SYNOPSIS: IASbaba’s TLP 2017 [7th Feb] – Day 17

  • February 14, 2017
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SYNOPSIS- IASbaba’s TLP 2017 [7th Feb] – Day 17


1. That international relations are influenced by personal outlooks of leaders has never been as evident as it is today. Do you agree? Comment.

Personal outlooks and beliefs used to play an important role under monarchies and dictatorships where policies – both internal and foreign were based on whims and fancies of the dictators.

But this was not the case with democracies. In democratic countries the international relations are based on – Economic importance, strategic importance and cultural ties between two countries.

Recently it is being noticed that again foreign relations of Countries are influenced by personal outlooks of leaders.

  • Best Example – Donald Trump. His recent actions has create ripples of controversies like building a wall at US – Mexico border, his current ban on immigration of people from 7 middle eastern Countries and withdrawal from TPP.
  • Russian foreign policy is based on very strong stance of President Putin. Russia stood as a very strong pillar with Iran even when majority of developed countries had put sanctions on it. Russia is still firmly supporting the Syrian regime.
  • Shinzo Abe has pushed Japan towards a more aggressive defence policy and has changed economic relations with different countries including India and South Korea.

More examples can be added here but remember that all the examples should be from democratic countries as in dictatorships, the international policies has always been shaped by personal outlooks of the dictators.

Policies based on personal ideology may or may not be bad. For example, the international policy of independent India was shaped by Pt Nehru. He was a statesman who took bold and revolutionary steps like making India a non aligned country and policy of Panchsheel. His helped India grow rapidly in the world torn by cold war.

Or an ideology can be totally disastrous like the aggressive policy pursued by Hitler.

World is more closely knit now than ever before, condition of one country can influence several other countries. In this scenario it is very important for a leader to put country’s cause to the forefront to shape its policies.

Best Answer : Putta

Every country’s international relations is based on its foreign policy. Foreign policy of a country is majorly driven by its national interests and power (Power of authority, power to influence and power to force)of the particular country possess.

Driving force for international relations in the past:

From the time world was open to engage in international relations ,foreign policies of the country was based on its military might.

Every country identified itself with some alliance based on its political and economic preferences though some countries stayed away from identifying themselves with Power blocks and formed NAM.(Non alignment movement)

Ex: Division of the world into Power blocks after world war II

Present day driving forces:

Present world , countries have showing their power to influence with their economic might. Economic development through trade developments in various sectors is defining the base of nation’s foreign policy.

Today leaders of the country are defining the country’s international relations through their power of authority and power to influence.

This can be evident from recent examples of US President Trump opting out from TPP, Japan’s PM Shinzo Abe’s economics policies in the name of Abenomics and India’s foreign policy termed as Modi’s doctrine in the name of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Leader’s power to influence the country’s international relations is not bad as long as it reflects aspirations of the people of the country and driven by national interests of the country and does not harm the interests of globally connected world. But it should not lead to dictatorship which caused huge damage to the countries in the past.

2. The decision by the US to stay away from one of the largest and most ambitious trade block might have implications for India. Which trade block is the statement referring to? Discuss it’s implications for India.


The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a trade agreement between 12 countries surrounding the Pacific Ocean. (Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.)


Implications for India:

  1. Economic Advantage: Such a major trade agreement constituting 40% of world trade have potential to propel the exports from economies like Vietnam, Malaysia etc. It could have been negatively impacted Indian exporters, especially leather and cotton. With break up, it cleared up the worries of Indian exporters.as per a report the loss for India ($2-6 billion) would have been about 0.1% of GDP by 2030.
  2. 2. IPR regime: it weakens global pressures to strengthen IPR rules in India, which supports pharmaceuticals and generic drug industry in India.
  3. Strategic Advantage: RCEP, which is seen as a counter to TPP can get strengthened and exploit the space opened up due to the fall of TPP. India and China are a part of RCEP. And on the other side, India can continue it’s efforts to strengthen bilateral relations in the region.
  4. Political Advantage: US interests in India is likely to grow, as it sees India to counter the Russia-China tie up power. With US being isolating itself, it can empower India to play a major role in global arena.
  5. Threat: China will dominate the RCEP and the Asia-pacific region, which will not be favorable to India’s economy as China will enjoy the Technology and Cost advantage.


Write a brief conclusion.


Best Answer: MOL0929



3. What is CPEC? Should India worry about it? Analyse.


The China–Pakistan Economic Corridor is an under-construction $54 billion bilateral economic corridor between Pakistan and China. It is part of China’s One Belt, One Road initiative and Pakistan’s Vision 2025.


CPEC (China Pakistan Economic Corridor) is part of China’s One Belt, One road (OBOR) Initiative. It is seen as the proof of friendship between Pakistan and China, but it also raises the following concerns for India

1) Threat to India’ sovereignty: CPEC passes through Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) which is still a disputed land and integral part of India. Also China has stepped up its military activity in region in of security to corridor.

2) Political concerns: it symbolizes strengthened relationship between China-Pakistan, and increases the chance of China’s intervention in bilateral matters of India-Pakistan to protect its own interest.

3) Economic concerns: This will reduce China’s distance to Africa by 12000 kms. The effective use of this corridor will reduce the India’s export to Western Europe, West Asia and Africa. India was having an advantage to shorter sea route to Africa and Europe, which will be challenged after CPEC successful implementation.

