Print Friendly, PDF & Email



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) There are a lot of similarities, as well as significant differences between the  Hindustani and the Carnatic music? Discuss.(250 words)

The hindu


Directive word

Discuss- This is 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.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to write in detail about the similarities between Hindustani music and the Carnatic music as well as the key differences between them.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– Mention that the two main traditions of Indian classical music are Carnatic music, which is found predominantly in the peninsular regions, and Hindustani music, which is found in the northern, eastern and central regions.


  • Discuss the similarities between the two. E.g Both the styles have a history dating back to 1000s of years and over this long period both have undergone various changes;  Both the music forms use the Taanpura to maintain Shruthi and are hence termed as monophonic. The Ragas pertain to definite scales like in Western music, but they have a floating starting point or Sam etc.
  • Discuss the differences. E.g Indian classical music has its origins from Sama Veda/Rigveda which consists of hymns sung in Musical form. In the 12th Century this music underwent a Persian influence which lasted through the Medieval period spanning over 700-800 years. The resultant was Hindustani music. Carnatic music remained unaltered and remained the same right from the ancient times. References to Carnatic music exists in Natya Shastra (Bharatanatyam). The Carnatic music that is seen today is largely based on the original treatises; Carnatic is more rigid than Hindustani to practise. While Hindustani music has had a Persian influence in the vast Northern Geography of India, Carnatic music did not undergo much change. Hindustani music ended up creating Gharanas/Clubs based on styles of singing. However, Carnatic form of music is largely the same everywhere; While the Tabla is used in Hindustani, the Mridangam is more widely used in Carnatic. The Veena in Carnatic transforms to the Sitar in Hindustani. The Hindusthani Sarangi, Santoor and Clarinet becomes the Violin or the Mandolin in Carnatic.

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


  • Carnatic music is a system of music associated with the southern part of Indian sub continent. Hindustani music is associated with North India and is deeply influenced by Persian and Islamic music system.


  • Although there are stylistic differences, the basic elements of swara, raga and tala as foundation of both Carnatic and Hindustani are same.
  • Hindustani music originated in the Vedic period, while Carnatic music originated during the Bhakti movement. Thus both are having great association with religion.
  • Carnatic is one of two main sub-genres of India classical music that evolved from ancient Hindu traditions, the other sub-genre being Hindustani music, which emerged as a distinct form due to Persian and Islamic influences in North India.
  • Both the music evolved with Sanskrit language scripts in itself and through Vedic traditions.
  • The central notions in both these system is that of a melodic mode or raga or tala.
  • Both the styles have a history dating back to 1000s of years and over this long period both have undergone various changes
  • The Ragas pertain to definite scales like in Western music, but they have a floating starting point or Sam etc
  • Both the Carnatic and Hindustani styles give principal prominence to the melody.
  • Both has one leading swara or Vadi swar in every Raga
  • Both use Sampoorna Scale (with all 7 notes) to describe Janak Thaat or Raga to make Janya Raga.
  • Both use a Tanpura or Drone with one or two notes to signify Pitch and base in Raga version.


  • Main emphasis in Carnatic music is on vocal music and most compositions are to be sung, involving gayaki style. In Hindustani music vocal- centric group is required. Many instruments are designed to accompany the singer
  • Rules of Practice:-
    • Carnatic is more rigid than Hindustani to practise. While Hindustani music has had a Persian influence in the vast Northern Geography of India, Carnatic music did not undergo much change. Hindustani music ended up creating Gharanas/Clubs based on Styles of Singing.
Areas of  differencesCarnaticHindustani
Ragas72 ragas6 major ragas
InstrumentsVeena, Mridangam and MandolinTabla, Sarangi, Sitar and Santoor
InfluenceIndigenousAfghan Persian and Arab
Sub-stylesOnly one particular prescribed style of singingSeveral substyles
FreedomNo freedom to improviseScope to do variations and improvise
Vocal and instrumentsBoth have equal importanceMore importance to vocal


General Studies – 2

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

2) Critically analyze the idea of holding simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and the State Assemblies in India. (250 words)

The hindu


Why this question

Although the issue has been in news for a long time and has been sufficiently discussed in earlier questions, in the wake of increased voices in favour of simultaneous polls, and also that the law commission has recently submitted its report,  it is necessary to revisit the issue and deliberate upon it.

