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Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 15 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:  The Freedom Struggle – its various stages and important contributors
/contributions from different parts of the country.

1)The Vaikom Satyagraha was the first systematically organized agitation in Kerala against orthodoxy to secure the rights of the depressed classes. Analyze.(250 words)


Key demand of the question

The key phrase in the question is “first systematically organised agitation”. Thus we have to analyze how vaikom Satyagraha took forward the reform movements aimed at eliminating caste discrimination by making it more systematic, organising their charter of demands and systematically protesting. Basically we have to contrast the earlier reform movements against Vaikom Satyagraha and examine how the latter was an improvement.

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.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Introduce with details about vaikom Satyagraha such as the nature of the movement, the aims and objectives, leaders involved etc


  • Analyze the nature of the reform movements – both vaikom and others and how all the reform movements were in similar vein
  • Analyze what made vaikom Satyagraha different from the other reform movements – how it was more organised and systematic.
    • Discuss whether all the important leaders were involved
    • Linkages with national politics
    • The way the movement was managed and handled
    • Involvement of the masses and organisational capacity etc

Conclusion – Summarize how the said movement differed from other reform movements


Vaikom Satyagraha :-

  • The famous agitation took place there in 1924, known as Vaikom Satyagraha is the first organised movement against untouchability in India.
  • It occupies a major position in the renaissance movement in Kerala. It was triggered in the Kakinada Congress meeting in 1923, TK Madhavan presented a report on the discrimination in Kerala and the plights of backward Hindus. The meeting decided to promote movements against untouchability.
  • Agitation was borne out of the extreme injustice done to Dalits. 
  • The Satyagraha aimed at securing freedom of movement for all sections of society through the public roads leading to the Sri Mahadevar Temple at Vaikom.

First organised agitation in Kerala against orthodoxy :-

  • It paved the way for the Temple Entry Proclamation of the Travancore government, symbolised a movement for justice and equality across the country during the freedom struggle.
  • Gandhi and Congress involvement:-
    • The issue at Vaikom needed handling at a higher and wider level. Instead of being just a fight for gaining access to road, Panikkar suggested making it a symbolic battle against atrocities in the name of caste, giving it a national and cosmopolitan look to gain the attention of the entire world.
    • The Congress along with Gandhi  agreed to include the eradication of untouchability in their constructive programs and resolved to lend full support to the Vaikom Movement.
  • Widespread support:-
    • All newspapers in India flashed headlines about the Satyagraha. Money flowed from different states to Vaikom.
    • The Akalis of Punjab came to Vaikom to open a free kitchen for the Satyagrahis.
    • Non-Hindus came forward to offer Satyagraha. But Gandhiji did not accept any of these. 
  • This was the first time that an organised movement was being conducted on such a large scale for the civil rights of the untouchables and other backward castes in Kerala.
  • The Vaikom Satyagraha was not an agitation for political freedom, it was a movement to purify the Hindu society of its blemishes, and this was what Narayana Guru also attempted through his actions and messages.

Impact :-

  • Gandhi’s non-violent weapon of Satyagraha had been evolved from agitations such as Vaikom.
    • Vaikom Satyagraha was a testing ground for the Gandhian principles of Satyagraha. It was tested and proved as the most effective means for the first time.
  • It became a key event in the civil rights movements during the freedom struggle.
  • It was cosmopolitan in character and people from various religious communities, castes and provinces took part in it.
  • It heralded the mass participation of women in public action. The struggle helped to define the later social identity of Kerala.
  • In 1925, all except the eastern gate of the temple was opened to all Hindus.
  • In 1928, another royal proclamation gave backward castes the right to walk on public roads leading to all temples in Travancore.
  • This movement was a watershed in the history of emancipation of the depressed classes especially in Kerala.
  • Another achievement of Vaikom agitation is certainly communal harmony. Progressive minded Savarnas and Avarnas came together with Christians, Muslims and even Sikhs. It is to be remembered that many Savarnas played the role of active leaders, till the withdrawal of the Satyagraha, and this has demonstrated the basic unity of the people.
  • The streets in the temple area were opened to Harijans or Untouchables. In 1936, they were allowed to enter the temple. The Satyagraha paved the way for subsequent Temple Entry Act.


