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Total Questions: 120

Question:
What is the Council of Ministers, and who are its members? What are the responsibilities of cabinet ministers and ministers of state?
 

Body

  • Article 74 stipulates that there exists a Council of Ministers with the Prime Minister at its helm to assist and advise the President, who must act in accordance with this advice in the exercise of their functions.
  • The Central Council of Ministers, led by the Prime Minister, plays a crucial role in formulating government policies and is the practical executive authority in India's parliamentary system.
  • As per the Indian Constitution, the President of India, as the head of the Executive, is obligated to act upon the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers.
  • Article 75 specifies that the President appoints the Prime Minister, who in turn recommends other ministers for appointment. The size of this council is mandated not to exceed 15% of the total membership of the Lok Sabha, the House of the People.
  • Article 88 empowers ministers to participate in the proceedings of the Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, joint sessions, and parliamentary committees to which they belong, although it does not guarantee them the right to vote.

Role of the Prime Minister in the Council of Ministers:

The Prime Minister serves as the chief executive of the Central Council of Ministers.

While being the foremost leader of the Council of Ministers, the Prime Minister is considered equal to other ministers.

Article 75 states that the Council of Ministers is collectively responsible to the Lok Sabha.

The Prime Minister holds decision-making authority over significant policy issues and ministries not specifically assigned to other ministers.

Additionally, the Prime Minister heads the Cabinet Secretariat, overseeing day-to-day government administration and inter-ministerial coordination. The Prime Minister also leads the NITI Aayog and the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet.

Cabinet Ministers and Ministers of State (Independent Charge):

Cabinet ministers are senior members of the council, ranking directly below the Prime Minister. They oversee crucial ministries such as Home Affairs, Finance, and Defence, and are empowered to schedule and attend meetings and make pivotal policy decisions.

Ministers of State are junior members of the Council of Ministers. A Minister of State (Independent Charge) heads their ministry independently, without oversight from other cabinet ministers or the Union government.

Ministers of State:

Ministers of State assist cabinet ministers in their duties and are responsible for specific tasks delegated to them by their superiors. They do not have primary administrative authority over a ministry but support the cabinet minister in managing it

 

Other Points to Consider

Council of Ministers in recent Lok Sabha

Election Commission

 

 

Previous Year Questions

1. Discuss the role of Presiding Officers of state legislatures in maintaining order and impartiality in conducting legislative work and in facilitating best democratic practices. (2023)

2. Explain the constitutional provisions under which Legislative Councils are established. Review the working and current status of Legislative Councils with suitable illustrations. (2021)

(mains - general-studies-2 ) 20-Jun 2024
Question:
Analyze the recent visit by the Maldives' president to India to understand how it sheds light on the evolving landscape of alliances and the strategic objectives of major powers in the Indo-Pacific
 

Introduction

  • The Maldives is a crucial partner for India in safeguarding its maritime boundaries and overseeing the broader Indian Ocean region, where China is asserting its influence. The archipelago is situated approximately 300 nautical miles (560 km) from India’s west coast and about 70 nautical miles (130 km) from Minicoy Island in Lakshadweep, intersected by numerous key commercial shipping routes.
  • Mohamed Muizzu, President of the Maldives, was among the leaders from India’s neighboring countries who attended Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s swearing-in ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
  • Muizzu’s attendance was noteworthy due to his political stance toward India and the strategic importance of the India-Maldives relationship.

Body

What is the India Out Campaign?

  • The India Out campaign started in 2020 as a protest against then-President Ibrahim Solih’s perceived pro-India policies, quickly evolving into a broader movement opposing India’s alleged military presence in the Maldives. Both the Solih administration and India denied these allegations.
  • Consequently, in May, the final group of Indian military personnel stationed in the Maldives to operate and maintain donated helicopters and Dornier aircraft were replaced by civilians.

Muizzu’s Pro-China Tilt

  • The relationship between the Maldives and India deteriorated due to Muizzu’s alignment with China, India’s geopolitical rival in the Indian Ocean.
  • In January, Muizzu broke with Maldivian tradition by selecting Beijing over New Delhi for his first international visit as president. During his trip, he met with President Xi Jinping and signed 20 agreements covering areas such as tourism, social housing, and e-commerce.
  • Additionally, Male signed its first-ever military deal with Beijing to receive free “non-lethal” military equipment and training from China.
  • Over the past few decades, Chinese influence in the Maldives has grown, with the island nation becoming part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, resulting in significant Chinese investment and a strengthened bilateral relationship at India’s expense.

Conclusion

  • The Maldives heavily depends on Indian imports across nearly all essential sectors, including food, life-saving medicines, and aircraft used for search and rescue missions.
  • India has consistently come to the Maldives' aid during various crises, from being the first responder after the 2004 tsunami to airlifting drinking water during a desalination plant failure in 2014. During the COVID-19 pandemic, India supplied medicines, masks, gloves, PPE kits, vaccines, and other necessary items
 
 
Other Points to Consider
 

What is the Belt and Road Initiative?

Atolls in news in Maldives

 

 

Previous Year Questions

1.Discuss the political developments in Maldives in the last two years. Should they be of any cause of concern to India? (2013)

2.Indian Diaspora has an important role to play in South East Asian countries economy and society. Appraise the role of Indian Diaspora in South-East Asia in this context. (2017)

(mains - general-studies-2 ) 20-Jun 2024
Question:
Discuss the challenges and opportunities associated with India’s neighbourhood foreign policy
 

Introduction

Leaders from Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Mauritius, and Seychelles attended the swearing-in ceremony of the new Indian government, while Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Myanmar were not invited.
No significant bilateral meetings occurred with any neighbouring leaders.
India plans to adjust its strategic agenda for specific regions based on the evolving global situation and its strategic interests.
 
Body

Challenges and Opportunities in India’s Neighborhood

Afghanistan

  • Diplomatic relations with Kabul have been minimal since the Taliban took over in August 2021. India maintains a low-level engagement through a technical team for humanitarian aid, with no high-level interactions planned.

Myanmar

  • Engaging with Myanmar's junta, which is dealing with internal armed resistance, presents a challenge. Indian strategic circles suggest that India should also consider engaging with opposition groups due to the potential instability of the current government.

Maldives

  • The election of President Mohamed Muizzu, who campaigned on an "India Out" platform, is significant. In response, India replaced its military personnel with trained technical staff as requested by the Muizzu government, indicating readiness for further engagement.

Bangladesh

  • A restrained approach from Indian government members during the third phase of the BJP government is beneficial, as both countries aim to combat extremism, radicalization, and terrorism.

Bhutan

  • India is prepared to assist Bhutan with its five-year plan, a financial stimulus package, and the Gelephu city project.

Nepal

  • China has a notable influence in Nepal, with former Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli's government appearing to use Beijing's support against India. India needs to work hard to regain the trust of the Nepalese people, which was damaged by the 2015 economic blockade.

Sri Lanka

  • India's support during Sri Lanka’s financial crisis earned goodwill, but this was undermined by disputes over Katchatheevu island.

Seychelles and Mauritius

  • India aims to enhance port infrastructure in these countries as part of its maritime diplomacy and security efforts. Progress has been made on Agalega Islands in Mauritius, but developing Assumption Island in Seychelles remains challenging.

Pakistan

  • India's relationship with Pakistan fluctuated in 2014 and 2015, deteriorating after terrorist attacks in Pathankot and Uri in 2016. The 2019 Pulwama attack and subsequent Balakot strikes heightened nationalist sentiment in India. Changes to the constitutional status of Jammu and Kashmir in August 2019 led to a further downgrading of diplomatic relations. Recent terrorist attacks in J&K have hindered any potential for renewed engagement.

China

  • High-level engagements, including Modi's meeting with President Xi Jinping at the SCO summit in Kazakhstan, could offer a chance for progress. However, India insists on complete disengagement and de-escalation, which will require significant time to move 50,000-60,000 troops and equipment from both sides of the border
 
Other Points to Consider
 

India’s engagement with Western countries

India’s involvement in the South-Asian region

 

 

 

Previous Year Questions

1.Indian diaspora has scaled new heights in the West. Describe its economic and political benefits for India. (2023)

2.‘India is an age-old friend of Sri Lanka.’ Discuss India’s role in the recent crisis in Sri Lanka in the light of the preceding statement. (2022)

3.Indian Diaspora has an important role to play in South East Asian countries economy and society. Appraise the role of Indian Diaspora in South-East Asia in this context. (2017)

(mains - general-studies-2 ) 20-Jun 2024
Question:
How is the Pro-tem Speaker of the Lok Sabha Appointed, and What are Their Roles and Responsibilities?
 

Introduction

In the newly elected Lok Sabha, the Speaker is chosen by a simple majority vote. Until this selection is complete, a pro-tem Speaker is appointed to perform necessary duties temporarily. The term 'pro-tem' denotes a temporary assignment.

Article 94 of the Indian Constitution clarifies that following the dissolution of the House of the People, the sitting Speaker remains in office until just before the first session of the newly elected House. Although the Constitution does not explicitly mention the role of a pro-tem Speaker, the official ‘Handbook on the Working of Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs’ provides guidelines for the ‘Appointment and Swearing in of Speaker pro tem’.

Appointment Process of the Pro-tem Speaker

The handbook indicates that when the Speaker’s position is vacant before the establishment of a new Lok Sabha, the President appoints a Member of the House to temporarily carry out the Speaker’s duties as the pro-tem Speaker. Typically, three additional elected members are also appointed by the President to witness the oath-taking of the new MPs.

The handbook notes that usually, the most senior members, in terms of their tenure in the House, are chosen for this role, though there can be exceptions. After the new government is formed, the Legislative I Section of the Government of India prepares a list of the senior-most Lok Sabha members, which is then submitted to the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs or the Prime Minister. They then appoint an MP as the pro-tem Speaker and three more members for administering oaths.

Roles and Responsibilities of the Pro-tem Speaker

The primary duty of the pro-tem Speaker is to administer the oaths to the newly elected MPs. According to Article 99 of the Constitution, each Member of the House must take an oath or affirmation before the President or an appointed representative before they can assume their seat, following the form set out in the Third Schedule of the Constitution.

The Minister of Parliamentary Affairs sends a note to the President requesting approval for the appointment of the pro-tem Speaker and the three additional members, including the date and time for the swearing-in ceremony.

At Rashtrapati Bhawan, the President administers the oath to the pro-tem Speaker, who then administers the oath to the three appointed members. With the help of these three members, the pro-tem Speaker administers the oath/affirmation to the newly elected members of the Lok Sabha

 

Other Points to Consider

 

Duties of Speaker of the Lok Sabha

Articles related to Speaker of the Lok Sabha and chairman of the Rajya Sabha

 

 

 

Previous Year Questions

1.Once a Speaker, Always a Speaker’! Do you think this practice should be adopted to impart objectivity to the office of the Speaker of Lok Sabha? What could be its implications for the robust functioning of parliamentary business in India? (2020)

2.Simultaneous election to the Lok Sabha and the State Assemblies will limit the amount of time and money spent in electioneering but it will reduce the government’s accountability to the people’ Discuss. (2017)

(mains - general-studies-2 ) 20-Jun 2024
Question:

What is the law on abortions in India? Discuss the recent changes made with reference to the abortions so far.

 

Introduction:
 
A Simple Introduction about Abortion laws in India

The Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act (MTP Act) provides a legal framework for terminating pregnancies in India, delineating procedures and conditions under which abortions are permissible. Here's a breakdown of the key provisions:

Three Stages of Pregnancy Termination

The MTP Act allows termination of pregnancy in three distinct stages:

  1. Up to 20 Weeks: Termination of pregnancy within the first 20 weeks is permitted based on the advice of a single doctor.
  2. 20 to 24 Weeks: In cases where the pregnancy is between 20 to 24 weeks, the right to seek abortion is subject to the evaluation of two registered medical practitioners. This exception is granted under specific circumstances outlined in Section 3B of the MTP Act's Rules. These circumstances include cases of statutory rape involving minors, sexual assault, pregnancies in women with disabilities, or changes in marital status during pregnancy.
  3. After 24 Weeks: Beyond 24 weeks of pregnancy, the MTP Act mandates the establishment of a medical board in approved facilities. This board is responsible for evaluating cases involving substantial fetal abnormalities and determining whether termination of pregnancy is warranted. The board has the authority to either permit or deny termination based on its assessment of the situation.
Body:
 
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Recent Changes in Abortion Laws in India

In recent years, India has witnessed significant developments in its abortion laws, particularly concerning the termination of pregnancies beyond the traditional gestational limits. Here are the key updates:

1. Supreme Court Interventions

The Supreme Court of India has played a crucial role in allowing abortions beyond the previously established gestational limits in certain exceptional cases:

  • 14-Year-Old Sexual Assault Victim: In a landmark decision, a Bench led by Chief Justice of India (CJI) D Y Chandrachud permitted a 14-year-old victim of sexual assault to terminate her nearly 30-week pregnancy. The court deemed this case as "very very exceptional" and emphasized the need to protect the rights and well-being of the girl.

  • Rape Survivor's Pregnancy at 27 Weeks: Another Bench, led by Justice Nagarathna, held a special sitting to grant permission for the termination of pregnancy of a rape survivor, whose pregnancy had advanced to 27 weeks and three days.

  • Recognition of Transformative Constitutionalism: In September 2022, a Bench led by Justice Chandrachud allowed abortion for an unmarried woman who was 24 weeks pregnant and in a consensual relationship. The court invoked the principle of "transformative constitutionalism," highlighting the evolving societal norms and family structures.

2. Revisions to Gestational Limits

India revised its upper gestational limit for legal abortion in 2021, extending it to 24 weeks for specific categories of "vulnerable women." Moreover, the amendments removed gestational limits altogether in cases of substantial fetal abnormalities diagnosed by a medical board.

Implications and Societal Changes

These legal amendments and court interventions reflect a growing recognition of the complexities surrounding abortion laws and the need to adapt to evolving societal norms. By prioritizing the rights and well-being of women, especially in cases of sexual assault or medical complications, India's legal framework aims to ensure greater access to safe and timely abortion services while upholding the principles of justice and dignity for all individuals involved.

Conclusion: 
 
The ending of the answer should be on a positive note and it should have a forward-looking approach.

The WHO's guidelines on abortion care reflect a commitment to advancing reproductive rights and promoting equitable access to healthcare services. By advocating for full decriminalization and the removal of restrictive policies, the WHO aims to empower individuals to make informed decisions about their reproductive health while upholding principles of non-discrimination and equality. These recommendations serve as a call to action for policymakers to prioritize the health and well-being of all individuals, regardless of their circumstances or background.

 

Other Points to Consider 

 

What is ‘foetal viability’ in abortion?

Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971

 

Previous Year Questions

1. Does the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 ensure effective mechanism for empowerment and inclusion of the intended beneficiaries in the society? Discuss. (2017)

2. The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 remains inadequate in promoting incentive-based system for children’s education without generating awareness about the importance of schooling. Analyse. (2022)

 

(mains - general-studies-2 ) 22-May 2024
Question:

The amendment to the India-Mauritius treaty signals the keenness to plug the well-known loophole. Discuss.

Introduction:
 
A Simple Introduction about the India-Mauritius treaty
 

India and Mauritius have ratified a protocol in Port Louis, amending their Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA). This updated agreement incorporates the Principal Purpose Test (PPT), aligning with international initiatives to combat treaty abuse, notably within the BEPS (Base Erosion and Profit Shifting) framework. The inclusion of the PPT signifies that tax advantages granted by the treaty will be void if it is determined that obtaining such benefits was the primary objective of any transaction or arrangement.

 

Body:
 
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Evolution of Tax Treaties and the BEPS Project

Tax treaties play a crucial role in facilitating cross-border investment by determining how income earned in one country is taxed for residents of another. The Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) project, initiated to curb tax avoidance through the exploitation of low-tax jurisdictions, prompted significant reforms in international tax laws. Led by the OECD, the project identified 15 action points aimed at redesigning tax laws to prevent profit shifting.

Multilateral Instrument (MLI) and Treaty Improvements

One notable outcome of the BEPS project was the introduction of the Multilateral Instrument (MLI), providing governments with the flexibility to modify tax treaties and clauses efficiently. Among the significant improvements introduced was the inclusion of provisions to prevent treaty abuse as a minimum standard and revisions to treaty preambles. These revisions aimed to prevent situations of non-taxation or reduced taxation resulting from tax evasion strategies, including treaty-shopping arrangements benefiting foreign residents.

Prevention of Treaty Misuse

The amended provisions ensure that treaty benefits, such as lower withholding rates, are not granted when obtaining such benefits is determined to be a primary objective of the transaction or arrangement. This provision enables tax administrations to scrutinize the intentions behind financial flows, particularly concerning investments routed through Mauritius. Mauritius has often been used as a conduit for investments by taxpayers from various jurisdictions, posing challenges for tax authorities in addressing treaty abuse.

 

Conclusion: 
 
The ending of the answer should be on a positive note and it should have a forward-looking approach.
 
These combined measures the focus on principal purpose, India's GAAR, and the STTR rule create a more robust framework for tax collection. They empower authorities to look beyond formalities and ensure that the India-Mauritius tax treaty is used for its intended purpose: facilitating cross-border investments while upholding fair tax practices.

 

Other Points to Consider 

 

What is STTR?

What is GAAR?

Places in news in Mauritius

What are base erosion and profit shifting?

