Categories
Announcements

How To Approach the IAS Prelims – Last 10 weeks

 

Prelims is almost here. Preparation would be at full swing. It goes without saying, you have to best utilize these ten weeks to maximize your score in prelims and crack it without any hiccups. As time is of essence, I would not waste any more time on introduction and niceties and come straight to the task at hand. And the task is how to best utilize these last 10 weeks and how to approach prelims paper.

This blog is primarily based on a talk delivered at Visionias. Here I would add to those points and give more examples to drive home the essence of the entire talk.

First thing first, nobody can afford to flunk CSAT paper. There is simply no excuse for flunking that paper. To make sure, you don’t flunk the paper, just solve last 4 years UPSC CSAT papers, match your answers with official answer keys and if you score >90 <24 marks cushion over cutoff to discount for a tough paper and bad day> in all 4 papers, you need not touch CSAT.

If you are scoring <80, you need to do some work. You can decide for yourself what needs to be done if you score b/w 80-90.

With CSAT out of the way and whole game being based on general studies, our task in these last 10 weeks is to organize our studies in such a way that examination feels like an extension of our daily routine and we can score maximum marks.

By now, most of you would already have done at least one reading of all the standard books <NCERTs plus Laxmikant, any one book for modern India, G.C Leong, climatology part, Highlights of budget and Eco survey, Current affairs at least from jan to may and later june>. If not, don’t waste any time and finish these books first.

Before moving forward, I take it that basic books are done.

Now some Do’s and Don’ts

Prioritize – Don’t spend disproportionate time on one or two particular subjects or topics <often aspirants spend too much time on art and culture and Environment and ecology with very poor return on your invested time>. Please remember it’s okay to leave a few questions. No body gets all 100 correct and all the questions are of equal marks. So, if you get easy questions wrong and difficult ones correct, it’s not gonna help you.

For instance, You can not get this question incorrect

To uphold and protect the Sovereignty, Unity and Integrity of India” is a provision made in the

(a) Preamble of the Constitution
(b) Directive Principles of State Policy
(c) Fundamental Rights
(d) Fundamental Duties

Or This

Which one of the following is the best description of the term ‘ecosystem’?

(a) A community of organisms interacting with one another.
(b) That part of the Earth which is inhabited by living organisms.
(c) A community of organisms together with the environment in which they live
(d) The flora and fauna of a geographical area

Or Fortaleza declaration or non plan expenditure, repo rate, Basel Committee, Cabinet Mission Plan, Rowlatt Satyagraha etc.

Marking them incorrect is simply criminal and punishment is 1 year rigorous jail term

But it’s okay if you got this wrong

Kalamkari painting refers to

(a) a hand-painted cotton textile in South India
(b) a handmade drawing on bamboo handicrafts in North-East India
(c) a block-painted woollen cloth in Western Himalayan region of India
(d) a hand-painted decorative silk cloth in North-Western India

Or This

Which of the following has/have been accorded ‘Geographical  Indication’ status?

1. Banaras Brocades and Sarees
2. Rajasthani Daal-Bati-Churma
3. Tirupathi Laddu

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

(a)  1 only
(b) 2 and  3 only
(c) 1 only 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

You just can not remember all the things that have been accorded GI tag. If your guess turn out to be right, well and good, if not, don’t be too livid on yourself.

Always remember not all questions are doable, your 1st aim should be to mark all doable questions correctly.

2. Solving Question papers– Solve at least 2 papers every week till last Sunday of UPSC <1 test series paper and 1 past year UPSC paper>.  There’s no harm in solving 4 papers every week either. You know where to get papers from <you know all about copyrights law enforcement in India, I am not getting paid by coaching industry, wasn’t paid by vision either, no conflict of interest>

Analysis of paper -But just solving isn’t enough. Analyse the paper. Analyse your mistakes. Jot them down in your notebook <doesn’t matter if you have to jot down 80 mistakes>.  You would soon realize there’s pattern to your mistakes. Rectify the though process which makes you commit those mistakes.

Go back to standard books and read the topics which you find yourself weak at and improve upon them.

Demolish the myth of negative marking holding you back– In the question paper itself, mark those questions which you are not 100% or even 80% sure <this 100%, 80% is subjective, we all know> and see if marking them benefits you or harm you. Also you would get the knack of marking dicey options correctly.  <this exercise is very important, as many of the questions which we solve by calculated guesses turn out to be correct but we attribute them to our knowledge while all the wrong ones are attributed to guesses and then we trash this whole exercise of calculated/ informed guessing>

Practice elimination method and informed guessing

For instance, if the question is-

  • Which of the following country is not a member of Mercosur
  • Options are – Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, Mexico

Now even if you don’t remember much about Mercosur but could recall reading about it in an article about trading blocks at CD, you would be able to vaguely remember that it had members from South America and Mexico is in central America or North but not in South so this could be the answer.

Very conservatives among you would not mark such options but IMHO, one should definitely mark such options. It’s not tukka, it’s not cheating. It’s calculated/ informed guessing.

But in exam you may develop cold feet while marking such options, hence it;s important you apply this in test papers, see the benefits for yourself and become confident.

Similarly sometimes you would be able to eliminate two options, it’s advisable to mark a tukka b/w the two options <You can do the math of probablity for CSAT>

Consider this question (Pre 2015)

Consider the following statements

1. The Executive Power of the Union of India is vested in the Prime Minister.
2. The Prime Minister is the ex officio Chairman of the Civil Services Board.
Which of the statements given above is / are correct?

(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

  • Everyone should know that 1st statement is incorrect <if you don’t know this, no need to do PHD in art and culture but immediately go back to Laxmikant>
  • Statement 2 even if you don’t know IMO, you should mark either b or d after doing akkad bakkad bambe bo <you can do the math of probability>

What if you are able to eliminate one option?

You should mark based on your preparation and risk appetite

For instance this question ( Pre 2015)

In the ‘Index of Eight Core Industries’, which one of the following is given the highest weight?

(a) Coal production
(b) Electricity generation
(c) Fertilizer production
(d) Steel production

Anyone with slightest knowledge, commonsense and logic can easily eliminate fertilizer <agriculture’s contribution to GDP <18%, fertilizer ka kitna hoga> with  more logic you can reach to electricity, I applied but reached to steel and my answer turned out to be incorrect <don’t mark in 1/3 if you feel you are comfortable in prelims, no point in going for glory>

In tests as also in exam, read every question and every option carefully. Don’t leave a question even if you don’t have much idea about without reading the options. Apply all your previous knowledge and all the logic at your disposal to see if you can arrive at correct answer or if you can eliminate at least two options.

For instance this question (prelims 2015)

Which one of the following best describes the main objective of ‘Seed Village Concept’?

(a) Encouraging the farmers to use their own farm seeds and discouraging them to buy the seeds from others
(b) Involving the farmers for training in quality seed production and thereby to make available quality seeds to others at appropriate time and affordable cost
(c) Earmarking  some villages exclusively for the production of certified seeds
(d) Identifying the entrepreneurs in village and providing them technology and finance to set up seed companies

Many of you would leave this question just after reading seed village concept. I didn’t have any idea either. But let’s read the options

  • 1st options seems like a BS option. Why should anyone discourage farmers from buying seeds from others if they are of good quality
  • 3rd option, is it even possible to earmark some villages exclusively for seed production i.e leave your animal husbandry, farming, other activities just produce seeds.
  • Now you can choose from b and d. In the exam I chose d which was incorrect but the point I am trying to make is don’t move without reading all the options

Some important red flags which should alert you to the possibility of statement being wrong. In such situations, you should pause and think about that possibility. I am not saying that statement with red flags would always be incorrect, what I am saying is you should pause and think about that possibility.

Such red flags are

  • Broad sweeping statements – all, always, only
  • Unnecessary negative sentence which seems odd or seems logically incorrect
  • Too much over exaggeration

Now I discuss such statements and questions asked in last year’s exam

1. With reference to ‘Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation (IOR-ARC)’, consider the following statements:

1. It was established very recently in response to incidents of piracy and accidents of oil spills.
2. It is an alliance meant for maritime security only.
Which of the statements given above is / are correct?

(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Discussion- Look at the statement 2 –Maritime security only. You should observe this and think if it can be false. It’s actually false as this organization has noting to do with security <economy actually>. Also if it had to focus on maritime security only statement could have been, It is an alliance meant for maritime security.  <ye to nhi likha hoga naa that can’t talk about anything except security>

Now look at the statement one – very recently <could it not be recently, it’s a very lame reason actually> but you should think, be skeptic, mark them right if you are sure they are right.

Also statement 1 and 2 contradict each other. Accident of oil spills are not related to maritime security.

Imp.- You should know that this organization is focused on economy and both the statements become incorrect automatically and no such tikdam required

2. With reference to inflation in India, which of the following statements is correct?

(a) Controlling the inflation in India is the responsibility of the Government of India only
(b) The Reserve Bank of India has no role in controlling the inflation
(c) Decreased money circulation helps in controlling the inflation
(d) Increased money circulation helps in controlling the inflation

  • Option 1 only should make you think, <it’s logical that inflation would be the responsibility of both govt and RBI, yes primary responsibility of RBI but even only RBI would be incorrect>
  • Also if statement one is true, two has to be true and both can’t be true simultaneously <single choice answer>
  • Statement c and d are opposite so one has to be true unless money supply has no role in inflation

Note– Very easy question, done your NCERT, solved all economy questions I solved for you in the forum, no need for any tikdam

3. With reference to bio-toilets used by the Indian Railways, consider the following  statements:

1.The decomposition of human waste in the bio-toilets is initiated by a fungal inoculum.
2. Ammonia and water vapour are the only end products in this decomposition which are released into the atmosphere.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Option 2- why only water vapour and NH3, why not CO2 and other gases. Stands to reason. Again it should make you think. You should not mark a statement incorrect just because you see only.

Note- I don’t think anyone would remember all the gases which are released so this question is apt to be solved by our tikdam after thinking about the statement

4. Which of the following statements is/are correct regarding National Innovation Foundation-India (NIF)?

1. NIF is an autonomous body of the Department of Science and Technology under the Central Government.
2. NIF is an initiative to strengthen the highly advanced scientific research in India’s premier scientific institutions in collaboration with highly advanced foreign scientific institutions.

Look at the exaggeration in the statement 2. High advanced scientific research with highly advanced foreign institutions. This made me think and I recalled that NIF was actually for grass root level innovation. Again the point is I knew about NIF but I was still going with the flow and marked the option as correct until I focused on exaggeration. So, imp think is stopping and thinking

NOTE- Knowing about NIF was imp. These tikdams work only when you are well prepared.

5. With reference to ‘fly ash’ produced by the power plants using coal as fuel, which of the following statements is/are correct?

1. Fly ash can be used in the production of bricks for building construction.
2. Fly ash can be used as a replacement for some of the Portland cement concrete.
3. Fly ash is made up of silicon dioxide and calcium oxide only, and does not contain any toxic elements.

Look at the statement 3. Why can’t there be anything else in fly ash? I didn’t know much about that but I thought if that was the case, they should have written made up of silicon dioxide and calcium oxide, what was the need of silly only?

6. With reference to ‘dugong’, a mammal found in India, which of the following statements is/an; correct?

1. It is a herbivorous marine animal.
2. It is found along the entire coast of India.
3. It is given legal protection under Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

(a) 1 and 2
(b) 2 only
(c) 1 and 3
(d) 3 only

Look at the statement 2. It should at least make you think, at least 1 km stretch mein to nhi milta hoga. Now you can say what if the statement was deer is found everywhere in India?? Tikdam is only to stop you and make you consider the other possibility

Some questions where logic can help you

7. Which one of the following issues the ‘Global Economic Prospects’ report periodically?

(a) The Asian Development Bank
(b) The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
(c) The US Federal Reserve Bank
(d) The World Bank

Global report should be published by a global body, right. You can easily rule out Fed and European Bank. Asian bank can also be ruled out similarly <though there is a possibility of even regional institutions publishing global reports>

8. With reference to the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Limited (IREDA), which of the following statements is/are correct?

1. It is a Public Limited Government Company.
2. It is a Non – Banking Financial Company.

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 or 2

Option 1 you can mark correct by name of agency, option 2 if you know it’s function

9. Kalamkari painting refers to

(a) a hand-painted cotton textile in South India
(b) a handmade drawing on bamboo handicrafts in North-East India
(c) a block-painted woollen cloth in Western Himalayan region of India
(d) a hand-painted decorative silk cloth in North-Western India

Kalam means pen, option c is easily incorrect but if you don’t know difficult to mark in 1/3

10. Consider the following statements :

1 The Legislative Council of a State in India can be larger in size than half of the Legislative Assembly of that particular State
2. The Governor of a State nominates the Chairman of Legislative Council of that particular State.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2

If you don’t remember the exact provisions, think what would be the purpose of making a law if size could be more than half. If it can be more than half, it can be anything. Provisions are made to limit size (<15% size of CoM, <1/3 size of councils>

Note- Again better to know exact provisions so that tikdam is needed only in difficult questions

11. With reference to Indian economy, consider the following statements:

1. The rate of growth of Real Gross Domestic Product has steadily increased in the last decade.
2. The Gross Domestic Product at  market prices (in rupees) has steadily increased in the last
decade.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c)  Both 1 and 2
(d)  Neither 1 nor 2

I don’t need to say anything about this question. Whether you know anything or not, this question can not be marked incorrect

12. The term ‘IndARC’, sometimes seen in the news, is the name of

(a) an indigenously developed radar system inducted into Indian Defence
(b) India’s satellite to provide services to the countries of Indian Ocean Rim
(c) a scientific establishment set up by India in Antarctic region
(d) India’s underwater observatory to scientifically study the Arctic region

Name se clear hai India and Arctic. option D

13. The Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee is constituted under the

(a) Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006
(b) Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999
(c) Environment (Protection) Act, 1986
(d) Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972

Whenever Bt cotton or BT brinjal issue comes up, environment ministry pange karti so obviously EPA

Note– This should be known so no need for tikdam

14. With reference to the Union Government, consider the following  statements 

1. The Department of  Revenue is responsible for the preparation of Union Budget that is presented to the Parliament.
2. No amount can be withdrawn from the Consolidated Fund of India without the authorization from the Parliament of India.
3.  All the disbursements made from Public Account also need the authorization from the Parliament of India.

Which of the statements given above is / are correct?

(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 2 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

Apply all and no principle, think. If you mark it incorrect without thinking, you would be wrong. If you stop and think you would realize statement 2 is correct, If you don’t know you would mark statement 3 also as correct which is a incorrect statement

Moral of the story-  Red flags are to make you stop and think, not for marking indiscriminately

15. With reference to Indian history, which of the following is/are the essential elements of the feudal system?

1. A very strong centralized political authority and a very weak provincial or local political authority
2. Emergence  of administrative structure based on control and possession of land
3. Creation of lord-vassal relationship between the feudal lord and his overlord

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c)  3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

Statement 1, see the exaggeration. Very strong, very weak. It’s a red flag. Pause and think. If you think, you would realize it actually makes sense, correct statement but if you mark indiscriminately based on red flags only, you would be in trouble

16. With reference to the art and archaeological history of India, which one among the following was made earliest?

(a) Lingaraja Temple at Bhubneshwar
(b) Rock-cut Elephant at Dhauli
(c) Rock-cut Monuments at Mahabalipuram
(d) varaha Image at Udayagiri

Eliminate option 1, temple would not be constructed before rock cut architecture. This is the question, you can mark incorrect. No need to go after such questions. It’s important to focus on high yielding topics.

Some questions from prelims 2014

  1. The scientific view is that the increase in global temperature should not exceed 2 °C above pre-industrial level. If the global temperature increases beyond 3 °C above the pre-industrial level, what can be its possible impact/impacts on the world?

1. Terrestrial biosphere tends toward a net carbon source
2. Widespread coral mortality will occur.
3. All the global wetlands will permanently disappear.
4. Cultivation of cereals will not be possible anywhere in the world.

Look at option 3 and 4 <all, anywhere> Pause and think, obviously incorrect

2. Consider the following countries:

1. Denmark
2. Japan
3. Russian Federation
4. United Kingdom
5. United States of America

Which of the above are the members of the ‘Arctic Council ‘?

