Q.1) The battle of Plassey marked the beginning of political supremacy of the English East India Company in India. Comment. (15 marks - 250 words) 

Why this question? - On June 23, 1757, the Battle of Plassey led to the unlikely conquest of Bengal by Robert Clive’s army. 

Intro - A brief about the Battle of Plassey.

Body -

  1. Mention the causes of the Battle of Plassey.
  2. Highlight the effects - Political and economic - of Battle of Plassey

Conclusion - Based on the above discussion tell that the battle of Plassey marked the beginning of political supremacy of the English East India Company in India


Q.2) The demands for enacting the crucial Code on Social Security Bill, 2019, amid the migrant issue and labour rights is gaining spotlight. In this backdrop, discuss the advantages of introducing such a code.

Why this question? - Some of the states have demanded that the crucial Code on Social Security Bill, 2019, should be brought in the upcoming monsoon session of Parliament for early passage. 

Intro - A brief about the code.

Body - 

  1. Need to introduce such a code
  2. Salient features of the bill
  3. Advantages of introducing the code
  4. Criticism of the Code on Social Security Bill, 2019

Way forward - How to overcome the above challenges and criticism.

Conclusion - Mention that hardships inflicted upon migrants and labourers amid COVID-19 pandemic has brought spotlight on the urgency to introduce the bill.


Q.3) India faces a “guns, germs and steel” crisis. There are Chinese “guns” on the borders. There are coronavirus “germs” in our bodies. There are “steel” makers and other businesses on the verge of bankruptcy. Analyse the costs concerns imposed by these crises and suggest  a way forward.

Why this question?- India is facing a crisis at 3 levels- military, health and economic.

Introduction to the answer: 

Brief info about crises: 

  • Military crisis: The Chinese military threat warrants immediate and strategic action by our defence and foreign affairs establishments. 
  • Health crisis: The COVID-19 health epidemic is going to be a long battle until a vaccine arrives. 
  • Economic crisis: Even prior to COVID-19, India’s trade levels had fallen from 55% of nominal GDP in 2014 to 40% in 2020. Now, with the global economic crisis, India’s economy is in severe crisis.


  • Cost to the military crisis: The Chinese conflict will need central government funds by an additional one to two percentage points of GDP.
  • Cost to the health crisis: The central government will need additional government funds equal to at least one percentage point of GDP to continue the fight against COVID-19.
  • Cost to the economic crisis: Based on estimates of loss of consumption, incomes and its multiplier impact, the government will need to inject additional funds of five percentage points of GDP to absorb the economic shock and kick start the spending cycle again.

Funding options before govt. and limitations

  • Govt. revenue: Central government revenues for this year were budgeted at 10% of GDP but it will likely fall short by 2% of GDP.
  • Trade: Already the global trade has contracted so trade is not a viable alternative to offset the loss from consumption.
  • Falling GDP: The government had expected a nominal GDP growth of 10% this year. It is clear now that GDP will not grow but shrink.
  • Printing money: But  if money is printed at will, it can lead to a massive jump in prices and inflation.. 
  • The ‘junk rating’ risk: With rising government debt levels, international ratings agencies will likely downgrade India’s investment rating to “junk”, which will then trigger panic among foreign investors. 


Way forward

  • Government borrowing
  • Direct transfers
  • Fiscal stimulus


Q.4) The 2020 draft Environment Impact assessment notification is an attempt to dilute the earlier 2006 notification. 10 marks (150 words)

Why this question:

The government has come up with Draft Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Notification, 2020, which seems to dilute 2006 notification.


Define EIA


Explain the rationale of the government for bringing new notification:

  • Swifter Clearances
  • Boosting production and employment generation
  • Improving the ease of doing business

How it dilutes the earlier notification?

  • Ex-post-facto Clearances
  • Scope of Exemptions expanded
  • The time period for public scrutiny reduced
  • Monitoring requirements relaxed


Balancing Economic Development and Environment is required to attain Sustainable Development. 


Q.5) Though online instruction will shape education in the future, there is much to absorb in the context of COVID-19 in India. Comment (250 words)

Why this question?


Mention the unprecedented threat of COVID-19 and the drastic effect on the education system.


  • Background of online education in India
    • Also mention MOOC and Swayam platform 
  • Heterogeneous response of the Indian education system towards an online system
  • Associated problems
    • Courses that traditionally need a laboratory or practical component
    • Digital divide
    • Courses that traditionally need a laboratory or practical component
    • Serious impact on academic research
    • Lack of quality and quantity of online courses etc
  • Suggestions
    • Enhancing the quality of online education
    • Democratisation of knowledge
    • Using advanced technologies
    • Decentralisation in education
    • The government will have to bear much of the responsibility etc


Mention need for blended modes of education.