SYNOPSIS: IASbaba’s TLP – 2018: UPSC Mains General Studies Questions [17th January 2018]- Day 38

  • IASbaba
  • January 19, 2018
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TLP-UPSC Mains Answer Writing
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SYNOPSIS: IASbaba’s TLP – 2018: UPSC Mains General Studies Questions [17th January 2018]- Day 38


1. In India, marriage provides the prime opportunity for demonstrating and validating family status. Do you agree? What are the fallouts of this societal trait? Examine.


In a survey conducted by a private data analytics, 79 per cent of the respondents have said that the craze of the “big fat Indian weddings” is inspired by celebrities.

Controlling the expenses in wedding is something that was recently brought up in Lok Sabha, in the Winter session of Parliament when a Member of Parliament introduced a private member’s bill seeking, “prevention and prohibition on the extravagant expenses incurred on marriages”.


  • In introduction write about the given statement or define marriage
  • Provide arguments justifying statement
  • Write fallouts both positive and negative
  • Conclusion


Marriage in India is viewed as an opportunity by families for show casing its respective status. Marriage is the time that the family is most under pressure to display its status, and is also the time where caste, societal status, financial and religion endogamies out power the liberal values of the society.

Main Body:

The primary reasons behind inculcation of this trait are,

  1. An Unequal Society: Inequality has been deeply imbibed Indian .This inequality has been deeply imbibed and families prefer maintaining their position in society.
  2. Rising Incomes: With coming of MNCs, rising incomes families tend to spend more so as to move up the social ladder. This in turn pushes traditionally wealthy families to spend even more to maintain the gap.
  3. In a quest to demonstrate the family status, both sides of the families indulge in expensive spending starting from “dowry”, a system that is still prevalent regardless of declaring it as a punishable offence.
  4. Apart from the trend being converted in to more of flashy and innovative wedding styles, everyday new concepts of marriages are emerging; Destination wedding, deep sea wedding etc being few among them.

There are grave fallouts of this societal trait such as:

  1. Affects girl child: Expensive weddings are one of the reasons for female infanticide. It affects girl education as money is diverted from her education to marriage and dowry. The gender divide in Indian workplace owes to this.
  2. Increases vulnerability: Dumping life time savings makes family vulnerable during health crises, post retirement etc.
  3. Gold imports: Huge demand for gold affects CAD. Capital gets diverted to Gold rather than productive investment.
  4. Indians see it as indicator of social status, so spare no expense is the quality of mind set which Indians carry.
  5. Indian weddings rising as a billion-dollar industry, the matrimonial business appears recession-proof, and is estimated to be worth $40 billion a year, and growing at about 20 per cent annually.
  6. Outrageous expenditure may result in employment creation in the names of chefs, maintenance staff, organizers etc, but an economically unplanned marriages could be more of a disaster and becomes one of the major sources of food wastage, diversion of money from various sources both legal and others, a temporary financial outburst in few clans.
  7. Despite the thought of India being a rapid developing country with still the hurdles of malnutrition, open defecation, illiteracy etc. the concepts of Big Fat Indian Wedding is yet to be questioned.


A change in thought process needs to be initiated to change this societal trait. The youth need to step up and take initiative. As India is developing it is time to think logically and make requisite adjustments which benefit the society as whole.

Best Answer: Disha



2. Despite its diversity, there are numerous cultural elements and factors that have shaped India’s composite culture.


  • Introduction: 2-3 lines about how diversity and composite culture of India.
  • Body: Make body into two parts and then point out numerous cultural elements and factors that have shaped India’s composite culture.
  • Conclusion: 2-3 line conclusion.


India is known as Land of Diversity due to its various differences with every nook and corner of country. But despite have helped shape our composite culture which has made earn the name Unity in Diversity.

The diversity is not only because of indigenous factor but also influences from outside world due its rich cultural and trade contacts for centuries.


