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Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 23 JUNE 2018


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

General Studies – 1

Topic – Salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

1)The Chola State during the imperial period (850-1200) was marked for its uniqueness and innovativeness. Comment.(250 words)



Why this question

The issue is indirectly related to GS- 1 syllabus under the following heading-

salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to bring out the uniqueness and innovativeness of the Chola empire during the imperial period (850-1200). We have to dig deep into the socio-economy and polity of the Chola state during the said period and form our answer accordingly.

Directive word

Comment- We have to express our knowledge and understanding of the issue and based on our discussion we have to form a concise opinion on the issue. Our discussion should present justification in the form of arguments/ facts as a stand to our opinion.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – mention that the  Chola dynasty was one of the longest-ruling dynasties in the history of southern India which has left a lasting legacy behind. Vijayalaya was the founder of the Imperial Chola dynasty which was the beginning of one of the most splendid empires in Indian history.

Body– Discuss in points the innovations and uniqueness of Chola empire

E.g King’s orders  were recorded in great detail in the inscriptions, usually on the walls of temples. A special type of official recorded the oral orders immediately on palm leaf manuscripts; A powerful bureaucracy assisted the king in the tasks of administration and in executing his orders and was well organized than in other contemporary states; careful balance between central control and local independence was maintained and non-interference in local government was sacrosanct ( local self government was born); constant audit and scrutiny of bureaucrats and other officials; revenue records were carefully maintained records of land rights, based on complete enquired and accurate surveys, and were kept up-to-date by regular surveys;  Village assemblies exercised large powers in deciding local disputes. Small committees called Nyayattar heard matters that did not come under the jurisdiction of the voluntary village committees. The punishments in most cases were in the form of donations to the temples or other endowments etc.

Conclusion– form a fair, balanced and a concise conclusion on the overall issue, in accordance with the above-held discussion.


  • Cholas were by far the most important dynasty in the subcontinent at this time, although their activities mainly affected the peninsula and Southeast Asia

Chola state is unique and innovative due to the following reasons:-

  • Cholas were the first dynasty who tried to bring the entire South India under a common rule and to a great extent succeeded in their efforts. 
  • Orders recorded in details:-
    • King was the supreme commander and a benevolent dictator. His share in the administration consisted of issuing oral commands to responsible officers when representations were made to him.
    • Such orders were recorded in great detail in the inscriptions, usually on the walls of temples.
  • Bureaucracy:-
    • A powerful bureaucracy assisted the king in the tasks of administration and in executing his orders.
    • The Chola bureaucracy was highly organized in nature. A careful balance between central control and local independence was maintained and non-interference in local government was sacrosanct .
    • There was a definite hierarchy of the bureaucracy and the tenure of the officials was simply dependent on the ‘Crown’s pleasure’.
    • One of the important officers were the Revenue officials responsible for the receipts and expenditures of the government
  • Fairness in king’s orders:-
    • Due to the lack of a legislature or a legislative system in the modern sense, the fairness of king’s orders were dependent on the goodness of the man and in his belief in Dharma – sense of fairness and justice.
  • Local governance:-
    • Every village was a self governing unit . Number of such villages constituted a Korram or nadu or Kottam in different parts of the country.
    • At the height of the Chola Empire there were eight or nine of these provinces including Sri Lanka.
    • An inscription of the eighth century BC describes the constitution of the local council, eligibility and disqualifications for the candidates, the method
      selection, their duties and delimits their powe
    • It appears that the administration of a common village Ur or Oor was different from that of a village gifted to brahmins.
    • As the head of the civil administration, the king himself occasionally toured
      the country and carried out inquests into the local administration.
    • Besides the tax collected by the central government, several local bodies enjoyed the privilege of collecting tolls and other imposts charges.
    • Justice was mostly a local matter in the Chola Empire, where minor disputes were settled at the village level.
  • Audit:-
    • The activities of the officials of the bureaucracy were under constant audit and scrutiny.
  • Land assessment:-
    • An extensive resurvey was done around 1089 to record the extents of lands and their assessment, boundaries of villages and the common rights inside the village, including the communal pastures.
  • Tax collection and revenue officials :-
    • Revenue officials were responsible for the tax collection. The Chola government was very mindful of the need for the fair and accurate collection of tax to run the state machinery.
    • The revenue records were not manuals of extortion but carefully maintained records of land rights, based on complete enquired and accurate surveys, and were kept up-to-date by regular surveys.
    • The duties of revenue officials included many other spheres of responsibilities. They also regulated receipts and expenditures of temples.
    • They were also seen to purchase land on behalf of village assemblies. They attested and certified important documents drawn up by local government agencies such as village councils.
    • They were also shown to act as magistrates.
  • Justice:-
    • The punishments for minor crimes were in the form of fines or a direction for the offender to donate to some charitable endowment.
    • Even crimes such as manslaughter or murder were punished by fines.
    • Capital punishment was uncommon even in the cases of first-degree murder.
  • Nyayattar:-
    • Village assemblies exercised large powers in deciding local disputes.
    • Small committees called Nyayattar heard matters that did not come under the jurisdiction of the voluntary village committees.
    • The convicted person would remit their fines at a place called Darmaasana.


