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Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 22 MAY 2018


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

General Studies – 1

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

1) Compare and contrast Gandhi and Bose’s view on the future of the nation in general and national movement in particular?(250 words)


Key demand of the question

The question expects us to highlight the following aspects

  • View of Gandhi ji on the issues mentioned in the question
  • View of Subash Chandra Bose on the issues mentioned in the question
  • Similarity and differences in their views

Directive word

Compare and contrast – Here the similarities and differences in their views are to be discussed.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Mention that both were iconic leaders of the freedom movement and explain how.


  • Mention the similarities and differences in their view regarding the future economy, polity, society of India
  • Mention their similarities and differences in their view on the nature of freedom and how to achieve freedom, their differences in opinion which led to their split

Conclusion – Highlight that both of them despite their differences contributed immensely to the freedom struggle and had only the welfare of nation on their mind.



  • Both Mahatma Gandhi and Subhash Chandra Bose were stalwarts of Indian freedom struggle. Gandhi and Subhash Chandra Bose differed in their approach and had different understanding of political reality:

Similarities between Gandhi and Bose view :-

  • Gandhi and Bose did not differ on their choices between communism and capitalism. Both were socialists, as per their stated positions, and disassociated themselves from Communism (Bose certainly did).
  • Again, unlike what is commonly believed, Gandhi was not opposed to violence per se as he did not totally oppose violence during Quit India movement.
  • Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi and Subhash Chandra Bose had the same objective of liberating the country from the yoke of British imperialism. 
  • Until the political clash at Tripuri they worked more or less together under the common platform of the Indian National Congress for about two decades.
  • Gandhiji’s struggle i.e., averse mindset in the beginning of the Second World War and his uncompromising stance during the Quit India Movement, was in a way a victory of  Netaji’s strategy.
  • Gandhi’s tone and temper clearly  smacked of a revolutionary strategy quite akin to the  soul and spirit of Bose. Ideologically they appeared to come nearer.


  • Violence vs non violence:-
    • Subhash Chandra Bose adopted violent means for liberation of India and thus led Indian National Army. Gandhi on the other hand was a firm believer of non-violence and led peaceful mass protests
  • Ideology:-
    • Ideologically Gandhi subscribed to socialist pattern of society where fruits of labour were evenly distributed and favoured trusteeship pattern of relation between Capitalist and labourers.
    • Subhash Chandra was a keen follower of radical leftist ideology and organized trade unions
  • Bose wanted to grab the opportunity provided by second world war for India’s freedom, thus approached Germany, Japan while Gandhi saw facism and Nazism a greater danger to Indian polity and society thus co-operated with British. Thus they had a different understanding of same event
  • Religious teachings had great importance in the life of Gandhi while Subhash Chandra Bose was a leftist and rationalist.
  • Gandhi’s idea of freedom was based on self rule and rule over self. Bose viewed freedom not only in terms of political self rule but also freedom from socio-economic inequalities, casteism, intolerance etc.
  • India’s participation in World war II:-
    • When the Second World War began and Britain got involved in it, Subhash insisted persistently that England’s difficulty is India’s 
      opportunity and it is the time opportune to launch  struggle for freedom.
    • Gandhi at the time was not prepared to oblige Subhash and immediately launch any struggle to achieve India’s freedom.
  • Bose sought complete severance from the British empire, while Gandhi’s goal posts vacillated between Spiritual Swaraj, Dominion Status and complete severance.
  • Vision:-
    • Stated visions of Gandhi and Bose differed substantially with respect to their desired evolution of India and her politics.
    • Gandhi advocated a vision comprising of spinning, khadi and local self-sufficiency at village level while Bose held steadfast to a vision of large scale industrialisation and a politics devoid of irrationality and religiosity.
  • Industrialisation:-
    • Bose had launched the National Planning Committee for drawing up a comprehensive plan of industrialisation and of development .
    • Bose believed that his launching of the National Planning Committee as the Congress President, in 1938, for drawing up a comprehensive plan of industrialisation and of development caused further annoyance to Mahatma Gandhi who was opposed to industrialization.
  • Bose was acutely conscious of the role the armed forces play in the political growth of a nation.



  • Despite the differences both leaders had immense respect for each other and contributed significantly to the national movement and the nation.

General Studies – 2

Topic:Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions.