Directive word

Critically 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. Based on our discussion we have to form our opinion on the  overall issue.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to delve deep into the idea of holding simultaneous elections in India and bring out the positive aspects as well as negative aspects of it. We also have to discuss the legal and technical/ logistical feasibility of such an exercise. Based on our discussion we have to form a personal opinion on the issue.

Structure of the answer

Introduction- write a few lines about simultaneous elections in India- e.g simultaneous elections were held upto 1967 and the present discussion does not include the third tier of government.


  • Discuss the positive points of holding simultaneous elections for lok sabha and state assemblies. E.g less expenditure on elections- more time for focussing on development issues; lessening of political appeasement as well as aggression etc.
  • Discuss the negative implications. E.g link of elections with pace of development, social welfare measures especially for the poor, mixing of national and local issues, promoting efficiency over democracy etc.
  • Discuss what needs to be done in this regard- technically/ logistically as well as legally. Discuss the changes that need to be made in the law and mention the need for increased number of EVMs and VVPATs etc.

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

Background :-

  • The current government time and again supported the idea of holding simultaneous elections to panchayats, urban local bodies, states and Parliament.
  • The Law Commission of India has also proposed holding simultaneous state and general elections and has sought public opinion on its recommendations regarding the same. Simultaneous elections were held in India during the first two decades of independence.


  • Governance and consistency:-
    • Parties and workers spending too much time and money in electioneering, can make use of the time for social work and to take people-oriented programmes to the grassroots.
    • To overcome the “policy paralysis and governance deficit” associated with imposition of the Model Code of Conduct at election time which leads to putting on hold all developmental activities on that area and also affects the bureaucracy’s functioning.
  • Expenditure can be reduced by conducting simultaneous elections.
  • It is felt that crucial manpower is often deployed on election duties for a prolonged period of time. If simultaneous elections are held, then this manpower would be made available for other important tasks.
    • For instance for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, which was held along with 4 state assemblies saw the deployment of 1077 in situ companies and 1349 mobile companies of Central Armed Police Force (CAPF).
  • During frequent elections there is increase in “vices” such as communalism, casteism, corruption and crony capitalism.
  • Continuity:-
    • Will limit the disruption to normal public life associated with elections, such as increased traffic and noise pollution
  • Simultaneous elections can also be a means to curb corruption and build a more conducive socio-economic ecosystem. 
  • Simultaneous elections can bring the much-needed operational efficiency in this exercise

The idea is good in principle but there are several practical difficulties as follows:

  • Not all voters are highly educated to know who to vote for. They may get confused and may not know whether they are voting for candidates contesting assembly or parliament elections.
    • There is a 77% chance that the Indian voter will vote for the same party for both the state and centre, when elections are held simultaneously.
    • Evidence from Brazil, Argentina, Canada, Germany, the US and Europe supports the idea that elections that are held simultaneously produce greater alignment between national and regional election outcomes.
  • Functional issues:-
    • Frequent elections bring the politicians back to the voters, create jobs and prevent the mixing of local and national issues in the minds of the voters.
    • There is a dearth of enough security and administrative officials to conduct simultaneous free and fair elections throughout the country in one go.
  • The following constitutional changes need to be made:-
    • Amendments needed in the following articles:-
      • Article 83 which deals with the duration of Houses of Parliament need an amendment
      • Article 85 (on dissolution of Lok Sabha by the president)
      • Article 172 (relating to the duration of state legislatures)
      • Article 174 (relating to dissolution of state assemblies)
      • Article 356 (on President’s Rule).
    • The Representation of People Act, 1951 Act would have to be amended to build in provisions for stability of tenure for both parliament and assemblies. This should include the following crucial elements:
      • Restructuring the powers and functions of the ECI to facilitate procedures required for simultaneous elections
      • A definition of simultaneous election can be added to section 2 of the 1951 act
    • Articles 83 and 172 along with articles with articles 14 and 15 of the 1951 act be appropriately amended to incorporate the provision regarding remainder of the term i.e.., post mid elections ,the new loksabha/assembly so constituted shall be only for the remainder of the term of the previous loksabha or assembly and not for a fresh term of five years.
    • Constructive vote of no confidence:-
      • The 170thlaw commission report suggested a new rule i.e., rule 198-A has to be added to rules of procedure and conduct of business in Lok sabha and similar amendment to such rules in the state legislatures.
      • The report suggested introduction of motion of no confidence in the incumbent government along with a motion of confidence in the alternative government.
    • To avoid premature dissolution of the house/state assemble in case of Hung parliament /assembly and to advance simultaneous elections the rigour of anti defection law laid under in tenth schedule be removed as an exception.
    • Local and national issues will get mixed up distorting priorities.
    • The terms of different state governments are ending on separate dates and years.

