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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 –

Topic The Freedom Struggle – its various stages and important contributors /contributions from different parts of the country

1) The assessment that the RIN mutiny as a momentous event and as having hastened the end of British rule in India is an  exaggeration. Comment. (250 Words)

The Indian Express


  • The naval mutiny of 1946 was among the hardest blows the British received during their brutal 200 year occupation of India. The unexpected revolt by more than 25,000 ratings of the Royal Indian Navy (RIN) drove a stake of fear through British hearts and had a long lasting impact on future events in the freedom struggle.

Importance of it :-

  • The naval mutiny began with a tiny spark. It was limited to a peaceful protest hunger strike against the atrocious living conditions and the rotten food being served daily to the Indian ratings. But when the British officers ignored the protests the fuse was lit. 
  • The strike soon spread to other parts of India. The ratings in Calcutta, Madras, Karachi and Vizag also went on strike shouting slogans against British.
  • The Royal Indian Navy mutiny was arguably the single most important event in convincing the British government that it could no longer hold on to India.
  • The most significant feature of this short uprising was the massive outpouring of public support for the mutineers
  • The mutiny clearly portrayed an example of unity among the Indians, when it came to confronting the British, irrespective of whether one was a civilian or a defense personnel.

Why it is overshadowed/criticised :-

  • It took place when already the process of transferring of power from British to India was underway so it is an exaggeration to say it hastened the transfer of power.
  • Even though it started as a peaceful protest it took a violent path later.
  • Upon its political isolation, the colonial state crushed the revolt by deploying British battalions, the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force
  • Mutineers floundered since the leadership of neither the Congress nor the Muslim League supported the strike.
    • When hundreds of ratings were imprisoned for months in abominable conditions at the Mulund camp, there would be no one to speak for them. But, their overall alignment with the national movement finally let the RIN mutiny down.
  • The leaders realized that any mass uprising would inevitably carry the risk of not being amenable to centralized direction and control. Besides, now that independence and power were in sight, they were eager not to encourage indiscipline in the armed forces
  • Hectic negotiations with Sardar Patel followed. He assured them that the national leadership would look into their grievances and prevent any victimization. This led to fading of the mutiny slowly.
  • RIN trials overshadowed mutiny 


  • For the first time the blood of men in the Services and in the streets flowed together in a common cause.

Topic:  Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

2) Why is Jainism known a transtheistic religion? Examine its transtheistic nature is reflected in its art and architecture. (250 Words)




Background :-

  • Jainism is a transtheistic religion prescribing non-violence toward all living beings


  • It refers to a system of thought or religious philosophy which is neither theistic, nor atheistic, but is beyond them.

Reasons why Jainism is known as a transtheistic religion :-

  • Jains do not believe in a God or gods in the way that many other religions do, but they do believe in divine (or at least perfect) beings who are worthy of devotion. So a new word was needed: transtheistic, meaning inaccessible by arguments as to whether or not a God exists
  • It is theistic in the limited sense that the gods exist, but become irrelevant as they are transcended by moksha(that is, a system which is not non-theistic, but in which the gods are not the highest spiritual instance). 
  • Athiestic nature:-
    • The Jain view of God enables Jainism to explain the evil and suffering that exists in the world without the intellectual difficulties faced by religions that have an omnipotent, creator God at their heart. Jains use the existence of evil as a reason for denying the existence of an omnipotent, wholly good, Creator.
    • Jain prayers tend to recall the great qualities of the tirthankaras and remind the individual of various teachings.
    • Jains believe that the goodness or quality of a being’s life are determined by karma and it has nothing to do with spiritual being
    • Jains do not believe in any god who will respond to prayer or intervene in the world. The beings that Jains worship have no interest in human beings. The beings that Jains worship are beyond human contact and they cannot intervene in the world.
    • Jains do not believe that any form of god is necessary to keep the universe in existence.
  • Jainism and God – the theistic side
    • Some writers regard the jinasas ‘gods’ because the jinas are venerated by Jains in the way that other faiths worship gods or God. Jains venerate them because they have achieved perfection, and have become liberated from the cycle of birth and death.
    • The jinas are the ideal state of an individual soul’s existence, and are worshipped as a perfect example for Jains to aspire to. So the only ‘gods’ that exist for Jains are pure souls that are omniscient, perfectly happy and eternal.


