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Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 09 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: Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc

1)Discuss how dust storms are formed? Examine the impact of climate change in formation of dust storms?(250 words)




Why this question

Several regions of North India have been hit by dust storms and squall recently which makes it important for us to understand this natural phenomena from a geographical perspective.

Key demand of the question

The question is fairly straightforward. Firstly, we have to explain the mechanism of formation of thunderstorms. Thereafter, we have to delve deeper into the impact climate change has had on dust storms. The frequency of dust storms, how climate change impacts dust storms, the regions of the world where the impact will be greater and how to deal with the situation are aspects to be mentioned.

Directive word

Discuss – here the mechanism of formation of dust storms is to be discussed

Examine – When you are asked to examine, you have to delve deeper into the topic and analyze it’s causes and impacts. The points as discussed in the section above need to be brought out.  

Structure of the answer

Introduce – introduce your answer by highlighting the spate of dust storms that have hit north India recently.


  • Explain the mechanism of formation of dust storms (mentioned in detail in the first article). The mechanism of downdraft has to be explained
  • Examine the impact of climate change on dust storms
  • The frequency of its formation
  • How climate change impacts the formation of dust storms
  • Regions of the world where the impact will be greater

Conclusion – Mention how to deal with the situation as it will lead to greater loss of life and property in the future.


  • Over the past few years, rise in the global temperature has set new records and that is leading to increase in the number of extreme weather events.
  • India may also witness an increase in the severity and frequency of the dust storms and thunderstorms similar to what the northern Indian states experienced recently.

Dust storm :-

  • Dust storm can be explained as a phenomenon when strong winds carry dust over an extensive area.
  • dust stormis a meteorological phenomenon common in arid and semi-arid regions. Dust storms arise when a gust front or other strong wind blows loose sand and dirt from a dry surface. Fine particles are transported by saltation and suspension, a process that moves soil from one place and deposits it in another.
  • They are usually caused by thunderstorms  or strong pressure gradients associated with cyclones  which increase wind speed over a wide area.
  • These strong winds lift large amounts of sand and dust from bare, dry soils into the atmosphere, transporting them hundreds to thousands of kilometres away.

How are they formed :-

  • Dust storms are a result of nearly similar weather conditions, like intense heat. Areas which don’t have moisture experience dust storms. 
  • Reason for this particular ‘severe dust storm and thunderstorm’ activity in India was due to very high temperatures in Rajasthan and presence of western disturbance that led to the atmosphere becoming unstable.
  • Moreover, easterly winds from the Bay of Bengal were also increasing the moisture over the area. The combination of all these factors resulted in this severe dust storm and thundershower activity
  • Scientists say high temperatures, moisture and an agitated atmosphere make a perfect combination for storms of this type.
  • As the force of wind passes over loosely held particles and increases its pace, the particles of sand first start to vibrate and then start to saltate. Since they repeatedly strike the ground due to the wind, they loosen and break off into smaller particles of dust that begin to travel in the suspension.
  • On the other hand, at wind speeds above this pace, it causes even the smallest particles to suspend and there will be a population of dust grains which will be moving by a range of mechanisms known as suspension, saltation, and creep.
  • The initial saltation between sand particles induces a static electric field through friction. Saltating sand acquires a negative charge which is relative to the ground that in turn loosens more sand particles, all of which then begin saltating. This process is said to double the number of particles which were predicted by previous theories.
  • In such situations, particles become loosely held due to drought or arid conditions along with varied wind causes. Gust fronts might be produced by the outflow of air cooled by recent rains from an intense thunderstorm. However, the wind gusts might also be produced by a dry cold front which is a cold front that moves into a dry air mass while producing no precipitation, which is similar to the recent storm in Delhi/NCR.

