Time Allowed: Three Hours Maximum Marks: 300
Candidates should attempt ALL questions strictly in accordance with the instructions given under each question.
Q. 1 Answer any four of the following in about 250 words each: 25 × 4 = 100
(a) Do you think that China’s emergence as one of the largest trading partners of India had adversely affected the settlement of the outstanding border problem ?
Important Points for Answer:
El Indo-China Trade
Bilateral Boundary Problems
Answer: Trade between India and China is likely to achieve the $100-billion mark by 2013, two years ahead of the target set in 2009 by governments of the two countries.
China has become India’s largest country trading partner, while the latter is attaining the position of the former’s 10th largest trade partner.
Trade volumes reached $61.7 billion in 2010. India’s exports to China jumped 68.8 per cent to US$19.6 bn last financial year from 11.6 bn in 2009-10. Overall imports also increased 41 per cent to US$43.5 bn from US$30.8 bn in the same period.
Bilateral trade is booming, while China and India are equally concerned over unsettled boundary issues.
However, the 15th round of Sino-Indian Special Representatives (SR) Talks was held in New Delhi in January 2012. These talks were the latest in a process of bilateral boundary negotiations that have been taking place for the last three decades. Later, in early January, the Chinese denied a visa to an Indian Air Force officer from Arunachal Pradesh who was part of an official Indian military delegation to China. This kind of interaction would have previously resulted in prolonged acrimony between the two sides. But in a sign of growing maturity in bilateral ties, the fourth India-China Annual Defence Dialogue took place as scheduled in New Delhi in December 2011. The SR talks were also rescheduled without further ado, amid efforts to set a positive tone for the talks. The boundary talks are now officially in the second stage of a three-step process involving agreements on principles, a framework and, finally, a boundary line. The latest SR talks resulted in a new Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India- China Border Affairs. This mechanism aims to ensure real-time contact between the two foreign ministries should either side trespass the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
China and India also perhaps realise they cannot afford mutual hostility at a time of global economic uncertainty. Therefore, it seems that increasing bilateral trade has pacified the grudge over border issue.
(b) Discuss the globalisation of R&D and its impact on India’s development. Provide an illustration from at least one sector such as Information Technology or Health.
Answer: More and more companies are conducting R&D outside their home countries. Lower costs, access to talent, and proximity to markets drive the geographical mobility of R&D and innovation.
Reflecting a broader trend towards the offshoring of services, a number of developing countries are attracting foreign direct investment in research and development.
Transnational corporations, including the ones headquartered in developing countries, are selecting developing countries as locations for such activities. With the offshoring of research and development, firms aim to access the skills of new locations, adapting products to local markets and reducing their costs, in response to competitive pressures, technological changes and a more liberal trade and investment environment.
In particular, information and communication technologies have had a profound effect on the way economic activities, including research and development, are organised, enabling firms to allocate tasks on a global scale through intra-firm information networks.
At the same time, keeping up with new developments in information and communication technologies is a major challenge for developing countries wishing to accelerate their economic development.
Whereas the rise was relatively modest in developed host countries, it was quite significant in developing countries: the share of foreign affiliates in business R&D in the developing world increased from 2% to 18% between 1996 and 2002. The share of R&D by foreign affiliates in different countries varies considerably. Conversely, it remained under 10% in Chile, Greece, India, Japan and the Republic of Korea. The top 10 destinations included China (in first position), India (third) and Brazil (sixth).
In some cases TNCs may contribute indirectly to upgrading technologies as innovations emerge and consumption patterns change.
The encouragement of commercial culture among scientists and engineers.
The implantation of an R&D and innovation culture among local companies.
The inflow of manufacturing-related FDI to commercialise R&D results at the same location if other conducive parameters are in place.
Employee spin-offs of R&D companies.
(c) Discuss the contentious issues that have caused the prolonged constitutional logjam in Nepal.
Answer: Nepal President Ram Baran Yadav and Prime Minister (PM) Baburam Bhattarai are locked in a stand-off in Nepal, on November 22, the government had originally proposed to hold fresh Constituent Assembly (CA) polls.