4) Challenge to India’s security: In any future war with China, China can use this route to mobilize its army to India’s western side and also use Gwadar port as its naval base.


Write a brief conclusion.


Best answer: Vivek

China Pakistan Economic Corridor(CPEC) is large scale economic corridor initiative that connects Kashgar (China) and port of Gwadar(Pakistan), through the construction of a network of highways, railways, optical fiber and pipelines. It is an extension of China’s ambitious One Belt, One Road initiative. India have all reasons to worry about it because:

  1. Negates India’s Territorial Claims: CPEC passes through POK, which India claim to be a part of India. The project neglects all claims and risks of political uncertainty in the region.
  2. Pakistan into Arms Race with India: An unconditional Chinese support can strengthen Pak Army and leads to intensifying regional arms race.
  3. Internationalization of Kashmir Issue: With China’s support, Pakistan can ascertain greater pressure on Kashmir issue on global forums.
  4. Regional Isolation: CPEC have potential to alter the trade and power dynamics in South Asia. With opening of West Asia and African lands for Chinese trade development, it possess serious threat to India’s withhold in the region. Although India is itself moving ahead with Iran-Afghanistan relations, it is doubtful whether it can compete the Chinese aggression.
  5. Threat of Joining CPEC: Joining CPEC has itsown threats, the major being flooding of Indian market with cheap Chinese products. India cannot go ahead with a policy which puts on such a severe pressure on indigenous industrialists.

Thus India should be extremely cautious, at the same time progressive enough to build strong bonds and economic linkages into Central Asian, Middle East and African supply chains. 

4. Many Indian states are undergoing assembly elections. Analyse the role of Election Commission in organising fair and peaceful elections. Can you discuss some of the landmark achievements of this constitutional body?

Periodic national and assembly elections, under the supervision of Election Commission of India, are a strong indicator of the success of a functioning democracy.

The powers and obligations of the Election Commission to ensure a proper election which is free and fair, and to maintain a proper atmosphere conducive to such an election, are derived from Article 324.

It can exercise any power which is necessary to achieve this objective even if the Conduct of Elections Act and the rules made thereunder do not confer such powers specifically.

The Election Commission is thus not only entitled to take all steps, but is under a constitutional obligation to do so, in order to maintain during elections communal harmony, which is a necessary condition for holding free and fair elections according to the Constitution.

Election Commission of India has been able to nourish India’s democratic health over the years by improving the quality of election management through

  • Its powers and functions classified into three categories – Administrative, Advisory and Quasi-Judicial
  • Issuing model code of conduct for political parties before elections etc.

In recent years, however, the Commission has started to play more active role to ensure greater participation of people in the political affairs.

The Commission very quickly adapted itself to the changed political milieu that came about in the country. From a relatively passive role that it had played in the earlier years following our independence, it quickly responded and centre stage to play a vigorous, proactive role to ensure that the democratic process in the country remains, as was envisaged by all at the time of Independence, free and fair in both character and content.

Landmark achievements:

Model code of Conduct: set of guidelines that govern the conduct of political parties and candidates in the run-up to an election. It intends to provide a level playing field for all political parties, to keep the campaign fair and healthy, avoid clashes and conflicts between parties, and ensure peace and order.

The main aim is to ensure that the ruling party, either at the Centre or in the states, does not misuse its official position to gain an unfair advantage in an election.

Section 8 of Representation of People Act, 1951: The Election Commission taking serious view of the increasing role of criminals in politics gave criminal un-friendly interpretation to Section 8 of Representation of People Act, 1951.

You can also mention on:

Non-of-the-above (NOTA) option

Electronic Voting Machines (EVM)

Digitizing the electoral process

Best answer 1: Ghalib

Election commission plays very important role in organising fair and peaceful elections. EC ensures that no ruling party should have additional advantage and misuse its administrative power for getting undue benefits in election. EC keeps an eye on hate speeches of politicians and ensure that strict action should be taken by judiciary against them. EC generally transfers government officials before election to ensure that official should not give any advantage of ruling party. The video recording of election and counting in another step for bringing transparency. Any attempt to disturb elections by violence, booth capturing is taken seriously and often re-elections are ordered for such cases.

– The violence and attempt to capture booths have been minimised in past two decades.

– With latest Electronic Voting Machines (EVM), the counting of votes have been much faster.

– The option of NOTA (None Of The Above) has also given voters option to reject all the candidates. Although, the NOTAs are only counted and maximum number of NOTA will not result into new election.

– Indian election system has generated huge respect from many developing nations. Many African nations have demanded Indian help in conducting elections or for training of officials.

EC is successfully able to conduct fair and peaceful elections in the nation. The hate speeches and power of money has been reduced significantly due to highly vigilant election commission.




5. What budgeting reforms have been taken in the latest budget? Discuss.

Please note: Many of you have answered reforms and new initiatives taken in Budget. However, question is asking about ‘budgeting reforms’.

Budgeting Reforms include recent reforms and changes brought in Budget process.

  1. Administrative reforms: Merging Railway Budget with the General Budget.
  2. Expenditure reforms: Replacing existing ‘Plan’ and ‘Non-Plan’ expenditure with capital-revenue heads.
  3. Proponing of presentation of Budget from 1st March to 1st February.

Now discuss on these above areas. Why these reforms were brought and intentions behind these reforms (positives and negatives).

Best answer: Arjun



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