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Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 25 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 – 2

TOPIC: Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments,
significant provisions and basic structure.

1)The post of the Governor, by constitutional design, acts as a check upon both federalism and popular democracy. Critically comment.(250 words) 

The hindu

Why this question

The post of the governor has been criticized on various fronts and there have been calls to abolish the office altogether.  In the evolving federal structure of India the abolishing of the office or maintaining status quo will have an important bearing on our polity. The question is related to GS 2 syllabus under the following heading-

Key demand of the question

The question wants us to dig deep into the constitutional status and logic behind the post of governor and; discuss how the office is affects the federalism and popular democracy in the country. We have to analyse both the positive and negative aspects of the office and form a personal opinion.

Directive word

Critically comment- We have to form a personal opinion on the issue after taking into account both the positive aspects/ need, as well as negative aspects of the office of governor. We have to discuss how the office shapes/ has shaped the federal structure and popular democracy in India.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– Mention the articles of the constitution related to the office of governor and its powers.


  1. Discuss the logic behind retaining the office by the constitution assembly and how the office has been misused for political gains and  how that affects the federal structure of India and its popular democracy.

          e.g discuss the discretionary power of governor which offers huge scope for blatant misuse, discuss the need for protecting national integrity and sovereignty

in a newly formed democratic republic etc

  1. Discuss the importance of the office in present times.

e.g during emergency, secessionist movements in various parts of the country etc.

Conclusion– Form a fair and balanced opinion on the need and desirability

of the office of the governor and suggest a way forward

Background :-

  • With the Karnataka elections held recently the role of governor has come under question again

Necessity of the post of governor:-

  • The Constituent assembly chose to retain the post, and continue to vest it with discretionary power.
  • As there was a dearth of competent legislators in the States a certain amount of centralisation of power was necessary in a nascent state such as India.
  • Concerned members of the CA were assured that the Governor would remain only a constitutional post, and would have no power to interfere in the day-to-day administration of the State.
  • Founding fathers were anxious about political unity and, therefore, willing to weaken the principle of federal autonomy to strengthen Central authority.
  • They endorsed the retention of the office of governor. For them, a governor was the guardian of republican authority and its continuity.

How is it acting as a check upon federalism and democracy :-

  • In colonial India not only was the governor’s office unaccountable to the people of that province or presidency, it was designed to be unaccountable. 
  • The office of the Governor represented a choke point in the Constitution (ordinances and emergencies are others), where federalism and the popular will were to be kept in check from above, if the occasion ever arose.
  • Karnataka has just been the most recent example demonstrating that the Governor has enough discretion to skew the political process in the direction that the Central government desires.
  • Far from safeguarding constitutional propriety, governors have acted as the Central government’s partisan agents. They have dismissed inconvenient governments, subverted democratic verdicts, thwarted the functioning of elected state governments hostile to the ruling party at the Centre .

Problem with constitutional design :-

  • The governor is merely appointed by the president on the advice of the Central government.
  • Unlike the president, a governor does not have a fixed term. He/she holds office at the pleasure of the ruling party in the centre.
  • Both the manner of the appointment and the uncertainty of tenure conspire to make the incumbent an object of the Central government in politically charged circumstances
  • Australian governors sometimes sparked political controversies similar to the ones provoked by their Indian counterparts by using their reserve powers to dismiss state governments or by refusing to notify their recommendations.
    • These controversies were minimized once elected premiers were given the right to propose the governors they wanted for their provinces.
    • The Australian example illustrates the extent to which the office of governor is an imperial hold-over that survives because the concerted constitutional energy needed to abolish it is hard to muster.

Way forward:-

  • International experiences:-
    • German Länder or states only have heads of governments, chief minister-equivalents known as minister-presidents. Germany’s political structure demonstrates that there is no constitutional need to mirror the office of the head of state at the provincial level. It is only in countries with histories of authoritarian colonial rule that this position even exists.
  • Editorialists have called upon the apex court to codify the processes to be followed by the governor in the event of a hung assembly.
  • It would be an even better one if the task of implementing these guidelines was taken away from the governor and handed over to the Election Commission. The statutory body that conducts and supervises the largest and most challenging democratic processes in the world is self-evidently the institution best equipped to steward those processes to their political conclusion.

