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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) Compare and contrast the swarajists and the no changers?(250 words)


Key demand of the question

The question demands us to bring out the point of similarities and differences between the swarajists and the no changers in terms of their objective, methodology, results etc.


Directive word

Compare and contrast – bring out the similarities and differences.


Structure of the answer

Introduction – mention in brief about the swarajists and no changers.



  • Cover the following issues (based on your own logic)
    • Founders
    • Objective
    • Method
    • Outcome
    • Any ideological position they took
    • Relationship with Britishers
    • View of Gandhiji
    • Achievements
  • Conclusion – how they reconciled and their overall contribution to the Gandhian struggle.



  • After Gandhi’s arrest (March 1922), there was disintegration, disorganisation and demoralisation among nationalist ranks. A debate started among Congressmen on what to do during the transition period, i.e., the passive phase of the movement.

Swarajists and no changers:-

  • Swarajists wanted an end to the boycott of legislative councils so that the nationalists could enter them to expose the basic weaknesses of these assemblies and use these councils as an arena of political struggle. No changers were against council entry.


  • Both were determined toavoid the disastrous experience of the 1907 split at Surat. On the advice of Gandhi, the two groups decided to remain in the Congress but to work in their separate ways. There was no basic difference between the two.
  • Both agreed that civil disobedience was not possible immediately and that no mass movement could be carried on indefinitely or for a prolonged period. Hence, breathing time was needed and a temporary retreat from the active phase of the movement was on the agenda.
  • Both also accepted that there was need to rest and to reinvigorate the anti-imperialist forces, overcome demoralization, intensify politicization, widen political participation and mobilization, strengthen organization, and keep up the recruitment, training and morale of the cadre.
  • Both groups of leaders began to pull back from the brink and move towards mutual accommodation.
    • This trend was helped by several factors:-
      • The need for unity was felt very strongly by all the Congressmen.
      • Not only the no-changers but also the Swarajistsrealized that however useful parliamentary work might be, the real sanctions which would compel the Government to accept national demands would be forged only by a mass movement outside the legislatures  and this would need unity.
      • Both groups of leaders fully accepted the essentiality of Gandhiji’s leadership.


ParameterSwarajistsNo changers
Leaders associatedC.R. Das, Motilal Nehru and Ajmal KhanVallabhbhai Patel, Rajendra Prasad, C. Rajagopalachari and M.A. Ansari
ObjectiveWanted an end to the boycott of legislative councils so that the nationalists could enter them to expose the basic weaknesses of these assemblies.The ‘No-changers’ opposed council entry. parliamentary work would lead to the neglect of constructive and other work among the masses, the loss of revolutionary zeal and political corruption
Non cooperation continuationThey argued that entering councils would not be giving up non-cooperation but continuing it in a more effective form by extending it to the councils themselves.They did not agree with this idea.They advocated, concentration on constructive work, and continuation of boycott and noncooperation, and quiet preparation for resumption of the suspended civil disobedience programme.
PartyAnnounced the formation of the Congress-Khilafat Swaraj Party better known later as the Swaraj Party. Congress
DivisionThere were internal divisions among the Swarajists.

 They were divided into the responsivists and the non-responsivists.

 The responsivists (M M Malaviya, Lala Lajpat Rai, N C Kelkar) wanted to cooperate with the government and hold offices, whereas the non-responsivists (Motilal Nehru) withdrew from legislatures in 1926.


No internal division
ElectionsSwaraj Party accepted the Congress programme in its entirety except in one respect  it would take part in elections due later in the year.Did not take part in elections
AchievementsDefeat of public safety bill, their efforts led to appointment of Simon commission, election of V. Patel as speaker. 

They have shown determination, grit, discipline and cohesion and have not feared to carry their policy to the point of defiance. 

·         Ashrams sprang up where young, men and women worked, among tribals and lower castes (especially in Kheda and Bardoli areas of Gujarat), and popularised charkha and khadi.

·         National schools and colleges were set up where students were trained in a non-colonial ideological framework.

·         Significant work was done for Hindu-Muslim unity, removing untouchability, boycott of foreign cloth and liquor, and for flood relief.

·         The constructive workers served as the backbone of civil disobedience as active organisers.


Gandhiji viewSwarajists wanted an end to the mandatory requirement for Congressmen to spin khadi cloth and do social service as a prerequisite for office.·         This was opposed by Gandhi’s supporters who became known as the No Changers

·         Gandhi relaxed the rules on spinning and named some Swarajists to important positions in the Congress Party.

·         He also encouraged the Congress to support those Swarajists elected to the councils, so as not to embarrass them and leave them rudderless before the British authorities.



  • Gandhiji and both the pro-changers and the no-changers realised the importance of putting up a united front in order to get reforms from the government.
  • So, it was decided that the Swarajists would contest elections as a separate ‘group’ within the Congress Party

General Studies – 2

Topic -structure, organization’s and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary

2)Critically analyze the process of constitution of benches in the Supreme Court
of India.(250 words)

Indian express

The Hindu

 Why this question

Impeachment motion against CJI has been in news and the root cause behind the motion needs to be analysed in detail.

