Q.1) For India, Myanmar is key in linking South Asia to Southeast Asia . In this context analyse what steps Delhi is taking to leverage its political, diplomatic, and security ties with Myanmar. (15 Marks - 250 Words)

Why this question? - The recent visit of Foreign Secretary and Chief of the Army Staff of India reflected India’s multidimensional interests in Myanmar and the deepening of ties between Delhi and Naypyidaw. 

Intro - A brief about India-Myanmar relation.

Body - 

  1. Importance of Myanmar to India
  2. Initiatives taken by India to leverage its relation
  3. Challenges

Way ahead - 

  • Development in north east India: For India, Myanmar is key in linking South Asia to Southeast Asia and the eastern periphery becomes the focal point for New Delhi’s regional outreach.
  • Engaging rather than criticising: For Delhi this is the most practical approach to finding a solution.

Conclusion - Some initiatives suggest Delhi is taking steps to leverage its political, diplomatic, and security ties with Myanmar to address some of these issues. 


Q.2) We need to urgently rebuild our cities such that they have the sponginess to absorb and release water. Doing so will not just help control recurring floods but also provide for water security, more green spaces. Discuss. (250 words)

Why this question?

The torrential rains in Hyderabad killed over 50 people. In the past, it was Chennai that saw a massive flood costing much damage and lives. For Mumbai, the monsoon has become synonymous with flooding and enormous damages.

Introduction: Mention the recent devastations caused by urban floods. 


Reasons behind urban flooding:

  • Unprecedented rainfall
  • Ignoring scientific tools
  • Mismanaging the city’s drainage systems

Way forward:

  • Sponge cities : They absorb the rain water, which is then naturally filtered by the soil and allowed to reach urban aquifers. 
  • Porous building materials: Our cities are becoming increasingly impervious to water, not just because of increasing built up but also because of hard, non-porous construction material that makes the soil impervious. 
  • Wetland policy
  • Ban against terrain alteration

Conclusion: Summarize the above points


Q.3) Discuss the impact of Covid-19 on finances of the state governments. Also suggest a way forward to overcome the economic slowdown due to pandemic. (150 words)

Why this question?

  • The Reserve Bank of India’s study on state governments’ finances indicates that gross fiscal deficits (GFDs) of state governments are set to double in 2020-21. 

Introduction: Most states are incurring primary deficits in 2019-20, as against primary surpluses at the onset of the pandemic.

Covid-19 impact:

  • Tax revenues are likely to be reduced for the next few years
  • Pandemic-related spending are likely to keep state expenditures high
  • a surge in contingent liabilities (guarantees)
  • investment projects on hold
  • “States’ indebtedness 

Way forward and conclusion: