1. Full Length Mock GSM2
  2. Model Answerskey

Full Length Mock Paper GSM2

To get maximum mileage, first make sure you’ve finished atleast basic syllabus of UPSC Mains General Studies Paper-2.
Stationary: Use Blank a4 sized papers, make 1″ marginon each side.
All Questions are Compulsory. Answer each of them in not more than 200 words x 12.5 marks = 250 marks
Time limit: 3 hours.

  1. “Right to privacy is a fundamental right but not an absolute right (निरंकुश हक़) in India.” Discuss.
  2. US Constitution & US supreme court judgments provide that “individuals have right to possess a firearm & use it for self-defense.” Given the frequent news about the atrocities against women, scheduled castes & minorities in India, should we incorporate this in our constitution?
  3. What is Article 35A of the Indian constitution? Critically examine the demand for its removal in context of conflict with Article 14.
  4. Discuss 2017 guidelines of SC to prevent the misuse of 498A of IPC. Will they reduce the legal protection available to the dowry victims? Examine critically.
  5. What is fake news (जाली/बनावटी समाचार)? How is it different from paid news? Discuss the existing & suggested mechanisms to prevent fake news in India.
  6. Outline the constitutional provisions related to election & nomination of Rajya Sabha members. Why have these mechanisms been in controversy in recent years?
  7. Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra & Karnataka legislative councils have exclusive constituencies in which only teachers & graduates respectively are eligible to vote. Economic Survey 2016-17 highlighted that after independence, USA economy grew at a rapid rate because initially they didn’t give voting rights to all. In the light of these facts, should there be a minimum educational or economic qualification to vote in elections?
  8. “RBI governor is not an ordinary bureaucrat but a technocrat with the responsibility for the nation’s economic risk management.” Elaborate.
  9. Law commission has solicited views about making cricket betting a legalized business activity for better oversight, regulation & tax-revenue, like in Spain & Sweden. Discuss your views.
  10. In recent years, there has been a proliferation of higher education institutes without adequate number of well-paying private sector jobs to absorb those graduates. How is this affecting the economic & political discourse in India? Examine critically.
  11. Economic survey 2016-17 vol2. has identified 3 main culprits behind adolescent school dropouts: (1) lack of money (2) lack of interest in studies (3) girls required to help in domestic work. Suggest remedies in the existing schemes in this regard.
  12. Outline the existing framework for the content regulation & certification of TV shows in India. Noted film producer Shoojit Sircar has written to the government that “Kids reality TV shows such as Indian Idol Junior, Super Dancer, Junior Masterchef India etc. should be banned since they are destroying the innocence & purity of children.” Discuss your stand on his petition.
  13. Explain the meaning & significance of corporate governance. Given the controversial board battles in Tata Sons, Infosys & the problem of non-performing assets among top Indian companies, what is your stand on the criticism that ”corporate governance framework in India is weak”.
  14. In July 2017, PMO asked DoPT to prepare a draft on lateral entry (पार्श्व प्रवेश) in civil services. Critically examine the benefits & challenges of such proposal.
  15. Given the Rs.880 crore Srijan NGO scam in Bihar, should the NGOs be removed from the ‘operational’ part of developmental schemes? Examine in the light of PPP, JAM & DBT.
  16. After the referendum (जनमत संग्रह) in Sep-Oct 2017, both Catalonia & Kurdistan have declared themselves independent from Spain & Iraq respectively. But the parent nations have declared these referendums as illegal & unconstitutional. Should India recognize them as new nations? Examine critically with historical precedents in Indian diplomacy.
  17. In 2017, India-US strategic relationship has been raised to a new level of interaction called “2+2 format at ministerial level”. Explain this mechanism & its benefits.
  18. Discuss the factors responsible for the rise of conservatism, protectionism, nationalism & anti-globalization in the domestic politics of the developed nations in the recent years. In what ways is India affected by these developments?
  19. In 2017, both India & Pakistan became full time members of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO). What will India gain from joining this club? Will Pakistan’s membership act as an obstacle in fully realizing these gains? Explain with reference to the past experience in SAARC.
  20. Explain the term “rogue state” [दुष्ट/धूर्त राज्य] with examples. What threats do they pose to the global order in general & India in particular? Enumerate the options available to UN in this regard.

Mock Test GS2 Section 498-A

Model Answerskey

Due to paucity of time and engagement in other projects, it’s not possible to create all model answers. Beside if I spoon-feed you everything- it’ll stop your intellectual growth necessary for writing the descriptive answers. This is not a board exam. Let’s start:

Q1: Right to privacy

Ans. This answer you should know. All the newspapers, completive magazines and e-learnings have dissected this in and out!
Introduction: Origin type. Why this case / controversy started Body:

  • care should be taken not to spend too much words on beef, LGBT and other peripheral issues. Read the question – you’ve to stick your points around “Fundamental right vs absolute right”.
  • SC itself said there needs to be a “careful and sensitive balance between individual interests and legitimate concerns of the state” such as “preventing and investigating crime, encouraging innovation and the spread of knowledge, and preventing the dissipation of social welfare benefits (=leakage) “. Hence it can’t be ‘absolute’.
  • Magnify further on crime (including black money and money laundering) and subsidy angle.

