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Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 02 MAY 2018


NOTE: Please remember that following ‘answers’ are NOT ‘model answers’. They are NOT synopsis too if we go by definition of the term. What we are providing is content that both meets demand of the question and at the same time gives you extra points in the form of background information.

General Studies – 1

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

1) Gandhi’s decision to withdraw from Civil Disobedience Movement and participate in second round table conference was controversial. Examine the controversies that arose as a result of Delhi Pact?(250 words)

From Plassey to Partition : page 320

Key demand of the question

The question asks us to examine the controversies that emerged out of Gandhi Irwin Pact. We have to mention the controversies, examine the causes of the controversies and assess whether the controversies made sense

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 or implications if any . In the case of above question, you have to discuss the issues as discussed above.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Discuss the contents of the Delhi pact and mention the controversies that it caused such as

  • Decision to withdraw was taken under bourgeoisie pressures
  • Several leaders like Nehru, Bose etc were dissatisfied with the decision to withdraw the movement



  • Examine the controversies one by one. First of all, examine the claim that the decision to withdraw was taken under bourgeoisie pressures.
    • Mention the reason why this controversy arose
    • Examine whether the capitalist class presented a unified front and whether Congress was actually concerned with their worries
  • Examine the controversy that Congress’s withdrawal signalled defeat
    • Mention that similar things had happened post chauri chairs
    • Mention that people’s capacity for protest is limited
    • Mention the use of superior force by British
    • Etc
  • Highlight the actual impact and significance of Delhi pact and the reasons behind aggreing to participate in RTC


Conclusion – mention your point of view on Delhi pact by summarising your answer.

Background :-

  • Gandhi described his 11 points as being very simple but vital needs of India which would fill out the word Independence and give it meaning to ordinary people.
  • The 11 points combined such issues of general interest as 50% cuts in army expenses and civil service salaries, total prohibition, release of political prisoners with specific bourgeois demands such as the lowering of the rupee-sterling exchange ratio ,textile protection and reservation of coastal shipping for Indians and basically agrarian themes  including a 50% cut in land revenue and abolition of the salt tax and government salt monopoly.
  • This came as a surprise to many and was considered as acting under bourgeoise pressure and even some of the leaders of congress were not entirely supportive of this move.


Why was withdrawing of the movement controversial:-

  • The philosophical content of his civil disobedience movement was anathema not only to the British authorities but also to the majority of the Congress who were taken by surprise, for instance, by his formulation of 11 points before the mass campaign was launched.
  • Bourgeoise pressure-
    • Subhash Bose felt that Gandhi’s formulation was intended to placate some of the big business groups who might have been alarmed by some of the Lahore resolutions.
    • Gandhi had indeed assured businessmen that he would take no hasty step in inaugurating the civil disobedience movement.
    • Also the proposal gave Gandhi the basis on which he could sound the Government later on compromise possibilities. Nehru felt exasperated that Gandhi’s list of obvious social and political reforms had taken the place of independence.
  • Congress leaders reactions:-
    • Gandhi’s peace talks with Irwin leading to the truce took the left wing and the conservatives within the Congress equally by surprise. The abrupt brake applied on the increasing momentum of the norevenue/no-tax campaigns in Gujarat and UP caused dismay to both Patel and Nehru and both had to be persuaded by Gandhi to accept the terms of the truce.
  • Seeing the angry reaction of the people against the arrest of Congress leaders, Lord Irwin made a pact with Gandhiji that if the Civil Disobedience movement would be called off, then the political prisoners would be released. Hence Gandhiji decided to call off the movement.
  • The sudden withdrawal of movement was similar to Chauri Chaura incident of non cooperation movement as masses were mobilised well and were actively participating in movements .
  • Gandhi was of the idea that continuous moss movement cannot be sustainable.


Reasons why Gandhi went to second round table conference:-

  • After the conclusion of the First Round Table Conference, the British government realized that the cooperation of the Indian National Congress was necessary for further advancement in the making of the Indian constitution. Thus Lord Irwin extended an invitation to Gandhi for talks.
  • Gandhi agreed to end the Civil Disobedience Movement without laying down any preconditions.
  • The agreement between Gandhi and Irwin was signed in1931. Following are the salient points of this agreement:
    • The Congress would discontinue the Civil Disobedience Movement.
    • The Congress would participate in the Round Table Conference.
  • In return British accepted the following:-
    • Political prisoners not convicted for violence should be immediately released
    • The Government expressed its approval of the encouragement of Indian’s industries. 

What are the controversies that arose as a result of the Delhi pact?

