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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 16 November 2020

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. Discuss in what ways Sanskrit Literature has imparted diversity and richness to Indian Literature. (250 words)

Reference:  Art and culture by Nitin Singhania

Why the question:

Explain in what ways Sanskrit Literature has imparted diversity and richness to Indian Literature.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss in detail in what ways Sanskrit Literature has imparted diversity and richness to Indian Literature.


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:


Start by briefly talking about the evolution of Sanskrit literature in the country.


Sanskrit literature refers to texts composed in Sanskrit language since the 2nd-millennium BCE. Many of the prominent texts are associated with Indian religions, i.e., Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism, and were composed in ancient India.

One has to explain in detail in what ways the literature has imparted diversity and richness to Indian Literature.


Conclude by highlighting its importance.


Sanskrit is an ancient and classical language of India in which ever first book of the world Rigveda was compiled. The Vedas are dated by different scholars from 6500 B.C. to 1500 B.C. Sanskrit language must have evolved to its expressive capability prior to that. It is presumed that the language used in Vedas was prevalent in the form of different dialects. It was to some extent different from the present Sanskrit. It is termed as Vedic Sanskrit.

Sanskrit literature is as vast as the human life. Sanskrit literature refers to texts composed in Sanskrit language since the 2nd-millennium BCE. Many of the prominent texts are associated with Indian religions, i.e., Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism, and were composed in ancient India. Development of Sanskrit grammar began with Panini in 400 B.C. with his book Asthadhyayi being the oldest book in Sanskrit grammar.


Development of Vedic period:

  • Four Vedas – Rig, Yajur, Sāma and Atharva, each with a main Samhita and a number of circum- vedic genres, including Brahmanas, Aranyakas, Grhyasutras and Shrautasutras which guided society polity and economy of those times, were written in Sanskrit.
  • The Upanishads form a part of the Vedas, and are strongly philosophical in content. The older Upanishads belong to the Vedic period, post-Vedic was written in Sanskrit.

Development of epic traditions:

Composition and redaction of the two great epics, the Mahabharata and the Ramayana that inspired individuals on ethical uprightness and questioned moral turpitude.

Drama and poetries:

  • It was the Gupta period when the use of Sanskrit in Drama and poetries can be traced. This is totally a period of creation of pure literature depicting Hindu aesthetic of blissful idealism in art. Which is evident in the works as Mahakavyas (epics) and Khandakavyas (semi-epics).In the field of Sanskrit literature, this period is known as the period of unique creation.
  • One of the earliest known Sanskrit plays is the Mricchakatika, thought to have been composed by Shudraka in the second century B.C.E… The Natya Shastra (ca. second century C.E., literally “Scripture of Dance,” though it sometimes translated as “Science of Theatre'”) is a foundational work in Sanskrit literature on the subject of stagecraft.
  • The only surviving ancient Sanskrit drama theatre is Koodiyattam, which has been in Kerala by the Chakyar community that promote traditional theatre and depict classical Indian stories.

Development of tantras:

  • “Tantra” is a general term for a scientific, magical or mystical treatise. Works on Hindu astrology (Parashara) and both Hindu and Buddhist mystical texts concern themselves with five subjects; the creation, the destruction of the world.
  • For Eg: The Panchatantra is a collection of fables estimated to have reached its fixed form around 200 B.C.E.

Development of classical poetry:

  • Striking characteristic of Sanskrit literary tradition is the use of word games, such as stanzas that read the same backwards and forwards, words that can be split in different ways to produce different meanings, and sophisticated metaphors, to display the poet’s technical prowess. This style is referred to as kavya. A classic example is the poet Bharavi and his magnum opus, the Kiratarjuniya (sixth-seventh century).
  • greatest works of poetry in this period are the six Mahakavyas, or “great composition”:
  • Kumarasambhavam by Kalidasa
  • Raghuvamsham by Kalidasa
  • Shishupala Vadha by Sri Maagha
  • Naishadiya Charitam by Sri Harsha

Some would include the Bhattikavya as a seventh Mahakavya.

  • Other major literary works from this period are Kadambari by Bana Bhatta—the most illustrious prose writer of the (sixth-seventh centuries), the Kama Sutra by Vatsyayana, and the shatakas of Bhartṛhari.

Development of puranas:

  • corpus of the Hindu Puranas likewise falls into the classical period of Sanskrit literature,
  • Led to emergence of Vaishnava and Shaiva denominations of classical Hinduism.

Development of Buddhist literature:

  • The book Mahavastu of the Hinayana school is a treasure of stories.
  • Lalitavistara, the most sacred Mahayana text and
  • Ashvagosha wrote Buddhacharita, which elucidates the biography of Buddha. He also composed several poetic works and Saundarananda is one of the best examples of his poems.
  • Udanavarga: It is a compilation which contains utterances of Buddha and his disciples. It is written in Sanskrit, Abhidharmamoksha: It is written by Vasubandhu and is a widely respected text. It is written in Sanskrit. It contains discussion on Abhidharma.

Development of political literature:

  • Political books like books on laws were written and complied, which are called the Dharamsutras.
  • Most famous texts about statecraft from the Mauryan period is Kautilya’s Arthashastra. It concentrates on the economic and social conditions of the Mauryan Empire.

Development of science:

  • Some of the scientific texts written in this period are:
  • Charak -Charak Samhita (Book on Medicine)
  • Sushruta Sushruta Samhita (Book on surgery)
  • Aryabhatta – Aryabhatiya(Book on astronomy and mathematics)
  • Lagdhacharya Book on astrology
  • Pingala Book on Mathematics
  • Bhaskara Siddhanta Shiromani
  • Two of the most notable Sanskrit works from medieval Kashmir are Kalhan’s Rajatarangani which gives a detailed account of the kings of Kashmir and Somadeva’s Kathasaritsagar which is a poetic work, depicting regional distinctiveness and cultural uniqueness.


All the Modern Indian Languages, like, Hindi, Marathi, Guajarati, Oriya, Bengali, Sindhi, Maithili, Kashmiri, Assamese, Konkani, Rajasthani, Manipuri, Punjabi etc., have been enriched with the words of Sanskrit. Sanskrit has influenced other languages also which have not originated from it, like Urdu and the Dravidian languages like Telugu, Tamil, Kannada and Malayalam.



General Studies – 2


Topic: Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act.

2. “Politicians are elected, not selected”, in this context discuss in what way most electoral systems are faulty around the world with special focus on India. (250 words)

Reference: Deccan Herald 

Why the question:

The article presents to us a detailed picture of electoral system around the world, and the faults in it.

Key Demand of the question:

One has to bring out the lacunae present in the electoral system, the issues arising out of them and give examples from the Indian context.


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:


Present first how Indian electoral system is based on elections and not on selections.


List down the issues involved in the electoral systems in general, explain with specific examples.

 Provide for Indian context – elected representatives never visit their constituencies after being elected, let alone improving the plight of the people who voted them to power. In India, a substantial proportion of voters belong to economically backward classes.

Suggest what needs to be done, give few suggestions, and hint at the developments that have happened recently to address these issues.


Conclude with way forward.


An electoral system or voting system is a set of rules that determine how elections and referendums are conducted and how their results are determined. Elections in India (world’s second-most populous country) seek overwhelming popular participation, where electoral candidates try to woo the voters by promising long-term reforms, such as better governance, greater socioeconomic equity, poverty alleviation, etc.


Faults in the electoral system:

India’s political culture has been vitiated by unprecedented waves of populism, jingoism, sectarianism and confrontational politics.

Money Power & Freebies

  • According to the report of the National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution (NCRWC), high cost of elections creates a high degree of compulsion for corruption in the public arena.
  • Vote-buying: The rise of illegitimate expenditure on vote-buying has become a matter of great concern as it is making only the rich to be more qualified to become an MP or an MLA.
  • In 17th Lok Sabha (2019-present), 475 Parliamentarians (accounting for 88%) are ‘crorepatis’. This reflects the paradoxical situation of poor India with rich Parliamentarians raising concerns about the growing role of money power in politics.
  • Freebies: Ranging from rice at cheapest rates to laptops & bicycles. These promises may be targeted at particular groups of electorate like BPL families, weaker sections of the society, women, handicapped etc.
  • No process in place by which the politicians can be selected. It is a free-for-all situation.

Paid News:

  • Any news or analysis appearing in any media (Print and Electronic) for a price in cash or kind. This creates a hurdle for the Election Commission of India (ECI) to conduct the smooth run-off elections in a free, fair and transparent manner.

Issuance of Secret Bonds

  • Anonymous feature of Electoral Bonds defeats the fundamental principle of transparency in political finance.

Criminalisation of Politics

  • Due to existing strong nexus between the criminals and some politicians abusing the loopholes in the present system.

Flaws in the Criminal Justice System

  • The rate of conviction for politicians is abysmally low, with just 6% in criminal cases.

Caste-based Politics

  • Desire for power on the caste-lines rather than a substantial agenda for social reform of the downtrodden.

Reforms needed in Electoral system in India:

  • State Funding of Elections: System in which the State bears the election expenditure of political parties that are contesting elections. Limit on Party expenditure
  • Simultaneous Polls: Reducing the costs of holding elections by the ECI and spending by political parties.
  • Central Legislation: In the Public Interest Foundation & Ors. Vs. Union of India 2018 case, SC put the onus on the Parliament to frame a law to prevent criminalization of politics and take concerted efforts to cleanse the political system of the country.
  • Law Commission in its 255th Report on Electoral Reforms inter-alia recommended strengthening of the office of the ECI in order to provide more independence and tooth to the institution.
  • Political parties need to rise morally and self-discipline themselves restricting their use of money power. Also, the flow of black money into the election process needs to be taken care off.
  • Political parties need to be brought under the ambit of Right to Information Act (RTI) Act, 2005.
  • All parties should be given equal media space or air time so as to provide a level playing field.
  • Voters need to be educated regarding the significance of their vote. They should be made aware & well-informed about the candidate they seek to vote, thereby rejecting those who try to entice them with freebies.

Way Forward

  • Need of fixing governance system and effective regulation of political financing along with bold reforms to break the vicious cycle of corruption and erosion of quality of democratic polity.
  • Long-term empowerment of local body/ localised power must be done so that people could see the changes happening immediately at their level and could actualise & understand the value of vote.
  • Also, local bureaucracy must be made accountable & held responsible so that their burden is not borne by the political parties.
  • The constitutional functionaries, who have taken the pledge to uphold the constitutional principles, are charged with the responsibility to ensure that the existing political framework does not get tainted with the evil of corruption.


Topic:Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

3. What is Custodial Violence?  Elaborate on its status in India, what are the challenges before India in curbing it? Discuss. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu 

Why the question:

The question is based on the theme of custodial violence.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss what custodial violence is, explain and present its status in India and discuss the challenges faced in curbing it.


Elaborate – Give a detailed account as to how and why it occurred, or what is the particular context. You must be defining key terms where ever appropriate, and substantiate with relevant associated facts.

Structure of the answer:


Custodial violence primarily refers to violence in police custody and judicial custody. It may be mental or physical in nature.


First present statistics and data representing state of custodial violence in India. According to the data published by The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), between 2001 and 2018, a total of 1,727 persons have died in police custody including those in judicial remand and those who have been arrested but not yet produced before the court.

List down the challenges in curbing the same.  

Explain how the available safeguards have proved insufficient to deal with issues of custodial violence.


Suggest solutions and conclude the same.


Custodial violence primarily refers to violence in police custody and judicial custody. It may be mental or physical in nature. According to National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data, between 2001 and 2018, only 26 policemen were convicted of custodial violence despite 1,727 such deaths being recorded in India.


Status in India:

  • Only 4.3% of the 70 deaths in 2018 were attributed to injuries during custody due to physical assault by police.
  • Except in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Odisha, no policeman was convicted for such deaths across the country.
  • Apart from custodial deaths, more than 2,000 human rights violation cases were also recorded against the police between 2000 and 2018. And only 344 policemen were convicted in those cases.

Constitutional and Legal Provisions:

  • Protection from torture is a fundamental right enshrined under Article 21 (Right to Life) of the Indian constitution.
  • The right to counsel is also a fundamental right under Article 22(1) of the India constitution.
  • Section 41 of Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) was amended in 2009 to include safeguards under 41A, 41B, 41C and 41D, so that arrests and detentions for interrogation have reasonable grounds and documented procedures, arrests are made transparent to family, friends and public, and there is protection through legal representation.


  • Absence of Strong Legislation: India does not have an anti-torture legislation and is yet to criminalise custodial violence, while action against culpable officials remains illusory.
  • The Indian state either denies the existence of torture in the country or defends its resistance to enact a law by claiming there are sufficient provisions in the domestic legal framework to prohibit and penalise torture.
  • These claims however remain superficial and without any such protections.
  • Institutional Challenges: The entire prison system is inherently opaque giving less room to transparency.
  • Prison access is not provided without prior permission such as depositing “Rs. 1 lakh in the name of the superintendent of the concerned jail” before entry.
  • Excessive scrutiny is done of all recorded or documented material in the prison.
  • India also fails in bringing the much desired Prison Reforms and prisons continue to be affected by poor conditions, overcrowding, acute manpower shortages and minimal safety against harm in prisons.
  • Excessive Force: The use of excessive force including torture to target marginalised communities and control people participating in movements or propagating ideologies which the state perceives as opposed to its stature.
  • Not Adhering to International Standard: Although India has signed the United Nations Convention against Torture in 1997 its ratification still remains.
  • While Signing only indicates the country’s intention to meet the obligations set out in the treaty, Ratification, on the other hand, entails bringing in laws and mechanisms to fulfil the commitments.

Measures needed:

  • India should ratify the UN Convention against Torture: It will mandate a systematic review of colonial rules, methods, practices and arrangements for the custody and treatment of persons subjected to any form of arrest, detention or imprisonment.
  • It will also mean that exclusive mechanisms of redress and compensation will be set up for the victim besides institutions such as the Board of Visitors.
  • Police Reforms: Guidelines should also be formulated on educating and training officials involved in the cases involving deprivation of liberty because torture cannot be effectively prevented till the senior police wisely anticipate the gravity of such issues and clear reorientation is devised from present practices.
  • Access to Prison: Unrestricted and regular access to independent and qualified persons to places of detention for inspection should also be allowed.
  • CCTV cameras should be installed in police stations including in the interrogation rooms.
  • Surprise inspections by Non-Official Visitors (NOVs) should also be made mandatory which would act as a preventive measures against custodial torture which has also been suggested by Supreme Court in its landmark judgment in the DK Basu Case in 2015.
  • Effective Implementation of Law Commission of India’s 273rd Report: The report recommends that those accused of committing custodial torture – be it policemen, military and paramilitary personnel – should be criminally prosecuted instead of facing mere administrative action establishing an effective deterrent.



General Studies – 3


Topic :  Food processing and related industries in India- scope’ and significance, location, upstream and downstream requirements, supply chain management.

4. Food processing sector is on the pathway of building a New India where the rural economy is as bright as its urban counterpart. Comment. (250 words)

Reference: Chapter 4: Food Processing: Potential Driver of Agri-Business, Kurukshetra August 2020 Issue

Why the question:

The article from Kurukshetra explains how Food processing sector is on the pathway of building a New India where the rural economy is as bright as its urban counterpart.

Key Demand of the question:

Explain with suitable substantiation how food processing sector is on the pathway of building a New India where the rural economy is as bright as its urban counterpart.


Comment– here we have to express our knowledge and understanding of the issue and form an overall opinion thereupon.

Structure of the answer:


Start by explaining the importance of FPI.


Food processing industry is a rising sector in India. The Simultaneous growth in the agricultural sector has provided due leverage to processing industries by maintaining a regular supply of raw materials (agricultural produce) in desired quantity and quality.

Present the significance of the food processing sector. Discuss its potential; explain in what ways it holds greater potential in the rural parts of India too.

Explain the efforts of the government in this direction, Prime Minister Employment Generation Programme, ASPIRE (A Scheme for promoting innovation, rural industry and entrepreneurship) and SFURTI (Scheme for regeneration of traditional industries) are some of the specific schemes to address capital needs of agri-entrepreneurs. Food processing sector has been identified as one of the key priority sector of the Government’s ambitious ‘Make in India’ campaign.


Conclude that Food processing sector is on the pathway of building a New India where the rural economy is as bright as its urban counterpart.


Food processing is the transformation of agricultural products into food, or of one form of food into other forms. Food processing includes many forms of processing foods, from grinding grain to make raw flour to home cooking to complex industrial methods used to make convenience foods.


Current scenario of FPI in India:

  • During the last five years, food processing sector has been growing at an average annual growth rate of around 8.19 percent as compared to around 3.45 percent in agriculture.
  • The sector constituted as much as 9.17 percent and 11.07 percent of Gross Value Added (GVA) in manufacturing and agriculture sector respectively in 2017-18 (2011-12 prices).
  • It engages the largest number of persons as compared to other industrial sectors in the country.
  • The value of processed food exports during 2018-19 was of the order of US Dollar 35.30 billion accounting for about 10.70 percent of India’s total exports. The share of India’s food export in the world was 2.31 percent only (2018).

Potential for the sector:

  • The diversity of Indian food basket adds novelty and value to processed products especially for exports.
  • India can provide a perfect blend of traditional and hygienic foods, processed and packaged according to global standards.
  • The domestic 1.3 billion consumer base has helped create the world’s sixth largest food and grocery market on the domestic front.
  • As consumers are becoming more health conscious, the demand for nutritious food is growing proportionately.
  • Rising number of working women in urban areas and the growing trend of nuclear families are also pushing demand for ready-to-eat and frozen food.
  • Increasing urbanization and rise in disposable incomes has increased spending on food products, resulting in multiple opportunities for investment and employment.

Significance of the food processing sector:

  • Food processing in India can have a positive impact on the national economy, especially the rural economy.
  • Food processing units/industries promote industrial growth in rural areas, create livelihood/ employment opportunities, check rural-urban migration and ultimately improve rural economy for greater socio-economic benefits.
  • This sector links the unorganized farming community with the formal industrial sector.

Governmental efforts:

  • The Ministry of Food Processing has launched several policies, development and promotional initiatives to attract greater investment into the food processing sector.
  • Formalization of Micro Food Processing Enterprises:
  • Support is being provided to small-scale processors for market development, brand building and export of food products.
  • Ministry of Food Processing Industries has recently launched a scheme for formalization of micro food processing enterprises.
  • Capacity building of entrepreneurs is being undertaken through technical knowledge, skill training and hand holding support services. Credit flow to micro food processing industries is being strengthened.
  • Micro food processing enterprises are a major contributor to rural economy as nearly 66 percent of these units are located in rural areas and about 85 percent of them are family based enterprises supporting livelihood of households.
  • Credit availability:
  • Government is providing financial support and declared several fiscal incentives for creation of common supply chain infrastructure.
  • Loan to food and agro-based processing units and cold chain has been classified under agricultural activities for Priority Sector Lending.
  • Encouraging private investment:
  • With a view to attract and augment private investment for building desired infrastructure, the Government launched an integrated umbrella scheme – Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana.
  • To attract investment, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is permitted under the automatic route, and the sector has witnessed substantial FDI equity inflow.
  • Addressing infrastructural needs:
  • The Government of India created a specific ‘Dairy Processing and Infrastructure Development Fund’ under NABARD with the objective to modernize and expand milk processing facilities across India.
  • Promoting processing clusters and creating strong backward and forward linkages from farm gates to retail outlets for the benefit of farmers and processors.
  • Entrepreneurship encouragement:
  • Food processing sector, due to its close linkage with farms and farmers, provides a huge opportunity for entrepreneurship in rural areas.
  • Prime Minister Employment Generation Programme, ASPIRE (A Scheme for promoting innovation, rural industry and entrepreneurship) and SFURTI (Scheme for regeneration of traditional industries) are some of the specific schemes to address capital needs of agri-entrepreneurs.
  • Food processing sector has been identified as one of the key priority sector of the Government’s ambitious ‘Make in India’ campaign.


India needs to develop its strategy in a way which takes care of small-scale players along with attracting big investments from domestic and global food giants. Food processing sector is on the pathway of building a New India where the rural economy is as bright as its urban counterpart.


Topic : Indian Economy and issues relating to Planning, Mobilization of Resources, Growth, Development and Employment

5. Account for the current economic challenges faced by India. Discuss the role that the Atmanirbhar Bharat can play in such testing times. (250 words)

Reference: Indian Express 

Why the question:

The article discusses the changes that the Atmanirbhar Bharat can bring and address the economic challenges faced by India.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss the role that the Atmanirbhar Bharat can play in accounting for current economic challenges faced by India.


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.

Account – Weigh up to what extent something is true. Persuade the reader of your argument by citing relevant research but also remember to point out any flaws and counter- arguments as well. Conclude by stating clearly how far you are in agreement with the original proposition.

Structure of the answer:


Start by quoting the present conditions of economy and the distress caused due to the pandemic.


The supply chain disruption due to national and localized lockdowns has led to supply side and demand side contraction. Slowdown of aggregate demand due to low, private final consumption expenditure (PFCE), investment and exports. Even, the consumption demand of the rest of the demography from agriculture, small-scale manufacturing and self-employed is stagnant due to low income growth etc.

Discuss the opportunities that India has before it owing to its potential on various fronts of economy.

Take hints from the article and explain.  Discuss the role of Atmanirbhar Bharat.


Conclude with way forward.


The Indian economy is going through a turbulent period with key indicators hinting at a prolonged slowdown. The coronavirus pandemic has weakened all sectors of the Indian economy since April and a recovery seems unlikely this year. From contraction in growth to rising inflation and unemployment, challenges are aplenty. The sharply surging coronavirus cases make the case for recovery worse. India’s GDP growth is expected to remain in negative zone for the entire year and projections for June quarter signal how adversely Covid-19 has disrupted the livelihood, particularly of the poor.


Projections of growth and uncertainty:

  • Various institutions have assessed India’s growth prospects for 2020-21 ranging from 8% (Fitch) to 4.0% (Asian Development Bank).
  • This wide range indicates the extent of uncertaintyand tentative nature of these forecasts.
  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has projected India’s growth at 1.9%, China’s at 1.2%, and the global growth at (-) 3.0%.
  • The actual growth outcome for India would depend on: 1) the speedat which the economy is opened up 2) the time it takes to contain the spread of virus, and, 3) the government’s policy support.
  • India slid into the novel coronavirus crisis on the back of a persistent economic downslide.
  • There was a sustained fall in the saving and investment rates with unutilised capacity in the industrial sector.
  • In 2019-20, there was a contraction in the Centre’s gross tax revenuesin the first 11 months during April 2019 to February 2020, at (-) 0.8%.
  • These trends continue to beset the Indian economy in this crisis.

PM has announced a special economic package and gave a clarion call for Self-reliant India.
Aatmanirbhar Bharat: With a special package:

  • The Self-Reliant India Mission aims towards cutting down import dependenceby focussing on substitution while improving safety compliance and quality goods to gain global market share.
  • The Self-Reliance neither signifies any exclusionary or isolationist strategiesbut involves creation of a helping hand to the whole world.
  • The package will provide a much-needed boost towards achieving self-reliance.
  • This package, taken together with earlier announcements by the government during COVID crisis and decisions taken by RBI, is to the tune of Rs. 20 lakh crore, which is equivalent to almost 10% of India’s GDP.
  • The package will also focus on land, labour, liquidity and laws. It will cater to various sections including cottage industry, MSMEs, labourers, middle class, and industries, among others.

Five pillars of a self-reliant India

PM iterated that a self-reliant India will stand on five pillars viz.

  • Economy, which brings in quantum jump and not incremental change
  • Infrastructure, which should become the identity of India
  • System, based on 21st-century technology-driven arrangements
  • Vibrant Demography, which is our source of energy for a self-reliant India and
  • Demand, whereby the strength of our demand and supply chain should be utilized to full capacity.

Significance of Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan

  • Turning a crisis into an opportunity for ex:  production of PPE kits and N-95 masks in India has gone up from almost being negligible to 2 lakh each, daily.
  • Remaking that self-reliance is the only way out for India, the PM quoted from our scriptures “Eshah Panthah”, that is – self-sufficient India.
  • Self-reliance will make globalization human-centric.  This should be seen in the context of Human-Centric Globalization versus Economy Centralized Globalization.
  • Self-reliance does not mean cutting India off from the world. India believes in the welfare of the world and India’s progress is linked with the world. The world trusts that India has a lot to contribute to the development of the entire humanity.
  • The PM also stressed on the need to be vocal for local products and urged people to buy only local products.


The strategy of Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan seems to give a strong supply-side push by boosting the availability of capital on easy terms and through supporting agriculture and business sectors.


Topic: Aptitude and foundational values for Civil Service, integrity, impartiality and nonpartisanship, objectivity, dedication to public service, empathy, tolerance and compassion towards the weaker-sections.

6. For effective functioning of civil services, what should be the main characteristics of aptitude? Elucidate with justification. (250 words)

Reference: Ethics, Integrity and aptitude by Lexicon publications

Why the question:

The question is based on the theme of Aptitude.

Key Demand of the question:

Explain the characteristics of aptitude that is essential for effective functioning of civil services.


Elucidate – Give a detailed account as to how and why it occurred, or what is the particular context. You must be defining key terms where ever appropriate, and substantiate with relevant associated facts.

Structure of the answer:


Define what Aptitude is.


Define aptitude and briefly explain difference in aptitude and attitude. Aptitude deals with ability, capability of a person, which is inborn, innate based on nature not nurture. It is related to future potential of a person.

Explain the main characteristics of aptitude; talk about Professional competence, Social competence, Ethical competence, Emotional competence etc.

Discuss its importance in overall.


Potential for civil servants are not only related with knowledge & skill but also values & ethics that they should have ability to with stand values in difficult time. i.e. civil servant can be considered competent if his aptitude consists of Holistic competence.


A natural/inherent talent to acquire a certain skill or ability in the future through appropriate training. Aptitude can be both metals as well as physical. Aptitudes may be physical or mental. Aptitude is not knowledge, understanding, learned or acquired abilities (skills) or attitude. The innate nature of aptitude is in contrast to achievement, which signifies knowledge or ability that is expanded.


Aptitude is the potential of a person to do certain things due to the innate ability or accumulated knowledge and experience. Since it has more to do with intelligence, it can be acquired and enhanced through training and experience. Attitude is the way a person understands, perceives and responds to certain situations. It is more of a behavioural aspect and can be improved gradually via introspection and self-motivation. It cannot be quantified.

Major Aptitude required for Civil Servant:

Ethical Competence:  An ethically competent public servant has commitment to high standards of personal and professional behaviour; has knowledge of relevant ethics, codes and laws; has the ability to engage in ethical reasoning when confronted with challenging situations, acts ethically, and promotes ethical practices and behaviour in public agencies and organisations.

  • Knowledge of ethical principles
  • Information about professional code of ethics
  • Respect for constitutional principles of equality, fairness, representativeness.
  • Public’s right to know about public business
  • Respect of law
  • Respect for public interest
  • Ethical reasoning

Professional Competence:  It is the habitual and judicious use of communication, knowledge, technical skills, clinical reasoning, emotions, values, and reflection in daily practice for the benefit of the individual and community being served.

For Eg : When bureaucrats are building schools.

  • Efficiency is at what cost schools are built.
  • Effectiveness means how many children got educated.
  • Equity means how many of the children who got educated are poor.
  • Bureaucrats should always be biased towards vulnerable sections of the society.

Social Competence: Social skills of a person reflect his ability to communicate and interact with others either verbally or non-verbally. Effective understanding starts with good communication. Civil servants are associated with public services that require a lot of communication processes for effective and efficient utilization of resources for the development of the nation.

Emotional Quotient: Emotional Quotient is broader than just gauging one’s intellect based on knowledge and aptitude in solving complex problems and includes qualities of being self-aware, managing emotions, having self-motivation, recognizing emotions of others and handling relationships.

modern day administrators due need of a complex set of skills in solving problems, ability to analyse data, patterns, wider knowledge etc. to work efficiently and competitively, but it is strong Emotional Quotient (EQ) that adds to quality life and stable mind in face of constant disruptive instances like change in work culture, manage personal life, remain motivated in constant failures.

For Eg : the emotional Intelligence of IPS Officer Chaaya Sharma in handling officers while solving Nirbhaya Case, was exemplary.

Impartiality: With control of resources at one’s dispensation, a Civil servant need to be impartial to plural group identities – religion, caste, creed, gender, social standing etc. They ought to be weighed equally much in light of “Right to Equality” enshrined in our Constitution.

Non-partisanship: A civil servant should be apolitical as it’s the bureaucracy which is the permanent executive. The government in power, irrespective of political party, must be provided the bureaucratic services in same spirit without any biasness and functioning of government stays effective. These values become more so important where laws or guidelines are absent or not defined clearly.

Spirit of service: Commitment while while facing different situations one may be buoyed by the circumstances, fear, passions, greed since the decisions at the helm would be affecting many interests, vested or non-vested.

For Eg: IAS Officers handling floods in kerala, selflessly.

Courage of Conviction: Quality of being committed to public service without any self-motives. The domain of civil service calls for duty in the spirit of service for country, society and its people and sacrifices by putting aside greed, personal entitlements and engagements.

For example – Whistle-blowers need courage of conviction to disclose information.


Hence a successful administrator requires both aptitude as well attitude to serve the society. Although their importance may vary from case to case.


Topic : Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in-human actions; dimensions of ethics; ethics – in private and public relationships. Human Values – lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators; role of Family society and educational institutions in inculcating values.

