GS 2 Important Question & Analysis

Theme: Historical underpinnings, evolution; Features, amendments, significant provisions &basic structure. Comparison of Indian constitutional scheme with that of other countries.

1. Analyse the significance and criticism of fundamental rights. Have excessive limitations on the fundamental rights diluted their importance? (Answer in 250 words) 15

Text Box: Why this question: Questions about fundamental rights are repeated in previous years.
Tail word: Analyse: You need to examine something methodically and in detail, typically in order to explain and interpret it. You are required to take each and every part of the statement and examine them separately and also in relation with other parts.
Introduction: Briefly describe fundamental rights
Main Body: 
•	Explain their significance and shortcomings in defining fundamental rights
•	Limitations on exercising fundamental rights and their impact
Conclusion: Conclude with some good suggestion

Model answer


The fundamental rights are those rights, which are vital for the development of any human being. The Constitution of India laid down an elaborate set of rights for the people of India. The idea that there are certain basic rights essential for a human existence which inhere in the individual are manifested in Part 3, from articles 14 to 30 of the Constitution as Fundamental Rights


Significance of the Fundamental Rights:

  1. Fundamental Rights are the beacon which constitution provides against any abuse of power by the government or government agency.
  2. The Fundamental Rights were intended to serve three important purposes namely:
    1. To prevent the executive from acting arbitrarily.
    1. To ensure some amount of security and protection to various types of minorities.
    1. To promote and foster social revolution by establishing the conditions necessary for achieving justice-social, economic

Shortcomings in defining fundamental rights

  1. The Fundamental Rights do not comprise economic and social rights such as the right to work, rest and leisure and social security. According to Dr. Ambedkar, “Socio Economic rights are necessary to enjoy political rights”.
  2. Fundamental rights are not absolute. Restrictions, exceptions and explanations with which the fundamental rights are hedged around, have the effect of depriving the rights in practice.
  3. Vast gap exists between the fundamental rights guaranteed in the Indian Constitution and reality of these rights in India today.
  4. The provision for Preventive Detention and the suspension of Fundamental Rights has also been criticised.
  5. Although Art. 17 has constitutionally prohibited un-touchability, the evil still exists in many parts of the country.
  6. Article 21 is open to wide interpretations and judiciary has every now and then added features to the rights coming under Right to life and personal liberty.

Limitations on the fundamental rights have following impacts

  1. In India, fundamental rights are special legal rights provided in the Constitution itself and remedies for them, also a fundamental right, people can directly approach high courts and Supreme Court under Article 226 and 32 respectively.
  2. Fundamental rights in India have two kinds of limitations:
    1. Fundamental rights are not absolute in India. Every fundamental right in India has a “but government can” clause in end, that means government can violate them for affirmative action.  Eg :- Aadhaar Act legislated by government. The government asserted its right to use this provision of ‘reasonable restrictions’ for national security and social welfare benefits. Individual right to privacy got compromised here
    1. Before 1974, Kesavananda Bharati case, government could take away fundamental rights by constitutional amendment, as it is a legal right, but since then, the basic structure doctrine has been invented by Supreme Court. It takes into account substantive nature of fundamental rights. For example, freedoms given in Article 19 can be taken away for public order, morality etc
  3. The constitution makers regarded democracy of no avail if civil liberties, like freedom of speech and religion were not recognized and protected by the State.
  4. In Shreya Singhal vs Union of India case, section 66A of IT Act was challenged since it violated individual freedom of speech and expression.
  5. There are various draconian laws, that restricts fundamental rights of individual and thus restricts Political, Social and economic development of nation


The Fundamental Rights, as contained in Part III of the Constitution, are neither rooted in the doctrine of natural law nor are they based on the theory of ‘reserved rights’. They are conferred rights and embody the social values of the present generations. As the social values are not static, the Fundamental Rights are subject to changes and modifications in order to fulfill the aspirations of the people in the context of changed conditions and the environment in which they live along with higher concerns of national security and public order

2. The Indian constitution adopts a middle path between the American system of Judicial Supremacy and the British principle of parliamentary supremacy. Explain how this middle path helps India attain a mature democratic model with a balance of power. (Answer in 150 words) 10

Text Box: Why this question: Comparison between constitution of India and others were asked in previous year
Tail word: Explain: Explaining is to make (an idea or situation) clear by describing it in more detail or revealing relevant facts and to give reason so as to justify the stand.
Introduction Indian constitution finding the middle path between Judicial supremacy and parliamentary supremacy to achieve balance of power
Main Body: 
•	British System
•	America System
•	Indian System
Conclusion: Conclude accordingly.
Model Answer
As the Indian constitution is called a borrowed constitution, it Indianized several features of global constitutions. One of them is finding the middle path between Judicial supremacy and parliamentary supremacy to achieve balance of power which is an essential feature of a modern democratic country.
British System
·        Under the British constitution courts cannot nullify any act of Parliament on any ground whatsoever.
·        Parliament can pass any law if it has a simple majority to do so.
American System
·        In the United States, the Supreme Court can invalidate a law not only on the ground that it transgresses the scope of legislative power vested in the Constitution but also on the basis of prohibitions contained in the Bill of Rights as well as on the basis of general principles such as due process of Law as defined and interpreted by the court itself. 
Indian System
o   Indian constitution endows the judiciary with the power of declaring a law as unconstitutional if it is beyond the competence of the legislature according to the distribution of powers provided by the constitution, or if it is in contravention of the fundamental rights guaranteed by the constitution (Article 13,32).
o   At the same it also deprives the judiciary of any power of ‘judicial review’ as far as the wisdom of legislative policy is concerned.
o   Parliament on its part can amend the major portion of the constitution through its constituent power to amend the constitution with different types of majority from simple to 2/3rd.
o   Additionally, the scope of power of judicial review in India is narrower than in the case of the Supreme Court in the US ostensibly because the American constitution provides for ‘due process of law’ as opposed to the concept of ‘procedure established by law’ as enshrined in the Article 21 of the Indian constitution.
However, it has to be born in mind the Judiciary in India has broadened the ambit of constitutional provisions regarding Judicial review through innovations such as basic structure doctrine to create a balance of power to avoid unnecessary Amendments from parliament
3. Indian Constitution is called the melting pot of different Constitution. Elaborate
                                                                                                                        (Answer in 150 words) 10

Text Box: Why this question: Since we borrowed many important provisions from the constitution of other countries, we expect this kind of philosophical question. 
Tail word: Elaborate: When you are asked to elaborate, you need to give detailed information in well organized manner concerning what has already been said.
Introduction: Explain how the Indian Constitution as the "Melting Pot of Constitutions”
Main Body: 
•	Different Sources of the Indian Constitution.
•	Unique features of the Indian Constitution.
Conclusion: Conclude accordingly.