  • Many felt unhappy that Gandhi stopped his movement when the people were in high spirit of victory and while the Government stood demoralized. Gandhi gave his logic that the nation had suffered to a great extent and needed an interval to fight the next phase of the struggle with more vigour and vitality. 
  • Lord Irwin was succeeded by Willington who was unlike Irwin very rigid and ignored many provisions of the Gandhi-Irwin Pact.
    • The Viceroy, Lord Willingdon, in the absence of Gandhiji, adopted the policy of repression, the Gandhi-Irwin Pact was violated and the Viceroy took to the suppression of the INC
  • Gandhiji failed to convince the Government that Bhagat Singh,Rajguru and Sukhdev also should be considered as the political prisoners and must be released
  • The Second Round Table Conference in London which Gandhiji attended with Sarojini Naidu, proved to be futile as the British did not honour their demands.


  • Despite criticism Delhi pact is one of the important landmark moment in Indian history as it was for the first time that Indians were put on an equal front with Britishers.

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

2) Bhagat Singh espoused a nationalism without any divisions and this makes him acceptable across religions, nationalities and cultures. Comment.(250 words)

The Hindu

The Culturalindia

Why this question

this question is related to GS-1 syllabus under the following heading-  The Freedom Struggle- its various stages and important contributors /contributions from different parts of the country.

Key demand of the question.

the question wants us to ponder over the life of the legendary freedom fighter Bhagat Singh and discuss his achievements, thoughts to extract the nature of his nationalism. we have to justify our standing on whether Bhagat Singh espoused a nationalism without any divisions and that makes him acceptable across religions, nationalities and cultures.

Directive word

Comment- we have to ponder over the issue and form an opinion on the given statement about Bhagat Singh. we have to justify our opinion by related facts/ reasons/ arguments.

Structure of the answer

Introduction- briefly mention Bhagat Singh, his background and his martyrdom at a young age.


  1. Describe Bhagat Singh’s political ideology and organizations he was attached with- Naujawan Bharat Sabha, Hindustan Republican Association, Kirti Kisan Party, Kranti Dal.
  2. discuss Bhagat Singh’s sayings/ thoughts which depict his views on nationalism and form a opinion based on those evidences. e.g his dream of a non sectarian, egalitarian world, his religious thoughts and views on atheism,

Conclusion- form a fair, concise and balanced opinion on the given statement based on the above discussion.


  • Bhagat Singh is one of the only national heroes, perhaps after Gandhi, who is venerated across India. This could be attributed to his appeal as a martyr, which cuts across political ideologies.

Political ideology:-

  • His azaadi freedom was not limited to the expelling of the British; instead he desired azaadi from poverty, azaadi from untouchability, azaadi from communal strife, and azaadi from every form of discrimination and exploitation
  • The struggle in India would continue so long as a handful of exploiters go on
    exploiting the labour of the common people for their own ends. It matters little
    whether these exploiters are purely British capitalists,
    or British and Indians in alliance, or even purely Indians.
  • Naujawan Bharat Sabha was a public platform of the revolutionaries founded by Singh, and had a categorical position on the slogans to be used. T hey raised two slogans: “Inquilab Zindabad” and “Hindustan Zindabad,” hailing the revolution and the country.
    • Committed to inquilab (revolution), but not merely a political revolution. He wanted a social revolution to break age-old discriminatory practices such as untouchability, communalism and gender discrimination. 
  • He was also associated with Hindustan Republican Association, Kirti Kisan Party, Kranti Dal.

Bhagat Singh’s nationalism:-

  • He grew up to appreciate nationalism and crave a British-free independent India. Extensive reading of European literature propelled him towards forming a socialist outlook strongly desiring a democratic future for India.
  • Atheism:-
    • Bhagat Singh veered towards Atheism after witnessing several Hindu-Muslim riots and other religious outbreaks.
  • Armed revolution:-
    • Singh believed that something as precious as Independence can only be achieved by a thorough cleansing of the exploitative nature of imperialism.
    • He opined that such change can only be brought forward by means of an armed revolution, in similar lines to the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia. He introduced the slogan “Inquilab Zindabad” which sort of transformed into the war cry of the Indian Independence movement.

Why he is accepted across all religions,nationalities  and cultures :-

  • Bhagat Singh differed from most other revolutionaries on two important aspects:
  • He was an atheist and went to the gallows with full awareness of his atheism
  • He had a vision of the Indian society that he envisaged post-independence and could articulate its essential characteristics.
  • He found fulfillment through serving humanity and liberating it from sufferings and distress. He equated that cause to that of India’s freedom.
  • Working towards building an India where poverty, socio-economic disparity and exploitation did not exist, rather than achieving freedom from the British alone, was his goal.
  • He even favoured untouchables that they must have their own elected representatives.They must demand greater rights for themselves.
  • Bhagat Singh, his intense patriotism coupled with cultivated idealism, made him an ideal icon for the youth of his generation. Through his written and vocal admonition of the British Imperial Government, he became the voice of his generation.
  • His vehement departure from the Gandhian non-violent route to Swaraj has often been criticized by many, yet through the fearless embracing of martyrdom he inspired hundreds of teens and youths to join the freedom struggle wholeheartedly.
  • His eminence in current times is evident from the fact that Bhagat Singh was voted as the Greatest Indian, ahead of Subhash Chandra Bose and Mahatma Gandhi, in a poll conducted by India Today in 2008.


  • Bhagat Singh saw his fight for India’s freedom as well as his life’s fulfilment in selflessly working towards the goal of removing these inequalities, injustices and absence of opportunities faced by his fellow citizens. This was his ‘nationalism’ and this was his ‘patriotism.’ It was universal and not confined by boundaries of religion, caste, race, creed or even nation.


Topic – History of the world – redrawal of national boundaries ; India and its bilateral relations.

3)  The tensions and disputes between Pakistan and India are fundamentally different to the issues between the Koreas, which make an India Pakistan thaw unlikely. Critically analyze.(250 words)

Indian express

Why this question

There are few supposedly intractable conflicts in the world – India Pakistan and Korean peninsula figure prominently in that list. The possibility of a thaw in Korean peninsula provides an opportunity to draw parallels between the two conflicts and examine whether an India Pakistan thaw is probable.

Key demand of the question

The question makes two assertions both of which have to be critically analysed. They are

  • That there are dissimilarities between the India Pakistan conflict and the Korean conflict. We have to examine whether it is indeed so
  • Because of the dissimilarities, an India Pakistan thaw is unlikely – we have to examine whether we can take learnings from the Korean thaw to normalise India Pakistan relationship.

Our opinion on the two assertions is to be provided.

Directive word

Critically analyze – When asked to critically analyze, you  have to examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them as a whole in a summary. You need to conclude with  a fair judgement, after analyzing the nature of each component part and interrelationship between them.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – discuss the current development in Korean peninsula and how that has proved that there are no permanent friends or enemies in international relations, what matters is national interest.


  • Critically analyze the first assertion. Bring both sides of the picture in focus – mention the similarities and dissimilarities in the two conflicts. Provide your opinion on whether the situation is similar or not.
  • Critically analyze the second statement. Discuss whether India Pakistan relations can be improved by a leap of faith taken by our leaders or the issues are much deep rooted. Analyze the issue from various perspectives like
    • Historical – mistrust due to past experiences etc
    • Geopolitical – role of great powers in the conflict
    • Strategic – terrorism, nuclear weapons etc
    • Economic – trade
    • Cultural – P2P relations etc
    • Role of leadership
    • Ideological etc


Conclusion – provide a balanced judgment and what lessons can we draw from the thaw.



  • India Pakistan conflict and the Korean conflict have been one of the most disputed issues of the world. The latest success of Korean summit which made its step towards peace raised questions of similar agreement in the India Pakistan relations.

Issues between Pakistan and India are different than between both the Korean countries:-

  • The religious and voluntary basis of the South Asian partition stands in contrast to the primacy of the geopolitical in the division of the Korean Peninsula.
  • Unification:-
    • Both the North and South Korea are formally committed to the idea of unification.
    • In the Subcontinent, though, the idea of unification is not even considered.
  • Identity:-
    • Current peace process is certainly animated by the idea that Korean people are one.
    • Idea of a shared identity, of course, faces much resistance from the deep state in Pakistan. 
  • Nuclear focus:-
    • In Korea, the entire focus is on the denuclearisation of the Peninsula. While the North that has its own nuclear weapons, the South depends on the extended deterrence offered by the US nuclear arsenal.
    • On top of it, India has been nearly integrated into the global nuclear order and Pakistan wants the same status accorded.
    • Relationship between nuclear weapons and peace is also framed differently in the two regions.
      • In Korea, denuclearisation is seen as a precondition for peace.
      • In South Asia, political reconciliation between India and Pakistan, will help reduce the salience of nuclear weapons.
    • An equally important difference relates to the way North Korea and Pakistan have defined the strategic value of nuclear weapons. 
      • North Korea is seeing nuclear weapons as the key to unlocking peace, the Pakistan army saw them as providing the impunity to conduct a low intensity conflict against its neighbours India and Afghanistan through cross-border terrorism.
    • Role of great powers:-
      • A major difference between the two regions is the role of great powers. 
      • Although no region in Asia was immune from the great power rivalry during the Cold War, the degree of that intervention varied quite a bit.
      • The Peninsula was a frontline theatre in the conflict between the East and West which was not the case with India.


