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Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 26 May 2017



NOTE: Please remember that following ‘answers’ are NOT ‘model answers’. They are NOT synopsis too if we go by definition of the term. What we are providing is content that both meets demand of the question and at the same time gives you extra points in the form of background information.


General Studies – 1;

Topic:  Political philosophies – their forms and effect on the society.

1) Differentiate between liberalism and liberalisation. Examine how liberalisation has affected liberalism, especially in Indian education system. (200 Words)

The Hindu

Liberalism is an ideology, where as liberalization is one of the tools to bring liberalism in effect.

Liberalism is a political philosophy founded on ideas of liberty and equality in the form of freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, free markets, civil rights, democratic societies, secular governments, gender equality, and international cooperation.

Liberalization largely connotes economic aspect of liberalism. Liberalization of the economy means to free it from direct or physical controls imposed by the government, manifesting as free trade, free flow of capital, privatization, openness of economy and integration with global economy. However, the term liberalization can also be associated with political, cultural and other aspects too.

When we talk about effects of liberalization on liberalism ,we mean economic liberalization and politico-social liberalism. The LPG reform of India which brought much needed respite in the economy back in 90’s has certainly not done enough in the social sector particularly in Health and education.


  • The national policy on education drafted in 1986 had mostly adhered to the established state-centric view.
  • In the ‘structural adjustment program of LPG reforms the World Bank offered a ‘safety net’ for primary education. It meant additional resources and policy guidance to enable the system to expand its capacity for enrolling children. The District Primary Education Program (DPEP), which later mutated into Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), symbolized the ‘safety net’ approach. It was designed to cushion the harsh effects that ‘structural adjustment’ under liberalization was expected to cause in welfare sectors like children’s education and health. The success of these program emboldened the government to push the Right to Education (RTE) law through Parliament. Governments of many States were unable to fund the implementation of RTE after the Central assistance provided under SSA runs dry. Post-RTE, many State governments have drawn on the services of mega-NGOs and private companies to look after schools. Under the policy of liberalization, the state has outsourced the schools to non-state players. Majority of these schools are attended by poor students.
  • The rich students have moved to private schools.
  • Thus liberalization policy compromised the idea of equality of opportunities and social justice.
  • Privatization of schools encouraged competition and profiteering at the cost of value education and social justice.


In higher education, the new economic policy designed on the principles of liberalization offered no safety net. higher education has to generate its own resources and has to respond to market demands in terms of knowledge and skills. Over the last three decades, these two guiding ideas emerged from the liberalization have dented the established system of higher education in all parts of the country. Both Central and State universities have been starved of financial resources. This has affected the Quality of higher education .

With the increasing liberalization of economy, importance of capitalistic forces increased and More and more focus on technical education and market demands lessened the importance of values of freedom and social justice. This led to the emergence of radical leftist student movements in universities. They are the proponents of the social liberalism but oppose liberalization of economy.

Skill development and social justice –

To fulfill the market demands , emphasis is given to skill development of potential workforce from all sections of society, providing them opportunities of social upliftment .

Thus, these vocational training institutes and skill development program promote values of social liberalism.


Thus, Liberalization in its current form may not be fit to uphold the values of welfare state, it needs to reinvent itself for achieving holistic development in socio-economic field.


General Studies – 2

Topic:  Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora. 

2) Examine why the Indian diaspora have preferred to vote for Labour Party in the UK over the years. Is this preference changing now? Also examine how the policies of two major parties in the UK have affected Indian community there. (200 Words)

The Hindu

Introduction :- The historical ties of Indian community with the labour party go back to the days of British rule in India during the tenure of which India got freedom in 1947. Further, labour party has always encouraged and endorsed the Indian community in England in the matters of migration of working class to England or protecting their interests and upliftment. This helped them to get support from Indian workers over the years.  Research in the run-up to the 2015 general election, put Indian support for Labour at 65%, against 27% for the Conservatives and 3% for the Liberal Democrats. 

