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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: Political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism etc.- their forms and effect on the society; The Freedom Struggle – its various stages and important contributors /contributions from different parts of the country

1) How did Vladimir Lenin influence Indian revolutionaries? Also briefly discuss  differences between Marxism and Leninism. (250 Words)

The Indian Express


  • The recent development regarding demolition of Russian revolutionary leader and Communist icon Vladimir Lenin’s statue by newly elected government workers and supporters in Tripura has raised quite a few questions regarding India’s polity.

How did Lenin influence Indian revolutionaries:-

  • Lenin lent to both the rise of a communist movement in India and to the anti-colonial struggle that gave birth to a free India.
    • Lenin championed for India’s independence and was instrumental in meeting some of the Left leaders before India becoming sovereign.
    • It was Lenin who personally received the founder of the CPI, MN Roy, in Moscow where he was invited to attend the second world congress of the Communist International, and it was he who led Roy to formulate his ideas as a supplement to Roy’s thesis on the national and colonial questions.
    • In the decades to come, the CPI would not just become the face of the Communist movement in India, but would also shape much of the nationalist movement and the political landscape of independent India.
  • It is well known that leaders of the freedom movement, cutting across the political spectrum, were influenced by the legacy of Lenin and used his ideas for the cause of independence. Lenin, in that sense, was there in the core ideals of our remarkable liberation movement
    • Lokmanya Tilak, who electrified the nation by his slogan “Swaraj is my birthright”, commanded admiration from Lenin for his role in standing against British imperialism and colonial rule which devastated India.
      • Tilak particularly flagged Lenin’s contributions in distributing the land of the nobility to the peasantry and hailed it as a landmark step for the cause of the uplift of the exploited and suffering people. 
    • Bhagat Singh read Lenin’s works extensively and it shaped his outlook and action not only for India’s independence but also for nation-building and social reconstruction. 
  • Indian poets lauded Lenin:
    • Lenin occupied a prominent place in the poems and prose of literary geniuses of country .One such fine representative of litterateurs was Subramanya Bharathi who wrote a poem “New Russia” in Tamil, extolling the role played by Lenin in spearheading the landmark Russian revolution. 
    • Bengal revolutionaries of ‘Yugantar’ and ‘Anushilan’ quoted Lenin freely
  • The 1917 Bolshevik revolution under Lenin fired the Indian political imagination and affected profoundly, its course. Russian developments inspired the Ghadar movement, Khilafat impulse, and the Reshmi Roomal Tehrik.

Differences between Marxism and leninism:

  • Marxism was more of an ideology that Karl Marx created to point out what will happen when the social classes struggle with each other. Leninism was how Lenin changed Marxism to fit Russia.
  • Economic Views
    • Lenin was forced to look at economic matters in much more detail than Marx.
    • Marx had envisioned communist revolutions taking place in more developed and advanced capitalist states.
    • But Lenin’s communism was implemented in Russia, an economically stagnant country mainly inhabited by peasant farmers.
  • Imperialism
    • Marxist theory held that proletarian revolution was inevitable in capitalist states, as ruling states would suppress moves toward socialism, thus incurring the revolutionary wrath of the working classes.
    • Lenin argued that the expansion of imperialism meant that the working classes never developed this revolutionary consciousness . The expanding powers and wealth of the industrialized nations meant they could provide their working classes with just enough capital and benefits to dampen any revolutionary feelings.
  • Party Politics
    • Marx believed that the working classes would spontaneously develop class consciousness and push for proletarian revolution.
    • Lenin did not believe this, and he supported the formation of a political party to inform the working classes and direct their efforts against the capitalist system.
    • Lenin believed that it would take an organized and professional political party to break the workers from the capitalist trade-union mindset into a truly revolutionary state of mind.
  • Instead of Marx’s ideals of a “dictatorship of the proletariat,” Lenin’s Russia was led by a dictatorship of the Communist Party, whose leaders simply assumed they knew what was best for the working classes.

