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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) In the 1971 Bangladesh War, India’s intervention achieved strategic objectives while maintaining a humanitarian veneer. Analyse. (250 Words)

The Hindu


Why this question?

This topic is related to modern Indian history.  Questions on India’s wars in its post-independence years are favourites of UPSC. 

Key demand of the question:

Prove that India’s intervention was not an altruistic exercise, but had strategic objectives. Also write how it helped India maintain an image of humanitarian intervention. 

Directive Word:

Analyse– In several parts(categories), address demand of the question through facts and opinions. 

Structure of Answer:

In the introduction, write why 1971 War is a milestone event for India – highlight the deftness with which India managed to maintain humanitarian image and also achieve its strategic objectives.

In the body, divide answer into TWO main parts: First to analyse strategic objectives that India achieved. Categorise into Breaking Pakistan, New Ally – something similar to these and within them explain why it was not an altruistic exercise (wherever necessary). Second part to analyse how India managed to make it appear as a humanitarian exercise – domestically and internationally. 

In the conclusion write few lines how the 1971 War has helped India in the long term(Bangladesh is closer now, not a thorn in the flesh)

TIP: Don’t show strong emotions(nationalist/religious) in your answers. Try to be neutral and objective.

Related Question/Articles:Here, Here, Here, Here,  Here


  • The event of Bangladesh independence has been considered India’s most successful neighbourhood intervention. 

Achieved strategic objectives:-

  • The Bengali uprising provided India an opportunity to eliminate the threat of a two-front war by Pakistan in any future confrontation.
  • If Bangladesh became independent without Indian help, it would affect the relations between India and Bangladesh in future. India had strongly encouraged the Bengali movement for autonomy through its propaganda and clandestine financial support. 
  • A drawn-out civil war would radicalise the Bengali population. Guerrilla warfare would then become a likely prospect especially in the context of the Naxalite movement which was raging in eastern India.
  • This could lead to the side-lining of the pro-India Awami League and shift the leadership of the movement to left-wing pro-China parties.
  • To expand and pursue its geopolitical interests in South Asia, which included rising as a regional power in the North Eastern South Asia region.
  • The influx of Bengali war refugees from East Pakistan placed a burden on India’s economy 

Humanitarian interests :-

  • The plight of the ten million refugees did have an impact on the Indian government.
  • Moreover, by July-August 1971, 90% of the refugees were Hindus concentrated in the border districts of West Bengal with large Muslim populations. Consequently, there was danger of serious communal strife.
  • Human rights:-
    • The issue of human rights of 75 million people in a state whose total population is 130 million can hardly be considered as an internal affair of  that country. Again, rules of international law have never prohibited absolutely intervention of a humanitarian character
  • Genocides:-
    • India had to intervene because there was a systematic ethnic slaughter which qualified as genocide. There was clear ethnic or religious targeting of the Hindu minority among the Bengalis.
  • Self determination :-
    • Pakistan Army’s brutal attack on East Bengal and the genocide launched in  the area convinced the people of East Bengal that they would continue to be treated  as a colony if they remained as part of Pakistan. So the issue was that of self-determination.
  • India observed international refugee law and allowed refugees regardless of religion or language. It internationalised their tragedy. It offered space to the government in exile.


Conclusion :-

  • India’s intervention in Bangladesh has shaped South Asia ,made it a responsible power in the region .

General Studies – 2

Topic: Role of civil services in a democracy

2) The primary role of police forces is to uphold and enforce laws, investigate crimes and ensure security for people in the country. Analyse key issues that affect functioning of police in India and reforms needed to address these issues. (250 Words)



Why this question?

Question is related to syllabus and is often in news. PRS link has important data for you to comprehensively prepare this issue from exam point.   

Key demand of the question:

Analyse key issues that are affecting functioning of the police in India and reforms needed to address these issues. Give equal weightage to both parts. 

Directive Word:

Analyse: Divide answer into sub-parts within main parts and present facts and opinions. 

