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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)The British conquest of India was an accident rather than the result of a deliberate policy and design. Critically analyse.(250 words)

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



Why this question

It’s a question which wants to know your opinion on an important historical event/ phase. Such questions are often asked in the GS1 paper. The question is related to GS1 syllabus under the following heading-


Key demand of the question

The question wants us to analyze overall British conquest of India, as in it’s finality and gather evidence/ facts/ arguments to form an opinion on, ” The British conquest of India was an accident rather than the result of a deliberate policy and design”.  


Directive word

Critically analyze – we have to look into all the aspects of the question and see to what extent the British conquest of India was an accident and also to what extent it was a result of deliberate policy and design.


Structure of the answer

Introduction – introduce your answer by mentioning about the English East India Company and the Battle of Buxar, Plassey.

Body – divide the body into two main parts. In one part discuss to what extent the contest was a result of an accident. e.g  weak Indian rulers at that time, Lack of exposure to the industrial revolution in India, inter rivalries between kings and chiefs etc.

In the other part, give reasons for why British contest of India was a result of deliberate policy and design. e.g Robert Clive’s policy of the dual government, subsidiary Alliance, doctrine of lapse,  the policy of divide and rule, constitutional reforms etc.

Conclusion- bring out a balanced judgement based on the above analysis.

Background :-

  • Trading rivalries among the seafaring European powers brought other European powers to India. The Dutch Republic, England, France, and Denmark-Norway all established trading posts in India in the early 17th century. This slowly turned in to a British conquest alone.

British conquest was an accident:-

  • Industrial revolution:-
    • The Industrial Revolution in Britain led to the increase in demand for raw materials for the factories there.
  • Need for markets:-
    • At the same time, they also required a market to sell their finished goods. India provided such a platform to Britain to fulfill all their needs.
  • Weak power in India:-
    • The death of Emperor Aurangzeb in 1707 was followed by a rapid disintegration of the Mughal Empire in the first half of the 18th century. This gave British an opportunity for political power.
    • The Indian states of the 18th century fought frequent wars of expansion against each other. These mutually exhausting wars gave the Europeans the opportunity to interfere in Indian political and military affairs.
    • In the process the European trading companies extracted significant economic concessions from these states. Thus the decline of the Mughal Empire paved the way for the rise of British power in India.


British conquest was very planned:-


  • The desire to control local resources, obtain supplies of cheap goods and exclude competitors from trade pushed the Company towards territorial conquest and war.
    • In the light of these facts with Battle of plassey and Buxar  they realised their strength and potential to conquer smaller Indian kingdoms and marked the beginning of the imperial or colonial era in South Asia..
    • Since then, the British East India Company adopted a threefold strategy of ideological, military and colonial administrative apparatus to expand and consolidate the British Indian Empire.
  • Diplomacy:-
    • The Company also successfully involved the Nizam of Hyderabad in the war against Tipu Sultan. In general, the Company leaders proved skillful diplomats. They made sure that a lasting alliance of Indian powers against the British never materialized.
    • Means such as intrigue, bribes and efficient espionage were used rather efficiently by the Company in its pursuit of commercial and political ambitions.
  • Defeated other European powers:-
    • They defeated their foreign rivals in  trade so that there could be no competition.
  • Economic and administrative policies:-
    • Their new administrative and economic policies helped them consolidate their control over the country.
    • Their land revenue policies help them keep the poor farmers in check and get huge sums as revenues in return.
    • They forced the commercialisation of agriculture with the growing of various cash crops and the raw  materials for the industries in the Britain.
    • With the strong political control, the British  were able to monopolise the trade with India.
      • They monopolised the sale of all kinds of raw materials and bought these at low prices whereas the Indian weavers had to buy them at exorbitant prices.
    • Heavy duties were imposed on Indian goods entering Britain so as to protect their own industry.
    • Various investments were made to improve the transport and communication system in the country to facilitate the easy transfer 
      of raw materials from the farms to the port, and of finished goods from the ports to the markets.
  • Education:-
    • Also, English education was introduced to create a class of educated Indians who would assist the British in ruling the country and strengthen their political authority. All these measures helped the British to establish, consolidate and continue their rule over India.
  • Subsidiary alliance:-
    • Indian states fell to the advancing Company one by one during the 18thand 19th centuries through the policy of dual government and other policies .Those who were not totally wiped out became part of Wellesley’s Subsidiary Alliance treaty system.
    • The consequences of this treaty system were grave for the Indian states. They lost their sovereignty and the real power in their capital shifted to the British residency. Their armies were disbanded and they began to maintain troops generally for ceremonial and internal policing duties only. 
  • Doctrine of lapse:-
    • Some of the Indian states declined due to these developments and this gave the British the excuse to annex them in the future, as was done during the tenure of Lord Dalhousie
    • Dalhousie used the ‘Doctrine of Lapse’ and the charge of maladministration to annex some Indian states like Awadh (1856), Jhansi and Nagpur (1854) and Satara (1848).
  • British crown and divide and rule policy:-
    • After 1857 revolt the East India Company lost its powers of government and British India formally came under direct British rule, with an appointed Governor-General of India.
    • From now they started appeasing  some sections and disband others so divide and rule policy was applied and then when congress was formed policy of carrot and stick approach was carried out to maintain their dominance on India.
  • Similarly with constitutional reforms like Indian council acts 1892,1909 they portrayed that they are open to reforms but which were still curbing Indians in many important departments.


  • In contrast to the other European powers the English were led by resolute men of vision who were inspired by notions of empire and civilization.


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

2)Nationalist movement in India prior to arrival of Gandhi was a movement representing the classes as opposed to the masses. Examine(250 words)


Key demand of the question

We have to compare and contrast Gandhian movement with the ones preceding it and answer whether the earlier movement had class limitations, whether Gandhian movement was truly a mass movement, and the reasons why it could happen.

DIrective Word

Examine – When you are asked to examine, you have to probe deeper into the topic,  get into details, and find out the causes if any.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Mention the status of national movement pre and post arrival of Gandhi


  • Discuss whether the earlier movements were limited to certain classes
    • Analyze swadeshi and HRL
    • ANalyze the ideology of the leaders
    • Mention why there was a class barrier
  • Discuss whether Gandhian movement had a mass appeal
  • DIscuss the reasons for it
    • Dissastisfaction with WW2 policies of the govt etc

Conclusion – Summarize your arguments.


  • Before Gandhi’s arrival, the agitations like the famous Revolt of 1857 or the formation of Congress, all involved the few elites fighting for their motherland.
  • But it was Gandhi who envisaged that a freedom struggle on a larger scale is possible only through involvement of the larger stakeholders like peasants, workers and other general public. It is this mass mobilization that ultimately resulted in the Quit India Movement of 1947, ending the 200 years of colonial rule.

Pre Gandhian national movement was a class movement:-

  • Nationalist politics was addressed only by a limited group of western-educated professionals and bourgeoisie, who were influenced by the ideas and ideals of the British aristocracy or the middle classes.
  • Other communities support:-
    • The social reform movements like Arya samaj against cow slaughter and other similar movements gave a communal flavour and made Muslims go in a different direction.
    • Even during Swadeshi movement the role played by Tilak in Ganesh festival was taken as a way of imbibing Hindu culture and further alienated the Muslims.
  • The imperialist government took relief in the fact that the Congress was actually being run by a ‘microscopic minority’
  • Differences in the ideologies between moderates and extremists
    • After the Surat split in 1907, the moderates demanded colonial self-government, while the Extremists put forth their demand of complete independence.
    • Moderates ideology was not directly related to mass mobilization. Even though extremists understood the potential of the masses they could not mobilise them effectively.
    • A few historians opined that both these groups lost credibility as they failed to achieve their stated goals. 
  • Women were not still very active in the movements.

Gandhian movement had mass appeal:-

  • He was already hugely popular with his role played in south Africa. India was already suffering with the consequences of first world war .With Champaran the way he went and discussed directly with the victims made him slowly popular.
  • Everyone could find in it something to identify with. Truth, non-violence, self-scarifies, self-abnegation, piece, tolerance, universal love, equality and liberty were the ingredients of his technique and strategy.
  • And he took utmost care not to alienate any of the Indian classes or community as he considered them to be the construct of Indian pluralism.
  • He was aware of the fact that Satyagraha in the form of non-violent protests through peaceful gatherings, unity and mass disobedience to unjust laws were the best mechanisms for pressurizing the tyrant authorities than trying to equal them through use of forces.
  • Women participated in huge numbers be it Dandi march and later movements .
  • Even downtrodden castes like people who were considered untouchables were pulled into the mainstream movement effectively.


  • So the pre Gandhian national movement cannot be written off as they effectively prepared the masses for the initiatives of Gandhi.

General Studies – 2


Topic: India and its neighborhood- relations.

