SYNOPSIS: IASbaba’s TLP 2016 [7th Oct] – UPSC Mains GS Questions [HOT]

  • October 21, 2016
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SYNOPSIS- IASbaba’s TLP 2016 [7th Oct] – UPSC Mains GS Questions [HOT]


1. We know that India is committed to the principle of mutual ‘non-interference’ in international affairs. However, will it be ethical to follow this principle if there is blatant violation of human rights in a neighboring country? Examine.



Your introduction should mention about India’s commitment to principle of mutual’ non-interference’ i.e. mention about Panchsheel in brief. Also mention about India’s commitment of this principle.



Mention about the ethical dimension of Indian principled stand.

  • Ethical dimension of Indian stand stands on two aspects one as a responsible neighbor and power and other on being a promoter of Universal peace.

India’s believe that every country should tackle its own problem maintains a high moral ground and shows India’s belief in peaceful co-existence however, as a country who wants to be a major global power and who feels responsibility towards protection of Human Rights. secondly, it may have an impact on the national security and can create internal tensions ex. Exodus of large no of people from myanmar, bangladesh etc has created local problems in area like assam, manipur etc. So to protect it’s own citizens make interference ethical.

  • Mention the events when India has violated the principle for protection of Human Rights – Bangladesh as Mukti Vahini, Part of IPKF in Srilanka etc.
  • Mention about the Indian approach regarding Human right violation:

India being a signatory of UN declaration of Human rights gives high priority to protection of Human rights and a promoter of Human rights on global arena.

Though India has maintained that It believes strongly in policy of non- interference, but India has used the platform of UN to raise issues of gross human right violations in its neighbor. Recent call regarding Baluchistan shows the changing trend in Indian Approach. India feels the responsibility to protect the people of the region.


Conclusion: –

Your conclusion should say that the question of being ethical or not should be tackled rationally. Though India is committed to cause of Non Intervention, but it would be ethical for her to intervene neighboring countries in case of human rights violation and the protection of its own national interest.


Best Answer1: Spectre

The principle of non interference in mutual affairs forms the base of NAM and the Panchasheel doctrine.The recent Prime minister’s independence day speech where he voiced his concern about Balochistan’s human rights violation ,showed deviation of India from the the non interference doctrines which the country had been maintaining for decades.

>>India had established NHRC, which is in line with the UN declaration of human rights , and also being the largest contributor to the UN peacekeeping missions shows the country’s commitment to check such atrocities

The country has always raised voice against such atrocities

eg: India had supported Palestine and opposed Israel’s entry to the UN

– raised its voice against colonial domination by european nations in Africa and South America, including the opposition of aparthied in south africa

>>Intervention right or wrong :

India being an emerging super power, trying to spread its wings in the global arena , it is rightful on its part to extend its support to fight human right violations in its neighbouring countries . It will enhance its image at a global level ensuring that the country will always support and will always stand by what it considers as rightful , thereby not deviating from its values. Ethically this is correct.

>>Going diplomatically,taking a stand may not be the right approach , as it will strain the relations with the neighbours. eg: India and pakistan relations had always been sour. With the PM voicing his concern abt Baloch, had further deteriorated the situation, saying that India had crossed the red line. It shows the failure in foreign policy.

So it can be said that whatever that seem to be ethically correct, may not always be rationally correct.So the decisions should always be made weighing both ethical and rational concerns and taking a stand accordingly which will not strain the relations of the country with its neighbour.


Best Answer2-Mukesh_Max



2. What are the elements of corporate governance? Discuss. Why is it important to have a robust corporate governance structure? Examine in light of the increasing instances of corruption in MNCs.


Start with what is corporate governance. Corporate governance is the process of decision making and by which decision are implemented in a corporate setup. Or the rules, method and manner in which a corporate company is governed and managed.


Part1:- Elements of corporate governance:-

-Mention elements of corporate governance and one line explanation to it.

Part2:- Why is it needed:-

-Tell why it is needed and its effects on economic interests like revenue to government, employment, financial misappropriation, crony capitalism, financial frauds, Black money generation and money laundering issues.

-For each point give a recent examples like Satyam, kingfisher, bank of Baroda (Money laundering), Sahara scam, offshore tax havens etc.


End with what all agencies are present to check and keep track of them and in wake of these scams how improvement can be made to avoid such things in future like robust and technically specialist institutes, tribunals with no appeal law to bring offenders to books, too big to fail bank type initiatives for big companies etc.

