG.
  5. NGO’s have supplemented government’s efforts for the upliftment of the most vulnerable groups e.g. the destitute children, hunger, old aged people and women.

E.g. Children: Kailash satyarathi

Women: Shakti vahini

Old age: Help Age India.


Write a brief conclusion.


Best answer: Prasoon

Non Governemnet Organisations have become ubiquitous in almost every field in recent times. They play an important role in not only improving development outcomes in various fields like education, health, ennvironemnt awareness etc, but also in bringing forth many important legislations like Right to Information, Lokpal Act etc.

NGO may be understood as filling the voids of the state led traditional model of development owing to the following points:

  1. They are the medium through which the civil society engages with various developmental issues directly, where the state has lagged behind in providing adequate services. For eg sanitation in rural areas, promoting biogas in place of biomass based fuel, women empowerment etc.
  2. Provide the flexibility often required in dealing with the myriad of problems which often becomes difficult in a traditional beaurocratic set up.
  3. Help in engaging outside experts, professionals and funds indirectly, hiring of which through traditional means could be lengthy and time consuming process.
  4. Fulfill the void of being a monitoring mechanism ensuring accountability of government by undertaking social audits, awareness campaigns, giving voice to marginalized sections etc

NGOs constitute an important part of democratic engagement of civil society with the government and help in removing the inadequacies of the traditional model of development.

2. International funding of local NGOs and other civil society groupings has been a matter of controversy recently. Why? Are the concerns being raised genuine? Critically examine.

In the introduction site an example of the NGOs which are in news because of the controversy eg- Greenpeace, Amnesty International, Peace Foundation etc.

Controversy is there because allegedly,

  • Many NGOs are funded by foreign organizations to stall developmental projects initiated by the Government, Like Kudankullam Nuclear plant.
  • They are misleading the local population by citing wrong facts and examples and provoking them to take anti-government stand.
  • There is no financial accountability and transparency. Many NGOs are not abiding to FCRA.
  • Money is used illegally to influence election outcomes.
  • NGOs are used as a tool for money laundering.
  • Some of the NGOs are using the raised money to fund anti-national and terrorist activities.

However, it is also found that government is acting against some organizations to set their political vendetta. Before taking any action, a proper enquiry is required. Once the judiciary or the concern authority confirms that the NGO is involved in some shady activities, than only a strict action should be taken.

NGOs are playing an important role in developmental activities, creating awareness, reaching the grass root level. Kailash Satyarthi’s NGO is a great example. So a decision should not be taken in haste and facts and figures should be taken into consideration. A proper mechanism should be devised to ascertain their accountability and transparency.

Best Answer: Saurabh

NGOs and the civil society groups are an important component of of the developmental process and their effective participation is warranted. However, lately there have been some concerns related to their international funding.

The concerns have been emanated due to the following reasons:

  1. Many NGOs are reluctant in disclosing their sources of income and have perceivable unaccounted money obtained from foreign sources
  2. Corporate funding of NGOs has been observed which arouses suspicions as the NGOs may then take a line which the corporate house dictates them, especially in areas of vital development projects
  3. Violations of FCRA have become quite common

Some of the concerns appear genuine:

  1. Some vital projects like the Kudankulam nuclear plant have been stalled by NGOs despite them being declared safe by independent experts
  2. Many NGOs have been found taking an anti India stance in sensitive issues of national interest, which is a cause of grave concern
  3. Black money may enter the whole system, which would impede the whole idea of a civil society activism

However, some of the concerns are manufactured and frivolous too. Some corporate houses in India try to use their political clout to spread falsehoods about genuine organizations, if their projects are being protested against. The state also sometimes tries to regulate civil society activism in order to avoid inconvenience.

Like all institutions, NGOs are also governed by laws and they must adhere to them. However, this must not be used as a pretext to muzzle honest voices in the civil society.

Best Answer 2 : Naveen



3. SHGs in India are the living embodiment of a concept that has led to women empowerment. However, the success stories are few and far in between. Do you agree? Do you think the successful models of SHGs should be adopted on a much wider scale? What are the constraints?



You should outline the idea of SHG and mention its interlinkage with women empowerment.

