UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam 2016 General Studies Paper 3 Analysis- IASbaba

  • IASbaba
  • December 26, 2016
  • 9
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. How globalization has led to the reduction of employment in the formal sector of the Indian economy? Is increased informalization detrimental to the development of the country?


This question requires a blend of facts and examples with basic principles of economics. Link between Formal and informal sector is given in Economic Survey 2015-16. So as a tradition UPSC maintained the trend of asking few questions from economic survey every year.


Mention about the impact of globalization and how it led to reduction of employment in formal sector.

  • Informal types of employment in organized and unorganized sectors taken together constitute 92% in 2004-05
  • How technology has replaced workforce in the formal sector.
  • Slowdown in the global economy -> lay-offs
  • Competition, imports -> how it has impacted formal sector
  • workers laid off in the formal sector increase informal labour supply, leading to wage decline and increased poverty.

Benefits/ need of in-formalization

Also mention how it impacts the development of the country.

Demerits of informal sector:

  • Not taxed – black money, less revenue to the govt
  • Not regulated > No social security – ppl – manipulated, no proper redressal mechanism >
  • Demographic dividend not utilized properly
  • It is not acct’d in India’s GDP growth – basically does not reflect the actual scenario – this will impact Govt’s policies!

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Is it the end of globalisation?


2. Women empowerment in India needs gender budgeting. What are the requirements and status of gender budgeting in the Indian context?


Details of simple concepts become very important. Instead of asking a tricky question UPSC is moving towards core components. Everyone knows about gender budgeting but specific and enriched content is the key for getting marks.


Women’s empowerment, referring to power of women in our present society – pol, socio, eco empt > improve their economic status and well being; manage resources; creation of an environment for women where they can make decisions of their own for their personal benefits as well as for the society.

  • to make their own choices and decisions,
  • have equal rights to participate in social, religious and public activities,
  • get equal opportunity for education Ex: SABLA Scheme (Rajiv Gandhi Scheme for Empowerment of Adolescent Girls ), bicycle

Better utilization of dem’ dividend – resources, overall development of society

It is not an accounting exercise but an ongoing process of keeping a gender perspective in policy/ programme formulation, its implementation and review

Women, constitute 48% of India’s population, but they lag behind men on many social indicators like health, education, economic opportunities, etc. Hence, they warrant special attention due to their vulnerability and lack of access to resources.

Global Gender Gap Index 2014 ranked India at 114 out of 142 countries. ranking is based on a country’s ability to reduce gender disparities in four areas: economic participation and opportunity, education, political empowerment, and health and survival.

Women Specific Schemes, i.e. those which have 100% allocation for women.

Pro Women Schemes, i.e. those where at least 30% of the allocation is for women.

Mention what is gender budgeting and its impact on women empowerment.

  • Requirements of gender budgeting includes special attention to women due to their vulnerability and lack of access to resources. So the way in which government allocates budget will help in reducing gender inequalities.
  • benefits of development reach women as much as men.
  • The rationale behind such budgeting is that national budgets impact men and women differently through the pattern of resource allocation.
  • Gvt Initiatives/programs – Giving free bicycles to girls 
  • gender inequality which not only prevents women’s growth but also hurts economic productivity.
  • India has the lowest level of female participation in the labour force when compared to most other regional economies.

Also mention the status of gender budgeting in India

  • WCD, in collaboration with UN Women, has also developed a Manual and Handbook (Resource material dev) for Gender Budgeting for Gender Budget Cells for Central Ministries and Departments.
  • The GBCs are envisaged to serve as focal points for coordinating gender budgeting initiatives within their Ministries and across Departments. So far 56 Ministries/Department have confirmed setting up of a cell/nominating a nodal person.
  • many State Governments like Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Orissa, Kerala, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Tripura, Nagaland, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand have adopted Gender Budgeting.
  • MWCD has been engaged in conducting a number of trainings, workshops, one to one interactions/discussions and development of resource material-> CAPACITY building
  • Ut of a budget of nearly Rs.18 lakh crore (2014-15 budget estimate) – allocations for women as a proportion of the total budget have remained constant at approximately 5.5 per cent. Further, only about 30 per cent of the demands for grants, or estimates of expenditure, presented by Ministries/departments to the Union government are reported in the GBS.
  • almost 87 per cent of the 2014-15 budget of the MWCD was allocated for the Integrated Child Development Services Scheme, leaving only five per cent for schemes exclusively meant for women.

Other facts:

  • nodal agency for women in the country, show a marginal increase over the last three years — from Rs. 18,584 crore in 2012-13 to Rs. 21,193 crore in 2014-15. ONLY 14%
  • Schemes focused exclusively on women either received reduced allocations or were not implemented, as seen from the revised estimates for 2013-14 vis-à-vis the budget estimates of the same year.
  • The Domestic Violence Act is a case in point. The legislation, enacted a decade ago, received an allocation of Rs. 20 crore in 2012-13. Revised estimate figures for 2013-14 show zero allocation, which indicates that the scheme launched to operationalise the Act did not take off that year. Renamed SAAHAS, the scheme was allocated Rs. 50 crore last year. The coming budget will reveal how much of this was actually spent.
  • Other schemes such as restorative justice for rape victims have also seen a decline in allocations. The recent launch of the ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ scheme by the new government is commendable.
  • The call to recognise, redistribute and reduce women’s unpaid care work has gained momentum globally. This is therefore an opportune time to increase the quantum of allocations to the social sector.
  • A positive trend over the past couple of years has been the pre-budget consultations organised by the Ministry of Finance, aimed at ensuring that the voices of women are also heard in the budget making process. This year, in addition to meeting women’s rights organisations, the Ministry also held a dialogue with UN Women along with the MWCD to discuss key issues pertaining to GRB.


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Gender Equality in India: Long road ahead


3. Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) is necessary for bringing unbanked to the institutional finance fold. Do you agree with this for financial inclusion of the poor section of the Indian society? Give arguments to justify your opinion.


Direct scheme based question. Sub parts make it more analytical.



Mention the basics of PMJDY.

Also give some data related to the present unbanked people.

You have to justify whether it is necessary to open banks accounts for financial inclusion.

  • No minimum balance requirement – led to opening of accounts
  • Transferring subsidy directly to Bank accounts
  • Accidental insurance cover etc.
  • Simplification of procedure
  • inclusive development; Witnessed a perceptible shift in the savings behaviour, High female participation: For every three PMJDY customers who opened a bank account for the first time, one was a female customer


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Jan Dhan Yojana—The misses and the catches


4. What are ‘Smart Cities’? Examine their relevance for urban development in India. Will it increase rural-urban differences? Give arguments for ’Smart Villages’ in the light of PURA and RURBAN Mission.


Direct scheme based question. Analysis of previous years papers also become important in understanding the themes of the question (PURA – 2013). Sub parts make it more analytical.


  • Define what is smart city and mention its components.
  • Mention the reason behind rising urbanization. Also discuss how smart city will overcome the challenges of urban India > employment, resource utilization, health issues, slums etc.
  • Discuss its impact on rate of urbanization and also discuss why it necessary to improve the rural India otherwise how upward pressure on cities will result into the failure of the whole effort. Discuss smart village in light of PURA and RURBAN mission. Also discuss how it can complement the smart cities.

Basic material:

  • The word ‘rurban’ (rural+urban) refers to an area which possesses the economic characteristics and lifestyles of an urban area while retaining its essential rural area features. (Towns)
  • The USA has very few proper cities, majority are clusters of villages e.g. Los Angeles. Hence the need for planned development of village clusters.
  • Rural-Urban Mission for 300 rural clusters. Shyama Prasad Mukherji Rurban Mission (SPMRM) aims to create 300 such Rurban growth clusters over the next 3 years, across the country. The SPMRM will provide an additional funding support of upto 30 percent of the project cost per cluster as Critical Gap Funding (CGF) as Central Share to enable development of such Rurban clusters.
  • For the selection of clusters, an objective analysis at the district, sub district and village level, of the demography, economy, tourism and pilgrimage significance and transportation corridor impact will be carried out.
  • The mission aims to spur economic, social and infrastructure development in rural areas.
  • PURA was limited to private sector. There was no government participation in it. That is why it failed.
  • Smart villages will have 14 components:
  • desirable for the cluster, which would include skill development training linked to economic activities, agro processing and agri services, storage and warehousing, digital literacy, sanitation, provision of piped water supply, solid and liquid waste management, village streets and drains, street lights, fully equipped mobile health unit, upgrading schools and higher education facilities, inter-village road connectivity, Citizen Service Centres for electronic delivery of citizen centric services, e-gram connectivity, public transport and LPG gas connections.
  • The clusters will be geographically contiguous Gram Panchayats with a population of about 25000 to 50000 in plain and coastal areas and a population of 5000 to 15000 in desert, hilly or tribal areas. There would be a separate approach for selection of clusters in Tribal and Non-Tribal Districts
  • In 2004, the AB Vajpayee’s NDA government launched a scheme named Provision of Urban Amenities to Rural Areas (PURA) to modernise villages by providing urban infrastructure and services in rural hubs to create economic opportunities outside of cities. PURA envisaged physical connectivity by providing roads, electronic connectivity by providing communication network and knowledge connectivity by establishing professional and technical institutions. The UPA government took it forward under the broader Bharat Nirman programme.


