SYNOPSIS: IASbaba’s TLP – 2018: UPSC Mains General Studies Questions [1st January 2018]- Day 26

  • IASbaba
  • January 2, 2018
  • 5
TLP-UPSC Mains Answer Writing
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SYNOPSIS: IASbaba’s TLP – 2018: UPSC Mains General

Studies Questions [1st January 2018]- Day 26


1. American Revolution wouldn’t have happened if there had not been an Age of Enlightenment. Analyse.


The question is asking you to connect the ideas developed during age of Enlightenment and the American Revolution.


The difference between a ‘Revolution’ and just another war is, a revolution results in socio – political changes and also, a revolution is based on strong ideals.

The ideals of American Revolution were developed during ‘the age of enlightenment’ of Europe.

  • American Thinkers who directly influenced the revolution were influenced by the European thinkers. Americans such as Thomas Paine, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin were just as much a part of the Enlightenment as Locke, Adams, Rousseau and Voltaire.
  • Locke and Rousseau developed the Social Contract theory in which they determined that Government derived its power from the consent of the governed.  Jefferson would use these words and others from Locke (life, liberty and property) to espouse the American promise of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
  • Thomas Paine’s Common Sense (1776) gave individuality to colonies and propounded that they have a right to rebel against the British Crown.
  • Diderot created the first encyclopedia, allowing many of the ideas of philosophers of the time to spread among the masses.
  • European enlightenment coined the idea of humanism, which put man as the center of Universe rather than God. This led to formulation of protestant philosophy and capitalism. America adopted the idea of capitalism moving away from mercantile system of Britain. Adam Smith of Scotland spoke in favor of a free market economy, giving rise to laissez-faire and capitalism.
  • Voltaire spoke for the freedom of the press and the tolerance of religions. Drawing on France, the United States was sure to include tolerance of all religions in its founding documents, while also making sure to avoid the pitfalls of church involvement in governing.

Note: You can add more points to this list depending on the word limit.

  • Your examples should prove that American Revolution was a revolution for Natural Rights, Social Contracts, Representative Democracy etc.
  • Conclude the answer by saying that even though American Revolution had its seeds in European Enlightenment, there were several unique ideas and circumstances which led to the actual chain of events. You can give 2 – 3 points to enunciate.

Note: Some common mistakes that many of you have committed in this answer:

  • Writing in detail about the ‘Age of Enlightenment’ was not required.
  • Many aspirants have focused on the thinkers of American revolution and have not linked them with the European enlightenment. Linking the two aged thinkers is very important.
  • People are also copy pasting the exact points. We know the sources where you are copy pasting from. If you are reading something from somewhere, at least try to write an answer in your own words.

Connecting the dots:

Can you say American Revolution was more of an Economic Revolution?

No Best Answer: since most of the answer has drifted from the demand of the question, any best answer is selected. There are few good answers, but since most of their points are directly copy pasted, they have not been selected.



History has shown that large inequalities in wealth and income persist and do not always lead to rebellion and conflict. In fact, very often they do not. Thus, the question of how inequality relates to conflict remains. A review of the literature shows that some inequalities matter more than others. Inequalities can occur between individuals, creating social classes, but also between countries and between cultural or ethnic groups.

“The goal of any political association is the conservation of the natural and imprescriptible rights of man. These rights are liberty, property, safety and resistance against oppression” Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen. According to Montesquieu’s Spirit of the Laws, the only way to maintain an extremely equal or unequal state is via despotism.


  • The French Revolution was caused by economic problems, inequalities in society, the poor leadership of King Louis XVI, and Enlightenment ideas.
  • Leading up to 1789 France was experiencing difficult economic problems throughout their society.
  • French revolution was partly caused by a strictly rigid class system in which rights and privileges were determined at birth, and would never change throughout life except by royal assent.
  • This had been the case throughout Europe for over 800 years, but as the ideas and philosophies of the Enlightenment spread throughout Europe during the 18th century.
  • Many European monarchies had either adapted accordingly voluntarily or otherwise or had kept a lid on them. Neither of these things had happened in France.
  • The French ancient régime of its pre-Revolutionary social order was divided into three tiers or Estates, the First Estate being the clergy, the Second Estate the nobility and the Third Estate being everyone else effectively as the peasantry.
  • 2% of the population was almost free of any taxes, and benefited hugely from the taxes paid by the remaining 98%.
  • So the peasants were not happy. Because they were poor and they were paying strong taxes.
  • But the bourgeois were furious. They were the one supported the economic growth and created wealth. They were rich, very rich, some of them far richer than many people in the aristocracy.

