UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam 2016 General Studies Paper 2 Analysis- IASbaba

  • IASbaba
  • December 26, 2016
  • 4
UPSC Mains Questions 2016
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Hello Friends

CSM, 2016 just got over and we are sure that all the appearing candidates must have given their best. The next few days should be used to party and relax. You deserve it Friends! Nothing can be as intellectually taxing as the CSM Examination. We all agree to that. Isn’t it?

At IASbaba, our endeavour has been to probe your intellectual faculties and let you learn not by spoon-feeding but genuine self learning. Civil Services require thinking individuals who can learn quickly and adapt to any kind of a situation. It was this philosophy that inspired us to start our online and offline initiatives of Think, Learn and Perform (TLP). There, we tried to post questions of all varieties and flavour to surprise you, faux you and even make you question your level of preparedness. The intention, however, was to prepare you for all the permutations and combinations possible.

We are happy to realise that our efforts have borne fruits and this year’s CSM has proved many of our predictions and daily initiatives hitting the bullseye! Here, we provide you with the list of links containing questions from TLP and various other initiatives that were asked directly or indirectly in CSM, 2016. The intention here is not to claim anything but a simple gesture to let you know that your faith and support for IASbaba inspire us to come with quality and efficiency both!

Analysis of Paper 4- Ethics (Coming Soon)


1. Discuss the essentials of the 69th Constitutional Amendment Act and anomalies, if any that have led to recent reported conflicts between the elected representatives and the institution of the Lieutenant Governor in the administration of Delhi. Do you think that this will give rise to a new trend in the functioning of the Indian federal politics?

(In February month there were headlines about the tussle in Delhi with regard to power relationship between the elected representatives and the institution of the Lieutenant Governor in the administration of Delhi – Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal versus Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung.)

Approach: This question could have been answered well if one had analysed

  • Why there is tussle regarding the power relationship?
  • Are there any discrepancies in the Statute, Act and Rules; especially the 69th Constitutional Amendment Act which inserted new articles 239AA and 239AB dealing with the Special provisions with respect to Delhi.
  • Importance of this Act and Articles; Need for special provisions to Delhi.

Demand areas:

  1. Essentials of the 69th CAA: In other words, discussing the need or necessity.
  2. Anomalies of the 69th CAA: Discuss irregularities or any deviations that led to recent reported conflicts between the elected representatives and the institution of the Lieutenant Governor in the administration of Delhi.
  3. Your opinion – whether this will give rise to a new trend in the functioning of the Indian federal politics.

The 69th amendment (1991) changed the federal status of Delhi from a UT to a National Capital Territory. Article 239AA of the Indian constitution provides for an elected government with legislative and co-extensive executive powers.

Essentials of the 69th CAA

  • To streamline administrative setup of the growing metropolis, that also happened to be the nation’s capital.
  • To avoid “administrative dyarchy” that would stir “political anarchy” in the Indian capital.
  • To ensure stability and permanence.
  • Ensures that Delhi doesn’t become a source of cancer in the form of a “state within a state”
  • To avoid the possibility of a constant clash between the Centre and state, given the common geography with overlapping jurisdictions.
  • To avoid anarchy from tax to land, police stations to sales tax offices.
  • Presence of high-profile diplomatic representatives from 200-odd nations and international bodies scattered around the jurisdiction of the Centre and state areas, makes it vital that the control should lie with the Central government.

Anomalies of the 69th CAA

The political and constitutional status of Delhi, as India’s capital, has long been a matter of controversy.

  • Peculiar federal architecture – Delhi is more than a UT but less than a full state.
  • As per Article 239AA(3)(a), three key jurisdictions of the state list – public order, police and land – are not within the purview of the Delhi government.
  • Division of powers between the elected Delhi government and the appointed lieutenant governor
  • Article 239AA: Vagueness in powers of LG and CM – Language used in Article 239AA (4), that pertains to Delhi, reads identical to Article 163 (1), that pertains to states and is vague – [This means that the Delhi government’s powers and jurisdictions were intended to be more or less analogous to that of a state government, barring public order, police and land. In both cases, the constitution says that there shall be a council of ministers, with the chief minister as its head, to aid and advise the governor/LG in the discharge of his or her functions. The “aid and advice” clause may sound optional but in parliamentary parlance it is a pretty unambiguous provision that makes the decision of the chief minister binding, as was interpreted by the Supreme Court in the Shamsher Singh (1974) case.]
  • Federal anomalies – Matters relating to appointments of bureaucrats is a prerogative of the state government and must be done on the “aid and advice” of the chief minister (versus) LG, not the CM, has the power to make appointments, and that LG’s authority is final in appointments of bureaucrats.
  • In simple words, did the 69th amendment act intend to keep the Services out of the purview of the state government? Not sure.