But, now generations have passed and the younger generation may not share the same view in the changed political scenario and loyalties


BREXIT issue –

Like most ethnic minority groups Indians voted strongly in favour of remaining within the European Union (EU) — 59% of those of Indian origin voted to remain, against 48% of the population as a whole. 

While the Conservatives have focused on their re-election as the best chance for Brexit negotiations, Labour has pledged to rewrite Britain’s approach to Brexit, to include guaranteeing the rights of those EU nationals already in the country, and to protect working rights and environmental standards. The Liberal Democrats, by contrast, have positioned themselves as the party that would work to ensure Britain avoided a “hard Brexit” and retained access to the single market.

Indian candidates in the election –

Both the parties- Labour party and Conservative party have diversified their candidate base and both have almost equal amount of Indian candidates in the election. This may result in division of Indian votes.

Immigration policies –

The anti-immigration policies of the conservatives are not endorsed by the Indian community at large. Thus the majority of the Indian voters remain in favor of the labour party which has promised to protect the working rights.
The conservatives are looking forward to increase the earning threshold of those who want to bring their spouses from outside EU. This will divide the family ties. In contrast, the labour party has an opposite view that it will eliminate the threshold levels. 

Labour party has policies that relate to Indian workers , like taking control of industries, giving control back to workers, looking after ordinary working people. These are supported by Indian workers .

Caste and race issues –

Some sections of the Indian community are in support of the conservatives because of their opposition to the legislation against caste discrimination as promised by the liberal democrats. However , the law is supported by Dalit community .

The Labour party has pledged a further review into Britain’s involvement in Operation Blue Star at the Golden Temple in Amritsar in June 1984. This has been welcomed by Sikh community groups, including the Sikh Federation.

Conservatives’ pledge to tackle issues such as the racial disparity across public services, enforce equality laws to ensure that services weren’t denied on the basis of ethnicity, religion or gender, and also require the biggest companies to publish information on the pay gap for people of different ethnic groups.


The chances of shift of the Indian voters from Labour party to the conservatives will be considerably less and it all depends on the grit of the labour party to keep their promises and also on the new policies of the conservatives. Sudden change in the political alignments of Indian diaspora in Britain is unlikely.


Topic:  Mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections

3) Discuss the important recommendations made by the Law Commission in its 268th Report. (200 Words)

The Hindu

Introduction :- Law commission is an executive body under the Ministry of law and justice. In its 268th report, the issue of early and accessible bails to the undertrials was emphasized.

It was observed that the ‘bail is norm and jail is exception’ remains true only for the rich and due to this, Indian prisons have become overcrowded with the undertrial people.

The commission also observed that poverty was the main reason of so many people remaining in jails. Bails are used mostly by the rich in the country today. This is because of the need of Financial bond to avail a bail. Even SC highlighted concern that the under trials are languishing in jails due to poverty.

Prisons in India are over populated and this affects the human rights of prisoners. In this context, the fact that 67% of prisoners are under trials is a matter of concern.

The commission also observes that the main problem in India is the slow judicial system and expedition of justice will only be able to resolve the problem incarceration of poors and the denial of justice as delay in justice is denial of justice.

Law commission recommended following changes –

  • Section 436A of code of criminal procedures states that a person can be released on bail on personal bond of he/she has served detention for half of time of the imprisonment specified for that offence. The commission suggested that the law remains the same for offence stipulating imprisonment for more than 7 years. But, for less than 7 years, the compulsory detention period for which bail would not be granted could be reduced to 1/3 rd of the detention period. And those who spend whole period as undertrial, the period can be considered for remission.
  • The commission also gave an illustrative list of conditions that could be imposed in lieu of financial bonds so that there could be uniformity of severity of law for both rich and poor.
  • Early bail –
  1. If the under trial completed one third of his/her maximum sentence of less than 7 years, if convicted.
    2. If the under trial competed half of the maximum sentence of more than 7 years, if convicted.