Key demand of the question

The question is asking us to examine whether the process of bench constitution is in tune with the principles enshrined in constitution, laws, PNJ etc. It asks us to formulate an opinion on whether the process merits reform based on the arguments provided.

Directive word

Critically analyze – bring out the various debates which have been brought to the forefront by the issue of roster of judges. Thereafter form your opinion based on your arguments

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Mention about the impeachment motion and correlate it to the issue at hand.


  • Discuss the current process
  • Pros of the current process
    • Mention about past judgments
    • Authority of CJI as head of judiciary
    • Etc
  • Cons
    • Violation of right againt arbitrariness ingrained in right to equality
    • Various court judgements
    • Misuse of discretionary power
    • In this section also highlight how the current process caused an issue and will continue to do so
  • Conclusion – mention your stand while suggesting a way forward

Background :-

  • The recent controversy over allocation of cases and constitution of benches  in SC and also impeachment motion of CJI of SC has brought into focus the process by which cases are assigned to judges.

Process of constitution of benches in supreme court :-


  • According to three retired Chief Justices of India (CJIs) there is no written procedure in the top court that is followed to allocate cases.
  • When a case is filed, its details and subject matter are scrutinized by the SC registry, which receives and processes all documents. The cases are categorised on the basis of subject matter. There are 47 broad categories such as letter petitions, public interest matters, taxation, service matters and criminal appeals. Each category has multiple sub-categories.
  • The registry notifies the roster for the benches, which is done on the basis of the subjects (or categories), and the CJI approves it. More than one bench is allocated the same subject matter.
  • Details of a fresh case are entered into a computer, which automatically assigns the matter to the bench. 
  • Benches in the SC usually comprise two judges. Larger ones are formed on the orders of the CJI as and when required.
  • The CJI can issue a specific instruction to list a case before a particular bench. CJI, as the master of roster, has the prerogative to mark the sensitive cases to specific benches but that the process should not be arbitrary. As the head of the institution, the CJI also has the discretion to set-up larger benches.
  • It’s the registry that decides to bring a case to the CJI’s notice. The CJI is told by registry officials that a case is sensitive. It is then left to the CJI to take a call whether he wants to mark it as per the roster, retain it with himself or let another bench hear it. As per the convention, the CJI, on being informed in advance, either hears the matter or refers it to the top four judges in seniority after him.
  • New roster:-
    • Under the new system cases will be allocated based on the subject matter they entail, according to a posting on the official website of the Supreme Court.
    • Under the new roster system, the CJI will hear all special leave petitions (SLPs), and matters related to public interest, social justice, elections, arbitration, and criminal matters, among others. These form a big chunk of the important matters heard by the apex court.
    • Other judges will hear matters related to labour disputes, taxation matters, compensation matters, consumer protection matters etc.

Positives :-

  • The chief justices enjoy a special status and they alone can assign work to a judge sitting alone and to the judges sitting in division bench or full bench.
    • They have the jurisdiction to decide which case will be heard by which bench.
    • The apex court has held that a judge or a bench of judges can assume jurisdiction in a case pending in the court, only if the case is allotted to him or them by the chief justice.
    • Strict adherence of this procedure is essential for maintaining judicial discipline and proper functioning of the court. Also without it the machinery of the court would collapse and the judicial work of the court would cease by generation of internal strife on account of hankering for a particular jurisdiction or a particular case.
  • The judgment of the three-judge bench in Prakash Chand, has further been held that as far as the roster is concerned, which is an administrative function, the Chief Justice is the ‘master of the roster’ and he alone has the prerogative to constitute the benches of the court and allocate cases to the benches so constituted.
    • It has been clarified by the Constitution Bench that this has also been the convention of the Supreme Court and as such is the law. It has been clarified that the convention is followed because of judicial discipline and decorum
  • The Parliament has not made any law so far with regard to formation of benches or laying down the principles for distribution of judicial business or allocation of cases amongst the judges.
  • The Supreme Court, in exercise of its powers under Article 145, has been framing rules for regulating the practice and procedure of the court. Presently, the Supreme Court Rules, 2013, is governing the field.

