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

1) Komagata Maru incident was an important landmark event in the political history of India. Examine (250 Words)

Bipan Chandra, India’s Struggle for Independence, Chapter 12


Key demand of the question

The question is basically asking us about the political significance of Komagata Maru incident. The positives which it had for India’s struggle for independence.

Directive word

Examine – The objective here is to get into the depth of each significance that Komagata Maru had for the national movement.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Describe the incident and write a line on its overall significance.

Body – Examine the objective and vision of the movement. Discuss the impact that it had on the political history of India. Also examine how successful the movement was in fulfilling the objectives it was trying to achieve. Also, discuss where the movement couldn’t make an impact

Conclusion – Discuss the overall significance of the movement.



  • Several strict immigration policies were adopted on racially discriminatory lines to curb the flow of Indian immigrants in the early 20th century, who were coming to Canada seeking work. One incident which is related to this is the Komagata Maru.

Komagata Maru incident :-

  • Komagata Maru was a Japanese steamship that sailed from Hong Kong to Vancouver, Canada via Japan in May, 1914. It was carrying 376 passengers who were immigrants from Punjab, India. Of these, only 24 were granted admittance in Canada when the ship docked in Vancouver. At that time, Canada had laws restricting entry of migrants of Asian origin. Following a two month stalemate, the ship and its 352 passengers were escorted out of the dock by the Canadian military and forced to sail back to India.
  • Adding further insult to the injury, some of the passengers were killed in protests on their return to India, when they were prevented from docking and attempts were made to arrest its leaders who were suspected by the colonial government to be political agitators.

Significance of the movement:-

  • The Komagata Maru episode attracted worldwide attention and condemnation for the violation of human rights and racism.
  • This was one of several incidents in the early 20th century in which exclusion laws in Canada and the United States were used to exclude immigrants of Asian origin
  • The episode further inspired the Ghadar party to engage in its struggle against the colonial rule and therefore it indirectly gave a fillip to the Indian struggle for freedom. 
    • Further, the inflamed passions in the wake of the incident were widely cultivated by the Indian revolutionary organisation, the Ghadar Party, to rally support for its aims.
    • In a number of meetings ranging from California in 1914 to the Indian diaspora, prominent Ghadarites including Barkatullah, Tarak Nath Das, and Sohan Singh used the incident as a rallying point to recruit members for the Ghadar movement, most notably in support of promulgating plans to coordinate a massive uprising in India.
  • The episode also reminds Indians of the role played by those who lived away from the country but kept struggling for the Independence of the country.
  • It is widely cited at the time by Indian groups to highlight discrepancies in Canadian immigration laws.
  • After the ship reached India , the Sikhs were treated as law breakers and were detailed which further led to resentment and anger in the Indian community 


  • The Ghadarites efforts failed due to lack of support from the general population
  • Could not impact the colonial structure as well.



  • The legacy of this movement is never forgotten .The recent apology made by Canada to India regarding the incident shows the importance of this movement .

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

2) Lord  Curzon  brought some much needed reforms in Indian educational, scientific and political system. Critically analyse his role in India’s political history. (250 Words)




Why this question

Lord Curzon has been a controversial figure in India’s political history. On the one hand, he was responsible for the partition of Bengal, which epitomizes the British policy of divide and rule. But he also introduced some significant reforms in India’s education, administration, police, agriculture etc. Question is related to GS-1 syllabus under the following heading- Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues.

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

Key demand of the question.

The question demands us to analyze the role and contribution of Lord Curzon in India’s political history and give an opinion based on that analysis.

Directive word

Critically analyze- we have to examine both the positive as well as negative reforms, acts associated with Lord Curzon. We have to lay special emphasis on educational, scientific and political reforms. What we also have to discuss other reforms and  the effects/repercussions of those acts, reforms.

Structure of the answer

Introduction- as the question involves many aspects, so in order to save time, you can directly introduce your answer by mentioning the positive role of Lord Curzon in India’s political history and then,

Body- in one part present in points those positive reforms.

e.g education- Raleigh Commission, Indian Universities Act, Agricultural Research Institute in Bihar; scientific- Ancient Monuments Preservation Act 1904 etc.  Also police Commission, famine Commission, irrigation Commission etc.