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5. Justify the need for FDI for the development of the Indian economy. Why there is gap between MOUs signed and actual FDIs? Suggest remedial steps to be taken for increasing actual FDIs in India.


This question was highly analytical and need in-depth understanding of the concepts. These types of questions give you a chance to stand apart from others.


  • Mention the benefits of fdi – as the need for FDI for development I.e. investment, technology, competition, better mgt practices etc.
  • Reasons for the gap between MOU’s & actual – you should mention the points under ease of doing business report, land acquisition, environmental clearances etc as hurdles.
  • Remedial steps should include the efforts done by govt of India for improving the ease of doing business. Ex. Make in India, masala bonds, labour reforms, National Investment Promotion & Facilitation Centre etc.

Reasons for the gap:

  • More investments have been brought under the automatic route— will not entail prior approval
  • Reduced bureaucratic discretion—Creation of an enabling environment
  • Promises of Policy certainty— improve investor sentiment
  • Permitted foreign companies to own 49% in Indian units through the automatic approval route
  • Previously foreign OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) were required to form joint ventures with domestic firms if they wanted to establish a manufacturing base in India (an OEM can now independently plan and implement operations in India)

Facts and Figures:


Present: allowed 100% FDI under the automatic route in green-field pharma (projects built from scratch) and up to 100% FDI in brownfield pharma projects under the government approval route

Changes: allowed up to 74% FDI under the automatic route for investments in brownfield pharmaceutical projects with investments beyond 74% under the approval route


  • Boost mergers and acquisitions (M&As) and private equity investments in the sector in future
  • heavy paperwork and red-tapism.
  • poor physical infrastructure and absence of skilled labour.
  • outdated labour and contract enforcement laws
  • corruption and kickbacks expectations from the official machinery.


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6. Comment on the challenges for inclusive growth which include careless and useless manpower in the Indian context. Suggest measures to be taken for facing these challenges.


Common themes within macro like inclusive growth has already been exhausted; so now interrelation with concepts like careless and useless economy are introduced

Approach and material:

  • Inclusive growthis a concept that advances equitable opportunities ( in terms of access to markets, resources, and an unbiased regulatory environment , health, edu,skill dev, empowering people )for economic participants during economic growth with benefits incurred by every section of society. … The definition of inclusive growth implies direct links between the macroeconomic and microeconomic determinants of the economy and economic growth.
  • Ex: MGNREGA, Sarva Siksha Abhiyan (SSA), National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), Bharat Nirman etc. to bring about improvement in the area of education, health and infrastructure thereby making growth more inclusive.
  • focus is on productive employment instead of direct income redistribution, as a means of increasing incomes for excluded groups.
  • Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) replacing Human Poverty Index (HPI), Human Development Index,
  • Careless – jobless /ignorant/informal, lack of ability or skill
  • Challenges– Huge manpower tht needs to be trained; resources (money, trained staff); he country remains shackled in dishonesty, red tape, traditional social hurdles and lack of transparency; child labour, caste barriers, women empt; gender inequality;
  • Measures– Vocational training; employment for unskilled; training – WIPRO – college training – industry competent; e-governance; direct benefit transfer; gender budgeting ; focus on tier 2 & tier 3 cities
  • Focus mainly on Informal Sector & Skill Development!

7. What is water-use efficiency? Describe the role of micro-irrigation in increasing the water-use efficiency.


This question is a multi-disciplinary question which require a proper definition. Sustainability will remain a key for developmental projects. So in coming years also this pattern will be followed and more questions on the same is expected.

Approach and material:

  • Water use efficiency is the measure of a cropping system ‘s capacity to convert water into plant biomass or grain.
  • Discuss the micro irrigation techniques like –
  • drip irrigation
  • spray irrigation – covers wide area in a local field.
  • Mention how these methods helps in improving the efficiency.