Criticism :-

  • It is well settled that in discharge of judicial functions, the CJI and other judges exercise the same powers. The CJI is always the senior-most judge of the court. It has, therefore, been said that on the judicial side, the CJI is only first among equals.
  • One of the grievances raised is that sensitive and important cases are being heard by junior judges in the apex court.
  • Similarly, the CJI broke convention when he set-up a constitution bench in the medical college case and did not include any of the top four judges in it, according to allegations made by senior judges of Supreme court judges. As per convention, a constitution bench usually comprises one senior judge other than the CJI.
  • There have been instances where cases having far-reaching consequences for the nation and the institution had been assigned by the Chief Justice of this Court selectively to the benches ‘of preference’ without any rational basis for such assignment.
  • Such power can be exercised only subject to the constitutional limitations, particularly, Article 14 of the Constitution.
    • Article 14 strikes at arbitrariness in State action and ensures fairness and equality of treatment. The principle of reasonableness, which legally as well as philosophically, is an essential element of equality or non-arbitrariness pervades Article 14 like a brooding omnipresence”.This principle equally applies to all the constitutional authorities.
  • In the case of Maru Ram v Union of India the Constitution Bench has held that where a power is vested in a very high authority, it must be presumed that the said authority would act properly and carefully after an objective consideration of all the aspects of the matter, and further, the higher the power, the more cautious would be its exercise.
  • New roster system:-
    • It has given impetus to more speculation and has become a stronger ground for criticism of the prevailing practice at the Supreme Court.
    • The roster aggregates all important cases to the Chief Justice of India .Mundane cases with little political significance have been assigned to the other senior judges.
    • Many questions arise like whether this roster has been prepared in consultation with senior judges of the Supreme Court or whether  the cases have been allocated according to a particular judge’s expertise in a subject matter or whether the allocation was transparent
    • Experts are concerned that with such move there is concentration of power in the hands of one person and it violates the foundation of Supreme court called as a court of equals and the objective criteria has not been followed.
    • Experts criticised that the allotment of cases in this manner defies all norms of equity and justice and in disregard for principles of neutrality, impartiality and transparency.

Way forward :-

  • The Supreme Court, pursuant to its powers under Article 145(1) of the Constitution should clearly lay down the guidelines for exercising the powers of formation of Benches and allocation of cases keeping in view the conventions of the Court in this regard.
  • In the fast changing situations, it may also be found advisable to confer the functions of “master of roster” on a committee comprised of CJI and two senior-most judges like the formation of collegiums
  • A just and fair roster must be one that is divided subject-wise among judges according to their experience and expertise in those subjects.
    • Politically sensitive matters should be before the five senior judges of the Supreme Court.Among them, the allocation of individual cases must be by random computer allocation not by the individual decision of any human.
    • For other cases as well, if there is more than one judge dealing with a particular subject then cases belonging to that subject should be randomly allocated among the various judges to whom that subject has been allocated.
  • The bedrock of collegiums system is collective decision making. When appointments are a collective function, the allocation of important cases must be done collectively or at least in consultation with senior judges of the Supreme Court.
  • Transparency in the allotment of cases and Supreme court functioning will only yield more authority to the Supreme Court as the supreme custodian of people’s rights.

TOPIC: Devolution of power and finances upto local levels and challenges therein

3)“No panchayati Raj is better than bad panchayati raj”. On the occasion of silver Jubilee year of panchayati Raj, discuss we have true democratic decentralization.(250 words)

Why this question

73rd and 74th constitutional amendment have often been asked in the exam. Moreover, the silver Jubilee year gives us an opportunity to reflect on the performance of LBs and suggest changes if required.


Key demand of the question

The question makes an assertion that it is better to have no panchayati Raj as compared to bad panchayati Raj because of the faith of people in democratic decentralization will weaken. Hence we have to assess the performance of the Act, shortcomingd and suggest way forward.


Directive word

Discuss – have to provide all the pictures of panchayati Raj – advantages, disadvantages, what more could be done, reports of various committees etc.


Structure of the answer

Introduction – mention in brief about the two constitutional amendments.


  • Highlight the negatives of the act
    • Not real empowerment
    • Lack of devolution
    • Poor finances
    • Etc
  • Highlight positives
    • Empowerment
    • Women reservation etc
  • Mention how can we improve local governments – suggest reforms suggested by various committees etc

Conclusion – summarise your answer while highlighting the need for democratic decentralization in India



  • Twenty-five years have gone by since India passed the 73rd/74th Constitutional Amendments (CAs) heralding decentralised governance, and 23 years since all the States passed the conformity legislations ushering in the third tier of government in Indian federal polity. This was a momentous event, a paradigm shift in democratic governance and fiscal federalism.
  • The rationale for decentralisation comes from the need to strengthen participatory democracy, facilitate responsive governance, ensure greater accountability and enable public service delivery according to diversified preferences of the people. 


  • The 73rd amendment to the Indian Constitution (1992) clearly prescribes that the Panchayats should be institutions of self-government through which powers are devolved to the people as to the participation in the process of planning for economic development and social justice, and implementation of schemes and programmes for these purpos
  • Decentralization of power to the panchayats is seen visualized as a means of empowering people and involving them in decision making process. Local governments being closer to the people can be more receptive to local needs and can make better use of resources. 
  • Many of the grassroots representatives are from the subjugated and marginalized sections of the society, namely women, the SCs, STs and OBCs
  • Now the state has to perform its role as coordinator rather than service provider, steps for decentralization of power till the grassroots level is a positive step in the changing scenario in which centralised state is replaced by the decentralized system 
  • The constitution mandates a one-third reservation for women in panchayat assemblies and allocates a portion of panchayat spending for women’s planning.
  • The new system brings all those who are interested to have voice in decision making through their participation in PRIs.
  • Gram sabha played a significant role in enhancing the transparency and accountability of panchayats
  • Kerala showed the way in activity mapping and amended the Panchayat and Municipality Acts as early as 1998.


