SYNOPSIS: IASbaba’s TLP 2016 [2nd Nov] – UPSC Mains GS Questions [HOT]

  • November 17, 2016
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SYNOPSIS- IASbaba’s TLP 2016 [2nd Nov] – UPSC Mains GS Questions [HOT]


1. While India strives to better its record on the front of indigenization of technology, the domestic ecosystem is not conducive for measures like joint development and transfer of technology. Critically comment.


Start with recent reforms and initiatives by India to increase indigenization of technology like make in India, MOU’s in defense for joint production etc.


-Write about the problems faced in the domestic ecosystem which pose a serious problem to Joint development and transfer of technology.

-Start with problems in agriculture sector like GM crops issues and lack of available partners and laws for huge companies like Bayers, Monsanto etc.

-Mention about too much paper works, clearances, availability of proper land and regulations problem, delay in government clearances, regressive taxation policies, lack of demand and market for certain products etc.

-Importantly talk about new IPR and bankruptcy policy.

-Also talk about important reforms needed and being undertaken like need for autonomy for PSU’s to enter into agreements, Exemptions for Joint venture with Indian company in ownership and other issues, Need for easy tax policies etc.


End with saying how strong steps are being taken like Reliance-Rafael joint venture, joint production of helicopter with Russia etc. and how this should be seen as first step and more such are formed in future. You can end with saying need for special R&D zones on lines of SEZ’s in future.


Best Answer: Naadan Parinda



2. While we realize the significance of indigenization of technology in strategic areas, our imports of arms, military vehicles, aircraft and carriers are increasing. Do you find a dichotomy in our indigenization objectives and our growing dependence on imports? Critically examine.

Introduction: –

Your introduction should talk about India’s defence budget and its dependence on foreign imports (in brief). Also mention about the various committee recommendation and efforts made by GoI to fasten the indigenization process. (Make in India, kelkar committee recommendation)

  • The allocation of Defence in the India’s union budget is approx USD 34.53 billion and 31.1% of the defence budget is spent on capital acquisitions.
  • 60% of defence related requirements are met by imports which offers a huge opportunity for import substitution.

Body: –

Mention why do you think that there is a dichotomy in indigenization process and dependence on imports.

  • To substantiate your point, you should provide facts and figures and do a comparative analysis.

According to assessment by Sweden-based think tank Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) (2011 -2015)

  • India has yet again emerged as the world’s largest buyer of weapons and military equipment, accounting for some 14 per cent of all such international imports, while Russia continues to hold a dominant position, accounting for some 70 per cent of all military equipment supplies to New Delhi.
  • Saudi Arabia, China, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Australia are the next four biggest global importers.
  • Comparing two five years blocks – that is between 2006–10 and 2011–15 – the report says “imports (by India) increased by 90 per cent”.
  • Acquisitions from the US are a break with in the recent past. During the period studied by SIPRI, India procured fighter jets, a sea-borne aircraft carrier and Mi-17-V5 helicopters from Russia; specialised transport planes, the C-130-J Super Hercules and the C-17 Globemaster along with maritime surveillance planes the Boeing P8-I from the US; UAV’s and radars from Israel.
  • Also mention why imports have been preferred against the indigenization process
  • For short term strategic needs, immediate needs – imports preferred.
  • Indigenization process requires technology development in the country (which requires huge investment in R&D etc. and it also takes lot of time.). current technology lacks on standards.
  • Negotiations with foreign companies/ countries also takes long time ex. Rafale deal.
  • Internal position in terms of political stability, bureaucratic hurdles etc. also create a time gap.

(you can add more points and examples here)

Mention the points against the previous arguments (no dichotomy just a short term strategic decision).

Efforts made by GoI to fasten the process of indigenization: –

(Source: Make in India site) (Use the detail below for knowledge purpose and mention few of them as example)

  • Defence Production Policy, 2011 has encouraged indigenous manufacturing of defence equipment. Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) has been amended in 2016 to provide for the following:
  1. New category of capital procurement – Buy Indian —IDDM (Indigenously Designed, Developed and Manufactured) introduced to encourage indigenous design, development and manufacturing of defence equipment.
  2. Preference to ‘Buy (Indian-IDDM)’, ‘Buy (Indian)’ and ‘Buy and Make (Indian)’ over ‘Buy (Global)’ categories of capital acquisition.
  3. Clear and unambiguous definition of indigenous content.
  4. Provision for Maintenance TOT (Transfer of Technology) to Indian Industry partners.
  5. Provisions to allow foreign OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) to select Indian Production agency.
  6. Requirement of minimum indigenous content has been enhanced/rationalised.
  7. ‘Services’ as an avenue for discharging offsets have been re-introduced.
  • Defence products list for industrial licensing, has been articulated in June 2014, wherein large numbers of parts/components, castings/ forgings etc. have been excluded from the purview of industrial licensing.
  • The defence security manual for the private sector defence manufacturing units has been finalised and put in public domain by the Department of Defence Production. The manual clarifies the security architecture required to be put in place by the industry while undertaking sensitive defence equipment.
  • The MAKE procedure, which aims to promote research & development in the industry with support from the government and the placement of orders, has been promulgated with provision for 90% funding by Government and preference to MSMEs in certain category of projects.