In the second part, discuss the partition of Bengal and other negative acts or negative points of above-discussed forms.

In 3rd part, discuss how Indian freedom struggle was affected by the policies, acts of Lord Curzon.

Conclusion- Draw a balanced conclusion from the above analysis.


  • Lord Curzon occupies a high place among the rulers of British India like Lord Wellesley and Lord Dalhousie. He was a thorough imperialist. In order to make the administration efficient, Lord Curzon overhauled the entire administrative machinery. 

Reforms by Lord Curzon:-

  • Educational:-
    • Curzon took a serious view of the fall in the standard of education and discipline in the educational institutions. In his view the universities had degenerated into factories for producing political revolutionaries. To set the educational system in order, he instituted in 1902, a Universities Commission to go into the entire question of university education in the country.
    • On the basis of the findings and recommendations of the Commission, Curzon brought in the Indian Universities Act of 1904, which brought all the universities in India under the control of the government.
  • Scientific:-
    • The Agriculture Research Institute in Pusa (Bihar – Bengal Presidency) was established. 
  • Political:-
    • Administrative:-
      • Lord Curzon launched many investigative commissions. He made efforts for police reforms, eliminating the corruption and to promote the economic development. He provided a revival to conservatism in India by refurbishing the main features of Lord Mayo’s policies. 
      • Curzon believed in efficiency and discipline. He instituted a Police Commission in 1902 under the chairmanship of Sir Andrew Frazer.Curzon accepted all the recommendations and implemented them.
      • He set up training schools for both the officers and the constables and introduced provincial police service.
      • During Curzon regime, the Northwest Frontier Province (NWFP) was established which covered roughly the areas of upper course of River Indus.
    • Military:-
      • Imperial cadet corps was set up which became an instrument for  Indianisation of army later.
    • Other reforms:-
      • Preservation of Archaeological objects
        • Curzon had a passion for preserving the ancient monuments of historical importance in India.
        • No Viceroy in India before or after him took such a keen interest in archaeological objects. He passed a law called the Ancient Monuments Act, 1904 which made it obligatory on the part of the government and local authorities to preserve the monuments of archaeological importance and their destruction an offence.
        • He rescued several historic monuments, including the Taj Mahal in Agra, and starting work on the Victoria Memorial Hall, the governor’s house
      • Famine of 1899-1900:-
        • The famine relief in the British Provinces was organized and around 25% of the affected people were relieved as per the official figures
      • Irrigation Commission 1901
        • Post famine, there was more emphasis on internal administration reforms. Towards this direction, the construction of irrigation works in accordance with the broad plans was outlined by an Irrigation Commission under Sir Colin Scott-Moncrieff. 
        • Most important part of this strategy was a network of canals in Punjab comprising a main canal of 2714 kilometers and other link canals.

Criticisms :-

  • In 1900, then Curzon Government enacted the Punjab Land Alienation Act of 1900 which placed a 15 year limitation on all land purchases and mortgages.
    • But due to this, peasantry got in further problem because now they were unable to access credit. The government established some agricultural banks and in due course passed Cooperative Credit Societies Act, 1904. However, most of the public remained unaware of these measures and thus discontent grew among not only moneylenders, shopkeepers, professionals and the trader class but also the peasantry.
  • Famine in 1899-1900:-
    • The British initiatives were also grossly inadequate because no intervention was done to control the grain prices. There was no humanitarian consideration in the relief measures. India owed a huge debt to its colonial masters and so Curzon remained economic in whatever efforts he took.
  • Administrative:-
    • He did the partition of Bengal, the largest Province of India, to improve its developmental process. This politically motivated the Muslims of the East Bengal. As a result, Curzon also faced a huge agitation by the Congress and the Hindu political and corporate classes of West Bengal. 
    • He partitioned Bengal in 1905 and set the province’s Hindu and Muslim populations against each other by adopting a policy of divide and rule later leading to formation of Muslim league.
  • Calcutta Corporation Act (1899)
    • The Viceroy brought in a new legislative measure namely the Calcutta Corporation Act in 1899 by which the strength of the elected members was reduced and that of the official members increased. Curzon gave more representations to the English people as against the Indians in the Calcutta Corporation. There was strong resentment by the Indian members against Curzon’s anti-people measures
    • CID wing appointed was used to watch on political opponents.