Best answer: vengeancee

Corporate Governance in simple terms can be referred as structural mechanisms that establish harmonious relationship between economic & social goals of corporate organization. Its elements include:
1) Accountability: Board responsible to shareholders, management accountable to Board.
2) Fairness: small, medium, large investors are all treated equitably.
3) Independence: of auditors, independent directors, etc.
4) Transparency: financial, promotional aspects.

Robust corporate governance is needed because:
1) Fudging of balance sheets by Auditors, Managing Directors make huge losses to shareholders, and ultimately to Indian economy. Ex: Satyam scam.
2) Shell companies getting carved out making fund cross-transfers make investors lose interest in Indian markets. Ex: Sahara scam.
3) Bank NPAs are rising due to failure of good governance model in companies ultimately eating taxpayer’s money. Ex: Kingfisher scam.
4) Private sector is built up by social inputs, no harm if good governance prevails in private bodies.
5) Favorable Government policies should be effectively used, & not misused.
6) Constitutional values like equality, integrity, should be upheld by all irrespective of domain of operation.

In era of LPG reforms, corporate governance has gained relevance as Government is siding away & promoting autonomy. Recommendations of Company Law Commission, 2013 should be adhered to & incorporated by legislative processes. 

3. What do you understand by ethical governance? If everything is enshrined in the law, why should a bureaucrat be ethical? Examine with the help of suitable examples.



You should explain the concept of ethical governance.

(concept is explained in detail for better understanding. You should only mention the concept in brief).

  • In brief, ethical governance denotes administrative measures, procedures and policies that fulfill criteria required for the ethically good or acceptable handling of public affairs, such as in public administration, public health care, education, and social security.
  • In the context of public administration, ethically good or acceptable behavior is
    often defined in terms of justice, fairness, equality, and integrity. Thus, ethical
    governance is a normative expression and not a purely descriptive one.
  • The concept of ethical governance also implies a value assessment and is thus value-
    It is precisely because of this value-laden property that different organizations in both the public and private sectors often use the terms ethical governance and ethical management as labels or advertisement slogans for their marketing
    purposes–for example, in the labor market, or to gain economic or political bene-
    fit. However, people can always ask of governance whether it really is ethically
  • The use of the adjective ‘ethical’ does not guarantee, of course, the true ethical
    goodness (i.e., justice, fairness, equality, integrity) of governance. Thus, the term
    ‘ethical governance’ should be used for actual systems of governance only when
    the appraisal is based on a critical and unbiased evaluation of their goals and
    Such evaluation requires invoking normative premises (i.e., commands
    and prohibitions) such as ‘Governance should be equal and impartial’, ‘Civil ser-
    vants ought to keep their promises and be true to their word’, and ‘Authorities
    should take good care of public affairs’.
  • Thus, ethical governance, as a normative notion, denotes the characteristics or
    virtues of ethically good civil servants. At the same time, it denotes the criteria
    based on which the ethical quality of governance is assessed. These criteria in-
    volve, for example, the integrity, equality, and justness of civil servants and of
    their administrative activity. The ethical quality of governance can be good or bad. In the former case, it is said that governance is ethical or conforms to ethical requirements. In the latter case, it is said that governance is unethical or breaks ethical standards.
  • One common way of explaining these characterizations is to say that in good governance civil servants and authorities follow the ethical and other norms, commands and prohibitions they are obligated to follow in their actions.
  • Bad governance violates these norms. In this explanation, the ethicality of governance is expressed in terms of rule-following. Thus, the concept of governance ethicality involves an evaluative aspect that is often conceptualized as obedience to rules. However, the care-ethical approach introduces another way to conceptualize the ethicality of governance.

According to this approach, good governance cares for its citizens and their welfare and takes good care of administrative matters related to the citizens.

