UPSC General Studies 2014 Paper 3 SOLUTIONS

UPSC General Studies 2014 Paper 3 SOLUTIONS

Answer all the questions in NOT MORE THAN 200 words each. Contents of the answer are more important than its length. All questions carry equal marks.                           

1. Normally countries shift from agriculture to industry and then later to services, but India shifted directly from agriculture to services. What are the reasons for the huge growth of services vis-a-vis industry in the country? Can India become a developed country without a strong industrial base?


Reforms since 1991 have not been comprehensive enough to remove the bias towards capital and skill-intensive industries. Also, input markets such as land and labour are riddled with distortions. Productivity of SMEs and unorganised sector manufacturing has to be enhanced. The role of agriculture in structural change is not by increasing employment, but through enhancing farm output. Services and manufacturing have a complementary role. India is creating jobs in industry but mainly in low productivity construction and not enough formal jobs in manufacturing, which typically are higher productivity. The high productivity service sector is also not creating enough jobs. As the number of people looking for jobs rises, both because of the population dividend and because share of agriculture shrinks, these vulnerabilities will become important. Because good jobs are both the pathway to growth as well as the best form of inclusion, India has to think of ways of enabling their creation. In fact, there is a need for a large-scale and sustained long-term investment in infrastructure and energy. Infrastructure creation being relatively labour intensive, it will help absorb the capital and labour surplus. Without this India cannot hope to avail the benefits of demographic dividend.

2. ‘While we flaunt India’s demographic dividend, we ignore the dropping rates of employability.” What are we missing while doing so? Where will the jobs that India desperately needs come from? Explain.     


India is creating jobs in industry but mainly in low productivity construction and not enough formal jobs in manufacturing, which typically are higher productivity. The high productivity service sector is also not creating enough jobs. As the number of people looking for jobs rises, both because of the population dividend and because share of agriculture shrinks, these vulnerabilities will become important. Because good jobs are both the pathway to growth as well as the best form of inclusion, India has to think of ways of enabling their creation. Jobs in India grew by just 2.2 per cent between 2010 and 2012. Employment growth was just 0.5 per cent per annum from 2004-05 to 2011-12, the period that saw the highest growth of GDP by 8.5 per cent per annum. Unemployment among the educated is very high. As people get more educated, un-employment’s only growing. It’s highest among women graduates at about 60 per cent. There’s overemphasis on services and neglect of the manufacturing sector. The service sector provides only 26 per cent employment but contributes 58 per cent of GDP. Therefore, there is a need to increase the share of manufacturing in GDP.

3. There is also a point of view that Agricultural Produce Market Committees (APMCs) set up under the State Acts have not only impeded the development of agriculture but also have been the cause of food inflation in India. Critically examine.      


1. Currently, exporters, food processing units and retail chain operators cannot get desired quality and quantity of produce for their business due to restrictions on direct marketing. So a food processor cannot buy the produce at the processing plant or at the warehouse. This increases the cost of commodities purchased by the food processor while the farmer ends up getting a low price for his produce. 2. By delisting fruits and vegetables, which are perishable in nature, a new line of supply chain can be created which will ensure quicker supply of these products to consumers. In this way, the food processing industry and APMC Act has a direct link. 3. The Act has produced strong culture of intermediaries and neither do our farmers receive fair price for their produce, nor do consumers benefit from low prices. Most of the traders indulge in speculation and hoarding and the frequent onion crisis is a manifestation of onion cartel. 4. APMCs have been statutorily vested with the power to regulate both the creation of agricultural markets and also the entities that can participate in such markets. It has been clearly indicated by the fact that there is a certain level of collusion between the APMC officials and a powerful group of stakeholders that they deal with—that is auction, and other agents in the distribution channel. There is lack of proper communication between the farmers and distribution agents in the system and also between the law makers and the officials implementing the law.


4. “In the villages itself no form of credit organization will be suitable except the cooperative society.” —All India Rural Credit Survey.