  • When Lord Curzon made the Bengal Partition effective disregard­ing the opinion of the Bengalees, the preparation for revolutionary terrorism went on in full swing
  • harmony in India got destroyed.


  • At the beginning Curzon earned the popularity and admiration of the Indian people. He lost the popularity by the act of Partition of Bengal.


General Studies –

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

3) Critically examine whether India needs to maintain a policy of strategic non alignment between USA and China to avoid becoming a swing state. (250 Words)



Why this question

The dynamics of relationship between US and CHina, has an impact on many other countries. China and India have a long history of cooperation and conflict. In recent years, it is believed that India has let go of non alignment when it comes to dealing with these two power behemoths. This has raised a debate over the best course of action for India in Ind – China –  USA triangle.

Key demand of the question

The question is asking us to examine the best course of action for India in dealing with US-China-India triangle. The question also mentions “avoid becoming a swing state”. This is because both these countries want India to remain in their camp so as to gain an upper hand in the power play that is happening in Asia Pacific. This means that if India does not pursue the policy of non alignment, it is condemned to get involved in camp politics. This part also needs to be critically examined.

Directive word

Critically examine – We need to bring out the pros and cons of all the policies available at India’s disposal in dealing with China and US and provide a balanced stand in the end.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Explain the nature of India-China-USA triangle

Body – Provide pros and cons of each possible stand

  • Non alignment = Principled equidistance
  • China camp
  • US camp (India currently here)

While providing pros and cons, should classify your points under broad heads like economy, strategic etc

Conclusion – End your answer with the stand you think would be most beneficial for India. Take help of quotes of some important scholars like Vivek Katju, SHivshankar Menon etc



  • In the current geopolitical situation where China and US are at extreme ends and crisis being triggered everyday for instance the recent step of imposition of tariffs taken by US and China responding has become complicated for India. India have the following three options :-


  • India should stick to a new version of non-alignment where it can maintain equidistance from both China and the US. This will help India avoid becoming a pawn in a bigger US-China war. 
  • The policy of strategic autonomy recommended that India should not take sides in the rivalry between China and the U.S. The report emphasised that for its strategic and foreign policy to be successful, India must sustain domestic economic growth, social inclusion and democracy.
  • Economic agreements with both the countries can materialise well if India follows the approach
  • Concerns with this approach:-
    • It fails to address the scenario where the dispute like Doklam standoff is not between the US and China but between India and China.
    • Equidistance from both the US and China will have to be artificially manufactured because it does not exist naturally. India has a territorial dispute with China, not with the US.
    • The US supports India’s elevation in the UN and the NSG, China doesn’t.
    • India is raising a mountain strike corps to fight the People’s Liberation Army, not the US military. It is, therefore, monumentally not wise to talk of equidistance here.

India being close to Chinese camp:-

  • Recent efforts by China can be beneficial for India:-
    • China helped in grey-listing Pakistan at the financial action task force (FATF) to combat money laundering and terrorist financing
    • Recently, China and India have initiated discussions to jointly use their leverage in oil price negotiations.
  • The two countries have an enviable track record of cooperation in global climate change negotiations.
  • The border dispute can be resolved amicably.
  • The peace settlement between India and Pakistan can be a reality.
  • Greater voice for India in international platforms .
  • Challenges remain:-
    • China has refused to accommodate India’s interests in other spheres.
    • India was disappointed with the outcome of the latest joint economic group (JEG) meeting where Beijing yet again failed to take seriously India’s concern on rising bilateral trade imbalance and lack of market access for Indian goods in China.
    • India has, once again, taken up the issue of its entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) with China but a breakthrough seems far away.
    • China has been insisting on simultaneous entry of India and Pakistan into the NSG and is unlikely to budge from that position.

