March 10, 2021

Mains Daily Question
March 10, 2021

  1. India-Israel relationship has gradually moved beyond defence sector cooperation into a more comprehensive one but certain issues still need to be resolved. Explain.


  • Introduce with showing progress in India-Israel relationship.

  • Highlight the areas including defence sector where both the countries are cooperating

  • Point out certain issues in the India-Israel relationship.

  • Conclude with an optimistic note on the India-Israel relationship.

Model Answer

India and Israel share a very important, sometimes complicated, yet unique relationship. Both countries have pursued common interests, values, and solutions based on their geopolitical situations. 

India-Israel Defence Cooperation:

  • India is the largest buyer of Israeli military equipment and Israel is the second-largest defence supplier to India after Russia.

  • In February 2014, India and Israel signed three important agreements on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters, Cooperation in Homeland Security, and Protection of Classified Material.

  • Military and strategic ties between the two nations extend to intelligence sharing on terrorist groups and joint military training

Over time, India-Israel relationship has moved beyond the defence sector which can be seen from the following:

  • Trade: From US$ 200 million in 1992 (comprising primarily trade in diamonds), bilateral merchandise trade stood at US$ 5.65 billion (excluding defence) in 2018-19, with the balance of trade being in India’s favour by US$ 1.8 billion. Trade in diamonds constitutes close to 40% of bilateral trade.

  • Water technology: Israel has become one of the leading technology providers to India in the field of rainwater harvesting, use of oceanic water for irrigation purposes etc.

  • Agriculture: India and Israel are set to develop new crop varieties and share post-harvest technologies following the success of 10-year-old Indo-Israel Agriculture project (IIAP). India has benefited from Israeli expertise and technologies in horticulture mechanization, protected cultivation, orchard and canopy management, nursery management, micro- irrigation and post-harvest management particularly in Haryana and Maharashtra

  • Others: Recently, MoUs were signed for cooperation in various sectors like “India- Israel Industrial R&D and Technological Innovation Fund” which will enhance the knowledge base of Indian industries.

Despite this growing bonhomie, there are certain issues which still need to be resolved such as:

  • Palestine: India and Israel have different stands in the Arab world, especially on the issue of Palestine, thus becoming a bone of contention between the two countries.

  • Iran:Iran is a persisting threat to Israel but India has a strong relationship with Iran in fields of energy, as well as growing strategic importance due to Chabahar port, International North–South Transport Corridor etc.

  • FTA: Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the countries is in a stalemate because of the concerns from Indian domestic industry.

Thus, India will need to navigate its relationship with Israel keeping in mind the advantages in the bilateral context, and the challenges in the regional aspects, so as to harness maximum benefit.



Subjects : Current Affairs

March 8, 2021

Mains Daily Question
March 8, 2021

  1. You are the district magistrate of a district affected by massive floods unprecedented in the last few decades. Your district administration is putting all the efforts; however, the resources are falling short. You appeal to people and civil society from within and outside the state to offer help in cash and kind and give their time to help the district administration in rehabilitation. You get an excellent response. However, during the activities, you find that few groups have deep pockets, funded by notorious elements, through which they are providing ration, essentials, and medical facilities. You also came to know from reliable sources that these groups intend to get political favors later in the form of votes and political patronage from the people of the district. If they succeeded, they might create problems in the district as many liquor mafias, sand mafia, land mafia, etc., have put in their money to help people post floods. You are in no position to prove their funding sources; instead need the resources.


(a) Bring out and discuss the ethical issues involved in the above case.

(b) What course of action would you take, keeping in mind the unprecedented situation?

Model Answer

The given case presents a situation in front of District Magistrate where she needs funds to help people affected by the unprecedented floods. But problem is about illegal sources of funds and future quid-pro-qua from doner’s to get political advantage by helping flood affected people.

(a)Ethical issues in the case are:

  • DM needs resources, funds and time to help people during floods but her observations suggests that doner’s have money from illegal sources i.e liquor mafia, sand mafia etc.

  • Taking help from them may compromise position of DM as they may seek favours in future but on contrary not-taking help will also compromise ability of DM to help people in need. Hence Professionalism of not taking illegal funds is coming at crossroad with Compassion to help needy.

  • Lack of objectivity in proving funding sources of the donors.

(b)My course of action would be,

  • Firstly, I will create central fund for a district where all donations will be accepted online and disbursement of funds will be done by District Committee consisting of Me, SP of district, Well known social workers and distinguished citizens of the district. It will help to rule out any foreign elements like sand mafia, land mafia etc influencing decisions.

  • Secondly, I will create central team to coordinate relief work and all volunteers will be allocated based on demand from areas. I will try to attract college youth who are not affiliated to any mafias to act as volunteers. It will reduce say of these Mafia’s in relief work.

