UPSC CIVIL SERVICES MAINS EXAM 2017: General Studies Paper – 2 (Part - 2) (Download PDF)


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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’? (250 words)

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IAS Mains 2017 GS Paper 2 Discussion (Part 2)

Dr. Manishika Jain explains IAS Mains 2017 GS Paper 2 Discussion (Part 2)

Refer - (GST – Yojana August 2017)

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GST (Goods and Service Tax): Yojana August 2017 Summary

Dr. Manishika Jain presents the summary of Yojana August 2017. The highlights include - GST

  • Inserted Article 246 (A) - anything contained in articles 246 and 254, Parliament, and, subject to clause (2), the Legislature of every State, have power to make laws with respect to goods and services tax imposed by the Union or by such State. (2) Parliament has exclusive power to make laws with respect to goods and services tax where the supply of goods, or of services, or both takes place in the course of inter-State trade or commerce.
  • Article 269A - Goods and services tax on supplies in the course of inter-State trade or commerce shall be levied and collected by the Government of India and such tax shall be apportioned between the Union and the States in the manner as may be provided by Parliament by law on the recommendations of the Goods and Services Tax Council.

Article 279-A: This article provides for constitution of a GST council by president within sixty days from this act coming into force. The GST council will constitute the following members:

  • Union Finance Minister as chairman of the council

  • Union Minister of State in charge of Revenue or Finance

  • One nominated member from each state who is in charge of finance or taxation

Changes in union and state list

  • Article 249 has been changed so that if 2/3rd majority resolution is passed by Rajya Sabha, the Parliament will have powers to make necessary laws with respect to GST in national interest.
  • Article 250 has been amended so that parliament will have powers to make laws related to GST during emergency period.
  • Article 268 has been amended so that excise duty on medicinal and toilet preparation will be omitted from the state list and will be subsumed in GST.
  • Article 268A has been repealed so now service tax is subsumed in GST.
  • Article 269 would empower the parliament to make GST related laws for inter-state trade/commerce.

12. Examine the scope of Fundamental Rights in the light of the latest judgement of the Supreme Court on Right to Privacy. (250 words)

  • Intrinsic right to life and liberty – Article 21
  • Puttuswami vs. GoI case, 2017
  • Natural right found inherently in dignity of individual
  • Available to all citizens without discrimination
  • Special status to women
  • Homosexuality was repelled
  • Constitutionality of Aadhar card was questioned
  • Privacy is a constitutionally protected right which emerges primarily from the guarantee of life and personal liberty in Article 21 of the Constitution
  • FRs are justiciable i. e. they are enforceable in a court of law. They are defended and guaranteed by the Supreme Court. Any individual whose FRs are violated can directly approach the Supreme Court seeking remedy.
  • Article 21, as the heart and soul of the Indian constitution.
  • Bench led by Chief Justice J. S. Khehar and comprised Chief Justice Khehar and Justices J. Chelameswar, S. A. Bobde, R. K. Agrawal, Rohinton Nariman, A. M. Sapre, D. Y. Chandrachud, Sanjay Kishan Kaul and S. Abdul Nazeer.

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. (250 words)

Joint Session

  • Special address by the President: At the commencement of the first session after each general election to the House of the People and at the commencement of the first session of each year (normally the budget session), the President shall address both the Houses of Parliament assembled together and inform the Parliament of the causes of its summons
  • For resolving any deadlock over the passage of a Bill: There are three circumstances which can lead to a deadlock between the two Houses of the Parliament. If after a Bill, other than a Money Bill or a Constitutional Amendment Bill, has been passed by one House and transmitted to the other House
  • The Bill is rejected by the other House; or
  • The Houses have finally disagreed as to the amendments to be made in the Bill; or
  • More than six months elapse from the date of the reception of the Bill by the other House without the Bill being passed by it, the President may, notify his intention to summon both the Houses to meet in a joint sitting for the purpose of deliberating and voting on the Bill.

Exception to joint sittings

  • Not all bills can be refereed to a joint sitting of Parliament. There are two exception.
  • Money Bill: Under the Constitution of India, money bills require approval of the Lok Sabha only. Rajya Sabha can make recommendations to Lok Sabha, which it is not required to accept. Even if Rajya Sabha doesn’t pass a money bill within 14 days, it is deemed to have been passed by both the Houses of Parliament after expiry of the above period. Therefore, a requirement to summon a joint session can never arise in the case of money bill.
  • Constitution Amendment Bill: Article 368 of Indian constitution require that constitution of India can be amended by both houses of parliament by 2/3 majority (special majority). In case of disagreement between both houses, there is no provision to summon a joint session of parliament.

Joint session of Indian parliament has been called for only 3 bills i. e.

  • Dowry prohibition act, 1960

  • Banking service commission act, 1977

  • POTA, 2002

The reason behind not convening the session in some cases is,

  • to protect the constitution against the tyranny of mass majority of ruling party in Lok Sabha

  • to consider the opinion of both the houses separately

  • to consider the opinion of states (Rajya Sabha) in constitution amendments

  • to uphold the federalist nature of constitution.