Conclusion: question says “discuss” so summarize, why there can be no “absolute rights” in any constitution.

Q2: Right to guns

In news, because of the Las Vegas shooting. Introduction: (Origin type) The right to arms provided in US Constitution by the second amendment in 1791. (we can’t remember absolute years so let’s keep it in 18th century). At that time, the new country was still a fledgling state. Second amendment was necessary on following grounds:

  1. From the earliest years of English settlement in USA, colonists had depended on local groups of part-time citizen soldiers to defend themselves from the Indians, armed bandits, cattle robbers and attacks by wild animals.
  2. During American war for independence, these militia fought against the British.
  3. After independence, colonies feared that Federal army will ‘disarm’ the militia and this will raise their vulnerability. Hence, second amendment specifically reads, “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
  4. So it was justified in that time,

Body#2: why not necessary in India:

  • Our struggle for independence was not won by the armed private militia.
  • At the time of independence, the British and DESHI princes had wiped out most of the wild animals and all the robbers and bandits had joined politics, so ordinary citizens need not bear weapons against them.
  • At the time of independence, we already had a proper structure and hierarchy district police under DM, and judiciary in place. Law and order is their responsibility. Over the years, we’ve created new institutions for maintenance of law and order (RPF, CRPF etc) as well as rights bodies (national commissions).
  • Those who fear for the safety of their life or property can apply for gun license or seek police protection.
  • Women, scheduled castes & minorities victims usually belong to poor household. Guns are expensive.
  • Even if such right is given, only the rich, elite will bear arms further intimidating their poor victims. Danger that it’ll encourage Vigilantism, Salva-Judums, Ranveer Sena and secessionism.
  • Plus, whatever other reverent points and reasons you can muster to fill the answer space.

DONOT digress too much towards peripheral or trivial topics e.g. – People will get bogus aadhar cards, stonepelters and naxalites will use these arms. – We’ll have to encourage Gun mfg. under make in India so the poor victims can afford. But since we’ve jumped directly from agriculture to service sector so gun mfg. poses challenge. And if we import too many guns it’ll adversely affect BoP. – Unable to get many gold medals in shooting competition because we don’t have this right

The question here is “bear arms in context of the violence against women, SC and minorities.” Remember the quality of the points is more important than length of the answer.

Conclusion: Question is “should we adopt gun freedom?”, so finding should be “Yes or No”. Ofcourse it should be “no”, because if you’ve so much distrust in police and ‘prashashan’ (administration), then you should not apply in the UPSC in the first place!
(Type#1) Atrocities against women and minorities are matter of concern but citizens need not bear arms. It’s responsibility of the state. Even within USA the lax gun control has resulted into growing incidents of crime and mass shootings in schools and public places.
(Type#2) American anthem mentions “rockets glare, the bombs bursting in air,…(USA is the) land of the free and the home of the brave.” It cherishes the weapons and violence in ensuring a free country, but we don’t. Right to guns is not in the spirit of our preamble which mentions “fraternity and unity” or our national pledge which says “all Indians are my brothers and sisters”.

Q3: Article 35A vs Article 14

Adequate maal available in article of TimesofIndia URL. Use it and some fodder about development, national integration etc and you can easily fillup 200 words answersheet. Further PHD unnecessary, unless political science is your optional.

Q4: Section 498-A of IPC.

First be careful in the choice of words- Constitution has “article”, laws have “sections”. So don’t write Article 498-A of IPC. Introduction (Origin)

  • 1961: Dowry Prohibition Act enacted. But, its provisions lacked teeth to prevent torture and death of young brides. So, in…
  • 1983: Section 498A introduced in the Indian Penal Code (IPC), to address the lacunas of Dowry Prohibition Act. [not necessary to remember years, I wrote only for info.]
  • It provides that husband and his side of relatives can be fined and jailed upto three years for inflicting cruelty to women. The offense shall be treated as cognizable, non-compoundable and non-bailable.