Water @ roots –

  1. better water absorption> Water soluble nutrients are better absorbed using such techniques, leading to better productivity.,
  2. less growth of weeds;
  3. no surface run-offs- gnd water recharge thus preventing salination of soil.
  4. no risk of clogging- so better aeriation

Limitations-High cost of installation and maintenance is its disadvantage; The sun can affect the tubes used for drip irrigation, shortening their usable life. Sprinkler irrigation requires use of power.

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8. What is allelopathy? Discuss its role in major cropping systems of irrigated agriculture.


This is a factual question. Many of the candidates find it difficult to recall under pressure. So those of you who were able to answer it properly will have an edge over others.


Approach and Material:

  • Allelopathy refers to the beneficial or harmful effects of one plant on another plant,
  • Allelopathy is a biological phenomenon by which an organism produces one or more biochemicals that influence the germination, growth, survival, and reproduction of other organisms. These biochemicals are known as allelochemicals and can have beneficial (positive allelopathy) or detrimental (negative allelopathy) effects on the target organisms and the community.
  • In agroecosystems, allelopathy can affect weed management, plant reproduction, species consortia, the mulching effect on crops and the succession and rotation of cultivated species. Additionally, allelochemicals have the potential to be used for herbicide synthesis, enabling the discovery of new mechanisms of action. From a genetic point of view, molecular biology techniques (especially transgeny),or even classical breeding, can hasten the goal of increasing the production of desirable allelochemicals by crops
  • Natural weedicides;
  • growth inhibitors;
  • crop productivity

9. Discuss the role of land reforms in agricultural development. Identify the factors that were responsible for the success of land reforms in India.


Conventional question.  Require proper points to make your answer better than others.

Approach and material:

  • The agrarian structure in our country on the eve of independence, is characterised by semi-feudal landlordism on one side and almost landless labourers on the other. concentration of land in few pockets of socially dominant section. The labourers, tenants and sub-tenants were forced to lead a pitiable life of slavery and deprivation. 
  • Abolition of intermediaries; change of ownership; Establishing Link between Government and farmers: his will facilitate the government to implement plan for agricultural development in a smooth manner.
  • Tenancy reform

Provisions for Security of tenure and regulation of rent have been adopted > invested in further development of Agriculture > incentive to the actual tiller of the land for promotion of agricultural production.

Moreover, he is assured that he is the master of all that he produces and there is no scope of any king of exploitation. That is why, land reform is called a costless method of raising production.

  • Imposition of land ceiling has tended to reduce disparities.

With a view to enlarging the size of land holding; consolidation of uneconomic holdings was undertaken.

             Factors: –


  • Tax- non taxable


  • Computerisation- benami; computerization of landrecords (Bhoomi)
  • Net cropping Area- consolidation > increase yield> mechanisation> led to successful green revolution

Factors– WB, kerala- socialist govt- marginal farmers – supportive – Vinida Bhave- bhoo dhan> local leaders> support from farmers > absentee zamindars

Communist forces- awareness was created –for their rights

Politically strong backing- abolished Right under Article 31- Nehru’s ideology

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10. Given the vulnerability of Indian agriculture to vagaries of nature, discuss the need for crop insurance and bring out the salient features of the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY).


Expected question as the scheme was in news. Sharp eye on current affairs with regular study must have come handy.

Approach and Material:

Discuss the need of crop insurance using stakeholders

  • Farmers – unpredictability, financial situation – poverty, financial support, protection from disaster.

Suicide, migration, rural->urban; farming -> non farming; fin security;

  • Government – less burden, social security – role of welfare state.
  • Banks – NPA, availability of credit.

Salient feature of PMFBY

The salient features of the National Crop Insurance Programme (NCIP) are:

Modified National Agricultural Insurance Scheme (MNAIS)

– actuarial premium rates are charged with a provision of subsidy upto 75%, which is shared by the Central and State Governments on 50: 50 basis;

–  entire liability of claims is on the implementing insurance companies;

–  it is compulsory for loanee farmers and optional for non-loanee farmers;

–   risk coverage for pre-sowing/prevented sowing and post harvest losses due to cyclone in coastal areas;

– on account payment up to 25% advance of likely claims as immediate relief in the areas which suffered atleast 50% crop yield loss;

–  more proficient basis for calculation of threshold yield;

–  two higher indemnity levels of 80% & 90% instead of earlier 70%, 80% & 90%;

–  reduction in Unit Area of Insurance to village/ village Panchayat level; and

private insurance companies have been involved to provide the benefits of competition.