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2. To what extent is Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, bearing marginal note “Temporary provision with respect to the State of Jammu and Kashmir”, temporary? Discuss the future prospects of this provision in the context of Indian polity.

(This topic was in headlines when certain members of the NDA government triggered a controversy after they pitched for debate on BJP’s stand demanding the repeal of Article 370 which guarantees special status for J&K.)

Approach: One should know what Article 370 is and should be able to recall temporary provisions. Best answer could be derived at if you had analyzed what are the implications if Article 370 is repealed and what are the impacts if these temporary provisions gradually abrogated.

Understanding basics:

  • Article 370 of the Indian Constitution is a ‘temporary provision’ which grants special autonomous status to Jammu & Kashmir.
  • Under Part XXI of the Constitution of India, which deals with “Temporary, Transitional and Special provisions”, the state of Jammu & Kashmir has been accorded special status under Article 370.
  • All the provisions of the Constitution which are applicable to other states are not applicable to J&K.

Provisions of Article 370

  • According to this article, except for defence, foreign affairs, finance and communications, Parliament needs the state government’s concurrence for applying all other laws. Thus the state’s residents live under a separate set of laws, including those related to citizenship, ownership of property, and fundamental rights, as compared to other Indians. As a result of this provision, Indian citizens from other states cannot purchase land or property in Jammu & Kashmir.
  • Under Article 370, the Centre has no power to declare financial emergency under Article 360 in the state. It can declare emergency in the state only in case of war or external aggression. The Union government can therefore not declare emergency on grounds of internal disturbance or imminent danger unless it is made at the request or with the concurrence of the state government.

Demand areas:

  • To what extent Temporary provisions provided in Article 370, temporary.
  • Discuss the future prospects of this provision in the context of Indian polity

To what extent Temporary provisions provided in Article 370, temporary.

Article 370 of the Indian Constitution is a ‘temporary provision’ which grants special autonomous status to J&K.  It provides state legislature power to supersede decisions of central legislature on subjects of concurrent list and some union list subjects.

Article 370 also bears marginal note “Temporary provision with respect to the State of J&K”, which clearly states that the provisions with respect to the State of J&K are only temporary and not permanent. It also empowers president to abrogate article 370 on recommendations of constituent assembly of J&K.

  • There have been widespread campaigns to repeal article 370 on the basis that it is only temporary.
  • There had not been major efforts in the history to change the state of Article 370 and has virtually remained a permanent provision. Temporary provision should have been gradually abrogated. This has not happened in sixty years.
  • Even the constituent assembly which last met in 1957 failed to take any decision on future prospects of Article 370.
  • Major sections have been demanding replacing ”temporary” word with ”Special” like Article 371.
  • Parliament can amend Article 370 but only after the approval of J&K’s assembly. Only when the Union govt and J&K’s state assembly arrives at a consensus, the ‘temporary’ provision could be amended according to the needs.
  • In present condition, the prospects for amending Article 370 are minimal and such action is not desirable.

Future prospects of this provision in the context of Indian polity:

(Discuss about)

  • How it might trigger similar demand for autonomy from other states (esp. North East states)
  • How it damages the federal structure of Indian Constitution.
  • How it might lead to growth of separatist tendencies.
  • How it might hamper/disrupt the centre-state relations.
  • How it might pose challenge to national unity, security and integration.

In sum, there was hope that J&K would one day integrate like other States of the Union (hence the use of the term “temporary provisions” in the title of the Article), but this could happen only when there was real peace and only when the people of the State acquiesced to such an arrangement.

How did we help you?

Offline– Discussed in detail




3. “The Indian party system is passing through a phase of transition which looks to be full of contradictions and paradoxes.” Discuss.

Approach: To answer this question, one should have idea about different party system and the history of Indian party system. Some of the articles in newspapers and magazines had debated on phase of transition, so one who is aware of this transition could have answered well.

Understanding basics:

A party system deals with the system of government by political parties in a democratic country.

There are three kinds of party systems in the world, viz.,

  • one party system in which only one ruling party exists and no opposition is permitted, as for example, in the former communist countries like the USSR and other East European countries;
  • two-party system in which two major parties exists, as for example, in USA and Britain; and
  • multi-party system in which there are a number of political parties leading to the formation of coalition governments, as for example, in France, Switzerland and Italy.