Impact of climate change on the formation of dust storm :-

  • Increase in the sudden increase of surface temperature:-
    • As the climate gets warmer the temperature gradient is going to become very steep. This steep increase in temperature gradient will lead to  heat waves and sand storms.
    • In the context of climate change, we can say that in north India the temperature is increasing more compared to south India. Increase in temperature means an increase in heating which means there will be more heat wave days and more reasons for occurrence of dust storm and thunderstorms.
  • With the rise in global temperature the soil is going to become drier:-
    • So, the amount of soil that wind can carry is also increasing. With both the intensity of the wind and dryness of the soil increasing, the intensity of dust storm is going to further increase in the future. 
  • Drought and wind also contribute to the emergence of dust storms along with poor farming and grazing practices which expose the dust and sand to the high-speed winds.
  • Increasing desertification would mean more intense and damaging dust storms.
  • Poor management of the Earth’s drylands, such as neglecting the fallow system, are increasing dust storms size and frequency from desert margins and changing both the local and global climate, and also impacting local economies.
  • Dust storm that blanketed seven nations in the Middle East in late summer 2015 was caused by climate factors and unusual weather.

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


2)All sections of Indian population and polity paid heed to the Gandhi’s clarion call of “Do or Die”. Critically analyze(250 words)

Key demand of the question

The question is making an assertion that there was unflinching support for Quit India Movement, which needs to be analysed. We need to provide our opinion on whether there was unanimous support for the movement from the public and polity. If there were differing opinions, those have to be brought about.

Directive word

Critically 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. 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 – Introduce by explaining the significance of Quit India movement – final and most impactful Gandhian mass movement.



  • First discuss whether all sections of population such as farmers, industrialists, students, civil servants, women etc participated in the movement on the same scale like they did earlier
  • Thereafter, discuss whether there was unanimous political support for the movement. Examine the viewpoint of communists, Hindu nationalists, BR Ambedkar etc on the movement.


Conclusion – present your view on the assertion made in the question by summarising the arguments made above.



  • The Quit India movementwas an important landmark in India’s struggle for freedom from British colonization. It instilled a new confidence among the Indian masses and aroused a spirit of total sacrifice in them.

Most of the Indian population obliged to Gandhi’s call:-

  • The movement attracted participation from a large number of people including such varied professions as farmers ,lawyers , workers, teachers, soldiers, civil servants etc.
  • Men and women of all age groups formed the cadres in the movement.
  • The most important effect of the quit India movement was that it made the British realise that in the crippling effects of second world war on British resources and the bitter opposition to its rule in India., It would be difficult for them to rule Indians .
  • It kept the Congress Party united all through these challenging times. The movement was accompanied by a mass protest on non-violent lines.
  • All sections of people, including even women participated in huge numbers.

Some sections have not supported:-

  • One of the powerful sections of congress by led byJaya Prakash Narayan openly repudiated the policy of Gandhi. There were sporadic events of violence in all parts of India and the leaders preached the cult of violence and mass revolution.
  • The revolutionary movement and the non-violent satyagraha launched by Gandhi, both came to an end, almost simultaneously, without achieving freedom.
  • The communists had opposed this movement and it virtually damaged the labour movement also. Labour Unions under Communist influence had apparently decided against participation in the movement.
  • Lack of leadership did not lead to well-coordinated guidance and progress of the movement, with the intensity restricted to a few pockets.
  • Muslim League did not participate as Jinnah Believed that if British Government left India in current state, the Majority Hindus would oppress Muslim minorities.
  • Hindu Mahasabha opposed the Quit India Movement. More importantly, the Scheduled Caste Federation (SCF) opposed the Quit India Movement. Hindutvacamp not only opposed the movement but also supported British rulers in suppressing this historic mass upsurge.

General Studies – 2

TopicImportant aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.

3)Aadhar poses several privacy concerns, which need to be allayed, so that it’s benefits can be harnessed in the best possible way. Analyse. (250 words)


Indian Express

Why this question

Recently Bill Gates made a public statement saying that Aadhar does not pose any privacy concerns. However, Aadhar raises several issues related to privacy of an individual. The act of denying the problem is akin to an ostrich burying its head in the sand. Although Aadhar offers immense opportunities for improving public service delivery and governance, it is vital to allay the critical concerns attached with it. The question is related to GS-2 syllabus under the following heading-

Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications,

models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.

