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90 Days UPSC Mains Optional Answer Writing


Political Science – Paper 2

Question and Model Answers from Subject Experts

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11-Dec-2017 – Question 1

Explain the Political-Sociological Approach in the field of comparative politics

and discuss its limitations.(2017)

Model Answer

The branch of learning which examines political institutions, processes, and

ideologies in the light of corresponding social structures, processes, and modes of
thought is called political sociology. It examines the impact of political domination
and decisions on social life. It emerged as an approach but later got developed as
a discipline itself.

The complex societies include within their domain, almost every aspect of human
behavior. Thus, the approach wanted to incorporate not only political behavior
but also analysis of bureaucratic structure for the study of institutions like political
parties, trade unions, and even economic institutions. The practice of politics
involves taking public decisions and ipso facto must take into account various
social motivations of involved stakeholders. The study of politics extends beyond
formal procedures and institutions in the contemporary era so incorporation of
sociology into political inquiry becomes essential.

The roots of the approach can be traced back to Aristotle and Machiavelli where
their work on the theory of revolution and type of government depending on the
nature of people in society respectively hints at the combination of political
science and sociology. However, Marx and Weber gave solid foundations to this
perspective. They turned to political analysis as a part of their social inquiry. Later
on, their thesis became the foundation pillar for two different schools of thought

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in political sociology. The debates and disagreements between these two schools
have enriched the political sociology approach and helped it emerge as a
discipline in itself. While the focus of Marx was to study basic structure of society
and class relations, Weber delved into concepts like authority, legitimacy, ideal
type etc.

Political sociology sought to achieve a synthesis between normative analysis and

research. It focuses on the intersection between politics and society, for example,
political organization, political culture, political participation, political ideologies,
political consensus, and cleavage etc. They use mathematical and statistical
models, field questionnaires to provide data collection and also provide analytical
insights. Prominent work done in the field of political sociology includes Caste as
Politics in India by Rajni Kothari, Role of Caste in Tamilnadu by Andre Baitelle etc.

The main inhibition of this approach was, losing the identity of political science as
a discipline. It appeared as if politics is a dependent variable of society. If that was
to be the case, political science would become a sub-discipline under sociology. It
was also thought that this approach is not suitable for post-colonial societies
where the state is still very powerful and shapes society to a significant extent.
Theda Skacpol, thus, called for ‘bringing the state back in’. Also, the social
stratification view of politics has been described as a form of sociological
reductionism that has inherent limitations because of the institutional and
cultural factors which are excluded. However, from the very nature of the
discipline, no approach can be a panacea and can provide only a perspective to
deal with various concepts. The political sociology approach provides vital insights
in that context.

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11-Dec-2017 – Question 2

Do interest groups help to promote democracy or to undermine it? Give your


Model Answer

Interests groups are the association of people formed to articulate their interests.
It performs the role of interest articulation of their members. They are generally a
monolith entity having similar interests and their underlying objective is the
welfare of their constituents. It is seen where ideological differences among
political parties are less significant, interest groups tend to be more active. For
example, United States of America.

The Indian polity has a historical legacy of interest groups and they emerged as a
result of our fight for independence. The earlier Congress party, when
representing the interest of the elites, was demanding more representation of
Indians within the larger framework of British Raj. After independence, the state,
being very powerful and overarching, saw the bureaucratic associations as
institutionalized and strong interest groups.

Interest groups hold a lot of power without any direct accountability, so they are
considered to undermine democracy. The interest groups which don’t have the
national interest in mind, lobbies for policies and decisions which are not in the
larger interest of our country and undermine the representative democratic
nature, by incorporating undemocratic elements in decision making.

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Corporate class has started playing important role in policymaking. Now they are
part of the official Indian delegation to foreign countries. India has been called
deformed polyarchy because of the relatively stronger influence of corporate
interest groups.The threat of an elite takeover of democracy is evident in this
case, undermining the democratic nature of our polity. Recently, the Indian
capitalist class was seen directly participating in the electoral process with
election and representation in Rajyasabha, giving this phenomenon an interesting

However, there are scholars who believe that interest groups, in turn,
strengthens democracy. Rajni Kothari notes that interest group in India are
different from their western counterparts as it has multigroup character. In this
sense, they mobilize a section of society which is legitimate for any democratic
structure. According to Robert Hardgrave, they increase the political
consciousness and act as an agent of modernization. Anand Chakravarti,
therefore, wants greater accommodation of interest groups so that conflictual
situations can be avoided and political stability can be strengthened.

Indian polity doesn’t recognize lobbying as legitimate means of getting across

one’s interest, putting the entire feedback mechanism of a section of society as
illegitimate. The legislative representatives can’t incorporate many vital inputs
due to a vast constituency of their representation and the structural defects of
FPTP. In this case, interest groups can strengthen democracy too.

Thus, Indian polity has always been a false binary, where association with one
group is portrayed as their being against another one, even when both don’t

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necessarily have mutually antagonistic relations. There is a need to synthesize this

thought process, while strongly taking a stand against conflict of interest and
nexus, we can devise mechanism and institutions whereby each interest group
can represent their interests in a legitimate way. For example, FICCI.

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13-Dec-2017 – Question 1

Comment on the decline of political parties and examine whether new social
movements shall be alternative strategy for establishing link between
government and society.(2016)

Model Answer

The great motors of the modern party system—class and ideology—have ceased
to function in the way they once did. The result is a problem of party funding, as
big donors displace mass memberships; but even more crucially a problem of
representation, as party politicians increasingly become a political class without a
popular base. This has resulted into a decline of political parties.

The phenomenon has worldwide resonance. The decline in political party

membership in the UK is a recipe for a crisis of legitimacy. The parties continue as
the monopolists of access to political careers and to political office, but in a
context in which 99 percent of citizens now do not belong to a political party.
Parties can re-invent themselves and open up, or we need to recognize that the
age of the mass party is simply over and that new structures of representation
and participation have to be embraced instead.

It is perfectly possible for parties to continue to structure political life and offer
accountable political choice without also being the monopolists of political power.
In America, the “50-50” nation is more like a 30-30-30 nation, a Pew survey
recently found that “independents” at 37% outnumbered either Democrats or

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In the Indian context, Yogendra Yadav has commented on the decline of political
parties in terms of the decline of dedicated cadre and erosion of loyalty.
According to him, parties which boost high number of members are not realizing
that their base is essentially eroding. Political parties are, therefore, suffering
from the crisis of legitimacy. They are not able to challenge popular issues in a
systematic way, so the trust of people is decreasing in them.

Rajni Kothari gives the period of the 1970s as defining decade of Indian polity.
According to him, political parties have given up their ‘movement’ type of
activities and became content with only being electioneering machine, working
on grassroot level every five years, to get votes. The recent formation of Aam
Aadmi Party tried to change that concept through dedicated grassroots
volunteers, it also became a casualty to the underlying structure of Indian party

New Social Movements on the other hands are acquiring legitimacy as a popular
vehicle of protest. The wide-ranging issues from environmentalism, human rights,
disarmament etc and powered with middle and upper-middle class ethics, it is
giving voice to different sections of society. The spectacular success of India
against corruption movement, the recent ‘Muk morcha’ of Maharashtra farmers
etc are symbols of new ways and arena of mobilization.

Social movements used to be on disparate issues where marginalized and

excluded population were at the centre of the activity. The micro movements
expanded the arena of politics much beyond representational institutions of
elections. The new social movement saw the coalition of this localized

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movements to create a global alliance against the certain minimum agreed

programme. This alliance is against nation-states on the issue of globalization. The
long aim of the social movement is democratizing development and transforming
society. The lack of credible opposition also helped some addressal of grievances
through social movements.

However, political parties have certain systemic characteristics, which makes

them irreplaceable even when the contours of the concepts of democracy and
representations are changing.

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13-Dec-2017 – Question 2

Critically examine the Marxist aspect of political economy approach to the study
of Comparative Poliics.(2016)

Model Answer

Political economy stands for study and practice of the management of the
government and the nation. It deals with political aspects of economic policy-
making so that a social policy should prove not only economically efficient but
also politically acceptable. A closer analysis reveals that most of the economic
decisions are influenced by non-economic factors like cultural values, personality,
political needs and consideration of status. This approach aims to combine
disciplines for a holistic understanding of any concept. Political economy
combines mathematical techniques with normative theories to have a better
understanding of poverty, inequality, underdevelopment and suggesting
measures to improve these situations.

A Marxist aspect of the political economy is a critic of the liberal political

economy. Adam Smith, known as the father of modern-day political economy,
gave the theory of the wealth of nations. The laissez-faire doctrine showed that
the unrestrained economic system can lead to socially disastrous consequences.
Politics cannot deliver goods until it is able to tackle the economic problem
effectively. Therefore, according to Marx, all politics is shaped by economic
forces. He criticized Smith and said that his policies will not result in ‘wealth of
nation’ but ‘wealth of few at the cost of many’. The Marxist aspect was later
developed into two schools, namely, dependency school and structural school.

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Immanuel Wallerstein in his work ‘World system theory’ held that the world
works like a system where there are ‘core countries’ which are in the center,
‘peripheries’ which are on the outside, and ‘semi-peripheries’ which are in
between the two. The liberal political economy doesn’t result in the
empowerment of peripheries, but the ‘development of underdevelopment’ in the
peripheries. The relative inequality and wealth of peripheries increase and the
core countries get wealth at the cost of peripheries. There is a development of
‘dependency’ by which peripheries become a supplier of raw materials and
consumer of manufactured goods. The semi-peripheries are the face of this
system whereby they were given access to outdated technologies and work as a
source of cheap labor. Semi-peripheries are projected as beneficiaries of the
world system to provide legitimacy to the policies of the core countries.

Hamza Alavi in his seminal work ‘The State in Post-Colonial Societies: Pakistan and
Bangladesh’, gives the ‘theory of overdeveloped state’. He states that in the
western countries the growth of capitalism and democracy has been
simultaneous and organic. The nation-states of South Asia, on the other hand,
saw independent democratic states where the capitalism was still in its infancy.
The state took reins of the economy and established itself at the commanding
heights of the economy. The state is a power center and defining institution
which directed the growth of the nation. In the west, where the state is said to be
the instrument in the hands of the capitalist, the same can’t be said for post-
colonial nations. Here, the state is ‘overdeveloped’ compared to other
institutions, and thus, relatively autonomous.

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However, there are limitations of this approach like its narrow focus, ideological
orientations, neglect of institutions etc. It is helpful, none the less, to study
relations between mode of production and various historical social formations.

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15-Dec-2017 – Question 1

Party system in India is neither western nor indigenous. Explain.(2014)

Model Answer

Party system in India displays numerical paradoxical features, which reveal the
western and traditional institutions. Indian National Congress, even after being
the grand old party of India couldn’t institutionalize the party system that could
be fitted in the west. The influence of Congress due to historical legacy and
legitimacy was so great to allow it to dominate the national party discourse much
of the independent history. Many of India’s several parties have overshadowed all
others by having dominated the political scene ever since independence.

That is why the observers of Indian politics like Morris Jones described the Indian
Party system as a system of “one-party dominance” While Rajni Kothari went to
the extent of calling “One Party Dominance System” or “The Congress System”.

The success of strong Marxist and communist trend in Europe and later in Asia
was not replicated in India. While there were considerable awareness and debate
around socialist ideas, the vigor was never great enough to overthrow the state.
Communism in the Indian context, therefore, is not very successful and has been
mostly an academic discipline. Communism has not threatened the stability of the
Indian state or the physical extinction of nation-state like Indonesia. Instead, it
was amalgamated as a part of the reformist parliamentary system of India.

While the FPTP system, has produced a two-party system in most of the liberal
democracies, India has been an exception to that law. The diversities and social

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fragmentation of Indian polity on the basis of statewise regional parties in the

larger framework of imperfect ‘national party system is unique. Some
characteristic features like factionalism, dynastic succession, and the presence of
ideological differences without ideological cleavages are seen in almost all
national parties of India.

The Indian democracy was introduced as a gamble and it has paid off. While the
contemporary independent nations have seen coup, authoritarianism plagued
their democratic process, India is largely untouched by it barring a brief period of
emergency. The paradoxical feature of high voter turnout even with low literacy
rates since independence has baffled many western commentators who have
traditionally associated democracy with educational awareness. We have
introduced the special representation for Scheduled Caste, as a measure of
affirmative action, before many western countries could do it. We adopted
universal adult franchise and voting rights to women before western democracies
like Sweden.

Western countries like USA where the parties aggregate multiple private
interests, the Indian context has substantial differences. Apart from the formal
representation which is few and far in between, the informal movements, caste-
based association, and mobilization, revivalist movements etc also hold
substantial weight. In recent years, the proliferation of non-party movements is
rising, mostly representative, often violent gave it a unique character.

The tension between authoritarian and centralizing tendencies and decentralizing

tendencies are evident in the party and associational sectors Indian political life.