  • After a quarter century of decentralisation, local expenditure as a percentage of GDP is only 2 per cent compared with the OECD (14 per cent), China (11 per cent), and Brazil (7 per cent).
  • As the constructional amendments do not provide a separate list for local governments, the Eleventh Schedule that lists 29 subjects for PRIs, and the Twelfth Schedule with 18 subjects for urban local governments, carry no operational meaning because almost all local functions are State-Concurrent.
  • Role of states:-
    • Core functions like water supply, sanitation, link roads, street lighting, maintenance of community assets, etc, continue to be in the hands of State governments.
    • The MPLAD and MLALAD (local area development) continue to bypass local governments.
    • The mission-based administration of schemes by some States (Gujarat, Kerala) dampen the smooth growth of democratic decentralisation.
    • States like Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan abolished local taxes. Haryana created a rural development agency under the chief minister.
    • The constitutional framework does not prescribe any pattern, standard or model of decentralisation which again is left to the discretion of State governments.
    • Most States have not complied with the requirement of having to appoint gram sabhas (243 A), ward committees (243 sabhas) and metropolitan planning committees. There have been several attempts to postpone elections though they are required to hold them well before the expiry of the prevailing elected or before six months.
  • The mandate to establish a district planning committee to prepare a draft development plan has been violated and distorted in most States. In all States, parallel bodies encroach on the functional domain of local governments and continue to grow unchecked.
  • Vulnerable sections:-
    • Empowerment of women and inclusion with dignity of the excluded (inclusion on the terms of the excluded) is a distant dream despite a quarter century of decentralised governance. Women, adivasis and dalits remain largely excluded. 
    • In some places in Tamil Nadu, for instance, rich and powerful caste Hindu groups either forced Dalit aspirants to keep off the polls, or fielded handpicked farm workers as candidates, or ‘auctioned’ the PRI posts to the highest bidder.
    • Majority of panchayat presidents are ignorant about the need to fight untouchability. 
    • Women sarpanches often act as proxies of their male counterparts
  • Financial control:-
    • India lacks a credible financial reporting system when it comes to local governments. The Union and State budgets are vital instruments of financial control and management.
    • State Finance Commissions, a counterpart of the Union Finance Commission, are not independent bodies in most States.
    • The Constitution assigns decentralisation including funding entirely to the discretion of State governments. It does not clearly assign the functions or sources of finance, but leaves it entirely to the discretion of the States.
    • While this may be to evolve the system of decentralisation appropriate to a State considering the strength of its history, economy and capacity, it also hinders the process.
    • The State legislatures are required to make laws to ensure maintenance of accounts and auditing of such accounts by panchayats and municipalities. The record of experience is that these provisions have been observed in their violation rather than compliance in most of the States.
    • local bodies do not have any independent revenues. There is no separate list of tax bases assigned to them in the Constitution and they have to depend on the State governments to levy the taxes that the States choose to devolve.
    • There is also the problem of administrative capacity and interest groups resisting payment of taxes and user charges.
  • Many panchayats do not have basic amenities and lack infrastructure to carry out even day-to-day works.


Way forward:-

  • Clarity in the assignment of functions and the local governments should have clear and independent sources of finance.
  • There should be clear mechanisms to ensure that States comply with the constitutional provisions, particularly in the appointment and implementation of the recommendations of the SFCs.
  • Sustainable decentralisation comes from the demands of the people and advocacy should focus on a decentralisation agenda. Indeed, the framework needs to be evolved to accommodate the demand for decentralisation.
  • Only education and knowledge, and pro-active interventions by emancipatory socio-political movements, can help achieve this. The media can also play a significant agenda-building role in bringing this about.
  • In the NREGA programme, 40% of the money allocated is for the material component, whereas the remaining 60% is for salaries. These funds are available with the states and can be used to build panchayat bhavans

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


4) Taking cues from Rajasthan’s Bhamashah Swasthya Bima Yojana, on which the centre’s National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS), critically examine the nature of issues that will be faced by this scheme.(250 words)

Financial Express

Why this question.

The issue of health has been one of the most critical challenge faced by the recent. The issue of health coverage for the vulnerable section is sought to be improved through NHPS. Thus complete analysis of NHPS is important for the exam.

Key demand of the question

The question demands us to analyze the challenges and the shortcomings of NHPS taking cues from the experience of Rajasthan govt in implementing Bhamashah scheme. We also have to suggest the way forward based on the experiences of Bhamashah and other best practices

Directive word

Critically examine – have to analyze NHPS and Bhamashah from multiple perspectives and provide an opinion on the future of the scheme.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – discuss the health challenge faced by state and the need for a comprehensive health coverage scheme.


  • Discuss details of both the schemes
  • Take cues from the learnings of Bhamashah and extrapolate it to NHPS
  • Also discuss experience of the state in implementing the scheme previous to this with similar objectives – RSBY
  • Discuss what can be done to better outcomes


Conclusion – mention your stand on the future of the scheme and suggest a way forward to mitigate the risks and shortcomings.


