iClub Synopsis : 26 April 2019

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Q.1 Explain the phenomenon of El Nino and La Nina. (250 words)

Relevance : General studies Paper – I Geography

Structure of the Answer

• Explain El Nino process.

• Draw diagram to show difference between normal condition and El Nino condition.

• Explain La Nina and draw diagram to illustrate the process.

• Briefly highlight the role of walker cell in both processes.

Reference- NCERT


El Niño

• The El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is a naturally occurring phenomenon involving fluctuating ocean temperatures in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific, coupled with changes in the atmosphere. This phenomenon has a major influence on climate patterns in various parts of the world.

• El Niño and La Niña are the oceanic components while the Southern Oscillation is the atmospheric counterpart, thus giving rise to the term El Niño/Southern Oscillation. The El Niño/Southern Oscillation comprises three phases: El Niño, La Niña and neutral.

• El Niño, meaning “boy child” in Spanish, was first used in the nineteenth century by fishermen in Peru and Ecuador to refer to the unusually warm waters that reduced their catch just before Christmas. It occurs every two to seven years and can last up to 18 months. Strong and moderate El Niño events have a warming effect on average global surface temperatures.

La Niña

• The opposite of El Niño within the ENSO cycle is known as La Niña, which means “little girl” and refers to the large-scale cooling of the ocean surface temperatures in the same region in the equatorial Pacific, coupled with a reversal of the overlying atmospheric conditions.

• In many locations, especially in the tropics, La Niña produces the opposite climate variations to El Niño. During ENSO-neutral phases, atmospheric patterns are controlled more by other climate drivers.

The two phases relate to the Walker circulation, which was discovered by Gilbert Walker during the early twentieth century. The Walker circulation is caused by the pressure gradient force that results from a high pressure system over the eastern Pacific Ocean, and a low pressure system over Indonesia.

Weakening or reversal of the Walker circulation decreases or eliminates the upwelling of cold deep sea water, thus creating an El Niño by causing the ocean surface to reach above average temperatures. An especially strong Walker circulation causes a La Niña, resulting in cooler ocean temperatures due to increased upwelling.

Q.2 What do you understand by the concept “freedom of speech and expression”? Discuss the restriction on freedom of speech and expression by Indian Constitution? (150 words)

Relevance : General studies Paper – II Polity

Structure of the Answer

• Introduction- Briefly explain Freedom of speech and expression.

• Cite some incidence where right of Freedom of speech and expression is prohibited.

• Mention restrictions on Art-19 (1)(a) by Indian Constitution under Article 19 (2).

Reference- -Laxmikanth


Freedom of speech and expression means freedom to express whatever one wishes and state/speak one’s opinion without fear of repercussions. In India it is a fundamental right given by the Constitution under Article 19 (1) (a). Supreme Court has expanded the ambit by included freedom of press, commercial advertisement, right to telecast etc. also under Article 19.

From the very beginning the right has been a point of debate. Some of the recent controversies are:

1. CBFC being a certification body has suggested several cuts in movies like Udta Punjab or Lipstick Under My Burkha, which questions the freedom of artistic creativity.

2. Various actors, authors and painters have come under criticisms and have been even jailed for their statements or works.

3. In conflict areas, Internet is frequently banned without any codified procedure. Eg. In Kashmir during protests or in Gujarat during Patidar Andolan.

Chapter III contains not only rights of citizens but also restrictions on these rights under Article 19 (2). Thus, freedom of speech and expression not absolute:

1. Freedom of speech and expression is subjected to reasonable restrictions given under Article 19(2) which includes sovereignty and integrity of India, friendly relations with foreign states, public order, morality or decency, incitement to an offence, etc.

2. Supreme Court in various cases has upheld Criminal Defamation (Section 499 and 500 of IPC) and Sedition (Section 124-A of IPC) as a reasonable restriction.

3. In a recent judgment apex court held that appealing for votes on grounds of religion, caste, creed, language or community as corrupt practices under section 123 of Representation of people’s Act, 1951.