Key demand of the question

The question wants us to highlight the benefits associated with the Aadhar and bring out the privacy concerns surrounding it.

Directive word

Analyse- we have to identify the key aspects of the question- privacy concerns with Aadhar and benefits associated with it, and then discuss these aspects in detail. We have to bring out reasons in support of the statement that, Aadhar poses several privacy concerns.  Also we have to bring out the benefits of Aadhar.

Structure of the answer

Introduction- briefly discuss the importance of privacy and data protection in modern world.


  • Discuss in points, what are the privacy concerns posed by Aadhar- e.g security of data, sharing of data with third parties, large discretionary powers of UIDAI and least accountability, leakage of information, surveillance etc.
  • Briefly mention the benefits of Aadhar- efficient PDS, better targeting for social sector schemes, antiterrorism, detection economic frauds and offenders etc.

Conclusion- mention the importance and scope of Aadhar in better governance and more efficient service delivery. Also mention the need to protect and guard personal data collected under Aadhar act. You can also mention need for accountability of UIDAI and creation of an overseeing body for UIDAI which would be responsible for checking any irregularities and misconceived regulations.


  • Aadhaar was another identification document for people to pilferage and duplication of subsidies and rations for government .Slowly it has given way to banks, telecom companies, mutual funds, insurance companies, railways, airports, schools, hospitals, and workplaces linked for Aadhaar.
  • However recently many concerns have been raised regarding the security mechanism of biometric database.

Several privacy concerns :-

  • Cyber attacks:-
    • RBI reportpoints out that an enormous integrated database where everything is linked to Aadhaar opens up the country to incalculable loss, whereby Indian businesses and administration could be crippled, through cyber warfare
    • Aadhaar data also offers valuable intelligence, which can be harvested by penetrating Aadhaar-enabled applications
    • India deals with frequent cyber attacks from China and Pakistan. Hacking the Aadhaar database would be an easy way for other countries to create disruption within India.
  • Privacy issues:-
    • Apart from foreign hackers, domestic criminals would also have a golden target of opportunity even as citizens privacy and security are endangered.
  • Invasive power to the state:-
    • The first concerns whether the state can at all compel a person to part with his or her biometric information without securing the person’s informed consent
    • The second involves questions over the surveillance apparatus that the Aadhaar Act creates
    • The third raises questions over the level of exclusion caused by the use of Aadhaar, for example, concerns over the extent to which the programme meets its purported objectives
    • The fourth questions the degree of protection offered to the data that the UIDAI collects, stores and operates.
  • Freedom:-
    • The essence of individual freedom, of the right to life that Article 21 of the Constitution guarantees, is that every person has a basic entitlement to bodily integrity, to decide for themselves how they want to lead their lives. But this is compromised by Aadhar.
  • Supreme court :-
    • The Supreme Court reaffirmed an earlier ruling from 2013, stating that Aadhaar can only be a voluntary decision of the individual and that as long as a person is eligible to avail benefits and subsidies, the government cannot deny them those benefits and subsidies because on the basis that they do not have an Aadhaar card. Despite this ruling, the federal government decided to push through with these moves.
  • The sheer size of the Aadhaar database wherein its issues lie :-
    • Aadhaar system doesn’t have the strongest track records when it comes to the deliverance of subsidies and benefits.
    • For instance, according to a report in the Economic and Political Weekly based on data made released by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) itself, the probability of the identities of two different people matching was 1/112 for India’s 1.3 billion population.
  • A survey conducted by Andhra Pradesh’s government itself saw 48 per cent respondents citing Aadhaar issues as a reason for them missing out on subsidies and benefits.
  • Pervasive Aadhaarisation brings together systems and platforms in a digital ecosystem without interoperable standards for security.
  • Aadhaar database has not been defined as “critical infrastructure” by the Indian government. 
  • Even Google and Apple have been wary about taking to Aadhaar due to security concerns.
  • There is the question of whether or not the government’s bureaucracy is equipped to handle the Aadhaar database.
    • Internet users reported how easy it was to access Aadhaar card information from government websites.
  • There is the issue of the legal framework and privacy when it comes to Aadhaar cards.
    • Critics have argued that safeguards in place in the Aadhaar Act itself do not go as far as they should to ensure the protection of privacy of citizens.
  • Confidentiality of Aadhaar numbers:
    • Aadhaar numbers are not supposed to be “displayed or posted publicly” (Aadhaar Act, Section 29(4)). However, this has happened many times, and keeps happening. When Aadhaar numbers are displayed along with other sensitive information such as bank account numbers, it makes the victims vulnerable to various types of fraud.
  • Huge number of players involved in the Aadhaar system:-
    • The outsourcing of enrolment centres by the UIDAI, which was put on hold in June 2017 following reports of illegalities, is one such example.
    • This case reveals the lack of impressing upon third parties and private parties of the importance of maintaining the confidentiality of the data and of the consequences of not doing so. 