How this transtheistic nature is reflected in its art and architecture :-

  • Jain architecture was almost an offshoot of Hindu and Buddhist styles but with some specific Jainism needs. in later years Jains started building temple-cities on hills based on the concept of mountains of immortality.
  • The transtheistic nature is the art and architecture is visible as Jain iconography mostly has a sage in sitting or standing meditative posture without any clothes. Popular themes and icons in Jain art include the Tirthankaras ,yakshas and yakshinis and holy symbols such as the lotus and the swastika, which symbolized peace and well-being.
    • Jains mainly depict tirthankaraor other important people in a seated or standing meditative posture, sometimes on a very large scale. Yaksaand yaksini, attendant spirits who guard the tirthankara, are usually shown with them. Figures on various seals from the Indus Valley Civilisation bear similarity to jaina images, nude and in a meditative posture.
  • Rock cut:-
    • Excellent Jain architecture and sculpture can also be seen in the rock-cut caves found in Mathura, Bundelkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Orissa. A number of rock-cut caves have been discovered in twin hills in Puri District of Orissa and in Ellora in Maharashtra.
    • Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves: The caves bear inscriptions and sculptural friezes depicting Tirthankaras, elephants, women etc
  • Temple architecture:-
    • The Dilwara Temple complex in Rajasthan consists of five ornately carved marble temples, each dedicated to a different Tirthankara
    • The Jain pilgrimage in Shatrunjay hills near Patilana, Gujarat is called “The city of Temples”.
  • Ayagapata is a type of votive slab associated with worship in Jainism.These stone tablets bear a resemblance to the earlier Shilapatas– stone tablets that were placed under trees to worship Yakshas. However, this was done by indigenous folk communities before Jainism originated suggesting that both have commonalities in rituals.
  • Most of the Jain paintings and illustrations depict historical events, known as Panch Kalyanaka, from the life of the Tirthankaras. Rishabha, the first Tirthankara, is usually depicted in either the lotus position or kayotsarga, the standing position.


  • Bahubali statue in Shravanabelgola in Karnataka was the earliest proponent of disarmament. His message is more relevant today, when nations are faced with the threat of war. The teachings of the 24 Thirthankaras after the life of Bahubali till the last Thirthankara Mahaveera shows that Jainism has given the message of peace and ahimsa.

General Studies – 2

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

3) China is planning the launch of a yuan-denominated oil futures exchange. What is oil futures exchange? How will this move by China affect global energy markets? Examine. (250 Words) 



  • China has been trying to translate its growing economic strength into global influence, and international acceptance and use of its currency, as in the case of the dollar, would go a long way in allowing it the leverage it seeks.
  • By planning the launch of a yuan denominated oil futures exchange ,China wants the yuan to play an increasingly important role in global trade

Oil futures exchange:-

  • Futures contracts are financial instruments and carry with them legally binding obligations. Buyer and seller have the obligation to take or make delivery of an underlying instrument at a specified settlement date in the future.
  • Oil futures are part of the derivatives family of financial products as their value ‘derives’ from the underlying instrument. These contracts are standardised in terms of quality, quantity and settlement dates.
  • In the case of crude oil, the main futures exchanges are the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX)and the Intercontinental Exchange(ICE) where West Texas Intermediate (WTI) and North Sea Brent crude oil are traded respectively. 
  • These exchanges trade what is referred to as ‘light- sweet’ crude oil and a single contract, or ‘lot’, calls for the purchase or sale of 1,000 barrels of oil. Traders can buy and sell oil for delivery several months or years ahead.
  • Futures contracts are traded on regulated futures exchanges. Trading can take place through electronic dealing systems, open outcry around a pit or a combination of both.
  • Each futures exchange has a clearing house which ensures that trades are settled in accordance with market rules and that guarantees the performance of the contracts traded.