Model answer
The Indian Constitution is often referred to as a “Melting Pot of Constitutions.” This phrase is attributed to the first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru. He used this expression to capture the diverse and inclusive nature of the Indian Constitution, which draws inspiration from various sources of legal and constitutional traditions, both from India and around the world.
·        Though the framers of the Constitution of India borrowed many ideas from the then existing Constitution, but this was not a slavish imitation of the west. Rather, each provision of the Constitution had to be logically defended and argued upon to show how it was suited to the problems and aspirations of the citizens of India. While our constitution has been called as a ‘borrowed’ Constitution by some, its framers, as a matter of fact, must be credited for gathering the best features of each of the then existing Constitutions and modifying them with a view to avoid the faults that had been disclosed in their working
·        While the structural part of the constitution, was to a large extent, derived from the Government of India Act, 1935; its philosophical part had many other sources:
o   U.K.: Nominal Head-President, Cabinet system of ministers, Post of Prime Minister, Parliamentary type of government, Bicameral Parliament, the Lower House being more powerful, Council of Ministers responsible to Lower House, Speaker in Lok Sabha.
o   USA: Written constitution, Executive head of state, known as President and him being the supreme commander of armed forces, Vice President as the ex- officio chairman of Rajya Sabha, Fundamental Rights, Supreme Court, Provision of States, Preamble, Independence of judiciary and judicial review.
o   USSR: Fundamental Duties, five-year plan. Australia: Concurrent list, Language of Preamble, Provision regarding trade, commerce and intercourse
o   Germany: Suspension of fundamental rights during emergency
o   Canada: Scheme of federation with strong centre, Distribution of powers between centre and the states and placing residuary powers with the centre
o   Ireland: Concept of Directive Principles of States Policy, Method of election of President.
·        Unique features of the Indian Constitution:
o   The Indian Constitution is a unique blend of rigidity and flexibility: Though Indian constitution is a written constitution; it is not as rigid as the American constitution.
o   Judicial Review: Judiciary in USA has absolute power of judicial review, whereas Britain has Parliamentary supremacy. Indian Constitution effects a compromise between the Doctrines of parliamentary Sovereignty and judicial supremacy.
o   Unlike fundamental rights mentioned in the Indian Constitution, declarations in the American Bill of Right are absolute
o   There are no unenumerated rights under our constitution. Fundamental Rights under our Constitution are exhaustively enumerated in Part 3 of the constitution
o   Besides these, we have also many indigenous and innovative features like Panchayats, DPSP on international peace, and security.
As some ideas have been borrowed from other constitutions of the world, we can call our constitution a melting pot of different constitutions but we must also realise the uniqueness of our constitution too.
4. Since the Kesavananda Bharati case, the Supreme Court has become a decisive co-sharer in the power to amend the Constitution in the Parliament. Comment. (Answer in 250 words) 15

Text Box: Why this question: 50 years of Kesavananda Bharati Case.
Tail word: Comment: It is opinion-based question. You have to give your opinion and you also have to justify it. Give evidences, arguments, data to justify you answer.
Introduction: Briefly explain about concept of Basic Structure Doctrine which came into existence through Kesavananda Bharati case 
Main Body: 
•	Constitutional provision on Amendment
•	Change by Kesavananda Bharati Case 
Conclusion: Kesavananda Bharati case creating benchmark to evaluate the constitutionality of each Amendment and laws
 Model answer
The introduction of Basic Structure Doctrine by Kesavananda Bharati changed the concept of amending the constitution.
·        Though the Constitution vested the power to amend the Constitution or any of its part (Article 368) to the Parliament, which comprises of the representatives of the people, the court in a landmark judgment adjudged that anything which contravenes the basic structure of the constitution would be declare null and void thereby severely curtailing the powers of the Parliament to amend the Constitution.
·        Article 368, on a plain reading did not contain any limitation on the power of the Parliament to amend any part of the Constitution. In the Golak Nath Case, Supreme Court was of the opinion that it should be read along with Article 13 of the Constitution but it changed its decision in the Kesavananda Bharati case in 1973.
·        In Kesavananda Bharati Case, the Judiciary came out with the basic structure doctrine through which it was held that Parliament could amend any part of the constitution so along as it did not alter or amend the basic structure of the constitution. The Supreme Court has not explicitly mentioned what constitutes the ‘basic structure’, further casting a doubt whether any legislation if challenged will pass the judicial scrutiny or not. But it could be deciphered from subsequent judgments that Preamble, Federalism, Fundamental Rights, Secularism etc. are some of its basic component.
It can be said that Judiciary became the co-sharer of amendment power of the parliament and further acted against Parliamentary supremacy doctrine and created a benchmark to evaluate the constitutionality of each Amendment and laws
5. Critically examine the need of Uniform civil code for the unity of the nation and also for preserving the secular credential of the Indian constitution. (Answer in 150 words) 10

Text Box: Why this question: Sedition is a topic which is always alive in news.
Tail word: Critically examine: When you are asked to examine, you have to dig deeper into the topic,  get into details, and find out the causes or implications if any . When critically is suffixed, you have to highlight the pros and cons and give a balanced conclusion.
Introduction: Briefly explain about Uniform Civil Code
Main Body: 
•	Mention about the need of UCC in preserving the unity and secular credentials
•	Also incorporate concerned article in the answer.
Conclusion: Conclude with some good suggestion

Model answer
A Uniform Civil Code is one that would provide for one law for the entire country, applicable to all religious communities in their personal matters such as marriage, divorce, inheritance, adoption etc. Article 44 of the Constitution lays down that the state shall endeavour to secure a Uniform Civil Code for the citizens throughout the territory of India
Need for UCC
1.      A secular republic needs a common law for all citizens rather than differentiated rules based on religious practices.
2.      It will end discrimination in religions. For example: In the Shariat Act of 1937 Inheritance right of daughter is half of son.
3.      Sign of progression: UCC is seen as the sign of a progressive nation; it shows that the nation has moved beyond the traditional demarcations based on religion, sex, caste and place of birth. • Beacon for social growth: It is seen as a beacon to facilitate much needed social growth in India along with economic growth.
4.      Reducing the burden on judiciary: An extra burden is added on the judiciary when different communities are governed by different laws. Bringing in a Uniform Civil Code would help reduce it and also help simplify a lot of technicalities and inherent confusions that are attached to present personal laws.
5.      End Vote bank politics: It will bring an end to vote bank politics because if all of India has the same set of laws governing it, then the politicians will have nothing to offer to the community on religious grounds in exchange for votes.
6.      Gender justice: The rights of women are usually limited under religious law. The practice of triple talaq is a classic example.
7.      National integration: A common Civil Code will help the cause of national integration by removing disparate loyalties to laws that have conflicting ideologies.
Arguments against UCC
1.      Secularist perspective: It is argued that implementing the UCC would destroy secularism (positive secularism) and diversity which is the cornerstone of India’s rich heritage. Implementation of the UCC will distort the right to practice and profess one’s religion freely. It is believed that individuals should be given the right to choose freely on how they would like to make important life decisions like marriage and inheritance.
2.      Threat to identity: Most Indian customs and practices are guided by their personal laws. This gives a sense of Identity. By the implementation of the UCC, there will be a sense of loss to the religious and cultural sentiment of individuals. Hence, they will lose their sense of identity.
3.      Religious diversity: It will rob the nation of its religious diversity and violate the fundamental right to practise religion enshrined in Article 25 of the Constitution.
4.      In a world that increasingly heeds cultural diversity, it is unnecessary that every aspect of personal law should be dealt with in exactly the same manner.
5.      Might lead to majoritarianism: India has a majority of Hindu population. With about 79.8% population of Hindus, it is believed that while drafting the UCC. it will cater to its majority. The arguments against implementation of UCC are that the bill will be a guise to challenge the faith of the Non-Hindu population.
The implementation of UCC would try to bring about a long-needed change and an end to plenty of confusion that is mandatorily needed, but due to some of the disadvantages it offers, it has become hard to implement it, even though decades have passed since it was proposed for the first time.

Theme: Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act.
6. What are the grounds of disqualification under The Representation of the People Act, 1951?
Also, discuss the remedial measures available to the disqualified representatives.
                                                                                                                        (Answer in 250 words) 15

Text Box: Why this question: Disqualification of Rahul Gandhi was in news for many months.
Tail word: Discuss: 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. And once all the discussion is done, a suitable apt conclusion may be given at the end of the answer.
Introduction: Introduce by giving brief account of the Representation of the People Act 1951 (RPA).
Main Body: 
•	Substantiate categorically the grounds of disqualification under RPA.
•	Substantiate the remedial measures available for the same.
Conclusion: Conclude accordingly.

