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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.


Topic:  Factors responsible for the location of primary, secondary, and tertiary sector industries in various parts of the world (including India)

1) Examine the causes and implications of recent changes in production patterns in the sugar industry in India. (200 Words)

The Indian Express

The Indian sugar industry is a key driver of rural development, supporting India’s economic growth. The industry is inherently inclusive supporting over 50 million farmers and their families, along with workers and entrepreneurs of almost 500 mills, apart from a host of wholesalers and distributors spread across the country. The industry is at a cross roads today, where it can leverage opportunities created by global shifts in sugar trade as well as the emergence of sugarcane as a source of renewable energy, through ethanol and cogeneration.

Reasons for changes in sugar industry:

The continuous droughts for 2 to 3 years in southern states have led to the decrease in the production of sugarcane in these states.

There has been the drastic reduction in the production of sugarcane in the five southern states. This has not happened in recent past.

This fall in the production has disrupted the sugar supply within the domestic environment.

Mills in Karnataka and TN have sought permission for duty-free imports of raw sugar under the tariff rate quota (TRQ) system, which will help improve their capacity utilisation and also bridge the hitherto non-existent demand-supply gap in the region.

 Increased in the import duty on sugar from 40 to 50 per cent is the pro consumer policy of government of India. This policy will impact the prices of sugar and thus will create impact on the sugar trade as well.

Recent changes in sugar industry in India and all around the world:

Emerging businesses like fuel ethanol and structural changes globally including the removal of EU subsidies have provided new horizons for the sector.

The sector today has transformational opportunities that would enable it not only to continue to service the domestic markets but also emerge as a significant carbon credit and power producer and support an ethanol blending programme of E10 and beyond.

There was a need to assess the potential for India and to develop a comprehensive and actionable roadmap that could enable the Indian industry to take its rightful place as a food and energy producer for one of the world’s leading economies.

Fundamental changes in the consumer profile and the demonstrated ability of the sector to continuously ensure availability of sugar for domestic consumption has diluted the need for sugar to be considered as an essential commodity

The industry can improve its cost competitiveness through higher farm productivity and by managing the domestic production variations through international trade with a focus on countries in the Indian Ocean. Thus, the transformed sector would be less cyclical with greater alignment between sugarcane and sugar prices, and will have stable diversified sources of revenue.

Way ahead: Appropriate policy environment features

The policy environment would need to protect farmers and enable mill viability and sector attractiveness. It would also need to align protection of consumer interests with the existing consumption pattern. To facilitate the realization of the opportunities, the evolved policy environment would need to:

  1. Ensure level playing field
  2. Ensure efficient usage of resources
  3. Incentivize efficiency and yields
  4. Strengthen farmer miller relationship
  5. Reduce cyclicality and ensure better management of downturns
  6. Ensure better sugar price risk management instruments
  7. Enable greater linkage with international market


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

2) Discuss the implications of the US President Donald Trump’s new assertive policy in Afghanistan for India and Pakistan. (200 Words)

The Indian Express

The Hindu


President Trump’s determination to enhance efforts to overcome the challenges facing Afghanistan and confronting issues of safe havens and other forms of cross-border support enjoyed by terrorists. In his speech Trump had declared that the US can no longer be silent about Pakistan’s safe havens for terrorist organisations, the Taliban and other groups that pose a threat to the region and beyond. He demanded that Pakistan’s support to cross-border terror will have to change and change immediately.

The probable impacts of new assertive policy over Afghanistan:

The very open and critical stance taken by Donald Trump can be seen as an opportunity for India as the continuous policy of India towards restructuring Afghanistan is parallel to this approach.

The American efforts to remove the Pakistani base of terrorism that feeds the activity in Afghanistan may be beneficial to India as well.

American announcement of the decision to send more troops to the country reflects a realisation that the U.S. does not have many options in dealing with its longest military conflict. This is also a grim reminder of the precarious security situation in Afghanistan.