  • At state level there are schemes offering free healthcare to poor segment of the population. For instance, Aarograshri in Andhra Pradesh, Vajpayee Arogyashree in Karnataka, Bhamashah Swasthya Bima Yojana in Rajasthan, Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Jan Arogya Yojana (MJPJAY) in Maharashtra, Deen Dayal Swasthya Seva Yojana in Goa among others. 
  • The National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS) is a magnified form of all these and is far bigger than its predecessors

Features of Bhamshah swasthya Bima yojana :-

  • Bhamashah Swasthya Bima Yojana (BSBY) by Rajasthan government was launched with the aim of providing cashless healthcare services to poor, ensures a cover, under the NSFA, of up to Rs 3 lakh for people below and above poverty line.
  • The scheme provides an annual cover of Rs 30,000 for not so critical illnesses and increases it to Rs 3 lakh for critical illness from the list of diseases specified under the yojana.
  • These packages listed under BSBY for specific diseases fall under secondary and tertiary (more specialised and advanced) categories.
  • An estimated 4.5 crore people are covered under this insurance scheme.
  • For women in Rajasthan, the Bhamashah Card serves as a single platform offering a spectrum of services, and is an important document to avail the scholarship for the girl child, from her birth, under Mukhyamantri Rajshri Yojana announced in 2016.
    • It also becomes the key to availing medical care for 1,715 diseases listed under the Bhamashah Swasthya Bima Yojana (BSBY). 
  • It is the first household-level identity scheme to create a comprehensive dataset with the objectives of financial inclusion, women’s empowerment, by designating women as head (mukhiya) of the family, and effective government service delivery (direct transfers and non-cash benefits).
  • Like all other health insurance schemes, the basic aim was to reduce out-of-pocket expenses in times of illness to the poor and provide them financial security.
  • In addition, the idea was also to create a wide health database, which would help policy decisions later. The scheme was envisaged as being the instrument by which to bring about a revolution in healthcare in the rural areas, as the private sector would be encouraged to open hospitals in rural areas, thereby reducing the burden on government facilities.. 
  • State went for the insurance agency model, with The New India Assurance Company, roped in after a bidding process. In fact, they removed the concept of a third party administrator in order to reduce costs.

Features of NHPS:-

  • The scheme seeks to provide health cover to 10 crore economically vulnerable families.
  • Every family will be provided Rs. 5 lakhs annually for secondary and tertiary health care.
  • 2000 crores is allocated for the scheme in the budget 2018.
  • The overall investment required for the scheme is estimated to be around Rs. 10,000 crores to Rs. 12,000 crores.
  • The Premium for every household is expected to be Rs.1000 to Rs. 1200 annually.
  • The scheme is a centrally sponsored scheme. The centre intends to bear 60 percent of the cost. Remaining 40 percent will be borne by the states.
  • The scheme will replace Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana under which, the government provided Rs.30,000 annually for healthcare. Under NHPS, Rs.30,000 is increased to Rs. 5 lakhs.
  • The centre will face an annual burden of around Rs. 5000- 6000 crores towards premium. The rest will be come from state governments.
  • NITI Aayog expects that at least 50% of the beneficiaries will use the scheme in the first year.

Issues that will be faced by NHPS:-

  • The amount of Rs 5 lakh per family is a massive and unexpected hike from the existing fund of Rs 1 lakh per family. This amount is 17 times bigger than the RSBY scheme and will cover 40% of India’s population.
  • Though it improved access to health care, it did not reduce out-of-pocket expenditure (OOPE), catastrophic health expenditure or health payment-induced poverty.
  • The NHPS addresses those concerns by sharply raising the coverage cap, but shares with the RSBY the weakness of not covering outpatient care which accounts for the largest fraction of OOPE.
  • The NHPS too remains disconnected from primary care.
  • Universal health insurance through private hospitals has not worked for the poor anywhere.Biggest beneficiaries are the private hospitals and insurance companies. There is no substitute for public health care. 
  • The government’s proposals do little to prevent poor health in the first place. India is plagued by increasing levels of water and air pollution, some of it worsened by pro-business policies. Malnutrition, poor sanitation and lack of proper housing also remain major problems.
  • In real terms and as a percentage of GDP, there is a decline in the health budget this year.
  • Earlier programme failures cast new doubts:-
    • In its final iteration in 2016-2017, the RSBY also targeted 5.9 crore families, and managed to enroll 3.6 crore families. Thus the government’s announcement today of reaching ten crore families is also vastly ambitious
    • There is evidence to show that despite efforts towards pushing for increased insurance coverage, neither have the poorest been reached out to nor has there been efficient financial protection.
  • Issues with Bhamshah Swasthya Bhima yojana which raises doubts for NHPS as well are:-
  • Critics have rounded off the yojana’s response to patients as something on the lines of “exclusion”. According to people serving at trauma and emergency desks, the problem lies in the use of BSBY during medical emergencies.
    • The patient has to show the Bhamashah Card within an hour at the counter to avail the benefits under BSBY. The one-hour window in the case of emergencies is definitely creating problems for patients.
  • In case of BSBY, technical issues relating to the card, or insufficient understanding of BSBY eligibility dampens spirits at the wrong time.
  • When technical issues relating to the card strike its holder, she has very little energy left to understand factors behind the glitches or her inability to use the card for BSBY.