2)Examine how organisational barriers and court processes that contribute to case delay in India, could be resolved. (250 words) 

The hindu


Why this question

Indian courts suffer from huge pendency of cases and various attempts to resolve the same have not been largely successful. Besides, pending vacancies and deficit infrastructure, a host of issues related to organisational barriers and court processes delay justice delivery in India. The issue is related to GS-2 syllabus under the following heading-

Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to describe briefly the organisational barriers and court processes that cause delay in case disposal in India. Then the question wants us to write in detail about how these barriers can be removed.

Directive word

Examine- We have to describe and explain the ways/ means/ techniques/ technologies that could be deployed to elicit a reform in organisational barriers and court processes, in order to decrease case disposal rates in India.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– Mention the huge pendency of cases in indian courts and mention the main reasons behind the same- e.g pending vacancies, infrastructure deficit, legal ambiguities etc.


  • Discuss some of the organisational barriers and court processes that hinder case disposal- e.g case listing process (e.g The uncertainty around which cases will come up for hearing means neither judges nor lawyers can plan their preparation, which compels lawyers to cite the simultaneous listing of multiple cases as an excuse for adjournments) , court infrastructure ( e.g inadequate support staff for judges to the dearth of basic courtroom facilities due to which judges are unable to perform their functions in a timely manner).
  • Discuss how these barriers could be removed.

            E.g bringing external support agencies to manage daily managemental operations of the court, increasing reliance on empirical data and courtroom technology, e-courts, national judicial data grid, Case Information System, file-tracking and knowledge management systems, provide Interoperability and compatibility with National Case Management System; Interoperable Criminal Justice System, National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) and other programmes to enhance the quantity and quality of Justice Delivery System. etc.

Conclusion- mention the imperative of a prompt justice delivery system and provide further suggestions like filling of vacancies, improving court infrastructure, rationalization of laws etc.



  • As of September 30, 2016, the Supreme Court has nearly 61,000 pending cases, official figures say. The high courts have a backlog of more than 40 lakh cases, and all subordinate courts together are yet to dispose of around 2.85 crore cases. On an average, cases take three years and nine months to get disposed.

Factors leading to case delay:-

  • Case stuck:-
    • Usually cases near the final stage of hearing tend to be left over at disproportionate rates and often end up getting stuck in the system.
  • Uncertainty:-
  • The uncertainty around which cases will come up for hearing means neither judges nor lawyers can plan their preparation.
  • This situation compels lawyers to waste time waiting in court and enables them to cite the simultaneous listing of multiple cases as an excuse for adjournments.
  • Registry staff must manage the massive task of re-listing leftover matters in an already bulging docket, instead of streamlining case flow.
  • Case listing:
    • It is not uncommon to see more than 100 cases being assigned to judges on a given day. Such case listing affects the adjudication process and thus the justice delivery system as the judge rarely gets proper time for research.
  • Adjournments:-
    • A pervasive reason for delays is adjournments. A study by the Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy (VCLP) conducted on Delhi HC found that in 91 per cent of cases delayed over two years, adjournments were sought and granted.
    • These encourage delaying tactics, block judicial time, prevent effective case management and impoverish litigants. They deter many from seeking access to formal justice. 
    • Though the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 suggests not more than three adjournments should be given in each case, Vidhi finds the Delhi High Court gave more than three adjournments in nearly 70% of all delayed cases. 
  • Court infrastructure
    • Inadequate support staff for judges to the dearth of basic courtroom facilities.
    • Without research and secretarial support, judges are unable to perform their functions in a timely manner.
    • Even though judges managed to hear many cases in a day, it takes time for the stenographers to finish typing the orders. 
  • Contribution of the courts to the problem by non-adherence to procedural timeframes.
  • Lawyers :-
    • 82% of all delays could be attributed to lawyers and not the judges per se.
    • There is some anecodtal evidence that lawyers end up meeting their clients only when they are produced in court, thus giving them a very little time to effectively confer with their clients for their case.
  • Delays in the legal system are caused not only because of a shortage of judges, but also because of a shortage of police officers (who have to investigate cases and then come to court on a regular basis), prosecutors (who are often underpaid and over-worked), inadequate judicial infrastructure (overcrowded court rooms or inadequate support staff such as stenographers) 

How to resolve:-

  • Increasing the strength of judges, reducing judicial vacancies, diverting cases from the courts to alternate dispute resolution forums (such as mediation and Lok Adalats) and specialised tribunals.
  • Both jail adalats and plea bargaining, reduce the backlog in courts, by encouraging accused in certain cases to plead guilty in exchange for a reduced sentence.
  • Specification of time limits has emerged as a distinctive feature of process reforms across jurisdictions that have been able to quantifiably minimise judicial delay, such as the UK and Singapore.
  • Reduce government litigation,simplify procedures, recommending precise capacity reinforcements and use of technology. 
  • Courts must become more open to applying management principles to optimise case movement and judicial time. In this, external support agencies competent in strategic thinking should be allowed to work with judicial officers to understand and help the institution function better. 
  • Technology:-
    • Using technology in courts cannot remain limited to digitising records alone but must affect how cases actually move through the system.
    • Initiatives such as CIS must be supplemented with file-tracking and knowledge management systems, to help courts achieve an optimal level of functioning.