(a) 1, 2 and 3
(b) 2, 3 and 4
(c) 1, 4 and 5
(d) 1, 3 and 5

Everyone would know UK is incorrect. Choice b/w option a and d that is b/w USA and Japan. Even if you don’t know anything tukka laga do

3. Which reference to Agni-IV Missile, which of the following statements is/are correct?

1. It is a surface-to-surface missile.
2. It is fueled by liquid propellant only.
3. It can deliver one-tonne nuclear warheads about 7500 km away.

Statement 2, pause and think, it could be correct also. actually it’s incorrect. Statement 3 is also incorrect <even Agni 5 does not have that much range>

4. With reference to two non-conventional energy sources called ‘coal bed methane’ and ‘shale gas’, consider the following ‘statements:

1. Coal bed methane is the pure methane gas extracted from coal seams, while shale gas is a mixture of propane and butane only that can be extracted from fine-grained sedimentary rocks.
2. In India abundant coal bed methane sources exist, but so far no shale gas sources have been found

Look at the statement 1 only, pause and think why only propane and butane. Actually mainly methane hota hai

Similarly statement 2, no shale gas source, not even one? pause and think

5. Consider the following international agreements:

1. The International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture
2. The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification
3. The World Heritage Convention

Which of the above has / have a bearing on the biodiversity?

(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 3 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2. and 3

Common sense, all 3, statement 1 mentions genetic, statement 2 desert, statement 3 heritage, natural heritage sites

6. What are the significance of a practical approach to sugarcane production known as ‘Sustainable Sugarcane Initiative’?

  1. Seed cost is very low in this compared to the conventional method of cultivation.
  2. Drip irrigation can be practiced very effectively in this.
  3. There is no application of chemical/ inorganic fertilizers at all in this.
  4. The scope for intercropping is more in this compared to the conventional method of cultivation.

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

  1. 1 and 3 only
  2. 1, 2 and 4 only
  3. 2, 3 and 4 only
  4. 1, 2, 3 and 4

Statement 3, no chemicals, none at all, pause and think, this could be true but read the question again practical method. <practical mein to thoda scope hoga hi chemicals ka>

7. Other than poaching, what are the possible reasons for the decline in the population of Ganges River Dolphins?

1. Construction of dams and barrages on rivers
2. Increase in the population of crocodiles in rivers
3. Getting trapped in fishing nets accidentally
4. Use of synthetic fertilizers and other agricultural chemicals in crop-fields in the vicinity of rivers

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1, 3 and 4 only
(d) 1, 2, 3 and 4

Look at option 2, pause and think, crocodile seriously?

I think, with these examples it would be amply clear that one need to finish basic books, read questions and options carefully, pause and think when red flags so indicate, practice test papers, revise weaker topics etc. etc.

What to do in Exam Hall

  1. Don’t go in the exam hall with any pre-conceived notion of number of questions to be attempted. Attempt as many as you know, make informed guesses, use elimination method, mark where you are able to eliminate two options
  2. Don’t speculate cut off in the exam hall itself. Your task is to maximize your score. 10 extra marks wouldn’t hurt you
  3. Don’t make mistakes in bubbling the circles <keep ample time for that>

What not to do after Prelims 

  1. Don’t engage in futile speculation of cutoff
  2. Don’t try to correct your wrong answers by sending 100 URLs to your friends
  3. Take a few days break and start studying for mains

My prelims marks 

  • 2015 – 142 + 182 <rank 20>
  • 2014 – 125 +157/ 175 <interview, back to square one>
  • 2013 – 118 +192 <interview, back to square one> <2013 and 2014 marks could be +- 2 either side>

P.S. As I have clearly said, there’s no substitute for hard work and studying standard books. Once you are done with them, practicing papers help in knowing our weak areas and taking corrective steps. Red flags and tikdams are like check lists which enable us to pause and rethink and prevent us from making mistakes

P.P.S.  Constructive criticism is welcome but please don’t get personal. Leave a comment if you appreciate the article. Too lazy to leave a comment, just order a pizza for me.

Best Luck


 

From Civilsdaily

Be a regular on the Civilsdaily App (Free for Download) & read the monthly CivilsDigest magazine for handy revision. Click here to buy.

Categories
Prelims Daily

Testing Thursday : High Five With Tikdam – 7

Hello everyone,

We have been hammering on importance of logical thinking and art of tikdam along with sound preparation as essential ingredients of recipe to clear prelims examination for quite some time now. The flagship prelims test series is based on the same principles so is our prelims daily initiative.

We started high five with tikdam to reinforce the importance of logical thinking and to get you into the habit of applying your mind while solving questions. In the first installment, there were five tough questions from 2016 paper which could be solved by tikdam.Individually none of you could get all five right but collectively you got all five right using tikdam.  In the 2nd installment, questions were easy to moderate and many more of you got answers right. In the 3rd installment, questions were a bit tricky and many of you failed to read the entire question with all the options carefully to arrive ta the write answer.

Inference is very simple – USE HAVE TO PRACTICE TO GET BETTER AT DERIVING ANSWERS FROM THE QUESTION USING YOUR AVAILABLE KNOWLEDGE.

How to practice – join the test series for more practice (600 tikdams) and one on one interaction with mentors (most important to take your thought process in right direction). It will help you get better in answering prelims questions and scoring 120 plus marks in CSE Prelims 2018.

Further, we will be posting five questions (apart from prelims daily) from previous years papers on every Tuesday   9 a.m  (Testing Tuesday) and Thursday 9 p.m.(Testing Thursday)  to make you practice questions asked in exam so that you can yourself the judge of efficacy of tikdam.

Here are high five questions from prelims 2010 (Moderate ones) which you can solve with your knowledge, logical thinking and tikdam.

Please write your thought process/ method you applied to solve the question with the answers. We will get back to you as to how you can further refine your answer deriving capabilities. Note that this initiative will help you only if you apply your mind and write your thought process. Merely reading and learning the answers will not help.

  1. In order to comply with TRIPS Agreement, India enacted the Geographical Indications off Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999. The difference/differences between a ‘Trade Mark’ and a Geographical Indication is/are:
    1. A Trade Mark is an individual or a company’s right whereas a Geographical Indication is a community’s right.
    2. A Trade Mark can be licensed whereas a Geographical Indication cannot be licensed.
    3. A Trade Mark is assigned to the manufactured goods whereas the Geographical Indication is assigned to the agricultural goods/products and handicrafts only.
    Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
    a) 1 only
    b) 1 and 2 only
    c) 2 and 3 only
    d) 1, 2 and 3

2. The SEZ Act, 2005 which came into effect in February 2006 has certain objectives. In this context, consider the following:
1. Development of infrastructure facilities.
2. Promotion of investment from foreign sources.
3. Promotion of exports of services only.
Select the correct answer using the code given below.
a) 1 and 2 only
b) 3 only
c) 2 and 3 only
d) 1, 2 and 3

3. Consider the following statements:
1. Biodiversity hotspots are located only in tropical regions.
2. India has four biodiversity hotspots i.e., Eastern Himalayas, Western Himalayas, Western Ghats and Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Select the correct answer using the code given below.
a) 1 only
b) 2 only
c) Both 1 and 2
d) Neither 1 nor 2

4. Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles produce one of the following as “exhaust”
a) NH3
b) CH4
c) H2O
d) H2O2

5. Consider the following:
1. Oxides of Hydrogen
2. Oxides of Nitrogen
3. Oxides of Sulphur
Which of the above causes/cause acid rain?
a) 1 and 2 only
b) 3 only
c) 2 and 3 only
d) 1, 2 and 3

 

Dr. Vipin Garg is a medical doctor by training, economist by passion and an IAS (rank 20)officer by profession. He is one of the founding members of Civilsdaily and pioneered the concept of Tikdams (Smart Hacks) for IAS Prelims which form the bedrock of Civilsdaily’s Flagship Prelims Test Series.

 

MPORTANT STUFF: 

1. Daily newscards have been enriched with back2basics and note2students – Make notes daily

2. Liked Tikdams? Join our Flagship TS which helps you perfect this approach – Flagship Prelims for IAS 2018

3. For attempting previous Prelims Daily Questions – Click here

Samanvaya: IGP 2018 (Interview Guidance Program): Here's how you start

With Mains 2017 results declared, UPSC CSE 2017 exam now enters its final stage. Congratulations to all those who made it to the list of selected students for Interview.

Before I start, I have to state that I have a long-standing empathy-corner for people who get bummed out of the UPSC boat at this stage. Getting ditched after writing Mains is a very tricky space to be in: You don’t know which subject played havoc, you can’t know about that till before Mains results come out, you don’t know the gap between reality vs expectations and even though the next year Prelims is looking right at your face, you have now started to feel itchy about this UPSC marathon.

Hold on to your good memories and stay the course. Trust me, 70% junta skips misses on their track right here, right now. I will write a detailed blog for you which would give you some practical intervention points but for now, stay the course. You won’t be able to let go of your UPSC dream but you might unwittingly let go of the right path. And you don’t want to do that. 

I have seen 3 cycles of UPSC: Pre, Mains, and Interview (thrice over). 

Like most of us, I had visited my share of coaching institutes for guidance, sat across the mocks, then sat through the lecture sessions which deliberate over the “type of interviews”, “personality types most suitable for an IAS officer” and generic gyaan etc. only to find that while they do make sense at some level, it is a bit difficult to imbibe and change your personality type in a span of 1 month.

I was what I was.

I could think fast like most of us can and know what’s right/ wrong on a particular occasion but in this whole process of sizing up my mock board members, internalizing my responses to suit the interview, controlling my impulses to run over and not play ball with them etc. etc. I made the following conclusions:

  1. Don’t bother to change your personality type: It is very easy to get feedback on ‘your personality type’ and a tad difficult to alter it to suit UPSC board’s need for an ideal bureaucrat
  2. Master your DAF: If you are quizzed on what you wrote in your DAF and you don’t come on top of it, there is no coming back. DAF based interviews are generally the safest to navigate. Next come “Scenario-based interviews” which are open-ended questions with no right answers and the board marks you on your structured thinking and mature approach towards real-life scenarios. Assuming that you have been good with current affairs and have a few case studies to cite, these are still manageable. The worst are “Fact-based interviews”: Here is where a board member goes rogue and digresses into an infinite spiral of facts and figures and more often than not, puts you in a situation where you have to defend your lack of knowledge or wriggle out of it in a ‘zen-like’ way.
  3. Personality type matters for the Fact-based/ Stress interviews: But since you are what you are, try to keep up the interviewer humored with DAF based or Scenario based interview. This is doable and that’s where the stress of this program lies

Basis my learnings, here’s how Samanvaya: IGP 2018 (Interview Guidance Program) is pegged to help you keep up on the right path:

For a holistic interview prep, here’s what you need :

  1. Prepare your DAF: Create a folder in google drive or a notebook on Evernote and make notes on important areas of your DAF (Home state, institute/ stream, hobbies, work-ex). Share this with us. [Details will be shared on the telegram group, below]
  2. Polish your story: Everyone loves a good narrative and given the subjectivity of the interview process, there are times when the board is deliberating on a ‘scenario builder question’ and you find an opening where you can bring an anecdote from your life or a case study closely lived and that gives them a perspective into your mental framework/ decision making capabilities/ affinity towards a certain cause etc etc. That brings out an undeniable human element in the game and gets the interview back on course [This is where our 1 on 1 calls will come in handy]
  3. Prepare your current affairs well: The Fact-based interviews are the most cringe-worthy. You might have an ability to talk ad-nauseam on a scenario builder question… tinker with opinions, take sides with stakeholders etc. but fact-based, current affairs heavy bombs are very straightforward and leave very less room for ‘bs’. Hence, stay up close with CD’s newscards. [We will have a special package of “Samachar Manthan” for the interview qualified guys and the details will be given out soon]
  4. A few mock interviews: Mock interviews should be given in a pair from the same place. Give one – take feedback – try to inculcate that and then appear again in front of same/ similar interview panel and let them judge you on your improvement. This is mostly to stitch up last min personality glitches. For now, we do not have a facility for the same. If you can have some coaching institute arrange that for you, go for it. Remember, have interviews in a pair. Measured improvements go a long way in boosting confidence.

How will this program work?

All candidates selected for interview will have to send us their DAF form copy after filling out this form: Click2Register

After you fill the form, please send the PDF copy of your DAF to hello@civilsdaily.com with subject line DAF-Your Name-Interview Guidance 2018

We will then add you to a dedicated telegram group for this initiative. Detailed instructions will be given in the telegram group itself. Expect a formal structure by 12th January 2018

P.S.- This program is FREE. But we might limit the entries to ensure quality.


Other in-service officers may also be a part of program and all of them will guide the aspirants about how interview process has evolved over years, what are expectations of interview board from candidates and what questions can be framed out of the details that you filled in DAF

Prepare well. You have come so far, we want you to get into Final list…

Best of luck!

If you have any queries, mail to hello@civilsdaily.com or call on 08823831311

Categories
Prelims Daily

Testing Tuesday : High Five With Tikdam – 6

Hello everyone,

We have been hammering on importance of logical thinking and art of tikdam along with sound preparation as essential ingredients of recipe to clear prelims examination for quite some time now. The flagship prelims test series is based on the same principles so is our prelims daily initiative.

We started high five with tikdam to reinforce the importance of logical thinking and to get you into the habit of applying your mind while solving questions. In the first installment, there were five tough questions from 2016 paper which could be solved by tikdam.Individually none of you could get all five right but collectively you got all five right using tikdam.  In the 2nd installment, questions were easy to moderate and many more of you got answers right. In the 3rd installment, questions were a bit tricky and many of you failed to read the entire question with all the options carefully to arrive ta the write answer.

Inference is very simple – USE HAVE TO PRACTICE TO GET BETTER AT DERIVING ANSWERS FROM THE QUESTION USING YOUR AVAILABLE KNOWLEDGE.

How to practice – join the test series for more practice (600 tikdams) and one on one interaction with mentors (most important to take your thought process in right direction). It will help you get better in answering prelims questions and scoring 120 plus marks in CSE Prelims 2018.

Further, we will be posting five questions (apart from prelims daily) from previous years papers on every Tuesday   9 a.m  (Testing Tuesday) and Thursday 9 p.m.(Testing Thursday)  to make you practice questions asked in exam so that you can yourself the judge of efficacy of tikdam.

Here are high five questions from prelims 2011 (Easy ones) which you can solve with your knowledge, logical thinking and tikdam.

  1. In the Union Budget 2011-12, a full exemption from the basic customs duty was extended to the
    bio-based asphalt (bioasphalt). What is the importance of this material?
    1. Unlike traditional asphalt, bio-asphalt is not based on fossil fuels.
    2. Bioasphalt can be made from non-renewable resources.
    3. Bioasphalt can be made from organic waste materials.
    4. It is eco-friendly to use bioasphalt for surfacing of the roads.
    Which of the statements given above are correct?
    a) 1, 2 and 3 only
    b) 1, 3 and 4 only
    c) 2 and 4 only
    d) 1, 2, 3 and 4

2. Consider the following:
1. Carbon dioxide
2. Oxides of Nitrogen
3. Oxides of Sulphur
Which of the above is/are the emission/emissions from coal combustion at thermal power
plants?
a) 1 only
b) 2 and 3 only
c) 1 and 3 only
d) 1, 2 and 3

3. India has experienced persistent and high food inflation in the recent past. What could be the
reasons?
1. Due to a gradual switchover to the cultivation of commercial crops, the area under the
cultivation of food grains has steadily decreased in the last five years by about 30%.
2. As a consequence of increasing incomes, the consumption patterns of the people have
undergone a significant change.
3. The food supply chain has structural constraints. Which of the statements given above are
correct?
a) 1 and 2 only
b) 2 and 3 only
c) 1 and 3 only
d) 1, 2 and 3

4. Consider the following:
1. Photosynthesis
2. Respiration
3. Decay of organic matter
4. Volcanic action
Which of the above add carbon dioxide to the carbon cycle on Earth?
a) 1 and 4 only
b) 2 and 3 only
c) 2, 3 and 4 only
d) 1, 2, 3 and 4


5. With reference to micro-irrigation, which of the following statements is/are correct?
1. Fertilizer/nutrient loss can be reduced.
2. It is the only means of irrigation in dry land farming.
3. In some areas of farming, receding of ground water table can be checked.
Select the correct answer using the codes given below:
a) 1 only
b) 2 and 3 only
c) 1 and 3 only
d) 1, 2 and 3

 

Dr. Vipin Garg is a medical doctor by training, economist by passion and an IAS (rank 20)officer by profession. He is one of the founding members of Civilsdaily and pioneered the concept of Tikdams (Smart Hacks) for IAS Prelims which form the bedrock of Civilsdaily’s Flagship Prelims Test Series.