Lessons for NHPS based on constraints from BSBY:-

  • Issue 1:-
    • Significant increase in the number of health insurance claims under Rajasthan scheme  due to the increasing incidence of fraudulent claims made easy by the fact that hospitals were being allowed to admit a sizeable number of patients without a biometric authentication.
    • Solution:-
      • Given the disputes between the insurer and the Rajasthan government on the issue of de-empanelment of hospitals for fraud it is best the fraud management be centrally monitored and not left to 29 states and seven Union territories.
    • Issue 2 – Identity parameters:-
      • A decision also has to be made at the earliest on what identity parameters are to be used. In the case of Bhamashah, at least two members of the family’s biometrics were on the card in which case, biometrics for other family members would not always be available
      • 75% of those availing the scheme are being identified using biometrics. In the rest of the cases, the Medical Officer In-Charge (MOIC) is allowed to bypass the need for Aadhaar authentication. This is where a large proportion of the cases of fraud is detected by the insurance company in Bhamashah
      • Solution
        • Given the role of Aadhaar-based biometrics in weeding out but not eliminating fraud, it is imperative that NHPS not accept such a low authentication ratio
      • Issue 3-pricing:-
        • In the case of Bhamashah, when the price was very low, this led to huge losses as claims ratio raised drastically the premium shot up 3.4 times in the second phase.
        • While insurance companies or reinsurers may be prepared to take on such losses for one state, doing it at an all-India level is quite different. The Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Yojana, for instance, is running at losses of 104%
        • For NHPS to be successful, fixing these loopholes is critical.
      • Free drug counters for Bhamashah Card holders can be replicated in NHPS as well
      • Issue-4:-
        • People were being misled by private healthcare centres to cough up funds despite the insurance cover. Poor quality of services being delivered, and the lack of a mechanism to monitor that.
        • Solution:-
          • Thus, the health facilities should be taken back by government under its full control, and infrastructure and human resources at public health facilities must be improved.
          • Monitoring is important. While public-private partnerships are essential for effective service delivery, an independent mechanism to ensure quality service to review, audit, and assess these institutions and take timely recourse are essential.
        • The integrated approach to healthcare sector through the two schemes – BSBY and the Arogya Rajasthan campaign that compiles health data of rural population in the state and provides people with e-health cards will improve the health sector and encourage preventive health.
        • Communication to increase awareness levels among beneficiaries is of paramount importance. The communication strategy should utilise text messages on phones as well as advertisements in television, radio, and newspapers, street plays, etc, whatever works for the region.
        • A grievance redressal mechanism for beneficiaries must be in place.
        • Involvement of one or several rural healthcare NGOs would be beneficial in many respects
        • There should be a mechanism to connect patients to the right hospitals in time. Suppose a hospital is unable to provide treatment at that point because of non-availability of doctors or infrastructure, that hospital should be able to help the patient reach the correct healthcare facility. Hospitals must be made liable for this, and this will also check their tendency to deny treatment or services to patients.

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


5) There is an urgent need for cooperation in the field of regulation, amongst the medicine regulatory agencies of the BRICS countries. Analyse.(250 words)




Why this question

Inter-BRICS health cooperation is gaining momentum and represents a promising channel for improving health as illustrated by the yearly meetings of the respective ministers of health. Such cooperation provides the countries with a valuable platform to share their experiences and to work together to address key public health issues, including neglected tropical diseases. India has recently signed a MoU in this direction. The issue is related to GS- syllabus-

Key demand of the question

The question wants us to  discuss why BRICS countries must cooperate in the field of regulation

amongst the medical regulatory agencies, what are the benefits involved.

Directive word

Analyze- we have to breakup the question into individual key issues  involved here, and then write in detail about the each and bring about a holistic answer as per the demand of the question.

Structure of the answer

Introduction- introduce your answer by mentioning some key related facts for BRICS. E.g BRICS countries represent around 25% of the world’s gross national income, more than 40% of the world’s population and about 40% of the global burden of disease.

Body- divide the body into two parts.

In one part, discuss why there is a need for cooperation among regulating agencies of BRICS countries. e.g internationalization of education, migration of doctors, treatment of higher education as a trading commodity in WTO, high disease burden, greater role for the group in future.

IN the other part, discuss what has already been done ( e.g centre for Health Policy and promotion’s efforts, recent MoU etc.

Conclusion- briefly highlight the growing importance, prosperity and high disease burden of BRICS countries and bring out a concise yet holistic conclusion, based on the above analysis.