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

Conclusion: –

Your conclusion should say that indigenization process will require time and efforts. The Government of India has focused on improving the manufacturing sector through various programs like Make in India etc. meanwhile due to the presence of hostile neighbors we cannot compromise with our security and national interest. So in that sense, both imports and indigenization process will go hand in hand. Till we reach self-sufficiency, the govt. should strive to do project in collaboration with make in India clauses.

Best Answer1: -MDA

India has implemented several committee suggestions (Dhirendra Singh, Kelkar) in defence procurement procedure, FDI (increased to 49%) and manufacturing sector (‘Make in India’, Indian navy indigenization plan 2015-30) in recent times. Even then, a recent SIPRI report shows India being the largest arms importer (14%). In such a scenario,

Yes, there is a dichotomy in our indigenization objectives and growing dependence on imports:

# In domestic production met through the Ordinance Factories or the Defence PSUs many components are imported. Ex: Arjun Tank is powered by German engine.

# The domestic defence equipment available today lack global standards (15% ‘state-of-the-art’ and nearly 50% is obsolete).

# Ineffective policy implementation: Very few Requests for Proposals (RFPs) for sourcing of defence equipment fructify in a timely manner. 49 per cent FDI is not attractive enough for the MNCs to invest in India.

# Due to poor R&D and manufacturing, it is convenient to buy readymade products than investing in indigenization. For example, even though Dr. Homi Bhaba had pioneered research on nuclear reactors in 1950s, a clean energy product in high demand today, lack of further
development has forced us into permanent dependency on foreign imports.

No, our imports and indigenous production go hand in hand:

# Defence industry is highly technology driven, capital intensive and has high gestation period.

Recent development like alignment with Wassenar arrangement agreement in defence mark a major push to defence manufacturing under the ‘Make in India’ initiative.

# Indigenous production and imports are a part of an evolving defence value chain giving
impetus to human resource skills, R&D, SME, Defence Public Sector Units (DPSUs) suppliers and ordinance boards. Ex: Aerospace and Defence sector is growing (3.5 billion USD including SME’s contribution).

Indigenisation is a long term goal that can ‘import’ modern tools and techniques for upgradation. ‘India opportunities venture fund’( R 5000 crore ) created through Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) and two SME exchanges to facilitate easier capital access is a
step in the right direction. Way ahead lies in projecting India as a manufacturing hub and de-bureaucratization.

Best Answer2: -naadan Parinda



3. Explain the technology that is employed in surrogacy. What are the issues involved with respect to surrogacy? Examine.

“Surrogacy” can be defined as a practice whereby a woman will become pregnant with the intention of giving the child to someone else on birth. The woman who carries and gives birth to the child is called the “surrogate mother,” and the person who intends to raise the child is the “intending parent.” Surrogacy is the oldest method used as an alternative to infertility.

Surrogacy has evolved considerably over the last decades as a result of achievements made in the scientific and medical fields. Surrogacy exists in two kinds: “traditional surrogacy” and “gestational surrogacy”:

 The first one refers to the situation where the surrogate mothers eggs are used, and she is, hence, the genetic mother of the child. The pregnancy comes about either through an insemination procedure with the sperm of the intending father or donated sperm or through sexual intercourse with the intending father or another man.

The second refers to the situation where the surrogate mothers eggs are not used, and someone else is the genetic mother of the child.

The pregnancy is achieved by an in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedure using either the intending mother’s egg (most of the time) or donated eggs. Artificial insemination and IVF are two techniques of assisted reproductive technology (ART) and are also employed in gestational surrogacy. These two techniques have made surrogacy a far more attractive possibility.

Issues involved with respect to surrogacy

Surrogacy has raised ethical and legal issues and is still lively debated. One of those issues is related to the status of the child born of a surrogate mother and the effects of a surrogacy arrangement on the child’s civil status.

(Issues are dealt very well by abhishekrwt597, so we have used the same for synopsis.)

Surrogacy involves the following issues:

For the Surrogate:

  • Ethical dimensions of commodification of the child, renting the womb as a resource.
  • No/flawed contracts with inadequate compensation
  • Often develops feelings for the child, leading to a custody battle that is legally grey.

