SYNOPSIS: IASbaba’s TLP – 2018: UPSC Mains General Studies Questions [5th December 2017]- Day 12

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  • December 8, 2017
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TLP-UPSC Mains Answer Writing
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SYNOPSIS: IASbaba’s TLP – 2018: UPSC Mains General Studies Questions [5th December 2017]- Day 12


1. What is the ‘spoils system’ in America? How does the Indian Constitution avoid the vice of this system? Discuss.

Background: With a remarkable sense of conformity with the spoils system put in place by the Congress, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party is also treating gubernatorial office as a retirement benefit for its veterans. Also The NITI Aayog has recommended to the prime minister that “lateral entry” from the private sector should be introduced in the civil services at all levels, from secretary to deputy secretary, which can be a regressive move towards the spoils system.


  • Introduce by defining spoil System
  • Write features and history of Spoil system in America
  • Write provisions in Constitution avoiding vice of this system. You should also write instances of political patronage playing important role in appointments.


Spoils system, also known as patronage system was a system under which winning political party in USA allotted government and civil services posts to its campaigners and supporters as an incentive. Its demerits are

  1. Make system inefficient
  2. It causes further authoritarian attitude
  3. Oppose merit system and make government less accountable as well as transparency
  4. Violation of values of liberty, opportunity and equality


Indian constitution makers tried their best to put best defence against this type of system and for providing merit system in Indian system

  1. Part 14 – which provides power to establish public service commission (Art 315) and also provides functions of these commissions (Art 320) for safeguarding against spoil system this promotes merit system in appointment of civil servants.
  2. Article 16 provides equal opportunity to all citizens to have equal rights in appointment and getting jobs.
  3. Adoption of British model for political structure over American structure has provided parliamentary system, helping in limiting spoil system. s

Other provisions which provide safeguards are

  1. Santhanam committee suggested bodies like CVC also puts checks in stopping nepotism or corruption.
  2. Tools like PIL, RTI make administration more transparent.

But, spoils system does come into picture in cases

  1. Appointment of governor is still the discretion of president.
  2. Private Secretaries appointed by minsters lead to bypassing of merit system.
  3. Transfer to crucial post by a party after change of government remind one of spoil system.
  4. Judiciary – uncle’s syndrome still exists.

Conclusion: Our constitution laid a strong foundation against spoil system, but its continuation or its degeneration depends on the legislators of today. So therefore need of the hour is accepting Puncchi commission recommendations regarding appointment of governor and to clarify the appointment procedure of CAG and other bodies where ambiguity is still present.

Best Answer: Neverquit1234



2. Do you think the current ‘participatory consultative process’ for selecting the judges in higher judiciary needs a serious rethink? Examine in the light of recent controversies plaguing the relationship between the centre and the judiciary?


In Introduction, mention what is Participatory consultative process i.e. collegium system. Then start with body part. Here first write whether you think there needs to be changes or not. Then substantiate as per your opinion. Then second part of answer should be about the controversies plaguing between Center and Judiciary.


The current ‘Participatory Consultative process’ of judicial appointments also known as collegium system was adopted after three judges case, where in Chief Justice of India along with other senior most judges of SC recommends those who are appointed by President as judges in HC and SC.

Points to be covered

Why rethink is needed:

  • Unique system: Where judges appoint themselves, which exists nowhere else in the world.
  • Transparency: The appointments procedures are away from public scrutiny.
  • Accountability: They are not accountable to system and they are the system in itself.
  • Nepotism and patronage system: There are allegations of kith and kin being appointed as judges.
  • Meritocracy: The merits and ability of judges are not given due weightage during selection process.
  • Overload: This creates additional work away from judicial work leading to delay in case completion.

Controversies between Center and Judiciary:

  • NJAC: National Judicial Appointment commission was scrapped by SC citing judicial independency. But nowhere in constitution judges appointing themselves is highlighted.
  • Memorandum of Procedure: Standoff between SC and Government over MOP.
  • Intelligence Bureau report: For appointment as judges is a point of contention between both.
  • Judicial activism and Overreach: Judiciary trying to take up executive role or interfering in executive working.


As the saying goes Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, the judiciary in India is at that stage with no accountability of any sort. There needs to be accountability of all institutes because all exists to serve public. Both Judiciary and executive should work together to bring a system which addresses the problem at the earliest.

Connecting the dots:

  • Drawbacks of Collegium system.
  • Judiciary in India.

Best Answer: Sk

Currently appointment of judges is based on participator consultative process where Judges are appointed by president in consultation with a collegium consisting CJI and 4 most judges of Supreme Court in case of Supreme Court and Chief justice of Supreme Court and 2 senior most judges of Supreme Court.