Body#1: how misused and what SC guideline

  • In some instances, women invoke Section 498-A, to harass and intimidate their husbands and in-laws. Sometimes cases are filed to exact revenge on men or their families for their perceived misdeeds. e.g. husband’s inability to guarantee a certain lifestyle for his wife or any other sore points / trivial points.
  • 2014: SC found that power to arrest under 498A was lucrative source of police corruption, so it laid guidelines that arrests should only be made after the police can satisfy a magistrate.
  • 2017: Rajesh Sharma and Ors v State of UP and Anr case, the Supreme Court has sought to address “misuse” of Section 498A with following guidelines:
  1. State to setup 3 member Committee @district level. They’ll be the first to look @498-A complaint.
  2. These members will be given honorarium (money) and basic minimum training by the Legal Services Authority from time to time..
  3. This “civil society” committee will have para legal volunteers/social workers/retired persons/wives of working officers/other citizens
  4. They will first look at the case, present a report to the police within one month and only after that can the police proceed. Till report of the committee is received, no arrest should normally be effected.
  5. For NRIs, passport impounding and red-corner notice should not be sent as a ‘routine’ process, but only in cases involving grave danger and physical harm.
  6. Often multiple cases and counter cases filed in matrimonial dispute. So, District Judge given power to club all connected cases so that a holistic view is taken.
  7. Trial court ought to grant exemption from personal appearance or permit appearance to husband’s family members.
  8. Above guidelines shall not apply to cases involving tangible physical injuries or death.
  9. This is a provisional ruling. National Legal Services Authority will file report about ground implementation and need for any changes in SC directions. Next hearing listed in April 2018.

Body#2: Criticism / Apprehensions

  1. “Civil society” committee members could be biased, bribed to give a ruling in favor of the perpetrators.
  2. One month inquiry time is too long. In the meantime, victim lady could be coerced into taking back her complaint.
  3. Why presume women’s complaints are not genuine and need an additional filter? Already Magistrate has oversight, as per the 2014 guidelines to prevent misuse of 498-A.

Question is “Examine critically” so conclusion should be “Finding type”- whether new guidelines will – reduce victim protection? Finding should be yes or no.

  • No, it’ll not reduce because of point 8 and 9. SC routinely throws out frivolous PILs and cases. The learned judges wouldn’t have applied their mind in these guidelines, if they did not believe that misuse of Section 498-A has become a rampant problem requiring their attention. OR
  • Yes, it’ll reduce because I’m more intelligent than SC judges. (if applying for the post of columnist at __.)

Q5. Fake News

Question itself easy but biggest danger is misinterpretation. Because you could misunderstand the context:

  • This is not about Donald Trump claiming mainstream media as ‘fake news’
  • This is not about those parody sites that create spoofs around real news related to Modi, Rahul Gandhi and Baba Ramdev.

So, first understand context of the question with some examples:

  • In late 2015, Mohammad Akhlaq, a farm worker, was murdered by a mob in his village in Uttar Pradesh after some villagers claimed to have seen photos on WhatsApp of Akhlaq eating beef of a slaughtered cow. The reality was Akhlaq’s family had stored mutton and not beef.
  • In May 2017, another WhatsApp message went gone viral in Jharkhand, urging people to be careful of strangers as they most likely belonged to a “child lifting gang”. As the message passed on, hysteria increased. Villagers armed themselves and began attacking anyone they did not recognise, resulting in death of 7 innocent travelers.
  • In July, 2017, on Facebook, a man called Bhabatosh Chatterjee claimed that Hindu women were getting molested by Muslims in Baduria, West Bengal. He accompanied his post with a photo of man pulling the sari off a woman surrounded by a crowd of men. Except the image is actually a still from a Bhojpuri film. Nonetheless, it led to riots and destructions of public property.
  • Thus fake news Is no longer confined to creating parodies and MEMEs around Modi, Rahul Gandhi and unemployed or lowly paid engineers’ world views. It has taken shape of something more evil and nefarious. With that in mind, let’s begin:


Fake News Paid News
Introduction (Definition) Fake News is a news that intentionally fabricates information, disseminate deceptive content, or grossly distort actual news reports. Introduction (Definition) Paid news refers to the systematic engagement of mainstream media outlets in publishing favorable articles in exchange for payment for political parties or corporates.
Sinister purposes that extend beyond vote-banking. e.g. hoax about child lifting gang or Main purpose is to influence voters.
Tone is generally negative and inciting violence against opposition party, religion, caste etc. Tone is generally ‘positive’ in favour of the party who is paying money to the mediahouse.
EC guidelines available for paid news (read my article here) but not for fake news.

Existing mechanisms against Fake news?

  1. Indian Penal Code (IPC) has provisions against forgery- this extends to electronic forgery also e.g.
  2. IPC has provisions against hate speech and disrupting public order.
  3. Defemation Act 1992.
  4. Complaint to Broadcasting Content Complain Council, ministry of I&B, Press Council of India etc.
  5. A UP court has order that any information that is factually incorrect or misleading that is posted on a social media group could result in a report by the police against the group administrator.