 

MPORTANT STUFF: 

1. Daily newscards have been enriched with back2basics and note2students – Make notes daily

2. Liked Tikdams? Join our Flagship TS which helps you perfect this approach – Flagship Prelims for IAS 2018

3. For attempting previous Prelims Daily Questions – Click here

Categories
Prelims Daily

Testing Thursday : High Five With Tikdam – 5

Hello everyone,

We have been hammering on importance of logical thinking and art of tikdam along with sound preparation as essential ingredients of recipe to clear prelims examination for quite some time now. The flagship prelims test series is based on the same principles so is our prelims daily initiative.

We started high five with tikdam to reinforce the importance of logical thinking and to get you into the habit of applying your mind while solving questions. In the first installment, there were five tough questions from 2016 paper which could be solved by tikdam.Individually none of you could get all five right but collectively you got all five right using tikdam.  In the 2nd installment, questions were easy to moderate and many more of you got answers right. In the 3rd installment, questions were a bit tricky and many of you failed to read the entire question with all the options carefully to arrive ta the write answer.

Inference is very simple – USE HAVE TO PRACTICE TO GET BETTER AT DERIVING ANSWERS FROM THE QUESTION USING YOUR AVAILABLE KNOWLEDGE.

How to practice – join the test series for more practice (600 tikdams) and one on one interaction with mentors (most important to take your thought process in right direction). It will help you get better in answering prelims questions and scoring 120 plus marks in CSE Prelims 2018.

Further, we will be posting five questions (apart from prelims daily) from previous years papers on every Tuesday   9 a.m  (Testing Tuesday) and Thursday 9 p.m.(Testing Thursday)  to make you practice questions asked in exam so that you can yourself the judge of efficacy of tikdam.

Here are high five questions from prelims 2012 (Moderate ones) which you can solve with your knowledge, logical thinking and tikdam.

Please write your thought process/ method you applied to solve the question with the answers. We will get back to you as to how you can further refine your answer deriving capabilities. Note that this initiative will help you only if you apply your mind and write your thought process. Merely reading and learning the answers will not help.

1. If National Water Mission is properly and completely implement, how will it impact the country?
1. Part of the water needs of urban areas will be met through recycling of waste-water.
2. The water requirements of coastal cities with inadequate alternative sources of water will be
met by adopting appropriate technologies that allow for the use of ocean water.
3. All the rivers of Himalayan origin will be linked to the rivers of peninsular India.
4. The expenses incurred by farmers for digging bore-wells and for installing motors and pumpsets
to draw ground-water will be completely reimbursed by the Government.
Select the correct answer using the codes given below:
a) 1 only
b) 1 and 2 only
c) 3 and 4 only
d) 1, 2, 3 and 4

2. Which of the following are included in the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court?
1. A dispute between the Government of India and one or more States.
2. A dispute regarding elections to either House of the Parliament or that of Legislature of a State.
3. A dispute between the Government of India and a Union Territory.
4. A dispute between two or more States.
Select the correct answer using the codes given below.
a) 1 and 2
b) 2 and 3
c) 1 and 4
d) 3 and 4

3. Biomass gasification is considered to be one of the sustainable solutions to the power crisis in
India. In this context, which of the following statements is/are correct?
1. Coconut shells, groundnut shells and rice husk can be used in biomass gasification.
2. The combustible gases generated consist of hydrogen and carbon dioxide only.
3. The combustible gases generated from biomass gasification can be used for direct heat
generation but not in internal combustion engines. Select the correct answer using the codes given below:
a) 1 only
b) 2 and 3 only
c) 1 and 3 only
d) 1, 2 and 3

4. Lead, ingested or inhaled, is a health hazard. After the addition of lead to petrol has been banned, what still are the sources of lead poisoning?
1. Smelting units
2. Pens and pencils
3. Paints
4. Hair oils and cosmetics
Select the correct answer using the codes given below:
a) 1, 2 and 3 only
b) 1 and 3 only
c) 2 and 4 only
d) 1, 2, 3 and 4

5. With reference to stem cells, frequently in the news, which of the following statements is/are
correct?
1. Stem cells can be derived from mammals only.
2. Stem cells can be used for screening new drugs.
3. Stem cells can be used for medical therapies.
Select the correct answer using the codes given below:
a) 1 and 2 only
b) 2 and 3 only
c) 3 only
d) 1, 2 and 3

Dr. Vipin Garg is a medical doctor by training, economist by passion and an IAS (rank 20)officer by profession. He is one of the founding members of Civilsdaily and pioneered the concept of Tikdams (Smart Hacks) for IAS Prelims which form the bedrock of Civilsdaily’s Flagship Prelims Test Series.

 

MPORTANT STUFF: 

1. Daily newscards have been enriched with back2basics and note2students – Make notes daily

2. Liked Tikdams? Join our Flagship TS which helps you perfect this approach – Flagship Prelims for IAS 2018

3. For attempting previous Prelims Daily Questions – Click here

Wow Wednesday : Evolution of Basic Structure Doctrine

Constitution provided a mechanism for parliament to amend the constitution in the form of article 368 but the nature and scope of this amending power was questioned in supreme court on multiple occasions. Supreme court gave a series of judgement which ultimately culminated in probably the most landmark judgement – Basic structure doctrine judgement.

They are very important for exam purposes (both prelims and mains) and in this article, we cover the most important supreme court judgment related with powers of parliament to amend the constitution-

  1. Shankari Prasad Case
  2. Sajjan Singh Case
  3. Golakh Nath Case
  4. Kesvananda Bharati Case
  5. Minerva Mills case
  6. I.R. Koelhi

Constitutional Provisions

  1. 1st amendment and 9th schedule
  2. 24th amendment
  3. 42nd amendment

 

His holiness, Kesavananda bharati, challenged before the supreme court, the validity of 29th CAA which inserted some laws in 9th schedule and affected property of his Hindu Mutt.

What else was at stake?

  1. Supreme court (R. C. Cooper case ) had struck down bank nationalization act of 1969 which had nationalized 14 major banks for illusory compensation though it conceded parliament’s right to nationalise banks in national interest.
  2. Supreme court had struck down abolition of privy purses which was a betrayal of solemn promise to erstwhile kings by Sardar Patel.

Supreme court could do all this as it had held in 1967 in Golaknath case that fundamental rights could not be abridged.

Before returning back to Kesavananda, Let’s take a look at the relevant provisions of the constitution and supreme court interpretation of the same.

  • Art 13(2) – Any LAW abridging fundamental rights mentioned in part 3 shall be null and void to the extent of contravention
  • Art 368 -Procedure to amend the constitution.
  • Art 19(f) – freedom to acquire hold on and dispose off property.
  • Art 31 – right to property

Both the rights were subject to reasonable restriction in public interest and restriction were subject to judicial review.

Soon after the coming into force of the constitution, states enacted land reform acts #Zamindars challenged them. #Patna high court declared Bihar act as unconstitutional for violating right to property #interim parliament passed 1st CAA.

  1. ART 31B created 9th schedule. Laws inserted under it by constitutional amendment were immune to judicial review.

Other provisions not imp for this article but imp for exams –

  1. Reasonable restrictions against  freedom of expression under art 19.
  2. To nullify judgment in State of Madras v. Champakam Dorairajan and giving effect to art 46 (promoting educational and economic interests of weaker sections) amplified article 15 (3)

Zamindars didn’t like it, not one bit. And here comes the 1st salvo

1. Shankari Prasad v Union of India

Challenged 1st CAA. What was the court’s judgment?

  1. Difference b/w constituent power and ordinary legislative power i.e. amendment not law for the purpose of article 13
  2. art 13 and 368 in conflict # apply DOCTRINE OF HARMONIOUS CONSTRUCTION # ART 13 not applicable to art 368

Govt 1-0 Zamindars

Govt passed 17th amendment and inserted more laws under 9th schedule ‘

Zamindars fired another salvo-

2. Sajjan Singh vs state of rajasthan

Supreme court sang Shankari prasad song again 

Govt 2-0 jamindars

But Justice Mudholkar was of the view that the every Constitution has certain features which are basic in nature and those features cannot be changed.

2 minority judgements ..utter confusion. And you can see seeds of basic structure were sown here.

Zamindars fired 3rd salvo

3. Golaknath v. State of Punjab

11 judge bench overturned earlier 2 verdicts by a slender majority of 6-5

Really? What was the logic given here?

  1. Nothing to suggest constituent power to be separate from legislative power and even if distinct, amending power not same as constituent power which is given only to constituent assembly i.e. amendment is law and subject to article 13
  2. Fundamental rights so sacrosanct and transcendental that they can not be abridged even if whole parliament unanimously decided to abridge them.

But it validated all previous land reform acts as nullifying them would create utter confusion

Govt angry – Zamindars angry

New landlords happy.

Loss – loss to defendants as well as petitioner.

Madam Indira was in power and she did not like  this . Not one bit.

Along came 24th amendment to neutralize GOLAKNATH JUDGEMENT

  1. Art 13 inapplicable to art 368
  2. Art 368 provided powers as well as procedure to amend the constitution
  3. Parliament by way of addition, variation or repeal can amend any provision of constitution
  4. President shall give assent to CA bills ( VERY VERY IMP FOR PRELIMS )

But madam Indira wouldn’t just stop here as Cooper judgment (Bank nationalization ) also had to be neutralized.

Smarting from this setback, Madam Indira ( the parliament, herself) passed 24th CAA to neutralise GOLAKNATH judgement. But there was also a small matter of reversing Copper judgment in bank nationalisation case so parliament passed 25th CAA.

  1. Art 19f delinked from 31, in effect parliament deciding compensation amount payable instead of courts.
  2. Art 31c  -inserted under which – art 39b and c, most socialist of DPSPs (equitable distribution and prevention of concentration of wealth respectively) precede over 7 freedoms (art 19 ), equality (14), property (31)
  3. Parliament’s power to determine if policy is to give effect to 39b and c not subject to judicial review.

29th CAA had put Kerala land reform act under 9th schedule and his holiness challenged the provisions and all hell broke loose.


 

Now the 4th salvo

4.  Kesvanada Bharati Case

A 13 judge bench is constituted and what does it do!

  1. Overturned Golaknath i.e. amendment not law, fundamental rights amendable, no implied limit under art 368 i.e. CAA 24 constitutional
  2. Art 25 invalid to the extent it takes away judicial review i.e. 39 b and c above 14, 19 and 31 but subject to judicial review

Most imp decision of all by slimmest of all 7-6 majority stated Parliament can amend any provision of the Constitution but the basic structure should not be destroyed, damaged or abrogated.

What’s the logic?

  1. Expression amendment did not encompass defacing the constitution such that it lost its identity.
  2. In the garb of amendment parliament can not rewrite the constitution.

Court gave relief to govt but reserved for itself power to review all amendment not just those that violate fundamental rights.

Aftermath

Indira Gandhi didn’t like the judgement one  bit. She (via the president) superseded 3 judges to appoint justice A.N. Ray as CJI.

Knives had been drawn and the battle was gonna be very bloody –

  • Navnirman movement of JP (Jayprakash) had gathered steam, Indira was on the back foot and along came the judgement of Allahabad High Court convicting Indira of corrupt electoral practices. Election was declared null and void and  6 years ban to contest election was imposed on her.
  • Supreme Court stayed it and allowed her to remain PM but not to draw salary or speak or vote in parliament.
  • Darkest chapter in democracy’ 21 month emergency was declared on 25th June 1975 without even consulting cabinet (44th amendment mande it mandatory for the president to have written advice of cabinet to declare emergency)

Indira Gandhi wasn’t to sit quiet.

CAA 39th – election of president, VP, PM and speaker beyond judicial review

Clownish Rajnarayan challenged the CAA 39.

5. Indira Gandhi v/s Raj Narain Case

For the 1st time supreme court applied basic structure doctrine and considered free and fair election and rule of law to be part of basic structure . #amending act invalidated.

Note here that 4 of the 5 judges on the bench had given dissenting judgment in Bharati case but still applied the same doctrine for supreme court judgment becomes law until overruled by bigger bench ( art 141 ).

Then how did Indira continue to be prime  minister and contest election again and not get banned for 6 years?

Supreme court accepted retrospective amendment to electoral law i.e. electoral malpractice of Indira was no longer a corrupt practice .

Find out for fun the charges against Mrs. Gandhi for which she was convicted and what a popular British magazine had to say about the judgement.

Along came the mini constitution i.e 42nd amendment act TO ELIMINATE IMPEDIMENTS TO THE GROWTH OF THE CONSTITUTION – 

  1. PART 4a fundamental duties
  2. Socialist,secular and integrity word to preamble
  3. New DPSPs were added

And for the purpose of this article  amendment to article 368 nullifying basic structure doctrine by adding amendments can’t be challenged in courts and parliament possessing unlimited power of amendment

4. All DPSPs to take precedence over all fundamental rights not just 39b and 39c.

And Minerva Textile mills of Karnataka fired the 5th and the last salvo

6. Minerva Mills v Union of India

SC unanimously struck down amendment to article 368 holding limited amending power and judicial review to be part of basic structure.

Court held that constitution is founded on the bedrock of balance b/w FRs and DPSPs. Goals set out by DPSPs have to be achieved without abrogation of means provided by FRs.

What’s the logic?

If a donee was vested with limited power, it could not be exercised to control that very power power and convert into unlimited one.

Or

If a genie grants u 3 wishes, it is understood u can not, as one of the wish, ask for unlimited number of wishes !


 

Janta govt comes to power and 44th CAA  deletes art 31 (b)  right to property and 19 (f) freedom to acquire, hold and dispose of property as they were not considered part of basic structure

Right to property now a constitutional right under art 300A.

9th schedule and judicial review

7. I.R.Coelho vs state of TN

Supreme court held that acts placed under 9th schedule after basic structure subject would be subject to judicial review to the extent of those acts violating basic structure of constitution.

Impact of basic structure doctrine.

It certainly saved Indian democracy from degenerating into authoritarian regime during those testing times but it has also given immense untold unbridled power to supreme court and made it the most powerful court in the world .

As we would later see in the NJAC Verdict (let’s call it 4th judges case), Supreme court applied this doctrine, many would say for wrong reasons to strike down the act and kept for itself the power to appoint brother judges. In the original constitution only fetters on the power of parliament was art 13.

Relevance –  It was delivered at the time of single party rule both at the centre and most of the states. In the era of coalition politics no govt is going to wield so much power to destroy the constitution and then there is ever present danger of tyranny of unelected .

But only legitimate way to overturn the verdict would be a 15 judge bench so don’t hold your breath for that .

Now is the time for some thought  questions 

#1. Consider these 2 statements –

  1. Any LAW ie ordinary law violating  provisions  of constitution  would be declared null and void to to the extent of contravention.
  2. Any LAW violating art 13 would be declared null and void

Both statements are  true ..if amendments were not law, what was the purpose of art 13 (2) other laws would anyway be declared unconstitutional !

#2. Is basic structure doctrine relevant in the present political scenario where no single party is unlikely to enjoy majority in both the houses ?

#3. What should be the limits to amending power of parliament? Do u think for very substantial amendments instead of courts, people by way of referendum should determine whether amendment should go.through or not ?

#4. Whatever happens to original intent theory that constitutional courts have to interpret constitution in accordance with the implied intentions of founding fathers and there is enough evidence to suggest founding fathers thoughtfully kept FRs sacrosanct to prevent their abrogation or as we would see in a later article how supreme court by creative interpretation virtually changed procedure established by law in art 21 to due process of law while founding fathers deliberately kept expression as procedure established by law.

