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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)“If the congress was buried at Surat, it took rebirth in Lucknow, in the garden of Wajid Ali Shah“. Analyze.(250 words)

Bipan Chandra, India’s Struggle for Independence, Chapter 13


Key Demand of the Question

The statement has two important aspects that needs to be answered

  • Congress buried at Surat – Analyze why Surat sounded the death knell for Congress
  • Reborn in Lucknow – The significance of Lucknow pact and whether the rebirth lasted


Directive word

Analyze – When asked to analyze, we have to examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them as a whole in a summary. Here, we have to analyze Surat split – whether that sounded the death knell and the Lucknow pact – whether it was rebirth in true sense.


Structure of the answer

Introduction – Mention about the incidents being talked about in the question.



  • Discuss Surat Split
    • WHy it sounded the death knell
    • How the two factions failed to understand British design
  • DIscuss Lucknow pact
    • The two agreements
    • How it was rebirth
    • WHether it lasted


Conclusion – Summarize your arguments and mention your stand.


  • In the early twentieth century the  nationalism was gaining fervour  so Curzon  decided to divide Bengal, to break the unity of Indians and to check the growth of nationalism. This goal started showing fruits with with Surat split.
  • Difference between moderates and extremists further widened with moderates opposing the resolutions on Swaraj, Swadeshi, Boycott of foreign goods and National Education and also there as issue with the leadership of congress sessions as well that ultimately led to Surat split

Why was it the death of Congress in Surat:-

  • The British policy, known as the policy of the carrot and the stick, was to be a three pronged one. It may be described as a policy of repression-conciliation-suppression. This approach was successful as after the split the British Government immediately launched a massive attack on the extremists and Extremist newspaper were suppressed. 
  • Lokmanya Tilak, their main leader, was sent to Mandalay jail for six years.
  • Divide and rule:-
    • The Moderates did not see that the colonial state was negotiating with them not because of their inherent political strength but because of the fear of the Extremists. The Extremists did not see that the Moderates were their natural outer defence line (in terms of civil liberties and so on) and that they did not possess the required strength to face the colonial state’s juggernaut.
  • The split did not prove useful to either party
    • The moderates lost touch with the younger generation of nationalists. 
    • The British played the game of divide and rule. While suppressing the extremists, Britishers tried to win over moderate national opinion so that former could be isolated and suppressed. 
  • In 1909: Separate electorates were granted to the Muslims during a time when the Congress was at its lowest ebb. The most critical and vocal elements were not a part of the INC. Thus the British had taken absolute advantage over the INC.

How congress underwent rebirth in Lucknow?

  • The Lucknow Session 1916 was special in many respects. 
  • This session brought the moderates and extremists in Congress on common platform again after nearly a decade.
  • Congress and All India Muslim League signed the historic Lucknow Pact.
  • Muslim League sought for a sort of joint platformwith the congress to put constitutional pressure on the British Government towards making reforms. The idea was that such joint demand would give an impression of Hindu-Muslim unity. Towards this, Congress and Muslim League negotiated an agreement in Lucknow pact  whose main clauses are as follows:
    • There shall be self-government in India.
    • Muslims should be given one-third representation in the central government.etc


Issues remained:-

  • Lucknow Session appeared to have given a perception of Hindu-Muslim unity; but it was signed without regard for its consequences.  
  • A blunder was committed by approving one third representations of the Muslims on the basis of their being a minority was biggest blunder because it sowed the seeds of communal politics. 
  • This pact made it open and clear that India has different communities and each one of them has its own interests.


Congress unity remained till independence:-


  • The clear difference between moderates and extremists slowly faded away with the entry of Gandhi as congress supported it.
  • Even later British applied this policy for dividing congress but congress realised the consequences of split and stayed together for instance despite ideological differences between swarajists and non swarajists separate party was not formed .Even socialist party which was formed in 1930’s also worked within the aegis of Congress.

Topic: Salient features of world’s physical geography.

2) Explain the relevance of seismology in studying the structure of the interior of the earth.(250 words)

NCERT Class 11, Fundamentals of Physical geography


Why this question

In GS mains exam, direct questions are usually  asked from the book (NCERT, Goh Cheng Leong). This is an important topic from NCERT and is related to GS-1 syllabus- Salient features of world’s physical geography.

And, Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc., geographical features and their location

Key demand of the question

This is a straightforward question which wants us to explain the role of seismology in understanding the interior structure of the earth.  

Directive word

Explain-  we have to write in detail about how seismology helps us in studying the interior structure of the Earth. In geography questions, we also have to draw a diagram to our explanation.

Structure of the answer

Introduction- mention that the structure of Earth’s deep interior cannot be studied directly  but geologists use seismic (earthquake) waves to understand the interior structure of earth.


  1. define what are seismic waves and their types.
  2. Explain how the difference in their properties helps us to understand the earth’s interior. Also draw a diagram for better presentation of your answer.

Conclusion – mention other methods to study the earth’s interior structure. e.g observations of rock in outcrop, samples brought to the surface from greater depths by volcanic activity, measurements of the gravitational and magnetic fields of the Earth, and experiments with crystalline solids at pressures and temperatures characteristic of the Earth’s deep interior.


  • The structure of Earth’s deep interior cannot be studied directly. But geologists use seismic (earthquake) waves to determine the depths of layers of molten and semi-molten material within Earth.
  • Because different types of earthquake waves behave differently when they encounter material in different states (for example,molten, semi-molten, solid), seismic stations established around Earth detect and record the strengths of the different types of waves and the directions from which they came. Geologists use these records to establish the structure of Earth’s interior.

Seismic waves:-

  • Seismic waves are the waves of energy that travel through the Earth as a result of an earthquake and can tell a lot about the internal structure of the Earth because these waves travel at different speeds in different materials.
  • There are two types of waves that travel through the Earth:p-waves and s-waves.
    • P- waves are faster and they can travel through both solids and liquids. S-waves are slower and cannot travel through liquids.For both kinds of waves, the speed at which the wave travels also depends on the properties of the material through which it is traveling.
    • Thus, if there is an earthquake somewhere, the first waves that arrive are P-waves.  In essence, the gap in P-wave and S-wave arrival gives a first estimate of the distance to the earthquake.

Relevance of seismology:

  • Scientists are able to learn about Earth’s internal structure by measuring the arrival of seismic waves at stations around the world. For example, they know that Earth’s outer core is liquid because s-waves are not able to pass through it.
  • Seismic waves travel in curved paths through the Earth (because of the increasing pressure, materials are more dense towards the core, travel velocity of seismic waves increases). 
  • Refraction of seismic waves causes them to curve away from a direct path.  Reflection causes them to glance off certain surfaces (e.g. core mantle boundary) when they hit it at too shallow of an angle.  The result of this behavior, in combination with the fact that S-waves can not travel through liquids is the appearance of seismic shadows, opposite of the actual earthquake site.
    • When an earthquake occurs there is a “shadow zone” on the opposite side of the earth where no s-waves arrive. Similarly earth has a solid inner core because some p-waves are reflected off the boundary between the inner core and the outer core. 
  • By measuring the time it takes for seismic waves to travel along many different paths through the earth, they figure out the velocity structure of the earth. Abrupt changes in velocity with depth correspond to boundaries between different layers of the Earth composed of different materials.


  • Apart from seismology there are many indirect sources of studying earth’s interior like deep ocean drilling, observations of rockin outcrop, samples brought to the surface from greater depths by volcanic activity, measurements of the gravitational and magnetic fields of the Earth, and experiments with crystalline solids at pressures and temperatures characteristic of the Earth’s deep interior etc.

 Topic: salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

3) While folk music and dance in India share common themes and concerns, there is a wide variety of forms. Comment.(250 words)

NCERT Class 11, Introduction to Art and culture


Why this question

Folk music and dance form an integral part of Indian culture and they present themselves in a wide variety of forms. The diversity can be seen even among different communities. However, they shared common themes and concerns, Indian in character. The question is related to GS-1 syllabus under the following heading-  salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants to know, whether folk music and dance in India share common themes and concerns or not. If yes/ no, then justify your answer by arguments/ facts.