King Louis XVI and the French nobility conflicted on how to increase revenue because France had an unequal tax system.  The nobility and clergy, wealthiest of French society, were exempt from taxation.  Most of the government’s income came from the working merchant class and peasant class.  The nobility was unwilling to change their taxation status leading the French government into bankruptcy.

Effects of the French Revolution:

  • The French Revolution had a major impact on Europe and the New World. Historians widely regard the Revolution as one of the most important events in human history.
  • The French Revolution had many lasting results. It unified and increased the power of the national state.
  • It increased the feeling of French nationalism, and it set a precedent for a democratic French government.
  • It paved way to different types of revolutions and also it has influenced world to go for democracy and good governance.
  • Indian constitution has been influenced by French revolution ideas and it has been cherished and included some of the key terms like democracy, fraternity, equality etc.,


That the French Revolution, contrary to the popular belief, was not a Revolution for Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, against the monarchy, for the democracy and the republic. It was a bourgeois revolution, against the aristocracy. It was not even against the monarchy itself. It is not income inequality, but, among other things, such as taxes inequality.

Best Answer: sandhya


3. How significant were the changes the Industrial Revolution brought to the world in economic, social, and political terms? Describe.


  • Introduction
  • Economic, Social and Political changes
  • Significance
  • Conclusion


The desire to produce more goods at low cost to make higher profits led to the Industrial Revolution and further growth of capitalism. The Industrial Revolution began in England in about 1750. It was then that machines began to take over some of the work of men and animals in the production of goods and commodities.

Changes brought by IR:

The effects of Industrial Revolution can be divided into three categories viz. Economic, Social and Political. They are as follows:

Economic changes:

  • New inventions and developments led to rapid growth of industries and mass production.
  • The economy underwent a structural change from being agriculture based to manufacturing based.
  • Development of Banking and Finance System. Advances in travel, transport and agriculture.
  • Growth of trade worldwide.
  • The concentration of economic power in a few hands resulted in shocking social inequalities and created a wide gulf between capitalists and the rest of the population.
  • Increased production and high demand for raw materials.
  • Exploitation of resources.

Social changes:

  • Population explosion- The society was divided into have and have nots. In order to increase their income, the have nots increase their population.
  • Long working hours disturbed social fabric.
  • Migration from rural areas to Cities. Cities became centres of production. The crowding of people into cities produced problems of housing, health, and sanitation.
  • Life for a villager in the city resulted in many social strains. Many social bonds were dissolved. Many moral restraints which life in a village community imposed broke down.
  • Creation of new jobs and improvement in wages

Political changes:

  • Rise of reformers and social reform movements such as utilatarianism, utopianism, socialism and marxism
  • The Industrial Revolution brought countries and peoples together. The relations between countries and peoples, however, were not based on equality.
  • The Industrial Revolution created an international consciousness among peoples because the developments in one place began to influence the developments in other places.
  • IR led to growth of colonialism and imperialism in the fight for Gold and Glory. IR meant huge requirement for raw materials as well as market for sale of produced goods.


The above changes show how IR led to complete transformation across the world. Every part of the world underwent IR sooner or later. But the ones to get into the race sooner became developed nations and nations like India and African countries that underwent IR later remains developing and under developed.

Best answer: Barbarika


4. Is Aadhar proving to be a boon or bane for citizens? Discuss in light of new methodology of government to give benefits only through Aadhar.

Background: It seems that Aadhaar has become the most important social identification document with the government insisting on it for availing of not just welfare schemes but also every crucial service. Aadhaar linkage has now been demanded for bank accounts, ration cards, death certification and filing income tax returns, and the Centre is also pushing to even link it with driving licences.


  • You can start by defining Aadhar or writing about the statement given in the question
  • Write how Aadhar is proving to be a boon as well as bane for citizens
  • Write few suggestions or alternatives and conclude suitably.


Aadhar is a 12 digit individual identification number issued by UIDAI (Unique identification authority of India) on behalf of Government of India. It serves as identity and address proof anywhere in India.it was originally created to allot a unique identification to each citizen. The DBT (Direct Benefit Transfer) scheme is linked to AADHAR to remove the middle man corruption in various government benefits. Slowly, government has made it mandatory for getting any government benefit for most of the government schemes.