Impact on global energy markets:-

  • Asia:-
    • The launch will provide China with the opportunity to create an Asian crude oil benchmark that would better reflect pricing for the oil imported and consumed in Asia, the world’s top importing region.
    • The move is designed to give China more clout in crude pricing as well as promote its currency as a truly global one.
  • Other countries:-
    • In January 2018, Pakistan’s central bank said it has officially adopted the Yuan as a currency for trade with China. Several banks, including HSBC and Deutsche Bank, are also picking up the Yuan for their currency reserves, which is indicative of the growing acceptance of the Yuan as an international currency, although it remains far behind the dollar.
  • The rules of the global oil game may begin to change enormously
  • Active involvement of Chinese independent refiners over the last few years has created a more diverse marketplace of participants domestically in China, creating an environment in which a crude futures contract is more likely to succeed.
  • For the oil market, it shows how the center of gravity is shifting to Asia. It means the U.S. is not front and center in the oil market anymore,
  • In recent years, a seismic shift has taken place as China has dethroned the United States as the world’s biggest oil importer, yet that’s not really reflected in the commodities market. So this goes a long way towards righting the energy market.
  • Given the US’s rise as a potential energy exporter and other factors, China may succeed in this goal.
    • An oil contract priced in Yuan that can be swapped for gold is a major blow for the dollar. The link to petroleum trade is seen a major component of the dollar’s status in the world economy.
  • Beijing’s scheme aims to shift trade in “black gold” from petrodollars to a proposed Petro-Yuan which benefits China by making its currency more attractive internationally and providing greater energy securit
  • However, the biggest winners may well be Russia because any decline in the dollar’s status severely dilutes US ability to wage economic war against Russia, via sanctions.
    • Iran, Indonesia, and Venezuela have indicated their interest in the project.
  • Paying in Yuan for oil could become part of One Belt, One Road initiative to develop ties across Eurasia, including the Middle East. Chinese participation in Saudi Aramco’s planned initial public offering could help sway Saudi opinion toward accepting yuan, which is used in only about 2 percent of global payments.
  • Concerns:-
    • However Investors are unlikely to jump full on into the petro-yuan just yet; capital controls in China will deter some interest.
    • Any transition from the US dollar to the yuan will take years. 


  • China will have to pursue reforms to strengthen domestic debt markets, improve corporate governance and bring in more regulatory transparency and enforce the rule of law in order to attract and absorb huge global financial flows and the Shanghai exchange may mark the first sign of cracks forming in the US dollar’s edifice.

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

4) In a recent study by the UNICEF, India’s still has one of the highest newborn-mortality rate – nearly 640,000 babies were lost in 2016, more than any other country. What are the solutions to prevent newborn-mortality? Also comment why India is not able to reduce newborn-mortality rate. (250 Words)

The Hindu

Background :-

  • India is one of the fastest economies in the world, its achievements in space technology surprised the world but when it is still one of the countries where new borns die everyday. Its neonatal mortality rate stands at 25.4.

Why India is not able to reduce new born mortality rate :-

  • Premature birth. Premature births counts for over 80% of newborn deaths.
  • Complications like asphyxia during delivery.  Due to lack of institutionalisation of births and lack of health infrastructure in rural areas.
    • Complications during labour and delivery as well as infections like sepsis, meningitis and pneumonia  are also major contributors
  • Female literacy rates are less leading to less awareness regarding nutrition needed.
    • Babies born to mothers with no education face nearly twice the risk of early death as babies whose mothers have at least a secondary education
    • Prevalence of child marriages, anaemia among young women and a lack of focus on adolescent sanitation, all of which impact child death rates.
    • With the substantial unmet need of contraception nearly a quarter of married adolescents (15–19 years) and low contraception use by them in general, girls in this age band are at a high risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections, HIV and unintended and unplanned pregnancies. All these impact the mortality rate.
  • Shortage of properly trained health workers and midwives:-
    • Also the large reproductive population of 2.6 crore remains bereft of care during the critical phases of pregnancy
  • Babies born to the poorest families are 40 per cent more likely to die than those who are born to the least poor
  • The absence of steps to propagate basic healthy practices relating to breast feeding and immunisation.
  • Part of the reason is that in the last two decades, efforts to tackle the problem were not as well funded as HIV and AIDS prevention.