American camp:-

  • External balancing through a close US partnership is essential for India. External balancing may also help build India’s own capabilities through cooperation on defence production.
  • In order to be assertive against aggressive China India has joined the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, a coalition seen by many as a counterforce to China’s rise in the Indo-Pacific
  • The  India-U.S. Civil Nuclear Agreement was in this respect truly the “game changer”. India came to be seen as a positive, stabilising influence as far as the global and the regional environment was concerned. Non-alignment clearly had no place in this milieu.
  • India has many benefits in many fields:-
    • Defence
    • Civil aviation: C-17 Globemaster-III strategic airlift aircraft, and M777 ultra-light howitzers
    • Education
    • Technology etc
  • China’s more assertive posturing on the global stage is helping drive India and the U.S. together. Both the countries are wary of China’s rising naval presence in the Indian Ocean.
  • India continues to have territorial disputes with China like Doklam standoff
  • However some concerns are put forward:-
    • With US India affinity increasing Russia is drifting away from India and the emergence of a Russia-China-Pakistan trilateral can take place.
    • In Institutions like BRICS & SAARC, India will lose its say.


  • A partnership of near equals like IBSA (India, Brazil and South Africa) with similar interests without any ideological conflict is probably the best model to follow.
  • Something on the lines of the G-15 organised by India and like-minded countries some years ago could be put together with the objective of dealing with the kind of issues like climate change, terrorism and protectionism.
  • The members may have links with the U.S., China and Russia, but should be able to work together without the undue influence of the three.

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

4) India’s should have a proactive engagement with Nordic countries and seek their cooperation in achieving shared commitments and interests. Critically analyse. (250 Words)

The Indian Express

Hindu BusinessLine


Why this question

Nordic countries have been largely neglected by India, due to the cold war and a hostile neighborhood. Our Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently visited Nordic countries individually as well as a group. There is a huge scope for cooperation between India and Nordic countries which can be successfully channeled into mutual prosperity. The question is related to GS-2 syllabus under the following heading – India and its neighborhood- relations. Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to discuss what are the shared commitments and mutual interests of India and Nordic countries and then analyze how they can be achieved by cooperation between the two entities.

Directive word

Critically analyze- we have to attend to all the aspects of the question and present our personal opinion. Here we have to discuss one by one, shared commitments, mutual interests which would be better achieved by cooperation between India and Nordic countries. Also how to analyze if there are any associated issues/ hurdles involved in materializing such cooperation.

Structure of the answer

Introduction- give a brief description of Nordic countries and the members and mention their distinctive identity.

Body- divide the body into two main parts. In one part, further divided into subparts, discuss what are the a) shared commitments e.g multipolar world, democracy, human values, climate change etc. b) shared interests- Sweden’s defense products, trade liberalization and facilitation, innovation and technology sharing.

In the other part, discuss any hurdles or other associated issues involved.

Conclusion- In the conclusion, present your personal opinion drawn based on the above discussion and also suggest some measures which could improve the engagement between India and Nordic countries.

Background :-

  • As India engages advanced economies in Europe and elsewhere in a bid to derive investment, technology, commercial contacts, immigration and education privileges, and other benefits, the Nordic countries (Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, and Iceland) arguably have something more important to offer. For both political and economic reasons, the Nordic Model provides India a worthy object of study.
  • Nordics do not see themselves as a mere sub-region of Europe. They value their own unique international identity.

