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

  • November 19, 2016
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SYNOPSIS- IASbaba’s TLP 2016 [7th Nov] – UPSC Mains GS Questions [HOT]


1. Sometimes, even the media can become a menace for internal security. Do you agree? Substantiate. What are the possible ways to plug the shortcomings of media? Discuss.


Your introduction should mention that how in present the race for TRP and first coverage has led to deterioration of media ethics which in turn led to serious security threats some times. Also mention the recent cases like Pathankot, gurdaspur where the media has shown the whole counter strategy live or give some specific and crucial details on the live tv even when the operation is in progress.

Body: –

Mention how media can become a menace for internal security.

  • Terrorist attacks: – ex. 26/11 Mumbai Attack, Gurdaspur attack, Pathankot attack – where media has given crucial information related to operation which helped the handler sitting across the border to tell the terrorist of the position of armed forces which in turn led to more casualties to armed forces.
  • Communalism: – wrong or sensational reporting led to increase in tension among the parties or faction of society.
  • Creating panic situation in case of outbreak of a disease etc.


Mention the steps which should be taken to plug the shortcomings

1.Sensitzing journalists about the possible effects on non- stop display of gory images during coverage of riots, terrorist affected areas etc.

  1. Preparing guidelines for the coverage of areas affected by man-made disaster
  2. Building solid networks and creating a task force to combat any kind of hacking.
  3. Media ethics and self-regulation should be adopting by Media houses
  4. strong laws and their effective implementation. For that proper guidelines should be given.

Steps by Government and courts: –


  • The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting issued the advisory to remind the broadcasters of the violation of the self-regulatory code that followed 26/11. Theadvisory stated that, “No programme shall be carried in the cable service which contains live coverage of any anti-terrorist operation by security forces”. According to this advisory, media coverage should be “restricted to periodic briefing by an officer, designated by the appropriate government, till such operation concludes.”
  • Post 26/11 Mumbai Attack, the Supreme Courtcondemned the role of media in the terrorist operation, and a self-regulatory code was introduced by the National Broadcasters Association.
  • Union Home Ministry sought toofficially ban live coverage of anti-terror operations for the purpose of national security.
  • Cable television Network Rulesprohibited live telecast of “anti-terrorist operations” which was defined as “operation undertaken to bring terrorists to justice, which includes all engagements involving justifiable use of force between security forces and terrorists.” To prevent leakage of critical information and safeguard civilian lives, the broadcasters were warned of consequences including channel blackout in case of violation of the rule.


Conclusion: –

Your conclusion should say the media being a fourth pillar of democracy should act responsibly. They should adopt self-regulation so that a ban like situation can be avoided and simultaneously an ethos of freedom of speech in the form of strong and independent media could be saved.


Best Answer: – Simplex

With changing dynamics of social media and advent of micro-blogging sites and real-time sharing, Media’s role as fourth pillar of democracy has expanded. However, sometimes the independence that media enjoys become a cause for worry with respect to Internal security, like:

  • Live Coverage: In an effort to telecast live footage, sometimes it passes on sensitive

information. Ex- live reporting of Mumbai attacks, pathankot attacks etc.

  • Impulse News-making: To tap impulse of viewers for sake of TRP, it amplifies the facts and emotionalize viewers, thereby arousing feelings, sometimes of regionalism, communalism or nationalism. ex- amplified reporting of riots, poverty etc.
  • Aggressiveness as a facet of true and correct journalism has many a times misguided the public.Ex- JNU caase reporting

Effective ways to deal it:

  • More than laws, need is of Self regulation.
  • Freedom of press has to be balanced with reasonable restrictions imposed. (Bennett Coleman case)
  • More emphasis on applied ethics on media must be propagated.
  • Doctrine of Postponement, as enunciated in SEBI vs. Sahara, must be applied to strict cafeterias of sovereignty, security and integrity live reporting.
  • An independent Authority, for grievance redressal and post reporting damage control, must be formed.