3) The Simla Agreement was much more than a peace treaty seeking to reverse the consequences of the 1971 war. Comment.(250 Words)




Why this question

Simla agreement is it important agreement as far as India-Pakistan relations are concerned. It aimed too lay down a comprehensive framework for a friendly India Pakistan relationship. Questions related to GS-2 syllabus under the following heading –


Key demand of the question

The question wants to know, whether the Simla agreement was more than just a peace treaty which aimed just to reverse the 1971 war. We have to justify our stand.


Directive word

Comment- we have to take a stand on the main aspect of the issue and then present arguments/ facts in its favour.


Structure of the answer

Introduction – introduce your answer by mentioning the backdrop of Simla agreement.

Body- divide the body into two main parts. In one part, briefly discuss the principles of Simla agreement.

In the other part, discuss in points, how is Simla agreement was more than a peace treaty aimed at reversing in the 1971 war. e.g the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations, commitment to respect for each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty and non-interference in each other’s internal affairs, Trade and cooperation in economic and other agreed fields etc.

Conclusion– based on the above discussion present your opinion on the above statement and also briefly mention why the agreement was not successful.



  • The 1971 India-Pakistan war and the Shimla Agreement of 1972 are some of the most important events of the 20th century history of the Indian subcontinent.
  • The decisions taken/not taken at Shimla continue to affect the Indian subcontinent and even more importantly the rationale, mindsets and logic on display then continues to be part of Indian decision-making on war and peace even years after the event.

Shimla agreement:-

  • Shimla Agreement was signed between India and Pakistan
  • Main agenda at Shimla was to deal with the aftermath of the 1971 War and usher in durable peace between India and Pakistan.
  • The following principles of the agreement also show that it was a peace treaty
    • A mutual commitment to the peaceful resolution of all issues through direct bilateral approaches
    • To build the foundations of a cooperative relationship with special focus on people to people contacts
    • To uphold the inviolability of the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir, which is a most important CBM between India and Pakistan, and a key to durable peace.

How it was much more than a peace treaty:-

  • It was a comprehensive blue print for good neighbourly relations between India and Pakistan.
    • Under the Shimla Agreement both countries undertook to abjure conflict and confrontation which had marred relations in the past, and to work towards the establishment of durable peace, friendship and cooperation.
  • The Simla Agreement contains a set of guiding principles, mutually agreed by both the countries while managing relations with each other. These emphasize:
    • Respect for each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty
    • Non-interference in each other’s internal affairs
    • Respect for each others unity, political independence
    • Sovereign equality and abjuring hostile propaganda.
  • Two countries are resolved to settle their differences by peaceful means through bilateral negotiations or by any other peaceful means mutually agreed upon between them.
  • In order progressively to restore and normalize relations between the two countries step by step, it was agreed that
    • Steps shall be taken to resume communications, postal, telegraphic, sea, land including border posts, and air links including overflights.
    • Trade and co-operation in economic and other agreed fields will be resumed as far as possible.
  • Exchange in the fields of science and culture will be promoted.


  • Even though the agreement was in the interests of bringing peace in the relations of both the countries it adversely impacted the future of Kashmir and despite being in a winning position India could not use its diplomacy to the mark.

TOPIC: India and its neighborhood- relations.

4) Critically examine how far India has managed to fulfill its national interests through the exercise of its foreign policy. Discuss in light of the overall objectives of India’s foreign policy?(250 words)


Why this question

In the past few years, India has put a lot of emphasis on the conduct of its foreign policy. In the meantime, a lot of changes are happening in geopolitics. In this backdrop, critically analyzing the content of principles of Indian foreign policy and whether the direction where its taking us becomes imperative.


Demand of the question

The question expects us to first discuss the rudimentary principles of India’s foreign policy. Thereafter, the question expects us to examine whether the principles help India serve its national interest. It also becomes important to mull over what constitutes India’s national interest.


Directive Word

Discuss – Expects us to list down and briefly explain the principles of Indian foreign policy

Critically examine – Present both the good and bad impacts of Indian foreign policy and analyze whether it has helped us achieve our national interest.


Structure of the answer

Introduction – Mention how in a globalized world, foreign policy has assumed greater significance and how it helps a nation achieve its national interest.


Body – First discuss the contents of India’s foreign policy. Eg principles of Panchsheel, non alignment and strategic autonomy, vasudhaiv kutumbakam, multipolarity, Gujral doctrine etc


In the next part, discuss what India’s national interests are – eradication of poverty, free and fair trade etc. Under each head discuss the achievements and limits of foreign policy.