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The traditional features like personality cult are also present wherein Indian
politics has produced many charismatic leaders. Many of the above features,
however, are visible in the post-colonial societies and therefore not strictly

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15-Dec-2017 – Question 2

Which are the major approaches to comparative politics? Explain in brief, the
political economy approach to the study of comparative enquiry.(2015)

Model Answer

Comparative politics is the study of the domestic politics, political institutions, and
conflicts of countries. It is not defined by the object of its study, but rather by the
method it applies to study political phenomena. Aristotle is known as the father
of comparative politics.He has studied more than 160 constitutions to give his
‘Theory of Revolutions’ and classification of government. Earlier it was sufficient
to study constitutions because social, economic, cultural variable do not give any
contrasting features in western societies. However, in spite of parliamentary
system in both, United Kingdom and India, the socio-cultural variable cannot be
overlooked. We can, therefore, divide the evolution of comparative politics into
two phases.

1. Until Second World War (Traditional Approach): Study of European or

western countries.

 Philosophical Approach: It is the oldest approach where the objective is to

understand the philosophy behind the observed reality. Plato is known as
the father of political philosophy. The approach is based on Plato’s theory
of ideas, thus focuses on ‘what ought to be’ rather than ‘what is’. The
objective is not only to understand reality but also transform it.

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 Historical Approach: It means an understanding of political ideas,

institutions, dynamics in the context of the situations which give rise to
them. Historical ideas have their origin in crisis phase of history. It is also
said that history is past politics and politics is present history. It is a simple
and widely used approach but suffers from chances of historicism.
 Legal/Constitutional Approach: Politics was primarily studied as the study
of constitutional provisions. However, this has lost relevance with the
emergence of the 3rd world. Now there is a consensus that law is text and
politics is context.
 Institutional Approach: It is closely related to legal/constitutional approach
but we go beyond to understand the emergence of political institutions.

1. Since the end of Cold War (Contemporary Approach): Research shifted to

the political system of non-western countries.

 Systems Approach: Based on a system which is a set of elements in a state

of interaction. It was developed by David Easton in his search for a scientific
model of inquiry. He wrote a book called ‘the political system’ in 1953.
However, it couldn’t explain the institutions and functions within the
system and was criticized as just a conceptual framework with limited
 Structural-Functional Approach: This approach was designed to address
some limitations of the systems approach. Gabriel Almond in his work,
Comparative Politics: A developmental approach, worked upon it. He
incorporated the concept of function, where different systems are designed
to perform certain functions that are universal. It suggested that political

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systems are evolving and different societies are at different stages of

 Political Sociology Approach: The branch of learning which examines
political institutions, processes, and ideologies in the light of corresponding
social structures, processes, and modes of thought is called political
sociology. It examines the impact of political domination and decisions on
social life. Political sociology sought to achieve a synthesis between
normative analysis and research. It focuses on the intersection between
politics and society, for example, political organization, political culture,
political participation, political ideologies, political consensus, and cleavage
 Political Economy Approach: Political economy stands for study and
practice of the management of the government and the nation. It deals
with political aspects of economic policy-making so that a social policy
should prove not only economically efficient but also politically acceptable.

A closer analysis reveals that most of the economic decisions are influenced by
non-economic factors like cultural values, personality, political needs and
consideration of status. This approach aims to combine disciplines for a holistic
understanding of any concept. Political economy combines mathematical
techniques with normative theories to have a better understanding of poverty,
inequality, underdevelopment and suggesting measures to improve these

Adam Smith, known as the father of modern-day political economy, gave the
theory of the wealth of nations. The laissez-faire doctrine showed that the

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unrestrained economic system can lead to socially disastrous consequences.

Politics cannot deliver goods until it is able to tackle the economic problem
effectively. A Marxist aspect of the political economy, ipso facto emerged as a
critic of the liberal political economy.

However, there are limitations of this approach like its narrow focus, ideological
orientations, neglect of institutions etc. It is helpful, none the less, to study
relations between mode of production and various historical social formations. It
is also helpful to understand issues like demands, cost, allocation of resources,
utility, optimization etc.

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25-Dec-2017 – Question 1

Discuss the impact of globalization on the internal functioning of the state. 2016

Model Answer

Globalization is widening, deepening and speeding up of worldwide

interconnectedness. While the predictions of the demise of nation-states and the
sceptics who question the existence of this change, will be futile, a
transformationalist would agree with the changes while accepting the
continuation of old structure to study the impact of globalization on the internal
functioning of the state. It is true that over the last three decades the scale and
scope of globalization have become increasingly evident. The 2008 GFC has
proved that no economy, however, insulate it would be, could claim to be
immune from global change.

Every day over 4 trillion dollars flow across foreign exchange markets, no
government even the most powerful ones can resist the sustained speculation of
its currency. Transnational corporations account for 25-33 percent of world
output, making them key players of the global economy. New modes of
communication have made it easier for like-minded people to mobilize resources
in virtually real-time basis. The Arab spring has shown that the most stringent
structures are all the more vulnerable.

The impact of forces has been such that a terrorist bombing in Bali has policy
repercussions in Europe or USA, while agricultural subsidies in USA have
significant consequences for the livelihood of farmers in Africa, Latin America and

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Asia. Rather than growing interdependence between discrete, bounded nation

states or the internationalization, globalization seeks to capture the dramatic shift
in the organization of human affairs and from the world from the discrete
interdependent nation states to the world as a shared social space.

The once drawn lines of domestic and foreign policy of Westphalian world order is
blurring, the debate is more about economic policy, environmental policy or
security policy. Globalization has in this sense, has identified headers and
removed horizontal distinction of authorities.

Globalization has changed the role of the state in many ways: politically through
interdependence and independence of states, socially through the problems and
threats of terrorism and deadly diseases, technologically through the media and
internet and economically through the change from national to global economies.
The state has moved from a controlling to a protecting role internally in facing the
problems that globalization has caused, but also from an authoritative to a
dependent figure externally between the sovereign state age to current unfailing

Globalization is often seen to have lowered the importance of the state, but in the
end, the states that will remain the most successful in the face of globalization is
those who adapt to the changes their role makes. In the words attributed to
Charles Darwin, ‘It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most
intelligent, but rather the one most responsive to change.

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25-Dec-2017 – Question 2

Transnational actors have become driving force of global politics. 2013 (200)

Model Answer

Transnational actors are part of civil society and have operations beyond the
boundary of the single nation. Multinational companies, terrorist organizations,
international NGOs are some of the transnational actors. All schools including
Marxist, realist, liberal and communitarians give recognition to transnational
actors in some form or the other.

The 3D chess model given by Joseph Nye gives enormous social and political
power enjoyed by non-sovereign entities. Globalization, the proliferation of
democracy, economic interdependence and technological revolution have
strengthened the capability and reach of these actors. In this era of complex
interdependence, the power of nation-states have been ceded to many of these
organizations and they are important stakeholders in global decision making.
They are at the centre of global cleavages and also part of the solution

The MNCs have long been criticized as a vehicle of Capitalism by Marxist scholars.
They have wide reach and power. Many of MNCs have a greater turnover than
most of the nation states. They are criticized for their exploitative labour policies,
their interference in domestic politics. In cold war era also, they have been
alleged to have been serving the foreign policy interests of USA. They have said to
have funded private armies and engineered coups in Latin American countries.

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Even today, they are more important than ever in shifting global alliances. In the
aftermath of the Nuclear test by India, MNCs were the instrumental interest
group in a paradigm shift in USA foreign policy towards India. The nature of
influence has been changing since then. Indian and Chinese MNCs are dominating
the oil trade, which takes stand often against the foreign policy interest of USA.
For example, trade with sanctioned countries like Iran, Myanmar etc. The recent
controversies regarding Chinese policies in Africa, the debate and lobbying
around net neutrality have brought their role into focus again in the contours of
world politics.

NGOs, on the other hand, have been emphasised as a prime mover for
development and advocacy by liberals. They have been said to be the vehicle to
diffuse the power on grassroots levels, raise consciousness regarding rights in
general and human rights in particular. They form a close association with MNCs
to achieve their objective. Emerging countries have a distrust of NGOs as they feel
it is western intervention to maintain status quo in power of world politics. They
have often taken positions which goes against the developmental administration
and have face policy reversals. NGOs like Amnesty International with presence
over 162 countries create parallel structures and authorities of power with
respect to nation-state and UN world order. Developing countries have grudges
against NGOs as they became the vehicle to impose conditionalities by World
Bank and other aid by western countries.

Terrorist actors have been at the centre of the debate over the last few years in a
way in which they have altered priorities. They have been at the centre of
attention and reported about extensively. The asymmetric advantage, the

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element of surprise have forced defence and security analyst to find new ways to
cope up with it. The lack of consensus to deal with them, the use of terrorism as
an instrument of state policy and the ulterior motives in altering the balance of
power with the use of terrorist actors have questioned the rationale or utility of
conventional wisdom. They are considered the biggest threat of 21st century.

The system exists at all levels of world politics and transnational actors are the
manifestations of the same. International organizations form systems would also
imply that global politics can’t be reduced to just ‘inter-state’ relations.

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27-Dec-2017 – Question 1

Critically access the changing nature of the concept of national security. 2014

Model Answer

Security is taken to be about the pursuit of freedom from threat and the ability of
states and societies to maintain their independent identity and their functional
integrity against forces of change, which they see as hostile. The bottom line of
security is survival, but it also reasonably includes a substantial range of concerns
about the conditions of existence. Quite where this range of concerns ceases to
merit the urgency of the “security” label (which identifies threats as significant
enough to warrant emergency action and exceptional measures including the use
of force) and becomes part of everyday uncertainties of life is one of the
difficulties of the concept.

The question of security has long since preoccupied the minds of International
Relationists. The traditional concept of security with the state as the main
referent has been up for extensive debate. The realist view of security where it is
seen as a “derivative of power” reduces the complex concept of security to a
mere “synonym for power”. This view could be considered relevant during the
period of the World Wars, where states seemed to be in a constant struggle for

However, in the post-Cold War era, the concept of Security has become much
more multifaceted and complex. In his book, People, States and Fear, Barry Buzan
points out that the concept of security was “too narrowly founded”, his goal was

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to, therefore, offer a “broader framework of security” incorporating concepts that

were not previously considered to be part of the security puzzle such as regional
security, or the societal and environmental sectors of security. Buzan’s approach
is more holistic; and while he primes his analysis with neorealist beliefs such as
anarchy, the depth of his analysis is constructivist in that he does not accept the
given, but rather explores each element of what he considers to be the security
package one by one in order to arrive at a more informed conclusion.

Buzan’s approach is an interesting one as he looks at security from all angles

going from micro to macro, also addressing the social aspects of security and how
people or societies construct or “securitize” threats. Buzan is somewhat of an
independent thinker and a reformer. This allowed him to broaden the analysis
that existed and give his audience a more complete understanding of the
complexities of security with the ability to then apply these concepts to current
issues, for example, the war on terrorism. This constructivist approach allows to
not only discover Buzan’s reading of security, but also the breakdown of every
aspect that contributes to or affects security, from the individual and society to
the main referent, which, for Buzan is the state.

Along similar lines to that of addressing the levels essential to understanding

security, Buzan also addresses the different sectors of security. In his article “New
Patterns of Global Security in the Twenty-First Century”, Buzan analyses how five
sectors of security (Political, Military, Economic, Societal, and Environmental)
might affect the “periphery” based on changes in the “center”.

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The ‘national’ security problem turns out to be a systemic security problem in

which individuals, states and the system all play a part, and in which economic,
societal and environmental factors are as important as political and military ones.
From this integrative perspective, the levels and sectors appear more useful as
viewing platforms from which one can observe the problem from different angles,
than as self-contained areas for policy or analysis.

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27-Dec-2017 – Question 2

Write a note on intellectual precursors of Realism. 2013 (250)

Model Answer

Realism, as its name suggests, claims to be an approach to international relations

theory that captures the real essence of politics. It has been the dominant IR
theory over the past several decades, and its proponents like to speak of ‘the
timeless wisdom of realism’. By looking at some of its intellectual precursors we
can try to see why realists make such bold claims.

Thucydides was an Athenian historian and general. His History of the

Peloponnesian War recounts the 5th-century BC war between Sparta and Athens
until the year 411 BC. Thucydides has been dubbed the father of “scientific
history” by those who accept his claims to have applied strict standards of
impartiality and evidence-gathering and analysis of cause and effect, without
reference to intervention by the gods, as outlined in his introduction to his
work.He has also been called the father of the school of political realism, which
views the political behavior of individuals and the subsequent outcomes of
relations between states as ultimately mediated by and constructed upon the
emotions of fear and self-interest.His text is still studied at universities and
military colleges worldwide.The Melian dialogue is regarded as a seminal work of
international relations theory, while his version of Pericles’ Funeral Oration is
widely studied by political theorists, historians, and students of the classics.

