Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 19 JULY 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-   Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and
Architecture from ancient to modern times.

1) Pottery  is one of the most tangible and iconic elements of Indian art. Discuss the evolution of pottery making in India. (250 words)




Why this question

Indian pottery has its roots in the Harappan Civilization and has evolved through ages into marvellous art forms as well as the objects of daily use. It is important to know the evolution of Indian pottery.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to write in detail about the history of pottery making in India, its role in Indian history and how it evolved over the centuries.

Directive word

Discuss- This s an all-encompassing directive which mandates us to write in detail about the key demand of the question. We also have to discuss about the related and important aspects of the question in order to bring out a complete picture of the issue in hand.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– Write a few lines about the role pottery making. E.g The history of pottery tells of the daily life of human beings, their death and burial, of human migration, trade and conquest, cultural practices and influences.


  1. Discuss how pottery making started and evolved in technique.E.g coiling technique > Wheel made pottery > Hand modelling > Terracotta > Giant figures.
  2. DIscuss in parts, how Indian pottery evolved over time. E.g
  3. Harappan civilization
  4. Maurya and Sunga periods
  5. Kushan period
  6. Gupta period
  7. Post-Gupta period

Discuss the salient aspects of pottery of each time period and mention the names of the masterpieces of art made of pottery.

Conclusion– sum up your discussion in a few lines and form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the above issue.



  • Evidence of pottery has been found in the early settlements of Mehrgarh from the Indus Valley Civilization. Today, it is a cultural art that is still practiced extensively in India. Pottery plays an important role in studying culture and reconstructing the past.
  • Historically with distinct culture, the style of pottery changed. It reflects the social, economic and environmental conditions a culture thrived in, which helps the archaeologists and historians in understanding our past. It holds significant value in understanding cultures where script was either absent or remains undeciphered. 