Shared commitments and interests between India and Nordic countries :-

  • When India was non-aligned, Sweden was neutral.
  • Both championed decolonisation and a more just global order.
  • India and Sweden led the campaign for nuclear arms control and disarmament.
  • The idea of mediating conflicts, which is very much part of the India’s internal and international experience, is quite dear to the Nordics

India will benefit because :-

  • Defence:-
    • Sweden might be neutral but it always had strong defence industry and possibility with an aerospace partnership around the sale of Gripen fighter aircraft to India.
  • Innovation:-
    • India is in the hope of igniting the innovation revolution in India and the Nordic region is an impressive champion of technological innovation.
    • As a region that helped advance the idea of an efficient welfare state, the Norden can be important partner for India’s own experiments to strengthen its social sector through technological and policy innovation
  • Sustainability:-
    • Nordic countries have built some of the world’s most sustainable, smart and attractive cities. The Nordic countries are frontrunners in relation to sustainable urban development and efficient land use. Creative and innovative Nordic forces are thriving, particularly within the fields of design, architecture and landscape planning.This can help in the success of smart cities.
    • The Swedish government will be providing more than $59 million for innovation cooperation with India in the field of smart cities and sustainability
  • Sweden has been a strong supporter of India’s “Make in India” campaign too.
  • Cyber security:-
    • When India is being the victim of cyber attacks ,India and Sweden have decided to set up a common task force on cyber security and are working towards finalizing a bilateral agreement on exchange.
  • International:-
    • India received key support from the Nordic countries for its membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and a seat at the United Nations Security Council as a permanent member.
    • The NSG support from the Nordic states is particularly significant because there was a time when these states had adopted a strong moralistic approach on India’s nuclear programme.
    • Today, there is a recognition and acceptance of India’s credentials as a responsible nuclear actor despite not being a formal member of the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT). 
  • Nordic countries perform exceptionally well in the human development indicators and strive for a welfare state .India can learn from them.
  • With the Joint Action Plan, meanwhile, the two nations will try to enhance cooperation in key areas of renewable energy, women’s skills development and empowerment, space and science, and health and life sciences.
  • Issues such as trade, growth, global security, smart cities, renewable energy, climate change , maritime solutions, port modernisation, food processing, health, life-sciences and agriculture were also on the agenda of India’s broader engagement with the Nordic countries.
  • Both sides work towards supporting free trade as a catalyst for achieving inclusive growth and realising the Sustainable Development Goals at a time when major economic powers are becoming protectionist and tariff wars are becoming the new normal. 
  • Skill :-
    • Nordic countries have very less population Indians can use their IT platforms to manage the skill demand in these countries through INSTC etc.

Concerns :-

  • Past disturbances:-
    • A citizen of Denmark involved in an arms drop in West Bengal in 1995 became the subject of an extradition dispute that coloured India’s relations with that country.
    • More recently, India and Norway expressed differences over a child welfare spat involving an Indian couple.
  • India’s concerns with trade liberalisation as it wants to protect its farmers.
  • Distance is a concern and people- people contact is minimal.

Conclusion :-

  • As India redefines its foreign policy priorities in Europe and as a changing Europe comes to terms with a rising India, India’s engagement with the Nordic states has immense potential.

General Studies – 3

Topic: Irrigation; Cropping pattern

5) India’s water crisis demands that paddy cultivation requires several checks and balances. Discuss in light of the Kashmir government’s directive to its paddy farmers. (250 Words) 

Financial Express

The Wire


Why this question

Climate change and water scarcity are huge risks for agriculture and food security. Just like we are in need of guidelines to deal with pollution, similarly we need guidelines to deal with the situation of food scarcity. In this light, the water crisis in Kashmir and the subsequent government’s directive presents an opportunity to analyze ways to deal with this situation in a transparent and consistent manner.

Key demand of the question

The question wants us to examine whether there is a need to come out with specific regulations to address the problem of cultivating paddy in water deficient states. The question wants us to address the following points:

  • Details of India’s water crisis
  • Why paddy is specifically mentioned
  • What kind of checks and balances need to be put up for paddy cultivation
  • Efficacy of government’s measures so far to deal with the situation

Directive word

Discuss – The various aspects of this issue needs to be brought out as discussed above.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – The Kashmir issue needs to be highlighted. Similarly bring out the problem with paddy cultivation in India and why this issue deserves attention.

Body – Start with explaining the water crisis situation in India and the reason why paddy accelerates this problem. Then talk about the checks and balances reqd such as growing less water intensive varieties, MSP adjustment etc. Thereafter talk about the various government measures to deal with this including the directive. Analyze the pros and cons of directive issued by JnK government.