There is a need to rethink on the procedure for appointments:

  • Appointment of judges’ by judges might create judicial autocrat.
    • The word collegium is nowhere mentioned in the constitution and evolved through interpretations by supreme court.
  • Lack of transparency in process of appointment
  • Creates administrative load on judiciary which further delays the already pending cases.
  • 214th law commission criticized that nepotism and personal patronage is prevalent in Collegium system.

Debate on Procedure of appointment of judges resulted in executive criticizing judiciary on arbitrariness and judiciary denying executive for independence.

  • 2nd and 3rd judges case led to gradual creation of collegium which is criticized by executive.
  • Supreme court struck down the NJAC as unconstitutional
  • Memorandum of procedure was rejected by Judiciary as Executive claimed veto to den appointment.
  • Chief justice of India denied the procedure of taking inputs from Intelligence Bureau on professional competence.

There is a need for cooperation between executive and judiciary to focus on faster resolution of pending cases. The procedure should ensure transparency to retain public faith in judicial proceedings

3. Quite often in India, pressure groups are overweighed by religion, caste and language rather than ideological considerations. Do you agree? Substantiate. Also examine the associated fallouts.


The question has got two parts.

In first part you need to substantiate with examples how ideological considerations have been overweighed by religion, caste and language. It will be better if you take one example from each of these identities.

In second part you need to explain the negative aspect of these pressure groups.

Before you get to answer either of these aspects, in one statement explain what a pressure group is.


A pressure group is an organized group of people who are trying to persuade a government or other authority to do something, for example to change a law. Pressure groups are not part of the government or politics directly i.e. they do not send candidates to contest in elections. Rather pressurize government for a cause from outside.

A very good example of pressure group was Anna’s movement against corruption. It was ideology based and with one target – to get Lokpal Bill passed.

But recently, the identities of religion, caste and language have become more dominant to get narrow benefits. For example – Karni sena creating chaos against Padmavati movie, right wing forces pressurizing the government for beef ban and acting as cow vigilante, Patidars and Jats doing violent protests for Jat reservation and local pressure groups of Karnataka breaking sign boards in Hindi in Namma Metro of Bengaluru.

Note: You can give other examples as well.

Fallouts of this trend:

  • Against the idea of unity and integrity of India.
  • Creates differences and hatred between different communities.
  • These pressure groups polarize the region temporarily and political parties get benefitted out of this trend.
  • Agenda of development and welfare take a back seat and politicians get involved in discussing petty issues.
  • These small pressure groups later get directly involved into politics and promote politics on the basis of religion, caste and language.
  • Decelerates the rate of economic growth of country.
  • Promotes vigilantism amongst the people of particular communities. They think that what they are fighting for is right and this drive can make them commit heinous crimes. This creates law and order problem.

Note: You can add more points to this part.

Connecting the Dots:

‘Pressure groups’ is a separate topic in Paper 2. Try to write some advantages of pressure groups in governance.

Best answer: Gurpreet Singh




Q.4) India’s reticence on the Rohingya crisis undermines its democracy and global standing. Do you agree? Critically analyse.


The government of Myanmar, a predominately Buddhist country, claims the Rohingya people are illegal immigrants from neighbouring Bangladesh and has denied them citizenship, leaving them stateless. The systematic discrimination against the Rohingya people has left them living in deplorable conditions and segregated, with limited access to schools, healthcare and jobs, according to Amnesty. Tensions between the minority group and the mainly Buddhist Rakhine population erupted into rioting in 2012, driving tens of thousands from their homes and into displacement camps.


  • Introduce with what is crisis in one or two lines
  • India’s stand on refugees and its historical development
  • Describe why India is slow on this issue despite being largest democracy of the world
  • Relationship between Myanmar and India and its important in NE development
  • Mention the steps taken by the government


The UN has described the latest mass exodus of Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar as “the world’s fastest growing refugee crisis” and “a textbook example of ethnic cleansing”. But in India the situation in Northeast is perhaps much less threatening today than it has been at any point since independence. India is already connected to ASEAN markets via sea-routes even if land-routes promise a fillip in trade and connectivity; and threats of Islamist radicalization are equally correlated to communal harmony within India and Bangladesh, as much in Myanmar.