Topic:  Parliament and State Legislatures – structure, functioning, conduct of business,
powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.

2)One year one election would be more appropriate for India rather than one nation one election. Examine.(250 words)

Indian express

Why this question

Elections in India signify the world’s largest democratic exercise  but on the other hand frequent elections across the country consume a significant amount of resources and divert much of the time of the political parties at the central level. The present PM has suggested many times, the idea of one nation one election. And recently Election Commission presented the idea of one year one election in place of one nation one election. The question is related to GS 2 syllabus under the following heading-

Key demand of the question

The question wants us to contrast the idea of “one nation one election” vs “one year one election”. We have to explain why the later is better suited for India in the present circumstances.

Directive word

Examine- We have to give explanation in support of  the given stand i.e one year one election is better. We have to support our answer with proper arguments/ facts etc.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– Mention the EC’s idea of one year one election, and also mention the other option of one nation one election.

Body–  Discuss in points, why the EC’S idea is better.

e.g it will require fewer amendments to the constitution, it will respect the essence of the exercise of popular will, unlike one nation one election which prioritizes economic costs of elections over the exercise itself, it will avoid clubbing of national and state issues, it will not disturb federalism much, not much issues generated by emergencies like need to hold by-election etc.

Conclusion– Mention the importance of the exercise of the election, and the diverse structure and aspirations of India which necessitate respect for popular will and democracy.


  • While the EC has reiterated its support for holding simultaneous polls, provided the legal and financial challenges are overcome, it has alternatively suggested that all the elections due in a year may be held together.

Benefits of one year one election:-

  • Accomplishing one year one election will be easier as it doesn’t require as many legal amendments as simultaneous polls for which the Centre will have to make five amendments to the Constitution.
  • One year one election can be executed by amending Section 15 of the RP Act 1951. If the six-month stipulation is extended to nine or 10 months, elections to all states, whose term is expiring in one year, can be held together.
  • The proviso to Section 73 of the RP Act 1951 clearly says that even if the poll results are declared before the actual expiration date, the concerned state assembly can complete its term. So, if all elections in a year are clubbed together, the terms of state assemblies, which are expiring later in the year, need not be curtailed. They can complete their term that year and the new government can be sworn in after that.
  • Not much issues generated by emergencies like need to hold by-election in this case
  • Does not affect federalism much
  • Frequent elections have multiple merits in providing momentary employment, boosting domestic consumption.
  • Problems with Simultaneous polls:-
    • According to the EC, Article 83, which deals with the duration of Houses of Parliament, will have to be tweaked, along with Article 85 (dissolution of Lok Sabha by the President), Article 172 (duration of state legislatures), Article 174 (dissolution of state assemblies) and Article 356 (President’s Rule), to facilitate simultaneous polls.
    • Simultaneous elections impinge on the political autonomy of States. Today, any elected State government can choose to dissolve its Assembly and call for fresh elections. If elections are to be held simultaneously, States will have to give up this power and wait for a national election schedule.
    • There is clear empirical evidence that most Indian voters tend to choose the same party when elections are held simultaneously to both Centre and State.
    • The sheer logistics of holding simultaneous elections could be unmanageable to implement, given that the electorate exceeds 670 million voters and 7,00,000 polling stations spread across varying geographic zones that will have to consider localised weather conditions, festivals and events.
  • Also, local and national issues could get subsumed by each other and fears would abound on the misuse of Article 356 by the Union Government, making One nation, One election an impractical concept to cater to a diverse polity such as India.

