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

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  • October 21, 2016
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SYNOPSIS- IASbaba’s TLP 2016 [5th Oct] – UPSC Mains GS Questions [HOT]


1. What are the parameters to measure good governance? Examine the performance of the State on at least two of those parameters.


You should mention about Good governance and also mention the parameters on which good governance can be measured.

Characteristics of good governance (according to UN)


Indicators of governance as per world bank 

  1. i) Voice & Accountability
  2. ii) Political Stability and Lack of Violence

iii) Government Effectiveness

  1. iv) Regulatory Quality
  2. v) Rule of Law and
  3. vi) Control of Corruption



You should mention the parameters under which you are going to check the performance of the state.

You should check them under few headings

  1. No of beneficiaries
  2. Extent
  3. No and type of policies implemented
  4. Impact

(you should go through the best answer section for examples)


You should conclude it by saying that good governance is the ultimate aim of public policy and every state should try to achieve it and keep raising their bar for further improvements.


Best Answer1: Yogesh Bhatt

Good governance is becoming a silent global resolution and demanding for it, it is difficult to define but there are specific characters of it

1- Rule of law as per constitutional values

2- Transparency in information flow to all section of society

3- Government should be responsive to people need

4- Government should be participative and decision based on consensus

5- Governance should be inclusive in approach and accessible to all irrespective of caste, class, religion, gender and other hierarchy.

6- Executive should be accountable to people

Indian government is moving towards good governance which can be justified by few examples

People participation– now more in governance through digital platform like mygov, social media, and ministry invitation to people on legislation discussion like education policy. People suggestion to prime minister for better policies and policy like digital India has encouraged people participation in governance.

Accountable– Now executive are direct and more accountable to people up to grassroot level. Social audit make local administration accountable to people. RTE act empowered to ask questions to administration. Initiative like PRAGATI has ensured top officials monitoring by Prime minister. Competitive feeling among states pushing them to do more; public service bill in Maharashtra is example of it. Judiciary, CAG report, and other institutions also compelled for it.
India is gradually moving with good governance agenda but lot more need to be done for achieving future ambitious targets like SDGs, house for all, and top 50 rank in ease of doing business index, and so on.


Best Answer2: Mukesh_MAX




Best Answer3: SPECTRE

According to world bank the definition of good governance is the manner in which the power is exercised in the management of country’s economic and social resources for development.

The parameters of good governance are:

>>PARTICIPATION- govt needs to ensure the requisite freedom to the citizens to participate in decision making process thereby boosting the independence, autonomy and self reliance of citizens.

>>RULE OF LAW-any governance needs an effective fair legal framework that enforces impartiality with the support of an independent judiciary.

>>TRANSPARENCY- it means decisions taken and their enforcement are done in a manner that follows rules. it also means that information is freely available and directly accessible to those who will be affected by such decisions.

>>RESPONSIVENESS-It entails a govt structure that is sensitive to the needs and aspirations of society



Major initiatives of the state in this direction:

RTI, e-governance, right to public service delivery act

>>RTI opens up govt records to public scrutiny thereby making govt more accountable. Transparency in govt organisations makes them function in more objectively thereby enhancing predictability.This act has given the citizen the freedom to get information from the govt.

>>e-governance is an essential component in transformation of any govt towards improving transparency, developing accountability , empowering citizens and providing better governance.
Application models- government to government, govt to citizens,govt to business, govt to employee.

The whole idea of good governance is the participatory system of governance in which those who are called upon to govern on behalf of the people are motivated with a will to give their best, serving and doing well to the people, making their lives more livable and satisfying.

2. The RTI law is not merely a tool for financial oversight of the expenditure of the taxpayers’ money by various government agencies. Rather it is the harbinger of the philosophy of transparent and accountable governance. Critically comment.

We have already discussed about what is transparency and accountability, and also why it is so vital for a healthy democracy in our previous questions.

The Right to Information Act became operational in India in October 2005.

According to GoI:

RTI is “An Act to provide for setting out the practical regime of right to information for citizens to secure access to information under the control of public authorities, in order to promote transparency and accountability in the working of every public authority, the constitution of a Central Information Commission and State Information Commissions and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.”

(Only for Information)

The first and most important of RTI was indeed Financial Accountability. Now the tax payers could know where there money is being spent by the government agencies.

They could also know how much money spent on welfare measures is reaching the target population.

But this is only one aspect of RTI:

  • RTI helped in uncovering many scams like 2G, Coalgate, Mining scam etc.
  • People can question about the efficiency of an office-like how many hours the people are working, on what basis a particular decision is taken.
  • It has created transparency in selection process of many government offices.
  • Officers who believed that they have absolute authority, now got a check. This made public the final authority in democracy.
  • Transparency helped people in being informed citizens and discharge their duties during elections.
  • There has been a remarkable decline in corruption.
  • It has helped people in timely grievance redressal.

(More similar points can be added. It will be better if you can support these statements with the help of an example.)