 

Previous Year Questions

1. ‘India is an age-old friend of Sri Lanka.’ Discuss India’s role in the recent crisis in Sri Lanka in the light of the preceding statement. (2022)

2. What is the significance of Indo-US defence deals over Indo-Russian defence deals? Discuss with reference to stability in the Indo-Pacific region. (2020)

 

(mains - general-studies-2 ) 22-May 2024
Question:

Elections were adjourned in Madhya Pradesh’s Betul Lok Sabha constituency due to the death of a candidate. Regarding the above statement, what can the election commission do if normal polling process is disrupted?

 

Introduction:
 
A Simple Introduction about the Election Commission of India

The Election Commission of India (ECI) is a constitutional authority responsible for administering election processes in India at both the national and state levels. Established under Article 324 of the Indian Constitution, the ECI ensures that elections are conducted in a free, fair, and transparent manner, safeguarding the democratic process in the world's largest democracy.

Body:

You may incorporate some of the following points in the body of your answer:

India’s election laws offer a comprehensive framework to address disruptions in the polling process, whether due to damaged electronic voting machines (EVMs), booth capturing, natural disasters, or the death of a candidate. Provisions for repolls, adjournments, and the voiding of polls help maintain the integrity, transparency, and continuity of the democratic process. Recently, elections in Madhya Pradesh's Betul Lok Sabha constituency were adjourned following the death of a candidate.

Provisions for Fresh Polls Under Section 58 of the RPA

Conditions for Declaring a Poll Void

Under Section 58 of the Representation of the People Act (RPA), the Election Commission (EC) can declare the poll at a polling station void under the following circumstances:

  • (a) An unauthorised person unlawfully takes away any Electronic Voting Machine (EVM).
  • (b) An EVM is accidentally or intentionally destroyed, lost, damaged, or tampered with.
  • (c) A mechanical failure occurs in any EVM during the recording of votes.

Procedure for Declaring a Poll Void

In such scenarios, the Returning Officer (RO) must promptly inform the EC and the state's Chief Electoral Officer of the relevant facts and circumstances. Following this, the EC may declare the poll void and formally set a new date and time for the poll.

Notification and Voter Awareness

The contesting candidates or their election agents are then notified in writing. To inform voters, a notice is displayed in public areas, and an announcement is made by beating a drum in the polling area. All electors are eligible to vote in the new election. During the repoll, voters' left middle fingers are inked to differentiate from the mark made during the first poll.

 

Conclusion: 
 
The ending of the answer should be on a positive note and it should have a forward-looking approach.
 

India’s election laws ensure that the democratic process remains robust and fair even when unforeseen disruptions occur. By providing clear protocols for repolls and adjournments under Section 58 of the RPA, the Election Commission can effectively manage and mitigate issues, maintaining the integrity of elections. 

 

Other Points to Consider 

Booth capturing and natural disaster, other disruptions to polling are defined in which section of RPA?

Election Commission of India

Representation of People Act, 1951

 

Previous Year Questions

1. Discuss the role of the Election Commission of India in the light of the evolution of the Model Code of Conduct. (2022)
2. In the light of recent controversy regarding the use of Electronic Voting Machine (EVM), what are the challenges before the Election Commission of India to ensure the trustworthiness of elections in India? (2018)

 

(mains - general-studies-2 ) 21-May 2024
Question:

How the South China Sea situation unfolds will be critical to India’s security. Discuss.

 

Introduction:
 
A Simple Introduction about  South China Sea
 

The South China Sea is a region located south of the Chinese mainland, bordered by countries including Brunei, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam. Territorial disputes over the South China Sea have persisted for decades among these nations. However, tensions have intensified in recent years. The South China Sea is strategically significant due to its maritime routes and potential natural resources. Various countries seek control over parts of it to assert their influence in the region.

 

Body:

You may incorporate some of the following points in the body of your answer:

Importance of the South China Sea for India's Security

The situation in the South China Sea holds critical implications for India's security, and several key factors underscore its significance.

Historical and Economic Significance

Contrary to China's claims, the South China Sea is not exclusively its territory but a vital global commons. It has historically served as a crucial maritime route, facilitating uninterrupted passage for trade and navigation for millennia. India has a rich maritime heritage in these waters, dating back over 1,500 years, with evidence of extensive trade connections from Malaysia to China.

Economic Interests

The South China Sea region plays a pivotal role in global trade, with nearly $200 billion worth of trade passing through its waters. Additionally, thousands of Indian citizens are engaged in studying, working, and investing in ASEAN countries, China, Japan, and South Korea. Thus, ensuring peace, stability, and freedom of navigation in the region is vital for India's economic prosperity and interests.

Support for Regional Peace and Stability

India, like other nations in the region, has a vested interest in maintaining peace and stability in the South China Sea. Freedom of passage and routine activities with friendly countries are essential for fostering economic growth and regional cooperation.

 

Conclusion: 
 
The ending of the answer should be on a positive note and it should have a forward-looking approach.
 

The situation in the South China Sea holds significant implications for India's security and broader regional stability. As a region of historical and economic importance, the South China Sea's role as a global common and vital maritime route underscores the need for maintaining peace and stability. India's engagement in the region is driven by its historical connections, economic interests, and commitment to upholding freedom of navigation. By supporting efforts to ensure peace and stability in the South China Sea, India contributes to a conducive environment for economic growth and cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region.

 

Other Points to Consider 

Islands of South China Sea
What is nine dash line?
Importance of the South China Sea
 
 

Previous Year Questions

1. With respect to the South China sea, maritime territorial disputes and rising tension affirm the need for safeguarding maritime security to ensure freedom of navigation and over flight throughout the region. In this context, discuss the bilateral issues between India and China. (2014)
2. “The USA is facing an existential threat in the form of China, that is much more challenging than the erstwhile Soviet Union.” Explain. (2021)

 

(mains - general-studies-2 ) 21-May 2024
Question:
What is the ‘eggshell skull’ rule? What Supreme Court has said with reference to this rule?
 
Introduction:
 
A Simple Introduction about ‘eggshell skull’ rule

The eggshell skull rule is a common law principle in civil litigation. It holds that an offender is accountable for all harms exacerbated by the victim’s unique characteristics, even if the offender was unaware of them. For instance, a defendant is liable for the full extent of injury to a person with a delicate skull, even if a "normal person" would not have been as severely impacted. This rule allows for claiming enhanced compensation for damage greater than ordinarily anticipated due to the defendant's actions.

 

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The Jyoti Devi Case

The Supreme Court's recent judgment in the Jyoti Devi case sheds light on the application of the eggshell skull rule in medical negligence claims.

Jyoti Devi underwent an appendectomy in a Himachal Pradesh hospital in 2005. However, she continued to experience abdominal pain after the surgery. Following a series of consultations over four years, doctors at PGIMS Chandigarh discovered a foreign object (a needle) left behind in her abdomen, necessitating further surgery.

Compensation Dispute

Jyoti Devi filed a consumer forum complaint seeking compensation for medical negligence. The district forum awarded Rs. 5 lakh, but the state forum reduced it to Rs. 1 lakh. On appeal, the NCDRC increased it to Rs. 2 lakh.

Supreme Court's Ruling

The Supreme Court reinstated the district forum's initial Rs. 5 lakh compensation, stating that the lower courts awarded "paltry" and "unjust" sums. However, the court clarified that the eggshell skull rule did not apply in this case.

Reasoning Behind Non-Application of Eggshell Rule

The Supreme Court ruled that the eggshell skull rule wouldn't apply in Jyoti Devi's case because the facts presented no evidence of a "pre-existing vulnerability or medical condition" that might have caused her to suffer "unusual damage."

 

Conclusion: 
 
The ending of the answer should be on a positive note and it should have a forward-looking approach.

 

This case emphasizes the importance of considering all aspects when awarding compensation for medical negligence. While the eggshell skull rule protects vulnerable patients, it's not a blanket principle. The specific circumstances of each case determine its applicability.

 

Other Points to Consider 

Origin of the eggshell skull rule

National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC)

 

Previous Year Questions

1. The most significant achievement of modern law in India is the constitutionalisation of environmental problems by the Supreme Court.” Discuss this statement with the help of relevant case laws. (2022)
2. Whether the Supreme Court Judgment (July 2018) can settle the political tussle between the Lt. Governor and elected government of Delhi? Examine. (2018)

 

(mains - general-studies-2 ) 21-May 2024
Question:
India and Italy enjoy great bilateral relations, people-to-people relationships, and historical friendships. What is the Migration and Mobility Partnership Agreement (MMPA) between India and Italy?
 
Introduction:
 
A Simple Introduction about India - Italy Bilateral Relation

India and Italy boast a longstanding history of cultural and trade exchanges spanning over 2,000 years, with Italian coastal cities serving as vital trading hubs along the ancient spice route. Following India's independence in 1947, both nations formalized political relations, leading to frequent visits by heads of state and government officials.

 

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Bilateral trade between India and Italy has experienced significant growth, reaching USD 13.229 billion in the fiscal year 2021-22, marking a remarkable increase of over 50% compared to the previous year. Italy stands as India's fourth-largest trading partner within the European Union, showcasing the depth of economic cooperation between the two nations.

Migration and Mobility Partnership Agreement (MMPA): The signing of the Migration and Mobility Partnership Agreement (MMPA) in November 2023 during the visit of India's External Affairs Minister to Italy underscores a new dimension in bilateral relations. This agreement aims to enhance people-to-people connectivity and mobility, facilitating the movement of various categories of individuals, including workers, students, researchers, and artists, in alignment with the respective labor market needs.

Enhancing Job Opportunities and Collaboration: The MMPA is poised to create job opportunities for Indian workers and professionals by streamlining their mobility in Italy. By addressing the identified needs of labor markets, the agreement fosters greater collaboration and synergy between the two countries, contributing to economic growth and development.

Stabilizing the Indo-Pacific Region: The partnership between India and Italy, including the MMPA, contributes to the stability and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific region. A safe and open Indo-Pacific region is essential for fostering future commerce, connectivity, and strategic cooperation, aligning with the shared objectives of both nations.

India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC): The inauguration of the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC) during the G20 conference in Delhi signifies a concerted effort to establish a new trade route between Asia and Europe. This initiative aims to bolster economic integration and connectivity, further strengthening India's engagement with the Middle East and Europe while enhancing regional stability and prosperity.

 

Conclusion: 
 
The ending of the answer should be on a positive note and it should have a forward-looking approach.

The agreement between India and Italy strengthens ties in two key areas: education and professional mobility. Indian students in Italy can now gain valuable work experience for up to a year after completing their studies. This aligns with the growing trend of Indian students choosing Italy for education, with numbers rising from 3,008 in 2021 to 5,897 in 2022.

 

Other Points to Consider 

IMEC
Trade between India and Italy
Indo-Pacific region
Blue-Raman project
 
 
Previous Year Questions
 
1. Indian diaspora has scaled new heights in the West. Describe its economic and political benefits for India. (2023)
2. ‘Indian diaspora has a decisive role to play in the politics and economy of America and European Countries’. Comment with examples. (2020)

 

(mains - general-studies-2 ) 21-May 2024
Question:
Where does India stand in terms of commerce with Israel and Iran? Highlight the regional tensions that are affecting commerce.
 
 
Introduction:
 
A Simple Introduction about India's relations with Israel and Iran
 
 
India's trade with Israel has witnessed a dramatic rise in recent years. From a focus on diamonds initially, the relationship has expanded considerably. In FY 2022-23 (financial year ending March 2023), excluding defence deals, bilateral trade reached a substantial $10.77 billion. India enjoys a trade surplus of $6.13 billion with Israel.
India's trade with Iran has seen a decline in recent years, largely due to US sanctions imposed on Iran. There was a positive sign in FY 2022-23, with a 21.77% increase in trade compared to the previous year, reaching $2.33 billion. India maintains a trade surplus of about $1 billion with Iran.
 
Body:
 
It is the central part of the answer and one should understand the demand of the question to provide rich content.

Impact of Middle East Tensions on India’s Trade and Energy Prices

  • India began diplomatic relations with Israel in 1992. Since then, commerce between the two countries has increased dramatically, from approximately $200 million in 1992 (mainly for diamonds) to $10.7 billion (excluding defense) in the fiscal year 2022-23. In contrast, Iran was India’s 59th largest trading partner, with bilateral trade.
  • According to the think tank Global Trade Research Initiative (GTRI), petrol prices in India are unlikely to rise as a result of the ongoing Middle East tensions. However, tensions in the Red Sea, a vital commercial route between Europe and Asia, may have a broader impact. This route accounts for around 12% of total world trade.
  • Since November 2023, Yemeni militants known as the Houthis have targeted certain ships sailing through this region. They claim their actions are in response to Israel’s military activity in the Gaza Strip, while Israel accuses Iran of supporting the Houthis. The latest conflict between Iran and Israel may exacerbate India’s commercial problems caused by shipping disruptions in the Red Sea. Despite these challenges, this battle is unlikely to impact Indian petrol prices significantly. The ongoing conflict has made the situation in West Asia extremely insecure, potentially delaying initiatives such as the Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC) for an extended period.
  • The current violence is unlikely to seriously impair crude oil and gas output because major producers such as the United States, Russia, and North Sea firms are not in the conflict zone, and Saudi Arabia has not directly intervened. However, shipping disruptions in the Red Sea have forced longer trade routes via the Cape of Good Hope to Europe and North America’s east coast, potentially resulting in higher oil and petrol costs. In India, the impact on consumers may be negligible because the government can balance price rises by lowering taxes.
Conclusion: 
 
The ending of the answer should be on a positive note and it should have a forward-looking approach.

While geopolitical tensions in the Middle East may create challenges for India's trade and energy security, the country's diversified trade relations, coupled with its ability to adapt to changing circumstances, position it to navigate through these challenges with resilience.

 

Other Points to Consider 

Important places in news in Israel and Iran
Trade between India and Iran
Trade between India and Israel
Location of Israel and neighbouring countries
 
 

Previous Year Questions

1. In what ways would the ongoing U.S-Iran Nuclear Pact Controversy affect the national interest of India? How should India respond to this situation? (2018)
2. Indian diaspora has scaled new heights in the West. Describe its economic and political benefits for India. (2023)

 

(mains - general-studies-2 ) 21-May 2024
Question:
What is the significance of the India-Nepal relationship? Discuss the key difficulties and prospects in the India-Nepal border dispute.
 
Introduction:
 
A Simple Introduction about India-Nepal Relationship
 

India and Nepal enjoy a robust friendship and cooperation founded on an open border and deep-seated familial and cultural ties. Nepal shares a border spanning over 1850 kilometres with five Indian states: Sikkim, West Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and Uttarakhand. Extensive defence cooperation is a hallmark of the relationship between India and Nepal. The Government of India's development assistance to Nepal is comprehensive, focusing on grassroots infrastructure development. Projects encompass infrastructure, healthcare, water resources, education, rural, and community development. Cooperation in water resources, particularly involving shared rivers, is a pivotal area of bilateral collaboration. Since 1971, India and Nepal have maintained a Power Exchange Agreement to fulfil their power requirements along the border, leveraging each other’s transmission facilities.

 

Body:
 
It is the central part of the answer and one should understand the demand of the question to provide rich content.
 

The territorial dispute revolves around a 372-square-kilometer area encompassing Limpiadhura, Lipulekh, and Kalapani at the India-Nepal-China trijunction in Uttarakhand’s Pithoragarh district. Nepal asserts historical and evident ownership of these lands.

Genesis of the Issue

  • The Treaty of Sugauli, concluding the Anglo-Nepalese War of 1814-16, led to Nepal ceding territory to the East India Company. Article 5 of the treaty removed Nepal’s rulers’ sovereignty over the land east of the Kali River.
  • British Surveyor General of India's maps from 1819, 1821, 1827, and 1856 depicted the Kali River as originating near Limpiadhura.
  • A map issued in 1879 referred to the river in the local language as "Kuti Yangti."
  • However, the last map printed by the British before their departure from India in 1947 depicted the Kali River’s source near Limpiadhura.
  • Until 1962, villages in this area, including Gunji, Nabhi, Kuti, and Kalapani (also known as Tulsi Nyurang and Nabhidang), were included in Nepal government censuses, with villagers paying land revenue to the Kathmandu government. However, this changed during the conflict between India and China that year.

 

Conclusion: 
 
The ending of the answer should be on a positive note and it should have a forward-looking approach.

Resolving this dispute peacefully and through historical evidence is crucial for maintaining the strong relationship between India and Nepal. Their long-standing cooperation in various sectors,  including defense, development, water resources, and power exchange, makes a collaborative solution even more important.

 

Other Points to Consider 

Map work: Limpiadhura, Lipulekh, and Kalapani

Treaty of Sugauli

Anglo-Nepalese War

 

Previous Year Questions

1. India is an age-old friend of Sri Lanka.’ Discuss India’s role in the recent crisis in Sri Lanka in the light of the preceding statement. (2022)
2. The USA is facing an existential threat in the form of China, that is much more challenging than the erstwhile Soviet Union.” Explain. (2021)

 

(mains - general-studies-2 ) 21-May 2024
Question:
Discuss the appointment procedure of Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners.
 
 
Introduction:
 
A Simple Introduction about the Election Commission
 

The Election Commission of India (ECI) is a constitutional body responsible for administering elections in India, ensuring that they are free, fair, and conducted impartially. Article 324 of the Constitution of India establishes the Election Commission, comprising the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) and Election Commissioners (ECs), entrusted with the responsibility of overseeing electoral processes across the country.

 
Body:
 
It is the central part of the answer and one should understand the demand of the question to provide rich content.
 

