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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: Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times; Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues 

1) Examine the role played by the British in rediscovering India’s history. (250 Words)

The Wire

Why this question?

Important question similar to few asked by UPSC previously in Mains. This question is based on combination of two topics from the syllabus – which is again a trend in previous UPSC papers. 

Key demand of the question:

Direct question. Examine what role important Britishers played in rediscovering India’s past – mainly in the 19th and 20th centuries. 

Directive Word:

Examine– Just examine relevant information, neatly arrange and present in your answer.  

Structure of Answer:

In the introduction, write 1-2 line stating that while they plundered, the British also helped discover and to an extent preserve India’s history. 

In the body, divide answer either temporally (based on timeline), spatially or personalities-wise(important discoverers) . Under each sub-heading, write 2-3 points with examples. 

In the conclusion, how re-discovering history and preserving is a continuous job and lessons (if any) present generations should learn from these Britishers. 



  • Unlike ancient Greece and Rome, India’s classical past had left behind no written histories, so it had to be reconstructed from lost pavilions and buried treasure and British did a commendable job in helping India discover its past.

Role played by British in discovering India’s history:-

  • The English merchants of the East India Company trading out of India in the eighteenth century came into contact with several rich extant bodies of literature. 
  • William Jones studied and mastered Sanskrit translated its classics and used the language to unlock the glories of Hindu and Buddhist past.
    • The Manu Smriti was one of the first Sanskrit texts studied by the European philologists. It was first translated into English by Sir William Jones
    • In 1784, with the active patronage of British Governor-General, Warren Hastings, Jones founded the Asiatic Society to take on this task. It immensely generated interest in the British to learn article about Indian artefacts and preserve India’s cultural past.
  • Sir Charles Wilkins, one of the founding members of The Asiatic Society is notable as the first translator of Bhagavad Gitainto English.
  • Prinsep’s labours produced the biggest breakthrough in Indian historiography, the deciphering of the long-forgotten Brahmi script and through it the discovery of the Mauryan empire that had united the subcontinent in the 3rdcentury BC
  • Buddhist discoveries :-
    • The discovery of the Buddha’s Indian connections was again the work of dedicated British explorers. In the late 1790s, a British naturalist tracked down the Bodh Gaya Buddhist ruins.  
    • In the following decades, the Buddha’s Indian roots were confirmed by the excavation of a series of dome-like stupas. First came the discovery in 1819 of Sanchi.
  • Cunningham discovered the Indus Valley ruins at Harappa. His other major discovery was the Bharhut stupa, full of Mauryan Buddhist treasures.
  • Muslim architecture :-
    • Aurangzeb’s Moti Masjid in the Red Fort was restored by the British, as was Humayun’s tomb and the Jama Masjid. The Taj Mahal was repaired by British from the 1780s onwards.
  • Hindu architecture:-
    • Cunningham’s Buddhist excavations coincided with British discoveries of important Hindu temple ruins, ranging from Mahabalipuram ,Elephanta and Kanheri caves and Khajuraho.
    • The most influential discovery was Ajanta, with its wonderful frescoes dating back to the 1st century BC. They made the frescoes of Ajanta popular all over the world.
  • Havell emphasised the continuity from ancient Ajanta down to recent Mughal miniatures of a distinctively Indian aesthetic, crediting the Indian artist with the ability to see with the mind, not merely with the eye, to bring out an essential quality and to produce high art equal to anything in the West.


  • The cultural treasures the British took home with them are only a tiny fraction of what they salvaged, protected and left behind for the Indians to conserve this priceless history.

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

2) Compare and contrast architectural features of temple structures of Ellora and Mahabalipuram. (250 Words)


Why this question?

It’s in our topic list.   

Key demand of the question:

This question combines tow topics from the list. These types of questions test your conceptual clarity of two different topics and ability to compare them.  UPSC has asked similar questions previously. 

Directive Word:

Compare and contrast– you should identify both similarities and dissimilarities between two types of architecture. 

Structure of Answer:

In the introduction, write how both styles, though rock-cut, are influenced by different traditions and reflect the same. 

In the body, write comparisons and contrasts in a table format. You should identify 5-6 broad features such as rock type, form, style, influence, themes etc. Don’t write about who built and all (not required)

In the conclusion just write a line about grandeur  of these temples and need for preservation. Or write any related conclusion.

