SYNOPSIS: IASbaba’s TLP 2016 [21st Oct] – UPSC Mains GS Questions [HOT]

  • November 4, 2016
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SYNOPSIS- IASbaba’s TLP 2016 [21st Oct] – UPSC Mains GS Questions [HOT]


1. What are the objectives of probity in governance? What are the tools to ensure probity?


Introduction: – (extra details are given for understanding purpose)

Your introduction should deal with basic definition of probity and need of probity in brief.

  • Probity (Satyanishtha in Hindi) literally means a complete and confirmed integrity; having strong moral principles


Probity in Governance

“Apart from the traditional civil service values of efficiency, integrity, accountability and patriotism, it is necessary for civil servants to inculcate and adopt ethical and moral values including probity in public life, respect for human rights and compassion for the downtrodden and commitment to their welfare”. (Second ARC)

Probity in governance is an essential and vital requirement for an efficient and effective system of governance and for socio-economic development. An important requisite for ensuring probity in governance is absence of corruption. The other requirements are effective laws, rules and regulations governing every aspect of public life and, more important, an effective and fair implementation of those laws, etc.

Corruption in public lifeNational commission to review the working of the constitution – Probity in governance report.

“Corruption is an abuse of public resources or position in public life for private gain.  The scope for corruption increases when control on the public administrators is fragile and the division of power between political, executive and bureaucracy is ambiguous.  Political corruption which is sometimes inseparable from bureaucratic corruption tends to be more widespread in authoritarian regimes where the public opinion and the Press are unable to denounce corruption.   The paradox of India, however, is that in spite of a vigilant press and public opinion, the level of corruption is exceptionally high.  This may be attributed to the utter insensitivity, lack of shame and the absence of any sense of public morality among the bribe-takers.  Indeed, they wear their badge of corruption and shamelessness with equal élan and brazenness.  The increase of opportunities in State intervention in economic and social life has vastly increased the opportunity for political and bureaucratic corruption, more particularly since politics has also become professionalized”

Body: –

  • Mention the objectives of probity in governance.

Objective of Probity in Governance: There are several objectives of probity of governance that are mentioned below:

  • To ensure accountability in governance;
  • To maintain integrity in public services;
  • To ensure compliance with processes;
  • To preserve public confidence in Government processes;
  • To avoid the potential for misconduct, fraud and corruption.
  • Mention the tools of probity in governance.
  • Law: –
  • Strengthening of the Whistleblowers act- There should be provisions for unanimity of whistleblower and incentives for the disclosing a corruption.
  • Keeping CBI and CVC out of political influences and implementing the strong Lokpal act.
  • Benami transaction act.
  • Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA)
  • Central Government should enact a comprehensive law on public servants. Making civil servants personally liable for their mala Fide acts. Since in present time discretion is increasing to use the government resources so it is necessary to make public official personally liable for misuse of government resources. This will decrease the cases of nepotism, favouritism etc.
  • RTI
  • Code of ethics: –
  • To create a code of conduct of every office under the government based on the principle of selflessness, openness, transparency, accountability, integrity and objectivity. Along with this, there should be scrutiny mechanism and time to time training of officials so that they adhere to these principles.
  • Technological tools: – E-governance, direct benefit transfer etc.
  • Strengthening of the Criminal Judicial System

(you can add more points. Go through the best answer section)



Your conclusion should say that only laws cannot enforce probity. There is a need to inculcate values in society through education and socialization along with government, the society as a whole has to shoulder this responsibility.

Best answer1: – Kamlesh Dheerendra



Best answer2: – Mayur



2. The most important instrument of social empowerment is the Right to Information (RTI). Do you agree? Also discuss the significance of transparency in governance.

