1.World War 2 was a direct result of the turmoil left behind by World War 1. Elucidate. (GS Paper-1, World History) (250 words)
Structure of the Answer
· Introduce briefly factors leading to World War I
· Describe the harsh treatment meted out to the defeated powers post-war.
· Conclude appropriately.
First World War was a result of nationalistic aspirations of newly emerged nation states in Europe, which were left behind in race for colonies and the option left for them to attack others’ colonies or weaker or declining European countries. The tensions and threat perception that emerged from this realignment, lead to military blocs finally leading to World War 2.
World War I began on July 28, 1914, when Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia. This seemingly small conflict between two countries spread rapidly.
- Soon, Germany, Russia, Great Britain, and France were all drawn into the war, largely because they were involved in treaties that obligated them to defend certain other nations.
- World War I was fought between two major alliances of countries: the Allied Powers and the Central (Axis) Powers.
- No attempts at reconciliation post-War: However after World War 1, there was no attempt to reverse these conditions which was the only available option left for long –term peace. Instead, what happened further antagonized the environment in Europe.
- While the delegates of the Allies making the treaty should have been worried about the future of Europe, they allowed themselves to become preoccupied with worries about borders, power, and making Germany, as weak as possible.
- The Treaty of Versailles was supposed to create peace, but in the end all it created was another war.
- The treaty forced Germany to lose territory, caused serious economic problems which were only worsened by the depression of the 1930s, left and all of these things created German resentment towards the Western world. There was anger throughout Germany when the terms were made public.
- The Treaty became known as a Diktat as it was being forced on them and the Germans had no choice but to sign it.
- Many in Germany did not want the Treaty signed, but the representatives there knew that they had no choice as Germany was incapable of restarting the war again.
- Rise of Hitler: The effects of the Treaty of Versailles weakened Germany’s government and that, along with all of the effects, allowed for the rise of fascism and Hitler in Germany after World War I.
All of these factors added up to the beginning of World War II and they were all caused by the way victors of First World War behaved at the end of war and instead of initiating social and political changes to address the factors that lead to WW1, they instead fueled them further.
2.Illustrate the importance of Indian Diaspora in the context of improving India’s global brand image and rising cultural soft power. (GS Paper-2, International Relations) (250 words)
Structure of the Answer
· Briefly define Indian diaspora
· Examine how Indian diaspora contributes directly and as a soft power
· Conclude appropriately
The Indian Diaspora is a generic term used to describe the people who migrated from territories that are currently within the borders of the Republic of India. It also refers to their descendants. The Diaspora is currently estimated to number over thirty million composed of “NRIs” (Indian citizens not residing in India) and “PIOs” (Persons of Indian Origin who have acquired the citizenship of some other country).
The emergence of significant Diasporas has in recent years brought into sharp focus two key facts.
- First, there is a large expatriate population of skilled people from emerging economies in the developed world.
- Second, overseas communities can constitute a significant resource for the development of the countries of origin.
- Significance of diaspora: An overseas community can and does serve as an important ‘bridge’ to access knowledge, expertise, resources and markets for the development of the country of origin. The success of this bridge is often predicated upon two conditions:
- the ability of the Diaspora to develop and project a coherent, intrinsically motivated and progressive identity and
- the capacity of the home country to establish conditions and institutions for sustainable, symbiotic and mutually rewarding engagement.
Role Played By Diaspora directly
- Software industry: Their success in the US has been a catalyst for India’s own success in the software industry. Nineteen of the top 20 Indian software businesses are founded or managed by the Indian diaspora.
- In moments of crisis, the contributions of overseas Indians have played a crucial role in bolstering the country’s foreign currency reserves.
- In 1991, and after Pokhran, when sanctions were imposed by the US in 1998, and in the last episode of a forex crisis in August 2013 when the rupee was under attack, remittances from NRIs and investment in bonds by them had helped stabilise the currency.
- Remittances: According to the World Bank, Indian diaspora sends US$27 billion in remittances back to India each year, the largest sum for any country.
- Knowledge: They also contribute knowledge of the world, international networks, new ideas, technologies and markets to their homeland. With the support of its diaspora, India has become a world leader in business process outsourcing, information technology and pharmaceuticals.
- Politics: The ethnic Indian communities have made their contributions by participating actively in the political life of their adopted countries. Indians have emerged as Presidents, Prime Ministers and national leaders, especially in Africa, the Caribbean, the USA, the Asia Pacific and South East Asia.
- Trade: India’s integration into the regional network benefited immensely from its diaspora. Trade between India and the diverse regions has been expanding rapidly.
- Diasporic philanthropy: The Indian diaspora has responded with contributions in times of need such as wars and natural disasters.
Role played by Indian Diaspora as soft power
- Emerging global power: Indian Diaspora in USA, in effective lobbying for India and in improving considerably the dialogue and discussion on India in US political institutions. Of course Indian Diaspora in US is not only 2 million strong but also consisting of highly educated and experienced professionals. This is also applicable to Indian Diaspora in England, Australia, Canada (and all other countries with English language at the local levels).
- However the potential scope of Indian Diaspora’s contribution, particularly in India becoming a Global Power can be considerable, but a very little of this potential is being used at present.