However, the Nepal Army (NA) has conveyed that the “political process” should be allowed to take its own course.
Nepal President said that the government will cease to have any legitimacy after its failure to hold polls on the declared date. He feel strongly that Dr. Bhattarai plunged the country into a crisis by declaring elections, “without making appropriate arrangements”. And the President feels he has a responsibility to break “the constitutional and political deadlock”.
Nepal President has refused to endorse any ordinances forwarded by the government, and only allowed a one-third budget on the grounds dfjat there was no political consensus for a full budget.
The PM wants the President to use his constitutional power to remove obstacles under Article 158, but how it would be approved by the Parliament given there is no legislature. This is the root of the problem. The one-third budget runs out in mid-November.
The government saved the country from a political vacuum by declaring elections on May 27, when the CA’s term ended without a Constitution. The President, a former Nepali Congress (NC) leader has made the PM’s resignation a precondition for consensus. Nepal PMO point out that the government is legitimate by virtue of being elected on the floor of the House and there is no way to constitutionally dismiss or replace the Prime Minister.
Dr. Bhattarai’s aides allege Nepal President is over-stepping his constitutional brief. They cite his refusal to promulgate ordinances forwarded by the government and endorse a full budget; his regular meetings with political leaders; and public interventions on political issues, as proof.
Nepal President believes he would command wide political support if he chose to replace the government. Since the CA ended, the NC, Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist), the Upendra Yadav-led Madhesi Janaadhikar Forum, and the ultra-nationalist Maoist splinter outfit led by Mohan Vaidya ‘Kiran’, have all urged the President to dismiss Dr. Bhattarai. Dr. Yadav’s aides have been in touch with the judiciary to solicit support. And since he is of Madhesi background, the President believes that there will be no resistance in the Tarai.
The new chief, General Gaurav Shumsher Rana, has publicly pledged to abide by the constitution and the Army Act, which clearly stipulates specific conditions under which forces can be mobilised.
India has largely adopted a hands-off approach in Nepal at the moment, despite some intensive lobbying from all sides to intervene on their behalf.
(d) The human population is slated to grow to 9 billion by 2050. In this context, many scientists predict that plant genomics would play a critical role in keeping out hunger and preserving the environment. Explain.
Important Points for Answer:
Problems related to increase in population
Plant Genomics and its importance
Answer: In 2009, the human population increased by 74.6 million, which is projected to fall steadily to about 41 million per annum in 2050, at which time the population will have increased to about 9.2 billion. With such a huge growth of population, obviously the, requirement of food and other recourses will also increase. To feed the increasing population, more food production will be required.
Plant Genomics is a discipline in genetics that applies recombinant DNA, DNA sequencing methods, and bioinformatics to sequence, assemble, and analyze the function and structure of genomes (the complete set of DNA within a single cell of an organism). Such genetically engineered plants are generated in a laboratory by altering their genetic makeup and are tested in the laboratory for desired qualities. This is usually done by adding one or more genes to a plant’s genome using genetic engineering techniques.
The plant genomics will help to preserve existing species of plants and improve their productivity, apart from deriving new variants of food producing plants with desired nutrients. The science can help into producing more food for feeding the population.
Plant genomics can also help in preserving environment by maintaining bio diversity and preventing deforestation. Environmental issues can be easily dealt with by genetic engineering.
However, presently there is no consensus about use of genetically engineered food due to health and economic issues but looking at the future; it seems that plant genomics is going to be a science for keeping out hunger and preserving the environment.
(e) “The situation today is far different to that prevalent fifty years back when the Indus Water Treaty was signed.” Highlight the complexity of the current challenges on both sides of the border in this regard. Do you think that a review of the Treaty is in India’s best interests ?
Answer: The Indus Water Treaty is a water-sharing treaty between the Republic of India and Islamic Republic of Pakistan, brokered by the World Bank (then the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development). The treaty was signed in Karachi on September 19, 1960 by Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and President of Pakistan Mohammad Ayub Khan. The treaty was a result of Pakistani fear that since the source rivers of the Indus basin were in India, it could potentially create droughts and famines in Pakistan, especially at times of war. However, India did not revoke the treaty during any of three later Indo-Pakistani Wars.
