Q.1) For successfully decoupling Indian economy with that of China's, a strategy to create a globally competitive industrial sector in India is required. Comment (15 marks - 250 words)

Why this question? - Amid debates on the needs, challenges and opportunities of Indian economy decoupling with that of China's, the first thing India needs is to create a free and competitive market and a globally competitive industrial sector. 

Intro - A brief about India-China trade relations.

Body - 

  1. Needs, challenges and opportunities of Indian economy decoupling with that of China's.
  2. Strategy to create a globally competitive industrial sector in India.
  3. Challenges that India may face while implementing such strategies.

Way ahead - How to overcome these challenges.

Conclusion - A clear long-term strategy requires imagination and will like China.


Q.2) In the Union Budget 2020-21, a meagre defence hike threatens military modernisation. Critically analyse. (10M, 150 Words)

Why this question?

  • The defence budget has been going down as a percentage of the GDP, and the novel coronavirus pandemic has put further budgetary constraints on military modernisation. 


  • Briefly discuss Union Budget outlay for Defence:  The govt. increased India’s defence budget by a mere 1.82 per cent to Rs 3.37 lakh crore, excluding expenditure on pension.
    • The capital budget for the military, which is used for new acquisition and modernisation, has seen an increase of just 3 per cent, or Rs 3,400 crore, over the revised estimates.

Body: Analyse the poor outlay for defence capital expenditure.

  • The Army’s pay and pension bill has been increasingly steeply over the years, accounting for 60% of its budget allocation. 
  • In the last five years, though the growth in the defence budget has been 68%, and for defence salaries 75%, defence pensions have increased by a staggering 146%.
  • The army has the biggest share of the annual defence budget -- Rs 1.71 lakh crore out of the total Rs 3.18 lakh crore.
  • But 83% of its outlay is meant for revenue expenditure that is for day-to-day running costs and salaries and merely 17% is left for modernisation.


  • Capital allocation down: Of the total capital allocation of ₹1.13-lakh crore, the IAF got 38% but in real terms the capital allocation for IAF has gone down from the revised estimates of 2019-20.
  • The armed forces’ slow modernisation, mainly due to the financial crunch, is dangerous for the country’s national security. With a poor tooth-to-tail ratio, the army is not fully geared to effect swift high-voltage strikes.
    • Delayed projects like Scorpene Submarines.

Conclusion: Provide  a way forward

  • Trimming Indian Army’s huge work-force
  • Indigenization


Q.3) NATGRID is the integrated intelligence grid which connects databases of core security agencies. Discuss the advantages and concerns regarding NATGRID.

Why this question?

  • The National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID) has signed a memorandum of understanding with the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) to access the centralised online database on FIRs and stolen vehicles.

Introduction to the answer:

  • Brief info about NATGRID


Advantages: NATGRID will act as a link between intelligence and investigation agencies.

  • Safeguarding from leaks: Currently, the security agencies directly contact an airline or a telephone company if they are on a suspect’s trail. The data is shared through international servers such as Google etc. 
    • The NATGRID will ensure that such information is shared through a secure platform, safeguarding it from leaks.
  • There is no human interface and therefore chances of the system being misused are almost impossible


  • Cooperative federalism: Some say that the MoU infringes on the federal system of the Constitution, since the NCRB under the Union government is only a repository and the data pertaining to FIRs of a particular police station are a State subject.
  • Privacy: The NATGRID was proposed after the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks but generated controversy primarily over concerns about privacy.
  • Multiple agencies: Earlier the Civil Aviation Ministry and airline companies had raised concerns in providing information to yet another agency — NATGRID as they already provide information to the Bureau of Immigration and the Customs authorities.

Conclusion: The European Union and the USA, along with a host of other countries have comprehensive privacy laws, which also lay down conditions for access to databases, and the limitations of such use. A similar approach is imperative in the case of NATGRID to uphold the sovereign electorate’s right to oversee institutions that may affect it in the future.