  • Thirdly, I will use funds available in District Disaster Management Fund and other state and central funds. When these funds are exhausted then only, I will allow use of special central fund created earlier. I will make all the donations public through District Collectorate website and will also send the receipts of donations to State Income Tax Department to inquire into sources of the funds. This will ensure that all funding sources will be thoroughly investigated and illegal funding sources will be punished accordingly.

  • Fourthly, I will make sure no advertisement of any Mafia’s will be done during relief work and I, myself will brief to district citizens about all relief works and steps taken daily with evening report on local media channels. It will help in reducing scoring of political brownie points by the mafias.

Above action will be according to Gandhian philosophy i.e Means should be as pure as the ends. Illegal funding sources will be analysed by Income Tax department, hence only good money will be used for public welfare. As very high response to appeal of donation, I think money from all genuine income sources will be enough to carry out relief work and if needed extra money can be raised from Municipal bonds, levying user change and other state-level grants.

Subjects : Ethics

March 5, 2021

Mains Daily Question
March 5, 2021

  1. “All aspects of good governance are facilitated by a strong and independent mediascape within a society”. In this regard, discuss the role played by media in facilitating good governance. What are the challenges presently faced by media? Suggest some steps to overcome these challenges.


  • Introduce with relating media and good governance.

  • Discuss the key roles played by the media in facilitating good governance

  • Highlight the challenges presently faced by the media.

  • Suggest some steps to overcome the challenges.

  • Conclude Appropriately.

Model Answer

Media is called the fourth estate of democracy. Presently the trinity of print, television and social media have a close relationship with the welfare of people and facilitating good governance.

Role of Media:

  1. Participation: Media reports on the decision-making process and gives voice to the people in this process. The citizens can express assent and dissent through media or explore aspects that are not possible through official channels. E.g., news debates prior to the presentation of budget in the Parliament.

  2. Protection of Rights: A free and open media increases awareness among citizens about their rights and act as a reliable source of information on the basis of which the incidences of arbitrary abuse of rights can be brought down.

  3. Rule of Law: Media promotes vigilance towards the rule of law, especially through fostering investigative journalism, promoting the openness of court, legislative and administrative proceedings, access to officials and to public documents. E.g. exposing the Commonwealth scam.

  4. Access to Information: Media coverage of government schemes, legislation, election campaigns etc. ensures greater citizen participation in governance.

Challenges Faced by Media:

  1. Fake News: Seen as a worldwide problem, the dissemination of unverified and false information to people especially through social media is reducing the credibility of the media.

  2. Yellow Journalism: Sensationalisation of news items and ignoring the key issues like poverty and employment have dented the role of media in good governance.

  3. Paid News: The media houses are alleged to favour a particular political party/person/organisation in exchange for some considerations.

  4. Local Language Media: It is alleged that more masala news is promoted in the local media compared to the national media. Local correspondents often lack formal training and their sole qualification is their place of residence.


  1. Media Houses should follow the Media ethics in their functioning. The guidelines given by News Broadcasters Associations can be made mandatory in this regard.

  2. Awareness generation among citizens to verify the information received from credible sources like the Press Information Bureau.

  3. Promoting innovative tools like WhatsApp have restricted the number of forwards at one time for a particular message to curb spreading of fake news.

If the media are to function in the public interest, governments have to protect the independent functioning of the media and allow various viewpoints to flourish in society.



Subjects : Current Affairs

March 3, 2021

Mains Daily Question
March 3, 2021

  1. Trace the journey of working-class movement in India since the advent of modern industries. How did this disparate group emerge as an organized class in late 1920s onwards?


  • Introduce the advent of working class.

  • Trace the development of all India class consciousness in various phases.

  • Conclude appropriately.

Model Answer

The modern worker made their appearance in India in the second half of 19th century with the slow beginnings of Railways and modern industries. Before the nationalists began to associate with working class agitations towards the end of 19th century, there were several strikes, agitations. But these were sporadic, spontaneous and unorganized revolts based on economic grievances.

  • Phase 1 (1850s -1900): In this phase, the worker class remained largely unorganized on a class basis. There were some early organized effort to improve the conditions of workers. Ex: Workingmen’s club by Sasipada Banerjee in Bengal. One major reason for the relatively lukewarm attitude of the early nationalists was that during this phase they didn’t wish to create any divisions within the ranks of Indian people. Thus, we notice lack of class consciousness among workers in this period.

  • Phase 2: With the coming of Swadeshi movement, the situation began to change rapidly and the nationalists took up the task of organizing stable trade unions, strikes etc. Thus, there was a perceptible shift from purely economic issues to wider political issues.