Conclusion – End with highlighting the gravity of the situation and the way forward.



  • Agriculture consumes 83% of India’s water resources. Food security is threatened globally die to climate change and adverse weather events. Water intensive crops like sugarcane grown in Maharashtra was one of the reasons for the state’s water scarcity .Similarly paddy consumes lot of water for cultivation so Kashmir government provided an advisory regarding paddy cultivation and this representsthe seriousness of the issue.

Problems with paddy cultivation/why checks and balances are needed in paddy cultivation:-

  • Paddy cultivation is heavily water-intensive on an average, it needs more than 1,400 mm of water against, say, 600 mm for pigeon pea or 500 mm for soybean.
  • Tamil Nadu, that has done little to wean farmers in the Cauvery basin off Samba cultivation, already faces a severe water crisis 
  • Water-demand varies across states given differing weather conditions. In Punjab, over 5,330 litres go into producing 1 kg, while in Bengal this needs 2,700 litres. 

Government measures :-

  • The Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana is a good policy initiative that would accelerate public investment in both micro and macro irrigation.
  • Deen dayal Anyodaya mission
  • A principle objective of the National Water Mission is to increase water use efficiency by 20 per cent. This objective is eminently realisable when we look at some focus areas that would help achieve this.

Kashmir government directive to paddy farmers :-

  • Kashmir, faced with a prolonged dry spell, has asked farmers not to cultivate paddy this year. issued the advisory to farmers in six districts in North Kashmir even though some varieties grown there are known to be comparatively water-efficient. It has instead urged them to sow pulses and other crops that consume less water. 
  • Irrigation department will not supply water in the districts for paddy cultivation and the crop is grown in over 1.4 lakh hectares in the state should send a strong signal to farmers.
  • The department has already advised farmers to go for other cash crops which are less dependent on water like maize and pulses 
  • Positive :-
    • If this approach is followed by other water-stressed states like Tamil Nadu and Punjab they will benefit greatly.
    • Tamil Nadu with the festering Cauvery problem will also meet partial resolution if they let farmers know in no uncertain terms that paddy won’t get any irrigation support in a dry year.
    • Will check water scarcity and educate farmers about the crisis .
    • Shows the ready approach of the government to prevent disaster like drought before hand by taking precautions.
  • Negative:-
    • Getting farmers to stay off paddy, though, can be a long march given many of them believe the soil is best suited to paddy cultivation, not other crops.
    • Kashmir government proposal was only an advisory not a directive.
    • Shifting to other crops would shoot up the food deficit in the region, where rice is the staple food.
    • Shifting to other crops would increase their economic woes.
    • has exposed the government’s failure to create water harvesting infrastructure. The rainfall that we get and the water from abundant glaciers is totally lost in absence of harvesting infrastructure.

Way forward/What should be checks and balances needed in Agriculture:-

  • Increased water conservation and promoting cultivation of less water-intensive crops can go a long way towards coping with the crisis.
  • Adopt drought-resistant crop varieties as has been done in some parts of Odisha for paddy/rice through the help of the International Rice Research Institute. This can maintain productivity and income of the farmers and also ensure price stability to the consumers. 
  • Small vegetable-growing farmers in Himachal Pradesh, have long adopted Israel’s water-saving technology through the assistance of the Mother Dairy retail chain that procures their fresh produce. It is an opportune time to scale up technology adoption.
  • Biotechnology, drip irrigation:-
    • Through a combination of research and development to develop higher yielding varieties, better agronomic practices, and improved agriculture extension services, higher yields are within reach even while using the same amount of water.
  • Micro-irrigation deserves greater attention.:-
    • Study by the National Mission on Micro-Irrigation shows a 22 per cent to 40 per cent saving in water across different horticulture crops.
  • water saving agronomic practices can be readily implemented. The most obvious example of this practice is direct seeding of rice. 