Evolution of pottery making in India:-

  • Neolithic Age:-
    • First reference of pottery in this age. Naturally it is hand-made pottery but during the later period foot wheel is also used.
  • Chalcolithic Age:-
    • Chalcolithic Era, the first metal age, is marked by the occurrence of distinct cultures in various parts of our country namely – Ahar culture in South Eastern Rajasthan, Malwa culture in Western MP, Jorwe culture in Western Maharashtra, etc.
    • People of this age used different kinds of pottery.
    • Black-and-red-ware Pottery
      • Black and red ware seems to have been widely used. Cultures like Ahar-Banas showed the presence of Black and Red warepottery with white linear designs.
    • Black-on-red ware
      • Jorweware is painted black-on-red and has a matt surface treated with a wash.
    • Ochre Coloured Pottery (OCP)
      • OCP people are regarded as the junior contemporaries of Harappa.
      • This pottery is identified with the Copper Hoard Culture that was found in upper Ganga Valley and Ganga Yamuna doab area.
    • Harappan civilization:-
      • Polished Ware Pottery with rough surface
        • Both polished and unpolished type of pottery existed
        • Pottery generally has a red surface and is wheel thrown althoughhandmade ones too exist
        • Polished wares were well fired.
        • Most of the pottery is polychrome meaning more than two colours are used to colour the pottery.
        • Most of the pottery is Such potteries usually have flat bases
        • Geometrical design along with paintings depictingflora and fauna are observe
        • Perforated pottery was also found may be used for straining liquor.
        • Pottery throughout the civilization was uniform (mass thrown)revealing some form of control and leaving less space of individual creativity
        • Presence of luxurious pottery obtained from certain sites reveals economic stratification in the society
      • Burial Pottery of Harappa
        • Burial pottery was specially and distinctly made
        • Reveals the Harappan belief in life after death
        • Presence or absence of this pottery in the grave goods reflected social stratification
      • Late Harappa:-
        • Ochre Colored Pottery (OCP) :- The late Harappan cultures(1900BC – 1200BC) were primarily chalcolithic. Some specific chalcolithic sites show the elements of late Harappan(like use of burnt bricks, etc). These sites have OCP.
        • Black-grey burnished wareproduced on slow wheel – Found in Swat Valley. This resembles the pottery from north Iranian plateau.
        • Black-on-redpainted and wheel turned pottery – Also found in Swat Valley. This shows a connection that Swat Valley was associated with Harappa.
        • Grey-ware and Painted Grey Ware, generally associated with Vedic people have been found in conjunction with some late Harappan pottery. It has less intricate designs as compared to the early and mature periods suggesting a dilution of the rich culture.
      • Vedic Era – PGW:-
        • The Vedic Era saw the emergence of Painted Grey Ware(PGW) Culture.
        • The Rig Vedic sites have PGW but iron objects and cereals are absent. Hence it is considered a pre-iron phase of PGW. On the other hand, the Later Vedic sites are considered iron-phase of PGW.
      • Later Vedic Era – NBPW:-
        • The later Vedic people were acquainted with 4 types of pottery – Black-and-red ware, black-slipped ware, painted grey ware and red ware. 
      • End of Later Vedic Era – NBPW:-
        • Towards the very end of Later Vedic Age around 6th century BC, we see the emergence of 2nd phase of urbanization(1st being Indus Valley Civilization). This era marked the beginning of the Northern Black Polished Ware (NBPW).
        • Glossy, shining type pottery.
        • Made of fine fabric and served as tableware for richer class. Considered deluxe pottery only found with the elites revealing societal stratification which was a result of Brahmanical hegemony.
        • This pottery continued to exist during the Mahajanapada era.
        • Found in Ahichatra, Hastinapur (both in UP), Navdatoli (Madhya Pradesh).
        • Classified into two groups – bichrome and monochrome.
        • Monochrome pottery has a fine and thin fabric.Potted on fast wheel and have astrikingly lustrous surface. 90% of this type is jet black, brownish black and bluish black and 10% have colours like pink, golden, brown among others.
        • Bichrome pottery is found less. It shows all the features of monochrome except that it shows combination of two colours.
      • Megalithic Pottery found in Kerala
        • Well baked and durable.
        • Bulk of these are plain.
        • It has been excavated throughout India but majorly from the South. Mostly in 
        • They were used as grave goods revealing belief in life after death.
      • Mauryan period:-
        • Use of the potters wheel became universal. The pottery associated with the Mauryan period consists of many types of ware. But the most highly developed technique is seen in a special type of pottery known as the Northern Black Polished Ware (NBP), which was the hallmark of the preceding and early Mauryan periods.
        • The NBP ware is made of finely levigated alluvial clay, which when seen in section is usually of a grey and sometimes of a red hue.
      • Sunga period:-
        • Pottery flourished as the Sunga rulers like the Mauryans were royal patrons of varied forms of art.
      • Gupta period:-
        • Clay figurines were used both for religious and secular purposes. There are figurines of Vishnu, Kartikeya, Surya, Durga, Kubera, Nagas and other gods and goddesses. Gupta pottery remains found at Ahichchhatra, Rajgarh, Hastinapur and Bashar afford an outstanding proof of the excellence of pottery. The most distinctive class of pottery of this period is the red ware.
        • Terracottas form another important branch of the Gupta art. In this modestmedium, gifted clay-modellers created things of real beauty and achieved a wide popularbasis for their art. Clay figurines served aspoor man’s sculpture and contributed largely to popularise art and culture.
        • The terracotta figures may be classified under two heads, (a) gods and goddesses, (b) male and female figures.
      • Kushan period:-
        • The Kushan cultural phase in Bengal and North Indian sites brought a new horizon in ceramic craft. The characteristic pottery of this phase is marked by a unique red polished ware with stamped design along with a large number of dull or sturdy red ware. The diagnostic red ware is treated with a bright red slip.
      • Mughals:-
        • The art of glassware got great impetus during the medieval period. Mughal rulers provided patronage to the craft of glass making. The credit of introducing the art of glass engraving in India goes to the Mughals.

General Studies – 2

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

2) The Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill-2018 raises several important concerns and would a regressive step rather than a welcome effort. Examine.(250 words)

The hindu

The hindu


Why this question

The ToP bill touches upon several important issues surrounding human trafficking, sec- workers, transgenders, HIV patients. It has been severely criticized on various fronts by several activists, journalists and politicians.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us dig deep into the ToP bill and  bring out the limitations/ cons of the various provisions of the bill.

Directive word

Examine- Here we have to delve into the provisions of the ToP bill and bring out, what could be their negative implications.

Structure of the answer

Introduction- mention that the ToP bill seeks to address the issue of trafficking from the point of view of prevention, rescue and rehabilitation.


  1. Mention the positive points of the bill. E.g defines aggravated forms of trafficking, Punishment for promoting or facilitating trafficking, confidentiality of victims, time bound  trial and repatriation of the victims etc.
  2. Discuss in points the problems/ limitations/ cons of the bill. E.g If a sex worker is violated, she won’t be able to go to court because she will be immediately understood as exploited, trafficked and sent to rehabilitation. The law will lead to increase in violence against sex workers and silence them;  it will lead to criminalisation of trans-identities; creates more confusion among law enforcement agencies by adding to the existing range of laws-Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act 1956 (ITPA), and Juvenile Justice Act 2015 etc.