TIP: In these types of question, don’t scratch head over good introductions and conclusions. Write 1-2 topic related line and focus more on body. 


  • Both Ellora caves and the monuments in Mahabalipuram enshrine the richness of India’s historical past.


  • The reliefs, sculptures and architecture incorporate Shaivism, Vaishnavism and Shaktism
  • Both have rock-cut and cave temples.
    • For instance in Ellora’s Cave 21, also called Rameshwar Lena is cave and rock cut temple.
    • Similarly in Mahabalipuram Varaha cave is cave temple and pancharathas are rock cut.
  • The influence of Dravidian style of architecture in visible in the architecture at different stages in both the places.
  • With instances like Krishna lifting mountain is seen in the Pancha-Panadava cave and Ravana attempting to lift Mount Kailasa in Ellora caves show that both have been influenced by Hindu mythology.
  • Both Ellora caves and structures at Mahabalipuram have been branded as UNESCO world heritage sites.



 Ellora CavesMahabalipuram temples
Dynasty All of the Ellora monuments were built during Hindu dynasties such as the Rashtrakuta dynasty, which constructed part of the Hindu & Buddhist caves, and the Yadava dynasty, which constructed a number of the Jain caves.


Mamallapuram rock architectures that include shore temple, Five rathas, Arjun’s penance and other isolated stone-works were sponsored by Pallava dynasty
Type of stone/rock Ellora caves have been hewn out of the volcanic basaltic formation of Maharashtra, known as ‘Deccan Trap’.


In fact, Mahendravarman Pallava who called himself a ‘Vichitra Chitra’ or the ‘Unique Artist’ introduced the art of sculpting gods and goddesses in granite. 
Architecture Consists of mainly cave temples which are rock cut.Mamallapuram has three groups of monuments:
1. The rock-cut cave-temples and independent panels
2. Rock-cut monolithic temples, popularly called Rathas, and

3. The shore temple which is a free standing temple


Religion focus The range of Ellora caves house Hindu, Buddhist as well as Jain temples.


The monuments are a fusion of religion, culture and legend relating to the Hindu religious pantheon.


Form and style differencesOrnately carved·         The relief carving in the Pallava caves is generally shallower than the Deccan caves.

·         Main figures are slender, delicate and elegant.

·         The carvings of the faces of the human figures are oval shaped with high cheekbones.

·          The body looks slim with tapering limbs.

Special features·         Ellora is also world famous for the largest single monolithic excavation in the world, the great Kailasa temple.

·         The caves represent one of the largest rock-hewn monastic-temple complexes in the world.



·         Does not consist any  temple as such on such magnitude


Existence Not sunk under waterSome of the strcuture sunk under water at later times because of a Tsunami but most of the major artwork are still intact.


General Studies – 2

Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Education, Human Resources.

3) A more robust and transparent admission system would not only lend credibility to the selection process, but it would also ensure quality. In the light of the fact that there exists multiple exams and application processes for higher education, discuss the statement. (250 Words)

The Indian Express


Why this question?

It’s in news thanks to exams season. This issue is important from education reforms point of view.  

Key demand of the question:

Discuss how government can ensure quality in eduction by bring robust and transparent admission system in higher education. You should focus on criticising existing system and highlighting merits of one entrance system or transparent admission system in higher education. 

Directive Word:

Discuss: Examine various dimensions of this issue and discuss them.   

Structure of Answer:

In the introduction write in 2-3 lines importance of providing quality higher education and significance of measures such as transparent and streamlined admission process in this regard. 

In the body, divide answer into 4-5 dimensions: admission system, application process, interview process, etc. For each dimension, give example. 

In the conclusion, write in 1-2 lines about the need for other reforms such as curriculum, teacher training, funding etc make education system robust in the interest of harnessing demographic dividend. 

Related question/Articles: Here , Here ,



  • Each year, 36 million students apply for admission across various disciplines among varied fields of study. So there is a need to have a transparent admission process to avoid complications for the student enrollment process in the universities.

Problems with current higher education admission and application processes :-

  • Lengthy and tiring process of having to appear for multiple entrance examinations followed by interviews, which lend the system more opacity
  • Lack of  standardisation of the admission process:-
    • Not all examinations happen at once.
    • Usually, the academic calendar is dispersed, so one ends up appearing for one entrance in December and the other in June, which means six months of repeating the same course over and over. 
  • High cut off marks does not mean quality has improved:-
    • India’s colleges have obsession with cut-off marks for admission.
    • For instance some of the Delhi university colleges required a stratospheric cut-off mark of 100 per cent for non-commerce stream students to secure a seat in the college.
  • This model is dated and unfair to both students and to society at large. With educational system continuing to emphasise performance as measured by examinations, memorisation and marks will persist as poor proxies for measuring “educational” outcomes.
  • The criteria for the final selection is too cumbersome . For instance people who cleared individual university tests are rejected if they don’t clear JRF test even though both are totally different tests.
  • The Indian educational system appears to be based more on systems and mechanisms of exclusion rather than inclusion

Robust and transparent admission system  is needed:-

  • Government can help define standards for universities via its ranking frameworks and accreditation surveys, or students can decide based on cut-offs, as is done in the case of Common Admission Test (CAT) for management courses.
  • A more robust and transparent admission system would not only lend credibility to the selection process, but it would also ensure quality.
  • This would address the issue of bias in the university admission process and would quell perception of universities leaning more towards favouritism than merit.
  • Follow US model whereparameters such as standardised  tests, communication skills , essay  writing etc capture the effects and outcomes that education ought to seek to attain.
    • These parameters offer a credible way of assessing the overall gestalt of the individual student as a human being captured by a range of measures over time.
  • Focus has to be to make student successful as a human first so selection procedure has to cover wide aspects as is done in top universities like NGO activities, Social service history, past achievements etc


  • Talent has never been a problem in India but honing it has been a vital issue. A right way to start would be to streamline the admission process along with other educational reforms with respect to improving quality, teacher training etc

General Studies – 3

Topic:  Energy; Food security

4) Bioenergy is the largest used renewable energy source in the world. Discuss the progress made in the use of bioenergy and challenges presented by bioenergy to food security. (250 Words)



Why this question?

Very important concept that combines two topics in the syllabus. Important for Mains.  

Key demand of the question:

First, discuss types of bioenergy and progress made in its use. Second, how bioenergy is posing challenges to food security.   

Directive Word:

Discuss:  question itself has two dimensions, in addition briefly discuss other dimensions such as suggestions etc. 

Structure of Answer:

In the introduction write 2-3 lines about the paradox of having hunger on one side and need for finding cleaner fuels to mitigate climate change. 

Define bioenergy.

In the body, there should be TWO mains part: one to discuss progress made in bioenergy – types, their magnitude etc. In the Second part, write about challenges posed by bioenergy to food security around the world. Write about India related points too. Here, in the second part, divide it further into sub-categories such as impact on food prices, land use, environment, cropping pattern etc. 

In the conclusion, write on the need for prioritising food over fuels. Or write any other thoughtful conclusion. 

TIP: Data is very important in these kind of questions. Collect data related toe energy, hunger etc and try to correlate them.



  • The global demand for modern bioenergy, and especially liquid biofuels, is rapidly growing,  driven mainly by climate change mitigation policies and increasing oil prices. This creates both opportunities and risks for developing countries.
  • It accounts for 14 per cent of the 18 per cent renewables used in the global energy mix. Bioenergy includes both traditional and modern biomass and biofuels.

Progress made so far:-

  • Transport biofuels like bioethanol and biodiesel that are blended with petrol and diesel are the fastest growing bioenergy in the world.
  • There are four generations of biofuels.
    • First generation biofuels are manufactured using food crops like sugarcane, maize and oilseed.
    • Second generation biofuels are produced from non-food produce like organic waste, wood and food crop waste.
    • Third generation biofuels are based on improvements in the production of biomass by taking advantage of specially engineered energy crops such as algae. 
    • Fourth generation biofuels are based on more advanced technology which aims to capture and store carbon dioxide (CO2) at every production stage.
  • Currently, first generation biofuels are the most common type of biofuels used, and second, third and fourth generation biofuel technology are still being developed.
  • Indian initiatives:-
    • India has started with some encouraging pilots for biofuel-driven buses in cities like Nagpur.
    • India also has the national biofuel policy 2015 :-
    • The Policy endeavors to facilitate and bring about optimal development and utilization of indigenous biomass feedstocksfor production of bio-fuels.
    • 3 per cent blending of bioethanol with petrol was achieved in 2016
  • Countries like Sweden and a developing country like Brazil have used ethanol in a big way to achieve their environmental and economic objectives

