SYNOPSIS: IASbaba’s TLP – 2018: UPSC Mains General Studies Questions [5th February 2018]- Day 51

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  • February 8, 2018
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TLP-UPSC Mains Answer Writing
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SYNOPSIS: IASbaba’s TLP – 2018: UPSC Mains General Studies Questions [5th February 2018]- Day 51


Q1. We are witnessing a trend of increasing protectionism and isolationism by the developed countries of the world. What reasons can be attributed to this trend? How will it affect India’s interests? Examine.


  • It is a 3 part question
  • Define what is protectionism
  • Then mention the reasons why protectionism is increasing
  • Last, discuss the impact on India – both negative and positives


What is protectionism?

Protectionism is the economic policy of restraining trade between nations through qualitative and quantitative methods such as tariffs on imported goods, restrictive quotas, and a variety of other restrictive government regulations.

Reasons for Increasing Protectionism

They are designed to discourage imports, and prevent foreign take-over of local markets and companies. This is a policy of anti-globalization and almost opposite to free trade. The term protectionism is used because this doctrine protects the business and labour within a country by restraining trade with foreign countries. For e.g. USA is resorting to protectionism to counter a rising China, bring back manufacturing jobs and decrease unemployment.

Impact on India


  • India’s service exports will be negatively affected. For e.g. the IT industry which caters to the US, Europe market.
  • It will become more difficult for India’s skill labour to migrate to developed countries. The much valued remittances in foreign exchange will decline affecting India’s Current Account Deficit. For e.g. the H1B work visa used by over 1 lac Indian workers in USA is becoming difficult to get
  • Technology transfer and foreign investments will get hard to come by. It will affect India’s economic growth as domestic resources are limited.


  • In the long run, it will help India build its domestic industry and focus on the domestic market – which is 4 times the size of US.
  • Reverse brain drain – as the skilled labour force can return to India and contribute to India’s economic development. For e.g. the startup environment in India is the 2nd largest after the US where the skilled labour can take up research and innovation work


As global economy slows down, especially in the developed world, the policy of protectionism and isolation is here to stay. It might affect India’s exports, but it should look inwards and focus on the domestic market and build its manufacturing base in like with Make in India. India should realize that it is going to be the global growth centre and the developed countries need it more than the other way around.

Best Answer: None

Q.2) The National Security Strategy (NSS) of the United States of America (USA) gives India a chance to seize the opportunities in countering terrorism and promoting peace and stability in Afghanistan and, more broadly, the Indo-Pacific. Comment.


The strategic importance given to India-US relationship in the new National Security Strategy released by the US. As two responsible democracies, India and the US share common objectives, including combating terrorism and promoting peace and security throughout the world, especially promoting peace and stability in Afghanistan.

A close partnership between India and the US contributes to peace, stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region as well as to the economic progress of the two countries. The NSS made a special mention of India in the context of Indian Ocean security in tune with its strategic calculus on the Indo-Pacific region.

How USA and India is engaging:

The two sides there are so many military-to-military engagements and exercises; supply of high-tech US weaponry to India; curbing cross-border terrorism, especially emanating from Pakistan; and the regional issues of Afghanistan and the Indo-Pacific. There was close agreement on stepping up cooperation in the Indo-Pacific. India supports freedom of navigation, over-flight and unimpeded lawful commerce. Both the countries also believed that disputes should be resolved through peaceful means and in accordance with the universally recognized principles of international law.

In recent times USA calling India a “central strategic partner” of the U.S. in pursuing common interests in the region, as the two of the world’s largest air forces were going to jointly shift the focus on the Indo-Pacific region and asserted that the rules-based order must be preserved in the critical sea lanes.

A geopolitical competition between free and repressive visions of world order is taking place in the Indo-Pacific region, which stretches from the west coast of India to the western shores of the United States, represents the most populous and economically dynamic part of the world. The US interest in a free and open Indo-Pacific extends back to the earliest days of our republic, in which the National Security Strategy (NSS) of the United States of America (USA) gives India a chance to seize the opportunities in countering terrorism and promoting peace and stability in Afghanistan and, more broadly, the Indo-Pacific.

It said that it will welcome India’s emergence as a leading global power and stronger strategic and defence partner. And also it will seek to increase quadrilateral cooperation with Japan, Australia, and India.” The first quadrilateral meeting at the senior officials’ level took place in Manila, on the sidelines of the ASEAN and East Asia summits.

The strategy paper also mention that it will expand USA defense and security cooperation with India, a Major Defense Partner of the United States, and support India’s growing relationships throughout the region. And the status of a major defence partner was granted by the outgoing Obama administration in 2016 and has been endorsed and carried forward by the Trump administration.


The new NSS offers a new prominence for India as part of the American approach to a higher-profile Indo-Pacific region. But whether the Trump administration will be able to fill the crucial economic gaps in the India and Indo-Pacific strategy remains an open question.

Best Answer: Payal bokar


3. Is India’s stand against China’s Belt-Road initiative justified? Critically examine the issues from the perspective of India’s strategic interests.


