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Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 19 June 2021


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


1. Discuss the shortcomings of Right to Education law, in what way the factor of intervention hasn’t yielded results? Explain with illustrations. (250 words)

Reference: Deccan Herald


The Right to Education Act (RTE) is an Act of the Parliament of India which describes the modalities of the importance of free and compulsory education for children between 6 and 14 in India under Article 21A of the Indian Constitution. The enforcement of this right is a joint responsibility of the state and the centre to provide free and compulsory education. Free and compulsory education means that,” All children between the ages of 6 and 14 shall have the right to free and compulsory elementary education at a neighbourhood school.


Shortcomings of Right to Education:

Bureaucratic and Political Hurdles:

  1. All states have free elementary education but bureaucratic delays inhibit its full implementation.
  2. Negligence towards recommended scholarships under the RTE Act and the lack of parental awareness about Section 12(1)(c) of the RTE Act.
  3. In some states, schools raised issues of delayed reimbursements and lack of communication.
  4. Parliament amended RTE bill, scrapping no-detention policy. This might result in higher dropouts of children.

Awareness of RTE provisions

  1. According to the RTE Act, it is the responsibility of private schools to publicise provisions for EWS children in their neighbourhoods and the study shows that there was minimal awareness among people about Section 12(1) (c) of the RTE Act.
  2. The study shows 63.2% of the respondents who know about the provision, have heard about Section 12(1) (c) of the RTE Act from their neighbours and relatives.

Eg: St. Lawrence School, Vashi, Mumbai denied admission to a child citing ‘single-parent child’ and lack of seats.

Learning Outcomes of Students

  1. In the study conducted, the learning outcome of students admitted under the RTE is more likely to be better than that of students who were not enrolled under the RTE.
  2. “Annual Status of Education Report” (ASER), which measures overall learning levels, has found, yet again, that learning outcomes remain below par. Less than 48% of children in class V can read a class II-level textbook; only 43.2% of class VIII students in rural India can do simple divisions; only one out of every four students in class V could read an English sentence.

Teacher Troubles:

  1. RTE Act recommends a Pupil Teacher Ratio of 30:1 for primary classes and 35:1 for upper primary classes
  2. District Information System for Education (DISE) report states that 30% of primary and 15% of upper primary schools have higher PTRs.
  3. According to Economic Survey 2018-19, the PTR at the national level for primary schools is unbalanced across states.

Perception of Parents

  1. Most of the parents were not aware of the provisions of RTE and among those who knew about the RTE provision were critical about its implementation.
  2. Students under the RTE were only exempt from paying admission fees and tuition fees but other charges were applied.
  3. Free supply of books and mid-day meals have to be given priority by the government because these are among the biggest hurdles.

Way Forward

  1. People belonging to the backward sections were mostly unaware of the benefits provided to students under the RTE Act. Therefore, awareness camps should be arranged in all slum localities.
  2. Carry out functional changes in school management committees (SMCs). Along with their current responsibilities, SMCs should do these three things as well –
  3. They should arrange week-long summer-orientation programmes for all new EWS/DG entrants before the school session starts.
  4. They should distribute all schooling materials to children effectively.
  5. Third, they should monitor admission details of all students and its timely uploading on the website after completion of the orientation programmes.
  6. Concerted efforts should be put in to ensure that the benefits of EWS and DG quotas are not misused by people with vested interests.
  7. Schools must be regularly audited to meet required standards and criteria for effective functioning.
  8. Government or respective private schools must ensure that children who are admitted through RTE continue their education, by facilitating their admissions in neighbourhood schools.
  9. Effective infrastructure development; efficient teacher training and providing incentives through establishment of independent regulatory body for teachers.


The transition towards a comprehensive implementation of Right to Education will come through making parents, particularly in rural areas, aware of the benefits of education for their children. This requires a change of mindset at the community level, and accountability of all entrusted with this responsibility.


2. “China’s dominant presence in Srilanka raises security concern for India”. In this light, deliberate the need for revamping India’s engagement with Srilanka. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu


The unique India-Sri Lanka relationship, de jure, is between equals as sovereign nations. It is steeped in myth and legend, and influenced by religious, cultural and social affinities. This is an opportune time for Sri Lanka and India to nourish the roots of the relationship not only using modern toolkits, but also leveraging age-old wisdom and experience. But China’s closeness to Srilanka is a cause for concern.


Indo-Srilanka ties

  • India-Sri Lanka FTA entered in to force in March 2000. According to Sri Lankan Customs, bilateral trade in 2016 amounted to US $ 4.38 billion.
  • Development loans and line of credit: Nearly one-sixth of India’s development loans go to Sri Lanka.
  • There is considerable private sector investment from India in Sri Lanka and from Sri Lanka into India.
  • The areas both of cooperation between both the countries are petroleum, IT, Financial Services, Real estate, telecom, hospitals, tourism, banking, food processing etc.
  • Indian railways are offering special package for Sri Lankan tourists to come to India. India has introduced e-visa for Sri Lanka.
  • India is the fourth biggest investor in Sri Lanka. Since 2003 we have invested about $1 billion in Sri Lanka.

Dominance presence of China in Sri Lanka: Security Concern for India

  • The Sri Lankan Parliament, on May 19, 2021, passed the Colombo Port City Economic Commission Bill. After the Bill becomes an Act, China will obtain an additional 269 hectares of reclaimed seafront off the Colombo port in the country’s south-west with little oversight from the Sri Lankan government.
  • Colombo assumes importance for India since almost 70 per cent of all container cargo for and from India is trans-shipped there, mostly at Chinese operated terminals. This not only has security implications, but also results in delays in transit and loss of revenue for India.
  • Chinese projects increased exponentially in Sri Lanka considering how it is an important nation in the Major Sea Lines of Communication.
  • China’s debt trap diplomacy became evident with the take-over of Hambantota port for 99 years.
  • This does not augur well with India’s maritime security and with Chinese encirclement in the Indian ocean region.
  • Leasing of Hambantota and the Port City project makes it almost certain that the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) will soon have a presence in these waters which may include bases for warships/submarines as well as a staging post to sustain longer naval deployments in the Indian Ocean.
  • The Chinese navy will be able to easily monitor Indian naval activity in the Indian Ocean. It will certainly inhibit the Indian Navy’s deployment options and neutralise the geographical advantage it enjoys in these waters.

The India-Sri Lanka relationship is vastly different from China-Sri Lanka ties. India shares an ethnically blurred maritime border with Sri Lanka owing to Tamils across either side of the Palk Straits and is, therefore, involved with the island nation’s domestic politics.

Revamping India’s engagement

  • India will need to continue to work on the Kankesanturai port in Jaffna and the oil tank farm project in Trincomalee to ensure that China does not make any further inroads in Sri Lanka.
  • The socioeconomic development of Sri Lanka has remained linked to India. But there are many options available to address issues of imbalance and asymmetries.
  • For instance, Sri Lanka can encourage Indian entrepreneurs to make Colombo another business hub for them, as logistical capacities and facilities for rest and recreation keep improving in Sri Lanka.
  • Integrating the two economies but with special and differential treatment for Sri Lanka due to economic asymmetries can be fast-tracked for this purpose.
  • There is immense potential to accentuate or create complementariness, using locational and human resource potential, for harnessing benefits in the modern value chains.
  • Robust partnerships across the economic and social spectrum can promote people-to-people bonhomie.
  • And engagement of legislatures is essential for promoting multiparty support.
  • With many countries receding into cocoons due to the pandemic, this is an opportunity for both countries to focus on the renewal and revitalisation of partnerships.


Now, India will have to adapt to the presence of its principal adversary practically in its backyard and shape its preparedness and response accordingly. Moreover, a joint Sino-Pakistan axis, with China also sitting in Gwadar, will be a major problem for India. Today, the ruling Rajapaksa clan shares an excellent personal rapport with Chinese President Xi Jinping. For India, the Chinese presence in the island nation is not just a worry, but amounts to a threat considering Beijing is known to employ subversion, espionage and sabotage to promote its national interests and objectives. Accordingly, Indian foreign policy towards Sri Lanka, as part of its ‘Island Diplomacy’, will have to evolve in tune to the emergent realities and threats.


3. India’s endorsement of the G7’s Open Societies Statement will give the world a larger say in human rights violations in the country. Do you agree? Comment. (250 words)

Reference: Business Standard


On June 13 2021, the Group of Seven (G7) nations, which are advanced economies and liberal democracies, put out a sort of charter. The document was called the G7 and Guest Countries: 2021 Open Societies Statement. India signed off the joint statement by G-7 and guest countries on “open societies” that reaffirm and encourage the values of “freedom of expression, both online and offline, as a freedom that safeguards democracy and helps people live free from fear and oppression”.


Brief background on G7’s Open Societies Statement

  • The joint statement was signed by the G-7 countries, and India, South Korea, Australia and South Africa, with host British Prime Minister Boris Johnson calling them “Democracies 11”.
  • Human rights for all, both online and offline, as set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other human rights instruments, and opposition to any form of discrimination, so that everyone can participate fully and equally in society;
  • Democracy, including each citizen’s right to vote in free and fair elections and everyone’s right to assemble, organise and associate peacefully, within a system of accountable and transparent governance;
  • Social inclusion, solidarity and equal opportunities for all, including digital inclusion and full enjoyment of civil and political rights in both physical and digital spheres;
  • Gender equality and the political, social and economic empowerment of women and girls, including through girls’ education, responding to and working to eliminate gender-based violence, promotion of women’s and girls’ rights, and the protection of sexual and reproductive health and rights;
  • Freedom of expression, both online and offline, as a freedom that safeguards democracy and helps people live free from fear and oppression;
  • The rule of law and effective, independent and impartial judicial systems free from corrupt influence or coercion, so that each person can access justice and benefit from a fair trial;
  • An effective multilateral system underpinned by principles of openness, transparency and accountability, including access to free and fair, rules-based trade, as well as collaboration on global challenges, including COVID-19 immunisation, for the good of all;
  • The importance of civic space and partnership with diverse, independent and pluralistic civil societies, including human rights defenders, in promoting human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Analysis of India’s endorsement

  • While the statement is directed at China and Russia, India has been under scrutiny over Internet curbs in Jammu and Kashmir even as the Government is locked in a face-off over its new IT rules with tech giants such as Twitter, which described a police search at its offices in India last month as a “potential threat to freedom of expression”.
  • For India, these are important commitments amid global concern over the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) that was cleared by Parliament in 2019.
  • India also highlighted the “revolutionary impact” of digital technologies on social inclusion and empowerment in India and also underscored the vulnerabilities inherent in open societies and called on tech companies and social media platforms to ensure a safe cyber environment for their users
  • This shows the nuanced stance of India in the matter of internet shutdown in vulnerable locations and situations.
  • India has held that identifying politically motivated internet shutdowns as one of the threats to freedom and democracy in the joint statement on open societies was consistent with the position of the Government of India.
  • Such disruptions should be seen differently from the internet shutdowns that the governments sometimes need to impose to maintain law and order and to protect people.


India has said that it looks forward to building on these commitments in other multilateral fora, including at the G20 Summit, the UN and US Summit for Democracy. It has resolved to collaborate with partners around the world, including in the Indo-Pacific and Africa, to actively promote these shared values for the good of all.


General Studies – 3


4. Examine the prospective use of disruptive technologies in improving health care services in India. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu


Human involvement in diagnosis, treatment, and hospital care of infected patients puts them at greater risk of contracting the disease. For instance, many frontline warriors fighting COVID-19 have lost their lives.

Technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), autonomous systems, blockchain, cloud and quantum computing, data analytics, 5G can help in addressing the issue. The new technologies can improve the welfare of societies and reduce the impact of communicable diseases. Further, it can reduce the chances of hospital staff contracting the infection.


Recent developments regarding the use of disruptive technologies for hospital care

  1. One, according to global media reports, some established innovative field hospitals are using robots to care for COVID-19 affected patients.
  2. Two, hospitals in China, are using 5G-powered temperature measurement devices at the entrance to flag patients who have fever-like symptoms.
  3. Three, some robots are being used to measure heart rates and blood oxygen levels through smart bracelets.
  4. Four, In India too, the Sawai Man Singh government hospital in Jaipur held trials with a humanoid robot to deliver medicines and food to hospitalized COVID-19 patients

How new technologies can improve the hospital ecosystem?

1) Blockchain technology

  1. Blockchain technology can help in addressing the interoperability challenges that health information and technology systems face.
  2. The health blockchain would contain a complete indexed history of all medical data, including formal medical records and health data from mobile applications and wearable sensors.
  3. This can also be stored in a secure network and authenticated, besides helping in seamless medical attention.

2) Big data analytics

  1. Big data analytics can help improve patient-based services tremendously such as early disease detection.
  2. AI and the Internet of Medical Things, or IoMT are shaping healthcare applications.
  3. IoMT is defined as a connected infrastructure of medical devices, software applications, and health systems and services.

3) Medical autonomous system

  1. Medical autonomous systems can also improve health delivery to a great extent and their applications are focused on supporting medical care delivery in dispersed and complex environments with the help of futuristic technologies.
  2. This system may also include autonomous critical care system, autonomous intubation, autonomous cricothyrotomy and other autonomous interventional procedures.

4) Cloud computing

  1. Cloud computing is another application facilitating collaboration and data exchanges between doctors, departments, and even institutions and medical providers to enable best treatment.

Challenges and Way Forward:

  1. The possible constraints in this effort are standardisation of health data, organisational silos, data security and data privacy, and also high investments.

Using technology for Universal Health Coverage

  1. According to the World Health Organization, Universal health coverage (UHC) is a powerful social equalizer and the ultimate expression of fairness.
  2. Studies by WHO show that weakly coordinated steps may lead to stand-alone information and communication technology solutions.
  3. India needs to own its digital health strategy that works and leads towards universal health coverage and person-centred care.
  4. Such a strategy should emphasise the ethical appropriateness of digital technologies, cross the digital divide, and ensure inclusion across the economy.
  5. ‘Ayushman Bharat’ and tools such as Information and Communication Technology could be be fine-tuned with this strategy to promote ways to protect populations.
  6. Online consultation should be a key part of such a strategy.
  7. Using local knowledge:
    1. In addition to effective national policies and robust health systems, an effective national response must also draw upon local knowledge.
    2. Primary health centres in India could examine local/traditional knowledge and experience and then use it along with modern technology.


Initial efforts in this direction should involve synchronisation and integration, developing a template for sharing data, and reengineering many of the institutional and structural arrangements in the medical sector.

Big data applications in the health sector should help hospitals provide the best facilities and at less cost, provide a level playing field for all sectors, and foster competition.

India’s efforts in this direction should involve synchronization and integration, developing a template for sharing data, and reengineering many of the institutional and structural arrangements in the medical sector.


5. The idea of Power Decarbonization Obligations might work with effective governance in order to provide a sustainable renewable energy supply in the country. Discuss. (250 words)

Reference: Financial Express


The Paris agreement aims to keep the increase in global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre- industrial levels, and further limit the increase to 1.5°C, to reduce risks and impact of climate change. An issue that appears top-priority is power-sector decarbonisation in all the countries. To put this in context, the total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from India’s electricity generation stood at 958 Mt Co2e, constituting 51% of the total GHG emissions from the energy sector and approximately 40% of India’s total GHG emissions for 2015.


Decarbonising the power sector would essentially entail maximising renewable power in the overall sourcing and use. Targets of 175 GW and 450GW have been announced.

Power Decarbonization Obligation

  • An early renewables-promotion initiative power was the Renewable Power Obligations. (RPOs).
  • In order to incentivise renewable energy, the Indian Electricity Act 2003, gave legal teeth to RPOs that mandate all electricity distribution licensees must purchase or produce a minimum specified quantity of their electricity requirements from renewable energy sources.
  • It further empowered state electricity regulators to determine the quantum of such RPO based on the renewable potential of the states.
  • The rationale was to give a level playing field for renewable energy that was more expensive in the first decade of the 21st Century.
  • At that point of time, the cost of renewable power was higher than that of coal-based power that was in the region of Rs 3.72 per kWh. Also note, such RPOs were prescribed for states as a whole, not for each discom.
  • It was also seen that all the states were not equally endowed with renewable resources, as a result of which a market-driven mechanism of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) was also introduced.
  • In brief, the concept was one of a few discoms absorbing the energy from renewable sources at the Average Power Purchase Cost (APPC) and granting certificates to the energy producers who could sell them to other discoms and other obligated entities to fulfil their RPO commitments.
  • Though there were provisions for penalties for non-compliance with RPOs, they were hardly imposed by the regulators. The law existed more in breach than in observance. The system of RPOs and RECs is continuing for historic and academic reasons alone.

Changing Renewable energy sector and scope for better decarbonization governance

  • The new cost dynamics, the creation of a national grid and technological developments have changed the scenario and increased the number of options available significantly.
  • Cost of renewable power is lower, transmission of power from one region to another is seamless and with better technological tools, power scheduling has become well planned and executed.
  • As of 2021, the lowest bid price for solar is Rs 1.99 per kWh, while the average price of wind is Rs 2.65 per kWh, hydro is in the region of Rs 2.72 per kWh—in sharp contrast to the situation a decade earlier.
  • Further, compared to installed capacity of mere 10 GW of RE in the decade of 2000s, the current installed capacity of renewable power (January 31, 2021)—including solar, wind, small hydro and bio-power—is well over 94GW.
  • Given this backdrop, it is time to revisit the incentive and penalty structure in the power sector.
  • It would be ideal to have a progressive and a time-bound cap on the purchase of coal-based power, reducing this on an annual basis.
  • Naturally, this has to be done discom-wise, by looking at the historical break up of procurement of power from various sources and targets or trajectories for future procurement of power.
  • This data is not hard to come by since all the discoms disclose their source of power supply and cost.
  • This new system could be called Power Decarbonisation Standards. The system would set a progressive threshold for decrease in purchase of coal-based power and a corresponding increase in purchase and absorption of renewable power by discoms.
  • The Power Decarbonisation Standards, if adopted, would also ensure that a comprehensive plan is put in place to limit the setting up of new coal plants, while also retiring vintage coal-fired power plants—more polluting than the recent ones—over a period of 20-odd years.
  • Further, in order to incentivise decarbonisation of the power sector, the scheme could also include captive power plants operating on coal to shift to renewable power.


To conclude, the concept of Power Decarbonisation Obligations could work only with a finely-tuned coordination and implementation mechanism that involves policy, regulations and enforcement, with state governments on board. If the solution lies in reducing coal-based power in the system, it is high time the government looked at innovative options rather than tinkering with the existing structure alone.


General Studies – 4


6. “Moral values and administrative realities are far apart.” Analyse. (250 words)

Reference: Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude by G SubbaRao and P N Chowdhary


Moral values are set of principles guiding us to evaluate what is right or wrong. They are the standards of good and evil, which govern an individual’s behaviour and choices. Today’s fast-changing society seems to be ‘immoral’ because of rampant corruption, crony capitalism, self-interest driven attitude, political opportunism, a tendency of backstabbing etc.

As Mahatma Gandhiji says, “Morality is the basis of things and truth is the substance of all morality“. One’s basis of moral values may differ from culture to culture or society to society or community to community, but at the end essence of it remains the same.


Role of Moral values in administration:

  1. Ethical behaviour requires that we use our moral compass to guide us in our interactions with others. Ethical behaviour is also about the ability to inspire trust in others.
  2. The civil service enjoys permanence of tenure and has the attributes of political neutrality, anonymity, impartiality and commitment to the government policies.
  3. The nexus determines the quality of the services rendered to the country.
  4. A healthy Politico-administration nexus can do wonders in the delivery of the public services and the opposite can prove to be a debacle for the growth of nation.
  5. Public officials are given the trust of the public to develop and carry out policies that are in the public’s best interest.
  6. Living up to this trust has a significant impact on the national will; public confidence is essential to the exercise of national power.
  7. Thus public officials have a moral duty to act in a trustworthy manner, which leads to good governance.
  8. Strong moral values like love and compassion help civil servants to work towards deprived section of the society.

For Eg: Truthfulness is very much important as it is directly related to a person’s moral character. A truthful person is respected, trusted, regarded by people everywhere. Truth gives morality the strength to face the world. For instance, Martin Luther king was truthful to his mission against racial discrimination which was moral quality

However, there are a number of dynamics challenging traditional values in the public service. These include new modes of governance and the fragmentation of authority, market-based reforms, politicization and political expectations, the growth in the use of agencies, decentralization or relocation, changes in human resource management and recruitment, and the advent of new technologies and methods of information sharing.

Furthermore, while making decisions public, bureaucracy consistently faces two conflicting situations such as between serving the personal or group interest and serving public interest. Therefore, in order to keep the behaviour of public officials consistent with public interest, the question of morality of the administrators becomes a principle concern in modern administrative process along with various institutional checks.

For instance:

  1. Honest and non-corrupt civil servants who stick to high moral values often face quick transfers, harassment, threats etc.
  2. Bureaucrats raising their voice against injustices of the society face social isolation, threats to life and even murders at time.
  3. Tools like the RTI are used as mode of vengeance against the bureaucrats.
  4. Criminalization of politics has inflicted its poison to the administration too due to the increasing nexus.
  5. Personal interest of the administrators, decreasing anonymity, plunging into politics, plum jobs after retirement has made them be a hand in glove in the corruption activities at times.

Ways to strengthen moral and ethical values in governance:

Though the Government has ensured numerous ways like Central civil service rules 1964, public service delivery bill 2006, RTI Act 2005, many feel that these are mere paper promises and a lot needs to be done. The Second Administrative reforms commission has suggested the following methods:

  1. Codification of ethics will ensure the minimum standards that public servants must follow.
  2. Strong vigilance systems to ensure that corruption is eliminated at the root like whistle blowers act etc.
  3. Digitization and e-governance is the way forward to ensure citizen centric governance.
  4. Values such as selflessness, honesty, integrity and objectivity if inculcated at early age through education will lead to Ethical leadership in the future.
  5. Delegation of work and responsibility in every organization should be ensured similarly the standard protocols must be codified vide citizen charters.


Moral resilience in public service is often tested due to prevailing work culture, political interference etc. At such times it is necessary for public servant to uphold their moral values to work in true public interest. Ethics and morality should come from the soul, only then our society will emerge as a powerful entity.


7. What is John Stuart Mill’s idea on freedom of thought and expression? Discuss its relevance in today’s world. Also deliberate upon Mill’s views on representative democracy.(250 words)

Reference: Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude by G SubbaRao and P N Chowdhary


John Stuart Mill was a political thinker and an activist of the 19th century in Britain. He was one of the foremost believers in and practitioners of Utilitarianism, a system of thought that essentially declared an action to be proper if it was beneficial to the largest portion of society. In his essay, On Liberty, he is adamant that the preservation of individual liberty rests largely on protecting freedom of thought no matter how egregious or immoral and, by extension, the freedom to express oneself based on that thought.


Stuart Mill’s ideas and its relevance:

  1. The Harm Principle: According to this, state is only allowed to limit an individual’s liberty for the sake of preventing that person from harming others. Mill seeks to show that society should never suppress opinions unreasonably. For instance, Indian Constitution has only reasonable restrictions upon fundamental rights of citizens.
  2. Freedom of expression: He offered four reasons why there should be freedom of expression even for those who espouse ideas that appear false or misleading today:
  1. No idea is completely false:What appears to us as false has an element of truth. If we ban false ideas, we would lose that element of truth that they contain.
  2. Truth does not emerge by itself:It is only through a conflict of opposing view that truth emerges.
  3. Trustworthiness: Thirdly, it is only when an idea is exposed to opposing views that we can be sure that this idea is trustworthy.
  4. Suppression: Very often ideas that were considered false at one point by the entire society and therefore suppressed turned out to be true later on. A society that completely suppresses all ideas that are not acceptable today, runs the danger of losing the benefits of what might turn out to be very valuable knowledge. In the current scenario Freedom of expression is being throttled under sedition act.
  1. Man as a progressive being: Mill argues that the freedom of thought and expression will contribute to the permanent interests of man as a progressive being and to discover and know what is true is in our interests. The recent issues of protests by academicians artists athletes to protest against sedition.
  2. Develop rational thinking: According to him, freedom helps us to develop rational thinking and intellectual faculties and makes us open-minded and thoughtful. For instance, role of Atal Innovation mission in promoting critical thinking among youth.
  3. Challenging hypocrisy: According to Mill, freedom helps in challenging hypocrisy, intellectual lethargy and leads to self-satisfaction. Public censure undermines intellectual courage and slows down the discovery of truth. Recent incidences of yellow vest protests against political hypocrisy.
  4. Essential for meaningful life: He considered liberty of conscience, liberty to express and publish one’s opinions, liberty to live as one pleased and freedom of association as essential for a meaningful life and for the pursuit of one’s own good.


Mill’s views on representative democracy:

  1. Utilitarianism: According to his utilitarian principle, greatest happiness means happiness of the greatest number as represented in democracy.
  2. Direct democracy not feasible: According to Mill, in a country with a large population, direct democracy is not feasible, so a democratic government should be a representative democracy.
  3. Means to achieve the liberty of thought: He considered democracy as a sole means to achieve the end of the liberty of thought, expression and action, which, in turn, would develop, enrich and expand the personality of individuals in fullness.
  4. Certain prerequisite for democracy: According to Mill, there are certain prerequisite for democracy and democracy without a democratic culture results into a ‘False Democracy’. For instance, democracy is only applicable where people are matured enough to develop a democratic culture.
  5. Mobocracy: Mill recognized that democracy can be transformed into tyranny of majority or mobocracy based on the numerical strength of the least educated class. To overcome this, Mill suggested reforms such as proportional representations, plural voting and women franchise.
  6. Liberal individualism: According to him, a representative government encourages individuality and liberal individualism with tendency to foster self-development and individuality.
  7. Participation: According to Mill, democracy leads people to take a more active and intelligent participation in society and encourages the development of natural human sympathies.
  8. Not applicable to all: Mill did not consider representative democracy being applicable for all societies like uncivilized and barbaric societies were suitable for despotic rule.


According to Mill, individuality means power or capacity for critical enquiry and responsible thought. It means self-development and the expression free will. He stressed total liberty of conscience, belief and expression as they were crucial to human development.

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