More generally, Thucydides developed an understanding of human nature to

explain behaviour in such crises as plagues, massacres, and civil war.

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Scholars traditionally view Thucydides as recognizing and teaching the lesson that
democracies need leadership, but that leadership can be dangerous to
democracy. Leo Strauss (in The City and Man) locates the problem in the nature of
Athenian democracy itself, about which, he argued, Thucydides had a deeply
ambivalent view: on one hand, Thucydides’s own “wisdom was made possible” by
the Periclean democracy, which had the effect of liberating individual daring,
enterprise and questioning spirit; but this same liberation, by permitting the
growth of limitless political ambition, led to imperialism and, eventually, civic

Machiavelli has often been called the father of modern political science. He was
for many years a senior official in the Florentine Republic, with responsibilities in
diplomatic and military affairs. He wrote his most renowned work The Prince in
1513. Machiavelli is sometimes seen as the prototype of a modern empirical
scientist, building generalizations from experience and historical facts, and
emphasizing the uselessness of theorizing with the imagination. He emancipated
politics from theology and moral philosophy. He undertook to describe simply
what rulers actually did and thus anticipated what was later called the scientific
spirit in which questions of good and bad are ignored, and the observer attempts
to discover only what really happens.

He advocated intensive study of the past, particularly regarding the founding of a

city. For example, Machiavelli denies that living virtuously necessarily leads to
happiness. A related and more controversial proposal often made is that he
described how to do things in politics in a way which seemed neutral concerning
who used the advice—tyrants or good rulers. That Machiavelli strove for realism

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is not doubted, but for four centuries scholars have debated how best to describe
his morality. The Prince made the word “Machiavellian” a byword for deceit,
despotism, and political manipulation. Even if Machiavelli was not himself evil,
Leo Strauss declared himself inclined toward the traditional view that Machiavelli
was self-consciously a “teacher of evil,” since he counsels the princes to avoid the
values of justice, mercy, temperance, wisdom, and love of their people in
preference to the use of cruelty, violence, fear, and deception. Italian anti-fascist
philosopher Benedetto Croce concludes Machiavelli is simply a “realist” or
“pragmatist” who accurately states that moral values in reality do not greatly
affect the decisions that political leaders make. German philosopher Ernst
Cassirer held that Machiavelli simply adopts the stance of a political scientist—a
Galileo of politics—in distinguishing between the “facts” of political life and the
“values” of moral judgment.

Thomas Hobbes was an English philosopher who is considered one of the

founders of modern political philosophy. Hobbes is best known for his 1651 book
Leviathan, which established the social contract theory that has served as the
foundation for most later Western political philosophy.

Though on rational grounds a champion of absolutism for the sovereign, Hobbes

also developed some of the fundamentals of European liberal thought: the right
of the individual; the natural equality of all men; the artificial character of the
political order; the view that all legitimate political power must be
“representative” and based on the consent of the people; and a liberal
interpretation of law that leaves people free to do whatever the law does not
explicitly forbid. His understanding of humans as being matter and motion,

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obeying the same physical laws as other matter and motion, remains influential;
and his account of human nature as self-interested cooperation, and of political
communities as being based upon a “social contract” remains one of the major
topics of political philosophy.

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29-Dec-2017 – Question 1

Who was Mr X in international politics? Elaborate his approach to foreign policy.

2014 (250)

Model Answer

After the end of second world war, as Pax Britannica got over, USA and USSR
emerged as two super-powers. These two have little similarities but their aim of
domination of the world. While the USA was a manifestation of Capitalism, USSR
was the first successful experiment of the laboratory of Communism. Both had
not only competitive aims to get dominant pole position, but were also
ideologically opposite and incompatible with each other. This realist worldview
had dominated the discourse of cold war.

USSR became a nuclear state in 1949, ending the American monopoly and
challenging its claim to represent the world. Mr.X in international politics was an
ambassador of USA to Russia, named George Kennan. He published an article
entitled “The Sources of Soviet Conduct” in the Foreign Affairs magazine in 1947.
The article focused on Kennan’s call for a policy of containment toward the Soviet
Union and established the foundation for much of America’s early Cold War
foreign policy.

In February 1946, Kennan, then serving as the U.S. charge d’affaires in Moscow,
wrote his famous “long telegram” to the Department of State. He suggested that
Russia views itself at permanent war with Capitalism and is committed to route
out Capitalism. In the missive, he condemned the communist leadership of the
Soviet Union and called on the United States to forcefully resist Russian

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expansion. Encouraged by friends and colleagues, Kennan refined the telegram

into an article, “The Sources of Soviet Conduct”. Kennan signed the article “Mr X”
to avoid any charge that he was presenting official U.S. government policy. In the
article, Kennan explained that the Soviet Union’s leaders were determined to
spread the communist doctrine around the world, but were also extremely
patient and pragmatic in pursuing such expansion.

In the “face of superior force,” Kennan said, the Russians would retreat and wait
for a more propitious moment. The West, however, should not be lulled into
complacency by temporary Soviet setbacks. Soviet foreign policy, Kennan claimed,
“is a fluid stream which moves constantly, wherever it is permitted to move,
toward a given goal.” In terms of U.S. foreign policy, Kennan’s advice was clear:
“The main element of any United States policy toward the Soviet Union must be
that of a long-term, patient but firm and vigilant containment of Russian
expansive tendencies.”

Kennan’s article created a sensation in the United States, and the term
“containment” instantly entered the Cold War lexicon. The administration of
President Harry S. Truman embraced Kennan’s philosophy, and in the next few
years attempted to “contain” Soviet expansion through a variety of programs,
including the establishment of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in
1949.The Truman doctrine was based on Kennan’s proposal. President Truman
demanded $ 400 Million from US Congress to stop Greece and Turkey from falling
into Communist designs. It proclaims US’s commitment to assist free people to
work out their destinies in their own way. It is significant as it marked the end of
Monroe doctrine of isolationism of USA into world affairs.

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However, by the 1960s, with the United States hopelessly mired in the Vietnam
War, Kennan began to question some of his own basic assumptions in the “Mr X”
article and became a vocal critic of U.S. involvement in Vietnam. In particular, he
criticized U.S. policymakers during the 1950s and 1960s for putting too much
emphasis on the military containment of the Soviet Union, rather than on political
and economic programs.

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29-Dec-2017 – Question 2

Examine in brief the rise and fall of the cold war.

Model Answer

The cold war is a term introduced in international politics to explain the nature of
relations between USA and USSR since the end of World war-2 till 1991. The
relations had a very high level of distrust, antagonism but there was never
actually ‘hot war’ happening between the two parties. Nuclear weapons made it
cold. There were many proxy wars which primarily affected the countries in the
third world.

First Phase(1947-62): The USSR became a military state in 1949 which prompted
the USA to initiate its ‘containment policy’. The Truman doctrine with its
economic arm, the Marshall plan, was trying to save countries from falling into
communist designs. USSR in response formed ‘Cominform’ to support communist
guerillas and assisted the Eastern European countries with Molotov Plan. The
Berlin blockade was the first direct confrontation between the two superpowers
out of which the west emerged victorious. With the formation of NATO and
Warsaw Pact, the military and strategic bipolarity were fully established. The cold
war had its manifestations in Asia, Middle-East and Latin America too.

Second Phase(1962-79): It is also known as the phase of ‘detente’ meaning

relaxation of tensions. It was not symbolic but qualitative change in relations.The
context of detente was Cuban missile crisis which had put the world at the brink
of nuclear war. Both countries were facing domestic challenges. In this phase
only, NPT, SALT-1, PTBT etc treaties came into force. West recognised the Soviet

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control over Eastern Europe and USSR recognized Human Rights which became
the basis for peace and security in Europe.

Third Phase(1979-89): It is also known as the ‘new cold war’. The immediate
context was the USSR invasion of Afghanistan and the Iranian revolution of 1979.
USA followed dual policy: challenge USSR militarily in Afghanistan and start
nuclear arms race which can give the final blow to USSR economically. The new
phase was more dangerous as it was less ideological and more geopolitical.

After 1989, the Berlin wall collapsed which marked the symbolic end of cold war.
Communism in East Europe fell easily and the USSR was disintegrated. It also
marked the third wave of democracy. Thus, the cold war had formally ended,
however, its legacies still continues, with the manifestation in a different region
from Middle-East to Afghanistan.

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08-Jan-2018 – Question 1

Sketch the journey of global political economy from washington consensus to

the present. 200 words. 2013

Model Answer

For a quarter of a century, it has been conventional wisdom among policymakers,

academics, and journalists that the neo-liberal policies that have governed the
global economy are a great success. The policy responsible for this is called
Washington Consensus. The Washington Consensus is a set of 10 economic policy
prescriptions considered to constitute the “standard” reform package promoted
for crisis-wracked developing countries by Washington, D.C.–based institutions
such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, and the US Treasury
Department. The term was first used in 1989 by English economist John

The prescriptions encompassed policies in such areas as macroeconomic

stabilization, economic opening with respect to both trade and investment, and
the expansion of market forces within the domestic economy. Subsequent to
Williamson’s use of the terminology, the phrase Washington Consensus has come
to be used fairly widely in a second, broader sense, to refer to a more general
orientation towards a strongly market-based approach (sometimes described as
market fundamentalism or neoliberalism).

As of the 2000s, several Latin American countries were led by socialist or other
left-wing governments, some of which—including Argentina and Venezuela—
have campaigned for policies contrary to the Washington Consensus policies.

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Other Latin American countries with governments of the left, including Brazil,
Chile and Peru, in practice adopted the bulk of the policies included in
Williamson’s list, even though they criticized the market fundamentalism that
these are often associated with. Besides the excessive belief in market
fundamentalism and international economic institutions in attributing the failure
of the Washington consensus, Joseph Stiglitz provided an explanation about why
it failed. In his article “The Post Washington Consensus Consensus”, he claims that
the Washington consensus policies failed to efficiently handle the economic
structures within developing countries. The cases of East Asian countries such as
Korea and Taiwan are known as a success story in which their remarkable
economic growth was attributed to a larger role of the government by
undertaking industrial policies and increasing domestic savings within their

Some European and Asian economists suggest that “infrastructure-savvy

economies” such as Norway, Singapore, and China have partially rejected the
underlying Neoclassical “financial orthodoxy” that characterizes the Washington
Consensus, instead of initiating a pragmatist development path of their own
based on sustained, large-scale, government-funded investments in strategic
infrastructure projects. Some view the emergence of Trumponomics in the
context of the United States presidential election, 2016 as an unprecedented
challenge to the Washington Consensus, far more important than the “liberal and
New Left” critiques of the past, arguing that the Trump administration has
effectively “repudiated in part the canons of globalization and the neoliberal
economic orthodoxy of the past 36 years”.

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Some scholars have held that the failure of the neoliberal paradigm and the
growing imbalances of the world’s leading economy provides right time for a
rethinking of the politics of the global marketplace. Key to that understanding is
recognition of the class dimension of the global political economy. A major
strategic task before us is the strengthening of the alliance of working people –
North and South, East and West – through a common program. This should rest
on a “grand bargain” in which the interests of developing and developed country
workers are served, they say. Such a grand bargain, however, should also ensure
for labour, raise consciousness among the majority of the world’s citizens of the
need for international solidarity with each other.

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08-Jan-2018 – Question 2

Argue a case for UN reform in the context of changing global milieu. 250 words.

Model Answer

The United Nations will mark its 70th anniversary when world leaders assemble
next month at its headquarters in New York. the UN is not only as the most
important political innovation of the twentieth century but also as the best
bargain on the planet. But if the UN is to continue to fulfil its unique and vital
global role in the twenty-first century, it must be upgraded. Since the late 1990s,
there have been many calls for reform of the United Nations (UN). However,
there is little clarity or consensus about what reform might mean in practice. Both
those who want the UN to play a greater role in world affairs and those who want
its role confined to humanitarian work or otherwise reduced use the term “UN
reform” to refer to their ideas. The range of opinion extends from those who
want to eliminate the UN entirely, to those who want to make it into a full-
fledged world government.

One of the most crucial reform is spending on all UN bodies and activities – from
the Secretariat and the Security Council to peacekeeping operations, emergency
responses to epidemics, and humanitarian operations for natural disasters,
famines, and refugees – totalled roughly $45 billion in 2013, roughly $6 per
person on the planet. That is not just a bargain; it is a significant
underinvestment. Given the rapidly growing need for global cooperation, the UN
simply cannot get by on its current budget. The second major area of reform is

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ensuring that the UN is fit for the new age of sustainable development.
Specifically, the UN needs to strengthen its expertise in areas such as ocean
health, renewable energy systems, urban design, disease control, technological
innovation, public-private partnerships, and peaceful cultural cooperation. Some
UN programs should be merged or closed, while other new SDG-related UN
programs should be created.