  • Both the regions were partitioned after the Second World War.
  • Nuclear weapons loom large over them. 
  • Assessing the military aspects of the agreement, commonalities too would stand out.
    • The first is to cease all acts of hostilities against each other.
    • The second is to convert the border (demilitarised zone) into one of peace by stopping all hostile acts.
    • The third is to resolve the sea border to prevent accidental clashes. In India-Pakistan case, it would involve avoiding arrest of fishermen who inadvertently stray across.
    • Finally, hold frequent defence ministerial and working level meetings to discuss and resolve military issues. In India-Pakistan context, this could aim at resolving ceasefire violations while enhancing confidence building measures.
  • Under the peace regime, the only common factor is strictly adhering to a non-aggression agreement that precludes the use of force.

 Thawing of India Pakistan relationship is not possible:-

  • Korean case is different:-
    • The reason why the Korean agreement would succeed and bring about an era of peace is because the two leaders, who met and negotiated the settlement, hold complete sway over their nation.
    • Their words and decisions would be implemented in letter and spirit.
    • More importantly it is their belief and trust that civil and military diplomacy can move forward simultaneously thereby reducing tensions and enforcing peace.
    • Hence, thaw in the Korean peninsula would come at the same pace as tensions which rose to a peak in the last one year
  • Historical:-
    • Memories of historical incidents like partition leading to riots, wars fought has instilled a sense of insecurity in the public mind .
  • Kashmir issue and terrorism:-
    • The proxy war in Kashmir, infiltration of militants, terror strikes and building an anti-India hype has alienated India-Pakistan
    • Every Indian government has taken a step forward to reach out to its Pakistan counterpart, only to be pushed back by a terror strike. The Pakistan civilian government lacks control over its own army, hence chances of success remain bleak.
  • Geopolitical:-
    • The difference in perception remains on the involvement of other powers in Kashmir Pakistan is keen for involving other nations, including the UN in negotiations, whereas India desires only bilateral meetings based on the Shimla agreement.
  • Multiple issues:-
    • India-Pakistan has unsettled territorial issues, political incompatibility, irreconcilable positions on national identity, and the absence of significant economic and trade relations between the two states which cause the rivalry to persist.
    • The role of world powers is slowly visible in south Asia with China actively involving in CPEC corridor,US proximity towards India etc.This again makes both sides sceptical about the outcomes.

Yes,India Pakistan friendship is possible :-

  • Observing the nature of agreement signed between the Koreans, there is a ray of hope that if the right approach is adopted, an era of peace could emerge even in India-Pakistan case.
  • If the two governments can interact at a discreet level, seeking to push a common framework of peace while letting working groups, including the Pakistan and Indian army negotiate military aspects, it could usher in a change.
  • While the civilian leadership negotiates peace and stability and decides the broad framework, military leaders negotiate ceasefire and terrorism related issues. Ignoring military diplomacy as at present would result in continued tensions .
  • There are always limits to which civil and military diplomacy can succeed in isolation. However when combined, much more can be achieved.



  • There is always room for creative diplomacy. Pakistan need to realise that nuclear weapons are not an end in themselves. And that the leverage offered by nuclear weapons could be traded for economic benefit and normalisation of relations with adversaries. 
  • Akin to the Koreans, we need to consider a combined civil-military diplomacy model for a solution in the Indian sub-continent.

General Studies – 2

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.

4)Critically analyze the process of selection of the supreme court judges in India.  Suggest measures to prevent the executive’s unnecessary intervention into the judiciary. (250 words)

The Hindu

The Quint

The Hindu

why this question

The recent controversy around selection of a SC judge whose name has been recommended by the collegium but opposed by the govt, revolves around fundamental queries regarding the distribution of powers between the executive and legislative.  The question is related to GS-2 syllabus under the following heading- 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.

key demand of the question.

we have to describe the provisions dealing with the appointment of SC judges and discuss those provisions critically. We also have to suggest measures to rectify the arrangement.

Directive word

critically analyze- we have to identify and briefly discuss the key provisions dealing with the appointment of SC judges in India and form an opinion on them, particularly on their shortcomings. then we have to simply enlist measures required to prevent the executive’s unnecessary intervention into the judiciary.

Structure of the answer

introduction- briefly describe article 124 of the constitution and mention NJAC .


  1. enlist the eligibility and procedure of selection of SC judges in detail.
  2. describe the first, second and third judges cases
  3. discuss the shortcomings in the process. e.g lack of time-limit for the govt. to approve the collegium’s recommendations.
  4. suggest necessary amendments required in the legal provisions. e.g prescription of time limit and also bringing transparency and logic in the process of selection of judges etc.