 Discuss this statement in the background of agricultural finance in India. What constraints and challenges do financial institutions supplying agricultural finance face? How can technology be used to better reach and serve rural clients?                    


(1) The Cooperative banks have more than one master: RBI, Registrar of Cooperative Societies (RCS), the respective States, and NABARD.

(2) The impact of local politicians has been not controlled.

(3) Recruitments are politicised.

(4) They are not subject to prudential norms and income recognition.

(5) The poor supervision and control has increased their Non-Performing Assets.

(6) Most primary credit societies are weak and are unable to meet fully the production-oriented credit need of farmers.

(7) It has not been able to ensure adequate and timely credit for the borrowing farmers.

(8) The co-operative credit has heavy overdue of around Rs 18,000 crores.

(9) The rural co-operative institutions have a high level of NPAs.

(10) The big landowners have taken more benefits of the co-operative loans. Only 30 per cent of the farmers holding less than 1 hectare are members of PACSs.

(11) It is adding to further the regional disparities. Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Kerala, Punjab and Tamil Nadu have accounted for more than three-fourths of the loans provided by the PACSs.

(12) Cooperatives lack trained manpower and professionals.

(13) From out of 31 State cooperative banks functioning in the country, 16 State cooperative banks are yet to be issued licence by the RBI. Similarly, from out of 369 district cooperative banks, only 75 are licensed.


5.The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 has come into effect from 1st January s 2014. What are the key issues which would get addressed with the Act in place? What implications would it have on Industrialization and agriculture in India?       


  • Most state governments have sought a relook at UPA’s Land Acquisition Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013. Land acquisition has come up as the single biggest hurdle for most of the new mega industrial projects. Many states want complete autonomy on issues of land acquisition, keeping the Centre at arm’s length. For example, West Bengal has categorically sought to have its own land acquisition policy. Tamil Nadu wants the “power to define public purpose” and feels the present act is an “infringement upon the state’s autonomy.” UP too has sought similar powers for the state government. It is also learnt that the rural development ministry would be asking the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) to relax norms to acquire land for projects by scrapping mandatory consent provision for public private partnership (PPP) projects and reducing it to 50 per cent from the existing 80 per cent for private acquisition. The changes proposed to overhaul the law enacted in 2013 also includes lifting a ban on acquisition of multi-crop land making 48 per cent of the total 179 million of hectares of total agricultural land available for acquisition. The present law limited acquisition option only for waste-land and single crop agriculture land.



6.Capitalism has guided the world economy to unprecedented prosperity. However, it often encourages short-sightedness and contributes to wide disparities between the rich and the poor. In this light, would it be correct to believe and adopt capitalism for bringing inclusive growth in India? Discuss.    


The system of governance is not required to be changed but only the attitude and approach of governance has to be changed.

The major initiatives are:

(a) a proper survey of the entire states and their regions and areas;

(b) after survey, the positive and negative aspects must be identified;

(c) then the areas must be developed as per their requirements;

(d) in doing so areas must be developed in such a manner that they must depend on other regions to survive;

(e) the training and the recruitment system of civil servants must be changed;

(f) the training and promotion must be based on the recommendations of the General Body Meeting (GBM) of the local bodies;

(g) the central government should directly transfer the funds to the Panchayats for their development. It simply implies the fullest development of the potentialities of an area according to its capacity so that the inhabitants of all the regions share benefits of overall economic growth. Balanced regional development does not mean a uniform economic pattern but it implies having economic growth keeping in mind the topography, resources, economic feasibility, and the people of the region concerned.