  • RTI as tool for Social empowerment:
  1. Information sharing helps in transforming citizens into informed citizens, who are capable of understanding and reflecting upon the public policy and programs and based on that are able to make informed decisions about the political future of the country.
  2. RTI has helped in transforming the people from passive subjects to active citizens who are questioning about the aims, process and funding of the policies and programs.
  3. Through information accessed through RTI SCs, STs etc. are asserting their rights by exposing misappropriation and corruption.
  4. Many of the demands from the socially and economically underprivileged sections are coming after they have received data and information through RTI, thus it has giver voice to hitherto voiceless groups.
  5. RTI queries from departments such as Women empowerment, children, family planning have helped the civil society groups and NGOs in initiating programs for those groups, thus it has become a tool in identifying the most backward groups by them.
  • Significance of transparency in governance:
  1. Legitimacy of the government: transparency helps in generating mutual trust between the government and the people and in the process creates legitimacy for the government.
  2. Corruption: transparency not only exposes corruption and malpractices it also helps in identifying the areas where such potential exists thereby necessitating pre-emptive responses.
  3. Bridging the gap: transparency helps in bridging the gap between the government’s policies and citizen’s actual needs, by scrutinizing the DM process citizens can demand more customized policies.
  4. Lowering of Red-tapism and procrastination, hence result oriented work, thereby higher productivity.
  5. Enable work friendly culture through doing away with hierarchy, politicisation and sycophancy, hence work-friendly culture.
  6. Transparency helps in bringing in 3Es- Efficiency, Economy and Effectiveness.


Best answer: vagabond85

RTI has proved to be the most important tool in transformation of Indian democracy from procedural to substantive democracy.

Social empowerment through RTI :
# By revealing the monetary allocation for health, education & MGNREGA by government, RTI has pressurized the government to give proper attention to these sector.
# given power to people in decision making and holding government accountable.
# it has helped uncover several scams in recent past like 2G spectrum, coalgate this proves it’s efficacy.

Significance of transparency in governance :
# greater legitimacy of government and strengthening of democracy
# reduced corruption and checks arbitary use of public office
# involvement of people in decision making – participate democracy

The success of RTI is evident from the growing demand for bringing Political parties , Judiciary & NGOs carrying public works under its ambit. Strengthening whistle blower protection act will further strengthen RTI and bring government closer to people.

3. Information sharing across ministries and departments will solve half of the existing governance problems. Do you agree? Substantiate.

In order to understand the solution of a problem, we need to understand the problems first. The major problems that are faced due to lack of coordination are:

  • The responsibilities are not shared properly and accountability is not ascertained.
  • There is wastage of time, financial resource as well as human resource because often there are several departments in multiple ministries which are working on the similar projects.
  • There is multiplication of data and information.
  • Several times the reports given by different ministries are contradictory which creates confusion and conflict between the ministries.
  • There are conflicts between different ministries for their different approaches towards a particular concept. Like Ministry of Forest and Environment and Ministry of Mining are often seen locking horns on the issue of economic development and environmental protection.
  • Multidimensional training of officials.

All these problems can be solved if there is information sharing across ministries and departments.

There should be a common information sharing center and all the projects should be listed at one point so that similar projects are not assigned to different ministries. It will also increase collaboration between different ministries and expertise of one can be utilized by other.

It will also be easier for the public to approach right department for seeking information. With the promotion of ‘Digital India’, the information sharing, hopefully, will become a norm.

Best Answer: Abhishekrwt597

Governance is a collaborative effort that requires interconnectedness between the govt and various institutions of civil society, as well as within the various departments of the government. Absence of the latter has plagued administration for a long time. The penchant of departments to work in silos, and the absence of a holistic outlook has led to failure in regularly sharing information between different arms of the government. This has caused the following problems:

1)Delay in decision making leading to a reactive rather than proactive government(crossborder attacks despite crediblE information warning so )

2)Duplication of effort(multiple dept and govt schemes working on same lines, eg MOPR and DRDA).

3) Wastage of resources(multiple agencies, middle heavy bureaucracy) .

4) Failure to institutionalize expertise(Investigative agencies deal with different crimes and dont share info, opposition to NCTC,etc)

Information sharing mechanisms, that ensure two way communication as a matter of routine rather than the norm are required. This will greatly help governance by speed up admin processes, make the govt more efficient, less bureaucratic, increase consultation, help in developing sectoral expertise,etc. Problems today are multidimensional in nature(Eg swach bharat has MoRD, MoWR and MoUD involved) that require collaboration to succeed.