The real solution to the problem of under trials is in providing speed trials. Only a faster judiciary can give justice to people irrespective of their Financial positions, unlike bail provisions.


Topic:  Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate. 

4) Throw light on mandate and functions of the International Court Justice (ICJ) as being revealed in the recent Kulbhushan Jadhav case. (200 Words)

The Hindu

Introduction :-

What is the issue?

  • Kulbhushan Jadhav is an Indian national who was arrested by Pakistan from Balochistan over charges of terrorism and spying
  • The Pakistani government states that he is a serving commander in the Indian Navy who was involved in subversive activities inside Pakistan, and was arrested on 3 March 2016 during a counter-intelligence operation in Balochistan.
  • The Indian government recognises Jadhav as a former naval officer, but denies any links with him and maintains he took premature retirement and was possibly abducted from Iran.
  • On 10 April 2017, Jadhav was sentenced to death by a Field General Court Martial (FGCM) in Pakistan.
  • ICJ has temporarily stayed the execution till it hears India’s plea that Pak violated the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations by denying him consular access.

About ICJ –

  • principal judicial organ of the UN
  • seat – The Hague (the Netherlands)
  • Of the 6 principal organs, it is the only one not located in New York
  • Established – June 1945
  • Role – settle, in accordance with international law, legal disputes submitted to it by States and give advisory opinions on legal questions referred to it by UN or its bodies
  • Composition – 15 judges , elected for 9-yr terms by UNGA and UNSC , assisted by a Registry, its administrative organ.
  • How ICJ functions – ICJ gives international treaties/law precedence over bilateral agreements. Therefore, despite a bilateral agreement (with India), Pakistan will be declared guilty of violating the Vienna convention.

Parties to Cases in ICJ –

In contentious cases – only states , though the Court may receive information from other international organizations

In advisory cases – only specified UN bodies and agencies.

ICJ’s Jurisdiction –

  • all UN members come under its jurisdiction automatically (Art. 93, UN Charter)
  • non-UN members can also subject themselves to ICJ’s jurisdiction (Art. 93(2))
  • jurisdiction involves 2 types of cases -contentious and advisory.

Art. 36 –

  • specifies rights of consular officials/detained nationals in foreign countries
  • it allows for communication, visits to and legal representation of detained nationals of the sending state (India here).

The Dispute –

India claims Pak violated Art. 36.

Art. 36(1) provides the ICJ “compulsory jurisdiction” in case of ‘international treaties’.

Pak says -Art. 36 is inapplicable  in cases of espionage and terrorism . ICJ lacks jurisdiction as the 2008 bilateral agreement exempts ICJ’s intervention

 ICJ’s Stand –

The court has compulsory jurisdiction in case on international treaties, means an aggrieved state can drag the violator to ICJ.

 It has temporarily stayed Jadhav’s execution as a ‘provisional measure’ under Art. 41 of the ‘Rules of the Court, 1978’ and is yet to give final verdict.

Can a party (Pak) seek a ‘re-hearing’? – yes , but the court rarely obliges.

Art. 76 under Rules of the Court, 1978 can be invoked  to revoke or get modified a provisional measure anytime before the final verdict. The requesting party (Pak) must prove a “change in the situation”, which beats the gravity of the circumstances that forced the court to issue provisional measures in the first place, which is very difficult to prove.


General Studies – 3

Topic: Agriculture

5) “Floating the idea of taxing income is a great disservice to the agrarian sector, which is in deep crisis.” Substantiate. (200 Words)

The Hindu

Introduction :- The poor state of agrarian sector can be measured by the fact that it contributes to the 18% of the GDP while people dependent, directly or indirectly for employment, are around 50% of the population. While motive of formalizing the agricultural sector and widening tax base with including farmers’ income for taxes is appreciated, there are deep rooted concerns with the proposed policy :

  • Irregular pattern of income may pose a huge hurdle in exercising the tax calculation.
  • Intermittent bailouts go on to show that it might be a futile effort to tax the farm income when the sector is deep in debt.
  • While the income from farming also constitutes to a large part of future investments in farming again, taxing it might not be justified.
  • A burdensome exercise and administrative challenges are that bureaucracy may face which might further outweigh the tax recovered.