Appointment Procedure: The appointment procedure for the Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners is delineated as follows:

  • Legislative Framework: The Constitution empowers the President of India to appoint the Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioners. However, it does not prescribe a specific legislative process for their appointment.
  • Selection Committee: The Chief Election Commissioner and Other Election Commissioners (Appointment, Conditions of Service and Term of Office) Bill, 2023, introduced provisions for the appointment process. A Selection Committee, chaired by the Prime Minister and including the Leader of the Opposition and a Union Minister, is responsible for recommending candidates for appointment to the President.
  • Search Committee: The Bill also establishes a Search Committee chaired by the Law Minister and comprising two other members with expertise in election matters. This committee is tasked with preparing a panel of five individuals eligible for consideration by the Selection Committee.
  • Nomination and Appointment: Based on the recommendations of the Selection Committee, the President appoints the Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioners.
 
Conclusion: 
 
The ending of the answer should be on a positive note and it should have a forward-looking approach.
 
The recent enactment of the Chief Election Commissioner and Other Election Commissioners (Appointment, Conditions of Service and Term of Office) Bill, 2023, introduces a structured procedure for the appointment of the Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioners. This framework aims to ensure transparency, accountability, and meritocracy in the selection process, reinforcing the integrity of the Election Commission of India.
 
 
Other Points to Consider 

Powers and Functions of the Election Commission of India

 

Previous Year Questions

1. Discuss the role of Presiding Officers of state legislatures in maintaining order and impartiality in conducting legislative work and in facilitating best democratic practices. (2023)

2. Discuss the role of the Vice-President of India as the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha. (2022)

 

(mains - general-studies-2 ) 05-Apr 2024
Question:
What are electoral bonds and how they are different from electoral trusts? Discuss the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Electoral Bonds Scheme.
 
 
Introduction:
 
A Simple Introduction about Electoral Bonds and Electoral Trusts
 
Electoral bonds were introduced in 2017 as interest-free bearer instruments. They allow individuals and entities, including corporations, to make anonymous donations to political parties.
Electoral trusts, on the other hand, were established in 2013 and operate under Section 25 of the Companies Act, 1956. They are entities formed by companies to channel their political donations.
 
 
Body:
 
It is the central part of the answer and one should understand the demand of the question to provide rich content.
 
Key features of electoral bonds include:
  • Available in denominations ranging from Rs. 1,000 to Rs. 1 crore.
  • Purchased from authorized State Bank of India (SBI) branches through accounts complying with Know Your Customer (KYC) norms.
  • Exempt from disclosure requirements, providing anonymity to donors.
 

Key aspects of electoral trusts include:

  • Any company registered under Section 25 of the Companies Act, 1956, can form an electoral trust.
  • Donors to electoral trusts include individuals, companies, firms, Hindu Undivided Families (HUFs), or associations of persons living in India.
  • Electoral trusts must donate at least 95% of contributions received in a financial year to registered political parties.
  • Require renewal every three financial years.

Supreme Court's Ruling on Electoral Bonds: The Supreme Court of India has addressed the issue of transparency and accountability in political funding through electoral bonds. Key rulings and directives include:

  • In an interim order dated April 12, 2019, the Supreme Court directed political parties receiving donations through electoral bonds to submit details of the bonds to the Election Commission of India (ECI).
  • The Court emphasized the importance of disclosing particulars of donors, including the amount of each bond and credit details, to ensure transparency.
  • A subsequent ruling referred the case to a five-judge bench to address constitutional challenges and broader issues related to political funding and transparency.
  • Petitioners have sought to declare all political parties as public offices under the Right to Information Act, compelling them to disclose income and expenditure details.
 
Conclusion: 
 
The ending of the answer should be on a positive note and it should have a forward-looking approach.
 
While electoral bonds and electoral trusts serve as avenues for political donations, they differ in their structure and regulatory requirements. The Supreme Court's interventions aim to balance the need for transparency in political funding with the anonymity provided by electoral bonds.
 
Other Points to Consider 

The stance of the Election Commission of India and the Government of India on Electoral Bonds

 

Previous Year Questions

1. Discuss the procedures to decide the disputes arising out of the election of a Member of the Parliament or State Legislature under The Representation of the People Act, 1951. What are the grounds on which the election of any returned candidate may be declared void? What remedy is available to the aggrieved party against the decision? Refer to the case laws. (2022)

2. The most significant achievement of modern law in India is the constitutionalization of environmental problems by the Supreme Court.” Discuss this statement with the help of relevant case laws. (2022)

 

(mains - general-studies-2 ) 05-Apr 2024
Question:
The relationship between India and Maldives is going through considerable strain. Discuss.
 
 
Introduction:
 
A Simple Introduction about India and Maldives Relations
 
The relationship between India and the Maldives dates back centuries, with cultural and people-to-people contacts forming a strong foundation. India has been a key partner in the Maldives' development, providing economic and security assistance. The Maldives' location in the Indian Ocean makes it strategically important to India. India has a vested interest in maintaining stability in the region.
 
Body:
 
It is the central part of the answer and one should understand the demand of the question to provide rich content.

The strain in the India-Maldives relationship has been exacerbated by several recent incidents:

  • Social Media Controversy: A social media dispute erupted after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's posts promoting tourism in the Lakshadweep islands. Maldivian politicians and officials responded with offensive and derogatory comments directed at Indians and PM Modi, escalating the situation.
  • Diplomatic Friction: Diplomatic tensions escalated with controversies surrounding the two Dhruv Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH), the presence of Indian military personnel in the Maldives, and the termination of agreements allowing India to conduct hydrographic surveys in Maldivian waters.
  • Economic Challenges: The Maldives faces economic challenges, highlighted by a World Bank report in 2022 warning of the need for revenue generation and expenditure reforms to avert a future economic crisis.
 
Conclusion: 
 
The ending of the answer should be on a positive note and it should have a forward-looking approach.

Despite the recent strains in bilateral relations, the ties between India and the Maldives remain significant. Indian tourists continue to be among the top visitors to the Maldives, highlighting the enduring people-to-people connections. However, addressing the diplomatic and economic challenges is crucial to restoring the historical friendship and cooperation between the two nations.

 
Other Points to Consider 

Important places of Maldives and Lakshadweep

Atolls of Maldives

 
 

Previous Year Questions

1. India is an age-old friend of Sri Lanka.’ Discuss India’s role in the recent crisis in Sri Lanka in the light of the preceding statement. (2022)

2. The USA is facing an existential threat in the form of China, that is much more challenging than the erstwhile Soviet Union.” Explain. (2021)

 

(mains - general-studies-2 ) 05-Apr 2024
Question:
Discuss how the current phase of Red Sea shipping attacks differs from prior threats posed by Somali pirates in the region. What impact will it have on India?
 
 
Introduction:
 
A Simple Introduction about Somali Pirates
 
Somali pirates, also known as Somali sea robbers, are criminals who engage in maritime piracy off the coast of Somalia in the Horn of Africa. They became particularly notorious for their activities in the late 2000s and early 2010s, posing a significant threat to international shipping in the region. 
 
Body:
 
It is the central part of the answer and one should understand the demand of the question to provide rich content.

The recent attacks on shipping vessels in the Red Sea by Yemen's Houthi rebels mark a worrying trend, distinct from the past threats posed by Somali pirates in the region.

Houthi Attacks vs. Somali Piracy

  • Motivation: Somali pirates, active between 2000-2016, primarily aimed for ransom money. Their attacks lacked a clear political agenda and were driven by economic motives.
  • Tactics: Somali pirates typically hijacked ships and held crews hostage for ransom negotiations. Their targets were diverse, with no specific political affiliation.
  • Eradication: Through international cooperation, enhanced security measures, and targeted actions against pirate bases, Somali piracy was significantly curbed by 2016.

Houthi attacks, on the other hand, are

  • Politically Driven: These attacks are a direct consequence of the ongoing Yemen civil war and the Houthi rebels' conflict with the Saudi-backed Yemeni government. They target vessels potentially linked to Israel or its allies.
  • Military Tactics: The Houthis employ drones and missiles to target ships, showcasing a more sophisticated and potentially more dangerous approach.
  • Uncertain Resolution: The underlying political conflict remains unresolved, making a long-term solution to Houthi attacks challenging.

Impact on India

While the Indian government downplays the immediate impact on its maritime trade, the situation warrants close monitoring:

  • Potential Disruptions: Escalating attacks could disrupt shipping routes in the Red Sea, a crucial artery for global trade, potentially impacting Indian imports and exports.
  • Increased Insurance Costs: Heightened security risks could lead to higher insurance premiums for ships traversing the Red Sea.
  • Geopolitical Tensions: The conflict adds another layer of complexity to the already tense situation in the Middle East, potentially impacting India's regional partnerships.
 
Conclusion: 
 
 The ending of the answer should be on a positive note and it should have a forward-looking approach.
 
The current situation in the Red Sea demands a diplomatic solution to address the underlying Yemeni conflict. International cooperation to ensure safe passage through the Red Sea may also be necessary. India, a major maritime player, will need to adapt its strategies to navigate these evolving security challenges.
 
 
Other Points to Consider 

Israel-Hamas conflict

Red Sea

 

 

Previous Year Questions

1. Sea is an important Component of the Cosmos’ Discuss in the light of the above statement the role of the IMO (International Maritime Organisation) in protecting environment and enhancing maritime safety and security. (2023)

2. Increasing cross-border terrorist attacks in India and growing interference in the internal affairs of several member states by Pakistan are not conducive for the future of SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation).” Explain with suitable examples. (2016)

 

(mains - general-studies-2 ) 05-Apr 2024
Question:
India can play a key role with its influence and relations with Russia. Discuss in the context of Ukraine peace formula held during the Davos conference.
 
 
 
Introduction:
 
A Simple Introduction about the Davos conference

The Davos conference, officially known as the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting, is an annual gathering of global leaders, policymakers, business executives, intellectuals, and other stakeholders from around the world. The primary objective of the Davos conference is to foster dialogue and collaboration on pressing global issues, including economic, social, environmental, and geopolitical challenges. Participants engage in discussions, debates, and workshops aimed at shaping policies and initiatives to address these issues.

 
 
Body:
 
It is the central part of the answer and one should understand the demand of the question to provide rich content.

India's potential role in facilitating peace talks for Ukraine, especially in the context of discussions held during the Davos conference, underscores its diplomatic significance and strategic position. 

  • Influence and Relations: India maintains historically strong ties with Russia, characterized by political cooperation, defense collaboration, and economic partnerships. These ties have deepened over the years, spanning various sectors such as defense, energy, and technology.
  • BRICS Alliance: As a member of the BRICS alliance, which includes Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, India holds a unique position to engage with Russia on multilateral platforms. The BRICS countries collectively represent a significant portion of the global economy and hold diplomatic leverage on various international issues.
  • Mediation Potential: India's neutral stance and diplomatic prowess position it as a potential mediator in resolving conflicts, including the Ukraine crisis. With its reputation for non-alignment and commitment to peaceful resolution of disputes, India can act as a bridge between conflicting parties and facilitate dialogue.
  • Davos Conference: During the Davos conference, the participation of national security advisors from various countries, including India, highlights the international community's interest in finding a peaceful resolution to the Ukraine crisis. India's presence underscores its commitment to global peace and security.
  • Collective Momentum: As emphasized by Swiss foreign minister Ignazio Cassis, bringing Russia to the negotiation table requires collective momentum from numerous countries, including those outside of Europe. India's active involvement and support can contribute to building such momentum and encouraging constructive dialogue.
  • Swiss Initiative: Switzerland's initiative to host discussions on a peace formula for Ukraine demonstrates the international community's recognition of the need for concerted efforts to end the conflict. India's endorsement of these efforts further strengthens the legitimacy of diplomatic initiatives aimed at resolving the crisis.
  • Call for Peace: India's reiterated call for the early restoration of peace in Ukraine underscores its commitment to stability and security in the region. By advocating for peaceful resolution and dialogue, India reaffirms its role as a responsible global actor.

 

Conclusion: 
 
 The ending of the answer should be on a positive note and it should have a forward-looking approach.
 
India's influence, relations with Russia, participation in multilateral platforms like the BRICS alliance, and diplomatic capabilities position it as a potential facilitator in peace talks for Ukraine. Collaborative efforts involving India, alongside other key stakeholders, can contribute to achieving a sustainable solution to the ongoing crisis.
 
Other Points to Consider 

BRICS alliance

SCO grouping

 
 

Previous Year Questions

1. Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) is transforming itself into a trade bloc from a military alliance, in present times Discuss. (2020)

2. Critically examine the aims and objectives of SCO. What importance does it hold for India? (2021)

3. WTO is an important international institution where decisions taken affect countries in a profound manner. What is the mandate of WTO and how binding are their decisions? Critically analyse India’s stand on the latest round of talks on Food security. (2014)

 

(mains - general-studies-2 ) 05-Apr 2024
Question:
How important is the India-US trade policy forum conference in terms of increasing service trade with the US?
 
 
Introduction:
 
A Simple Introduction about the India-US Trade Policy Forum

The India-US Trade Policy Forum (TPF) is a key mechanism for dialogue and cooperation on trade and investment issues between the two countries.  Established in 2005, the TPF serves as a platform for ministerial-level discussions between India and the United States. It brings together representatives from both governments, including the Minister of Commerce and Industry for India and the United States Trade Representative (USTR).

 
 
Body:
 
It is the central part of the answer and one should understand the demand of the question to provide rich content.

The India-US Trade Policy Forum conference holds significant importance in enhancing service trade between the two countries. 

  • Trade Partnership: The United States is India's largest trade partner, and fostering stronger trade ties with the US is crucial for India's economic growth. The Trade Policy Forum provides a platform to address trade-related issues and explore opportunities for increasing bilateral trade, including in services.
  • Export Opportunities: India relies heavily on US demand for its exports, especially in the services sector. As India's services exports continue to grow, tapping into the US market becomes essential for sustaining this growth trajectory. The Trade Policy Forum helps identify areas of mutual interest and potential collaboration to boost service trade.
  • Counterbalancing China: Amidst geopolitical dynamics, including the US-led Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF), India sees the US as a strategic partner to counterbalance China's influence in the region. Strengthening trade relations through forums like the Trade Policy Forum can further align economic interests and reinforce strategic cooperation.
  • Addressing Trade Tensions: Trade tensions, such as the loss of Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) benefits and trade disputes, need to be addressed through dialogue and negotiation. The Trade Policy Forum serves as a platform to discuss and resolve such issues, ensuring a conducive environment for trade expansion.
  • Totalisation Agreement: India's longstanding demand for a totalisation agreement with the US is another key agenda in the Trade Policy Forum. This agreement would provide social security benefits to Indian professionals working in the US, particularly in the IT sector. Resolving this issue through bilateral discussions can enhance the attractiveness of the US market for Indian professionals.
 
Conclusion: 
 
The ending of the answer should be on a positive note and it should have a forward-looking approach.
 
The India-US Trade Policy Forum conference plays a crucial role in advancing service trade between the two countries. By addressing trade tensions, exploring export opportunities, and negotiating agreements like the totalisation agreement, the forum contributes to strengthening the bilateral trade relationship and fostering mutual economic growth. 
 
Other Points to Consider 

Generalised System of Preferences (GSP)

Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF)

 

Previous Year Questions

1. Indian diaspora has scaled new heights in the West. Describe its economic and political benefits for India. (2023)

2. Indian diaspora has a decisive role to play in the politics and economy of America and European Countries’. Comment with examples. (2020)

 

(mains - general-studies-2 ) 05-Apr 2024
Question:
Discuss the role and responsibilities of the Lok Sabha Speaker in ensuring the seamless functioning of the House.
 
 
Introduction:
 
A Simple Introduction about Lok Sabha Speaker

The Speaker of the Lok Sabha holds a pivotal role in the functioning of India's parliamentary democracy. Tasked with embodying the authority and dignity of the House, the Speaker's Office represents the collective power and integrity of the parliamentary system. According to constitutional provisions outlined in Article 93 for Lok Sabha and Article 178 for state assemblies, the Speaker is elected by the members of the respective House, symbolizing the essence of parliamentary sovereignty.

Body:
 
It is the central part of the answer and one should understand the demand of the question to provide rich content.

Role of the Speaker:

Within the House

The Speaker is guided by the constitutional framework and the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha. Assisted by the Secretary-General and senior officers of the Secretariat, the Speaker oversees parliamentary activities, ensuring adherence to established practices and procedures. In the absence of the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker assumes responsibilities, with a member from the Panel of Chairmen presiding over proceedings when both are unavailable.

Regulating the Business of the House

The Speaker wields significant authority in regulating the House's proceedings. Empowered to interpret parliamentary rules, the Speaker decides on matters such as allowing amendments to bills and determining speaking time for members. As the guardian of the House's rights and privileges, the Speaker refers questions of privilege to the Committee of Privileges for examination and resolution. Additionally, the Speaker certifies Money Bills, oversees the publication of House proceedings, and presides over joint sittings in the event of legislative disagreements between Houses.

 
Conclusion: 
 
 The ending of the answer should be on a positive note and it should have a forward-looking approach.

In India's parliamentary democracy, the Office of the Speaker serves as a dynamic institution, addressing the multifaceted demands of Parliament. As the primary spokesperson of the House, the Speaker shoulders the responsibility of upholding parliamentary decorum and facilitating effective legislative processes. Through judicious exercise of authority and impartiality, the Speaker contributes to the robust functioning of India's democratic institutions, ensuring the representation and dignity of the people's elected representatives.