  • We can also differentiate between the minimalist concept and the maximalist
    concept of ethical governance. The minimalist concept involves the minimum
    requirements for ethically acceptable governance, whereas the maximalist concept
    aims at enriching our understanding of what ethically good and high quality go-
    vernance involves or could involve.
  • The minimalist concept of ethical governance states absolute prohibitions that
    public authorities and civil servants are forbidden to violate in all circumstances.
    They include prohibitions of all forms of corruption (e.g., bribery, graft, and ne-
    potism), extortion and coercion, deception, theft, and discrimination
  • The maximal concept of ethical governance additionally invokes positive commands, such as ‘Be fair and impartial’, ‘Safeguard the well-being of citizens’, and ‘Take good care of the administrative tasks entrusted to you’. Furthermore, the max-
    imalist concept specifies positive characteristics of a good authority or civil ser-
    vant, such as diligence, kindness, patience, and humaneness. It is only a short step
    from the maximalist concept of ethical governance to a care-ethical citizen’s point
    of view of ethical governance, as genuine caring goes beyond basic duties and an
    ethical minimum. On the other hand, care is one of the basic
    moral values, perhaps even the most basic one, and as a value care designates
    what many public and private practices ought to involve.
  • As was characterized above, the focus of the ethics of care is attendance to the needs of people for whom we are responsible. Taking responsibility for public affairs and serving citizens are what civil servants ought to do.



Mention the relationship between law and ethics. (Details are given only for understanding purpose)

  • A relationship exists between law and ethics. In some instances, law and ethics overlap and what is perceived as unethical is also illegal. In other situations, they do not overlap. In some cases, what is perceived as unethical is still legal, and in others, what is illegal is perceived as ethical. A behavior may be perceived as ethical to one person or group but might not be perceived as ethical by another. Further complicating this dichotomy of behavior, laws may have been legislated, effectively stating the government’s position, and presumably the majority opinion, on the behavior.
  • Law can be defined as a consistent set of universal rules that are widely published, generally accepted, and usually enforced. These rules describe the ways in which people are required to act in their relationships with others in a society. They are requirements to act in a given way, not just expectations or suggestions to act in that way. Since the government establishes law, the government can use police powers to enforce laws.
  • The word ethics is derived from the Greek word ethos (character), and from the Latin word mores (customs). Together they combine to define how individuals choose to interact with one another. In philosophy, ethics defines what is good for the individual and for society and establishes the nature of duties that people owe themselves and one another.
  • It is important to note that there is also a difference between ethics and morality. Morality refers both to the standards of behavior by which individuals are judged, and to the standards of behavior by which people in general are judged in their relationships with others. Ethics, on the other hand, encompasses the system of beliefs that supports a particular view of morality.
  • Though law often embodies ethical principles, law and ethics are far from co-extensive. The law does not prohibit many acts that would be widely condemned as unethical. And the contrary is true as well. The law also prohibits acts that some groups would perceive as ethical. For example, lying or betraying the confidence of a friend is not illegal, but most people would consider it unethical. Yet, speeding is illegal, but many people do not have an ethical conflict with exceeding the speed limit. Law is more than simply codifying ethical norms.

The following diagram shows the relationship between law and ethics.

(above mentioned details will help you in answering below statements too)

  • Explain whether being legally correct also represent ethical correctness.
  • Also explain why a bureaucrat should be ethical.
  • Give examples to show where legality and ethicality are at opposite ends.



You should conclude it by saying that though law is important in public life but ethical dimensions helps a bureaucrate to effectively  implement the laws and to achieve the goal of good governance.


Best Answer1: Mukesh_Max

  1. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5063d8aca1935363636c7450fa18c19d2c941e7bb45c942d064154328437abf0.jpg
  2. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6d7ed6dd54f8224b69286f97bd8017d26d1e2c14b209f69dc47ec70809ee6e14.jpg


Best Answer2: Yogesh Bhatt

Governance is about using the power by democratic rulers to serve the people for their social, economic, and political welfare. Ethics is paramount in governance because it ensures transparency, accountability, and compassion while delivering the service. Governance may be the subject of benevolence but it is ethics in governance which bring essence of duty to reach up to neediest people.

It is true that our constitution has essence of ethics and other than that, civil service code, duty norms of bureaucrats are full of ethical guidelines but in spite of that a bureaucrat need to ethics. Guidelines do not execute law but an individual do, so he needs to be ethical while delivering duty. It is work ethics who separate people like E Shridharan or Verghese Kurein from other bureaucrats. Guidelines serve the boarder purpose but bureaucrats need to work in details; in Defamation case SC mentioned that it is police officer who needs to use his logic to register the complaint. Such role play needs high values for effective interpretation of law.
Laws are static but bureaucrat duty is very dynamic and so law interpretation may different with situations. A police man will follow traffic rules in normal cases but same rule he cannot apply when an emergency vehicle running on the road and he is responsible to make green corroder for patient safely.