Directive word

Comment- we have to take a stand over the given statement. Then we have justify our stand by presenting facts/ arguments/ examples.


Structure of the answer

Introduction- mention how music and dance are inextricably linked to indian  culture and life. Also mention your stand.


  1. discuss in points by giving examples which show that Indian folk music has a wide variety of forms. Eg gidha, ghoomar, tamasha, dandiya, nautanki, lavani etc. briefly describe them individually.
  2. Discuss in points, how folk music and dance share common themes and concerns. E.g birth, marriage, harvest, seasons etc were the common themes of celebration. Expand your lines.

Conclusion- sum up your arguments and present your conclusion in 1-2 lines.


  • India is a land of cultural diversities. Every region in India has its own form of folk music. This rich tradition of folk music is very much alive in not just rural India, but also in urban India as well.

Common themes and concerns of folk music and dance in India:-

  • Music and dance are probably the most elemental art forms, spontaneously expressing the entire garment of human emotions and experiences. Folk music is more like a daily ritual without affecting the daily lives of people. People learn it since their childhood and grow up on these songs. 
  • Folk music and dances of agricultural communities celebrate the rhythms of daily life, the turn of the seasons, the highlights of the agricultural calendar, religious festivals and important events that punctuate the flow of life, such as births and marriages. 
  • Along the entire Himalayan region, from Kashmir to Darjeeling, folk dancers link arms and sway gracefully in undulating movements, celebrate the sowing of the wheat crop.
  • These dances have formed a vast reservoir from which the classical dances have drawn sustenance.
  • Traditional folk music is mostly transmitted orally, music with unknown composers, or music performed by custom over a long period of time. The songs have been performed, by custom, over a long period of time, usually several generations.
  • They commemorate historical and personal events. 
  • Most of the folk music in India is dance oriented and many popular forms of dance like Dandiya, Lavani, Garba, etc. are danced along the tunes of popular folk music

Variety of forms:-

  • Style of similar dances is different:-
    • Women perform the Giddha, characterised by its spontaneous energy. Rajasthani women, their faces covered with flowing veils, are swirls of colour in the Ghoomardance, while their counterparts in Gujarat perform the famous Garba, dancing in a circle with batons.
    • Gujarati men perform the Dandiya Ras, a more vigorous version of the same dance, leaping and crouching in twirling patterns.
  • Different communities:-
    • In the fishing communities of Maharashtra, men and women link arms and dance together and the women climb on to the men’s shoulders to form pyramids. The women’s Lavanidance from this area is notable for its unabashed sensuality.
  • There are also several forms of dance-drama or folk theatre, such as the Nautanki of Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, the Bhavaiof Gujarat, the irreverent Tamasha of Maharashtra , the Bengali Jatra, the spectacular Yakshagana of Karnataka and Theyyam of Kerala, all of which narrate legends of local heroes, kings and deities.
  • Martial art forms throughout the country have been stylized to quasi dance forms, notable among which are the martial dances of the North-eastern hill tribes, the Lazimdances of Maharashtra, the Kalaripayattu of Kerala, and the highly stylized masked Chhau dances of Orissa, West Bengal and Bihar.
  • Not all regions use the same instrument. In fact, the same instrument may not even be called by the same name every where. Most of these instruments are made of easily available material like bamboo, clay pots, empty coconut shells, etc.
  • The dieties on whom the songs are made are not constant all over the country .In some folk music ravana is praised as well.
  • Folk music is mostly in vernacular languages.

General Studies – 2

Topic: Comparison of the Indian constitutional scheme with that of other countries Parliament and State Legislatures – structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.

4) Simultaneous elections  in India would require some major amendments in the constitution. Discuss, in light of the recent Law commission report. (250 Words)



Why this question

Simultaneous elections is an old but important topic. Recently the Law Commission in its report supported the idea of simultaneous elections and also provided a framework for amending the constitution. This topic is related to GS-2 syllabus under the following heading- Comparison of the Indian constitutional scheme with that of other countries Parliament and State Legislatures – structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.

and also to- Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act.

Key demand of the question.

