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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.

General Studies – 1;


Topic:  Role of women and women’s organization, 

1) Discuss the achievements and contributions made by Dr Rukhmabai towards women empowerment in India. (150 Words)

The Hindu

The Indian Express



  • Dr. Rakhmabhai Bhikaji was married off to Dadhaji Bhikaji at the age of 11. She had to fight a series of court battles on a compelled wedlock with her husband which she was not interested in. This raised the public opinion on child marriage and rights of women. She studied later at the London school of medicine and returned to India as a qualified physician.
  • Rukhmabai refused to move in with her husband stating that a woman cannot be compelled to stay in a wedlock when she is not interested. Her decision was supported by her step-father who helped her fight the case in court. 
  • The Dadaji vs. Rukhmabai case that went on for three years triggered a debate in both England and India. The verdict went in favour of Dadaji. The court ordered Rukhmabai to live with her husband or face six months imprisonment. A brave Rukhmabai said she was willing to opt the latter.


Her achievements towards women empowerment are:


  • Her decision raised public opinion on the women’s right to self determination in a male dominated society.
  • Discussions on child marriage, right to choose and finally the age of consent act 1891 was the result of her long standing legal battle. 68 years after her bold step, the Hindu Marriage Act was passed in 1955 that recognised the consent of both husband and wife before entering into a conjugal relationship.
  • She influenced reformers in the Indian society like Pandita Ramabhai and Behramji Malabar.
  • Her legal battle and the final verdict of Queen Victoria resulted in child marriage being outlawed both in England and India.
  • Finally the letters she wrote in the pet name ” The Hindu lady” during the months of her trial and her decision to pursue carrier as a physician inspired women in the Indian society to pursue their aspiration in study and mental cultivation and rise from a societal status which was doomed to seclusion.


Thus Dr Rukhmabai’s life was a series of courageous actions that set the history in motion for improving the social conventions which created a legacy for the women of those times to be inspired by.


Topic:  Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues 

2) Why did Rabindranath Tagore consider the idea of nationalism as being profoundly alien to the Indian psyche and the subcontinent’s many pasts? Discuss critically in the light of contemporary examples. (250 Words)

The Indian Express



  • Rabindranath Tagore is one of the most celebrated names of our freedom struggle and a forerunner to the modern Indian nation. 
  • Rabindranath Tagore, whose song Jana Gana Mana we know to be the national anthem of India – had many anxieties and worries about the very idea of nationalism itself. 
  • Between 1916 and 1917, Tagore travelled to Japan and the United States of America, where Tagore urged to aspire for the ‘higher ideals of humanity’ rather than accept what he called as the ‘organized selfishness of Nationalism’. He also added the equally severe admonishment that one should never “gloat upon the feebleness of its neighbours.” 
  • He said ‘patriotism is when the love for our own comes first and nationalism when the hate for others comes first.’ He traced nationalism on a similar line to that of Ernest Gellner and said that nationalism had been know to motivate hateful conflict and violence. It promoted the conflict between two identities which in turn strengthened the modern nation state’s objectives.
  • The social anthropologist Ernest Gellner (1925-95), who was able to convincingly trace the emergence of nationalism to the oftentimes violent social, economic and political processes of the industrial revolution and modernity itself.


Tagore on Indian nationalism

  • For Tagore, importantly enough, the idea of India was a moral project that needed to engage with its own deep and troubled history of “social adjustment.” 
  • For Tagore, the idea of India was to realize its civilizational possibilities and potential rather than to allow it to inhale the “fumes” of “patriotic bragging.”
  • Tagore thus considered the idea of nationalism as being profoundly alien to the Indian psyche and the subcontinent’s many pasts. 
  • He saw nationalism as inherently alien to India wheich has been made up of so many different identities on the basis of caste, colours, race, class, religion etc, that nationalism would put one identity over the other, a idea that went against the syncretic nature of India’s past.
  • India’s tryst with nationalism as a by-product of British colonialism remains cluttered by unresolved tensions, disagreements, disputes, discussions and varying ideologies



  • Consequently, if one is to take on the task of meaningfully being a nationalist or patriot in India today, it requires a repeated and constantly evolving engagement with some of the founding imaginations that made possible modern India as a democratic republic. 
  • In other words, nationalism and patriotism are not frozen or dead concepts but ideas that require constant nourishment through critical reflection.
  • However his critique of nationalism was met in oppositition by Gandhi who said that nationalism can in fact be a uniting force of these different identities which would continue to be divided, if not for this. While the benefits of the idea of nationalism definitely need to be mapped, the ill effects hold a special relevance in the polarising world of today.