Way forward:-

  • Standing committee recommended a cycle of elections, according to which elections to some legislative assemblies whose term end within six months to one year before or after the election date could be held during the midterm of Lok Sabha .For the rest of the states, elections could be held along with the general elections to Lok Sabha.
  • Cost can be brought under control by ensuring that the legal cap on expenditure of candidates is followed by all parties 
  • Accomplishing one year one election will be easier as it doesn’t require as many legal amendments as simultaneous polls for which the Centre will have to make five amendments to the Constitution.
  • The Law Commission of India in its report of 1999 has dealt with the problem of premature and frequent elections. It had recommended an amendment of this rule on the lines of the German Constitution, which provides that the leader of the party who wants to replace the chancellor has to move the no-confidence motion along with the confidence motion. If the motions succeed, the president appoints him as the chancellor.
    •  If such an amendment to Rule 198 is made, the Lok Sabha would avoid premature dissolution without diluting the cardinal principle of democracy that is a government with the consent of the peoples’ representatives with periodical elections.
    •  It will also be consistent with the notion of collective responsibility of the government to the House as mentioned in Article 75 (3) of the Constitution.

Topic- India and its neighborhood- relations.

3) Given concerns over increasing Indian influence, our foreign policy must exercise caution in dealing with Bhutan. Critically examine.(250 words) 

The hindu


Why this question

Bhutan is a small but an important neighbour of India. The two nations share close historical ties which have only strengthened with time. However, there are several issues involved in India-Bhutan relationship, which need to be discussed.

Directive word

Examine- Here we have to probe deeper into the topic,  get into details, and find out the causes or implications if any. Based on our discussion we have to form our opinion on the issue.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to discuss why there is a need to exercise caution in our foreign policy while dealing with Bhutan- what are the issues involved which demand so. We also have to discuss the implications of a unrestrained and uncalled for  intervention in Bhutan. Based on our discussion, we have to form a personal opinion on the issue.

Structure of the answer

Introduction- mention that the basic framework of India- Bhutan bilateral relations is the Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation signed in 1949 between the two countries, revised in February 2007.The India-Bhutan Friendship Treaty not only reflects the contemporary nature of our relationship but also lays the foundation for their future development in the 21st century.


  • Discuss why there is need to exercise caution in our foreign policy given the increased concerns related to Indian influence in Bhutan. E.g mention Doklam crisis, incidences of indian presence being mistakenly represented as Indian encroachment, HP projects and their debt etc. All of these have the potential to deteriorate the relationship between the two countries and push Bhutan into the lap of China etc.
  • Mention that there are a number of institutional mechanisms between India and Bhutan in areas such as security, border management, trade, transit, economic, hydro-power, development cooperation, water resources. Mention India’s aid to Bhutan in the form of giving money for budget, scholarship programme, road building etc. Mention why there is a need to portray this cooperation and aid aloof from the concerns of India influencing Bhutan’s domestic polity.

Conclusion- Bring out the need for enhanced cooperation and a positive relationship built on mutual confidence and respect for sovereignty. Write a few lines as to how India should proceed in this regard

Background :-

  • The basic framework of India- Bhutan bilateral relations was the Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation signed in 1949 between the two countries, which was revised in February 2007.
  • The India-Bhutan Friendship Treaty not only reflects the contemporary nature of our relationship but also lays the foundation for their future development in the 21st century.

Present approach towards Bhutan:-

  • There are a number of institutional mechanisms between India and Bhutan in areas such as security, border management, trade, transit, economic, hydro-power, development cooperation, water resources.
  • There have been regular exchanges at the Ministerial and officials level, exchanges of parliamentarian delegations to strengthen partnership in diverse areas of cooperation.
  • Hydropower projects in Bhutan are an example of win-win cooperation, providing a 
    reliable source of inexpensive and clean electricity to India, generating export revenue for Bhutan and cementing our economic integration. 
  • India’s aid to Bhutan in the form of giving money for budget, scholarship programme, road building etc.
  • Border Management :-
    • There is a Secretary-level mechanism on border management and security related matter.

