1. Lost idols are lost history. Comment.

Introduction India’s ancient artifacts are often found lodged in global museums, and we often fail to retrieve them.


  • Mention the challenges in recovering the lost artifacts.
    • Lack of data
    • Lack of cooperation
    • Implementation lacunae
    • Lack of awareness
  • Examine the current framework
    • Constitutional provisions
      • Article 49
      • Article 51A (f)
    • Legal provisions
      • Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958.
      • Antiquities and Art Treasure Act, 1972.
      • Indian Treasure Trove Act (1949)
    • International conventions
      •  Hague Convention (1954)
      • UNESCO Convention (1970)
  • What are the solutions
    • India specific
      • India pride project
    • Global best practices
      • USA’s Operation Hidden Idol
    • Legal provisions
      • Better legislation
      • International tie-ups
      • Better implementation

Conclusion Ancient relics are often an important link to understand the past of the country. This makes it important for us to learn more about these.

  1. Examine the outcomes expected from the visit of the president of the US to India.

Introduction Begin the answer with the current status of relations between India and the USA.


  • Importance of India US relations
  • Major outcomes expected
    • Defense relationship
    • Counter-terrorism and internal security
    • Support on J&K issue
    • Energy support
    • Indian diaspora
    • Regional and international cooperation.
  • Major challenges with the visit.
    • The trade deal may be a distant dream.
    • Chabahar port may not be raised.
    • Any unprecedented decision of FATF on Pak will leave the two countries red-faced.
    • Claims have been made on slum evacuations ahead of the visit.

Conclusion Sketch a way forward for the two countries including a trade deal.

  1. Cutting the funding of terror outfits is a big step in curbing terrorism. Comment.

Introduction FATF meet is ongoing in Paris, and it is to decide if Pakistan is to be blacklisted or not.


  • Why disrupt financing?
  • How to achieve it?
    • Targeted financial sanctions
    • Criminal sanctions and alternative charges
    • Cross border cash disruption
    • Sanctions for legal entities
    • Alternative methods (Advisories, and alerts)
  • What is the impact?
    • Prevent the use of the financial system
    • Hampers the ability to procure arms, or recruit people.
    • Makes long term survival of terrorism difficult.
  • What are the lacunae?
    • No definition of terrorism.
    • State-sponsored terrorism is rampant.
    • Ideology driven sanctions.

Conclusion Cutting the funding of these organizations would likely deprive them of the key resources required, and possibly bring the number of incidents down.

  1. It is time to empower mayors in India. Elucidate upon the statement.

Introduction Mayors are often said to be the weakest links in the municipal government in the country.


  • What are the challenges with the position of mayors in India?
    • Elections on the party lines.
    • Indirect elections.
    • Limited functioning.
  • Position elsewhere
    • The chiefs of rural local bodies are already directly elected.
    • Uttarakhand and Jharkhand have a system of direct elections.
    • Globally strongest municipalities have powerful mayors.
  • What changes are envisaged
    • Direct elections of mayors.
    • The election on non-party lines.
    • More autonomy and powers to mayors.
    • Higher responsibility and accountability

Conclusion Provide a way forward using the best examples from the other countries.

  1. What is delimitation? Examine the flaws associated with it and the solutions for the same.

Introduction Give an introduction to the process of delimitation.


  • Why is delimitation conducted?
    • Equal representation to equal segments of a population.
    • A fair division of geographical areas so that one political party doesn’t have an advantage over others in an election.
    • Follow the principle of “One Vote One Value”.
  • History of delimitation in India:
    • The first delimitation exercise carried out in 1950-51 by the Delimitation Commission Act enacted in 1952.
    • So far, Delimitation Commissions have been set up four times — 1952, 1963, 1973 and 2002 under the Acts of 1952, 1962, 1972 and 2002.
    • There was no delimitation after the 1981 and 1991 Censuses since the process has been frozen.
  • Issues with delimitation:
    • States that have actively taken population control measures could end up with a fewer number of seats in Parliament. The southern states that promoted family planning faced the possibility of having their seats reduced.
    • In 2008, Delimitation was done based on the 2001 census, but the total number of seats in the Assemblies and Parliament decided as per the 1971 Census was not changed.
    • The maximum number of seats in both the houses of the parliament needs to be revised.
  • Way forward:
    • A central forum bringing center and state on one platform to discuss all the issues must be created.
    • There must be reduced weightage to the population.
    • There must not be further postponing of delimitation.

Conclusion Provide a way forward for making the process of delimitation more inclusive.

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