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

1) Write a note on the contribution of important personalities from the North East to fight against British colonialism in India. (150 Words)

The Hindu


Shoorvir Pasaltha Khuangchera 

  • Mizoram was incorporated into the colonial empire during the last part of the 19th century. The resistance against colonialism in Lushai Hills was no less intense than in any other part of India. 
  • He was the first Mizo freedom fighter to sacrifice his life fighting British imperialism. 
  • He was killed while trying to resist advancing British troops in 1890, which saw the British conquest of the Lushai Hills — now Mizoram. 
  • Khuangchera is not only known for his bravery but also his strength and righteousness that won over the hearts of his people. 


U Tirot Sing

  • He was one of the chiefs of the Khasi people in the early 19th century
  • Tirot Sing fought against British attempts to take over control of the Khasi Hills.


Rani Gaidinliu 

  • She was a Naga spiritual and political leader who led a revolt against British rule in India. 
  • At the age of 13, she joined the Heraka religious movement of her cousin Haipou Jadonang. The movement later turned into a political movement seeking to drive out the British from Manipur and the surrounding Naga areas. Within the Heraka faith, she came to be considered an incarnation of the Goddess Cherachamdinliu.
  • Gaidinliu was arrested in 1932 at the age of 16, and was sentenced to life imprisonment by the British rulers. Jawaharlal Nehru met her at Shillong Jail in 1937, and promised to pursue her release. 
  • Nehru gave her the title of “Rani” (“Queen”), and she gained local popularity as Rani Gaidinliu.
  • She was released in 1947 after India’s independence, and continued to work for the upliftment of her people. An advocate of the ancestral Naga religious practices, she staunchly resisted the conversion of Nagas to Christianity. She was honoured as a freedom fighter and was awarded a Padma Bhushan by the Government of India.


Bhogeshwari Phukanani 

  •  In 1930 Phukanani took part in a nonviolent march as an act of civil disobedience against the British authorities and was arrested for picketing
  • She also played an important role in the Quit India Movement
  • Phukanani was active in the Berhampur, Babajia, Barpujia areas in the Nagaon district of Assam and helped setup offices for the Indian National Congress.



  • During the Quit India Movement Kanaklata joined the Mrityu Bahini, a death squad comprising groups of youth from the Gohpur sub division of Assam. 
  • On 20 September 1942, the Bahini decided it would hoist the national flag at the local police station. A procession of unarmed villagers were led by Barua to do so. Undeterred by the police, the procession continued marching ahead when the police fired upon the procession. 
  • Kanaklata was shot and the flag she was carrying with her was taken up by Mukunda Kakoti who too was shot at. Both Kanaklata and Kakoti were killed in the police action. 
  • Kanaklata was only 17 years of age at the time of her martyrdom


Zou martyrs

  • 94-odd Zou martyrs of Manipur who sacrificed their lives fighting against the British attempt to forcibly deploy them as labour corps during World War I


General Studies – 2


Topic:   Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure. 

2) Analyse the nature and significance of Supreme Court’s recent judgements related to issues of fundamental rights, the status of the individual, and the idea of democracy. (250 Words)

The Wire


Individual autonomy and fundamental rights


  1. Judgment on triple talaq
  • In Shayara Bano vs Union of India, popularly known as the “triple talaq case”, the court came perilously close to completely submerging individual rights within community claims
  • Two judges out of five held that personal law systems (inherently unequal and discriminatory towards women) were protected by Article 25(1)’s near-absolute guarantee of the freedom of religion. 
  • Its impact on future constitutional cases involving religious claims remains to be seen.

    2.Judgment on privacy

  • The nine-judge bench’s decision in K.S. Puttaswamy vs Union of India, where the court unanimously held that the constitution protects the fundamental right to privacy. 
  • The judges articulated a concrete vision of the relationship between the individual and the state: a relationship in which the individual rights to dignity, to autonomy, and to liberty, were paramount, and the fundamental value of privacy – whether it was the privacy of the home and other spaces, the privacy of personal information, or the privacy of intimate decision-making – was in how it protected, promoted and fulfilled individual autonomy and dignity.




  1. Judgment on use of identity in politics
  • In Abhiram Singh vs C.D. Commachen,a majority of four judges ruled that the Representation of the People Act prohibited any kind of appeal to caste, community, language, and religion during an election campaign
  • They based their holding on the view that these markers of identity were inherently divisive, and impeded the formation of the universal citizenhood that was so important to democracy. 
  • Three judges, however, dissented, noting that electoral politics was a stage where historical discrimination – that had always been identity-based – could be addressed and remedied, and that the only feasible way of doing this was by appealing to identity.