- With rising growth, the economic and political heft of the diaspora will serve to complement the country’s Track II diplomacy and global strategic initiatives. But to remain engaged with this over 25 million group, the government must move beyond mere rhetoric and measures, such as easing travel. It will have to ensure greater ease of doing business in India — by eliminating procedural hassles, ensuring faster approvals for setting up units and doing away with complex and outdated laws and rules, apart from breaking the parliamentary logjam that threatens to cripple the power sector and bringing in clarity and consistency in policies and tax laws.
3.The growth of Indian economy since 1991 reforms can be described as the service sector led economic growth. Analyze its major impacts on the Indian Economy? Do you think that service sector led growth is sustainable in the long run? Give reasons with statistical support? (GS Paper-3, Economy) (250 words)
Structure of the Answer
· Highlight briefly the service-led growth story of India
· What problems has it led to & examine if service-led growth is sustainable
· Conclude appropriately with solutions
The period 2000-2010 was a golden period for growth of services in India, one of rapid services-led economic growth in India; the economy grew at an average annual rate of 7.2 per cent, and around 63 per cent of this growth came from growth of services.
- Such growth leads to a belief that India is already in 3rd stage of development having bypassed both the agricultural modernization and industrial development. Historically, the developed countries of today went through a long period of manufacturing-led growth before entering a phase of services-led growth. The emerging economies of today, other than India, have all experienced manufacturing-led growth.
- Such development pattern has led to 3 pronged problems:
- a) Regional imbalance: The service-led growth has favored the already developed states and metro cities and has created further regional imbalance. The states like Maharashtra, Karnataka, Delhi, and Haryana accounts for more than half of services sector’s new investments. While states like Bihar, Orrisa and Northeast region has seen virtually no growth in services sector investment in their states.
- b) Sectoral imbalance: The fastest growth of services sector also means that there is sectoral imbalance, which is not very good for a country, as in long run for services to thrive we need the production to grow, else it would only lead to inflation, as money generated by services will chase limited goods.
- c) Unemployment: The service sector can’t generate mass employment and has also a rural-urban and educated-illiterate bias, leading to a situation that only a limited section of labour force, which is privileged to have experience the formal higher education and hails from urban areas and have English speaking ability are at undue advantage over their rural brothers. As an estimate only 8% of Indian labor force has access to high paying corporate sector jobs.
Is services-led growth Sustainable?
- Unemployment: In India 53.2% of the labor force (persons) is still employed in primary sector, followed by 25.4% in services sector and 21.5 % in secondary sector. The largest proportion of the labor force is engaged in primary activities; although the share of the primary sector in gross domestic product has been steadily declining.
- The services sector led economic growth can be sustainable only if the surplus labor parked in agricultural sector is shifted to industrial and services sectors. Since the labor absorption capacity the manufacturing sector is low because of its increasing use of labor saving technology, therefore increasing employment is services sector is a more viable option for sustainable development as many of the services sector activities are labor intensive.
- A development model that is sustainable and improves the quality of human life would be model where more employment opportunities are generated leading to better standard of living and reduction in poverty and disguised unemployment. Given the population size of our country, all the physical resources in the country are already out stretched. Further development of industry would aggravate the depletion of already strained resources.
- There has been a services revolution of sorts in 21st century, wherein more than 70 percent of global growth has come from services, contrasting this with the fact that services still account for only 20 per cent in global trade, shows a lot of potential is still untapped.
4.”Gratitude is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all others”. Do you agree and why? What arethe two most important things in your life that you are grateful for? (GS Paper-4, Ethics) (250 words)
Structure of the Answer
· Explain what is gratitude and its significance.
· Highlight the benefits of gratitude.
· Enumerate the things one is grateful for.
Reference: Lexicon’s Ethics
Virtues are qualities that support the inherent goodness that resides within each human being. Gratitude is both a social and a theological virtue.
- Gratitude is essentially the recognition of the unearned increments of value in one’s experience – the acknowledgment of the positive things that come our way that we did not actively work toward or ask for.
- The cultivation of gratitude develops character, the embodiment of desired virtues.
- More than any other personality trait, gratitude is strongly linked to mental health and life satisfaction. Grateful people experience more joy, love, and enthusiasm, and they enjoy protection from destructive emotions like envy, greed, and bitterness.
- Gratitude also reduces lifetime risk for depression, anxiety, and substance abuse disorders, and it helps people entangled with those and other problems to heal and find closure. It can give you a deep and steadfast trust that goodness exists, even in the face of uncertainty or suffering.
- Hence Gratitude improves our overall well-being.
Gratitude reaps a lot of physical and social benefits. Such as:
- Psychological benefits include feelings of alertness and wakefulness, higher levels of joy, pleasure, optimism
and other positive emotions.
- Physical benefits include improved immune system and blood pressure, decreased occurrences of aches
and pains, more inclined to exercise and healthy living, and better sleeping patterns.
- Social benefits include feeling less lonely and demonstrating better social interactions by showing more
signs of forgiveness, being outgoing, helpful, compassionate and exhibiting generosity.
- Gratitude results in higher reported levels of alertness, enthusiasm, determination, attentiveness, energy,
and sleep duration and quality. Grateful people also report lower levels of depression and stress, although
they do not deny or ignore the negative aspects of life.
- Those with a disposition towards gratitude are found to give less importance to material goods, are less
likely to judge their own or others success in terms of possessions accumulated, are less envious of
wealthy people, and are more likely to share their possessions with others.
The two most important things to be grateful of are:
- a) Family: for being there at every circumstances and phases of life.
- b) Mentors: for their moral teachings and for passing down knowledge that helped in becoming a responsible citizen.
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