If harnessed properly there are huge benefits:-

  • The Aadhaar system’s positives will not only be limited to the government, but spread to the private business sector too as with an Aadhaar backed identity, banks will be more confident in giving out loans and businesses, both big and small more secure in knowing who they’re working with.
  • Aadhaar biometrics being unique has ensured the 50% plus levels of theft in PDS rations has all but been eliminated. In the case of LPG, similarly, using the Aadhaar de-duplication software helped eliminate those with more than one LPG connection.
  • There are a very large number of fake PAN numbers. When the PAN are fake, the taxman does not get the data. Mandating the linking of PAN with Aadhaar was the logical thing to do.
  • Given the fact that terrorists and other criminals use mobile phones as the SIMs are bought using fake Ids it makes perfect sense to ensure the owner can be traced by using Aadhaar that cannot be faked since,when the purchase is made, a biometric check is performed.
  • The Aadhar system ensures privacy through design, as it uses a federated architecture. In other words, the biometric data is never shared by UIDAI
    • The core bio-metric informationcannot be shared with any person even with the consent of the Aadhaar card holder. Even, the general information cannot be unlawfully shared.
  • With a flourishing population and varying demographics, this system allows the state to maintain a central database keeping track of its nationals. Unlike the passport or any other identification document, the Aadhaar card also supplements the running of national welfare schemes by identifying those who need them the most.

Way forward:-

  • If the Indian government sees Aadhaar as a gateway to its services or entitlement schemes, it should move immediately to designate UID as critical infrastructure and set up a dedicated Computer Emergency Response Team to monitor attacks or intrusions on the database.
  • Crafting an encryption policy that specifically addresses encryption for Aadhaar-enabled apps
  • Security testing of all Aadhaar-enabled applications
  • Encouraging device-level encryption for mobile phones and laptop computers
  • Creating a Computer Emergency Response Team to monitor attacks on Aadhaar
  • Working with the private sector at forums like the International Electronic and Electrical Engineers (IEEE) and the Internet Engineering Task Force to create interoperable security standards for platforms relying on national identity databases.


  • There is little doubt that India needs to streamline the way it delivers benefits, and to empower citizenswith a basic identification document. But this cannot be done without ensuring the strictest protection of privacy

Topic:India and its neighborhood- relations. Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.


4)The “Paris-Delhi-Canberra axis” should become an established regional structure, reflecting an Indo-Pacific “geo-strategic reality in the making”. Discuss.(250 words)

Indian Express


Why this question

Indo-pacific is one of the most important trade zone with immense strategic significance. The area becomes more important given India’s proximity to the region, huge trade activity and China’s assertiveness in the region. The issue is related to GS- 2 syllabus under the following heading-

India and its neighborhood- relations. Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements

involving India and/or affecting India’s interests Effect of policies and politics of developed and

developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

Key demand of the question

The question wants us to deliberate upon the potential, scope and feasibility of a trilateral cooperation framework involving India, Australia and France, in the Indo-pacific region.

Directive word

Discuss- we have to write in detail about the issue- need for such cooperation, its scope and potential and also plausibility of such an arrangement.