The question simply wants us to write about what constitutional amendments would be required in order to materialize holding of simultaneous elections in India.

Directive word

Discuss- we have to write in detail about the constitutional amendments that would be required before holding simultaneous elections in India. In this case, we have to take the reference of the Law commission’s report. As the question is very specific, our discussion has to be exhaustive and bring out all the legal aspects involved.

Structure of the answer

Introduction- you can introduce your answer by defining simultaneous collections and mentioning the names of committees/ bodies/ commissions which have recommended simultaneous elections in the country e.g law commission, NITI Ayog etc. Also, mention the need to amend the constitution and other laws/rules.

Body- write in points about all the amendments to the Constitution/laws/rules that would be required before holding simultaneous elections in India and what procedure is required (role of states). Also, discuss the legal concepts/terms described by the Law Commission report, e.g constructive vote of no-confidence.

Conclusion- Mention the idea of holding the upcoming elections as mooted by the Law commission report.



  • The Law Commission of India has proposed holding simultaneous state and general elections and has sought public opinion on its recommendations regarding the same. Simultaneous elections were held in India during the first two decades of independence.

Constitutional amendments that are needed for simultaneous elections are :-

  • Amendments needed in the following articles:-
    • Article 83 which deals with the duration of Houses of Parliament need an amendment
    • Article 85 (on dissolution of Lok Sabha by the president)
    • Article 172 (relating to the duration of state legislatures)
    • Article 174 (relating to dissolution of state assemblies)
    • Article 356 (on President’s Rule).
  • The Representation of People Act, 1951, provides the statutory basis for the Election Commission of India (ECI) to conduct elections and prescribes qualifications for candidates, procedures for conducting elections and resolution of disputes. The Act would have to be amended to build in provisions for stability of tenure for both parliament and assemblies. This should include the following crucial elements:
    • Restructuring the powers and functions of the ECI to facilitate procedures required for simultaneous elections
    • A definition of simultaneous election can be added to section 2 of the 1951 act
  • Articles 83 and 172 along with articles with articles 14 and 15 of the 1951 act be appropriately amended to incorporate the provision regarding remainder of the term i.e.., post mid elections ,the new loksabha/assembly so constituted shall be only for the remainder of the term of the previous loksabha or assembly and not for a fresh term of five years.
  • Constructive vote of no confidence:-
    • The 170th law commission report suggested a new rule i.e., rule 198-A has to be added to rules of procedure and conduct of business in Lok sabha and similar amendment to such rules in the state legislatures. The report suggested introduction of motion of no confidence in the incumbent government along with a motion of confidence in the alternative government.
  • To avoid premature dissolution of the house/state assemble in case of Hung parliament /assembly and to advance simultaneous elections the rigour of anti defection law laid under in tenth schedule be removed as an exception.


  • In order to start synchronization of the elections, the option of holding the elections in phases as a one time measure may be viable or conducting general elections along with the elections to assemblies of the former group of states and after 30 months hold elections with the latter group of states are available.


General Studies – 3

Topic: Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate

5) NCTC would be a game changer for fortifying India’s national security and intelligence network. Critically examine.



Why this question

Relevance and necessity of NCTC, its impact on federalism etc has been a matter of debate right since the idea was proposed. Despite efforts by subsequent governments to initiate discussion on this issue, not much has moved forward. In this context, the current report by Rajya Sabha will rekindle the debate over NCTC and hence becomes important from a GS3 perspective.


Key demand of the question

The question expects us to examine in depth the pros and cons of NCTC in Indian context, its impact on federalism. Since the question mentions a “game changer”, we also have to bring out how NCTC is different from all the other intelligence and security related bodies of the past. We also have to mention the potential fallouts of NCTC.


Directive word

Examine – We have to analyze whether NCTC is a gamechanger, the impact that NCTC would have on Indian security architecture and intelligence network – both good and bad, and why consensus over NCTC is elusive.