Model answer
The Representation of the People Act, 1951 (RPA) was enacted to provide for the conduct of elections to the Houses of Parliament and to the House/s of Legislature of each State, details about the structure of administrative machinery for the conduct of elections; qualifications and disqualifications for membership to the two houses; the corrupt practices and other offences with respect to such elections and the decision of doubts and disputes arising therein.
The Act contains provisions for disqualification both for being chosen as, and, for being, a member of either house of the Parliament or the Legislature of the State. These have been broadly classified into the following grounds:
Criminal grounds: Section 8(1) states that a person convicted of an offense punishable under:
*     offense of promoting enmity between different groups on ground of religion, race, place of
birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony
*     offense of undue influence
*     any offense relating to rape or offense of cruelty towards a woman
*     offense of making statement creating or promoting enmity and hatred
*     ill-will between classes or offense relating to such statements in any place of religious
*     worship or ceremony (of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860)).
 On grounds of corruption: Section 8(1) states that a person convicted of an offense punishable
under offense of bribery/ corruption or disloyalty violation of The Prevention of Corruption Act,1988.
Other offenses: Likewise, there are various other offenses which if committed by a candidate will lead him to disqualification. For instance:
*     Preaching and practice of Untouchability (Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955).
*     Offence of importing and exporting of prohibited goods (Section 11 of the Customs Act,
*     1962).
*     Offence of being a member of an unlawful association (Sections 10-12 of Unlawful Activities
*     (Prevention) Act, 1967).
*     Violation of The Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985.
Contractual grounds: If a person has entered into contract with government for business.
Failure of expenses reporting: On failure to lodge account of election expenses with Election Commission of India (ECI).
The Supreme Court of India, in its judgement in the Lily Thomas Case, 2013 ruled that any MP, MLA, or MLC who is convicted of a crime and sentenced to a minimum of two years in jail loses his membership in the house immediately.
Remedies available against such disqualification:
Except under Section 8A (corrupt practices), the ECI may remove any disqualification, or reduce the period of any such disqualification.
*     The person may file a petition with the President under sub-section (2) of Section 8A in respect
of any disqualification.
*     The disqualified person can move to a higher appellate authority for further consideration of
the case, if he is satisfied that there is not sufficient ground for proceeding against him.
*     For disqualification under corruption or disloyalty, the ECI cannot issue the certificate as
conclusive proof of corruption or disloyalty, unless an opportunity of being heard has been
given to the person.
*     Furthermore, not all offences are of the same nature and degree. As such, the Act prescribes cut-
off sentences for the case to be considered for disqualification.
Other than the provision of disqualification of a member through RPA, 1951, the Constitution of India also provides for disqualification of members on grounds of defection under the 10th Schedule.

Theme: Functions & responsibilities of the Union and the States; issues and challenges of federal structure Devolution of powers and finances to local levels; challenges therein.
7. In the wake of rising demand for sixth schedule status for Manipur. Analyse the significance of Sixth schedule in Indian Constitution and the Issues with it.
                                                                                                                                       (Answer in 150 words) 10

Text Box: Why this question: Rising demand for sixth schedule status for Manipur
Tail word: Analyse: You need to examine something methodically and in detail, typically in order to explain and interpret it. You are required to take each and every part of the statement and examine them separately and also in relation with other parts.
Introduction: Introduce with Manipur issue.
Main Body: 
•	Significance of the Sixth Schedule:
•	Issues with the Sixth Schedule.
Conclusion: Conclude accordingly.

Model Answer
Of late, the Meiteis, the Kukis and the Nagas are indulging in a systematic and articulated campaign of ethnic assertion and consolidation in the process of expanding their respective spheres of influence. The result has been cycles of mobilization and counter-mobilization, which eventually turned into conflictual politics consequently posing serious challenge to the governance.
Advantages of adding into Sixth Schedule
o   Helps in democratic devolution of powers
o   Distinct Constitutional protection to every tribal groups
o   Preserve and promote distinct culture of region
o   Protect agrarian rights including rights on land
o   Enhance transfer of funds for speedy development
§  Possible exclusion of some tribal communities leading to unequal treatment and further flaring up of issues
§  No solution to ethnic conflicts and boundary disputes by ethnic groups
§  Financial mismanagement and rampant corruption in Councils
§  Difficulty in the codification of customary law
§  Affect the representation of Non-tribals in Political process
§  Issue of Rising separatism in the state
Way Forward
·        Ensure representation of ethnic Minorites in the councils
·        Recognize Gram Sabha under law and specify its powers and functions
·        Creation of elected village councils
Theme: Judiciary (structure, organisation functioning)8. Examine the Different ADR mechanisms in India and How far they are efficient in fulfilling its objectives.
                                                                                                                                       (Answer in 150 words) 10

Text Box: Why this question: Recently CJI stressed the need to increase the use of ADR.
Tail word: Examine: It demands you to investigate the topic deeply and bring to light to various aspects of the given topic. It refers to inspecting something closely and bringing out the facts.
Introduction: Briefly explain the ADR and mention some important provision related to ADR. 
Main Body: 
•	Explain the different ADR mechanism.
•	Analyse the efficiency of ADR in solving cases in India
Conclusion: Conclude accordingly.

Model answer
An effective system for resolution of disputes is essential for dispensing justice. However, the formal justice delivery system suffers from various limitations.
Alternative dispute redressal mechanism includes dispute resolution processes and techniques that act as a means for disagreeing parties to come to an agreement without litigation
o   Arbitration: Arbitration is a process in which a neutral third party render a decision based on the merits of the case.
o   Mediation: The process of mediation aims to facilitate the development of a consensual solution by the disputing parties. Mediation is overseen by a nonpartisan third party.
o   Conciliation: This is a process by which resolution of disputes is achieved by compromise or voluntary agreement. In contrast to arbitration, the conciliator does not render a binding award.
Efficiency of ADR
o   Disputes are settled with the assistance of a neutral third person, who is generally of parties’ own choice. Moreover, this person is usually familiar with the nature of dispute.
o   Further, the proceedings are informal, without any procedural technicalities.
o   Process is not only expeditious, inexpensive and confidential, but it also aims at substantial justice.
o   The goal here is to provide more effective dispute resolution.
o   Thus, the availability of ADR creates more choices within the justice system.
Limitations in the ADR
·        Cannot be used in situations where the dispute is regarding systematic injustice, discrimination, and violation of human rights or serious frauds.
·        They seek to resolve individual disputes. Moreover, resolution may be different in two similar cases, depending on the surrounding conditions.
·        In cases that involve an extreme power imbalance between the parties, ADR processes cannot work well. A more powerful party may coerce the weaker party to accept the unfair consensus.
·        In multi-party disputes, ADR processes cannot work effectively, if some of the parties do not participate.
·        ADR settlements do not have any educational or deterrent effect on the public, since they are settled privately. Only courts can award punitive damages.
·        Many people are not aware of the existence of ADR methods. Unless they are aware they cannot use these methods.
So, the efficacy of ADR depends on the trade-off between its benefits and limitations. It needs to be stressed once again that though ADR mechanisms are effective, they cannot be a substitute for litigation and a formal justice system.
9. Do you believe that the sedition law enshrined in the Indian Penal Code is antithetical to the idea of a mature democracy like India? Critically comment. (Answer in 250 words) 15
Text Box: Why this question: Sedition is a topic which is always alive in news.
Tail word: Critically Comment: It is opinion-based question. You have to give your opinion and you also have to justify it. Give evidences, arguments, data to justify you answer. When critically is suffixed, you have to highlight the pros and cons and give a balanced conclusion.
Introduction: Define the sedition and also try to mention when it was introduced.
Main Body: 
•	Mention the intention behind introduction of the law.
•	Elaborate on the law
Conclusion: Conclude with some good suggestion