Summary 

 

1. Shankari Prasad Case
  1. Constitutional amendment not law
  2. Art 13 not applicable to article 368
  3. Parliament can amend fundamental rights
2. Sajjan Singh Case Same story
3. Golak Nath case
  1. Constitutional amendment is law and subject to article 13
  2. Fundamental Rights transcendental and inviolable and the Parliament of had no power to take away FRs
4. Kesavananda Bharati Case
  1. Constitutional amendment not law
  2. No implied limits on power of parliament to amend the constitution including FRs
  3. Can’t amend basic structure
5. Minerva Mills case
  1. Limited amending power of parliament and judicial review part of basic structure
  2. Constitution founded on the bedrock of balance b/w FRs and DPSPs
6. I.R. Coelho case Acts placed under 9th schedule after basic structure doctrine are subject to judicial review

 

1st amendment
  1. Inserted 9th schedule to protect acts from judicial review
  2. Added restrictions on freedom of speech
42nd amendment (Mini Constitution)
  1. Socialist, Secular and Integrity words added to preamble
  2. New DPSPs – Equal justice and free legal aid; Participation of workers in management; protection of environment
  3. Part 4A – Fundamental duties
44th constitution
  1. Right to property removed from the list of FRs
  2. New DPSP- state to secure social order for welfare of people
  3. For emergency, internal disturbance word replaced by armed rebellion
  4. Written notice from cabinet to proclaim emergency by president

Note – For quick revision for pre Click here

Categories
Prelims Daily

Testing Tuesday : High Five With Tikdam – 4

Hello everyone,

We have been hammering on importance of logical thinking and art of tikdam along with sound preparation as essential ingredients of recipe to clear prelims examination for quite some time now. The flagship prelims test series is based on the same principles so is our prelims daily initiative.

We started high five with tikdam to reinforce the importance of logical thinking and to get you into the habit of applying your mind while solving questions. In the first installment, there were five tough questions from 2016 paper which could be solved by tikdam.Individually none of you could get all five right but collectively you got all five right using tikdam.  In the 2nd installment, questions were easy to moderate and many more of you got answers right. In the 3rd installment, questions were a bit tricky and many of you failed to read the entire question with all the options carefully to arrive ta the write answer.

Inference is very simple – USE HAVE TO PRACTICE TO GET BETTER AT DERIVING ANSWERS FROM THE QUESTION USING YOUR AVAILABLE KNOWLEDGE.

How to practice – join the test series for more practice (600 tikdams) and one on one interaction with mentors (most important to take your thought process in right direction). It will help you get better in answering prelims questions and scoring 120 plus marks in CSE Prelims 2018.

Further, we will be posting five questions (apart from prelims daily) from previous years papers on every Tuesday   9 a.m  (Testing Tuesday) and Thursday 9 p.m.(Testing Thursday)  to make you practice questions asked in exam so that you can yourself the judge of efficacy of tikdam.

Here are high five questions from prelims 2013 (Easy ones) which you can solve with your knowledge, logical thinking and tikdam.

Please write your thought process/ method you applied to solve the question with the answers. We will get back to you as to how you can further refine your answer deriving capabilities. Note that this initiative will help you only if you apply your mind and write your thought process. Merely reading and learning the answers will not help.

  1. The Chinese traveller Yuan Chwang (Hiuen Tsang) who visited India recorded the general conditions and culture of India at that time. In this context, which of the following statements
    is/are correct?
    (1). The roads and river-routes were completely immune from robbery.
    (2). As regards punishment for offences, ordeals by fire, water and poison were the instruments
    for determining the innocence or guilt of a person.
    (3). The tradesmen had to pay duties at ferries and barrier stations. Select the correct answer
    using the codes given below.
    a) 1 only
    b) 2 and 3 only
    c) 1 and 3 only
    d) 1, 2 and 3

2. The demand for the Tebhaga Peasant Movement in Bengal was for
a) the reduction of the share of the landlords from one-half of the crop to one-third
b) the grant of ownership of land to peasants as they were the actual cultivators of the land
c) the uprooting of Zamindari system and the end of serfdom
d) writing off all peasant debts

3. Due to improper/indiscriminate disposal of old and used computers or their parts, which of the following are released into the environment as e-waste?
(1). Beryllium
(2). Cadmium
(3). Chromium
(4). Heptachlor
(5). Mercury
(6). Lead
(7). Plutonium
Select the correct answer using the codes given below.
a) 1, 3, 4, 6 and 7 only
b) 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6 only
c) 2, 4, 5 and 7 only
d) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7

4. Acid rain is caused by the pollution of environment by
a) carbon dioxide and nitrogen
b) carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide
c) ozone and carbon dioxide
d) nitrous oxide and sulphur dioxide

5. Which of the following diseases can be transmitted from one person to another through
tattooing?
(1). Chikungunya
(2). Hepatitis B
(3). HIV-AIDS
Select the correct answer using the codes given below.

a) 1 only
b) 2 and 3 only
c) 1 and 3 only
d) 1, 2 and 3

6. Photochemical smog is a resultant of the reaction among
a) NO 2 , O 3 and peroxyacetyl nitrate in the prescence of sunlight
b) CO 2 , O 2 , and peroxyacetyl nitrate in the prescence of sunlight
c) CO, CO 2 , and NO 2 at low temperature
d) high concentration of NO 2 , O 3 and CO in the evening

Dr. Vipin Garg is a medical doctor by training, economist by passion and an IAS (rank 20)officer by profession. He is one of the founding members of Civilsdaily and pioneered the concept of Tikdams (Smart Hacks) for IAS Prelims which form the bedrock of Civilsdaily’s Flagship Prelims Test Series.

 

MPORTANT STUFF: 

1. Daily newscards have been enriched with back2basics and note2students – Make notes daily

2. Liked Tikdams? Join our Flagship TS which helps you perfect this approach – Flagship Prelims for IAS 2018

3. For attempting previous Prelims Daily Questions – Click here

Categories
Prelims Daily

Testing Thursday : High Five With Tikdam – 3

Hello everyone,

We have been hammering on importance of logical thinking and art of tikdam along with sound preparation as essential ingredients of recipe to clear prelims examination for quite some time now. The flagship prelims test series is based on the same principles so is our prelims daily initiative.

We started high five with tikdam to reinforce the importance of logical thinking and to get you into the habit of applying your mind while solving questions. In the first installment, there were five tough questions from 2016 paper which could be solved by tikdam.Individually none of you could get all five right but collectively you got all five right using tikdam.  In the 2nd installment, questions were easy to moderate and many more of you got answers right.

Inference is very simple – USE HAVE TO PRACTICE TO GET BETTER AT DERIVING ANSWERS FROM THE QUESTION USING YOUR AVAILABLE KNOWLEDGE.

How to practice – join the test series for more practice (600 tikdams) and one on one interaction with mentors (most important to take your thought process in right direction). It will help you get better in answering prelims questions and scoring 120 plus marks in CSE Prelims 2018.

Further, we will be posting five questions (apart from prelims daily) from previous years papers on every Tuesday   9 a.m  (Testing Tuesday) and Thursday 9 p.m.(Testing Thursday)  to make you practice questions asked in exam so that you can yourself the judge of efficacy of tikdam.

Here are high five questions from prelims 2014 which you can solve with your knowledge, logical thinking and tikdam.

Please write your thought process/ method you applied to solve the question with the answers. We will get back to you as to how you can further refine your answer deriving capabilities. Note that this initiative will help you only if you apply your mind and write your thought process. Merely reading and learning the answers will not help.

  1. What are the significances of a practical approach to sugarcane production known as ‘Sustainable Sugarcane Initiative’?

1. Seed cost is very low in this compared to the conventional method of cultivation.

2. Drip irrigation can be practiced very effectively in this.

3. There is no application of chemical/inorganic fertilizers at all in this.

4. The scope for intercropping is more in this compared to the conventional method of cultivation.

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

a) 1 and 3 only

b) 1, 2 and 4 only

c) 2, 3 and 4 only

d) 1, 2, 3 and 4 only

 

2. With reference to technology for solar power production, consider the following statements:

1. ‘Photovoltaics’ is a technology that generates electricity by direct conversion of light into electricity, while ‘Solar Thermal’ is a technology that utilizes the Sun’s rays to generate heat which is further used in electricity generation process.

2. Photovoltaics-generates Alternating Current (AC), while Solar Thermal generates Direct Current (DC). 3. India has manufacturing base for Solar Thermal technology, but not for photovoltaics.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

a) 1 only

b) 2 and 3 only

c) 1, 2 and 3 only

d) None of the above

 

3. Consider the following diseases:

1. Diphtheria

2. Chickenpox

3. Smallpox

Which of the above diseases has/have been eradicated in India?

a) 1 and 2 only

b) 3 only

c) 1, 2 and 3 only

d) None of the above

 

4. “Other than poaching, what are the possible reasons for the decline in the population of Ganga River Dolphins?

1. Construction of dams and barrages on rivers.

2. Increase in the population of crocodiles in rivers.

3. Getting trapped in fishing nets accidentally.

4. Use of synthetic fertilizers and other agricultural chemicals in crop-fields in the vicinity of rivers.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

a) 1 and 2 only

b) 2 and 3 only

c) 1, 3 and 4 only

d) 1, 2, 3 and 4 only ”

 

5. Which of the following are some important pollutants released by steel industry in India?

1. Oxides of sulphur

2. Oxide of nitrogen

3. Carbon monoxide

4. Carbon dioxide

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

a) 1, 3 and 4 only

b) 2 and 3 only

c) 1 and 4 only

d) 1, 2, 3 and 4 only

 

Dr. Vipin Garg is a medical doctor by training, economist by passion and an IAS (rank 20)officer by profession. He is one of the founding members of Civilsdaily and pioneered the concept of Tikdams (Smart Hacks) for IAS Prelims which form the bedrock of Civilsdaily’s Flagship Prelims Test Series.

 

MPORTANT STUFF: 

1. Daily newscards have been enriched with back2basics and note2students – Make notes daily

2. Liked Tikdams? Join our Flagship TS which helps you perfect this approach – Flagship Prelims for IAS 2018

3. For attempting previous Prelims Daily Questions – Click here

Categories
Prelims Daily

Testing Tuesday: High Five With Tikdam – 2

Hello everyone,

We have been hammering on importance of logical thinking and art of tikdam along with sound preparation as essential ingredients of recipe to clear prelims examination for quite some time now. The flagship prelims test series is based on the same principles so is our prelims daily initiative.

We started high five with tikdam to reinforce the importance of logical thinking and to get you into the habit of applying your mind while solving questions. In the first installment, there were five tough questions from 2016 paper which could be solved by tikdam. Individually none of you could get all five right but collectively you got all five right using tikdam. Inference is very simple – USE HAVE TO PRACTICE TO GET BETTER AT DERIVING ANSWERS FROM THE QUESTION USING YOUR AVAILABLE KNOWLEDGE.

How to practice – join the test series for more practice and one on one interaction with mentors. It will help you get better in answering prelims questions and scoring 120 plus marks in CSE Prelims 2018.

Further, we will be posting five questions (apart from prelims daily) from previous years papers on every Tuesday and Friday to make you practice questions asked in exam so that you can yourself the judge of efficacy of tikdam.

Here are high five questions from prelims 2015 which you can solve with your knowledge, logical thinking and tikdam.

Please write your thought process/ method you applied to solve the question with the answers. We will get back to you as to how you can further refine your answer deriving capabilities. Note that this initiative will help you only if you apply your mind and write your thought process. Merely reading and learning the answers will not help.

 

  1. The term ‘IndARC’, sometimes seen in the news, is the name of

a) an indigenously developed radar system inducted into Indian Defence

b) India’s satellite to provide services to the countries of Indian Ocean Rim

c) a scientific establishment set up by India in Antartic region

d) India’s underwater observatory to scientifically study the Arctic region

2. What can be the impact of excessive/inappropriate use of nitrogenous fertilizers in agriculture?
(1) Proliferation of nitrogen-fixing microorganisms is soil can occur.
(2) Increase in the acidity of soil can take palce.
(3) Leaching of nitrate to the ground-water can occur.

Select the correct answer using the code given below.
a) 1 and 3 only
b) 2 only
c) 2 and 3 only
d) 1, 2 and 3

3. With reference to ‘fly ash’ produced by the power plants using coal as fuel, which of the
following statements is/are correct?
(1) Fly ash can be used in the production of bricks for building construction.
(2) Fly ash can be used as a replacement for some of the Portland cement contents of concrete.
(3) Fly ash is made up of silicon dioxide and calcium oxide only, and does not contain any toxic
elements.
Select the correct answer using the code given below.
a) 1 and 2
b) 2 only
c) 1 and 3
d) 3 only

4. With reference to Congress Socialist Party, consider the following statements :
(1) It advocated the boycott of British goods and evasion of taxes.
(2) It wanted to establish the dictatorship of proletariat.
(3) It advocated separate electorate for minorities and oppressed classses.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
a) 1 and 2 only
b) 3 only
c) 1, 2 and 3
d) None

5. Amnesty International is
a) an agency of the United Nations to help refugees of civil wars
b) a global Human Rights Movement
c) a non-governmental voluntary organization to help very poor people
d) an inter-governmental agency to cater to medical emergencies in war-ravaged regions

 

Dr. Vipin Garg is a medical doctor by training, economist by passion and an IAS (rank 20)officer by profession. He is one of the founding members of Civilsdaily and pioneered the concept of Tikdams (Smart Hacks) for IAS Prelims which form the bedrock of Civilsdaily’s Flagship Prelims Test Series.

 

MPORTANT STUFF: 

1. Daily newscards have been enriched with back2basics and note2students – Make notes daily

2. Liked Tikdams? Join our Flagship TS which helps you perfect this approach – Flagship Prelims for IAS 2018

3. For attempting previous Prelims Daily Questions – Click here

Categories
Prelims Daily

High Five With Tikdam

Hello everyone,

We have been hammering on importance of logical thinking and art of tikdam along with sound preparation as essential ingredients of recipe to clear prelims examination for quite some time now. The flagship prelims test series is based on the same principles so is our prelims daily initiative.

Prelims is just 162 days away now and your preparation should be at full swing now. We are with you in your quest to clear prelims and to ensure that we leave no stone unturned, here are high five questions from prelims 2016 which you can solve with your knowledge, logical thinking and tikdam.

Please write your thought process/ method you applied to solve the question with the answers. We will get back to you as to how you can further refine your answer deriving capabilities. 

Please fill the samanvaya form if you have any difficulty in applying the tikdams and join the test series for more practice and one on one interaction with mentors which will help you get better in answering prelims questions and scoring 120 plus marks in CSE Prelims 2018.

 

1. Regarding ‘Atal Pension Yojana’, which of the following statements is/are correct?

  1. It is a minimum guaranteed pension scheme mainly targeted at unorganized sector workers.
  2. Only one member of a family can join the scheme.
  3. Same amount of pension is guaranteed for the spouse for life after subscriber’s death.

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

  • a) 1 only
  • b) 2 and 3 only
  • c) 1 and 3 only
  • d) 1, 2 and 3

 

2. In the cities of our country, which among the following atmospheric gases are normally considered in calculating the value of Air Quality Index?

  1. Carbon dioxide
  2.  Carbon monoxide
  3. Nitrogen dioxide
  4. Sulfur dioxide
  5. Methane

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

a) 1, 2 and 3 only

b) 2, 3 and 4 only

c) 1, 4 and 5 only

d) 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

 

3. Which one of the following books of ancient India has the love story of the son of the founder of Sunga dynasty?

a) Swapnavasavadatta

b) Malavikagnimitra

c) Meghadoota

d) Ratnavali

 

4. The FAO accords the status of Globally Important Agricultural Heritage System (GIAHS) to traditional agricultural systems. What is the overall goal of this initiative?

1. To provide modern technology, training in modern farming methods and financial support to local communities of identified GIAHS so as to greatly enhance their agricultural productivity.