Topic: India and its bilateral relationship

3)The informal summit at Wuhan has not managed to achieve much in concrete terms. Critically analyze. (250 words)

The hindu

Why this question

The informal summit at Wuhan was an opportunity for India and China to reset their ties through a novel diplomatic method. A critical analysis of the relationship with an emphasis on understanding it’s impact on the future of India China ties and geopolitics of the world is important.

Key demand of the question

The question makes an assertion that there were very few concrete takeaways from India China meet at Wuhan. We have to analyze how true this assertion is. Thus following aspects are important –

  • Details of the takeaway from the meet
  • Whether those promises will help transform India China relationship and help India in managing its power equations with other nation states. We have to bring out both the hits and misses of the meet.
  • Our own view based on the arguments made above

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 – Details of the Wuhan summit will become the introduction.


  • The content of the takeaways.
  • Analyze the pros and cons of the takeaway. Take ideas from the article along with other sources.
  • Provide a fair and balanced opinion based on your arguments made above

Conclusion – mention about the need for India to maintain good relations to secure its national aims and objectives. Mention that Wuhan was one single step in a journey of miles.


  • With the recent conclusion of Wuhan Summit, India China relationship has progressed from the nadir it found itself in the recent past. 

Wuhan summit:-

  • India clearly viewed this ‘informal summit’ as a trust-building exercise, hoping to quietly sort out problems that existed between the two countries, including the vexed border issue. 
  • It reiterated the need to cooperate on counter-terrorism, and to strengthen the dialogue mechanism to deal with contentious issues and concerns. Both have agreed on the importance of maintaining peace and tranquillity in all areas of the India-China border.
  • The summit appears to have reinforced the validity of the April 2005 Document on ‘Political Parameters and Guiding Principles for the Settlement of the Boundary Question’.
  • In the Wuhan consensus joint commitment to maintain peace and tranquillity over the entire India-China border is statedand the direction is given by the leaders to their respective militaries to observe restraint, scrupulously implement Confidence Building Measures and strengthen communication links at all levels.
    • The avoidance of provocative behaviour by both militaries deployed at the border is critical to maintaining the overall relationship on an even keel. This understanding augurs well for the future.
  • Agreement between India and China to work together jointly on an economic project in Afghanistan, with details to be worked out through diplomatic channels.



  • No manifest concessions appear to have been made by China. The Doklam issue (which was not discussed at the summit) remains unresolved, 
  • There are no indications that China has softened its attitudevis-à-vis India’s position in Arunachal Pradesh, or that it will refrain from accusing India of further transgressions here.
  • China’s penetration of India’s neighbourhood is set to continue, with special emphasis on countries such as Nepal and the Maldives.
  • China again has not conceded anything with reference to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

Way forward:-

  • India-China relations must be managed through a mix of competitive and cooperative policies and regular leadership-level interaction.
  • The only effective instrument for managing India-China relations will be a significant, sustained and rapid development of India’s economic and security capabilities, thus narrowing the power gap between the two Asian giants.
  • The two sides need to build mutual strategic trust based on the factthat their common understanding and shared interests are greater than their divergences.
  • The two countries should realize that they offer each other opportunities without posing any threat, and that peaceful co-existence and win-win cooperation are the right choice for them.
  • The two countries should prudently and discreetly deal with sensitive issues, including the border dispute, and should not allow such issues to restrain the further development of bilateral ties.
  • There are several areas, apart from trade and investment, in which the two sides can strengthen cooperation, such as infrastructure construction, urbanization, food security and climate change.
  • The two countries militaries should maintain regular high-level and non-confrontational dialogues, in order to reduce strategic miscalculations and enhance strategic trust.
  • The two sides should also build a communication and coordination mechanism to manage their overseas interests, and organize dialogues at academic, media and cultural levels,as well as exchanges between NGOs as a way to improve bilateral ties.