General Studies – 2


Topic:  India and its neighborhood- relations.

3) In November and December 2017, Nepal is going to conduct first general election under the 2015 Constitution. What is the significance of this election? What role should India play in this democratic transition in Nepal? Comment. (250 Words) 

The Hindu


Yemen has become a theatre for regional power play of Saudi-Iran/Shia-Sunni conflict, which has resulted in the humanitarian catastrophe and high chances of facing the largest famine the world has seen for many decades.


Causes of the disaster 


  1. Blockade by Saudi Arabia
  •  According to Saudi Arabia, the blockade was aimed at preventing the Houthi rebels from smuggling in weaponry. 
  • But in effect, Riyadh is starving millions of people who are already dependent on international aid for food and drugs.

     2.No functional government 

  • Large parts are controlled by Houthis, while the Saudi-backed government is operating from Aden, a southern city.

     3.Non-state terrorists actors consolidating 

  • Al-Qaeda has become stronger in the chaos triggered by the war.

     4.Regional geopolitics

  • The problem is that Saudi Arabia and its allies look at Yemen as a theatre for regional power play against Iran.


Why UN should intervene


It is time that the UN and other international organisations intervene. They should deal with Saudi Arabia in the way other aggresor nations are dealt. There is a need to bring an end to this brutal war. Riyadh is starving millions of people who are already dependent on international aid for food and drugs.


  1. Poorest Arab nation
  • The poorest Arab nation has now plunged into further crisis reeling from a humanitarian catastrophe when Saudi Arabia imposed a land, sea and air blockade on the country

     2.Humanitarian catastrophe

  • More than 10,000 people have been killed in the Saudi bombing, and many more injured and displaced
  • The incessant bombing and the failure to provide basic services have resulted in a food crisis and a medical emergency. At present, 17 million people in Yemen are dependent on external aid for survival. The country has also seen a cholera outbreak.

     3.Saudi Arabia lacks the heft

  • Saudi Arabia lacks the strategic depth and resources to shape Yemen’s future and yet, driven by geopolitical ambitions, it is resorting to excessive use of air power. 
  • But that is not enough to defeat the Houthis, who have the support of both the country’s Shia community and the loyalists of the deposed President Ali Abdullah Saleh


General Studies – 3


Topic:  Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life 

6) In your opinion, why do diseases such as malaria and TB persist across the globe? Discuss the recent advances in science and technology made to fight these infectious diseases. (250 Words)

The Hindu


In the recent times communicable diseases such as malaria , TB etc has played havoc globally leading to increased burden of diseases, burden on exchequer, increased mortality etc.


Why do such diseases persists globally?


  1. Global warming
  • Rise in global temperature has increased population of mosquitoes as these are now more adapted to resist.

     2.Poor health funding

  • Lack of financial support from the government to curb the menace eg India spends merely 1.3% of GDP on its health expenditure as compared to global norm of 6%
  • This leads to lack of infrastructure such as adequate pathology labs, detection kits, proper drainage system, fogging etc.
  • Active transmission in overcrowded hospitals is also a reason.


  • Social stigmas such as fear of isolation,stress from the society etc results in less number of cases being reported
  • This leads to lack of data about patients suffering from the diseases

    4.Lack of information

  • Patients discontinue the regimen in between the prescribed course which is leading to multi drug resistance.

    5.Unplanned urbanisation

  • Increased urbanization has led to explosion of slums leading to unhygienic conditions in these areas and increase burden of diseases.