 

Other Points to Consider 

Role of Chairman of Rajya Sabha

 

Previous Year Questions

1. Once a Speaker, Always a Speaker’! Do you think this practice should be adopted to impart objectivity to the office of the Speaker of Lok Sabha? What could be its implications for the robust functioning of parliamentary business in India? (2020)

 

(mains - general-studies-2 ) 05-Apr 2024
Question:
What is the India-Myanmar border Free Movement Regime (FMR)? What was the rationale behind the implementation of FMR agreement?
 
 
Introduction:
 
A Simple Introduction about the India-Myanmar Border Free Movement Regime

The India-Myanmar border Free Movement Regime (FMR) is a bilateral agreement between India and Myanmar, implemented in 2018 as part of India's Act East policy. Under this arrangement, tribes residing along the border on either side are allowed to travel up to 16 kilometres inside the other country without the need for a visa.

 
Body:
 
It is the central part of the answer and one should understand the demand of the question to provide rich content.

The implementation of the Free Movement Regime was motivated by several factors:

  1. Historical Border Demarcation: The border between India and Myanmar, demarcated by the British in 1826, divided people of the same ethnicity and culture into two nations without their consent. This arrangement disrupted the natural flow of people and separated communities with strong ethnic and familial ties across the border.
  2. Cultural and Ethnic Connections: Communities residing along the India-Myanmar border share strong ethnic and familial links. For example, in Manipur's Moreh area and Nagaland's Mon district, the border divides communities and families, causing inconvenience and disruption to their way of life.
  3. Economic Opportunities: The FMR aimed to boost local trade and business by facilitating easier movement of people across the border. The region has a history of cross-border trade, and people residing near the border often find it more convenient to access Indian towns for business, education, and healthcare services.
 
Conclusion: 
 
 The ending of the answer should be on a positive note and it should have a forward-looking approach.

 

Despite the benefits of the Free Movement Regime, challenges persist, such as issues related to illegal migration and border security. The Union Home Minister has announced plans to fence the entire length of the India-Myanmar border to address concerns about unauthorized movement. Nevertheless, the FMR remains a significant step towards fostering closer ties between India and Myanmar and promoting economic and cultural exchanges between border communities. The unfenced 1,643 km border passing through states like Manipur, Mizoram, Assam, Nagaland, and Arunachal Pradesh continues to be a focal point for both nations as they work towards addressing mutual concerns and enhancing cooperation along their shared border.

 
Other Points to Consider 
 
Kuki-Chin people
India and Myanmar relations
States sharing boundaries with Myanmar
Geographical features

 

Previous Year Questions

1. “India’s relations with Israel have, of late, acquired a depth and diversity, which cannot be rolled back.” Discuss. (2018)

2. China is using its economic relations and positive trade surplus as tools to develop potential military power status in Asia’. In the light of this statement, discuss its impact on India as her neighbour. (2017)

 

(mains - general-studies-2 ) 05-Apr 2024
Question:

How the suspension of financing for the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees would affect Palestinians in Gaza?

 

Introduction:

The introduction of the answer is essential and should be restricted to 3-5 lines. Remember, a one-liner is not a standard introduction.

UNRWA represents UN Help and Works Organization for Palestinian Evacuees in the Close to East. It was established in 1949 to give help to around 700,000 Palestinians who had to leave their homes in the thing is presently Israel during the 1948 Middle Easterner Israeli conflict.
The UN office works in Gaza and the Israeli-involved West Bank, as well as Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan, where displaced people looked for security following their removal.
As per the UNRWA site, it gives schooling, wellbeing, help and social administrations, microfinance, and crisis help both inside and outside evacuee camps in the previously mentioned regions.
 
 

Body:

You may incorporate some of the following points in the body of your answer:

UNRWA operates across the Middle East, providing essential services in Gaza, the West Bank, Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan. These services include:

  • Education: UNRWA schools educate hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugee children.
  • Healthcare: The agency operates clinics and provides primary healthcare services.
  • Relief and Social Services: UNRWA offers assistance to refugees facing poverty, food insecurity, and displacement.
  • Microfinance: UNRWA supports small businesses through microfinance programs.
  • Emergency Aid: The agency provides emergency assistance during times of conflict and natural disasters.

Funding Challenges and Allegations

UNRWA relies heavily on voluntary contributions from donor countries. Recent funding shortfalls have threatened the continuation of these vital services.

Furthermore, UNRWA has faced accusations from Israel regarding its neutrality. Israel has alleged that Hamas, a Palestinian militant group, uses UNRWA facilities and that the agency curriculum incites hatred towards Israel. UNRWA strongly denies these allegations.

 

Conclusion: 

 Your Conclusion should be simple and balanced

Despite the challenges, UNRWA remains a lifeline for millions of Palestinian refugees. In Gaza, where the agency provides food, water, and shelter to a large portion of the population, a lack of UNRWA funding would have devastating consequences.

The ongoing work of UNRWA is critical for the well-being and development of Palestinian refugees.

 

Other Points to Consider 

What is UNRWA?

Places in News (Israel, Gaza, Syria)

 

Previous Year Questions

1. The USA is facing an existential threat in the form of China, that is much more challenging than the erstwhile Soviet Union.” Explain. (2021)

2. Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) is transforming itself into a trade bloc from a military alliance, in present times Discuss. (2019)

 

(mains - general-studies-2 ) 05-Apr 2024
Question:
Discuss the major outcomes of the All India Survey of Higher Education (AISHE) 2021–22.
 
 
Introduction:
 
A simple introduction about AISHE

The All India Survey of Higher Education (AISHE) is an initiative of the Government of India aimed at collecting comprehensive data on various aspects of higher education in the country. It is conducted annually to provide insights into the state of higher education institutions, student enrollment, infrastructure, faculty, and other relevant parameters.

 

Body:
 
You may incorporate some of the following points in the body of your answer:
 
The outcomes of the All India Survey of Higher Education (AISHE) 2021–22 paint a comprehensive picture of the landscape of higher education in India, showcasing notable trends and shifts in enrollment patterns, gender parity, discipline preferences, institutional choices, and graduation demographics.
  • Female Enrollment: There has been a significant surge in the enrollment of women in higher education institutes, indicating a positive trend towards gender inclusivity. Notably, the enrollment of women in PhD programs has witnessed a remarkable increase over the years, indicating a narrowing gender gap in academic pursuits.
  • Gross Enrollment Ratio (GER) and Gender Parity: The GER, representing the participation rate of students in higher education, is a crucial metric for assessing educational accessibility. States like Chandigarh, Puducherry, Delhi, and Tamil Nadu exhibit commendable GER figures, reflecting robust educational infrastructures. The Gender Parity Index (GPI) also highlights strides towards gender equality, with a GPI greater than 1 indicating a favorable environment for female education.
  • Preference for Arts and Social Sciences: The dominance of Arts and Social Sciences disciplines in both undergraduate and postgraduate enrollments underscores the enduring relevance and popularity of these fields among students. This preference reflects the diverse academic interests and career aspirations of the student populace.
  • Primacy of Government Institutions: Despite the proliferation of private universities, government educational institutions continue to attract a significant share of student enrollments. This preference may stem from factors such as perceived quality, affordability, and infrastructure facilities offered by government-run institutions.
  • Demographics of Graduating Students: The substantial number of students estimated to have graduated across various academic programs signifies the ongoing expansion and diversification of the higher education sector. This indicates a growing pool of skilled professionals entering the workforce, contributing to national development.
 
 
Conclusion:
Your conclusion should be simple and balanced
 
The findings of AISHE 2021–22 offer valuable insights into the dynamics of higher education in India, highlighting progress towards inclusivity, academic diversity, and institutional preferences. Additionally, the report underscores the importance of continued efforts to enhance educational accessibility, quality, and equity across the country.
 
 
Other Points to Consider 
 
All India Survey of Higher Education (AISHE) 2021–22
NEP
Gross Enrollment Ratio

 

Previous Year Questions

1. The crucial aspect of development process has been the inadequate attention paid to Human Resource Development in India. Suggest measures that can address this inadequacy. (2023)

2. Besides the welfare schemes, India needs deft management of inflation and unemployment to serve the poor and the underprivileged sections of the society. Discuss. (2022)

 

(mains - general-studies-2 ) 05-Apr 2024
Question:

How did the post of deputy Chief Minister emerge and what powers it carries? Discuss

 

Introduction:

A Simple Introduction about Post of Deputy Chief Minister

Article 163(1) of the Constitution specifies the formation of a Council of Ministers with the Chief Minister at its helm to assist and advise the Governor in carrying out official functions.

However, neither Article 163 nor Article 164(1) explicitly mentions the position of Deputy Chief Minister. Despite this, the role of Deputy CM is commonly perceived as being equivalent in status to that of a Cabinet Minister within the state government framework. Consequently, the Deputy CM is entitled to the same salary, benefits, and privileges as a Cabinet Minister.

 

Body:

You may incorporate some of the following points in the body of your answer:

The emergence of the post of Deputy Chief Minister (CM) in India reflects the dynamics of coalition politics and the need for effective governance structures within state administrations.At least 13 other states in the country apart from Bihar currently have Deputy CMs. The highest of these is in Andhra Pradesh, with Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy having five Deputies.

Brief History

  • Bihar: Anugrah Narayan Sinha, a prominent leader, was the first Deputy CM in India. His appointment marked the beginning of recognizing a second-in-command position within state governments.
  • Uttar Pradesh: Leaders like Ram Prakash Gupta played crucial roles as Deputy CMs in coalition governments, contributing to the functioning and stability of the state administration.
  • Madhya Pradesh: Instances such as Virendra Kumar Saklecha's tenure as Deputy CM showcased the evolving nature of power-sharing arrangements and leadership structures within states.

Role and Powers

  • Portfolio Allocation: A Deputy CM is typically assigned specific portfolios similar to other cabinet ministers. These portfolios can range from agriculture, sports, and youth affairs to woman and child development, among others.
  • Financial Powers: The Deputy CM holds financial powers equivalent to other cabinet ministers and does not enjoy specific financial authority beyond their designated role.
  • Political Significance: The appointment of a Deputy CM often signifies political compromises, especially in coalition governments or when no single leader commands absolute authority within the ruling party.

Challenges and Opportunities:

  • Effective Governance: The role of Deputy CMs is crucial in ensuring smooth governance and coordination within the state cabinet, contributing to policy implementation and administration.
  • Portfolio Allocation: While Deputy CMs may not have direct financial powers, their influence in key portfolios can significantly impact policy decisions and government initiatives.
  • Political Dynamics: The significance of the Deputy CM's role may vary depending on the political landscape, coalition dynamics, and the trust and authority vested in them by the Chief Minister and party leadership.

 

Conclusion:

Your Conclusion Should be Simple and Balanced

The evolution of the post of Deputy Chief Minister reflects the adaptability of Indian political structures to accommodate diverse interests and ensure effective governance. While the position does not carry distinct financial powers, it plays a vital role in administrative functioning, policy formulation, and political stability within state governments, particularly in coalition scenarios.

 

Other Points to Consider 

Deputy Prime Minister

 

Previous Year Questions

1. Discuss the role of Presiding Officers of state legislatures in maintaining order and impartiality in conducting legislative work and in facilitating best democratic practices. (2023)

2. Discuss the role of the Vice-President of India as the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha. (2022)

 

(mains - general-studies-2 ) 04-Apr 2024
Question:

The ferry service between India and Sri Lanka has resumed after a 40-year hiatus. Discuss the potential and challenges.

 

Introduction:

A Simple Introduction about India Sri Lanka Relations

India and Sri Lanka have a longstanding history of cultural, religious, and economic ties, dating back over 2,500 years. Recent years have seen significant efforts to strengthen bilateral relations through developmental aid initiatives and people-to-people exchanges.

The resumption of the ferry service between Nagapattinam in Tamil Nadu and Kankesanthurai in Jaffna, Northern Sri Lanka, marks the revival of an age-old maritime link between the two nations.

Body:

You may incorporate some of the following points in the body of your answer:

The resumption of the ferry service between India and Sri Lanka after a 40-year hiatus holds significant potential but also poses certain challenges.

Ferry Service Potential

  • Bolstering Bilateral Ties: The initiative aims to strengthen the historical and cultural ties between India and Sri Lanka, fostering closer relations at the people-to-people level.
  • Boosting Tourism: The ferry service has the potential to enhance tourism by providing convenient access to religious and cultural sites in both countries. This can attract travelers interested in religious tourism, benefiting local traders and economies along the route.
  • Enhancing Trade: The renewed ferry service can facilitate increased regional commerce and trade, promoting economic activities and exchanges between the two nations.
  • Infrastructure Development: Anticipating the surge in travelers, infrastructure development in key locations such as ports and tourism hubs is expected, which can have long-term economic benefits.

Challenges

  • Frequency and Operations: The initial plan for daily services has been revised to operate thrice a week, which may impact the convenience and attractiveness of the service, especially for regular travelers.
  • Ticketing and Pricing: The high ticket prices during certain seasons, like the northeast monsoon, can deter potential passengers. Improved ticketing systems and competitive pricing are necessary for sustained passenger interest.
  • Infrastructure Readiness: Ensuring seamless operations requires coordination among various government departments such as Customs, Immigration, and Shipping. Infrastructure upgrades must align with the anticipated increase in passenger and cargo traffic.

 

Conclusion:

Your Conclusion should be simple and Balanced

The revival of the India-Sri Lanka ferry service signifies a positive step towards enhancing regional connectivity and fostering closer ties between the two nations. Addressing operational challenges and ensuring affordability and convenience for passengers will be crucial for the sustained success of the ferry service. It is an opportunity not only for tourism and trade but also for reinforcing historical and cultural bonds in the Indian Ocean region.

 

Other Points to Consider 

Other developments between India and Sri Lanka

Palk Strait

 

Previous Year Questions

1. India is an age-old friend of Sri Lanka.’ Discuss India’s role in the recent crisis in Sri Lanka in the light of the preceding statement. (2022)

2. Indian Diaspora has an important role to play in South East Asian countries economy and society. Appraise the role of Indian Diaspora in South-East Asia in this context. (2017)

 

 

(mains - general-studies-2 ) 04-Apr 2024
Question:
Discuss the benefits and downsides of holding simultaneous elections for the Lok Sabha and State Assemblies.
 
 
Introduction:
 
A simple introduction about One Nation One Election
 
India's electoral system currently follows a decentralized approach where elections for the Lok Sabha and state assemblies are held separately based on different schedules. The idea of One Nation, One Election aims to align these elections, reducing the frequency of polls and promoting administrative efficiency. "One Nation, One Election" is a proposed electoral reform in India that advocates synchronizing the Lok Sabha (parliamentary) elections with the elections for state legislative assemblies.
 
Body:
You may incorporate some of the following points in the body of your answer:

Simultaneous elections for the Lok Sabha and State Assemblies have been a topic of discussion in Indian politics for various reasons.

Advantages:

  • Cost Reduction: Conducting elections at different times for state assemblies and the Lok Sabha incurs significant expenses. Simultaneous elections would help reduce the overall cost of holding elections, including expenses related to campaigning, security, and logistics.
  • Efficient Governance: With simultaneous elections, the government machinery can focus on governance and policy implementation rather than being frequently engaged in election-related activities. This leads to better efficiency and continuity in governance.
  • Policy Continuity: Since elections at both levels would be synchronized, there would be greater policy continuity. This ensures that development initiatives and welfare schemes continue without disruption, benefiting citizens across the nation.
  • Reduced Polarization: Frequent elections can sometimes lead to polarized campaigns based on short-term considerations. Simultaneous elections might reduce the frequency of such polarizing campaigns and encourage a more holistic approach to governance.

Disadvantages:

  • Logistical Challenges: Conducting simultaneous elections requires extensive logistical arrangements, including a large number of electronic voting machines (EVMs) and personnel. Managing such a massive electoral exercise simultaneously across the country can pose logistical challenges.
  • Dominance of National Parties: Simultaneous elections might benefit nationally dominant parties at the expense of regional parties. Regional issues and concerns may get overshadowed by national agendas, potentially marginalizing regional voices.
  • Delayed Results: Holding elections simultaneously means that the results for both Lok Sabha and state assemblies would be announced together. This could delay the formation of governments and decision-making processes, especially if there are hung assemblies.
  • Impact on Regional Issues: Regional parties often focus on local or state-specific issues during elections. Simultaneous polls might restrict their ability to highlight these issues effectively, leading to a dilution of regional concerns in the national discourse.

Previous Efforts and Recommendations:

  • Election Commission and Law Commission: Both the Election Commission and Law Commission of India have explored the idea of simultaneous elections in various reports. They have highlighted the potential benefits while also acknowledging the logistical and political challenges involved.
  • Niti Aayog's Proposal: In 2017, Niti Aayog proposed a roadmap for implementing simultaneous elections, emphasizing the need for consensus-building among political parties and stakeholders. The proposal aimed to address the complexities involved in transitioning to such a system.
 
Conclusion: 
 Your Conclusion should be simple and balanced 
 
While simultaneous elections offer advantages such as cost reduction and policy continuity, they also come with logistical, political, and representational challenges. Implementing such a significant electoral reform would require careful planning, consensus-building, and a thorough assessment of its long-term implications on India's democratic process.
 
 
 
Other Points to Consider 

Has the idea of simultaneous polls been explored before?

What are the arguments around holding simultaneous elections?