7.Explain how Private Public Partnership arrangements, in long gestation infrastructure projects, can transfer unsustainable liabilities to the future. What arrangements need to be put in place to ensure that successive generations’ capacities are not compromised


  1. The limited institutional capacity to undertake large and complex projects at various Central ministries and especially at state and local bodies level, hinder the translation of targets into projects.
  2. Ensuring a proper and systematic monitoring and evaluation on the private company is a predicament in PPP projects due to the men and machine involved entirely belonging to the private firm with no much government influence and inspection.
  3. It is generally observed that such projects overrun their time and cost limits, which is a serious concern in PPPs.
  4. The absence of adequate project development by authorities leads to reduced interest by the private sector, mispricing and many times delays at the time of execution.
  5. There is a need for proper institutional framework to assess the actual performance of these projects. 2. India needs an independent PPP regulator in India. The PPP program lacks a comprehensive database regarding the projects/studies to be awarded under PPP.
  6. The project development activities such as, detailed feasibility study, land acquisition, environmental/forest clearances etc., are not given adequate importance by the concessioning authorities. It should be done.
  7. With commercial banks reaching the sectoral exposure limits, and large Indian Infrastructure companies being highly leveraged, funding the PPP projects is getting difficult. It should be made easy.


8.National Urban Transport Policy emphasizes on ‘moving people’ instead of ‘moving vehicles’. Discuss critically the Success of the various strategies of the Government in this regard.           


  • In 2006, the Government announced the first ever policy on urban transport, the National Urban Transport Policy (NUTP) with a focus to promote overall sustainability of transport sector in cities. Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC), which controls on-road parking in the city, is often accused of being listless when it comes to framing and implementing rules to decongest city roads. The city has no cap on the parking space or parking rates. All the new emphasis is on building extensive networks of mass transit railways, subways and bus rapid transit (BRT) corridors are proved inadequate. The BRT corridor, in contrast, became a discredited project because project execution was spectacularly awful. Traffic was horribly disrupted along one of Delhi’s busiest and previously most efficient thoroughfares during construction. It is also vitally necessary to make space for people to walk and cycle safely and briskly. This will simply recognise what a lot of poor people (their numbers will increase as rural to urban migration continues apace) in our cities are already doing at great inconvenience and risk to themselves

9.Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the defense sector is now set to be liberalized. What influence this is expected to have on Indian defense and economy in the short and long run? 


1.The raising of FDI cap in defence would ensure access to the latest high-end technologies available. 2. The dependence on imports of defence technologies and arms and ammunitions would be reduced as with foreign direct investment (FDI) permitted up to 26 per cent, the country continues to rely heavily on imports for its defence requirements and FDI in the sector is languishing at a cumulative $0.15 million. 3. It is essential as most defence products involve use of advanced and state-of-the-art technology, which India lacks and can get transferred only when a foreign partner has a longterm stake in the company. 4. It has been felt that the FDI cap of 26 per cent does not provide enough motivation to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to bring in proprietary technology to Indian joint venture partners. 5. There is no doubt that a foreign company will not like to bring investments in the form of capital, people, skills and technology unless regulations allow it appropriate economic return and reasonable say in decision-making. The defence sector can give a major boost to R&D, manufacturing, and MRO, creating a multiplier effect on economy and jobs in India.


10.Scientific research in Indian universities is declining, because a career in science is not as attractive as are business professions, engineering or administration and the universities are becoming consumer-oriented. Critically comment.      


There is lack of proper research and development facilities in India and alarmingly, a huge number of scientists and engineers have not translated into excellence in research and teaching. It is evident from the fact that India’s research output as global share of scientific publications was a mere 3.5 per cent in 2010 whereas China’s share was 21 per cent in 2007. The total number of patent applications filed by Indians in 2010 comprised only 0.3 per cent of the total applications filed globally. In this regard, the government has to identify 25 – 30 existing institutions (both public and private) with the potential to be top research institutions, and give them special funding to develop world-class research infrastructure, hire top faculty and support their research programmes. For this purpose, a national research fund should be established and administered by an agency chartered to promote research and scholarly activity. The reform in higher education needs improvement in the existing institutions, investment of more resources, amelioration of their archaic governance structures, and creation of research and development infrastructure.


11.Can overuse and free availability of antibiotics without Doctor’s prescription, be contributors’ to the emergence of drug-resistant diseases in India? What are the available mechanisms for monitoring and control? Critically discuss the various issues involved.  


Hospitals in India are now recording cases of infections resistant to colistin, the last antibiotic available in the world, which was brought back from a 40-year exile in 2005 to treat increasing number of infections resistant to other high-end antibiotics. The country’s first official circular on this was issued by the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO), the drug regulator, only in 2012. The Centre has set limits for the presence of antibiotics in honey – an issue that had sparked off concerns four years ago about drug resistance, blood-related diseases and potential damage to vital organs in humans. The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), the national food regulatory body, has laid down more stringent parameters limiting the presence of a range of antibiotic residues found in honey. The Global Antibiotic Resistance Partnership (GARP) was established to develop actionable policy recommendations specifically relevant to low- and middle-income countries where suboptimal access to antibiotics – not a major concern in high-income countries – is possibly as severe a problem as is the spread of resistant organisms. Unfortunately, the initiative by Fortis Healthcare was just an isolated case in a city that has reported the highest number of multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis, or TB (7,483) and hospital-acquired infection (23,000) cases in the past four years in India.

12.In a globalized world, intellectual Property Rights assume significance and are a source of litigation. Broadly distinguish between the terms—Copyrights, Patents and Trade Secrets.


Intellectual Property Rights Patents: An invention is patentable if it is new, if it involves a non-obvious step and if it is industrially applicable. (Example: Safety valve mechanism of a pressure cooker). Patent shall be available for any inventions, whether products or process, in all fields of technology, provided they are new. They involve an inventive state and are capable of industrial application. The Patent expiry period is 20 years. The Patent needs to be proved new by three diagnosis and experimentation including research experimental aspect as well as commercial aspect. The Patent is not only applicable to product but also to plant varieties and also ‘sui generis’ product varieties. Period: 20 years. Trade secrets: “Secret informations which is not generally known and accessible, information which has commercial value because it is secret and the person in control of the information has taken steps to keep it secret” (“Coca Cola” formula). Period: 10 years. Copyright and related rights: This is guided by Bern Convention. In India a bill related to copyright was introduced in 1993 by amending Trade and Merchant Marks Act of 1958. Areas of its implications: (a) phonogram and information institutes actors and producers; (b) computer to be protected as a literary work; and (c) Even dramatic work is included but it does not include a cinematograph.

13.Should the pursuit of carbon credits and clean development mechanisms set up under UNFCCC be maintained even though there has been a massive slide in the value of a carbon credit? Discuss with respect to India’s energy needs for economic growth.       


No carbon credit should continued. Carbon credits are generated under the Clean Development Mechanism, mandated by the UN, where developed countries having greenhouse gas emission reduction targets offset them by funding clean technology in developing nations. In return, they earn the credits that they can use to set off their reduction targets. Words 52. Source: CST Science and Technology, Page No. 589 BEE’s Bachat Lamp Yojana: In a bid to popularise the use of CFLs (Compact Florescent Lamp) and to save thousands of units of electricity the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) has come up with a unique project that aims at supplying CFLs to the households at a subsidised price of Rs. 15 only. The reduction in the prices will however be made good by selling the carbon credits accumulated by the savings of the enormous quantity of electricity. The scheme intends to cover 400mn households in the next five years.

India is heavily dependent on fossil fuels for its energy needs. Most of the power generation is carried out by coal and mineral oil-based power plants which contribute heavily to greenhouse gases emission. Energy is a necessity and sustainable renewable energy is a vital link in industrialization and development of India. A transition from conventional energy systems to those based on renewable resources is thus necessary to meet the ever-increasing demand for energy and to address our environmental concerns.