But there have been certain impediments as well as drawbacks too in the implementation of RTI Act. Some of them are:

  • There are many personal queries which people ask just for the sake of it. This takes a lot of working hours for the officials to answer the questions which are actually of no use.
  • People are targeting honest officers also for personal vendetta.
  • Awareness regarding RTI is not very high. Because of this, RTI is not being used to its complete potential.
  • Judiciary and political parties are not in the ambit of RTI.
  • The clause of ‘Secrecy’ and ‘National Interest’ are ambiguous.
  • No concrete measures for whistle blower protection.

(Note: the criticism points are only for your information. The question doesn’t need many points on criticism. You need to focus more on positive points. Conclude the answer on a positive note)

Best Answer: Veracity29



3. Local governance in India is characterized by tokenism and surrogate representation in terms of participation of women, voice of the marginalized classes and rights of the Dalits. What do you think are the principal reasons behind the state of affairs at the grassroot level? Examine.

Why there is underrepresentation of Dalits in all levels of government (esp. at the grassroot level)? Reasons –

  1. There are separate quotas to facilitate their inclusion in local governance. Unfortunately, however, political representation through quotas has not led to effective political participation for the majority of Dalit women or marginalized classes. The main obstacle is the multiple discrimination these women or dalits face arising from the entrenched caste hierarchy, chronic poverty and patriarchy.
  2. Violence against the marginalized by locally powerful groups to prevent their inclusion is the extreme form of exclusion.
  3. Dominant castes often engineer elections by propping up Dalit women or marginalized classes as proxy candidates.
  4. “Dalit candidates, especially women, are frequently forcibly prevented from standing for election or, if elected, forced to resign from village councils or other elected bodies or not to exercise their mandate, [and] that many Dalits are not included in electoral rolls or otherwise denied the right to vote…”
  5. caste and sexually-based verbal abuse; disparagement of the women’s political capacity; harassment, threats or physical assaults; property destruction; restrictions on freedom of movement; and illegal and fraudulent voting practices.
  6. As the most marginalized groups are uneducated, untrained the power equation is still in the hands of higher castes. Nevertheless, a process of political socialization has begun within the society. The bureaucratic resistance is visible in many matters. The stereotype and routine mindset of local bureaucracy has understood that the Panchayat will remain forever and the bureaucracy has to work within the changed scenario.
  7. Internal factors such as — lack of awareness, experience, knowledge, skill, leadership quality, low level of education, lack of exposure etc.
  8. external factors such as — influence of family, caste, social outlook, patriarch etc.

Best answer 1: El Nino

Local governance brings greater accountability and responsiveness in administration, sense of ownership among local people, use of traditional ideas, cheaper solution, inclusivity and dignity among people. Hence under article 243 of Indian constitution provision of democratic decentralization has been introduced. But the performance not been satisfactory and local institutions are marred with tokenism and surrogate representation with voice of weak being unheard. Following are the reasons for the same:

  1. Low social empowerment – Political empowerment cannot come without social empowerment. Dalits and women find it extremely difficult to win from non-reserved seats.

There have been cases where women Sarpanch have to get back to work as domestic help after her term was over. This demotivates them to take up leadership role.

2. Class barrier – Landlords still control major resources in rural areas and tend to dominate local institutions as well. Caste system’s influence in politics makes it tough for Dalits to garner political support.

3. Less awareness – Low level of awareness about political and legal rights creates further hindrance in decentralization process

4. Patriarchy – Women are kept subjugated form the beginning. This develops subservient attitude in them and surrogate representation becomes easy.

However , local governance has led to women and Dalit empowerment and increased their participation in electoral process , especially in states like Kerela, West Bengal Tamil Nadu etc. Kerala’s Kudumbashree units is a model to be followed which has given women political, social and economic respect.

Just and fair representation in local bodies is imperative. Otherwise as said by Dr. Ambedkar decentralization in a society having asymmetric power will perpetuate exploitation by the powerful against the marginalised classes like Dalits and Women

Best answer 2: DK



4. There is an urgent need to implement a national land use policy in order to address the issues of land use diversion, land acquisition and developmental imperatives. Analyse the statement in light of the controversies surrounding the amended Land Acquisition Bill.


A line intro about Land, how it is fixed and cannot be increased or decreased but can only be transformed from one usage to another. How many times ordinance was passed and withdrawn and link it to why national land use policy is needed in body.


Need for land policy:-

-Talk about the necessity, around 3 to 4 points.

-Rapid urbanization, need to create employment, economic growth and development.

-Legal land diversion which orelse might land up as illegal encroachment or illegal diversion and might lead to delay in project completion and revenue generation.

Also two or three points about who might pose hurdle for such bills and why LARR was rejected:-

-NGO’s, farmers group etc.

-Then two points highlighting the drawbacks of LARR bill like it excluded many projects from SIA, reduced percentage of approval of farmers etc.


Conclude with alternate remedies like how states can go about it giving example of Amravati capital land conversation and Gujarat and Rajasthan state bills.