So law and guidelines are important but equally important is ethical office for its execution than only society may relish good governance.

4. The composition of the boards (governing) of Public Sector Banks (PSBs) is said to be a model in corporate governance. How far do you agree with the statement?

Introduction: –

Your introduction should define corporate governance in brief.

  • Corporate governance refers to the accountability of the Board of Directors to all stakeholders of the corporation i.e. shareholders, employees, suppliers, customers and society in general; towards giving the corporation a fair, efficient and transparent administration.

(For understanding Purpose)

  • The OECD principles define corporate governance as involving “a set of relationships between a company’s management, its board, its shareholders, and other stakeholders. Corporate governance also provides the structure through which the objectives of the company are set, and the means of attaining those objectives and monitoring performance are determined. Good corporate governance should provide proper incentives for the board and management to pursue objectives that are in the interests of the company and its shareholders and should facilitate effective monitoring. The presence of an effective corporate governance system, within an individual company and across an economy as a whole, helps to provide a degree of confidence that is necessary for the proper functioning of a market economy.”
  • From a banking industry perspective, corporate governance involves the manner in which the business and affairs of banks are governed by their boards of directors and senior management, which affects how they function:
  • Set corporate objectives;
  • Operate the bank’s business on a day-to-day basis;
  • Meet the obligation of accountability to their shareholders and take into account the interests of other recognized stakeholders;
  • Align corporate activities and behavior with the expectation that banks will operate in a safe and sound manner, and in compliance with applicable laws and regulations; and
  • Protect the interests of depositors.
  • Also mention how recent scams like Satyam etc. lead to demand of corporate governance in India.



Mention about composition of governing boards of Public Sector Banks.

Discuss how Board of Public Sector banks perform on the criteria’s to be a model in corporate governance in India.

  • The present composition of the boards of public sector banks (PSB) could theoretically be termed as a model in corporate governance. The boards represent diversity (except on gender) and multiple public interests. A typical PSB bank has three directors representing minority (non-government) shareholders’ interests; three directors who are expected to represent societal interests; a director each representing the union government, workmen, officers, and regulator (RBI). In addition, an independent chartered accountant is appointed as a director and the person usually heads the audit committee. The bank also has three or four whole-time directors including the Chairman and Managing Director (CMD).
  • While the above composition looks good, there is still a huge problem. This problem is about the process of identifying individuals to represent these diverse interests. The Nayak committee rightly identifies it. It terms the boards as “non-independent” except for the shareholder directors. The process of the election of even these so called “independent” directors may also show that they are largely nominees of the government, albeit through a different process. They are elected by shareholders excluding the government. The non-government share-holding in many of the banks are substantially held by institutions indirectly controlled by the government – insurance companies, financial institutions etc. These institutions largely select the “independent” directors as well.
  • However, distinguished the panel that will select the chairman, it is always possible for the government to influence the chairman once he or she is appointed. The result would be to pit a political appointee against the CEO who has to deliver results. Second, the chairman may have his or her own agenda; this would render the CEO ineffective. It would have been better to defer the separation of roles until PSB boards had begun to function effectively with independent directors.

We thus have a situation where the public sector banks end up not having a semblance of good corporate governance.


Your conclusion should mention about the way forward in terms on corporate governance in general and for Board of Public Sector banks in particular. Creation of Banks board bureau is a significant step in right direction but it has its own limitation which should be overcome soon to become implement the true form of corporate governance.


Best Answer1: vengeancee

Governing board of PSBs are claimed to be an example of good corporate governance when this new concept has started to find ground, but has been far from reality especially in private enterprises. Such claims can be said to be true as:

1) Regular auditing and transparency measures are adopted with rule-bound precautions.

2) Regular board meetings are held, and necessary information are divulged to public & shareholders regularly.

3) Independent directors are regularly appointed, and provisions like their remuneration, timely renewal & providing cooling-off period are maintained.

4) Post for CMD, CeO are regularly shuffled, before power concentration starts to take place.

However, certain problems are also exists:

1) No bifurcation of Chairman & Managing Director post has taken place in several banks despite multiple recommendations by experts, & committees.

2) Political patronage still works in key appointment as they are generally mandated by Cabinet Committee on Appointments (CCA) headed by PM.

3) Scams are not devoid of PSBs due to faulty governance procedures adopted, ex: Syndicate Bank controversy in 2014

4) Lack of autonomy persists through Finance Ministry’s interference, and Government being their major stakeholder.