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11. Give an account of the current status and the targets to be achieved pertaining to renewable energy sources in the country. Discuss in brief the importance of National program on Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs).


Again direct question and it also requires facts. As “Energy” is specifically mentioned in the syllabus, these type of questions are always expected.


Approach and Material:


  • Solar Power: Target – 100 GW (current installed capacity 3GW)
  • Wind Energy: Target – 60 GW (current installed capacity 22GW)
  • Biomass: Target – 10 GW (current installed capacity 4000MW)
  • Small Hydro: Target – 05 GW (current installed capacity 4000MW)

    175 GW by 2022

Importance of this program includes: –

  • Less Power consumption: -LED lamps consume about 80% less energy than incandescent bulbs, and conserving power is imperative for the Indian government given the country’s annual power shortfall of 3.6%.
  • Energy conservation: -These lamps, the government believes, can save 100 billion KwH of electricity annually if they replace some 770 million conventional bulbs that India purchases annually.
  • Customer friendly: -LED bulbs have a better shelf life and last almost 50 times more than ordinary bulbs and eight to ten times longer than compact fluorescent lamps. But they are also more expensive.
  • Climate change targets
  • Environmental friendly
  • boost to Make in India, start-up India and stand up India.

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12. Discuss India’s achievements in the field of Space Science and Technology. How the application of this technology has helped India in its socio-economic development?


Question on expected line. Various missions were in news and a major question on space science was expected from past 2-3 years. Knowing facts and examples will help in fetching good marks.

Approach and Material:

Discuss India’s achievement in various dimension in the field of space science and technology –

  • Exploration – Managalyaan, chandrayaan, RESOURCE Sat,
  • Navigation – IRNSS, GAGAN
  • Communication – INSAT, GSAT
  • Reusable vehicles – RLV-TD HEX-01
  • Education – SITE, step, Yout SAT


We can specify the use of space technology in below mentioned headings for the socio-economic development.

  • Mapping
  • Weather forecasting
  • Communication
  • Navigation
  • Defence
  • Disaster management
  • Education

13. Why is nanotechnology one of the key technologies of the 21st century? Describe the salient features of Indian Government’s Mission on Nanoscience and Technology and the scope of its application in the development process of the country.


Nanotechnology has evolved as one of the most important scientific themes of late and the future of 21st century. UPSC is trying to remain in sync with the time.

Approach and Material:

  • Nanotechnology is one of the most advanced technologies of our time. Often it is even referred to as a key technology of the 21st century, especially so because nanotechnology can be applied in many different areas. In recent years, the use of nanotechnology in the general economy has become increasingly common. This way, nanotechnology is slowly developing from a pure science to a real and tangible improvement in all applicable areas; and these are very diverse. Whether in construction, in production, in business in general, trade or science. Even medicine can be revolutionized in most areas by the use of nanotechnology.
  • The Mission’s programmes will target all scientists, institutions and industry in the country. It will also strengthen activities in nano science and technology by promoting basic research, human resource development, research infrastructure development, international collaborations, orchestration of national dialogues and nano applications and technology development. The Nano Mission will also make greater effort to promote application-oriented R&D so that some useful products, processes and technologies also emerge. It will be anchored in the Department of Science and Technology and steered by a Nano Mission Council chaired by an eminent scientist.
  • The Government of India launched the Nano Mission in May 2007 as an “umbrella capacity-building programme“. As a result of the efforts led by the Nano Mission, today, India is amongst the top five nations in the world in terms of scientific publications in nano science and technology (moving from 4th to the 3rd position). The Nano Mission itself has resulted in about 5000 research papers and about 900 Ph.Ds and also some useful products like nano hydrogel based eye drops, pesticide removal technology for drinking water, water filters for arsenic and fluoride removal, nanosilver based antimicrobial textile coating, etc. Two institutions and large number of sophisticated characterization and fabrication facilities have been set up in the country.
  • Indian scientists have been given access to global state-of-the-art facilities like the Photon Factory at Tsukuba, Japan and PETRA III in Hamburg, Germany. The Nano Mission has orchestrated national dialogues to promote R&D in development of standards for nanotechnology and for laying down a National Regulatory Framework Road-Map for Nanotechnology (NRFR-Nanotech). The Nano Mission has thus helped establish a good eco-system in the country to pursue front-ranking basic research and also to seed and nurture application-oriented R&D, focused on useful technologies and products.
  • Real life applications of Nanotech

14. Rehabilitation of human settlements is one of the important environmental impacts which always attracts controversy while planning major projects. Discuss the measures suggested for mitigation of this impact while proposing major developmental projects.