Topic – Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive

3)The recent outcry over proposed changes in the civil services allocation procedure only goes on to show that the observation of 2nd ARC regarding civil servants, that they resist change as they are wedded to their privileges and prospects, is true. Critically examine(250 words)

Indian express

Second arc about civil servants :-

  • In the political field, the 73rd and 74th Amendments to the Constitution have brought about major changes. In order to make it meaningful, the existing system of administration of departments and the District Collectorate has to undergo fundamental changes. This has not happened to the extent envisioned.
  • One of the principal reasons is the marked reluctance on the part of the civil service to accept the changes in control and accountability as well as the altered roles and responsibilities.
  • This is because of the fact that most of the civil servants have been socialised to act in a manner that accentuates command and control methods rather than respond to people’s needs and aspirations.
  • Believes that its authority and legitimacy is derived not from the mandate of the people but from an immutable corpus of rules that it has prescribed for itself, without any correspondence to the needs and aspirations of the people it serves and the democratic ethos.
  • That is why the functioning of the civil service is characterised by a great deal of negativity, lack of responsiveness to what the people want and the dictates of democracy.
  • The systemic rigidities, needless complexities and over-centralization in the policy and management structures within which the civil service functions are too complex and often too constraining
  • The structures are based on hierarchies and there are a large number of veto points to be negotiated for a decision to eventually emerge.

Recent outcry is valid:-

  • The UPSC must not be converted into an institution that merely provides a bunch of probationers who will be fitted into various services later after completion of the foundation course.
  • There could be allegations of capture of the selection process by politicians and bureaucrats and of discrimination on the basis of region, religion, caste and community.
  • The foundation course is no longer entirely done in the LBS National Academy of Administration as in the past but in various places. So there are questions about what the course would be, Regarding the manpower in these academies etc
  • Doubtful as to whether the quality of administration will improve as a consequence of this change. All officers learn more on the job than during training.
  • Changing allotment procedures at the point of entry can make no difference to work output.

Way forward:-

  • The real need is for a change in performance review and for recognition of performance as officers go up the ladder.
  • 2nd ARC’s 10th Report
    • Every government servant should undergo a mandatory training at the induction stage and also periodically during his/her career. Successful completion of these trainings should be a minimum necessary condition for confirmation in service and subsequent promotions.
    • The objective of mid-career training should be to develop domain knowledge and competence required.
    • The Committee to Review In-Service Training of IAS officers, (Yugandhar Committee, 2003) recommended the need for three mid-career training programmes in the 12th, 20th and 28th years of service. Trainings at these 3 stages was suggested as there is a “major shift” in the nature of work of the officer, at these stages of their career.
  • There is a need to emphasise on the changing needs of the society and make the civil servants accountable and transparent using technology

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

4)Anti Sterlite protests in Thoothukkudi is the signal of civil society’s anger against our policy apathy towards environmental issues. Critically analyse.(250 words)

Indian express

Why this question

Civil society protests in India have had a history of agitation for environmental causes such as in the case of Chipko movement. The current protest is also indicative of the rising anger against increasing urban pollution, poor implementation of policies related to pollution control in factories etc. In this light analyzing this protest would give us an idea of how the environmental regulations in India work and whether they should be improved. Hence this question.

Key demand of the question

The question data that the civil society protests in TN are on account of the poor regulatory architecture


  • Environmental governance in India is becoming increasingly contentious. Environmental quality is declining sharply on indicators such as air, water and forest cover. At the same time, there are calls for regulatory flexibility to enable pursuit of a “development agenda”.

Anti sterlite protests :-

  • Protests against the establishment of the plant due to its potential to cause damage to the environment, and affect the lives of people, as early as the mid-1990s.

Civil society’s anger against policy apathy towards environment:-


  • Sterlite plant:-
    • The agitation has continued all these years, even as the smelter went on to supply half of India’s copper needs. The fact that copper smelters are among the worst polluting industries, that emit a number of toxic and corrosive chemicals, has been proven right time and again by agitators and activists. However, the plant continued to remain operational, despite the occasional legal setbacks and roadblocks.
  • Despite a series of objections, closures and reprimands from various quarters including a Rs 100 crore penalty imposed by the Supreme Court for polluting the environment it remained operational.
  • Protesters have alleged that the smelter was polluting ground water in their area. An activist group has accused pollution board of allowing the company to operate its smelter with shorter chimney stacks than permitted which helped the company reduce costs but harmed the environment.
  • Despite policy initiatives like forest policies India has still not adequately increased its forest cover and moving towards neglection of forest rights act.
  • There are instances of ground water exploitation, water scarcity , pollution triggering deaths all over India but policy apathy is largely visible.
  • The river rejuvenation programmes like Namami Ganga have failed in upholding their objectives.
  • Extreme weather events like dust storms, erratic monsoons, heat waves etc have increased their intensity and government’s efforts are negligible.
  • Environment Protection Act, 1986 needs to be amended to incorporate all stakeholders. especially the people getting affected by degradation of soil, air or water need to be involved in decision making.
  • Strategic Resource efficiency needs to be adopted, newer technology needs to be incorporated.
  • No proper EIA is being done. EIA needs to be mandatory for all big projects
  • One of the underlying reasons for the failure of environmental regulation has been the adhocism of the State; the persistent search for quick fixes to complicated problems and difficult trade-offs.
  • Some of the major concerns in Indian environmental governance, such as the declining quality of the environment:-
    • Piecemeal legislation and ad hoc decision-making
    • Rent-seeking propensity of the government
    • Lack of faith in the executive
    • The dominant role played by the judiciary
    • The complete failure of monitoring and enforcement mechanisms under the various environmental laws
  • There have been reports that government is diverting unspent funds, no questions were raised about why the funds were lying unspent
    • For instance, India did vie for more funding at the climate change negotiations, but the problem is not of insufficient funds but of the fact that India have not prioritised its environmental imperatives.
  • Violations:-
    • Extensive violations of rules by thermal plants, in terms of sulphur and nitrogen oxide emissions, excessive water consumption and impermissible levels of particulate matter. No progress was made in retrofitting existing power plants to new standards
  • Not formulating regulations for industries and power plants, which emit majority of sulphur and nitrogen oxides in the air, has also contributed to air pollution in Delhi, which earned India wide disrepute.
    • Pro-active initiatives to phase out coal and other polluting substances have been missing.



  • In addition, systematic data collection and developing of public archives on the compliance of projects over time, sectors and regions can go a long way in reframing the knowledge and regulatory structures for environmental governance.

Topic – Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health

5) Examine whether WHO’s essential diagnostic list would help India in better rolling out of its free diagnostic services. Discuss how diagnostic services help improve primary healthcare?(250 words)


Why this question

The release of the first ever WHO’s Essential diagnostic list (EDL) will enable India to incorporate the learnings in its own efforts at rolling out free diagnostic service. Understanding what diagnostic service is, how is it related to primary healthcare are all issues that need discussion

Key demand of the question

Following points are to be emphasized on in your answer

  • What is essential diagnostic service
  • Contents of WHO’s first ever EDL
  • What are the aims and objectives of India’s attempts at rolling out free diagnostic service
  • How will EDL help the country implement it
  • The impact that EDL will have on improving primary healthcare

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 .

Discuss – Here the impact of improvement in diagnostic services on the delivery of primary health care is to be explained

Background :-

  • Technological advancements has led to the diagnostic sector growing and evolving very rapidly. India must grab the opportunity to use this resource to its advantage and strengthen the diagnostics component in the health care system and make it available at affordable prices to improve outcomes.

WHO essential diagnostic list :-

  • WHO published its first Essential Diagnostics List which is a catalogue of the tests needed to diagnose the most common conditions as well as a number of global priority diseases
  • Essential diagnostics are defined as diagnostics that satisfy the priority health-care needs of the population and are selected keeping in mind the disease burden and public health relevance, evidence of efficacy and accuracy and comparative cost-effectiveness.
  • The first EDL, compiled by a WHO expert advisory group on in-vitro diagnostics, contains 113 tests of which 58 are basic tests (haemoglobin, blood glucose, complete blood count, urine dipstick etc). The remaining 55 tests are designed for the detection, diagnosis and monitoring of “priority” infections such as HIV, TB, malaria, hepatitis B and C, human papillomavirus (HPV) and syphilis.
  • India must boost its laboratory infrastructure to offer comprehensive diagnostic services that cover a wider range of conditions, including antimicrobial resistance and non-communicable diseases to help the country move away from a syndrome-based approach to targeted therapy approach.
  • National efforts with ICMR in the lead are being initiated to develop an India-specific essential diagnostics list in the foreseeable future.