Conclusion- Based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue.


Background :-

  • Trafficking in human beings is the third largest organized crime violating basic human rights. There is nospecific law so far to deal with this crime. Accordingly, the Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018 has been prepared.
  • The Bill addresses one of the most pervasive yet invisible crimes affecting the most vulnerable persons especially women and children. The new law will make India a leader among South Asian countries to combat trafficking. 

Features of the bill:

  • Addresses the issue of trafficking from the point of view of prevention, rescue and rehabilitation.
  • Aggravated forms of trafficking, which includes trafficking for the purpose of forced labour, begging, trafficking by administering chemical substance or hormones on a person for the purpose of early sexual maturity, trafficking of a woman or child for the purpose of marriage or under the pretext of marriage or after marriage etc.
  • Punishment for promoting or facilitating trafficking of person:-
    • Which includes producing, printing, issuing or distributing unissued, tampered or fake certificates, registration or stickers as proof of compliance with Government requirements; or commits fraud for procuring or facilitating the acquisition of clearances and necessary documents from Government agencies.
    • The new law also seeks to make way for punishment of three years for a person found to be promoting or facilitating trafficking.
    • Punishmentranges from rigorous minimum 10 years to life and fine not less than Rs. 1 lakh in cases of “aggravated” crimes
    • In order to break the organized nexus, both at the national and international level, the Bill provides for the attachment & forfeiture of property and also the proceeds for crime.
  • The confidentiality of victims/ witnesses and complainantsby not disclosing their identity. Further the confidentiality of the victims is maintained by recording their statement through video conferencing (this also helps in trans-border and inter-State crimes).
  • Time bound trial and repatriation of the victims– within a period of one year from taking into cognizance.
  • Rehabilitation:-
    • Immediate protection of rescued victims and their rehabilitation. The Victims are entitled to interim relief immediately within 30 days to address their physical, mental trauma etc. and further appropriate relief within 60 days from the date of filing of charge sheet.
    • Rehabilitation of the victimwhich is not contingent upon criminal proceedings being initiated against the accused or the outcome thereof.
    • Rehabilitation Fund created for the first time.To be used for the physical, psychological and social well-being of the victim including education, skill development, health care/psychological support, legal aid, safe accommodation, etc.   
    • As per the Bill, the rescued adults would be given an opportunity before the Magistrate if they want to stay in protection homes or go to their native places.
  • Institutional mechanism:-
    • Designated courts in each district for the speedy trial of the cases.
    • The Bill creates dedicated institutional mechanisms at District, State and Central Level. These will be responsible for prevention, protection, investigation and rehabilitation work related to trafficking.  National Investigation Agency (NIA) will perform the tasks of Anti-Trafficking Bureau at the national level present under the MHA.
  • The Bill comprehensively addresses the transnational nature of the crime. The National Anti-Trafficking Bureau under national investigation agency will perform the functions of international coordination with authorities in foreign countries and international organizations


  • The Bill addresses one of the most pervasive yet invisible crimes affecting the most vulnerable persons especially women and children. The new law will make India a leader among South Asian countries to combat trafficking. 
  • The bill addresses the issue of trafficking from the point of view of prevention, rescue and rehabilitation(first to address the issue of victim rehabilitation).
    • Setting up of one or more special homes in each district for the purpose of providing long-term institutional supportfor the rehabilitation of victims is another feature of the Bill.
  • Unlike the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act (ITPA), 1956, Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, 1976, and Section 370 of the Indian Penal Code, the new Bill takes a holistic view and aims to prevent traffickingfor forced labour, beggary and organ transplant, among many others.
  • The Bill also provides for designated courts in each districtfor time-bound trial and repatriation of victims within a period of one year from taking into cognizance. This is welcome move.
  • The Bill also provides for seizing of property located in foreign landswhich is a good effort to deal with such crimes.
  • It is gender-neutral and covers transgender persons.
  • It doesn’t criminalise the victims, but instead provides them with shelter, compensation, and counselling.
  • The Bill also relies on Article 21 of the Constitution, guaranteeing that no person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to the procedure established by law.
  • The Bill takes note of the fact that India has ratified the United Nations Convention on Transnational Organised Crimeand its three Optional Protocols, including the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in persons, especially women and children.


