SYNOPSIS: IASbaba’s TLP – 2018: UPSC Mains General Studies Questions [14th February 2018]- Day 58

  • IASbaba
  • February 16, 2018
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TLP-UPSC Mains Answer Writing
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SYNOPSIS: IASbaba’s TLP – 2018: UPSC Mains General Studies Questions [14th February 2018]- Day 58


Q1. More than history, it’s the geography of India that aggravates the security challenges in the border regions. Analyse.  


  • Introduction: Give a small Introduction of 3-4 lines about India’s border security.
  • Body: In body, mention geographical factors have made it difficult to guard the borders and provide fool proof security.
  • Conclusion: 2-3 line conclusion.


As per Chanakya, neighboring countries can never be friends. It is true especially in perspective of India. So, proper arrangements have to be made to guard its borders from any untoward incidents but due to geographical locations it is causing challenges.  


How more than History, geography is a challenge in border security:

  1. India-Pakistan:
  • Sir creek: Change in course over years.
  • Desert.  
  • POK.
  1. India-China:
  • Himalayas.
  • Rugged terrain.
  • Ladakh and Aksai Chin: Border posts, no proper demarcation through fencing due to difficulties.
  • Weather due to elevation.
  1. India-Bangladesh:
  • River flow: Changing level depending on seasons.
  • Deltas and wetlands: Sundarbans.
  • Water bodies.
  1. India-Myanmar:
  • Rugged mountains:
  • Inaccessible remote places.
  • Cultural relations between tribes.
  • Ever-green forest Covers.
  1. India-Nepal:
  • Open borders.
  • River flows.
  • Mighty Himalayas.
  • Socio-cultural links.
  1. India-Bhutan:
  • Open borders.
  • River flow.
  • Assam Himalayas.


  • Laser fencing.
  • Satellite.
  • Radar technology.
  • Heat signature technology.
  • Drones.
  • Local population help.

Note: Explanation is needed for all points. 8-10 points are enough.


Along with geographical and Historical reasons, with growth in competition and power struggle the challenges in border management have increased manifolds. So, human and cultural connections have to be increase to de-escalate the matter or it might lead to serious issues in near future.

Best Answer: Maximus.



Q2. Illegal arms trade, inflow of counterfeit currency and influx of illegal migrants through India’s porous boundaries pose grave security challenges to the hinterland. Illustrate.  


  • The keyword here is illustration – so use multiple examples
  • Use figures to make your answer stand out more (not drawn in the synopsis, but you should)


A hostile neighbourhood combined with porous borders pose many internal security concerns in terms of illegal arms trade, counterfeit currency and influx of illegal migrants. These are illustrated as follows:

Illegal Arms Trade

The Intelligence Bureau reports that the Indo-China and Indo-Myanmar border is used by China to provide illegal arms to insurgent groups in North-East India and even Naxalite areas deep in the hinterland. Similar problem is faced in the Kashmir Valley where Pakistan trained and operated militant cross over the border with arms supply to carry out terrorist attacks such as the recent ones in Uri and Pathankot army base.

Counterfeit Currency

Fake currency poses a serious threat not only to the national economy, but is also serious internal security concern. Fake currency is used to fund terrorist activities in the country. India-Nepal border being an open border is highly vulnerable to the passage of counterfeit currency. Furthermore, the sea trade lines between the western side and the ‘underworld’ network based out of the Middle-East are also susceptible to illegal trade and transfer of fake currencies.

Illegal Migration

Illegal migration from countries like Bangladesh has caused serious ethnic clashes in the north-eastern states of Assam, Tripura, and Manipur etc. There are also reports of radicalized elements crossing over giving rise to threats of terrorist attacks. The recent case of illegal Rohingya migrants in India is a case in point. Illegal migration from Nepal is a major cause for human trafficking and prostitution in India.

Conclusion / Way Forward

A robust internal security framework is critical for India’s rapid economic development. In this regard there is a need for a comprehensive policy which integrates various threat elements (as discussed above) and creates measures and mechanisms which are multi-dimensional, leveraging the latest technology and innovation. 

Best Answer: Nidhi



Q.3) Terrorist organisations and organised crime cartels have not only appropriated each other’s methodologies but have also developed a symbiotic relationship. Do you agree? Illustrate.


Many observers hold that terrorist groups and transnational criminal networks share many of the same characteristics, methods and tactics. There are many examples cited to demonstrate these observations are not coincidental, but indicative of a trend: a trend that is a growing threat to the security interests of many nations. The dual terrorist and organized crime designations demonstrate that a symbiosis is developing between organized crime and terrorist organizations. The link has been observed around the world.

Changing scenarios post 9/11:

Decreasing state sponsorship for terrorism in the post-9/11 environment has pressed terrorist groups to find alternative sources of financial support. Some groups have formed their own “in-house” criminal capabilities, for example FARC, the LTTE, and Al Qaeda. Several political analyst have argued that this “mutation” in organizational form may lead terrorist groups to ally with organized crime cartels, whereas others have suggested that distinct organizational and ideological differences between the two will prohibit cooperation.