 

Previous Year Questions

1. Discuss the role of the Election Commission of India in the light of the evolution of the Model Code of Conduct. (2022)

2. In the light of recent controversy regarding the use of Electronic Voting Machine (EVM), what are the challenges before the Election Commission of India to ensure the trustworthiness of elections in India? (2018)

 

(mains - general-studies-2 ) 04-Apr 2024
Question:
The Indian healthcare system has triumphed over obstacles that seemed insurmountable. Discuss the outcomes of the National Health Accounts Estimates for India: 2019-20.
 
 
Introduction:
 
A Simple introudction about India's Healthcare System
 
India's healthcare system is a vast and diverse ecosystem that serves a population of over 1.3 billion people. It encompasses a mix of public and private healthcare providers, along with traditional and modern medicine practices. The outcomes of the National Health Accounts Estimates for India: 2019-20 reflect significant progress and achievements within the Indian healthcare system, highlighting the resilience in overcoming once-deemed insurmountable obstacles.
 
 
Body:
You may incorporate some of the following points in the body of your answer:
 
Government Expenditure on Healthcare
  • The government's investment in healthcare has witnessed a steady rise, demonstrated by an increase in healthcare spending as a percentage of GDP. From FY 2015 to FY 2020, government spending on healthcare rose from 1.13% to 1.35% of GDP, showcasing a commitment to strengthening the healthcare infrastructure and services.
  • Reduction in Out-of-Pocket Expenditure (OOPE): There has been a notable decrease in out-of-pocket expenditure (OOPE) by individuals on healthcare services. The proportion of total healthcare spending sourced directly from individuals' pockets dropped significantly from 62.6% in FY 2015 to 47.1% in FY 2020. This reduction alleviates financial burdens on citizens and contributes to improved accessibility to healthcare services.
  • Emphasis on Primary Healthcare Sector: A substantial portion of government healthcare expenditure has been allocated to the primary healthcare sector, indicating a strategic focus on foundational healthcare services. In FY 2020, 55.9% of government healthcare spending targeted primary care, emphasizing preventive measures, basic medical services, and community health initiatives.
  • Increase in Social Security Expenditure: The government has demonstrated an increased commitment to social security in the healthcare domain. Social security expenditure as a percentage of total healthcare spending rose from 5.7% in FY 2015 to 9.3% in FY 2020. This signifies efforts to enhance healthcare accessibility, affordability, and inclusivity, particularly for vulnerable populations.

 

Conclusion:
 
Your Conclusion should be simple and balanced

The National Health Accounts Estimates for India: 2019-20 signify a positive trajectory in healthcare financing, resource allocation, and sectoral priorities. These outcomes underscore the government's dedication to improving healthcare accessibility, reducing financial burdens on citizens, and strengthening the foundational pillars of primary healthcare. Through strategic investments and policy frameworks, India's healthcare system continues to evolve, ensuring better health outcomes and enhanced well-being for its citizens.

 
Other Points to Consider 

Challenges in the Healthcare Sector

 

Previous Year Questions

1. Appropriate local community-level healthcare intervention is a prerequisite to achieve ‘Health for All’ in India. Explain. (2018)

2. In order to enhance the prospects of social development, sound and adequate health care policies are needed particularly in the fields of geriatric and maternal health care. Discuss. (2020)

 

(mains - general-studies-2 ) 04-Apr 2024
Question:
What is the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee? What is the need for legal services, and how are they provided to the public?
 

Introduction:

The introduction of the answer is essential and should be restricted to 3-5 lines. Remember, a one-liner is not a standard introduction

Established under Section 3A of the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987, the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee serves the purpose of offering "free and proficient legal services" to marginalized sections of society within the jurisdiction of the apex court.

Section 3A mandates the constitution of the committee by the Central Authority, which is the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA).

The committee is chaired by a sitting Supreme Court judge, as stipulated by the Act, and comprises members possessing the requisite qualifications and experience determined by the Central government.

Both the chairman and the other members are nominated by the Chief Justice of India (CJI), who also holds the authority to appoint the Committee's Secretary.

Body:

You may incorporate some of the following points in the body of your answer:

The imperative of providing legal aid finds mention in various provisions of the Indian Constitution. Article 39A emphasizes the State's obligation to ensure that the legal system operates in a manner that fosters justice and equal opportunity, including the provision of free legal assistance.

Articles 14 (equality before the law) and 22(1) (right to be informed of grounds for arrest) further reinforce the State's duty to uphold equality and ensure a legal framework that upholds justice on the basis of equal opportunity.

Despite the initial proposal for a legal assistance system in the 1950s, it wasn't until 1980 that a national committee, chaired by then-Supreme Court Justice PN Bhagwati, was formed. This Committee for Implementing Legal Aid Schemes was tasked with overseeing legal aid initiatives nationwide.

Conclusion:

The ending of the answer should be on a positive note and it should have a forward-looking approach

The enactment of the Legal Services Authorities Act in 1987 provided a statutory foundation to legal aid initiatives, aiming to furnish free and proficient legal services to eligible groups, including women, children, SC/ST and EWS categories, industrial workers, persons with disabilities, among others.

The Supreme Court Legal Services Committee, headed by Chairperson BR Gavai and comprising nine members appointed by the CJI, possesses the authority to appoint officers and staff members as per the guidelines set by the Central government, in consultation with the CJI

 

Other Points to Consider

Legal Services Authorities Act

NALSA

Articles 14

 

 

Previous Year Questions

The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 remains only a legal document without intense sensitisation of government functionaries and citizens regarding disability. Comment. (2022)

Who are entitled to receive free legal aid? Assess the role of the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) in rendering free legal aid in India. (2023)

(mains - general-studies-2 ) 04-Apr 2024
Question:
The relationship between India and Russia has remained remarkably stable despite fluctuations in the ties of other major nations. Discuss
 

Introduction:

The introduction of the answer is essential and should be restricted to 3-5 lines. Remember, a one-liner is not a standard introduction

India's relationship with Russia has been enduring and dependable, forming a crucial aspect of India's foreign policy.

The partnership between India and Russia has evolved significantly, marked by enhanced collaboration across various sectors including politics, security, defense, trade, economy, science and technology, culture, and people-to-people exchanges.

Body:

You may incorporate some of the following points in the body of your answer:

During a visit to Moscow by External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, it was emphasized that the Indo-Russian relationship has remained remarkably steady amidst fluctuations in ties with other major nations.

India and Russia have maintained a remarkably stable relationship since the mid-20th century, marked by minimal bilateral disagreements and frequent alignment of their geopolitical interests, contributing to a stable power balance in Asia.

The absence of annual summits does not signify a decline in the relationship; on the contrary, bilateral economic cooperation has witnessed growth over the past couple of years.

India and Russia are not merely reverting to their previous dynamics; the context of their bilateral ties has fundamentally transformed. In 1991, India's GDP was half that of Russia's, but today, India's economy surpasses Russia's significantly.

A significant development in bilateral cooperation occurred in December 2021 with the inaugural 2+2 Dialogue, involving the Foreign and Defense Ministers of both countries, held alongside summit-level talks.

Conclusion:

The ending of the answer should be on a positive note and it should have a forward-looking approach

India and Russia collaborate closely on various multilateral platforms such as the UN, G20, BRICS, and SCO. India's Presidency of the G20 and SCO in 2023 facilitated interactions between officials and ministers of both countries during events in India.

Maintaining a pragmatic bilateral relationship will afford India and Russia greater adaptability in an increasingly polarized global landscape

 

Other Points to Consider

Trade & Economic relations

Defence & Security Cooperation

Science & Technology Cooperation

 

 

Previous Year Questions

Virus of Conflict is affecting the functioning of the SCO’ In the light of the above statement point out the role of India in mitigating the problems. (2023)

India is an age-old friend of Sri Lanka.’ Discuss India’s role in the recent crisis in Sri Lanka in the light of the preceding statement. (2022)

(mains - general-studies-2 ) 04-Apr 2024
Question:
What is Raisina Dialogue? Discuss the thematic pillars of the dialogue.
 

Introduction:

The introduction of the answer is essential and should be restricted to 3-5 lines. Remember, a one-liner is not a standard introduction

The Raisina Dialogue is an annual gathering focused on discussions about global geopolitics and geoeconomics, aimed at tackling the world's most pressing issues.

Held in New Delhi, the conference draws participants from diverse backgrounds including politics, business, media, and civil society.

It serves as a platform for a wide-ranging dialogue involving heads of state, cabinet ministers, local government officials, as well as leaders from the private sector, media, and academia.

Body:

It is the central part of the answer and one should understand the demand of the question to provide rich content

You may incorporate some of the following points in the body of your answer:

The theme for the 2024 edition, as announced by the Ministry of External Affairs, is “Chaturanga: Conflict, Contest, Cooperate, Create.”

Participants engage in discussions revolving around six key thematic pillars:

(i) Advancing Tech Frontiers: Regulation & Reality;

(ii) Promoting Peace with the Planet: Investment & Innovation;

(iii) Navigating War & Peace: Armaments & Asymmetry;

(iv) Reshaping Multilateralism: Institutions & Inclusivity;

(v) Charting the Post-2030 Agenda: People & Progress; and

(vi) Safeguarding Democracy: Society & Sovereignty.

Conclusion:

The ending of the answer should be on a positive note and it should have a forward-looking approach

The 9th edition of the Raisina Dialogue saw a diverse representation from over 100 countries, including Ministers, former Heads of State and Government, Military Leaders, Industry Captains, Technology Pioneers, Scholars, Journalists, and Youth, reflecting its broad appeal and significance as a global forum for dialogue and exchange of ideas

Other Points to Consider

Who was the chief guest for the conference?

Observer Research Foundation

 

Previous Year Questions

Discuss the role of the Competition Commission of India in containing the abuse of dominant position by the Multi-National Corporations in India. Refer to the recent decisions. (2023)

(mains - general-studies-2 ) 04-Apr 2024
Question:
How are Rajya Sabha MPs elected? Discuss how voting is done and votes are counted
 

Introduction:

The introduction of the answer is essential and should be restricted to 3-5 lines. Remember, a one-liner is not a standard introduction

The Rajya Sabha, a permanent House under the Indian Constitution, operates with a system ensuring continuity through staggered retirements of one-third of its members every two years. These vacancies are filled through biennial elections, maintaining the House's composition of 245 members. While 233 members represent states and union territories, the President nominates the remaining 12. Vacancies due to resignation, demise, or disqualification are filled through by-elections, with the elected members serving the remainder of their predecessors' terms. Article 80(3) mandates that nominated members possess specialized knowledge or practical experience in various fields and allows them to join a political party within six months of assuming office.

Body:

It is the central part of the answer and one should understand the demand of the question to provide rich content

Voting Mechanism:

The election of Rajya Sabha MPs involves an indirect electoral process wherein Members of Legislative Assemblies (MLAs) elect them. As per Article 80(4), state Assembly members elect Rajya Sabha members through a proportional representation system using a single transferable vote method. The Fourth Schedule of the Constitution determines the allocation of Rajya Sabha seats to states and Union Territories based on their population.

Vote Counting Process:

The calculation of required votes for a candidate depends on the number of vacancies and the House's strength. For a single vacancy, the Election Commission's Conduct of Election Rules, 1961, dictates that a candidate needs the majority of votes polled, divided by two, plus one. For instance, if 100 votes are cast, the candidate requires 51 votes.

In cases of multiple vacancies, each first-preference vote carries a value of 100. The total value of votes cast for all candidates is divided by one more than the number of vacancies, and one is added to the quotient. For example, if 100 members vote for three vacancies, the required quota for any candidate would be (100 × 100)/(3 + 1) + 1 = 2501.

If no candidate secures the specified number of votes, second-preference votes are considered, albeit with reduced value, to determine the winner

Conclusion:

The ending of the answer should be on a positive note and it should have a forward-looking approach

The Rajya Sabha, functioning as a crucial pillar of India's parliamentary democracy, ensures representation from states and Union Territories through a nuanced electoral process. The indirect election of its members by MLAs, utilizing proportional representation and single transferable vote methods, upholds the constitutional mandate. The meticulous calculation of required votes, governed by the Election Commission's rules, guarantees a fair and transparent electoral process. Through this mechanism, the Rajya Sabha maintains its role as a vital forum for deliberation and decision-making, contributing significantly to India's legislative landscape and democratic ethos

Other Points to Ponder

Why do Rajya Sabha numbers matter?

How often are Rajya Sabha elections held?

 

Previous Year Questions

 

Discuss the role of Presiding Officers of state legislatures in maintaining order and impartiality in conducting legislative work and in facilitating best democratic practices. (2023)

Discuss the role of the Vice-President of India as the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha. (2022)

Rajya Sabha has been transformed from a ‘useless stepney tyre’ to the most useful supporting organ in past few decades. Highlight the factors as well as the areas in which this transformation could be visible. (2019)

(mains - general-studies-2 ) 04-Apr 2024
Question:
How India-Mauritius relations are significantly improving India’s maritime domain awareness in this critical region where China is seeking to expand its footprint. Discuss
 

Introduction:

The introduction of the answer is essential and should be restricted to 3-5 lines. Remember, a one-liner is not a standard introduction

India and Mauritius jointly unveiled an airstrip and a jetty constructed by India on Agaléga, a pair of islands situated in the western Indian Ocean, alongside various community development initiatives.

The Mauritian dependency of Agaléga comprises two islands: the larger North Island and the smaller South Island, positioned approximately 1,100 kilometers north of Mauritius’ capital, Port Louis, and 2,500 kilometers southwest of Malé, the capital of the Maldives.

Body:

 It is the central part of the answer and one should understand the demand of the question to provide rich content

Significance of Agaléga Airstrip:

The upgraded airstrip and jetty represent pivotal strategic endeavors aimed at expanding India's presence in the Indian Ocean region and bolstering its surveillance capabilities along the east coast of Africa. These initiatives are particularly pertinent in countering the escalating Chinese influence in the region, including within the Maldives.

While the pre-existing airstrip on North Agaléga Island accommodated operations of the Indian Navy’s Dornier aircraft, the enhanced airstrip enables operations of larger P8I maritime reconnaissance aircraft as well. Consequently, India's naval aircraft will be able to conduct extensive surveillance along the eastern and southern coasts of Africa, as well as across the western and southern Indian Ocean from Agaléga. This development significantly enhances India's maritime domain awareness and operational capacity in the region, crucial for conducting diverse maritime missions.

The heightened tensions in the Red Sea region have prompted numerous commercial vessels on east-west routes to divert their course to the Cape of Good Hope, thereby intensifying maritime traffic and transits in the area.

Conclusion:

The ending of the answer should be on a positive note and it should have a forward-looking approach

India and Mauritius have fostered robust cooperation in maritime security and various other domains. Indian defense personnel are actively engaged with the Mauritian Defence Forces, facilitating close collaboration in defense affairs.

India's assistance to Mauritius encompasses the provision of six out of seven helicopters in service, in addition to five ships, three aircraft, and 10 Fast Interceptor boats, along with the establishment of a Coastal Surveillance Radar System.

Beyond Mauritius, India has been steadfast in augmenting diplomatic and military ties with other nations in the region, including the Seychelles and African nations such as Madagascar, underscoring its commitment to bolstering regional security and cooperation

Other Points to Consider

Location of Madagascar and Seychelles

Agaléga airstrip

Port Louis

 

 

Previous Year Questions

‘India is an age-old friend of Sri Lanka.’ Discuss India’s role in the recent crisis in Sri Lanka in the light of the preceding statement. (2022)

The USA is facing an existential threat in the form of China, that is much more challenging than the erstwhile Soviet Union.” Explain. (2021)

(mains - general-studies-2 ) 04-Apr 2024
Question:
What is India’s disability law? What does the law mandate for public buildings?
 

Introduction:

The introduction of the answer is essential and should be restricted to 3-5 lines. Remember, a one-liner is not a standard introduction

The enactment of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, marked India's commitment to the principles outlined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which was adopted by the UN General Assembly in December 2006 and came into force in 2008. India ratified the convention in 2007. The 2016 Act, replacing The Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunity, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995, was implemented in April 2017. It mandated the central government to establish guidelines and standards for public buildings, subject to periodic review based on the latest scientific knowledge and technology.

Body:

It is the central part of the answer and one should understand the demand of the question to provide rich content

Implications for Public Buildings:

Rule 15 of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Rules, 2017, derived from the PwD Act, addresses the accessibility of physical environments, transportation, and information and communication technology. All establishments are required to adhere to the Act's standards, particularly concerning public buildings, which must comply with the 2016 harmonized criteria. In 2023, an amendment to Rule 15 made it obligatory to comply with the 2021 harmonized guidelines, encompassing aspects ranging from project planning and tendering to specifications for accessibility features such as ramps, grab rails, lifts, and toilets. These guidelines advocate for the integration of universal accessibility into site planning and detailed architectural drawings, emphasizing implementation, evaluation, and maintenance stages. Existing buildings are mandated to become accessible within five years in accordance with the prescribed norms and requirements.

Conclusion:

The ending of the answer should be on a positive note and it should have a forward-looking approach

The Central Public Works Department (CPWD), India's premier agency responsible for infrastructure construction and maintenance, has instructed its regional offices to ensure that all public buildings are accessible to individuals with disabilities. Specific provisions include lifts equipped with both audio announcements and visual displays, as well as the appropriate display of emergency evacuation routes for persons with disabilities, including signage in Braille

Other Points to Ponder

Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016

 

Previous Year Questions

The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 remains inadequate in promoting incentive-based system for children’s education without generating awareness about the importance of schooling. Analyse. (2022)

National Education Policy 2020 is in conformity with the Sustainable Development Goal-4 (2030). It intends to restructure and reorient education system in India. Critically examine the statement. (2019)

(mains - general-studies-2 ) 04-Apr 2024
Question:

The Ministry of Home Affairs has issued regulations to enforce the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019. In December 2019, Parliament ratified an amendment to The Citizenship Act, 1955, incorporating a clause enabling the granting of citizenship to migrants from Pakistan, Afghanistan, or Bangladesh who belong to the Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi, or Christian communities and entered India before December 31, 2014.