Relation with Bhutan needs caution because there are some issues that need to be dealt :-

  • Hydropower projects where delays in constructing and commissioning in Bhutan by Indian companies have led to the country’s burgeoning national debt. 
  • In addition, India’s power-surplus status and the advent of other renewable energies like wind and solar power will make it more difficult for Bhutan to ensure that its hydropower sector becomes profitable.
  • Unless India finds ways to help, it will be accused of the same sort of debt-trapping that China is accused of today.
  • India also needs to focus on policing cross-border trade.The goods and services tax still hurts Bhutanese exporters, and demonetisation has left lasting scars on the banking system.
  • Doklam crisis and incidences of Indian presence being mistakenly represented as Indian encroachment have the potential to deteriorate the relationship between the two countries and push Bhutan into the lap of China etc.
  • The joint ventures are stuck because the Indian PSEs insist on having more managerial control and have refused to come up with agreed financing.

What more needs to be done:-

  • India must step lightly and thoughtfully around the upcoming Bhutan’s national election.
  • Government’s decision to cut cooking gas subsidyjust before the 2013 elections in Bhutan has often been shown as proof of Indian interference. This should not be repeat.
  • The government should keep high-profile visits at an arm’s lengthfrom the election process; especially given that there will be several such visits after the National Assembly is chosen.


  • India’s effective neighbourhood approachwill prove conducive towards building a cohesive and durable relationship with Bhutan in the coming days.
  • Our bilateral political relations with Bhutan have matured over the years and are characterised by close trust and understanding and extensive cooperationin the field of economic development, particularly in the mutually beneficial sector of hydroelectric power.
  • Despite Bhutan’s assertion of sovereignty and democracy, which is viewed by others a turning away from India, Indo-Bhutan relations will continue to prevail on good note in the coming days.

Topic– mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

4) Laws such as Bombay Prevention of Begging Act that criminalize people on account of their poverty or vulnerability needs to go. Examine with special emphasis on the rights of transgender persons.(250 words)

Indian express

Why this question

Delhi HC has recently decided that the aforementioned Act is unconstitutional. The article discusses the reasons for the same and examines the impact that the Act had on vulnerable sections with special emphasis on the transgender population. The article also discusses other such discriminatory laws which accord special powers often misutilized. Court judgements such as these are usually important from the point of view of mains, and thus needs to be prepared.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to discuss the reasons for declaring the Act unconstitutional and how the Act was discriminatory for vulnerable sections. Furthermore, we are expected to bring out other such laws which discriminate against people based on poverty or other such vulnerability and why they need to go.

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 – Discuss the recent Delhi HC judgment on Bombay Prevention of Begging Act.


  • Discuss the provisions of Bombay Prevention of Begging Act and why was it discriminatory for the vulnerable sections.
  • Explain the reasons given for declaring the said Act unconstitutional.
  • Discuss the other laws such as the ones mentioned in the article which are equally discriminatory for transgender population, which remains there in the statute despite court’s judgement in Naz foundation case. Highlight the historical basis of such laws and the social, constitutional etc implications of such laws

Conclusion – Summarize your answer and emphasize why such laws are anachronistic and need to be reviewed.


Background :-

  • The Delhi high court recently decriminalised begging, striking down as “unconstitutional” the provisions which made it an offence. The court also said that criminalising begging violates the most fundamental rights of some of the most vulnerable people in society.

Begging act :-

  • Currently, there is no central law on begging and most states have adopted the Bombay Prevention of Begging Act, 1959.
  • It criminalises begging.
  • It gives the police the power to arrest individuals without a warrant.
  • It gives magistrates the power to commit them to a certified institution for up to three years on the commission of the first offence, and up to 10 years upon the second offence.
  • The Act also authorises the detention of people dependant upon the beggar and the separation of children over the age of five.
  • Certified institutions have absolute power over detainees, including the power of punishment, and the power to exact manual work.