  • China and India are two bodies, one spirit. So long as the two sides deepen their exchanges and reduce suspicion the strategic value of cooperation would be evident and people would be confident of China-India relations. 

General Studies – 3

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

4) Discuss the impact that fluctuations in oil prices have on economy. Also, suggest steps on how should India prepare itself to deal with fluctuations in oil prices?(250 words)


Why this question

The Goldilocks phase of Indian economy is under threat on account of rising oil prices. This is a frequent challenge that indian economy has to deal with. Understanding the impact of rising oil prices on indian economy and thinking of steps to deal with this recurring challenge is of utmost importance.

Key demand of the question

Following aspects are to be highlighted in your answer

  • The current situation with respect to oil prices along with a brief history of the prices
  • The impact of the fluctuations in oil price on indian economy – highlight the impact both when prices are low and high
  • Mention that price in the future is destined to rise because of so and so reasons
  • Steps to deal with such a situation

Directive word

Discuss – Here discuss demands you to detail out the impact that changes in oil price bring on the economy – both the positive and the negative impact along with establishing that this is a recurring feature of Indian economy.

Suggest measures – Here measures to deal with fluctuations in oil prices are to be highlighted

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Mention that indian economy has been passing through a Goldilocks phase largely on account of the low level of oil prices. The situation is about to change which requires us to understand the impact and stay prepared


  • The current situation with respect to oil prices along with a brief history of the prices to establish that the problem has been a recurring one for Indian economy
  • Bring out the impact of fluctuations in oil prices – the impact of low oil prices as experienced by the economy so far and the impact of high prices. Discuss the impact on inflation, balance of payment, exchange rate, fuel subsidy bill etc
  • Mention that price in the future is destined to rise because of so and so reasons to emphasize that preparation is required
  • Suggest steps to be taken to deal with fluctuating oil prices

Conclusion – Mention the critical need of staying prepared and seeing this as an opportunity to use more renewables etc


  • Oil constitutes one-third of the country’s total imports and is considered to have wide-ranging impact on its economy.
  • There are two main reasons for the fluctuation of oil prices at present
    • For instance IPO of Saudi  Aramco, the largest oil company in the world is scheduled and the company will get a better valuation if the oil price is high. This means that Saudi is likely to work in a manner so as to keep oil prices high.
    • Second, the United States (US) has just re-initiated sanctions on Iran. So oil importing countries are likely to move away from buying oil from Iran. This is likely to drive up global oil prices further.
    • The rupee has been rapidly losing value against the dollar. This will add to the country’s oil import bill and pull down the GDP to that extent

Impact  :-

  • Impact of low oil prices:-
    • Fall in oil prices helped the government so far in two ways:
      • A fall in oil imports, helped in pushing up the gross domestic product
      • Led to increase in taxes which helped the central government as well as the state governments shore up their tax revenues.
    • Due to falling oil prices India’s macro-economic indicators such as inflation, current account deficit (CAD), and trade balance improved.
    • Lower oil prices reduce cost of transport and lead to lower costs for business, which can increase profitability. Consumers see a reduction in cost of transport and heating, leading to higher discretionary incomes.
    • Decline in crude oil price has helped the government to manage its finances better as it translates into lower subsidies on petroleum products (LPG and kerosene), thereby resulting in lower fiscal deficit.
    • Decline in oil prices significantly dampens investor sentiment which in turn negatively impacts exploration and production activities. Often existing projects are abandoned and new projects are delayed.
    • Lower oil prices allow importing nations to advance reforms, rationalize oil subsidies, and progressively levy carbon taxes
  • High oil prices:-
    • Surge in price negatively impacts oil importing nations and helps exporting nations to strengthen their economic development.
    • Depreciation of Indian rupee:-
      • Rise in crude oil prices through this yearamidst rising geopolitical tensions in West Asia and dwindling global supply, have obviously hurt the rupee and the trade balance. 
      • Global oil prices are continuously increasing on the back of tight output controls marshalled by the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Brent crude futures have gained almost 12% through 2018
      • This in turn has bloated India’s crude import bill and widened the trade deficit appreciably
    • Economy which also explains the results that oil leads money supply and interest rate. Additionally, oil leads gold prices implying that as oil price shock leads to inflation, gold’s demand as an inflation-hedging tool rises.


Way forward:-

  • Expedite the process of exploring domestic avenues and diversify its sources of oil supply.
  • There is an urgent need for development of non-conventional (including renewable) sources as a substitute for conventional sources to meet the energy needs.
  • Energy subsidy reforms along with regulations, standards, and targets directing the efficient level of utilization of oil as a fuel are important to reduce dependence on oil imports.
  • Public Transport should be made available and user friendly so that Individual vehicles reduce and demand for oil decreases.