Media is an effective tool of checks on government. But for that, media has to revolve itself changing its political and corporate alignments to become an independent, non-partisan and objective agency. 

2. “Participatory-Notes (P-Notes) have been an easier source of money laundering”. Do you think a blanket ban on P-Notes would help to curb money laundering? Explain.


Write what is P-notes in intro. Also u can include there importance in a line. Like how they in inflow of funds from foreign countries.


Body: – Both parts should be given equal concentration.

1st part should be about how P-notes is source of money laundering:-

-Mention how because of anonymity, lack of transparency in source of income, tax havens and shell companies helps in money laundering.

-Also how many exemptions for FII will lead to evasion of tax and reintroducing the same as clean income or white money.

-Give a line explanation to above reasons.

2nd part is your opinion whether blanket ban will help curb money laundering:-

-It is advisable to go for No as the option than yes, since it is easier to prove. However if within 3-4 points if it can be proved than you can.

-In case of no, you can mention about other routes that can be taken for money laundering like Hawala, use of porous borders to bring in hard cash and converting it, round tripping, fake firms can be used to legally get in the money.

-Mention that Tarapore committee had called for blanket ban but it involved many other reasons like national economic security and not just money laundering issue.


End with mentioning about recent guidelines in P-notes issued by SEBI and need for more financial intelligence sharing between countries at international level to curb this practice and blanket ban will not be a solution but will lead to new forms.

3. Why securing the borders is a daunting task? Also examine the key challenges and priorities of border management in India. What is Border Area Development Programme (BADP)?

Note: We have covered border management and related challenges earlier also. Let’s have small recap and this synopsis covers more comprehensively.

Borders are the first line of defense of any country as such any threat on the borders will be amplified in the heartland, the current scenario and challenges can be analyzed as follows

  1. Absence of proper well defined international borders: India’s borders with its neighbors are undefined, the LOC with Pakistan along Gujarat to Jammu and AGPL line long Siachen,and LAC with China are the defacto borders, both the sides are contesting it, also border with Myanmar is also not very well defined, the only progress was made with Bangladesh that too very recently by ratifying the LAND BOUNDARY AGREEMENT. So the first challenge is to settle the boundaries issues
  2. Topography: rugged topography of the north and northeastern region has become major hurdle for movement of troops and supplies. Siachen, Aksai chin areas are very difficult to access
  3. Physical Infrastructure: this includes
  • Fencing: India has fenced its borders along Pakistan, Bangladesh and Myanmar borders, but even then there are many unfenced areas along these borders, along the AGPL and LAC the borders are not fenced because of the topography
  • Porous borders have responsible for illegal immigration and cattle smuggling along Bangladesh border, and drug trafficking along Punjab border and illegal arms smuggling and terrorist infiltration along the Kashmir border
  • Open borders :open border policy along the Nepal, Bhutan and Myanmar borders has led to smuggling of arms, drugs and Human trafficking along with providing escape routes to insurgents from India
  1. Connectivity: effective border maintenance needs constant communication, for which all time connectivity with road, rail and air is a prerequisite. China has spent hugely to construct huge infrastructure along the Indian border both on the eastern and western front, India lacks in this aspect, Out of 73 proposed infrastructure projects only 17 have been completed till date.
  2. Technological infrastructure: Indian borders are severely affected in this aspect, night vision goggles, infra red cameras, cctvs, laser walls, radars and GPS enables surveillance systems are in woefully short supply
  3. Manpower:
    • Indian armed forces are understaffed, and over-burdened , BSF, ITBP and Assam Rifles all are facing severe crunch in terms of jawans and officers, Absence of Mountain Strike Corps is hurting the most along the China border.
    • Understaffed coastguard and marine police staff has weakened the coastal infrastructure.
    • Another issue is of training, no matter how well physically and mentally trained our soldiers are, adverse nature and lack of modern equipment will always keep dragging them back. They are fighting with weights around their ankles

India has 14,880 kms of land border running through 92 districts in 17 States and a coastline of 5,422 kms touching 12 States and Union Territories (UTs). India also has a total of 1,197 islands accounting for 2,094 kms of additional coastline.