Discuss Major Provisions of the Law:

Introduction:

The introduction of the answer is essential and should be restricted to 3-5 lines. Remember, a one-liner is not a standard introduction

The Central government has enacted regulations for The Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), marking a significant step towards implementing the contentious law more than four years after its passage by Parliament in December 2019. The CAA is designed to extend citizenship benefits to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi, or Christian migrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan who arrived in India prior to December 31, 2014, and seek Indian citizenship. Notably, the CAA aims to grant citizenship to this specific migrant group, even in cases where they lack valid travel documents as prescribed in The Citizenship Act, 1955.

Body:

It is the central part of the answer and one should understand the demand of the question to provide rich content

Key Provisions:

The CAA introduces an expedited pathway for non-Muslim immigrants from Muslim-majority Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan to obtain Indian citizenship. It grants refugee status to non-Muslim communities from these countries, while Muslims are categorized as "illegal migrants" in India. The primary objective of the CAA is to safeguard individuals who have faced religious persecution in neighboring nations, rather than addressing issues concerning India's own religious minorities. Furthermore, the law reduces the duration of citizenship by naturalization from 11 years to five. Under the regulations accompanying the CAA, migrants from these countries are required to demonstrate their country of origin, religious affiliation, date of entry into India, and proficiency in an Indian language to qualify for Indian citizenship. The CAA Rules specify that various documents such as birth or educational certificates, identity documents, licenses, land records, or any other document issued by these countries proving the applicant's citizenship will serve as evidence of their nationality.

Conclusion:

The ending of the answer should be on a positive note and it should have a forward-looking approach

In addition to arguments about equality, the status of Section 6A of the Citizenship Act of 1955, currently under scrutiny in the Supreme Court, holds significant relevance in the CAA debate. In December 2023, a Constitution Bench comprising five judges led by Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud reserved its decision on the validity of Section 6A. This section was incorporated into the Citizenship Act subsequent to the signing of the Assam Accord between the Central government and leaders of the Assam movement in August 1985

Other Points to Consider

National Register of Citizens (NRC)

Article 14

CAA and Assam

 

Previous Year Questions

“The Constitution of India is a living instrument with capabilities of enormous dynamism. It is a constitution made for a progressive society.” Illustrate with special reference to the expanding horizons of the right to life and personal liberty. (2023)

Explain the significance of the 101st Constitutional Amendment Act. To what extent does it reflect the accommodative spirit of federalism? (2023)

(mains - general-studies-2 ) 04-Apr 2024
Question:
India and the four-nation European Free Trade Association (EFTA) signed a trade pact. Discuss the significance of the deal
 

Introduction:

 The introduction of the answer is essential and should be restricted to 3-5 lines. Remember, a one-liner is not a standard introduction

India has entered into a trade agreement with the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), comprising Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland, a significant intergovernmental grouping. This agreement is anticipated to attract $100 billion in investments over a span of 15 years, with the EFTA exploring potential joint ventures to aid India in diversifying its imports, particularly aiming to reduce dependency on China.

Body:

It is the central part of the answer and one should understand the demand of the question to provide rich content

Significance:

The timing of this agreement holds immense importance for India, especially considering that over 64 countries, including India itself, are poised for elections this year. This could potentially lead to a slowdown in the negotiation and execution of free trade agreements (FTAs) between India and its trade partners. Additionally, India is increasingly perceived as an attractive destination for global investors, while nations such as those within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Mexico are also emerging as favorable investment hubs.

Rationale behind India's pursuit of investment commitment in the EFTA deal:

India maintains a trade deficit with most of its major trade partners, except for the United States. Although India's average tariffs have risen to 18%, the ASEAN Free Trade Agreement has facilitated access to intermediate goods. Consequently, the elimination of tariffs under FTAs could provide India's partners with increased access to its market, particularly when compared to the lower average tariffs prevailing in affluent nations, which stand at approximately 5%. The India-EFTA agreement is expected to further widen this trade gap.

Benefits for Indian sectors:

The investment pool from the EFTA region includes Norway's $1.6 trillion sovereign wealth fund, the world's largest such fund, which achieved record profits of $213 billion in 2023, largely due to robust returns from investments in technology firms. This influx of investment is anticipated to benefit sectors such as pharmaceuticals, chemicals, food processing, and engineering in India. Notably, India's significant imports of chemical and pharmaceutical products from China highlight the potential for redirection of these imports through enhanced trade with EFTA nations.

Challenges in accessing the EFTA market:

Switzerland, India's foremost trade partner within the EFTA, has decided to abolish import duties on all industrial goods for all countries, effective from January 1, 2024. This move raises concerns for India, particularly regarding the impact on its exports to Switzerland, given that industrial goods constitute 98% of India's $1.3 billion merchandise exports to Switzerland in FY2023

Conclusion:

The ending of the answer should be on a positive note and it should have a forward-looking approach

In conclusion, India's trade agreement with the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) signifies a significant milestone in its quest to bolster economic ties and attract foreign investment. This agreement holds particular importance amidst a global landscape marked by political transitions and economic uncertainties due to upcoming elections in numerous countries. While India's pursuit of investment commitments in the EFTA deal aims to address its trade deficit and diversify imports away from China, it also underscores the nation's growing appeal as an investment destination. However, challenges such as Switzerland's decision to eliminate import duties on industrial goods pose hurdles to accessing the EFTA market, necessitating strategic navigation and adaptation by Indian exporters. Overall, the India-EFTA agreement heralds opportunities for mutual growth and collaboration between India and the EFTA nations, with potential benefits spanning various sectors and fostering deeper economic integration

Other Points to Consider

India-EFTA deal

EFTA Countries

 

Previous Year Questions

How will I2U2 (India, Israel, UAE and USA) grouping transform India’s position in global politics? (2022)

Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) is transforming itself into a trade bloc from a military alliance, in present times Discuss. (2020)

(mains - general-studies-2 ) 04-Apr 2024
Question:
 The High-level Committee (HLC) on One Nation, One Election submitted its report to the President. Discuss the major recommendations of the committee
 

Introduction:

A Simple Introduction regarding "One Nation, One Election"

Simultaneous elections, commonly known as "One Nation, One Election," entail conducting elections for the Lok Sabha, all state Legislative Assemblies, and urban and rural local bodies (municipalities and panchayats) concurrently. The High-Level Committee (HLC) report indicates that currently, the country witnesses five to six elections annually, with the inclusion of municipal and panchayat elections significantly escalating the frequency of electoral processes.

Body

The following information in the body of your answer might be appropriate

Key recommendations of the committee:

(i) Constitutional Amendment

The committee suggests amending the Constitution to facilitate simultaneous elections through two phases:

(a) Initially, simultaneous elections will be conducted for the Lok Sabha and State Assemblies, requiring no ratification by the states for the constitutional amendment.

(b) Subsequently, elections for municipalities and panchayats will align with those for the Lok Sabha and State Assemblies, ensuring that local body elections occur within 100 days of the national and state elections. This step necessitates ratification by at least half of the states.

(ii) Unified Electoral Roll and Election ID

The committee proposes amending the Constitution to authorize the Election Commission of India to prepare a single electoral roll and electoral photo identity cards for all three tiers of government elections, in consultation with state election commissions. These amendments mandate ratification by at least half of the states.

(iii) Contingency Measures for Hung House, etc.

In situations involving a hung House, no-confidence motions, or similar circumstances, the committee recommends conducting fresh elections to constitute the new Lok Sabha or state Assembly for the remaining term.

(iv) Logistics Planning

To meet logistical requirements, the committee suggests that the Election Commission of India, in collaboration with State Election Commissions, pre-plan and estimate logistical needs such as manpower, polling personnel, security forces, EVMs/VVPATs deployment, to ensure the conduct of free and fair simultaneous elections across all three tiers of government.

Conclusion:

A Balanced answer in your conclusion should be there 

Currently, elections are independently scheduled, adhering to timelines dictated by the terms of each elected body. Although efforts by the central government, state governments, political parties, and the Election Commission of India have been undertaken, the concept of simultaneous elections was first implemented in seven states—Bihar, Bombay, Madras, Mysore, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal—in 1957

Other Points to Ponder

Reasons in favour of holding simultaneous elections

Election Commission

 

 

Previous Year Questions

Discuss the role of the Election Commission of India in the light of the evolution of the Model Code of Conduct. (2022)

In the light of recent controversy regarding the use of Electronic Voting Machine (EVM), what are the challenges before the Election Commission of India to ensure the trustworthiness of elections in India? (2018)

(mains - general-studies-2 ) 04-Apr 2024
Question:
India and Brazil maintain strong bilateral and multilateral relationships. Discuss the recent developments between the two countries.
 

Introduction:

A Simple Introduction about India and Brazil relationship in general

India and Brazil have robust and intricate relations both in bilateral contexts and within larger multilateral frameworks such as the UN, WTO, UNESCO, and WIPO. Moreover, they engage closely in various bilateral fora like BRICS, BASIC, G-20, G-4, IBSA, the International Solar Alliance, and the Biofuture Platform. Brazil holds significant importance as a trading partner for India in the Latin America and Caribbean region.

Body:

The following Answer in the body of your answer will be appropriate

Recent Developments

2+2 Meeting

India and Brazil delved into opportunities for expanding collaboration in energy, critical minerals, technology, and counter-terrorism during their inaugural '2+2' ministerial dialogue involving defense and foreign ministers. The discussions encompassed a wide array of subjects including military, space, energy, essential minerals, technology, counter-terrorism, and regional as well as multilateral issues of mutual interest.

Sugar Dispute (WTO)

Brazil extended an offer to share its ethanol production expertise with India as a step towards resolving a dispute related to sugar between the two countries at the World Trade Organisation (WTO). The proposal aims to assist India in utilizing surplus sugar for ethanol production, potentially alleviating competition for Brazil in the global sugar market.

Multi-pillar action plan to strengthen their strategic partnership

Both nations entered into agreements and unveiled 15 pacts spanning various sectors including oil and gas, mineral resources, traditional medicine, animal husbandry, bio-energy, trade, and investment.

Conclusion:

A balanced Conclusion will give a good impression

The shared values between India and Brazil as two large democracies and diverse societies are poised to fortify their strategic partnership. Additionally, both sides are actively pursuing defense industrial cooperation, marking a new focal point in their relationship

 
 

Other Points to Consider

Trade between India and Brazil

Important places in news in Brazil

 

Previous Year Questions

India is an age-old friend of Sri Lanka.’ Discuss India’s role in the recent crisis in Sri Lanka in the light of the preceding statement. (2022)

What is the significance of Indo-US defence deals over Indo-Russian defence deals? Discuss with reference to stability in the Indo-Pacific region. (2020)

(mains - general-studies-2 ) 04-Apr 2024
Question:
What does the Constitution say about the terms of state Assemblies and Lok Sabha? How House terms and poll schedules are decided?
 
 
Introduction:
 
A Simple Introduction regarding The Election Commission of India 
 
The Election Commission of India (ECI) is an autonomous constitutional authority responsible for administering elections in India. Established in 1950, it is one of the world's largest election management bodies. The ECI plays a critical role in ensuring the smooth functioning of Indian democracy by conducting free and fair elections at all levels – Lok Sabha (Lower House of Parliament), Rajya Sabha (Upper House of Parliament), State Legislative Assemblies, and the offices of the President and Vice-President.
 
 
Body:

The following information in the body of your answer might be appropriate

The Constitution of India outlines specific provisions regarding the terms of State Assemblies and the Lok Sabha, along with guidelines on how house terms and poll schedules are determined.

State Assemblies

  • As per Article 172(1) of the Constitution, the term of every Legislative Assembly of a State is set for five years from the date appointed for its first meeting, unless dissolved sooner.
  • During a Proclamation of Emergency, Parliament has the authority to extend the term of the State Assembly for a period not exceeding one year at a time, not extending beyond six months after the Emergency ceases.

Lok Sabha (House of the People)

Article 83(2) of the Constitution specifies that the Lok Sabha unless dissolved sooner, shall continue for five years from the date of its first meeting.

When determining the election schedule for State Assemblies and the Lok Sabha, the Election Commission of India (ECI) considers several crucial factors

  • Logistical Considerations: The ECI assesses various logistical aspects such as weather conditions, ongoing festivals, major examinations, and the availability of venues like school buildings for polling stations. Additionally, the mobilization of security forces and logistical requirements for conducting free and fair elections are taken into account.
  • Historical and Geographic Context: Factors like the historical context of elections in a particular region, geographical challenges, and transportation logistics play a role in scheduling elections efficiently.
  • Term Expiry: The ECI prioritizes completing the election process before the expiration of the term of the respective house. The term expiry date is a crucial factor in determining the election schedule. The ECI ensures that results are declared a few days before the end of the term, allowing time for documentation and formalities before the new government takes office.
Conclusion:

A Balanced answer in your conclusion should be there 

The Election Commission of India follows a meticulous process considering various practical, logistical, and constitutional aspects while fixing election schedules for State Assemblies and the Lok Sabha, ensuring the smooth conduct of democratic processes within the constitutional framework.

 

Other Related Topics

Election schedule in Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim

 

Previous Year Questions
 
1. Discuss the role of Presiding Officers of state legislatures in maintaining order and impartiality in conducting legislative work and in facilitating best democratic practices. (2023)
2. Discuss the role of the Vice-President of India as the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha. (2022)

 

(mains - general-studies-2 ) 02-Apr 2024
Question:
The International Labour Organisation terms the gender pay gap as a “measurable indicator” of inequality between women and men.
 
What is the gender pay gap and what are the reasons for the gender pay gap?
 
 
Introduction:
 
A Simple Introduction about The gender pay gap

The gender pay gap, as defined by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), is a measurable indicator of inequality between women and men in the workforce. It represents the difference between the average wage levels of all women and all men working in the labour market, whether on a monthly salary, hourly, or daily wage basis. This gap is distinct from the concept of "equal pay for equal work," which emphasizes that individuals with the same qualifications and performing the same work should receive equal pay, regardless of gender.

 

Body:

The following information in the body of your answer might be appropriate

Several key reasons are contributing to the gender pay gap

  • Gender Roles and Workforce Participation: Traditional societal notions about gender roles often lead to women being underrepresented in higher-paying jobs or industries. Women's workforce participation rates globally are lower than men's, with women making up about 47% of the global labour force compared to 72% of men. In India, the workforce participation rate for women is notably lower at 25.51% compared to 53.26% for men (as per the 2011 Census).
  • Occupational Segregation: Women are often clustered in lower-paying sectors or roles, such as caregiving, teaching, or administrative positions. This occupational segregation contributes to the overall wage disparity between men and women.
  • Barriers to Advancement: Women face barriers in career advancement, particularly in accessing managerial or leadership positions. The ILO's Women in Business and Management report highlights that fewer women hold management and leadership roles, especially at higher levels. When women do reach managerial positions, they may tend to focus on support activities rather than strategic roles, impacting their average compensation compared to male counterparts in similar positions.
  • Unequal Distribution of Unpaid Work: Women tend to bear a disproportionate burden of unpaid caregiving and domestic responsibilities, which can limit their ability to work full-time or pursue higher-paying opportunities.
  • Methodological Differences in Calculating the Gap: Different methods of calculating the gender pay gap can yield varying results. For instance, Pew Research in 2012 reported that women in the US earned 84% of what men earned, while the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 81 cents to the dollar. These differences can arise from using different metrics such as hourly wages versus weekly wages and considering only full-time workers in calculations.
 
Conclusion:

A Balanced answer in your conclusion should be there 

The gender pay gap persists as a complex issue influenced by societal norms, occupational dynamics, career progression barriers, and unequal distribution of responsibilities. Addressing these underlying factors requires concerted efforts from policymakers, employers, and society as a whole to promote gender equality, fair pay practices, and create opportunities for women's advancement in the workforce.

 

Other Related Topics

 

What does the gender pay gap tell us?
International Labour Organisation

 

Previous Year Questions
 
1. Can the vicious cycle of gender inequality, poverty and malnutrition be broken through microfinancing of women SHGs? Explain with examples. (2021)
2. Hunger and Poverty are the biggest challenges for good governance in India still today. Evaluate how far successive governments have progressed in dealing with these humongous problems. Suggest measures for improvement. (2017)

 

(mains - general-studies-2 ) 02-Apr 2024
Question:
Discuss the benefits and downsides of holding simultaneous elections for the Lok Sabha and State Assemblies
 

Introduction:

Over the years, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been an advocate for the concept of holding simultaneous elections for the Lok Sabha and state assembly polls. The initial practice of simultaneous elections, prevalent from the first elections in 1952 until 1967, gradually shifted due to the possibility of premature dissolution of the Lok Sabha and Assemblies. In response to this, the government has established a committee led by former President of India Ram Nath Kovind to investigate the feasibility of implementing the "one nation, one election" idea.

Body:

In examining the potential advantages, one key aspect is the reduction in the cost associated with conducting elections. Simultaneous polls could facilitate the smooth operation of government machinery, ensuring continuity in both central and state government policies and programs. Additionally, holding elections less frequently could eliminate the need for the government to continually entice the public with lucrative schemes or develop programs based on caste and religion.