  • Phase 3 (1910 onwards): In this phase, there was a close integration of workers movement with the national movement and class consciousness was fast developing among the workers. The formation of Ahmedabad Textile Labor Association in 1918, All India Trade Union Congress in 1920 were the important events of this phase.

Emergence As An Organized Class

  • Phase 4 (late 1920s onwards): The impetus given by the Russian Revolution in 1917 helped the leftist ideas to have a significant impact on the working-class movement. WPPs (workers and peasant’s parties) organized by various communist groups were rapidly gaining in strength within the Congress. Communist influence on the trade movement became very strong since late 1920s and onwards. After that almost all the trade unions barring few identified themselves with the radical leftist ideas and the working class emerged as an organized, self-conscious class in 1920s.

This process of emergence of working class as an organized all India class is inextricably linked with the growth of national movement as Indian working class could not exist before the notion of ‘Indian’ people had begun to take root.

Subjects : Modern History

March 1, 2021

Mains Daily Question
March 1, 2021

  1. Outline the various types of cyber-threats that India faces and bring out the measures that have been taken to counter them.


  • Introduce by defining cyber threats

  • List various types of cyber threats

  • Enumerate measures taken by govt. - legal and administrative - IT Act, CERT-In etc.

  • Conclude appropriately

Model Answer

Cyber threat is the possibility of a malicious attempt to damage or disrupt a computer network or system. Issues over the recent years like petya ransomware, debit/credit card data hacking, Aadhaar data misuse etc. has raised the concern on India's ability to secure cyber space. Recently, grocery delivery platform Bigbasket faced a data breach where over 2 Cr users data was compromised and a data breach on PM Modi’s website narendramodi was also witnessed. A recent assessment report by the National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO) has highlighted that the number of cyber-attacks in India has increased due to the work from home scenario.

Various Cyber Threats

  1. Cyber Crime: Cybercrimes are usually of two kinds:
    1. Those directed at computers or other devices (for example, hacking, malware, DoS attacks virus attacks etc)

    2. Those where computers or other devices are integral to the offence (for example, online fraud, identity theft, cyber bullying, distribution of child exploitation material etc)

  2. Cyber Espionage: Cyber espionage represents the strategy of breaking into computer systems and networks in order to extract sensitive governmental or corporate information.

  3. Cyber Terrorism: Actions threatening unity and security of India or striking terror in people by denying access of penetrating into a computer to cause death and destruction of property or adversely affect the critical information infrastructure.

  4. Cyber Warfare: States attacking the information systems of other countries for disrupting their critical infrastructure and disrupt an adversary’s ability to function during a conflict

Measures To Counter Cyber Threats:

  • Legal measures
    • Information Technology Act 2008 (as amended in 2012)

    • Relevant sections of Indian Penal Code.

  • Administrative Measures
    • National Cyber Security Policy 2013 (NCSP) serves as an umbrella framework for defining and guiding the actions related to security of cyberspace.

    • CERT-In: A Computer Emergency Response Team –India (CERT-In) as nodal agency for cyber security incident response. It runs the 24x7 National Watch and Alert System.

    • National Cyber Coordination Centre (NCCC): NCCC is to ensure near real time threat assessment and to coordinate between intelligence agencies.

    • National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre (NCIIPC) for protection of critical information infrastructure in the country.

    • Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C) for cyber crime monitoring

    • Setting up of cyber forensic units and creating trained human resources

    • Cyber Swachhta Kendra (Botnet Cleaning and Malware Analysis Centre) has been launched for providing detection of malicious programmes and free tools to remove such programmes.

  • Miscellaneous Measures
    • All organizations providing digital services have been mandated to report cyber security incidents to CERT-In expeditiously.

    • Issue of alerts and advisories regarding cyber threats and counter-measures by CERT-In.

    • Issue of guidelines for Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) regarding their key roles and responsibilities for securing applications / infrastructure and compliance.

    • Provision for audit of the government websites and applications prior to their hosting, and thereafter at regular intervals.

    • Formulation of Crisis Management Plan for countering cyber attacks and cyber terrorism.

    • Conducting cyber security mock drills and exercises regularly to enable assessment of cyber security posture and preparedness of organizations in Government and critical sectors.

    • Conducting regular training programmes for network / system administrators and Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) of Government and critical sector organisations regarding securing the IT infrastructure and mitigating cyber attacks.

As nature of cyber space is fast evolving and transnational, the response system also needs to be constantly evolving. India needs to focus on cyber security literacy, updating cyber laws, institutionalizing transnational cooperation mechanisms and creating a dedicated cadre of cyber security personnel. The new cyber security policy acts as a guide in the right direction.



Subjects : Current Affairs
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