Recent advances in S&T to fight against these infectious diseases include

  • Membrane to filter sewage which helps to filter water.
  • High energy waves to combat mosquito problems
  • Development of cheap and affordable early detection kits eg X-PERT by India
  • Biotechnology has made it possible to develop sterile mosquitoes into the environment to curb the population
  • Nano technology has allowed targeted delivery of drugs
  • Big Data can be a great tool for data collection 


Way forward

  • Create awareness among the masses about multi drug resistance 
  • Ceating infrastructure in terms of labs,detection kits,proper drainage facilities etc
  • PPPs, philanthropic activities needs to be promoted
  • International collaboration to tackle communicable diseases. Organisations such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation can pool and channel funds to develop new drugs
  • Increase expenditure on health services as per global norms


Indian government has taken some proactive measures such as Swachh Bharat Abhiyan,Smart Cities,RNTCP, DOTS PRGORAM etc to protect people from encountering such diseases


Topic: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment

7) Rapid transformation of the rural economy is making huge contributions to Indian economy in recent years. What are the components of rural economy? Discuss the features of structural transformation of the rural economy and its contribution to India’s growth story. (250 Words)





For centuries together, the Indian village has been a self-sufficient and self-contained econ­omy. During the past 60 years, rural reconstruction and development have been the major thrust of economic planning, which has caused a rapid transformation in the Indian rural economic structure.These changes have taken place in spheres, such as land reforms, agriculture, animal husbandry, supplies and marketing, village industries, rural leadership, village administration among others.


Structural transformation of rural economy


  1. Increased share of industrial production
  • More than half of Indian industrial production comes from the rural areas. 
  • Production by rural factories was only a quarter of the total industrial production in the country in 1971. That share doubled by 2012. 

     2.Capital intensive industrial production

  • The puzzling fact is that the share of rural industrial employment in total industrial employment has been around the same over those four decades. 
  • It is suggested that rural industries have been more intensive users of capital than their urban counterparts.
  • One would have expected the opposite, given the fact that rural wages are lower and rural industries are likely to be more credit constrained than urban industries.

     3.Rural construction increased 

  • Rural construction also accounts for nearly half of the total building activity in the country. 

    4.Rural employment construction based, not industrial production

  • Rural employment has shrunk after 2005 while the urban areas have not been able to absorb the millions who are leaving the farm.
  • The lack of adequate job creation by rural industries is balanced by the rising share of rural construction work in employment statistics
  • The rural housing boom in the first decade of this century absorbed millions of workers.

     5.Rural services increasing

  • The value of rural services is about a quarter of the total services output

    6.Agriculture share on decline

  • Agriculture has accounted for less than half of total rural output since the turn of the century.
  • The recent NITI Aayog data suggest that it contributes around 40% share of rural economy.


Rural economy is no doubt a major Contributor in India’s economic growth now the time has arrived to tap the potential within rural economy at larger scale to meet the challenges like underemployment, poverty by providing various facilities to rural economy through financial and other means like connectivity to the urban markets, financial inclusion and digitization.


General Studies – 4

Topic:  Values from leaders

8) “Great ambition is the passion of a great character. Those endowed with it may perform very good or very bad acts. All depends on the principles which direct them.” – Napoleon Bonaparte. 

Stating examples mention the rulers (i) who have harmed society and country, (ii) who worked for the development of society and country. (150 Words)


Ambition is defined as a desire and determination to achieve success.

An ambitious person is always motivated to do his best. Ambition guides him to be enthusiastic, confident,explorers of new ideas and innovations etc

Having big dreams and putting efforts to realise them requires great deal of courage and belief in yourself, something which only people of strong character can do. It’s our morals and values that decide whether those ambitions are in a good direction or not.


(a) Harmed society and country

  • Hitler, Stalin


(b) Developed society and country

  • Ashoka, Nelson Mandela


A character of both shades – Napoleon himself who waged wars throughout Europe, while also strengthened liberal values in France.

(Explore their deeds briefly under the two heads accordingly)


Ambition is a two edged sword and should be used rationally alongwith principles of benevolence,emotional intelligence,integrity etc to serve utilitarianism.