Process of selection of judges of supreme court :-

  • The method of selection of judges by a collegium of Supreme Court judges finds no place in the Constitution.
  • The Constitution confers the power of appointment of judges on the President of India i.e. the Government of India to be made in consultation with the Chief Justice of India and other judges of the Supreme Court and the High Courts. 
  • The collegium method was created as a result of two judgments of the Supreme Court, first in 1993 and by a follow-up President’s Reference to the Court in 1998.
  • With the best of intentions of securing the independence of the judiciary, the Supreme Court rewrote the provisions of the Constitution for appointment of judges and appropriated the power to appoint judges by the judges.
    • By the first case the power was vested in the Chief Justice of India in whom it was held the primacy lay in appointments assisted by two judges of the Supreme Court.
    • In the second case the court took away the primacy of the Chief Justice of India and vested the power in a collegium of the Chief Justice of India and some senior-most judges of the Supreme Court.
  • Third Judges Case
    • The Collegium was expanded to include the CJI and the next four (up from two) senior-most judges. It was concluded that the CJI could only recommend judges for appointment after consultation with the other four judges, and any candidate has to be supported by a majority of the Collegium.
    • Once the Collegium makes a recommendation to the President, the President can either accept it or send it back to the Collegium for reconsideration. If the Collegium once again recommends that candidate for appointment with unanimous agreement the President is bound by the recommendation.
  • General rule of thumb when it comes to appointing existing High Court judges is seniority more senior judges in these courts should be considered for elevation to the Supreme Court. However, where a particular judge has demonstrated exceptional ability or character, the order of superiority can be superseded. The reasons behind that particular judge being appointed need to be recorded in such cases.
  • The final position is thus that even though the formalities need to be performed by the President, the actual decision-making power when it comes to appointment of Supreme Court judges rests with the Collegium

Criticism :-

  • Controversial appointments:-
    • The conduct of the Justice Karnan ever since his elevation to the bench has been controversial.
    • There is a failure to make an assessment of the personality of the contemnor at the time of recommending his name for elevation.
    • The controversy over the proposed elevation of Justice P.D. Dinakaran of the Karnataka High Court to the Supreme Court by the collegium of the Chief Justice and four senior-most judges of the Supreme Court was criticised for overlooking apparently suitable judges by the collegiums
  • The executive has little or no role in the appointment of judges as a result
  • Supreme court is overburdened:-
    • The Supreme Court did not realise the burden it was imposing on the collegium of selecting judges for the Supreme Court and High Courts and transferring them from one High Court to another.
    • An administrative task of this magnitude must necessarily detract the judges of the collegium from their principal judicial work of hearing and deciding cases.
  • Lacking this infrastructural backup the collegium resorts to ad hoc informal consultations with other judges in the Supreme Court who are expected to know the merits of a proposed appointee from a High Court or occasionally by sounding a member of the Bar.
    • These methods are poor substitutes for a full time intensive collection of data about an incumbent, his work, standing, merit, integrity and potential which requires to be made considerably in advance for filing in the vacancy.
  • Besides, the collegium’s deliberations are secret, the system is opaque and the choice of a judge is only known when his name is forwarded to the Government for formal appointment
  • The collegium has necessarily limited its field of choice to the senior-most judges from the High Court for the appointments to the Supreme Court, overlooking the several talented junior judges in the High Courts or members of the bar.
  • Skewed representation of socio economic backward classes like women,scheduled castes and tribes in the supreme court.

Executive intervention in judiciary :-

  • Recent controversy about government’s opposition to the elevation of the Chief Justice of the Uttarakhand High Court, Justice K.M. Joseph, to the Supreme Court, as recommended by the Supreme Court collegium.
  • NJAC:-
    • With NJAC  the commission was meant to ensure that the Judiciary wouldn’t get sole control over appointments by including the Law Minister and two “eminent persons” decided by the PM, Leader of Opposition and CJI together. Only three judges (CJI + 2 others) were automatically part of the commission.
  • New memorandum of procedure:-
    • After the Second and Third Judges Cases, a Memorandum of Procedure had been formulated to govern how the process of how the Collegium would make recommendations to the Executive.
    • The government therefore suggested that a new MOP be drafted and finalised for appointment of SC judges and the Executive to get a veto over candidates for national security reasons in this new MOP.
  • Neither the old memorandum of procedure nor the Constitution of India set out any time limits for the Executive to approve the Collegium’s recommendations. Consequently, the government has been able to frustrate the judges by just sitting on the files and doing nothing about them.
  • Chief justice is not being consulted by the president when the latter appoints additional judges to the High Court Division for a two year term. After the two year term, additional judges are either confirmed as permanent or may be appointed for another term as additional judges.