General Studies – 2

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

2) Critically analyze, whether the  National Capital Territory of Delhi should be given statehood or not.(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question

The NCT of Delhi has been surrounded by a lot of controversy, especially since the incumbent government took power. There have been calls for giving full-statehood to the UT. However, giving full statehood to Delhi comes with its own pros and cons. The issue is related to GS 2 syllabus under the following heading-

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to dig deep into the issue and identify the pros as well as cons of providing statehood to NCT. We have to form a personal opinion  after considering both the sides of such a decision.

Directive word

Critically analyze- we have to dig deep into the issue and write in detail about the positive as well as negative implications of providing statehood to NCT. Based on our discussion, we have to form a personal opinion on the issue.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – mention that the 69th Amendment of the Constitution in 1992 gave the National Capital of Delhi, special status with its own democratically elected government and legislative assembly.


  • Discuss the positive implications of giving full statehood to Delhi. E.g respecting democracy, decreasing friction between the Centre and NCT, better governance and accountability of the government etc.
  • Discuss the negative implications of giving full statehood to Delhi. E.g the present system in place has worked finely before, the problem of having two governments in the same city-State, various administrative problems related to management of security in the capital etc.

Refer to other sources also in order to frame your answer.

Conclusion– Based on your discussion, form a concise, fair and a balanced opinion on the issue.


  • Delhi enjoys the character of a special Union Territory, with a few unique institutions, like an elected Legislative Assembly and a High Court. It is, however, not a full state; a point also reiterated by the Delhi High Court recently. This implies that powers in Delhi are divided between the Chief Minister and the Centre, through the Lieutenant-Governor.

Structure of Delhi government at present:

  • Political administration of the NCT of Delhi closely resembles that of a state of India, with its own legislature, high court and an executive council of ministers headed by a Chief Minister by Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCT) Act passed in 1991.
  • Assembly has all rights like all other states powers to govern and make laws except on three subjects like public order, police and land.
  • The National Capital Territory of Delhi is divided in to three sub territories MCD, NDMC and NCT all of which are governed by separate bodies, some of who are elected, others are appointed by the central govt.
    • MCD: Municipal Corporation of Delhi is an elected body with a mayor as its head.
    • NDMC: New Delhi Municipal Corporation is governed by a council with a chairman appointed by the central government and includes the chief minister of Delhi.
    • NCT: National Capital Territory is headed by the lieutenant governor who also happens to be the chairman of the Delhi Development Authority (DDA).
  • Civic bodies and Delhi Police come under the Union home ministry.
  • Delhi Development Authority reports to the Union urban development ministry

Why Delhi should be given statehood?

  • Lack of control over public order, police and land:-
    • This hinders its ability to efficiently plan Delhi’s development and inhibits its influence on decisions regarding the security of its electorate.
    • A dual control system not only creates inherent tension, it is also grossly unfair on the elected government. When people vote for a government in the state, their concern is how matters of law and order are handled, and not how they are getting executed.
    • Law and Order is a serious problem for which the elected minister can’t be held responsible.
  • The multiplicity of agencies makes it complex for citizens to hold the government accountable.
    • Six different agencies handle drains, sewerage and water pipes. Five civic bodies and the PWD look after maintenance of the roads thereby leading to chaos of single work handled by too many bodies.
  • Accountable:-
    • Granting full statehood to Delhi would ensure that all agencies presently under Union control are answerable to the GNCTD and through them become directly accountable to people of Delhi.
  • Blame game will reduce:-
    • Coordination is likely to improve and the constant blame game between Union and the state government would stop
    • The reason why this is integral is because having two power centres in the same state is bound to create confusion and conflict, the burden of which at the end of the day falls on citizens.
  • The Chief Minister-Centre Tussle Creates Tension
    • Presently, the Delhi government does not have control over three primary bodies :- the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), the Delhi Police and the trifurcated Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD).
    • Controlling the DDA will mean the Delhi state government will then control land and housing, which are at the moment under the central government’s prerogative.
    • Controlling the Delhi Police which currently reports indirectly to the central government through the Lieutenant Governor, will mean the Delhi government will have more accountability in matters of law and order.
    • Full statehood will also mean that the trifurcated MCD which reports to the Ministry of Home Affairs, will fall under the Delhi government’s ambit.
  • Bureaucrats:-
    • The tension arose because currently, Delhi cannot recruit its own cadre of officers to run the government’s administration something other states in the country can through its own Public Service Commission
    • The Centre exercises immense, authority in this sphere by controlling these cadres through the Home Ministry, instead of the Delhi government.
  • The World Example:-
    • Global cases of governance can be a definitive argument in favour of considering Delhi’s full statehood option.
    • London, Paris or Washington DC might not be categorised as states, but they have a power system that permit the local government control over legislative, financial and administrative bodies.
    • Applying the same to Delhi would ensure that the elected government is integral part of the decision-making processes.