Main Body:

How Aadhar is proving to be a boon for citizens?

  • Easy hassle free access to services (banking, LPG, phone number, etc).
  • Migrants: Provides identification to large number of migrant labors to avail services.
  • Financial inclusion: The identification enables easy opening of bank account leading to financial inclusion of rural folks and ease of operations for banks through Banking Correspondent.
  • Online cost effective verification of beneficiaries leads to Good Governance (minimum government maximum Governance).
  • Unique and robust platform to check duplication and ghost cards.
  • Subsidy costs can be hugely reduced by cutting down intermediaries and eliminating ghost cards.
  • As only one identity card is provided to a person (linked to individual biometrics), there is incentive to be genuine.

How Aadhar is proving to be a bane for citizens?

Unfortunately, many people are not able to link all the services to Aadhar and hence, they were refused to given the benefits. We have heard the news of death of a girl, where the PDS (Public Distribution System) shop did not provide rice to BPL family.

Privacy is another very important concern specially when we have heard more than 200 cases of Aadhar’s data privacy breach. Also, linking Aadhar to bank account, passport, mobile number and PAN card is indirectly giving government access to each citizen’s private life. By just deactivating any Aadhar, any person cannot use his Passport, PAN, mobile number and bank accounts in future. This is going to be a case of state’s over interference in each citizen’s life. These concerns should be taken care as well.

The concerns relating to lack of awareness towards benefits of Aadhar enrolment, poor digital knowledge has led to duping of innocents by the intermediaries involved.

The concept of AADHAR is for the benefit of citizens but linking it to each and everything (and making it mandatory!) will not give us required results. The services can be faster and with more benefits with AADHAR but the ultimate decision to link your Aadhar to most of the things should be left with each individual.


In conclusion, Aadhar brings with it a platform for social revolution and economic growth. It can be fuelled with better public participation and better awareness amongst the citizenry regarding Aadhar and its benefits. In tandem with this, efforts by government to formulate an effective regulatory framework for Aadhar, ensuring the security of biometric information and plugging loopholes through dynamic implementation will help achieve optimum resource utilization and effective service delivery.

Best Answer: Nazia



Q.5) What is Zero Defect – Zero Effect (ZED) scheme? Examine its significance for India’s MSME sector.


  • Introduction: Define what ZED scheme is about.
  • Body: You need to write its significance. First write a line or two about the objectives of scheme then significance.
  • Conclusion: 2-3 lines conclusion is must.


Zero Defect- Zero effect (ZED) scheme was launched to address the quality and ecological needs of all stakeholders namely, consumers, society, manufacturers, regulators and investors. It is focused on Micro, Small & Medium enterprises (MSME).


ZED is based on the principle of:

  • Zero Defect – Production mechanisms wherein products have no defects
  • Zero Effect –Production processes which have no adverse environmental and ecological effects.

Significance for MSME Sector

  • Export Competitiveness – Through better quality products, and also due to manufacturing space created by China owing to huge increase in its factory wages.
  • Domestic consumer base –Better quality products will attract more customers.
  • Improved profits –Through technological upgradation, use of Intellectual Property Rights, reduced wastage and increased productivity.
  • Reduced costs –Energy efficiency, waste recycling and better production processes.
  • Increased investments –With a more environmentally aware world, it’s easy to access credit for green initiatives.
  • Awards and Recognition –Help build a brand image for the MSMEs through the “ZED Mark” and showcase them globally.
  • Environmental responsibility –Make them ‘Responsible Manufacturers’ and in long run make them sustainable businesses.
  • Boost to Startup Culture –Governmental handholding, innovative solutions, and newer technology.

Not only MSMEs, the initiative will help the Indian economy as a whole by turning India as a global manufacturing hub, generating employment, lifting incomes and boosting growth.

Additional information: It is being implemented by Quality Council of India, where on one hand it ensures capacity building and handholding of MSMEs and on the other hand, it takes care of assessment and rating of MSMEs in line with the global best practices and benchmarking.


ZED scheme is highly relevant for achieving India’s ambitious targets of raising share of manufacturing in GDP to 25 percent and Emission commitments of Paris summit. It is also corner stone of Make in India. Along with other reforms this scheme will make Indian MSME sector to compete globally.

Connecting the dots:

  • MSME sector and its relevance.
  • Sustainable Development practices in manufacturing sector.

Best Answer: Madhu



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