Existing mechanisms are inadequate because:

  • Information Technology Act doesn’t have direct provisions against people spreading fake news.
  • Unlike in western countries, most of India’s fake news spreads via WhatsApp and mobile phone messages. For majority of rural Indians, first exposure to the internet is via their phone. They are unable to distinguish what is real from what is not. They tend to believe whatever is sent to them and forward it to others. These “anpadh, jaahil, gawaar” people don’t have the time or desktop browser to patiently open 50 tabs in google search to cross-verify the claims unlike some overenthusiastic UPSC aspirants.
  • Individual people have opened sites to expose and debunk the fake news and hoaxes. But this model may not sustain for long, for the lack of ad-revenue (and no one is going to buy PDF material/magazine from them, unlike in competitive exam). Government itself should create such site.
  • GSM4 angle- that both who create fake news and those who ‘forward’ it lack the ethical framework. Parents, teachers, society are to be blamed. So accordingly do bolbochchan about reforms at individual and institutional level.

Conclusion: Express apprehension and say that aforementioned reforms / measures need to be taken on war footing to prevent the loss of life and property as it had happened in the past because of fake news.

Q6: Rajya Sabha Election

Provisions about election and nomination of the RS members, you’ll find in M.Laxmikanth’s chapter on Parliament.

  1. Nominated members selected on populism, but remain frequently absent from proceedings. and some of them enjoy such god & sacred holy cows status that we can’t even criticize them.
  2. Mallya bringing shame upon RS by becoming wilful defaulter and getting charge sheeted by ED.(him we can easily criticize.)
  3. Allegations that corporates use moneypower to get elected.
  4. Non-domicile people gaining entry to continue as Ministers (or Prime Minister, as the case may be!)
  5. The latest horse-trading in Amit Shah vs. Ahmed Patel.

Conclusion: Write why makers of the Constitution provided for this august house, comma, the aforementioned controversies are therefore a matter of concern and regret.

Q7: Right to Vote for educated tax payers only!?

Introduction (origin) Begin with the virtues and merits of democracy and voting rights to all: this you’ll find from NCERT social science and political science textbook. After all, the Right to vote is Constitutional right (!)

  • Explain why Legislative council need not give voting right to all, because it’ll raise the cost of election vs. utility of this house is limited in enhancing the democracy (otherwise why didnot makers provide for vidhan-parishad compulsory for all states!). Refer to M.Laxmikanth page 33.11 and DD Basu Page 256 & 263 to express this in a refined manner.
  • Give rough figures about poverty and illiteracy and if min. education or economic qualification are prescribed for voters who it’ll affect.


  • Economic survey’s interpretation of don’t give voting rights so you can develop @faster rate, is in context of economic growth.
  • But our preamble has committed to not just economic justice but social and political justice as well.
  • Hence it’s ill-advised and ill-thought suggestion to curtail voting rights on educational or economic qualifications.

Besides, even if it’s a well thought and well planned advice, is any political party capable of implementing it, when they’re winning election mainly because of those poor and illiterates!?

Q8: RBI governor is a “boss” like that

RBI Governor Powers

If you need help even in this answer, then I’ve failed you as Master Shifu failed his snow leopard student Tai Lung in the KungFu panda#1. Nonetheless, Here is my lecture link for the newcomers.

Q9: Legalize Cricket Betting

  • Explain the benefits and demerits of such move.
  • (Conclusion: against) DPSP prescribes the state to ban intoxicating liquor – because such habit leads to ruination of not just man but his family as well. On the same logic, betting and gambling needs to be prohibited, even if the arguments for tax revenue justify their legalization.

Q10: Unemployed graduates

  • Avoid MISTAKE: Don’t waste words on diagnosing the problem because it’s already given in the question itself – proliferation of engineering, pharmacy and PTC colleges. your job it to write about its impact on:…
  • (#1): Economy: We are deprived of qualified plumbers and electricians. Corporates exploit such unemployed graduates with low paying informal job contracts. Concentration of wealth and resultant problems. Overqualified people applying for manual labour jobs such as railway trackmen, and then not doing the work and seeking deskjob-transfers, which resulted into Utkal railway derailment.
  • (#2): Politics: demands for reservation and ousting migrants, Easy to recruit as kashmiri stone-pelters, secessionism and so forth.

Conclusion: demographic dividend will not last forever, hence cognizance of this problems to prevent further academic inflation.

Q11: School dropout

By the time you reach to this answer, you’ll realize that half of the paper is over, but you’ve spent more than half of the available time! So now don’t waste words on flowerily introduction. You may just start with opening line: “To reduce the school dropout rate in India, following measures are required” 1, 2, 3, 4….
Economic Survey 2016-17 (Vol2, Page 264, Box.2) itself has given traffic light approach to reforms:

  • Red light (Avoid): Increasing number of teachers, providing stationery, computers and building. Because they create leakage and don’t improve learning outcomes.
  • Amber/Yellow (Promising): remedial classes, DBT for scholarship, DBT for sending girl child to school etc.
  • Green light (Definitely do): merit based scholarship. Mid-Day Meal. Biometric Attendance.