Another simple question but enriched answers count a lot here.

Approach and Material:

  • By the turn of the century, the majority of the world’s population will be living in cities. While urban settlements, particularly in developing countries, are showing many of the symptoms of the global environment and development crisis, they nevertheless generate 60 per cent of gross national product and, if properly managed, can develop the capacity to sustain their productivity, improve the living conditions of their residents and manage natural resources in a sustainable way

(a)Improve urban management

(b)Accelerate efforts to reduce urban poverty through a number of actions

(i) Generate employment for the urban poor, particularly women, through the provision, improvement and maintenance of urban infrastructure and services and the support of economic activities in the informal sector, such as repairs, recycling, services and small commerce;

(ii)Provide specific assistance to the poorest of the urban poor through, inter alia, the creation of social infrastructure in order to reduce hunger and homelessness, and the provision of adequate community services;

(iii)Encourage the organization of indigenous community-based organizations, private voluntary organizations, and other forms of non-governmental entities which can contribute efforts to reduce poverty and improve the quality of life for low-income families;

(c) Adopt innovative city planning strategies to address environmental and social issues by:

(i) Reducing subsidies on, and recovering full costs of, high standard environmental and other services (e.g. water supply, sanitation, waste collection, roads, telecommunications) provided to higher income neighborhoods;

(ii) Improving the level of infrastructure and service provision in poorer urban areas;

(d) Develop local strategies for the improvement of the quality of life and the environment, integrating decisions for land use and land management, investment in public and private sectors, as well as mobilize human and material resources, thereby promoting employment generation which is environmentally sound and protective of human health.

  • EIA, SIA > impact by & on the community –pshyco –attached to lands, distress migration> forcing – physical – lifestyle changes > eco- agrarian eco – labour (diff industry)
  • Cultural shocks- changes
  • SIA, EIA – imp> place where project is created & shifted
  • Stake holders taken into confidence; transfer only when proper measures have been taken

15. The frequency of urban floods due to high intensity rainfall is increasing over the years. Discussing the reasons for urban floods, highlight the mechanisms for preparedness to reduce the risk during such events.


Urban flooding is very common theme regularly creeping in current affairs. UPSC in the recent past has also asked on such themes. Answer require multi-dimensional approach with disaster management framework as a base.

Approach and material:

Reasons of Urban flooding

  • Encroachment
  • Pollution
  • absence of administrative framework
  • Unplanned growth of Tourism
  • illegal mining activities
  • clogging of drains
  • climate change and global warming
  • Urban floods- major reason –unscientifc planning; blocking of natural sinks – lakes-> encroachment; banglore, chennai
  • Kashmir > because of construction> tourism> Jhelum blocked > on the banks
  • Deforestation; penetration of water reduced > concrete > run off increases> net temperature increase> urban heat islands> convectional rainfall> frequency of rain increases & erratic

Major points under NDMA guidelines –

Mechanisms for preparedness to reduce the risk during such events

  • Establishing a Technical Umbrella for Urban Flood Forecasting and Warning both at the National Level and State/UT levels
  • IMD will establish a ‘Local Network Cell’ Establishment of Local Network of Automatic Rainfall Gauges (ARGs) for Real-time Monitoring with a density of 1 in every 4 sq km in all 2325 Class I, II and III cities and towns
  • Strategic Expansion of Doppler Weather Radar Network in the country to cover all Urban Areas for enhanced Local-Scale Forecasting Capabilities with maximum possible Lead-time
  • India Meteorological Department (IMD) will develop a Protocol for Sub-Division of Urban Areas on the basis of Watershed and issue Rainfall Forecast on the Watershed-basis
  • Establishing Urban Flood Early Warning System
  • Catchment will be the basis for Design of Stormwater Drainage System
  • Watershed will be the basis for all Urban Flooding Disaster Management Actions.
  • Inventory of the existing stormwater drainage system will be prepared on a GIS platform
  • Pre-Monsoon De-silting of Drains will be completed before March 31 every year
  • Involve the Residents’ Welfare Associations (RWAs) and Community Based Organisations (CBOs) in monitoring this and in all Urban Flood Disaster Management (UFDM) actions
  • Every building shall have Rainwater Harvesting as an integral component of the building utility
  • Encroachments on Drains and in Floodplains will be removed by providing alternative accommodation to the poor people
  • Better Compliance of the Techno-legal Regime will be ensured
  • Establish the Incident Response System for Coordinated Response Actions
  • Capacity Development at the Community and Institutional level to enhance UFDM capabilities
  • Massive Public Awareness programmes covering Solid Waste Disposal, problems of Encroachments, relevance of Techno-legal Regime besides all other important aspects
  • Involve elected Public Representatives in Awareness Generation


