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Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 09 June 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: Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India

1) In the light of contemporary issues. critically comment on the role of religion in the Indian society. (200 Words)

The Indian Express


With the communal issues flaring up once again in India, there has been intense debate on the right and wrong practices of religions across the India. While the debate should always be there, the current debate in India is more about pointing out the shortcomings of other’s religion and defending all the practices of one’s. Thus there is need to have critical perspective towards all regions to find out what role does religion play in one’s life.

Role of religion in the Indian society-

  • Religions arose when people were deficient in their understanding of fundamental issues — the core function of religion is to set people free.
  • Religion serves as a beacon of light when it helps to make us better human beings. For that, religion has to be rational, and our practise of it, reasonable.
  • Religion turns human beings towards God, so that they are led out of narrow-mindedness. 
  • All the religious preachers from Gautama Buddha to Prophet Mohammad and from Bhagawan Mahavira to Guru Nanak and Swami Vivekanand, emphasized the need of tolerance, love and respect for one another. Their followers do upheld these preachers in high esteem but falls short of following their true teachings.
  • Further religion plays important role in fostering the moral and ethical values among the followers and discourage them from following the socially deviant behavior. The religions are the binding glue of the society which promotes common brotherhood.
  • However in India recent some of the instances have belied all these expectations. Hindus and Muslims are vigorously defending the practices like cow vigilantism and triple talaq respectively. Rather than looking from neutral and critical perspective at these issues, what is happening is mud-slinging at each other.
  • From a constitutional angle, freedom of choice is basic to the practice of religion. This assumption is spiritually sound — but religious agents who claim protection under Article 25 flout this freedom. No religion respects the freedom of an individual to make free choices with respect to the religion he or she wishes to practice. All religions function on the basis of birth. No religion gives freedom to individual to select another religion or forsake one’s religion. Thus article 25 is practically nullified.
  • Every religious establishment is keen to focus on religious rituals: No one presents the philosophical core. The followers of one religion must rise against the unfair and exploitative practices of their religion. But this rarely happens.
  • In a multi-religious society like India, it is dangerous to allow religious wheeler-dealers to wreak havoc. Every religious agenda that promotes alienation among citizens should be disallowed. Religions need to be liberated from so-called places of worship. Temples, mosques, churches, gurudwaras and so on have nothing to do with godliness.

However all these does not mean that religions have failed completely to play their role. Even at present many religious leaders and institutions are actively engaged in social service not only for their followers but irrespective of religion. Persons like mother Teresa despite being Christian worked for welfare of poor of the country largely consisting of Hindus and Muslims. 


The most important contribution that religions can make to India is by counterpointing expediency, which drives politics and statecraft with long-term wisdom. Total submission to expediency cheapens a nation. Time attains significance only under the aegis of eternity. Indeed, religions are meant to embody the intimations of eternity within the fleeting nature of man-made systems, structures and institutions.


General Studies – 2

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

2) Discuss the significance and impact of recent terrorist attack on Iran for regional peace in the Middle East. (200 Words)

The Hindu


On 7 June 2017, two terrorist attacks were simultaneously carried out by five terrorists belonging to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) against the Iranian Parliament building and the Mausoleum of Ruhollah Khomeini, both in Tehran, Iran, leaving 17 civilians dead and 43 wounded. The shootings were the first terrorist attacks in Tehran in more than a decade, and the first major terror attack in the country since the 2010 Zahedan bombings.


  • Lacuna in security provisions: The recent attack has shown that there is a serious breach in the security provisions and arrangements. Iran would further tighten the security to prevent any such attack in the future.
  • Islamic State quickly claimed responsibility and if true, it would mean the militant group has finally succeeded in importing its divisive brand of random terror into the home of its principal Shia Muslim adversary.
  • The attack is yet another reminder that no country in West Asia is free from the threat posed by terrorists, and that the region has a collective responsibility to fight them.
  • Though ISIS is facing reversals from Iraq and Syria, the attack on Tehran (if charges made by Iran are true) shows that the organization still boasts with large militancy potential and could make further strides in west Asia.
  • Increasingly hostile rhetoric from both Iran and Saudi Arabia perceived to be playing on a Sunni-Shia face-off is an opportunity for terrorists to exploit and the Tehran bombing suggests they are at it. 