Thus, no right including right to Freedom of speech and expression is absolute in nature. Every right entails certain responsibility. The, freedom of speech and expression of one person should not undermine the rights and dignity of other people.  

Q.3 Discuss the importance of MSMEs. Give some suggestion to improve the condition of MSME sector. (250 words)

Relevance : General studies Paper – III Economy

Structure of the Answer

• Highlight the importance of MSMEs

• Give suggestions to improve the performance of MSMEs

• Conclusion

Reference- Ramesh Singh/ Current Affairs


The Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) play a vital role in the economic and social development of India. The MSME sector contributes in the manufacturing output, employment and exports. It plays a key role in the development of the economy with their effective, efficient, flexible and innovative entrepreneurial spirit. MSME sector has emerged as a dynamic and vibrant sector of the economy.

The most advantage of this sector is its generating employment at low cost. The MSME sector is highly heterogeneous. There are different size of the enterprises, variety of products and services and level of technology. It helps in the industrialization of rural and backward areas. It reduces regional imbalances. It provides equitable distribution of national income and wealth.
Small and large scale enterprises are two legs of industrialization process of a country. Hence, MSMEs are found in existence in every country. MSMEs have been given an important place in the framework of Indian planning since beginning both for economic and ideological reasons.

Some highlights of the MSME sector

1. MSME contributes about 40% of India’s total exports.

2. MSME contributes about 45% of India’s manufacturing output.

3. This sector has given employment to 73 million people.

4. MSMEs manufacture more than 6,000 products.

Although the performance of the MSME sector has been commendable over the years in terms of employment generation, growth of exports and in bringing about social transformation, a lot more need to be done for their continued growth and sustained development. The issues and constraints that hinder their growth need to be identified and properly addressed.

Some suggestions to improve the performance of MSMEs are indicated below;

1. Easy Access to Finance and Credit:

Institutional finance/credit from banks and other financing institutions should be promptly available without long and cumbersome procedures. Sanction of credit / loan applications by public sector banks should be made within a reasonable time frame at affordable and reduced rate of interest.

2. Stepping up Infrastructural and Support Facilities:

Deficiencies in basic infrastructural facilities like water, power supply, road/rail and telephone connectivity, etc. should be addressed on priority basis. Use of solar or renewable energy as an alternative source should be encouraged in rural areas on subsidized basis. A cluster-centric or cluster development approach should be adopted for a number of enterprises working in closer proximity.

3. Creation of adequate Marketing Linkages:

For enhancing sale of products, regular trade fairs/exhibitions etc. should be conducted for creation of a larger platform for better marketing facilities. The Govt. of India policy regarding 20% mandatory procurement of MSME products by government Departments/ State PSUs should be ensured.

4. Skill Development and Capacity Building:

Initiatives should be taken for skill / competency development of human resources. Infrastructural and professional support from Rural Self Employment Training Institutes (RSETI) and suitable training institutes may be obtained for conducting training of entrepreneurs and workers engaged in different activities. Awareness / sensitization programmes and TV/Radio talks should be conducted.

5. Access to Modern Tools and Technology:

MSMEs today need to adopt and adhere to quality parameters of international standards in the context of a globalized market. Technological obsolescence should be replaced by adoption of modern and latest tools and technology for increased productivity and quality product for competitive advantage.

6. Policy Intervention and Support Mechanisms:

Industry-friendly policies should be initiated by the government for promoting infrastructural support facilities and for easy availability of finance by the scheduled banks. Government and Banks should take steps for revival of sick units as per RBI Guidelines and Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGAMSE) Scheme.

MSMEs over the years have assumed greater significance in our burgeoning national economy by contributing to employment generation and rural industrialization. This sector possesses enough potential and possibilities to pushbutton accelerated industrial growth in our developing economy and well poised to support national programme like ‘Make in India’. This sector has exhibited enough resilience to sustain itself on the strength of our traditional skills and expertise and by infusion of new technologies, capital and innovative marketing strategies.

Q.4 What are the competencies that are required for Civil Services? (250 words)

Relevance : General studies Paper – IV Ethics

Structure of the Answer

• Highlight the basic features of Civil Services i.e. ethics, equity, efficiency etc.