Structure of the answer

Introduction – Discuss about NCTC


Body –

  • Discuss why NCTC has the potential to be a gamechanger
    • Here focus on the advantages that NCTC would offer
    • Explain how NCTC would be different from India’s current security architecture
  • Discuss the issues with NCTC
    • The apprehension of states and political opponents
    • Concentration of intelligence gathering and arrest powers in a single organization
    • Etc
  • DIscuss what’s holding back NCTC


Conclusion – Highlight the importance or the futility of NCTC for India.




  • Post 2011 terrorist attack in Mumbai India had also announced an ambitious plan to create a single overarching body for counter terrorism purposes by combining two distinct intelligence systems.


  • NCTC was meant to subsume the Multi Agency Centre (MAC), an intelligence-sharing fusion centre functioning under the Intelligence Bureau (IB), and its operatives were to have arrest powers throughout India.
  • It will have the power to conduct searches and arrestsin any part of India.
  • It will collect, collate and disseminate dataon terrorism.
  • It will also maintain a database on terrorist and their associates including their families.
  • In short, NCTC will serve as a single and effective point of controland coordination of all counter terrorism measures.

Significance :-

  • The formation of NCTC is highly justified to coordinate counterterrorism efforts all the way through a vast country like India. Without an effective NCTC or a similar organisation, the planning and execution of India’s counter-terrorism policies will remain mired in systemic weaknesses.
  • Such a body is required to meet the growing threat of terrorist violence which recognises neither national nor international boundaries, especially for a country like India, which faces a high level of threat.
  • A overarching single agency with all the necessary intelligent inputs and power to operate will lead to faster decision making.
  • NCTC will eliminate multiple bureaucratic hurdles and checks.
  • Sharing intelligence inputs will be easier if there is a single agency with the data base of the terrorists .
  • International:-
    • Realising the seriousness of the threat from trans-national terrorism, almost all major democracies including the US, UK, and other European countries have been able to enact and create central agencies to tackle the menace, within the framework of their respective federal structures, placing national security concerns above partisan politics.
  • Coordination:-
    • Counterterrorism is shared responsibility of centre and states as terrorists do not distinguish between boundaries of states.  As a nodal agency NCTC would operate closely with other law enforcement and investigating agencies and also state governments in seeking to
      • Counter terrorism threats from the neighbouring countries primarily from Pakistan and Bangladesh based terrorist groups
      • Countering home grown Islamic extremists
      • Separatist threats from north eastern states
      • Threats from Maoist insurgency and last but not the least, nascent vigilantism from fringe Hindu groups
    • States have no such capacity and capability to weaken and destabilize the terrorist networks and their logistic lines within India. States are not also able to handle the terror activities with their imperfect and inadequate security infrastructure and of course with inherent lack of political will.  For that reason NCTC is crucial and key to prevent perplexity and disorder concerning intelligence efforts, and also to ensure that it would be a focal point where intelligence is analyzed and draws operational conclusions.
    • The role of NCTC in gathering intelligence and coordinating the different intelligence and other security agencies and carrying out operations is the central and decisive in combating terrorism in India. 
    • NCTC would get outlook to identify those engaged in terrorism at all levels of involvement, to reveal their hide outs and resources of recruitment
    • It will also help in tracking terrorist weapons and channels of supply, to discover their methods for funding terrorism, warn against future attacks and thus prevent India and also disrupt terrorist organization’s communication networks.



  • Overlapping with NIA
    • National Investigation Agency (NIA) was established after the 26/11 attacks.
    • So, the establishment of a new NCTC would only add to the bureaucratic tangle in intelligence sharing and counter terrorist action.
  • Comparison with other countries:-
    • USA’s NCTC deals only with strategic planning and integration of intelligence without any operational involvement.
    • UK‘s Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre, which too plays a purely coordinating role.
    • But the Indian NCTC will have not only intelligence functions but also powers to conduct operations, raids and arrests in any part of India.
  • Objections raised by States:-
    • States object that policing/public order is a State subject and NCTC is an encroachment on their rights and thus an attack on the federal structure.
    • States also object that NCTC is a part of Intelligence Bureau, which is controlled by the Home Ministry. As wide powers are given to the NCTC, the agency could be directed solely at the behest of Home Ministry without taking the consent of the State concerned. So, there will be political mileage to be generated in respect of searches and arrests against opponents.
    • States also object to the wide powers given to NCTC and therefore demand trimming down of powers to search, seizure and arrest
  • The turf war between different intelligence agencies operating under different government ministries has also hampered consensus on the establishment of NCTC.

Way forward:-

  • Indian Government should focus on revamping the counterterrorism architecture by making the NCTC an independent institution with executive powers working under the direction of an honest and robust executive, accountable to the country on all matters relating to internal security
  • In order to be accountable to Parliament, it would be coherent and rational to place the NCTC under a new Ministry of Internal Security, by appointing a highly qualified professional with vast experience in security related matters to direct and coordinate counterterrorism efforts.

TopicConservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment, Disaster and disaster management.

6) Even though Indian Meteorological Department has predicted a normal monsoon this year, the long-term challenge for Indian agriculture  is to make the most of the rainfall that we get. Comment.(250 Words)

The Hindhu

Economic Times



Why this question

This is an important topic as water is a precious resource and it is more true for a country like India. India faces severe water shortages in large parts of the country and floods in other parts or other seasons. But there are some long term measures that India can take to tackle the problem. The question is related to GS-3 syllabus- Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment, Disaster and disaster management.

And also- Major crops cropping patterns in various parts of the country, different types of irrigation and irrigation systems storage, transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints;

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to form an opinion on whether the long-term challenge for Indian agriculture is to make the most of the rainfall it gets. If yes, then why.

Directive word

Comment – here we have to take a stand and then justify it. We also have to briefly discuss what are the solutions for the problem.


Structure of the answer

Introduction- introduce your answer by citing facts/ data from authentic sources. e.g India now uses more groundwater than China and US combined. Also, take a stand on the issue and mention it in the introduction.

Body – divide the body into parts.

1) justify your stand, by presenting your arguments in points form e.g electricity subsidy, depleting groundwater sources, water-intensive cropping pattern and agricultural practices, water pollution, encroachment of water bodies, interstate water disputes etc.

2) briefly discuss in points, how the problem can be solved. e.g  mixed farming, amending electricity subsidies, rationalizing MSPs, water audit, Groundwater recharge, precise irrigation, desalination technology etc.

Conclusion- mention the Master Plan for artificial recharge of groundwater, as groundwater is the the worst and most widely affected source, with regards to agriculture.


  • An estimate of water used to grow rice and wheat, measured in cubic metres per tonne, shows that India uses more than China does .Even though Indian meteorological department has predicted a normal monsoon this year ,India’s water problem  lies in inefficient usage of available resources and exploiting the existing resources further.

Magnitude of water crisis in India :-

  • Urban areas:-
    • No Indian city supplies 24×7 drinkable water to all of its residents. In many cities, including Bengaluru and Chennai, water scarcity has reached crisis levels and in Delhi, every summer brings intense water scarcity for the disadvantaged sections.
    • India’s cities are teetering on the brink of an unimaginable water crisis because of unplanned growth and low priority to provision of safe drinking water. 
  • Rural India:-
    • In rural India, zooming agricultural production over the years has mostly been fuelled by heavy use of groundwater because not enough investment was made for using surface and rainwater through canals and reservoirs.
    • Agriculture consumes 83% of India’s water resources.
  • Gross mismanagement and neglect by governments, coupled with an unbridled destruction of resources . For instance just 18% of rainwater is used effectively while 48% enters the river systems, most of which just flows into the ocean.
  • Stressed Aquifers :-
    • Studies by NASA using satellite imagery show that the Indus basin, which includes the high food producing states of Punjab and Haryana, is one of the most stressed aquifers in the world. If the current trends continue, by 2030 nearly 60% of Indian aquifers will be in a critical condition. This means that some 25% of the agricultural production will be at risk -a devastating scenario.
  • These are leading to problems between states like the water disputes of Cauvery river ,encroachment of water bodies like the event on floodplains of Yamuna river ,cultivating water intensive crops like sugarcane in water stressed states like Maharashtra etc further accelerate the water issue .

