iClub Synopsis : 17 April 2019

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Q.1 “The Great Revolt of 1857 is regarded as India’s First War of Independence against the British rule.” In light of above statement Discuss the causes of this Great Revolt. (250 words)

Relevance : General studies Paper – I History

Structure of the Answer

• Brief introduction on Great Revolt of 1857.

• Discuss causes of Great Revolt of 1857.

Reference- NCERT


The Great Revolt of 1857 was the most remarkable single event in the history of India after the establishment of British rule. It was the result of the century old British rule in India. In comparison to the previous uprisings of the Indians, the Great Revolt of 1857 was of a greater dimension and it assumed almost an all India character with participation of people from different sections of the society. This Revolt was initiated by the sepoys of the company. So it has been commonly termed as `Sepoy Mutiny‘. But it was not simply a revolt of the sepoys.


The causes of the Great Revolt of 1857 and Sepoy Mutiny may are following:

Political cause:

Major political cause for the outbreak of the Revolt was the policy of annexation followed by Dalhousie. On application of the ‘Doctrine of Lapse’ or on the ground of misgovernance he annexed states after states deploring their rulers. Satara, Jhansi, Sambalpur, Nagpur, etc. fill victim in his aggressive policy. All these states came under British rule. In 1856, he captured Oudh on the plea of misrule. He looked the palaces of Nagpur and Oudh. Not only the ruling house, but also the employees and other dependent families were deprived of their livings for the policy of Dalhousie. His maltreatment towards the Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah II hurt the sentiment of the Muslim community. Discontinuation of the pension of the Peshwa Nana Sahib shocked the Marathas. This discontent of royal families, army men and common people jointly came against British in the Great Revolt of 1857.

Economic cause:

The Great Revolt of 1857 was also an outburst of grievances due to the economic exploitation of the company. India’s traditional economy collapsed as a result of the British ‘investment’ policies and revenue administration. The company’s trade policy destroyed Indian handicrafts. Huge numbers of Indians were thrown out of employment. The British opened a new avenue of exploitation on the peasants by introducing permanent settlement. Exploitation of the Zamindars gave rise 10 landless labourers who became restless by and by. Thus out of discontent the artisans and peasantry joined hands with the sepoys in the mutiny.

Military cause:

The sepoys of the company regiment had been feeling dissatisfied with the English for various reasons.

— There was a great disparity in salaries between the Indian and European soldiers.

— The Indian sepoys were treated with contempt by their European officers.

— The sepoys were sent to distant parts of the empire, but were not paid any extra allowance.

— Indian sepoys were refused promotion in service as like their European counterparts. Out of such discontent the Indian sepoys led to a mutiny.

Social cause:

The English could not establish any social relationship with the Indians. The racial arrogance of the British created a difference between the rulers and the ruled. Enactment of some Acts greatly offended the sentiment of the people. Some of these acts were taken as deliberate blow at the Hindu religion, custom and right of inheritance.

Direct cause:

At that time, Enfield rifles were introduced in the army. The bullets of these rifles were covered by paper with grease like thing. The Sepoys were to cut the cover by teeth before using it. The Hindu and Muslim soldiers refused to cut the covers. They protested against this and were arrested. That ignited the fire.

Q.2 Discuss the main features of fundamental rights recognised by the Indian constitution.(250 words)

Relevance : General studies Paper – II Polity

Structure of the Answer

• Brief introduction on fundamental rights.

• Features of fundamental rights.

Reference- Laxmikanth


Fundamental rights, the basic and civil liberties of the people, are protected under the charter of rights contained in Part III (Article 12 to 35) of the Constitution of India.

Fundamental rights apply universally to all citizens, irrespective of race, place of birth, religion, caste or gender. The Indian Penal Code and other laws prescribe punishments for the violation of these rights, subject to discretion of the judiciary.

Features of fundamental rights

The Fundamental Rights guaranteed by the Constitution are characterised by the following:

1. Some of them are available only to the citizens while others are available to all persons whether citizens, foreigners or legal persons like corporations or companies.

2. They are not absolute but qualified. The state can impose reasonable restrictions on them. However, whether such restrictions are reasonable or not is to be decided by the courts. Thus, they strike a balance between the rights of the individual and those of the society as a whole, between individual liberty and social control.

3. Most of them are available against the arbitrary action of the State, with a few exceptions like those against the State’s action and against the action of private individuals. When the rights that are available against the State’s action only are violated by the private individuals, there are no constitutional remedies but only ordinary legal remedies.

4. Some of them are negative in character, that is, place limitations on the authority of the State, while others are positive in nature, conferring certain privileges on the persons.

5. They are justiciable, allowing persons to move the courts for their enforcement, if and when they are violated.

6. They are defended and guaranteed by the Supreme Court. Hence, the aggrieved person can directly go to the Supreme Court, not necessarily by way of appeal against the judgement of the high courts.