Challenges to food security:-

  • It is alleged that biofuel production from first generation sources are in competition with food production over land and other resources like water and increases food prices.
  • The differences in economic efficiency of resource uses in bioenergy and food production mean 
    that resources will be allocated to the activity with a higher return. This results in higher food prices and  the change in prices of natural resources, such as land and water, with significant economic, social and livelihood implications.
    • Different researchers have calculated the impact of biofuels on food prices to be as little as a three per cent increase to as much as a 75 per cent increase.
    • During the 2007-08 food price crisis the increase in demand for maize for biofuel production was found to contribute to 70 per cent of the total increase in maize prices. 
    • According to a 2008 World Bank report , biofuels production was responsible for a 70 to 75 per cent increase in the prices of food commodities.
  • Second generation biofuels could compete with food crops if plantations are set up for the sole purpose of growing crops for second generation use. 
  • At the currently prevailing (‘first generation’) conversion technology, a further rise in the use of agricultural feedstock for the production of biofuels would be a real risk for food.
  • Drastic biofuel expansion could increase the number of malnourished pre-school children by 9.6 million. Adverse effects could be especially high in Africa, with 8% reduction in calorie
  • Groundwater will be exploited due to focus on water intensive crops like sugarcane for biofuels.
  • There would be strong incentives to grow bioenergy crops on more fertile lands, ultimately leading to accelerated deforestation.
  • Negative effects on the four dimensions of food security: availability; access; utilization, and stability

Way ahead:-

  • Removal of import tariffs in the US and EU would facilitate the sale of more economically viable biofuels from Brazil and other developing countries .
  • The effects of bioenergy policies on food security could be strongly positive, if designed in the right way, and could help attract the kind of investments in agriculture that are sorely lacking in many of the developing countries that currently experience high-levels of hunger and poverty.
  • Infrastructure and marketing improvements can make agricultural markets work better, and simultaneously enhance the viability of bioenergy projects.  

Topic: Agriculture – Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices

5) Examine the key findings, recommendations and relevance of the National Commission on Farmers. (250 Words)



Why this question?

Very important concept to learn. It’s often in news whenever there is debate on agrarian crisis.   

Key demand of the question:

Direct question: findings, recommendations and relevance. Give more weightage to recommendations part. 

Directive Word:

Examine: inspect what’s already there. However, in relevance part, you should present facts from current affairs to support its relevance. 

Structure of Answer:

In the introduction write in 1-2 lines about timelessness of Dr Swaminathan’s report in the Indian context. Write a line on need for implementing its recommendations. 

In the body, in THREE main parts, examine and present findings (data mainly), recommendations (try to categorise if possible – Pricing related, Crop pattern related etc) and the Relevance part – write various farm movements and their demand for implementation of the report, provide data to show dismal state of agriculture (hence relevance). 

In the conclusion, write about the political will (need for it to implement recommendations). Or sarcastically write a line such as need writing off farmers loan rather than rich corporate’s debts. 



  • As farmers stage agitations in several states, the importance of implementation of the Swaminathan Commission report has been highlighted.