Demand areas:

  • They have directly given a statement and asking you to discuss the same. Main demand – India in transition and whether it is good or bad.
  • “Indian party system is passing through a phase of transition which looks to be full of contradictions and paradoxes.”
  • You can discuss about whether the transition is good or bad? It is good but are there contradictions & paradoxes?

Transition à from single-party majority governments to multi-party minority and/or coalition governments.

Prior to 1989, India’s party system produced single-party majority governments based on only a plurality of the vote. Since then, over the course of the past six to seven elections, it has produced hung parliaments and multi-party minority and/or coalition governments.


  • The number of state parties has increased and the number of registered parties doubled from eighty-five to 173 over the same period. The number of parties represented in the Lower House of parliament has steadily increased.
  • What has emerged is a party system characterized by a high degree of fragmentation and vigorous competition between parties.
  • The multiplicity of parties means that a broader range of regional and social group interests find representation and a share of power.

Discuss about –

  • Whether such large multi-party coalitions are functional from the point of view of political stability, governance, and economic growth, particularly in a time of economic downturn in which the need for hard decisions might be unpopular in the short-term.
  • Whether such governments are only sub-optimally functional.

Though it has led to competition among parties which is healthy in a democratic setup like India à it had led to many contradictions

Contradictions and paradoxes

  • Party leaderships across the spectrum are limited to family dynasties.
  • Leader centred or individual personality centred parties.
  • Regional parties tend to be excessively centred towards local problems which may affect National interest.
  • Because of dominance of caste, region, religion à Identity Politics/Coalition Politics; Issue–based rather than ideology; misuse of Anti-defection (people are moving because of incentives; no more loyalty)
  • Might lead to factionalism and separatism.
  • Lack of internal democracy in parties – nepotism, no transparency
  • If the ruling party has sufficient majority in the legislature and if the opposition parties hold an insignificant position, the ruling party will act arbitrarily and it will not care for the opposition parties. It will give rise to the dictatorship of ruling party.
  • Electorates are mobilized according to their social identities.

How did we help you?

Offline– Discussed in detail



4. Exercise of CAG’s powers in relation to the accounts of the Union and the States is derived from Article 149 of the Indian Constitution. Discuss whether audit of the Government’s policy implementation could amount to overstepping its own (CAG) jurisdiction.

Understanding Basics:

The CAG is an official mandated by the Constitution to act as a watchdog on government finances and its functioning. He plays an essential role in making the government more transparent and accountable to the legislature as well as civil society.

The CAG audits the accounts of the central and state governments and those of institutions which are government-owned or government-funded. Like the auditor of a private company, its job is to ensure that correct standards have been used to account for financial transactions. But beyond this, it checks whether financial transactions conform to appropriate rules.

The CAG also assesses the performance of different government departments, companies, pieces of legislation or even welfare schemes such as the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme and the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan.

The CAG often checks whether a government scheme, institution, department or even a piece of legislation has been implemented properly and at the least possible cost.

Demand areas:

  • Whether CAG’s audit of the Government’s policy implementation amount to overstepping of its jurisdiction?

CAG’s audit of the Government’s policy implementation does not amount to overstepping of its jurisdiction:

(One should have discusses some of the below points)

  • The CAG was created to audit all government departments and make a report to Parliament to be examined by its Committee of Public Accounts.
  • The institution of public audit has been evolving all over the world in keeping with the deepening of democracy and the need for accountability of government in view of its increasing role in a complex technocratic world. The Indian CAG’s role in conducting performance audit should be understood in this background.
  • As Parliament cannot actually review the functioning of the executive government on a day-to-day basis, the founding fathers put in place the CAG with the virtues and objectivity and independence close to that of a Supreme Court judge.
  • Munimji judgment – where the apex court observed that “the CAG’s function to carry out examinations into [the] economy, efficiency and effectiveness with which government has used its resources is inbuilt in the CAG’s (Duties, Powers and Conditions of Service) Act 1971.
  • CAG can certainly test the present policy and the way it is being implemented. That is certainly within its mandate. It can certainly go into the question whether the government of the day has correctly and in an accountable manner carried out a pure process of execution.
  • Unlike the financial auditor or a mere book keeper, the constitutional auditor basically deploys three distinct audit frameworks — Financial Audit, Compliance Audit and Performance Audit – for auditing the entire gamut of receipts and expenditure at the central, state and union territory levels.
  • As there is a close relationship between development of public policy and its implementability and financial implications, it is unrealistic to expect that CAG’s audit findings will not cast any shadow on the policy itself.
  • Policy formulation may have political orientation but spending is a common denominator and the accounting of such spending goes hand in hand with public accountability which is the sine qua non for good governance.Audit is to ensure this public interest and public accountability.
  • CAG’s reports à enable the legislators, media, people etc. to raise questions about performance of government.