Way forward:-

  • In several countries of the Commonwealth, National Judicial Appointment Commissions have been established to select judges. Such judicial commissions have worked with success in the U.K., South Africa and Canada.
    • The advantage of judicial commissions are that they are independent, broad based and they represent not only the views of the judiciary but also of the executive and other sections of society.
    • They are transparent in their working even to the extent that applications are invited by public advertisement, as was the case when judges were appointed to the new Supreme Court of the U.K. recently.
  • With the size of the Indian superior judiciary, it may be necessary to have two judicial commissions in India, one for the Supreme Court and another for the High Courts.
  • There Should be a Fix time limit for approval of recommendations.

Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

5)Apni Dharohar Apni Pehchan Project will ensure better upkeep of monuments and boost tourism. Analyze.(250 words)

Financial express

Economic times


Why this question

Dalmia group adopting Red Fort has led to a debate over the move. Many people see the transfer of responsibility of management of nationally important monuments to private parties as a bad move, while others understand the benefit that it will provide. It is important to discuss the pros and cons of the policy of the government that enabled this move.

Key demand of the question

The focus of the question is on determining whether apni dharohar scheme through which private parties will adopt monuments will enable better facilities being developed there, better maintenance and management etc. The question also asks us to determine how will it help in boosting tourism.

Directive word

Analyze – When asked to analyze, you  have to examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them as a whole in a summary. Here we have to explain the scheme, examine the debates that it raises, assess the impact that the scheme will have, mention the precautions that need to be taken and finally a way forward.


Structure of the answer

Introduction – explain apni dharohar scheme.



  • Mention the status quo. Why is such a scheme necessary.
  • Examine whether involvement of private companies in handling national monuments will help in better upkeep and management, or whether the furore generated is justified. Highlight the provisions of the scheme such as the project is a non-revenue-generating one and no financial bids were involved. It envisages limited access to non-core areas and monuments won’t be handed over
  • Highlight the precautions that need to be taken – involvement of ASI in maintenance etc
  • Discuss the positive impact that it might have on tourism and the indirect benefits from the scheme – more revenue, more employment etc


Conclusion – Summarise your arguments and provide a way forward.



  • According to Global Financial Integrity illegal trade in paintings, sculptures, and other artefacts is one of the world’s most lucrative criminal enterprises, estimated at $6 billion a year. 
  • India has been witnessing theft from State-protected monuments and museums over the years so this brings to the fore the fraught issue of pilferage and smuggling of art treasures from Indian shores. This brings on to the forefront the significance of conserving heritage.

Apni darohar apni pehchan project:-

  • Adopt a heritage: Apni Dharohar, Apni Pehchaan is a collaborative effort among the tourism ministry, culture ministry, Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), states and union territories.
  • It aims to involve companies to take up the responsibility for making our heritage and tourism more sustainable through development, operation, and maintenance of world class tourist infrastructure and amenities at ASI/state heritage sites and other important tourist sites in India.
  • Monument mitras are picked through a ‘vision bidding’ process in which those with the best plan for the heritage sites are chosen.
    • It is part of responsible tourism where the ‘Monument Mitra’ essentially spends his CSR funds for upkeep and maintenance etc., and gets limited visibility. 
  • The project primarily focusses on providing basic amenities that includes cleanliness, public conveniences, drinking water, ease of access for differently abled and senior citizens, standardized signage.
  • ‘The Adopt a Heritage’ is essentially a non-revenue generating project

Significance of this project:-

  • Tourism:-
    • Adopt a Heritage project is meant to address the challenges that the Archaeological Survey of India and other government bodies are facing in operating tourism infrastructure at heritage sites.
    • By allowing private players to build, operate and maintain “tourist-friendly” and “world class amenities at these sites, the expectation is that the project will boost domestic and international tourism.
  • Preserving monuments:-
    • Aga khan trust success on Humayun’s Tomb led to restoration of large  number of adjoining monuments
    • IT giant Infosys Ltd is also involved in restore monuments and organizing cultural shows in south India. In 2016, Infosys Foundation restored Somanatheswara temple complex in Karnataka’s Lakshmeshwara and around Rs 5 crore were spent over last four years.
    • Even in many countries conservation has improved when private entities were involved .


  • Experts believe the government needs to tread with extreme caution as monuments can be exploited in this manner
  • Private companies are concerned about their revenues, and they don’t know much about conservation work. So the responsibility of the state increases in terms of supervising these companies closely.

Way forward:-

  • Every school must have age-group heritage clubs which will look at the built, natural and cultural of heritage of the district it is in through lectures, field trips and exhibitions.
  • Humanities must be a compulsory subject in undergraduate education
  • Research into and documentation of lost or vanishing heritage (particularly into building materials, techniques etc.) and of the State’s historical past must be encouraged in higher educational institutions through liberal funding.