2. To identify and safeguard eco-friendly traditional farm practices and their associated landscapes, agricultural biodiversity and knowledge systems of the local communities

3. The provide Geographical Indication status to all the varieties of agricultural produce in such identifies GIAHS

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

a) 1 and 3 only

b) 2 only

c) 2 and 3 only

d) 1, 2 and 3

 

5. Which one of the following is the best description of  INS Astradharini, that was in the news recently?

a) Amphibious warfare ship

b) Nuclear-powered submarine

c) Torpedo launch and recovery vessel

d) Nuclear-powered aircraft carrier

 

Dr. Vipin Garg is a medical doctor by training, economist by passion and an IAS (rank 20) officer by profession. He is one of the founding members of Civilsdaily and pioneered the concept of Tikdams (Smart Hacks) for IAS Prelims which form the bedrock of Civilsdaily’s Flagship Prelims Test Series.

 

MPORTANT STUFF: 

1. Daily newscards have been enriched with back2basics and note2students – Make notes daily

2. Liked Tikdams? Join our Flagship TS which helps you perfect this approach – Flagship Prelims for IAS 2018

3. For attempting previous Prelims Daily Questions – Click here

Weekly Gyaan with Dr. V | Priority 1 news items from Dec 8-14 2017

#1. [op-ed snap] The outsider: On adultery law

Importance level: HIGH

Prelims worthy: Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code, Article 15(3) of Constitution, Section 198(2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure

Mains worthy: Various laws/provisions that treat women as subordinate and the need to repeal them

Short Summary: Op-ed discusses the issue of adultery law (Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code) being reconsidered by Supreme Court.

SC has noted that in a case of adultery, one person is liable for the offense but the other is absolved and that the concept of gender neutrality, on which criminal law normally proceeds, is absent

The matter now goes beyond the limited question of the culpability of women involved in a relationship outside their marriage. The law perpetuates the notion that women are somehow naive, gullible, and lack the agency a man possesses and hence needs to be repealed.

Further reads: Provisions related to marriage, women safety in IPC and Constitution.

Read full op-ed here: https://www.civilsdaily.com/op-ed-snap-the-outsider-on-adultery-law/

#2. [op-ed snap] Two myths about automation

Importance level: HIGH

Prelims worthy: Automation

Mains worthy: How automation will affect jobs

Short Summary: Op-ed discusses details about automation and its effects.

Automation can be defined as the technology by which a process or procedure is performed without human assistance.

According to a report, Automation Will Eliminate 9% Of US Jobs in 2018 and one-third of US workers could be jobless by 2030 due to Automation.

Impression that technological progress and job destruction are accelerating dramatically and previously safe jobs are now at risk are the two myths attached to automation.

The jobs are changing, not disappearing as machines are not capable of tasks in which empathy, compassion, intuition, interpersonal interaction, and communication are central

Read full op-ed here: https://www.civilsdaily.com/op-ed-snap-two-myths-about-automation/

#3. Narendra Modi inducts Scorpene-class submarine Kalvari into Indian Navy

Importance level: HIGH

Prelims worthy: INS Kalvari, INS Sindhushastra, Project-75, Kalvari tiger shark

Mains worthy:  Defense procurement and Make in India

Short Summary: News discusses commissioning of India’s first modern conventional submarine, INS Kalvari, into Navy’s fleet.

This is the first induction in almost two decades and thus becomes important.

Kalvari, named after a deep-sea tiger shark is the first of the six Scorpene-class submarines being built as part of Project-75 of the Indian Navy.

Read full news here: https://www.civilsdaily.com/narendra-modi-inducts-scorpene-class-submarine-kalvari-into-indian-navy/

#3. [op-ed snap] Perils of going cashless

Importance level: HIGH

Prelims worthy: Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance Bill (FRDI), cashless society

Mains worthy: Government moves to reduce cash usage and its effects on depositors

Short Summary: Op-ed discusses about “bail-in” clause of the Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance Bill (FRDI) which has led to worries about the safety of bank deposits.

The Bill enables the government to confiscate the deposits of ordinary citizens in order to save troubled public sector banks.

A cashless world makes it easier for banks to carry out their business of credit creation without the risk of having to satisfy the demand for cash from depositors as under cashless system, depositors are essentially locked in by banks.

Read full op-ed here: https://www.civilsdaily.com/op-ed-snap-perils-of-going-cashless/

#3. Govt, ASEAN in talks to take IMT highway up to Vietnam

Importance level: MEDIUM

Prelims worthy: India-Myanmar-Thailand (IMT) highway, ASEAN

Mains worthy: Various regional connectivity agreements involving India and their current status

Short Summary: News discusses about India and ASEAN countries holding consultations on the extension of the 1,360 km IMT highway — from Moreh in India to Mae-Sot in Thailand — to Laos, Cambodia and to Vietnam

This connectivity can generate annually, an estimated USD 70 billion in incremental GDP and 20 million in incremental aggregate employment by 2025

Connecting India with the Southeastern countries through a network of road will create jobs, market for crops grown in hilly regions of the Northeast which will also help growers in getting better price for their produce

Read full news here: https://www.civilsdaily.com/story/foreign-policy-watch-india-asean/#post-94533

#4. [op-ed snap] In an elite club: On India’s Wassenaar entry

Importance level: HIGH

Prelims worthy: Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), the Australia Group

Mains worthy: India’s nuclear program, NSG bid and way forward

Short Summary: Op-ed discusses about India getting membership of Wassenaar Arrangement.

This is a big step forward in India’s quest for formal acceptance as a responsible nuclear power as this agreement is clubbed with mechanisms such as the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) and the Australia Group.

Wassenaar Arrangement will embed India deeper in the global non-proliferation architecture and enable access to critical technologies in the defense and space sectors and also help in getting membership of Australia group and NSG.

Read full op-ed here: https://www.civilsdaily.com/op-ed-snap-in-an-elite-club-on-indias-wassenaar-entry/

Further reads: Read about India’s NSG bid, MTCR and backgrounder of issue here- https://www.civilsdaily.com/story/nuclear-diplomacy-and-disarmament/

#5. [op-ed snap] Raja Mandala: Indian diplomacy, beyond the canon

Importance level: HIGH

Prelims worthy: Bodhi Parva, BIMSTEC, two plus two dialogue,  G-20, East Asia Summit, BRICS, Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, Commonwealth forum

Mains worthy: India’s rising stature in multipolar world

Short Summary: Op-ed discusses the new approach of Indian diplomacy in maintaining relations with all the countries and moving away from non-alignment.

Along with cultural, digital and physical connectivity, the idea of minilateralism with multiple partners has become an important theme in Indian diplomacy.

After the end of cold war, India looked beyond the idea of the Non-Aligned Movement and as a result India is part of such diverse organizations like the G-20, East Asia Summit, BRICS, and Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.

Read full op-ed here: https://www.civilsdaily.com/op-ed-snap-raja-mandala-indian-diplomacy-beyond-the-canon/

#6. No WTO deal without food security: India

Importance level: HIGH

Prelims worthy: WTO, WTO Ministerial Conference, Doha Round of negotiations, Trade Facilitation in Services (TFS) Agreement

Mains worthy: Issues related to food security and WTO agreements

Short Summary: News discusses India’s stance at the recently concluded WTO meet at Buenos Aires.

India has said it cannot envisage any negotiated outcome, at the meeting of the World Trade Organisation’s apex decision-making body, which does not include successful resolution of the food security right issue.

India opposed the endeavor of certain countries to include ‘new issues’ — such as e-commerce, investment facilitation and matters relating to small firms in the ongoing Doha Round of negotiations.

Read full news here: https://www.civilsdaily.com/no-wto-deal-without-food-security-india/

#7. Govt bans condom ads from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. because they are “indecent”

Importance level: MEDIUM

Prelims worthy: Cable Television Networks Rules, 1994, Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI)

Mains worthy: Ban culture being imposed in name of preserving values

Short Summary: News discusses the government order which strictly asked TV channels not to air advertisements selling and promoting condoms

Apart from this, indecent, vulgar, suggestive, repulsive or offensive themes or treatment shall be avoided in all advertisements

This decision was taken after the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) requested the ministry earlier this month to take a call on such ads and their telecast timing

Read full news here: https://www.civilsdaily.com/govt-bans-condom-ads-from-6-a-m-to-10-p-m-because-they-are-indecent/

#8. [pib] Water circuits to be developed on the lines of power circuits

Importance level: HIGH

Prelims worthy: Water circuits

Mains worthy: Water management

Short Summary: News discusses need for water circuits in the country on the lines of power circuits for better water conservation

River connectivity programme can reduce water crisis in critical areas like Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Telangana, and Maharashtra

Read full news here: https://www.civilsdaily.com/pib-water-circuits-to-be-developed-on-the-lines-of-power-circuits/

#9. New form of matter ‘excitonium’ discovered

Importance level: HIGH

Prelims worthy: Excitonium, bosons

Mains worthy: Discovery and its details can be asked in Mains

Short Summary: Excitonium which was first theorized almost 50 years ago, has been proved by scientists

Excitonium is made up of excitons, particles that are formed in a very strange quantum mechanical pairing and exhibits macroscopic quantum phenomena, like a superconductor

Read full news here: https://www.civilsdaily.com/new-form-of-matter-excitonium-discovered/

#10. Short on judges, justice a dish served cold

Importance level: HIGH

Prelims worthy: Appointment process in Judiciary, Rankin Committee Report, Law Commission of India

Mains worthy: Pendency of cases in judiciary and way forward

Short Summary: News discusses the issue of judicial pendency and current status of vacancies in judiciary

Nearly 2.6 crore cases are pending in the district and subordinate courts across the country and 25% of  judges posts are lying empty

Apart from exams not being conducted and delayed results, unclear recruitment procedures and difficulties in coordination between recrutitment agencies (state psc’s) and High courts is a major reason of posts lying vacant.

SC has initiated various reforms to address this issue.

Read full news here: https://www.civilsdaily.com/short-on-judges-justice-a-dish-served-cold/

#11. [op-ed snap] Living in a world of emerging microbial resistance

Importance level: HIGH

Prelims worthy: Antimicrobial Resistance, ANSWER, NDM-1

Mains worthy: 2017 National Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance

Short Summary: Op-ed discusses the issue of antimicrobial resistance and what effects it can have

The 2017 National Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance talks about limiting antibiotics in effluent being dumped by drug makers into the environment

Until now, India’s fight against antibiotic-resistance was focussed on getting people to cut down on unnecessary antibiotic consumption but this attitude needs to be changed as antimicrobial resistance could give rise to new genes as dangerous as NDM-1

Read full op-ed here: https://www.civilsdaily.com/op-ed-snap-living-in-a-world-of-emerging-microbial-resistance/

#12. Joint Indo-UK military exercise focusing on interoperability

Importance level: HIGH

Prelims worthy: Military exercises-Ajeya Warrior, Indra, Shakti, Shatrujeet, Drad sankalp

Mains worthy: India’s defence cooperation with various nations

Short Summary: News discusses about the third edition of the exercise ‘Ajeya Warrior’ that was held close to the Indo-Pak border in Rajasthan

The exercise was held against the backdrop of UN mandate of anti-terrorism operations

India has intensified its military cooperation with various nations after China’s increased presence in Pakistan as well as Indian ocean region

Read full news here: https://www.civilsdaily.com/joint-indo-uk-military-exercise-focusing-on-inter-operability/

#13. UN rejects US recognition of Jerusalem as Israeli capital

Importance level: HIGH

Prelims worthy: Jerusalem-historical importance and position (map based), UNSC

Mains worthy: Isreal-palestine conflict and itrs ramifications on world

Short Summary: Ndews discusses about urgent meeting of UNSC that was called to analyze the decision taken by Washington to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital

UNSC has said that Jerusalem is a final status issue for which a comprehensive, just and lasting solution must be achieved through negotiations between the parties

This was done after US President Donald Trump had recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in a planned speech

Read full news here: https://www.civilsdaily.com/un-rejects-us-recognition-of-jerusalem-as-israeli-capital/

#14. 119 nations back move to remove barriers limiting women’s participation in trade

Importance level: HIGH

Prelims worthy: Buenos Aires Declaration on Women and Trade, WTO

Mains worthy: Efforts across world for Women empowerment

Short Summary: News discusses about WTO’s Buenos Aires Declaration on Women and Trade

Nearly three-fourths of the 164-member World Trade Organisation (WTO) supported a declaration seeking women’s economic empowerment by expeditiously removing barriers to trade

India did not endorse this declaration as agreeing to the proposition to link gender and trade could lead to advanced countries using their high standards in gender-related policies to curb exports from the developing world

Read full news here: https://www.civilsdaily.com/119-nations-back-move-to-remove-barriers-limiting-womens-participation-in-trade/

Weekly Gyaan with Dr. V | Priority 1 news items from 1-7 Dec 2017

#1. [op-ed snap] Stand up against torture

Importance level: HIGH

Prelims worthy: Convention Against Torture (CAT). UPSC has been asking 1-2 conventions every year in prelims and mains. Example they asked a question on ‘United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification’ in 2016

Mains worthy: How lack of ratification of this convention is undermining India’s prestige in the world. How ratification of this convention will further the cause of human rights in India

Short Summary: India has been making promises of ratifying CAT but doesn’t seem intent on keeping them

The Prevention of Torture Bill, 2010 was a big step taken to include various forms of torture in consideration such as food deprivation, sleep deprivation, sound bombardment, electric shocks etc. which are used by Indian police force. But bill was allowed to lapse

By showing that it has no intention of combating the issues related to its own forces and of implementing its promises made to the UN, India has undermined its own prestige

Read full op-ed here:

https://www.civilsdaily.com/op-ed-snap-stand-up-against-torture/

#2 Boost for exports as Government announces more incentives

Importance level: HIGH

Prelims worthy: MEIS, SEIS, Foreign trade policy 2015-20

Mains worthy: Ease of doing business, steps taken by Government to arrest slowdown in exports

Short summary: Government announced additional incentives to help boost exports in its mid-term review of the Foreign Trade Policy 2015-2020

The mid-term review aims to promote exports by simplification of processes and enhance support to high employment sectors

Various other steps have been taken to make processes relating to trade simpler like: Self certification scheme for duty free imports, single point electronic contact to traders with the Directorate General of Foreign Trade for trade and consignment related queries and creating a logistics division in the department of commerce

Read full news here:

https://www.civilsdaily.com/story/trade-sector-updates/#post-93986

#3 The unfortunate consequences of GST anti-profiteering rules

Importance level: Medium

Prelims worthy: anti-profiteering rules

Mains worthy: ill-effects of anti-profiteering rules and reasons behind ill-effect

Short summary: India may adopt a product-specific approach similar to that of Australia to ensure that the full benefit of price reductions due to the goods and services tax (GST) is passed onto consumers

Australia, Malaysia, Canada and New Zealand are some countries where anti-profiteering or similar provisions have been put in place but were not successful

This happened because movement in prices is also a function of the demand-supply scenario and such provision can work only when things like raw material costs do not swing sharply

Read full news here:

https://www.civilsdaily.com/story/goods-and-services-tax/#post-93982

#4. UAE and Saudi form new group separate from GCC

Importance level: Medium

Prelims worthy: GCC and its members

Mains worthy: Geopolitics of Middle east and its impact on India

Short summary: UAE announced it has formed a new economic and political partnership group with Saudi Arabia, separate from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)

Known as Joint cooperation committee, it is assigned to cooperate and coordinate between the UAE and Saudi Arabia in all military, political, economic, trade and cultural fields, as well as others, in the interest of the two countries

Read full news here:

https://www.civilsdaily.com/story/foreign-policy-watch-india-middle-east/#post-93978

#5. [op-ed snap] From Plate to Plough: Agri-futures, like China

Importance level: High

Prelims worthy: What is Agri-future?

