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Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 03 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:Salient features of Indian Society

1)Despite affirmative action policies, caste consciousness is a part of everyday lives of Indians. Analyze.(250 words)

Indian Express

Why this question

Recently, there are have been a lot of agitations by certain sections particularly dalits. SC has also given a judgment that has polarized opinions. Reservation is an ongoing issue that continues to divide sections of Indian population. This it’s important to analyze whether we have managed to get rid of our casteist mindset.

Key demand of the question

Following issues have to be discussed in this question

  • The policies which are being talked about
  • The impact of those policies in the context being asked in the question
  • Whether those policies have accentuated or motivated caste discrimination
  • The levels of discrimination faced on the basis of caste

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. When you are asked to analyze, you have to examine each part of the problem which in this case is caste identity is still strong despite affirmative action policies.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Mention the nature of society in India where caste identities have been strong right since the beginning.


  • The policies of the government and the provisions of the constitution that would come under the category of affirmative action like reservation of seats in education, employment etc, FR against discrimination, constant review by govt etc
  • Whether these policies have made the dent expected of them. Discuss under various heads like constitutionally, legally, economically. We have to examine whether discrimination or reverse discrimination happens as a result of these heads
  • Whether reservation has polarized public opinion and made caste identity stronger
  • Whether laws protecting dalits have been misused
  • Etc
  • Examine the levels of discrimination faced by the dalits in economic, social etc fields.

Conclusion – mention the goal of an egalitarian society and how we can move towards it.


  • Affirmative action has been at the heart of public policies towards the socially disadvantaged in India . In India, affirmative action is interchangeably used for ‘reservation’ which is a contested terrain. It tries to redress the historical injustices and disadvantages suffered by some groups/communities.
  • The recent mass Dalit protests reflect a dramatic shift in the subaltern response to oppression. It was the catalyst that brought to a boil the deep-seated Dalit rage at the iniquities in the system.. 

Affirmative action policies against caste:-

  • Constitution:-
    • India has been a democracy in search of both formal and substantive equality, hence, there has been efforts to address on an urgent basis the cause and plight of the historically disadvantaged groups.
    • Article 15 (4) (added by the 1st Amendment to the Constitution), 16 (4), 46, 330, 332,341 and 342 form the core of the affirmative action policies in India’s Constitution.
    • Broadly speaking, three types of preferences are sanctioned by the Constitution.
      • First are reservations which cover (a) special representation rights of SCs and STs by way of reserved seats in the legislatures, and (b) quotas in government jobs and educational institutions. The reservation device is also used to a lesser extent in ‘the distribution of land allotments, housing and other scarce resources
      • Second, preferences target a few groups- SCs, STs, and women- with regard to the provision of certain expenditures, services, and ameliorative schemes such as scholarships, grants, loans, land allotments, health care and legal aid.
      • Third, certain preferences take the form of special protections that safeguard vulnerable groups from oppression and exploitation, like measures to prohibit forced labour, measures to curb caste atrocities, etc.
    • The early 1990s, through a revision in the list of the group beneficiaries, affirmative action policies have been extended to include OBCs as well.
  • Legal provisions:-
    • Many acts have been passed like prevention of SC/ST atrocities act ,73rd and 74th constitutional amendment act etc
  • Schemes:-
    • Social:-
      • Educational scholarships
      • Health schemes targeted on women
    • Economic:-
      • Stand up India, NREGA, employment ,subsidies ,social welfare schemes have been intended for the lower castes.


  • Reservations were expected to provide opportunities in higher education and jobs to the identified backward classes and excluded populations. This did not happen immediately, but by the 1990s significant changes were happening.
  • Between 1994 and 2004 in the premier all-India services (Indian Administrative Services (IAS), Indian Police Services (IPS), Indian Foreign Services (IFS)), which rank among the most coveted and sought after jobs in the country, on an average 12-15% vacancies were filled by SCs, and 6-8% by STs. At the beginning of 2005,
  • Representation of SCs, and STs in central government services, Group A, was 11.9% and 4.3% respectively; in group B they were 13.7% and 4.5% respectively. These numbers are significant as they show that identified beneficiaries now hold some prestigious positions in society and this has provided them the avenues for social mobility which didn’t exist earlier.
  • Due to reservations many students from lower castes could get access to high quality education in top institutes of India leading to social mobility
  • Due to stand up India Dalit entrepreneurs got a boost and confidence to take business as a career
  • Even in social indicators there have been significant improvement in health and educational outcomes of the lower castes.