Provide examples such as 2G – scam, Coalgate, K-G basin gas field allocation and the Commonwealth Games

You can include some points highlighting that it might be over-stepping as – In India, CAG’s function is just the role of auditor. He cannot question how the policies could be implemented effectively which is outside the purview of his jurisdiction.   

(However, conclude the answer with a neutral analyst approach)

CAG must be complimented for doing a stellar job in pointing out many systemic flaws. In the long run, the CAG reports will make the government stronger, not weaker. The role of a constitutional agency cannot be that of a mere pettifogger who tallies vouchers. Ideally its role should be to stop “plunder in the interest of privileged classes”. Therefore, it should not be seen as an over-stepping of its (CAG’s) jurisdiction.

Any attempt to undermine the institution of CAG will seriously dilute Parliament’s ability to hold the government of the day to account and damage our fragile democracy.

How did we help you?

Offline Question – Why the office of the CAG is considered to be the conscience keeper of the government? Explain. The CAG has come under criticism for having crossed its jurisdiction and mandate. Is this criticism justified? Critically comment.

1. The functioning of the watchdog of public finance in India has become a more case of overreach than outreach. Do you agree? Critically analyse.

5. Discuss each adjective attached to the word ‘Republic’ in the ‘Preamble’. Are they defendable in the present circumstances?

Demand areas:

  • Discuss each adjective attached to the word ‘Republic’ in the ‘Preamble’
  • Are they defendable in the present circumstances?

Approach: Here one needs to discuss about Sovereign, Socialist, Secular and Democratic. One can score good marks by writing relevant content to second part of the question.

For instance, in each key terms, one needs to provide whether the said provision is eroded in present day. (Refer below in Soverign point)

  1. Sovereign
  • The word ‘sovereign’ implies that India is neither a dependency nor a dominion of any other nation, but an independent state. There is no authority above it, and it is free to conduct its own affairs (both internal and external).

However, in present day globalised world, this is not true and relevant strictly. (One can give examples of bodies like WTO which imposes certain restriction on trade aspects or write on restriction on our sovereignty to use of nuclear power.)

  1. Socialist

Even before the term was added by the 42nd Amendment in 1976, the Constitution had a socialist content in the form of certain Directive Principles of State Policy. In other words, what was hitherto implicit in the Constitution has now been made explicit.

Indian brand of socialism is a ‘democratic socialism’ and not a ‘communistic socialism’ (also known as ‘state socialism’) which involves the nationalisation of all means of production and distribution and the abolition of private property.

Democratic socialism, on the other hand, holds faith in a ‘mixed economy’ where both public and private sectors co-exist side by side.

‘Democratic socialism aims to end poverty, ignorance, disease and inequality of opportunity. Indian socialism is a blend of Marxism and Gandhism, leaning heavily towards Gandhian socialism’.

However, recent policies such as MGNREGA, Food Security are based on welfarism. Even though adopting democratic socialism still many remains poor, face inequality etc.

On similar lines provide answer on other Constitutional values — Secular and Democratic.

6. What was held in the Coelho case? In this context, can you say that judicial review is of key importance amongst the basic features of the Constitution?

Demand areas:

  • Judgement of Coelho case and what was held in this case
  • To substantiate judicial review is of key importance amongst the basic features

Understanding basics:

  • R Coelho case, is the latest of the land mark judgments on the interpretation of the doctrine of basic structure of the constitution as laid down in Kesavananda Bharti case.
  • The Coelho case popularly known as Ninth Schedule case was an important judgement which upheld the basic structure doctrine propounded earlier in the Keshwananda Bharti case.
  • It was held in Coelho case that ninth schedule items are not immune to judicial review as it is part of the constitution. Furthermore, no item in ninth schedule can abrogate fundamental rights as they form basic features of the constitution.

Thus, the judiciary placed basic structure of the constitution above the immunization of law by placing it in 9th schedule of the constitution.

  • Enactment of 9th schedule provided a means to the Legislature to evade judicial scrutiny but the judgement in this case, restored the balance between the three organs and hence, judicial review forms a key feature to basic structure of constitution.

The judicial review is of key importance among the basic structure of the constitution as –

  • It is an effective means to protect the fundamental rights of individuals from legislative oversight.
  • JR is used to protect the primacy of constitution against the breach of power by legislatures and executive.
  • JR attains primary importance as it subjects all legislation to close scrutiny – protecting all features of basic structure – including judicial review itself.
  • Without judicial review, basic structure would be rendered powerless and open to violation by arbitrary or tyrannous laws.
  • It is a tool for safeguarding the Constitution which becomes extremely necessary reflecting on the bad experiences of Emergency. It is the most powerful remedy against the state arbitrariness as evidenced in the recently struck down NJAC act.