Structure of the answer

Introduction- give a brief mention of the importance of Indo-pacific region, especially for India.


  • Discuss in points (and separately for each country) about the stakes, capacities and interests of the three countries and bring out a convergence of the individual priorities and ambitions-  take the help of the article attached with the question.

          e.g French territory and population in Indo-Pacific,   its maritime capacity, sharing of common values among the three nations, scope of sharing of data etc.

  • Discuss the related activities already being undertaken by the three countries and discuss how these efforts can be better put/ directed by a trilateral cooperation.

Conclusion– form a balanced, fair and clear conclusion on the need and prospects of a trilateral organisation catering to the needs and aspirations of all.

Background :-

  • In multipolar international order there is a need for alliances in the form of bilateral and trilateral relations with like minded countries to play a greater role in the international arena. In this light there is a need to explore opportunities in the relationship of France, India and Australia.

Why it should become an established regional structure :-

  • Convergence of security interests:-
    • India, France and Australia have a striking convergence of security interests, defence capabilities and maritime geography.
    • Three countries are ideally placed to share data to form a common operating picture of the Indian Ocean, watching for environmental stresses, illegal fishing and other and maritime crimes. This could build on existing cooperation between France and Australia in the Pacific.
    • In time, they could formalise three-way information sharing on seaborne traffic of all kinds. Between their island territories  France’s Reunion and Mayotte, Australia’s Cocos and Christmas islands and India’s Andaman and Nicobar islands they possess a triangle of some of the most strategic maritime surveillance real estate in the Indian Ocean.
  • Political interest:-
    • These three democracies are also drawn together by values. All three respect a rules-based order informed by the sovereign equality of nations and the need to guard against coercion and interference, whether from states or from terrorism.
    • France is thus the European country most engaged and most capable of contributing to a balanced and layered diplomatic architecture to reduce tensions in this most global of regions.
    • It can do so as a leader in the European Union, a compelling voice in the liberal democratic order globally, and an enduring strategic power in its own right.
  • India-france:-
    • Political:-
      • Over the last two decades, the partnership has steadily grown no major political differences have darkened the sky between Paris and New Delhi.
    • International:-
      • France has been constantly supportive of India, particularly so for a permanent seat for India in the UN Security Council, and has shown comprehension for India’s nuclear policy. 
      • International Solar Alliance (ISA):-
        • Launched at the UN Climate Change Conference in 2015, ISA wants to create a coalition of solar resource-rich countries and address each participant’s special energy needs
      • Defence:-
        • Even in defence the relations are strong with Rafale .
      • France, a long-standing military ally of the United States, is also looking beyond NATO to forge security partnerships with Asian democracies like India.
  • Geopolitical:-
    • France has substantial equities in the Indian Ocean, with territory and force presence. The bilateral military logistic cooperation agreement signed during French President’s recent visit to India is a sign of how rapidly a partnership can evolve when there is will.
  • Shared maritime vision
    • It seeks to uphold the law of the sea in the Indian Ocean
    • Prevent the kind of military unilateralism that has come to grip the Western Pacific
    • Secure the sea lines of communication
    • Respond to humanitarian disasters
    • Promote sustainable blue economy
  • Indo pacific:-
    • France is not only an Indian Ocean player: It has an appreciation of the wider Indo-Pacific as the global centre of gravity. France has territory in the Pacific and a naval role in both oceans.
    • It has 85 per cent of its huge maritime economic exclusive zone in the Indo-Pacific, along with 8,000 defence personnel and 1.6 million citizens.
    • The Indo-Pacific is crucial to the future of all powers. It is made for multipolarity: Too vast for hegemony to be sustained or successful.
  • China factor:-
    • China is extending its interests and influence across the Indian Ocean and also now in the South Pacific. The geoeconomic overlay of its Belt and Road infrastructure will bring naval access and military presence. That raises great anxieties.
  • India-Australia:-
    • India and Australia bilateral relations have fundamentally improved over the past decade, allowing them to collaborate at the core of emerging middle power coalitions.
    • New opportunity is posed by their parallel ties with France. This involves deep technology cooperation, such as Australia’s historic deal with France to build 12 next-generation submarines. But much more can be done, in capability, defence exercises and managing environmental risks.
    • Economic:-
      • India is Australia’s ninth largest trading partner, with boundless potential for growth.
      • The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank which Australia and India joined as founding members  has a role to play in funding infrastructure.
      • Australia’s strategic orientation has been clarified by a series of defence white papers, the uranium ban has been lifted
      • Australia’s position as a major exporter of liquefied natural gas is underappreciated
    • Cultural:-
      • Indian-origin residents are the fourth largest group of overseas-born Australians, representing close to 2% of our total population.
      • Building on our historic ties, cultural links and extensive people-to-people connections, our bilateral relationship is strengthening.
    • Security and maritime:-
      • Strong naval ties when the Australia-India Exercise (AUSINDEX) was conducted
      • Australia and India share converging interests and similar outlooks on the strategic changes taking place in the Indo-Pacific region and globally.
      • Australia’s naval investments, particularly in submarines, give it significant maritime reach in the Indian Ocean, where the entirety of its submarine fleet is based.
    • Political:-
      • As democracies, Australia and India have systems of government where leaders are accountable and the rights of citizens are respected.
      • Australia remains a preferred destination for Indian university students looking to go overseas.