  • Instead of allowing continued defacing and desecration of Indian heritage, one should encourage the Monument Mitra Programme and hope more and more companies come forward to save and salvage our collective national inheritance.

General Studies – 3

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

6)Explain how blockchain differs from any normal online database? Discuss its application in the telecom sector. (250 words)

Financial Express

Why this question

Blockchain has recently been called disruptive technology by our PM. It finds application in several areas of which we must be aware.

Key demand of the question

The first part asks us to explain the differentiating factors between blockchain and any normal online database. Here we will have to mention additional advantages provided by blockchain which makes it a disruptive technology. In the second part, we need to discuss the application of blockchain in telecom sector.

Directive word

Explain – We have to make the examiner understand the differences between a normal online database and blockchain

Discuss – we have to mention how blockchain can be utilised in telecom sector and the impact that it will have.


Structure of the answer

Introduction – Explain blockchain


  • Discuss the differences
  • Discuss its application in telecom sector – use ideas from the article


Conclusion – mention that blockchain has been called disruptive technology by the PM and has huge potential to transform economy.


  • Telecom industry today has the most complex operations framework, involving many partners, vendors, customers, distributors, network providers, VAS providers. There are a lot of trust issues and transparency challenges due to the involvement of multiple entities. So blockchain plays an important role .

Block chain:-

  • Blockchain is a type of software that powers a database for verifying transactions made online.
  • The idea is that by making the database public, no one can cheat the system by editing records because everyone using the system spots them in the act.
  • The decentralized and distributed nature of blockchain prevents one person or company from reigning supreme over system; instead, everyone can help run, manage and secure it.

How is it different from normal online database :-

  • It is blocks of digital information that are linked together in a chain. It is different from online database, because every transaction is tracked and the entities involved have full visibility into the details.
  • Unique “digital fingerprints” are generated for each data point, and leave digital trails behind as they exchange hands.This makes it impossible for anyone, including banking middlemen, to erase or modify information without affecting the parties involved, including the customer
  • Blockchains are simply a new type of database. That is, a database which can be directly shared, in a write sense, by a group of non-trusting parties, without requiring a central administrator. This contrasts with traditional databases that are controlled by a single entity, even if some kind of distributed architecture is used within its walls.
  • A key property of blockchain technology, which distinguishes it from traditional database technology, is public verifiability, which is enabled by integrity and transparency.
  • Blockchain databases consist of several decentralized nodes. Each node participates in administration.Traditional databases use client-server network architecture.
  • CRUD vs Read & Write Operations
    • In a traditional database, a client can perform four functions on data: Create, Read, Update, and Delete (collectively known as the CRUD commands).
    • The blockchain is designed to be an append only structure. A user can only add more data, in the form of additional blocks. All previous data is permanently stored and cannot be altered. Therefore, the only operations associated with blockchains are:
    • Read Operations: these query and retrieve data from the blockchain
    • Write Operations: these add more data onto the blockchain
  • Replication :-
    • Blockchain stores a copy on every computer in the network. This helps ensure that Several copies of the database exist even in case of a node failure.

Applications in telecom sector:-

  • Costs
    • Blockchain could lower network costs in more ways than one. In addition to the price reduction expected through efficiency gains, service providers could save money with the technology by relying less on third parties to complete a transaction.
  • Security
    • Blockchain also brings a decentralized approach to telecom systems, which complements the open source philosophy driving several communities within the industry.
    • The decentralization of blockchain could help better secure the privacy of the end user experience. By the same token, blockchain could provide some much needed security in an industry ridden with cyber breaches using a process of identity verification.
  • Customer trust:-
    • Telcos looking to sustain their business over a long term, therefore, need to maintain their customers trust in themselves. Blockchain also provides a greater level of automation and leads to more streamlined processes within organisatio
    • Analysing such vast amounts of accurate customer data can provide leaders with greater insights into customer behaviour and guide their strategy.
  • Internal processes: 
    • The processes such as OSS (Operation Support System) and BSS processes (Business Support System) such as billing and number portability databases can be streamlined using blockchain
  • Roaming
    • Blockchain can solve the issue to integrate high-cost systems and provide access/authentication settings for enabling roaming calls across networks and operators.
    • Blockchain can enable complex datasets across multiple parties, in real time with high trust and security, particularly for establishing subscriber identity.
  • Smart connection:
    • With the help of Blockchain, device connection can be provided to multiple local hotspots and WIFI’s based on permission and adherence to certain terms and conditions.
    • It also helps with automatic generation of billing amount and payments.
  • Smart transactions:
    • Blockchain has enabled purchasing of digital assets, including music, mobile games, gift cards and loyalty points.
  • Mobile money:
    • Blockchain has enabled cost-effective international remittances across the globe with very minimal transaction charges. Telecom operators can become global remittance providers.
  • Identity management
    • Operators could develop identity management tool that are accessible to organizations, devices and applications.
  • Checking fraud:-
    • Blockchain solutions are instrumental in enabling interoperability between internal as well as external systems for telecom companies. This can bring down infrastructure as well as compliance cost, and save operators from roaming/identity fraud.
    • Telecom industry today faces the challenge of eroding margins. There is a high pressure to cut down the cost and at the same time adopt service innovations. Blockchain is the right tool to not only bring in service efficiencies and innovation, but also keep a check on fraudulent practices.

