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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:  Urbanisation – problems and remedies

1) Policymakers now rely almost entirely on technology, technologists and technocratic views by economists for policymaking, thus offering a limited view of the problem and its solutions. With reference to tackling pollution in our cities, comment on the limitations of technology and need for non-technological interventions to curb pollution. (250 Words)

The Hindu




Policymakers now rely almost entirely on technology, technologists and technocratic views by economists for policymaking, thus offering a limited view of the problem and its solutions. 

Since the number of polluters will rise with population and economic growth, we need to find ways to reduce the emissions per activity, referred to as emissions intensity.


Emissions intensity can be divided into technological and non-technological elements. 


Technological aspect of emission intensity reduction

  • For example in cars which contributes disproportionally to the air pollution, for instance, engine technology that uses less polluting fuels could improve efficiency. 
  • Cars now offer the tantalising prospect of reducing emissions intensity to zero, with battery and other energy-storage technologies. 
  • But it will take at least three decades for the current fleet to turn over sufficiently towards zero-emission vehicles, before their contribution to air pollution reduces significantly.
  • Therefore there is a need to look at non-technological elements of reducing air pollution.


Non technological aspect of emission intensity reduction

  • It is vital, therefore, to pay attention to non-technological aspects such as urban planning, to reduce driving, and to increase cycling, walking, and use of public transport.
  • The need for travel may also have to go down by voluntary reductions in consumption, not viewed as loss of welfare but rather as opportunities to enhance leisure time, health, and recreation. This would be a reduction in activity, not just in emissions intensity.


Way forward

  • Using the best available technologies for various sources is absolutely essential. Other ways of reducing emissions intensity are also needed.


  1. Reimagining urban space
  • There is a need to promote more democratically driven land use and transport.
  • It is important to take back urban space for use by people, not their machines. This would mean a great reimagining and rethinking of urban space with expanded walking, non-motorised cycling, waterways, and footpaths. 
  • Many cities in Southeast Asia, Europe and the Americas have shown how this can be done, and several Indian mayors and bureaucrats are already familiar with these models.

     2.Civil society pressure on policy makers against vested groups

  • Policymakers also need to overcome the corruptive and overwhelming influence of motor vehicle manufacturers, power producers, developers, and other large stakeholders on decisions taken. 
  • In sectors such as power generation and industrial production, certain activities can be avoided or substituted them with others. 
  • Such approaches also offer co-benefits such as improved health, reduced carbon emissions and new forms of collaboration across social class.
  • While small changes are occurring in a few cities, other transformative movements are needed by voters in partnership with social institutions to take back urban space.

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

2) Whatever might be the case, it cannot be denied that despite his immense contributions, history didn’t give ‘Mahamana’ Madan Mohan Malaviya the place that he deserved. (250 Words)




  • He was the founder of Banaras Hindu University (BHU) at Varanasi in 1916
  • Hewas one of the founders of Scouting in India.
  • He also founded a highly influential, English-newspaper, The Leader published from Allahabad in 1909.
  • He was also the Chairman of Hindustan Times from 1924 to 1946.


Political career

  • In December 1886, Malaviya attended the 2nd Indian National Congress session in Calcutta under chairmanship of Dadabhai Naoroji, where he spoke on the issue of representation in Councils.
  • Malaviya became the President of the Indian National Congress in 1909 and 1918.
  • He was a moderate leader and opposed the separate electorates for Muslims under the Lucknow Pact of 1916.
  • The “Mahamana” title was conferred to him by Mahatma Gandhi.
  • He remained a member of the Imperial Legislative Council from 1912 and when in 1919 it was converted to the Central Legislative Assembly he remained its member as well, till 1926.
  • Malaviya was an important figure in the Non-cooperation movement. However, he was opposed to the politics of appeasement and the participation of Congress in the Khilafat movement.
  • In 1928 he joined Lala Lajpat Rai, Jawaharlal Nehru and many others in protesting against the Simon Commission, which had been set up by the British to consider India’s future.
  • He issued, on 30 May 1932, a manifesto urging concentration on the “Buy Indian” movement in India.
  • Malaviya was a delegate at the Second Round Table Conference in 1931.
  • However, during the Civil Disobedience Movement, he was arrested on 25 April 1932, along with 450 other Congress volunteers in Delhi, only a few days after he was appointed in 1932 at Delhi as the President of Congress after the arrest of Sarojini Naidu.
  • In 1933, at Calcutta, Malaviya was again appointed as the President of the Congress.
  • Thus before Independence, Malaviya was the only leader of the Indian National Congress who was appointed as its President for four terms.
  • On 25 September 1932, an agreement known as Poona Pact was signed between Dr. Ambedkar (on behalf of the depressed classes among Hindus) and Malaviya (on behalf of the other Hindus).
  • The agreement gave reserved seats for the depressed classes in the Provisional legislatures, within the general electorate and not by creating a separate electorate. Due to the pact, the depressed class received 148 seats in the legislature, instead of the 71 as allocated in the Communal Award proposal of the British Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald.
  • In protest against the Communal Award which sought to provide separate electorates for minorities, Malaviya along with Madhav Shrihari Aney left the Congress and started the Congress Nationalist Party.


Journalistic career

  • n 1889, he became the Editor of the “Indian Opinion”.
  • When the English Government tried to bring in the Press Act and Newspaper Act in 1908, Malaviyaji started a campaign against the Act and called an All India Conference in Allahabad.
  • He then realized the need of an English Newspaper to make the campaign effective throughout the country.
  • As a result, with the help of Motilal Nehru he started an English daily the “Leader” in 1909, where he was Editor 1909-1911 and President 1911-1919.
  • In 1924, Malaviya along with the help of national leaders Lala Lajpat Rai and M. R. Jayakar and industrialist Ghanshyam Das Birla, acquired Hindustan Times and saved it from an untimely demise


Social work

  • Malviya founded Ganga Mahasabha to oppose the damning of Ganges.
  • The slogan “Satyameva Jayate” (Truth alone will triumph) is also a legacy given to the nation by Pandit Malaviya as the President of the Indian National Congress in its session of 1918 at Delhi, by saying that this slogan from the Mundakopanishad should be the slogan for the nation.
  • Born in 19th century colonized India, this visionary had anticipated that political independence will become meaningful only when we mould a generation of progressive and cultured young people. For this, a world-class university was the need of the hour. 
  • He also established a women’s college. He had envisioned a number of women scholars such as Apala and Gargi in India’s future generations.
  • Mahatma Gandhi considered him to be his conscience-keeper and called him his elder brother on public platforms. Still, Malaviya didn’t hesitate in disagreeing with the Mahatma when it came to principles. During the Quit India Movement of 1942, when Bapu asked students to boycott schools, Malaviya publicly expressed his displeasure. 
  •  Rabindranath Tagore honoured him with the encomium ‘Mahamana’ (a luminous mind and magnanimous heart).


Excerpts from Sumit Sarkar

  • Malaviya had already annexed to his brand of politics the emotional forces of Hindi and Hindu revivalism which otherwise might have been used by radicals
  • By 1909, however, a closer look had made men like Malaviya extremely critical of the excessive concessions to Muslims
  • On the eve of the 1926 elections, Motilal’s old rival Madanmohan Malaviya formed an Independent Congress Party in alliance with Lajpat Rai and the Responsive Cooperators, with a programme which combined political moderation with uninhibited Hindu communalism.
  • The Hindu Mahasabha, started at the Hardwar Kumbh Mela in 1915 by Madan Mohan Malaviya along with some Punjabi leaders, had become practically defunct in the Non-Cooperation years.
  • A major revival began from 1922-23, and the Banares session of August 1923, which incorporated the shuddhi programme and called for Hindu self-defence squads, represented an alliance of Arya Samajist reformers with Sanatan Dharma Sabha conservatives in a common Hindu-communal front presided over, as usual, by Malaviya
  • From 1925 onwards, Malaviya made very effective use of Hindu communalism in his bitter rivalry with Motilal Nehru, organizing with the help of Lajpat Rai an Independent Congress Party which was little more than a Mahasabha front
  • The basic conservatism of the makers of the Nehru Report was revealed also by their acceptance in August 1928 of an amendment by Malaviya guaranteeing ‘all titles to private and personal property’
  • Orthodox Hindu opinion in Bengal bitterly attacked the acceptance of a permanent caste Hindu minority status by the Poona Pact, but the Congress Working Committee in June 1934 adopted a compromise ‘neither rejection-noracceptance’ formula which led Malaviya to start a breakaway Congress Nationalist Party.
  • The new patron-client model seems more than a little over-extended when it is used to describe both Malaviya’s connections with the Tandon business group in Allahabad and the relations between Hindu zamindars and Muslim peasants of east Bengal.

General Studies – 2


Topic:  Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health,

3) Why is there a tremendous stress on doctors at government hospitals?  In your opinion, what measures should be taken to reduce this stress and also to attract young doctors to government hospitals? Examine. (250 Words)

The Hindu



Reasons for stress on the doctors


  1. Low patient – doctor ratio 
  • The abysmal ratio of 1:1654 is a huge mismatch with the requirements of Indian population. 

     2.Diversity of diseases

  • It is compounded by the fact that Indian scenario is engulfed with diversity of diseases, the third world communicable menace and the increasing extent of non-communicable diseases. 

     3.Capacity inadequacy

  • The capacities of doctors are not synchronised with the needs of the population due to faulty nature of medical education.

    4.Media trials

  • In case of unfortunate happening with the patients, the doctors are subjected to media trials without adequately addressing the semantics of the case.

    5.Lack of paramedical staff

  • There are whole lot of functions which can be relegated to low skilled medical personnels. 
  • But the jobs of ASHA, ANM etc has been delegitimised due to various policies, which in case could have helped the doctors in efficient delivery of healthcare services.

    6.Profession not rewarded

  • Since the medical education is dubbed as profession, this aspect has not been appreciated in the real world where their pay scales and work environment are in contrast of other professional degree holders like Engineers.
  • The emergence of healtcare industry as economic industry and corporate hospitals have created  financial benefits, but at the cost of ethics.

    7.Infrastructure in hospitals

  • Hospitals often lack equipments and facilities, which in turn cause difficulties in operating a patient.


Measures needed 

  • Primary healthcare system should be strengthened as suggested by Alma Ata declaration, whhich will decrease burden from communicable diseases.
  • Lifestyle changes should be propagated through programmes of yoga,gym etc which will reduce non communicable diseaes.
  • Infrastructure should he created in govt hospital so that they have all facilities while operating the patient.
  • Recruit new doctor so that patient doctor ratio is balanced. Also proper paramedical staff should he appointed to support them.
  • Adequate remuneration should be provided.
  • Grievances redressal authority should be created so that baseless acquisition against them can be curbed.
  • PPP model can be explored for reducing brining in more efficiency, as suggested by NITI Aayog.


How to attract youth 

  • During college time feeling to serve people should be imbibed in them.
  • Government hospital can resort to college campus like Private sector to recruit young doctors
  • Providing remuneration in par with private sector can attract young talent along with best facilities.




If doctor is stressed how can they treat the patient hence government should take comprehensive reforms in medical field to improve the condition of the doctor in the public services so that they can work effectively and efficiently.

Looking at health level burden on India there urgent reforms is needed in hospital staff as well as new doctors since govt needs to take holistic approach in fulfilling the demands of the doctors.


Topic: India and its neighborhood- relations.

4) Without formal government bilateral talks, how can cultural and intellectual interactions help improve bilateral relationship meanwhile? What are the challenges these kinds of interactions face? Discuss critically. (250 Words)

The Hindu




Cultural and intellectual interaction has been a bedrock of soft diplomacy for creating robust bilateral relationship among various countries.


In following way they help in improving the bilateral relationship –


  1. GI tags
  • They promote economic trade between the two nations when one f the nations carry GI tags. In case of ancient civilisations like India, it is of utmost importance.
  • India GI tag products are quite famous in foreign countries and thus they give boost to trade.