This requires:

1)Setting up of single window access mechanism where all relevant information pertaining to a field may be accessed.

2)Move towards proactive dislosure as the next step after RTI. Transparency creates accountability that improves responsiveness.

3) Regular interministerial contact and merging of similar Ministries and Dept to remove delay(MOIA and MEA, NACO now in NHM,,etc)

4)Use of ICT and increasing move towards E-gov.

5)Reducing hierarchies in Bureaucracy and encouraging lateral communication,

Each ministry and department despite, their administrative goals, are working towards the common vision of a more developed India. Collaboration among each other is a must to achieve the same.

4. Drones can be a potential tool to better control our agricultural productivity and to best invest our limited resources. Discuss.


Your introduction should define drones in brief. Also mention the need of technology in agriculture.




Mention how drones can improve the agricultural productivity.


Although drone technology is still modifying production to increase ease of use and lower prices, these machines already have the potential to go a long way towards improving farmers’ bottom lines – and the environment. Here are few key benefits of drone use in agriculture:


  • More information, less time

One of the major benefits of drones is their ability to scout farm fields both quickly and efficiently. Rather than having growers evaluate fields manually on foot or by tractor, this technology allows farmers to gain immediate knowledge about the status of their fields in shorter periods of time.

This information can be gathered whenever and wherever it is needed, minimizing the response time required to address issues and maintain crops.

  • Soil and field analysis:Drones can be instrumental at the start of the crop cycle. They produce precise 3-D maps for early soil analysis, useful in planning seed planting patterns. After planting, drone-driven soil analysis provides data for irrigation and nitrogen-level management
  • Planting: Startups have created drone-planting systems that achieve an uptake rate of 75 percent and decrease planting costs by 85 percent. These systems shoot pods with seeds and plant nutrients into the soil, providing the plant all the nutrients necessary to sustain life.
  • Crop spraying:Distance-measuring equipment—ultrasonic echoing and lasers such as those used in the light-detection and ranging, or LiDAR, method—enables a drone to adjust altitude as the topography and geography vary, and thus avoid collisions. Consequently, drones can scan the ground and spray the correct amount of liquid, modulating distance from the ground and spraying in real time for even coverage. The result: increased efficiency with a reduction of in the amount of chemicals penetrating into groundwater. In fact, experts estimate that aerial spraying can be completed up to five times faster with drones than with traditional machinery.
  • Crop monitoring:Vast fields and low efficiency in crop monitoring together create farming’s largest obstacle. Monitoring challenges are exacerbated by increasingly unpredictable weather conditions, which drive risk and field maintenance costs. Previously, satellite imagery offered the most advanced form of monitoring. But there were drawbacks. Images had to be ordered in advance, could be taken only once a day, and were imprecise. Further, services were extremely costly and the images’ quality typically suffered on certain days. Today, time-series animations can show the precise development of a crop and reveal production inefficiencies, enabling better crop management.
  • Irrigation:Drones with hyperspectral, multispectral, or thermal sensors can identify which parts of a field are dry or need improvements. Additionally, once the crop is growing, drones allow the calculation of the vegetation index, which describes the relative density and health of the crop, and show the heat signature, the amount of energy or heat the crop emits.
  • Improving crop health and efficiency

New drone technology is very effective at collecting data to help farmers improve crop health. Equipped with sensors, drones flying over a field can collect plant height measurements by gathering range information from the plant canopy and the ground below. By measuring near infrared wavelengths through a multispectral sensor, drones can also create vegetation index images, indicating which plants are healthy and absorbing maximum sunlight.

Drones also create satellite maps that can help farmers make decisions about fertilizer – a major concern of farmers, as fertilizer represents up to 50 percent of input costs. By using high-tech sensors to absorb near infrared wavelengths, drones make maps that can show where phosphorous and nitrogen might be needed – or where there is an excess of nutrients. In this way, more nutrients are being applied where they are needed most, as more fertilizer is absorbed by plants when it is applied precisely. This level of detail can help farmers increase production and efficiencies that lead to higher yields.