Structure of Answer:

In the introduction write in 2-3 lines why reforming police is important for Indian democracy especially in the light of communal and criminal challenges it’s facing these days. Quote a report about crimes/corruption/communal incidents. 

In the body, divide answer into TWO main parts: One for analysing issues related to police functioning. Here, categorise points into accountability, overburdened forces,  infrastructure, police-public relations etc. For each provide facts and opinion (wherever needed). Second part is about police reforms (you will find within the issues in the given document). 

In the conclusion, 1-2 lines about need for political will. Or make any other related observation.

Related question/Articles: Here, Here , Here , HereHere

TIP: In the introduction and conclusion, make sure there is value addition (something new yet related point should be written)


Background :-

  • There has been a rise of public demand for an efficient, accountable and people-centric policethat steadfastly upholds the Rule of Law in all situations. However, in effect the country has failed to use this historic opportunity for serious modernization and reform of the police.

Issues affecting the functioning of police:-

  • An overburdened police force :-
    • Police force is over burdened especially at lower levels where constabulary is forced to work continuously 14-16 hrs and also for 7 days a week. It adversely impacts their performance.
    • While the  sanctioned police strength was 181 police per lakh persons in 2016 when the United Nations recommended standard is 222 police per lakh persons. 
    • 86% of the state police comprises of constabulary. Constables are typically promoted once during their service. This could weaken their incentive to perform well. 
  • Improving police infrastructure 
    • Failure of police infrastructure like vehicles, weaponry. Also audits have found that the POLNET network is non-functional in various states.
    • For example, an audit of the Gujarat police force reported that the network had not been  operationalised till October 2015 due to non-installation of essential infrastructure, such as remote subscriber units and generator sets.
    • Funds dedicated for modernisation of infrastructure are typically not utilised fully. For example, in 2015-16, only 14% of such funds were used by the states.
  • Political influence :-
    • Second Administrative Reforms Commission has noted that ministers have used police forces for personal and political reasons.
  • Police accountability :-
    • Police forces have the authority to exercise force to enforce laws and maintain law and order in a state. However, this power may be misused in several ways. For example, in India, various kinds of complaints  are made against the police including complaints of unwarranted arrests, unlawful searches, torture and custodial rapes.
  • Poor quality of investigation:-
    • Crime per lakh population has increased by 28% over the last decade (2005-2015). However, convictions have been low. So it shows the poor quality of investigation.
    • The Law Commission and the Second Administrative Reforms Commission have noted that state police officers often neglect investigation because they are understaffed and overburdened with various kinds of tasks. 
    • Further, they lack the training and the expertise required to  conduct professional investigations.
    • They also have insufficient legal knowledge and the forensic and cyber infrastructure available to them is both inadequate and outdated. In light of this, police forces may use force and torture to secure evidence.
    • Crime investigations may be influenced by political or other extraneous considerations
  • These units should not ordinarily be diverted for other duties.
  • Forensic labs:-
    • Expert bodies have however said that these laboratories are short of funds and qualified staff.Further, there is indiscriminate referencing of cases to these labs resulting in high pendency.
  • Lack of co-ordination between centre and states is matter related to maintenance of law & order results in ineffective functioning of police force.
  • Police force is not in the position to tackle present problems of cyber crime, global terrorism, naxalism because of structural weaknesses.
  • Prevalence of Rank system within the police force results in abuse of power by top level executive over lower level personnel.