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

2) Discuss the significance of the Vaikom Satyagraha of 1924 and the Self Respect Movement in the modern Indian history. (250 Words)

The Indian Express


  • The contribution of Ramaswamy Naicker (Periyar) in introducing social reforms in has been enormous and his legacy is still alive today in India.

 Vaikom satyagraha:-

  • It is a mass movement to demand that lower caste persons be given the right to use a public path in front of the famous Vaikom temple.
  • Significance :-
    • Though this struggle did not succeed in lifting the bar to avarnas, or lower castes, entering the Mahadeva Temple in the town, it managed to open the roads around the temple for their use. The temple entry movement gained momentum after this.
    • It is the first agitation for the cause of human rights in the country,
    • Communal harmony:-
      • Progressive minded Savarnas and Avarnas came together with Christians, Muslims and even Sikhs.
    • Above all, the Vaikom Satyagraha was a testing ground for the Gandhian principles of Satyagraha. It was tested and proved as the most effective means for the first time.
    • It was a great opportunity for the Indian National Congress party to grow in Kerala.
      • Before this agitation, the Congress in Kerala was only a limited number of Upper Caste and Upper class people of Malabar(which was under British Rule).
      • But when the party undertook to lead the agitation at Vaikom the Congress swelled from being a class party to a mass party

Self respect movement :-

  • The Self-Respect Movement was dedicated to the goal of giving non-Brahmins a sense of pride based on their Dravidian past which also meant denial of the superiority of the Brahmins whom he described as representative of the Aryans.
  • Its aim as to achieve a society where backward castes have equal human rights, and encouraging backward castes to have self-respectin the context of a caste-based society that considered them to be a lower end of the hierarchy. 
  • Significance:-
    • Unlike the Justice Party, the Self-Respect Movement was popular in its appeal. Though it began as a social reform movement its effects were felt in the political field also
    • Anti-Brahminism and Self-respect Marriages were two important aspects of Self-respect Movement.
      • The movement encouraged inter-caste and inter-religious marriages, along with that it also encouraged marriage ceremonies without Brahmin priest.
        • Post independence, Tamilnadu passed a law and become the first state to legalize Hindu marriage without Brahmin priest.
      • The monopoly of power and influence enjoyed by the Brahmins was slowly lost due to E.V.R.’s unceasing propaganda against orthodoxy. It filled with the sense of self-respect and above all selfconfidence, to fight against social injustice perpetrated by the Brahmins of the day.
        • The practice of having separate dining places for Brahmins in every hotel or earmarking separate eating places in public feasts was slowly given up owing to the agitation of the volunteers of the movement.
      • Owing to its influence, several people gave up their titles and took pride in publishing their names in Kudi Arasu.
      • It was largely responsible for making an effective change in the social life of the vast majority of people through its ceaseless propaganda against superstitious beliefs, based upon religious traditions.
      • It was instrumental in non-Brahmin communities of Tamil Nadu to create awareness amongst themselves, as one community. The Self-Respect movement brought the message of the Tamil Nationalism to the masses.
      •  Gender relationships were actively divorced from Brahminical patriarchy and women’s rights over their physical, sexual and reproductive choices were celebrated.
      • Self-Respect Movement was not a mere social reformist movement. It aimed at destroying the existing Hindu social order in its totality and creating a new, rational society without caste, religion and God.
      • The movement was extremely influential not just in Tamil Nadu, but also overseas in countries with large Tamilpopulations, such as Malaysia and Singapore.

General Studies – 2 

Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests

3) Both India and France are eager to forge a deeper nautical partnership between them. Discuss the mutual benefits of such a partnership for India and France. (250 Words)



  • France and India enjoy an exceptionally warm relationship, which is the fruit of deep affinities and the unwavering trust between the two countries since India’s independence.