The very open statement by American president indicates the change in the American policy towards the Pakistan that may open the new opportunities for the steps against the terrorism.

There is need to appreciate the most important change in US Afghan policy. Until recently, Washington believed that India’s rivalry with Pakistan is part of the problem in Afghanistan. Today USA might be betting that by invoking a larger Indian role in Afghanistan, it might add to the pressures on Pakistan to cooperate with the US.

The overall impact of this USA stance in south Asian policy needs to be seen to wider perspective as the country specific impact will be varied as per the political aspects.

This assertive policy by USA may have impacts on relations between India and Pakistan which can be analysed in longer duration of time.

The implications of such policy on India and Pakistan also need to get analysed along with Chinese involvement. Though not clear right now, the china Pak axis will surely create its own series of counter steps for such a change in policy.


Topic:  Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate.;Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements 

3) What is the European Union (EU) Customs Union? Why does UK plans to leave EU Customs Union? Examine. (200 Words)

The Hindu

The European Union Customs Union (EUCU) is a customs union which consists of all the member states of the European Union (EU), Monaco, and some territories of the United Kingdom which are not part of the EU (Akrotiri and Dhekelia, Bailiwick of Guernsey, Bailiwick of Jersey, and the Isle of Man). Some territories within the EU do not participate in the customs union, usually as a result of their geographic circumstances. Besides the EUCU, the EU, through separate agreements, is in customs unions with Andorra, San Marino, and Turkey, with the exceptions of certain goods.

The customs union is a principal component of the European Economic Community, established in 1958, and now succeeded by the European Union. No customs duties are levied on goods travelling within the customs union and—unlike a free trade area—members of the customs union impose a common external tariff on all goods entering the union.

A precondition of the customs union is that the European Commission negotiates for and on behalf of the Union as a whole in international trade deals such as the World Trade Organisation, rather than each member state negotiating individually. It accounts for approximately 16% of world trade. Customs Union member states cannot enter into independent trade deals with third parties.

  EU member states (including participating member state territories which are not part of the EU)

  Non-EU states which participate in the customs union, or are in bilateral customs unions with the EU



There are two options proposed, the first one in which the UK leaves the customs union, but comes up with ways of simplifying the future customs regime between the UK and EU countries. That could include developing technology and negotiating other systems to speed things up at ports. But implementing such a complex scheme would take years of preparation.

The other option proposed is a new customs partnership with the EU, which would do away with a customs border altogether. Agreeing to such a partnership, which doesn’t really exist anywhere in the world, would be quite a concession for the EU as it would give the UK the benefits of being in the customs union while still allowing it to forge trade agreements with non-EU countries, which EU members are not allowed to do.

The reasons for exit of UK from EUCU:

The exit from EUCU is the result of Brexit from European Union. One needs to analyse the reasons for the overall Brexit phenomenon.

  1. The very first and basic reason is the economics. The EU failed to address the economic problems that had been developing since 2008… for example, 20% unemployment in southern Europe. The difference between the lives of southern Europeans and Germans—who enjoy 4.2% unemployment—is profound. Europe as a whole has stagnated economically.
  2. The second reason for Brexit is the rise of nationalism across the world. There’s a growing distrust of multinational financial, trade, and defense organizations created after World War II. The EU, the IMF, and NATO are good examples of this. Many who oppose the EU believe these institutions no longer serve a purpose. Not only has that, these organizations taken control away from individual nations. Mistrust and fear of losing control made Brexit a reasonable solution to them.
  3. The immigration crisis in Europe was a trigger. Some EU leaders argued that aiding the refugees was a moral obligation. But EU opponents saw immigration as a national issue, as it affected the internal life of the country.
  4. As per some analysts, the EU doesn’t understand the power of nationalism. It attempts to retain nationality as a cultural right. On the other hand, it deprives individual nations of the power to make many decisions.

The implications of this exit needs to be seen in long duration of time. Many efforts are going on in order to cushion this transition so that trade disruption does not occur. Some of these efforts are common transit convention, custom white paper and provision of interim period.