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16. With reference to National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) guidelines, discuss the measures to be adopted to mitigate the impact of recent incidents of cloudbursts in many places of Uttarakhand.


A question in waiting! It became one of the most probable question in last two years after the Uttarakhand tragedy and finally it comes. This question requires fine details from the NDMA guidelines. This question is on the same line as 2014 question on draught. We can expect more on the same lines in future ex. Nuclear etc.

Approach and Material:

Structural Measures

  • New embankments
  • drainage channels
  • Barring occasional breaches in embankments

Non-structural Measures

  • flood forecasting system
  • raising of villages/construction of ring bunds
  • Awareness
  • Investment
  • But through the use of doppler radars, it is possible to forecast the possibility of cloudbursts about six hours in advance
  • A cloudburst is sudden copious rainfall. It is a sudden aggressive rainstorm falling for a short period of time limited to a small geographical area. sometimes accompanied by hail and thunder, that is capable of creating flood conditions. However, cloudbursts are infrequent as they occur only via orographic lift or occasionally when a warm air parcel mixes with cooler air, resulting in sudden condensation.
  • It is not the heavy rainfall but the consequences of a cloudburst, such as landlides and flash floods, that lead to widespread death and destruction.
  • Hilly terrains aid in heated air currents rising vertically upwards, thereby, increasing the probability of a cloudburst situation. cloudbursts get counted only when they result in largescale destruction of life and property, which happens mainly in mountainous regions.

17. The terms ‘Hot Pursuit’ and ‘Surgical Strikes’ are often used in connection with armed action against terrorist attacks. Discuss the strategic impact of such actions.


Both buzz words of 2016, so UPSC wanted to check whether students have concrete understanding or not. Here proper understanding of word strategic also plays a significant role as many students got confused and write a uni-directional answer.

Approach and Material:

Strategic impact of such actions should be written under following headings: –

  • tensed neighborhood – There is a danger that the new dynamic in India-Pakistan relations could lead to the termination of the ceasefire on the LoC. ; involve other States
  • change in perception
  • major global player – India’s  economic growth  story is one of the few rays of hope they see outside Brexit, the West Asian meltdown and the South China Sea confrontation,
  • military power
  • disproportionate response to provocations– This could aid a new  project of stepping up the Kashmir heat on India, a new wave of infiltrators. Full scale war


Surgical strike, hot pursuit and global isolation are the new war strategies


Hot pursuit owes its origin to the law of the seas against vessels that are involved in piracy or smuggling. The coastal country would take action in spite of the principle of freedom of the high seas — the rights of vessels of all nations to navigate freely on the high seas.


There is no international law governing ‘hot pursuit’ over land. However, nations have time and again used the argument of self defence to enter the territory of another country in pursuit of a terrorist, terrorist organisation, criminals or anyone that is threat to the defence of the pursuing country.


Also, article 51 of the UN charter defines self-defence. It is the action necessary to preserve a country’s territorial integrity and political independence.


It is considered a better and a less consequential alternative to a full blown war. However, critics argue that hot pursuit can escalate tensions between nations which can eventually result in a war.

The phrase hot pursuit has been used as a ‘threat’ by nations when a country does not act against elements of threat in its own territory or is incapable of handling it.

The act of hot pursuit has wide-ranging geopolitical impact. It can involve several players (states). In 1956, when the Hungarian forces briefly entered the Austrian borders to pursue Hungarian anti-communist rebels, they had the backing of Soviet Union, thus making the entire combat operations more global and impacting the geopolitics of the region.

Because of terror camps in Myanmar, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh, India has gone inside these countries and taken action against armed groups.