Conclusion – Provide a balanced stand and mention what could be different.



  • Foreign policy is a strong determinant that marks the  states, position, capability and credibility with other states, in the region and in the International Community. The  significance of analyzing this determinant to be as a failure or success being the by-product of states, is to make people realize the limitations, stakes and transitional impacts that are related with this one determinant. 

Objectives of India’s foreign policy :-

  • National interest has been the governing principle of India foreign policy even at the time ,of Nehru who was inspired by the ideal of world peace, toleration and mutual respect among nations. In operational terms, the idea of national interest takes the form of concrete objectives of foreign policy.
  • The foreign policy of India also aims at
    • maintaining international peace and security
    • To oppose imperialism
    • To stand against the apartheid policy
    • To propagate the peaceful and political settlement of international disputes
    • To foster peaceful coexistence
    • To remain non-aligned and non- committed and to maintain the unity and solidarity of the third world.
    • Ensure all pervasive national economic development and to expand the area of external trade as well as of accelerating the pace of development.
    • Settle international disputes through peaceful means
  • Principle of Panchashila which spoke of:
    • Mutual respect of the state for one another’s geographical solidarity and sovereignty
    • Mutual agreement for not to interfere each other’s internal affairs
    • Maintenance of equality
    • Providing mutual advantages to each other and
  • Maintenance of peaceful co-existence
  • Gujral doctrine:-
    • Gujral doctrine was a five-point roadmap which sought to build trust between India and neighbours, of solution to bilateral issues through bilateral talks and to remove immediate quid pro quos in diplomatic relationship between India and her neighbours.
  • Doval doctrine:-
    • which has come to stand for a fear-evoking, no-mercy policy towards terrorists and the deployment of a hard line vis-a-vis neighbours with expansionist tendencies.
  • Dehyphenation recently in the approach towards Israel and Palestine

How India achieved national interests through its foreign policy :-

  • International role:-
    • India has played an active role in the deliberations of the United Nations on the creation of a more equitable international economic order.
    • India raised the issues such as end of colonialism and apartheid, sovereign equality of all nations, collective self-reliance of developing countries and democratization of international institutions. These issues were of vital importance to newly liberated developing countries.
    • Policy of non-alignment also enabled India to play a constructive role in disarmament and world peace, which were required for the peaceful development of third world countries.
    • Regional cooperation:-
      • An important achievement of India’s foreign policy has been the promotion of regional co-operation in south Asia. India is an active member of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), I0R-ARC,BIMSTEC ,ASEAN ,East Asia Summit etc.
    • India has also emerged as the leading player in the global affairs. It has joined new global groups like G-20, IBSA, and BRICS which gives more scope to India to play a larger role in Global affairs.
    • Sharing of Ganga Water with Bangladesh:
      • It is in pursuance of Gujral doctrine that late in 1996 India concluded an agreement with Bangladesh on sharing of Ganga Waters. This agreement enabled Bangladesh to draw in lean season slightly more water than even the 1977 Agreement had provided.
  • Military:-
    • India succeeded in developing friendly relations with other neighboring countries and was instrumental in the liberation of Bangladesh in 1971. This increased India’s reputation
  • Connectivity :-
    • For linking India better especially the North eastern regions India is implementing projects like trilateral highway, BBIN corridor and good relations with ASEAN with the act east policy.
  • Nuclear agreements
    • While India has, and will, remain committed to nuclear disarmament, to be achieved in a time bound framework, it has consistently and in a principled manner opposed such discriminatory treaties as the Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and has refused to give up its nuclear options until all countries in the world including nuclear weapon states embrace the idea of universal nuclear disarmament in a phased
  • Trade and economic growth:-
    • India has since the start been wise enough to utilize its geostrategic location to trade and enhance trade
    • The new economic policy, 1991 based on liberalization and privatization was in response to cope with the emerging global economic order brought out by the process of globalization.
    • It protects its interests of free trade via WTO forum
  • Social:-
  • India has also played responsible role with respect to other issues of UN such as environmentally sustainable development, protection of human rights, at various international forums.


