SYNOPSIS: IASbaba’s TLP – 2018: UPSC Mains General Studies Questions [8th January 2018]- Day 31

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  • January 9, 2018
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SYNOPSIS: IASbaba’s TLP – 2018: UPSC Mains General

Studies Questions [8th January 2018]- Day 31


1. Why did the leadership of many eastern European nations fall to dictators after World War-I? Analyse.


  • Introduction: Write 2-3 lines about World War- I and how it ended.
  • Body: The question asks about Eastern Europe, so be careful. Most of the people end up writing about Italy and Germany. There 4-5 very important points u need to mention why dictatorship emerged.
  • Conclusion: 2-3 lines are must.


World war-I is also called a great war because of the involvement of all major powers around the world, usage of massive arms and ammunition and its aftermath all over the world. It started in 1914 and ended in 1918 with signing of treaty of Versailles. 


After the world war- I most of the eastern European countries fell under dictatorship. The reasons where:

  • Failure of transition from Absolute Monarchy to Democracy/Constitutional Monarchy: Many monarchy/empires fell which could not be sustained by new ruling class and eventually fell to dictatorship.
  • Breakdown of huge empires: Turkey, Ottoman, Russia all of them were huge empires which broke up into several small instable states except Russia.
  • Ideology: Capitalism VS Communism rivalry started between western powers and Russia.
  • Economic situation: Poverty, unemployment, economic situation after world war-I, great economic depression of 1929 all led to crisis in majority of states where transition was still in its infancy.
  • Insecurity and Rivalry: Rivalry between leaders and states which led to assassination attempts, retake of breakaway states etc.
  • Treaty of Versailles: Sharing of war spoils and humiliation of axis powers was one of the reasons.
  • Hyper nationalism: Theory of superiority overtook humanism and leaders capitalized on the sentiments and rose to power.
  • Technology: Final nail in coffin was invention of new weapons technology which could control any uprisings and militarization of states.

Note: Don’t write Treaty of Versailles as first point. It is a History answer so important points should be placed in the beginning. If the question asks about Nazism or Central Europe then Treaty of Versailles comes first.


Also the policy of appeasement adopted by Britain and France due to their inability to check or support because of damages caused to their economy by world war-I played an important role in emergence of dictatorship across Europe.

Connecting the dots:

  • Militarization of Europe after World war-I
  • Reason for failure of League of Nations.
  • World war –II causes.

Best Answer: Jean Grey



Q2. What do you understand by the terms ‘isolationism’ and ‘appeasement’ in the context of interwar period? How did it affect the world? Examine.


  • It’s a straightforward two part question:
  • Explain the terms in the given context and then their impact on the world


After the bloody World War I and the rise of communist Russia, countries in Europe and American continent went for the policy of appeasement and isolationism in order to regain their economic bearings and re-establish peace in Europe during the interwar period (1919-1938).

Policy of Isolationism

It was practiced by US and Canada, especially during the Great Depression period. These nations wanted to focus on their economic revival and isolated themselves from the European alliance conflicts.

During the 1930s, the combination of the Great Depression and the memory of tragic losses in World War I contributed to pushing American public opinion and policy toward isolationism. Isolationists advocated non-involvement in European and Asian conflicts and non-entanglement in international politics. Although the United States took measures to avoid political and military conflicts across the oceans, it continued to expand economically and protect its interests in Latin America

Policy of Appeasement

Appeasement was a policy adopted by Britain during the 1930s. This policy developed from the growing belief that some countries, especially Germany, had been unfairly treated in the peace settlement of 1918-1919. If their grievances could be settled by negotiation, it would avoid the need for aggression. Once these countries were “appeased” in this way, they would act in the same way as others in foreign affairs. This policy was used in the 1930s to try to prevent both Italy and Germany from going to war to achieve their respective objectives.

However, both the policy of isolationism and appeasement had unintended consequences on the world politics of the time.