Where once there was only a narrow strip of irrigated land along these rivers, developments over the last century have created a large network of canals and storage facilities that provide water for more than 26 million acres (110,000 km2) – the largest irrigated area of any one river system in the world.
Pakistani experts have calculated that if the flow of water from J&K to Pakistan is reduced by a level of one percent, the economic loss to its farmers will be catastrophic. Experts consider the question of Indus water more important than the J&K issue.
India has operated within the framework of this Treaty for over four decades. During this time a host of problem areas have been encountered which were not visualised earlier.
In 1960, the Treaty did not consider the exponential growth of population and the consequent rise in demand for water for drinking and irrigation. Today, over 2,00,000 hectares of fertile land in drought-prone J&K remain un-irrigated resulting in a great loss of agricultural and horticultural potential. This is particularly acute in Kashmir Valley. This can only be alleviated by greater access to waters of the Jhelum and Chenab.
Therefore, it can be argued that revision of Indus Water Treaty can result into benefit to India.
Q. 2. Answer any five of the following in about 150 words each: 15 × 5 =75
(a) Write a short analytical note on Indian Diaspora. How is the “New Diaspora” different from the “Old Diaspora”?
Important Points for Answer:
Meaning of Indian Diaspora
Emergence of New Diaspora
Answer: The Indian Diaspora is a generic term 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 twenty 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 Diaspora covers practically every part of the world. It numbers more than a million each in eleven countries, while as many as twenty-two countries have concentrations of at least a hundred thousand ethnic Indians.
A new diaspora is the displacement, migration, and dispersion of individuals away from their homelands by forces such as globalisation, neo-liberalism, and imperialism. Such forces create economic, social, political, and cultural difficulties for individuals in their homeland that forces them to displace and migrate.
New Diaspora is a revival or a build upon the standard meaning of Diaspora in the sense that it is focused on the cultural, economic, political, and social causes driving it, as well as analyzing the multi-locality and self-consciousness developed by the social group. This concept also analyzes the ties within diaspora communities to their native lands, which are expressed through strong political and cultural participation in their ancestral lands. Other significant qualities of new/neo Diasporas are the thoughts of return to their native land, relationships with other communities in the Diaspora, and lack of full assimilation to the host country.
(b) Why have the resource rich African and South Asian countries remained poor for decades? Explain.
Answer: The countries of Africa and South Asia have been exploited under colonization by western countries. The countries have not been able to utilize their natural resources. Their technological development has not at par with the developed world. People have been living under stark poverty, lake of education, unemployment, unhealthy living conditions and customary practices.
Resources of these countries have been taken away by the industrialised countries in the form of raw material and finished products have been supplied to them for decades, thus exploiting their resources and economic condition.
Due to unavailability of technical know-how, they are not able to utilize resources available to them. As a result, industrialised countries are still taking away their resources without giving them proper reward for the same.
Educated and expert people of these countries have not used their skill to develop own countries. Rather they have migrated to western countries for better facilities and thus helped them to continue their exploitation.
These are the reasons why resource rich African and South Asian countries have remained poor for decades.
(c) Does Putin’s return as President of Russia mark a shift to a confrontationist stance in international diplomacy towards the West ?
Answer: Putin, an old president was elected in through new elections.
The West should not expect a serious transformation in the coming phase of relations with Russia. There are certain tangible signs of this. Putin has announced that he will invest EUR 580 billion in defence. Accordingly, Russia will augment its defence system with 400 intercontinental ballistic missiles, 600 warplanes, 20 submarines and 2,300 tanks. Putin has also announced the target of this armament programme. Russia is undertaking this move due to NATO. The missile defence system or shield the USA is establishing under the NATO in Europe could paralyse Russia’s national security. Putin has announced that Russia is to develop new weapons against the missile shield.
Putin stands between the West and Syria and Iran. Vladimir Putin’s energy policy and his perspective on the Middle East and North Africa are seriously incompatible with the assessments and preferences of the Western alliance. Putin’s outlook on Tunisia, Libya and Egypt, just like previously on Iraq, has not been in synch with the priorities of the Western alliance. Indeed, the attitude and stance of Putin on Syria and Irat has caused concern in many important western capitals.