Cultural elements and Factors that have shaped the composite culture:

  1. Cultural Elements:
  • Arts: Painting and sculptures
  • Music, Language and Literature
  • Festivals
  • Local customs and traditions.
  • Cuisine
  • Clothing and make-up.
  • Mythology and Local legends.
  • Family Traditions.
  • Yoga and Traditional Medicine system.
  1. Factors:
  • Geographical factors: Topography, vegetation, Climatic conditions.
  • Foreign influences: Due to trade, invasion, Migration, Marriage relationships, Globalization.
  • Economic Factors: Trade and services, Migration.
  • Political Factors: Administrative setup, political demarcation of boundaries etc.

Note: 8-10 points are enough in exam. Explanation of one or two lines is mandatory for each point.


All the above cultural elements and factors in one way or other have contributed to the composite culture of such a vast country like ours. It is upto present generation to preserve such a unique gift bestowed upon us by our forefathers and pass them onto future generations.

Connecting the dots:

  • Unity and Diversity.
  • Art 29 and 30 of Indian constitution and its significance.

Best Answer: Kanishka



3. Women in India have now become more aware of their rights as individuals and they are now opting for higher positions at work, at the same time being a perfect housewife at home. Do you agree? Substantiate.


  • When keyword is substantiate, examples are absolutely mandatory
  • Also, examples have to be included within the points and not be mentioned separately
  • In this question, use examples to satisfy the two main phrases: awareness regarding rights and higher positions at work
  • Use recent examples in news to make your answer stand out

Since Vedic ages, women have been subordinated to men in Indian patriarchal society. Until recently, they were reduced to the roles of a wife, child bearer and family caretaker while men were seen as the sole bread winners. However, with the help of multiple government initiatives, constitutional provisions, increasing literacy levels and the general change in attitude towards women have resulted in them becoming of more aware of their rights.

Note: Try to use recent examples to support the point

Triple Talaq

The constitution guarantees gender equality, thus the archaic practice of Triple Talaq was recently taken down after Muslim women showed the courage to protest against the illegal practice.

Temple Entry

 Religious freedom should not come at the cost of personal liberty as guaranteed under Article 21. Women activists have been raising voice against the ban on temple entry by women in places like Sabarimala temple.

Maternity Benefits Act

Recently enacted by the government after inadequate maternity benefit was found to be a major cause for low female labour force participation rate.

Increase in Institutional Deliveries

Women in rural areas have become more aware regarding the various schemes promoting institutional deliveries such as the Janani Shishu Suraksha Yojana which has helped in increasing institutional deliveries from 40% to over 80%.

Women Securing Higher Positions

Women have occupied top ranks and attained immense success in all fields such as sports, politics, performing arts, police, administration, and medicine. Mother Teresa, P. T. Usha, M. S. Subbulakshmi, Kiran Bedi, Dr. Padmavathi, Sushma Swaraj, the great environmentalist and social activist Medha Patkar and Promilla Kalhan have become great names in their fields of their work

In the most recent Olympics, the only two medals for India were won by 2 women. Even in the corporate sector, which used to be dominated by men, women leaders such as Chanda Kochar (ICICI Bank), Arundhati Bhatacharya (SBI Bank), Kiran Majumdar Shaw have become heads of their respective organizations and successfully broken the glass ceiling.


Although, there is still a lot of ground to be covered for Indian women, however it can said in the words of former Miss Universe Sushmita Sen that “Women in India have now become more aware of their rights as individuals and they are now opting for higher positions at work, at the same time being a perfect housewife at home.”

Best Answer: Suraj Patil





India has made encouraging progress by halving its official poverty rate, from 45 percent of the population in 1994 to 22 percent in 2012. This is an achievement to be celebrated yet it also gives the nation an opportunity to set higher aspirations. While the official poverty line counts only those living in the most abject conditions, even a cursory scan of India’s human-development indicators suggest more widespread deprivation.

Above and beyond the goal of eradicating extreme poverty, India can address these challenges posed by poverty and lack of development by creating a new national vision for helping more than half a billion people attain a more economically empowered life, which can be addressed by focusing upon the vulnerabilities of different social groups.


Poverty entails more than the lack of income and productive resources to ensure sustainable livelihoods. Its manifestations include hunger and malnutrition, limited access to education and other basic services, social discrimination and exclusion as well as the lack of participation in decision-making. Various social groups who are vulnerable bear disproportionate burden of poverty.