    2.Traditional practices gaining popularity worldwide

  • They create a sense of belongingness in the heart of people for other country. 
  • Yoga has become quite famous throughout the world in recent decades. After the UN declared International Yoga Day in 2015, Indian government is capitalising on this particular soft power.

    3.Knowledge dissemination

  • They allow for transfer of knowledge, skills and technological exchange between countries.

    4.Enhances people to people relationships

  • It encourage people to people interaction and allow to know more about best cultural practices of different countries.
  • It therefore in turn act as hedge against political conflicts.




  1. Ideological conflicts
  • The shared heritage between India and Pakistan has been trumped by civilisational and ideological conflicts.

     2.Low political will 

  • Proponents as well as opponents of soft power often conflates it with communal overtones to further their personal interests.

     3.Geopolitical games

  • China and US involvement in the subcontinent has reduced the efficacy of soft power tools. 

Cultural and intellectual interaction should be promoted so that issue would be solved by bilateral talks, love and compassion rather then by force. Government should provide platform for such interaction whenever required


Topic:  functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies. 

5) What does recent 2G ‘scam’ verdict by the special CBI court reveal about functioning of CAG? Critically comment. (150 Words)




  • Article 148 provides for the institution of CAG. He is the guardian of the public purse and controls the entire financial system of  the country at both the levels—the Centre and the state. His duty is to uphold the Constitution of India and laws of Parliament in the field of financial administration. 
  • This is the reason why Dr B R Ambedkar said that the CAG shall be the most important Officer under the Constitution of India. He is one of the bulwarks of the democratic system of government in India; the others being the Supreme Court, the Election Commission and the Union Public Service Commission
  • The catalyst and subsequent leitmotif of the 2G scam was Rs1.76 trillion—the CAG’s estimate of the notional loss to the exchequer in the allocation of 2G licences.  This was a dubious figure based on dubious assumptions such as the use of 3G spectrum bids as a benchmark. 
  • In 2012, representatives of the supreme audit institutions of the US, Australia, Canada, Denmark and the Netherlands conducted a peer review of the CAG’s recent audits, International Peer Review Report on the Performance Audit function of Comptroller and Auditor General of India. There are positives aplenty, but also shortcomings. Among the latter was a lack of sufficient evidence in about half of the 35 audits considered.




  1. Institutional overreach by interfering in policy question
  • CAG began with a faulty premise: that the government’s guiding principle should have been revenue maximization. Governance does not always move along such straight lines; there are occasions when other imperatives such as public welfare take precedence.
  • This overreach was born of institutional shortcomings. The question of where exactly the CAG fits into the accountability framework of the Indian state has never really been answered adequately in practice. 
  • In the US and UK, for instance, legislation establishes corresponding audit bodies firmly as agents of the legislative branch of government.

    2.Pre-independence hangover

  • The CAG is the successor to the pre-independence auditor general
  • Constitution made interim provisions rather than providing a final solution—understandable given the ambiguities of governance in a fledgeling republic. 
  • As per the Constitution, the legislature would decide the CAG’s remit. Parliament finally established the CAG’s duties only in 1971 with the Comptroller and Auditor-General’s (Duties, Powers and Conditions of Service) Act.

    3.Ambiguous relationship with Parliament

  • The legacy of the decades of ambiguity is an uneasy working relationship between the CAG and Parliament, the body it is answerable to. 
  • Parliament has been apathetic both in its oversight and in its usage of CAG reports
  • The CAG has responded by often appropriating an outsize role for itself. 