There is no doubt that Putin’s return as President of Russia marks a shift towards a staunch, if not confrontationist stance in international diplomacy towards the West.
(d) Analyse critically the interlinkages between the Convention on Biological Diversity and FAO Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture.
Answer: The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) entered into force on 29 December 1993. It has 3 main objectives:
1. The conservation of biological diversity
2 The sustainable use of the components of biological diversity
3 The fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilisation of genetic resources.
CBD also notes in preamble that conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity is of critical importance for meeting the food, health and other needs of the growing world population, for which purpose access to and sharing of both genetic resources and technologies are essential.
The FAO Conference adopted the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, in November 2001. This legally-binding Treaty covers all plant genetic resources relevant for food and agriculture. It is in harmony with the Convention on Biological Diversity.
The Treaty is vital in ensuring the continued availability of the plant genetic resources that countries will need to feed their people. We must conserve for future generations the genetic diversity that is essential for food and agriculture. Its objectives are the conservation and sustainable use of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits derived from their use, in harmony with the Convention on Biological Diversity, for sustainable agriculture and food security.
(e) Critically review the international concern in achieving the targets set for the Millennium Development Goals.
Important Points for Answer:
International concerns and debates
Answer: The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are eight international development goals that were officially established following the Millennium Summit of the United Nations in 2000, following the adoption of the United Nations Millennium Declaration. All 193 United Nations member states and at least 23 international organisations have agreed to achieve these goals by the year 2015. The goals are:
1. Eradicating extreme poverty and hunger,
2. Achieving universal primary education,
3. Promoting gender equality and empowering women,
4. Reducing child mortality rates,
5. Improving maternal health,
6. Combating HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases,
7. Ensuring environmental sustainability, and
8. Developing a global partnership for development.
Each of the goals has specific stated targets and dates for achieving those targets.
Debate has surrounded adoption of the MDGs, focusing on lack of analysis and justification behind the chosen objectives, the difficulty or lack of measurements for some of the goals, and uneven progress towards reaching the goals, among other criticisms.
Progress towards reaching the goals has been uneven. Some countries have achieved many of the goals, while others are not on track to realize any.
Although developed countries’ aid for the achievement of the MDGs have been rising over recent years, it has shown that more than half is towards debt relief owed by poor countries.
Many development experts question the MDGs model of transferring billions of dollars directly from the wealthy nation governments to the often bureaucratic or corrupt governments in developing countries.
(f) Discuss the likely negative impact of the protectionist measures proposed by the US on India’s software industry.
Answer: The government has raised issues relating to American policies that are hurting the Indian IT industry with the US government.
The last couple of months have seen some measures in the US that have caused concern in the Indian IT industry. These include a controversial bill that proposed to strengthen security along its border with Mexico by increasing H-1B and LI visa fees and state of Ohio recently banning outsourcing by government departments to offshore locations. The IT companies, which receive more than half of their revenue from the US, are also facing challenges of a double-dip recession in the US.
However, India’s information technology industry does not expect any immediate impact from protectionist steps being considered in the U.S. against outsourcing information technology services.
Q. 3. Answer any six of the following in not more than 100 words each: 10 × 6 = 60
(a) In the context of Assisted Reproductive Technologies, India has emerged as a hub of commercial surrogacy. What key biological, legal and ethical issues merit consideration while framing the regulation to govern surrogacy in India ?
Important Points for Answer:
Meaning of Surrogacy
Issues relating to surrogacy
Answer: Surrogacy is defined as a woman who agrees to carry a pregnancy using her own oocytes but the sperm of another couple and relinquish the child to this couple upon delivery.
As with donor gametes, surrogates and gestational carriers are subject to significant medical and emotional risks from carrying a pregnancy and undergoing a delivery. As such, extensive counselling and meticulous informed consent are required. Some also are concerned that the use of surrogates and gestational carriers is a form of “child selling” or the “sale of parental rights”. Additionally, the rights of the surrogate or gestational carrier to not relinquish the infant following deliver are not well described.