Concerns with the act :-

  • The Act defines begging to include receiving alms in a public place by singing, dancing, fortune telling, performing or offering any article for sale.
  • These vague definitions give unchecked power to the police to harass citizens.
  • The definition of “begging” under the Act violated Article 14, as it does not make any distinction between persons who receive money for authorized purposes and those who are singing, dancing, or engaged in similar activities.
  • It was found that 74% of persons arrested were from the informal labour sector such as those employed in small hotels, markets and construction, and 45% were homeless.
  • It reflects the lawmakers desire to erase from public spaces who act differently, and whose presence is perceived to be a bother and a nuisance.
  • There are no constitutional guarantees of pluralism and inclusiveness.
  • Transgender persons :-
    • The application of the anti-beggary act has largely been arbitrary, leading to the detention of the poor who may not be engaged in begging but who have been discriminated like poor persons living with disabilities, transgender persons, migrant or sex workers.
    • Since the Act enables the police to arrest without a warrant, such laws have a disproportionate impact on socio-economically disadvantaged transgender persons, who often rely on begging and other traditional means for survival.
      • Even as recently as 2011, the Karnataka Police Act was amended to include a section 36A, titled Power to regulate eunuchs providing impunity to the police to arbitrarily arrest and detain transgender persons.
    • Along with anti-beggary provisions, many transgender persons are also harassed, arrested and detained under laws regulating public nuisance and obscenity. 
    • The stigma around transgender persons had been instituted by the colonial rulers who introduced the Criminal Tribes Act, 1871 (CTA) enabling the police to arrest without warrant nomadic tribes and eunuchs .Although repealed in 1952, the Act was readily replaced by the habitual offenders acts in various states for restricting the movement of habitual offenders
  • In order to address this historical oppression, the Supreme Court pronounced its landmark judgment in NALSA vs Union of India, 2014 affirming fundamental rights of transgender persons, noting that they face extreme violence and discrimination and are pushed to the fringes of society where begging is often the only way to make ends meet.
  • Criminalising the act of seeking alms for sustenance violates the most basic human rights of the destitute and marginalised.

Way Forward:-

  • The state must bring in alternative legislation to curb forced begging after undertaking an empirical examination on the sociological and economic aspects of the matter.
  • It should focus on the rehabilitation and integration of the most vulnerable and marginalized members of our society.
  • The real problem of organised begging rackets will have to be addressed by other means, based on the law of trafficking.
  • A civilised society must regard the poor not as criminals to be sentenced, but as candidates for protection.
  • The decriminalisation of those who fail usually has positive effects.
  • For instance, Portugal, which decriminalised drug use and possession in 2001, has achieved the lowest rate of drug-related social costs, like death and crime, in the European Union.
  • A similar step with regard to beggars spending on rehabilitation would yield similar outcomes, and turn the social problem into a dividend.


General Studies – 3

Topic– Indian Agriculture – Issues

5) Discuss the significance of NABARD’S All India Rural financial inclusion survey and examine what it tells us about the dream of doubling farmer’s income by 2022?(250 words)

Indian express

Why this question

NAFIS survey provides very important insights into farmers income levels and considering the importance accorded to doubling farmers income, is quite important for mains.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to discuss why NAFIS survey is significant, the insights it offers us into the levels of farmers income in the country. In the second part of the question, we need to analyze the findings and discuss whether achieving the dream of doubling farmer’s income by 2022 is possible, and ways to achieve it.

Directive word

Discuss – here the significance of the survey and the key findings of the survey are to be mentioned.

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 – Explain what the survey is and what it does. Mention that it combines the strengths of the NSSO’s Situation Assessment Survey (SAS) and RBI’s All India Debt and Investment Survey.


  • Explain the significance of the survey in terms of what it is trying to achieve and the gap it fills. Also mention why a survey on farmer’s income is critical
  • Discuss the methodology and key findings of the survey –
    • NAFIS estimates that an average Indian farming household earned Rs 8,931/month (Rs 1,07,172/year) in agriculture year 2015-16. This is up from Rs 2,115 earned in 2002-03 as per the NSSO’s SAS, implying a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 12 per cent in nominal terms and 3.7 per cent in real terms (2015-16 base) in 13 years. Mention the caveats
    • The survey also estimates income of non-agri rural HH at Rs 7,269/month, more than half of which comes from working as wage labourers.
    • The pie of where the income is coming from
  • Examine in light of Dalwai committee recommendations, what the survey tells us about our dream of doubling farmer’s income. Discuss the recommendations of Dalwai Committee in light of data got from the survey, how the dream can be achieved

Conclusion – Give your view on what can be drawn from the survey and the way forward for doubling farmer’s income by 2022.