  • National investigation agency is an understaffed organisation,that is already tackling the gigantic footprint of terrorism across the subcontinent and there are doubts whether it might be in a position to take on and investigate cases of human trafficking.
  • According to experts most of the trafficking is taking place in small towns so focus should be on policing and not NIA
  • Assertion that the bill covers ‘new’ forms of trafficking that are not addressed under existing laws is not completely true.
    • For instance while the new law focuses on removing and evicting sex workers from their occupation, the Bonded Labour Act protects the worker who was held in bondage from being evicted from the place where the individual has been working.
  • It does not harmonise different approaches and integrate existing laws into one.
  • The Anti-Trafficking Bill has not been preceded by any substantial research or analysis.

Measures needed :-

  • The trafficking bill 2018 need to be passed as it would plug the loopholes in earlier anti-trafficking laws and help tackle the menace of human trafficking as also the festering issue of illegal brothels by equipping the law enforcement agencies with more ammunition.
  • Instead for a multi-faceted legal and economic strategy
    • Robust implementation of labour laws
    • A universal social protection floor
    • Self-organisation of workers
    • Improved labour inspection, including in the informal economy
    • Corporate accountability for decent work conditions are needed.
  • Need for systemic reforms
    • To counter distress migration
    • End caste-based discrimination
    • Enforce the rural employment guarantee legislation
    • Avoid the indiscriminate rescue of voluntary sex workers
    • Protect migrants mobility and rights.
  • Victims of trafficking, especially children, need safe social and economic rehabilitation.
    • Higher budgetary allocations are needed for their immediate help and counselling, besides making arrangements for their vocational training, housing and repatriation.
    • The reintroduction to education is also a must. Also, changes in the education system to include rights-based information, if given to each child, can lay the foundations of an aware and secure generation.
    • Schools and parents must make children aware of the dangers of trafficking and prepare them to recognise and tackle it.


  • Trafficking bill is the first step in the measures which are bold and holistic response to a socioeconomic problem of labour exploitation and this can help India realise SDG 8.7.

Topic– Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies

3) TRAI has played a stellar role in coming out with progressive net neutrality regulation. Discuss the background, mission, and achievements of TRAI?(250 words)

Financial express

Why this question

TRAI has been in news very often courtesy the net neutrality guidelines. The question is about TRAI as an organization.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to list out the background, mission, vision, function and achievements of TRAI

Directive word

Discuss – Here in your discussion you have to highlight both the achievements and some of the shortcomings of TRAI.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Mention that The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India is the independent regulator of the telecommunications business in India. It was established by an act of Parliament, called the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Act 1997, to regulate telecom services,


  • Discuss the mission of TRAI – TRAI’s mission is to create and nurture conditions for growth of telecommunications in the country in a manner and at a pace which will enable India to play a leading role in emerging global information society.  One of the main objectives of TRAI is to provide a fair and transparent policy environment which promotes a level playing field and facilitates fair competition.
  • Discuss the vision of TRAI – sure the services and protecting interests of all telecommunication consumers, provide improved telecommunication, broadband, broadcasting and cable TV services to all consumers in Indian society.
  • Discuss the working of TRAI- details of TRAI establishment Act
  • Discuss the role TRAI has played in penetration of telecom services, fair pricing an. Net neutrality guidelines.

Conclusion – Emphasize on the importance of TRAI.


Background of TRAI:-

  • The regulation of telecom services in India has its genesis in the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885, which grants the Central Government exclusive privilege to establish telegraph services. The Government also has the power to grant licenses to other operators to carry on those services.
  • Until the mid-nineties, the Government exercised a monopoly over this sector, with the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) being responsible for administering telecom services throughout the country.
  • The National Telecom Policy, announced by the Government in 1994 (NTP, 1994), sought to change this position by allowing for the participation of private entities. This led to the opening up of basic telecom services in addition to Value Added Services (VAS) such as cellular services and radio paging that had already been thrown open to private participation in 1992. 
  • The NTP, 1994 brought with it the inevitable need for an independent regulatory framework that would separate the Government’s regulatory functions from its service-providing functions, in line with global best practices. This led to the creation of the TRAI in 1997, pursuant to the provisions of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Act, 1997 (TRAI Act).
  • TRAI was given the responsibility of regulating telecom services, including fixation and revision of tariffs, determining QoS standards and fixing the terms and conditions for interconnectivity between providers. 


  • TRAI’s mission is to create and nurture conditions for growth of telecommunications in the country in a manner and at a pace which will enable India to play a leading role in emerging global information society.
  • One of the main objectives of TRAI is to provide a fair and transparent policy environment which promotes a level playing field and facilitates fair competition.