Mains worthy: Need of agri-future in India, issues in India’s Agri-future infrastructure,lessons which India should take from China

Short Summary: In November, prices of most major kharif crops crashed below their respective minimum support prices (MSPs), triggering farm distress

Agrifutures are futures contracts in which the underlying assets come from the raising of crops and/or animals. That is, the underlying asset of an agricultural futures contract may be a direct product of the earth, such as corn or beef, or a derivative, such as high fructose corn syrup

The agri-futures market was introduced in the early 1990s in China and by 2016, it was at the top of global chart. India needs to take lessons from China in order to improve agricultural economy

Read full op-ed here:

https://www.civilsdaily.com/story/agricultural-marketing-reforms/#post-93925

#6. [op-ed snap] Bail-in doubts — on financial resolution legislation

Importance level: High

Prelims worthy: Not much

Mains worthy: Key features of the ordinance, issues with the ordinance. How does the ordinance affects freedom of speech and expression

Short Summary: Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance Bill, 2017, introduced in Parliament this August, has caused great anxiety about the safety of funds parked by millions of households in bank deposits

There are fears that it will enable banks to be ‘bailed in’ by depositors’ funds rather than being ‘bailed out’ by taxpayers (or potential buyers)

A bail-in is rescuing a financial institution on the brink of failure by making its creditors and depositors take a loss on their holdings. A bail-in is the opposite of a bail-out, which involves the rescue of a financial institution by external parties, typically governments using taxpayers money

Read full op-ed here:

https://www.civilsdaily.com/2017/12/05/#post-93914

#7. Rajasthan ordinance that sought to shield public servants from probe lapses

Importance level: High

Prelims worthy: Not much

Mains worthy: Key features of the ordinance, issues with the ordinance.How does the ordinance affects freedom of speech and expression

Short summary: The Criminal Laws (Rajasthan Amendment) Ordinance, 2017 which sought to shield judges, magistrates and public servants from investigation lapsed as it was not passed by assembly

The government in Rajasthan had promulgated an ordinance providing for prior sanction for investigation against public servants, judges and magistrates for acts done “in discharge of official duties”

As per rules, if the Assembly fails to pass the Bill, the Ordinance automatically lapses after six weeks from the date of being tabled as a Bill

Read full news here:

https://www.civilsdaily.com/2017/12/05/#post-93916

Further reads: Provisions related to promulgation of ordinance, powers of president and government in this regard, exceptions etc.

#8 India is biggest importer of U.S. oil refinery by-product ‘petcoke’

US exporting dirty fuel to already pollution choked India

Importance level: High

Prelims worthy: What is petcoke?

Mains worthy:  Impact of Petcoke use in India and views of experts,government and SC on petcoke

Short summary: US oil refineries that are unable to sell a dirty fuel waste product (petcoke) at home are exporting vast quantities of it to India instead

Petroleum coke, the leftover from refining Canadian tar sands and other heavy crude, is cheaper and burns hotter than coal. It also contains more planet-warming carbon and far more heart and lung-damaging sulfur

The petcoke burned in countless factories and plants is contributing to dangerously filthy air in India

Read full news here:

https://www.civilsdaily.com/story/foreign-policy-watch-india-us/#post-93706

https://www.civilsdaily.com/india-is-biggest-importer-of-u-s-oil-refinery-by-product-petcoke/#post-93853

#9. Government to enable skilled persons bag jobs abroad

Importance level: High

Prelims worthy: Not much

Mains worthy: Steps being taken by Government for skilling people. Skill development has become a hot topic for UPSC.In both 2015 and 2016 mains they asked question related to skill development

Short summary: India plans to make it easier for masons, carpenters and plumbers, among other skilled persons, to get jobs overseas

Information Asymmetry exists across the globe for different skills and the basic minimum certification required for each skill in different countries

Government had announced the launch of 50 India International Skill Centres to impart training to youth under the Pravasi Kaushal Vikas Yojana. The idea was to increase the employability and acceptability of Indian youth on global platforms

Read full news here:

https://www.civilsdaily.com/story/skilling-india/#post-93839

#10. New direct taxes code aims for lower rates, wider base

[op-ed snap] Towards a new direct tax system

Importance level: High

Prelims worthy: Not much

Mains worthy: Why we need reforms in our direct tax laws.What should be the feature of new tax system

Short summary: Aim of the new direct taxes code is to get more people to pay direct taxes and to take the direct tax-to-GDP ratio to as close to 18% as possible.

The current direct tax-to-GDP ratio is 5.6%. Including direct taxes and indirect taxes, this is currently 10.8% of GDP (excluding state taxes). This is likely to increase because of the unified goods and services tax introduced this year.

Indian state has to depend a lot on indirect taxes, which are fundamentally regressive. Proportion of direct taxes in the total pool has to increase further to make the tax system more progressive.

Read full news and op-ed here:

https://www.civilsdaily.com/story/tax-reforms/#post-93834

Further reads: Direct and indirect taxes in India, authorities related to them and reasons behind low tax compliance

#11. [op-ed snap] An opportunity for India

Importance level: Medium

Prelims worthy: Not much

Mains worthy: The importance of Clinical Trials,Why India is lagging behind in clinical trials and steps taken by the government regarding the trials

Short summary: It is time India creates a favourable environment for clinical trials as it has a huge talent pool and growing demand for innovation in drugs and medical devices to address the rising disease burden

According to the Journal of Clinical Research and Bioethics, India represents 17.5% of the world’s population but conducts only 1.4% of global clinical research.  This is because the regulatory system in India for clinical research has become increasingly a deterrent for biopharmaceutical and device companies which sponsor clinical trials

The Government has proposed waiving off clinical trials for those drugs that have already proved their efficacy in developed markets. More such steps need to be taken

Read full op-ed here:

https://www.civilsdaily.com/story/innovation-ecosystem-in-india/#post-93819

#12. [pib] Star Rating Protocol for Garbage Free Cities Introduced

Importance level: Medium

Prelims worthy: Star rating protocol for garbage free cities

Mains worthy: Urbanisation challenges

Short summary: A star rating protocol for garbage free cities has been introduced

It will focus on the issue of cleanliness of community and public toilets. There is a concerted drive to seek user feedback for CT/PTs through the Google toilet locator and Swachhata app

Local bodies will be uploading all community / public toilets in cities on Google maps under the Business listing category, integrating with Swachhata app

Read full news here:

https://www.civilsdaily.com/story/managing-indias-growing-waste/#post-93717

#13. [pib] SAUBHAGYA Scheme launched in Manipur

Importance worthy: High

Prelims worthy: Saubhagya scheme, First State where the scheme is launched

Mains worthy: Significance of Saubhagya scheme,challenges in its implementation

Short summary: The Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana (SAUBHAGYA) was launched in Manipur

Saubhagya is a scheme launched to achieve universal household electrification in all parts of the Country by Government of India. People would get 24×7 power supply by March, 2019

For achieving this target, the Government has already given obligation to private companies to provide 24×7 power supply to every household

Read about all important government schemes here in this listicle:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1arK69byj5rzHFaN3Wlo-9uA9B_cIrrKuf5_PpcJQxbI/edit?usp=sharing

#14. Instant triple talaq: Draft Law

Importance level: High

Prelims worthy: Sarkaria commission

Mains worthy: Rights of Women vs minority rights; State’s role in people’s religion

Short summary: Centre has drawn up a draft law to stop the practice of instant triple talaq or talaq-e-bidat

The draft law applies to instant triple talaq in “oral, written, electronic or any other form”. Instant triple talaq or talaq-e-bidat will be a “cognizable and non-bailable” offence

In view of the recommendations of the Sarkaria Commission, the Centre has forwarded the draft law to states and asked them to send their views soon

Read full news here:

https://www.civilsdaily.com/story/uniform-civil-code/#post-93708

Further reads: Provisions in constitution and various statutes to safeguard women, Uniform civil code, various marriage acts

#15. Way to remove poll commissioners vague

Importance level: High

Prelims worthy: Appointment and removal of Election Commissioners

Mains worthy: Electoral reforms,issue of vagueness in the procedure for of removal Election Commissioners and its implication on independence of E.C.

Short summary: A PIL petition pointing out the vagueness in the procedure for removal of Election Commissioners, saying it affects the Election Commission’s autonomy was filed in Supreme court

Though the proviso to Article 324 (5) of the Constitution safeguards the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) from arbitrary removal, the same provision is silent about the procedure for removal of the two Election Commissioners. It only provides that they cannot be removed from office except on the recommendation of the CEC

The CEC and the Election Commissioners enjoy the same decision-making powers which are suggestive of the fact that their powers are at par with each other and thus Election Commissioners should be with the same protection against arbitrary removal as the Chief Election Commissioner

Read the full news here:

https://www.civilsdaily.com/story/electoral-reforms-in-india/#post-93690

Further reads: Appointment of Election commissioners, functioning of election commission

#16. Cabinet nod to nutrition mission

Importance level: High

Prelims worthy: National Nutrition Mission, A question regarding this mission was also asked in UPSC Prelims 2017

Mains worthy: Steps taken by Government to counter hunger & Malnutrition in India

Short summary: The Union Cabinet approved the launch of National Nutrition Mission with a target to reduce malnutrition and low birth weight by 2% each year

The core idea behind the mission is to converge all the existing programmes on a single platform

The mission targets to bring down stunting in children and anaemia among young children, women and adolescent girls by 3% every year

Read full news here:

https://www.civilsdaily.com/story/hunger-and-nutrition-issues/#post-93682

#17. All you need to know about the Transgender Persons Bill, 2016

Importance level: High

Prelims worthy: Transgender rights bill, Private members bill, IPC

Mains worthy: Significance and issues in the current Transgender persons bill,2016

Short summary: Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016, which was tabled in the Lok Sabha in August 2016, is set to be reintroduced in the winter session of Parliament

India’s transgender community is up in arms, since they believe the legislation meant to safeguard their interests only serves to undermine their right to life and livelihood

The Rights of Transgender Persons Bill, 2014, was introduced as a Private Member’s Bill in the Rajya Sabha and had many progressive clauses and many of them have been removed or toned down in the new bill

Read the full news here:

https://www.civilsdaily.com/all-you-need-to-know-about-the-transgender-persons-bill-2016/#post-93600

Further reads: Private members bill, provisions related to vulnerable sections of society

#18. New Delhi caught by surprise as Maldives seals FTA with China

Importance level: High

Prelims worthy: FTA

Mains worthy: Effects of FTA between China and Maldives on India-Maldives relations

Short summary: Maldives rammed through its Free Trade Agreement with China in the Maldivian parliament in a session attended by only 30 out of 85 members

The haste with which the government decided to pass the pact is being perceived as Maldives trying to cosy up to China

This is Maldives’s first FTA with any country, and China’s second FTA with any country in South Asia after Pakistan. Maldivian government has extended invitations to establish free trade agreements with countries including Japan, the United States of America, the United Kingdom and countries of the European Union but it doesn’t name India in this list

Read full news here:

https://www.civilsdaily.com/story/foreign-policy-watch-india-maldives/#post-93625

#19. [op-ed snap] Responsibility without power

Importance worthy: High

Prelims worthy: Article 239AA

Mains worthy: UPSC has asked question on this topic in 2016 mains.Limitations of article 239AA

Short summary: The problem of jurisdictional conflicts between Delhi’s elected government and the lieutenant governor (LG) is attributable to Article 239AA of the Indian Constitution

Two important questions that emanate are:

  • Whether the elected government is the final authority in respect of matters assigned to it by the Constitution?
  • Whether the LG has primacy when a difference of opinion arises between him and his council of ministers on matters of governance?

Westing of all powers in the LG in respect of matters which come within the jurisdiction of the assembly is not in conformity with the scheme of Article 239 AA.

Read full op-ed here:

https://www.civilsdaily.com/story/delhi-statehood/#post-93602

Further reads: Special provisions in Constitution for some states and UTs

Weekly Gyaan with Dr. V | Priority 1 news items from 23-30 Nov 2017

High Priority (P1) news items from 23 November – 30 November

 

Cabinet approves India’s membership for EBRD

Importance level: HIGH

Prelims worthy: EBRD, International economic institutions

Mains worthy: Membership of India at various international forums/institutions

Short summary: News discusses approval by Union Cabinet for India’s membership to European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

This will help India obtain funding in various areas including services and manufacturing.

EBRD’s core operations pertain to private sector development in their countries of operation.

The EBRD is not to be confused with the European Investment Bank (EIB) which is owned by EU member states and is used to support EU policy.

How is it different from IBRD?

Read more about it here:

https://www.civilsdaily.com/cabinet-approves-indias-membership-for-ebrd/#post-93151

 

Migratory birds start arriving in Chilika

 

Importance level: HIGH

Prelims worthy: Chilka lake and other wetlands under Ramsar convention

Mains worthy: Measures that can be taken to reduce threats faced by existing protected areas

Short summary: The news discusses arrival of lakhs of migratory birds at the Chilika Lake.

Chilka lake is Asia’s largest brackish water lagoon. It is the largest wintering ground for migratory birds on the Indian sub-continent.

In 1981, Chilika Lake was designated the first Indian wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention.

The lagoon hosts over 160 species of birds in the peak migratory season. Birds from as far as the Caspian Sea, Lake Baikal, Aral Sea and other remote parts of Russia, Kirghiz steppes of Mongolia, Central and southeast Asia, Ladakh and Himalayas come here.

Read more details here:

https://www.civilsdaily.com/migratory-birds-start-arriving-in-chilika/#post-93135

Further reads- Mark all mentioned places on world/India map. There is a high probability of one of them appearing in Prelims.

 

[op-ed snap] The potential of smart contracts in banking

 

Importance level: HIGH

Prelims worthy: Bitcoins, Blockchain

Mains worthy: Scope of leveraging blockchain technology in banking and other sectors

Short summary: Editorial discusses about blockchain technology being explored by Bankchain which is a consortium of 27 banks (22 of them are Indian) of which the State Bank of India (SBI) was the first Indian member

“Blockchain” is the sequence of all the verified “blocks” of transactions, recorded chronologically —timestamped—one after the other.

The blockchain can be used to keep track of the ownership of any asset or data that can be digitized and represented by computer code.

Banks are uncomfortable with losing control of the system and they prefer “permissioned” blockchains like Bankchain which restricts the access to nodes to other banks.

Read the full op-ed here:

https://www.civilsdaily.com/story/banking-sector-reforms/#post-93129

 

Rajnath to chair meet on Centre-State relations

 

Importance level: HIGH

Prelims worthy: ISC, Punchhi commission

Mains worthy: Changing equations in Centre State relations and matters related to internal security

Short summary: News discusses about Home Minister chairing a meeting of the Standing Committee of the Inter State Council (ISC) to discuss the recommendations made by the Punchhi Commission on Centre-State relations.

The Commission in its report had said that ‘National Security’ as a subject was not specifically listed in any of the three Lists, i.e. the Union, the State or the Concurrent List.

Though it is an overriding executive power of the Union, in Constitutional practice, however, ‘Security’ is a subject in which the States and the Union have a common interest and are expected to act in a coordinated manner, the report had said.

Read more about issue here:

https://www.civilsdaily.com/rajnath-to-chair-meet-on-centre-state-relations/#post-93238

Further reads: Recommendations of Punchhi commission for Mains, Role of ISC, Union, state and concurrent lists.

 

Can’t force govt. to frame a law: SC

 

Importance level: HIGH

Prelims worthy: UN convention against torture

Mains worthy: Judiciary executive faceoff, Judicial activism

Short summary: News discusses about the Supreme Court statement saying it would not compel government to ratify the UN Convention against Torture or command it to frame a standalone anti-torture legislation.

The judiciary had faced a barrage of criticism for its “judicial activism” in recent past

The UN convention against torture is an international human rights treaty, under the review of the United Nations, that aims to prevent torture and other acts of cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment around the world.

Read more about it here:

https://www.civilsdaily.com/story/judiciary-institutional-issues/#post-93430

Further reads: Powers of Judiciary, legislature in matters related to legislation

 

Drug regulator to make ‘stability testing’ a must for all medicines sold in India

 

Importance level: MEDIUM

Prelims worthy: Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945, stability testing

Mains worthy: Issues related to pharma sector in India

Short summary: Amendments are being proposed to the existing Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945, to make “stability testing” mandatory for all drugs sold in the country before they are deemed suitable for use by patients.

Once the rules take effect, pharma companies will have to subject their products to quality tests to make sure that drugs do not lose their potency and the expiry dates printed on the packaging are based on the test results.

Stability testing is the process of subjecting drugs to different tests in varying degrees of temperature and sunlight.

Read the full news here:

https://www.civilsdaily.com/story/pharma-sector/#post-93433

 

Internet must be open: TRAI backs net neutrality

 

Importance level: HIGH

Prelims worthy: Net neutrality, TRAI

Mains worthy: Debate around net neutrality

Short summary: News discusses about TRAI recommendation of upholding the basic principle of net neutrality.

Net neutrality means that a service provider can discriminate users on the basis of content by either blocking, throttling, or “fast-laning” any apps, websites or web services.