Thus we can say that judicial review is crucial to our constitutional setup but care should be taken to ensure that judicial review doesn’t lead to judicial overreach which is harmful for our democratic functioning.

Offline- Discussed in detail


7. Did the Government of India Act, 1935 lay down a federal constitution? Discuss.

Some important points to be written:

  • Government of India Act 1935 was the first and the last British Act to propose the federal system in India. Though India did not become a strictly federal state, it took up many points of the federal system as proposed in the Act and thus culminated into a unique “quasi federal” system (that it is now).
  • The Act proposed a Federal form of government for India and for the first time tried to bring British provinces and Indian States under one common constitution. It carried the essential features of Federation – a written constitution, division of subjects between federal and provincial governments and thirdly, a Federal Court to interpret the provisions of the Constitution. The Act not only pointed out the direction of our constitutional development but also greatly influenced our constitution making in independent India.
  • The Government of India Act, 1935, was the first legal document which talked about the system of federal states under the ‘Crown’ uniting both the British India and the Indian states. But the proposal was never implemented.
  • The Indian constitution is largely based on The Government Of India Act 1935, as can be compared from the bare reading of both the literatures. The act provided for the establishment of a federation and the provincial assemblies include more elected Indian representative who in turn could lead majorities and form governments.
  • The very structure of our constitution is based on The Government Of India Act 1935. Even though the articles have been fundamentally changed to suit the present day set up of the country, still the essence and style is still the same.


Offline Class– Discussed in detail

8. What is a quasi-judicial body? Explain with the help of concrete examples.

Demand areas:

  • Explain what is quasi-judicial body
  • Give some examples and explain its quasi judicial function (latter is important to score more marks)

Quasi judicial body

  • A quasi judicial body is an organisation or body which has powers similar to that of the law imposing bodies but it is not a court.
  • The word ‘quasi’ means ‘not exactly.’ An authority is described as ‘quasi-judicial’ when it has some attributes of judicial functions, but not all.
  • These mainly govern the administrative areas. The courts (judiciary) has the power to preside over all kinds of disputes but the quasi judicial bodies are the ones with the powers of imposing laws on administrative agencies. These bodies help in reducing the burden of the courts.

Some examples of quasi-judicial bodies are

  1. National Human Rights Commission and State Human Rights Commission (established at each state)
  2. Central Information Commission and State Information Commission (established at each state)
  3. National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission and StateConsumer Disputes Redressal Commission (established at each state)
  4. Competition Commission of India
  5. Income Tax Appellate Tribunal
  6. Finance Commission
  7. CAG
  8. CAT etc..

(Explain the quasi judicial function of 3-4 above bodies)

How did we help you?

Offline Question – What are quasi-judicial bodies? What are their special functions? Do they enjoy adequate powers to perform their mandate effectively? Discuss by taking atleast two examples.


9. Professor Amartya Sen has advocated important reforms in the realms of primary education and primary health care. What are your suggestions to improve their status and performance?

Demand areas:

  • Provide some content which Amartya Sen had advocated in introduction (if you know any) in few lines.
  • Give your suggestions (for both health and education)

India needs to broaden its base in the spheres of education, healthcare and women’s equality to foster economic growth, said Nobel laureate Amartya Sen.

Low coverage and low quality of school education in India extracts a heavy price in the pattern of our economic development, said Nobel laureate Amartya Sen.

Amartya Sen says India ranks alongside Haiti and Sierra Leone when it comes to government spending on health as a share of the total health expenditure of the people

To reclaim a high growth trajectory, prioritise expenditure on education and healthcare instead of ill-directed subsidies and tax exemptions, says Sen.


  • 3 A’S (AVAILABILITY, AFFORDABILITY, AND ASSURANCE) must for improving status and performance of Health care in India
  • Increase expenditure (Right now government spends only 1% of GDP on Health and Education spending in India has been lower than the world average. Globally, 4.9% of GDP was spent on education in 2010 while India spent only 3.3% of GDP, according to World Bank)
  • There is a wide gap between the number of patients and doctors. The number of doctors graduating every year in India is very less.
  • Promotion of innovation in both primary education and primary health care
  • Cooperation and collaboration of both public and private.

(You can add more points) 

How did we help you?

Why not a right to primary healthcare?