     2.Judgment on ordinance power

  • In Krishna Kumar vs State of Bihar, the court significantly narrowed the power of the executive to pass ordinances. 
  • Not only did it hold that ordinances would be subject to judicial review (albeit to a limited extent), it also held that, subject to a very narrow class of exceptions, acts done through the duration of the ordinance would also lapse if the ordinance lapsed. In doing so, the court set aside two previous decisions that had equated ordinances to “temporary laws”, and had therefore held that acts done during the course of an ordinance would continue to have effect even after the ordinance itself was allowed to lapse. 
  • While ordinances had been a regular tool of governance under the colonial regime, their utility in a democratic society had to be severely curtailed and regulated – ordinances were, at best, a subordinate form of lawmaking, necessitated in emergencies, but under no circumstances could they supplant parliamentary legislation.

     3.Judgment on power conflict between elected and nominated in UT

  • In NCT of Delhi vs Union of India, which concerned the distribution of powers between the elected Delhi government and the Lieutenant-Governor. 
  • The post of the LG is another colonial holdover, from a time when people were subjects instead of citizens, and territories were to be “administered” instead of governed. 
  • The constitution is dotted with such colonial holdovers, and Article 239AA, which laid out Delhi’s legislative and executive arrangements, reflected this tension. 


Topic:  Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation. 

3) How did the introduction of the Unified Access Services Licensing (UASL) regime in 2003 alter dynamics in India’s telecommunication sector? Critically examine. (250 Words)

The Hindu




  • Between 2001 and 2007, the telecom sector went through many policy fixes including telecom licences becoming technology neutral with the introduction of the Unified Access Services Licensing (UASL) regime in 2003. 
  • This stipulated that telecom licences and bundled spectrum would be granted on a first come, first served basis on the price discovered in the cellular auction in 2001.


Altering of telecom sector




  1. Teledensity increased exponentially
  • In UASl, basic and cellular Services Licensees are permitted to migrate to Unified Access Services Licence regime with unified license.
  • It allowed the telecom companies to expantd their networks across the country and to the wider canvas in rural hinterlands.

    2.Decreased tariffs for the consumer

  • Licensee could also provide Voice Mail, Audiotex services, Video Conferencing, Videotex, E-Mail , Closed User Group (CUG) as Value Added Services over its network to the subscribers falling within its service area on non-discriminatory basis.

   3.Affordable internet

  • An Unified Access Services licensee can provide wireline as well as wireless services in a service area,can act as a life line for the operator, if efficiently handled with utmost care.




  1. Loss of revenue
  • However this policy also gave birth to the 2G scam due to ambiguity in allocating licenses.
  • CAG alleged a loss of Rs. 1.76 lakh crore in the grant of bundled spectrum to the new licensees at administered prices.

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

4) It is said that the entire Board examination system and the culture associated with it constitute an endemic problem. Discuss critically these problems and their solutions. (250 Words)

The Hindu



  • A vast number of India’s adolescents feel seriously unhappy and resentful. 
  • Ignoring or oppressing adolescents is not uncommon in other countries, but India’s case is somewhat extreme. Over more than a century, our system of schooling has honed its tools to oppress and defeat the adolescent.
  • The tool used to subdue the rebellious adolescent mind is the Board examination.

Issues with Board exam


  1. Tends to decide future of child unfairly
  • The term ‘board’ has acquired connotations of terror for the young on account of the darkness into which it pushes them before some are let back out into normal light and further education. 
  • Fear of failing in it and thereby closing all doors to a worthwhile future figures in many autobiographies written during the colonial period.

     2.Secret procedures of marking

  • Boards of examinations maintain a tight secrecy over how a young student will be marked and declared either ‘pass’ or ‘fail’. 
  • A tight cover of confidentiality is maintained to conceal the abysmal quality of the marking system, question papers and the evaluation process.

    3.Learning distorted

  • Popular understanding of education, which is widely shared in political and official circles, equates learning with performance on tests. 
  • The nationwide industry that specialises in offering help in passing examinations and entrance tests makes no distinction between cramming, cheating and learning. 

    4.Abysmal teacher training

  • Teachers are taught about these common symptoms, and those who learn them well enough to discuss them correctly get through their B.Ed. (Bachelor of Education) examination without much cramming. 
  • When they become teachers, they soon realise that passing the B.Ed. examination is a lot easier than dealing with real adolescents — boys or girls.