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

4) Write a note on the mandate and significance of Global Commission on the Future of Work. (200 Words)

The Hindu

 Ans –

Background –

The world of work is undergoing a major process of change. There are several forces transforming it, from the onward march of technology and the impact of climate change to the changing character of production and employment, etc. In order to understand and to respond effectively to these new challenges ILO had launched a “Future of Work initiative”.

The formation of “a Global Commission on the Future of Work” marks the second stage in the ILO’s Future of Work Initiative. Its mandate is to undertake an in-depth examination of the future of work that can provide the analytical basis for the delivery of social justice in the 21st century.

Significance –

The International Labor Organization (ILO) has established this high-level body to examine the relationship between work and society. The Commission on the Future of Work will address how the future of work can deliver decent and sustainable jobs for all, thereby contributing to achieving SDG 8 (decent work and economic growth).

It is launched under the ILO’s Future of Work Centenary Initiative. In preparation for the Commission’s launch, governments and employer and labor organizations have held a series of dialogues in more than 110 countries. Building on the outcomes of these dialogues, the Commission will produce an independent report for consideration by ILO’s Centenary Conference, which will be held in 2019.

Global Commission on the Future of Work, a body of 20 experts who will come together to tackle the fundamental question of how a rapidly transforming world of work should be organized so that it responds to the values of social justice.

The Commission will produce an independent report on how to achieve a future of work that provides decent and sustainable work opportunities for all. This report will be submitted to the centenary session of the International Labour Conference in 2019.

The work of the Commission will be organized around four “centenary conversations” –

  1. Work and society
  2. Decent jobs for all
  3. The organization of work and production
  4. The governance of work

The global body’s examination will seek to provide the analytical basis for the delivery of social justice in the 21st century.


Topic:  Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests

5) The recent report of the Justice B.N. Srikrishna committee, constituted to prepare a road map to make India a hub of international arbitration, has recommended many changes in Indian arbitration law and institutional mechanisms to promote arbitration in India. Discuss critically its recommendations on bilateral investment treaty (BIT). (200 Words)

The Hindu


Ans –

A bilateral investment treaty (BIT) is an agreement establishing the terms and conditions for private investment by nationals and companies of one state in another state. Countries who are not members of ICSID (International Center for Settlement of Investment Dispute) of world Bank, generally opt for bilateral investment treaty and multilateral investment treaty.
India has so far signed BITs with 83 different countries.

Various reasons for BIT disputes involving India are –

  1. Over protectionist approach of Indian BIT models.
  2. Absence of transparent, non-discriminatory settlement mechanism.
  3. Misuse of MFN clause.

The recent report of the Justice B.N. Srikrishna committee, constituted to prepare a road map to make India a hub of international arbitration, has recommended many changes in Indian arbitration law and institutional mechanisms to promote arbitration in India. The recommendations are largely on the issue of managing and resolving BIT disputes, which assume importance as India is currently battling 20-odd BIT disputes.

Recommendations –

  • The committee recommended the creation of an inter-ministerial committee (IMC), with officials from the Ministries of Finance, External Affairs and Law.
  • Hiring external lawyers having expertise in BITs to boost the government’s legal expertise or creation of post of international law adviser to advise the govt on international issues and will be responsible for day to day management.
  • Creating a designated fund to fight BIT disputes.
  • Appointment of councils to defend India against BITs claim.
  • Boosting centre state capacity to better understand the implications of their policy decision on India’s BIT obligations.