  • Neighbourhood countries:-
    • However, India’s defeat in 1962 against China was a setback to India’s policy of friendly relations with neighboring countries.
    • Border disputes have not been settled yet leading to unrest across the border impacting Indian economy as well.
  • India does not interfere in other countries internal affairs which makes it not taking any string decisions related to Syrian civil war, refugee crisis etc.
  • India stand on terrorism could not be converted into convention internationally.
  • SAARC growth is stagnated due to India Pakistan rivalry .
  • The one belt one road policy of China is considered as one of the failures of Indian foreign policy
  • At WTO there is a stalemate between developed and developing countries regarding food security .
  • The non alignment motive of India is questioned after India signed LEMOA with US
  • The social development has not improved dramatically despite India being one of the fastest economies .Human development indicators like malnutrition, poverty are still rampant in India.


  • Principal criterion in the conduct of foreign policy for India ought to be lifting the poor from poverty. So India’s policy’s single minded focus should be on economic development. Without the necessary economic strength, India cannot strengthen its military.

TOPIC: Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary
Ministries and Departments of the Government; pressure groups and formal/informal
associations and their role in the Polity.


5) Criminal justice system cannot function without a healthy police and investigative agency. Analyze the statement in light of pending police reforms in India?(250 words)




Why this question

Whenever any case of police inefficiency comes up, the question of police reforms always pops up. More than a decade after SC’s judgment in Prakash Singh case, not much has happened on ground when it comes to police reforms. Police reforms is one of the most important part of governance reforms, and thus needs to be prepared.


Key demand of the question

The question mentions that criminal justice system can not function effectively without police reforms. We have to explain then, that in the absence of police reforms justice is delayed and denied. We also have to bring out what needs to be done to correct the situation


Directive word

Analyze – We have to examine different aspects of police reforms and how its presence (or absence) hampers the functioning of criminal justice system.


STructure of the answer

Introduction – In the introduction, mention about the laws governing police are archaic and not in tune with the times. Also explain what constitutes criminal justice system.


Body – First present a status quo of the criminal justice system – use data and incidents. Then, highlight how it is or is not related to the lack of reforms. Mention about the reforms which are to be brought in and discuss the impacts that it will have. Quote from SC judgment, 2nd ARC etc


Conclusion – Highlight that lots of time has passed and police reforms are the need of the hour to begin reforming the criminal justice system


  • The avalanche of social and technological changes fuelled by the internet and the new social media are fast changing the nature, intensity and the reach of crime leading to unprecedented lawlessness and frightening dimensions of global terrorism.
  • There is an urgent need to strengthen Criminal Justice System and grassroots level policing institutions to prepare police to deal with the present and emerging challenges 
  • Criminal justice system is the set of agencies and processes established by governments to control crime and impose penalties on those who violate laws

Issues with present 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.
  • 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
  • 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 powerby 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.
  • Investigation :-
    • Experts have recommended that states must have their own specialized investigation units within the police force that are responsible for crime investigation.
  • 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.

General Studies – 3

Topic:  Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in
everyday life.

6)Discuss how technology can be employed to deal with the problem of plastic waste management?(250 words)



Why this question

Waste management is a huge problem particularly in urban areas. Any technology thus which can help us in dealing with such grave issues has to be prepared.


Key demand of the question

We have to discuss in detail about a few technologies like the one described in the article to deal with the scourge of plastic waste. How the technology works, application, any challenges etc need to be brought out


DIrective word

Discuss – we have to provide details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them in detail. You have to give benefits and challenges of using technology


Structure of the answer

Introduction – Paint a picture of the growing challenge and how the existing ways are insufficient in dealing with the menace


Body – Mention about the technologies you know which would help. DIscuss this intervention (mentioned in the article) and other technological interventions you can think of. Discuss both the opportunities and challenges that technology provide


Conclusion – Highlight that for resolving a problem of this magnitude, tech intervention is reqd. Mention way forward



  • Plastics and plastic packaging are an integral and important part of the global economy but most of the 150 million tons of plastics produced around the world every year end up in landfills, the oceans and elsewhere.
  • The annual consumption of plastic in India is nearly 12.8 million tonnes, and expected to rise at a compound annual growth rate of 10%. Globally, only 14% of plastics is recycled.
  • In India, more than 15,000 tonnes of plastic waste is generated every day, a third of which remains uncollected. 