Impact on the World

  • Caused WW II – as the policy of appeasement by Britain was misused by Hitler for a free run in Europe and build a massive military against the Treaty of Versailles.
  • Curb on Russian Communism – British leeway towards Germany was seen as a measure to counter the growing influence of communism in eastern Europe
  • Failure of League of Nations – US did not participate in the LoN due to its isolationist policies and focus on domestic issues


Despite the positive intentions, the said policies of isolationism and appeasement could be termed as one of the strongest reasons leading up to the World War II. The rise of Nazism and Fascism in Germany and Italy was given a free run to avoid confrontation, which ultimate led to WW II.

Best Answer: Mr. Stoic


Q.3) Do you find a difference between the militarists in Japan and the European Fascists. Critically analyse.


In examining the two countries Japan and Germany, we can say that “Two states, two powers, were defeated in the Second World War. Yet though crushed they arose from the ashes and gradually regained respect, status and leadership”.

Similarities and differences:

  • Germany and Japan have striking similarities in recent history through war and then economic and gradual political renewal but, at the same time, display a very different cultural and historical experience.
  • The differences between the two countries in their attitudes toward World War II and the horrific acts that took place in the years leading up to 1945.
  • This means, in the case of Germany, focusing on the nature of Nazism, the Holocaust, and German feelings of guilt and remorse. But he also draws attention to the horrors of the saturation bombings of German cities such as Hamburg, Berlin and Dresden, which left many Germans feeling that they had been made victims.
  • In Japan, a sense of guilt is absent despite the deaths of 30 million people in the Pacific War.
  • Japan’s regret for the suffering caused by the war is balanced by the belief that because of the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the burning of Tokyo, Japan was more a victim than an aggressor.
  • While only neo-Nazis attempt to justify Hitler’s policies, some Japanese still argue that the East Asian War was justified — that the only mistake was that they were defeated.

The nature of German and Japanese culture, notes “the alliance between culture and power, art and politics in Germany and Japan as both countries moved toward nationalism and imperialism in the 1930s.”

That the German and Japanese fascism hijacked symbols, myths, rituals and ceremonies and resettled them in the new communication of militarist ideology in a deliberate strategy of aesthetics, the art of the totalitarian mind is to capture essential symbols totally and to wage a total war.

An important element in Japanese culture is “Japan’s ability to borrow, adapt and improve ideas, in which it is a characteristic feature of Japan’s rebuilding after the war.


That both countries are the most significant economic and political powers in Europe and Asia, respectively; both seek to become permanent members of the Security Council; and both have an important relationship with the United States. Their external policies differ if only for geographical reasons.

Best Answer: barbarika


4. Internet access should be a basic human right. Do you agree with this view? Give arguments in favour of your answer.


  • Introduction- What internet access is?
  • Internet access should be made a basic human right- arguments in favour.
  • Cannot be made absolute.
  • Conclusion


The right to Internet access, also known as the right to broadband or freedom to connect, is the view that all people must be able to access the Internet in order to exercise and enjoy their rights to freedom of expression and opinion and other fundamental human rights, that states have a responsibility to ensure that Internet access is broadly available, and that states may not unreasonably restrict an individual’s access to the Internet.

Rationale behind making internet access a basic human right:

  • It acts as enabler in improving socio-economic conditions of millions through telemedicine, tele-education, digital library, connecting rural markets with international and urban customers etc.
  • Helps enforce other fundamental rights. It aids in exercise of rights like freedom of speech and expression.
  • Good governance becomes possible through usage of ICT, for this access to internet is quintessential. DBT of subsidies is one such example.
  • Internet makes the flow of information between the government and citizens easy.
  • Rapid dissemination of information especially in an event of disater.

The right to internet access cannot be absolute:

  • Burden on government. The digital infrastructure is still poor. Although Digital India mission is a step in right direction, the progress is slow especially in regards to the Bharat Net Project.
  • Enough room should be there for government to regulate it. Given the misuse of internet- usage by non-state actors, radicalisation, spread of hate messages during disturbances like riots, child pornography etc.
  • Over-reliance on any technology may prove disastrous in an event of cyber attack.