Key findings and recommendations:-

  • Causes for farmers distress
    • Agrarian distress has led farmers to commit suicide in recent years.  The major causes of the agrarian crisis are: lack of effective land reform, quantity and quality of water, technology constraints ,inadequate institutional credit, and opportunities for assured and remunerative marketing. 
    • Recommendation:-
      • The commission recommends that “Agriculture” be inserted in the Concurrent List of the Constitution.
    • Land Reforms
      • Land reforms are necessary to address the basic issue of access to land for both crops and livestock.  Land holdings inequality is reflected in land ownership. 
      • Recommendations include:
        • Distribute ceiling-surplus and waste lands,Prevent diversion of prime agricultural land and forest to corporate sector for non-agricultural purposes.
        • Access to common property resources.
        • Establish a National Land Use Advisory Service, which would have the capacity to link land use decisions with ecological meteorological and marketing factors on a location and season specific basis.
      • Irrigation
        • Out of the gross sown area of 192 million ha, rainfed agriculture contributes to 60 per cent of the gross cropped area and 45 per cent of the total agricultural output. 
        • The report recommends:
          • Increase water supply through rainwater harvesting and recharge of the aquifer should become mandatory.
          • “Million Wells Recharge” programme, specifically targeted at private wells should be launched.
        • Productivity of Agriculture
          • The per unit area productivity of Indian agriculture is much lower than other major crop producing countries.
          • Recommendations:
            • Substantial increase in public investment in agriculture related infrastructure particularly in irrigation, drainage, land development, water conservation, research development and road connectivity etc.
            • A national network of advanced soil testing laboratories with facilities for detection of micronutrient deficiencies.
            • Promotion of conservation farming, which will help farm families to conserve and improve soil health, water quantity and quality and biodiversity.
          • Credit and Insurance
            • Timely and adequate supply of credit is a basic requirement of small farm families.    
            • Recommendations :-
              • Expand the outreach of the formal credit system to reach the really poor and needy.
              • Moratorium on debt recovery, including loans from non-institutional sources, and waiver of interest on loans in distress hotspots and during calamities, till capability is restored
              • Establish an Agriculture Risk Fund to provide relief to farmers in the aftermath of successive natural calamities
              • Issue Kisan Credit Cards to women farmers, with joint pattas as collateral
              • Develop an integrated credit-cum-crop-livestock-human health insurance package.
              • Expand crop insurance cover to cover the entire country and all crops, with reduced premiums
            • Food Security
              • The decline in per capita foodgrain availability and its unequal distribution have serious implications for food security in both rural and urban areas.
              • Recommendations:-
                • Implement a universal public distribution system.
                • Reorganise the delivery of nutrition support programmes on a life-cycle basis with the participation of Panchayats and local bodies.
                • Integrated food cum fortification approach is needed.
                • Promote the establishment of Community Food and Water Banks operated by Women Self-help Groups (SHG)
                • Help small and marginal farmers to improve the productivity, quality and profitability of farm enterprises and organize a Rural Non-Farm Livelihood Initiative.
              • Prevention of Farmers’ Suicides
                • In the last few years, a large number of farmers have committed suicide. 
                • Some of measures suggested include:
                  • The National Rural Health Mission should be extended to suicide hotspot locations on priority basis.
                  • Set up State level Farmers Commission with representation of farmers
                  • Restructure microfinance policies to serve as Livelihood Finance.
                  • Promote aquifer recharge and rain water conservation.
                  • Decentralise water use planning
                  • Have a Price Stabilisation Fund in place to protect the farmers from price fluctuations.
                  • Set up Village Knowledge Centres (VKCs) or Gyan Chaupals in the farmers’ distress hotspots.
                • Competitiveness of Farmers
                  • It is imperative to raise the agricultural competitiveness of farmers with small land holdings. 
                  • The measures suggested include:
                    • Improvement in implementation of Minimum Support Price (MSP). MSP should be at least 50% more than the weighted average cost of production.
                    • Availability of data about spot and future prices of commodities
                    • State Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee Acts [APMC Acts] need to shift to one that promotes grading, branding, packaging and development of domestic and international markets for local produce, and move towards a Single Indian Market.
                  • Employment
                    • Structural change in the workforce is taking place in India albeit slowly.But agriculture still provides the bulk of employment in the rural areas
                    • The measures to do so include:
                      • Encourage non-farm employment opportunities by developing particular sectors and sub-sectors where demand for the product or services is growing
                    • Bioresources
                      • Rural people in India depend on a wide range of bioresources for their nutrition and livelihood security. 
                      • The report recommends:
                    • Preserving traditional rights of access to biodiversity
                    • Conserving, enhancing and improving crops and farm animals as well as fish stocks through breeding
                    • Encouraging community-based breed conservation
                    • Allowing export of indigenous breeds and import of suitable breeds to increase productivity of nondescript animals.