However, there are notable drawbacks to the concept. Logistically, conducting simultaneous polls would necessitate approximately double the number of electronic voting machines and Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail machines. Furthermore, while it may benefit nationally dominant parties, regional players could face disadvantages, potentially hindering their ability to effectively address local issues. Additionally, the announcement of results would be delayed if elections were held in a single time frame.

Previous efforts to implement simultaneous elections, also known as "One Nation, One Election," date back to the Election Commission of India's formal proposal in its 1983 report. The commission emphasized that such an approach could reduce the frequency and associated costs of elections. The Law Commission of India also explored the issue, submitting multiple reports suggesting measures to synchronize the terms of state legislatures with those of the Lok Sabha. In 2017, Niti Aayog released a paper titled 'Election Time Table,' discussing the feasibility of simultaneous elections and presenting a practical roadmap for its implementation

 

Other Related Points to Consider

 

Has the idea of simultaneous polls been explored before?

What are the arguments around holding simultaneous elections?

 

 

Previous year Questions

Discuss the role of the Election Commission of India in the light of the evolution of the Model Code of Conduct. (2022)

In the light of recent controversy regarding the use of Electronic Voting Machine (EVM), what are the challenges before the Election Commission of India to ensure the trustworthiness of elections in India? (2018)

 

(mains - general-studies-2 ) 16-Feb 2024
Question:
The Indian healthcare system has triumphed over obstacles that seemed insurmountable. Discuss the outcomes of the National Health Accounts Estimates for India: 2019-20
 
 

Introduction:

Access to healthcare is a fundamental right for every individual, and the government has implemented numerous health initiatives and programs aimed at providing essential health services to all residents. Over time, the Indian health system has successfully overcome seemingly insurmountable challenges that were previously considered hopeless.

Body:

In the realm of National Health Accounts Estimates for India: 2019-20, the government's healthcare expenditure has witnessed a consistent upward trajectory. The percentage of GDP allocated to healthcare spending has risen from 1.13% in FY 2015 to 1.35% in FY 2020. Moreover, the government's share in the overall healthcare expenditure has seen a significant increase, surging by 12.4 percentage points from 29% in FY 2015 to 41.4% in FY 2020.

Notably, out-of-pocket expenditure (OOPE) on healthcare has shown a decline, with 47.1% of the total spending in FY 2020 originating from personal funds—a notable drop of 15.5 percentage points from the 62.6% recorded in FY 2015.

Analyzing the distribution of government spending in the healthcare sector, a substantial proportion, 55.9%, was allocated to primary care in FY 2020, while secondary and tertiary care received 29.6% and 6.4%, respectively. This is a noteworthy shift from the FY 2015 distribution, where 51.3% was allocated to primary care, 21.9% to secondary care, and 14% to tertiary care.

Additionally, there has been a consistent increase in the government's social security expenditure, rising from 5.7% of the total health spending in FY 2015 to 9.3% in FY 2020.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, the National Health Portal aims to serve as a centralized platform, offering citizens, students, healthcare professionals, and researchers access to authorized health information. The National Health Account (NHA) estimates for India 2019-20 mark the seventh consecutive report prepared by the National Health Systems Resource Centre (NHSRC), designated as the National Health Accounts Technical Secretariat (NHATS) in 2014 by the Union Health Ministry. These estimates adhere to the internationally accepted System of Health Accounts, 2011, developed by the World Health Organization (WHO)

 

Other Important Points to Consider

Challenges in the Healthcare Sector

 

 

Previous Year Questions

Appropriate local community-level healthcare intervention is a prerequisite to achieve ‘Health for All’ in India. Explain. (2018)

In order to enhance the prospects of social development, sound and adequate health care policies are needed particularly in the fields of geriatric and maternal health care. Discuss. (2020)

(mains - general-studies-2 ) 16-Feb 2024
Question:
What is the ‘2+2’ format of dialogue meetings? Discuss how the India-US 2+2 meetings have shifted the vision for India-US strategic partnership.
 
Introduction
 
An introduction is essential and should be restricted to 3-5 lines. Remember, a one-liner is not a standard introduction.

The 2+2 dialogue represents a meeting format involving the foreign and defence ministers of India and its allied nations, specifically focused on strategic and security matters.

This ministerial format, termed as '2+2', facilitates a deeper comprehension of each other's strategic priorities and sensitivities while considering political aspects on both sides. It aims to foster a more robust and cohesive strategic rapport amidst the swiftly evolving global landscape.

Body

It is the central part of the answer and one should understand the demand of the question to provide rich content

India engages in 2+2 dialogues with four crucial strategic partners: the US, Australia, Japan, and Russia.

The India-U.S 2+2 Ministerial dialogue holds particular significance:

  • The US stands as India's oldest and most significant partner in these 2+2 talks.
  • The inaugural 2+2 dialogue between India and the US occurred during the Trump Administration in 2018. Subsequent dialogues took place in Washington DC (2019) and New Delhi (2020).
  • The fourth session transpired in Washington DC in 2022. For the fifth session, Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar met their US counterparts, Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken, in New Delhi.
  • This dialogue launch embodies the mutual commitment of India and the US to fortify their strategic partnership and synchronize diplomatic and security efforts towards a positive future.

Conclusion

The ending of the answer should be on a positive note and it should have a forward-looking approach. However, if you feel that an important problem must be highlighted, you may add it in your conclusion. Try not to repeat any point from body or introduction

 

The collaboration between the United States and India has culminated in the signing of three foundational pacts for heightened military cooperation: Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) in 2016, Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) in 2018, and Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA) in 2020.

Amidst an increasingly assertive China posing threats to multiple neighboring nations and established international norms, reinforcing military cooperation mechanisms holds paramount significance. These dialogues aid partners in understanding each other's strategic concerns and sensitivities, paving the way for a more robust and integrated strategic relationship amid rapid global changes.

Other Points To Consider

India-Australia 2+2

India-Japan 2+2

 

Previous Year Questions

1.How will I2U2 (India, Israel, UAE and USA) grouping transform India’s position in global politics? (2022)

2.The new tri-nation partnership AUKUS is aimed at countering China’s ambitions in the Indo-Pacific region. Is it going to supersede the existing partnerships in the region? Discuss the strength and impact of AUKUS in the present scenario. (2021)

(mains - general-studies-2 ) 29-Dec 2023
Question:
The Aspirational Districts Programme (ADP) is focused on improving governance for accelerated and inclusive human development. Discuss
 
Introduction
 
An introduction is essential and should be restricted to 3-5 lines. Remember, a one-liner is not a standard introduction
 

The Aspirational Districts Programme (ADP) represents one of the world's most extensive trials in governance focused on achieving tangible outcomes.

ADP, Niti Aayog's flagship initiative, seeks enhancements in health, nutrition, education, and economic outcomes. The program centers on the transformation of 115 districts identified across 28 states in a transparent and timely manner.

Body

It is the central part of the answer and one should understand the demand of the question to provide rich content

This program is structured around three pivotal elements:

(i) Aligning Central and State Schemes, (ii) Collaboration among Central, State-level 'Prabhari' Officers, and District Collectors, (iii) Fostering healthy competition among districts.

Primarily driven by states, this initiative accentuates the district-specific strengths, sets achievable goals for immediate progress, while continuously monitoring advancements and ranking the designated districts.

A crucial part of the government's drive for 'Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas,' the Aspirational Districts Programme aims to elevate living standards and foster comprehensive development for all citizens.

This initiative concentrates on empowering individuals to actively engage in a growing economy, maximizing their potential. It equally prioritizes health, nutrition, education, agriculture, water resources, financial inclusion, skill development, and fundamental infrastructure.

Cocnlusion

The ending of the answer should be on a positive note and it should have a forward-looking approach. However, if you feel that an important problem must be highlighted, you may add it in your conclusion. Try not to repeat any point from body or introduction

According to a statement from the PMO, the Prime Minister highlighted the country's developmental milestones since June 2022. He cited achievements such as India's Presidency of G20, its position as the fifth-largest global economy, rapid growth in start-up registrations, private sector entry into the space industry, the launch of the National Logistics Policy, and the endorsement of the National Green Hydrogen Mission.

To incentivize government officials, the program implements non-financial rewards for achieving results. It actively promotes collaborations with philanthropic organizations and civil society to amplify impact while optimizing budgetary resources

 

Other Points to Consider

Aspirational Blocks Programme

 

 

Previous Year Questions

1.e-governance, as a critical tool of governance, has ushered in effectiveness, transparency and accountability in governments. What inadequacies hamper the enhancement of these features? (2023)

2.“In the Indian governance system, the role of non-state actors has been only marginal.” Critically examine this statement. (2016)

(mains - general-studies-2 ) 29-Dec 2023
Question:
The Office of the Speaker occupies a pivotal position in our parliamentary democracy. Discuss the role and responsibility of the Speaker
 
Introduction
A simple introduction to this answer can revolve around a general statement about Speaker of the Lok Sabha.

The Speaker of the Lok Sabha or state assemblies embodies the authority and respect of the House they preside over. As per Article 93 (for Lok Sabha) and Article 178 (for state assemblies), these legislative bodies are required to promptly select two of their members to serve as Speaker and Deputy Speaker.

The Speaker holds the position from the moment of election until just before the initial gathering of the Lok Sabha following the dissolution of the preceding one. They can be re-elected. Despite ceasing to be a member of the House after its dissolution, the Speaker retains the position.

The President/Governor schedules the Speaker's election in the Lok Sabha and state legislatures, while it is the Speaker who determines the date for the Deputy Speaker's election.

Body
You may incorporate some of the following points in the body of your answer:
  • According to the publication "Practice and Procedure of Parliament" by the Lok Sabha Secretariat, the Speaker embodies the collective voice of the House, serving as its primary representative to the external world.
  • The Speaker oversees House sessions and joint meetings of Parliament's two Houses. Their decision determines whether a Bill qualifies as a Money Bill, making it beyond the purview of the other House.
  • The Deputy Speaker operates independently of the Speaker, not as a subordinate, both being elected from House members.
  • While each House retains final authority in adopting rules to regulate its procedures, a review of Indian Parliament rules suggests significant powers granted to the Presiding Officers in both Houses.
  • The Speaker safeguards the rights and privileges of the House, its Committees, and members. The Speaker has the sole authority to refer any privilege-related matters to the Committee of Privileges for examination and reporting. External communications of House decisions rely on the Speaker.
  • The Speaker determines how House proceedings are published in form and manner. Committees operate under the Speaker's overall direction, established either by the Speaker or the House itself.
  • Additionally, the Speaker holds various other responsibilities as the head of the Lok Sabha
Conclusion

The Office of the Speaker in India is a living and dynamic institution which deals with the actual needs and problems of Parliament in the performance of its functions.

The Constitution neither sets a time limit nor specifies the process for these elections. It leaves it to the legislatures to decide how to hold these elections. In Lok Sabha and state legislatures, the President/Governor sets a date for the election of the Speaker, and it is the Speaker who decides the date for the election of the Deputy Speaker.

Other Points to Consider

Deputy Speaker

Speaker of State Legislature

 

 

Previous Year Questions

1. Discuss the role of the Vice-President of India as the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha. (2022)

2.‘Once a Speaker, Always a Speaker’! Do you think this practice should be adopted to impart objectivity to the office of the Speaker of Lok Sabha? What could be its implications for the robust functioning of parliamentary business in India? (2020)

(mains - general-studies-2 ) 22-Nov 2023
Question:
How the United Nations (UN) has evolved? Discuss the achievements and the failure of the UN
 
Introduction
You may Incorporate the following in your answer

On October 24, 1945, against the backdrop of turbulent international relations, the United Nations (UN) was established. Its primary mission was to uphold global peace and protect future generations from the horrors of warfare.

The United Nations emerged following the dissolution of another international organization established with the aim of averting conflicts. The League of Nations was created in June 1919 as a component of the Treaty of Versailles after World War I. However, with the outbreak of World War II in 1939, the League was compelled to disband, leaving its Geneva headquarters vacant for the duration of the conflict.

Body

You may Incorporate the following in your answer

In December 1941, the United States entered World War II, marking the first instance where the term 'United Nations' was coined by President Roosevelt to designate the nations allied against the Axis powers, namely Germany, Italy, and Japan. On January 1, 1942, delegates from 26 allied countries convened in Washington DC to endorse the United Nations declaration, outlining the war objectives of the Allied powers.

India, which was under British colonial rule at the time, was among these nations. As stated in a release from the Ministry of External Affairs, "Independent India considered its membership in the United Nations as a crucial assurance for the preservation of global peace and security."

The United Nations was officially established on October 24, 1945, after receiving ratification from 51 nations. This included five permanent members (France, the Republic of China, the Soviet Union, the UK, and the US), along with 46 other signatory countries. The inaugural meeting of the General Assembly convened on January 10, 1946

Achievements and Failures of UN

— Over the past 75 years, the United Nations has achieved numerous significant milestones and has expanded its scope to encompass a wide array of global issues, including healthcare, the environment, and the advancement of women's rights, among others.

— In 1946, it adopted a resolution committing to the elimination of nuclear weapons. In 1948, the World Health Organization (WHO) was established to address communicable diseases such as smallpox, malaria, and HIV. Presently, the WHO plays a pivotal role in managing the COVID-19 pandemic.

— In 1950, the UN established the High Commissioner for Refugees to provide assistance to the millions displaced by World War II.

— In 2002, the UN instituted the UN Criminal Court to prosecute individuals involved in war crimes, genocide, and other grave offenses.

— Nevertheless, the United Nations has faced criticism. For instance, it failed to prevent the Rwandan genocide in 1994. In 2005, UN peacekeeping missions in the Republic of Congo were accused of sexual misconduct, and similar allegations arose in Cambodia and Haiti. The UN peacekeeping operation in South Sudan was unable to quell the violence stemming from the civil conflict that erupted in 2013.

Conclusion

Ideal Conclusion has to be short and balanced

— A declaration was endorsed during a significant gathering of the UN General Assembly in 2020, marking the celebration of the 75th anniversary of the United Nations and its ambitions for the upcoming decade.

— "The forthcoming ten years, known as the 'decade of action and delivery for sustainable development,' are poised to be the most pivotal in our generation's history."

Other Points to Consider

General Assembly

Security Council

Economic and Social Council

Trusteeship Council

International Court of Justice

 

 

Previous Year Questions

1.Do you think that BIMSTEC is a parallel organisation like the SAARC? What are the similarities and dissimilarities between the two? How are Indian foreign policy objectives realized by forming this new organisation? (2022)

2.Critically examine the role of WHO in providing global health security during the Covid-19 pandemic. (2020)

3.What are the main functions of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)? Explain different functional commissions attached to it. (2017)

(mains - general-studies-2 ) 28-Oct 2023
Question:
Discuss the role and responsibilities of the Lok Sabha Speaker in ensuring the seamless functioning of the House.
 
Introduction

A simple introduction to this answer can revolve around a general statement about the speaker of the Lok Sabha.

The role of the Speaker is critical in our parliamentary democracy. It has been claimed of the Speaker’s Office that, while members of Parliament represent specific constituencies, the Speaker symbolises the whole power of the House itself.

He/she represents the majesty and power of the House over which he/she presides. As a result, it is expected that the bearer of this high-ranking position will be able to represent the House in all of its forms.

Speaker holds Office from the date of his/her election till immediately before the first meeting of the Lok Sabha after the dissolution of the one to which he/she was elected. He/She is eligible for re-election. On the dissolution of the Lok Sabha, although the Speaker ceases to be a member of the House, he/she does not vacate his/her Office.

Article 93 for Lok Sabha and Article 178 for state Assemblies state that these Houses “shall, as soon as may be”, choose two of its members to be Speaker and Deputy Speaker.

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Role of the Speaker

In House

  • He/she is guided by the provisions of the Constitution and the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha.
  • He/She benefits from the Directions issued by his/her predecessors which are compiled periodically.
  • He/she is assisted by the Secretary-General of the Lok Sabha and senior officers of the Secretariat on parliamentary activities and on matters of practice and procedure.
  • In the absence of the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker discharges his/her functions. A member from the Panel of Chairmen presides over the House in the absence of both the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker.
  • The Speaker has extensive functions to perform in matters administrative, judicial and regulatory, falling under his/her domain. He/She enjoys vast authority under the Constitution and the Rules, as well as inherently.
  • He/she is the ultimate arbiter and interpreter of those provisions which relate to the functioning of the House. His/Her decisions are final and binding and ordinarily cannot be questioned, challenged or criticised.

In Regulating the Business of the House

  • The final authority for adopting rules for regulating its procedure rests with each House, but a perusal of the rules of the Indian Parliament would indicate that the Presiding Officers in the two Houses are given vast powers by the rules.
  • If a Bill is pending before the House, it is the Speaker who decides whether he/she should allow amendments to be moved to various clauses of the Bill or not. As regards regulating discussions in the House, it is the Speaker who decides as to when a member shall speak and how long he/she shall speak.
  • The Speaker is the guardian of the rights and privileges of the House, its Committees and members. It depends solely on the Speaker to refer any question of privilege to the Committee of Privileges for examination, investigation and report. It is through him/her that the decisions of the House are communicated to outside individuals and authorities.
  • It is the Speaker who decides the form and manner in which the proceedings of the House is published.
  • He/She also issues warrants to execute the orders of the House, wherever necessary, and delivers reprimands on behalf of the House.
  • He/She certifies Money Bills and decides finally what are money matters by reason of the Lok Sabha’s overriding powers in financial matters.
  • The Speaker of the Lok Sabha who presides over joint sittings called in the event of disagreement between the two Houses on a legislative measure.
 