To monitor and investigate whether service providers are adhering to the rules, the regulator also suggested that a multi-stakeholder body should be set up.

Read all details here:

https://www.civilsdaily.com/story/net-neutrality-the-debate-around-it/#post-93509

 

India loses billions to air pollution: UN

 

Importance level: HIGH

Prelims worthy: Minamata convention, ‘Towards a pollution-free planet’ report by UN

Mains worthy: Air pollution and issues related to it

Short summary: News discusses about India having the highest share of welfare costs (or a loss of income from labour) in South and South-East Asia from mortality due to air pollution.

This is according to a report by the United Nations Environment Programme named ‘Towards a pollution-free planet’.

Report said that if consumption and production patterns continue as they are, the linear economic model of ‘take-make-dispose’ will seriously burden an already polluted planet, affecting current and future generations.

Read all details of report and Minamata convention here:

https://www.civilsdaily.com/story/air-pollution/#post-93507

 

Electoral bonds: Govt, RBI finalising norms; unveiling likely by year-end

 

Importance level: HIGH

Prelims worthy: Electoral bonds, Role of ECI, RBI and others, RPA Act provisions related to electoral funding, conduct of elections (Static part)

Mains worthy: Transparency in election process

Short summary: News discusses the progress related to electoral bonds announced in Budget 2017 which aimed at bringing more transparency in donations given to political parties.

While the main motive behind their introduction was increased transparency in electoral funding, government has provided a bypass to political parties by including provision in budget that exempts political parties from disclosing donations received from electoral bonds, even if it is above the prescribed limit of Rs. 20,000 mentioned in Representation of the People (RP) Act.

Also, government removed limits on corporate donations to political parties. Companies are no longer required to name the parties to which contributions are made.

Read more about electoral bonds and other details here: https://www.civilsdaily.com/electoral-bonds-govt-rbi-finalising-norms-unveiling-likely-by-year-end/#post-93567

Further reads: Read about RP Act, Election process from Polity book/notes.

 

To make instant triple talaq a crime, Govt looks to change Shah Bano law

 

Importance level: MEDIUM

Prelims worthy: Triple Talaq, CrPC

Mains worthy: Urgent requirement of Uniform Civil Code

Short summary: News discusses government actions being taken after Supreme court gave its verdict on Triple talaq issue. Various options are being considered by government to give relief to women of muslim community from centuries-old practice of instant talaq.

One option under consideration is amending The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986 (also called the Shah Bano Act) which allows maintenance to a divorced woman only during the period of iddat, or three menstrual cycles/three lunar months after divorce in line with Muslim personal law.

While divorce is a civil matter, the legislature is free to declare any unlawful/illegal offence, in this case triple talaq, as criminal.

The government is also considering amendments to provisions of Section 125 Code of Criminal Procedure (order for maintenance of wives, children and parents) to provide further safeguards to Muslim women and their wards.

Read more about Triple talaq here:

https://www.civilsdaily.com/story/women-empowerment-issues-jobsreservation-education/#post-93563

Further reads: Read about Religious Personal laws and their status vis-a-vis fundamental rights/DPSP , CrPC from Polity book/notes.

 

India unlikely to cut malaria by half in 2020: WHO

 

Importance level: HIGH

Prelims worthy: Malaria, WHO reports, Various virus and bacteria causing communicable and noncommunicable diseases (Static part from NCERTs)

Mains worthy: Status of Health Care system in India

Short summary: The news discusses about India likely to miss its target of reducing Malaria instances to half by 2020.

Neighbours of India such as Bhutan, Nepal, Thailand, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Indonesia, are among the countries poised to reduce malaria incidence by over 40% by 2020.

A key impediment to eliminating malaria is a weak surveillance system for screening cases of Malaria.

Read more about Malaria and other diseases here:

https://www.civilsdaily.com/story/communicable-and-non-communicable-diseases/#post-93533

 

[op-ed snap] How to free Indians from the medical poverty trap

 

Importance level: HIGH

Prelims worthy: Generic medicines, Bioequivalence

Mains worthy: Problems being faced by Health Care system in India

Short summary: Editorial discusses the dichotomy of health care sector that despite being the largest supplier of generic drugs in the world, too many Indian citizens do not get access to medicines owing to high costs.

Medicines are a major component of total health expenses—72% in rural areas and 68% in urban areas and Healthcare costs pushed 60 million Indians below the poverty line in 2011.

Cheaper generics are one of the important factors for reducing healthcare cost as government solution of price control of medicines and healthcare equipments is suboptimal.

Read more about the issue, generic medicines and bioequivalence here:

https://www.civilsdaily.com/story/health-sector/#post-93539


Dr. V along with CD’s newscards team brings to you the highest priority news items (P1) of the week gone by. Make sure you go through them, make notes, ask questions and explore more static syllabus as per our directives, given in “Further Readings”

About Dr. V

Dr. Vipin Garg is a medical doctor by training, economist by passion and an IAS officer by profession. He is one of the founding members of Civilsdaily and pioneered the concept of Tikdams (Smart Hacks) for IAS Prelims which form the bedrock of Civilsdaily’s Flagship Prelims Test Series.

Strategy for cracking IAS examination for the beginners

IMP: Civilsdaily IAS Prelims 2018 Test Series Module Launched – Click here


How to begin, where to start?

That’s the million dollar question which everyone asks oneself when one first thinks of becoming a civil servant. How to go about preparation depends on how much time you have at your disposal. And you guys have lots of time in your hands.

Before coming to preparation let’s know our enemy better

It’s basically a 3 stage examination

(i) Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination (Objective type) for the selection of candidates for the Main Examination;

It consists of two papers,

  • Paper 1 deals with general studies and contains 100 questions. Paper 2 is of aptitude test and contains 80 questions. Paper 2 is only of qualifying nature (67 marks for qualifying)
  • Approximately 12 times the total number of vacancies qualify this exam to be eligible to appear in the next stage. Marks obtained in prelims are not counted for final merit.

(ii) Civil Services (Main) Examination (Written and Interview) for the selection of candidates for the various Services and posts noted above. Approximately 2.6 times the total vacancies are qualified to appear in personality test. Marks of written plus interview combined decide the merit list.


Let’s settle a few issues

#1. Is this a sprint or marathon?

Notion of sprint suggests 6 months of super fast study while marathon suggests 5 year planning (Sprinters would claim 6 months proper study and you are done, marathon runners would have you planned for next 5 years).

I don’t know what it is. Nobody used such metaphors when we were preparing for JEE or PMT or CAT or CLAT or even board exams. Civil Services examination is like any other decently competitive examination which demands rigorous preparation, only difference being the subjective pattern, which makes it more unpredictable.

In our view, this exam needs 12 months of decent preparation for already well aware candidates and 18 months,  i.e roughly 12 months before prelims for those who are not so well aware.

#2. Is it a purely luck based exam? A gamble!

Well, luck certainly matters but luck is randomly distributed. So if you are well prepared, chances are, if not in 1st, in 2nd or (3rd or 4th attempt), you will make it to the list.

But one thing is certain, if you are not decently well prepared, there’s no way, you are gonna make it to that sacred list of rank holders.

Like every exam, it has certain demands and certain ways of achieving success. For instance, some people say, that guy scored so well in essay, ethics and optional and he is through. Well, that’s one type of strategy but not without risk. What if for some reason, you are not able to score well in one of the papers, well you are doomed.

Like finance, the best way is to diversify your portfolio, hedge your bets. You should prepare every paper decent enough, so decent that you don’t get butchered in that paper. Say 50 marks in essay or one optional paper. Nobody can save you in that case. It requires spending proportionate time on every subject, not keep on studying culture and world history from every other book or farras available in the karol bagh market.

Well these were some general fundas but we haven’t answered how should you begin your preparation yet.


Prelims still 6 months away for those writing in 2018?

If you are in college and your optional subject is gonna be your graduation subject, download the UPSC syllabus from the official notification- click here and previous year question papers- click here and master the subject with emphasis on UPSC syllabus (both paper 1 and paper 2).

Even otherwise, don’t take college very lightly, college ka kaam sabse pahle.

After that decide, if you are gonna take exam as you complete your studies or you are gonna take a break and prepare full time. Say for instance degree in may and prelims in august (proxy for time you can dedicate for UPSC preparation).

If you are willing to give at least 9 months before prelims to full time UPSC preparation, don’t just start reading core books but cultivate the habit of reading newspapers, Indian express I would suggest.

Follow newscards regularly on the civilsdaily app (click here for the FREE app) and if you feel like reading, read interesting articles on the website, especially back to basics, series on landmark judgments but don’t take much load.

One thing which you all should do immediately is to buy map of India and world and put on your room’s wall. Also buy Orient Blackswan School Atlas. Locate every place you read in the news in the map on your wall and also look sideways to see what’s around these places. Within a few months, your map marking skills would be superb. Learn rivers and valleys and straits you read in the news.

Read these very interesting and enlightening books

  1. An Uncertain Glory: India and it’s contradictions by Amartya Sen and Jean Dreaze
  2. India’s tryst with destiny by Jagdish Bhagwati and Arvind Panghariya (Vice charperosn on NITI Ayog)
  3. Breakout Nations by Ruchir Sharma
  4. 10 judgements that changed India by Zia Mody
  5. Pax indica: India and World of 21st century by Shashi Tharoor
  6. India after Gandhi by Ram Guha
  7. Emotional intelligence: Why it can matter more than IQ by Daniel Goleman (must read not only for you but your friends, siblings and parents) Please do read it.

Watch some great videos over youtube to get your basics right

  1. Crash course economics
  2. Crash course world history (21st episode onward)
  3. Justice with Michael Sanders (Very important)
  4. Cultivate the habit of watching interesting Rajya Sabha TV (RSTV) and Lok Sabha TV (LSTV) discussions. Give about half an hour to one hour daily for these discussions. I would recommend India’ world (Weekly on RSTV), The Big Picture (Monday to Friday on RSTV)

Catch up on some of the best documentaries around

  1. Heaven on Earth: Rise and Fall of Socialism (3 part pbs documentary total 160 min) It is heavily biased against socialism yet a must watch as public discourse in India is heavily loaded against free enterprise
  2. India Untouched: Documentary on Caste based discrimination
  3. Incurable India by PSBT (it gives you picture of very dismal state of health care in India)
  4. Pradhanmantri series by ABP news
  5. Mandate with destiny by Vir Singhavi: story of historic elections For our friends from southern and north eastern India who don’t understand Hindi,
  6. Guns and Glory by Kabir Bedi on Headlines today (story of all post independence wars)
  7. Samvidhan written by iconic Shyam Benegal for RSTV
  8. Gandhi The Road to Freedom – British Propaganda – BBC Documentary
  9. Nero’s guests by P. Sainath
  10. Planet Earth by BBC
  11. Story of India BBC documentary

Books are very interesting reads. Read them like novels. Don’t start taking notes from them. Enjoy them. These books, videos and documentaries will give you perspective from all sides- Left, right, centre. Embrace the exposure and try to assimilate the gyaan. At the same time major portion of your syllabus will be done.

Simultaneously start reading NCERTs from class 6 to 10. All the books but mathematics. Science background guys can skip science. Old NCERT ancient India, medieval India and modern India (11th std and 12th std), Macroeconomics (12th std), Geography (all 4 books must read).

Prelims 2017 has been a surprise

Solve the paper both paper 1 and 2 with whatever you have just read and calculate how many you get right. If you have done what you have been told so far, you will easily be able to score very decent marks for a beginner who will take exam in 2018.


Scoring less marks-

It’s time to get serious

1st step would be to get syllabus print out and read it thoroughly and keep referring back; download past year question papers or buy compilations available in the market.

You can now join a coaching or a test series if you want

If you haven’t yet read NCERTs upto class 10, very quickly go through NCERTs. Geography, polity and world history part is not to be missed. Polity is very conceptual in NCERT. Please do not leave that (concepts such as social justice democracy etc) are very nicely explained.

You can leave the history part if you are feeling uncomfortable.

Standard 11, 12 NCERTs are to be read very carefully again. Sit tight with paper and pencil and take notes simultaneously. All 4 books of geography, macroeconomics, India’s economic development as well as society is to be read from cover to cover with notes.

Read polity book like a novel. Modern India can be left. For ancient and medieval India old NCERTs will be better.


Medium scores

Join a test series if you haven’t already. Be regular here. Keep looking back at past year question papers to get  a sense of what’s important and what’s not.


Few must read standard books-

  1. Indian Polity – M Laxmikant (read cover to cover)
  2. Certificite Physical and Human Geography – Goh Cheng Leong
  3. A Brief History of Modern India by Rajiv Ahir (cover to cover) plus Old NCERT modern India (1757 to 1947) or Plassey to Partition by Shekhar Bandyopadhyay
  4. Lexicon for Ethics
  5. Economic Survey plus NCERT economics cover to cover- after that you can read Sriram economics
  6. Very selective reading of India since independence (You already know everything having already read India after gandhi and watched pradhanmantri and guns and glory)
  7. Read NCERT biology std 12 ecology part from both old as well as new books for Environment and biodiversity. Good knowledge of maps and geography is essential hence the importance of map marking. If you ample time at your disposal, you can give a look to the Shankar coaching notes n the subject (but only after doing basics right)
  8. Old NCERT std 12, 9th and 10th std books for world history
  9. NCERT fine arts book + CCRT for art and culture, don’t forget to revise ancient India from old NCERT
  10. Challenges to internal security of India by Ashok Kumar
  11. Yojana magazine

For dispersed topics of mains like comparison of Indian constitution with other constitutions, Issues with PDS, SHGs, voluntary organizations etc, various caching notes will help you. As no direct questions are asked you only need to understand the basics and cover current affairs in detail.

Books which are not recommended-

  1. India 2016/ 2017 (popularly known as India Year Book)
  2. Reading India after Gandhi again
  3. Ethics book by SubbaRao (very fat book, you should spend your time analyzing ethical problems, solving more and more case studies rather than doing PHD on theory of ethics

Now,the most important issue of time management

Leave aside the essay paper for the moment (not because it’s not important but rather it’s very very important).

Of the 1500 mains marks, 500 marks are contributed by optional i.e. 1/3rd. Common sense suggests ⅓ time should be devoted to optional i.e. if you read 9 hrs daily, approximately 3 hours daily for optional. But it is often seen that, aspirants don’t give even 20% of their time to the preparation of optional. It’s a very bad strategy. Avoid it all cost. Instead of ⅓ you can allot 30% or 28% if you are comfortable with optional but devoting only 20% time is asking for failure.

Similarly, all four general studies paper should be given more or less proportional time (of course you won’t study GS history, if you have history optional) but what is commonly observed is that aspirants spend majority of their time  especially September and October month immediately after prelims doing PHD on art and culture; world history and; International relations. Avoid this failing. Devote proportional time for all 4 papers and proportional among sub parts in the papers.


Importance of answer writing and solving prelims test papers

You should know something before you start writing. We don’t believe that you should just start writing even if you know nothing. Once you have gained decent enough knowledge (you will gain that by the time you are done with NCERTs and are regular with newspaper), start writing mains answers and solving prelims questions.

For prelims, rule of thumb is appearing in a test every week (available on photo state shops). Take at least 20 high quality tests before appearing in exam beside solving past 10 years question papers.

For mains you need to again prioritize your time. For paper 1, paper 2 and paper 3, 80% of time should be spent on studying and 20% on writing answers (4 hr studying, 1 hr writing), for paper 4, 50% study, 50% writing ( 1 hr studying, 1 hr writing). Take time to evaluate your own answers even if you are writing in paid test series.

For essay, no special preparation is needed as whatever you read for IAS preparation will suffice. Take your time understanding different writing styles. Choose the one you are comfortable with and stick to that. Keep a separate notebook (or evernote) to write good quotes, points you come across.

Important point is to write one essay every week (90 min) and then spending 60 minutes thinking how you could have written it better.

For Optionals -Answer writing depends on the nature of optional but ignore optional and answer writing at your own peril.


What to read further?

