SYNOPSIS: IASbaba’s TLP – 2018: UPSC Mains General Studies Questions [6th February 2018]- Day 52

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  • February 10, 2018
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TLP-UPSC Mains Answer Writing
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SYNOPSIS: IASbaba’s TLP – 2018: UPSC Mains General Studies Questions [6th February 2018]- Day 52


Q1. What is World Economic Forum? The visit of the Indian Prime Minister to Davos to attend the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum and his inaugural address were in news recently. What were the key takeaways from it? Discuss.


  • Elaborate on World Economic Forum, its focus areas etc.
  • Then present the key themes touched upon by PM Modi


About WEF:

The World Economic Forum (WEF) is a Swiss nonprofit foundation, based in Cologny, Geneva, Switzerland. Its mission is cited as “committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic, and other leaders of society to shape global, regional, and industry agendas”.

The forum is best known for its annual meeting at the end of January in Davos, a mountain resort in the eastern Alps region of Switzerland. The meeting brings together some 2,500 top business leaders, international political leaders, economists, celebrities and journalists for up to four days to discuss the most pressing issues facing the world.

The organization also convenes some six to eight regional meetings each year in locations across Africa, East Asia, and Latin America, and holds two further annual meetings in China, India and the United Arab Emirates. Beside meetings, the foundation produces a series of research reports and engages its members in sector-specific initiatives.

Key Takeaways from PM Modi’s Inaugural Address at WEF Davos 2017:

  1. Three major global challenges – terrorism, climate change and protectionism
  2. India to become a $5 trillion economy by 2025 on account of opening up of all areas of the economy to FDI
  3. Ease of Doing Business – more than 1400 archaic laws removed, labour-friendly measures taken to attract foreign companies to setup operations in India
  4. Focus on entrepreneurship – with Startup India. India’s startup ecosystem is the second largest in the world after the US.
  5. India is a destination for wellness along with wealth, wholeness along with health and peace along with prosperity. 
  6. Paid attention to India’s history of non-violence and peaceful co-existence, plurality and being the largest democracy in the world
  7. 3Ds – democracy, demography and demand – are the strength of India
  8. Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam – PM Modi defended globalization and criticized the rise in protectionism by developed nations such as US, UK which were harbingers of global integration not too long ago in the past

Best Answer: None

Q.2)  Discuss the structure and mandate of the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The forum was in news recently in India. Why? Discuss.


The International Court of Justice is the “principled judicial organ of the United Nations” (ICJ, 1945), and is based at the Hague in the Netherlands. The International Court of Justice was founded during the early years of the United Nations, namely, in 1945. However, despite its creation during the early formation of the United Nations, the International Court of Justice was actually a byproduct from the earlier League of Nations, the IO that the United Nations essentially came out of.

ICJ structure and mandate:

The ICJ is made up of 15 jurists from different countries. No two judges at any given time may be from the same country. The court’s composition is static but generally includes jurists from a variety of cultures. Despite this diversity in structure, the ICJ has been criticized for favoring established powers. Under articles 3 and 9 of the ICJ Statute, the judges on the ICJ should represent “the main forms of civilization and principal legal systems of the world.”

The function of the ICJ is to resolve disputes between sovereign states. Disputes may be placed before the court by parties upon conditions prescribed by the U.N. Security Council. No state, however, may be subject to the jurisdiction of the court without the state’s consent. Consent may be given by express agreement at the time the dispute is presented to the court, by prior agreement to accept the jurisdiction of the court in particular categories of cases, or by treaty provisions with respect to disputes arising from matters covered by the treaty.

India and ICJ in recent times regarding reelection of its judge to it:

The Indian National Group to the Permanent Court of Arbitration had re-nominated Judge Bhandari as India’s candidate in June 2017. That election had become a contest between Judge Bhandari and the candidate of the United Kingdom Christopher Greenwood. In order to be appointed at the ICJ, the candidate would have required a majority in both the General Assembly and the Security Council of the UN. The UN members for supporting the re-election of its judge to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), India expressed that the election process reflects respect for its constitutional integrity and independent judiciary.

The UN Security Council and the General Assembly voted overwhelmingly in support of India. Judge Dalveer Bhandari received all 15 votes in the UN Security Council and 183 out of the 193 votes in the UN General Assembly. The extraordinary support from the UN membership is reflective of the respect for strong constitutional integrity of the Indian polity and independence of the judiciary in India. The UK decided to withdraw its candidate after a closely fought electoral process.


A great honour for India. The overwhelming majority is an indication how much respect India commands in the international sphere. India’s secular democratic image coupled with its respect for rule of law has yielded this result. The credit goes to all our governments starting from Jawarlal Nehru to the present PM, who built up a positive image for the country through his statesmanship. We, the Indian citizens, should be really happy on this occasion.

Best Answer: Nidhi


3. International NGOs play important roles across the world particularly in the fields of human rights, environmental conservation, poverty alleviation etc. Identify some of the most prominent international NGOs and examine their roles in the fields mentioned above.