The operation to assassinate Osama Bin Laden could not have taken place without a secret understanding between the US and a section of senior Pakistani military leadership.

>> Hot pursuit — sign of a good relationship

Surgical strikes – quick, targeted group, minimum causalities or collateral damage to civil str, vehicles, buildings, infrastructure

It would not be wrong to argue that the surgical strikes — which helped the government score political brownie points domestically — were a tactical, not a strategic move


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18. ‘Terrorism is emerging as a competitive industry over the last few decades.” Analyse the above statement.


Very straight forward topic with a twist in the statement. Require both facts and supportive arguments to present the better answer. This question will also give edge to a better read person.

Approach and Material:

  • Earlier organisations Al qaeda, JeM stood a/a a particular country or system, IS stands to establish a Caliphate & with it a new world order
  • Shift towards online propaganda, leading to radicalization all over the world, especially Bangla youth. mass kidnappings of children by boko haram, releasing graphic videos of beheadings
  • While earlier targets were poor & illiterate, the IS recruits are well-educated
  • While IS loses ground- Syria & Iraq – gives call for Jihad’ leading to one-way attack by people having no direct linkage to it. EX: Orlando attack
  • Operated as a group
  • p > lone-wolf attack Ex: Charlie Hebdo ; RDx> plastic explosives

Different agenda, strategies (social media), targets (symbolic buildings- Hotel Taj> pub gatherings Ex:Boston Marathon)– hegemony over the other


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19. Border management is a complex task due to difficult terrain and hostile relations with some countries. Elucidate the challenges and strategies for effective border management.


Border management is also one of the expected question for this year. Examples of various reports and present setup under home ministry would have made your answer more enriched

Approach and Material:

Challenges for effective border management

  • Absence of proper well defined international borders – LoC with Pak from Gujrat to Jammu, AGLP (Actual Ground Position Line) line along Saichen, LAC with China
  • Topography – hurdles- movement of troops & supplies
  • Physical Infrastructure – Fencing, Porous Borders, Open Borders (Nepal, Bhutan)
  • Connectivity – needs constant communication, China vs India
  • Technological infrastructure
  • Manpower – understaffed & overburdened; absence of Mountain Strike Corps along China border, training
  • Organizational issues – overlapping among various forces


Strategies for better border management: –

These measures are grouped into three categories— people, process and technology.

  • According to the recommendations of the Group of Ministers (GoM) on Reforming the National Security System, the concept of village volunteer forces (VVFs) helping in border management has a great deal to commend itself. VVFs have worked with a good degree of success in areas where they have been tried so far. Effective border management is now, and should always be, a primary national security priority.
  • CCTV cameras, thermal image and night-vision devices, battlefield surveillance radar, underground monitoring sensors and laser barriers will be used as a complete high-tech strategy to sanitise the border.
  • Increase trade>economically > the countries become dependent; social mobility; joint military exercise
  • Comprehensive Integrated Border Management System
  • BADP under MoHA -100% non-lapsable grants –infra, livelihood, edu, health etc.


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20. Use of internet and social media by non-state actors for subversive activities is a major security concern. How have these been misused in the recent past? Suggest effective guidelines to curb the above threat.


Cyber security is one of the hot topic of present times. Use of social media by terrorist organization has raised various concern related to digital threats.


Approach and Material:

Mention the recent events of organised terrorist attacks and lone wolf attacks and also discuss how they use the social media for spreading terror.

  • financial threats – details of 32 lakhs Debit cards were compromised by use of sophisticated hacks.
  • Hacking of private accounts
  • radicalisation of youth ;
  • global connectivity – Arab spring,
  • Denial of Service attacks on govt sites. Ex: BoT army attack

(A botnet is a number of Internet-connected computers autonomously communicating with other similar machines in which components located on networked computers communicate and coordinate their actions by command and control (C&C) or by passing messages to one another. Botnets have been used many times to send spam email or participate in distributed denial-of-service attacks. The word botnet is a combination of the words robot and network)

Example of events and use of social media

  • provoking people led to exodus NE > facebook
  • Meerut communal riots> UP> facebook > morphed images/videos > false rumors
  • Cauvery issue
  • Terrorists > attract youth

Guidelines to curb the threat

  • Cyber security policy
  • identification of vulnerable areas; critical infrastructure
  • setup of cyber cells
  • Active monitoring of social media
  • Awareness to prevent financial fraud.
  • CERT, special task force for cyber crime – better coordination

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