Displaying 5 of 5 records

Title: An image makeover of the Belt and Road initiative

Issue: Second BRI forum meeting

Syllabus: General Studies-II - International Relations - India's Strategic Choices - Economic diplomacy

Context: China in the recently concluded Belt and Road initiative (BRI) forum made an effort to address some of the long-standing criticisms on the project


  1. What is BRI? The Belt and Road Initiative is a development strategy adopted by the Chinese government involving infrastructure development and investments in 152 countries and international organizations in Europe, Asia, Middle East, Latin America and Africa.
  2. Issues raised against BRI project
  • Debt trap. Unsustainable loans extended at exorbitant rate often led to countries failing to honor the debt. Example: Sri Lanka’s Hambantota port project
  • Foreign companies are not allowed to invest in BRI projects
  • Non-transparency: Projects are chosen which suits Chinese interest more than the interest of the local country.
  • Deliberations on projects are limited and suited to china’s needs
  • Sovereignty issues: Example: China-Pakistan Economic corridor (CPEC) passes through Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) which India is opposing.
  • BRI exhibits China’s hidden geo-political agenda for economic and strategic dominance
  1. Highlights of the recent BRI forum meeting
  • China has promised extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits arising out of BRI projects
  • Project evaluation, tendering, bidding and implementation would meet international standards
  • Foreign companies would be allowed to compete in the project
  • Cooperation would be transparent, people-centric, Green and clean, with zero tolerance for corruption.
  • Economic, social, fiscal and environmental sustainability of projects
  • BRI has been reworked as a framework for bilateral and pluri-lateral cooperation rather than just limited to China led project
  1. Does India need BRI? India can benefit by participating in BRI. It would lead to better connectivity in the region, which would translate into more jobs, exports etc. it would also provide a chance to Indian companies to participate in the projects and derive benefit from them

Takeaway point: India can use BRI to cement strong economic partnership with China while simultaneously working towards addressing all the concerns that arise from the project

Keywords: International relations Belt and Road initiative Infrastructure China-Pakistan Economic corridor

Currently there are no previous questions available.

Currently there are no previous questions available.

Title: A new fault line in post-war Sri Lanka

Issue: Sri Lank Terror attacks

Syllabus: General Studies-II - International Relations - Important events around the World

Context: The terror attacks in Sri Lanka have disturbed the peace that had existed in the island nation since past one year


  1. What has happened in the aftermath of terror attacks in Sri Lanka?
  • Prejudice on certain communities has increased.
  • Radicalization of the people belonging to minority group has also seen a rise
  • Fear of majoritarian violence against minority communities has increased.
  • Insecurities have increased in the minorities
  • There has been a growth in distrust among the minorities in Sri Lanka, i.e: Muslims and Tamilians
  • Many from Muslim communities fear the loss of livelihood after the attacks
  1. What needs to be done?
  • De-radicalization of people in the society needs to be given emphasis, particularly the youth
  • Civil society should work towards establishing trust among the communities
  • Efforts should be made towards establishing wider national identities rather regional identities

Takeaway point: Sri Lanka faces significant challenges in establishing peace in the region once again. The primary challenge being ensuring communal harmony in the region

Keywords: Sri Lanka Terror attacks Peace Reconciliation

Currently there are no previous questions available.

Currently there are no previous questions available.

Title: The essence of democracy

Issue: Criminalization of Politics

Syllabus: General Studies-II - Indian Polity and Constitution - Elections, Representation of Peoples Act

Context: Indian democracy faces a significant threat due to rising criminalization of its polity. Many who are accused of serious crimes diluted the spirit of democracy


  1. It is estimated that in the ongoing election, around 20% of the candidates are accused in criminal cases
  2. Why not ban their candidacy then? Representation of People’s act only bans those from contesting the elections who have been convicted rather than accused
  3. The delay in prosecution allows many with serious criminal cases to contest
  4. Political parties too have fielded candidates readily. Winnability of the candidate is given far more emphasis then their criminal antecedents
  5. What needs to be done? Faster prosecution, more awareness among the citizens on this issue might lead to political parties resisting giving tickets to those with criminal background, parliament should enact a law to ensure people with serious criminal charges pending against them are not afforded the right to contest until they are absolved of such charges

Takeaway point: Fielding candidates with criminal background erodes the trust in democracy. Such a development would lead to politics without ethics situation in our country (which was considered as a social sin by MK Gandhi)

Keywords: Criminalization of politics Representation of People act

# Previous UPSC Question Marks Year
1 In the light of recent controversy regarding the use of Electronic Voting Machines (EVM), what are the challenges before the Election Commission of India to ensure the trustworthiness of elections in India? (10) 2018
2 To enhance the quality of democracy in India the Election Commission of India has proposed electoral reforms in 2016. What are the suggested reforms and how far are they significant to make democracy successful? (250 words) 2017
3 Examine the impact of Regional Political Parties in Indian politics. (150 words) 15 marks. 2008
4 what are the Main determination of voting behavior in India? (250 words) 2007
5 Identify the major electoral reforms which are necessary in the Indian Political System. (150 words) 2000
6 Is it correct to describe the party system in India as One party Dominant system ?give reasons for your answer. 1985
7 Why was it considered necessary to pass the anti-defection bill ? In what ways is it likely to improve the political health of the country? 1984
8 Despite all talk of an effective opposition why has it not been possible to develop an effective opposition in India? Enumerate the principle impediments to the achievements if the much desired political objective 1983
9 The Phenomenon of Political defection in India assumed large proportions in recent years. Bring out the factor responsible for the growth of this phenomenon. Is it right to say than ban on defection will amount to suppression of thought and action? 45 1981

Currently there are no previous questions available.

Title: GST buoyancy

Issue: Goods and Services Tax

Syllabus: General Studies-III - Indian Economy - Economic Development - Mobilization of resources, Financial Intermediation (Banking, Insurance, Capital Markets, External resources)

Context: Goods and Services Tax (GST) collections have hit a record high recently


  1. The GST inflows of ₹113,865 crore in April are the highest recorded since the tax regime was introduced in July 2017.
  2. They represent an increase of over 10% compared to the same month a year ago, and over 15% buoyancy over the average monthly GST collections in 2018-19
  3. Reasons for the increased tax collection
  • increasing compliance among businesses amidst the aggressive push by the tax authorities to widen the tax base
  • tax rate cuts by the GST Council
  • The rush to pay tax arrears at the end of the financial year
  1. GST collection has largely stabilized over the past few months. Care should now be taken by the government to ensure further simplification of the GST, particularly in the process of filing returns

Takeaway point: Better tax returns and compliance is directly proportional to a simplified tax regime. Efforts should be made to simplify GST wherever possible

Keywords: GST simplification

# Previous UPSC Question Marks Year
1 Comment on the important changes introduced in respect of the Long term Capital Gains Tax (LCGT) and Dividend Distribution Tax (DDT) in the Union Budget for 2018-2019. (150 Words, 10 Marks) 10 2018
2 Account for the failure of manufacturing sector in achieving the goal of labour-intensive exports rather than capital-intensive exports. Suggest measures for more labour-intensive rather than capital-intensive exports. 13 2016
3 What measures do you suggest to raise the volume of Public Savings in our country? Briefly state the importance of such savings for the contemporary economic scene. (150 words) 1996
4 What has been the rationale for deregulating commercial bank's lending rates as a policy strategy? (150 words) 1995
5 What is Partial Convertibility & rupee? What are its basic objectives? How is it going to benefit the Indian economy? (150 words) 1992
6 What are the main components of the non-Plan expenditure of the Government of India? Discuss the recent trends in the growth of this expenditure (150 words) 1989
7 Describe the organization and functions of Regional Rural Banks, Review their achievments. Is there any conflicting jurisdiction between the rural banks and the cooperative credit societies? 1983
8 What are ‘bearer bonds’ Why were special bearer bonds devised in February? What were their budgetary objectives how far such bonds achieved their objectives? 1981
9 As the resources of land are getting depleted man his turning to sea for the supply of his needs. What are the prospects of sea exploration for obtaining our requirements of food, minerals and chemicals, oil and gas? 1981

Currently there are no previous questions available.

Title: Spanish Steps

Issue: Socialism in Europe

Syllabus: General Studies-II - International Relations - Important events around the World

Context: The recent victory of a leftist party in Spain is a good result for Spain and also European region


  1. Significance of this win: There has been an increasing trend where rightist political parties have won elections in Europe. Example: Hungary. These rightist parties often engage in aggressive rhetoric vis-à-vis issues such as immigration, refugee crisis, Islamophobia etc. They have created more fear and division in the society in recent times. In this regard, the win of a socialist party is significant
  2. Other points to remember vis-à-vis Spain
  • Who won the Spain elections? Pedro Sánchez
  • Catalonia issue: There has been a movement for a separate Catalonia region. A referendum to this regard was also held. However, this referendum is not binding on Spanish government

Takeaway point: A rise in Socialist forces in European polity would enable to fight xenophobic and other such narrow tendencies that have increased in recent times.

Keywords: Spanish elections Far-right eurpore Xenophobia socialism

Currently there are no previous questions available.

Currently there are no previous questions available.