  • India –Australia:-
    • Identifying areas beyond natural resources and education where Australia can play an oversized role in India’s development remains a challenge.
    • On the strategic side, the challenge involves jointly finding ways to engage and cooperate in the Indian Ocean to mutual benefit.
    • However, existing multilateral mechanisms such as the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) and ASEAN-based entities are unwieldy and inadequate. Instead, smaller groupings that can help ensure shared objectives in the Indian Ocean region may be necessary. 

Way forward:-

  • The prospective Quadrilateral (Quad) alliance among the United States, India, Japan and Australia to counter China’s military assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific space could be extended to France and Britain
  • India and Australia need to increase our bilateral cooperation and our collective efforts with other like-minded countries.

General Studies – 3

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

5)Examine the advantages of and issues involved in creation of DNA database for India? (250 words)

The hindu


Why this question

Creation of a DNA database has several advantages but raises several issues as well. The government has been making efforts in making a law on the subject with the DNA profiling Bill. DNA technology has also progressed a lot in recent years. All this has made it imperative for us to examine the issues and advantages in detail.

Key demand of the question

The advantages of DNA profiling has to be brought about. Thereafter the various issues that it raises like – civil liberties, efficiency in solving crimes, database management, issues with the technology etc need to be brought out.

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 .


Structure of the answer

Introduction – bring out the fact that DNA profiling is increasingly being used as a means of tackling crime and India is also making efforts to regulate DNA profiling.


  • Explain how DNA profiling or creation of DNA database works
  • Explain the advantages of doing so
  • Examine the issues from various perspectives as discussed above.
  • Highlight the experiences of other countries and the lessons we can draw from them
  • Examine the impact if these issues are not addressed through a suitable legislation
  • Mention some ways to deal with this in light of SC judgement in K puttaswamy case etc

Conclusion – Mention the immense scope of these technologies but at the same time the need for an effective regulation.


Background :-

  • India’s Human DNA Profiling Bill 2015 proposes to set up a national DNA database of criminals that will include rapists, murderers and kidnappers.

What is DNA profiling technology?

  • DNA fingerprinting or DNA profiling is method of isolating and identifying variable elements within the base-pair sequence of DNA.
  • DNA fingerprinting technology is utilised by police all over the world for fool-proof identification of criminals who leave their traces at crime scene while committing crime.
  • The technology plays a crucial role in solving crimes as it has potential to link a series of crimes by placing the suspects by linking them with the crime scene.