The third major reform imperative is the UN’s governance, starting with the
Security Council, the composition of which no longer reflects global geopolitical
realities. Indeed, Western Europe and Other Group (WEOG) now account for
three of the five permanent members (France, the United Kingdom, and the US).
That leaves only one permanent position for the Eastern European Group
(Russia), one for the Asia-Pacific Group (China), and none for Africa or Latin
America. UN Security Council reflects the power structure of the world as it was
in 1945. There are several proposed plans, notably by the G4 nations, by the
Uniting of Consensus group, and by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. At
another level, calls for reforming the UN demand to make the UN administration
more transparent, more accountable, and more efficient, including direct election
of the Secretary-General by the people as in a presidential system.

India is also spending a lot of resources to actualize UN reforms. The nature of

international relations determines that India’s behaviour will be consistent with
the traditional behaviour of the Security Councils permanent members, with
strategic interests trumping institutional imperatives. While during the Cold War
era, India attempted to make its presence relevant in the international realm by
pragmatically resorting to normative vocabulary, these were typical of the

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instruments employed by a weak state to secure its interests in the global

hierarchy. India is no longer attempting to set fresh criteria and establish
alternative universalities in reshaping the world. Instead, in tandem with altering
global realities and its emergence as a major player, it is focusing on playing the
game of realpolitik.

Institutions are not a mitigating factor where the interests of great powers are
threatened, and they are only pertinent when there is no conflict between these.
Like the permanent members, India is satisfying its political interests first, while
refusing to act in the face of massive brutality. As Baldev Raj Nayar and T.V. Paul
assert, there is a “behavioural requirement of great power status: a great power
is and becomes what a great power does.”

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10-Jan-2018 – Question 1

How does regionalism shape the world politics? Explain with examples. 200
words. 2016

Model Answer

Though regional institution building has become a global trend, regionalism has
evolved in different ways. It is therefore imperative to explore the various factors,
be they historical, geopolitical, cultural or other, that have influenced the
development of regionalism around the world. Only by comparing the process of
regionalism around the world can we understand the richness and diversity of this
central trend in global politics.

Regionalism, generally speaking, is a phenomenon in international trade where

states create groups for the purposes of trade and to collectively reduce barriers
of trade among the members of a group. Most of this phenomenon appears in the
form of Regional Trade Agreements (RTA). These groups, like all trade regimes,
vary greatly in terms of the scope of the goods that are covered, the institutional
bylaws and guidelines of these agreements, etc. There is not a universal definition
for regionalism due to disputes over the importance of geographic proximity and
on the relationship between economic flows and policy choices. However, a
region is often defined as a group of countries located in the same geographically
specific area. An example which illustrates this is the African, Caribbean and
Pacific Group of States which includes African, Caribbean, and Latin American

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The incidence of regionalism has increased in recent history as the number of

members in the GATT and WTO increased. This has generally been attributed to
problems with the World Trade Organization. Small nations that are not part of
the quad countries may engage in RTAs to enhance their power within the WTO.
RTAs may also serve as alternatives among countries with similar trade policy
goals when they cannot have their goals implemented through WTO negotiations.
There are two camps within the international political economy that see
regionalism as either an aid or an obstacle to global integration. Some decry the
loss of multilateralism and a resulting division of the world into regional trade
alliances. Others believe that regionalism encourages states to reduce trade
barriers in an initially less painful manner, and thus helps states transition to a
position where they are better suited to reduce trade barriers multilaterally.

Louise Fawcett and Andrew Hurrell in their seminal work ‘Regionalism in World
Politics: Regional Organization and International Order argues that the past five
years have witnessed a resurgence of regionalism in world politics. Old regionalist
organizations have been revived, new organizations formed, and regionalism and
the call for strengthened regionalist arrangements have been central to many of
the debates about the nature of the post-Cold War international order.

It is important to reconsider the future of ‘regionalism’ in world politics. Consider,

for example, the UK and the European Union. Brexit has shown the limits of
globalist arguments in regionalism theories: ‘regionalism’ is not simply a product
of states’ rational choice to cooperate with other countries. It is, in fact, a political
project that is heavily dependent upon ideological contestation and political
processes at both the domestic and global level. Current developments in ASEAN

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also provide a useful further example. The recent ASEAN Summit, which was held
in Manila under Philippine’s chairmanship last month, was marked by heated
tensions in the region, for example with the ongoing debate over disputed
territorial rights in the South China Sea. But this year’s Summit was also
particularly significant because of the growing crisis on the Korean Peninsula, and
the appearance of extra-ASEAN states in the regional politics of south-east Asia,
such as China and the United States with their visibly growing interest. For those
who wish to resurrect regionalism in world politics, challenging the global uneven
development would be a crucial agenda in the future.

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10-Jan-2018 – Question 2

Discuss the theory of nuclear deterrence. Did nuclear deterrence prevent a

superpower war? 200 words. 2015

Model answer

Deterrence theory gained increased prominence as a military strategy during the

Cold War with regard to the use of nuclear weapons. It took on a unique
connotation during this time as an inferior nuclear force, by virtue of its extreme
destructive power, could deter a more powerful adversary, provided that this
force could be protected against destruction by a surprise attack. Deterrence is a
strategy intended to dissuade an adversary from taking an action not yet started,
or to prevent them from doing something that another state desires. A credible
nuclear deterrent, Bernard Brodie wrote in 1959, must be always at the ready, yet
never used. In the 1950s and early 1960s, strategists and policymakers
anticipated the arrival of a technological condition of mutual assured destruction
in which both the United States and the Soviet Union could launch a devastating
nuclear second strike even after absorbing a massive nuclear Ž rst strike. Secure,
second-strike forces would render defense impossible as neither state could
physically protect itself from an attack. Consequently, both states would have to
rely on deterrence to dissuade the other from attacking should it be tempted to
do so.

Besides this general security and stability, the conventional wisdom also holds
that nuclear deterrence provides three specific benefits:

1) protection against attacks with nuclear weapons

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2) protection against attacks with conventional forces

3) indefinable additional diplomatic clout.

If the conventional wisdom is true, if nuclear deterrence is as well defined and

successful as is sometimes assumed, it is both a powerful argument against
nuclear disarmament and a considerable obstacle to those who wish to prevent
proliferation. These issues matter because nuclear weapons remain dangerous
and powerful and appear to be slowly but steadily spreading.

However, it is not taking brinkmanship of states into account. Brinkmanship is

fundamentally a contest of resolve in which states bid up the risk of events
spiraling out of control until one of the states Ž nds this risk intolerably high and
backs down. there are no crises if there is little or no uncertainty about the states´
levels of resolve. In this case, the less resolute state does not challenge the more
resolute state. Crises arise only if there is substantial uncertainty about the
balance of resolve, and in this case, the dynamics of escalation depend on a
complex interaction between the states´ levels of resolve and their uncertainty
about each other´s resolve.

The closer inspection calls the fundamental soundness of nuclear deterrence

theory into question. In addition, three practical arguments put the efficacy of
nuclear deterrence into doubt:

1) the characteristic attack threatened in most nuclear deterrence scenarios city

attack is not militarily effective or likely to be decisive

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2) the psychology of terror that is supposed to work in nuclear favor of

deterrence actually creates the circumstances for unremitting resistance

3) even though the field is mostly conjectural, what little unambiguous evidence
does exist contradicts the claim that nuclear deterrence works.

There are also reasons, however, for doubting how much this doctrine might
determine the shape of an actual war. First, a nation’s declaratory policy is likely
to be different from its actual plans for nuclear war. Second, city attacks, even if
they are absent from the early stages of nuclear war scenarios, usually loom large
in any later stages. Descriptions of nuclear war always include the possibility of
the war getting out of control. Getting out of control means using nuclear
weapons against civilian populations. City attacks exist, therefore, as an inherent
possibility in virtually every nuclear war scenario. Third, it seems doubtful that the
choices made by the United States in its targeting doctrine necessarily control the
choices other nuclear nations make in their targeting doctrine. Certainly when
nuclear war is discussed between India and Pakistan, for example, there seems to
be an emphasis on the possibility of attacks against cities. Fourth, ‘‘no cities’’ is a
doctrine for states with many nuclear weapons. It seems likely that states with
smaller nuclear arsenals (and the majority are believed to have fewer than 200)
would not emphasize ‘‘no cities’’ targeting policies.

Thus, nuclear deterrence may have prevented superpower war and ensured ‘long
peace’ according to conventional wisdom but the contemporary rethinking in
political theory suggests that the theory was deeply flawed and in the increasing

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proliferation and asymmetric balancing, it may not work. We need to debate

about alternatives to ensure that ‘long peace’ is not short lived.

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12-Jan-2018 – Question 1

State the place of gender justice in global political agenda. 200 words. 2013

Model Answer

Gender justice is a cry to secure parity among world largely dominated by men.
Women forms a vulnerable group and have been victim of exploitation across
cultures and time. There have been efforts by different waves of feminism to
address the issue and create awareness against the structural inequality in the
institutions, however, it has not been adopted by a majority polity. Gender
exploitation is still common. Women in many parts of the world are recognised as
second class citizens, leading what is called ‘a private and personal life’ away from
the ‘public’. According to an estimate, in 2001-02, the number of women and
children trafficked out of SE Asia was 2,25,000. For South Asia, the figure is

Women fall behind man in almost every indicator and parameter. They possess
roughly one percent land in the world. The World march for Women says that in
the last 100 years, only 24 heads of state have been women. Around 80 percent
of 27 million refugees are women. Only six countries can boast to achieve near
complete sexual equality in secondary education, 30 percent representation in
elected government and 50 percent non-agricultural job occupied by women. The
International Labour Organization reveals that seventy percent of world’s poor
are women, living less than 1 $ per day. In European union, 83 percent of part-
time workers are women. Women on average earn two thirds of what men earn.

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In this context there have been demands to increase participation of women in

the labour force, decision making etc. In USA, Hillary Clinton has advocated
female empathetic foreign policy. She has criticised rape as weapon of war and
have been critical of the traditional USA allies like Saudi Arabia for their
differential and discriminatory treatment of women. Sweden became the first
country to adopt feminist foreign policy, and they wanted to secure women’s
security as a fundamental goal to achieve human security.

There are many international foras where the issue of gender justice is taken up
and debated. At the recent ten-year review conference of the International
Criminal Court (ICC), one of the side events was a Women’s Court: a space for
women to ‘testify’ about their experiences during and after armed conflict in their
countries. The idea is to provide a platform for women directly affected by armed
conflict to provide testimonies about their own experiences and those of their
communities. Women speak of the widespread gender-based violence
committed by militias and national armies, the aggression of their governments
against their own citizens, the political interests supporting these conflicts, and
the need for justice and a permanent end to the fighting.

The role of the United Nations in delivering gender justice through its various
institutions, instruments and processes, has been under the spotlight. Another
important space for gender justice work was convened by the Women’s Initiatives
for Gender Justice in collaboration with the Nobel Women’s Initiative, in April
2010, in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. At this forum, diversity of actors came together
to contribute to conceptualization and action towards a global gender justice
plan. The participants at the International Gender Justice Dialogue discussed how

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to pursue gender justice through formal mechanisms such as the ICC and by
influencing the frameworks and methodologies of peace talks so as to infuse
them with feminist analysis.

Systematic and effective achievement of gender equality and gender justice

requires moving away from viewing gender inequality and injustice as a sort of
“second grade” inequality and injustice, forced to take a “back-seat” to other
“more important” forms of inequality and injustice. It is time for a better
understanding that gender inequality and injustice are inextricably linked to other
forms of inequality and injustice. Gender inequality and injustice are both part of
the causes and consequences of all other inequalities and injustices. Effective
work with gender equality and gender justice requires full understanding of the
interlinkages with other inequalities and injustices. Similarly, effective efforts to
reduce other inequalities and injustices, such as poverty, require explicit attention
to gender inequalities and injustice.

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12-Jan-2018 – Question 2

Explain the concept of North-South divide and suggest how structural

inequalities between high wage, high investment industrial North and low
wage, low investment predomintly rural south can be reduced? 200 words. 2016

Model Answer

The North–South divide is broadly considered a socio-economic and political

divide. Generally, definitions of the Global North include the United States,
Canada, Western Europe, and developed parts of Asia (the Four Asian Tigers,
Japan, and Israel), as well as Australia and New Zealand. The Global South is made
up of Africa, Latin America, and developing Asia including the Middle East. The
North is home to all the members of the G8 and to four of the five permanent
members of the United Nations Security Council.

The Brandt Line is a visual depiction of the north–south divide, proposed by West
German Chancellor Willy Brandt in the 1980s. It encircles the world at a latitude
of approximately 30° North, passing between North and Central America, north of
Africa and the Middle East, climbing north over China and Mongolia, but dipping
south so as to include Australia and New Zealand in the “Rich North”. The North
mostly covers the West and the First World, along with much of the Second
World, while the South largely corresponds with the Third World. While the North
may be defined as the richer, more developed region and the South as the
poorer, less developed region, many more factors differentiate between the two
global areas. 95% of the North has enough food and shelter. The Global South
“lacks appropriate technology, it has no political stability, the economies are

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disarticulated, and their foreign exchange earnings depend on primary product

exports.” Nevertheless, the divide between the North and the South increasingly
“corresponds less and less to reality and is increasingly challenged.”

The gap between the industrialised, relatively rich countries of the global north,
and the relatively poor countries of the global south is huge. The North contains
only 20% of the world population, yet consumes 60% of world production. The
South has 80% of the world population, but consumes only 40% of world
production. Many argue that the divide is growing, as the North continues to
absorb more and more of global production, yet the South remains stuck in a
poverty trap of low income, leading to low levels of saving, which restricts
investment. Low levels of investment in turn restrict the development and
progress of firms, thereby restricting income growth, and therefore savings etc.
There are a number of reasons for the lack of development in the South, which
candidates should be able to describe and illustrate. These include: political
leadership (ineffective policy making, wasteful government spending and
corruption), political instability (including civil war and violence), debt, lack of
resources, restricted access to western markets, economic dumping (EU food),
and natural disasters (earthquakes, famines, floods etc).

There’s a solution to address the inequality between global north and global
south : A global minimum wage. If capitalism is going to be globalised, it makes
sense that we should globalise the rules and standards that protect people from it
as well. Economist Thomas Palley recommends a floor set at 50% of each
country’s median wage, so it would be tailored to local economic conditions and
cause minimum disruption to comparative advantage. The International Labour

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Organization has already proven that they have the capacity to manage such a
system. And it would make good sense to couple it with a universal basic income.
By allowing people to opt out of exploitative jobs, a basic income would force
employers to raise wages – and would provide a crucial cushion for the workers
who will soon be displaced by the rising tide of automation. These ideas are not
only feasible, they are quickly gaining traction. Implementing them will require a
political struggle, to be sure. But if we want to stop the global inequality machine,
it’s a battle we’ll have to fight.

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22-Jan-2018 – Question 1

Identify the elements of change in India’s foreign policy. 200 words 2013

Model Answer

A country’s foreign policy consists of self-interest strategies chosen by the state to

safeguard its national interests and to achieve its own goals through relations
with other countries. The approaches are strategically employed to interact with
other countries. India’s Foreign Policy is not just to secure National Interest, but
also to shape world order based on toleration, non-violence, cosmopolitanism.
India’s worldview has never been entirely realist, always there is a strong
ideational element.

Arvind Virmani in his article “Recalibrating India’s foreign policy” says that every
country’s foreign policy has elements of continuity and change following a change
in government. The changes have not necessarily been explicitly articulated, but
are implicit in the government’s actions and view of the world. There are five
areas of the emerging change according to Dr Virmani: The centrality given to
economic and technological development; the orientation of domestic and
foreign policies toward this objective; the emphasis on national power including
military power; and stress on soft power; and a reduction in self-imposed
constraints on actions that other countries may construe as inimical to their

Hon. Foreign Secretary Dr S Jaishankar talks of five “innovations” in the way India
was using the tools of statecraft to further this proactive foreign policy –
narratives; lexicon and imagery; soft power; the Indian diaspora; and the link

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between foreign policy and national development. First, the Modi government
was developing a narrative as part of a transition to making India a leading power.
Second, the creation of a new lexicon and imagery – whether it is from a “Look
East” to “Act East” policy or the image of a “first responder” in humanitarian
assistance and disaster relief – has been critical in signalling and driving foreign
policy change. Third, the Modi government has emphasized the use of soft power
in Indian foreign policy, as evidenced by the International Day of Yoga and its links
with the country’s culture and heritage. The fourth “innovation” is related to the
Indian diaspora. While their achievements have long been broadly appreciated,
the Modi government has been more direct thus far in engaging with overseas
Indians, as evidenced by the turnout at Madison Square Garden during his visit to
the United States earlier this year. Fifth and finally, there has also been a more
explicit link made between diplomacy and national development efforts, with
India working hard to leverage its international relationships to bring resources,
technology and best practices to further its own development such as through the
Make in India initiative.

However, as Teresita Schaffer in her book “India at the Global High Table” says
that between Narendra Modi and J L Nehru, only ends have remained same but
means have changed. Earlier Non-Alignment, 3rd world solidarity and soft power
were the key essentials. Now strategic autonomy, alignment with USA and Russia,
use of smart power has become the key pillars of India’s foreign policy. The four
concepts woven together throughout the book offer an exploration of India
today: its exceptionalism; its nonalignment and drive for “strategic autonomy;” its
determination to maintain regional primacy; and, more recently, its surging
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Amb. Jitendra Nath Misra in his lecture “Continuity and change in India’s Foreign
Policy” argues that India’s foreign and security policies are ‘enablers’ in the
transformation of India is now well understood among thinking Indians. In that
sense, by getting tied to domestic policy, which receives greater public attention,
foreign policy has woven itself into the people’s consciousness. India is being
recast. Today India is at the centre of the international security architecture, and
a key to the economic and technological debates of the age. By virtue of its
economic growth, its world-class space programme, and its contributions from
medicine to IT, India has become indispensable to global needs and a shaper of
the world economy, not just as a market, but also as an engine of growth and

It would thus not be far-fetched to say that what India does will profoundly affect
the future of the world. Terrorism is an example. With swathes of embittered
humanity on the boil, terrorism is at the centre of international discourse. The
world now speaks of 9/11 and 26/11 in the same breath, and, as a major victim,
India becomes a natural partner in fighting terrorism. Similarly, on the emission of
greenhouse gases and climate change, what India does affects the world. This is
the foundation for India’s new foreign policy.

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22-Jan-2018 – Question 2

Discuss the foreign policy initiatives taken by India to balance its relations
between Israel and the Arab world. 250 words. 2015

Model Answer

Amid the turmoil of the Middle East, India has conventionally adhered to a policy
of equivalence in dealing with Israel and neighbouring Arab countries. Israel is a
major defence and strategic partner for India while Arab state are leading trade
partners, mainly fulfilling India’s energy needs and serving as a destination for
India’s food exports. To maintain a friendly relationship with both sides, India
prefers to avoid the Arab-Israeli conflict and advocates a dialogue-driven,
peaceful, two-state solution.

Delhi’s interests in Israel have grown rapidly in the last quarter of a century. So
have those with the 400 million Arabs. The Arab Middle East is the main source of
India’s energy, the home to nearly seven million expatriate workers, and a big
market for Indian goods. As we look to India’s growing stakes in the Middle East,
Delhi’s problem is not about fidelity to one domestic ideological position or the

C Raja Mohan therefore, argues that the challenge for India lies in finding the
right balance between competing imperatives in a volatile region amidst the
pursuit of enlightened self-interest. The Israelis and Arabs alike have a strong
tradition of realpolitik. They might be happier with an open, predictable and
interest-based Indian policy towards the region than the one trapped in political
posturing for domestic audiences. Israeli and Arab leaders also, view India from

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the perspective of regional balance, rather than an ideological framework. India’s

exceptional political warmth certainly does not beget uncritical Israeli support for
India in its territorial disputes with Pakistan or China. Similarly, the Arab nations
don’t back India on Kashmir, just because India extends formal solidarity with the
Palestinians. Like all nations, Israelis and Arabs want to maximise possibilities with
India but would want to limit its impact on the relations with Pakistan.

India’s volume of trade with Arab countries stands at $121 billion, which includes
$50 billion in exports and imports of $71 billion. That constitutes around 18.25
percent of India’s total trade while India’s trade with Israel, at $5 billion, accounts
for less than one percent of total trade. As per the latest SIPRI release for 2016,
India’s arms trade with Israel has increased 117 percent, from $276 million in
2015 to $599 million in 2016. India imports 48 percent of Israel’s total arms
exports. Russia is still the largest exporter of arms to India, contributing 62
percent of total imports, but Israel has emerged as the second largest at 24
percent. Nicholas Blarel in her work “Evolution of India’s Israel Policy: Continuity,
Change and Compromise since 1992” says that New Delhi no longer sees the
India-Israel relationship in a zero-sum manner.

The pursuit of balance is an essential feature of international life; how it gets

expressed or couched in a specific context is a matter of diplomatic detail. Israel’s
dispute with Palestine is not the only one that India confronts in the Middle East.
Delhi, for example, is constantly trying to balance between Israel and Iran, Riyadh
and Tehran, the Sunni and Shia, Saudis and Qataris, and between the Kurds and
everyone else. The Middle East long ceased to be defined by the Arab-Israeli

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conflict. There are new faultlines and raging conflicts and the new partnership is
about surviving the coming storms.

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24-Jan-2018 – Question 1

“Indian policy of non-alignment has been guided by the genius of the Inian
people and their interests.” Explain. 250 words. 2014

Model Answer

The word ‘non-aligned’ is used for the foreign policy of those nations which are
not aligned to Anglo-American Bloc and Communist bloc and independently
frame and follow their foreign policies. According to Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, “ Non-
Alignment means an attempt by a nation to keep itself aloof from military blocs. It
means trying to view the thing as far as possible not from the military point of
view though that has to come in sometimes, but we must have an independent
viewpoint and must have friendly relations with all countries.” The primary of
objectives of the non-aligned countries focused on the support of self-
determination, national independence and the sovereignty and territorial
integrity of States; opposition to apartheid; non-adherence to multilateral military
pacts and the independence of non-aligned countries from great power or block
influences and rivalries; the struggle against imperialism in all its forms and
manifestations; the struggle against colonialism, neocolonialism, racism, foreign
occupation and domination; disarmament; non-interference into the internal
affairs of States and peaceful coexistence among all nations; rejection of the use
or threat of use of force in international relations; the strengthening of the United
Nations; the democratization of international relations; socioeconomic
development and the restructuring of the international economic system; as well
as international cooperation on an equal footing.

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The Movement of Non-Aligned Countries could not spare itself difficulties to act
effectively in an adverse international political situation marked by hegemonic
positions and unipolarity as well as by internal difficulties and conflicts given the
heterogeneity of its membership and, thus, its diverse interests. Nevertheless,
and in spite of such setbacks, the principles and objectives of non-alignment
retain their full validity and force at the present international juncture. The
primary condition that led to the emergence of the Movement of Non-Aligned
Countries, that is, non-alignment from antagonistic blocks, has not lost its validity
with the end of the Cold War. The demise of one of the blocks has not done away
with the pressing problems of the world. On the contrary, renewed strategic
interests bent on domination grow stronger and, even, acquire new and more
dangerous dimensions for underdeveloped countries.

India adopted policy of non-alignment as it was need of the time, it was good for
the all-round development of the country, the military alliance could have proven
harmful to developing countries, geographical Position of India didn’t allow us so
many options, it was necessary for the formulation of independent Foreign
Policy, India acted as a mediator to many disputes, India had the freedom to
manoeuvre. Advantages we had because of NAM were, India has been able to
maintain its independence in Policy Making. The policy of Non-Alignment is in
accordance with the national interests of India. India has been able to maintain
neutral status. India’s role in the solution of international Conflicts. India has been
able to get the support of both the blocs.

India continues to practice a policy of non-alignment in an attempt to maintain

sovereignty and oppose imperialism. Since its inception, the movement

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attempted to create an independent path in world politics that would not result
in lesser states becoming pawns in the struggles between major world powers.
Today, India has a working security relationship with the United States. Over the
course of history, these two countries have inherently forged a deeper sense for
each other’s motivations and aspirations while never establishing a formal
alliance. India continues to serve as an example of a country that is overcoming
the continuum gap and advancing its policies to better fit an emerging world
power. India’s non-alignment policy has made the free development of the
individual as well as the economic and social progress of society and of nations its
central focus in its strategic objectives. This strategy combines the goals of peace
and economic development within the country with the emancipation of peoples
from all forms of subordination and exploitation. As a result, India’s non-
alignment stance functions as a benchmark for the positive development of
international relations on a global scale.

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24-Jan-2018 – Question 2

The Ministry of external affairs is loosing its importance in the making of India’s
foreign policy with the parallel rise of PMO. Explain. 250 words. 2014

Model Answer

The emergence of globalization and the cosmopolitaization of statecraft have

redefined the concept and scope of Foreign Policy. In the borderless global village
when the gap between internal and external affairs is gradually narrowing down,
the matter of external relation no longer remains the isolated business of foreign
office only. Though the Ministry of External Affairs is the pivotal player in India‘s
external relation, other important agencies such as the Cabinet, Ministry of
Defence, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, National Security Council, Prime
Minister‘s Office and Parliament also are contributing significantly for the
planning and formulation of India‘s Foreign Policy. Apart from these core agencies
various other peripheral agencies also are involved in Foreign Policy decision-
making process, which is a highly complex and multi-stage process.