In fact, barring Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Delhi and Haryana, all other States in the country have one or more international borders or a coastline and can be regarded as frontline States from the point of view of border management.

The proper management of borders is vitally important for national security. Different portions of our extensive borders have a variety of problems specific to them which have to be appropriately addressed. These problems have become aggravated in recent times with Pakistan’s policy of cross- border terrorism, along with its intensely hostile anti-India propaganda designed to mislead and sway the loyalties of the border population. The intensification of cross-border terrorism, targeted to destabilise India, has thrown up new challenges for our border management policy.

The term border management must be interpreted in its widest sense and should imply co-ordination and concerted action by political leadership and administrative, diplomatic, security, intelligence, legal, regulatory and economic agencies of the country to secure our frontiers and subserve the best interests of the country. Looked at from this perspective, the management of borders presents many challenging problems.

  • The dynamic nature of the problems concerning management of borders is brought out by the manner in which the sensitivity of India-Nepal border has changed over a period of time. This border, which has been an open one, was once peaceful and trouble-free. However, with the increasing activities of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence(ISI) in Nepal, the nature of the border has changed completely.
  • The concept of border security has undergone a sea change with the growing vulnerability of the coastline and also of the airspace. In response to the gradual expansion and strengthening of security so far, mainly along what has long been perceived as a sensitive land border, the transgressor is already on the look-out for soft gaps, either on the land or along the coast and if need be, from the air.
  • The transgressors, with unprecedented money power, access to latest technology, organisational strength, maneuverability and scope for strategic alliances with other like-minded groups, can select their theatre of action for surprise strikes. While landborders have from time to time received Government’s attention primarily because of the wars with Pakistan and China and the problems of insurgency, illegal migration from Bangladesh and smuggling activities, the same cannot be said of our coastal areas or of our airspace.
  • Insurgent groups in different parts of the country are receiving foreign support and encouragement. Illegal infiltration and smuggling of arms and explosives, narcotics and counterfeit currency are pressing problems. The porosity of our borders in many parts, makes the task of the anti-national forces much easier. All this underscores the need for utmost vigilance on the borders and strengthening the border guarding forces.
  • Some of the main problems currently afflicting the management of our borders include maritime boundaries. Some of our maritime boundaries are still undefined and much of our land borders are not demarcated on the ground. The disputed and unsettled nature of our boundaries has made them a source of tension with their policing much more difficult.
  • Since many of our borders are man-made artificial boundaries and not based on natural features such as rivers and watersheds, they are extremely porous and easy to cross. Multiplicity of forces on the same borders has inevitably led to the lack of accountability as well as problems of command and control.

Border Guarding Forces need to be distinguished from central police organisations. Being more akin to the Army and different from central police organisations which are called in aid of civil power from time to time, they need to be appropriately strengthened both in terms of equipment and manpower.

The forces hostile to India have tended to occupy the vacuum created by inadequate reach of the national media. For combating terrorism and insurgency, quite often security forces are called upon to take tough measures. These measures may sometime cause inconvenience and annoyance to the local people. This sense of discontent is exploited by hostile elements to create a feeling of ill will against the security forces and the Government. Timely release of information to the media would help in combating such invidious propaganda of the elements hostile to India. Due to the sensitive nature of their duties, the interaction of the officials of the security agencies and security forces with the media has necessarily to remain restricted. However, specialized officers, properly equipped and trained may impart information to the media.

The concept of Village Volunteer Forces (VVFs) helping in border management has a great deal to commend itself and has worked with a good degree of success in areas where it has been tried so far.


Border Area Development Programme(BADP)

The Border Area Development Programme (BADP) was started during the Seventh Plan with the twin objectives of balanced development of sensitive border areas in the Western Region through adequate provision of infrastructural facilities and promotion of a sense of security amongst the local population.