Appleby’s criticism of CAG


Paul H Appleby, in his two reports on Indian Administration, was very critical of the role of CAG and attacked the significance of his work. He also suggested that the CAG should be relieved of the responsibility of audit. In other words, he recommended the abolition of the office of CAG. His points of criticism of Indian audit are as follows:

  • The function of the CAG in India, is in a large measure, an inheritance from the colonial rule.
  • The CAG is today a primary cause of widespread and paralysing unwillingness to decide and to act. Auditing has a repressive and negative influence.
  • The Parliament has a greatly exaggerated notion of the importance of auditing to Parliamentary responsibility, and so has failed to define the functions of the CAG as the Constitution contemplated it would do.
  • The CAG’s function is not really a very important one. Auditors do not know and cannot be expected to know very much about good administration; their prestige is highest with others who do not know much about administration.
  • Auditors know what is auditing, which is not administration; it is a necessary, but a highly pedestrian function with a narrow perspective and a very limited usefulness.
  • A deputy secretary in the department knows more about the problems in his department than the CAG and his entire staff



  • These shortcomings have resulted in an occasionally adversarial approach. 
  • The peer review has noted that in a number of the audit reports it examined, the CAG could have been “more balanced in content and tone. Such an approach could perhaps have produced a more reasonable report on the 2G licences.
  • But the CAG is a vital component of the system of checks and balances in the Indian state«and for all the good it has done, the 2G case shows that it has some distance to go yet.

General Studies – 3


Topic:  Infrastructure

7) Urban transport investments have a limited understanding of the interrelationships between gender and transport. Discuss. (250 Words)




  • Urban transport system defines the the structure and skelton of the city. However, according to the International Labour Organization (ILO), transport is one of several sectors that has traditionally been regarded as having ‘no place for women’. December 16 Delhi gangrape should have awakened us to the issues of women in regard to transportation in cities.
  • There are broad issues faced by women when accessing urban transport, which should be discussed as follows



  1. Security
  • Women are mostly concerned with the safety and security aspect of the transport which shall be the most important and critical aspect of decision making process.

    2.High mobility to ease access to workplace

  • The location of the household influence the travel pattern of women. Integration of land use and transportation planning will reduce negative environmental effects and access to more jobs and services will be ensured.
  • Intermediate and connecting mass transport system is another big issue and shall be taken care into planning to ensure gender
  • Ultimately, transportation is the fulcrum that allows women to participate in the workforce; a societal shift to transform the entire world economy.

     3.Decentralised planning

  • Usually the centralised planning leaves gender mainstreaming awashed. The comprehensive data collection and rigorous analysis shall be the basis of planning.
  • Urban transport is not the responsibility of one ministry or department, but requires interventions at multiple scales and coordination with a number of ministries and departments.
  • 74th amendment in the constitution provides us a framework to aggregate information from the below.




Gender mainstreaming and gender integration are the way forward to a sustainable urban infrastructure ecosystem. The Habitat III also promotes the discussion of gender integration to urban infrastructure investment at global level.

General Studies – 4

Topic:  role of family, society and educational institutions in inculcating values. 




The terms like “honour killing’, ‘gangrape’ and ‘love jihad’ have become common in socio-political discourse.


Using these kind of terms is not right because :


Honour killing

  • The term ‘honour killing’ is from the perspective of the perpetrators of the crime. 
  • We should prefer terms like ‘rogue killing’, ‘supercilious killing’, ‘haughty killing’



  • Such term creates psychological fear in the minds of the females. This tends to restrict them to exclusive spaces “free of men”, which hampers their overall growth.
  • As some feminists asserts, the stigma attached with rape highlights the sexual morality attached to women which is antithetical to a just society.


Love Jihad

  • The term ‘Love jihad’ represents vitriol, polarisation and demonising intents in this term. 
  • Apart from its obvious misogyny ( by Hindu female victimhood) and phobia for minorities and subalterns, the most damaging impact of the use of this term is that it normalises criminal behaviour of entrenched interest groups..
  • Significantly, it damages the sanctity of love that has been honoured throughout ages including in Indian scriptures.




Thus such usage of words hampers the dignity of woman by presenting them as second citizens, dependent and weak humans. We should find alternate terms for describing the crimes in the discourse while maintaining the ethicality of individual nature of women.


Such hate speech is always repeatable speech, drawing its strength from stereotypes and rhetoric. Thus there is critical need to not only combat their use, but also struck deep roots to make the change.