With the emergence of India as one of the aspiring global power and
transformation of the Indian economy, the role and function of MEA have been
multiplied gradually. To deal with these emerging challenges, the role and
function of the ministry have undergone numerous changes to facilitate India‘s
emerging role in the international sphere. Like any other foreign office, the prime
function of MEA is to plan, formulate and manage India‘s external relations with
other nations as well as protect and promote India‘s national interest at the
global stage. Besides, the ministry is also responsible to set up and manage India‘s

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foreign missions and diplomatic institutions and extend consular activities to

Indian and foreign nationals. Similarly, matters related to India‘s representatives
at UN and other specialized agencies, Issues and cancellation passports and visas
and protection of Indian nationals and institutions abode also come under the
jurisdiction of MEA. The ministry receives reports from its foreign missions and
gives the necessary inputs to the government during the Foreign Policymaking.
Since the attachment of External Publicity Division (XP) to the MEA, in 1948, the
ministry also is responsible to publicise India‘s positive image among world

It is true that the PMO is at the commanding heights of foreign policy-making due
to increasingly integrated nature of the economy, polity and the globalized world,
the distribution of power is not a zero-sum game in this case. This has been
proven by the strong cadre of foreign service and the useful intervention by Hon.
Minister of External Affairs in her response to the humanitarian crisis and
important foreign policy matters like recent UN speech. By the very structure of
the international system, the role of head of government is increasing, and India
is not an exception to the same.

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26-Jan-2018 – Question 1

How does Parliament determine and influence the making of India’s foreign
policy? 200 words. 2015

Model Answer

Foreign Policy Decision Making is a complex process which involves multiple

actors, agencies and institutions. Though the Ministry of External Affairs plays a
pivotal role in shaping India’s Foreign Policy behaviour, the Cabinet, Ministry of
Defence, Ministry of Trade and Commerce, Prime Minister’s Office and National
Security Council also are extensively involved in determining India’s external
policy. Apart from this, the Parliament, in any democratic setup is considered as
one of the important institutions in Foreign Policy decision making. Being the
centre of world’s largest democracy, Indian Parliament is also playing an
important role in determining India’s Foreign Policy behaviour.

The parliament enjoys complete authority in making laws, for both domestic and
foreign affairs, of this country. Thus, the part influences Foreign Policy activities in
many ways. Though, some believe that the Parliament enjoys limited and minimal
inputs in foreign affairs as compared to domestic affairs, it has been well
established that domestic policies too can influence the foreign policies
significantly. Article 246 of the Indian Constitution which distributes powers to
the Union Government and the states authorize the Parliament to legislate on all
aspects of external affairs of this country. Item 10 of the Union List under the
Seventh Scheduled of the Constitution specifically empowers the Parliament to
formulate appropriate laws regarding foreign affairs. 269 In addition, items listed

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from serial number 9 to 21 of the Union List include war and peace, diplomacy,
matters regarding UN, and international treaties and agreements under the
supervision of the Parliament.

Apart from the policy formulation, the Parliament is influencing the Foreign Policy
decision in many ways using various tools. Using its budgetary control, it can slash
down various allocations on

military, Defence, foreign aid and other such peripherals as well. Similarly by
opening of new offices and branches and neutralizing the performance through
resource control of such agencies that deal with the Foreign Policy activities, the
Parliament can indirectly control the external policy of the country. Thus, one can
agree that the Parliament plays a vital role in Foreign Policy making in India. Its
role can be divided into three broad categories – Policy formulation, policy
shaping, and policy alternation.

It can also legislate or enhance or curtail the executive power that is used to have
larger role to play. Legislation regarding military forces and war and peace
similarly places the Parliament at the decisive stage on Foreign Policymaking
mechanism. It can direct the force to go for war or legislate on maintaining peace
by ending war. Further, trade and commerce and economic affairs remain on the
preview area of the Centre on which the Parliament can pass any law in favour or
against certain trade policies. Starting from the border settlement to the UN
affairs the Parliament is awarded with immense power to make a law that
influence, guide or change the Foreign Policy of the Country. Along with the

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domestic issues, a significant amount of Foreign Policy related matters also has
been the subject of the parliamentary debate and discussion.

As the parliamentary debate has been an important instrument of influence and

control of the policymaking in India, a large number of issues make into the floor
of the house for discussion. The subjects of the debate on Foreign Policy issues
happens to be the matter related to strategic relations, CTBT and NPT, India-
Pakistan war, an incursion into Indian Territory, problems of Tibet, India’s
neighbourhood policies and India’s relations with major powers. The present
milieu is said to be one of which a shift is underway from what commentators call
centralized decision-making process- arguably visible during the single-party rule
of the Congress- to a decentralized process of foreign policy formulations.

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26-Jan-2018 – Question 2

Comment on India’s contribution to Non-alignment movement and its

contemporary relevance. 200 words. 2016

Model Answer

The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) was created and founded during the collapse
of the colonial system and the independence struggles of the peoples of Africa,
Asia, Latin America and other regions of the world and at the height of the Cold
War. During the early days of the Movement, its actions were a key factor in the
decolonization process, which led later to the attainment of freedom and
independence by many countries and peoples and to the founding of tens of new
sovereign States. Throughout its history, the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries
has played a fundamental role in the preservation of world peace and
security. The principles that would govern relations among large and small
nations, known as the “Ten Principles of Bandung”, were proclaimed at that

A champion of human freedom, Nehru opposed colonialism in his foreign policy

and it received high praise from many of the newly independent countries though
it was viewed with scepticism by the US. American Secretary of State John Foster
Dulles characterized the non-aligned ideal as immoral and opportunistic. Under
Nehru’s guidance, India became the first country to begin a policy that was new in
the history of international relations – the policy of Non-Alignment, which was
founded in 1961 in Belgrade and was ably supported by Gamal Abdel Nasser of
Egypt, President Sukarno of Indonesia and Joseph Broz Tito of Yugoslavia. Nehru’s

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policy of principled distance paved the way for the establishment of the Non-
Aligned Movement (NAM). India facilitated the involvement of former colonies
and newly independent countries into the organization which aimed to protect
the interests of undeveloped nations in international politics. The policy of
nonalignment meant the acceptance of the inevitability of war but on the
conviction that it could be avoided. Non-alignment entailed a position to judge
each issue without bias or prejudice. The secret of this policy was that India was
never permanently pro-west or pro-east.

The policy of non-alignment was based on the five principles of Panchasheel,

which directed international conduct. These principles which were envisaged and
formulated in 1954, were mutual respect for each other’s territorial integrity and
sovereignty; non-interference in each other’s military and internal affairs; mutual
non-aggression; equality and mutual benefit and finally, peaceful coexistence and
economic cooperation. By 1955, a number of countries including Burma, China,
Laos, Nepal, Vietnam, Yugoslavia and Cambodia had accepted the principles of
Panchasheel. The technique of maintaining world peace through non-alignment
was to make sure that each nation pursued its own interest without disturbing
other nations.

The buzzword or mantra amongst the Indian strategic establishment of recent

times has been ‘strategic autonomy’. India will not be cajoled, enticed or coerced
into actions that would jeopardize its standing as a responsible and restrained
regional power with the potential of emerging as a major power to reckon with in
the years to come. NAM 2.0 policy would be used by India to fulfil its national
interests in changing security scenario. It would be used by India to counter

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regional and global challenges of 21st century. India will refine its foreign policy
with the mixture of ‘soft power’ and ‘hard power’ to combat new challenges of
21st century.

‘‘Non-alignment has been responsible to ever-changing international relations

and that it has been permissive of diversity and multiplicity of approaches
consistent with a hard-core unity on same irreducible, minimum principles.’’ Since
the end of the Cold War and the formal end of colonialism, the Non-aligned
Movement has been forced to redefine itself and reinvent its purpose in the
current world order. A major question has been whether any of its foundational
ideologies, principles can be applied to the contemporary issues. The NAM has
emphasized its principles of multilateralism, equality and mutual understanding in
attempting to become a stronger voice of developing and third world countries as
well as an instrument that can be utilized and promote the needs of member

The concern of NAM since the beginning has been with the world peace in view of
the nuclear arms race and the dangers of nuclear war, instead of solving the
problem, it has been mostly aggravated them. In the initial years, concern for
international peace so overshadowed their politics, that their other efforts for
development were virtually ignored. The NAM had always opposed the
disarmament and nuclear expansion. We cannot ignore the role of NAM in recent
time. They represent nearly two-third of the UN members and comprise 55% of
the world population. Many of US and USSR former ally partner are became a
member of NAM. All these factors indicated the importance and relevance of
NAM in post-Cold War era. The NAM is an international platform of developing

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and under developing countries. The NAM produce a platform as ‘dialogue table’
for developing the world and it has done a lot of for United these countries. These
countries discuss their mutual problem and find a way to resolve these problems.
The Nonalignment platform could play a meaningful role in developing countries.
This platform is the common voice of third world countries. It is considered as a
positive and constructive movement in across the world. India’s efforts for non-
aligned countries have appraised by everyone. Therefore, we can say that Non-
aligned agenda has immense importance for future.

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05-Feb-2018 – Question 1

Identify the constraints/challenges to the regional cooperation in South Asia.

200 words. 2015

Model Answer

The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation was formed under Article
52 of the United Nations’ Charter providing existence of regional arrangements or
agencies for dealing with such matters, relating to the maintenance of
international peace and security with the purpose and principles of UN charter.
India since her freedom from foreign rule has always been keenly interested and
deeply committed to regional cooperation for the solution of common problems
in various fields viz. the cultural, economic political ones. The SAARC member
countries include Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri
Lanka. Afghanistan is the eight member of the SAARC. The region is of strategic
importance between the east and west with respect to defence, trade, transport
population growth and economic development particular for India directly and
indirectly. The Indian Ocean plays a vital role in defence, trade and water
transport is in the proximity of the majority of South Asia Countries.

SAARC has long had to deal with an imbalance within it: one very large country
surrounded by a number of very small ones. As a result, in the region, there has
been no compelling economic force to push towards regional integration, unlike
East Asia or Europe for instance. Even in North America, access to the vast pool of
cheap labor in Mexico did a lot to create a constituency for free trade and
investment. This structural fact of life in South Asia — the sheer asymmetry in the

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economic weight between one country versus all the rest — has done more to
inhibit regional integration than any territorial disputes and geopolitics.

Pakistan is not alone in holding up regional cooperation. India’s own domestic

politics and the security establishment’s conservatism have often undermined the
possibilities for regional cooperation. Opposition from West Bengal and Tamil
Nadu, for example, has prevented the advancement of India’s engagement with
Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, respectively. If West Bengal and Tamil Nadu point to
the negative side of the equation, many others have been enthusiastic
proponents of regionalism. Punjab, for example, has been an active champion of
transborder cooperation. The bipartisan sentiment in Amritsar has been marked
by the active pursuit of an opening to Lahore. Sikkim has long been an active
champion of deeper economic cooperation with Tibet in China. But it is Delhi’s
security establishment that appears to be resisting the case for full-fledged trade
across the Sikkim-Tibet border. The northeastern states see connectivity with
Southeast Asia as critical to their economic prosperity. While Delhi talks of the
Northeast as the gateway to Asia, it has done precious little to improve transport
infrastructure within the region over the decades. In any case, if India signs
bilateral agreements with its neighbors on connectivity and offers overland transit
to all of them, a large part of the subcontinent will automatically get integrated.

The threats to India’s peace and security environment have multiplied

enormously, just as the threat to world peace is far more somber and sinister
now. The regional and international balance

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of forces is menacingly hostile. The most ominous problem, the most agonizing
issue, facing India today is the nuclear option. The South Asian region was beset
by many political problems, besides the massive economic difficulties. The
legacies of suspicion, often bitterness, loomed too large to be easily dismissed.
Clearly regional cooperation could not take the form of political cooperation
forthwith. Yet, the lesson of history was equally clear. Either cooperate and
advance together or suffer separately and individually. South Asia had to find its
road towards regional cooperation that would not ignore regional realities and
would not, therefore, die premature death.

The SAARC strength and progress is determined by the member states.

Cooperation and friendly relations would bring a change develop the region. It is
very interesting that international politics is always awake for SAARC blends.
Prejudice, suspicion, hatred and discrimination in its role would destroy and
defeat all objectives. Technology sharing, facilitation of trade amongst the nation
states for economic and political development will enhance development towards
global growth. Population explosion should be controlled to speed up the process
of development. Culture, religion, social and race commonality would keep the
essence of attachment in every sphere. Any disharmony and social turbulence
would defeat any positive development. The future is in the hand of the SAARC
nations. The choice is development or to harbour anti social activities with
different ideologies.