Advantages :-

  • Ensure justice:-
    • Identifying the rapist is the first step to serving justice and this can be ensured if India has a sex offenders database.
  • Crimes:-
    • Having everyone’s DNA in the database would be a good thing, since anyone can be apprehended if matched to a crime scene.
    • Almost all the heinous crime sites have some form of evidence which can be collected and some form of DNA samples can be extracted from them. These sample can be used to search on existing DNA data to find a match.
  • Identifying culprits:-
    • Extremely useful and accurate technology in ascertaining the identity of a person from his/her DNA sample, or establishing biological relationships between individuals.
    • As a result, DNA technology is being increasingly relied upon in investigations of crime, identification of unidentified bodies, or in determining parentage.
  • But information from DNA samples can reveal intrusive information like their allergies, or susceptibility to diseases.

Issues :-

  • Making the database too big and poorly regulated will not help solve more crimes. Larger that data the greater the chances of human error and fraud.
  • Lack of manpower and infrastructure:-
    • Lack of Equipments and Knowledge in Forensic Experts regarding collection of DNA samples from Accident Sites.
    • If the police are not trained to prevent contamination of evidence at crime scenes and laboratories lack quality assurance, it would mean that DNA samples can be mixed up or contaminated.
  • International experiences:-
    • DNA evidence is only as good as the system in place to handle it. Even in Europe and the US, past mistakes have led to tighter regulations of laboratories and better oversight, although mistakes still occur.
    • Based on experience in other countries, building such a database is not easy, does not always offer justice, and is an ethical landmine of sorts.
    • Experience with the U.K. and U.S. databanks has shown that having more innocent people’s DNA stored increases the chances of a false positive and has not increased the chances of finding a guilty match.
  • There are chances that a wrong match is generated.
  • If the DNA result is taken as the ultimate evidence, no recourse will be availableto an individual who has been wrongly matched.
  • Privacy-related objections:-
    • Main concerns are whose DNA can be collected and under what circumstances, who can access the database etc.
    • Protecting innocent people’s privacy and their civil liberties and rights are the main concerns.
    • Aftermath of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, people will have a better appreciation of how their DNA information could be misused
  • Information like ancestry or susceptibility to a disease, or other genetic traits, is liable to be misused.
  • No improvement in conviction:-
    • DNA tests have not led to an improvement in conviction ratesin countries where it is already being followed.
  • Misinterpretation:-
    • Still, planting of DNA in a crime scene, misinterpretation of tests, and errors in analyses have all taken place in cases where DNA has been used to implicate a suspect, resulting in the miscarriage of justice. 
  • The expansion of this technology to include potentially innocent people squashes their constitutional rights with the assumption of guilt.
  • These methods are simply an expansion of the ‘stop and search’ approach to target particular groups of people on the basis of race, ethnicity or class, even though most of their members would be innocent. Such samples later get included in forensic DNA databanks, thus violating people’s civil liberties.
  • Police misuse:-
    • In a number of cases, the police may follow persons they suspect and then gather their DNA surreptitiously and without warrants. Collecting this so-called “abandoned DNA” has been challenged as being clearly unethical and unlawful..
    • Law enforcement is responsible for gathering DNA for forensics, and police bias towards minorities leads to the latter’s over-representation.

Way forward:-

  • Absolutely essential that the people from whom DNA is taken give their informed consent
  • Taking DNA surreptitiously should be prohibited.
  • A court order should be required for obtaining DNA without informed consent and the DNA should only be compared with the crime scene DNA for the suspect.
  • Those who are cleared for a crime should not have their DNA information stored, and DNA gathered from offenders should be destroyed after identification so that such information is not used for profiling in future.
  • A court order should be necessary to access medical records for genetic data.
  • Manpower and DNA experts 
    • Increase the investment in courses of DNA Forensic research to provide quality Professionals to collect Data from Crime Scenes.
  • Special Training for Police Officials on how to handle sensitive data.

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;

6)The idea that there is a clear and easy distinction between ancient ethics and modern moral theories is premature and misleading. Comment.(250 words)



Key demand of the question

The question wants us to brainstorm on the given statement, form an opinion and justify the opinion with proper justifications. We have to justify that ancient and modern ethics and moral theories are not clearly distinct and have some common features, aspects.