How will it help India in rolling out its free diagnostic services :-

  • Essential Diagnostics List is intended to serve as a reference for countries to update or develop their own list of essential diagnostics.
  • In order to truly benefit patients, national governments will need to ensure appropriate and quality-assured supplies, training of health care workers and safe use. To that end, WHO will provide support to countries as they adapt the list to the local context.
  • WHO will update list on regular basis and will also issue call for applications to add categories to next edition. It is expected to expand significantly over next few years to incorporate other important areas including emerging pathogens, neglected tropical diseases, antimicrobial resistance and additional non-communicable diseases.
  • Essential Diagnostics List will provide uniform tool that can be useful to all countries, not only to test and treat health complications better but also to use health funds more efficiently by concentrating on the truly essential tests.
  • It also provides an essential package that can form the basis for screening and management of patients. It is similar to WHO’s essential medicines list, which serves as reference for countries to update or develop their own list of essential diagnostics.
  • Limited affordability and access to quality medical services are among the major challenges contributing to delayed or inappropriate responses to disease control and patient management. Diagnostics, at 15.56%, make up the second largest component on hospital bills. With EDL diagnosis would become easier.
  • Concerns:-
    • Inspired by WHO list Indian government is moving towards making a list of essential diagnostics, quite like the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM). Similar to the NLEM, the government is considering the possibility that the diagnostics on this list would also be subject to price-capping. However industry bodies are likely to push-back on the government on this.
    • Cost of diagnostics cannot currently be regulated by bodies like the NPPA or the central government. Only individual states can take the initiative, if they adopt laws like the Clinical Establishments Act, 2010, which prescribes transparency in costing.
    • The use of the word essential can invoke various precedents in Indian law on the right to life (Article 21 of the Indian constitution).

How diagnostic services help improve primary healthcare :-

  • An accurate diagnosis is the first step to getting effective treatment. Diagnostics provide information needed by service providers to make informed decisions about patient care and public health actions. 
  • Today, many people are unable to get tested for diseases because they cannot access diagnostic services. Many are incorrectly diagnosed. As a result, they do not receive the treatment they need and, in some cases, may actually receive the wrong treatment.
    • For example, an estimated 46% of adults with Type 2 diabetes worldwide are undiagnosed, risking serious health complications and higher health costs. Late diagnosis of infectious diseases such as HIV and tuberculosis increases the risk of spread and makes them more difficult to treat.
  • Some of the tests are particularly suitable for primary health care facilities, where laboratory services are often poorly resourced and sometimes non-existent.
  • Essential diagnostics list could improve patient care, help detect outbreaks, increase affordability of tests, reduce antibiotic abuse, improve regulation and quality of diagnostic tests, strengthen accreditation and quality of laboratories, improve the supply chain and inspire new research.
  • An EDL should help amplify the impact of the EML. After all, patients need access to both diagnosis and treatment.
    • Access to critical medicines is important for patients, care providers, and health systems. It is a key component of Universal Health Coverage (UHC), and included in Goal 3 of the Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Without diagnosis, good medicines can be wasted, misused or simply not used.
  • Diagnosis has important implications for prognosis. Member States and countries might seek advice about which technologies to prioritize, how to shift from one technology to another, and which technologies should accompany essential medicines since they are strongly interconnected.


General Studies – 3 

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

6) India should seek to publish “green GDP” figures that take into account depreciation of natural capital stock due to economic exploitation and environmental degradation. Critically analyse.(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question

Environment provides us with the necessities of life and basic material for development. In the pursuit of more development, most nations have ignored the economic aspects of the exploitation of environment. Green GDP aims to capture the true position of a country as it includes the condition of the natural resources of the country, which in fact affect the quantum as well as pace of development. The question is related to GS 3 syllabus under the following heading-

Key demand of the question

The question wants us to discuss in detail about the concept of Green GDP and how it will be a better indicator than simple GDP. We also have to see the other side of publishing the Green GDP and then form a personal opinion on the issue.

Directive word

Critically analyse- we have to dig into the details of the Green GDP concept and highlight its important aspects and advantages over simple GDP figures. We have to see if there are any cons/ issues/ obstacles involved in publishing Green GDP figures and thereafter form a personal opinion on the issue.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– Briefly give a description of the concept of Green GDP.