India’s historical stand on refugees:

  • India holds a strong history of welcoming refugees from Srilanka, Tibet, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh and still they enjoy the freedom and rights here. The Rohingya’s are now the most genocided community in recent past in South Asia, they are stateless and no place got to go.
  • Since India is not a signatory to the United Nations Convention on Refugees, refugee status granted by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to the Rohingya was irrelevant to their deportation.
  • Now the situation has changed in ground reality due to security as well as sensitivity of this issue. Domestically, protests against Rohingyas, who are viewed as ‘criminals’ and/or ‘potential terrorists’. Though many support the presence of Rohingyas in Jammu, and the issue is less pronounced in Delhi and Hyderabad, the volatile security situation in Kashmir adds fuel to such anxieties.

Reasons for India’s reticence on the Rohingya’s issue:

  • India considers the issue as an internal affair of Myanmar and don’t want to pressure too much on it.
  • Indian believes that ASEAN has an undeniable responsibility to resolve this crisis.
  • India does not want a conflict of interests with the new regime in Myanmar-Myanmar has a key role in India’s Look East Policy, and also key for the development of NE India.
  • India already has several issues like poverty, unemployment etc., for her own people.
  • Adding to this, recently an insurgent group – Haraquah Al-Yaqin formed in Saudi Arabia commanded by Rohingyas on the ground with tactical training and guerrilla operation skills. India had a history of Lankan refugee issue which eventually ended up in the Assassination of Rajiv Gandhi.

India’s response to the crisis:

  • India has started Operation Insaniyat, in response to the humanitarian crisis being faced on account of the large influx of refugees into Bangladesh, Government of India has decided to extend assistance to Bangladesh.
  • India have agreed with Myanmar to provide financial and technical assistance for identified projects to be undertaken in Rakhine State in conjunction with the local authorities.


It is apparent that the only long-term solution to the situation in Rakhine State is socio-economic and infrastructure development of the State. Such development would generate employment opportunities and economic activity that should have a positive impact on all the communities living in the State.

Best Answer: sakshi singh https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d4c93d10067e7a592e10429e8df031efc114ea6deed6ef411f002f11456fc6c2.jpg

5. The dawn of the information age has opened up great opportunities for the beneficial use of data. However, it has also enhanced the perils of unregulated and arbitrary use of personal data. Discuss. Also examine the need of framing a robust law to protect individual data.


The answer will have following parts.

  • Introduction- How data has become the new gold in this information age?
  • Beneficial use of data.
  • The perils of unregulated and arbitrary use of personal data.
  • Need of framing a robust law to protect individual data.


How data has become the new gold in this information age?

Data is the new currency. It is considered as the oil of 21st century. With the dawn of information age and mass digitalization there has been generation of huge data.

Beneficial use of data:

  • Evidence based policy making- Use of data in planning and policy making through collections as social economic census, big data analytics etc.
  • Promoting effective service delivery- availability of comprehensive database makes duplications impossible. Thereby, giving a push to direct benefit transfer.
  • To review programmes like polio eradication and to monitor effectiveness of various schemes.
  • Decision based on data can help remove prejudices and biasness towards a particular section of the community.
  • Robust data law can help keep in check radicalisation and prevent terror recruitment by keeping a track on movement of people, monitoring the pattern through usage of data etc.

The perils of unregulated and arbitrary use of personal data:

  • Personal data like bank info, credit card, debit card info can be used by cyber criminals for financial fraud by hacking, phishing.
  • Data can be used for influencing elections as seen by US election, BREXIT etc.
  • Leakage of personal data may result into violation of somebody’s right to privacy.
  • Recent incidences of data breach and data hack like HDFC case, Yahoo email leak possess a serious concern.
  • Countries with less technically educated citizens find it hard to aware the users of such hacks

Need of framing a robust law to protect individual data:

  • It will be in tune to Right to privacy as a constitutional right, recent SC ruling too favors such laws.
  • A law is needed to strike balance between right to privacy on one hand and national security and/or effective governance on the other.
  • Low digital literacy in India means more people are vulnerable towards data leakage and misuse.
  • As India exports data on large scale to tech giants gloablly, it is necessary to make companies responsible for any breach of violation of data.
  • In view of recent ransomeware are attacks, hacking of databases as Aadhar could prove disastrous.

Overall, as India is on path of digitisation, a robust data protection law is needed so as to ensure that advantage of information does not become bane for country


India lacks a coherent data protection law which makes us more vulnerable. The government should thus frame a robust law to gain confidence of people that their private data will not be misused and used without their permission. The B.N srikrishna committee set to look into the law is much appreciated step in this direction.

Connecting the dots:

  • Big data analytics- What it is and its application.
  • Right to privacy on one hand and good governance based on data on the other.

Best answer: Rahul Singh



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