Model answer
Drafted by British historian-politician Thomas Babington Macaulay in 1837, sedition was defined as an act by ‘whoever, by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise, brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards the Government’. The Sedition charge was included in Section 124 A of the Indian penal code in 1870.
Why sedition law is a needy thing
1.      To safeguard Integrity of Nation: Section 124A of the IPC has its utility in combating anti-national, secessionist and terrorist elements.
2.      Stability of the State: It protects the elected government from attempts to overthrow the government with violence and illegal means. The continued existence of the government established by law is an essential condition of the progress of society.
3.      Similar Powers with Judiciary: If contempt of court invites penal action, contempt of government should also attract punishment.
4.      To combat Left Wing Extremism: Many districts in different states face a Maoist insurgency and rebel groups virtually run a parallel administration. These groups openly advocate the overthrow of the state government by revolution.
Against this backdrop, the abolition of Section 124A would be ill-advised merely because it has been wrongly invoked in some highly publicized cases. Also 22nd Law Commission proposes an increase in the jail term for sedition to a maximum of seven years or life imprisonment.
In Kedarnath Singh Case of 1962, five-judge Constitutional bench of the Supreme Court upheld the constitutional validity of section 124A but limited its application to “acts involving intention or tendency to create disorder, or disturbance of law and order, or incitement to violence”.
It is considered as antithetical to the idea of mature Democracy because
1.      Misused to curb dissent: Dissent and criticism of the government are essential ingredients of robust public debate in a vibrant democracy but sedition has become the first refuge of a government to still dissent.
2.      Chilling effect on freedoms: It is a constraint on the legitimate exercise of constitutionally guaranteed freedom of speech and expression. The Law Commission of India, in its consultation paper on sedition, published in August 2018, also observed that while retaining the offence of sedition was essential to protect national integrity, it should not be used as a tool to curb free speech.
3.      Low Convictions: Chargesheets are hardly filed in such cases. Very few come to trial. Negligible number of cases end in conviction (only 3%).
4.      Vague & Liable to Political misuse: The terms used under Section 124A like ‘disaffection’ are vague and subject to different interpretations to the whims and fancies of the investigating officers. The nuances of sedition are lost in the political motive behind the charge.
5.      International Image/Credibility: In 1979, India ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which sets forth internationally recognized standards for the protection of freedom of expression. However, misuse of sedition and arbitrary slapping of charges are inconsistent with India’s international commitments.
The problem of misuse of the section can be rectified by educating the law enforcement agencies and a probable suggestion is to impose penalties on the law enforcement officers who maliciously invoke sedition against journalists, members of opposition etc.

Theme: Important aspects of governance; Transparency and accountability (institutional and other measures), Citizens Charter E-Governance (applications, models, successes, limitations, potential
10.Citizens Charter have only had a symbolic presence and have not been successful in making a difference in altering the state of public administration and service delivery in India. Discuss.
                                                                                                                                       (Answer in 150 words) 10

Text Box: Why this question: Asked in 2013 and 2018 UPSC CSE mains.
Tail word: Discuss: 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. And once all the discussion is done, a suitable apt conclusion may be given at the end of the answer.
Introduction: Briefly explain about Citizen's Charter.
Main Body: 
•	Identify the issues of the Citizens’ Charter.
•	Suggest measures to improve the effectiveness of the Citizens’ Charter.
Conclusion: Conclude by mentioning some ARC recommendation

Model Answer
Model Answer
According to the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, a Citizens’ Charter represents the commitment of the Organisation towards standard, quality and time frame of service delivery, grievance redress mechanism, transparency and accountability.
Citizens’ Charters emphasize on citizen-centricity by ensuring that public services are responsive to them. They aim at altering the state of public administration and service delivery in India by making the administration accountable and citizen-friendly, ensuring transparency, taking measures to improve customer service, adopting a stakeholder approach and provisioning of redressal of grievances.
However, even after their implementation dating more than 25 years, Citizens’ Charters in India have not been successful in achieving the above objectives and have been criticized as having only a symbolic presence. This is due to the following reasons:
1.      Lack of public awareness: Only a small percentage of end-users are aware of the commitments made in the citizen charter since efforts for educating the public have not been undertaken.
2.      Absence of participative mechanisms: In majority of cases, citizen charters are not formulated through a consultative process with participation of staffs who will finally implement it.
3.      Lack of consultations from stakeholders: End-users, civil society organizations and NGOs are not consulted when citizen charters are drafted.
4.      Poor design and content: Lack of meaningful, concise and specific list of promises in the charter along with absence of critical information results in users unable to hold agencies accountable.
5.      Charters are rarely updated: Most of the charters placed before government offices are made as a result of a one-time exercise and are not updated as per the changing needs of the time.
6.      Bureaucratic inertia as since there is no citizen friendly mechanism to compensate the citizen if the organization defaults.
7.      One size fits all approach: Tendency to have a uniform citizen charter for all offices under the parent organization overlooks local issues
Measures to improve the effectiveness of citizen charter
1.      Formulation of citizen charter should be a decentralized activity with the head office providing only broad guidelines.
2.      It be formulated after extensive consultations within the organization followed by a meaningful dialogue with civil society.
3.      Citizen charter must be precise and make firm commitments of service delivery standards to the citizens/consumers in quantifiable terms wherever possible.
4.      Periodic evaluation of citizen charter has to be done, preferably through an external agency
5.      Set standards and norms for each service.
In this regard, the Second ARC Report and Indian Institute of Public Administration have given certain recommendations like enabling participatory consultation process, periodic updates, creation of database and clear-cut guidelines for grievance redressal, earmarking of specific budgets for awareness generation, etc. Further, efforts like changing the nature of the Charters from nonjusticiable to justiciable and adopting penalty measures will make Citizens’ Charters a more efficient tool for raising standards of the state of public administration and service delivery in India.
11.Analyse the role of e-governance in enhancing transparency and accountability in the functioning of government. Discuss the potential limitations and ways to overcome them.
                                                                                                         (Answer in 250 words) 15

Text Box: Why this question: Asked in 2018, 2019 and 2020 UPSC CSE mains.
Tail word: Discuss: 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. And once all the discussion is done, a suitable apt conclusion may be given at the end of the answer.
Introduction: Highlight the role of e governance in enhancing transparency and accountability in government.
Main Body: 
•	In body part write about role of e governance in government its limitations and ways to overcome it.
Conclusion: Conclude with stating how e-governance will make government are accountable.

Model Answer
E-Governance, utilizing ICT, transforms governments by enhancing transparency and accountability. It bridges the gap between citizens and institutions, enabling accessibility and participation. This analysis explores its pivotal role in fostering transparency and accountability with real-world examples. EGovernance empowers citizens and strengthens governance processes.
The role of e governance in enhancing transparency and accountability in the functioning of government,
·        Access to Information: e-Governance enables governments to publish information online, making it easily accessible to citizens. This accessibility empowers people to be better informed about government policies, initiatives, and activities. For example, government websites can provide comprehensive details on budgets, spending, contracts, and public services, giving citizens insight into how public funds are utilized.
·        Open Data Initiatives: Governments can promote transparency by launching open data initiatives, where they release datasets in machine-readable formats for public use. This approach fosters transparency, as citizens and researchers can analyse the data to monitor government activities and evaluate outcomes. For instance, cities can publish data on transportation, crime rates, and education to promote transparency and encourage datadriven decision-making.
·        Online Portals for Public Participation-e-Governance facilitates citizen engagement by providing online platforms for public participation. Through these portals, citizens can express their opinions, give feedback, and participate in public consultations, thus contributing to more accountable and inclusive decision-making processes. A notable example is the “ePetitions” platform in the United Kingdom, where citizens can create and sign petitions, leading to parliamentary debates on popular issues.
·        E-Procurement Systems: e-Governance can enhance transparency in government procurement processes by implementing e-procurement systems. These systems ensure fair and open competition, reduce the chances of corruption, and provide clear visibility into procurement decisions and contract awards. Countries like South Korea have successfully implemented e-procurement systems, leading to increased transparency and efficiency in government procurement.
·        Digital Payment and Financial Transactions: The use of digital payment systems in government services reduces the involvement of intermediaries, thereby minimizing the scope for corruption and bribery. Transparent financial transactions enhance accountability by creating a clear audit trail of government spending. India’s digital payment initiative, such as the Unified Payments Interface (UPI), has revolutionized financial transactions, making them more transparent and accountable.
·        Online Performance Dashboards: e- Governance can include online performance dashboards, where governments display real-time data on key performance indicators and progress toward goals. This level of transparency enables citizens to track the government’s performance and hold them accountable for meeting their commitments. The “” portal in the United States provides performance updates on various federal agencies and their objectives.
·        Whistleblower Mechanisms: e-Governance can establish secure channels for whistleblowers to report instances of corruption or wrongdoing. These mechanisms protect the identity of the whistleblower and encourage individuals to come forward without fear of retaliation. Such platforms increase accountability by exposing corruption and misconduct within the government.
e-Governance has the potential to enhance transparency and accountability in the functioning of government, there are several limitations that need to be considered:
·        Bridging the Digital Divide: Expand internet infrastructure to underserved areas and provide digital literacy programs for better e-Governance access.
·        Strengthening Cybersecurity and Data Privacy: Regular security audits and public awareness campaigns to safeguard citizen data and build trust.
·        Improving Technological Infrastructure: Invest in IT systems, better internet connectivity, and public-private partnerships for seamless e-Governance services.
·        Promoting Digital Literacy and Capacity Building: Training sessions for citizens and officials to proficiently use e-Governance platforms and enhance governance efficiency.
·        Overcoming Resistance to Change: Engage stakeholders early, communicate benefits, and demonstrate successful pilot projects to reduce resistance to e-Governance adoption.
·        Ensuring Ethical and Accountable Use of Technology: Establish governance frameworks, oversight bodies, and whistleblower protection for ethical e-Governance practices.
e-Governance has proven to be a transformative force in promoting transparency and accountability within governments. By embracing technology to provide open access to information, e Governance has strengthened democratic principles and trust between citizens and their governments demonstrating its potential to drive positive change in governance processes and foster a more inclusive and accountable government.
Theme: Development Processes & Development industry (role of NGOs, SHGs, groups & associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders)
Text Box: Why this question: Asked in 2015 UPSC CSE mains.
Introduction: Briefly explain about Civil Society.
Main Body: 
•	Explain how they are very crucial for the progress of the nation
•	Give some valuable points about the shrinking space of civil society
Conclusion: Conclude accordingly. 
12. The civil society is a crucial pillar of progress. Do you believe that there is less room for civic society today? (Answer in 150 words) 10 Mark
Model Answer
Civil Society refers to refers to a wide array of organizations, community groups, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), labour unions, indigenous groups, charitable organizations, faith-based organizations, professional associations and foundations – World Bank.
Examples: Amnesty International, International Trade Union Confederation, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Greenpeace
Essential building block
1.      Social
a.      Keeping working for education of people. Example: Smile foundation
b.      Helps in highlighting concerns of citizens to authority. Example: Concerns of caste atrocities
c.      Working for gender equality. Example: Legal Aid Clinics
2.      Act as a pressure group
a.      Civil societies mobilise public opinion against government against government’s policies and action therefore work as a counterweight against the state, which is necessary in order to counter the state’s ambition to domain.
3.      Drivers of change
a.      Many civil society initiatives have contributed to some the path breaking laws in the country including the Environment Protection Act, 1986.
4.      Inclusion of local knowledge
a.      Civil society organisations and activities are also often able to access the local knowledge, expertise and insights to reach last mile.
Decreasing space of civil society
1.      Over regulation by government. Example: FCRA Act of 2020
2.      Less trust on civil society due to internal security concerns.
  1. Lack of competent volunteers.
  2. Inadequate financial resource.
  3. Accountability issues: In the recent CBI report, it was highlighted that over 31 lakh NGOs, which receive fund from the country and abroad, 90% of NGOs do not file annual financial statement.
  4. Elite domination defeating the very purpose of civil society.


Though the strict regulation has decreased the space of civil society, ethical working, trained staff and transparency can go a long way in ensuring development.

Theme: Welfare Schemes (centre, states; performance, mechanisms, laws, institutions and bodies constituted for protection of vulnerable sections)

13. Transgenders are most marginalised sections of society. Highlight the steps taken by government to mainstream transgenders in social life of India. Also, suggests what steps need to be taken beyond the Transgender Act to make them empowered. (250 words, 15 Marks)

Text Box: Why this question:  Supreme Court transferred to itself all the petitions pending in various High Courts seeking legal recognition of same-sex marriage.
Tail word: Highlight: You are expected to ‘draw special attention to’ specific aspects asked in the question.
Introduction: Define transgender person.
Main Body: 
•	Point out some of the issue faced by transgenders.
•	List and briefly explain the schemes and policies initiated by government for their protection.
•	Suggest some initiatives that can be incorporated by the government to enhance their protection
Conclusion: Conclude with optimistic view.

Model answer


The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019 defines “Transgender person”, as a person whose gender does not match with the gender assigned to that person at birth and includes trans-man or trans-woman (whether or not such person has undergone Sex Reassignment Surgery or hormone therapy or laser therapy or such other therapy), person with intersex variations, genderqueer and person having such socio-cultural identities as kinner, hijra, aravani and jogta.


Issues faced by transgenders

  1. Lack of data on demography and basic research: Most of the surveys related to the economy or health do not include questions about sexual orientation. E.g., SECC
  2. Marginalization and Social Exclusion
  3. Exclusion in Education : Example: The 2011 Census provides one important preliminary comparison of the literacy rates for those using the “other” gender option. Only 46% of those using the other gender option were literate, compared with 74% of the other population.
  4. Psychological distress: Stigmatization, discrimination and harassment in their daily lives have an impact on their Mental health.

Initiatives by the government

  1. The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act 2019.
  2. National Council for Transgender Persons
  3. The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment launched an umbrella scheme “SMILE – Support for Marginalised Individuals for Livelihood and Enterprise” on February 12, 2022.
  4. The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment launched National Portal for Transgender Persons on November 25, 2020
  5. NEP 2020 identifies transgender children as Socio-Economically Disadvantaged Groups4 (SEDGs) and provides for equitable quality education, inter-alia, for all such students.
  6. A ‘Gender-Inclusion Fund’ will be constituted under the new policy to build the nation’s capacity to provide equitable quality education for all girls as well as transgender students.