Functions of TRAI:-


  • In the last twenty years, TRAI has played a critical and formative role in shaping the regulatory and policy framework governing the telecom sector in India.

  • TRAI has contributed significantly in the growth of telecom services, resulting in increase in consumer base and deployment of vast network of the telecom services by the service providers across the length and breadth of the country.
  • These measures have resulted in overall benefits to the consumer in terms of choice of services, affordable tariff of telecom services, and better quality of services etc. The exponential growth in subscriber numbers and its reach establishes the effective functioning of the Organisation.
  • TRAI has been monitoring quality of service provided by Service Providers against the benchmarks laid down by TRAI for the various quality of service parameters through Quality of Service Regulations issued from time to time, through quarterly Performance Monitoring Reports (PMRs) submitted by service providers.
    • TRAI also undertakes objective assessment of the Quality of Service of Basic, Cellular and Broadband Services through independent agencies. 
  • To further strengthen the quality of standards TRAI had issued “The Standards of Quality of Service of Basic Telephone Service (Wireline) and Cellular Mobile Telephone Services (Second Amendment) Regulation, 2012 for financial disincentives on those service providers who fail to meet the prescribed Quality of Service (QoS) benchmarks
  • To protect the interest of consumers relating to metering and billing, TRAI had issued the Quality of Service (Code of Practice for Metering and Billing Accuracy) Regulations, 2006, which mandates yearly audit of the metering and billing system of the service providers through qualified empanelled auditors.
  • TRAI regularly issues orders and directions on various subjects such as tariffs, interconnections, quality of service, Direct To Home (DTH) services and mobile number portability .
  • In 2016, TRAI introduced an important change in telecommunication that would benefit all consumers. Effective from 1 January 2016, consumers will be compensated for call drops.
  • TRAI launched three new apps and a web portal to ensure that the Indian users are fully aware of the telecom services that are being offered to them.
    • Mycall app, MySpeed app and ‘Do not disturb (DND 2.0)’ apps are now going to educate and ensure that there is transparency – between what consumers are actually paying for and what telecom operators are promising to provide at a certain rate.
  • TRAI and net neutrality:-
    • Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has come out in favour of net neutrality in its recommendation paper .
    • The regulator has mandated that ISPs (Internet Service Providers) should not deploy any discriminatory practices such as blocking, degrading or slowing down of certain web traffic while giving preferential treatment to any specific content at the same time.
    • TRAI has also brought in Internet of Things (IoT) enabled services also under the ambit of these restrictions, with a caveat that critical IoT services, identified by Department of Telecom (DoT) and coming under specialised services, will be automatically exempt.
    • If a telecom operator is implementing any traffic management practice ,TRAI has recommended these instances to be openly declared and even intimated to users directly getting impacted by such restrictions, whatever their cause.
  • Blockchain:-
    • Telecom regulator TRAI has issued new draft norms to curb pesky calls and SMSes by using blockchain technology. When implemented, TRAI will become first organisationto implement this kind of regulation.
  • The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) released their Recommendations on Privacy, Security and Ownership of Data (the Recommendations) in context of the telecommunication domain.
    • The Recommendations, besides elaborating on the need and importance of data privacy in telecommunications, have also analysed the telecommunication environment to assess whether the existing data protection framework is sufficient or not.
    • The present Recommendations specifically are aimed at privacy, security and ownership of data of telecommunication users, while at the same time attempt to strike a balance with respect to use of data for data-based businesses.

Topic-Part of static series under the heading – “Jurisdiction of SC”

4) Discuss about the various kinds of jurisdiction that SC enjoys?(250 words)


Key demand of the question

The question expects us to explain the various jurisdiction of the SC, how they differ from each other.

Directive word

Discuss – Your discussion should concern itself with explaining the various Jurisdiction of SC, the relevant constitutional provisions and how they differ from each other

Structure of the answer

In your answer, discuss about the various forms of Jurisdiction of SC – original, appellate, writ, revisory and advisory jurisdiction. Mention the relevant constitutional provisions, examples and how they differ from each other.


Various kinds of jurisdiction :-

Supreme Court has original, appellate and advisory jurisdiction.