Agricultural sector being an unorganized one may cause more hurdles. But taxing farm income will not only put extra burden on poor farmers, it can also cause to drive them out of farming which is quite undesired. Until we have secured a better level of income flowing to the farmers and have made the sector formalized, taxing farm income may not be justified or feasible.


Topic:  Indian economy – employment

6) The latest National Sample Survey (NSS) data for 2011-12 show unemployment was only 2.2% of the labour force. Is this data reliable? If unemployment is high, where are the opportunities for India to create more jobs? Examine. (200 Words)


Introduction :- The latest National Sample Survey (NSS) data for 2011-12 show unemployment was only 2.2% of the labour force, which is very low. On this metric, unemployment in India is much less of a problem than in other countries.

The low unemployment rates are misleading because many of those shown as employed are actually engaged in low-paid jobs that they take up only because there is no alternative called “disguised unemployment” or “underemployment”. 

Three structural changes needed are –

At the macro level, three structural changes are needed to tackle the problem of unemployment .

  • The workforce employed in agriculture must decline. This places a huge burden on non-agricultural employment, which will have to expand sufficiently to absorb the shift out of agriculture plus the normal increase in the total workforce.
  • The second structural change needed is to reduce the expectation from manufacturing as a provider of non-agricultural jobs. Faster growth in manufacturing has long been central to our economic strategy and must remain so. However, technological change is likely to make manufacturing less employment generating than in the past. Now, manufacturing strategy will involve application of capital-intensive techniques. At present, manufacturing accounts for about a quarter of total non-agricultural employment. Another quarter comes from non-manufacturing industry (mining, electricity and construction) with services accounting for the remaining half. Most of the growth needed in non-agricultural employment will have to come from construction and the services sector, including health services, tourism-related services, retail trade, transport and logistics and repair services.
  • The third structural change needed is a shift from informal sector employment to formal sector employment, to meet the expectations of the young.

The opportunities to create more employment are as follows –

  • Labour intensive industries: The biggest opportunity for generating more employment in manufacturing lies in exporting simpler consumer goods to the world market, an area which China has long dominated, but which it is now likely to exit, as its wages rise.
  • Textile and Tea industry: Both are high labour employing and women centric sectors which can create more employment.
  • Electronic industry: Given its export potential and labour need and skills, it remain a potent industry to propel employment.
  • Construction: A large employer and a sector which contributes to large amount to GDP(about 10%) should also be an area of focus.
  • Tourism:Given India’s tourism potential this industry can be big employment driver.
  • MSME: We need to focus on MSME which has tremendous potential. The issue of missing middle needs to be addressed. Credit issues, labour laws and regulations should be made employment friendly with minimal but requisite checks and balances.
  • Non- Agriculture jobs: High dependency on agriculture needs to be reduced. Non farm jobs especially artisanship should be encouraged.
  • Start Ups: A large employment generator. Needs to be encouraged. Start Up and Stand Up India are welcome moves on this front. However , focus on making bankruptcy laws start up friendly needs attention.
  • Apprenticeship: Programs for apprenticeship need special focus. They need to targeted and tailor made based on current and future requirements of employment land scape .
  • Formalization: Presence of informal and unorganized workforce should be addressed. Move towards greater formalization should be encouraged. Universal Social Security program as planned should be implemented after working out modalities for implementation.
  • Taxation: Helps reduce the cost to incurred by corporates. Incentivizes greater employment. GST will be a game changer. But the political optics which has shrouded economic prudence for populist measures needs to be addressed.


Rapid growth has to be central to any employment strategy for the simple reason that a faster growing economy will generate more jobs. Job creation indeed will ride on the wave of growth. But it needs to be quality based in terms of value, inclusivity and relevant to suit the need of the times.