Directive word

Comment- we have to delve deeper into the given statement and form a personal opinion over it. We need to justify our opinion with valid and proper arguments/ examples/ facts etc.

Structure of the answer

introduction- mention the important ancient and modern theories of ethics and morals- e.g ancient stoicism, modern hedonism, utilitarianism etc


Discuss briefly and individually the main propositions of important ancient and modern ethical and moral theories. Take the help of the article attached with the question to identify and highlight what is common between the two, even though they differ in their approach and aims.

Conclusion– Form a concise, fair and balanced opinion on the similarities and differences between the modern and ancient ethical and moral theories and mention how they are alike in several key aspects.




Proper understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of virtue ethics and modern moral theories can be used to overcome current ethical problems and to initiate fruitful developments in ethical reasoning and decision-making.

Ancient theories:-

Epicurus’ school of epicureanism standing in the tradition of the Cyrenaics and, secondly, Zeno’s school of the Stoics which partly developed from the Cynics. All the philosophical schools  being at odds with each other  are still united by the fact that they are deeply concerned with the most important ethical questions of how to live a good life and how to achieve happiness

Modern theories:-

The two main moral theories of modern virtue ethics are Kant’s deontological ethics and utilitarianism. Both theories have been adopted and modified by many scholars in recent history in order to make them compatible with the latest demands in ethical reasoning and decision-making, in particular, by meeting the objections raised by modern virtue ethics

There is  clear distinction :-

  • Modern morality is different in that its focus is on the basic question of how one should act. The ancient question of how should one live is secondary appears to be a vital difference between virtue ethics and the modern moralities of deontological ethics (Kantianism) and consequentialism (utilitarianism).
  • Traditional moral theories are not sufficiently well equipped to deal with completely new problems such as issues concerning nuclear power, gene technology, and cloning and so forth. Therefore, there is constant interest in updating and enhancing a particular moral theory in order to make it compatible with the latest demands.
  • Ancient ethics is about living a good and virtuous life according to the ethical virtues, that is, to become a virtuous person, while the modern notion of morality is primarily focused on the interests of other people and the idea of deontological constraints. That is, one acts morally because one has to meet certain standards and not because it supports one’s own good life. 
  • Ancient ethics is self-centred because it only focuses on the agent’s interests in living a good life and becoming a virtuous person and, on the other hand, that modern morality is other-regarding by only focusing on the interests of other people.

However the distinction is not that visible:-

  • Both ethical approaches have more in common than their stereotypes may suggest. Oversimplification, fallacious interpretations, as well as a broad variation within a particular ethical theory make it in general harder to determine the real differences and similarities between ancient ethics and modern morality.
  • Modern morality in particular Kantianism and utilitarianism did not start from scratch but already had some important and highly influential ancient predecessors.
  • For example, the Kantian idea of doing the right thing because reason dictates it has its roots in stoicism and the utilitarian idea of living a happy life according to pleasure has its roots in the teachings of the Cyrenaics and Epicureans .The history of ideas conveyed important ethical insights handed down from Antiquity to modernity.
  • Modern morality, in particular contemporary morality, is characterized by the fact that quite a few important scholars elaborated modern versions of Aristotle’s classical virtue ethics in the twentieth century. These scholars argue that virtue ethics was quite successful in solving ethical problems in Antiquity and they believe that adhering to a refined version of virtue ethics is not only useful but also superior in solving our modern moral problems. 
  • People in Antiquity already employed a very efficient way of ethical reasoning and decision-making and this particular way got lost in modernity without having been properly replaced. Hence it follows that one should overcome the deficient modern ethical theories and again adhere to virtue ethics as a viable alternative without, of course, abandoning the existing ethical developments.


Therefore  the vital question of how to live a good life cannot be separated from the essential question of how one should act. Conceptually and phenomenologically, both questions are intimately interwoven and a complete ethical theory will always be concerned with both issues, independently of whether the theory is of ancient or modern origin