Topic: transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints

5)Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana requires an urgent fix. Discuss. (250 words)

Financial express

Indian express


Why this question

PMFBY was initiated with much fanfare and was expected to resolve the problems related to agricultural insurance in India. However, the experience so far has been contrary to expectations which raises the question that what reforms are required in the scheme. Hence this question becomes important.

Key demand of the question

The question is enquiring whether PMFBY is in need of a fix. The following points are this required to be brought out

  • Details of PMFBY
  • The performance of PFFBY so far – whether it has helped in improving the situation of crop insurance and details of the shortcomings
  • Whether or not and if yes, what reforms are required in PMFBY
  • Way forward

Directive word

Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – mention that agricultural insurance did not pick up in India which was causing issues for farmers and hence PMFBY was brought in


  • Details of the scheme
  • Analyze the performance – how successful has it been in changing the status quo. How have the new principles in PMFBY performed. Highlight the shortcomings in terms of achievement
  • Examine why the scheme has not met expectation which would form the basis of why reforms are needed
  • Mention the reforms that are needed to make the scheme successful.

Conclusion – Discuss the significance of the success of PMFBY for agriculture in India and way forward.

Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana

  • It is aimed at shielding farmers from crop failures and yield losses due to vagaries of climate through insurance.
  • It compensates farmers for any losses in crop yield.
  • In the event of a crop loss, the farmer will be paid based on the difference between the threshold yield and actual yield.
  • The scheme is compulsory for farmers who have availed of institutional loans.
  • The scheme insures farmers against a wide range of external risks like droughts, dry spells, floods, inundation, pests and diseases, landslides, natural fire and lightning, hailstorms, cyclones, typhoons, tempests, hurricanes and tornadoes.
  • The scheme also covers post-harvest losses up to a period of 14 days.


  • The PMFBY is an attempt to plug the holes in the older crop insurance schemes especially being
    • Their limited risk coverage 
    • For crops where the premiums were steeper insurance companies proportionally reduced the sum insured.
    • Compensation fell way short of even the farmer’s cost of production.
  • The Fasal Bima Yojana has done away with this cap on premium. The sum insured per hectare for a farmer is now decided by the District Level Technical Committee and is pre-declared and notified by the State Level Coordination Committee on Crop Insurance.
  • The farmer also pays less
    • The premium is 2 per cent of the sum insured for all kharif crops and 1.5 per cent of it for all rabi crops.
    • For horticulture and commercial crops, the premium is 5 per cent of sum covered.
    • The remaining premium is paid by the government.
  • The scheme also envisages using technology
    • To capture and upload data of crop cutting
    • To reduce delays in claim payment to farmers
    • Remote sensing to reduce the number of crop cutting experiments.
  • Subsidised premiums and prompt claims settlement enabled by remote sensing and GPS technology should help substantially expand coverage.
  • An increase in the area insured should also bring down premium rates, through spreading of risks across more farmers. That would also help contain the government’s subsidy burden.
  • Government has further targeted at increasing the coverage. In Budget 2018-19, allocation to the PMFBY scheme  is  Rs 13,000 crore and a target of increasing coverage to 98 million ha gross crop area has been set.

Why the programme needs an urgent fix:

  • Making the insurance business sustainable with actuarial premium rates is not going to help raise farmers incomes.
  • Insufficient reach and the issue of penetration.
  • Data constraints:-
    • With just around 45% of the claims made by farmers over the last three crop seasons data for the last rabi season is not available paid by the insurance companies
  • State governments:-
    • The reason for the very low payout of claims is that few state governments are paying their share of the premiums on time and till they do, the central government doesn’t pay its share either. Till they get the premium, insurance companies simply sit on the claims.
    • Most states failed to provide smart phones to revenue staff to capture and upload data of crop cutting, which continues to come with enormous delay.
  • There is hardly any use of modern technology in assessing crop damages.
  • Gaps in assessment of crop loss: 
    • The sample size in each village was not large enough to capture the scale and diversity of crop losses.
    • In many cases, district or block level agricultural department officials do not conduct such sampling on ground and complete the formalities only on paper.
    • There is lack of trained outsourced agencies, scope of corruption during implementation and the non-utilisation of technologies like smart phones and drones to improve reliability of such sampling
    • Less number of notified crops than can avail insurance
  • Inadequate and delayed claim payment:
    • Insurance companies, in many cases, did not investigate losses due to a localised calamity and, therefore, did not pay claims.
    • Only 32 per cent of the reported claims were paid out by insurance companies, even when in many states the governments had paid their part of premium.
  • High actuarial premium rates
    • Insurance companies charged high actuarial premium rates
  • Massive profits for insurance companies
    • If states delay notifications, or payment of premiums, or crop cutting data, companies cannot pay compensation to the farmers in time.
    • There have been farmers protests in various states against compulsory coverage of loanee farmers under this scheme. Farmer activists fear that this scheme might end up benefitting insurance companies more than the farmers.
  • Coverage only for loanee farmers:
    • PMFBY remains a scheme for loanee farmers who take loans from banks are mandatorily required to take insurance. Like previous crop insurance schemes, PMFBY fails to cover sharecropper and tenant farmers
  • Poor capacity to deliver: 
    • There has been no concerted effort by the state government and insurance companies to build awareness of farmers on PMFBY.
    • Insurance companies have failed to set-up infrastructure for proper implementation of PMFBY.
    • There is still no direct linkage between insurance companies and farmers.
    • Insured farmers receive no insurance policy document or receipt.
    • Delayed notification by state governments
  • PMBY is not beneficial for farmers in vulnerable regions as factors like low indemnity levels, low threshold yields, low sum insured and default on loans make it a poor scheme to safeguard against extreme weather events.
  • However, merely increasing the budget allocation for PMFBY scheme might not help the farmers.
  • CAG report:-
    • Private companies are not properly monitored and premium subsidy is released to them simply on the basis of affidavits provided by these companies without checking actual situation on the ground.

Way forward:-

  • There is an urgent need to link the insurance database with Core Banking Solution (CBS) so that when premium is deducted from a farmer’s bank account, the bank sends him a message informing about the premium, sum insured and name of insurance company.
  • There is a need for a total insurance packagelike seed insurance through replanting guarantee programme, crop cycle insurance, prepaid insurance card etc
  • Insurance unit has to be brought down to individual farm level
  • Use of drone and low-orbit satellites in place of traditional crop-cutting experiments could also lower payouts
  • Making claims payment fast and transparent
    • There should be strict compliance of timelines with regard to the process of claim settlement to provide adequate and timely compensation to farmers.
  • Danger of discouraging mixed cropping and crop diversification
    • A limited number of crops are notified by states under PMFBY. This can act as an impediment to crop diversification.
    • PMFBY will have to make insurance relevant to farmers by including more and more crops under notification and by allowing insurance for mixed cropping.
  • Improve scheme monitoring and grievance redressal mechanism
    • Toll-free number should serve as a one-stop solution for crop insurance. Farmers should be able to avail of a single window that is accountable to them for all aspects of the scheme.
  • Coverage of losses expanded:-
    • Coverage of tenant and sharecropper farmers should increase
  • Awareness:-
    • Farmers must be informed before deducting crop insurance premium. They must be given a proper insurance policy document, with all relevant details.
  • Capacity building:-
    • Panchayati Raj Institutions and farmers need to be involved at different stages of implementation.
    • Robust assessment of crop loss should be done through capacity building of state governments, involvement of PRIs and farmers in loss assessment, auditing and multi-level checking to ensure credibility of data and testing incorporating technology such as remote sensing, drones and online transmission of data.

Topic: Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nanotechnology, biotechnology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.

6) Discuss the objectives of the Draft National Digital Communications Policy, 2018. Also discuss how it aims to achieve the objective of digital sovereignty.(250 words) 



Why this question

Growth of digital technologies, and their increased adoption and integration into our daily lives necessitates revising our Nation Telecommunication Policy. With over a billion mobile phones and half a billion internet users, India’s mobile data consumption is already the highest in the world. In order to capitalize the growing digital penetration, adoption and integration. The Draft National Digital Communications Policy (DNDCP) , 2018 was recently released  in this direction, to gather public comments and suggestions. The issue is related to GS 3 syllabus under the following heading-

Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nanotechnology, biotechnology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to enlist and briefly describe the objectives of DNDCP, 2018 and also explain how it aims to achieve one of its key objectives- digital sovereignty.

Directive word

Discuss- we have to write  about all the stated objectives of DNDCP and also write in detail about the strategy it envisages to  achieve digital sovereignty.

Structure of the answer

Introduction-  mention the increased  proliferation of the mobile phone, the internet, social media platforms, digital payments, data consumption and generation across India. Also mention the emergence of digital technologies as an enabler and determinant of a country’s well being.