Failure is leading to increase in caste consciousness:-

  • Criticism of reservation policy:-
    • The existing reservation policy that has failed to assimilate lowest castes/tribes within the mainstream economy and society, has created a sense of dissatisfaction and injustice among those who are denied the benefits of reservation
    • The policy has ended up as a tool that discriminates against the high caste youths in favour of the low caste youths, sometimes coming from the same economic background.  The tool of reservation has failed miserably in removing caste differences and has promoted the caste divide and caste conflicts.
    • It ended up giving preference to more or less the same class of SC/ST/OBC in school/college admission, in jobs and in promotions as well as subsidies in innumerable programmes and schemes, leaving out the poorer sections among them at the bottom.
    • Recent study in Gujarat has shown that the SC, OBC and ST households at the bottom are still left out of the benefits of the rapid growth of the State.
  • Legal:-
    • 73rd constitutional amendment act:-
      • 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.
      • In many villages across the country, Dalit candidates who manage to win are very often denied cooperation from their caste Hindu masters elected to the post of vice president or as panchayat members.
    • Though a law was passed in 1993 to prohibit manual scavenging, there are 794,390 dry latrines cleaned by manual scavengers, mostly women, in India (2011 census).
  • Despite the positive effects of reservations/affirmative action policies, it has not been able to completely mitigate the worst forms of social and economic inequality and discrimination.
  • Social indicators:-
    • In India, the Dalits/Scheduled Castes are the worst-off group that has been at the lowest rung of the society for centuries. They are lagging far behind almost in all indicators, be it literacy, land ownership, to landlessness etc.
    • Living standards in SC, ST and OBC households are much lower than the mainstream population,
    • Woefully little has been done to recognise and ensure their dignity and self-respect.
    • Dalits are everyday victims of lynchings, rapes and violence.
  • Not much social mobility:-
    • There is just one officer from the Scheduled Castes among the 85 secretaries in the central government. Of the 747 officers holding the rank of director and above, less than 10 per cent belong to the SC/SC community.
    • However, out of all central government employees, 23 per cent are SC/STs, but they are mainly in the bottom-most rung, occupying more than 45 per cent of the safai karmachari posts in keeping with the tradition of assigning the most menial jobs to them.
  • Judiciary:-
    • Supreme Court and other courts have, time and again, used the questionable arguments of merit, administrative efficiency and creamy layer to stall affirmative action in favour of the Dalits, ignoring the the social and cultural stigmatisation associated with being a Dalit
  • The latest Dalit movement protesting against Supreme court judgment has a visceral link with Rohith Vemula, with Una, with the inhuman intransigence of the caste structure. The country-wide protests were a damning indictment of a centuries-old ruthless hierarchical system.
  • Political:-
    • The clear-cut hierarchies and divisions in the caste system, offer the political parties ready-made target groups. Therefore, politicization of caste has become one of the convenient tools in the hands of the politicians and hence affects the formulation, execution and implementation of policies that seek to promote equality and justice.
    • The ‘Vote-bank’ phenomenon, based on caste-politics, has become one of the most significant way in which the political parties have corrupted the policy of reservation. Simply by increasing the quantum of reservations by extending it to more castes in order to garner a larger vote bank is a weapon being used by politicians for party’s interests.

Way forward:-

  • The radical rethinking on reservation should aim at
    • (i) excluding the entire creamy layer from reservation
    • (ii) developing the capabilities of the deprived and excluded beyond offering them admission to higher education or jobs
  • Reservation is a policy tool that is used not only in India. In many countries, reservation or other types of affirmative action are used to try to overcome human prejudice .One way to make these measures more acceptable would be to educate children in schools about caste, ethnic, gender and regional diversities and the need for public policy interventions to make society more equal and fair.


  • To ensure social harmony, India needs to squarely confront the pathologies regarding caste and address the relentless socially-sanctioned oppression of lower castes. 


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

2)The main purpose of regulating acts was to absorb wealth from the banks of ganges and deposit it on the banks of Thames. Evaluate. (250 words)


Key demand of the question

The main focus of the question is on understanding how the economic exploitation of India was carried through the provisions of the regulating act.