Prelims titbits : Polity

Note –

  1. Attempt the questions in the parenthesis in the comments
  2. For other titbits, click on the tag prelims titbits
  3. Give your feedback in the comments below

Judiciary

  1. Parliament decide the number of judges of supreme court while president decides the numbers in high courts
  2. Both supreme court and high court judges are appointed as well as removed by president <why not governor in case of high courts?>
  3. Salaries of high court judges is charged on CFS while pension is charged on CFI <why so> <what is charged and non charged expenditure>
  4. Appointment by collegium system (CJI plus 4 senior most supreme court judges) after 3rd judges case <how are high court judges appointed>
  5. District judges are appointed by governor in consultation with high courts <difference district judge v/s sessions judge>
  6. Both SC and HC judges need 10 year practice in high court but SC judge need 5 year judgeship in high court while HC judge needs 10 years of judgeship in district court
  7. A distinguished jurist can be appointed as judges of supreme court but not high court <why>
  8. Removal by special majority of parliament on grounds of proved misbehavior or incapacity <what is the whole procedure> <what is special majority and how is it different in case of impeachment of president>
  9. SC judges can’t practice w/i India post retirement: high court judges can in supreme court or other high courts <but there is no bar on further appointments such as chairperson or members of NHRC etc> <which authorities can’t be given further appointment?>
  10. Constitution provided for 1 high court for each state but 7th amendment allowed parliament to establish common high courts <how many high courts preside over more than 1 state or UT? Name them>

Q. Compare and contrast structure of Indian Judiciary with that of United states.

Jurisdiction of high court and supreme court

 

 

Exclusive (original by default) Original <concurrent with high courts> Appellate Advisory
Petition only in supreme court (directly by default) Directly in supreme court Appeals from high court President refers(art 143)
Federal disputes, inter state matters, disputes regarding election of president, VP Writ under art 32 Appeals, SLP Not necessary to tender opinion except on pre constitutional matters

IAS Mains 2017 GS Question Papers

GS PAPER 1 MAINS 2017

GS PAPER 2 MAINS 2017

GS PAPER 3 MAINS 2017

GS PAPER 4 MAINS 2017

Essay Paper Mains 2017

 

GS PAPER 4 MAINS 2017

Section A

All questions are compulsory

10 Marks, 150 Words

 

Q1. Conflict of interest in the public sector arises when

(a) official duties,

(b) public interest, and

(c) personal interest

are taking priority one above the other.

How can this conflict in administration be resolved? Describe with an example.

 

Q2. Examine the relevance of the following in the context of civil service:

(a) Transparency

(b) Accountability

(c) Fairness and justice

(d) Courage of conviction

(e) Spirit of service

 

Q3. Young people with ethical conduct are not willing to come forward to join active politics. Suggest steps to motivate them to come forward.

 

Q4. (a) One of the tests of integrity is complete refusal to be compromised. Explain with reference to a real life example.

(b) Corporate social responsibility makes companies more profitable and sustainable. Analyse.

 

Q5. (a) “Great ambition is the passion of a great character. Those endowed with it may perform very good or very bad acts. All depends on the principles which direct them.” – Napoleon Bonaparte.

Stating examples mention the rulers (i) who have harmed society and country, (ii) who worked for the development of society and country.

(b) “If a country is to be corruption free and become a nation of beautiful minds, I strongly feel there are three key societal members who can make a difference. they are father, the mother and the teacher.” – A. P. J. Abdul Kalam. Analyse.

 

Q6. (a) How will you apply emotional intelligence in administrative practices?

(b) Strength, peace and security are considered to be the pillars of international relations. Elucidate.

 

Q7. (a) The crisis of ethical values in modern times is traced to a narrow perception of the good life. Discuss.

(b) Increased national wealth did not result in equitable distribution of its benefits. It has created only some “enclaves of modernity and prosperity for a small minority at the cost of the majority.” Justify.

 

Q8(a) Discipline generally implies following the order and subordination. However, it may be counter-productive for the organisation. Discuss.

(b) Without commonly shared and widely entrenched moral values and obligations, neither the law, nor democratic government, nor even the market economy will function properly.

What do you understand by this statement? Explain with illustration in the contemporary times.

 

SECTION – B

All Questions are compulsory

20 Marks, 250 Words

 

Q9. You are an honest and responsible civil servant. You often observe the following:

(a) There is a general perception that adhering to ethical conduct one may face difficulties to oneself and cause problems for the family, whereas unfair practices may help to reach the career goals.

(b) When the number of people adopting unfair means is large, a small minority having a penchant towards ethical means makes no difference.

(c) Sticking to ethical means is detrimental to the larger developmental goals

(d) While one may not involve oneself in large unethical practices, but giving and accepting small gifts makes the system more efficient.

Examine the above statements with their merits and demerits.

 

Q10. You are aspiring to become an IAS officer and you have cleared various stages and now you have been selected for the personal interview. On the day of the interview, on the way to the venue you saw an accident where a mother and child who happen to be your relatives were badly injured. They needed immediate help.

What would you have done in such a situation? Justify your action.

 

Q11. You are the head of the Human Resources department of an organisation. One day one of the workers died on duty. His family was demanding compensation. However, the company denied compensation because it was revealed in investigation that he was drunk at the time of the accident. The workers of the company went to strike demanding compensation for the family of the deceased. The Chairman of the management board has asked for your recommendation.

What recommendation would you provide the management?

Discuss the merits and demerits of each of the recommendations.

 

Q12. You are the manager of a spare parts company A and you have to negotiate a deal with the manager of a large manufacturing company B. The deal is highly competitive and sealing the deal is critical for your company. The deal is being worked out over a dinner. After dinner the manager of manufacturing company B offered to drop you to the hotel in his car. On the way to hotel he happens to hit motorcycle injuring the motorcyclist badly. You know the manager was driving fast and thus lost control. The law enforcement officer comes to investigate the issue and you are the sole eyewitness to it. Knowing the strict laws pertaining to road accidents you are aware that your honest account of the incident would lead to the prosecution of the manager and as a consequence the deal is likely to be jeopardized, which is of immense importance to your company.

What are the dilemmas you face? What will be your response to the situation?

 

Q13. A building permitted for three floors, while being extended illegally to 6 floors by a builder, collapses. As a consequence, a number of innocent labourers including women and children died. These labourers are migrants of different places. The government immediately announced cash relief to the aggrieved families and arrested the builder.

Give reasons for such incidents taking place across the country. Suggest measures to prevent their occurrence.

 

Q14. You are a Public Information Officer (PIO) in a government department. You are aware that the RTI Act 2005 envisages transparency and accountability in administration. The act has functioned as a check on the supposedly arbitrarily administrative behaviour and actions. However, as a PIO you have observed that there are citizens who filed RTI applications not for themselves but on behalf of such stakeholders who purportedly want to have access to information to further their own interests. At the same time there are these RTI activists who routinely file RTI applications and attempt to extort money from the decision makers. This type of RTI activism has affected the functioning of the administration adversely and also possibly jeopardizes the genuineness of the applications which are essentially aimed at getting justice.

What measures would you suggest to separate genuine and non-genuine applications? Give merits and demerits of your suggestions. (250 Words, 20)

 

For 2018 and beyond aspirants-

What do you think of this paper? Easy! Lengthy? Very general! On expected lines!

Which questions do you find difficult or unattemptable?

What do you think of strategy you were following so far in the light of this question paper? Need to change the strategy? Some fine tuning required?

Attempt some of the questions which are from the syllabus you have covered this far or at least write down the structure of answer with key points.

GS PAPER 3 MAINS 2017

All questions are compulsory

First ten questions are of 10 marks (150 words) each while last 10 questions are of 15 marks (250 words)  each.

 

  1. Among several factors for India’s potential growth, savings rate is the most effective one. Do you agree? What are the other factors available for growth potential?
  2. Account for the failure of manufacturing sector in achieving the goal of labour-intensive exports rather than capital-intensive exports. Suggest measures for more labour-intensive rather than capital-intensive exports.
  3. Examine the developments of Airports in India through Joint Ventures under Public-Private Partnership(PPP) model. What are the challenges faced by the authorities in this regard.
  4. Explain various types of revolutions, took place in Agriculture after Independence in India. How these revolutions have helped in poverty alleviation and food security in India?
  5. What are the reasons for poor acceptance of cost effective small processing unit? How the food processing unit will be helpful to uplift the socio-economic status of poor farmers?
  6. Stem cell therapy is gaining popularity in India to treat a wide variety of medical conditions including leukemia, Thalassemia, damaged cornea and several burns. Describe briefly what stem cell therapy is and what advantages it has over other treatments?
  7. India has achieved remarkable successes in unmanned space missions including the Chandrayaan and Mars Orbiter Mission, but has not ventured into manned space mission, both in terms of technology and logistics? Explain critically
  8. Not many years ago, river linking was a concept but it is becoming reality in the country. Discuss the advantages of river linking and its possible impact on the environment.
  9. Discuss the potential threats of Cyber attack and the security framework to prevent it.
  10. The north-eastern region of India has been infested with insurgency for a very long time. Analyze the major reasons for the survival of armed insurgency in this region.
  11. One of the intended objectives of Union Budget 2017-18 is to ‘transform, energize and clean India’. Analyse the measures proposed in the Budget 2017-18 to achieve the objective.
  12. “Industrial growth rate has lagged behind in the overall growth of Gross-Domestic-Product(GDP) in the post-reform period” Give reasons. How far the recent changes is Industrial Policy are capable of increasing the industrial growth rate?
  13. What are the salient features of ‘inclusive growth’? Has India been experiencing such a growth process? Analyze and suggest measures for inclusive growth.
  14. What are the major reasons for declining rice and wheat yield in the cropping system? How crop diversification is helpful to stabilize the yield of the crop in the system?
  15. How do subsidies affect the cropping pattern, crop diversity and economy of farmers? What is the significance of crop insurance, minimum support price and food processing for small and marginal farmers?
  16. Give an account of the growth and development of nuclear science and technology in India. What is the advantage of fast breeder reactor programme in India?
  17. ‘Climate Change’ is a global problem. How India will be affected by climate change? How Himalayan and coastal states of India will be affected by climate change?
  18. On December 2004, tsunami brought havoc on 14 countries including India. Discuss the factors responsible for occurrence of Tsunami and its effects on life and economy. In the light of guidelines of NDMA (2010) describe the mechanisms for preparedness to reduce the risk during such events.
  19. Mob violence is emerging as a serious law and order problem in India. By giving suitable examples, analyze the causes and consequences of such violence.
  20. The scourge of terrorism is a grave challenge to national security. What solutions do you suggest to curb this growing menace? What are the major sources of terrorist funding?

 

For 2018 and beyond aspirants-

What do you think of this paper? Easy! Very general! On expected lines!

Which questions do you find difficult or unattemptable?

What do you think of strategy you were following so far in the light of this question paper? Need to change the strategy? Some fine tuning required?

Attempt some of the questions which are from the syllabus you have covered this far or at least write down the structure of answer with key points.

GS PAPER 2 MAINS 2017

All questions are compulsory

First ten questions are of 10 marks (150 words) each while last 10 questions are of 15 marks (250 words)  each.

 

  1. The local self government system in India has not proved to be effective instrument of governance”. Critically examine the statement and give your views to improve the situation.
  2. Critically examine the Supreme Court’s judgement on ‘National Judicial Appointments Commission Act, 2014’ with reference to appointment of judges of higher judiciary in India.
  3. ‘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.
  4. How do pressure groups influence Indian political process? Do you agree with this view that informal pressure groups have emerged as powerful than formal pressure groups in recent years?
  5. Discuss the role of Public Accounts Committee in establishing accountability of the government to the people.
  6. ‘To ensure effective implementation of policies addressing water, sanitation and hygiene needs, the identification of beneficiary segments is to be synchronized with the anticipated outcomes’ Examine the statement in the context of the WASH scheme.
  7. Does the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 ensure effective mechanism for empowerment and inclusion of the intended beneficiaries in the society?
  8. 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.
  9. ‘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 neighbor.
  10. What are the main functions of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)? Explain different functional commissions attached to it.
  11. Explain the salient features of the constitution(One Hundred and First Amendment) Act, 2016. Do you think it is efficacious enough ‘to remove cascading effect of taxes and provide for common national market for goods and services’?
  12. Examine the scope of Fundamental Rights in the light of the latest judgement of the Supreme Court on Right to Privacy.
  13. The Indian Constitution has provisions for holding joint session of the two houses of the Parliament. Enumerate the occasions when this would normally happen and also the occasions when it cannot, with reasons thereof.
  14. To enhance the quality of democracy in India the Election Commission of India has proposed electoral reforms in 2016. What are the suggested reforms and how far are they significant to make democracy successful?
  15. Is the National Commission for Women able to strategize and tackle the problems that women face at both public and private spheres? Give reasons in support of your answer.
  16. ‘The emergence of Self Help Groups(SHGs) in contemporary times points to the slow but steady withdrawal of the state from developmental activities’. Examine the role of the SHGs in developmental activities and the measures taken by the Government of India to promote the SHGs.
  17. ‘Poverty Alleviation Programmes in India remain mere show pieces until and unless they are backed by political will’. Discuss with reference to the performance of the major poverty alleviation programmes in India.
  18. Initially Civil Services in India were designed to achieve the goals of neutrality and effectiveness, which seems to be lacking in the present context. Do you agree with the view that drastic reforms are required in Civil Services. Comment
  19. The question of India’s Energy Security constitutes the most important part of India’s economic progress. Analyze India’s energy policy cooperation with West Asian Countries.
  20. 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.

 

For 2018 and beyond aspirants-

What do you think of this paper? Easy! Very general! On expected lines!

Which questions do you find difficult or unattemptable?

What do you think of strategy you were following so far in the light of this question paper? Need to change the strategy? Some fine tuning required?

Attempt some of the questions which are from the syllabus you have covered this far or at least write down the structure of answer with key points.

 

GS PAPER 1 MAINS 2017

All questions are compulsory

First ten questions are of 10 marks (150 words) each while last 10 questions are of 15 marks (250 words)  each.

  1. How do you justify the view that the level of excellence of the Gupta numismatic art is not at all noticeable in later times?
  2. Clarify how mid-eighteenth century India was beset with the spectre of a fragmented polity.
  3. Why did the ‘Moderates’ failed to carry conviction with the nation about their proclaimed ideology and political goals by the end of the nineteenth century?
  4. What problems are germane to the decolonization process in the Malay Peninsula?
  5. How does the Juno Mission of NASA help to understand the origin and evolution of the Earth?
  6. “In spite of adverse environmental impact, coal mining is still inevitable for development”. Discuss
  7. Mention the advantages of the cultivation of pulses because of which the year 2016 was declared as the International Year of Pulses by United Nations.
  8. How does the cryosphere affect global climate?
  9. In the context of the diversity of India, can it be said that the regions form cultural units rather than the States? Give reasons with examples for your view point.
  10. What are the two major legal initiatives by the State since Independence addressing discrimination against Scheduled Tribes(STs)?
  11. The spirit of tolerance and love is not only an interesting feature of Indian society from very early times, but it is also playing an important part at the present. Elaborate.
  12. Examine how the decline of traditional artisanal industry in colonial India crippled the rural economy.
  13. Highlight the importance of the new objectives that got added to the vision of Indian Independence since the twenties of the last century.
  14. Account for variations in oceanic salinity and discuss its multi-dimensional effects.
  15. Petroleum refineries are not necessarily located nearer to crude oil producing areas, particularly in many of the developing countries. Explain its implications.
  16. In what way can floods be converted into a sustainable source of irrigation and all-weather inland navigation in India?
  17. What characteristics can be assigned to monsoon climate that succeeds in feeding more than 50 percent of the world population residing in Monsoon Asia?
  18. The women’s questions arose in modern India as a part of the 19th century social reform movement. What are the major issues and debates concerning women in that period?
  19. Distinguish between religiousness/religiosity and communalism giving one example of how the former has got transformed into the latter in independent India.
  20. “The growth of cities as I.T. hubs has opened up new avenues of employment, but has also created new problems”. Substantiate this statement with examples

For 2018 and beyond aspirants-

What do you think of this paper? Easy! Very general! On expected lines!

Which questions do you find difficult or unattemptable?

What do you think of strategy you were following so far in the light of this question paper? Need to change the strategy? Some fine tuning required?

Attempt some of the questions which are from the syllabus you have covered this far or at least write down the structure of answer with key points.