  1. Discuss the need for prioritising Green GDP over GDP.
  1. Discuss the importance of natural capital and how its quality determines the development potential in the real sense and in the long run.
  2. Discuss the effects of loss of natural capital due to overexploitation of resources and disregard for the sustainability of the system.
  3. Discuss the culture of consumerism and materialism evoked by the GDP race and how it leads to unsustainable use of natural capital.


     2) Discuss the limitations/ obstacles involved in using green GDP.

  1. e.g difficulty in estimation of the value, lack of micro level data on capital formation and exploitation, pressure for improving GDP- internationally and domestically, lack of empirical studies on the value of natural capital etc.

Conclusion– Mention how the current GDP estimates include some of the natural capital exploited ( e.g minerals extracted; timber, fuelwood and non-timber forest products; natural growth of cultivated assets for some crops; and the output from dung manure etc. ) and mention how they underestimate the value and don’t include most of the services offered by natural capital. Also suggest a way-forward.


Green GDP :-

  • Green GDP is expected to account for the use of natural resources as well as the costs involved. This includes medical costs generated from factors such as air and water pollution, loss of livelihood due to environmental crisis such as floods or droughts, and other factor

Efforts by India towards Green GDP and issues :-

  • In 2009, the Centre announced that it would publish a “green GDP” that would include the environmental costs of degrading and depleting forests, grasslands and natural stocks.
  • An expert programme, sponsored by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, released a Compendium of Environment Statistics 2013.
  • Experts have recommended that India shift to a system of measuring comprehensive national wealth, which includes items such as human capital, capital equipment and natural capital. However, implementation of such well-founded recommendations has been constrained by the lack of micro-level data on capital formation, particularly in a natural context.
  • While the 12th Five Year Plan undertook groundwater resource mapping at the national level, a similar focus is essential for data on land usage, forests and mineral wealth.
  • India’s current national accounts incorporate such environmental considerations in a limited fashion.
  • GDP includes the value of: minerals extracted; timber, fuelwood and non-timber forest products; natural growth of cultivated assets for some crops; and the output from dung manure. In addition, gross fixed capital formation contains output estimates from the improvement of land along with irrigation works and flood control projects.
  • However, even in GDP estimates of timber value, there is significant under-estimation of non-monetised goods and services provided from timber forests are not considered.


Why India should publish green GDP figures:-

  • Pollution:-
    • The higher costs for outdoor/indoor air pollution are primarily driven by an elevated exposure of the young and productive urban population to particulate matter pollution that results in a substantial cardiopulmonary and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease mortality load among adults.
  • The problems without considering green GDP are huge:-
    • Further, a significant portion of diseases caused by poor water supply, sanitation and hygiene is borne by children under 5.
    •  About 23% of child mortality in the country could be attributed to environmental degradation 
    • The savings from reduced health damages range from $105 billion in the 30% case to $24 billion with a 10% reduction. This, to a large extent, compensates for the projected GDP loss.
  • Green growth is measurable and important as India is a hotspot of unique biodiversity and ecosystems.
  • Conventional measures of growth do not adequately capture the environmental costs, which have been found to be particularly severe at the current rapid growth rates.
  • Tools available:-
    • There are also tools available now to estimate the significant contribution of natural capital in the form of ecosystem services. Therefore, it is imperative to calculate green Gross Domestic Product (green GDP) as an index of economic growth with the environmental costs and services factored in
  • The importance of natural capital has grown:-
    • GDP computations indicate the economic activity in a country, with rising GDP growth rate often leading to international prestige. However, such estimates often exclude the variations in natural capital by assuming them to be constant and indestructible.
    • Such natural capital is often self-generating (water, clean air) but needs to be handled in a sustainable way in order to avoid depletion.
  • GDP fails to take into account the externalities of such economic growth.
    • For example, India routinely suffers from high levels of air pollution that impose costs on local transport, health and liveability in urban and rural areas.
    • India suffered a cost of $550 billion, about 8.5% of GDP, due to air pollution, according to a World Bank report. The cost of externalities such as water pollution and land degradation were possibly far higher. Through commodity exports, India is effectively transferring natural capital to trade partners, raising the risk of desertification and land being degraded significantly.
  • Without concentrating on Green GDP, within a century, India’s food production could see a loss of 10-40% if these trends continue. 