What is terrorism: Terrorism is an act that appears to be intended to terrorise or force a civilian population to influence policy of a government by extortion or to affect the conduct of the government by assassination or abduction.

What is organized crime cartels: Organized crime cartels is described as any group having a corporate structure whose main aim is to obtain money through unlawful activities often surviving on fear and corruption.

We can see this nexus between terrorism and organized crime through many examples from all around the world:

  • We can see from the Pakistani Taliban, as they have engaged in a variety of local criminal activities such as extortion, kidnapping and trafficking in cigarettes to finance their activities including terror.
  • Sharfuddin Memon, director of a Karachi citizens’ crime watch group, described the motivations behind this activity: “The world thinks this is about religion, but that’s a mistake. It’s about money and power. Faith has nothing to do with it.”
  • In Italy, Prosecutor Luigi Orsi acknowledged that after September 11, a number of high-profile cases against Arab businessmen and Islamic charities faded after initial fanfare.
  • In the U.S., police authorities have observed for years how local crime has helped finance terrorist activities. For example, both the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center and the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City were financed in part by local crime.


The Union of organized crime and terrorism is major threat for international security and harmony. These crimes are increasing at rapid rate. It can be concluded from reviewing most important facts of these crimes that Organized crime is a rising as international phenomenon and, as it intersects with terrorism, an increasingly dangerous force.

Best Answer: gargantuan


4. Coastal regions hold immense strategic and economic value. What measures can be taken to strengthen the security ecosystem of coastal regions in India? Discuss.


  • Introduction
  • Strategic value of coastal regions
  • Economic value of coastal regions
  • Measures that can be taken to strengthen coastal security
  • Conclusion


India has about 7516 km long coastline, including two island groups. Nine states have sea-coast including two island territories. The coastal zone inhabits about 25% population of India.

Strategic and economic value of coastal regions:

  • About 90% of our foreign trade by volume and nearly 70% of value is carried out through sea route.
  • Coasts are reservoir of petroleum and sea-food items. Oil exploration facility from seabed installed at Bombay High accounts for more than 15% of nation’s petroleum output.
  • It also provides for economic activities like fishing, saltfarming, handicrafts based on coastal materials.
  • Major industrial activities like metallurgy, ship-building, manufacturing etc. are concentrated around the coasts.
  • The sea-coasts also helps India on security front. India’s three sides are covered by sea. India’s strategic location in sea is helpful.
  • With initiatives like Sagarmala and Mausam Project (connecting several countries located along Indian Ocean Region) the strategic importance of coasts has increased.

Measures that can be taken to strengthen coastal security:

  • Inter-agency coordination.
  • Continuous patrolling by Navy and Coast Guard, modern technical measures have also been implemented for coastal surveillance.
  • Empowering fishermen. Sensitizing them so that they can become ‘eyes and ears’ of coastal security mechanism.
  • Checking coastal pollution caused by shipping industry, ore mining, putting in place oil spill counter-measures etc.
  • Making our coasts resilient to disasters like Tsunami. Having operational Tsunmai warning centres.
  • A dedicated coastal police force to beef up security in coastal regions and strengthening of coast guard.

A comprehensive Coastal Security Scheme (CSS) is required to strengthen security infrastructure in coastal states.


In recent times, Coastal and maritime security has been strengthened substantially by successful implementation of technical, organisational and procedural initiatives, by all maritime security agencies. Plugging gaps, where identified, is required.

Best answer: Jyoti Singh



5. Should a department of homeland security be carved out from the Ministry of Home Affairs? Critically examine.

  • Introduction: Give a small intro about homeland security.
  • Body: In body, mention why a new homeland security department is needed and why it is not needed.
  • Conclusion: 2-3 line conclusion.


One of the most important ministries in Union government of India is Home affairs, which is tasked with several responsibilities and functions. So there is a growing demand to create a separate homeland security department to ensure specialized security  department.


Need for separate homeland security department in Ministry:

  • Increasing terror attacks.
  • To avoid overlapping of command.
  • Bring all security related into one department.
  • Changing nature of security challenges.
  • Technologically advanced crimes: Pornography, piracy, cyber threat and extortion.
  • Multidimensional expertise.

Why it might not help in India’s cause:

  • Law and Order is state subject.
  • Overlapping functions.
  • Financial constraints.
  • Multiple agencies: CBI under Dopt, ED under Finance ministry.

Note: Explanation is needed for all points. 8-10 points in total are enough.


Also state won’t compromise on its authority over law and order issue. It might also lead to political crisis. Home land security is US based model where there is clear cut demarcation of command and authority over things along with enough budgetary support unlike in India.

Connecting the dots:

  • National counter terrorism center.
  • Central armed forces.

For homeland security department of US: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjF4Fr5Opxw

Best Answer: No Best answer.

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