Legal Developments

  1. In 2014, Supreme Court issued a sweeping judgment in NALSA vs Union of India, which held that transgender people should be legally recognised according to their gender identity, enjoy all fundamental rights, and receive special benefits in education and employment.
  2. In 2018, the supreme court through its judgement in Navtej Singh Johar vs. Union of India decriminalised homosexuality under section 377 of IPC, as it is violative of the right to freedom of life, privacy and equality of sexual minorities.


By enacting the Transgender Persons Act, India has taken a step forward in granting and protecting much deserved identity and rights to transgender persons. However, to make it more inclusive it is worth implementing the Supreme court ruling in NALSA judgement.

Theme: Social Sector & Social Services (health, education, human resources – issues in development, management)

14. Manual scavenging persists unabatedly in India despite strict legal restrictions. Discuss why the “Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013” has not been very effective in light of the aforementioned claim. (10 Mark, 150 words)

Text Box: Why this question:  Union government introduced NAMSTE scheme in the budget 2023-24 to mechanise sanitation ecosystem and eradicated the practice of Manual scavenging all together.
Tail word: Discuss: 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. And once all the discussion is done, a suitable apt conclusion may be given at the end of the answer.
Introduction: Define manual scavenging and give some data/facts regarding this.
Main Body: 
•	Point out major features of prohibition of employment as manual scavengers and their rehabilitation act, 2013
•	Explain the reasons for persistence of manual scavenging
Conclusion: Conclude with some good initiatives that can be brought in by the government to stop this.

Model answer


Manual scavenging is the practice of removing human excreta by hand from sewers or septic tanks. India banned the practice under the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013 (PEMSR). The Act bans the use of any individual for manually cleaning, carrying, disposing of or otherwise handling in any manner, human excreta till its disposal.


Major features of prohibition of employment as manual scavengers and their rehabilitation act, 2013

  1. The Act prohibits the employment of manual scavengers, the manual cleaning of sewers and septic tanks without protective equipment, and the construction of insanitary latrines.
  2. It seeks to rehabilitate manual scavengers and provide for their alternative employment.
  3. Each local authority, cantonment board and railway authority is responsible for surveying insanitary latrines within its jurisdiction. They shall also construct a number of sanitary community latrines.
  4. Each occupier of insanitary latrines shall be responsible for converting or demolishing the latrine at his own cost. If he fails to do so, the local authority shall convert the latrine and recover the cost from him.
  5. Offences under the act shall be cognizable and non-bailable.

Reasons for Persistence of Manual Scavenging

  1. Narrow definition of Manual scavengers: Under the act, “manual scavenger” means a person engaged or employed, at the commencement of this Act or at any time thereafter, by an individual or a local authority or an agency or a contractor, for manually cleaning, carrying, disposing of, or otherwise handling in any manner, human excreta in an insanitary latrine or in an open drain or pit into which the human excreta from the insanitary latrines is disposed of, or on a railway track or in such other spaces or premises, as the Central Government or a State Government may notify, before the excreta fully decomposes in such manner as may be prescribed, and the expression “manual scavenging” shall be construed accordingly.
  2. Inadequate rehabilitation: Though the act mandated rehabilitation of manual scavengers, they were unable to take up non-sanitation related occupations due to social stigma attached to them. Even the mechanisation of sanitation work had little impact as the underlying issue of sanitation work being a castebased occupation will not be tackled by making descendants of manual scavengers continue the same work in a different form. So, mechanisation can only save them from health risks but may not address the stigma or results in occupational mobility
  3. Lack of legal responsibility on the government: Neither the state nor the centre is mandated under the Bill to provide financial assistance for the conversion of insanitary latrines. This adversely impact implementation of the act.
  4. Failure of swatch Bharat to eradicate manual scavenging: Toilets that are built under SBM are mainly pit based toilets that are not linked to the sewer network. As long as households remain unconvinced about or unmotivated to construct twin pit latrines, the risky work of manual scavenging (performed largely by Dalits) is likely to continue.


The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan should make expansion of the sewer network a top priority and come up with a scheme for scientific maintenance that will end the manual cleaning of septic tanks. Sign them up for health insurance under the Ayushman Bharat scheme.

Reserved: Try to incorporate map and mark sewer death of different states.

Theme: Poverty and hunger issue

Text Box: Why this question:  Poverty and hunger issues is always a concern for India, so chances of asking question from this topic is high.
Tail Word: Discuss: 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. And once all the discussion is done, a suitable apt conclusion may be given at the end of the answer
Introduction: Give a general introduction regarding poverty and hunger issue.
Main Body: 
•	Briefly explain the success and failure of poverty alleviation programmes in India.
•	Discuss any issue and try to point out some way forward.
Conclusion: Conclude by showing some stats and end with a optimistic view.

15. “Poverty alleviation programmes in India remain more showpieces until and unless they are backed up by political will.” Discuss with reference to the performance of the major poverty alleviation programmes in India. (Answer in 250 words) 15

Model Answer


Poverty, hunger and unemployment have been the bane for India since long so the successive governments have taken active role in forming the poverty alleviation programmes. The programmes have been implemented considering wide dimensions like Health, education, malnutrition etc


Success of some welfare programmes

  1. NREGA has been relatively successful in reaching the rural poor with shift in the pressure of newly mobilised political outsiders, including an activist judiciary and civil society groups.
  2. The programme reduced poverty by up to 32 per cent and prevented 14 million people from falling into poverty.
  3. Rich states have done better at poverty alleviation than in the past as they had better resources and political will.
  4. Between 2004-05 and 2011-12, most states did well at poverty alleviation.

It is because of string political like states in Tamilnadu where were taken like universal PDS to alleviate poor and it has largely been successful there.

  • Involves technological interventions.
  • Drawing up innovative fool-proof delivery mechanisms.
  • Surprise checks and constant reviews.
  • Fixing responsibility at each level.

Failure of some welfare programme

  • Planning process is faulty with respect to:
  • Identifying the ‘poor’
  • Defining ‘poor’
  • Processing of the identification involves too many stages.
  • Lack of technology up gradation.
  • The program focuses on benefitting a small group of the people in a big.
  • Ideally the programs should be broader based.
  • Disjointed programs beneficiaries overlap, the same rural areas benefited from served programs.
  • Implementation of programs:
    • Corrupt officials/ staffs.
    • Lack of involvement.
    • Local politics (selection of beneficiaries).
    • Improper follow up of program/ review or revision is practically none existed.
  • Lack of support from the credit and marketing system:
    • Role of local money lenders and banks.
    • Inability to sustain income generation from the asset credited.

Awareness issue

  • Still, most of the people especially in rural areas are illiterate that’s why they are not getting loans or initial capital for self-employment.
  • Fund allocation especially for NREGA continued to be unpredictable. The change in government state has taken away a key ingredient that contributed to the success of the MGNREGA: Political will and belief in the act

Way Forward

  • Corruption needs to be dealt with harshly, but cutting funds to development programmes is definitely not a plausible solution.
  • Lessons from China:China’s Internet-based poverty alleviation method has set an example for the rest of the world. The government’s plan is to take e-business to more than 80 percent of villages by 2020.
  • India can follow this model to carry out poverty alleviation efforts. By adopting multiple approaches, there has been a noticeable decrease in the head count ratio of poverty i.e. from 55% in 1973 to about 30% presently. However, the absolute number has reduced only slightly.


India is still home to 1/5th of world’s poor people, about 300 million people. With the recent Food Security Act, Insurance driven social safety net, and focus on SHGs, it can be hoped that India will make bigger strides towards completely eradicating the poverty.

