Q.1) To bring genuine change in the socio-economic status of women in India, free education, coupled with job guarantees, especially for those from rural areas and vulnerable social locations is the need of the hour. Discuss (15 marks - 250 words)

Why this question? - The government’s proposal to raise the legal age of marriage for women is seen as an effort to improve the status of women in India.

Intro - Highlight the socio-economic status of women in India (use NFHS data to substantiate).

Body - 

  1. Then, discuss the problems faced by women, especially in rural areas due to this poor socio-economic status.
  2. Steps taken by govt to improve the condition of women with their shortcomings.

Way ahead - What more needs to be done - free education, skill development, employment guarantee etc.

Conclusion - Summarize based on above discussion.


Q.2) Indo- Mauritius Cooperation can help in development of Indian Ocean Region as a whole and can bestow mutual benefits. Comment. 10 marks (150 words)

Why this question:

Indian PM along with his Mauritius counterpart inaugurated the New Supreme Court building in Mauritius through video conferencing.


Start with the current context or with recent joining of India as observer to the Indian Ocean Commission.


Benefits to Mauritius:

  • Can leverage the economic might of India by taking grants and loans at concessional conditions
  • No threat of jeopardizing the sovereignty like the case with China ( Give Srilankan Example of Hambantota port) 
  • Can learn from the technological prowess of India
  • Naval support and Cooperation for security

Benefits to India:

  • Geopolitical advantages like concretising deal on Agalega Island
  • Ensuring smooth passage through Mozambique channel as it being an alternate route if strait of hormuz gets blocked
  • Countering round tripping of black money via safe havens like Mauritius
  • Counter China’s String of pearls strategy
  • Enhance India’s soft power in the east african region and will act as a key for improving relations with vanilla islands
  • Help achieve the objectives of SAGAR mission

Benefits to Indian Ocean as a whole:

  • Curtail Piracy
  • Ensure smooth navigation
  • Cooperation will inculcate confidence in other small littoral states to cooperate with  a big power
  • No single nation dominance ( Currently China is trying to do it)


The cooperation between two neighbours is based on core values of ‘Respect’, ‘Diversity’, ‘Care for the Future’, and ‘Sustainable Development’, it is imperative to strengthen and consolidate the relations for ensuring peace in Indian Ocean.


Q.3) What are the various concerns plaguing the Indian Telecom sector? Discuss. Also suggest a way forward for the recovery of the telecom sector (250 words, 15 Marks)

Why this question?

  • Some telecom players are facing an existential crisis due to brutal competition and the government demanding unpaid AGR dues.

Introduction to the answer:

Provide a brief info about the Indian Telecom sector- facts and data.


  • Discuss the following points:
  • Concerns:
    • Falling consumer demand
    • Poor mobile broadband reach
    • Fixed broadband
    • Flaws with Adjusted gross revenues 
    • Monopoly in telecom sector
  • Govt. initiatives
  • Solutions for the listed concerns
    • Revenue neutralisation, linked to inflation plus say 200 basis points can be done to reduce the taxes on the sector.
    • Tariff rebalancing,


Future of the Telecom Sector is very bright as its role will be seen in almost everything, from networking of CCTV Cameras to the safety and security of people to providing education in remote places. For the time being, the government needs to provide an easy and soothing environment for telecom operators.