Measures needed for using the most of the rainfall :-

  • It is vital for the Centre to arrive at a policy that gives constructive advice to farmers on the ideal cropping mix and help them get the cost-plus-50% margin.
  • The Master Plan for Artificial Recharge to Ground Water drawn up by the Centre should be pursued scientifically, to help States with the most water-stressed blocks get adequate funds to build artificial recharge structures.
  • For those farmers who choose to continue with wheat and rice, transfer of expertise and provision of equipment that enables efficient utilisation of water is vital.
  • Farm ponds, percolation tanks, water reservoirs and small and medium-sized dams can help retain more surface water while increasing the groundwater recharge.
  • Rainwater harvesting can play an important role in supplementing municipal supplies and taking the load off precious groundwater resources.
  • A mix of traditional and modern technologies needs to be urgently put in place to tackle India’s impending water crisis. This includes watershed development programmes, increasing the efficiency of irrigation by replacing the prevalent flood irrigation with drip or sprinkler systems and creation of desalination plants to convert seawater into drinkable sweet water.
  • 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. 

General Studies – 4

Topic:Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in human actions; dimensions of ethics

7) Discuss whether death penalty is justified for gruesome crimes like rape?

The Hindhu

Why this question

Each time a heinous crime occurs which shakes the conscience of society, rape penalty becomes a heavily debated topic. This issue is important both for GS4 as well as Essay.


Key demand of the question

The question wants us to analyze the pros and cons of death penalty and present our opinion as the question explicitly asks whether death penalty is justified.


Directive word

Discuss – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.


STructure of the answer

Introduction – Talk about how gruesome crimes shakes the conscience of the society and renews debate over death penalty.


Body – First discuss the points in favour, thereafter points against death penalty. Quote from JS Verma committee report, LCI reports and others to bolster your stand.


Conclusion –  conclusion based on well thought out reasons on what should be the future of death penalty.




The heinous crimes which are coming to light almost everyday in India be it kathua, unnao, Indore etc make a dent in people’s conscience thinking about the magnitude of this problem along with other gruesome crimes in India.


Death penalty should be imposed when collective conscience of the society is so shocked .It should be retained for extreme crimes that shock society or those that affect national security. 


Death penalty  when delivered can aid in protection of the moral conscience of society. Justice delayed is justice denied so the death penalty would provide instant justice to the victim and their families.

Element of fatality in death penalty can be expected to deter perpetrators in further committing crimes.


However  it should not be forgotten that the death penalty has never been a deterrent against any sort of crime. There is little empirical evidence to show that those about to commit a capital offence would stop themselves merely out of the fear of being hanged. Even  J.S. Verma committee decided against recommending the death penalty for rape. It rightly took into account the possibility of awarding life sentences without remission for aggravated sexual assault.


Further, there is a legitimate concern that the country’s judicial system has not been consistent in awarding the death penalty. . It will be especially wrong to force judges to compare the relative ‘merits’ of rape victims based on their age and choose between death sentence and life.  The Law Commission, while recommending abolition of the death penalty, except in terrorism-related cases, observed that it is difficult to operate the ‘rarest of rare cases’ principle without a hint of arbitrariness.


Provision of death penalty in rape cases will only make matters worse by slowing the administration of justice. Besides, when victim is the sole witness, as in most sexual assault cases, it will induce murder of rape victims by the perpetrators of the crime to destroy the evidence .


Even when awarded death penalty the accused do not have remorse for their actions for instance documentary showing the accused blaming victim itself in Nirbhaya case etc 


The root of the problem lies in an unsupportive societal attitude towards rape victims, a deficient police and judicial system that result in lower conviction rate (26 per cent of all registered cases as per National Crime Records Bureau).Instead of death penalty, a combination of heavy financial penalty, life imprisonment with no provision of parole and prompt delivery of justice through fast track courts can do the job effectively.


Given the growing involvement of juveniles in heinous crimes like rape, instead of prescribing minimum age, a combination of age, criminal bent of mind and the accused intention to commit the crime should be considered. So the long-term solution lies in bringing an attitudinal change towards women through education and concerted efforts at gender sensitisation.


To tweak Martin Luther King’s words, the arc of the moral universe must bend towards a more empathetic version of justice rather than a retributive one.