Due to financial and legal considerations, international surrogacy has emerged as an emerging industry, especially in developing nations like India. At the present time, issues surrounding issues of individual rights, exploitation, citizenship of the offspring of international gestational carriers, and even fair trade are largely unresolved internationally.
(b) Why is international trade perceived to have failed to act as an “engine of growth” in many developing countries including India ?
Answer: International Trade is not the sole base of growth story of developing countries, including India. Many developing countries have experienced growth mostly based on domestic economic factors than on international trade.
Moreover, for developing countries, international trade has remained unbalanced and favourable to developed country. This situation has resulted into more import – less export situation, creating huge debt of foreign currency.
Sometimes, international trade has been patterned in a way that developing economies have to export raw material and import finished good, which finally has not resulted into growth of economy.
Given these reasons, the international trade has failed to act as an engine of growth for them.
(c) Despite strict prohibitory regulations, “doping” has become increasingly common amongst athletes. Name five commonly used performance – enhancing drugs. What are the risks associated with their use?
Answer: The use of banned performance-enhancing drugs in sports is commonly referred to as doping, particularly by those organisations that regulate competitions.
Some of the drugs commonly taken by athletes are:
amphetamines, • ephedrine,
fencamfamine, • methamphetamines,
beta-2 agonists, • pseudoephedrine,
cocaine, • mesocarb
Side effects in men
acne • impotency
increase in estrogen • increased sex drive
impaired liver function • breast formation (gynecomastia)
erectile dysfunction • male pattern baldness
Side effects in women
male pattern baldness
hypertrophy of the clitoris
increased sex drive
irregularities of the menstrual cycle
development of masculine facial traits
increased coarseness of the skin
premature closure of the epiphysis
(d) Compare the significance of IBSA and BRICS in the context of India’s multilateral diplomacy.
Answer: IBSA is a dialogue forum of India, Brazil and South Africa for promoting international cooperation among them. IBSA represents three important poles for galvanizing South-South Cooperation and helps greater understanding between three important continents of the developing world namely, Asia, South America and Africa. IBSA is an important platform for Indian foreign policy to discuss issues in the field of agriculture, trade, culture and defence. IBSA emerged after the failure of Cancun Conference of WTO to strengthen cooperation in trade, investment and economic diplomacy.
BRICS is the title of an association of emerging national economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. BRICS is considered as defender and promoter of developing countries and a force for world peace. However, the group can also help resolving issues among members – like border issue between India and China – by increasing interdependence among them. BRICS is a group based on economic interests of members.
For Indian diplomats, both IBSA and BRICS are platforms for promoting India’s interest.
(e) The safe landing of the “Curiosity” Rover under NASA’s space programme has sparked many possibilities. What are those and how could humankind benefit from them ?
Answer: Curiosity is a car-sized robotic rover exploring Gale Crater on Mars as part of NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory mission (MSL). Curiosity was launched on November 26, 2011 and successfully landed on Aeolis Palus in Gale Crater on Mars on August 6, 2012.
The rover’s goals include: investigation of the Martian climate and geology; assessment of whether the selected field site inside Gale Crater has ever offered environmental conditions favorable for microbial life, including investigation of the role of water; and planetary habitability studies in preparation for future human exploration.
Curiosity’s design will serve as the basis for a planned unnamed 2020 Mars rover mission. In December 2012, Curiosity’s two-year mission was extended indefinitely.
(f) How have the US sanctions against Iran affected India’s bilateral relations with Iran?
Important Points for Answer:
US sanctions on Iran
Effects on India-Iran relations
Answer:Iran is under US Sanctions for its controversial nuclear programme. The US sanctions impose restrictions on trade with Iran.
The sanctions require other countries, including India, to drastically cut oil imports from Iran. This results into a great hurdle to India in its energy security.
Banks cannot have financial transaction with Iran. A few banks which have no exposure to US are exempted from impact of sanctions. India’s UCO Bank is the only bank in India presently to act as a channel for trade with Iran.