  • The potential role of BRICS in the promotion of universal health  coverage an umbrella goal for health in the post-2015 development framework in the international arena have risen enormously in recent decades.
  • BRICS countries represent around 25% of the world’s gross national income, more than 40% of the world’s population and about 40% of the global burden of disease.
  • Although great attention has been paid to their economic performance, less widely noted is the fact that they are also well positioned to exert a significant influence on global health. 
  • Inter-BRICS health cooperation is gaining momentum and represents a promising channel for improving health as illustrated by the yearly meetings of their ministers of health. Such cooperation provides the countries with a valuable platform to share their experiences and to work together to address key public health issues, including neglected tropical diseases.


Why is there the need for cooperation in the field of regulation amongst medicine regulatory agencies:-

  • The increasing internationalization of the medical profession raises the issue of safeguarding the practice of medicine and the use of the medical workforce. These years, medical education is showing trends that also dominate other fields of higher education.
  • Within the framework of internationalization, globalization, and cross-border 
    education, and driven by the development of information and communication technology as well as by pronounced migration of medical doctors, there are economic and managerial consequences such as commercialization and privatization in a variegated mix of for-profit and not-for-profit providers.
  • Potential role for BRICS in the development of universal health coverage. In 2012, BRICS countries stressed the importance of universal health coverage as an essential instrument for the achievement of the right to health.
  • BRICS countries vary greatly in terms of their burdens of disease, health systems, interests in the global pharmaceutical trade, engagement in the international  arena and much else.
  • The emergence of BRICS as a distinct entity  with increasing levels of multinational coordination in health and other activities is applying pressure to both the  existing and emerging mechanisms and processes of global governance.
    • Some nations that once provided such leadership have largely withdrawn and this has left a gap that BRICS could conceivably fill.
  • Brazil, China and India are leading in the manufacturing of low-cost medicines and  vaccines.
  • Health issues:-
    • BRICS continue to face major health problems. Although life expectancy has improved, non-communicable diseases have increased significantly in these countries.
    • BRICS account for half of the 8.6 million people developing tuberculosis every year. The BRICS countries could serve as sources of innovative ideas to develop and advance key areas of TB and MDR TB control.
    • To cope with global health challenges, such as common chronic non communicable diseases including cancer and cardiovascular diseases, and increasing medical costs, different countries need to integrate traditional medicine into the their modern medical and healthcare systems.
  • Movement of physicians into and out of countries is inevitably a factor in determining the content of licensing  provisions both in regard to the maintenance of internal standards for immigrating physicians and in ensuring that 
    internal national licensing standards are acceptable elsewhere. 
  • International cooperation is the key to enhancing the role of medical regulatory authorities as the primary  vehicle for public protection in health care. The BRICS Countries medical regulators somehow have not been able to live up to the expectations of coming together as a cohesive unit in terms of accepting these challenges.
  • Traditional medicine:-
    • Development of co-operation in the sphere of traditional medicine within the BRICS space is a result of evolutionary processes in politics and economics, as well as confirmation of the effectiveness of traditional medicine from the positions of modern science
    • Support for development of traditional medicine by the Countries governments is also dictated by the interests of carrying for their citizens health and complies with the relevant WHO Strategy
  • BRIC nations play an increasingly important role in funding cooperative health projects in developing countries.
  • Their growing economies have lifted hundreds of millions out of poverty. Marked improvements have also taken place in health outcomes, and substantial progress made towards achieving the sustainable Development Goals. 
    • Strengthened surveillance systems, as part of robust health and service management information systems, will be indispensable for managing services as well as for ensuring accountability and transparency in the health systems of the future.
    • Medical technologies and health technologies for communicable diseases will determine not only much of the innovative potential of personal and population health services to improve the health of future generations, but also the cost of those services.
    • Drug discovery and development is also responsible for another substantial part of the affordability and equity equations.

Steps already taken :-

  • BRICS’ ministers of health met for the first time in Beijing in July 2011 to discuss their role in providing wider access to quality and affordable drugs around the world. They signed the Beijing declaration, which called for collaboration with international health organizations, as well as with each other.
  • Understand the medical regulatory systems of these diverse countries and to  proceed with the comparative analysis.
    • The Centre for Health Policy and Planning (CHPP) has undertaken the study for the purposes of increasing the level of understanding and identify similarities and differences amongst medical regulation in the India and in other similar regulatory jurisdictions which shall further help CHPP in developing the policy towards further strengthening the collaborations between the BRICS countries.
  • The government recently gave its nod to the signing of a pact with medicine regulatory agencies of BRICS nations on cooperation in the field of regulation of medical products for human use.
    • The MoU would facilitate better understanding about the regulatory aspects between the parties and could help in increasing India’s export of medical products to BRICS countries


  • At the global level they offer a solid distinctive voice and perspective on global health. For these countries, health is an essential element in social and economic development and they are becoming increasingly important partners in international development. BRICS are truly contributing to reshaping the international health-cooperation landscape.

General Studies – 3

TOPIC : Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth,
development and employment.