Conclusion: don’t write “demographic dividend” again, since we’ve used that ammunition in just in the previous answer. so, SDG -peepudi jindaabaad: “SDG goal #4 requires nations to ensure inclusion, equitable and quality education, and goal#5 requires gender equality and empowerment to girl- for both quality education is necessary hence aforementioned reforms need to be implemented on urgent basis.

Q12: kids’ reality shows

Although this question is more suited towards GSM4 Ethics and case studies, but I’ve put it here since UPSC examiner does have habit of asking such अतरंगी (crazy) questions in GSM2 in Past e.g. should we give cash incentives to athletes or not, because they’re playing for the country and not for money! (CSM-2014).

Introduction (Origin): With the growing number of television owners and TV channels across India, there has been a surge of reality shows, including kids reality shows in the recent years. Here the prime objective of the producer is to milk the TRP and ad revenue from children’s talent. It leads to following problems:

  • Kids are made to sing and dance on the songs that are not appropriate for their age. Often costumes and jokes are also vulgar.
  • They are encouraged highlight the ‘poverty, physical disability or death of parents’ to get more audience sympathy votes. This reduces their self-esteem in the long run.
  • They are also encouraged to demand votes from regional audience by speaking in the native language “Will you not vote your daughter >insert surname< from this region / caste”. While producers may get TRPs and SMS income, but this is hurting in the large picture of national integration and clean politics.
  • Weekly elimination rounds in the show means excessive exposure to competition at a tender age.
  • Some shows don’t have elimination rounds but they continue to air the show until it’ll become too stale for TRP. In such shows, the children forced to live in dingy hotels of Mumbai, faraway from their family, school for months- it hinders their growth.
  • Despite the legal provision that says children cannot shoot for more than five and a half hours for TV serials or films, the parents and dance teachers force them to practice and shoot for 16-18 hours because they’ve to churn new episodes for every weekend.
  • Acrobatic moves that may lead to injury in the long term.
  • Lure of money may be motivating some poor parents to force children into singing and dancing to participate in reality shows. Because, even if they don’t win, the national fame helps in finding work in local events. But, they can’t survive on for the rest of their life, with the lack of proper education at the appropriate age. Always a danger such girls falling into prostitution and boys into alcoholism/drugs.
  • Caution: Question is about Innocent and purity. don’t drag other angles like “it provides tax revenue to government or we can’t setup new regulatory body as it’d increase fiscal deficit on account of new salary Expenditure and so on..”

The importance of extracurricular and artistic activities in a child’s growth is undisputed, but such programs should be confined to school, community and district level only and with a format of talent “expression and appreciation” rather than “Competition”. Allowing Reality TV shows in this space leads to aforementioned issues, which can’t be prevented due to the economic reasons associated with TRP, SMS & ad Revenue. Hence they need to be banned.

Some interview coaching “Sirs” shove it down the throat of the aspirants that you must never say “ban it”….just parrot the line that “it should be regulated”…but if you’ve strong enough points you can take the extreme stand. Besides if alcohol, betting, drugs, prostitution, pornography and competitive exam coaching is banned it could occur underground also. so there you could find some ground for saying ‘Allow with regulation because they’ll exist nonetheless. however, in case of kids reality TV shows – if Government bans- they can’t run! [Yes, such shows could be hosted on underground on web (called “Deepweb”) or direct sell bootlegged DVDs but difficult to milk revenue from that.]

Q13: Corporate governance

I’ve covered this issue fully in my lecture here.
Conclusion: Actions, mischiefs, controversies and difference of opinion among individuals in the corporate sector itself doesn’t mean corporate framework itself is weak. But the appearance of such controversies on frontpages of the newspapers hints that board and independent directors have not fully played the role assigned to them. Corporate Affairs ministry, SEBI and NCLT have been monitoring these developments and will amend the framework, as they’ve done in the past.

Q14: Lateral entry in civil services

salient features of the proposed draft given here on Indianexpress

  1. Fresh energy and ideas into stagnant bureaucracy. Professionals with experience in private sector- can bring best practices to improve efficiency in governance, and help in faster improvements in the ease of doing biz ranking.
  2. Present Secretariat setup at union and states is mostly headed by generalist IAS. We can benefit from specialists in commerce, finance, agriculture etc.
  3. Their IT skills can help in big data analytics of the CSO-NSSO data for further improvement in the policies and schemes.
  4. Past experiance has been successful- as seen in the lateral entry of Nandan Nilekani, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Vijay Kelkar, Arvind Subramanian and Raghuram Rajan.
  5. Further create competition, as career officers too will have to reinvent and prove their mettle to reach higher posts, rather than automatic promotions because of seniority.