Arguments against granting statehood to Delhi:-

  • Being a national Capital, it is home to central ministry and a large number of administrative buildings.
  • Delhi Hosts foreign dignitaries, guides foreign investments which are under the jurisdiction of Centre. 
  • Statehood will encourage regionalism in Delhi where people from all over India come and stay.
  • Delhi police are responsible for VIP security which is huge task. Many of these VIPs being related to central government, their security can’t be left to the state. 
  • International examples:-
    • Washington DC is a well known federal district but it enjoys much less autonomy than the Delhi government. The citizens of DC do not have any representatives in the US senate and only one non-voting representative in the US House of Representatives. In this context Delhi has a better political structure so statehood is not needed.
  • Although the demand for control over police and MCD is justified, if Delhi becomes a full state, the DDA would become defunct in the state’s territory because under the 74th constitutional amendment, land use and urban planning is a mandate of the local government.
  • Full statehood will have considerable impact on the finances of GNCTD:-
    • While it would earn some through land revenues, the burden of financing large infrastructural projects and the police would fall on GNCTD. This could mean increased tax burden on the people of Delhi.

Way forward:-

  • If the spirit of the Constitution and of democracy are respected, the Lt Governor of Delhi, or Puducherry should only have the power to refer disagreements between him and the chief minister to the President, as the 69th amendment permits him/her to do. 
  • Constitution makers incorporated Federal provisions not only to facilitate the governance of  India but also to accommodate diversity. The governments ought to come together in the spirit of cooperative federalism and give priority to the  welfare of people and governance.  The aim should be to deepen democracy and provide for people centric governance
  • According to second ARC:-
    • The Commission is of the view that since Delhi is the national capital with people from all parts of the country being its residents, some responsibility for its orderly growth and security must lie with the Union Government.
    • At the same time, there is no reason to burden the Union Government with matters of local import which are best addressed by the elected government of the Territory and the elected Municipal Corporation. In other words, a balance has to be struck between the imperatives flowing from Delhi’s status as the national capital and as the seat of its own elected government.
    • The Commission has sought to restore a more workable balance on the principle of subsidiarity.
    • The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), including appointment of the Commissioner and other functionaries should lie in the domain of the Government of the National Capital Territory (GNCT).This can be done by way of a notification under Section 490A of the Act, issued by the Union Government. However, the appointment of the Commissioner should be made by the GNCT in consultation with the Union Government.


Topic – Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s
interests, Indian Diaspora.

3) Policies and politics of social justice have reached a dead end in contemporary India. This does not, however, mean a futile or wasted journey. Critically comment with respect to reservations as a policy for social justice.(250 words)


Key demand of the question

We have to critically comment on the main assertion of the question that while reservation policy have helped us bridge significant gaps, it has now reached a dead end and needs reinvention.

Directive word

Critically comment – When you are asked to comment, you have to pick main points and give your ‘opinion’ on them based on evidences or arguments stemming from your wide reading. Critically comment is also forming opinion on main points but in the end you have to provide a fair judgement.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – It should focus on introducing reservation as a policy of social justice by explaining it and the related constitutional provisions.

Body – Highlight how reservation policy has helped us achieve a lot and was required in light of the social realities of India during independence and the decades following it. Highlight what are the shortcomings in the policy due to which it is said that it had reached a dead end.

Conclusion – Present a fair and balanced view and discuss way forward.


  • ‘Policies of social justice’ refer to the entire gamut of affirmative action programmes aimed at redressing caste inequalities. 

Policies of social justice in India:-

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

No, reservation has not reached an dead end:-

  • Within parliamentary democracy, the politics of social justice is more ‘successful’ and powerful than ever before. Any legislation that has to do with SC/ST reservations is passed by Parliament instantly and with unanimity.
  • No serious political party or government can afford to be seen as opposing reservations. It might thus seem that the politics of social justice is in good health and the policies of social justice are secure.
  • Reservations were expected to provide opportunities in higher education and jobs to the identified backward classes and excluded populations. This did not happen immediately, but by the 1990s significant changes were happening.
  • Between 1994 and 2004 in the premier all-India services (Indian Administrative Services (IAS), Indian Police Services (IPS), Indian Foreign Services (IFS)), which rank among the most coveted and sought after jobs in the country, on an average 12-15% vacancies were filled by SCs, and 6-8% by STs. At the beginning of 2005,
  • Representation of SCs, and STs in central government services, Group A, was 11.9% and 4.3% respectively; in group B they were 13.7% and 4.5% respectively. These numbers are significant as they show that identified beneficiaries now hold some prestigious positions in society and this has provided them the avenues for social mobility which didn’t exist earlier.
  • Due to reservations many students from lower castes could get access to high quality education in top institutes of India leading to social mobility
  • Due to stand up India Dalit entrepreneurs got a boost and confidence to take business as a career
  • Even in social indicators there have been significant improvement in health and educational outcomes of the lower castes.
  • The gap between upper and lower castes has reduced due to reservation.

The utility of reservation is futile now because:-

  • The success of politics of social justice is limited to the accession of leaders from dalit-bahujan communities to governmental power, detached from any substantive consequences for dalit-bahujan communities.
  • On the other, the policies of social justice are confined to implementation of reservations in government jobs and educational opportunities. Both end up drawing upon, if not reinforcing, the same caste system that they set out to annihilate.
  • There are signs of stagnationin the politics as well as the policies of social justice.
    • Thus the politics of social justice either faces a containment of political ambitions as in the case of most regional OBC parties. In either case, their capacity to use state power to push through policies of substantive social transformation is very limited.
    • This in turn is reflected in the stagnation of policy around the familiar issues of effective implementation of reservation in government jobs
  • Fragmentationof the idea of social justice:-
    • The politics of various social groups and communities such as dalits, adivasis, OBCs and Muslims is articulated in isolation, if not in opposition, to one another. 
  • Subversionof policies of social justice:-
    • With respect to reservation for OBCs in the centrally administered higher education institutions the political and legal battle was won by proponents of an OBC quota. In effect, the new legislation has amounted to very little so far.
  • The existing reservation policy that has failed to assimilate lowest castes/tribes within the mainstream economy and society, has created a sense of dissatisfaction and injustice among those who are denied the benefits of reservation
  • The policy has ended up as a tool that discriminates against the high caste youths in favour of the low caste youths, sometimes coming from the same economic background.  The tool of reservation has failed miserably in removing caste differences and has promoted the caste divide and caste conflicts.
  • It ended up giving preference to more or less the same class of SC/ST/OBC in school/college admission, in jobs and in promotions as well as subsidies in innumerable programmes and schemes, leaving out the poorer sections among them at the bottom.
  • Recent study in Gujarat has shown that the SC, OBC and ST households at the bottom are still left out of the benefits of the rapid growth of the State.
  • The present reservation system can harm the economic structure of the country as it could bring the efficiency of its labour.
  • Today reservation policy has become a tool for politicians to gain vote banks

Way forward:-

  • Before extending reservation to more groups the entire policy needs to be properly examined and its benefits over a span of nearly 60 years need to be gauged.
  • There is a need to address the anger and aspirations of poor families among unreserved communities.
  • Along with improving school education outcomes a more rational model of reservation based on equity and common sense must be envisaged.


  • The idea of reservation policy should be maintained and the actual backward classes who are in real and not fiction denied access to education ,job opportunities etc be benefitted.

Topic:Mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections

4) In light of the spate of lynchings in news in several parts of the country, critically examine the need of an anti lynching law?(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question

Several incidents of lynchings have taken place in Assam, UP etc which paints a sad picture of societal ethics, increasing rage among people, violence against vulnerable sections. These incidents need to be given a serious thought and ways to deal with it needs to be devised.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to analyze the need, pros and cons, effectiveness and impact of an anti lynching law in the country. It also expects us to give an overview of the shape such law can take.