Topic: Environmental pollution; Disaster management

6) “The Great Pacific Garbage Patch” is a misnomer term, given the complexity of the problem. Comment. Also, discuss its effects on marine and human life. (250 Words)

National Geographic



Why this question

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GBGP)  is located about halfway between Hawaii and California. It’s the largest accumulation zone for ocean plastics on Earth. It has a lot of negative effects on Marine and human life. Also, the problem looks more simple than it is because of photodegradation of plastics. The issue is related to GS-1 syllabus add the following heading – geographical features and their location- changes in critical geographical features (including water-bodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.

It’s also related to GS 3 syllabus under the following heading- Conservation, environmental pollution, and degradation, environmental impact assessment

Disaster and disaster management.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to discuss, what is the great Pacific garbage patch and come out with reasons that why the term is a misnomer. We also have to discuss its effects on marine life and also on human life.

Directive word

Comment- we have to describe the great Pacific garbage patch, its nature, location, contents, and other features. Then we have to bring out with reasons that why the term is a misnomer. We have to put arguments in its favor.

Discuss- we have to write in detail about the possible effects on marine life and on human life.

Structure of the answer

Introduction- in such kind of questions, you can introduce your answer by directly introducing the concept/ term in one or two lines and then elaborate it further in the body.

Body- in one part, bring out a complete description of the Great Pacific garbage patch like its location, size, contents, age (history), current status etc.

In the other part discuss why the term is a misnomer by mentioning photodegradation and dissolution of plastic particles.

In the third part, discuss in points its effects on marine life. And then discuss its effects on human life.

Conclusion – in conclusion, discuss briefly in one or two lines about the clean-up procedure and efforts required.


  • Marine debris and pollution consisting mostly of plastic trash is accumulating in oceans around the world. Twice the size of Texas, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch stretches for hundreds of miles across the North Pacific Ocean and is one of the most frightening examples of just how much human activity is violating the planet.

Great Pacific garbage patch :-

  • The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is the world’s largest collection of floating trash and the most famous. It lies between Hawaii and California.

Magnitude of the issue and the term is a misnomer :-

  • The name “Pacific Garbage Patch” has led many to believe that this area is a large and continuous patch of easily visible marine debris items such as bottles and other litter akin to a literal island of trash that should be visible with satellite or aerial photographs. This is not the case.
  • Phrase ‘garbage patch’ is misleading as
    • It is not visible from space
    • There are no islands of trash
    • It is more akin to a diffuse soup of plastic floating in oceans.
  • Microplastics make up 94 percent of an estimated 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic in the patch. But that only amounts to eight percent of the total tonnage. As it turns out, of the 79,000 metric tons of plastic in the patch, most of it is abandoned fishing gear.

Impact on marine and human life:-

  • Ghostnets, a term coined to describe purposely discarded or accidentally lost netting, drift through the ocean, entangling whales, seals, and turtles. An estimated 100,000 marine animals are strangled, suffocated, or injured by plastics every year.
  • Of the 1.5 million Laysan albatrossesthat inhabit Midway, nearly all are likely to have plastic in their digestive system. Approximately one-third of their chicks die, and many of those deaths are due to being fed plastic by their parents.
  • Indirect harm to species via the food chain
    • Besides the particles danger to wildlife, on the microscopic levelthe floating debris can absorb organic pollutants from seawater, including PCBs, DDT, and PAHs.
    • These toxin-containing plastic pieces are also eaten by jellyfish, which are then eaten by fish. Many of these fish are then consumed by humans, resulting in their ingestion of toxic chemicals
  • Spreading invasive species:-
    • Marine plastics also facilitate the spread of invasive species that attach to floating plastic in one region and drift long distances to colonize other ecosystems. Research has shown that this plastic marine debris affects at least 267 species worldwide.
  • Because the garbage blocks sunlight, algae is not growing as it should. With less algae, the entire food chain is experiencing a negative disruption.
  • In addition, the plastics floating in the ocean are leeching harmful chemicals into the water, which are likely entering the food chain.



