SYNOPSIS: IASbaba’s TLP – 2018: UPSC Mains General Studies Questions [8th February 2018]- Day 54

  • IASbaba
  • February 12, 2018
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TLP-UPSC Mains Answer Writing
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SYNOPSIS: IASbaba’s TLP – 2018: UPSC Mains General Studies Questions [8th February 2018]- Day 54


Q1. A digitally empowered India must also be digitally secure. Examine in the light of the emerging threats to the digital ecosystem.


  • It is a simple 1 part question
  • Using current examples discuss the various threats to India’s digital dream. Conclude accordingly


Good governance is defined by transparency, responsiveness and efficiency. In this regard, the Indian government envisioned a digitally empowered India when it launched the Digital India Mission in 2014. Benefits of a digitally run India are many – governance becomes more accountable, economic growth becomes inclusive as access to services is widened.

For e.g. the Aadhaar linked Jan Dhan accounts receiving direct subsidies without any leakage or misappropriation of funds.

However, the success of creating a digitally empowered India critically depends on the security and stability of the digital ecosystem which faces many emerging threats such as:

  • Increasing cyber-attacks – India received the 3rd largest number of cyber-attacks after the US and China. Such attacks pose an eminent threat to India large digital data. For e.g. the Aadhaar database
  • Threats of cyberwarfare – from neighbouring countries such as China and Pakistan as direct confrontation is increasingly becoming difficult. There have been reports of Chinese companies spying on Indian consumers through Chinese mobile phones and apps.
  • The dream of a less-cash economy driven by digital transactions require a robust and secure digital infrastructure to gain people’s trust
  • India’s digital literacy levels are abysmally low (less than 10%) making the population highly vulnerable to online scams and frauds such as debit card theft.


Furthermore, the digital infrastructure in India is far from adequate. 2/3rd of rural India is yet to be connected via high speed broadband. The quality of infrastructure is highly uneven. The nodal agency for cyber security – CERT-In – is highly understaffed as it is unable to attract the brightest minds in the country. The IT Act 2000 lacks a detailed framework for data protection.

A digitally empowered India is a great India with obvious benefits for all. However, without a robust security infrastructure in place, it can fast turn into a digital catastrophe.

Best Answer: Ashutosh Tripathi



Q.2) What is the ‘fake news’ phenomenon? Does it pose a security threat to the country? Examine.


Fake news, or hoax news, refers to false information or propaganda published under the guise of being authentic news. Fake news websites and channels push their fake news content in an attempt to mislead consumers of the content and spread misinformation via social networks and word-of-mouth. “Fake news is made-up stuff, masterfully manipulated to look like credible journalistic reports that are easily spread online to large audiences willing to believe the fictions and spread the word.” And this phenomenon has been trending from long time, but in different forms.

Fake News Industry which pose a security threat to the country:

The advent of social media has spurred the proliferation of fake news. Print media is careful about the source of news but that depends on the credibility of publications; the same principles do not apply across the board. A short and indiscrete news report may be ignored by readers but if the same is circulated via social media, it is easily consumed.

In a conflict zone, especially the one involving proxies and hybrid conditions, spread of antipathy among people against the army is a well-established strategy. It is not difficult to incite passion as certain issues like alleged human rights violations are kept alive through disinformation campaigns.

The video format is popular for the dissemination of fake news on social media. With diverse platforms available, one does not have to even depend on YouTube, as embedded short clips can be easily circulated on WhatsApp, seemingly a villain among social media sites. The proliferation of WhatsApp groups whets the voyeuristic appetite of people.

Examples of such fake news:

A recent example of fake news, as part of Pakistan’s strategy of ‘bleed by a thousand cuts’ against India, includes a two-minute video which tries to impinge on the minds of Indian Muslims that before the Indo-Pak conflict of 1965, there existed a Muslim Regiment in the Indian Army which refused to fight the Pakistanis. It further claims that this regiment was disbanded, and thereafter, no Muslim was ever allowed to fight on the border.

The fake video supplements this with a 2010 article from Pakistani media which tries to question why Muslim representation in the Indian Army remains low and how statistics are never available to counter such notion. With people likely being gullible on this subject, such WhatsApp messages-cum-slanderous news will be absorbed instantly.


It is now clear that so-called fake news can have real-world consequences and it might pose a security threat to the countries. This is not about politics or partisanship. Lives are at risk lives of ordinary people just trying to go about their days and do their jobs, contribute to their communities. It is a danger that must be addressed and addressed quickly. It is imperative that leaders in both the private and public sector step up to protect our democracy and innocent lives.

Best Answer: kanishka


3. What are the threats associated with the unregulated growth of Social Media? Examine. Also discuss the ways in which Social Media should be regulated to thwart the security challenges posed by its burgeoning growth in India.  


  • Introduction- What is social media, its growth etc.
  • Threats associated with social media.
  • Regulating social media.
  • Conclusion.