Even though India and Iran are keen to trade with each other, there hurdles like effective payment mechanism, banking channel, shipping facility and insurance cover for trade and transportation to facilitate bilateral trade.
On the issue of nuclear programme, India believes that every country has a right to have access to nuclear technology for peaceful purposes, including Iran but at the same time India believes that development of nuclear weapons by Iran is not in the interest of international peace and security.
Thus, US Sanctions have affected India’s relations with Iran in both political and commercial fields.
(g) What is Permaculture? Give at least three common examples where permaculture concepts are being put to use.
Answer: Permaculture is a branch of ecological design, ecological engineering, and environmental design which develops sustainable architecture and self-maintained horticultural systems modelled from natural ecosystems.
The core tenets of permaculture are:
Take care of the earth
Take care of the people
Share the surplus
Common Examples of Permaculture
Agroforestry: Agroforestry is an integrated approach of using the interactive benefits from combining trees and shrubs with crops and/or livestock.
Hugelkultur: Hiigelkultur is the practice of burying large volumes of wood to increase soil water retention.
Natural building: A natural building involves a range of building systems and materials that place major emphasis on sustainability.
Rainwater harvesting: Rainwater harvesting is the accumulating and storing of rainwater for reuse before it reaches the aquifer.
Q. 4 Answer the following in not more than 50 words each:5 × 6 = 30
(a) The Sequoia supercomputer was launched this year. What are its specific features and what is its purpose?
Answer: IBM Sequoia is a petascale Blue Gene/Q supercomputer constructed by IBM for the National Nuclear Security Administration as part of the Advanced Simulation and Computing Program (ASC). It was fully deployed in June 2012. The Sequoia uses 7.9 MW power, requires 280 sq m space, has 1.6 PB memory and works at 16.32 PFLOPS speed.
(b) What is meant by the G8+5 group?
Answer: The Group of Eight + Five (G8+5) is an international group that consists of the leaders of the heads of government from the G8 nations (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States), plus the heads of government of the five leading emerging economies (Brazil, China, India, Mexico, and South Africa).
(c) The Human Papilloma Virus vaccine has been making the headlines in the recent months. Who make the ideal candidates for receiving this vaccine and what are its benefits?
Answer: The human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine prevents infection with certain species of human papillomavirus associated with the development of cervical cancer, genital warts, and some less common cancers. Two HPV vaccines are currently on the market: Gardasil and Cervarix. Both vaccines protect against the two HPV types (HPV- 16 and HPV-18) that cause 70% of cervical cancers, 80% of anal cancers, 60% of vaginal cancers, and 40% of vulvar cancers.
(d) What are India’s stakes in the South China Sea?
Answer: India has a strong interest in keeping sea lanes open in the South China Sea. The SCS is not only a strategic maritime link between the Pacific and the Indian Oceans, but also a vital gateway for shipping in East Asia. Almost, 55% of India’s trade with the Asia Pacific transits through the SCS. India was taken aback after Beijing denounced plans by an Indian Company to develop oil fields in the region. The Chinese objection was to ONGC Videsh’s (OVL) venture for off-shore oil exploration in water’s belonging to Vietnam (not recognised by China), Beijing urged India to refrain from entering into deals with Vietnamese firms exploring oil and gas in the disputed SCS over which China enjoys ‘indisputable’ sovereignty.
(e) Explain the concepts “Environmental Sustainability” and “Sustainable Development of People”.
Answer: Environmental sustainability involves making decisions and taking action that are in the interests of protecting the natural world, with particular emphasis on preserving the capability of the environment to support human life.
Sustainable Development of People refers to a mode of human development in which aims use resource to meet human needs while ensuring the sustainability of natural systems and the environment so that these needs can be met not only in the present, but also for generations to come.
(f) Explain briefly the “Clean Development Mechanism” as provided under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Answer: The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), defined in Article 12 of the Protocol, allows a country with an emission-reduction or emission-limitation commitment under the Kyoto Protocol (Annex B Party) to implement an emission-reduction project in developing countries. Such projects can earn saleable certified emission reduction (CER) credits, each equivalent to one tonne of C02, which can be counted towards meeting Kyoto targets.