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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; Social empowerment

1) Discuss the merits and demerits of the proposed Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill 2017. (250 Words)

The Hindu



  • Supreme Court has already declared, and correctly, that the practice of talaq-e-biddat, or instant divorce of a Muslim woman by uttering the word ‘talaq’ thrice, is illegal and unenforceable.
  • Its consequence is that the husband’s marital obligations remain, regardless of his intention in pronouncing it.
  • The Centre’s proposal  is to make instant triple talaq an offence punishable with three-year imprisonment and a fine.


Why Criminalization will not help women?


  1. Not a sufficient deterrent
  • It is well established that criminalising something does not have any deterrent effect on its practice.

     2.Civil issues should not be criminalised

  • Since marriage is a civil contract, the procedures to be followed on its breakdown should also be of civil nature only
  • Civil character of children custody and allowance of marital law must be preserved.

    3.Alternate available

  • When existing laws, under Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code or provisions of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, already allow the prosecution of a husband for inflicting physical or mental cruelty, emotional and economic abuse, and for deprivation of financial resources.
  • in the best interests of justice to Muslim women is to invoke a secular law that already exists: Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act (PWDVA), 2005. Parliament should pass a law unambiguously stating that the very utterance of the words “talaq, talaq, talaq” would amount to “domestic violence” as defined in the PWDVA.
  • PWDVA was conceived as a law that ensures speedy relief — ideally within three months — to an aggrieved woman: Right to stay in the marital home, protection against violence, right to maintenance etc

    4.Maintainence and children future be affected in case of jail to husband

  • Criminalising it risks defeating the objective of preserving the husband’s legal obligations, and the payment of maintenance.


Why criminalisation is necessary?

  • The pro-criminalisation progressives maintain that the prime intent behind enacting a stringent law is not to punish the offender but to act as a deterrent.
  • Also, the fine amount under consideration could as well be awarded as maintenance or subsistence allowance.

General Studies – 2


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

2) India should remember that its primary area of concern is the Indian Ocean Region (IOR), not the Indo-Pacific. Comment. (150 Words)

The Hindu




India should be wary of any attempts at being pitted as a front in the U.S.’s efforts to check China’s rise. While the notion of the Indo-Pacific sounds grandiose and enticing, India must not forget that its primary area of concern is the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). Securing its position here is vital before venturing elsewhere.


Why Indian Ocean is important?


  1. India’s status as balancing power
  • India has always been wooed by both sides and has been a balancing power on the world stage. 
  • As its stature in global politics increases, it is in the nation’s as well as global interest that India remains a balancing power. For instance, India’s vote in the UN General Assembly over Jerusalem should be seen in line with a “rules-based world order.”

    2.Chinese assertion in Indian Ocean Region

  • Chinese People’s Liberation Army that is “planning to explore the possibility of more foreign military outposts in Africa, West Asia and other areas. 
  • For India, geographically the area of concern, and so the area of focus, should remain the IOR, stretching from the Gulf of Aden to the Strait of Malacca. 
  • While reiterating its commitment to upholding the established laws of the global commons, New Delhi should not go adrift in the larger Indo-Pacific. 

    3.Own responsibility in its own region than depending on other powers

  • As more powers make inroads into this strategically crucial space, India must consolidate its position and not expect others to do its job, for it would only mean ceding space in the long run.


Way forward


  1. Capacity building in the neighborhood
  • The tags of net security provider and leading global power would mean nothing if New Delhi cannot undertake capacity building in its own backyard, be it South Asia or the IOR. 
  • While the offer of help from various countries to help expand India’s network in the region looks tempting, it actually reflects India’s failure to establish its primacy in the region. Ideally, it should have been the other way round: India guiding outside powers in its backyard. 
  • Over the last couple of months, there have been hectic parleys with various nations in various formats — quadrilateral, trilateral, etc. But it cannot be at the expense of the neighbours. 
  • In the recently resurrected Quad, except India, for the other three the primary focus is the Pacific Ocean, especially the South China Sea.