Since then the programme has been expanded to cover the border blocks of the 17 States which constitute the International Land Borders.

The main objective of the BADP is to meet the special developmental needs and well being of the people living in remote and inaccessible areas situated near the international border and to saturate the border areas with the entire essential infrastructure through convergence of Central/ State/ BADP/ Local schemes and participatory approach.

Best answer1:  Ripple_Effect

Borders form the outermost boundary of a country’s territory and hence need to be secured from hostile elements such as terrorists, traffickers, smugglers etc. Since the perimeter of countries esp. of India is very large, securing them through fences and walls and deployment of BSF requires huge investments in infrastructure and manpower which makes it a daunting task.

Challenges for Border Management in India

– rugged terrain and climate : e.g marshes of Gujarat, shifting dunes and high temp of Rajasthan, dense forests and humid climate of NE, hills and cold of J&K

– aggressive neighbors and no clearly defined international boundary : e.g revisionist states such as China and Pakistan which are always on the offense

– vast coastline which makes securing maritime borders difficult

– proximity to golden triangle and golden crescent

Priority areas for Border Management

– securing western border to prevent terrorist infiltration

– securing eastern borders to prevent trafficking of humans, cattle,arms and drugs

– resolving boundary problem with China

Border Area Development Program was launched under Ministry of Home Affairs to develop the regions and blocks of states which share their boundaries with other countries and to take care of their special needs and circumstances by providing them with 100% non-lapsable grants for execution of projects relating to infrastructure, livelihood, education, health, agriculture etc. Development of these regions are crucial for the larger purpose of making the borders secure by utilizing the capacity and infrastructure of these regions as well as integrating the people in India through development

Best answer2: mandar jeware



4. The National Capital Region (NCR) is witnessing alarming levels of pollution post Diwali. Why? Which geographical conditions are aiding the pollution? Discuss.

Every year despite clear guidelines by the government and pleas of NGOs, the pollution levels are spiked exponentially after Diwali. This year the situation has become worst.

This increase in pollution level has been attributed to two major factors:

  • The bursting of a large amount of crackers across the city.
  • The burning of rice stubble in the farms in Haryana and UP.

These two major reasons are supported by two basic causes as well, which in general keep the pollution level of NCR very high – they are large quantities of vehicular exhaust and dust generated during development works and construction.

This time the smog level is very high and visibility has reduced to less than 100m. the condition has been made worst by the presence of PM 2.5 (Particulate Matter ) and PM 10.

There is a geographical reason for this prolonged standing smog as well. The continentality of delhi is very high. i.e. it lies in the interior of the country. Had it been a coastal place, land breeze and sea breeze would have helped to dissociate the smog.

With advent of winters, the nights have become longer. And temperature goes down. This creates a condition of temperature inversion i.e. the air near the surface becomes stable and it is not able to rise. Hence the smog which has developed is staying there for a long time.  Rainfall could have helped in this case but If high pressure condition will continue cloud formation will not take place on a local scale. For that Delhi will have to wait for the arrival of Westerlies.

Government has  taken some positive steps to control the situation like – all construction works have been stopped, schools have been closed and people are advised to wear masks and come out of houses only after sunrise, there is a complete ban in burning of garbage and leaves inside the city.

Best Answer: Toad Sage


5. What is bottoms-up or ‘multi-stakeholder’ model of Internet governance? What are India’s objectives in this regard? Discuss.

Introduction: –

Your introduction should define what is ‘multi-stakeholder’ model of Internet governance. Also mention how it’s different from previous model (in brief).