Calling them model of corporate governance is rather difficult, and uncalled for. Corporate Governance is still in process of evolving, and PSBs are not flawless despite being comparatively satisfactory. Calling them a model to be followed by others in going down a slippery slope.


Best Answer2: Mukesh_Max




Best Answer3: abhishekrwt597

The Board of Directors are the nerve centre of Corporate Governance. There importance is magnified further in PSB, that are repositories of public funds(as stated by Narasimhan Committee). However, the composition of the Board of PSB is far from being a model in corporate governance and suffers from the following issues.

Firstly, the qualification and remuneration of board members needs to be clearly defined.

Secondly, qualification of Independent directors, their minimum number(1/3rd as per Companies Act), and their term in office needs to be specified. This gains significance as they are supposed to ensure good corporate governance and uphold the interest of shareholders(specially minority) on the board.

Thirdly, appointment of women on Board of directors in PSB, despite repeated SEBI directive, needs to be addressed immediately. Women directors are important both in accordance with principle of equality, and also to ensure adequate gender diversity in policy formulation by the Board(the feminist perspective).

Lastly, the appointment to the BOD should be on the basis of clear defined merit. Political appointments should be avoided(Current Govt’s stance is encouraging in the same), as they breed public distrust, and are often the reason behind PSB’s undertaking subprime lending(willful defaulters and NPA). The setting up of the Bank Board Bureau(BBB) by the current Govt to ensure impartial and apolitical evaluation and appointment of Board members is a step in the right direction.

With their rising NPA, poor stock market performance, political interference and middle heavy bureaucracy, PSB have come under the scanner. A board that adheres to the principles of corporate governance may go a long way in assuaging these concerns. 

5. Human Rights Commissions should adhere to their primary duty of protecting the right of individuals. In the light of the statement, critically discuss the major limitations of the HRC in India.

Since we have already discussed NHRC in detail in previous synopsis, here we will concentrate only on the question.

HRCs both at center and state level were formed by law i.e. statutory bodies to protect the human rights of the individuals or check the human right violations by public as well as private agencies. They are made independent bodies to minimize government interference in their working, with a retired Judge of Supreme court as its Chairman.

They have also been given the right to take Suo Motu cognizance and start an enquiry.

But HRCs in India have been crippled by certain drawbacks like:

  • The selection process of members of HRCs is opaque and no selection criterion is fixed. Involvement of executive raises questions on allegiance of members to a particular government.
  • Questions are raised on the expertise of the members.
  • HRCs are recommendatory bodies and the government is not bound to take actions on it. Moreover, it can only recommend a compensatory fine and not a strict punishment in case of violation. It should be given some power for prosecution.
  • There are a high number of cases and HRCs lack workforce to tackle them.
  • It lacks funds as well as expertise for investigation. So even if there are a number of cases it can cater to only few of them.
  • Any case older than a year will not come under the purview of HRC. In India, where many cases come to the light much later after their occurrence (especially in case of women and children), this clause is especially crippling.

(Since the focus of the question is only drawbacks, try to highlight them in your answer. But end your answer on a positive note, mentioning some of the successful actions taken by HRC against child rights, bonded labour etc. in your conclusion. We have already discussed them in the previous question on NHRC.)

Best Answer: MYK

One cannot protect without the very means to protect. This is much similar to a reflection of 2nd ARC {12th report} on the bleak role that HRC has been reduced to. The ordinance route and subsequent law enacted paved way for a statutory status to the HRC.

The body suffers from serious drawbacks:

  1. No teeth – The Commission has only recommendatory nature. It cannot initiate and pronounce punitive actions on its own. This makes it’s very existence dubious.
    2. Lack of personnel – A greater scope and cases that would require permanent staff/ manning is in contravention to its existing strength.
  2. Moderate in action – With State actors like Army and Police being reported as perpetrators of human rights violations, the Commission has failed to address the issue.
    4. Administrative delays in appointment of members further strains the working of HRC and makes it rudderless.
  3. Lack of independent finance which lets it inoperative on its own account
    6. It’s work in collaboration with CBI, CID and heavy dependence on the State actors makes it less independent and produces patchy account.

Thus, in order to ensure HRC it’s right place, government must add more teeth to the Commission. It could be in line with SEBI which has it’s own punitive mechanism. HRC can be made more financially independent and adequate manpower of it’s own be given so that it can work out in an unbiased and independent manner.



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