Topic – Salient features of world’s (including India) physical geography

2)The severity of air pollution over Northern India is primarily due to the inherent geographical disadvantages that the region faces. Critically examine.(250 words)

Indian express

Why this question

The recent WHO report has brought into focus the problem of severe air pollution, particularly in North India. The first step in dealing with any problem is identification of the causes. Thus this question becomes important.

Key demand of the question

Following points are to be mentioned in your answer

  • Detail out the severity of air pollution in India in general and over North India in particular
  • Examine the causes behind air pollution over North India
  • Analyze whether the causes are all due to geographical limitations that the region has or due to man made issues
  • Mention in brief suggestions to address the situation

Directive word

Critically 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. When ‘critically’ is suffixed or prefixed to a directive, all you need to do is look at the good and bad of something and give a fair judgement.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Detail out the magnitude of the problem of air pollution with emphasis over the severity of the situation in North India.


  • Examine the various causes
  • Analyze whether the reason is on account of geographical disadvantages or man made reasons or a combination of the two
  • Suggest some ways to mitigate this challenge

Conclusion – Provide your view based on arguments made.


  • According to latest WHO report 14 of the 15 worst cities with respect to air pollution were from north India.

Severity of air pollution in North India:-

  • In 2014, the WHO listed Delhi the worst in the world in terms of particulate matter (PM) 2.5, 30 times less than the width of human hair, and most hazardous.

General Reasons:-

  • Burning of crop residue:-
    • One of the main reasons of increasing air pollution levels in Delhi is crop burning by the farmers in these states. Farmers burn rice stubbles in Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. It is estimated that approximately 35 million tonnes of crop are set afire by these states.
  • Dust from construction debris:-
    • Large scale construction is another culprit that is increasing dust and pollution in the air.
  • Vehicle exhaust:-
    • Vehicular emission is increasing the hazardous effects of air pollution and smog. 
    • Rapid increase in pollution sources due to urbanisation.
  • Proliferation of industrial units using extremely dirty fuels without pollution control
  • Extensive use of solid fuels for cooking
  • Enormous problem of waste mismanagement and big dust impacts.
  • Over-population only adds up to the various types of pollution.
  • Investing less on public infrastructure is another reason of air pollution. In India, investment in public transport and infrastructure is low which leads to congested roads, and hence air pollution.

Geographical disadvantages:-

  • Indo-Gangetic plains are sandwiched between the Himalayas and the Vindhyas and are home to more than 600 million people with winds blowing from north-west to east, especially in winter, which carry pollutants from other regions.
  • As the winter season sets in, dust particles and pollutants in the air become unable to move. Due to stagnant winds, these pollutants get locked in the air and affect weather conditions, resulting in smog.
  • Meteorology: 
    • Temperature inversions and stable wind conditions are characteristic features of winters in North India. While calm wind conditions prevent the dissipation of pollutant emissions, the temperature inversion layer tends to trap pollution, thereby increasing the observed pollutant concentrations.
  • Wind convergence zone:
    • The Indo-Gangetic plain is essentially landlocked. The Himalayas prevent polluted air from escaping to the north creating the so called “valley effect”. 
    • Other studies have pointed out that the formation of low pressure troughs across this region causes winds to converge, resulting in trapping of local, as well as pollution from outside.
  • Loose Alluvial Soil:  
    • The Indus-Ganga belt is the world’s largest stretch of uninterrupted alluvium deposits. As fertile as alluvium is, it is composed of loose unconsolidated particles. Thus, dry alluvial soil significantly contributes to wind-blown dust.
  • Seasonal variation of particulate matter composition: 
    • Studies that have been carried out for the cities situated in the Indo-Gangetic basin point out that the relative proportion of dust exceeds the contribution from anthropogenic sources. 
    • Dust accounts for 40 per cent of total PM10 in summer, it accounts for only 13 per cent in winter. 
    • Widespread dust events are a common phenomenon in the northern part of the country during summers. There is no denying the fact that wind–blown dust contributes significantly to the pollution problem.
  • This region does not have the advantage of a coastline. 


Way forward:-

  • International experiences :-
    • Think regionally, but act locally. Beijing, Shanghai and other Chinese cities have demonstrated that where there is the political will, there is a way to tackle air pollution. 
  • More efficient means of treating crop residue are needed 
  • Replace smoky chulhas with efficient models 
  • Cracking down on construction debris and polluting thermal power stations
  • Restricting the number of vehicles and switching to mass public transport in cities
  • While local-level policy and technological interventions are certainly the call of the hour, a national-level integrated plan needs to be put in place.


General Studies – 2

Topic – Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein.

3)The terms of reference of the 15th Finance commission seriously undermine Indian federalism. Discuss.(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question

The terms of reference (TOR) of the 15th finance commission have been under criticism from the states, especially the southern states, for various reasons. The question is related to GS-2 syllabus under the following heading-

Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein.

Key demand of the question

The question wants us to bring out the salient provisions of the TOR of the 15th finance commission and discuss how they would affect federalism in India.

Directive word

Discuss- we have to write in detail about the important provisions of the TOR of the 15th finance commission and how they would affect the federal structure of India.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– give a brief description of the finance commission, its constitutional powers and mandate.

Body- Discuss in points, how the TOR of 15th finance commission will affect federalism.

e.g. change in population base and consequent change in resources allocation,

power of the commission to review the award of its predecessor i.e 14th finance commission, increase in share of centrally sponsored schemes, reversing the 14th Finance Commission’s efforts to ensure that the discretionary element in the grant given by the Commission is totally eliminated etc.

Conclusion- mention the imperative of fiscal federalism and diverse nature of states which demands devolution of sufficient powers- legal and financial.



  • The terms of reference of the 15th Finance Commission are a matter of utmost importance to the resources available to the States of India. The terms of reference of this Commission have created apprehension among States about principles of fairness and equity in the distribution of public resources for development. 

Terms of 15 th finance commission undermine federalism:-

  • The ToR want to curtail borrowing by States from the present 3% of Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) to 1.7% if the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Review Committee has its way with its recommendation.
    • India has just started exercising borrowing rights as recommended by the 14th Finance Commission. If this is reversed, this will severely curtail capital expenditure of States
  • The foremost objective of the Finance Commission is an equitable distribution of financial resources between the two units of the Union. The States in India today neither have the resources to fulfil their tasks as laid down in the Constitution, nor do they have the right to raise such resources due to the government policy and GST reduced states independence even further.
  • Revenue grants:-
    • The terms of reference state that the Commission may also examine whether revenue deficit grants be provided at all.
    • Revenue deficits are offshoots of the path of development followed by States and cannot be brought down in the short term.
    • To discontinue post-tax devolution of revenue deficit grants would go against the principle of cooperative federalism.
  • Vertical devolution:-
    • The terms of reference explicitly privilege the committed expenditures of the Centre.
    • The Finance Commission should not take a residual approach to the question of vertical devolution. The approach should not be that of distributing what is left over after providing for the requirements of the Centre.
  • The terms of reference are unprecedented in asking the 15th Finance Commission to consider proposing performance-based incentives beyond those relating to fiscal responsibility, population and devolution to local bodies.
    • It is not the duty of the Finance Commission to venture into the realm of day-to-day governance. The elected governments of States will decide what policies are appropriate for people.
  • Fiscal consolidation:-
    • They intensify efforts to use the Finance Commission as an instrument of fiscal consolidation and to impose the ideological and economic agenda of the Central government on the States
    • This aspect is criticised as it is not the task of a Finance Commission to recommend road maps for fiscal management
  • The Centre’s direction to use the 2011 Census instead of the 1971 Census for population data has concerned the southern states. As the population in these States has stabilised, the concern is that their share of tax allocation would reduce.
    • The terms of reference for the 15th Finance Commissionhave brought the south together in making a strong case for fiscal federalism. 
    • Using 2011 census data will give states with the greatest increase in population an advantage in their share of revenue, relative to prior revenue allocations.
    • Using the 2011 census would mean that the policy successes is states like TN, Kerala  are punished and the policy failures of badly governed states are rewarded.
    • Taking away the resources of successful states at this crucial juncture of their development also affects their future development and welfare outcomes.
    • The use of the 2011 census in the 15th FC is merely revealing the symptoms caused by the problem of centralizing fiscal decisions.