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 – Highlight the various incidents that have taken place in the past few years and the conclusion that can be drawn from it.


  • Explain lynching.
  • Explain the need for forming an anti lynching law – rule of law, deal with societal violence, create deterrence etc
  • Explain how an anti lynching law might be inadequate – mention the main cause of lynching being lack of faith in judicial mechanisms to deliver justice which would still remain, the need for societal harmony which is missing in the current times etc
  • Briefly give an overview of the shape such a law might take

Conclusion – Write a fair and balanced view on how far you think an anti lynching law is the need of the hour and the alternatives to deal with this situation.


  • The data website “India Spend” has compiled instances of cow-linked violence from 2010 to 2017. It found that during this period, 28 people were killed in 63 such incidents.
  • There are lynchings across north India by ‘cow protection’ vigilantes. Even in Tamil Nadu in the south to Assam in the Northeast, men and women have been lynched on suspicion that they were out to kidnap children. 

Why India needs an anti lynching law?

  • Killing of another human being by a murderous crowd out to enforce mob justice or avert an imagined crime takes an extraordinary toll of the civilities of wider society.
  • In cases like these, when there exists no codified law, delivering justice is almost impossible.
  • Existing legal provisions not enough:-
    • It fills a void in criminal jurisprudence. It is true that at present there is no law that criminalises mob killings.
    • The existing legal provisions do not deal specifically with lynching as an offence and there is no provision for compensation, no provision for rehabilitation of the families, there is no provision for speedy justice.
    • The Indian Penal Code has provisions for unlawful assembly, rioting, and murder but nothing that takes cognisance of a group of people coming together to kill (a lynch mob).
      • The Indian Penal Code (IPC) has no mention of the word ‘lynching’, and any such case is covered under Section 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder), 323 (causing voluntary hurt) 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting armed with deadly weapons) and 149 (unlawful assembly).
    • It is possible, under Section 223 (a) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), to prosecute together two or more people accused of the same offence committed in the course of the “same transaction”. But the provision falls far short of an adequate legal framework for prosecuting lynch mobs.
  • A legislation is needed for the following reasons:-
    • Legislation fixes command responsibility for communal incidents. It recognises that targeted communal violence disproportionately victimises minorities and it creates a mechanism to insulate investigations of communal violence from political interference.
    • By preparing a separate draft law, all the various facets of a mob lynching can be punished without having to tie together different provisions to build a case. It will also be able to tackle issues such as the dissemination of false rumours and exhortation of mobs.
  • Socio economically the society coherence is disturbed due to mob lynchings and insecurities rise in minorities so legal protection is needed.


However an anti lynching law is not a solution because :-

  • There is a potential for abuse.
  • The underlying premise that a generic anti-lynching law could address India’s lynching problem.
  • Major reason for the recent rise in lynchings is impunity.
  • The lynch mobs that murdered several people were confident of getting away with it. So far, the state has done little to shake that confidence. So a law alone might not help.
  • The problem is not mob lynching per se but the mob lynching of minorities, for that is where impunity kicks in.
  • Some provisions of Indian penal code can be applied:-
    • Depending on the facts of the case, other charges such as attempted murder ,causing hurt (Section 323) or grievous hurt (Section 325), or culpable homicide (Section 304), can all apply to mob lynching cases.
    • Current law also covers the special circumstances that relate to lynchings – the involvement of a mob, a common purpose ,the violence of the mob, and the influencing of the mob by a person or persons.

Way forward:-

  • India already has an antidote to combat the impunity enjoyed by anti-minority lynch mobs.
    • The first is the Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence (Access to Justice and Reparations) Bill, 2011, or the Anti-Communal Violence Bill.
    • The other is police reforms, which are pending despite the Supreme Court ordering their implementation.

General Studies – 3

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

5) The draft on cross-border insolvency, recently released by the government will ensure an effective resolution mechanism in place for cross-border insolvency. Discuss.(250 words)

Indian express

Why this question

Many insolvency and bankruptcy proceedings undergoing in India involve cross-border presence of company’s assets. Therefore it is necessary to have a mechanism in place in order to solve cross-border insolvency cases. The issue is related to GS-3 syllabus under the following heading –

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

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to write in detail about the salient provisions of the draft on cross-border insolvency, recently released by the government and explain how they will lead to an effective resolution mechanism to resolve cross-border insolvency.