  • Plenty of ideas for reforming the Boards and the examination system they govern have been given over the years. Some of these ideas have been put into practice here and there, as isolated steps lacking a wider frame of reference to curricular reform. 
  • The National Curriculum Framework, 2005 insisted on coherence between reforms in curriculum, examinations and teacher training. This perspective continues to pose a challenge to an institutional structure marked by rivalry and turf wars.


General Studies – 3


Topic:  Economics of animal rearing

6) During the past three years, India has outpaced the global milk production with an annual growth rate of 5.53% compared with the 2.09% achieved globally. Examine how is it made possible. (150 Words)

The Hindu



  • During the past three years, India has outpaced the global milk production with an annual growth rate of 5.53% compared with the 2.09% achieved globally.
  • India has been the largest producer of milk in the world for the past 15 years.
  • Milk production, which was around 17-22 million tonnes in the 1960s, has increased to 163.7 million tonnes in 2016-17. Particularly, it has increased by 19% during 2016-17 in comparison to the year 2013-14. 
  • Similarly, per capita availability of milk has increased from 307 grams in 2013-14 to 351 grams in the year 2016-17. The income of dairy farmers increased by 23.77% in 2014-17 compared to 2011-14.


Reasons for growth of milk production

  • There are many factors that have contributed to the growing importance of dairy farming. 


  1. Decreasing landholding size
  • With the average landholding size reducing consistently over the years and water scarcity problems growing, the small and marginal farmers increasingly prefer dairy farming. 
  • This is because milk production is not land and water dependent when done on a small scale, since farmers can buy both green and dry fodder from within the village or from outside.

    2.Storage and marketing infrastructure

  • Procurement and marketing infrastructure for milk has remarkably improved over the years throughout the country, with dairy cooperatives and private dairies, and increasing demand for fresh milk from small towns and cities that are in close vicinity of rural areas, along with remarkable improvement in dairy technology. 

    3.Increasing demand for milk due to increased per capita incomes

  • The price of milk has been rising in India during the past one decade owing to rapidly growing demand for milk and other dairy products as a result of rising per capita income. 
  • In fact, the wholesale price index (WPI) of milk has been increasing at an average rate of 10.5% since April 2006.

   4.Nutritional value in rural families

  • The contribution of these dairy animals in meeting the family nutritional requirements in rural areas. 
  • The very fact that the small farmers keep a significant chunk of the milk produced for their own domestic consumption shows its critical importance in family nutrition, especially for feeding small children. 



  • Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries (DAHDF)  is working on a National Action Plan Vision 2022, where along with enhancing the outreach of dairy cooperatives to additional villages and milk producers, suitable provisions are being made to build additional milk processing infrastructure for processing additional volume of milk expected on account of higher milk production and meeting the increased demand for value-added products

Topic:  Conservation

7) What do you understand by compensatory afforestation? Discuss the salient features of the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Act, 2016. (250 Words)

The Hindu



  • CAF has the provision to create a national fund with contributions from user agencies—any person, organisation, company or department of the Centre or state government making a request to divert or de-notify forest land for non-forest purpose.
  • Centre is yet not ready with the rules to implement the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Act, 2016 




  1. Violates tribal rights regime
  • Compensatory Afforestation Fund Act, 2016 (CAF)gravely violates the constitutional and legal rights as well as livelihoods of crores of adivasis and forest dwellers in India, under Article 300A of the Constitution, Panchayat (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996 (PESA) and the Forest Rights Act, 2006 (FRA).

     2.Deforestation enhanced

  • Tribals criticised the act for creating a perverse incentive to accelerate deforestation rather than prevent it.
  • It is debatable whether the Act, with the disbursal mechanism through national and State funds that it mandates, is a sound remedy for loss of rich forests that continues to occur because of developmental and biotic pressures. 
  • The evidence on compensatory afforestation in a big project such as the Sardar Sarovar Dam, for instance, is not encouraging.

    3.Use of land is not defined clearly

  • There is no clarity on the plantation process. If land is diverted in one area, compensatory afforestation can be done somewhere far away.
  • November 8 guidelines of the Ministry of Environment and Forest on creation of land banks for compensatory afforestation are vague and can include lands on which forest rights aren’t settled.