    2.Expanding existing partnerships

  • With Singapore’s assistance, India is also working out modalities for joint multilateral exercises with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). India is also negotiating similar logistics agreements with several other countries. 
  • Another initiative which fits the bill is the Goa Maritime Conclave hosted by the Indian navy last month where Navy Chiefs and maritime heads of 10 Indian Ocean littoral states brainstormed on ways to improve cooperation in the region. It is an India-led initiative where the navy has offered to share information of maritime movement in real-time.
  • This is the template for India to take forward to build its primacy in the IOR before venturing into adjacent waters while also making sure that its interests are taken heed of while getting into various groupings and not end up doing someone else’s bidding.

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

3) It is said that it is time for Indian investigators to update their understanding of encephalitis and look at outbreaks through a wider lens. Examine why. (150 Words)

The Hindu





Encephalitis is a potentially life-threatening but rare disease causing “acute inflammation” of the brain.

The disease can occur in people of all ages, but children and the elderly are more at risk of being afflicted with the disease. The usual cause of the rare disease is either a viral inflection. Sometimes it is caused when the brain’s own immune system mistakenly attacks brain tissue. In rare cases, encephalitis is caused due to bacterial infection, parasites, or may be prompted from other infectious diseases. It is a non-communicable disease.


Updating knowledge about encephalitis needed

  • JE was indeed the biggest cause of encephalitis in India for decades, and today the public health diagnostic machinery is built around this illness. 
  • As JE vaccination rates have grown, incidence has shrunk, and a host of other causes of encephalitis, like dengue, scrub typhus, herpes simplex and the West Nile virus, have emerged to the forefront. 
  • Yet, investigating agencies such as the National Centre for Disease Control and the National Institute of Virology have persisted in focussing on JE. 


  1. Odisha unexpected cause
  • Recently an unexpected cause for the inflammatory brain disease — encephalitis — found in Malkangiri district of Odisha. For many years, this recurring outbreak, which killed over 100 children last year, was thought to be due to the Japanese encephalitis (JE) virus. 
  • Now researchers say it was likely due to the consumption of a wild bean, called Bada Chakunda, which grows freely in the region. Like several natural toxins, the anthraquinones in the bean don’t harm healthy people, but cause fatal dysfunction of the liver, heart and brain in underfed children

    2.Similar cases elsewhere

  • This finding draws on the researchers’ previous work in Uttar Pradesh’s Saharanpur district, where too a recurrent encephalitis outbreak was traced to this bean. 
  • An illness around for three decades in U.P.’s Gorakhpur turned out, primarily, to be scrub typhus last year, while epidemics in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur were linked to lychee consumption, again among emaciated children. 
  • In all these cases, the suspicion of JE, though the epidemiology and symptoms didn’t match, delayed the discovery of the cause.



  • If an encephalitis case cannot be confirmed as JE, doctors tag it as Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES). But AES is no diagnosis, just a temporary label for different unnamed diseases.  
  • If JE made around 2000 Indians sick this year, the mysterious AES is reported to have affected six times as many. 
  • A fixation with JE means the numerous patients in the second group may never get a diagnosis.


Topic Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability 

4) Net neutrality is the human right in the digital age. Comment. (150 Words)

The Hindu



  • A human right represents an uncompromising principle of social discourse that is an absolute necessity for a dignified human life. The nature of rights changes with changes in society and civilisation. In Digital Age, net neutrality is one such uncompromising principle.
  • Net Neutrality refers to the unbiased treatment of all internet websites, portals and services by an internet service provide (ISP) in matters of allocating bandwidth and traffic. Net neutrality is at the core of an open Internet that does not allow for content discrimination by ISPs. 
  • Net neutrality is the principle that Internet service providers must treat all data on the Internet the same, and not discriminate or charge differently by user, content, website, platform, application, type of attached equipment, or method of communication. 
  • For instance, under these principles, internet service providers are unable to intentionally block, slow down or charge money for specific websites and online content.
  • The term was coined by Columbia University media law professor Tim Wu in 2003, as an extension of the longstanding concept of a common carrier, which was used to describe the role of telephone systems.