For the Couple:

  • Legal ownership of the child(Recent rule change in India)
  • Gay surrogacy banned in several countries(post Earthquake incident in Nepal)
  • 3)Liabilities in case of deformities in the child or unwanted child(twins, or wrong gender)

For the Child:

  • Parenthood undefined(often untraceable, due to confidentiality agreements)
  • Legal issues of citizenship

For the law and administration in general:

  • A case of women and child rights(potential violation)
  • Illegal surrogacy industry with wide exploitation of surrogates
  • Absence of a comprehensive surrogacy law(ART bill, surrogacy bill,etc pending)

The issue of surrogacy has gained prominence in recent times. In light of the criticality of the issue, an in depth multidimensional analysis to resolve the problem is required, along with active stakeholder participation.

Best answer: abhishekrwt597

Surrogacy, often informally described as womb renting, is a process through which childless couples can conceive. It involves another women(called the surrogate) who bears the child on behalf of the couple. This is done by:

1) The surrogate is implanted with the sperm of the donor(the husband of the childless couple) either through:

  1. artificial insemination
  2. through natural copulation

2) Through IVF (in vitro fertilization), in which the husband and wife donate their egg and sperm that are fertilized manually in a lab, before being implanted in the uterus of the surrogate.

Surrogacy is primarily of two types:

  • Altruistic surrogacy: The surrogate is someone known to the family, and is only compensated for his maintainence and nutrition requirements.
  • Commerical Surrogacy: Where the surrogate mother carries a child in lieu of a fees(Now Banned in India)

Surrogacy involves the following issues:

For the Surrogate:

  • Ethical dimensions of commodification of the child, renting the womb as a resource.
  • No/Flawed contracts with inadequate compensation
  • Often develops feelings for the child, leading to a custody battle that is legally grey.

For the Couple:

  • Legal ownership of the child(Recent rule change in India)
  • Gay surrogacy banned in several countries(post Earthquake incident in Nepal)
  • Liabilities in case of deformities in the child or unwanted child(twins, or wrong gender)

For the Child:

  • Parenthood undefined(often untraceable, due to confidentiality agreements)
  • Legal issues of citizenship

For the law and administration in general:

  • A case of women and child rights(potential violation)
  • Illegal surrogacy industry with wide exploitation of surrogates
  • Absence of a comprehensive surrogacy law(ART bill, surrogacy bill,etc pending)

The issue of surrogacy has gained prominence in recent times. In light of the criticality of the issue, an in depth multidimensional analysis to resolve the problem is required, along with active stakeholder participation.

4. What is the Asgardia project? What does it want to achieve? Discuss.

Introduction: –

You should introduce the Asgardia project in brief.

Body: –

You should discuss about the main objective of making a first ever space nation.

Details regarding Asgardia: –

Asgardia – the first ever space nation – a global, unifying and humanitarian project.

The project’s concept comprises three parts – philosophical, legal and scientific/technological.

  1. The project’s philosophy starts at selecting the name for this new country – Asgardia. In ancient Norse mythology, Asgard was a city in the skies, the country of the Gods. It is the realisation of man’s eternal dream to leave his cradle on Earth and expand into the Universe.
  • Asgardia is a fully-fledged and independent nation, and a future member of the United Nations – with all the attributes this status entails: a government and embassies, a flag, a national anthem and insignia, and so on.
  • The essence of Asgardia is Peace in Space, and the prevention of Earth’s conflicts being transferred into space.
  • Asgardia is also unique from a philosophical aspect – to serve entire humanity and each and everyone, regardless of his or her personal welfare and the prosperity of the country where they happened to be born.
  • Asgardia’s philosophical envelope is to ‘digitalise’ the Noosphere, creating a mirror of humanity in space but without Earthly division into states, religions and nations. In Asgardia we are all just Earthlings!
  1. Asgardia’s legal aspects.
  • Today, many of the problems relating to space law are unresolved and may never be solved in the complex and contradictory dark woods of modern international law. Geopolitical squabbles have a great influence, and are often rooted in the old military history and unresolvable conflicts of countries on Earth. It is time to create a new judicial reality in space.
  • It is of crucial importance that space law does not become the law of the jungle. Today, only 20 countries on Earth out of about 200 have a space presence, and have, for example, plans to mine in space and lay claim to exclusivity and monopoly. New space law has to equally protect the interests of every human being on Earth.
  • It means protecting individuals and countries (particularly developing nations) from space threats as well as delivering the benefits of using space for creating new goods and services, and financial resources.
  • The question of Asgardia citizenship is also essential. After Asgardia is recognised as a member of the UN, the question of reasons for granting citizenship will inevitably arise. One opinion is that the first Asgardians will be those who work in the fields of space research and exploration, and space technology, as well as investors in these fields, including small investors.
  • Of course, special preference will be given to the first hundred thousand people who apply prior to the launch of the first satellite – and all the typical citizenship procedures that are used on Earth will be followed. This does not mean Asgardian citizenship will not be available to all people on Earth, regardless of their earthly jurisdiction.
  • A core legal principle is that Asgardia does not interfere in relations between states on Earth – and vice versa.
  • Asgardia’s legal envelope includes the creation of a new legal platform for the exploration of near-Earth and deep space. ‘Universal space law’ and ‘astropolitics’ have to replace international space law and geopolitics.
  1. The scientific and technological component of the project can be explained in just three words – peace, access and protection.