14.Drought has been recognized as a disaster in view of its spatial expanse, temporal duration,slow onset and lasting effects on vulnerable sections. With a focus on the September 2010 guidelines from the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), discuss the mechanisms for preparedness to deal with likely El Nino and La Nina fall outs in India.


The current approach however has experienced a major shift. Nowadays, emphasis in more on drought proofing than drought relief. Drought Mitigation therefore assumes more importance these days. This paradigm shift has been brought about through landmark legislation on the subject i.e. Disaster Management Act, 2005. Mitigation means actions that can be taken before or at the beginning of drought to help reduce the incidence or impacts of drought. These measures are important for adapting to climate change, restoring ecological balance and bringing development benefits to the people. Most of these measures are related to integrated soil, water, and forest management and form part of soil conservation, watershed development, and forestry programmes. Drought mitigation programmes are never stand-alone interventions to be taken in the wake of a drought; but are very much a part of development planning. However at present these development programs are found in fragmentation. As these programmes are fragmented in their implementation, the accountability mechanisms are very weak and all programmes experience serious lacunae. Thus there is a need to revise the strategy for implementing drought mitigation programmes by undertaking integrated watershed development projects on a mission basis, which can be implemented in the identified areas with active participation of the people.


15.Environmental Impact Assessment studies are increasingly undertaken before a project is cleared by the Government. Discuss the environmental impacts of coal-fired thermal plants located at coal pitheads.  


India has put in place a number of initiatives for promoting conservation of biodiversity, such as, provision of national gene fund, national biodiversity fund, awards etc. Pressure from habitat loss and degradation has been reduced by the system of environment clearances based on Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ), National Afforestation and Eco-development Board (NAEB), National Action Programme to Combat Desertification and Green India Mission.

  1. The U content of coal may be as low as 0.2 ppm, but considering the millions of tons of coal that is burnt it is an important pollutant.
  2. Lead (Pb) is released in industries like lead acid batteries, paints, E-waste, Smelting operations, coal based thermal power plants, ceramics, bangle industry where as Mercury (Hg) is released from Chlor-alkali plants, thermal power plants.
  3. Coal accounts for 93 percent of the emissions from the electric utility industry. Coal emits around 1.7 times as much carbon per unit of energy when burned as does natural gas and 1.25 times as much as oil.


16.”The diverse nature of India as a multi-religious and multi-ethnic society is not immune to the impact of radicalism which is seen in her neighbourhood.” Discuss along with strategies to be adopted to counter this environment.                       


  1. Awareness building among the masses, through proper media channels, regarding the ineffectiveness and evils associated with such mindset. 2. Bringing about national unity and integration and spread of feelings of universal brotherhood. 3. Become pro-active by evolving a common platform for building mechanisms, institutions and movements to counter-act this phenomenon. 4. Ensure equality and equity among the various communities. In other words alleviate feelings of discrimination and relative neglect. 5. Address the legitimate developmental rights of the various sections of the people. 6. Ensure feelings of security amongst the minorities by giving adequate value to minority cultures, traditions and languages. 7. Formulate strict laws and implement them effectively to deal with destructionist and subversive activities. Hence, it is time that India as a nation wakes up to this challenge and does all that is required to address the root-causes of growing fundamentalism. Then and only then a united, truly integrated and prosperous India can emerge and work its way to become a ‘responsible’ super power of tomorrow.


17.International civil aviation laws provide all countries complete and exclusive sovereignty over the airspace above their territory. What do you understand by ‘airspace? What are the implications of these laws on the space above this airspace? Discuss the challenges which this poses and suggest ways to contain the threat. 


An airspace of defined dimensions within which ATC service is provided to IFR flights and to VFR flights in accordance with the airspace classification. Controlled airspace is also that airspace within which all aircraft operators are subject to certain pilot qualifications, operating rules, and equipment requirements in 14 CFR part 91 (for specific operating requirements, please refer to 14 CFR part 91). For IFR operations in any class of controlled airspace, a pilot must file an IFR flight plan and receive an appropriate ATC clearance.