Directive word

Discuss- this is an all-encompassing directive which directs us to write at length about the salient provisions of the draft on cross border insolvency and also discuss how it will lead to an effective resolution mechanism to resolve cross-border insolvency.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – mention that in many of the ongoing cases under the IBC, several companies have assets and operations outside India, for which a legal framework is required to deal the assets overseas.


  • Discuss that the existing IBC provides for two Sections –234 and 235 — relating to cross border insolvency but these are not adequate. Mention that under section 235, India may issue a letter of request to a court or an authority competent to deal with such request, of the foreign country.
  • Discuss in points the salient provisions of the draft and bring out how the draft will place an effective mechanism to deal with cross-border insolvency.  E.g the central government after entering into agreement with other countries, may bring overseas asset of a domestic corporate debtor into consideration of insolvency resolution in India, can be extended to cases of personal insolvency resolution as well, in line with UNICTRAL Model Law on Cross-Border Insolvency and thus cooperation can be sought from other countries who have adopted the model law etc.

Conclusion– Form a fair and a balanced opinion on the issue, based on your discussion.


  • India is looking to introduce a globally accepted and well recognised cross-border insolvency framework, fine tuned to suit the needs of aspirational Indian economy. It has taken initiative for Cross-Border Insolvency within the Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (IBC) to provide a comprehensive legal framework.

Why India needs cross border insolvency:-

  • The existing IBC provides for two Sections –234 and 235 relating to cross border insolvency but these are not adequate to effectively deal with default cases of domestic corporate debtor having assets and operations outside India.
  • In many of ongoing cases under IBC, several companies have assets and operations outside India, for which legal framework is required to deal assets overseas.
  • Existing provisions only allow Central government to enter into agreement with foreign country for enforcing provisions of Code. Second, the government can issue a letter of request to country outside India seeking information.
  • The draft norms have now been issued to plug these loopholes and have any effective resolution mechanism in place for cross-border insolvency.
  • Although the Insolvency bankruptcy code has resulted in significant improvement in India’s insolvency regime, there is a need to include cross-border insolvency in the Code to provide a comprehensive insolvency framework.

How it will ensure an effective resolution mechanism:-

  • It would help banks access overseas assets of a company undergoing resolution.
  • FDI :-
    • Once approved, the proposed cross border insolvency framework will lead to more cross-border deals and help in making India an attractive FDI target by reducing the risks associated with insolvency.
    • Furthermore, it will make India an attractive investment destination for foreign creditors given the increased predictability and certainty of the insolvency framework.
    • It would provide greater efficiency and certainty on cross-border insolvency issues. The levelling of the playing field is a significant move which would be viewed positively by the global investor community and by multinational corporations.
    • Would certainly help in making India an attractive FDI target by reducing the risks associated with insolvency and hence lead to many cross border deals.
  • It is in line with UNICTRAL Model Law on Cross-Border Insolvency and thus cooperation can be sought from other countries who have adopted the model law etc.
  • Cross border insolvency framework is a positive step and meets one of the main lacunae in the bankruptcy code which is  modern business is transnational and the law should proceed on that basis.
  • Inclusion of cross-border insolvency framework is expected to further enhance ease of doing business, provide a mechanism of cooperation between India and other countries in the area of insolvency resolution, and protect creditors in the global scenario.
  • Foreign creditors and Indian creditors will be at par if the framework on cross-border insolvency gets introduced in India.
  • Model law will make it very easy for Indian MNCs and global MNCs to resolve insolvencies seamlessly across borders.
  • It is also a big positive for lenders including equity investors as it sets the right tone to their investment committee that due processes would be followed that are globally acceptable.
  • Cross-border deals, both inbound and outbound, would greatly benefit from the reduced risk perception of India as a destination where strong Insolvency law exists. This would encourage lot many lenders to consider backing M&A transactions involving India.

Topic: Effects of liberalization on the economy

6)“Rules based trading system” is the ultimate casualty of the ongoing trade wars between some of the major economies of the world. Discuss.(250 words) 

The hindu


Why this question

One of the biggest news item of the past few days has been the ongoing trade wars with tariffs and counter tariffs being imposed by several major economies including India. Discussing what it signifies and the impact of it is critical.

Key demand of the question

The question mentions that rules based trading system is the casualty. First we have to explain what means. Thereafter, we have to explain how trade wars is impacting rules based trading system. Also mention the counter view that these tariffs reflect a lack of faith in trading norms and are set to escalate. Present your view in conclusion.

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 – Bring out why this topic is in news.