Best answer: ILP- KUNA3885 (thevagabond85)

Factors contributing urgency :

* Growing urbanization has led to increasing stress on land and diversion from agricultural to industrial & housing purpose.

* there has been gradual decline in area for agricultural usage and forestry.

* Land fragmentation – average size of the holding has been estimated as 1.15 hectare(2011 census).The holding size has shown a steady declining trend since 1970-71.

* Easy land acquisition for ease of doing business (Make In India).

* States such as Rajasthan, UP, Gujrat, Andhra Pradesh etc. has witnessed increasing desertification.

The amended Land Acquisition Bill sought for easing the acquisition process by reducing the threshold of percentage of consensus of people from existing 80% to 75%. This made people apprehensive.

Formulation of National Land use policy must take into consideration following points :

* fare compensation to the land owners in case of acquisition. Often there’s a sentimental value attached with land and people are unsure of receiving promised compensation. One way of resolving it would be to include land owner or their offspring in the project itself thus, making projects more inclusive.

* There is dire need to increase the productivity of agricultural land use. Model land lease bill drafted by NITI Ayog should be mooted. States must consider adopting the bill. This will provide win-win for both unwilling and willing farmers.

* India is a signatory to UNCCD(UN convention to combat desertification) . Government of India along with WB has taken projects in several states to combat desertification.

In a democratic setup like India, there can be some hurdles to development but any such policy must also take into consideration the inclusiveness, sustainability and productivity.

Best answer 2: Lokesh 

Population growth has put enormous pressure on land resources. At the same there is need for optimal utilisation of land resources for sustainable development.

Consider the following facts : –

  1. India need to raise its forest cover from present 23 % to 33 % ( INDC committment of addtional carbon sink of 2.5- 3 billion ton Co2 ).
  2. Urban population is going to increase from present 31% to 50% by 2050.
  3. Rising population and food security concerns demands increase in the gross cultivated area.
  4. Challenges of inculsive growth and developement demand land for setting industries.

Thus, for limited land resources, there is tremendouns demand from different sectors. This necessitates a urgent need for National land use policy for resolving the in conflicts demand for land

In this light, the provisions of land acquistion bill, 2015 have not been able to meet the “balancing different demand” challenge. for eg.

  1. Under the bill, land acquisition for affordable housing, defence, social infrastructure, rural infrastrcuture , industrial corridors will be done without any social impact assessment, food safety assessment and no requirement of consent clause of at least 70% of land owners.

–This is neglecting livelihood concerns of farmers, food security of the nation.

Need is for optimal utilisation of land resources for eg.

  1. Wasteland can be used for industrial purposes or urban complexes.
  2. Prohibit acquiring of irrigated mutiple crop land.
  3. Adequate compensation to farmers.

5. Economic reforms that require legislative sanction have become victim of the politics of the day. Consensus on key reform initiatives seem distant and in the meantime, India is losing the window of opportunity that could propel economic growth to the next level. Critically comment.


Your introduction should outline the present status on Indian economy in brief. In continuation, how much India need various economic reforms for a sustainable and increasing growth.



  • You should mention about the recent controversies / reforms which get delayed because of politics.
  • Give examples of GST, LARR, Labour reforms, 1991 economic reforms, Insolvency and bankruptcy code
  • Also elaborate what impact it is having on Indian economy – short and long term.
  • You should also critically comment on other factors affecting the delay and also mention how delaying always doesn’t resulted into negative impact.



Your conclusion should mention that an effort should be made to make a consensus by the party in power. Political parties should also understand that for their personal benefits nations interest should not be compromised.


Best Answer1: veracity29




Best Answer2: naadan parinda

Having blessed with huge demographic dividend,India aspires to become a developed and leading economy.This requires timely economic reforms.However frequent tussle between political parties has continuously hampered India’s prospects which can be seen as-

>GST conundrum-Friction between parties led to delayed adoption of this crucial tax reform.Companies were not ready to invest in new ventures because of prevailing uncertainty in tax structure

>Land Acquisition Rehabilitation and resettlement bill-Confusion prevailing over the manner of land dealings has made industries to let their investment plans in cold bags

>Labour reforms-Labour plays critical factor in determining industrial locations. Constant friction over its framework has negatively hampered the economy

>Insolvency and bankruptcy code-Today major problem of economy is large NPAs. This proves worthiness of presence of an IBC code. However, party politics created immense hurdles on its way
Though Union has been able to get through IBC and GST but frictions do prevail.
Also we cannot out-rightly negate the role of opposition. But it is imperative to understand that democracy calls for debate and discussion and not disruptions.

Way forward-

>Constructive criticism must be the path followed by opposition. It would also deepen parliamentary credentials

>government should evolve mechanism to gain confidence of opposition and not undermine them
With rationality on part of political parties, India can definitely create a conducive environment where doing business is easier and just. Though India is climbing on Ease of doing business, we haven’t reached our potential and hence crucial economic reforms must be welcomed in interest of nation


Best Answer3: – Mukesh_MAX




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