  • Enlist in points and briefly describe the objectives of DNDCP-

E.g Provisioning of Broadband for All 2. Creating 4 Million additional jobs in the Digital Communications sector 3. Enhancing the contribution of the Digital Communications sector to 8% of India’s GDP from ~ 6% in 2017 4. Propelling India to the Top 50 Nations in the ICT Development Index of ITU from 134 in 2017 5. Enhancing India’s contribution to Global Value Chains 6. Ensuring Digital Sovereignty.

  1. Discuss in points the strategy envisaged to achieve the objective of ensuring digital sovereignty.

E.g Establish a strong, flexible and robust Data Protection Regime, Provide Autonomy and Choice for every citizen and enterprise, Assure Security of Digital Communications, Participating in global standard setting organisations to ensure consideration for local needs of the Indian communications industry etc.

Conclusion–  Form a balanced, concise and fair opinion on the DNDCP.


  • Digital infrastructure and services are increasingly emerging as the key enablers and critical determinants of a country’s growth and well-being.
  • With significantly advanced capabilities in both telecommunications and software, India, more than most countries, stands poised to benefit from harnessing the new digital technologies and platforms
  • Recently the draft of National Digital Communications Policy 2018 has been released for public consultations by the government.

Draft telecom policy:-

  • The key strategies in the draft talks of recognizing spectrum as a key natural resource for public benefit to achieve India’s socio-economic goals
  • The policy aims to accomplish some of the strategic objectives by 2022 including:
    • Provisioning of Broadband for All 
    • Creating 4 Million additional jobs in the Digital Communications sector 
    • Enhancing the contribution of the Digital Communications sector to 8% of India’s GDP from ~ 6% in 2017 
    • Propelling India to the Top 50 Nations in the ICT Development Index of ITU from 134 in 2017 
    • Enhancing India’s contribution to Global Value Chains
    • Ensuring Digital Sovereignty
  • It has a three point action plan
    • ‘Connect India’ under which it plans to set up a robust digital communications infrastructure
    • ‘Propel India’ where the power of emerging digital technologies, including 5G, artificial intelligence (AI), Internet Of Things (IoT) will be harnessed
    • ‘Secure India’ to focus on ensuring individual autonomy and choice, data ownership, privacy and security

Features of the draft policy:-

  • There would be the optimal pricing of the spectrumto ensure sustainable and affordable access to digital communications
  • Enabling light touch licensing/ de-licensingfor broadband proliferation
  • Promoting the co-use/ secondary use of spectrum
  • It also outlined roadmap for high in demand backhaul spectrumfor transmitting signals between mobile towers in E and V band as per international best practices
  • Constituting a Spectrum Advisory Team (SAT) consisting of experts, industry, and academia to facilitate the identification of new bands, applications and efficiency measures to catalyze innovation and efficient spectrum management
  • It proposes identifying and making available new spectrum bands for access and backhaul segments for timely deploymentand growth of 5G networks and making available harmonized and contiguous spectrum required for deployment of next-generation access technologies
  • Setting up National Broadband Mission
    • The draft talks of establishing a ‘National Broadband Mission -Rashtriya Broadband Abhiyan’ to secure universal broadband access for implementation of broadband initiatives, to be funded through USOF and PPP:
      • BharatNet for providing 1Gbps to Gram Panchayats upgradeable to 10 Gbps
      • GramNet for connecting all key rural development institutions with 10Mbps upgradeable to 100 Mbps
      • NagarNet for establishing one- million public Wi-Fi Hotspots in urban areas
      • JanWiFi for establishing two-million Wi-Fi Hotspots in rural areas
      • Implementing a ‘Fibre First Initiative’ to take Optical fiber to the home, to enterprises, and to key development institutions in tier I, II and III towns and to rural clusters
    • Setting up Telecom Ombudsman
    • Roadmap for Green Telecom in India
      • The Policy talks of incentivizing the use of renewable energy technologies in the communications sector
      • This includes utilization of small cell fuel batteries, lithium-ion batteries or other similar technologies and promoting research and development of green telecom

Digital sovereignty:-

  • Digital sovereignty or Data sovereignty is all about storage and protection of an individual’s personal data in digital form on cloud. 
  • Digital sovereignty means that internet users can freely and independently decide which data can be gathered, distributed, used and saved about them. 
  • Proponents of Digital sovereignty within India call for it for not only projects such as Digital India and Make in India but also for security and well being of the country.