These are welcome steps in the quest of making India an arbitration hub and will boost the confidence in the investors investing in India under ease of doing business. However certain steps will lead to duplicity of existing mechanism whereas core problems still remain in the system. They are as follows –

  • India already have legal & treaty division under external affairs ministry to aid and advice govt on international and bilateral issues.
  • IMC should have a member from commerce ministry as this ministry covers trade agreement and look after investment protection. 
  • It does not reform the existing ISDS interstate dispute settlement mechanism which is problematic because of some articles-
  1. first, ceiling limit of 5 years, upto which investors have to pursue in domestic courts
  2. second, jurisdictional limit 
  3. third, transparency, appointment of arbitrator standard of review, enforcement etc.
  • BIT arbitration has three aspects: jurisdictional (such as definition of investment), substantive (such as provision on expropriation) and procedural (ISDS mechanism). Commission’s mandate was to focus on all 3 aspects but it narrowed it down to only procedural aspect.


Conclusion –


It’s evident that commission has made some useful suggestions, but there is great opportunity to comprehensively push for the recalibration of the Indian BIT regime, which has oscillated from being pro-investor to being pro-state.





Topic:  Structure, organization and functioning of the Judiciary

6) Write a note on National Litigation Policy (NLP) in 2010 and need for evolving new litigation policy. (200 Words)

The Indian Express

Introduction :- The National Litigation Policy is based on the recognition that government and its various agencies are the predominant litigants in courts and tribunals in the country. Its aim is to transform government into an efficient and responsible litigant. This policy is also based on the recognition that it is the responsibility of the government to protect the rights of citizens, to respect fundamental rights and those in charge of the conduct of government litigation should never forget this basic principle.

Efficient litigant means:

  • Focusing on the core issues involved in the litigation and addressing them squarely.
  • Managing and conducting litigation in a cohesive, coordinated and time-bound manner.
  • Ensuring that good cases are won and bad cases are not needlessly persevered with.
  • A litigant who is represented by competent and sensitive legal persons: competent in their skills and sensitive to the facts that government is not an ordinary litigant and that a litigation does not have to be won at any cost.

Responsible litigant means:

  • That litigation will not be resorted to for the sake of litigating.
  • That false pleas and technical points will not be taken and shall be discouraged.
  • Ensuring that the correct facts and all relevant documents will be placed before the court.
  • That nothing will be suppressed from the court and there will be no attempt to mislead any court or Tribunal.

The government must cease to be a compulsive litigant. The philosophy that matters should be left to the courts for ultimate decision has to be discarded. The easy approach, “Let the court decide,” must be eschewed and condemned.

The purpose underlying this policy is also to reduce Government litigation in courts so that valuable court time would be spent in resolving other pending cases so as to achieve the Goal in the National Legal Mission to reduce average pendency time from 15 years to 3 years. Litigators on behalf of Government have to keep in mind the principles incorporated in the National mission for judicial reforms which includes identifying bottlenecks which the Government and its agencies may be concerned with and also removing unnecessary Government cases. Prioritisation in litigation has to be achieved with particular emphasis on welfare legislation, social reform, weaker sections and senior citizens and other categories requiring assistance must be given utmost priority



Why it is necessary to have a National Litigation Policy?

  • Government litigation reportedly constitutes nearly half of all litigation in the Indian judiciary. It acts as a constraint on the public exchequer. It has also contributed to judicial backlog, thus affecting justice delivery in India.
  • A National Litigation Policy would reduce the trivial litigations in which the government is also a party and would make the government a responsible litigant, which could use alternate dispute resolution mechanisms to bring an end to various litigations.
  • The policy also helps to reduce the number of cases, thus reducing the burden of the judicial system, which currently has to deal with a large number of cases. The Supreme Court, since the 1970s, has berated successive governments for being callous and mechanical in pursuing litigation.
  • The Law Commission of India also studied this problem in its 126th Report in 1988, and made appropriate observations on this front.


What has the new government done in this regard?

The new government at the centre proposed, in September 2015, a national litigation policy for out-of-court settlement of cases among government departments, public sector undertakings and other government bodies. However, no concrete decision has been taken yet in this regard.