     General Studies – 4

Topic:Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and world

7) Discuss the significance of Indian philosophy in the history of philosophy. (150 Words)



Why this question

Indian philosophy has a rich history and occupies a unique place in the realm of philosophy of the world. It had many similarities as well as some marked differences from its western counterpart. Indian philosophy influenced and was in turn influenced by western philosophy. The question is related to GS-4 syllabus under the following heading- Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and world.

Key demand of the question.

The question us to write in detail about how and to what extent Indian philosophy shaped and was in turn shaped by the western philosophy.

Directive word

Discuss- we have to dig deep into the issue and bring out facts/ arguments in favour of our propositions.

Structure of the answer

Introduction- bring out the most important differences between Indian and western philosophy in 2-3 lines.

Body- discuss how Indian philosophy influenced western philosophy and the field of philosophy in general. E.g.

  • vedic hymns lead to deep cosmological concepts, Upanishads and their discussions enhanced our understanding about nature, life, mind, the human body, ethics and social philosophy;
  • the relation of realism to idealism;
  • the problem of whether universals or relations are basic; and
  • the very important problem of moksha, or liberation.

In the other part, briefly discuss how Indian philosophy was influenced by western philosophy.

Conclusion-  present a balanced and unbiased conclusion of the above discussion in 1-2 lines.



Indian philosophy is based upon four purusharthas of life that are known as artha, karma, dharma, and moksha. These are 4 basic ends of life, and an individual should follow the recommendations as described in Vedas, to have a fulfilling life.


Talking of philosophies or way of thinking, while it is spiritualism in the east, it is materialism and logical and scientific in the west. Indian thinking is characterized as spiritual and mystical in nature, western thinking is scientific, logical, rational, materialistic and individualistic. Individualism that is so very important in the west leads to individual rights while, in Indian context, social responsibility is given prominence. Philosophy in the west is separate and independent of religion. Reason and logic are given primacy to other aspects of life in western philosophy. The pursuit of truth and inner happiness have been kept above everything else in Indian living.

Despite the differences Indian philosophy has influenced western philosophy in many ways:-


  • In appreciation of complexity of the Indian philosophy, T S Eliot wrote that the great philosophers of India “make most of the great European philosophers look like schoolboys”.
  • Arthur Schopenhauer used Indian philosophy to improve upon Kantian thought.
  • The 19th century American philosophical movement Transcendentalism was also influenced by Indian thought.
  • Vedic hymns lead to deep cosmological concepts
  • The similarities reveal that, even when philosophers in Indiaand the West were grappling with the same problems and sometimes even suggesting similar theories, Indian thinkers were advancing novel formulations and argumentations.
  • Problems that the Indian philosophers raised for consideration, but that their Western counterparts never did, include such matters as the origin (utpatti) and apprehension (jnapti) of truth (pramanya).
  • Problems that the Indian philosophers for the most part ignored but that helped shape Western philosophy include the question of whether knowledge arises from experience or from reason and distinctions such as that between analytic and synthetic judgments or between contingent and necessary truths.
  • Vedichymns, Hindu scriptures dating from the 2nd millennium BCE, are the oldest extant record from India of the process by which the human mind makes its gods and of the deep psychological processes of mythmaking leading to profound cosmological concepts.
  • The Upanishadscontain one of the first conceptions of a universal, all-pervading, spiritual reality leading to a radical monism 
    • Also contain early speculations by Indian philosophers about nature, life, mind, and the human body, not to speak of ethics and social philosophy.
  • The distinction as well as the relation between the body, mind, and the self;
  • The nature of knowledge and the types of valid knowledge
  • The nature and origin of truth
  • The relation of realismto idealism
  • The problem of whether universals or relations are basic
  • Moksha, or liberation – its nature and the paths leading up to it.


Western philosophy also influenced Indian philosophy in the following ways :-

  • Many epistemological, logical, and even metaphysical doctrines were debated and decided on purely rational grounds that did not directly bear upon the ideal of moksha. 
  • Western philosophy of liberalism had its influence later in India during the colonial rule which triggered the rational thought in Indians and made them stand up for social evils.


So both the philosophies have their place in the history of philosophy and ultimately led to development and moving of thought.