Directive word

Evaluate – When you are asked to evaluate, you have to pass a sound judgement about the truth of the given statement in the question or the topic based on evidences.  You have to appraise the worth of the statement in question. There is scope for forming a personal opinion here.


Structure of the answer

Introduction – explain the regulating acts, the purpose they were designed for and other details


  • Explain the views of scholars like dada bhai Naoroji etc who had explained how British policies were designed to exacerbate economic exploitation of India.
  • Mention the provisions of the regulating acts which led to economic exploitation of India
  • Mention facts and figures of trade like export and import data, share of India in world trade in general and textile trade in particular, absence of industries in India etc


Conclusion – Mention your view on the veracity of the above statement


  • The administrative policy of the Company underwent frequent changes during the long period between 1751 and 1857. However, the regulatory acts never lost sight of its main objects which were:-
    • To increase the Company’s profits.
    • To enhance the profitability of its Indian possessions to Britain.
    • To maintain and strengthen the British hold over India.
  • The Regulatory acts were designed and developed to serve these ends. The main emphasis in this respect was placed on the maintenance of law and order so that trade with India and exploitation of its resources could be carried out without disturbance.

Main intention was exploitation:-

  • Provisions of regulatory acts which show economic exploitation of India in favour of British
  • Regulating Act of 1773
    • The first important parliamentary act regarding the Company’s affairs was the Regulating Act of 1773.
    • The Company remained extremely vulnerable to the attacks of its enemies as the administration of its Indian possessions continued to be corrupt, oppressive, and economically disastrous.
  • Pitts India act :-
    • With the Pitt’s Act, a new phase of the British conquest began in India. While the East India Company became the instrument of British national policy, India was to be made to serve the interests of all sections of the ruling classes of Britain.
    • The Company having saved its monopoly of the Indian and Chinese trade was satisfied
  • Charter Act of 1813:-
    • By the Charter Act of 1813, the trade monopoly of the Company in India was ended and trade with India was thrown open to all British subjects.
  • Charter Act of 1833:-
    • The Charter Act of 1833 brought the Company’s monopoly of tea trade and trade with China to an end. At the same time, the debts of the Company were taken over by the Government of India, which was also to pay its shareholders a 10.5 per cent dividend on their capital.
    • The Government of India continued to be run by the Company under the strict control of the Board of Control.
    • India was to be made to bear the full cost of its own conquest as well as of the foreign rule.
    • British imposed a policy of one­ way free trade on India after 1813 and the invasion of British manufactures, in particular cotton textiles, immediately followed.
  • Impact:-
    • Totally disrupted the traditional structure of the Indian economy.
    • Ruin of Artisans and Craftsmen:-
      • There was a sudden and quick collapse of the urban handicrafts industry. This collapse was caused largely by competition with the cheaper imported machine made goods from Britain.
    • The railways enabled British manufactures to reach and uproot the traditional industries in the remotest villages of the country. 
    • The high import duties and other restrictions imposed on the import of Indian goods into Britain and Europe during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, combined with the development of modern manufacturing industries in Britain led to the virtual closing of European markets to Indian manufacturers after 1820.
    • British conquest led to the de-industrialisation of the country and increased dependence of the people on agriculture. Increasing pressure on agriculture was one of the major causes of the extreme poverty in India under British rule.
      • Yet as the British cotton industry underwent a technological revolution during the late 18th to early 19th centuries, the Indian industry stagnated and deindustrialized. 
      • India also underwent a period of deindustrialization in the latter half of the 18th century as an indirect outcome of the collapse of the Mughal Empire.
    • In fact, India now became an agricultural colony of manufacturing Britain which needed it as a source of raw materials for its industries. 
    • During the years of the British Raj, from 1858 to 1947. During this period, the Indian economy essentially remained stagnant, growing at the same rate (1.2%) as the population.
      • India’s share of world income collapsed from 22.6% in 1700, almost equal to Europe’s share of 23.3% at that time, to as low as 3.8% in 1952. Indeed, at the beginning of the 20th century, “the brightest jewel in the British Crown” was the poorest country in the world in terms of per capita income.
    • During the period between 1757-1813 the east India company used its political power to monopolize trade and dictate terms to traders of Bengal.
      • Imposition of inflated prices of goods led to buccaneering capitalism whereby wealth flowed out of barell of the a British trader’s gun
      • Revenues of Bengal were used to finance exports to England.
    • In the period between 1813-1858 India was exploited as a market for British goods.
      • Act of 1813 allowed one way trade for the British as a result the Indian markets flooded with cheap and machine made imports. Indian traders lost foreign as well as home market. Also Indians were forced to export raw material and import finished goods
      • Dadabhai nouroji criticised that the company servants extorted fortuned from rulers, zamindars, merchants and common man
      • Hefty interests were paid to British investors
      • Home charges or cost of salaries and pensions of the company officials in India were paid from the treasury of India.
    • Stunted the growth of Indian enterprise and checked and retarded capital formation in India.
    • India was kept as a zone of free trade without allowing it to develop the ability to compete.