    4.Loss of biodiversity

  • The monoculture plantations that came up as afforestration are having low biodiversity value.
  • Replacing a natural forest with a plantation does not really serve the cause of nature, wildlife, or the forest-dwelling communities who depend on it, because of the sheer loss of biodiversity.
  • It is worth pointing out that the method used to calculate the net present value of forests, taking into account all ecosystem services they provide, is far from perfect.


Way forward


  1. Management of fund
  • Ensure that all accumulated Compensatory Afforestation funds are democratically managed and administered by transferring to gram sabhas
  • What the Centre needs to do is to enable independent audit of all connected programmes, in order to sensibly deploy the financial resources now available

     2.Decentralisation of powers to undertake works out of the fund

  • All activities with the fund must be done with free, prior and informed consent of gram sabhas.

    3.Preserving biodiversity

  • Though, diversion of forests for non-forest use seems inevitable to some degree, the task is to make an assessment of suitable lands, preferably contiguous with protected areas that can be turned over for management to a joint apparatus consisting of forest department staff and scientific experts.
  • There is immense potential to augment the services of forests through a careful choice of plants and trees under the afforestation programme. 

General Studies – 4

Topic:  Ethics in public administration

8) You are working as Superintendent of Police (SP) in a district that is communally sensitive. It’s also the home district of chief minister (CM) of the state, whose daughter you are married to. There have been incidents such as killing of labourers involved in transport of cows; killing of muslim boys alleging their involvement in ‘love jihad’; killing of a local journalist who was very vocal about communal politics etc. In addition, one of the members of parliament representing the district, is fond of giving hate speeches to incite mobs to indulge in violence. You are aware that certain local leaders have an agenda to polarise population in the district in the name of religion. As elections are nearing, communal polarisation is happening fast. The state CM belongs to a political party that has communal agenda. This time there is a chance of CM losing out in the election. It’s do or die situation for him on which his political career rests on. He wants you to be soft on communal elements so that he can capitalise on fear to garner votes. However, you come from a background where you were taught secular and inclusive views from the childhood itself. You are a person who believes that peaceful society is prerequisite to achieve development. However, due to certain circumstances, you had to marry a daughter of a politician who professes politics of hate. Your marriage life is going very well. You are in a situation where your father in law believes that you can save his political career by being soft on his type of politics, on the other hand you can not risk the consequences of not heeding to his plea.

  1. In this situation, what short-term and long-term consequences do you foresee in case you choose to follow chief minister’s directive? Examine.
  2. Evaluate merits and demerits of various options that you can explore to address ethical issues that you are posed with in this situation.  (300 Words)




The given situation is one of the most mundane, though critical situation often faced by a public servant. Here there is a pressure from CM who also happen to be his father in law to abonden his duty and thus also brings his personal-professional life in conflict. This is a case of dereliction of duty on CM part as Constitution mandates secular ethos.


This is a test of his integrity, impartiality and ability to face pressure, coupled b y the fact that there is a risk of affecting the constituency grievously.


Consequences of following CM’s directives


Short Term

  • The atmosphere in the society will be communally polarised even to the extent of killings of innocent.
  • In the midst of communal polarisation, the CM might win the elections at the cost of political values.
  • The constitutional values enshrined under Articles 14, 15, 21, 25 will be violated, alongwith the plural spirit of Indian culture.
  • People in general and particularly minority community will lose confidence in the state appratus and thus may resort to extra-constitutional and extra-legal measures including terrorism. 
  • The professional compromise done will leave an impact on my integrity as well, which will have serious consequence in respect of my commitment to the people as a public servant.

Long Term

  • The socio-political discourse will be irreparably damaged in the current of communal polarisation.
  • Consequent of polarisation, the real civic issues of public will be relegated.
  • There will always be communal tension, which will be a dent on the resources of Police Department significantly owing to the constant vigil required.


Alternative Courses of Action


  1. Being a relative of the CM, there is an option to keep aside from the duty citing ‘conflict of interest’ or following the orders.



  • The cordial family atmosphere can be preserved.
  • There will be ease in the professional life as per the whims.



  • Abrogating the responsibility is against the ethics and code of a public servant when he has due authority in his hands.
  • In a critical situation, the general public looks towards the efficient public servants to protect their lives and property. Such breach of trust is sin for a public servant.


  1. Refusing to accept such orders and negotiate through my wife with the father in law who is CM.



  • The primary aim of saving the lives will be served for the time being.
  • It will reflect a harmonious balance between personal and professional duty.



  • The deep rooted problem of communalism will not be sorted out which will need different interventions against this ad hoc approach.