Conclusion

Your conclusion should be short. You may include some of the following points 

In India, the Office of the Speaker is a live and dynamic institution that deals with the actual demands and difficulties of Parliament in carrying out its tasks.

The Speaker is the House’s constitutional and ceremonial leader.

He/she is the primary House spokesperson. The duty for conducting the House’s work in a way befitting the institution’s status in a representative democracy is entrusted in him/her

Other Points to Consider

Role of Chairman of Rajya Sabha

 

 

Previous year Questions

1.Once a Speaker, Always a Speaker’! Do you think this practice should be adopted to impart objectivity to the office of the Speaker of Lok Sabha? What could be its implications for the robust functioning of parliamentary business in India? (2020)

(mains - general-studies-2 ) 08-Sep 2023
Question:
Russia has been India’s reliable and long-term partner. Discuss the most recent developments between the two countries.
 
Introduction

A simple introduction to this answer can revolve around a general statement about India-Russia relations 

Russia has been a longstanding and time-tested partner for India. The development of India-Russia relations has been a key pillar of India’s foreign policy.

India-Russia ties have acquired a qualitatively new character with enhanced levels of cooperation in almost all areas, including political, security, defence, trade and economy, science & technology, culture, and people-to-people ties.

In December 2010, the Strategic Partnership was elevated to the level of “Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership.

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Recent Developments

Bilateral Interaction/Visits

Russia is an important bilateral partner, India and Russia have a crucial role to play in global security and stability.

The Annual Summit between the Prime Minister of India and the President of the Russian Federation is the highest institutionalized dialogue mechanism in the strategic partnership between India and Russia.

There are various meetings where both countries meet like — BRICS, G20 and SCO.

Security Council Cooperation

India and Russia maintain close cooperation between the Security Council secretariats led by NSA from the Indian side and Secretary of the Russian Security Council.

Trade

The primary mechanism at the government level for enhancing trade and economic cooperation is the India-Russia Intergovernmental Commission for Trade, Economic, Scientific & Cultural Cooperation (IRIGC-TEC).

The free trade agreement (FTA) talks mark a step up in economic relations between the two countries. India’s imports from Russia more than quadrupled to $46.33 billion over the last fiscal year, mainly through oil.

India-Russia Strategic Economic Dialogue (IRSED) is another G2G mechanism co-chaired by Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog on Indian side and Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation.

Defence

India-Russia military-technical cooperation has evolved from a buyer-seller framework to one involving joint research, development and production of advanced defence technologies and systems.

India was involved in various defence deals such as — BrahMos Missile, T-90 tanks, S-400 air defence system and Ka-226t Helicopters.

Nuclear Energy

Russia is an important partner for India in the area of peaceful use of nuclear energy. Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP) is a flagship project between India and Russia in this sphere.

Space Cooperation

India-Russia cooperation in the field of peaceful uses of outer space dates back to about four decades. The two countries are cooperating closely under India’s first human spaceflight program “Gaganyaan”.

Science & Technology

The new Roadmap for Bilateral STI cooperation has been developed and agreed by both sides to replace the erstwhile ILTP cooperation program. It focusses on a variety of new engagements to promote co-innovation and exchanges and will be in force for next 5 years.

Conclusion

 

Your conclusion should be short. You may include:

Russia, traditionally India’s top source of military hardware, displaced Iraq to become India’s top supplier of crude oil.

Russia’s efforts to improve trade with India form part of its strategy to help evade the impact of Western sanctions by boosting commerce with Asian giants including China.

Moscow is also trying to increase or maintain cooperation with other South Asian countries, most recently agreeing to settle payments in yuan for building a nuclear power plant in Bangladesh and discussing discounted oil exports to Pakistan.

India’s interests in Russia are many and will continue even as its investments in Central Europe expand in strategic importance and political power to determine the future of Eurasia.

Other Points to Consider

India-Russia Defence Exercises

Recent defence ties

Russia-Ukraine (places in news)

 

 

Previous year Questions

1.What is the significance of Indo-US defence deals over Indo-Russian defence deals? Discuss with reference to stability in the Indo-Pacific region. (UPSC CSE Mains 2020)

(mains - general-studies-2 ) 08-Sep 2023
Question:
 India’s relationship with ASEAN is a key pillar of our foreign policy and the foundation of our Act East Policy. Discuss the recent development that took place between India and South-East Asian Countries.
 
Introduction

A simple introduction to this answer can revolve around a general statement about ASEAN.

India’s emphasis on a deepened and multifaceted connection with ASEAN stems from considerable developments in the world’s political and economic landscape.

The Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) comprises Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, Thailand, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Vietnam.

India has taken other policy initiatives in the region that involve some members of ASEAN like the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), Mekong-Ganga Cooperation (MGC), etc

Body

 

You may incorporate some of the following points in the body of your answer:

  • The Act East Policy is meant to serve the purposes of stronger trade and business ties with South East Asia and other Indo-Pacific countries and to create development opportunities for the North East States of India. Commerce, Culture and connectivity – the three Cs- are therefore the pillars of India’s current Act East Policy.
  • India’s Act East Policy is at the heart of its eastward orientation and ties in with the broader approach to the Indo-Pacific.
  • The collaboration between India and Asean has accelerated across a range of economic and strategic issue, including trade and investment, connectivity, energy, culture, people-to-people contacts, and maritime security.

Recent Developments

India and ASEAN countries declared to:

  • Strengthen cooperation on cybersecurity by establishing new dialogue platforms between India and the ten-member bloc.
  • Establish a comprehensive strategic partnership and enhance cooperation against terrorism.
  • Enhance cooperation in the digital economy through a series of regional capacity-building activities in digital transformation, digital trade, digital skills and innovation, as well as Hackathons.
  • Enhance cooperation in smart agriculture including the exchange of best practices in the use of new technologies to develop a future-ready, resilient, and sustainable food supply.
  • Expedite the review of the ASEAN-India Trade in Goods Agreement (AITIGA) to make it more user-friendly, simple, and trade-facilitative, and work together to forge resilient supply chains, explore cooperation on a single window platform to enhance trade facilitation and integration.
  • Enhance ASEAN-India cooperation in the space sector including through the establishment of tracking, data reception and processing stations in Vietnam and Indonesia, and encourage cooperation between ASEAN and Indian space industry players, including in new areas of collaboration.
  • Revive tourism and related industries which have been severely hit by the Covid-19 pandemic through effective implementation of the ASEAN-India tourism work plans.
  • India and several Southeast Asian nations including Singapore and Thailand have signed for cross-border trade of renewable energy (RE) electricity will help expand cross-border sale of electricity by India manifold. Currently, cross-border interconnections exist with Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Myanmar.
Conclusion

Your conclusion should be short.

India and Southeast Asia have a long history of cultural and trade ties. The place is mentioned in Indian ancient Sanskrit and Pali manuscripts under numerous names such as Kathakosha, Suvarnabhumi (the realm of god), or Suvarnadvipa (the golden island), indicating that it drew Indian traders. aIt is known that trade in spices, fragrant wood, and, most crucially, gold prospered.

 

Other Points to Consider

 

India–Myanmar–Thailand Trilateral Highway

Asian Development Bank

BIMSTEC, SAARC

 

 

Previous Year Questions

 

1.Indian Diaspora has an important role to play in South East Asian countries economy and society. Appraise the role of Indian Diaspora in South-East Asia in this context. (2017)

2.“Increasing crossborder terrorist attacks in India and growing interference in the internal affairs of several member states by Pakistan are not conducive for the future of SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation).” Explain with suitable examples. (2016)

(mains - general-studies-2 ) 05-Sep 2023
Question:
What is a delimitation commission? Discuss the procedure for delimitation in India.
 
Introduction

A simple introduction to this answer can revolve around a general statement about the Delimitation Commission.

According to ECI, delimitation means the act or process of fixing limits or boundaries of territorial constituencies in a country or a province having a legislative body.

The job of delimitation is assigned to a high-power body known as the Delimitation Commission or a Boundary Commission.

In India, such Delimitation Commissions have been constituted 4 times

  • 1952 under the Delimitation Commission Act, 1952,
  • 1963 under Delimitation Commission Act, 1962,
  • 1973 under Delimitation Act, 1972 and
  • 2002 under Delimitation Act, 2002
 
Body

You may incorporate some of the following points in the body of your answer:

Delimitation is the act of redrawing boundaries of Lok Sabha and state Assembly seats to represent changes in population.

The main objective of delimitation is to provide equal representation to equal segments of a population and it also aims at a fair division of geographical areas so that one political party doesn’t have an advantage over others in an election.

The Delimitation Commission in India is a high-power body whose orders have the force of law and cannot be called in question before any court. These orders come into force on a date to be specified by the President of India.

Procedure

  • Under Article 82, the Parliament enacts a Delimitation Act after every Census.
  • Once the Act is in force, the Union government sets up a Delimitation Commission made up of a retired Supreme Court judge, the Chief Election Commissioner and the respective State Election Commissioners.
  • The Commission is supposed to determine the number and boundaries of constituencies in a way that the population of all seats, so far as practicable, is the same.
  • The Commission is also entrusted with selecting seats allocated for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in areas with a sizable population.
  • This is done on the basis of the latest Census and, in case of difference of opinion among members of the Commission, the opinion of the majority prevails.
  • The draft proposals of the Delimitation Commission are published in the Gazette of India, official gazettes of the states concerned and at least two vernacular papers for public feedback.
  • The Commission also holds public sittings. After hearing the public, it considers objections and suggestions, received in writing or orally during public sittings, and carries out changes, if any, in the draft proposal.
  • The final order is published in the Gazette of India and the State Gazette and comes into force on a date specified by the President
 
Conclusion

Your conclusion should be short. You may include:

Recently, the Election Commission of India has begun the process of delimitation of Assembly and Parliamentary constituencies in Assam. The process will be based on Census data from 2001. The last delimitation of constituencies in Assam was done in 1976 on the basis of the 1971 Census.

The Delimitation Commission works without any executive influence. The Constitution mandates that the Commission’s orders are final and cannot be questioned before any court as it would hold up an election indefinitely.

 

 

Previous Year Questions

1.Discuss the role of the National Commission for Backward Classes in the wake of its transformation from a statutory body to a constitutional body. (2022)

2.Discuss the role of the Election Commission of India in the light of the evolution of the Model Code of Conduct. (2022)

 

(mains - general-studies-2 ) 05-Sep 2023
Question:
 
Discuss the initiatives taken by the government in the field of Higher Education in India.
 
Introduction

A simple introduction to this answer can revolve around a general statement about higher education.
Higher education is highly essential in fostering personal and societal well-being and in creating India as envisioned in its Constitution a democratic, just, socially conscious, cultured, and compassionate society respecting liberty, equality, fraternity, and justice for all.
Higher education significantly contributes towards sustainable livelihoods and economic development of the nation.

Body

You may incorporate some of the following points in the body of your answer:

Initiatives taken by the Government

National Education Policy 2020

The policy envisions a complete overhaul and re-energising of the higher education system to overcome these challenges and thereby deliver high-quality higher education, with equity and inclusion. It includes the following key changes to the current system:
Revamping curriculum, pedagogy, assessment, and student support for enhanced student experiences.
Moving towards a higher educational system consisting of large, multidisciplinary universities and colleges, with at least one in or near every district.
Reaffirming the integrity of faculty and institutional leadership positions through merit appointments and career progression based on teaching, research, and service.
Governance of HEIs by highly qualified independent boards having academic and administrative autonomy.
Establishment of a National Research Foundation to fund outstanding peer-reviewed research and to actively seed research in universities and colleges.
Increased access, equity, and inclusion through a range of measures, including greater opportunities for outstanding public education.

Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA)

It is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS), launched in 2013 aims at providing strategic funding to eligible state higher educational institutions.
The central funding (in the ratio of 60:40 for general category States, 90:10 for special category states and 100% for union territories) would be norm-based and outcome dependent.

National Research Foundation

The NRF is supposed to fund, promote and mentor research in higher educational institutions. One of the main objectives of the NRF is to get colleges and universities involved in scientific research.
There are various other schemes implemented by the Government. Here is the list of the schemes

Conclusion

Your conclusion should be short. You may include the following points.

The most important factor in the success of higher education institutions is the quality and engagement of its faculty.
Higher Education Institutions HEIs should be equipped with the basic infrastructure and facilities, including clean drinking water, clean working toilets, blackboards, offices, teaching supplies, libraries, labs, and pleasant classroom spaces and campuses.
The Union Budget 2023 is a holistic foundation for India of the future with an overall boost to education, skilling, job creation and entrepreneurship.
The emphasis on creating digital and public infrastructure with a strong emphasis on sustainability is a boost for education and entrepreneurship. The goal of establishing AI Centers of Excellence, national skill set centres, and incentives to study and embrace new-age educational courses would undoubtedly help to close skill and employability gaps.

Other Points to Consider

Major problems currently faced by the higher education system in India
 
Previous Year Questions

1. The quality of higher education in India requires major improvements to make it internationally competitive. Do you think that the entry of foreign educational institutions would help improve the quality of technical and higher education in the country? Discuss. (2015)
2. The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 remains inadequate in promoting an incentive-based system for children’s education without generating awareness about the importance of schooling. Analyse. (2022)
3. Earn while you learn scheme needs to be strengthened to make vocational education and skill training meaningful.” Comment. (2021)
(mains - general-studies-2 ) 11-Aug 2023
Question:
India-China, India-US and China-US – were characterised by equally amicable relationships. Discuss the changing pattern of the China- India-US triangular relationship. (250 Words)
 
Introduction

A simple introduction to this answer can revolve around a general statement about
India-US-China.
 
In the early years of this century, the China-India-United States triangle began to shape. Each country maintained a generally positive and cooperative attitude toward the other two.

India-China

India’s relationship with China has recovered from the setback caused by India blaming China for the 1998 nuclear tests. They agreed on a set of political criteria for resolving the border issue in 2005. and bilateral trade began to accelerate.
India and China began to coordinate positions in trilateral and multilateral groupings such as BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), Russia- India-China (RIC), Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), World Trade Organization (WTO), climate change negotiations, etc.
 
India-US

India-US relations also traced a similar trajectory after the 1998 nuclear tests, which the United States perceived as a huge setback to its non-proliferation policy objectives.
The rise and impact of the Indian diaspora in the United States were matched by a surge in the information technology industry.

US-China

At the same time, China-US ties began to mend following scandals such as the US bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade during the Kosovo conflict in 1999, and the EP-3 incident in 2001, which included a collision between US and Chinese military planes near Hainan.

Body

You may incorporate some of the following points in the body of your answer

There are various factors are responsible for this change in the pattern of the triangular dynamic:

US-China relationship

In the second half of the 19th century, American missionaries began to arrive in China and began to generate empathy for the nation. During World War II, Washington backed Chinese nationalists in their fight against Japanese occupation. Since 1949, when the communists defeated the nationalists, the United States has attempted to isolate China. In the 1970s, the United States and communist China joined forces to resist the Soviet Union.
At the turn of the 21st century, some in the US began to see China as a potential threat. But the US establishment dismissed the idea and bet that Beijing could become a “responsible stakeholder” in the world order. America also believed that China’s growing economic prosperity would inevitably lead to greater democratisation of its society.

India-China relationship

On April 1, 1950, India became the first non-socialist bloc country to establish diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China.
India and China signed the Declaration on Principles for Relations and Comprehensive Cooperation and also mutually decided to appoint Special Representatives (SRs) to explore the framework of a boundary settlement.
India seeks multipolarity not just in the world system, but also in Asia, where it does not wish to be second fiddle to China.
China continues to block Indian membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group and remains non-committal on India’s permanent membership in the United Nations Security Council.
China is using the Belt and Road Initiative and the Maritime Silk Road not only to inveigle developing nations via “debt diplomacy”, but also to camouflage its actual aim, which is regional domination.

India-US relationship

The relationship between India and the US has had a turbulent journey over the last 75 years and entered a transformative phase in the last two-and-half decades.
India and the US grew closer as strategic partners in the Indo-Pacific. The Indo-US strategic partnership is deepening economic engagement and resolve on both sides to elevate the bilateral relationship to a “global strategic partnership”.
The Quad began as a broad partnership after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami but gained strategic heft after the four-country grouping, which has Australia and Japan alongside India and the US, was repurposed in 2017, primarily as a counter to China’s growing influence in the Indian Ocean rim, and as a forum for redoubling focus on the Indo-Pacific region.
In contrast to the return of rivalry in the China-India and China-US ties, the India-US relationship has widened and developed into a comprehensive global strategic alliance.

Conclusion

Your conclusion should be short.

India should expect the US to adopt a “transactional” approach and strike deals that buttress its interests and India must reciprocate by seeking to advance its national interests like the HAL-General Electric deal for F-414 turbojet co-production, the supply of armed MQ-9B drones, cooperation in semiconductor manufacturing, or joint space exploration.
 
Other Points to Consider

Recent India-US developments

The border dispute with China (Map – Mark the Places)
 
Previous Year Questions

The new tri-nation partnership AUKUS is aimed at countering China’s ambitions in the Indo-Pacific region. Is it going to supersede the existing partnerships in the region? Discuss the strength and impact of AUKUS in the present scenario. (2021)
(mains - general-studies-2 ) 11-Aug 2023