General Studies – 3

Topic: Investment models. Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Achievement of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.

3)What do you understand by mobile communication on aircraft (MCA)  and onboard connectivity (OBC). Discuss their benefits and various concerns associated with these technologies. (250 words)


Economic times

Times of India


Why this question

Recently TRAI gave approval of deploying mobile communication on aircraft (MCA)  and onboard connectivity (OBC) on all class of air-flights. This will have huge benefits for businesses and consumers alike. However, there is a difference between the two and there are certain issues involved. The question is related to GS-3 syllabus under the following heading- Investment models. Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Achievement of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to give a brief description of the two given technologies, their benefits and also discuss various concerns regarding their deployment and use.

Directive word

Discuss- we have to write in length about all the core demands of the question- description of terms, discussion on benefits and concerns involved.


Structure of the answer

Introduction- mention the recent TRAI approval for mobile communication on aircraft (MCA)  and onboard connectivity and also the concerned ministries welcome of the approval.


  • Describe MCA (be brief and concise)
  • Describe OBC
  • Discuss the benefits under two subheadings;consumers and businesses.
  • Discuss the concerns revolving around them. E.g 3000 metre restriction for MCA, need for a satellite gateway in order to allay India’s security apprehensions, lack of regulations,  noise pollution etc.

Conclusion- present your conclusion for the given technologies in the form of an approval but with certain safeguards.


  • Air passengers will soon be able to make calls and browse the internet while flying in Indian airspace, with the telecom regulator recommending that domestic and international airlines be permitted to offer both services.
  • Telecom regulator recommended allowing mobile telephony and Internet services for passengers during air travel in the country through both satellite and terrestrial network as In-Flight Connectivity (IFC) in the Indian airspace

Mobile Communications on board Aircraft (MCA):-

  • It is a system which allows air passengers to use their own mobile devices on board aircraft. 
  • Mobile Communication services on board Aircraft (MCA) system
    can be installed directly on an airplane and is now available to prevent any 
    interference, and has already been deployed successfully in many countries around the world without any adverse incidence. 
  • Mobile Communication services on board Aircraft’ (MCA) systems are used to minimize the potential for airborne wireless devices interfering with terrestrial networks.

On-board connectivity

  • Refers to providing the internet connectivity in a ship, aircraft, railways or any other transportation system. On board connectivity services offers wireless internet access, group internet packages, mobile phone internet access and data sharing services.


  • Businesses :-
    • The facility would help Indian airlines to compete with foreign carriers. Globally, more than 30 airlines allow voice calls and internet access during flights.
    • Study predicts that the  number of aircraft offering wireless connectivity will rise to 14,000 by 2022
    • The availability of a quality IFC system is becoming a determining factor when business travellers select an airline.
  • It shows the success of mobile penetration, internet services and success of digital India .
  • Transparency and efficiency will be increased leading to better revenues.
  • Travellers:-
    • Analysts said the service will help travellers immensely
    • Business travellers greatly value the use of IFC systems on board  as they can continue their work commitments without deterrence in flights itself.
    • Travellers can be in touch with their near and dear even during flight