Solutions to prevent new born mortality :-

  • Paying attention to the mother’s health during pregnancy and ensuring she delivers in a hospital attended by trained doctors or midwives. India has programmes such as the Janani Suraksha Yojana for this, but must expand its reach in laggard States like Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
  • Each State will have to identify a specific goal to meet the target. These could be enhanced coverage of health and nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene which can prevent pneumonia and diarrhoea.
    • Inexpensive lifesaving treatments remain inaccessible to a vast majority of Indian children, and especially those in the poorest groups within the country. All these challenges can only be met by State intervention.
  • It is also equally important to forge interlinkages and package different interventions at various levels like linking child survival to reproductive health, family planning, and maternal health
  • In addition to focusing attention to addressing disparities within States and among regions, there is an urgent need to bring health and child services under universal health coverage with a focus on special requirements of vulnerable and marginalised groups.
  • Universalisation of maternal health and child services, which includes special newborn care, skilled delivery, immunisation and management of diarrhoea, need to be effectively implemented if India is to achieve the high goals of reducing child deaths .
  • To lower neonatal deaths, India needs to strengthen mother and newborn health services, including home-based care by health workers, promoting breastfeeding, treating underweight babies, keeping the mother healthy, preventing early marriage and reducing malnutrition in adolescent girls.
  • More than 80 per cent of newborn deaths can be saved with:
    • Provide clean water, disinfectants
    • Breastfeeding within the first hour
    • Good nutrition

General Studies – 3

Topic:   Economic growth; Liberalisation

5) Examine the salient features and significance of the Consumer Protection Bill, 2018  (250 Words)

The Hindu


  • Consumer markets for goods and services have undergone a drastic transformation since the enactment of Consumer Protection Act, 1986


  • It defines the “consumer” as a person who buys any good or avails a service for a consideration.
  • The Bill covers transactions, both online and offline, and includes tele-shopping and multi-level marketing.
  • Definition of “consumer rights” in the Bill exhaustively covers the right to be protected against the marketing of goods, products or services that are hazardous to life and property.
  • It also focuses on the right to be informed about the quality, quantity, potency, purity, standard and price of goods, products or services, as the case may be, so as to protect a consumer against unfair trade practices.
  • It also includes the right to be assured, wherever possible, of access to a variety of goods, products or services at competitive prices. More importantly, it involves the right to seek redress against unfair or restrictive trade practices, or unscrupulous exploitation of consumers.
  • Regulatory authority:-
  • The Bill has a clause for the establishment of Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) to regulate matters related to violation of consumer rights, unfair trade practices and false or misleading advertisements.
  • In case of any violation of consumer rights or unfair trade practices, the authority can inquire or investigate either suo motu or on receipt of a complaint.
  • Wherever necessary, they would have the power to recall goods that are unsafe or dangerous and reimburse the price to purchasers.
  • The CCPA can discontinue any false or misleading advertisement or give orders to modify it within specific time
  • The Bill provides for product liability action in cases of personal injury, death or property damage caused by or resulting from any product, and mediation as an alternate dispute resolution, making the process of dispute adjudication simpler and quicker.
  • The Bill seeks to set up a monitoring cell, to be constituted by the president of the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission to oversee the functioning of the State consumer commissions from the administrative point of view.
  • The Bill provides for a State government to establish a consumer mediation cell to be attached to each of the district commissions and the State commissions. Further, the Bill proposes that the Centre establishes a consumer mediation cell to be attached to the National Commission.
  • Penalty:-
  • The Bill states that any manufacturer who puts up a false or misleading advertisement, will be punished with imprisonment of up to two years and fine of up to Rs 10 lakh.
  • For every subsequent offence, the offender will be punished with imprisonment that may extend to five years and fine, which may extend to Rs 5 million.
  • Penalty can be imposed on the endorser, who could be a celebrity, but the provision of imprisonment is not applicable to the endorsers.
  • The Bill states that no endorser will be liable to a penalty if he/she has exercised due diligence to verify the claims.