India should immediately plan to set up more permanent posts closer to the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and to station additional unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to maintain a constant surveillance on Chinese movements. A better surveillance could track even the minor incursions and moreover China must know that they are under extreme surveillance. In this latest incursion, Chinese have intruded 19 kms into Indian territory and we could not track them at the time of entry. This sends a poor message about the efficacy of our surveillance system. There is an urgent need to raise more than 5,000 more airborne troops for deployment in the Northeast along the China border.

18.How does illegal trans border migration pose a threat to India’s security? Discuss  the strategies to curb this, bringing out the factors which give impetus to such migration. 


Trans-border migration from Bangladesh is a major factor for the problems in Assam and other areas of the North East. The point that Bangladesh immigrants are a source of communal and ethnic tension was well proved by the Assam agitation and subsequent events. The influx is likely to continue unless checked and those already identified are deported. Their transgression into land and providing cheap labour is a cause of social and economic insecurity for local communities and a cause of tension and violence. The problem is not only increasing but getting more complex. We need to tighten our immigration controls and there is need for evolving an immigration policy and establishing a set up similar to the Immigration and Naturalisation Service on the lines that exist in USA.

Porous borders with Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka, which enable illegal trans-border movements and smuggling of weapons and drugs. It is presumed that erecting fences on the international borders can stop all illegal trans-border movements. That is not so. First, it is not possible to guard or police every metre of the land, sea, and air borders. Second, the construction of a fence along land borders is expensive and requires a tremendous amount of manpower for effective surveillance. Border fencing can assist in checking infiltration to an extent, but it does not and cannot eliminate it. Search for security and employment could be regarded as the main factor for migration.

19.In 2012, the longitudinal marking for high-risk areas for piracy was moved from 65 degrees east to 78 degrees east in the Arabian Sea by the International Maritime Organization. What impact does this have on India’s maritime security concerns?     


It was following incidents of piracy as near as Lakshadweep that the industry bodies working with the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS) decided to move the longitude marking off the high-risk area in the Arabian Sea from 65 degrees to 78 East. Words: 54. India is worried because the piracy by Somalis on high sea has indicated that the pirates have moved out and beyond the Gulf of Aden and dangerously close to India’s shoreline. Considering the growing threat to Indian ships, India will have to formulate a formidable code to tackle the menace of piracy. India has to make anti-piracy action plan to combat the menace in the Indian Ocean where Somali pirates are attacking ships and demanding millions of dollars as ransom money. The pirates have developed high level infrastructure whereby they are able to hold hijacked ships and crew hostages while their instigators and supporters hold negotiations for ransom. In addition to this the pirates have developed a nexus with terrorist organisations.

20.China and Pakistan have entered into an agreement for development of an economic corridor. What threat does this pose for India’s security? Critically examine.  


It has been clearly anticipated that China will use the Gwadar port to enhance its naval presence in the Indian Ocean and it is a deliberate part of their ‘string of pearls’ to encircle India. Gwadar is the western-most ‘pearl’ in this strategy. As New Delhi and Beijing jostle for influence in the Indian Ocean region, China’s increasing role in operating the strategically important port in Pakistan is definitely a concern for authorities in India. India will be most affected party in the ongoing Sino-Pak move as it will give an added advantage to Pakistan i.e. developing and managing a port far away from the Indian military reach to give Pakistani forces valuable additional response in case of a military conflict. Further, the Chinese control of the Gwadar port will give China a key listening post to observe the Indian naval activities around the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Adan. We should not forget that Gwadar is 400 kms away from India which will inevitably give Pakistanis crucial time for military response in case of a military conflict with India. Nevertheless, the external affairs minister suggested that India should not ‘overreact to everything that Pakistan does or everything that China is involved in.’ But reality bites. India should take all the precautionary measures to counter Chinese design otherwise in every case magnanimity does not pay.