  • Installing equipment to offer WiFi would be
  • Noise levels within aircraft may rise.
  • Regulatory issues:-
    • One big issue is who will provide the service and how will the entity be regulated.
  • Some of the questions raised are:-
    • If MCA services are permitted in the Indian airspace, what measures should be adopted to prevent an airborne mobile phone from interfering with terrestrial cellular mobile network
    • Should it be made technology and frequency neutral or restricted to GSM services in the 1800MHz frequency band, UMTS in the 2100MHz band and LTE in the 1800MHz band in line with EU regulations
  • Most airlines provide in-flight communication services at a minimum height of 3,000 metres above the ground level to ensure that flight safety isn’t hampered because of interference with ground-based mobile networks.
  • Security issues cannot be brushed aside:-
    • Signals can be tracked and can become a threat to domestic security as hijacking is even possible
  • Revenue and restrictions:-
    • IFC service may not generate much revenue at least in the initial stage. If the IFC service provider enters into a commercial agreement with a telecom entity, there is the added burden of being subject to a licence fee and spectrum use charge.


  • Trai said that for mobile services, there should be flexibility to IFC service providers in terms of use of technology and frequencies inside the aircraft cabin that should be consistent with international standards, provided no harmful interference is caused. This measure shows the growing success of Indian aviation Industry.

Topic:Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.

 4)Getting affordable power to every Indian household needs sustained efforts. Comment in the light of achieving the feat of electrifying all Indian villages.(250 words)

The Hindu



Why this question

India achieved universal electrification when Leisang village in the Senapati district of Manipur, the last unelectrified village of India was electrified.  However, there are several more challenges ahead that need to be overcome to provide meaningful electricity to all the Indian population. The question is related to GS-3 syllabus under the following heading-

Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.

Key demand of the question

The question wants us to discuss why even after overcoming the gargantuan task of electrifying all villages in India, a lot more needs to be done in order to provide a meaningful access to electricity in India.

Directive word

Comment- we have to delve deep into the issue and make our opinion on the need of sustained efforts in order to provide access to affordable power to every Indian household. We have to support our opinion with the help of valid and proper arguments/ facts/ examples.

Structure of the answer

Introduction- mention the universal electrification feat and Lesiang village in Manipur, the last Indian unelectrified village which was recently electrified.

Body- discuss in points, why there is a lot more to be done in order to  provide affordable continuous power to every Indian household. e.g

  • Discuss the flaws in the very definition of electrification and how it is not inclusive and does not capture the whole picture.
  • Inter-regional disparities in power availability and consumption.
  • Rural- urban disparity in power consumption.
  • Problems in relying on renewable sources only.
  • Anticipated increase in demand of electricity in future etc.

Conclusion-  provide a concise conclusion in 2-3 lines, on what should be the way forward e.g hybrid projects, cheaper renewables etc.


  • Recently Indian government announced that all inhabited villages now enjoy electrification. This signalled a significant milestone in the country’s development. It is an achievement that will raise aspirations in the remotest districts.
  • According to the government data, all of India’s 597,464 census villages have been electrified

Several more challenges lie ahead that need to be overcome to provide meaningful electricity to all the Indian population:-

  • Disparities across states in rural electrification:-
    • Rural household electrification has a wide range across States, from 47% to 100%.
    • The average hours of power supplied in a day to rural areas in January 2018 ranged from 11.5 in Mizoram to 24 hours in Kerala, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu.
    • These anomalies are often the result of infrastructure deficits and administrative inefficiency and the Power for All 24×7 goal adopted by States and Union Territories with a deadline of 2019 is far from realistic.
  • Rural vs urban consumption:-
    • The per capita consumption between rural and fast-rising urban India also represents a challenge, since there is a divergence between the two. There are twin challenges to be faced in improving access and equity. 
  • Renewable energy constraints:-
    • The evidence from States such as Maharashtra, which made an claim to full electrification six years ago relying partly on solar power, shows that theft, damage and lack of technical capacity can pose serious hurdles.
  • Vagaries/realities in actual electrification:-
    • Existing definition to declare a village electrified is coverage of a mere 10% of households and common facilities such as schools, panchayats and health centres .Bloomberg report said that less than 8 per cent of the newly electrified villages had all homes electrified. That means a majority are still a long way off from enjoying access to electricity.
    • Electrifying mere power poles and transformers is not the essence of electrification but access to electricity has to be backed by reliability, quality and duration of supply for the hinterlands  which is a still not covered.
      • According to a 2015 study covering six of the most energy deprived states of the country – Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal there is typically a significant lag between the time when electricity was first brought to the villages and the households in these villages actually getting electrified. The median lag in the report ranged from two years over 25 years .
    • Significantly, the CEEW study had found that among the 50 per cent of households without an electricity connection, a whopping two thirds had not taken an electricity connection despite having the electricity grid in the vicinity. Households cited main reasons as affordability of the connection charges and monthly charges, and unreliable supply
  • According to media reports, only half of the connected rural households are metered currently.