Way forward:-

  • Long-term solution is to foster genuine fiscal federalismwhere states largely raise their own revenue and face hard budget constraints, i.e. fiscal autonomy accompanied by fiscal responsibility.
  • Creating a fiscal structure where the states have greater revenue-raising authority, as well as greater decision making power on spending, implies a lower reliance on the Union government in fiscal matters as well as governance decisions.
  • India needs to move away from centralization-decentralization thinking, and embrace genuine fiscal federalism by permanently creating a fiscal power centre in the states. 

Topic:  Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health ; Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the
performance of these schemes


4)Discuss how Ayushman Bharat is an improvement over RSBY? Examine the challenges that lie ahead in fulfilling the mandate of Ayushman Bharat?(250 words)

Financial express


Why this question

Ayushman Bharat is a flagship scheme in healthcare which has to be prepared in detail.

Key demand of the question

The first part of the question requires us to compare the provisions of Ayushman Bharat with RSBY in which detailed comparison of the provisions of the two scheme is to be written. The second part of the question demands us to delve deeper into the challenges that might be faced in the implementation of the scheme.

Directive word

Discuss – Here we need to compare the provisions of the two scheme, highlight how one is an improvement of the other and provide a fair view at the end.

Examine – We have to delve deeper into the challenges of implementing Ayushman Bharat, the impacts these challenges might have on the future of the scheme and way forward.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Briefly explain the aims and objectives of Ayushman Bharat and RSBY.


  • Compare and contrast the provisions of Ayushman Bharat and RSBY to determine whether the former is an improvement over the latter.
  • Discuss the challenges under various heads like financial, capacity building, infrastructure etc. Discuss the impact these challenges would have on the future of the scheme if left unresolves.
  • Discuss the ways in which these challenges can be mitigated by taking learnings from the implementation of RSBY

Conclusion – mention the need for such a scheme for solving the health woes of a large section of the population.


  • India is concerned with many health issues be it malnutrition, infant mortality, rising non communicable diseases, growing number of deaths due to cancer etc. The national health protection scheme or the Ayushman Bharat health insurance scheme is the step in the right direction which can give impetus to healthcare in India.

Ayushman Bharat:-

  • Ayushman Bharat is National Health Protection Scheme, which will cover over 10 crore poor and vulnerable families (approximately 50 crore beneficiaries) providing coverage upto 5 lakh rupees per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization.
  • Ayushman Bharat – National Health Protection Mission will subsume the on-going centrally sponsored schemes – Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) and the Senior Citizen Health Insurance Scheme (SCHIS).
  • Benefits of the scheme are portable across the country and a beneficiary covered under the scheme will be allowed to take cashless benefits from any public/private empanelled hospitals across the country.

How is it improvement over RSBY :-

  • Each individual gets an annual allocation of Rs 5 lakh for secondary and tertiary hospitalisation. The move is expected to benefit as many as 500 million people, going much beyond a total of 36 million families who have been enrolled so far under RSBY.
  • The scheme will replace Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana under which, the government provided Rs.30,000 annually for healthcare. Under NHPS, Rs.30,000 is increased to Rs. 5 lakhs.
  • Priority is being given to strengthening primary healthcare with 70% of allocated funds being spent on it, which means a better basic healthcare package for the people. It is envisioned that health centres will be upgraded to 1.5 lakh health and wellness centres.
  • The new focus aims to take primary health centres from providing only limited services that represent less than 10% of all morbidities, as in the past, to comprehensive healthcare close to the community.
  • Will have major impact on reduction of Out of Pocket (OOP) expenditure on ground of:
    • Increased benefit cover to nearly 40% of the population, (the poorest & the vulnerable)
    • Covering almost all secondary and many tertiary hospitalizations. (except a negative list)
  • Will bring healthcare system closer to the homes of people:-
    • This will lead to increased access to quality health and medication.
    • This will lead to timely treatments, improvements in health outcomes, patient satisfaction, improvement in productivity and efficiency, job creation thus leading to improvement in quality of life.
  • This mission enables increased access to in-patient health care for the poor and lower middle class. The access to health care is cashless and nationally portable.
  • It spurs increased investment in health and generate lakhs of jobs, especially for women, and will be a driver of development and growth. It is a turning point for the health sector.
  • The new program would be a vast expansion of health coverage, allowing people to visit the country’s many private hospitals for needs as varied as cancer treatment and knee replacements
  • The scheme involves engagement with the state governments because the scheme will be delivered by the states. The states are the custodians and the implementers of the scheme.