Original jurisdiction:-

  • As per article 32, Supreme Court is the guardian or protector of fundamental rights and any person whose fundamental rights are violated can directly approach the Supreme Court for remedy.
    • Supreme Court has from time to time interpreted the fundamental rights and has protected the Citizens of India from any unconstitutional legislation which breach their fundamental rights.
    • Any matter regarding the enforcement of Fundamental Rights comes under the Original Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.
  • Apart from this, Supreme Court is the Highest Interpreter of the Constitutionand tribunal for final settlements of the disputes between Center and States as well as States and States. Supreme Court has original Jurisdiction in matters related any dispute between:-
    • Government of India and one or more states
    • Government of India and State(s) on one side and State(s) in other side State(s) and State(s)
    • The dispute should involve a question whether of law or fact on which depends existence of a legal right which the court is called upon to determine.

Writ Jurisdiction:-

  • SC is empowered to issue directions, orders or writs, including writs in the nature of habeas corpus, mandamus, prohibition, quo warranto and certiorari to enforce them.

Appellate Jurisdiction :-

  • Supreme Court is the Highest Court of appeal and the writs and decrees of Supreme Court run throughout the country. The cases come to the Supreme Court in the form of appeals against the judgments of the lower courts and this is called appellate jurisdiction. Appellate jurisdiction involves the Constitution, Civil and criminal matters.
  • An appeal can be made in the Supreme Court against any judgment, decree or final order of the High Court in the territory of India, whether in a civil criminal or other proceedings, if the High Court Certified that the case involves a substantial question of law as to the interpretation of the Constitution. Even of the High Court refuses to give such certificate , the Supreme Court can grant special leave to appeal if the court is satisfied that the case involves a substantial question of law as to the interpretation of the Constitution.
  • In every matter that involves the interpretation of the constitution whether, civil, criminal or any other proceeding, the Supreme Court has been made the final authority to elaborate the meaning and intent of the Constitution.
  • As far as criminal cases are concerned there are 3 situations in which criminal appeals in Supreme Court are permitted: (Article 134)
    • The High Court has on appeal reverse the order of acquittal of accused person and sentenced him to death.
    • The High Court has withdrawn for trial before itself any case from any subordinate court and such trial convicted the accused person and sentenced him to death.
    • High Court certifies that the case is worth appeal to the Supreme Court.
  • The Supreme Court has also a very wide appellate jurisdiction over all Courts and Tribunals in India in as much as it may, in its discretion, grant special leave to appeal under Article 136 of the Constitution from any judgment, decree, determination, sentence or order in any cause or matter passed or made by any Court or Tribunal in the territory of India

Advisory jurisdiction:-

  • Article 143 (Power of President to consult Supreme Court) discusses the advisory jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.
    • If the president feels that a question of law or fact has arisen or is likely to arise and the question is of such a nature and of such public importance that it is expedient to obtain the opinion of the Supreme Court upon it, he can refer the same to Supreme Court for its advisory Opinion.
    • Such an opinion is not binding on the president.

Revisory jurisdiction :-

  • Provision for revisory jurisdiction of Supreme Court of India is given in Article 137 of Constitution of India.
  • Article 137 states that subject to the provisions of any law made by Parliament or any rules made under article 145, the Supreme Court shall have power to review any judgment pronounced or order made by 

General Studies – 3

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

5) Given the dynamic nature of the online sphere, privacy concerns and issues are rapidly changing. Analyze.(250 words)



Why this question

It would not be an exaggeration to say that internet and IT  plays a central and a highly vital role in our lives today. This makes it vital know how privacy concerns are changing in the dynamic nature of  the online sphere, which is increasing its presence and size at a remarkable pace.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to dig deep into the issues of privacy and online sphere and discuss the various aspects of   the changing privacy concerns changing under the effect of a dynamic online sphere.

Directive word

Analyze- Here we have to dig deep into the issue and identify and discuss about all the related and important aspects and correlate them to satisfy the key demand of the question.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Mention that the way in which the internet allows data to be produced, collected, combined, shared, stored, and analyzed is constantly changing and re-defining  personal data and what type of protections personal data deserves and can be given. Give the NEET example.


  1. Briefly discuss the blurring distinction between public and private spheres.
  2. Briefly discuss the borderless nature of information and associated problems of jurisdiction
  3. Briefly discuss the Increasing online presence and scope as well as magnitude of activities.
  4. Discuss IT act and IT rules of India and briefly discuss their limitations/ inadequacies.

Take the help of the article attached to the question to frame your answer.

Conclusion– Based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue.