Way forward:-

  • The answer may lie in a hybrid solution that ensures
    • Continued scaling up of both grid-connected and standalone solar systems in appropriate areas
    • Augmenting conventional sources of electricity with a clear emphasis on rooftop solutions for cities.
  • Cheaper renewables will enable differential pricing for households in remote areas, a key determinant of wider social benefits of electricity. 
  • The next step now is to provide electricity connections to more than 40 million families in rural and urban areas by March 2019 under the Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana (Saubhagya), wherein all households will be targeted.


  • India has traversed a long, hard, impressive journey towards achieving 100 per cent electrification. In fact, according to the International Energy Agency, by providing energy access to over 500 million people since 2000, India has become one of the greatest-ever success stories in electrification.

Topic – changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth.

5)Reforming labour laws and achieving greater flexibility in their implementation can greatly help enhance the ease of doing business. Critically examine the labour reforms undertaken and proposed by the government in this light.(250 words)

Financial express

Financial Express


Why this question

Improving Ease of Doing Business is a major focus of the government. Labour reforms are an essential reform agenda pending since long considering the political sensitivity of the issue. In this light, the proposed labour reforms need to be discussed and examined whether they would help in facilitating business.

Key demand of the question

The question asks us to critically examine whether the proposed labour reforms would help achieve the purpose mentioned in the question.  Thus the following points need to be discussed.


  • The contents of the proposed reforms
  • The pros and cons of the reforms
  • The labour reforms required to improve EODB


Directive word

Critically examine – Here one has to examine the various labour reform measures undertaken by the government to see whether they help improve EODB. Since critically is prefixed, we also have to provide our opinion on the issue and mention a way forward.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Discuss the importance of labour reforms and the attempts of the government to bring a minimum wage code.


  • Discuss the various steps taken by the government which can be categorised as labour reforms – wage code bill, amended the Industrial Establishment (Standing Order) 1946, amendments in Contract Labour Act and the Factories Act etc
  • Examine the reforms to figure out whether or not they will facilitate business. You may also mention other benefits or harms of the steps.
  • Provide your opinion


Conclusion – Mention the importance of bringing in comprehensive labour reforms and suggest how to go about it broadly.


Need for labour reforms:-

  • Employment is impacted:-
    • When the economy has been slowing, the government should have made it easier for business enterprises to hire.
    • The KLEMS India database shows a contraction in the workforce between 2013-14 and 2015-16, with about 1.2 million jobs being lost and the total employment down from 483.9 million to 482.7 million.
  • Flexible labour laws :-
    • They will allow firms to grow larger and reap economies of scale, raise productivity, create jobs and spur higher growth.
  • Right time:-
    • China is fast losing its advantage as manufacturing hub as labour cost has trebled there in last one decade.
    • The Government of India is committed to ‘Make in India’ and attracting the investors and large businesses to set up their manufacturing bases in the country.  
    • Success of ‘Make in India’ will depend on how soon and how fast labour reforms are taken further.  
  • Constraints due to present labour laws:-
    • A large number of firms in labour intensive sectors report that finding skilled workers, hiring contract labour and firing employees was a major obstacle.
    • On an average it took enterprises about two years to resolve a legal dispute and there is wide disparity across states.
    • On an average, firms faced around 46 hours of power shortage in a typical month. It took firms 118 days to set up a business.
    • The World Bank’s Doing Business survey shows that it takes 26 days to set up a business but this is restricted to Delhi and Mumbai. 
  • Demographic dividend if upgraded through skill development, and supported by labour market flexibility, will help to attract investments and create jobs.  
  • Unorganised sector:-
    • Only a minuscule proportion of the total workforce, which is part of the organized sector, enjoys some protective coverage.  
    • Except for the Minimum Wages Act in some states, informal sector activities remain unaffected by the labour laws which were enacted to address the organized sector.
    • For workers in informal employment, there is an urgent need to ensure universal social protection that improves their conditions of work and helps them live a life with dignity.
  • Countries with more practical labour laws such as Bangladesh have been growing their share in the global textile market at India’s cost.