Social Media in recent times has become synonymous with Social Networking sites such as Facebook or Micro Blogging sites such as Twitter.
Since 2004. there has been a widespread growth of the social media. It unites millions of people across the globe on a single platform. But there are two sides of a coin. The social media also possess a serious threat to the national security of a nation.

Threats associated with social media:

Threat to internal security:

  • Cyber terrorism – The biggest challenge for internal security of nation through social networking site is cyber terrorism. Around 90% of the organized terrorism on the Internet takes place through the social media. For example, the terrorist group of ISIS spreads their messages and activities through the social media.
  • Communal Violence – Rumours spread on the social media had resulted in violence and tense situation in different parts of the country.
    Example- Violence against people form Northeast India in Bangalore.

Threat to economy:

  • The rapid spread of false information through social media could “wreak havoc” for businesses and global markets, the World Economic Forum has warned. Misinformation has the potential to spark panic selling of shares, or panic evacuations.
  • Hacking of bank acccounts, fraudulent schemes.

Ways to regulate social media in India:

  • Enacting a data protection law based on seven pillars proposed by Srikrishna committee.
  • India must learn the lessons of regulators in other territories such as the European Union (EU) in order to find solutions to its own particular challenges as outlined in this article.
  • Finalizing a social-media policy to help intelligence agencies and security forces to effectively deal with any propaganda.
  • Making technological needs to monitor social media more systematic. Cyber security personnel must be trained to keep an eye on any misue of social media.


There should be regulation social media, at the same time avoiding censorship. Draconian laws like Section 66A of IT Act, which was struck down by Supreme court must be avoided.

Best answer: gargantuan



4. Critically evaluate the efficacy of the existing legal, institutional and structural safeguards to protect the cyber ecosystem in India.

  • Introduction: Give small introduction about need for safe cyber eco system in India.
  • Body: In body, separate into two parts. In first, sub-divide each part as per demand of question and give points accordingly. In second part write how they have performed.
  • Conclusion: 2-3 line conclusion.


With advancement in science and Technology, the threat to country has also increased. Without any presence of boots on ground huge damages can be done via cyber world. So creating safe ecosystem is very important.


  1. Legal:
  • Indian Telegraph Act 1885: Surveillance and monitoring.
  • National Cyber security policy, 2003.
  • IT act, 2000.
  • Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Interception, Monitoring and Decryption of Information) Rules, 2009.
  • Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973
  1. Institutional:
  • License for Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and Telecom Service Providers (TSPs).
  • The Cyber Appellate Tribunal.
  • CERT-IN.
  • NIC.
  1. Structural Safeguards:
  • Department of Electronics and Information Technology
  • Ministry of Home affairs.
  • Intelligence bureau and RAW.
  • Digital: Digital Signature, Encryption etc.

In spite of so many security structures in place the threat perception still exists due to:

  • Lack of Expertise.
  • Rules implementation.
  • Judicial issues: tribunals, Aadhaar, 66A etc.
  • Infrastructure: Laboratories, specialist force on lines of foot soldiers in borders.
  • Finance.
  • Research and Development.

Note: Explanation is needed for all points. Important points that are required in body are given. 8-10 points are enough.


Technological advancement is both boon and bane for all countries. It used in proper way it can be a tool to build new civilizations if not it can also be a tool to destroy entire human advancement and take us back to medieval period. So government should take efforts to fix all loopholes and be innovative and think ahead of anti-social elements and create any safeguards.

Connecting the dots:

  • Public Surveillance and intelligence gathering in India.  

Best Answer: kaniska.



5. The last three years have seen witnessed the adoption of a slew of measures to curb and control black money in the economy. Discuss their fine prints and critically analyse their performance.

  • Introduction: Give a small intro about Black Money Problem.
  • Body: In body, the answer should contain two parts, one for measures adopted and second how effective they were.
  • Conclusion: 2-3 line conclusion.


Black Money refer to undisclosed money earned through legal or illegal means which is a national problem as it not only affects the growth and development of country but it creates huge disparities among people, leads to internal security problems  and many more.


Measures taken to curb black money:

  • Demonetization.
  • Income disclosure scheme.
  • Prevention of money laundering act.
  • Benami Transaction act.
  • DTAA.
  • P-Notes regulation.
  • Operation clean money.
  • Project Insight.
  • SIT.
  • Panama Papers.

How effective were they:

  • 98% of money came back during Demonetization but it helped formalize economy and bring many under formal banking.
  • Increase in Tax base.
  • Notice issued to many individual and many shell companies identified.
  • Concern regarding harassment due to Benami act.
  • Proxy deposits in Jan Dhan Accounts.

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


In order to tackle Black money generation and circulation certain tough measures were taken and as pointed out by economic survey short benefits might have been not much but in long term it will benefits the economy due to formalization.

Connecting the dots:

  • Money devaluation.

Best Answer: Prady Peter



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