  • Water efficiency and other environmental benefits

Thermal cameras are able to detect cooler, well-watered field regions as well as dry hot patches. Farmers can use this data to adjust field irrigation and avoid wasting excess water. This ability to increase water optimization is particularly valuable in drought-stricken areas, such as Vidharba.

And by increasing water and fertilizer efficiency, drone technology also helps reduce excess fertilizer that runs off into nearby rivers and streams. Less runoff decreases the algal blooms and dead zones in our water systems.

Conclusion: –

Most drones currently available for use in the agriculture industry are very costly. However, with new developments and further innovation, drones may start to prove their value in agriculture.

Best answer1: – ILP- KUNA3885 (thevagabond85) 


‘Drone’ by providing ‘eyes’ in lower sky help policy makers take necessary step for optimum usage of limited resources. For example:

  1. Accurate data collection: It can help determineland use pattern in an area and map water aquifers in the region. Land and water is becoming scarce resource and their efficient use is vital for increasing agricultural productivity.
  2. Reduced time: It eliminates time-taking manual surveying. Theaerial survey helps to quickly know the crop pattern in an area in given crop season.
  3. Better policy design: Agricultural institutes like ICAR, KVK can then better utilize the data to help farmers. MGNREGA, PMKSY etc can similarly be better designed keeping local geography in cognizance.
  4. Crop insurance: It can help effective implementation of crop insurance schemes like Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojna by assessing harmed crops in real-time and thus reduce the delay in providing assistance to farmers.
  5. Reducing wastage: Drones can also be modified to apply pest or fertilizers in small area. It can be very effective in tackling man-wild conflict by alerting villagers in case of animals sighting.

However, the high cost of drones has thus far restricted its use only for strategic purposes (defense). R&D and participation of private players (Startup India) can help reduce the cost in future.

Best answer2: – SPECTRE 


Drones in agriculture are simply a low-cost aerial camera platform, equipped with an autopilot using GPS and sensors for collecting relevant data. Technology penetrated in the form of smart phones, computers, internet etc but despite mechanization much of farming involves human labour and leg work.

Drones can be useful in agriculture in following ways:
> help farmers use chemicals, fertilisers and pesticides in a need-based manner to reduce costs and pollution of the waterways

>monitoring for disease and drought could be made easier and effective with aerial sensors
>drone based analytics could also provide useful insights to government for policy decisions as well
> predicting crop yields could help farmers plan their finances and for the government to announce relief packages or subsidies in anticipation

>tracking animals, livestock and poultry

Drones are much cheaper than manned aircrafts and satellite imaging.They provide cheaper imaging, greater precision.Govt has taken initiatives for drone usage in schemes such as Pradhan mantri fasal bima yojana etc

However, caution has to be maintained as drones can be manipulated and can become potential threats to national security. Hence they should be deployed with great precision and monitoring as the benefits that can be accrued by their usage is undeniable.

5. Disputes arising from Artificial Intelligence (AI) use are governed by archaic laws, which do not address issues like data privacy, consumer protection and labor liability. Comment.


Provide definition of what is AI and why it is in talk these days. Mention about the reference of it in recent Basel summit where economists pointed out about 4th industrial revolution will be because of AI.

Body:  write in points.

-Talk about the recent issues of AI mishaps and due to archaic laws how the guilty were not punished and about the future if this exists. Mention with examples why we need laws to be brought in.

-Give examples to all three issues like Data privacy, consumer protection and labor liability.

-Like how use of online at present times is increasing and storing of all private data’s. U can give example of iPhone hackers leaking Hollywood actors’ photos online and in place of no laws how guilty was left without punishment.

-In case of faulty designs and any injuries to consumers, who is to held guilty and punishable.


End with optimistic note about the uses of same in development of humans and its advantages and how laws help in minimizing damages and maximizing the returns.


Best answer: MANI



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