A case of public health in India


India’s education system


The state of education in India


New Education Policy



10. “In the Indian governance system, the role of non-state actors has been only marginal.” Critically examine this statement.

Non state actors has been widely recognized as an essential ‘third’ sector. Its strength can have a positive influence on the state and the market Non state actors is therefore seen as an increasingly important agent for promoting good governance like transparency, effectiveness, openness, responsiveness and accountability.

Demand areas:

  • To critically examine whether the role of non-state actors has been marginal.


One needs to provide both the views. 20% content supporting the statement given and 80% negating the given statement.

Give points under each. Provide examples of how pressure groups, NGOs, RTI activists and others have played their role in Indian governance system – their role in formulating policies such as Chipko movement, Juvenile Justice Act, Nirbay rape case, etc.

Certain non state bodies such as FICCI and CII have played major role with regard to Make in India programme.

Functional contribution

* Watchdog — against violation of human rights and governing deficiencies.

* Advocate — of the weaker sections’ point of view.

* Agitator — on behalf of aggrieved citizens.

* Educator — of citizens on their rights, entitlements and responsibilities and the government about the pulse of the people.

* Service provider — to areas and people not reached by official efforts or as government’s agent.

* Mobiliser — of public opinion for or against a programme or policy.

Points under why their role has been marginal can be –

  • State has been effective in countering maoists and insurgents groups — who are hindrance to development
  • Strict rules and regulations; many NGOs are facing harassment by state authorities; issues with fund etc has hampered their participation


11. “Effectiveness of the government system at various levels and people’s participation in the governance system are inter-dependent.” Discuss their relationship with each other in context of India.

Governance is the process by which a society manages itself through the mechanism of the state. The core ingredients of good governance are:

People’s effective participation, transparency, responsiveness, consensus orientation, equity and inclusiveness, the rule of law, effectiveness and efficiency, accountability, and strategic vision.

These are crucially value-laden and constitute the bedrock of democracy.

Demand areas:

  • Provide how people’s participation improves effectiveness of the government system at different levels.
  • Discuss their relationship with each other in context of India.

Approach: First provide the importance of people’s participation at various levels.

People’s participation can influence policy and project formulation through membership of committees, submission of memoranda directly or through elected representatives, and interactive rule- making in the implementation of policies, projects and schemes affecting citizens.

With example show how there is inter-relationship between the two.


How did we help you?

Offline Class– Discussed in detail


12. In the integrity index of Transparency International, India stands very low. Discuss briefly the legal, political, economic, social and cultural factors that have caused the decline of public morality in India.

Analysis:  It is a tricky question that requires overall understanding of each facet as asked in the question. One needs to present relevant examples to substantiate.




Tax Evasion, Tax Heavens, Enforcement/Laws, Role of executive and judiciary check to control (Can mention cases like Malya and others)


Money Laundering, Political Donations-not under RTI, Weak Laws leading to corruption, Recent law giving shield to government employees to be questioned for corruption


Illegal means, Increasing inequality (Rich vs Poor), Relative deprivation etc

Social & Culture

Role of family in ethical values and teachings, Moral Education, Sanskritization of corruption, Reservation, Social Hierarchy, Bribery etc

13. Has the Indian governmental system responded adequately to the demands of Liberalization, Privatization and Globalization started in 1991? What can the government do to be responsive to this important change?

Analysis:  Looks simple at glance but the question needs to be understood properly. 2016 marks 25th Year of LPG and the question was very much predictable.


The question has two parts.

First part can be divided into two parts for both, pros and cons because it is asking the question, has India responded well?

So, write about its performance, positives and negatives both

One can mention so many positives based on economic, socio-economic and changing life style post LPG. Here are some of the negatives to ponder upon

  • Jobless growth
  • Increasing gap between rich and poor
  • Malnourishment among children
  • Growth in corruption and crony capitalism
  • Lack of technological advancement
  • Welfare Policies
  • Security Issues (Globalization effect)
  • Less focus on social sectors and underprivileged and marginalised etc
  • Other relevant points

Then in second part mention the remedies for these negative aspects.

How did we help you?

Offline Question – The economic reforms introduced in 1991 were compelled by circumstances and propelled by crisis. Elucidate.




14. “Traditional bureaucratic structure and culture have hampered the process of socio-economic development in India.” Comment.

A direct statement is provided and we are asked to comment on the same statement.


  • Provide limitations in bureaucratic structure and culture and explain how this is hampering the process of socio-economic development.