Reforms needed:-

  • Directions of the Supreme Court in Prakash Singh vs Union of India :-
    • The Supreme Court ordered the centre and states to set up authorities to lay down guidelines for police functioning, evaluate police performance, decide postings and transfers, and receive complaints of police misconduct.
    • The court also required that minimum tenure of service be guaranteed to key police officers to protect them from arbitrary transfers and postings.
  • Experts have recommended that the scope of the political executive’s power must be limited under law.
  • Investigation :-
    • Experts have recommended that states must have their own specialized investigation units within the police force that are responsible for crime investigation.
  • Independent Complaints Authority :-
    • The Second Administrative Reforms Commission and the Supreme Court have observed that there is a need to have an independent complaints authority to inquire into cases of police misconduct
    • Example is that of the New York City Police which has a Civilian Complaint Review Board comprising of civilians appointed by local government bodies and the police commissioner to investigate into cases of police misconduct.
  • The Second Administrative Reforms Commission has recommended that one way to reduce the burden of  the police forces could be to outsource or redistribute some non-core police functions (such as traffic management, disaster rescue and relief, and issuing of court summons) to government departments or private agencies.
  • Padmanabhaiah commission :-
    • It has also been recommended that constables, and the police force in general, should receive greater training in soft skills given they need to deal with the public regularly.
  • Housing:
    • Importance of providing housing to the constabulary (and generally to the police force) to improve their efficiency and incentive to accept remote postings has also been emphasised by expert bodies, such as the National Police Commission.
  • Community policing:-
    • Janamaithri Suraksha in Kerala 
      • This project is an initiative of the Kerala Police to facilitate greater accessibility, close interaction and better understanding between the police and local communities. For example, Beat Constables are required to know at least one family member of every family living in his beat area.

Topic: Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability

3) Discuss critically features and shortcomings of the Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill 2018. (250 Words)


Business Line

Why this question?

It’s in news thanks to Nirav Modi issue. Though a draft bill, it’s an important issue to learn. 

Key demand of the question:

Direct question – Discuss features of this Bill (both merits and demerits)

Directive Word:

Discuss critically: While highlighting all related dimensions, present both merits and demerits.    

Structure of Answer:

In the introduction write in 2-3 lines why government is forced to bring stringent measures to prevent defaulters to flee from the country. 

Define economic offence (refer to standard government sources)

In the body, divide answer into TWO main parts. First part to discuss its features. Discuss so within 4-5 headings(dimensions). Second part – write shortcomings. Also write merits. 

In the conclusion, write in 1-2 lines challenges posed by new frauds and need to strengthen regulation in India. 



  • The Government’s move to enact fugitive economic offenders bill 2018 comes in the wake of several high profile industrialists like Vijay Mallya, and diamantaires Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi duping the banking system and evading the process of law in India by staying outside the jurisdiction of Indian courts.

Fugitive economic offenders bill :-

  • It is a bill to empower the authorities to confiscate and sell assets of economic offenders, especially bank fraudsters and scamsters who have fled the country
  • The Bill paves the way for confiscation of all assets, including benami assets, both within and outside the country, of declared economic offenders.
  • The proposed law will apply for economic offences with monetary value in excess of 100 crore.
  • All cases under the proposed law will be tried under the PMLA Act and the administrator will sell the fugitive’s properties to pay off the lenders.
  • The proposed law will have an overriding effect over all other pieces of legislation. The offender will not be able to pursue any civil cases in India.
  • A fugitive economic offender is a person who has an arrest warrant issued in respect of a scheduled offence and who leaves or has left India so as to avoid criminal prosecution, or refuses to return to India to face criminal prosecution

Merits :-

  • Strong deterrent to people fleeing the country after committing a crime.
  • The bill is expected to plug gaps and provide a higher deterrent effect on economic offenders.
  • The larger objective of the proposed legislation is to preserve the sanctity of the rule of law
  • Cases of economic offences involving non-repayment of bank loans impact the financial health of the banking sector and erode the government’s declared fight against corruption. This can be checked now.