  • Challenge is in equipping the centres with trained health personnel for not only providing diagnostic and treatment services for communicable and non-communicable diseases, but also for promoting disease prevention and community-based health facilities
  • Attracting and retaining human resources in rural and remote areas, and within public services. 
  • The amount of Rs 5 lakh per family is a massive and unexpected hike from the existing fund of Rs 1 lakh per family. This amount is 17 times bigger than the RSBY scheme and will cover 40% of India’s population.
  • Though it improved access to health care, it did not reduce out-of-pocket expenditure (OOPE), catastrophic health expenditure or health payment-induced poverty.
  • The NHPS addresses those concerns by sharply raising the coverage cap, but shares with the RSBY the weakness of not covering outpatient care which accounts for the largest fraction of OOPE.
  • Universal health insurance through private hospitals has not worked for the poor anywhere.Biggest beneficiaries are the private hospitals and insurance companies. There is no substitute for public health care. 
  • The government’s proposals do little to prevent poor health in the first place. India is plagued by increasing levels of water and air pollution, some of it worsened by pro-business policies. Malnutrition, poor sanitation and lack of proper housing also remain major problems.
  • Earlier programme failures cast new doubts:-
    • In its final iteration in 2016-2017, the RSBY also targeted 5.9 crore families, and managed to enroll 3.6 crore families. Thus the government’s announcement today of reaching ten crore families is also vastly ambitious
    • There is evidence to show that despite efforts towards pushing for increased insurance coverage, neither have the poorest been reached out to nor has there been efficient financial protection.


Way forward:-

  • The public healthcare needs to be strengthened especially in rural areas.
  • The government needs to provide adequate funding to improve the quality of services as well.
  • In a federal polity with multiple political parties sharing governance, an all-India alignment around the NHPS requires a high level of cooperative federalism, both to make the scheme viable and to ensure portability of coverage as people cross State borders.
  • India needs a powerful human resource strategy:-
    • One way is to have regular appointments at medical personnel home districts, with attractive incentives that are enforced and delivered, and not have contractual employment or leniency in making these posts mandatory for a certain term.
    • This has worked in some of the Asian countries and there seems to be no reason why it should not in India.
  • There is strong requirement for regulating the private healthcare market as universal health coverage will bring a neat nexus between public and private healthcare institutions.
  • The relevance of technology and digitisation is imperative as we look at newer ways of healthcare delivery services. So while the potential is immense, the government now needs to put in strong emphasis on the adoption of technology by the entire healthcare ecosystem to provide accessible and affordable patient care to the last mile of the country.


General Studies – 3

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

5)Discuss how India  can use its market power to create rules that will produce home-grown, locally-owned internet economy giants.(250 words)

Economic times

Why this question

India us a huge marketplace and as the economy grows, it  will become even more lucrative. The recent deal between Flipkart and Walmart highlights the significance of Indian market and also points out the inadequacies on part of indian businesses.

The question is related to GS-3 syllabus under the following heading-

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

Key demand of the question

The question wants us to write in detail about the importance of having homegrown internet giants and how India could use its sheer marker power to achieve that.

Directive word

Discuss- we have to write at length that how can India use its market power to facilitate creation of homegrown internet giants, what are the tools / strategies through which Indian can achieve that.