Background :-

  • Government presented the vision of doubling farmer incomes by 2022-23 however there was no assessment of the base (2015-16) aggregate income levels. The estimates from NAFIS fill that gap.


  • NAFIS is based on a sample of 40,327 rural households in 29 states of which 48 per cent are agriculture households, 87 per cent are small and marginal farmer households.
  • The survey combines the strengths of the NSSO’s Situation Assessment Survey (SAS) and RBI’s All India Debt and Investment Survey.
  • Because of a wider definition of rural areas, unlike NSSO, the NABARD survey includes areas that are bigger including Tier Three, Four and Five towns.
  • At Rs 5,000, it has a higher threshold level of income from agricultural and allied activities compared to the NSSO’s threshold income level of Rs 3,000. This is likely to create an upward-bias in NAFIS’s estimates of farmers income.
  • The survey also estimates income of non-agri rural HH at Rs 7,269/month, more than half of which comes from working as wage labourers. The overall weighted average monthly income of a rural HH is found to be Rs 8,059.
  • On the financial aspects of the rural agricultural households, NAFIS found for the reference year that about 43.5 per cent borrowed money with average availed loan of Rs 1,07,083.
  • More than 60 per cent of these Households borrowed from institutional sources, 30.3 per cent from non-institutional and 9.3 per cent from both.
  • Close to 56 per cent of loans were for non-agri purposes.
  • More than half (52.5 per cent) of the agricultural households were found to be indebted, with an average outstanding debt of Rs.1,04,602 for the year.
  • Almost 88 per cent of all rural households had bank accounts, and their monthly consumption expenditure on food was 51 per cent of total expenditure.

What the survey tells about doubling if farmers income :-

  • The Dalwai Committee set up to advise on the strategy to double farmers incomes by 2022, did not have any benchmark income levels for 2015-16. So, the committee derived them by applying yearly growth rates of state-wise net-state-domestic-product (NSDP) to the NSSO estimates of 2012-13 income levels.
  • For 2015-16, the committee found that average Indian agri-HH earned about Rs 8,059/month. This estimate is lower than that of NAFIS at Rs 8,931.
  • In terms of sources of income, NAFIS offers interesting insights, particularly for the Dalwai Committee. NAFIS estimates that in 2015-16, 35 per cent of farmers income came from cultivation, 8 per cent from livestock, 50 per cent from wages and salaries and 7 per cent from non-farm sectors.
  • Dalwai Committee assumes that by 2022-23, 69 to 80 per cent of farmers incomes will accrue from farming and animal rearing.
  • Despite its limitations, the country now has access to an independent source of data not only on farmers income due to the government’s promise to double farmers’ income by FY 2023, but also on consumption, household savings, investments, indebtedness, micro-finance and even financial knowledge of households.

Way forward :-

  • To achieve government’s goal of doubling farmers incomes by 2022-23, the Dalwai Committee points out that farmers real incomes need to grow at 10.4 per annum, that is 2.8 times the growth rate achieved historically.
  • NAFIS has provided new insights into the conditions of households in rural and semi-urban areas which would be useful to policy makers in addressing specific challenges in various states.
  • The data again proves that state specific policies are required to enable agri and non-agri households in rural and semi-urban India earn a decent income.

TopicPart of static series under the heading – “Basics of Atmosphere”

6) Explain the division of the atmosphere into layers based on temperature classification and how each layer is significant for us? (250 words)


Key demand of the question

The question expects us to explain how the regions of the atmosphere are divided on the basis of temperature , the explanation of each layer along with the reasons how they are significant for us.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Explain that as per the temperature classification, atmosphere can be divided into troposphere, the stratosphere, the mesosphere and the thermosphere.

Body – Note that you should draw a diagram in this question which will help you save up on words as well as provide an opportunity to cram in more facts and details. Explain the above layers and how they are significant for us. For instance, flights fly in tropopause to evade turbulence, the significance of ionosphere for radio communication etc.


Background :-

  • The atmosphere is comprised of layers based on temperature. These layers are the troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere and thermosphere. A further region at about 500 km above the Earth’s surface is called the exosphere.