7. They are not sacrosanct or permanent. The Parliament can curtail or repeal them but only by a constitutional amendment act and not by an ordinary act. Moreover, this can be done without affecting the ‘basic structure’ of the Constitution.

8. They can be suspended during the operation of a National Emergency except the rights guaranteed by Articles 20 and 21. Further, the six rights guaranteed by Article 19 can be suspended only when emergency is declared on the grounds of war or external aggression (i.e., external emergency) and not on the ground of armed rebellion (i.e., internal emergency).

9. Most of them are directly enforceable while a few of them can be enforced on the basis of a law made for giving effect to them. Such a law can be made only by the Parliament and not by state legislatures so that uniformity throughout the country is maintained (Article 35).

10. Their application to the members of armed forces, para-military forces, police forces, intelligence agencies and analogous services can be restricted or abrogated by the Parliament (Article 33).

11. Their application can be restricted while martial law is in force in any area. Martial law means ‘military rule’ imposed under abnormal circumstances to restore order (Article 34). It is different from the imposition of national emergency.

Q.3 What is watershed approach of development? Discuss the objectives of Watershed Development Programme. (250 words)

Relevance : General studies Paper – III Environment

Structure of the Answer

• Introduction- Define Watershed Area.

• Explain Watershed Approach of development.

• Mention objectives of Watershed Development Programme.

Reference- NCERT


Watershed Area

A watershed is a geo-hydrological unit, which drains into common point. The watershed approach is a project based ridge to valley approach for in situ soil and water conservation, forestation etc. Unit of development will be a watershed area of about 500 hectares each in watershed development projects. However, the actual area of a project may vary keeping in view the geographical location, the size of village etc.

Watershed Approach

A watershed is all the land and water area, which contributes run off to a common point. In watershed approach, development is not confined just to agricultural lands alone but covers the area starting from the highest point of the area to the outlet of the natural stream. Watershed management programme is conducted to increase infiltration, to control damaging excess due to runoff and to manage and utilize runoff for useful purpose. It has been established that the deterioration of natural resources, particularly soil and water, in an area can be contained and resources properly developed only by adopting a watershed approach.

Objectives of Watershed Development Programme

The objectives of Watershed Development Programmes are:

• Developing wastelands or degraded lands, drought-prone and desert areas on watershed basis, keeping in view the capability of land, site conditions and local needs.

• Promoting the overall economic development and improving the socioeconomic condition of the resource poor and disadvantaged sections inhabiting the programme areas.

• Mitigating the adverse effects of extreme climatic conditions such as drought and desertification on crops, human and livestock population for their overall improvement.

• Restoring ecological balance by harnessing, conserving and developing natural resources i.e. land, water, vegetative cover.

• Sustained community action for the operation and maintenance of assets created and further development of the potential of the natural resources in the watershed.

• Simple, easy and affordable technological solutions and institutional arrangements that make use of, and build upon, local technical knowledge and available materials.

• Employment generation, poverty alleviation, community empowerment and development of human and other economic resources of the village.

• To minimize the adverse effects of drought on the production of crops, livestock and productivity of land, water and human resources for drought proofing of the affected areas.

• To promote the overall economic development and improve the socioeconomic condition of the resource poor and disadvantaged sections inhabiting the programme areas.

• To take up development works by watershed approach for land development, water resource development and afforestation or pasture development.

Q.4 Illustrate Joseph Fletcher’s Situation Ethics.(150 words)

Relevance : General studies Paper – IV Ethics

Structure of the Answer

• Historical perspective.

• Explain antinomianism, legalism and situationalism.

• Discuss Fletcher’s view on situationalism.

Reference: Lexicon for Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude


In Situation Ethics Fletcher addresses the difficult question how we apply moral principles to situations where we are forced to choose between two courses of action.

As was common during the anti-establishment years of the 1960s, Fletcher didn’t like the idea of following rules. Fletcher also rejected antinomian relativism (antinomian means literally “no principles”). Fletcher rejected blind following of rules because he believed that absolute rules and laws demand unthinking obedience. Fletcher argued they only develop into elaborate systems of exceptions and compromises that eventually form additional rules and laws. These only serve to encourage people to invent clever new ways round these rules and laws.

Fletcher rejected antinomianism because he understood well the consequences of believing that no absolute rules and laws exist which are capable of governing all cultures in all places and for all times. The nearest philosophy to antinomianism is Sartre’s existentialism.

In place of legalism and antinomian relativism Fletcher places what he calls “situation ethics.” In real life situations people must acknowledge those traditional rules and laws (producing a less strict version of legalism) within which we seek to operate (so a less strict form of antinomian relativism). Fletcher’s common sense ethic avoided the extremes of legalism and antinomianism by recognising the remoteness of universal principles from actual conduct we can be certain about (e.g., lying is unethical) and, on the other hand, by filling the gap between such principles and difficult decisions which arise in everyday life (e.g., lying in this situation may be ethical).

While these rules and laws may assist in the process of ethical decision making, situationists modify these rules and laws if the situation requires.

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