Arguments in favour

  • This principle has allowed the burgeoning of the Internet, from one as a means of communication and a destination for information to becoming a parallel, virtual universe that caters to social interactions, business, knowledge dissemination, and entertainment among other things. 
  • Net neutrality inviolability has been built into the structure of the Internet itself — in its layers and protocols that allow for seamless access to any networked device in the world irrespective of the nature of the physical infrastructure that has built the network.
  • It prevents discrimination against small entrepreneurs, fosters the spirit of competition and merit, nurtures the democratic nature of internet, provides fertile ground for innovation, and research and development, and protects the privacy.
  • Compromise in net neutrality will lead to control of internet by a few corporation. Big Data, Artificial Intelligence and Cryptocurrencies functions over internet only. Control of these technologies can gain them a disproportionate and all-encompassing power over society.
  • Almost all human activities are part of the internet. Personal relations, marriage, media, social media, communication, politics, entertainment, sports, stock market, health, education and so on, all make use of internet in one way or another way.


Arguments against net neutrality

  • Broadband content should be regulated as a service delivery much like phone services are.  Net neutrality dis-incentivised ISPs from improving or increasing investment in Internet infrastructure. 



  • The way internet has been weaved through our social, political and economic fabric it becomes imperative to have net neutrality. 
  • TRAI has maintained that net neutrality is the core principle of internet governance, but more needs to be done to create awareness of “net neutrality as a human right”.

General Studies – 3


Topic:  Environmental pollution

5) The India Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur report published in 2016 cites municipal solid waste burning and vehicular pollution as critical contributors of air pollution apart from crop residue burning. Examine how these and other factors contribute to pollution in cities and measures needed to address these factors. (250 Words)

The Hindu



  • World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2014 said that Delhi was the most polluted city in the world, and 13 out of the 20 worst impacted were in north India.
  • The tell-tale parameter is the smallest measurable particulate matter — PM of less than 2.5 microns — which was an annual average of 153 micrograms per cubic metre that year, well above the WHO limit of 35.
  • Beijing, which was previously the black sheep of the world’s urban air contamination, recorded 53 micrograms.


IIT Kanpur Report


Sources of pollution



  • 98% of the sulphur dioxide and 60% of the nitrogen oxide in Delhi’s air were the result of pollution from thermal power plants, industrial clusters, restaurants, and diesel generators.
  • There are 13 thermal power plants within 300 km of Delhi, 20 big industries, and 25 industrial clusters. Many of these industries use furnace oil for fuel that exceeds the 500 parts per million of sulphur limit.
  • Similarly, the thermal power plants are not being monitored for the gases and fly ash they spew into the air.
  • In addition, Delhi has 9,000 small hotels and restaurants that use coal for cooking.



  • Although 90% of Delhi’s residents now use clean fuel, the remaining 10% still cook using wood, crop residue, cow dung, or coal.



  • Additionally, the burgeoning number of automobiles on Delhi’s roads is responsible for 20% of the deadly particulate matter (PM2.5).


Way forward

  • To tackle each of these will take decisive and persistent policy actions, not panic-driven and ill-considered bans.
  • Laws concerning land use
  • Giving priority to public transport over private
  • Creating public access to open and green areas; and
  • Checking sources of pollution in the surrounding areas

Topic: Security challenges and their management in border areas; linkages of organized crime with terrorism

6) India has off-late witnessed a surge in insurgency related incidents in the Kashmir Valley. The nature of local support for the Kashmir insurgency is changing and the lack of other approaches barring the military one ensure that insurgency as an enterprise is feasible and the recurring cost of violence is borne by India. In this regard, what should be India’s counter-insurgency strategy in Kashmir?  Examine. (250 Words)

The Wire

  • India has off-late witnessed a surge in insurgency related incidents in the Kashmir Valley. The military response has been swift and the counter-insurgency campaign has gone full throttle. 
  • The magnitude of local support for the insurgency has increased tremendously in the last couple of years. Though the authorities have been providing the youth with skill training and vocational opportunities, and engaging the populace through various welfare programs, they view the functional state apparatus only in the gun-toting uniformed men. 
  • However in September 2017, Home Minister Rajnath Singh spelt out the contours of a plan of engagement in Jammu and Kashmir. 
  • He said that a permanent solution to the Kashmir problem was based on five Cs, which he would define as “compassion, communication, coexistence, confidence building and consistency”. 
  • Also Dineshwar Sharma has been appointed “as the Representative of the Government of India to initiate and carry forward a dialogue with the elec­ted representatives, various organisations and concerned individuals in the State of Jammu and Kashmir” 


Lack of political outreach

  • In Kashmir, the conflict cycle operates like a sine or cosine wave; there is always limited time for a congenial environment under which reconciliation efforts can take place. 
  • The lack of a political initiative that complements the tactical military effort is a consistent feature in India’s handling of the conflict. 