SHGs (Self Help Groups) are voluntary association of generally villagers, who believe in solving their problem by mutual help. They save money individually, and then lend it among themselves during times of need. Among women, such SHGs have gained prominence & have led to financial inclusion, independence, interdependence, and has been source of empowerment.


You should tell about the success stories of SHG’s

Need of replication of successful models of SHGs.

Mention the constraints in success of SHGs.

(All the points have been tackled well in best answers section. Please go through each of them individually)



You should conclude it by saying that SHG’s had played an important role in women empowerment. Many successful SHG’s has shown us the path to overcome the existing difficulties. Efforts should be made to overcome them.


Best answer 1: Yogesh Bhatt

SHG movement is Indian innovation after 1990 when NABARD promoted it. In last more than two decades SHG movement became symbol of women empowerment because

  1. It ensured women financial inclusion and channelized finance resource to them.
  2. In group form women are more confident to take many livelihood activities under initiatives like NRLM and Kudumbshreein in Kerala.
  3. Raised voice against social issues like alcoholism, gender issues, home violence, and so on.

Success of SHG movement in India, more prominent in South India than Northern states, also they are exceptional than very common norm, it can be understand by few facts

  1. Still women financial inclusion meager and financial independence is distant dream
  2. More successful in literate states like Kerala and Andhra Pradesh but little impact in states like Haryana and Bihar.
  3. SHGs have many challenges like duplicity, low women involvement in SHG process; bank NPAs, NGOs fraud and so on.

To regain SHG success as in Kudumbhshree model in Kerala, need to replicate learninig of success models like

  1. Livelihood oriented SHGs from mere saving oriented SHGs as by MYRADA
  2. SHGs need to bring together like cluster and federations as in SEWA.
  3. SHGs need to see as platform for activities like livelihood promotion and entrepreneurship as in NRLM.
  4. Focus on women education

To do that need to address few key challenges

  1. Promoting organizations like NRLM professionals, NGOs, and MFIs need to have clarity of purpose.
  2. Focus on social capital before infusing finance through banking system.
  3. Change in patriarchal mindset in society.

SHGs success can be a major tool for addressing many challenges of rural development and achieving SDGs in India.


Best answer 2: Toad Sage


Best answer 3: vengeancee

SHGs (Self Help Groups) are voluntary association of generally villagers, who believe in solving their problem by mutual help. They save money individually, and then lend it among themselves during times of need. Among women, such SHGs have gained prominence & have led to financial inclusion, independence, interdependence, and has been source of empowerment.

Some famous SHGs like Pradan have been fairly successful in their working & outcomes; however, such stories have been relatively few. Most SHGs either go dormant in due course of time. They suffer from absence internal & external constraints including finance, support, connectivity, bureaucratic hassles which have prevented their proliferation.

Successful models of SHGs should be adopted at much larger scale because:

1) Financial security: among poor who are otherwise falling prey to hands of exploitative moneylenders.

2) Motivation & belief: among SHGs member when they find a live model to replicate which have already got success.

3) Fault minimization: during implementation by rectification of mistake in other places maximizes success quotient to future venture.

4) Bank linkages programs: have started to gain success as they consider SHGs as one unit & disburse funds.

However, some constraints exist like:

1) Parochial mindset: amongst villagers who don’t consider women as manager of home finances.

2) Internal social cleavages: where trust deficit exists, and SHGs are also divided on caste, class, religious lines.

3) Panchayat interference: when SHGs start to gain success & undermine their important & utility.

4) Unwillingness of banks to reciprocate: their obligations under various schemes.

5) Regional disparities: in regions of India where every village has different social bonds, and inter-personal relationships.

SHGs have been a game changer in recent past, institutionalized credits is one such area where recent advances are same. Further suggestions of Malegam committee are advisable.