  • Speedy resolution:-
    • Provide time-bound redressal of their grievances.
    • Provides for simplification of consumer disputes adjudication process for faster disposal of grievances through filing of complaints by a consumer from his place of residence, e-filing and video conferencing for hearing.
  • The CCPA
    • will act in a manner similar to enforcement agencies in other jurisdictions such as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the US. This will be a landmark step in upgrading the implementation mechanism to global standards
  • It fills an institutional void in the regulatory regime extant. The role envisaged for the CCPA compliments that of the sectoral regulator and any duplication of potential conflict is avoided.
  • This is the first time that powers to take action for damage caused by a product have been introduced in a consumer protection framework.
  • Step towards providing ordinary consumers some protection of their interests and establishing points for quick and effective administration and settlement of disputes.
  • Bill provides for simplification of consumer disputes adjudication process for faster disposal of grievances through filing of complaints by a consumer from his place of residence, e-filing and video conferencing for hearing.
  • New areas covered:-
    • It  will allow Central government to regulate e-commerce and direct selling among other important measures. 
    • It is a welcome step towards tackling misleading endorsements
  • It also has provisions for ‘mediation’ as an alternative dispute redressal mechanism.


  • It has penalty provisions for the endorsers and on the other it is giving them a route to get away because the clause of due diligence will act in their defence
  • It lags behind in tackling misleading advertisements endorsed by any celebrity
  • This step will act as a deterrent for manufacturers since the liability quotient has increased

Measures needed:-

  • Lessons to be learnt:-
    • Several countries like Canada, Estonia have devised advertisement regulations for unhealthy foods targeted at children
    • Countries such as the UK, Ireland and Belgium have specifically banned celebrity endorsement of unhealthy foods. The impact of such restrictions has been reported to be significant. 


  • The emergence of global supply chain, rise in global trade and rapid development of e-commerce have led to a new delivery system for goods and services and also provided new options and opportunities for consumers. Misleading ads, tele-marketing, multi-level marketing, direct selling and e-commerce pose new challenges to consumer protection and will require appropriate and swift executive intervention to prevent consumer detriment. This bill is the step in the right direction in addressing these issues.


6) Discuss the objectives, features and significance of the recently announced GOBAR-Dhan initiative. (250 Words)

The Indian Express


  • India’s development depends mostly on lack of good health parameters in the country which are linked to lack of hygiene and sanitation. To give further impetus to Swachh Bharat ,Gobardhan yojana is launched.


  • In the Union budget 2018 “GOBAR-Dhan” (Galvanising Organic Bio-Agro Resources-Dhan) scheme as launched.
  • The initiative has two objectives:
    • To make villages clean and generate wealth and energy from cattle and other waste. 
    • To make the villages open defecation free this scheme will manage and convert cattle dung and solid waste in farms


  • Under this scheme the solid waste and cattle dung will be composed into useful elements such as Bio-CNG and Bio-Gas.
  • Dung process and convert:
    • Under this scheme cattle dung will be processed and turned into useful elements that are needed in agricultural sector. Also further process will be done for the residual or solid waste that will be created after cattle dung processing will be used as fertilisers in lands as well.
  • Village Development Programs:
    • According to the Finance Ministry, nearly 187 projects for the village improvement have been introduced, among which 47 projects have completed successfully. Rest of the projects are in progress.
  • Budget Allocation:
    • 16, 713 Cr has been allocated for village improvement programs. As per the records 115 districts have successfully implemented various village improvement programs and open defecation free livelihood. These districts will be considered as the indication of development of the villages.