6) India presents a unique set of opportunities and challenges for global investors and businesses. Discuss.(250 words)

Economic times

Why this question

Any country including India wants to improve and increase its business opportunities, so that it could earn more revenue and create more employment opportunities. This can be corroborated by the ease of business reforms undertaken by India and also other countries. India is a large market and the size will further grow in the wake of economic growth and population increase. However, despite the presence of so many business opportunities, it is very difficult to undertake a large scale business activity. The question is related to GS- syllabus under the following heading-

Key demand of the question

The question wants us to write in length about; why India, as a market offers so many opportunities to the business and then we have to discuss what are the challenges involved therein.

Directive word

Discuss- we have to dig deep into the issue and write in detail about the opportunities as well as challenges involved. Here we also have to provide suggestions to improve the present situation.

Structure of the answer

Introduction- introduce your answer by the recent initiatives introduced by the govt. to improve the ease of doing business in India.

Body- divide the body of the answer into 2 main parts.

In one part, discuss in points, why India is promising market for the businesses. E.g large population, growing economy, increasing per capita income, low access to many business products like telecom etc.

In the other part, discuss, what are the challenges involved. E.g low per capita income, regulatory issues, issue of raising capital etc.

Conclusion- briefly suggest ways to improve the business opportunities in India and how to remove the challenges involved therein. E.g clubbing of business activities to gain a larger share of customer’s budgetary expenses, introduction of new technologies etc.



  • According to a statement by the World Bank, Private investments in India is expected to grow by 8.8% in FY 2018-19 to overtake private consumption growth of 7.4%, and thereby drive the growth in India’s GDP in FY 2018-19.This shows the global investors are interested to invest in India.

Opportunities India ensures:-

  • With the escalation of gross domestic product, the potential return from the investment in India has increased. India has shown stable and higher growth rate.
    • It is a major economy and in the years to come is projected to have one of the highest growth rates globally.
  • Various studies suggest that inflation rate and the inflow of foreign direct investment are inversely correlated. Declining inflation rate in India is one of the determinants attracting higher foreign investment.
  • The foreign reserve of India has increased over the years. With respect to the reform of India and opening the Indian market to foreign trade, it has paved the path to inflow of foreign currency to the country and investment.
  • The country’s large market size in any sector presents a compelling investment opportunity.
  • India is the third-largest and fastest-growing domestic aviation market in the world. 
  • With rising incomes, immense growth opportunities will emerge in the coming decades across telecom, aviation and other such infrastructure sectors.
  • The consumption of goods and services is expected to rise to levels approximating those of more developed markets such as China and the US.
  • India is home to more than 12,000 start-ups .
  • Educated and English-speaking workforce and well-established IT sector
  • It also has set up business and cultural connections with Europe and the US an area where India is arguably more advanced than China.
  • Government initiatives:-
    • The Indian government has also been a proactive supporter of this inbound investment, through initiatives like Make in India, the Smart City program ,Digital India, E biz portal, BEST, Invest India etc.
    • The government has been offering incentives like relaxing 87 FDI norms across 21 sectors .
    • Government amended legislation to increase the foreign investment cap in insurance and pension from 26% to 49%.
    • Further, the government permitted 100% FDI in retail trading of food products with the condition that the food products have to be manufactured or produced in India.
    • In order to increase Japanese investments in India, the government had asked the states to focus on strengthening the single window clearance system for fast-tracking approval processes.
    • Under the Finance Act 2017, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) exempted employee stock options, FDI, and court-approved transactions from the long-term capital gains tax.
    • Moreover, the government is also planning to scrap the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) which, in turn, will enable the foreign investment proposals requiring government approval to be cleared by the ministries concerned, thereby improving the ease of doing business in the country.
  • Vast potential in telecom ,food processing, infrastructure, civil aviation ,renewable energy etc
  • Moody upgraded India’s rating.
  • Cheap labour came out to be the most encouraging factor for overseas investors. This is primarily because of the country’s young population.

Challenges remain:-

  • Average return available per user may challenge the viability of the business model.
  • In a business such as telecom that requires significant capital expenditure, a low average revenue per user is a real challenge.
  • The lower per capita income in India leads to a low revenue per user. This phenomenon poses a challenge for prospective businesses. 
  • The inequality in the whole process lead to the increase in inequality in development across sectors. 
  • The manufacturing sector is not performing as expected. 
  • Land acquisition ,environmental clearances have become a hurdle 
  • Tax disputes with private companies like Vodafone discourage investment .
  • Internal security challenges with rising communal instances , left wing extremist areas and other insecure areas.
  • Rising NPA is making banks sceptical about lending loans to corporates.
  • Supply chain and logistics issues make it unattractive.

Way forward:

  • Encourage MSME ‘s
  • Make tax regime easy to comply.
  • Encouraging Masala bonds 
    • This bond brings a new and diversified set of investorsfor Indian companies, and more liquidity in foreign exchanges, apart from bank funding and the corporate bond market in India.
  • India need to work on skill India mission and enhance the quality of education to strengthen the human capital.
  • NPA resolution through strong asset reconstruction agencies.