Best answer 4: jingoistic

Women empowerment is a process in which women challenge the existing norms and culture, to effectively promote their wellbeing. The participation of women in Self Help Groups (SHGs) made a significant impact on their empowerment both in social and economic aspects. In the words of Gandhiji “One step for women ten steps for nation.”
SHGs for mobilization of saving, delivery of credit to the needy, repayment of loans and in building up of opinion for powerful decision making in all spheres of life by Women.
The success stories lie ahead in various places such as:
— “Mahalir Thittam“Tamil Nadu Women Development Project, funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development was started on an experimental basis during 1991-1992 in Dharmapuri district.
— “Podupu Lakshmi” that had been successfully launched and carried out in the Nellore
district of Andhra Pradesh regarding saving capabilities.
— The success of “SEWA” of Ahmadabad,”Myrada” of Mysore, and several other experiments in 15 different other parts of the country, has attracted many States for replicating this strategy.
— Micro credit services being provided by institutions like BASIX, BANDHAN,SPANDANA etc.
Many Obstacles being faced by empowering steps:
— Lack of awareness and exposition, due to being treated as slaves within four walls.
— No fulfillment of basic amenities of women such as food, clothing, housing, health, education etc.
— Gender inequality at every step whether it is personal and professional space.
— Culture of silence was very much seen as part of their behavior. Women did not feel free to answer the questions regarding their family details, business, and income and household assets. It was almost a challenge for the researcher and his assistants to get answers from the participants.
— No effective delivery channel for rural credit for further economic activities.
Self-Reliant Women is an active multidimensional process to enable women to realize their identity and power in all spheres of life with the help of Self Help Groups generation in India.

4. The recent policy change with respect to auction of oil and gas blocks is a step in the right direction to attract investments in the petroleum sector. Do you agree? Examine the issue in light of the advantages of the revenue sharing model over the production sharing model.

The government recently proposed [Hydrocarbon Exploration Licensing Policy (HELP)] to free domestic natural gas pricing and replace the existing production sharing contract (PSC) by the revenue-sharing model for all future acreage auctions.

It put in place a transparent single licence and policy framework for oil, gas and coal-bed methane exploration in the country. At present there is a different policy for each form of hydrocarbons.

It also proposed Open Acreage Licensing Policy (OALP) allowing companies to choose the area for exploration rather than government identifying blocks and offering them in bid rounds.

Further, it proposed a revenue sharing model in place of the present fiscal system of production sharing based on Pre-Tax Investment Multiple (PTIM) and cost recovery.

Under the proposed regime companies offering the maximum revenue share or percentage of oil and gas to the government, and committing to do more work, will win the field.

As per current practice companies get blocks by bidding the maximum work programme, and recover all their investment before sharing profits with the government.

The new policy also stipulates winning bidders will be exempted from paying cess on crude oil and gas production to the Centre.

The shift to revenue-sharing could prove to be a disincentive as the investment recovery period for producers gets prolonged. However, the reform of reduced government intervention should lure foreign investment when global oil prices recover.

A separate CCEA decision to grant marketing, including pricing freedom, for new gas (not those currently under production) produced from deep offshore should act as a catalyst to India’s gas output and government revenue.

The revenue-sharing formula may help prevent future disputes over pricing and cost recovery of the kind the government has been embroiled in with Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL).

The revenue share model replaces the current system of allowing producers to first recover most of their costs and then start sharing revenues with the government. Revenue share model was adopted after the CAG suggested that the cost-recovery model tempts companies to frontload spending and delay paying the state its share of profits.

These policy changes are surely a step in the right direction to incentivise oil and gas exploration by operating a transparent policy regime, improve energy security by reducing dependence on imports and minimizing government intervention —consistent with the strategy of improving ease of doing business.

For further studying: refer the below link



Best answer 1: Valyrian Steel




Best answer 2: vengeancee

Recently, Government announced HELP (Hydrocarbon Exploration & License Policy) replacing NELP (New Exploration & License Policy) which was a much needed step to attract investments in petroleum exploration.

Auction in HELP will have certain features which make it viable:

1)         Uniform license policy: where single license will be given for all hydrocarbons found in a block.

2)         Open acreage policy: which allows companies to choose blocks they want to explore fully, and then findings will be evaluated.

3)         Concessional Royalty Regime

4)         Profit Sharing to Revenue Sharing Model.

5)         Marketing & Pricing freedom for deep & ultra-deep blocks

Advantages of revenue model over profit sharing:

1)         No thorough auditing of companies balance sheets & expenses.