  • The way in which the internet allows data to be produced, collected, combined, shared, stored, and analyzed is constantly changing and re-defining  personal data and what type of protections personal data deserves and can be given
  • A wave of privacy breaches and data leaks have hit India over the last three year, as India’s internet penetration has skyrocketed past shoddy standards of information and cyber security. In early 2017, The Wirereported that numerous government websites exposed the private details of millions of Indian citizens.
  • Recently the phone numbers, email IDs and addresses of hundreds of thousands of applicants who took the National Eligibility and Entrance Test (NEET) in 2018 are available online, if one is willing to pay up to Rs 2 lakh.

Privacy concerns :-

  • Issues due to nature of data:-
    • For example, seemingly harmless data such IP address, key words used in searches, websites visited, can now be combined and analysed to identify individuals and learn personal information about an individual. 
    • From information shared on social media sites, to cookies collecting user browser history, to individuals transacting online, to mobile phones registering location data information about an individual is generated through each use of the internet.
    • In many cases, the individual is unaware of the information trail that they are leaving online, do not know who is accessing the information, and do not have control over how their information is being handled, and for what purposes it is being used.
      • For example, law enforcement routinely troll social media sites for information that might be useful in an investigation.
    • Public vs private sphere:-
      • The “sphere” of information on the internet is unclear i.e. is information posted on social media public information free for use by any individual or entity including law enforcement, employees, data mining companies etc. or is information posted on social media –  private, and thus requires authorization for further use.
    • Jurisdiction issues:-
      • Major players in India’s digital economy are not only based abroad, but also export data to other jurisdictions.
      • India’s inability to localise data centres means its digital economy is governed by hundreds of private data protection policies
      • The borderless nature of information flows over the Internet complicates online privacy, as individual’s data is subjected to different levels of protection depending on which jurisdiction it is residing in. Thus, for example an Indian using Gmail, will be subject to the laws of the United States. 
      • Access by law enforcement to data stored in a different jurisdiction, or data from one country accessible to law enforcement because it is being processed in their jurisdiction, are two other complications that arise.  These complications cannot be emphasized more than with the case of the NSA Leaks.
    • IT act:-
      • India’s most comprehensive legal provisions that speak to privacy on the internet can be found in the Information Technology Act (ITA) 2000.  The ITA contains a number of provisions that can, in some cases, safeguard online privacy, or in other cases, dilute online privacy. 
      • While Sections 43A and Sections 72A of the IT Act cover some aspects of a data leak, they are hardly ever used.
      • Additionally, legislative gaps in the ITA serve to weaken the privacy of online users. For example, the ITA does not address questions and circumstances like the evidentiary status of social media content in India, merging and sharing of data across databases ,if individuals have the right to request service providers to take down and delete their personal content etc.

Way Forward:-

  • Data minimisation and accountability of those who process and control data.
  • Personal data in the public interest should be protected and used only for the purposes it was collected.
  • Understanding the imported technologies to protect data in India.
  • Infrastructure for efficient data collection and management must be strengthened.
  • Start-ups can develop technology that enables users to control who gets access to the data about their behaviour patterns in the digital world.
  • Encouraging formation of native internet giants like how china has done.
  • Current data protection rules under the Information Technology Act urgently need an update and should reflect modern trends.
  • Safeguarding privacy rights also needs attention.
  • Allow companies to pursue independent data protection policies, but monitor their enforcement through a national, multi-stakeholder agency.
  • Any violation will create a “name and shame” environment and weed out poor practices followed by the companies.

General Studies – 4

Topic– Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration: Status and problems; ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions; laws, rules, regulations and conscience as sources of ethical guidance;

6) Discuss the  seven principles of Standards in Public Life  enunciated by first report of the Nolan Committee.(250 words)

Lexicon Ethics Book



Why this question

The Nolan Committee  inquired into the standards in British public life and gave a report which contain inter-alia, seven principles of standards in public life.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to simply write in detail about the seven principles of standards in public life as enunciated by the Nolan Committee report.

Directive word

Discuss- This is an all-encompassing directive which mandates us to write in detail about the key demand of the question.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Write a few lines about the Nolan Committee.

Body– Discuss in points about the seven principles of  Nolan Committee on standards i public life. E.g { I-SHOLA-O }

  1. Selflessness
  2. Integrity
  3. Objectivity
  4. Accountability
  5. Openness
  6. Honesty
  7. Leadership

Discuss each of these principles individually.

Conclusion– Add a few more important principles that you think  are necessary in public life and form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the issue.


Citizens expect public servants to serve the public interest with fairness and to manage public resources properly. Following cases of corruption and misuse of office all over the world, most advanced countries have prescribed a Code of Ethics for public servants. 