  • Crisis in the agriculture sector:
    • The sector has recorded alarmingly slow growth in the last few years. According to recent estimates of the Central Statistics Office, the growth of Gross Value Added in agriculture declined from 4.1 per cent in 2016-17 to barely 2.1 per cent in 2017-18 leading to instability in farm incomes and risks relating to production, markets and prices faced by farmers.
    • There is a steady decline in the size of landholdings, caused by mounting pressure on land assets.
    • Almost 47 per cent of the workforce in India is engaged in agriculture
  • Irreversible degradation of agricultural land caused by depletion of water bodies and climate change, rendering it progressively unfit for cultivation 
    • Crops have been destroyed on a large scale due to unpredictable weather and poor rainfall.
  • Droughts, inadequate pricing policies and poor water management have hit agriculture in the states
  • Rural India seems to suggest conditions have become perilous for farmers. Real wage growth has dropped, agricultural credit has slowed down tremendously, and even official government allocations to schemes meant for farmers have been reduced.
  • The comprehensive set of issues the commission covered be it farmer suicides, ensuring the competitiveness of agriculture along with proper farm incomes etc


  • It is time to nurture impoverished farmers and ensure that even as they keep feeding people they should themselves never go hungry.

TopicEnvironmental pollution

6) What are persistent organic pollutants and what dangers they pose to health and environment? Also write a brief note on recently notified new Regulation of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POP) Rules, 2018. (250 Words)


Why this question?

Very good concept to learn and it’s in news.  

Key demand of the question:

Direct question – what are POPs, dangers they pose to health and environment, brief note on new rules (what’s there in these rules and significance) 

Directive Word:

Write a NOTE: Write major dimensions very briefly.  

Structure of Answer:

In the introduction write in 1-2 lines about Stockholm Convention, dangers of POP (major danger) and need for strictly implementing new rules in India. 

In the body, in THREE parts, address demand of the question (What are POPs, their dangers and brief note on POP rules 2018). Under the Second part, divide into Health and Environment parts.

In the conclusion, write why fight against pollution is a battle on many fronts. Also how addressing pollution will lead to netter health and environment for a healthy living. 

Related question, HERE


  • Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are among the most dangerous chemicals that humans release into the environment. While POPs have been in use for decades, the world has only recently learned about their more deadly qualities. So there is a need to effectively curb their effects.

Persistent organic pollutants:-

  • POPs are organic chemical substances toxic to both humans and wildlife which once released into the environment remain intact for years on end
  • They become widely distributed throughout the environment as a result of natural processes involving soil, water and air, and accumulate in the fatty tissues of living organisms including humans.
  • Because of human activities, POPs are widely distributed over large regions of the world including areas where they were never used
  • POPs are recognized by the International Agency for Research on Cancer as Group 1 carcinogens or cancer-causing substances.


  • Effects of these pollutants on wildlife
    • Reproductive impairment and malformations 
    • Immune system is sensitive 
    • Altered liver enzyme function 
    • Increased risk of tumours  
    • High levels of DDE (a metabolite of DDT) in certain birds of prey caused their eggshells to thin so dramatically they could not produce live offspring.
  • Effect on Humans:-
    • Contact may cause skin rashes, swelling of eyelids, hyper-pigmentation headaches, or vomiting.
    • Specific effects of POPs can include cancer, allergies and hypersensitivity, damage to the central and peripheral nervous systems, reproductive disorders, and disruption of the immune system.
    • Extended high-level exposure has resulted in cases of chloracne. The worst incident of human exposure was the 1968 Yusho incident: 1200 people (in Japan) consumed rice oil heavily contaminated with PCBs over 20 to 190 days.
    • These people had reproductive dysfunction, visual disturbances and respiratory problems etc
    • Female victims tend to have disorders of the  reproductive organs, and also an increased risk of miscarriage and stillbirth.
    • Infants born to women who had been exposed to these exhibited neurobehavioural deficits and lower overall age-adjusted developmental scores were reported among the exposed children.
  • Environment:-
    • POPs work their way through the food chain by accumulating in the body fat of living organisms and becoming more concentrated as they move from one creature to another. This process is known as “biomagnification.”
    • They persist for long periods of time in the environment and can accumulate and pass from one species to the next through the food chain.
    • DDT is practically only being sprayed in the houses of the poor. But the risk of improper use of DDT is high and can have serious consequences for the agricultural sector.

Features of the bill :-

  • Ban the manufacture, trade, use, import and export of the seven toxic chemicals listed under the Stockholm Convention 
  • According to the new rules, the industrial units handling these chemicals or persons in possession of these chemicals would have to declare the total quantity of the chemicals, which are in use and their stockpiles to the Environment ministry within six months, by September 2018.
  • It further said that these industrial units or persons,shall not drain or discharge or dispose the chemicals directly or indirectly in effluent treatment plant, sewage treatment plant, onto any land, in public sewers, in inland surface water or in marine coastal areas.
  • It further held that the waste containing these chemicals shall be disposed of as per the provisions of the Hazardous and Other Wastes (Management and Transboundary Movement) Rules, 2016
  • The rules clarified that these chemicals may be used, sold or imported in quantities as required for research and development activities in central universities, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research laboratories, government institutions or other research institutions or accredited laboratories in the government or private sector after the approval by the ministry.


  • In the current scenario especially when the survival of the earth is on the brink efforts need to be made towards sustainable development and the new rules are step in the right direction.

General Studies – 4

Topic: Codes of Ethics, Codes of Conduct

7) Do you think the public service values and the Code of Ethics should be given a statutory backing? Justify.(150 Words)

Why this question?

ARC has recommended this step. It’s important in the larger context of civil services reforms in India.  

Key demand of the question:

Your opinion regarding giving public service values and code of ethics a statutory backing is needed. You should write briefly on public service values and code of ethics and then justify why they should be included in a legislation(civil services bill) or not.

Directive Word:

Justify:  Through various reasonings, defend why you have taken a specific stance.  

Structure of Answer:

Write an introduction on the need for inculcating public service values in public servants and how India has failed to do so. Then write a line stating your opinion (should these be part of legislation or not) 

In the body, first define what’s public service values and code of ethics (with examples).

Then, once again state your opinion and start defending it. There should be at least 5-6 good points. Start with ARC recommendation. You can refer to ARC Here(285-287) for more points. Also use your own arguments. Give current examples which have necessitated giving code of ethics statutory backing.  

In the conclusion write in 1-2 lines about complimenting this step with other reforms related to recruitment, training etc. 

TIP: In GS-4 answers, examples are extremely important. On day to day basis, note down any interesting example from newspapers to quote in ethics answers. 




High ethical standards for the provision of services and the exercise of authority are a pre-

requisite if the citizenry is to trust the public service. However in the recent years there have been instances like cheating by an IPS probationer in the exam, senior IAS officers arrested in different states  highlights the bureaucratic politico nexus, nepotism, corruption in the elite service.


Public service values:-

  • In a democracy, an efficient civil service must have a set of values that distinguishes  it from other professions. Integrity, dedication to public service, impartiality, political neutrality, anonymity etc are said to be the hallmarks of an efficient civil service.
  • The Public Service and the Public Servants shall be guided  by the following values in the discharge of their functions: 
    (1) patriotism and upholding national pride 
    (2) allegiance to the Constitution and the law of the nation 
    (3) objectivity, impartiality, honesty, diligence, courtesy and transparency

(4) Maintain absolute integrity

Code of ethics:-

  • Code of ethics is a written set of rules issued by an organization to its workforces and management to help them conduct their actions in accordance with its primary values and ethical standards
  • It defines the minimum requirements for conduct, and behavioural expectations instead of specific activities.

Why they should be given statutory backing :-

  • There is no Code of Ethics prescribed for civil servants in India although such Codes exist in other countries like Australia, Newzealand .These codes bring clarity to the working of civil servants.
  • A proper Civil Services Bill can act as a legal basis for the legislature to express the important values and culture it wants in the civil service.
  • A law can effectively set out the role and powers of the heads of the agencies and departments. Law can spell out the relationship between civil services and political leadership in a clear and transparent way.
  • Law can clearly let civil servants know clearly what is expected of them. In situations where they face ethical dilemma the civil servants have a legal backing to act in public interest.
  • Strict provisions against corruption in the law can deter illegal activities and make the civil servants focus more on public welfare.
  • Benefits of developing code of ethics are that these guidelines identify core values, encourage reflection on the meaning and application of values, enhance reputation, build trust both internally and externally and increases awareness of ethics issues. 


However statutory backing alone would not be enough to instigate moral ethics in people. For instance imposing law on prohibition does not exactly lead to reduction of consumption but leads to illegal activities like bootlegging etc.


 In a diverse country like India civil servants are involved in diverse work portfolio so law needs to be supported by the strong ethical principles of the person then only good governance can be guaranteed.