  1. If “Lateral Entry” means engaging eminent persons for 3-5 years contracts at an apex level (as in the case of CEA, RBI Governor etc.) it’s well and good, tried and tested. But if we aim to recruit them at the middle level bureaucracy, first problem is- we can’t expect same level of loyalty like a career officer UNLESS these new entrants are also given job security till retirement age.
  2. How to identify meritorious person? Because difficult to expect a 40-45 year old person to resume muggingup Laxmikanth for an entrance exam. If you have a search cum selection panel like for PSUs/Regulatory bodies- there could be charges of nepotism or “saffornization”. It runs the risk of degenerating into an uncontrollable “spoils” system.
  3. USA is a land of prestigious universities and plenty of opportunities. So, there is large pool of individuals available for lateral recruitment. In India, the danger being all such lateral jobs will be cornered by “English Medium” walla working professionals from IIT/IIMs only. Because their CV/biodata/work-ex will be better than those from ordinary colleges who didnot get the right launchpad to rise high within private sector.
  4. Difficult to train these middle-aged entrants to work in the conservative environment. Vishal Sikka was a ‘hot-shot’ who didnot like Narayan Murthi’s ‘conservative ways’ in running the company. Their ultimate dispute ruined image of infosys and he had to resign. Such unfortunate events have more likelihood of occurring in public sector where seniority, conservatism and “protocol” is more.
  5. Those will ‘attractive’ biodata would be usually from corporate HQs. They may not have field experience unlike IAS with district training. And difficult to send middle-aged guy from private sector to remote job- because of his family responsibility might show absenteeism.
  6. Elitism of the ‘direct’ IAS within their internal cadre. They even don’t treat the ‘promotee’ IAS at par, and systematically prevent such ‘promotee’ IAS from getting important assignments and duties within department. So what’s the chance they’ll treat ‘outside lateral guy’ as their equal!
  7. Similarly, direct recruit state service or group “B” officers may be demotivated if ‘cherry-picked’ private professionals are ‘parachuted’ on top of them.

Conclusion (Finding type):

  • Against: There are already precedents for lateral entry of professionals into the higher echelons of policymaking. But to involve them in the Administrative capacity is fraught with aforementioned challenges therefore it should be avoided.
  • Favour: should be encourage to prevent the stagnation of ideas and to benefit from the talented personnel from private sector, provided that aforementioned challenges are addressed.

Q15: Srijan NGO Scam = ban them all

Role of NGOs and civil services given in my lecture here. you can write benefits, challenges and other fodder from there.
Introduction (Origin)
Most Government schemes are centered around following three mechanisms:

  1. Entitlement- which can be given with JAM-DBT. No intermediary is necessary. Economic Survey found that food and kerosene subsidies are better delivered through kind rather than cash. But for that already we’ve PDS infrastructure.
  2. Empowerment- through skill, awareness etc. which can be done by incorporated private agencies.
  3. Establishment- of infrastructure to impart “1” or “2”. which can also be done by private agencies / PPP.

NGOs are often accused of malpractices in the government schemes implementation in following manner:

  1. Only one or two villages or SHGs are developed in best manner and brandished as case study. In the remaining projects, money is siphoned off by sub-standard work.
  2. Creation of duplicate and ghost beneficiaries in training and skill development programs.
  3. Sub-contracting of the project to third entity and milking funds without doing any work by itself.
  4. Using Government funded infrastructure to run private activities.

Should we ban NGOs from scheme implementation?

  • Bank-mitra (banking correspondence agent) is not an ‘NGO’ but a commissioned agent who helps in financial inclusion.
  • PDS shop owner is not an ‘NGO’ but a shopkeeper with profit motive who helps in food security.
  • Commercial entities run Common Services Centers (CSCs) for commission, but help in giving ‘identity’ to individuals via aadhar card.
  • But like NGOs, these commercial elements too have been involved in irregularities and scams.
  • If NGOs are banned, they may re-brand and re-register themselves as individual properties or registered companies to enter that scheme implementation business again.

Given the shortage of manpower and the vast geography of India, it’s not possible for the government to deliver all schemes and benefities by its own personnel. Therefore, it has to engage individual agents, proprietors, agencies, companies and NGOs. An unscrupulous element will engage malpractices by wearing any hat necessary. Need of the hour is effective monitoring over the implementation by these entities, rather than banning any of these entities from engaging in implementation.