Nolan, in his famous report of Committee of standards of Public life in Britain gave seven principles of standards in public life and it is universally applicable to everyone in public life, public officials can and should be punished for transgressing them without needing detailed explanations about the principles.

Seven Principles of Public Life 

  • Selflessness 
    • Holders of public office should take decisions solely in terms of the public interest. They should not do so in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family, or their friends. 
  • Integrity 
    • Holders of public office should not place themselves under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organisations that might influence them in the performance of their official duties.
  • Objectivity
    • In carrying out public business, including making public appointments, awarding contracts, or recommending individuals for rewards and benefits, holders of public office should make choices on merit. 
  • Accountability 
    • Holders of public office are accountable for their decisions and actions to the public and must submit themselves to whatever scrutiny is appropriate to their office. 
  • Openness 
    • Holders of public office should be as open as possible about all the decisions and actions that they take. They should give reasons for their decisions and restrict information only when the wider public interest clearly demands. 
  • Honesty 
    • Holders of public office have a duty to declare any private interests relating to their public duties and to take steps to resolve any conflicts arising in a way that protects the public interest. 
  • Leadership 
    • Holders of public office should promote and support these principles by leadership and example. 

These principles apply to all aspects of public life. The Committee has set them out

here for the benefit of all who serve the public in any way.

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

7) Nelson Mandela’s life offers many lessons which are of relevance to us more now than ever. Comment(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question

On Nelson Mandela’s birth anniversary, it I apt to discuss about the values he held dear, and which made him so successful politically and set an example for all of us.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to draw values from him life and struggles examine their relevance in contemporary times and how can we ensure that we don’t forget his values by discussing what lessons can we implement in India.

Directive word

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.Your opinion may be for or against, but you must back your argument with evidences. These types of question offer you a chance to consolidate your reading of different subjects to justify your opinion.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Introduce Nelson Mandela and the stellar role he played as a moral nd political leader.

Body – Discuss about his greatest achievements – rethink politics in terms of an ethics of empathy, a politics of forgiveness, and a revolution of values. Discuss the values he espoused – freedom of speech, fight against atrocities, politics of empathy etc an how his teachings are relevant in contemporary times for the world in general and India in particular.

Conclusion – Mention the key lessons that you draw from his life, which you feel is relevant in our current political climate.


Nelson Mandela was a man who cherished the ideal of a free society all his life. During his lifetime, Mandela dedicated himself to the freedom struggle of the African people, and in doing so, fought against White and Black domination in South Africa. But more than anything else, he fought for democracy as a plural society in which all races, languages and opinions could live together in harmony, and with equal opportunity. South Africa’s transition to democracy, under the leadership of Mandela, was a great work of political creativity and moral wisdom. 

As an activist, as a prisoner or as a leader in government, he remained intensely conscious of his moral and political responsibilities as a man in search for excellence.

Lessons to be learnt:-

  • Individually:-
  • He extended and expanded human capacity to rethink politics in terms of an ethics of empathy, a politics of forgiveness, and a revolution of values.
  • Mandela had very clear objectives in that he was committed to ending apartheid and a terribly unjust society. He knew that the road would be paved with enormous difficulties. But he never gave up.
  • Whether in politics or in relationships, compromising and negotiating are essential tools. According to him “You mustn’t compromise your principles, but you mustn’t humiliate the opposition. No one is more dangerous than one who is humiliated.” 
  • Reconciliation and negotiation were far more effective and powerful weapons and that should never be forgotten
  • Although lives are marked by illness, tragedy, misfortune and pain, people should never get discouraged. Those negative experiences can teach more than anything else. And they can teach that you have to remain faithful to your values and ethics. Mandela wanted freedom from apartheid, and while he changed strategy, he never changed that one principle.
  • India and the world:-
    • His subtle style of leadership has many lessons in it for today’s leaders. His idea of leadership was as much about delivering results as it was about uplifting those who worked and strove with him.
    • His experience of discrimination ensured that he never allowed immediate situations to overshadow the true purpose of his activity, to create a world where there is space for everyone to live a life of dignity.
    • Today, as the world battles climate change, religious bigotry and rising intolerance, world leaders have much to learn from this South African hero. His fundamental message was that unless we learn to put aside our differences and work together, we will never create a better world.
    • It is only through forgiveness and a genuine desire to move ahead that enemies can turn into friends. Whether it is India and Pakistan, Israel and Palestine, or many other political and regional hotspots around the planet, the leaders of these nations would do their people a world of good if they applied Mandela’s words of wisdom to their respective situations.