  • Introduction
  • Role played by the international NGOs in various fields- Examples are necessary.
  • Conclusion

An international non-governmental organization (INGO) has the same mission as a non-governmental organization (NGO), but it is international in scope and has outposts around the world to deal with specific issues in many countries.

Role played by international NGOs:

In human rights field:

  • Oxfam works to advance women’s wellbeing and increase the benefits of the contributions that women and girls can make to societies and economies.
  • Amnesty International- A worldwide movement of people who campaign for internationally recognized human rights for all. They conduct research and generate action to prevent and end grave abuses of human rights and to demand justice for those whose rights have been violated.

In environmental conservation field:

  • Greenpeace- It is an independent, campaigning organization, addressing the environmental abuse through direct, non-violent confrontations with governments and companies. It exposes the global environmental problems and provides solutions for a healthy environment.
  • WWF- It is an international organization for wildlife conservation with its focus on protecting particular species of wildlife fauna.

In poverty alleviation:

  • Overseas Development Institute- Their mission is to inspire and inform policy and practice which lead to the reduction of poverty, the alleviation of suffering and the achievement of sustainable livelihoods in developing countries.
  • The Hunger Project- Their vision is to build a world where every woman, man, and child leads a healthy, fulfilling life of self-reliance and dignity. Their goal is to end hunger and poverty by pioneering sustainable, grassroots, women-centered strategies and advocating for their widespread adoption in countries throughout the world.


The above are few examples. There exist numerous such organizations which are engaged in welfare activities in various other fields like global politics, economy etc.  However, to make them effective it is required that the issues like lack of coordination between various NGOs, funding issues, challenges they face while working trans-nationally.

Best answer: 81024



4. An increasing impetus has been put on reforming the Bretton Woods institutions. Do you agree with this demand? Substantiate your response.

  • Introduction: Give small introduction about Bretton woods institutions.
  • Body: In body, start answer with why reforms are needed in those institutions, then what type of reforms can be brought in with examples. Also recent changes that has been initiated.
  • Conclusion: 2-3 line conclusion.


To regulate post world war financial order at a conference in Bretton woods, two institutions were established namely World Bank and IMF Headquartered at Washington known as Bretton woods institutions.


The post war era institution has been forced to undertake reforms due to various reasons:

  • Western Domination: US and Europe.
  • Quota system: Biased voting rights based on quotas.
  • Emerging Economies: Negligible presence of African countries and Asian except Japan.
  • Bipolar to multi-polar world.
  • Emerging economies: India, China, Brazil etc.
  • Lack of Transparency: In functioning and selection of heads.


  • Global Financial crisis.
  • European debt crisis.


  • One member one vote: On lines of AIIB.
  • Chiefs: Selection of heads on rotation basis.
  • Loans: more loans to developing countries and African countries.
  • Increasing quota limit: Recently India and China quota were increased.

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


The twin institutions is not able to address the emerging global problems and its failure is visible to all, also the world has shifted from bipolar to multipolar with emerging global powers. So it has to undertake reforms or else it will become redundant with emerging parallel institutions like AIIB, New Development bank etc.

Connecting the dots:

  • Uruguay round

Best Answer: Maximus



5. The growing differences between its two biggest members, India and China, has made the realisation of the potential of BRICS even more challenging. Comment.

  • Introduction: Give a small intro about BRICS and India-China tensions.
  • Body: In body, the answer should include what are the issues between both countries, then how it is affecting BRICS.
  • Conclusion: 2-3 line conclusion.


BRICS is association consisting of 5 emerging global economic powers of world namely Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. It was formed to challenge western domination but due to growing difference between India and China the association is stuck in realizing its potentials.


Issues between India and China dates back to Independence Era beginning from 1962 war and presently there are newer issues arising with passing time:

  1. India’s concerns:
  • Doklam issues: Standoff might have ended but issue is still going on.
  • Border issue: Arunachal Pradesh and Aksai Chin.
  • String of Pearl theory.
  • CPEC.
  • South China Sea.
  • OROB.
  • Border transgression: Ladakh and Uttarkhand.
  • Colombo Submarine docking.
  • Pakistan: Terrorist sanction.
  • NSG entry.
  1. China’s concerns:
  • Dalai Lama.
  • Quad.
  • Japan-India relationship.
  • Pakistan entry to BRICS.

How it is affecting BRICS:

  • Not able to create economic union like EURO zone.
  • BRICS meet has been confined to listing out issues.
  • No redressal or action on any issues concerning all parties.
  • Rest countries are forced to take sides.
  • Only New development Bank was success till date

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


Certain issues take time to get solved and certain issues are beyond the two countries arena of control, so both countries should try to leave those issues outside the ambit of BRICS, try to achieve the objectives of the association and solve their differences bilaterally.

Connecting the dots:

  • G4 countries.
  • Coffee club.

Best Answer: Rocketscientist



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