Development deals with the alleviation or the eradication of poverty. Poverty is inter-related to other problems of underdevelopment. In rural and urban communities, poverty can be very different. In urban India people often have access to health and education but many of the problems caused by poverty are made worse by things like overcrowding, unhygienic conditions, pollution, unsafe houses etc. In rural India there is often poor access to education, health and many other services but people usually live in healthier and safer environments.

Vulnerabilities of different social groups:

Women: They form a greater percentage of poor people than men. The main reason for this is that women have historically had less access to education and paid jobs. Many women have always performed unpaid work as mothers, housewives etc. Many women are employed in poorly paid jobs such as domestic and farm labour.

Children: Poverty has a very severe effect on children. At the moment some of the poorest households in India are those headed by children where parents are either ill or have died from AIDS or other causes. Even in families where parents are still present, children are very badly affected by malnutrition and it has its most severe effect on children between the ages of six months and two years. Malnutrition also means that the children can more easily get diseases and either die young or have poor physical and mental development as a result.

Youth: Poverty and lack of education limits employment opportunities for young people. In India, with our high unemployment rate, many young people have no hope of finding work in the formal sector.

Disabled: About 2.1% of all people in India suffer from some form of disability. In developed countries there are usually grants, support, special institutions and special jobs to help people live full lives in spite of their disability. In developing countries like ours the responsibility of care and support falls on the family.

The elderly: Older people are usually not working anymore and have to be taken care of by the rest of society. In India most poor older people survive on the monthly pensions paid by the state. They also have access to free health care. Because of high unemployment many families share the pensions meant for the elderly and it ends up being insufficient for their needs. Older people also often look after grandchildren and continue to perform unpaid domestic work for their families. This especially applies to older women.


The Empowerment Line begins with the premise that every household who are vulnerable from different social group in India should be able to attain a fundamental sense of economic security, opportunity, and dignity. This new benchmark reveals the dimensions of today’s problem and provides a framework for designing interventions that could deliver a better quality of life for the majority of India’s citizens.

Best Answer: Maximus


5. Give three examples to illustrate the lopsided urbanisation in India.


  • Introduction- What do you mean by urbanisation?
  • How urbansiation in India is lopsided- three examples.
  • Way forward.
  • Conclusion


Urbanization is a form of social transformation from traditional rural societies to modern urban communities. It is long term continuous process.

Lopsided urbansiation in India:

The three examples illustrating the phenomena are-

Regional variation:

  • While southern states like Kerala, Tamil Nadu have more than 50% of their population living in urban areas, the states like Himachal Pradesh and Bihar has urbanisation rate below 15%.
  • Variation within states- Urban slums co-exists tall buildings in Indian cities.

“Planning black holes”:

  • Slums and informal settlements located on city peripheries do not receive basic services such as drinking water, sanitation, healthcare and food stamps. The urban planning processes in place, in the cities, seem to largely disregard people living in informal settlements.
  • Settlements with large populations of Muslims and of recent migrants are more likely to face greater levels of discrimination and institutionalised apathy in the context of basic services. Muslims ghettos with lack of drinking facilities, poor electricity and sewerage system etc dots cities like Delhi(Okhla), Mumbai etc.
  • Migrants, irrespective of their socio-religious identities, are the most excluded of all groups. Because of the absence of reliable municipal governance and enabling institutional processes to draw new groups into the existing service delivery systems.

Environmental challenges:

  • Dangerous levels of pollution in cities like Delhi due to many factors like stubble burning, high number of private vehicles, poor public transport, deforestation etc.
  • Urban heat island effect aggravating climate change.

Way out:

  • Integrated urban planning.
  • Efficient delivery of public services- providing basic amenities.
  • Smart public transport system.
  • Improving urban infrastructure- sewerage system etc.


With 31.2% urbanisation level in India and rapidly increasing levels of urbanisation, the need of hour is to adopt an integrated approach. In this regard effective implementation of schemes like AMRUT, RURBAN mission, SMART city with green ways etc can go a long way in solving the challenge.

Best answer:



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