16. Do you think Poshan Abhiyan holds the key to achieve SDG 2 Zero Hunger? what are Challenges which pulling back the scheme from achieving its objective? (Answer in 150 words) 10

Text Box: Why this question:  Malnutrition is always a big concern for India. So chance of asking question from this area is high.
Introduction: Introduce with the objectives of POSHAN Abhiyaan
Main Body: 
•	Need
•	Challenges
•	Way forward
Conclusion: Conclude with connecting to SDG

Model Answer


The objective of POSHAN Abhiyaan is to reduce stunting in identified Districts of India with the highest malnutrition burden by improving utilization of key Anganwadi Services. It aims to ensure holistic development and adequate nutrition for pregnant women, mothers and children.


Poshan objectives

  • Corrective strategies, Nutrition Awareness strategies,
  • Communication strategies
  • Creation of green ecosystems.

It is being supported by ‘Poshan Tracker’, a new, robust ICT centralised data system which is being linked with the RCH Portal (Anmol) of MoHFW


  • Tackling undernutrition
  • Economic return
  • A Comprehensive nutrition response
  • Resilience against emerging challenges like pandemic and disasters
  • improving school attendance and women health indicators

Challenges in the implementation of POSHAN Abhiyaan

  • Infrastructure at Anganwadi centres (AWCs): Inadequate provisioning of drinking water, toilet facilities and electricity supply across the States and UTs.
  • Underutilization of fund: Less than half of funds utilized in 23 States and UTs (NITI Aayog report).
  • Impact of COVID-19: Pregnant and lactating women and millions of babies born in 2020 have likely missed several essential interventions in health and nutrition in the critical 1000-day window.
    • Lack of real-time data on nutrition: Unavailability of real-time data on stunted and wasted children in the country continues to be a challenge for decision-makers and program implementers.
    • Procedural delays: Poshan Abhiyan requires quite a few ministries to work together. This not only delays matter, but also increases scope of irregularities.

Way Forward

  • A Poshan-Plus strategy, suggested by NITI Aayog, that should not only focus on strengthening the core pillars of POSHAN but also on other social determinants such as sanitation, education, poverty alleviation etc.
  • Expand coverage and improve quality of essential health and nutrition interventions by continuing to strengthen ICDS and health platforms
  • Existing movements like the Eat Right and Fit India movements must be connected strongly with the POSHAN Abhiyaan’s mission of improving diets for all stakeholders.


All these measures can be used to achieve SDG 2 to end Global Hunger

Theme: Effect of Policies & Politics of Developed and Developing countries on India (India’s interests, diaspora)

17. The recent Taliban regime’s appreciation of India’s humanitarian and development efforts in crisis-hit Afghanistan signifies a shift in their attitude towards India. Examine?

                                                                                                                                       (Answer in 250 words) 15

Text Box: Why this question:  Contextual Introduction on Change Taliban’s stand on India
Tail Word: Examine: It demands you to investigate the topic deeply and bring to light to various aspects of the given topic. It refers to inspecting something closely and bringing out the facts.
Introduction: Give a general introduction regarding poverty and hunger issue.
Main Body: 
•	Factors that explain this shift:
•	Downsides of India’s engagement 
Conclusion: Conclude with suggestion on India’s action
Model Answer
o   Poverty, Recently, the Taliban regime appreciated India’s humanitarian and development efforts in crisis-hit Afghanistan and expressed a desire for positive bilateral relations.
o   The Taliban wants India to complete the Shahtoot Dam project in Kabul.
o   It is also keen to revive connectivity through Iran’s Chabahar port and Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline project.
o   Historically, the Taliban regime that ruled Afghanistan in the late 1990s did not have friendly relations with India. The Taliban’s close ties with Pakistan and India’s support for the Northern Alliance were some of the factors that strained their relationship. However, in recent years, there have been indications of a shift in the Taliban’s attitude towards India, particularly in terms of acknowledging India’s contributions to Afghanistan’s development and humanitarian needs.
o   Factors that explain this shift:
Pragmatism and Geopolitics: The Taliban, despite their past associations and ideological inclinations, have demonstrated a pragmatic approach in recent times. They have been trying to gain international recognition and legitimacy, which requires engaging with various regional and global stakeholders, including India.
Development Contributions: India has been a significant contributor to Afghanistan’s development, investing in infrastructure projects, education, healthcare, and capacity-building.
Diversifying Diplomatic Ties: The Taliban could be seeking to diversify their diplomatic relationships to avoid over-reliance on any single country.
Afghanistan’s Needs: The Taliban leadership may realize that Afghanistan requires international assistance, and acknowledging India’s contributions could help address some of the immediate humanitarian and developmental challenges that the country faces.
Regional Balance: The Taliban could be attempting to strike a balance in their relations with neighbouring countries. India’s strategic interests in Afghanistan are well-known, and maintaining a working relationship with India could help the Taliban manage regional dynamics more effectively.
Economic Interests: India is an important economic player in the region. The Taliban might recognize the potential economic benefits of maintaining a cooperative relationship with India, especially in terms of trade and connectivity. (TAPI, North-South Economic Corridor)
However, it’s important to note that any shift in the Taliban’s attitude towards India is likely to be complex and multifaceted.
o   Pakistan’s role in the region,
o   Global geopolitical considerations,
o   Evolving internal dynamics of Afghanistan.
§  Downsides of India’s engagement
o   Shows inconsistency in India’s policy: India has always supported “an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled” process for enduring peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan.
o   Security concerns: A UN report shows that terror groups are continuing to find safe haven on Afghan soil with the Taliban’s support.
o   No change in the ideology of the Taliban.
o   Pro-China stance of Taliban:
India As India increases its engagement with the Taliban, it would need to redefine its relationship with the Taliban as the latter has a deep relationship with Pakistan by Haqqani Network and has moved close to China in the past decade.
Theme: Bilateral grouping involving and/or affecting India’s interest.
18. Russia is a significant partner of India due to Historical, Strategic, and Geopolitical reasons. How Russia-Ukraine war impact India’s relationship with Russia? (Answer in 250 words) 15

Text Box: Why this question: Russia is a crucial partner for India, so have a chance to ask question. 
Introduction: India’s relation with Russia 
Main Body: 
•	Significance of Russia’s relation to India
•	Impact of Russia – Ukraine war on India
Conclusion: Conclude with Strategic Autonomy Doctrine

