Displaying 1 to 10 of 57 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

Highlights

  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

Highlights

  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

Highlights

  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

Highlights

  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

Highlights

  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.


Title: Begusarai, metaphor of a secular crisis

Issue: Social justice, secularism

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

Context: Indian politics has not been able to break the caste barrier when voting in elections. Ideals such as secularism and social justice are subjugated to caste identity

Highlights

  1. Initially, Congress in the name of Social justice gave representation to dalits to the exclusion of certain other communities in India. Muslim were attracted towards Congress due to secularism credentials
  2. However, the exclusion of certain communities and the rise of few other parties in India. particularly BJP and Janata party led to decline in the popularity and support for Congress
  3. BJP has come with the Hindutva ideology to attract voters; Janata party has used the ideal of ‘social justice’ to attract other communities which felt excluded.
  4. Traditional voters who were believed to have voted for a particular party are changing this behavior
  5. More than representation for a particular community, emphasis is given to security of that community.

Takeaway point: Secularism in India has only being followed in words rather than in action. Caste identities should not be allowed to overtake secular credentials of the society

Keywords: Social justice secularism Elections
 

# 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: The anatomy of a marginalized region

Issue: Marginalization of communities in India

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

Identity based politics has led to marginalization of various communities in India. Seemanchal region is one such example

Highlights

  1. Seemanchal region in Bihar has a significant population of minorities, particularly Muslims
  2. The voting percentage in this area has always been greater when compared to the state-wise percentage in Bihar
  3. However, this has not led to any development in the region. It fares bad in most welfare indices
  4. Observations made in this region over the years:
    1. Muslims are not a homogenous group who vote on a religious voting pattern
    2. Their high participation is for the rise in their standard of living and based on welfare rather on religion

Takeaway point: Elections in India should move from caste and religion based politics to rights based politics

Keywords: Social justice regional development
 

# 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: A wake up call on proprietary seeds

Issue: Intellectual property rights

Syllabus: General Studies-III - Environment - Environmental Degradation

Context: Though the Pepsi enterprise has withdrawn the lawsuit, it does not address the real issues which are plaguing the small farmers in India

Highlights

  1. What is the case about? Pepsi Co had recently filed lawsuits against a few small farmers in Gujarat for violating the company’s intellectual property rights on a variety of potato called FC5.
  2. Main issue in the lawsuit: Pepsi Co has IPR rights on FC5. It allows this seeds to be grown by farmers if they are willing to join in with Pepsi co as ‘participating farmers’, participation such as that would entail they do resell those seeds or the output to any other company. However, Pepsi has alleged a few section of farmers have used their FC5 to create a better indigenous seeds which are exchanged between the farmers.
  3. Issues with such proprietary seeds:
  • It hurts the biodiversity by pushing for only one variety of seeds
  • Creates seed dependency among farmers
  • Seeds should be suited to local conditions. Such thing does not happen in proprietary seeds
  1. What should be done? Educate farmers, encourage farmers to do develop new variety of seeds using traditional methods, promote record-keeping of seeds produced in India so that incentivize continuous cultivation and improvement of indigenous seeds on the one hand, and ensure sustainable growth of agriculture and of rural communities on the other

Takeaway point: Pepsi Co should be treated as a wake-up call to the government and policymakers who need to do much more to secure sustainable rural societies, protect soil health and promote seed sovereignty for the economic development of Indian farmers and of the entire nation.

Keywords: proprietary seeds Pepsi Co Biodiversity loss
 

# Previous UPSC Question Marks Year
1 Explain the phenomenon of ozone depletion, its cause and effects . What efforts are needed to reduce it. (250 words) 2007
2 Examine the effect of economic development on environmental degradation in India. (150 words) 2004
3 What is Integrated Wastelands Development Programme? (150 words) 2002
4 Write briefly about the Desert Development Programme. (150 words) 2002
5 There is a wide-spread concern about the degradation of environment and the problem that go with it. Assess the international response. (150 words) 2000
6 How is deforestation of Himalayas disturbing the ecological balance of north India? (150 words) 1999
7 What is ozone hole? How is it caused and what are its implications for life on Earth? (150 words) 1999
8 Which parts of India have been identified as draught prone? Mention the norms for such identification. (150 words) 1998
9 Why has the Narmada River Valley Project attracted the attention of the common people? (150 words) 1997
10 Which parts of India are described as ‘arid zones’ Comment on the characteristics and economic activities prevalent in these regions? (150 words) 1993
11 . Account for the varied environmental problems resulting from wide spread deforestation in both Aravallis and Himalayan regions. (150 words) 1991
12 What are the main recommendations of the Montreal Protocol to protect the Ozone layer? What are the implications for India of the latest convention held at London (About 250 words)? 1990
13 What is Sardar Sarovar Project? What is the nature of the controversy surrounding it? (150 words) 1989
14 List major areas of wasteland in India. Discuss on the prospects of Wasteland development ,briefly explaining it impact on the food, fodder and fuel supply. 1986
15 Felling of trees indiscriminately is considered a crime against society. Why is there emphasis against indiscriminate felling and for planting new ones? Discuss the present policy of Farm forestry in our country. 1983

Currently there are no previous questions available.