  • The blanket ban on offenders contesting the confiscation of their properties through civil suits, sale of property without trial, and deterioration in value of seized assets and finding suitable buyers are some of the concerns around the new law.
  • An absolute ban is contrary to the basic tenets of justice and fair play, besides being in violation of the Indian Constitution.
  • Sale of property of a fugitive economic offender without adjudicating after a proper trial whether or not the said person is actually liable for the offence, would amount to violation of the settled principle under the Constitution that one is considered innocent unless proven guilty. Anyone can be prosecuted or property can be acquired without the person being found guilty. These provisions are against the fundamental rights.
  • Assets confiscated by enforcement agencies and courts are termed as distressed properties, and seldom find buyers.
    • A case in point is Sahara’s Amby Valley, which despite efforts by Bombay high court’s official liquidator has been unable to find suitable buyers for almost a year. 
  • Experts say that flaws in the proposed legislation could be used to challenge the law in courts.
    • The provision that empowers any court to disentitle any person from putting forward or defending any civil action if that he/she is declared as a fugitive economic offender is seen as draconian. A challenge may be made against such provision on the ground that it is disproportionate and arbitrary.
  • Legal experts say the draft Bill that is in public domain does not provide for a situation where the confiscated property is in excess of the claims against the fugitive offender

Way ahead:-

  • To avoid failed attempts at sale the bill should provide for time limits for disposal and encashment of property, separate limits for movable-immovable property and running business, and any property which would be subject to valuation loss over a period of time must be disposed of quickly.
  • Even key managerial persons can be declared fugitives, if a court has issued warrant against them. To further strengthen it, the bill should separately provide for dealing with siphoning off of funds, round-tripping, and employing any scheme or edifice to cause loss.

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

4) It is often argued that brain drain is loss to the origin country. However, new research shows that  migration and resultant diaspora connections can be very important sources of brain gain. Examine how the Indian diaspora helps India in brain gain. (250 Words)


Why this question?

It’s an interesting study that has insightful revelations that goes against conventional thinking. Helps in essay. Related to syllabus as well.   

Key demand of the question:

Examine facts to prove that brain-drain is actually brain-gain for India. 

Directive Word:

Examine: Investigate/explore relevant information from the article to show that Indian diaspora is helping India’s knowledge economy.    

Structure of Answer:

In the introduction write in 2-3 lines how  diaspora contribute as human capital to India and need for India to integrate them to economic growth through certain policies. 

In the body, divide answer 5-6 categories i.e. benefits and within each explain with suitable examples. Wherever necessary, write what India needs to do to make use of this brain-gain.  

In the conclusion, write 1-2 line about the need for India to make these migrations short-term ones to benefit its knowledge economy. 



  • More than half of the high-skilled technology workers and entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley are foreign-born. Most high-skilled migrants have come from China and India. Global labour mobility particularly in high skilled jobs is escalated.
  • Over 30 million Indians are living in various countries across the world, who remit over $ 69 billion annually to the country. It is also estimated that 80,000 non-resident Indians have moved back to country over the past two years

How Indian diaspora helps India in brain gain:-

  • Amount of knowledge disseminated due to immigration could go far beyond formal scientific knowledge.
    • NRIs helps to transfer advanced technology, knowledge and the best practices of education from the country they are staying.
  • When researchers immigrate to the US, more patents from the US get cited by patents from the countries of immigrants’ origin and more scientific papers published in the US cite papers from the immigrants’ origin country. Sending countries gain access to technical information from their overseas community.
  • In addition, immigrants arriving from their origin countries might be better at expressing knowledge in a way that is more easily absorbed in their former homeland.
  • Skilled migrants serve as effective conduits for many forms of global exchange in a networked world: trade, foreign direct investment, finance, knowledge, technology, entrepreneurship, cultural norms and political views.
  • Migration has promoted global diaspora networks, human capital investment, circular migration, and the transfer of technology. This can enable policymakers to better integrate immigration in both origin and destination countries. Global integration is generating ever greater returns for matching talent with the right job or opportunity.
  • Economic Impacts
    • Along with benefits from remittances migrants upon return bring new skills to the country such as the ability to speak foreign languages. These new skills can help to improve the economy in the country of origin.
  • A part of India’s success can be attributed to the Indian Diaspora, which contributed in terms of knowledge and financial investmentto India.
  • The development of IT sector in India has the contribution of Indians returned from abroad as well.
  • Approx 80,000 NRIs returned to India in the past two years. Some of them established their own firms and created lots of jobs.
  • Difficulty in obtaining long-term work visas and slow economic growth of developed countries are also helping India in terms of brain gain.