  • With the largest cattle population in the world, rural India has the potential to leverage huge quantities of gobar into wealth and energy. Cattle dung, kitchen waste and agricultural waste can be tapped to create biogas-based energy.
  • According to a 2014 ILO study, the productive use of dung could support 1.5 million jobs nationally. For the farmer, there is a significant potential of greater income from the sale of cow dung.
  • It  is expected to pilot similar opportunities to convert cattle dung and other organic waste to compost, biogas and even larger scale bio-CNG units. It  aims at the collection and aggregation of cattle dung and solid waste across clusters of villages for sale to entrepreneurs to produce organic manure, biogas/bio-CNG
  • It will help in improving the quality of the life in the villages by making them cleaner and healthier.
  • With the implementation of this scheme farmers will be able to generate better ways of income. As the farmers just have to make use of animal waste farmers don’t need to invest amounts in purchasing basic raw materials.
  • The government will educate farmers to help setup their own compost plants
  • With the generation of cheaper form of fuel corporate sector may be interested in investing their money in the rural areas
  • Bio gas manufacturing will get impetus and India would generate cleaner fuel to cater to the targets of Paris agreement.

Way forward:-

  • Generating wealth from waste in rural areas will require the involvement of all actors and sectors. Investments from the private sector and local entrepreneurs will be needed.
  • Panchayats and village communities will have to play key roles to leverage the animal and organic waste that goes into water bodies, dumping sites and landfills.
  • Informal sanitation service providers can be integrated into the system by training and licencing them.


  • With appropriate policies and practices, the sector can be scaled up into opportunities for growth, leading to increased incomes, long-term livelihoods and, of course, more Swachh villages.

General Studies – 4

Topic:  Attitude; Human Values; Role of family, society and educational institutions in inculcating values


Quote Based Question




Education plays a very important role in developing a good personality . It increases intellectual growth ,will give a person many lessons as to differentiate between right and wrong, gives a chance to develop self confidence as people are open to new ideas and learn new things etc.


Education is said to make people more tolerant by enhancing their knowledge and reasoning skills. This helps people to see through prejudiced claims and dismiss irrational fears about those who are culturally different. When one is educated people get accustomed to seeing things from different points of view, and reflecting on varied even opposing opinions. That naturally creates tolerance of differing opinions; instead of seeing conflict, one sees opportunities and expanded horizons.


In daily life there might be many people who criticize and discourage when you want to achieve something. But it is tolerance and the confidence  which are the characteristics of true education make a person level headed and stay calm without reacting and push them to achieve their goal. There are many examples in the lives of great leaders like nelson Mandela, Teresa who achieved the impossible by being tolerant. It’s often said that a person’s tolerance rises with their education level. So on this basis, the higher a person’s educational attainment is, the more likely they are to accept racial or ethnic minorities.


In administration being patient enough to understand the problems of the common man is very important. When people approach for resolution of issues the ability to successfully empathise with them ,be tolerant enough and solve the issue provides immense confidence and shows the true character of the administrator.


However there are instances when even educated people promote violence or intolerant and cause huge damage to the society like Osama bin laden who is a terrorist was a educated person. According to the Home ministry report, in Uttar Pradesh alone, over 28 lakh educated youths were found to be involved in crimes like kidnapping, cheating, snatching in 2010.This shows the lack of ethics and utter lack of self confidence in these youth to have livelihood through moral means.


Education for tolerance should aim at countering influences that lead to fear and exclusion of others, and should help young people develop capacities for independent judgement, critical thinking and ethical reasoning. The diversity of our world’s many religions, languages, cultures and ethnicities is not a pretext for conflict, but is a treasure that enriches us all.