Concerns :-

  • Blockchain is poised to disrupt typical business operations. Unanswered questions about how private blockchain relates to regulatory frameworks, in addition to security and privacy issues, exist too.
  • Arguably the biggest challenge, however, is identifying the optimal entry point for blockchain into the telecom industry, which may require service providers to streamline internal operations.

General Studies – 4

TOPIC Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration: Status and problems; ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions; laws, rules, regulations and conscience as sources of ethical guidance; accountability and ethical governance.

7)A dilemma is something wider and more demanding than a problem, however difficult or complex the latter may be. Comment.(250 words)



Why this question

Ethics, particularly the practical aspect of it, more or less revolves around dilemmas of various sorts. However the concept is often confused with “problem”, which has a very different meaning altogether. This is one of the basic concepts in ethics and is related to GS-4 syllabus under the following heading- Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration: Status and problems; ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions; laws, rules, regulations and conscience as sources of ethical guidance; accountability and ethical governance.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to explain and bring out the difference between a problem and a dilemma and explain how dilemma is more wider and demanding than a problem.

Directive word

comment- we have to take the stand on the given statement and then present justifications in favour of that answer.

Structure of the answer

Introduction- define a problem


  1. define a dilemma
  2. discuss its meaning in relation to a problem-  e.g caught on the horns of a dilemma, opposed and perhaps equally unwelcome alternatives, sacrifice of one alternative in favour of another etc.
  3. Discuss how to solve a dilemma- i.e  the terms of reference should be altered and the whole situation is reformulated and redefined so that full account is taken and due respect paid to the warring value options, which are then ordered and linked among themselves in a more systematic and coherent manner.


Conclusion- present your conclusion of the above discussion in relation to the demand of the question.



A problem is a situation in which a gap is found between what is and what ought to be .How a problem is framed depends on who is doing the defining. Dilemmas are messy, complicated, and conflict-filled situations that require undesirable choices between highly prized values that cannot be simultaneously or fully-solved. In short,problems can be solved, but dilemmas only managed.


A classroom teacher wants to video, digitize and then upload as a videocast his classes so students who are absent or want to review can download and watch the lesson. The tech director is concerned that students’ privacy rights (and board policy) will be violated if students can be recognized in the videocast.


The above example shows that dilemmas are conditions that can only be managed, not solved because they involve conflicts in values. Because of individual priorities and problem frames, it is impossible to deal with these issues so that everyone gets what she/he desires.


It is not surprising that organizations, especially those suffering from bureaucratic deficiencies in their reasoning and decision-making procedures, tend to confuse problems with dilemmas, and treat them indiscriminately


Usually, problems can be solved with a single, discrete solution. Dilemmas do not present a clear solution and in most cases are unable to be solved, but have to be managed over time towards a resolution.


Dilemmas, unlike problems, cannot be solved in the terms in which they are initially presented to the decision-maker. Caught on the horns of a dilemma the decision-maker is not only faced with opposed and perhaps equally unwelcome alternatives; even worse their incompatible juxtaposition also implies that they are mutually exclusive in the sense that the satisfaction of the one can only be made if the other is sacrificed.


It is then the case that solving a dilemma resembles a zero sum game, whereby the choice of one value alternative is necessarily followed by the negation of the other. ‘Solving’ the dilemma in such a way would, therefore, be a contradiction since the solution reached likewise would seem to be no more than a a dichotomic split of the intertwined aspects of the issue at hand.


Dilemma is content specific where as problem is target specific and so in case of problem always a desired set of target is achieved whereas in case of dilemma a set of targets are sacrificed in lieu of a befitting one which not very often leads to accomplishment.


A dilemma may be dealt with in a more effective and appropriate way if the terms of reference are altered and the whole situation is reformulated and redefined so that full account is taken and due respect paid to the warring value options, which are then ordered and linked among themselves in a more systematic and coherent manner.