7. Which philosophy should in your view work as ideal rule for people-deontology or teleology? Give reason to your view. (250 words)

Reference: Ethics, Integrity and aptitude by Lexicon publications

Why the question:

The question talks about adapting to Deontology and Teleology.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss which philosophy is ideal for people to practice, Give your opinion with suitable examples.

Structure of the answer:


Explain the meaning of deontology and give contribution of Kant.


Immanuel Kant, German Philosopher is most important philosopher of Deontology. His popular work ‘Foundation of Metaphysics’ in which he has propounded his ethical principles based on rationality. Therefore, Deontology is also known as ‘Rational Approach’.

Explain why deontology cannot work as golden rule. Give examples and form your opinion.


 Kantian philosophy of deontology is useful but consequences of action, purpose of action also needs to be included while determining ethicality of the action.


Deontology is referred to as duty-based ethics. It is an approach to ethics that addresses whether the motives behind certain actions are right or wrong instead of focusing on whether the results of the action are right or wrong. Teleology is referred to as results-oriented ethics. It focuses on the purpose of each action and whether there is an intention or meaning for the action.


Teleological Ethics:

Teleological approach is also called “consequentialism”. It determines the moral worth of any action by the consequences or outcomes of that action.

  • An action is good if its consequences are good; an action is wrong if its consequences are bad.
  • Teleological moral theories locate moral goodness in the consequences of our behaviour and not the behaviour itself.
  • As per Teleology, Moral behaviour, is goal-directed.
  • For Eg: lying could not be judged inherently right or wrong independent of the context and the foreseeable consequences, it is good if it saves life.


  • Utilitarianism requires a moral agent to foresee the outcomes of one’s action. In any given situation, individual takes that action which will result in the maximum utilityor the minimum uselessness.
  • The modern form of the consequentialist theory of utilitarianismderives from 19th century British philosophers such as Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill. Rather than maximise individual welfare, utilitarianism focuses on collective welfare and it identifies goodness with the greatest amount of good for the greatest number of people: the ‘greatest happiness principle’.

For Eg: Development of Aadhar card by collecting information of citizens, despite protests in favour of privacy, for greater welfare.

Merits of Teleology:

  • Goal Directed functioning
  • Democratic way of decision making.

Demerits of Teleology:

  • Minority opinion are not considered. Because utilitarianism concerned with benefit to majority.
  • Orthodox views are validated. For Eg: Justification of Sati as it was view held by majority.
  • Not every happiness is quantifiable or comparable or outcome based.

Deontological Ethics:

Deontological approach rejects that the moral worth of any action depends on its consequences.

  • Deontological approach to ethics holds that moral agents have to rigorously fulfil their moral duties or obligations unmindful of the consequences.
  • Moral agents have to honour human rights and meet moral obligations even at the cost of an optimal outcome.
  • Deontology implies that the moral worth of an action does not depend on its consequences, but that a different criterion should be used.
  • Deontological moral theory might hold that character assassination is wrong and inhuman, even if it produces good consequences.
  • For Eg: Prohibition of Sati on moral grounds of humanity, and the notion that every human is sacred and essential in themselves independent of any situations or societal construct

Categorical Imperatives:

As per Immanuel Kant, moral life is a rational life. He started by asking what it is that distinguishes a moral action from a non-moral action one.

  • He concluded that a moral action is one which is done from a sense of duty, rather than following inclinations or doing what we want.
  • For Eg: Gandhiji stated that we don’t want to gain independence through the use of violence. Because even though self-rule is a noble goal, violence is not the right ‘means’ to achieve it.

Kant’s deontology enlightens the concept of categorical imperative.

  • It is a moral law that is unconditional or absolute for all agents, the validity or claim of which does not depend on any ulterior motive or end.
  • Act only according to that maxim (rule) by which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law”.
  • For Eg: if by looking at one person breaking the law of traffic signal, every other person breaks the law, it will not be sustainable.

Merits of Deontological Theory:

  • Create a foundation for human conduct: Emphasises on innate human potential to do good
  • Emphasize the value of every person: Describes that every human is complete in themselves and should not be treated as means to reach ends.


  • Matter of subjective opinion: How one defines right and wrong is subjective.
  • Deontological ethics are absolutist. For Eg: Killing an animal or mosquito or a plant is harmful.


Hence, one must uphold moral worth of work at the same time, the work should be goal directed, if not, it shall result is unproductive and inefficient work.

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