Challenges in computation:-

  • Natural capital can cover entire ecosystems such as fisheries and forests, besides other hidden and overlooked services . For example, the regeneration of soil, nitrogen fixation, nutrient recycling, pollination and the overall hydrological cycle. Valuing such ecosystems can be challenging, with their market value often termed as zero.
  • When pollution happens, it is actually a depletion of natural capital as, for example, acid rain damages forests and industrial seepage affects water quality. In a modern economy, the challenge is to estimate such depreciation to natural capital.
  • Even the environment kuznets inverted U curve is found primarily for local pollutants that lead to short-term damages (sulphur, particulates) and not for pollutants that lead to long term and dispersed costs (carbon dioxide). In addition, the inverted U curve hides systemic consequences of emissions.
  • Complexity of the exercise as well as the need for enhanced budgets to bridge the data gaps.
  • There is no information on issues such as the total volume of surface water or the different sectors where water is used and the quantum used

Way forward:-

  • India can make green growth a reality by putting in place strategies to reduce environmental degradation at the minimal cost of 0.02% to 0.04% of average annual GDP growth rate. According to a new World Bank report, this will allow India to maintain a high pace of economic growth without jeopardizing future environmental sustainability.
  • India should seek to publish “green GDP” figures that take into account depreciation of natural capital stock due to economic exploitation and environmental degradation. This can follow the template provided by the UN’s System of Environmental-Economic Accounting.


General Studies – 4

Topic: Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and world.

7) Raja Ram Mohan Roy was a tireless social reformer who revived interest in the ethical principles of the Vedanta school as a counterpoise to the Western assault on Indian culture. Comment.(250 words)




Why this question

The 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 discuss in detail about the achievements of the first modern man of India. It wants us to describe his work on Vedanta and how he aimed to develop it as a counterpoise to Western schools.

Directive word

Comment- we have to form a personal opinion on the issue. We have to provide necessary arguments/ facts/ examples in support of our opinion.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– give a brief introduction about Raja Ram Mohan Roy and his contribution towards the Indian society.

Body– Discuss the concept of neo-vedanta and how yoga emerged from it along with fruitful comparison vs Western philosophy. Mention his other works like the essay on Vedantasara, his book- a gift to monotheism, his beradar (brother)  groups, his another book- The Precepts of Jesus: The Guide to Peace and Happiness etc.

Conclusion– Form a fair and concise conclusion based on the above discussion.



Rammohun Roy is a janus figure in Indian Renaissance. The elements of modernity in him and the break 
with tradition are of help to discover Rammohun Roy’s image as the ‘father of Modern lndia’. 


He looked back to a tradition in search of monotheism, and looked forward to a sort of Protestant reformation within the Hindu milieu. Rammohun found a firm footing in the Vedanta with Samkara’s 
interpretation, in the light of the course, of his own understanding. 

His crusade against idol-worship was categorical and straight forward. In the preface to his translation of the Isa Upanishad Ram mohan refuted all the arguments against image-worship. 


Ram mohan’ s monotheism can be attributed to his training in three separate strands ·of philosophy.

His acquaintance with the Perso-Arabic literature of the seventeenth and eighteenth century, the study of Vedanta and other philosophical works in Sanskrit and his close contact with the Unitarians and other Christian missionaries among the-European inhabitants of India-all these had their influence in the formative period of his thought.


He implied that every religion has a philosophical core, and as for Hinduism it was Vedanta .

The Vedanta provided him with the cultural category while his interpretation of it as monotheistic yielded a comprehensive, holistic theory, which provided a comprehensive critique of culture, society and ideology.


 Raja’s monotheistic Vedanta provided people with an idea of the paradigms of social change  i.e.. ,why one paradigm is better than another. It enabled people to consider the comparative adequacy of ways of life that might claim people’s allegiance. In such humanitarian vision lies Raja’s lure and his share in

India’s modernity.