The ongoing revision of the NLP needs to ensure certain critical features are not missed out:

  • It must have clear objectives that can be assessed.
  • The role of different functionaries must be enumerated.
  • The minimum standards for pursuing litigation must be listed out.
  • Fair accountability mechanisms must be established.
  • The consequences for violation of the policy must be provided.
  • A periodic impact assessment programme must be factored in.


What else needs to be done?

  • All the state governments have already notified state litigation policies to reduce government litigation. The law ministry should take up the matter now.
  • To further bring down pendency of cases in courts, both the Centre and states should withdraw “frivolous and ineffective cases”.
  • States and central government departments should set up empowered panels and suggest withdrawal of frivolous cases, particularly those of petty offences and traffic challans.
  • To discourage future litigations, the government should compulsorily introduce arbitration and mediation clauses in work contracts of its staff and public sector employees.  



PM Modi recently expressed greater political will to deal with the problem of pending cases. Now, government response to the problem needs to be much more dynamic and resourceful. A litigation policy can have a profound effect on how the government thinks about itself as a litigant, and can help curb the problem, provided it is a constructed with a thorough understanding of the problem and offers solutions based on evidence rather than conjecture.  



Topic: Basics of cyber security

7) What do you understand by internet shaming?  Discuss its implications. (200 Words)



Introduction :- Online shaming/ internet shaming is a form of Internet vigilantism in which targets are publicly humiliated using technology like social and new media. Proponents of shaming see it as a form of online participation that allows hacktivists and cyber-dissidents to right injustices. Critics see it as a tool that encourages online mobs to destroy the reputation and careers of people or organizations who made perceived slights.


Negative implications :-

  • Damage to the image, personality of the person. Social blaming and shaming may shake the person’s existence in social life.
  • Harm to self esteem, low confidence, depression, suicidal tendencies can be the spill over effects of internet shaming.
  • Many a times it’s just the shaming propaganda, false charges and negative publicity, fake news which are the intention of online shaming hence even innocent people gets maligned permanently.
  • It often result in disastrous implications for future of the person in employment, marriage etc
  • It violates right to privacy, individual dignity and exposes the helplessness of social media, internet in curbing such incidences.


Positive implications :-

  • It’s a powerful tool to impose shame on negative, evil things in society. It can be a good platform for spreading awareness about the derogatory things in society.
  • Such incidences promote us to strive for reforms in internet, regulation in social media etc.

The usefulness and productivity of anything depends on how we use it. Internet shaming can also be the important tool with some precautions and measures like external regulation, review teams.


Topic:  Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and world.


8) What do you understand by advaita principle? Discuss the ethical aspects of advita. (150 Words)


Introduction :- Advaita Vedanta is a school of Hindu philosophy and religious practice, and one of the classic Indian paths to spiritual realization. The term Advaita refers to its idea that the soul (true Self, Atman) is the same as the highest metaphysical Reality (Brahman). The followers of this school are known as Advaita Vedantins, or just Advaitins, and they seek spiritual liberation through acquiring vidyā (knowledge)  of one’s true identity as Atman, and the identity of Atman and Brahman.

Ethical aspects of Advaita :-

  • The three gateways to ‘hell’, according to the Bhagavad Gita are lust, anger and greed. Avoiding these gateways would be the most essential step in the practice of advaita.
  • An important and direct approach to ethical norms or standards is the dictum that one should synchronize one’s thought, speech and action. In mathematical terms, there should be ‘one to one correspondence ‘between thought and speech, between speech and action, and between action and thought.
  • Most important thing is one should constantly watch one’s thoughts, speech and actions to align them truthfully. 
  • The aspect of ahimsa or non-injury or avoiding ‘himsa ‘ is a basic ethical question.
  • The Advaitins have two basic practices: viveka [discrimination] and vairAgya [dispassion]. As it is commonly understood, these are mental processes. These are like two wings of an aircraft… a common analogy in the advaita literature. But we need a tail plane to stabilize our thought patterns till we reach the state of sahaja samAdhi. Therefore the practice of ethical aspects in the course of Advaita is as important as the practice of viveka and vairAgya.