One needs to provide some of the below points and need to explain briefly on each point –

  • How master-ivory tower approach is still prevalent in bureaucratic structure.
  • Mai-baap culture
  • Bureaucracy has become ‘spineless’ because of its ineffective way of working. Quite often, it is called contemptuously ‘Babudom’.
  • ‘Ivory tower life style’ which alienates the bureaucrats from common man.
  • Trend of bureaucrat politician’s nexus
  • Inter-services rivalry
  • Playing safe attitude culture of upright bureaucrats
  • Career progression –  political connections for moving ahead in career – power hungry
  • Politics of Reservations

Explain how these have led to hampering the process of socio-economic development.

How did we help you?

Offline Question – The permanent executive in India is led by civil servants most of whom are generalists. Do you think it is high time that area experts should be given lateral entry into the executive machinery? Critically analyse.

Offline Question – Many believe that the bureaucracy in India is no more the ‘steel frame’ as famously pronounced by Sardar Patel; rather it has become an ‘iron cage’. What do you think? Substantiate.

15. Examine the main provisions of the National Child Policy and throw light on the status of its implementation

Analysis: Straight forward question


Mention about National Child Policy- 2013

The National Policy for Children, 2013

Recognises that:

  • a child is any person below the age of eighteen years
  • childhood is an integral part of life with a value of its own
  • children are not a homogenous group and their different needs need different responses, especially the multi-dimensional vulnerabilities experienced by children in different circumstances
  • a long term, sustainable, multi-sectoral, integrated and inclusive approach is necessary for the overall and harmonious development and protection of children

Reaffirms that:

  • every child is unique and a supremely important national asset
  • special measures and affirmative action are required to diminish or eliminate conditions that cause discrimination
  • all children have the right to grow in a family environment, in an atmosphere of happiness, love and understanding
  • families are to be supported by a strong social safety net in caring for and nurturing their children

Examine on these lines

1) Survival, Health and Nutrition- It focuses on the prevention of disabilities.

2) Education and Development

3) Protection

4) Participation

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In our coverage we covered lot on Primary Health Care, Protection (Child Labor), Disability and Education.





16. “Demographic Dividend in India will remain only theoretical unless our manpower becomes more educated, aware, skilled and creative.” What measures have been taken by the government to enhance the capacity of our population to be more productive and employable?

Analysis:  One of the patent questions of UPSC  and the most excruciating issues of present time.


Government is cognizant of the importance of skill development for our national development and global competiveness. It has put in place the policy and institutional frameworks and dedicated resources for implementing the national skilling agenda. The realization of this agenda will have to be based on a vigorous partnership between government, suppliers of educational services, industry and civil society. Failure to do so would have serious economic and social implications for the country.

Steps taken by Government

  1. Pradhan mantra Kaushal vikas Yojna
  2. Various sector specific skill programs.
    1. Suryamitra for Solar energy
    2. Paryatak Mitra for Tourism
    3. Corporate Skill Excellence Centre
    4. USTAAD
    5. Hunar Haat for handicraft and artisans
  3. Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kausalya Yojna
  4. National Policy for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, 2015
  5. Innovative Entrepreneurship & Skill Development Programme of MANAS for Minoriy communities 
  6. Transnational Skill Standards
  7. Beti Bachao Beti padaho
  8. Start Up India & Stand Up India
  9. Digital India to e-literate the youth 
  10. Universal Education
  11. Nai Roshni
  12. Social Accreditation Programme
  13. Swayam

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17. “The broader aims and objectives of WTO are to manage and promote international trade in the era of globalization. But the Doha round of negotiations seems doomed due to differences between the developed and the developing countries.” Discuss in the Indian perspective.

Analysis: An evergreen issue of present time. Almost every single sincere aspirant must be aware of this and must have some knowledge to write about it.


Mention the basic issues in Doha round and the present status

The Doha Development Round or Doha Development Agenda (DDA) is the trade-negotiation round of the World Trade Organization (WTO) which commenced in 2001

The reason is lack of forward movement by major negotiators on agriculture subsidy, industrial tariffs and non-tariff barriers, services, and trade remedies.

Also mention about the India’s position in Doha round.

  • Ever greening of patents – Nexavar by Bayer AG
  • Agricultural subsidies. (Agreement on Agriculture)
  • In Doha round, members agreed that Developing and Least developed countries will continue to be eligible for a favourable treatment. However, of late developed countries are now claiming that big developing countries like India, China, Brazil and South Africa are unreasonable in their demand and only least developed countries are rightful claimant of differential treatment.
  • In Nairobi Ministerial meet, 2015 developing countries like India tabled proposals for permanent solution for public stockholding programs for food security and a special safeguard mechanism (SSM) to protect millions of resource-poor and low-income farmers from the import surges from industrialized countries.
  • US complained against India on the issue of solar cells and modules.
  • India stayed out of Information Technology Agreement-II in Nairobi

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18. Evaluate the economic and strategic dimensions of India’s Look East Policy in the context of the post-Cold War international scenario.