  • Introduction
  • India’s stand against OBOR
  • Issues from the perspective of India’s strategic interests
  • Way forward
  • Conclusion


China’s One Belt One Road initiative, or OBOR, hopes to link more than 65 countries, encompassing up to 40 percent of global GDP. It will link China to Asia, Europe and Africa via an ambitious network of ports, roads, rail and other infrastructure projects.

Beginning in China’s Fujian province, the projected Maritime Silk Route passes through the Malacca Strait to the Indian Ocean, moving along the Red Sea and the Mediterranean, ending in Venice.

India’s stand:

India has stayed away from the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) summit, citing sovereignty, procedural and leadership issues.

Issues from the perspective of India’s strategic interests:

  • CPEC passed through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, a disputed territory between India and Pakistan, leading to sovereignty and territorial integrity issues.
  • The Maritime Silk Road reinforces New Delhi’s concerns about encirclement. Beijing’s port development projects in the Indian Ocean will complicate India’s security calculus.
  • Indian critics contend that China may use its economic power to increase its geopolitical leverage and, in doing so, intensify security concerns for India.
  • India has also expressed concern on the evolution of the BRI.
    Mutual agreements on infrastructure projects should be transparent and debt repayments be made easier for recipient countries.

Way ahead:

  • The connectivity initiatives must be based on universally recognised international norms, good governance, rule of law, openness, transparency and equality.
  • India and China need to ensure that their differences on political questions do not prevent both sides from advancing economic cooperation


The success of OBOR depends on China’s ability to move beyond the bilateral framework and allowing a truly multilateral vision for the project to evolve. Otherwise, China can expect to contend with opposition from more countries than India.

Best answer: Amruth V Patela



4. USA’s recognition of Jerusalem as the sole capital of Israel has drawn flack from the Arab League and the international community. It has created a dilemma for India’s foreign policy keeping in view the recent tilt in India’s stance towards the Israel-Palestine issue. What is your opinion in this regard? Should India vocally reiterate its earlier support for the Palestinian cause? Discuss.

  • Introduction: Give small introduction about Jerusalem issue.
  • Body: In body, start answer with agreeing or disagreeing and give points to validity your stand but also give other side to make it a balanced answer. Don’t take any stands or use harsh lines to prove your points. You are writing as a bureaucrat not politician.  
  • Conclusion: 2-3 line conclusion.


The bone of contention between Israel and Palestine is Jerusalem and recently US recognized Jerusalem as sole capital of Israel drawing criticism around the world. This issue dates back to formation of Israel state and India’s recent vote has caused dilemma in the foreign policy circles.


India’s vote against Jerusalem move by US was a step in right direction:

  • Historical stand.
  • Muslim community: India has sizable population.
  • Arab countries: Diaspora, energy security.
  • Stability of region.

Rather India could have abstained from voting because:

  • Kashmir issue.
  • Arunachal Pradesh.
  • Respect for sovereignty.
  • Non-interference in neighbor’s territorial issues.
  • Israel importance for India.
  • US importance for India.
  • UNSC veto.

Note: Explanation is needed for all points. Important points that are required in body are given.


Foreign policy in present scenario is based on Realpolitik, for India Palestine is important but Israel is equally important. For a developing country which has many issues to deal with and also dreams, going against US might affects its prospects in Globalized world. We are no more in Isolation phase. So any step taken will have its effects.

Connecting the dots:

  • Balfour Declaration

Best Answer: Rajeev


5. To view the diaspora only through the looking glass of remittances and financial flows is to take a myopic view. Not all expatriates need to be investors and their development impact measured only in terms of financial contributions to the home country is to miss the larger picture. Comment.

  • Introduction: Give a small intro about India’s Diaspora.
  • Body: In body, the answer should include how they are useful to India’s and its growth.
  • Conclusion: 2-3 line conclusion.


India has a very strong diaspora presence around the world which amounts to millions. Their contribution to homeland is immense which cannot be measured only in physical units. But they are viewed as source of foreign earning in form of remittance and bringing investment to country which needs to be changed.


Indian Diaspora’s contribution to their homeland:

  • Soft Diplomacy: Track – II diplomacy. Ex: US civil agreement.
  • Cultural Ambassadors: BKS Iyengar who taught Queen of England Yoga.
  • Pressure groups and lobbying group: Merit based Visas.
  • HRD ambassadors: Raghuram Rajan, Satyanadella, Vishwananthan Anand.
  • Brand India: they are marketers of Brand India.
  • Political diplomacy: Bobby Jindal, Nikki Haley, Rishi Sunak.
  • Technology help: They can help in transferring high end technology.
  • Make in India: Influence companies to set base.
  • Education: Visiting professors, Help in increasing educational standards. Ex: Amartya sen, Venkataraman etc.

Note: Explanation is needed for all points. Examples are also very important.


India’s Diaspora has helped their homeland immensely in various capacities. For instance, they are the largest fundraisers in US politics which helped US renew its ties with India after Operation Shakti. Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is a very important initiative to recognize their efforts and show that they are not just about financial importance but true ambassadors of India.

Connecting the dots:

  • Roma community.

Best Answer: Quest.



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