United Nations has declared internet access has human right. Kerala government too has declared it a basic right. In this light there is need to create an enabling environment for internet to be accessible by everyone. Right education, digital literacy, cyber security etc should thus be provided by the government. Also, it should be assured that benefit of its access reaches to every human being regardless of their economic status, gender, location etc.

Best answer: Deadpool




5. Even though science and technology has been in focus since the first five year plan, India has failed to gather momentum in the field of core research. Elaborate.

Introduction: India’s commitment to the use of science & technology as a key instrument in national development has been clearly articulated time and again in various policy documents right from the early years of independence.


  • Introduction
  • Steps since first five year plan
  • Reasons for low momentum in the field of core research
  • Few achievements
  • Initiatives and conclusion

Science and technology in focus since the first five year plan

Jaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India initiated reforms to promote higher education, science, and technology in India. The Indian Institutes of Technology was inaugurated on 18 August 1951 at Kharagpur in West Bengal by the minister of education Maulana Abul Kalam Azad. More IITs were soon opened in Bombay, Madras, Kanpur and Delhi as well in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

Planning Commission (1950) fixed investment levels, prescribed priorities, divided funds between agriculture and industry and scientific research.

Beginning in the 1960s, close ties with the Soviet Union enabled the Indian Space Research Organisation to rapidly develop the Indian space program and advance nuclear power in India even after the first nuclear test explosion by India in 1974 at Pokhran.

Failure to gather momentum in the field of core research


  1. Certainly, one problem is the comparatively low level of overall research investment — the present 0.9% in GDP is notably less than China’s 1.5% or the 2.6% of the US.
  2. Insufficient scientific research in India’s private sector seems to be part of the problem. The large pharmaceutical sector, for example, remains dominated by the fabrication of generic products rather than original formulations.
  3. At present, a large section of the country’s public research is concentrated in national research centres such as the S. N. Bose Center, the Raman Research Institute and organizations such as the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science. In comparison, research at universities has been neglected.
  4. It is not only in terms of research where India’s universities are left behind. Its multifaceted higher education structure includes thirteen elite Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT), and their more recent spin-offs, the Institutes of Information Technology. However, to be able to lift a population of 450 million out of poverty and to have them participate in the country’s economic development, higher education needs to be a priority.
  5. One study argued that Indian science did not suffer from lack of funds but from unethical practices, the urge to make illegal money, immense misuse of power, frivolous publications and patents, faulty promotion policies, victimisation for speaking against wrong or corrupt practices in the management, sycophancy, and brain drain.

Few Developments in Scientific research:

However, the progress made by our country since then in attainment of the stated goals in policy and plan documents has been substantial in some areas.

In the past five decades 200 universities affiliating around 3000 colleges have been established to serve as an incubation ground for producing lakhs of technically qualified professionals. The pioneering Indian spirit has manifested itself in many fields; many frontiers have been won over.

1.Agricultural Research and Development

2.Green revolution

3.Defence Research and Development: Kaveri Engine,Sonars,Missiles etc

4.Space Research: Indian Satellite Systems, INSAT & development of India’s intellectual capital

5.Computing:PARAM supercomputer

6.Neutrino Observatory, LIGO and CERN collaborations

Recent Initiatives to promote Core scientific research

Science, Technology & Innovation Policy 2013

National Intellectual Property Rights Policy

Technology Vision Document 2035

Space Vision India 2025


Science in India still has significant potential for further development. Although scientists from the subcontinent excel on an international level, the huge potential offered by the country’s young population is far from being fully leveraged. Yet, India has a long and proud tradition of scientific excellence. As economic development advances and a broader section of society benefits from high-quality education, science in India will be able to fully capitalize on this unique heritage.

Best Answer: Sandhya




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