Mutual benefits:-

  • Indo-French naval cooperation is aimed at securing the critical sea lanes, the need to effectively combat security threats piracy, trans-national crime and terrorism and also to build security capacities in the Indian Ocean.
  • The more substantive pay-off of a nautical pact with France for India is a potential expansion of the Indian Navy’s operational footprint across the Indo-Pacific region.
    • France is the only European power with a strong military presence in both the Indian Ocean (Réunion and Mayotte) and the Pacific (French Polynesia and New Caledonia). Its utility as a catalyst for India’s cross-theatre maritime outreach is immense.
  • Future discussions might result in the signing of a reciprocal agreement granting French naval vessels access to Indian ports for repair and resupply, and Indian vessels the right to routinely use France’s Indian Ocean military bases like Djibouti where china has a base.
  • French facilities are likely to add to India’s network of nautical outposts in the IOR, including in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and Seychelles, where India plans to build and operate a military base. 
  • French companies, such as Dassault Aviation etc are  extremely competitive and the country’s defence industry has a reliable record of production and supply with firms having particular expertise in navigating India’s defence market for instance the contracts for the Rafale aircraft and Scorpene submarines (Project-75).
  • A nautical pact with France sends a strong message to India’s geopolitical antagonists in maritime Asia. India will be hoping for a closer engagement in the Western Indian Ocean, where France has one of the most forward-deployed armed forces in the world.
  • India’s naval leadership would be keen to expand the scope and complexity of the Indo-French bilateral naval exercise VARUNA
  • A partnership with the French navy in littoral South-East Asia would allow the Indian Navy to influence the security-dynamic of the Pacific, even extending operations to the Southern Pacific Islands.

However some concerns remain:-

  • While the governments share a robust relationship, the business relationships are weak. Bilateral trade languishes at about €7 billion, less than half of India’s trade with Germany. The target of €12 billion set in 2008 remains elusive.
  • French FDI has picked up in recent years, but hardly does justice to the fact that there are more than 800 French enterprises in India. 


  • French social security laws, long-term student visas, and the facility to work for two-three years to pay off student loans are some of the areas that need to be worked out so that more effective cooperation can take place between the two countries.

General Studies – 3 

Topic Basics of cyber security

4) India is one of the few countries which still does not have a dedicated cyber component in its military.  Why and how should India prepare for cyber warfare? Examine. (250 Words)

The Indian Express


  • In both war and peacetime, technological advancements play a significant role in arrangements between nations and their power sharing.  As the cycle of innovation moves to the Internet and beyond and the world graduates from an era of Cold War to one of Code War, cyber skirmishes will become the new normal and a part of diplomatic parlance.

Why India need to be prepared for cyber warfare?

  • The attacks can be more tangible causing damage to physical or digital infrastructure.
    • This includes a country’s water system or electric grid.
    • Cyber tentacles can spread to political parties, universities and private businesses and Citizens.
    • Potentially worrisome cyber incidents include interference in political affairs,  leaks and espionage  and the compromising of critical national infrastructure.
  • A 2017 study conducted by Symantec found that India ranked fourth in online security breaches, accounting for over 5 per cent of global threat detections. In the beginning of 2017, the newly launched Bharat Interface for Money application (BHIM app) reportedly faced spam threats.
  • The real danger to India lies in targeted cyber attacks coming from adversarial nation states.
    • Countries like China can bring immense assets to bear in carrying out sophisticated cyber attacks. The success of Stuxnet, which damaged the Iranian centrifuge facility at Natanz is an example.
  • Cyber warfare is characterised by an absence of clarity.
    • India can never be certain about the capability of the other side and also the chances of success if we launch a cyber counterstrike.
  • There is a push towards greater digital dependence with demonetisation a cashless system is being propagated. Aadhaar and the wider platforms such Digital India and Smart Cities will push things further along. India is the world’s second largest digital nation with more than 350 million Indians are online and millions more will be getting connected in the years to come.
  • India is not even a signatory to some of the basic international frameworks on cybersecurity like the Convention of Cybercrime of the Council of Europe which not only European nations but Japan, US, South Africa have become signatories to, except India.
  • Indian laws are not in tandem with the ever-changing global cyberspace.
    • The laws are old and hence need to be more dynamic in nature to deal with issues like cyber-espionage, data theft and so on.
    • The Information Technology Act, 2000 (IT Act 2000) is the sole law that deals with cyberspace in India and was passed way back in 2000.
    • Also, the Cyber Law of India has been subject to amendments on various occasions but hasn’t served the changing dynamics and the growing threats and manifestations of cyberwar.