Model Answer
Russia holds significant importance for India due to historical, strategic, and geopolitical reasons. The enduring partnership between India and Russia has been built on a foundation of shared values, mutual trust, and cooperative endeavours.
Significance of Russian Relation to India
§  Historical Ties: India and Russia have a history of strong bilateral relations dating back to the Cold War era when India pursued a policy of non-alignment. The Soviet Union, at that time, supported India’s development and played a crucial role in its industrialization, technology transfer, and education.
§  Défense and Security Cooperation: Russia has been a major supplier of military equipment to India, including advanced weapon systems, aircraft, tanks, and naval vessels. (S-400, INS Vikramaditya)
§  Strategic Partnerships: Both India and Russia share common strategic interests, such as countering terrorism, ensuring stability in Central Asia, and maintaining regional security. They often collaborate on international forums like the United Nations and BRICS, SCO to advance their mutual goals.
§  Geopolitical Balance: India’s partnership with Russia has also been driven by the need to maintain a balance in its foreign policy. While India seeks to diversify its relationships and engage with multiple global powers, including the United States, it also values its longstanding friendship with Russia as a counterbalance to other global influences.
§  Energy Cooperation: Russia is a significant energy player, being a major exporter of oil and natural gas. India’s growing energy needs make Russia an attractive partner for energy cooperation, which can contribute to India’s energy security.
§  Space Collaboration: India and Russia have collaborated in the field of space exploration and technology. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has benefited from Russian expertise in areas like launch vehicle technology.
§  Nuclear Cooperation: Both countries have cooperated in the field of nuclear energy. Russia has played a significant role in the construction of India’s civilian nuclear power plants and has been a key partner in nuclear technology transfer. (Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP) in India)
Impact of Russia – Ukraine war on India’s Relation with Russia
§  Balancing Act: India traditionally maintains a policy of strategic autonomy and non-alignment, seeking to balance its relationships with various global powers. A conflict between Russia and Ukraineput India in a delicate position, as it has strong ties with both countries. India needs to carefully navigate its stance to avoid taking sides.
§  Pressure on Bilateral Ties: If the conflict leads to increased international pressure on Russia, India might face challenges in its relationship with Russia. India would need to balance its strategic interests with its international commitments and values.
§  Impact on defence Cooperation: The conflict could potentially impact India’s defence cooperation with Russia. If Russia’s international standing suffers due to its involvement in the conflict, India might need to assess the implications of continuing to source defence equipment from Russia.
§  Global Alliances and Partnerships: Depending on the international response to the conflict, India’s relationships with other countries, particularly those aligned against Russia’s actions, might be affected. India’s strategic partnerships with the United States, European Union, or other nations might come into play.
§  Economic Implications: Sanctions or economic pressures on Russia resulting from the conflict could impact India’s economic ties with Russia. This could include energy trade, investments, and other economic collaborations.
§  Diplomatic Efforts: India might engage in diplomatic efforts to encourage a peaceful resolution to the conflict. As a member of international organizations like the United Nations, India could play a role in advocating for dialogue and negotiations.
§  Geopolitical Implications: The conflict could potentially reshape regional and global geopolitics. India would need to assess the long-term implications of these changes on its own strategic interests. India needs to balance as a cornered Russia will move towards China. Strengthen Moscow-Beijing-Islamabad Nexus.
India need to find the balance for her Tightrope walking to uphold her Strategic Autonomy
19. India’s relation with France is always based on Mutual interest and Mutual respect. Comment on various levels of cooperation between the two countries. Analyse. (Answer in 150 words) 10

Text Box: Why this question: 25th anniversary of the India France strategic partnership 
Tail word: Analyse: You need to examine something methodically and in detail, typically in order to explain and interpret it. You are required to take each and every part of the statement and examine them separately and also in relation with other parts.
Introduction: : India’s relation with France or Contextual one 
Main Body: 
•	Various levels of Cooperation
•	Impact of Russia – Ukraine war on India
Conclusion: Significance of India’s relation with France.

Model Answer
India and France share long-standing cultural, trade and economic linkages. The India-France strategic partnership, signed in 1998, has gathered significant momentum over time and has today evolved into an even closer multifaceted relationship that spans diverse areas of cooperation.
Various levels of cooperation
*     Both countries outlined the roadmap of bilateral ties till 2047, “Horizon 2047 framework”. – three pillars focusing on security, planet, and people and includes cooperation in areas like defence, nuclear energy & space, climate change etc.
*     The two countries are committed to work together and with others, towards the reform/modernisation of the UN, IMF, World Trade Organization, etc.
*     France was the first P-5 country to support India’s claim for a permanent seat in an expanded and reformed UN Security Council.
*     France supported India’s membership of Multilateral Export Control, Wassenaar and Australia Group. Its support is vital in India’s admission to NSG.
*     France has emerged as India’s most reliable partner on issues relating to Kashmir.
*     P-75 Scorpene technology transfer and Rafale aircraft
*     Exercises
o   Varuna – Naval exercise
o   Garuda – Air exercise
o   Shakti – Army exercise
*     India-France Strategic Dialogue takes place between NSAs from both sides.
*     Cooperation in Indo-Pacific is a key – Freedom of navigation and Fight against maritime piracy
*     Reciprocal Logistics Support agreement was signed between India and France in 2019.
Energy Cooperation
*     France – India nuclear energy agreement in 2008.
*     The Indo-French cooperation is aimed at ‘peaceful use of nuclear energy’ for building the Jaitapur Nuclear Power Plant (JNPP).
*     India and France co-foundered International Solar Alliance
Economic Cooperation
*     France to support the 2nd phase of the Indian program on sustainable cities – CITIIS 2.0.
*     India-France bilateral trade stood above 11 billion dollars in the recent past.
*     The India-France Administrative Economic and Trade Committee (AETC) provides an appropriate framework to assess and find ways to further promote bilateral trade and investment.
*     ISRO and CNES (the French space agency) have conducted joint research programmes and satellite launches.
*     The first Indo-French satellite for climate studies, Megha-Tropiques was launched in 2011. A second satellite for oceanographic studies, SARAL, was launched in 2013.
*     TRISHNA (Thermal infrared Imaging Satellite for High-resolution Natural resource Assessment) is a future high-resolution space-time mission in the thermal infrared (TIR) led jointly by the French (CNES) and the Indian (ISRO) space agencies for a launch planned in 2025.
In the past, Indian companies saw the U.K. as the entry point for Europe; now with Brexit, France and India can drastically improve their trading ties.
20. In the wake of the recent ongoing war, coups, and climate crisis it is evident that the world is at a crossroads with multilateral challenges yet the UN is not rising to the occasion. Discuss the challenges faced by the UN and the Reforms needed. (Answer in 250 words) 15

Text Box: Why this question: Mentioned in question 
Tail Word: Discuss: 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. And once all the discussion is done, a suitable apt conclusion may be given at the end of the answer
Introduction: Role of the UN in addressing global challenges or introduce with UN 
Main Body: 
•	Ongoing Global Crisis
•	Multilateral Challenges faced by the UN
•	Reforms Needed
Conclusion: Imperativeness for United Nations (UN) reforms

Model Answer
Role of the UN in addressing global challenges
Example: The United Nations (UN) is an international organization founded in 1945. It is currently made up of 193 Member States. Its activities include maintaining international peace and security, protecting human rights, delivering humanitarian aid, promoting sustainable development, and upholding international law.
·        Ongoing Global Crisis
o   Example: Climate Crisis, Russia-Ukraine war, Sudan Conflict, Afghanistan – Taliban takeover, etc
·        Multilateral Challenges faced by the UN
o   Example: Challenges
o   United Nations General Assembly – UNGA has no control over veto power exercised by the UNSC and it cannot take any decisive action against permanent members of the UNSC.
o   United Nations Security Council – Membership of the UNSC does not represent contemporary realities. It has not been reformed since its inception. Europe, for instance, which accounts for barely 5% of the world’s population, still controls 33% of the seats.
o   Veto Issue – The veto power is used by permanent five countries to serve the strategic interest of themselves and their allies.
o   UN Charter does not allow the UN to intervene in intra-state conflicts. This has affected its humanitarian interventions.
o   Terrorism – Nations that support groups that are widely linked to terrorism, such as Pakistan, are not held accountable specifically for these actions. To this date, the UN still does not have a clear definition of terrorism. no consensus about Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism.
o   UN Peacekeeping – Peacekeepers are sent to places affected by civil conflicts, with no cease-fire agreement finalised.
·        Reforms Needed
§  UNSC Reform – Inclusion of more members with better and Equitable representation of the real world eg: Representation to Africa and Latin America etc
§  More Important to the decision of UNGA as it is the proper representative body
§  Active Role – More Involvement in Global issues without taking sides
§  Strengthening of Peacekeeping force to interfere in Global conflicts

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