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05-Feb-2018 – Question 2

River water disputes are emerging as a major source of irritation between India
and its neighbours. Identify the sources of conflicts and suggest remedial
measures. 250 words. 2015

Model Answer

India along with some other countries of Asia, are not very far from being
classified as „water scarce‟ nations, with less than 1,000 cubic metres per persons
per year being available. The situation is more or less similar for other emerging
economies of Bangladesh, China and Pakistan, who are also in a precarious
situation, and are highly susceptible to water stress in the near future. As a result,
it is often argued by many that there is a serious possibility that present water
interests/disputes and scarcity, if not resolved, could one day transform or lead
into a potential flashpoint/security risk within the Asian subcontinent.

India and Pakistan Water Conflicts/Flashpoints:

Both countries signed an accord called the Indus Waters Treaty in 1960, which
clearly determined how the region’s rivers are to be divided. In this treaty, control
over three eastern rivers of the Beas, Ravi and Sutlej was given to India, while
Pakistan got the control over western rivers of the Indus, Chenab and Jhelum.
Climate change also has begun to have a serious impact on the outflow of water
resources in Pakistan, which has more or less crippled the economy and the
society of the nation as a whole. The source or flow of all of the Pakistan’s rivers
passes through India first, so this naturally provides India with an upper hand in
controlling the outflow of these rivers. This in turn makes Pakistan more

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suspicious of any dam project or any activity that is carried out by India upstream
of the western rivers. Pakistan is further considering arbitration to clear out the
differences with India over dam projects which are underway on the Indus and
Jhelum River. Although, it is difficult to predict if India and Pakistan will actually
go to a war to settle their water disputes, however one thing is for certain, the
differences between the two nations related to water resources, are ultimately
making it harder for long-time rivals to put their enmity behind them.

India and China Water Conflicts/Flashpoints

China is the world‟s most prolific builders of hydropower dams, and is further the
source of ten major rivers flowing to eleven countries. Therefore, it is not
surprising that its neighbours downstream live in the constant fear that Beijing
has a tight grip on “Asia’s tight water tap”. both the countries are rapidly growing
economies, and are competing for the access to the same yet limited water
resources within the Asian subcontinent. China’s lack of usable water resources is
already causing a significant shortfall in the annual GDP, and the situation could
further worsen with the persistent economic growth, and through the negative
effects that are related to climate change within China. India on the other hand,
with a projected population of 1.4 billion by 2050, is also predicted to be “water-
scarce” roughly during the same time. With both China and India having their own
reasons to fear the increasing water shortages, conflicts in the near future
can/may take place, if such issues are not resolved at the earliest.

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India and Bangladesh Water Conflicts/Flashpoints

India and Bangladesh share 54 rivers between them. Despite the setting up of a
Joint River Commission for water management as early as 1972, tensions
between both the countries on how to share resources has always been a matter
of concern. The construction of the Farakka barrage in 1975 in West Bengal (close
to Indo- Bangladesh border) led to serious frictions between both the nations.
Tensions between India and Bangladesh have resurfaced once again on how to
share the water resources over the Teesta River in 2012. The Teesta River which
has its source in Sikkim, flows through the northern part of West Bengal in India,
before it enters into Bangladesh, from where it merges with the Brahmaputra
River. In 1983, an ad-hoc water sharing agreement was reached between India
and Bangladesh, whereby both countries were allocated 39 percent and 36
percent of the water flow respectively.

India and Nepal Water Conflicts/Flashpoints

The 2008 Bihar floods when the Kosi embankment near the Indo-Nepal border
broke on August 18, 2008, causing the river to change its course. It affected over
2.3 million people, destroyed 300,000 homes and 800,000 acres of cropland in
north Bihar. Going by the experts’ opinion, this tragedy was allowed to happen.
Since 1954, when the Kosi Agreement was signed between India and Nepal, talks
between the two governments have stalled and water rights issues have not been
addressed. As a result, the first dam had remained neglected for decades and a
proposed partnership for a second dam didn’t take off. Nepal, which is reeling
under poor sanitation and power blackouts every day, intends to find a place as a

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hydropower hub of Asia. The country is exploring opportunities to provide for its
own power needs as well as those of its neighbours.

Recommendations: Water Scarcity Situation

The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Water Convention
that came up in 1992 that intends to strengthen national measures for the
protection and ecologically sound management of the trans boundary surface
waters and ground waters, till 2007, has only been ratified by fifteen countries
around the world. The rest of the countries have either not taken a stand, or have
rejected this proposal completely. During the time of water scarcity, countries
around the world should instead cooperate and share, rather than compete with
each other which will benefit no one in particular. Therefore, more and more
countries ratifying this convention and becoming part of the global community in
the near future, would ultimately help everyone in their task of preserving the
limited water resources around the world. Joint programmes of water linking
projects should be launched with the cooperation of countries, which will require
minimum input of resources to be incorporated with the project, while the final
output and gains will be substantial for everyone to enjoy.

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07-Feb-2018 – Question 1

What are the hopes and aspirations of ‘Look East Policy’ of India? Explain. 250
words. 2016

Model Answer

India’s Look East policy is an effort to cultivate extensive economic and strategic
relations with the nations of Southeast Asia in order to bolster its standing as a
regional power. Initiated in 1991, it marked a strategic shift in India’s perspective
of the world. It was developed and enacted during the government of Prime
Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao and I K Gujral and rigorously pursued by the
successive administrations of Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Manmohan Singh.
According to Rejaul Laskar, the ‘Look East’ policy has strengthened India’s
political, economic and cultural relations with the countries of Southeast Asia and
the Pacific and has ensured that India becomes an important part of the emerging
economic and security architecture of the region.

Economic synergy

Economically, the India-ASEAN relations have acquired an unstoppable

momentum. The India-ASEAN trade has crossed $80 billion. The signing of a Free
Trade Area in goods in 2009 was a game-changer of sorts, and now the two sides
are looking to sign the India-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement on Services and
Investment. With the institutional framework in place, the two sides are now
confident of scaling the India-ASEAN trade to $200 billion by 2022.

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Strategic Depth

India set up of an Indian mission to the ASEAN in Jakarta, and the ASEAN-India
Centre for Trade and Investment. While trade and investment remain the core of
the India-ASEAN engagement, the two sides have opened new vistas of
cooperation on cross-cutting security issues and imbued bilateral ties with the
much-needed strategic depth. The festering tensions in the South China Sea have
lent an added urgency to the strategic dimension of the relationship. With the
economies of India and the ASEAN growing and their energy needs going up,
another area that is bringing the two sides closer is the pursuit of maritime
security and enhanced cooperation in combating terrorism and piracy. India has
consistently pitched for freedom of navigation, which has received across-the-
board endorsement from ASEAN nations and East Asia. India sees the 27-member
ARF as a key regional platform for forging consensus on security issues and
evolving an inclusive regional architecture. New Delhi sees the ASEAN-India
strategic partnership as “an anchor for peace, stability and prosperity in the
region as also globally.” India has also underlined the centrality of ASEAN to
regional fora such as the East Asia Summit, the ASEAN Regional Forum, the ASEAN
Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus and the Expanded ASEAN Maritime Forum. India
has robustly backed the creation of an ASEAN Community by 2015, the precursor
to an unfolding Asian century, the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI) and the
Narrowing of the Development Gap. India has also offered more than 1100
scholarships to ASEAN countries under the Indian Technical and Economic
Cooperation (ITEC) programme.

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Only Connect

Connectivity is the reigning mantra as India deepens its diplomatic, economic and
cultural ties with its extended neighbourhood. India has vigorously backed fast-
tracking a host of connectivity projects that will quicken regional integration and
has supported the Master Plan on ASEAN Plus Connectivity (MPAC). The Tamu-
Kalewa-Kalemyo sector of the India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway is
progressing well. India has backed the extension of this highway to Laos,
Cambodia and Vietnam, its further linkage with ports in ASEAN countries and its
integration with models like Special Economic Zones. Enhancing connectivity to
Southeast Asia is critical to unlocking the economic energies and enterprise of
India’s north-eastern states, which border the region.

Connectivity is not just geographical and physical; what animates India’s

engagement with the region are cultural and spiritual connections, grounded in
history and a shared civilizational space. It is from India Buddhism flowed to
Southeast Asian countries, as Buddhists from all over the region flock for
pilgrimage to revered shrines Mahabodhi Temple in Bodh Gaya, the sacred place
where Lord Buddha attained enlightenment under the Bodhi tree. The revival of
Nalanda University, the ancient seat of learning, has now become a showpiece
project of ASEAN and epitomises age-old cultural and spiritual linkages between
India and Southeast Asia region. India has signed pacts with several ASEAN and
East Asian countries to make Nalanda University an international knowledge hub.

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The Asian Dream

Underpinning this cultural alchemy and an intricate web of rail, road and
maritime links is a soaring vision of an Asian century that is becoming increasingly
real with the ongoing shift of economic gravity from the north to the south and
the west to the east. There is a lot at stake in the flowering of the Asian dream; in
the end, it’s about surging hopes and aspirations of around 1.8 billion people of
India and the ASEAN region who are itching to carve their place in a changing
world. The world is in a flux, and many equations may change, but the India-
ASEAN ties will not only endure, but looks set to cross new milestones in days to

Thus, India has achieved notable success in securing institutional integration with
ASEAN countries, under its Look East policy. With these regional initiatives India is
trying to penetrate the ASEAN markets by enhancing the mutual economic
benefits, transportation and infrastructural development, space science,
agriculture, information and communication technology, telecommunication,
transport, tourism and culture.

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07-Feb-2018 – Question 2

Discuss the factors for the decline of India’s presence in Latin America. 250
words. 2015

Model Answer

India’s relations with Latin America and the Caribbean are more recent than with
any other region of the world, for geographical and historical reasons, without
carrying any political baggage. It is a region often described as the last frontier for
India’s diplomacy, which is open for greater business with India. During the Cold
War era, the world tended to look at Latin American countries in the context of
the United States, and many countries based their policies towards the region on
that perspective. Latin America is important for India as the region boasts a
combined GDP of $4.9 trillion and is home to 600 million inhabitants, nearly half
the population of India, but with a landmass five times that of India. The region’s
economic resurgence is an unfolding story, which has made it a powerful magnet
for foreign investment from near and far. Latin America, according to a report by
Economic Commission for Latin America and Caribbean of the United Nations,
netted 179 billion dollars of FDI in 2013, the highest record for any region in the

Ash Narain Roy says that the reasons for India’s limited engagements with Latin
America in the 1950s through the 1980s are not far to seek. Indira Gandhi visit in
1968 to the region was a voyage of discovery. She described her visit as an effort
to establish a ‘concord with people who are strangers to us’. Until the 1980s, the
attitude of the Indian government and private entrepreneurs was lacklustre.

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Unfortunately, the situation was the same in Latin America if one substitutes India
for Latin America. Geographical distance, information gap and the lack of air and
shipping links were often cited as factors that came in the way of greater
economic interaction between India and Latin America.

The changes of the 1990s facilitated better interaction between the two in trade-
related matters – both sides eventually came to hype the importance of their
trade ties. Added to this, political ties also made the Indo-Latin America
relationship significant. In that context, formation of BRICS and IBSA, irrespective
of their impediments, was an appreciated effort. Ever since they were formed,
critics have questioned the achievements and projected the subsequent demise
of these ambitious initiatives. It is sufficient to note, however, that if the countries
involved achieved less than expected under BRICS and IBSA, at least they were
not harmed by being under such a grouping.

At the political level, interactions between India and LAC countries have dropped
to an all-time low. It seems evident there is an absence of real interest; the
exchange of visits has become low-profile or all but disappeared. While India’s
prime ministerial visits have gradually and substantially increased to other regions
of the world, LAC countries are the exception. Prime Minister Narendra Modi did
not undertake an official visit to any country in LAC, aside from a working visit to
Mexico in June 2016. His state visit to Fortaleza, Brazil was primarily aimed at
attending the 2014 BRICS Summit. PM Modi’s non-attendance at the Non-Aligned
Movement Summit at Venezuela last year in particular has been much discussed
in the Indian media — especially as the decision came at a time when Venezuela
needed India the most. India’s future interactions with LAC countries must

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downplay the differences and look into how much these far-off countries can
interact. In the past few years, there has been total neglect of the continent as a
whole — which is a huge mistake on India’s part. Even India’s trade with LAC
countries has marginally fallen, and the list of top trading countries has been
reshuffled. There has been decrease in trade volume, not only with the region as
a whole but also with the individual countries. India’s trade relations even with
regional economic groupings paints a gloomy picture.

If PM Modi’s statement at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum is to

be believed, however South-South interactions seem to be gaining ground again.
However, there is nothing to substantiate that India will get close to latin
American countries. The BRICS joint statement did not contain any point strongly
acknowledging that India and Brazil would become close to each other — and as
we have seen, the BRICS gathering is essentially the only high-level
communication India has had with Brazil or any LAC country in the past three
years. In the past few years, both Indian and Latin American economies have
undergone a paradigm shift. If India has emerged as a global player with its
impressive economic performance, Latin America too has come out of the boom
and bust cycles in its economy and the pendulum swings in power between
civilian and military regimes. India’s growing global footprints now find place in
Latin America’s policy discussions as well. That says a lot for the future of India’s
engagement with the region. Good foreign policy requires prudence. But it also
requires boldness and imagination. That moment is knocking at India’s doors.