Some concerns still remain:-

  • Still there is large pay gap. India is offering less salaries to highly skilled professionals when compared to developed countries.
  • Push factors like corruption, reservations, lack of infrastructure, lack of investment and lots of legal hurdles are still highly prevalent in India making it difficult to reap the benefits of brain gain to full extent.
  • Still emigration of trained professionals is high in India.
  • Favorable policies in developed countries are attracting talented Indians. India is not giving enough competition to attract them.

Efforts being made by India to increase brain gain:-

  • India is looking to tap Non Resident Indians to work on short term research projects in technology and science to solve local problems, while giving soft skills training to its blue collar labour force seeking employment overseas.
  • The Department of Science and Technology (DST) is all set to roll out a scheme to attract scientists from abroad on a longer term basis. The program, called Visiting Advanced Joint Research (VAJRA) Faculty Scheme, will offer accomplished NRI scientists the opportunity to undertake research in India for a maximum period of three months every year, while granting them the status of adjunct faculty in an Indian institution round the year.
  • To connect to young overseas citizens of India, Indian government launched Know India’ program.

Conclusion :-

  • India is indeed able to turn ‘Brain Drain’ into ‘Brain Gain’. But we have a long way to go. India should be able to attract the best talent all over the world by eliminating defects such as corruption, nepotism, red tapism etc. 

General Studies – 3 

Topic: Economics of animal-rearing

5) What are the  objectives  of the National Action Plan for Dairy Development: Vision-2022? In the light of government’s sustained efforts towards conservation of native breeds through Rashtriya Gokul Mission and lobbying by certain groups against crossbred cows, examine critically if it’s feasible to achieve objectives of National Action Plan for Dairy Development: Vision-2022. (250 Words)

The Indian Express

The Indian Express


Why this question?

Directly related to syllabus and also an important issue related to government’s efforts to double income of farmers. Important for Mains-2018 (lets you learn two initiatives and link between them)

Key demand of the question:

Write objectives of  National Action Plan for Dairy Development: Vision-2022 and write if it’s objectives are feasible especially when government is trying to encourage native breeds and also when there is strong lobbying against crossbreds.

Directive Word:

Examine critically:  Objectively present facts – write yes if certain objectives can be met and say no if some objectives are over-ambitious and face hurdles (as given in the question)

Structure of Answer:

In the introduction write 2-3 lines about doubling farmers income goal and how government is trying this through various initiatives amongst which Dairy Development vision is also one of them. Write a line saying that objectives are noble but they face several hurdles in the form of govt initiatives.  

In the body, in TWO main parts address demand of the question. First, objectives of the Dairy plan. Second to examine feasibility of its objectives. Here, divide further into Rashtriya Gokul Mission and lobbying against crossbreds. Examine how these act as roadblocks, but at the same time help preserve local breeds. 

In the conclusion, express need for  consistency and coordination in government schemes to achieve its objectives. 

Related Questions/Articles: Here, Here,



  • For about 15 years, Indiacontinues to be the largest producer of milk in the world and likely to retain its prime position with annual growth rate of 5.53% for last three years as against global milk production, which is growing at 2.09%.
  • So India is working on creating additional milk processing infrastructure to double the dairy farmers’ income by 2022 and meet the future challenges.

Objectives of National action plan for diary development :-

  • The National Action Plan Vision-2022 is being prepared to fill the gaps in the infrastructure required to handle the increased coverage and milk production not only to meet the demand of milk and milk products but also to fulfil the objective of doubling the farmers income.
  • 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 production and meeting the increased demand for value-added products.