Present reforms so far:-

  • The Unorganized Workers Social Security Act 2008 was enacted to provide social security and welfare of unorganized workers.
  • There is the Contract Labour (Regulation & Abolition) Act, 1970 to regulate the employment of contract labour. A bill to amend Contract Labour Act will also be pushed for passage in Parliament next year. The bill seeks to distinguish between contract labour and work labour
  • Various schemes have been introduced with the objective of universalization of social security cover to the informal workers such as the Atal Pension Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana and Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana.  
  • Pradhan Mantri Rozgar Protsahan Yojana to encourage small firms to take in more workers and provide them social security benefits.  
  • To encourage employers to take in apprentices the National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme was launched.  
  • Under the Skill India Mission, through the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana and skill development programmes being implemented so that new entrants get better paying jobs.  
  • Under the Ease of Doing Business initiative the process of registration, compliance to labour laws,inspection etc has been simplified to encourage more number of enterprises to be set up and provide quality jobs
  • Draft Code on Wages, 2017, seeks to usher in the concept of a statutory minimum wage, and could soon become law.
    • The codification of the labour laws will remove the multiplicity of definitions and authorities leading to ease of compliance without compromising wage security and social security to workers
  • A recent amendment to the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Rules, 1946:-
    • It has introduced a seventh category of fixed-term employees in addition to the extant six classifications of workers under Schedule 1-A of the Rules, for which conditions of service may be separately prescribed by the employer.
    • The amendment lays down that fixed-term workers would enjoy the same emoluments and allowances as permanent workers, albeit pro-rated for the period of their employment.
    • This places them in a category superior to contract workers who are generally paid less and do not enjoy any of the statutory allowances and benefits available to regular workers.
    • In this sense the government has tried to balance the wages, social security and welfare of fixed-term employees, but because their term is fixed, their termination with notice is inherent in their employment contract.
    • Fixed-term employment will provide employers with flexibility to adjust the workforce in response to changing market conditions, which has been a longstanding demand to aid ease of doing business.
  • The Trade Unions Act, 1926, the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946, and the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, would be combined into the code on industrial relations.
  • The Payment of Gratuity (Amendment) Bill, 2017 is likely to see the light of the day in 2018
    • The bill seeks to enable central government to enhance ceiling of the maximum amount of gratuity payable to an employee. It is Rs 10 lakh. The government has planned to double it. After this amendment, the government would be able to increase the maximum amount of gratuity by an executive order. 

Constraints with present reforms:-

  • The crucial Labour Code on Industrial Relations is already diluted to pacify labour unions .The government had first sought to allow companies to lay off 300 workers without approval but later abandoned the idea saying it would stay with the current level of 100 workers.
  • The much-touted rationalisation and consolidation of 44 labour laws into four omnibus codes is yet to become reality.
  • Attempts at reforming Indian labour market have been rather slow. Even the globalization and liberalization process impacted labour market in limited manner.  
  • India missed the opportunity of being manufacturing hub of the world due to rigidities in labour market, archaic labour laws and glaring skill deficit.
  • Significant skill shortage across the country makes the labour market quite unattractive especially for foreign direct investment.  
  • In terms of vocational skills, India fares worse than some of the developing countries such as Mexico where the percentage of youth having vocational training is 28 per cent.  
  • Lack of a holistic labour policy is a major obstacle in the way of developing a liberal labour market which can contribute towards making a competitive manufacturing and service industry ecosystems in the country

Way forward:-

  • The legislation must be aimed at protecting the rights of labour e.g. to form unions for purposes of collective bargaining, laying down minimum obligations which employers must meet with regard to social benefits, health and safety of workers, provision of special facilities for women workers, establishing grievance redressal mechanisms, etc.  
  • Labour laws need to be simplified and brought in line with contemporary economic realities, including especially current international practice.
  • The labour enforcement machinery needs to be further strengthened in the interest of better enforcement of labour laws.  
  • It is important to eliminate absurdities, dualities and ambiguities from existing labour laws so that industry is in a better position to leverage full potential of labour market.  
  • Labour laws should foster an enabling environment so far as employment practices are concerned.
  • Faster reforms in the power sectors, facilitation of entry and exit of firms, level playing field for small and large firms, improvement in access to finance and informing firms will lead to improvements in ease of doing business norms. 