  • To retain money power of Lok Sabha.

Those are some major issues

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? (250 words)

  • Decriminalization of politics, prevention of abuse of money, transparency in funding of political parties, making bribery a cognizable offence, criminalizing paid news, empowering ECI to countermand election in cases of bribery
  • Electoral expense
  • Electoral petition
  • Electoral campaign and advertisement
  • Reforms in electoral laws
  • Encourage tax evaders to pay taxes
  • State funding of Elections basically which means govt. extending financial assistance to political parties (partly/fully) in the form of cash/kind for contesting elections.
  • Bringing Political Parties under RTI act leads to financial accountability and transparency in working of Political parties
  • Financial restriction on spending to provide level playing field for all candidates
  • Increase the Power of EC by amending RP act.

Follow rule of law

  • Govt. Actions
  • Introduction of Electoral bonds to bring transparency in electoral funding.
  • Political parties cannot take cash of more than Rs. 2000 from a particular donor.
  • Funding via Cheque/digital payments so that Bank can track funding
  • Debate on Simultaneous elections to tackle cost of election, crony capitalism, communalism

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. (250 words)

  • Constituted in 1992 as a statutory body. It will look into the issues and violation of rights of women and raise voice on behalf of them.
  • National Commission for Women (NCW) is a statutory body created by the 1990 National Commission for Women Act.

It performs the following functions: -

  • Reviews the constitutional and legal safeguards for women.

  • Recommends remedial legislative measures.

  • Facilitates redressal of grievances.

  • Advices the government on all policy matters affecting women.

Worked successfully under

  • Triple Talaq
  • Acid victim cases and their rehabilitation
  • Inspection of jails
  • Depoliticization of NCW

Issues - don’t have enough database regarding the exploitation and persecution, molestation, harassment of women. They are unaware about the problem of domestic workers who are mostly women, they never talk about women bodily rights

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. (250 words)

  • They are initially confined to only economic activities, taking bank loans, produce some handicraft items etc.
  • Now focus on departmental activities
  • Govt. is providing loans at concessional rates to this groups, giving training to this groups, in conducting social audit and implementing and monitoring some activities are also done by this groups.
  • Social audit
  • Implementation and monitoring
  • Creating awareness

17. ‘Poverty Alleviation Programs 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 programs in India. (250 words)

NCERT Economics Class 9 Chapter 3 Poverty:

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NCERT Class 9 Economics Chapter 3: Poverty as a Challenge

Dr. Manishika Jain in this lecture talks about NCERT Class 9 Economics Chapter 3: Poverty as a Challenge

NCERT Class 11 Economics Chapter 4 Poverty -

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NCERT Class 11 Economics Chapter 4: Poverty

Dr. Manishika Jain in this lecture NCERT Class 11 Economics Chapter 4: Poverty

  • Since Indira Gandhi Era – schemes lacked political will
  • Insufficient fund allocation
  • Delay in implementation
  • Lack of accountability
  • Genuine beneficiaries are removed

What to consider:

  • Serious actions against wrong doers
  • Immediate relief in case of distress
  • Proper allocation of budget
  • Periodic review

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 (250 words)

  • Need to cope with competition
  • Find best solutions
  • Some try to work on casteist and communist lines
  • Higher corruption levels
  • Decreasing moral and ethical behavior
  • Increasing performance as per private sector
  • Strict disciplinary actions to be called upon
  • Interaction with other officers

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. (250 words)

Image of Total Energy Consumption In India, by type (2007)

Image of Total Energy Consumption In India, by Type (2007)

Image of Total Energy Consumption In India, by type (2007)

  • We mainly consume non-renewable energy
  • 80 % oil is imported from West Asia
  • Saudi Arabia – we import 20 - 30 % oil (consistent relations)
  • Iran – non-consistent relations – Purchase oil in INR despite US sanctions
  • Chabbar port
  • In maintaining relations with Qatar, though sanctions imposed on it by fellow countries India maintaining its relation by not supporting it.
  • Normal relations with Oman, Kuwait
  • Oil prices came down entire OPEC and non OPEC oil producing countries decided to cut down their production which increases the cost of crude oil, meanwhile USA is supplying shell oil at an affordable prices
  • Increase renewable energy – work towards energy mix

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 (250 words)

Image of Buddhism, Hinduism Countries

Image of Buddhism, Hinduism Countries

Image of Buddhism, Hinduism Countries

  • Buddhism, Hinduism went to these countries from India.
  • Cambodia – Angor Vat
  • Bali in Indonesia
  • Look east policy
  • Engage in summit level, ministerial level, bureaucratic level talks and build relations but Indian diaspora present there tare he big brand ambassadors in promoting the relations
  • Cultural ties
  • Apparels
  • Cuisines
  • Social and economic relations
  • Role of ASEAN
  • 3 Cs – commerce, connectivity and culture – are at the core of India’s Act East policy.
  • Historically, Gujarati mercantile and maritime activity in the formation of trade practices, traditions and routes operating in the Indian Ocean.

- Published/Last Modified on: September 25, 2018

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