Technology role :-

  • Plastic eating bacteria:-
    • Scientists have accidently created a mutant enzyme that can aid in combating the scourge of pollution from plastic, especially Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) plastic, which is used to make plastic bottles. 
  • Plastic waste for 3D printer filament :-
    • Using plastic waste through converting plastic waste as a filament for plastic 3D printer. Compared to the plastic recycling method, the process of turning plastic waste into a printer’s filament consumed energy three times less than the recycling, based on the results. 
  • Plastic Fuel
    • Collected plastic waste is shredded and then poured into an oxygen-free chamber that is set to 400 degrees Celsius. Plastic starts melting and entails gas and fuel which are separated in the distilled and filtered stages.
  • Plastic Waste as Road Construction Material
    • This process comprises of four major steps; Segregation, Cleaning, Shredding and Collection. 
  • Focusing on the recycling of plastics not only avoids plastics from going to the landfill, but is a sustainable way to reduce the demands on finite raw materials and minimize environmental impacts.
  • ‘Plastone’ block can be used for flooring, especially in outdoor; it can be a cheap and strong substitute for cement blocks
  • Concrete Bricks
    • Scientists developed a way to granulate plastic bags and mix them with concrete to form bricks with significant environmental benefits. The material blend keeps the plastic used out of landfills and eliminates the need to add the typical mined aggregate to the concrete mix.
  • Gaias homes startup builds affordable homes out of recycled plastic.

Concerns with present technology :-

  • Plastics must be sorted for recycling, which adds effort and expense. Plastics, or polymers, are composed of large molecules, so most do not mix when heated, similar to the interaction between oil and water.
  • Chemical recycling involves using a catalyst to break down plastics to produce lower-molecular-weight products, a process the researchers say has been hindered by high energy costs.
  • Usage of plastic has not reduced .
  • Community awareness is still lacking in India .
  • Micro plastics are very difficult to be detected and recycled.
  • In 2016, India issued a new regulatory framework for plastic waste management but implementation remains a problem

Way forward:-

  • The focus must be on redesigning products, and developing alternatives. Recycling and recovery of plastics for reuse by the industry and as raw material in sectors such as construction will considerably reduce plastic waste. A successful transition must involve the private sector.
  • Reduction of packaging, banning single-use plastic items or charging an extra fee to use them, and introducing deposits for recyclable items like drink containers can immensely help achieve desirable results.
  • Successful anti-plastic campaign can be effective only if the regulatory mechanism is robust and encompasses the entire gamut of plastic pollution sphere.
    • The informal sector inclusion could have resulted in comprehensive regulations and ensured better confidence of all stakeholders.
  • There is an urgent need for India to set global benchmark standards in plastic waste management and a refined and improved set of plastic waste management rules can help achieve that.


General Studies – 4

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

7) “Integrity is telling myself the truth. And honesty is telling the truth to other people.”  Comment.( 250 words)


Why this question

In Ethics paper, UPSC usually asks the candidates to comment on the quotes of famous people. The question is related to GS-4 syllabus under the following heading-


Key demand of the question

The question has two parts. In one part, we have to justify how integrity is telling truth to oneself. In the other part, we have to justify how honesty is telling the truth to other people. We have to bring out the difference between the two concepts and relate each one of them to either integrity or honesty.


Directive word

Comment- we have to take a stand, but here as the stand is obvious, we have to present arguments in favour of the quote as read in the question. We have to explain and defend the given quote.


Structure of the answer

Introduction- introduce your answer by defining integrity and honesty, in a different but related manner(wording).

Body- divide the body into two main parts. In one part, discuss how telling truth to oneself is integrity.

In the other part, discuss how telling truth to others means being honest.

Conclusion-  draw up a concise conclusion and relate it to the respective definitions of honesty and integrity as mentioned in the introduction.


Integrity can be described as the strength of someone’s honesty and ethical standing. A person with strong integrity is less likely to be influenced by those of a lesser moral value. You can have honesty without integrity, but you cannot have integrity without honesty.


For instance a person finds a wallet on the side of the road pick it up and takes it for himself. When questioned by a family member as to who the wallet belongs the person states his intention that he found it and intends to keep it. The person is exhibiting the trait of honesty but not integrity as he makes no effort to return the wallet to the rightful owner. He is stealing essentially even if he is been honest.


Honesty is about telling the truth, both in word and deed. Integrity goes a bit further. It means being true  to who you are, what you say, and what you believe. And doing so even when no one is around to see.


For instance before students enter the taekwondo training floor, they bow to the national flags kept there as a sign of respect. But even when no one is around a person of integrity bows. Integrity demands that you make that sign of respect, that bow, even if no one in the world is around to see you do it.


Honesty and integrity in administration enhances trust in the government machinery by the people and encourages the civil servants to act in public interest