Layers of atmosphere :-

  • Troposphere:-
    • This is the lowest part of the atmosphere that is the part we live in. It contains most of the weather – clouds, rain, snow. In this part of the atmosphere the temperature gets colder as the distance above the earth increases, by about 6.5°C per kilometre. The actual change of temperature with height varies from day to day, depending on the weather.
    • The troposphere contains about 75% of all of the air in the atmosphere, and almost all of the water vapour (which forms clouds and rain). The decrease in temperature with height is a result of the decreasing pressure
    • The lowest part of the troposphere is called the boundary layer.  This is where the air motion is determined by the properties of the Earth’s surface.
    • The top of the troposphere is called the tropopause. This is lowest at the poles, where it is about 7 – 10 km above the Earth’s surface. It is highest (about 17 – 18 km) near the equator.
  • The Stratosphere
    • This extends upwards from the tropopause to about 50 km. It contains much of the ozone in the atmosphere. The increase in temperature with height occurs because of absorption of ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun by this ozone. Temperatures in the stratosphere are highest over the summer pole, and lowest over the winter pole.
    • By absorbing dangerous UV radiation, the ozone in the stratosphere protects us from skin cancer and other health damage.
  • The Mesosphere
    • The region above the stratosphere is called the mesosphere. Here the temperature again decreases with height, reaching a minimum of about -90°C at the “mesopause”
  • The Thermosphere and Ionosphere
    • The thermosphere lies above the mesopause, and is a region in which temperatures again increase with height. This temperature increase is caused by the absorption of energetic ultraviolet and X-Ray radiation from the sun.
    • The region of the atmosphere above about 80 km is also caused the “ionosphere”, since the energetic solar radiation knocks electrons off molecules and atoms, turning them into “ions” with a positive charge. The temperature of the thermosphere varies between night and day and between the seasons, as do the numbers of ions and electrons which are presen
  • The Exosphere
    • The region above about 500 km is called the exosphere. It contains mainly oxygen and hydrogen atoms, but there are so few of them that they rarely collide – they follow “ballistic” trajectories under the influence of gravity, and some of them escape right out into space.

General Studies – 4

Topic – Determinants and consequences of Ethics in human actions

7) Evaluate whether the economic theory of consumerism is ill suited for the human race?(250 words)

Financial express

Why this question

Off late, we have seen that the world is suffering from a multitude of problems ranging from environmental degradation to racial tensions to social inequality. The article discusses the links between a materialistic outlook and these issues.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to explain what consumerism is and highlight the implications of blindly adopting such an outlook. We need to discuss the views of important scholars who have highlighted the perils of excessive materialism and give our opinion on consumerism and its impacts.

Directive word

Evaluate – When you are asked to evaluate, you have to pass a sound judgement about the truth of the given statement in the question or the topic based on evidences.  You have to appraise the worth of the statement in question. There is scope for forming a personal opinion here.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Explain what consumerism is and how it differs from capitalism.

Body – Discuss the social (lack of empathy, inequality), economic(positive impact of consumerism as it is the driver of business), political (colonization etc), cultural (how it has affected music, art), environmental and ethical impact of consumerism. Highlight the view of thinkers such as Gandhi who have held strong views against consumerism.

Conclusion – Give your opinion on the impacts of consumerism and the nature of change (if you think there should be) that is required in our mindset.


Consumerism is a socio-economic model, in which people buy and acquire goods and services, including luxury goods such as car, house, white goods, jewellery, etc. 


  • Consumerism is good for the economy, in light of the fact that it creates more economic action.
  • More demand for goods and services creates more activities to satisfy the demand, which gives rise to more manufacturing, more innovation, more research and more development. If there was no consumer, there would be no need for a market.


  • Financial mechanisms have encouraged consumerism. The advent of credit cards allowed people to spend money that they did not have. Debit cards gave people quick access to more money than they were currently carrying and often the option of overdraft, as well.
  • Material wealth is the deciding factor about whether a society is highly developed or not. Spiritual values are underplayed. 
  • Personal relationships also get affected as people are busy trying to earn more to maintain their standard of living.
  • Consumerism has also resulted in ecological imbalances. The natural habitat is being destroyed to create more goods and build more buildings affecting the weather. Consumerism is also depleting the natural resources of the respective country.
  • Gandhian principles and values favour a non-materialistic approach to life.
  • Psychological health also can get affected if one’s desires are not met such as depression.