  • Iran could retaliate to the attack of ISIS either through direct military action in Syria or more clinically and precisely by launching missiles on ISIS strongholds.
  • The apparently coordinated assaults have been blamed by Iran’s hardline Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) on Saudi Arabia and, whatever the truth of the allegation, they are likely to have a big political impact far beyond Iran, stoking tensions with the US, Saudi Arabia and the Sunni Muslim monarchies of the Gulf.
  • Overturning the previous US president Barack Obama’s policy of limited engagement, president Trump had launched a blistering attack on Iran during his visit to Riyadh and he also demanded Iran’s international isolation, claiming Tehran was the world’s main exporter of “the fires of sectarian conflict and terror”. Thus the increase in tensions between US and Iran could lead to scrapping Obama’s landmark 2015 nuclear deal with Iran.
  • Isis has natural allies among militant groups in Iran’s restive south-eastern Sistan-Baluchistan province, which has a large Sunni population. In 2010, Sunni extremists linked to the Jundallah network killed 39 people at a mosque in the province. The recent terror attack could flare up the chain reaction by these groups too.


Isis is at war, ideologically and militarily, with Iranian forces and allies in Syria and Iraq. In a video released in March, it vowed to “conquer Iran and restore it to the Sunni Muslim nation as it was before”. Thus Iran needs to step up its security arrangements to prevent any further attack. At the same time Iran should desist from making direct allegations against the Saudi Arabia till there are conclusive evidences to minimize the tensions in the region.


Topic:  Role of civil services in a democracy 

3) It is said that a more committed bureaucracy could have been the agent of development and change, for a better, more secure India. Discuss critically importance of efficient civil services in making India secure. (200 Words)

The Indian Express


India needs more committed bureaucracy as inefficient and noncommittal bureaucracy has hampered the pace of progress and development in India. Administrative shortcomings of successive governments have been compounded by their propensity to treat problems, rooted in alienation and socio-economics, as “law and order” issues. Most instances of internal unrest originate in political venality, malfeasance and apathy. A lax administration, then, allows the problem to fester and assume unmanageable proportions, at which point the politicians panic and throw poorly trained police forces at it.

Importance of efficient civil services in making India secure-

  • Quick and Timely decision: If the decisions are taken on time, it would result in least disruption of normal lives by radicals. Perhaps, the growing Maoist problem has risen because the system failed to take the right decision at the right time.
  • Proper guidance and training: IPS officers occupy the top posts in Central Armed Police Forces. The IPS officers should strategize ways of combating internal disturbances and be made responsible for combating the situations on the ground.
  • Understanding the demands: The people of a nation rebel only when their demands are not met and are treated discriminately. Thus Bureaucrats should understand the problems from the grass-root level and work towards engaging the affected people in finding the solution. But most of the time bureaucrats treat the problem as law and order situation and unleash the suppression on affected people.
  • Coordinated efforts-All the braches of administration like central security forces, state police, revenue officers, district administration should work in tandem as internal security matters have different dimensions.
  • Exposure to ground reality-Most of the top officers at the top of the ladder of administration have inadequate understanding of the ground realities which could results into crisis resolution efforts in wrong direction. Thus it is very important for policymakers to have in-depth understanding of the security crisis.
  • Empathy and compassion-To solve any developmental issue, bureaucrats should have empathetic and compassionate attitude towards the affected people. This could result into putting extra efforts by administrators to resolve the issue that goes beyond the normal hours of duty.
  • Leadership-The bureaucrats must show leadership qualities when it is required most. Lack of leadership leads to policy paralysis and slow and ineffective decision making and ultimately creates trust deficit between the people and administration. Thus bureaucrats must be trained to take up the responsibilities and complete them effectively.
  • In case of external security, officers particularly from the Indian Foreign Service must have a proper knowledge of the geopolitical situations that persist in the world, the past experiences of the country and the future turn of events. They should be able to secure India’s interests while dealing with other nations through smart diplomacy.


India needs efficient bureaucracy that could secure India both internally and externally.  The world is changing faster, so as to our bureaucracy. When people of the nation rebel against it and hostile countries surround a nation, it is critical time when Bureaucracy stand-up and make the things count.


Topic: Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies

4) How is the President of India elected? Comment on the nature and role of political parties in election of the President in India. (200 Words)

The Hindu



  • The President of India is the de jure head of India. He/she is indirectly elected by the people of India (Article 54).
  • He is elected by an Electoral College, which comprises elected members of both the Houses of the Parliament of India; the elected members of the legislative assemblies of every state and the elected members of the legislative assemblies of the Union territory of Puducherry and the national capital region (NCR) of New Delhi (as per 70th Constitutional Amendment Act, 1992).
  • Nominated members to the two houses don’t participate in the election to the office of the President of India.
  • The nomination of a candidate for election to the office of President must be subscribed by at least 50 electors as proposers and 50 as seconders.
  • Election is held in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of single transferable vote method. Voting takes place in a secret ballot in accordance with Article 55 of the Indian Constitution.