Structure of the answer

Introduction- Highlight India’s economic potential, human resource availability and market size which make it likely to have homegrown internet giants like facebook, google, amazon etc.

Body- Discuss in points, what strategies and tools could be deployed by India to achieve the same target.

e.g corporate structures which allow promoters with minority stake a proportionately greater say in the decision making, restrictions at foreign e-commerce agents selling at negative margins or involved in deep discounting at the back of the foreign capital, incentivising investment in domestic ventures, protecting internet privacy etc.

Conclusion- mention the importance of home grown internet giants and possibility of achieving the afore discussed goal.


Background :-

  • Recent deal between Flipkart and Walmart highlights the significance of Indian market .Smartphone penetration, data transmission capacity and vernacular interfaces for internet transactions are all growing rapidly. Per-capita income and, therefore, consumers’ spending power will also keep growing. That means India’s ecommercemarket has staggering  growth potential.

Need to create rules :-

  • Stakes for the Indian technology sector are high. Last year, $13.5 billion was invested in Indian tech startups.
  • Stakes for Indian consumers are higher still.
    • India’s middle class participates in 325 million monthly mobile wallet transactions. The digital divide is being overcome as mobile penetration increases.
    • By 2020, half of India’s internet users will be rural.

Rules needed are:-

  • There must be restrictions on foreign e-commerce companies selling at negative margins by using capital sourced from other geographies. This will help level the playing field substantially. 
  • Corporate structures used by US and Chinese internet giants, where promoters own a minority of stock but still call the shots, must be allowed in India.
  • There must be incentives for Indian investors who bet big in home-grown internet firms and new technologies. Indian capital should be incentivised to invest in such local technology ventures.
  • Government should hold firm and put in adequate privacy controls so that Indian law enforcement agencies can’t abuse locally stored digital data, and just go ahead and mandate data localisation.
    • Increasingly, countries are fixated on government access and mandating data storage in local servers. China has been undertaking data security legislation since 2006.
    • France, Germany, Malaysia, South Korea all have consent requirements for critical data transfer outside their borders. India needs to take heed.
  • Giving incentives in investment in domestic ventures to start-ups under Start-up India and Make in India scheme.

TopicInfrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc., Investment models.

6)The aspiration for access to clean, reliable and affordable power for all is not free from barriers and fallibility. Examine.(250 words)

The hindu


Why this question

Recently India achieved universal electrification as per the official definition of electrification. This is a big milestone for India but there are several issues involved which hamper the access to clean, reliable and affordable electricity for all. The issue is related to GS 3 syllabus under the following heading-

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

Key demand of the question

The question wants us to put reasons in support of the given statement i.e The aspiration for access to clean, reliable and affordable power for all is not free from barriers and fallibility and justify the same with the help of facts/ arguments.

Directive word

Examine- we have to dig deeper into the issue and bring out reasons in support of the given statement. We have to justify that universal electrification will not be enough to provide a reliable and affordable power for all.

Structure of the answer

Introduction- mention India’s recent achievement of universal electrification.

Body- discuss the definition of electrification and then discuss in points about, why a reliable and affordable power for all is a distant dream.

e.g 33 million rural households still not electrified, inadequate distribution and transmission infrastructure, concurrence between energy poverty and economic poverty like in states of UP, MP, Bihar, Odisha etc, weak financial position of state discoms and huge debts etc.

Conclusion- bring out a fair and balanced opinion based on the above discussion and highlight the importance of electrification for development.