2)         Prevents Gold Plating by companies.

3)         Revenues guaranteed to Government without waiting for company to break-even.

4)         Hassle-free & easily verifiable procedure.

However, certain disadvantages also exist:

1)         Burden on company to share revenue even when unable to generate profit.

2)         Quality deterioration: as profit maximization will be its profit with same revenue of sales.

3)         Lesser revenue obtained: in longer run of time.

Despite Kelkar Committee emphasizing on Profit Sharing, Government went ahead with Rangarajan Committee recommendation of Revenue Sharing which will start to show its impact soon.

5. The cyber security ecosystem in the country requires to be more robust and agile in order to realise the objectives of Digital India. In view of the statement, examine the necessity of having a National Encryption Policy. What has been the recent controversy over the draft National Encryption Policy?


Your introduction should outline the importance of Digital India Program and need of cyber security in India. Also mention the current cyber security infrastructure in India (in brief)



Discuss the need of National encryption policy.

  • Cyber-crimes
  • National Security
  • Money laundering
  • Terrorism

Discuss the recent controversy related to now-withdrawn policy draft.



You should conclude that the government should try to maintain a balance between need of national security and fundamental rights.


Here’s all you need to know about the now-withdrawn policy draft

* The right of articulation and freedom, we fully respect but at the same time, we need to acknowledge that cyber space transaction is rising enormously for individuals, businesses, the government and companies

* The union government had put up a draft National Encryption Policy document online seeking to prescribe the methods of encryption of data and communications used by the government, businesses, and even citizens. The document says that the policy’s mission is to “provide confidentiality of information in cyberspace for individuals, protection of sensitive or proprietary information for individuals & businesses, ensuring continuing reliability and integrity of nationally critical information systems and networks.”

* The now-withdrawn proposed policy, issued by the Department of Electronics and Information Technology, was applicable on everyone, including government departments, academic institutions, citizens and for all kinds of communications — be it official or personal. Besides, all service providers located within and outside India that use encryption technology must register themselves with the government, as per the draft.

* The draft policy was introduced under Section 84 A of the Information Technology Act (2000). Once finalized, it aimed to introduce rules for encryption of electronic information and communication.

* The policy document triggered widespread privacy concerns and generated a heated debate. As the language of the draft was open to interpretation and implied that all citizens who use encryption services should store in plain text versions of encrypted communication for 90 days. So this meant that users will have to store their WhatsApp messages for 90 days or face action in case asked to reproduce old messages.

* Another contentious point of the draft said users “shall reproduce the same Plain text and encrypted text pairs using the software/hardware used to produce the encrypted text from the given plain text. All information shall be stored by the concerned B/C (business/citizen) entity for 90 days from the date of transaction and made available to Law Enforcement Agencies as and when demanded in line with the provisions of the laws of the country.”

This meant that e-commerce websites may have to keep a plain text copy of user transaction details, leaving their information vulnerable to hackers. However, the issued addendum exempted “SSL/TLS encryption products being used for e-commerce and password based transactions.”

The addendum also exempted “SSL/TLS encryption products used in internet banking and payment gateways as directed by the Reserve Bank of India.”

* Current guidelines on encryption: Encryption was never a top priority for the government. The ISP license conditions formulated in 1999 mandated 40-bit encryption standard as de facto. It was never revised even at a time when 256-bit encryption was being widely used. The IT Act 2000 also didn’t detail encryption.

It was only in 2008 after the Mumbai terror attacks that the Act was amended to expand the government’s power to decrypt information. It could also approach intermediaries for assistance. As per the amendment, the government may only prescribe the modes or methods of encryption “for secure use of the electronic medium and for promotion of e-governance and e-commerce.”
* Encryption used in mass communication mediums such as WhatsApp and Apple iMessage:To prevent an intruder from getting access to your private messages through servers, messaging services like WhatsApp and Google Hangouts use end-to-end encryption. This means that your messages are converted into a different format before being transmitted and the capability to convert them back to text or the ‘key’ is only available with the other user on his/her device.
Similarly, Apple stores encrypted iMessage chats on its servers before the messages are delivered but it cannot unscramble these. Some services keep this key on their own servers but most are moving to end-to-end encryption. There is a backlash from surveillance agencies who want access to decryption keys for security reasons.
* Messaging services that use encryption: WhatsApp, Google Hangouts, Skype, Apple iMessage, Telegram, Viber, Line and BlackBerry Messenger use encryption to convert your chats to some undecipherable code that can be only decrypted by the recipient. This means all services other than BlackBerry, such as WhatsApp, Google Hangouts, Facebook Messenger, Apple iMessage etc do not have dedicated servers to store encryption data in India.