  • Mostly ruling party has an edge over the other parties in presidential elections as they have majority in the parliament [Lok Sabha]. So, the party which has a majority overall gets its candidate selected.
  • The majority needs to choose a person, who is acceptable to everyone, as President of India is not merely a political figure but symbol of unity and integrity of the nation.
  • It also provides a chance for all parties in opposition to unite together, as members of legislative assemblies and Rajya Sabha are also included.
  • The political parties may whip MPs of their party to vote for a particular candidate adding to the power of the majority party in getting their desired candidate won. The decision by SC that the Political parties should not whip MPs to vote for a Particular candidate is a great move towards the fair and just Presidential election.


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

5) “The U.S. withdrawal is an opportunity to make the rules of the Paris Agreement stronger and more ambitious.” Analyse. (200 Words)

The Hindu


The U.S. is historically the largest contributor to climate pollution. It is currently the second-largest polluter in the world, and has one of the highest per capita emissions.

 The Paris Agreement was designed for and pushed by the U.S. for its own convenience. As it didn’t want to take full responsibility and do its part, the U.S. pushed for an agreement that was a ‘common minimum denominator’. It made the commitments voluntary and the accord non-legally binding and non-punitive.

U.S. have done little to help solve the climate change conundrum. It committed minimum emissions reduction: 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2025.

If we consider 1990 as baseline, the U.S. would have cut emissions by a mere 23% by 2030. In comparison, the then 28-nation European Union’s commitment was to reduce emissions 40% below 1990 levels by 2030.

  • US withdrawal is not the worst that could happen, the worst would be US reducing its climate commitments. Because this would have violated the ‘progression principle’ of Paris Deal. This principle forbids countries from diluting their INDCs.
  • Accepting reduced US pledge would set a disastrous precedent.
  • US could have compromised future negotiations.
  • climate change will become a national buzzword in US, the exit will ignite a national debate. Several states in US support Paris Deal and this could transform US domestic climate politics.

One of the unintended consequences of Mr. Trump’s decision to withdraw is that it has unified the world on climate change. This is an opportunity to strengthen the Paris Agreement, as follows –

  • Refusing to renegotiate Paris Agreement to reduce the commitments of the U.S. since any dilution of the agreement will make it worthless.
  • Isolating the U.S. during negotiations, since it remains a member of the agreement for the next four years and can potentially destroy it from within.
  • Making the rules of the Paris Agreement, being negotiated now, stronger and ambitious.
  • While other countries must step up their commitment to cut emissions, they should also put punitive measures, including economic and trade sanctions, to ensure that countries such as the U.S. don’t walk away.
  • India, China,EU should collaborate providing Leadership to the Paris pact.
  • Set higher targets, impose penalties on quitters to strengthen framework .

Conclusion –

Though USA’s withdrawal is definitely a setback for the agreement but the targets can still be achieved by the remaining countries with renewed planning and more ambitious targets.

General Studies – 3

Topic:  S&T; Awareness in computers

6) What do you understand by ‘internet of things’ (IoT)? How ill digitization help IoT and how will both help India in turn? Examine. (200 Words)




  • Internet of things is an integrated system in which devices are connected in a network of information in such a way that they can communicate with each other without any human intervention.
  • It creates an intelligent system of systems which can manage multiple activities of human concern like traffic control, health management, optimal use of electricity and inventory management etc.
  • IoT requires data to work. This data is then turned into meaningful information for processing. Accessibility to data is indispensable for the working of IoT and this is being facilitated by digitization.
  • Digitization is a process which interconnects the world into an integrated network enabling sharing of data and information across systems. Thus, IoT connects devices but this connectivity is provided by digitization of information. In brief, digitization is enabler of IoT.


  • Data provision – Internet of things bringing the physical, digital, cyber and virtual worlds together requires extensive information processing capabilities provided by digitization.
  • Connectivity – With complete and proper digitization more and more people will be connected with the internet that make people aware about internet of things and its uses.

Digitization is increasing in India under Digital India mission and market of IoT too is growing day by day. Both are useful in the following ways –

  • Standardize the economy- usage of them would modernize our business practices, banking structure and trade market. They develop a hedge against adversity and soothes the process of a landmark transformation.
  • Easier mode of payment – Anyone can make transaction very easily without any physical contact between consumer and producer.
  • Reduce tax theft – By promoting digitization one cannot hide its expenditure and gain so that will come under the eye of govt.
  • Facilitating and enabling environment- IoT would ease the process of work by managing areas like insurance, bills, regulation of energy usages, loan installment and other periodical liabilities. It would save man hours and would increase their economic productivity ultimately boosting the growth of Indian economy.
  • Easier lives – Example : Healthcare system- better tracking of cholesterol level, blood pressure level and sugar level would enable early tracking of health changes and would make India a country of healthy people with reduced health expenditures.

Conclusion –

IoT and digitization have huge potential to bring radical changes in the way we interact with people and things. But it would require a robust information system with assured transparency, privacy and security features.