Analysis: Another issue of contemporary importance w.r.t security and diplomacy.


Mention India’s look east policy in brief.  

Initiated in the early 1990s against the backdrop of a struggling economy and the sudden disappearance of the Cold War framework

The Look East policy was a multi-faceted and multi-pronged approach to establish strategic links with many individual countries, evolve closer political links with ASEAN, and develop strong economic bonds with the region.

Second, it was an attempt to carve a place for India in the larger Asia- Pacific.

Third, the Look East policy was also meant to showcase India’s economic potential for investments and trade. In a way, this policy also started influencing India’s foreign policy significantly. India, which had all along been wary of regional multilateralism, was willing to actively participate.

Other interesting dimensions of this policy are exhibition of greater sensitivity towards a large number of smaller countries of Southeast Asia and a total volte-face with regard to its attitude toward Myanmar.

Last but not the least, the feeling of getting left out in the Asia Pacific, whether it was the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) or the ASEAN Post-Ministerial Conferences (ASEAN-PMC) with the Dialogue Partners of ASEAN, which had emerged as the only forum to discuss regional issues.

In the Post-Cold War it became imperative for India to dispel fears about its military expansion in an otherwise traditionally non-hostile ASEAN region. Also, Southeast Asia itself witnessed a sea change in the political atmosphere.

India’s Look East policy should be seen under the following points: –


  • Cooperation on cross cutting security issues, handling cross border terrorism
  • Tension in South china sea and rise of china
  • Safeguarding Indian Borders
  • Changing global order
  • Asian dream
  • Pursuit of maritime security and enhanced cooperation in combating terrorism and piracy. Mention about the increased naval exercises India is pursuing.
  • Connectivity

The Look East policy also gave a tremendous boost to economic ties between India and Southeast Asia. A number of institutional mechanisms have been put in place to promote economic exchanges


  • Rise of FTA and RCEP
  • Market Rise, Capitalistic
  • Energy need
  • Need for faster economic growth – push for development of north eastern states.

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19. Increasing cross-border terrorist attacks in India and growing interference in the internal affairs of member-states by Pakistan are not conducive for the future of SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation).” Explain with suitable examples.

Analysis: This statement was given by Foreign Ministry to the SAARC chair Nepal as a reason for not attending the summit.


The answer should include the following examples for explanation.

Cross border terrorist attacks: –

  • The impact of Pakistan-sponsored terrorism against its neighbours is faced more intensely by two member countries – Afghanistan and India.
  • Kabul has been very vocal on the issue of Pakistan-sponsored terrorism and terror sanctuaries within Pakistan that are used by the Pakistani state as a strategic instrument against Afghanistan.
  • Direct involvement of Pakistan based terror groups – Pathankot, Mumbai attack etc.
  • Recent attacks on the borders of J & K- Uri Attack

Interference in Internal affairs by Pakistan

  • Uncalled for reactions after the execution of war criminals in Bangladesh that amount to direct interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign country
  • Increased level of violence and fighting as a result of imposed terrorism on Afghanistan

Read in detail –


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Offline Question – The greatest boon for SAARC would be a better economic partnership between India and Pakistan. Critically analyse.






20. What are the aims and objectives of the McBride Commission of the UNESCO? What is India’s position on these?

Analysis:  Don’t know what UPSC expects from all of us 😛


A direct and Static question

Many Voices One World, also known as the MacBride report, was a 1981 UNESCO publication written by the International Commission for the Study of Communication Problems

Its aim was to analyze communication problems in modern societies, particularly relating to mass media and news, consider the emergence of new technologies, and to suggest a kind of communication order (New World Information and Communication Order) to diminish these problems to further peace and human development.

Issues to be addressed were

  • concentration of the media,
  • commercialization of the media,
  • and unequal access to information and communication.

The commission called for democratization of communication and strengthening of national media to avoid dependence on external sources, among others.

Internet-based technologies considered in the work of the Commission, served as a means for furthering MacBride’s visions.

India’s  response

  • Not only opinion but news has become a weapon to project images, laudatory or condemnatory, according to predetermined strategy – declared the PM of India – Mrs. Indira Gandhi at NAMEDIA conference in New Delhi.
  • India’s present position on Internet governance demands for multi stakeholder approach.

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