How it achieves Digital sovereignty:-

  • Establish a comprehensive data protection regimefor digital communications that safeguards the privacy, autonomy and choice of individuals and facilitates India’s effective participation in the global digital economy
  • Ensure that net neutrality principlesare upheld and aligned with service requirements, bandwidth availability and network capabilities including next generation access technologies.
  • Develop and deploy robust digital communication network security frameworks.
  • Build capacityfor security testing and establish appropriate security standards.
  • Address security issuesrelating to encryption and security clearances.
  • Enforce accountabilitythrough appropriate institutional mechanisms to assure citizens of safe and secure digital communications infrastructure and services.
  • The policy recognises the importance of continued improvement in the regulatory framework for attracting investments and ensuring fair competition, to serve the needs of Indian citizens.
  • Given the sector’s capital-intensive nature,the policy aims to attract long-term, high quality and sustainable investments
  • It aims to pursue regulatory reforms to ensure that the regulatory structures and processes remain relevant, transparent, accountable and forward-looking.
    • Policy promises to remove regulatory barriers and reduce the regulatory burden that hampers investments, innovation and consumer interest.
  • Draft of the policy is progressive and the government is keen to deliver widest range of new services and technologies to the Indian consumers at affordable costs.
  • It has placed significant emphasis on building a strong fiber network in India.


  • Government did not do anything about spectrum prices which were increased due to restricted supply.
  • Implementation could be a big challenge in the light of existing licensing regime.
  • Proposals in the draft National Digital Communications Policy 2018 policy have found mention in earlier regulations and vision statements of the telecom regulator or the Department of Telecom.
  • There is no clarity or any roadmap on reduction of the financial stress of the industry.

Way forward:-

  • Government should focus on putting together a roadmap explaining how it will execute these initiatives.
    • For instance, the new policy states that incentivising manufacturing of semiconductor chips is one of the top priority areas. The Centre has already rolled out a policy in this regard which has failed to attract any player so far due to a number of reasons.
    • The new policy should have gone into these reasons and proposed a plan to fix the shortcomings.
  • Need to offer a clear roadmap of how it plans to provide fiscal relief to the industry rather than merely restating that the plan is to rationalise government taxes and levies for the sector in addition to giving critical infrastructure status to the industry.


General Studies – 4

TopicContributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and world.

7) Virtue theory of ethics is one of the oldest normative traditions in Western philosophy, having its roots in ancient Greek civilization. Discuss.(250 words)



Why this question

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

Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and world.

Key demand of the question

The question wants us to delve into the normative ethics theory and probe the ancient Greek philosophy and philosophers which contributed to normative ethics theory.

Directive word

Discuss- We have to write in detail about the key demand of the given question- describe normative ethics theory and give an account of ancient Greek philosophers and their philosophy related to normative ethics.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– give a brief description of normative ethics theories along with the Golden principle.

Body- Discuss in points contribution of ancient Greek philosophers in the field of normative ethics. Quote as many philosophers and works as possible and try to provide a gist of their works and thoughts on normative ethics. Take help of the link attached with the question to frame your answer.

Conclusion– Mention other great philosophers like Kant, Locke etc and their duty theories.



Normative ethics involves arriving at moral standards that regulate right and wrong conduct. In a sense, it is a search for an ideal litmus test of proper behaviour. The Golden Rule is a classic example of a normative principle: We should do to others what we would want others to do to us.

The Golden Rule is an example of a normative theory that establishes a single principle against which we judge all actions. Other normative theories focus on a set of foundational principles, or a set of good character traits.


 Virtue ethics, places less emphasis on learning rules, and instead stresses the importance of developing good habits of character, such as benevolence .Plato emphasized four virtues in particular, which were later called cardinal virtues: wisdom, courage, temperance and justice.


In addition to advocating good habits of character, virtue theorists hold that we should avoid acquiring bad character traits, or vices, such as cowardice, insensibility, injustice, and vanity


Aristotle argued that virtues are good habits that we acquire, which regulate our emotions. For example, in response to my natural feelings of fear, I should develop the virtue of courage which allows me to be firm when facing danger. 


Interest in virtue theory continued through the middle ages and declined in the 19thcentury with the rise of alternative moral theories below. In the mid 20th century virtue theory received special attention from philosophers who believed that more recent ethical theories were misguided for focusing too heavily on rules and actions, rather than on virtuous character traits. Alasdaire MacIntyre (1984) defended the central role of virtues in moral theory and argued that virtues are grounded in and emerge from within social traditions.