Body – Explain what rules based trading system means. Highlight how creating a rules based trading system is the chief objective of WTO and, it being the casualty means the lack of faith in WTO and its laws. Post that, discuss why the tariff war is harmful as to ensure free and fair trade it is necessary to abide by the rules of international trade. Highlight how the trade rules are being violated by the tariff war. As an alternate view point, discuss how the present tariff war could be good as trade protectionism is the need of the hour, also that there should be quid pro quo in trade concessions as well as tariff wars.

Conclusion – Discuss the way forward and how India should respond.


  • Global trade war is becoming a reality as major economies continue to impose tariffs on each other. India is the latest to join the the risk of tit-for-tat battle by slapping tariffs as high as 50% on a list of 30 goods imported from the U.S. The volatility in the world economic system suggests investors may be beginning to take threats of a trade war more seriously. 

Rules based trading system :-

  • The rules-based multilateral trade and financial system created at Bretton Woods in 1944 has been crumbling over the past decade. The WTO trading system to reduce trade barriers on a reciprocal, most-favored-nation basis has been replaced by a spreading network of bilateral and regional preferential trade agreements. 
  • The rules-based multilateral trading system has fuelled seven decades of unprecedented job creation and poverty alleviation.
  • This system has worked so well for so long because the WTO and its biggest champions, such as the U.S., made three interrelated attributes integral to their trade policies. That is, its members:
    • Reduced uncertainty by creating predictable trade policies
    • Created an environment that facilitates decision-making particularly in the long term  by consumers and producers
    • Placed credible and legal directives that are clearly understood by allies and by those who are not.

How is it affected by trade war :-

  • Trade war will gravely undermine the rules-based multilateral system that has underpinned global prosperity since the end of World War II. Countries around the world, big and small, will be hurt.
  • Trade disputes should be resolved within the WTO framework. As economists have pointed out, when assessing economic relationships, what matters is not a country’s bilateral trade balance with a specific trading partner but its overall trade balance with the rest of the world.
  • As the United States accuses China of predatory trading practices while doling out unilateral punishment, the trade organization tasked with preserving the peace appears marginalized.
  • Those protectionist measures are likely to move the globe further away from an open, fair and rules-based trade system, with adverse effects for both the U.S. economy and for trading partners.
  • IMF said the tariffs imposed or proposed by the Trump administration also risk catalyzing a cycle of retaliatory responses from others, creating important uncertainties that are likely to discourage investment at home and abroad.
  • Threatens WTO:-
    • WTO is already under strain.
    • The collapse of the Doha round of trade talks in 2015, after many fruitless years, put needed reforms on hold indefinitely.
    • Disputes that might have been swept into a new trade round have fallen to the WTO’s dispute-resolution machinery, which is too slow and too frail to carry the burden.
    • The WTO has not kept pace with economic change.
  • As America is looking to pursue a mercantilist trade policy in defiance of the global trading system, other countries are bound to follow. That might not lead to an immediate collapse of the WTO, but it would gradually erode one of the foundations of the globalised economy.
  • The vast improvement in living standards after the second world war went hand in hand with a rapid expansion in world trade over eight trade rounds, each of which lowered barriers. Imports are in fact welcome, because they benefit consumers and spur producers to specialise in what they do best. This would also be affected.
  • Without the WTO, cross-border trade would continue it is unstoppable but the lack of norms and procedures would leave disputes to escalate. The fewer the rules, the more scope for mercantilist mischief and backsliding. Trade policy could be captured by special interests. Military power would hold greater sway in trade disputes than economic fair play. Transnational investment could drain away.
  • US-China:
    • As many as 70,000 US jobs could be lost as a result of the steel and aluminium tariffs, while as much as 0.3% of US and Chinese GDP could be lost as a result of greater trade barriers between the two countries.

Way forward:-

  • Best way to help the WTO would be for its other members to co-ordinate any action
  • Free-traders need to recognise that the WTO can help keep markets open in the face of protectionist lobbying, at home and abroad. It is vital they make the intellectual case for rules-based trade.


General Studies – 4

Topic: Case Studies

7) Mr  Ranbir Sinha, a distinguished structural engineer, received a phone call from an engineering student at a nearby college. The student expressed concern that Mr. Ranbir’s famous skyscraper had a serious technical design flaw. At first, Mr. Ranbir’s  dismissed the student’s concerns outright but the conversation gets him thinking. Over the weekend, Mr. Ranbir sifts through his data and realizes the student is indeed correct – strong winds could cause this famous landmark to topple and in the process kill thousands of innocent people. Rectifying the problem would be no small task and would require notifying the building’s owners, city officials, and the press and might negatively impact Mr. Ranbir’s professional reputation.