Side note: Under the earlier Government norms, only “non-profit bodies” were allowed to open medical colleges. But they were profiteering by capitation fees and donations. Therefore, health ministry is write to Medical Council of India to allow “commercial entities” to open colleges as well. But it didnot ask MCI to “BAN” non-profit colleges per se.

Q16: Referendum of Catalonia and Kurdistan:

Merit, Demerits and outcome of past Brexit, Scotland & Columbia Referendums given in my lecture HERE.
My own reading on these two latest developments (Catalonia and Kurdistan) is limited so difficult to premium quality model answer keypoints but nonetheless….
Points to consider:

  • We helped in liberation East Pakistan and creation of Bangladesh.
  • We fought against China in 1961, and still have boundary dispute. Though we provide asylum to “Tibetian Government in exile” at Dharamsala, we don’t recognize Tibet as a separate nation and maintain that Tibet is an integral part of China.
  • We didnot recognize ‘Tamil Eelam’ in SriLanka.
  • India giving such recognition will boost secessionist elements within our country to raise their demands in international forums.
  • We recognize Israel as a sovereign country despite the fact that our ‘friends’ Iraq, Afghanistan and Bangladesh donot recognize Israel as a nation! There are reports Israel might recognize Kurdistan to annoy Iraq. But India has to maintain good relations with Iraq also for exports and to prevent backlash against our diaspora residing there.

Conclusion: Spain and Iraq are our diplomatic partners, who’ve not antagonized our interests in the international forums. And Even those who continue to antagonize us (China), we respect their territorial integrity. Therefore, we should not make haste in recognizing these new entities.

Q17: India US 2+2


  • (Definition) In diplomatic lexicon, 2+2 format means direct interaction between foreign (External affairs) and defense ministers / secretaries of two states.
  • (Origin): 2+2 format was started by Japan in 2010. It means >insert definition< ..(तो भाई definition से ही शुरू करना था!)

Sidenote: don’t confuse 2+2 with “track 1 and track 2 diplomacy”.

  1. First-track diplomatic meetings consist of gatherings of leading officials to discuss security measures,
  2. Second-track meetings consist of scholars, government individuals not acting in their official capacity, private think tanks, and other individuals and organizations (NGOs).

Benefits of India US 2+2:

  1. More interaction of our External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharam and their American counterparts Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defence Secretary James Mattis. [not necessary to remember American names, here given only for information.]
  2. Better strategic coordination between New Delhi and Washington on the issues related to Afghanistan, China, Asia Pacific and Middle East.
  3. Sitharaman can explore further synergy in defense production, and Swaraj can use the platform to highlight issues related to Indian diaspora in USA.
  4. We already have dialogue mechanisms for trade and commerce. Now external affairs and defense = overall synergy in bilateral relationship.
  5. We already have such 2+2 mechanism with Japan. In the longer run, we could explore 2+2+2 for deeper cooperation and coordination between India-Japan-US, especially with respect to China.

by the time you reach this far in the paper and look at your wrist-watch- you’ll realize not sufficient time available to brainstorm a meaningful conclusion. so better leave without conclusion OR use the point number 5 as conclusion!

Q18: anti-globalization

This is an essayish question. dozens of points can be written.
Introduction: Origin / Factor responsible

  • Subprime Crisis, Global slowdown and resultant jobloss has encouraged alt-right movement in 1st world countries. [More about Alt-right and right wing vigilantism given in my lecture here.]
  • Such groups’ world view is xenophobic and more conservative than mainstream parties.
  • Some of these groups have attained political power directly or they have made the mainstream parties toe their line for populism. Hence the rise of conservatism, protectionism, nationalism & anti-globalization in the domestic politics of developed countries.

How does this affects India:

  • Economic: Anti-outsourcing measures by their government. Protectionist policies, tarrif and non-tarrif barriers decrease our exports. But, economic survey observed that such protectionist measures by first world countries will harm China more than India, as US/EU have lost more jobs in mfg. than in service sector.
  • Diaspora: Such alt-right groups preach hate crime against all immigrants. Affects our diaspora esp. Sikh. Their domestic views begin to reflect in their international views- means more instability and warmongering in Middle East, which has repercussion on our diaspora situation there as well.

Conclusion: Foundations of Indian economy is strong enough to sustain the economic repercussion but the threats posed to our diaspora is a matter of concern and needs to be monitored and highlighted at the appropriate platforms.

if you spend more time, you can come up with even better points. but time is a luxury we don’t have in GS Mains papers.