  • A Multi-Stakeholder Model is an organizational framework or structure which adopts the multi-stakeholder process of governance or policy making, which aims to bring together the primary stakeholders such as businesses, civil society, governments, research institutions and non-government organizations to cooperate and participate in the dialogue, decision making and implementation of solutions to common problems or goals. A stakeholder refers to an individual, group or organization that has a direct or indirect interest or stake in a particular organization; that is, a given action has the ability to influence the organization’s actions, decisions and policies to achieve results

A multi-stakeholder process has the following characteristics: (for knowledge purpose)

  • Involvement of stakeholders in the learning process
  • Stakeholders work towards a common goal
  • Work involves different sectors and scale
  • The objective is focused to bring about change
  • Deal with structural changes
  • Agreements are created based on cooperation
  • Stakeholders deal with power and conflict consciously
  • Bottom-up and top-down strategies are integrated in governance and policy making

Body: –

Difference between multi- stakeholder and Multi-lateral approach (in brief)



Mention India’s objective in shifting towards multi- stakeholder approach.

  • The change in India’s stand globally signals potential openness to consultative policy-making
  • India recognizes that all stakeholders are key and multi-stakeholderism is perhaps the only wayto keep the system integrated, growing and expanding
  • Multi-stakeholderism relegates governments to being an equal participant in policy-making, on par with businesses, civil society, technical experts and the academia
  • overhaul of systems to modern decision-making and accountability systems
  • An endorsement of multistakeholderism at the highest political level allows India’s negotiators to engage substantively with internet governance concerns at multiple forums: the UN General Assembly, the International Telecommunications Union, ICANN, and any other regional or plurilateral cyber-initiative that may emerge in the near future.
  • It leave sufficient room for the Indian government to offer constructive inputs that enhance ICANN’s accountability to users outside the US, while ensuring that Indian internet users and businesses have an equitable say in the ownership of new and lucrative top-level domain names (like .kids, .books, .pharmacy).

Issues with moving towards multi stakeholderism

  • India’s fears about multi-stakeholder governance have always had their roots in its concerns about decision-making being dominated by corporations, especially U.S.-based corporations. This is why our government has consistently supported the traditional Westphalian governance model based on reasoning that a multilateral conversation between governments is likely to be more equitable than one in which international companies that are larger than most countries can dominate
  • the Buenos Aires declaration splits the unity among BRIC nations with Brazil and India now firmly in the multistakeholder camp, while Russia and China (to a lesser extent) continue to push for intergovernmental models of internet governance
  • the Indian government’s ringing endorsement of multistakeholderism stands in contrast to its own top-down diktats on key internet concerns, whether it is net neutrality, freedom of speech and expression on the web, or the liability of online intermediaries


Conclusion: –

Your conclusion should mention that India still need to work out details and build on existing efforts like the net neutrality consultation and the multi stakeholder advisory group. We will need to carefully craft our policies to ensure that the process goes beyond giving industry a voice, and encourages independent inputs that effectively safeguard citizens’ rights.


Best Answer: -Meiji

“Multistakeholder” approach is something in which all participants have a say in policy making. Internet which started as ARPANET an American invention grew up into a tool used ubiquitously around the world and no longer remains a one country controlled invention.

Internet works on the principle of DNS – Domain Name Service, where each domain (website) is assigned an IP address. The list containing all the domains and IP addresses is controlled by ICANN, a US based not-for profit organization. The information regarding correct IP addresses and connecting their domain names is with IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority) which was under the control of US Govt. until recently. Now IANA’s control got transferred to ICANN.

Multistakeholder approach in Internet governance relates to the involvement of all stakeholders – domains, businesses, govt.’s individual users, etc. But the composition of ICANN is heavily skewed with –

  1. 40% of its leaders are North American and 70% are native English speakers.
  2. The Africa, Asia and Latin America are heavily underrepresented.
  3. Only 26% of the leadership consists of women.

With the next billion internet users coming from India and China, both need adequate representation in the governing of ICANN, which is crucial for raising issues and concerns for an inclusive and access equal Cyberspace. The 58th meeting of ICANN is scheduled to be held in Hyderabad in November. This will give India an opportunity to build consensus and partnerships across likeminded nations to keep the internet plural and a multistakeholder system.


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