General Studies – 4

TOPIC Information sharing and transparency in government, Right to Information, Codes of Ethics, Codes of Conduct, Citizen’s Charters, Work culture, Quality of service delivery, Utilization of public funds, challenges of corruption. Case Studies on above issues.

6)Examine the need for having a  ethical work culture in any organization. Discuss, how to create a culture of ethics in an organization.(250 words)


Why this question

Work culture is an important determinant of performance, desirability and success/ failure of an organization. It has an important bearing on employee-employee and employee-consumer relationship. It is desirable to instill and nurture an ethics based culture in an organization. The question is related to  GS-4 syllabus under the following heading-

Information sharing and transparency in government, Right to Information, Codes of Ethics, Codes of Conduct, Citizen’s Charters, Work culture, Quality of service delivery, Utilization of public funds, challenges of corruption. Case Studies on above issues.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to simply discuss the role and importance of work culture in the overall functioning and performance of a company/ organization. It then wants us to chart out a strategy to create a culture of ethics in an organization.

Directive word

Examine- we have to write in detail along with explanations in support of our answer.

Discuss- we have to write in length about a general strategy that could be adopted for creating a culture of ethics in an organization.

Structure of the answer

Introduction- describe work culture in 1-2 lines.


  • Discuss the importance of work culture in determining the performance of the employees and how it impacts their ethical compliance.
  • Discuss how to instill and nurture ethical values and ensure their compliance in an organisation. you have to discuss the strategy  in a coherent and chronological order. You can take help from the below article and modify the steps as per your own understanding and demand of the question.

conclusion– bring out a concise, fair judgement of ethical values in any organisation. or you can mention the challenges involved in realizing the ethical compliance in an organization.



The reputation  and profits  of any organisation rests on the ethics and values of its employees. Promoting ethics in the workplace creates a positive culture for managers and employees, as well as a successful business. So developing an ethical culture is imperative.

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) notes that the stock price growth of the 100 firms with the most ethical cultures outperformed stock market and peer indices by almost 300 percent, based on the most widely used measure of ethical workplace culture. The evidence indicates that a positive workplace culture predicts shareholder value by enabling superior value-creation.

Need for ethics work culture :-

  • Having an organizational culture that emphasizes ethical behaviour can cut down on misbehaviour of organizations. Research shows that Leaders with a moral compass set the tone when it comes to ethical dilemmas.
  • A business perceived to lack integrity or to operate in an unethical, immoral, or irresponsible manner soon loses the support of customers, suppliers and the community at large.
  • By creating a culture and environment which has values that are meaningful and aligned with those of staff, people are more motivated to work and will bend over backwards for things that they believe in.
  • Businesses with strong workplace ethics add value to the organization and support an environment where employees feel safe and valued. Leaders can help create an ethical workplace culture that benefits shareholders, the organization and people in the company

How to create a culture of ethics in an organisation:-

  • Clear expectations for behaviour among all members of an organization is the first step towards a more ethical organizational culture.
  • Organizational leaders must be mindful of their actions as others in the organization will likely follow their lead when it comes to ethical behaviour and attitudes.
  • Offering opportunities for recognition, awards, and social reinforcements for desirable ethical behaviours can go a long way to promote the types of ethical culture desired in any organization. 
  • Workshops, easy to use reference materials, ongoing and readily available consultation from peers or mentors are just some of the many ways institutions can assist in training students and staff to best use the tools that are available to them to participate in better and more thoughtful ethical decision making.
  • Ethical ambiguities can be reduced by creating and disseminating an organizational code of ethics. It should state the organization’s primary values and the ethical rules that employees are expected to follow.
  • Reinforcement for behaviour that is desired and corrective feedback for behaviour that is not desired is critical to help create and sustain a culture of ethical behaviour and consideration. This corrective feedback needs to be conducted in the spirit of collaboration and education rather than in terms of punishment or chastisement. 
  • Provide protective mechanisms:-
    • The organization needs to provide formal mechanisms so that employees can discuss ethical dilemmas and report unethical behaviour without fear of reprimand. This might include creation of ethical counsellors, ombudsmen, or ethical officers.