These are the three most important scientific and technological goals of Asgardia.

  • First, is to ensure the peaceful use of space.
  • The second is to protect planet Earth from space threats.

There are seven threats in our classification system:

  1. sun storms and flares, known as coronal mass ejections;
  2. changes in Earth’s magnetosphere that destroy the effective protective layer of our planet;
  3. potentially dangerous asteroids and comets;
  4. man-made orbital debris;
  5. changes in the climate stemming from technogenic factors and sun radiation;
  6. cosmic radiation from nuclear reactions in novae, supernovae and pulsars;
  7. The danger of Earth infection by microorganisms from meteors and other small celestial bodies.
  • The third goal is to create a demilitarized and free scientific base of knowledge in space. This will provide free access to all, especially those from developing countries who do not have space access now. And such access should be free and direct.

Best Answer: -Simplex


5. Poor regulation and insufficient information-sharing within the banking industry has left the general public in the dark. Elucidate.

Here you have to elucidate the statement i.e. you need to describe how poor regulation has left the general public in the dark.

Government wants the Banking system to become the vessel for development. Savings are being promoted and new bank accounts are being opened especially in rural areas by the means of Jan Dhan Yojana. Subsidies and other benefits is also bank linked now.

In this scenario, the trust of the public on the banking system is of utmost importance. This is possible only if sufficient information sharing and proper regulatory mechanism is there.

Problems faced:

  • Banks are not changing their lending rate despite the change of rate by RBI. This is because of lack of regulation.
  • Government is interfering in the internal processes of the banks.
  • Banks are found indulged in fraudulent activities that create lack of trust in public.
  • Banks are not transparent about their assets. This leads to rumours in the market and create panic situation.
  • Number of NPAs are mounting. A general perception is there that defaulters can easily get away from the punishment.
  • Since proper information sharing is not there between the banks, a defaulter from one bank is able to get a loan from other bank.
  • Banks are not adhering to proper KYC norm, because of which the bad loans are increasing.
  • Banking frauds are increasing. Online fishing and debit card hacking have become major problems. Generally people get cheated because of lack of awareness.
  • While lending, banks have some hidden or ambiguous clauses, which people generally ignore and later face the losses.

In order to minimize these problems, following steps can be taken:

  • A proper independent regulatory mechanism should be made, and interference of government in the internal matters of a bank should be checked. Bank Boards Bureau is good step in this direction.
  • It should be made mandatory for the banks to declare their assets.
  • Onus should lie on the banks to convey all information to the customers. Exploitation should be minimized.
  • Correct information about online banking and information sharing should be given so that customers can be saved from cyber crimes.
  • Strict action should be taken against NPAs. Strengthening the SARFEISI Act.

Best Answer: Rahul

The rise in NPAs from 3.4%(March 2013) to 7.6%(March 2016) have caused a controversy in the public domain about the functioning of banks. Gradually Public trust is reducing in banking sector because of following factors:-

Poor regulation of Banking sector :- This include various factors such as

1.)Non transparency in banking appointments.

2.)Poor project credit appraisal system in most PSBs.

3.)Political interference in big cases.

4.)Weak loan recovery mechanism.

5.)Overburdened debt recovery tribunals.

6.)No proper PSL Criteria monitoring.

7.)The notion of TOO BIG TO FAIL in many PSBs.

Information sharing :- The increased competition to increase customer base have reduced information sharing amongst banks. This Non information sharing of loans have been prime cause of rising NPAs.

Recently RBI and Government had undertaken various initiatives such as INDRADHANUSH PLAN, Central repository of information on large credits, recapitalization of banks, Banking consolidation, Bankruptcy code , Amendment of SARFAISEI ACT and so on to strengthen the banking sector and boost public confidence.

It is essential that banking industry remain healthy and send a good signal to common public for better mobilization of savings useful for investment. The success of initiatives such as Startup India, make in India, digital India etc also depends upon the health of banking sector.

Best Answer: Nadaan Parinda




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