Title: Circle of life

Issue: Global assessment report

Syllabus: General Studies-III - Environment - Environmental Degradation

Context: The global assessment report of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) has stressed the biodiversity loss which would lead to extinction of many species

Highlights

  1. Observations made in the report which are harming the biodiversity
  • Catastrophic erosion of ecosystems is being driven by unsustainable use of land and water
  • direct harvesting of species, climate change, pollution and release of alien plants and animals in new habitats
  • stress on the devastation occurring in tropical areas
  1. the report has called for ecosystem services being included in the productivity estimates
  2. What are ecosystem services? Birds which feed on the pests’ thereby ensuring good yield.
  3. Significance of ecosystem services: they are vital for food production, for clean air and water, provision of fuel for millions, absorption of carbon in the atmosphere, and climate moderation.
  4. The ecosystem services are being severely hindered by rising pollution in the name of development. Example: marine plastic pollution has increased tenfold since 1980, affecting at least 267 species, including 86% of marine turtles, 44% of seabirds and 43% of marine mammals.

Takeaway point: Ecosystem services are vital for the survival of life on earth. It is critical that we reduce the pollution that is harming the biodiversity. Quantifying such ecosystem services might influence policy makers to take bold decisions

Keywords: Global assessment report Biodiversity loss economic services
 

# Previous UPSC Question Marks Year
1 Explain the phenomenon of ozone depletion, its cause and effects . What efforts are needed to reduce it. (250 words) 2007
2 Examine the effect of economic development on environmental degradation in India. (150 words) 2004
3 What is Integrated Wastelands Development Programme? (150 words) 2002
4 Write briefly about the Desert Development Programme. (150 words) 2002
5 There is a wide-spread concern about the degradation of environment and the problem that go with it. Assess the international response. (150 words) 2000
6 How is deforestation of Himalayas disturbing the ecological balance of north India? (150 words) 1999
7 What is ozone hole? How is it caused and what are its implications for life on Earth? (150 words) 1999
8 Which parts of India have been identified as draught prone? Mention the norms for such identification. (150 words) 1998
9 Why has the Narmada River Valley Project attracted the attention of the common people? (150 words) 1997
10 Which parts of India are described as ‘arid zones’ Comment on the characteristics and economic activities prevalent in these regions? (150 words) 1993
11 . Account for the varied environmental problems resulting from wide spread deforestation in both Aravallis and Himalayan regions. (150 words) 1991
12 What are the main recommendations of the Montreal Protocol to protect the Ozone layer? What are the implications for India of the latest convention held at London (About 250 words)? 1990
13 What is Sardar Sarovar Project? What is the nature of the controversy surrounding it? (150 words) 1989
14 List major areas of wasteland in India. Discuss on the prospects of Wasteland development ,briefly explaining it impact on the food, fodder and fuel supply. 1986
15 Felling of trees indiscriminately is considered a crime against society. Why is there emphasis against indiscriminate felling and for planting new ones? Discuss the present policy of Farm forestry in our country. 1983

Currently there are no previous questions available.


Title: A travesty of justice

Issue: Due process of law

Syllabus: General Studies-II - Indian Polity and Constitution - Judiciary

The fairness of the procedure in dealing with the recent sexual harassment allegation with the Chief justice of India has been questioned by many.

Highlights

  1. Issues with the process adopted
    1. Principles of natural justice were violated when Chief Justice of India who himself is an accused was allowed to appoint a committee
    2. The committee was further not adequately represented to deal with sexual harassment matter.
    3. The complainant was not allowed to appear with her lawyer, neither was she given a copy of the report of the committee
    4. Consequences of such a process: It erodes trust in the institution, violates Article 21 of the constitution which lays emphasis on ‘Procedure established by law’

Takeaway point: No person is bigger than the institution. The constitutional values that Supreme Court is entrusted with protection as been not followed in dealing with the sexual harassment case against the CJI

Keywords: 'Due process of law' 'Procedure established by law' 'Fair procedure'
 

# Previous UPSC Question Marks Year
1 How far do you agree with the view that tribunals curtail the jurisdiction of ordinary courts? In view of the above, discuss the constitutional validity and competency of the tribunals in India. (15) 2018
2 Critically examine the Supreme Court’s judgement on ‘National Judicial Appointments Commission Act, 2014’ with reference to appointment of judges of higher judiciary in India. (150 words) 2017
3 What is meant by Judicial Activism? Evaluate its role in the context of the functioning of Indian Polity. (250 words) 15 marks 2008
4 Is the High Courts’ power to issue ‘writs’ wider than that of the Supreme Court of India? (150 words) 2006
5 Is it possible to distinguish between judicial review and judicial activism in India? Does the recent behavior of the Indian judiciary partake more of judicial activism? Argue with suitable example. (250 words) 2005
6 What is the position of the Supreme Court under the Constitution of India? How far does it play its role as guardian of the Constitution? (150 words) 2002
7 Explain Public Interest Litigation. Who can file it and on what basis can it be rejected by the Court of Law? (150 words) 2000
8 Present your views for and against the creation of an All India Judicial Service 150 words 1997
9 What is meant by ‘Judicial Activism’ Evaluate its role in reducing corruption in public life. 150 Words 1996
10 What is the position of the Supreme Court under the Constitution of India? Discuss its role as a guardian of the Constitution (About 250 words) 1995
11 Explain the significance of the April 1994 Supreme Court judgement on the proclamation of President's rule. (150 Words) 1994
12 What was the magnitude of the Bhopal Gas Tragedy and what were the salient features of the Supreme Court verdict on the Bhopal as Tragedy? (150 Words) 1991

Currently there are no previous questions available.


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