Q19: SCO entry of India + Pak

SCO structure, function, How it’ll benefit India? I’ve covered in this lecture LINK
SAARC experience with Pakistan

  • Negative: SAARC is prone to obstructionism by individual member states. SAARC projects transport, integration and connectivity, have been stalled because Pak. often not showing up for necessary meetings. 2016: SAARC summit was to be held @Islamabad, but we and other SAARC members boycotted it to protest against Uri terror attack.
  • Positive: Intra-SAARC trade has grown significantly. 2017: We launched SAARC satellite to provide telecom, Television, Direct-to-Home (DTH), Very Small Aperture Terminals (VSATs), Tele-education, Telemedicine and Disaster Management Support. It will boost consumption of such services in all members except Pakistan. This will further pave way for our companies to export relevant goods and services to those states. In SCO, too we can do it to tap the Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan’s market.

How till India benefit from SCO?

  • Import: Energy cooperation in the region TAPI strategic link in its extended neighborhood and South Asia. Our fertilizer and mfg. industry to benefit.
  • Export: Indian interest in International North-South Transport Corridor to connect Mumbai with Abbas port in Iran. This route is shorter than the existing Suez Canal and the Mediterranean Sea. Rising middle class in aforementioned countries.
  • Strategic: SCO provides an alternative regional platform to discuss the Afghan issue. China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is passing through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). We can highlight this. We also get to humiliate Pak. just like in UNGA.

How Pak.membership can reduce these SCO benefits?

  • SCO charter mandates that hostility between bilateral relations should not be brought to the organisation. So, Pak wouldn’t be able to make false claims about PoK or alleged atrocities by Indian army.
  • Pakistan may create obstacle by sitting in the lap of China like bunny, who may pamper it like Hugh Hefner and block our efforts in getting Jaish Chief Masood Azhar declared as a terrorist
  • Pak. may continue to create obstacles those energy pipelines and trade corridors, as it does with transport projects in SAARC.

Conclusion: Primary objective of SCO is Mutual cooperation to fight again terrorism, separatism and extremism in Central Asia. In the recent months, Pak. has been EXPOSED in at global level for utilizing terrorism as a state policy. It’s in our interest to keep the pressure on by either engaging with them or exposing them at every available global and regional organization possible, including SCO.

Q20: Rogue State

Introduction (Definition):

  • Rogue state is a state that conducts its policy in a dangerously unpredictable way, disregarding international law or diplomacy.
  • Rogue state doctrine was started in the Bush-Clinton era. The term is mostly used by United Nations to denote N.Korea, Iran, Syria, Sudan and Venezuela. (and formerly Afghanistan, Cube, Iraq, Libya etc also.)
  • Even India and Pakistan also call each other rogue states.

Dangers posed by Rogue states:
Presently we have cordial diplomatic relations with all those ‘labelled’ as rogue states by the USA, except N.Korea. [In May 2017, we banned all trade with N.Korea (Except food and medicine.) ]

  1. Rogue states have usually an unstable economy and poor tax resources. Therefore such regimes often indulge in illegal activities such as drugs, weapons, tax havens and money laundering to sustain themselves. All such activities pose threat to global order.
  2. Rogue states’ atrocities against their own citizens create refugee crisis for other nations. (Syria and EU)
  3. Rogue states usually have internal civil war. Indian diaspora residing there may face trouble. (2011: Op.Homecoming to rescue 18,000 Indians stranded in Libya.)
  4. Rogue states have technological ability to develop long-range missile. Dr.A.Q.Khan, the father of Pakistan’s atomic bomb program had confessed selling nuclear technology to Iran, Libya and North Korea. Such arms / technology could fall in the hands of non-state actors including ISIS, who may use it to launch nuclear strikes across world including India.
  5. 2015: India signed Special Strategic Partnership with S.Korea. Kim Jong-un’s warmongering ways pose threat to our ally South Korea, therefore have indirect implications on India, because of Chinese patronage available to N.Korea. [Because if we are “ASLI” (=real) strategic partner, we should be ready to send troops and supplies to help S.Korea, should third world war erupt!]

What can UN do against rogue states?

  1. UN’s International Court of Justice can try to settle the dispute submitted by other states against the rogue state.
  2. UN can ask IAEAInternational Atomic Energy Agency to investigate misuse of nuclear technology / material. (Though IAEA not a formal organ of UN but they’ve such working agreement.)
  3. UN’s UNMOVICUN Monitoring, Verification, and Inspection Commission can try to prevent countries from building chemical and biological weapons.
  4. UN can impose trade sanctions and/OR ask UNSC to send peacekeeping force on reports of 2 or 3 or by suo-moto.

Rogue states and totalitarian regimes pose danger to world peace and security. It’s in the interest of all nations, to promote democracy in such states and encourage them to join and abide by the international institutions such as UN.


  • I could have spinned these into 20 individual articles to milk more page views, but know that I’ve not done it to save your from the time and inconvenience of clicking and saving 20 links. So remember that as an example of ’empathy’ for GSM4.
  • If you don’t waste time in PHD research and stick your preparation only to syllabus specific topics, then you can cover a lot of ground without tiring yourself unnecessarily.