Ways India can prepare for the cyber warfare are:-

  • Critical cyber infrastructure needs to be defended and the establishment of the National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre(NCIIPC)  is a good step in this direction
    • Individual ministries and private companies must also put procedures in place to honestly report breaches. It is only then that the NCIIPC can provide the requisite tools to secure these networks. This partnership must be transparent and not mired in the usual secrecy of intelligence organisations.
  • The upgrading of the Defence Cyber Agency to a Cyber Command must be implemented at the soonest.
  • A robust ecosystem must be built to secure India from acts of state and non-state actors, including protocol for grievance redressal in international forums.
  • Better capabilities must be built to detect and deflect attacks.
  • The computer emergency response team (CERT)must be strengthened and aligned with military and foreign affairs operations.
  • Building a joint task force between the government and key technology players will be crucial.
  • The government should push for the creation of a global charter of digital human rights.
  • A national gold standard should be created, which ensures that Indian hardware and software companies adhere to the highest safety protocols
  • Impart cybercrime investigation training and technological know-how to the various law enforcement agencies.


  • Some of the key areas which need to be dealt with are cyberwarfare, cyberterrorism, cyberespionage and international cybersecurity cooperation that would enable developing nations to gather technical expertise from the developed ones to tackle the ever-growing threat to cybersecurity.

General Studies – 4

Topic:  Human Values – lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators

5) Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower. Illustrate with examples.(150 Words)

ETHICS – Values



In today’s world, people face financial, political and societal ambiguity and change. It is essential for companies, governments, and other organizations to find new and innovative solutions to upcoming problems and glitches.


Innovation occurs if someone improves on or makes a significant contribution to an existing product, process or service. When people talk about innovation, Steve Jobs iPod is cited as an example of innovation at its best. Its innovation was creating an easy-to-use ecosystem that unified music discovery, delivery and device. And, in the process, they revolutionized the music industry.


Leadership and innovation are closely-knit. In fact most, if not all, successful innovators are successful leaders too. Innovation leads to market leadership for instance Facebook revolutionalised the social networking . So Great leaders come up with great ideas so that influences people to believe and follow the leaders. So leaders continue to make efforts to be experts in the area of expertise and continue to innovate and push the envelope in that area.


Learning to lead the innovation often proves to be as important as the innovation itself. Without proper leadership, many new and innovative products have died while on the road to success. So, finding the proper leader to lead an innovation is one important key factor to realize the success that an innovation deserves. The leader must know when to simply take the tested ways, and when to introduce new and innovative ideas and products.


 The innovation process is essential to increase public sector efficiency and for delivering quality and competitive public services. Governments are increasingly making more of the innovation a key issue on the political agenda today, recognizing its potential to promote economic growth and how to address social and environmental challenges. For instance PM’s award in the category of best innovation  was award to an IAS officer’s unique solar lamp project that was turning poor and lesser educated tribal women from the most backward blocks of the district into green entrepreneurs.


The world-class innovators didn’t believe in living with the results of other people’s thinking. They had the grit and the courage it took, to listen to their innovative voices, and to follow their intuitions. They became true leaders, and they left behind a legacy of innovations in their wake, ones without which people would have been living in a world of darkness.