  • 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


  • Problems with Discoms:-
    • Actual supply of electricity to households rests with the state discoms. These discoms are already facing huge financial losses and hence are unable to supply electricity to the villages. 
    • Discoms continue to supply subsidised power to agricultural and residential consumers, resulting in revenue losses. 
    • Further, the average technical and commercial losses (theft and pilferage of electricity) (AT&C losses) are at around 25%. 
  • Cost of supply :-
    • Electricity distribution companies (discoms) in these seven States are already highly indebted. Their debts account for 17% of accumulated liabilities of the States.
    • Despite continued State subvention (except by Odisha), all these discoms have been consistently running at a loss, accounting for about 47% of the loss in electricity distribution business
    • Existing subsidised lifeline tariffs in these States appear unaffordable to the poor and certainly higher than in States with universal (or high) access. 
  • Distribution network capacity:-
    • Distribution infrastructure is overburdened,as the demand has grown, causing a high level of technical losses and frequent breakdowns.
    • The distribution network capacity in several States is inadequate to carry available electricity. Subsequently, discoms have been resorting to load shedding while their contracted generation capacities are underutilised.
    • Adding new load to the existing fragile distribution network will only compromise the quality and reliability of supply. It could result in continued blackouts for the rural poor during peak hours.
  • Many States have failed to utilise the limited funding:-
    • Current allocations under the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY) and Integrated Power Development Scheme (IPDS), to augment rural and urban distribution networks, respectively, are only a fraction of the requirement.
    • Moreover, disbursement of these grants has been much slower, 17% under DDUGJY and 31% under IPDS, reflecting sluggish implementation.
  • Low achievement of earlier electrification schemeshas often been blamed on incompatibility and a lack of cooperation between the Centre and States.
  • 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 inefficiencyand 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 solutionthat 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.


General Studies – 4

Topic:Attitude: content, structure, function; its influence and relation with thought and behaviour; moral and political attitudes; social influence and persuasion.

7)Discuss the relationship between attitude change and social persuasion.(250 words)


Why this question

The question is related to GS-4 syllabus under the following heading-

Attitude: content, structure, function; its influence and relation with thought and behaviour; moral and political attitudes; social influence and persuasion.

Key demand of the question

The question wants us to write in detail about the relationship between attitude and social persuasion.

Directive word

Discuss- we have to write in detail about,how social persuasion influences the attitude of a person.

Structure of the answer

Introduction- Define attitude and in 1-2 lines, highlight its importance.

Body- Discuss to what extent and how social persuasion affects the attitude of a person. Take help of the article attached with the question to gather points to form your answer.

Conclusion– Bring out a fair, concise and balanced conclusion on the above issue and discuss some areas where it can be practically applied e.g Swachh Bharat, Environmental conservation etc.


Answer :-


Persuasion is symbolic process in which communicators try to convince other people through transmission of a message to change their attitudes or behaviours.  Thus, Persuasion is one form of social influence on attitude.


Speakers who are credible, or have expertise on the topic, and who are deemed as trustworthy are more persuasive than less credible speakers. In 2007, iphone quickly revolutionized the smartphone industry and changed what consumers came to expect from their phones.  Much of this shift in attitude can be credited to the impressive use of tactics of persuasion employed by smartphone manufacturers like Apple and Samsung. This clearly elaborates the relationship between attitude and social persuasion.


Attitude is our evaluation of a person, an idea, or an object. We have attitudes for many things ranging from products that we might pick up in the supermarket to people around the world to political policies. Typically, attitudes are favourable or unfavourable: positive or negative


Persuasion is also employed to change individuals attitude towards an object or an issue. It basically refers to categorisation of an object or the issue as per evaluative dimension which stretches from negative to positive.


Persuasion can also have more positive outcomes. Persuasion is used to encourage people to donate to charitable causes, to volunteer to give blood, and to engage in healthy behaviours. More attractive speakers are more persuasive than less attractive speakers. The use of famous actors and athletes to advertise products on television and in print relies on this principle. The dramatic decrease in cigarette smoking is due in large part to effective advertising campaigns.





Central route is logic driven and uses data and facts to convince people of an argument’s worthiness. For example, a car company seeking to persuade you to purchase their model will emphasize the car’s safety features and fuel economy. This is a direct route to persuasion that focuses on the quality of the information. The central route to persuasion works best when the target of persuasion, or the audience, is analytical and willing to engage in processing of the information.

The peripheral route is an indirect route that uses peripheral cues to associate positivity with the message. Instead of focusing on the facts and a product’s quality, the peripheral route relies on association with positive characteristics such as positive emotions and celebrity endorsement. For example, having a popular athlete advertise athletic shoes is a common method used to encourage young adults to purchase the shoes.