Best answer 1: CSE2017 aspirant (ABG)

Digital India has been launched by government to bring in transparency, efficiency and accountability in the governance, helping people avail basic facilities and eradicate the digital divide. It becomes important that cyber security ecosystem becomes more robust and agile.


(1) Cyber-crimes:
In the globalised world, where cyber space has become integral part of our lives, cyber-crimes like hacking, phishing, cyber stalking are on rise.

(2) National Security
National security is linked with cyber security. External agents and enemy nations may attack nation’s cyber framework in order to extract confidential and strategic information.

(3) Money laundering
Money laundering is cancerous to nation’s economy, which can be curbed by adequate cyber mechanism.

(4) Terrorism
Social media is increasingly being used for radicalising youth, spreading misinformation and provoke communal disharmony. Moreover, finance for terrorist activities are conducted on cyber world.


There was a provision in draft that every citizen needs to keep the plaintext of online messages for 90 days and produce when asked by investigation agencies. Not only was it attack on citizen’s privacy (Art 21), common men are not aware of encryption, which is carried out only by applications. Government had to take back the draft policy.

India needs an encryption policy carefully formulated to track cyber crimes and suspicious activities without violating citizen’s privacy and liberty. Suitable modifications in Aadhaar card bill, draft encryption policy can help reach a desirable framework.


Best answer 2: SherniZaad

Digital India program will be successful in true sense only when the digital world binding the lives of the people would be a secured place. With the increasing cyber crime rate around the world it becomes even more imperative to have a National Encryption Policy for certain reasons:

  1. Threat of CYBER WAR where an advanced nation can leak and misuse the data of its enemy.
  2. Rise in rate of CYBER CRIMES like hacking, cyber bulling, online scams, etc.
  3. Big Data is essential nowadays for effective policy making and implementation but there’s a need to keep the data secured.
  4. Increased circulation of BLACK MONEY and other threats like CYBER TERRORISM can be curbed.

However, few issues were raised with the draft National Encryption Policy which forced the government to withdraw it. Draft proposed to save personal messages of whatsapp, facebook etc to save atleast for 90 days. Moreover, it was also mandatory to present the data before the investigating agencies if demanded. It was claimed that the draft was anti – privacy and draconian in nature which would bring an era of “Encryption Raj”.

However, we can’t procrastinate on such an issue of cyber security and its crucial to have an encryption policy. The need of the hour is to tweak some provisions and have a more participatory approach towards the policy and come up with the solution sooner.


Best answer 3: Lokesh

Recently government had announced a draft national encryption policy due to the rising level of threats to cyber security.

India has witnessed in the last decade rise in internet and mobile phones penetration. There is high level of growth of e- commerce firms, social media networks like Facebook, twitter. The use of IT in offices, administration, delivery of services, information storage etc. has grown manifold.

But, this is a success of digital India, there is an attendant challenge of cyber security. Cases of cyber espionage; cyber-crimes like hacking of passwords of credit cards, debit cards; infringement of privacy by hacking of personal information; cyber theft of confidential data, information has increased.

Protection of cyber data and information therefore necessitates a national encryption policy.
however, the encryption policy should be not such that it gives too much control over cyber information to government agencies. As can be seen in controversy surrounding draft encryption policy: –

  1. It provides for use of those encryptions which are registered with the designated government agency. This poses danger similar to snooping by FBI.
  2. It also demands storage of chat history, and other communications for a stipulated period of time, so as to be accessible to government agencies when demanded. This is not only impractical but also a threat to privacy of data.

The policy therefore appears to violate the fundamental rights of privacy (Article 21) and there is need for restructuring such that it meets objective of security without compromising core values of constitution.


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