India may not achieve the objectives of the action plan:-

  • Rashtriya Gokul Mission that aims to raise the productivity of indigenous and nondescript cattle by creating a “super elite” population of indigenous There are questions raised whether the milk production would be increased due to this step alone.
  • Cattle numbers have grown by just 3.74 per cent between 1992 and 2012.So the projected one-third expansion in the country’s in-milk bovine population between 2015-16 and 2023-24 is not feasible.
  • Also there are constraints with respect to fodder, feed and water resources to support animals significantly beyond the current population levels.
  • State governments have enacted stringent laws against cattle slaughter making it virtually impossible to dispose of unproductive animals.
  • The Action Plan, moreover, talks of enhancing artificial insemination (AI) coverage but there is no clarity on how this is to be achieved.
  • India is already facing a surplus situation in milk powder and have been priced out of the world market. There is no market If output were really to touch 300 mt.
  • The annual growth required to reach the target is 9% but the current growth is less than that.
  • Problems with cross breeds by communities ,lobbying groups raises concerns about the targets to be achieved.


Way forward:-

  • In order to make dairy business more profitable “National Bovine Productivity Mission”has been in initiated with creation of e Pashuhaat portal.  This is playing an important role in linking milk producers and breeders for indigenous breeds
  • Also there is need to focus on high yielding breeds for milk production


  • The government’s intention is good in spirit but the targets need to be more practical and effective coordination among multiple stakeholders can help India successful in  milk production.


General Studies – 4

Topic: Ethical issues in international relations and funding 

6) Charity (zakat) is a bedrock of Islam. Compassion is the very core of Buddhism. In the light of issues faced in providing foreign aid to poor and least developed countries, comment on the statement. (150 Words)


Why this question?

It’s related to syllabus topic. It’s also in news.   

Key demand of the question:

Register your opinion on issues plaguing foreign aid especially in or related to the Islamic and Buddhist nations. 

Directive Word:

Comment: Your opinion on this issue should be written based facts.  

Structure of Answer:

Write an introduction highlighting dichotomy between principles and actions i.e. how religions and regions that preach  compassion and charity have high incidence of suffering. 

In the body, divide answer into TWO main parts: One for writing about Islamic world and another for Buddhist world. Within each with examples comment how charity and compassion are playing/not playing an important role in deciding aid to poor. Think of Yemen, Syria,  Iraq, Palestine, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, China etc. 

In the conclusion observe that foreign aid should be unconditional and should be based on humanitarian considerations rather than national interests. 



Buddhism may be touted in the West as an inherently peaceful philosophy, but a surge in violent rhetoric from small but increasingly influential groups of hardline monks in parts of Asia like Srilanka, Myanmar(Rohingyas),Thailand etc  is upending the religion’s tolerant image


Similarly in Islam Zakat is a form of tithing in Islam and is considered one of the Five Pillars of the faith

Zakat is such a pious notion of donating for charity many Islamic charities and mosques have been shown to provide material support for terrorism which is visible in the violence widespread in west Asian countries. Aid from some of the countries increased the extremist tendencies in countries like Pakistan .


Foreign aid can save the lives of millions of people living in poverty around the world. It addresses issues such as health, education, infrastructure and humanitarian emergencies  leading to sustainable growth and development. 

Humanitarian aid in the West Asian countries like Syria, Iraq etc  has been provided by various international bodies, organizations and states. The United Kingdom has allocated over £1 billion (c. $1.6 billion) in aid since 2012 to over 30 aid organisations and partners including United Nations agencies, international non-governmental organisations and the Red Cross. 

Over the past half-century, aid to developing countries has grown to be big money, financed through taxation and delivered through a plethora of government and philanthropic organizations.


However most of such aid fails to reach the poorest people who need it the most. Foreign aid manages only to improve the lives of the richest people in the poorest countries of the world  reinforcing social inequities and perpetuates cycles of political abuse.

Foreign aid’s biggest downside is that no clear, effective system has been put in place to hold aid recipients and their governments accountable for resources illegally taken from public sector coffers.

Aid dependence results in bad governance, stunting development and makes the recipient countries at the mercy of the developed countries as is the case in the African countries .Its volatility and unpredictability makes it difficult for countries to factor it into long term spending plans and include it in budgets 

Their decisions are driven mostly by political considerations rather than noble intentions. This naturally leads to various forms of corruption.


The notion of helping others can be effective when the donors provide selfless aid rather than expecting the returns from these underdeveloped countries.