  1. Compassion
  • On the political front as had been indicated at the height of the 2016 summer uprising when he tried to reach out to the separatist camp. 
  • However, the hard-line approach that advocated and pursued a security-oriented approach.


  • Communication has been missing. 
  • The line of communication has been not kept open for all
  • By not engaging in a political dialogue with forces such as the All Parties Hurriyat Conference, the Government of India is also giving them an excuse to not do anything. 
  • Having a line of communication and putting their ability to test would have helped people think about the capacities of the leadership, but that perhaps cannot come without communication that has no precondition.


  • There is no coexistence on the ground. Particularly in the past few years, the effort has been to isolate the community. 
  • New Delhi has defeated the idea of Jammu and Kashmir being an “integral part of India” on the ground by not showing any respect for coexistence. 
  • Use of military power, that too, indiscriminately against the civilian population, putting them under curfew for 54 days at a stretch, and protecting those who commit human rights violations are some of the hard facts that talk about a different existence.

    4.Confidence building 

  • Confidence-building measures have been another casualty. Confidence has been shaken for a long time now. 
  • Deploying more and more forces does not help to build confidence; it dents the very essence of it. 
  • Confidence comes from measures that are aimed at addressing the concerns that are directly linked to people’s existence, their daily life, and their rights. 
  • When institutions fail to deliver justice, there can be no hope of confidence building. By treating the people as the “other”, confidence-building measures can become far-fetched and that is how it has played on the ground. 
  • The finest example of confidence building vis-a-vis Kashmir was when former Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee took a giant step by extending a hand of friendship to Pakistan from Srinagar on April 18, 2003. This gesture was followed by opening the roads between the divided Jammu and Kashmir, starting trade exchanges across the Line of Control (LoC) and allowing people on the borders to live peacefully. 


  • Consistency is the only requirement in dealing with an issue like Kashmir. 
  • No matter what happens, foreign policy has to be consistent.


Need for military

  • The security environment within Jammu and Kashmir has largely improved on account of India’s information asymmetry with respect to the militants. Security forces are successfully locating and initiating encounters against militants. 


Way forward

  • Not acknowledging or addressing the issue of local support ensures that there is a recurring security cost for India, regional deterrence stability is cyclically impacted and external actors both state and non-state view the insurgency as a feasible enterprise.
  • The nature of local support for the Kashmir insurgency is changing and the lack of other approaches barring the military one ensure that insurgency as an enterprise is feasible and the recurring cost of violence is borne by India

General Studies – 4

Topic:  Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in human actions;



  • Social media ethics refers to the value, moral and belief the social media upholds. It is concerned with the use of social.manner in the right way in right perspective, right purpose and for upholding the right cause.
  • Social media has been penetrated to the lowest strata of society and it’s widespread linkage has been used by hacktivist and cyber dissidents to uphold various causes plauging the society. 
  • Along with this there is also widespread misuse of social media which gave rise to various ethical issues


Financial frauds 

  • People are becoming victim of online scam through social media. 


Violation of human rights 

  • Online teasing, cyber bullying, recent blue whale game has resulted into death of innocent children.


Online abuse 

  • It is used for defamation and slander to trample the dignity of individual for political and personal purposes.



  • People spent hours and hours on social media. It decreases their productive capacity


Hamper social relationships

  • Social media lowers social contacts which deters personality development. The lack of social cohesion comes with other issues as well.


Radicalisation tool

  • It has been used by terrorist outfits to radicalise populace, particularly youth and recruit them as terrorist. Lone wolf attack have altered the security aspect significantly in recent years. 
  • The ethical issues like unintended targetting of specific groups by the security agencies and resulting backlash will involve huge ethical dimension.


Propaganda tool 

  • Though social media has been a great avenue to engage people in political discourse, the use by various political parties and organisations in a polarising manner can also cause havoc. 
  • It can be averted by good interventions during education days with proper humanistic education. 




Social media needs to be used in a ethical manner so that problem are solved rather than created . Government  and civil society besides should work together to curb the unethical use of social media in the country so that various tenets which are country upholds should not get violated.