• Briefly explain this basic values.

• Discuss the competencies required for Civil Services.

Reference: Lexicon’s Ethics


Competency Framework for the Civil Services

1. Ethos

1.1) People First

• Passion for serving people with special care for the marginalised and disadvantaged.

• Being approachable, welcoming, caring and rising above bias while interacting with people.

• Understands the needs of the people and constantly strives to improve the services.

1.2) Strategic Thinking

• Ability to understand dynamic internal and external environment and its impact.

• Responds to the opportunities and challenges for the betterment of society.

1.3) Organisational Awareness

• Understanding of the organisation’s mandate, structure, policies, processes, norms and its interface with other organisations.

• It also includes an understanding of the organisation’s informal structures, power dynamics and constraints.

1.4) Commitment to the organisation

• Aligns behaviours and interests with the needs and goals of the organisations.

1.5) Leading Others

• Ability to engage, energise, and enable the team to excel.

2. Ethics

2.1) Integrity

• Consistently behaves in an open, fair and transparent manner, honours one’s commitments and works to uphold the Public service values.

2.2) Self-Confidence

• Belief in own capability to accomplish a task and being able to express confidence in dealing with challenging circumstances without being arrogant or boastful.

2.3) Attention to Detail

• Having an underlying drive to being thorough and meticulous and to comply with procedures, rules, guidelines, and standards.

• Digs deeper and strives to reduce uncertainties and errors.

2.4) Takes Accountability

• Takes ownership for outcomes (successes or failures) while addressing performance issues fairly and promptly.

3. Equity

3.1) Consultation and Consensus Building

• Ability to identify the stakeholders and influencers, seek their views and concerns through formal and informal channels.

• Build consensus through dialogue, persuasion, reconciliation of diverse views/interests and trusting relationships.

3.2) Decision Making

• Makes timely decisions that take into account relevant facts, tasks, goals, constraints, risk and conflicting points of view.

3.3) Empathy

• Empathy is about being able to accurately hear out and understand the thoughts, feelings and concerns of others, even when these are not made explicit.

3.4) Delegation

• Delegates responsibility with the appropriate level of autonomy so that others are free to innovate and take the lead.

4. Efficiency

4.1) Result Orientation

• High drive for achieving targets and competing against a standard of excellence.

4.2) Conceptual Thinking

• Understanding a situation or environment by putting the pieces together and identifying patterns that may not be obviously related.

• Connecting the dots while resisting stereotyping.

4.3) Initiative and Drive

• Contributing more than what is expected in the job.

• Refusing to give up when faced with challenges and finding or creating new opportunities.

4.4) Seeking Information

• An underlying curiosity to know more about things, people, or issue.

• This includes “digging” for exact information and keeping up-to-date with relevant knowledge.

4.5) Planning and Coordination

• Ability to plan, organise and monitor work with effective utilisation of resources such as time, money, and people.

4.6) Desire for Knowledge

• Keeps up-to-date with relevant knowledge and technology, share latest developments with others, and advocates the application of acquired knowledge.

4.7) Innovative Thinking

• Open to change, approaches issues differently, offers alternate/out of box solutions and strives for efficiency by working smartly.

4.8) Problem Solving

• Understanding a situation by breaking it into small parts, organising information systematically and setting priorities.

4.9) Developing Others

• Genuinely believes in others’ capabilities to develop and take personal responsibility for their development.

• Creates a positive environment for learning and provides developmental opportunities for individual and team.

4.10) Self-Awareness and Self-Control

• Identifies one’s own emotional triggers and controls one’s emotional responses.

• Maintains sense of professionalism and emotional restraint when provoked, faced with hostility or working under increased stress. It includes resilience and stamina despite prolonged adversities.

4.11) Communication Skills

• Articulates information to others in language that is clear, concise, and easy to understand.

• It also includes the ability to listen and understand unspoken feelings and concerns of others.

4.12) Team-Working

• Working together as a unit for common goal, building teams through mutual trust, respect and cooperation.

Students Note :

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