Consider each of the following questions and evaluate the case study:

  1. What is the action or inaction that is the cause for concern?
  2. Who or what may be affected?
  3. How will they be affected? (i.e., what are the possible consequences?)
  4.  Are there any laws, regulations written or unwritten that may apply?
  5. What actions might be taken and what would the consequences of these actions be?
  6. Can anything be done to prevent this from reoccurring or to minimize the severity of the consequences?

(250 words)



Why this question

The question is related to case studies part of GS 4.

Structure of the answer

The answer may be framed as per your own convictions, understanding and knowledge. However, for your guidance, answers for each question is also given here. You may further add to it and refine your answer.

  1. What is the action or inaction that is the cause for concern?

The cause for concern is that the building Mr Ranbir designed could potentially topple in strong winds.

  1. Who or what may be affected?

The building’s owners and occupants of whom there are thousands (large number).

  1. How will they be affected? (i.e., what are the possible consequences?)

The building occupants could be maimed or killed. The building’s owners would be ruined. Mr Ranbir’s professional reputation and career would certainly be ruined and he could also face imprisonment and civil lawsuits.

  1. Are there any laws, regulations written or unwritten that may apply?

Certainly if the building collapsed and people died, Mr Ranbir would be guilty of many counts of murder. There are likely many laws and regulations that would also apply. Likely the code of ethics for Mr Ranbir’s profession holds its members responsible for ensuring public safety.

  1. What actions might be taken and what would the consequences of these actions be?

Mr Ranbir can go to the building owners and inform them of the problem and of what needs to be done in order to fix the skyscraper.

  1. Can anything be done to prevent this from reoccurring or to minimize the severity of the consequences?

Certainly by informing the owners as soon as possible Mr Ranbir will minimize the severity of the consequences. Mr Ranbir should also carefully review his calculations to determine how/why he made the error in the first place. This will allow him to make sure that he doesn’t make the same mistake again in the future.

Answer :-

Ethical values ensure honest and open transactions in the profession, and that the professionals are able to work without external pressure or biasedness. The role of ethics, therefore, in engineering is imperative because the integrity of the profession depends on it. Engineers must perform under a standard of professional behavior that requires adherence to the highest principles of ethical conduct.


1.Action or inaction which is cause for concern is:-

  • The action which is a cause for concern is that the skyscraper built by Mr.Ranbir could topple due to strong winds and kill many innocent people.
  • Also despite being a distinguished engineer the lack of having to ensure good quality building is a cause of concern.
  • Despite knowing his flaw ,Mr.Ranbir is not quick enough in looking for an effective solution and save thousands of lives is a cause for ethical concern.
  1. Who or what may be affected?

The building if collapsed can lead to loss of thousands of innocent lives and property. Even the building owners would be adversely affected. This incident can lead to loss of reputation and trust on such engineers and can affect his future work endeavours.

  1. Possible consequences:-

The technical flaw in the design of the structure can lead to destruction of lives of many people also impacting their property.

The engineer reputation will be at stake and can face criminal and civil lawsuits as his work is responsible for deaths of innocent people .

  1. Are there any laws, regulations written or unwritten that may apply?

Due to loss of lives Mr.Ranbir can face trial on murder charges and be guilty of murder. Also the ethical code of his profession is violated as he could not ensure public safety. He might also be facing charges for negligence of duty.

5.What actions might be taken and what would the consequences of these actions be?

The immediate action needed is for Mr.Ranbir to inform the respective authorities as it is a public issue and the authorities need to take necessary action immediately to ensure safety for the people.

He needs to convey to the building owners of the flaw in the design and explain them the problem and immediate measures needed to ensure that the issue is fixed.

The consequences of these actions might be that Mr.Ranbir might be looked at a s a honest man who is making effort to rectify his mistake at the same time raising questions over the command of his knowledge regarding structural engineering

  1. Can anything be done to prevent this from reoccurring or to minimize the severity of the consequences?

By letting the authorities know the issue on his own the implications for his punishment might be less severe. Also the issue can be handled quickly and preventive measures will be taken before the act of building collapsing itself saving many lives.

To prevent this from recurring Mr.Ranbir needs to analyse the design issues he committed and assess his calculations.

Also the respective authorities who give permission for building plans need to carefully examine the plans before giving permission.