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09-Feb-2018 – Question 1

Discuss the shift of India’s foreign policy towards Pakistan in light of Pathankot
incident. 250 words. 2016

Model Answer

India’s policy towards neighbouring countries has always been that of friendship
and regional cooperation. However, response from different countries has varied.
South Asia has never been so actively engaged with the outside world, it remains
woefully disengaged internally. The central relationship of the region, between
India and Pakistan, continues to be oppressed by the weight of the past. History,
ideology, and domestic politics have fostered divisiveness. And the geopolitics has
sharpened the fault lines. Old disputes like Kashmir lurk in the background and
overlap with the new ones, raising the ever present potential for conflict.

The contours of the relationship changed dramatically with the terrorist attack on
Pathankot in January 2016 and later on the Indian Army base in Uri in Jammu and
Kashmir in September, 2016. The terrorists are believed to have infiltrated from
Pakistan. After this, boycott of the SAARC conference was followed, by news that
the Indian military had carried out a series of ‘surgical strikes’ across the Line of
Control. This was a serious departure from India’s policy of strategic restraint,
putting it in uncharted territory. The ties between the two countries never
improved since then. Cross-border fatalities and repeated violation of the
ceasefire by Pakistan have also contributed to the failure of talks between the
two sides. The dialogue of the peace process remains suspended as of now. The
pattern — first, the announcement of holding talks; next, the collapse of the

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initiative; and third, renewal of the initiative after an interregnum — has been all
too frequent not to realise that there is more to it than mere caprice.

The structural conditions for India-Pakistan engagement were already sub-

optimal. Weak civilian leadership in Islamabad will only add to the adverse
circumstances. New Delhi will have little choice then but to bide its time, and wait
for more propitious conditions and a stronger interlocutor in Islamabad. The
dismissal now creates further space for the Army to continue its self-defeating
policy of supporting terrorist groups against Afghanistan and India, while
becoming more dependent on political and economic support from China, to the
detriment of Pakistan’s economic potential, security, and autonomy.

In retrospect, India’s responses like boycotting the SAARC summit which was to
be held in Pakistan greatly added to India’s prestige, instead of the country being
equated with a ‘rogue state’ like Pakistan. India also won the ‘perception war’,
gaining international support and sympathy, while Pakistan was consigned to the
position of an ‘international outcast’. What is most needed today is new thinking,
rather than a mere change in style. Conventional wisdom stipulates that
conflicting nations hold talks to settle their differences. This has been the dictum
that has driven leaders of India and Pakistan till now. New thinking should begin
by reviewing and revising the current code of conduct for relations with Pakistan.
This must involve adoption of a ‘minimalist’ approach, including limiting trade
relations and restricting movement of people between the two countries. More
importantly, India must evolve a new ‘Counter Force Doctrine’. Once the situation
improves, India could consider resorting to a step-by-step normalisation process,

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beginning with the resumption of Track II and Track 1 1/2 dialogues, followed by a
resumption of backchannel negotiations, before proceeding to full-scale talks.

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09-Feb-2018 – Question 2

Sketch the leadership role of India in WTO negotiations. 200 words. 2013

Model Answer

The World Trade Organization (WTO) is the only global international organization
dealing with the rules of trade between nations. Essentially, the WTO is a place
where member governments go, to try to sort out the trade problems they face
with each other. India has consistently taken the stand that the launch of any new
round of talks depends on a full convergence of views amongst the entire WTO
membership on the scope and framework for such negotiations. Our more urgent
task is to resolve the concerns of developing countries on implementation of the
Uruguay Round agreements. We are against calls for new commitments from the
developing world for achieving symmetry and equity in the existing agreements. It
is in favour of ‘non-trade’ issues be permanently kept off the negotiating table.
Ensuring food and livelihood security is critical, particularly for a large agrarian
economy like India. India’s proposal in ongoing negotiations includes suggestions
like allowing developing countries to maintain appropriate level of tariff bindings,
commensurate with their developmental needs and the prevailing distortions in
international markets.

We are also seeking a separate safeguard mechanism including provision for

imposition of quantitative restrictions under specified circumstances, particularly
in case of a surge in imports or decline in prices; exemptions for developing
countries from obligations to provide minimum market access; exemptions of all
measures taken by developing countries for poverty alleviation, rural

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development and rural employment. Our immediate priority is that the

agreements reached earlier with the developing countries should be
implemented so as to correct inherent imbalances in some of the Uruguay Round
agreements. Sincere and meaningful implementation of commitments
undertaken by developed countries and operationalization of all special and
differential treatment clauses for developing countries in the various agreements
be made. We also strongly favour extension of higher levels of protection to the
geographical indications for products like Basmati rice, Darjeeling tea, and
Alphonso mangoes at par with that provided to wines and spirits under the Trade-
related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement. In the TRIMS
(Agreement on Trade-Related Investment Measures) review we want flexibility
for developing countries in adopting appropriate domestic policy while permitting
foreign investment.

Developed countries are pushing for a comprehensive agenda like rules on

investment, environment, competition policy, trade facilitation, transparency in
government procurement, labour standards etc also known as the Singapore
issues. They are pressing for incorporating non-trade issues of environment and
labour standards. Using as an excuse that production of products in developing
countries are not being done under proper environment and labour standards
they can ban the imports of their products or impose other non-tariff restrictions.
The developing countries are opposed to these non-trade issues. Indian farmers
need to take advantage of the opportunity provided by the AoA, by addressing
productivity issues and making their products more competitive globally.

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In its negotiating proposal, India has demanded substantial reduction in tariffs,

elimination of trade-distorting domestic support and export subsidies in
developed countries. The movement of professionals {i.e., labour) from
developing countries is constrained by a number of factors such as lack of specific
sectoral commitments, lack of mutual recognition of qualifications, lack of
transparency in administration of visa regimes, discriminatory practices in use of
Economic Needs Test and social security contributions. India has, therefore,
sought liberalisation of movement of professionals through removal of these
constraints and submitted a paper for discussion at the ongoing negotiations.

To further optimize our negotiating power, the Department of Commerce should

consult all relevant stakeholders in order to make a comprehensive and balanced
assessment of the implications for India of the likely outcomes of negotiating
binding rules on the three issues. This assessment must be objective, based on
hard facts and not on merely on subjective impressions of a few influential
individuals. If the assessment so warrants, India should carefully consider re-
calibrating its position on the some issues. At the WTO India should work
assiduously to enlarge the coalition of countries that share its concerns on the
new issues. This would provide it further strength ahead.

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19-Feb-2018 – Question 1

Comment on India’s growing relationship with USA in the background of

constrained relations between India and China. 250 words. 2016

Model Answer

The People’s Republic of China has shaped the U.S.-India relationship since it
came into existence in 1949. Today, both India and the U.S. have relationships
with China that have elements of cooperation, competition and, potentially,
conflict—though in different degrees. Each country has a blended approach of
engaging China, while preparing for a turn for the worse in Chinese behavior. Each
sees a role for the other in its China strategy. Each thinks a good relationship with
the other sends a signal to China, but neither wants to provoke Beijing or be
forced to choose between the other and China. Each also recognizes that China—
especially uncertainty about its behavior—is partly what is driving the India-U.S.
partnership. Arguably, there have been three imperatives in the U.S. for a more
robust relationship with India and for supporting its rise: strategic interest,
especially in the context of the rise of China; economic interest; and shared
democratic values. Indian policymakers recognize that American concerns about
the nature of China’s rise are responsible for some of the interest in India. New
Delhi’s own China strategy involves strengthening India both security-wise and
economically (internal balancing) and building a range of partnerships (external
balancing)—and it envisions a key role for the U.S. in both. Some Indian
policymakers highlight another benefit of the U.S. relationship: Beijing takes Delhi
more seriously because Washington does.

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Power shifts have brought into sharp focus the significance of the U.S.–China–
India triangular relationship in the early twenty-first century. As China reaches out
for trade, investment, resources, markets, and bases, Beijing is also using its
burgeoning military-industrial complex to court, arm, and aid its friends and allies
to protect its overseas interests, assets, and nationals. The fact that countries
with resources, markets, and strategically located naval bases usually tend to be
the largest recipients of Chinese largesse is indicative of Beijing’s search for
potential allies. Beijing’s long-term strategy is to re-establish its dominance in Asia
and regain territories it claims as its own. Post-2008 global financial crisis, China
has turned up the volume, transitioning from “hide and bide” to “seize and lead.”
Rhetoric aside, Beijing’s “New Type of Great Power Relations” concept seeks U.S.
recognition of China’s primacy in Asia in a geopolitical deal that limits
Washington’s regional role and presence, relegates traditional U.S. allies
(especially Japan) to the sidelines, and settles disputes on China’s terms.

While Chinese leaders and diplomats still chant the mantra of “peaceful rise,”
their body language makes it clear that they expect everyone to get out of their
way. China is as determined to change the U.S.-led liberal international order as
the United States seeks to preserve it. President Xi Jinping’s “One Belt One Road”
strategy seeks to secure China’s continental and maritime interests by
simultaneously dominating the Eurasian Heartland and exploiting natural
resources for future economic growth and naval development. The South China
Sea, through which more than $5.3 trillion of maritime trade passes each year, is
now the arena of a geopolitical poker game that will determine whether the
regional future is a Pax Sinica or Pax Americana. The long-term growth of Chinese
supremacy in Asia is also contingent on having weaker and pliant states on
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China’s periphery. These goals invariably pit China not only against the United
States and Japan, but also against India.

When it comes to China, however, India and the U.S. must have realistic
expectations about the other. Every decision each country makes vis-à-vis China
should not be seen as a zero-sum game. India shouldn’t expect to be treated as an
ally (with all the assurances that come with that) if it isn’t one. And the U.S. has to
recognize that India is likely to maintain other partnerships in its attempt to
balance China—including one with Russia—that Washington might not like.
Finally, it is important for policymakers and analysts in both countries to keep in
mind that an India-U.S. strategic partnership solely based on China is neither
desirable nor sustainable.

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19-Feb-2018 – Question 2

‘EU-India relations have a long way to go before they can purposely be termed
strategic.” Discuss. 200 words. 2014

Model Answer

India-EU relations date to the early 1960s, with India being amongst the first
countries to establish diplomatic relations with the European Economic
Community. A cooperation agreement signed in 1994 took the bilateral
relationship beyond trade and economic cooperation. At the 5th India-EU Summit
at The Hague in 2004, the relationship was upgraded to a ‘Strategic Partnership’.
The two sides adopted a Joint Action Plan in 2005 (which was reviewed in 2008)
that provided for strengthening dialogue and consultation mechanisms in the
political and economic spheres, enhancing trade and investment, and bringing
peoples and cultures together. India’s past neglect of Europe was in part due to a
lack of attention and capacity. New Delhi neither understood the significance of
the European project nor mastered the technique of navigating Brussels for its
national benefit. India found it easier to focus on bilateral partnerships with key
European actors like the UK, Germany, and France with which it had historic
relations. If Europe had no powerful champion in New Delhi, Brussels too found it
rather hard to deal with the ponderous Indian bureaucratic system.

New Delhi is acutely conscious of Europe’s pole position in India’s international

economic relations as the country’s largest trading partner and biggest foreign
investor. India is also aware of Europe as a repository of scientific knowledge and
advanced technologies. The mobilization for a stronger European participation in

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major domestic initiatives like Make in India, Clean India, Smart Cities, and Digital
India is sought. It is to bring in European technologies to develop innovative
solutions to India’s developmental challenges. At the top of India’s priorities in
Brussels is the revival of stalled talks on an EU-India bilateral trade and
investment agreement that began in 2007. There is no great enthusiasm for trade
liberalization in India, but amid the continuing decline in the country’s absolute
trade figures since 2014, India wants to shore up its commercial relations with key

India and EU were due to resume the trade talks in 2015. But New Delhi pulled
out at the last minute when Brussels banned the sale of 700-odd pharmaceuticals
from India. Now, India is also eager to have some of the current European
restrictions on the movement of Indian professionals lifted. And he wants
Brussels to give India’s IT sector data security status, which is critical for
expanding the sector’s business in Europe. Brussels too needs Indian
professionals to boost Europe’s economic competitiveness. The EU is also seeking
better market access in India for a number of its goods, including wines and
automotive parts. There is much room here for some give-and-take. A broad
understanding between PM Modi and his European interlocutors on mutual
concessions would signal a new political commitment in both India and the EU for
a deeper commercial relationship.

Beyond the commercial arena, India will want to generate a deeper political
understanding of how to cope with the rapid breakdown of the old order on the
Eurasian landmass and the adjacent waters of the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Since
the end of the Cold War, both India and Europe have largely focused on

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reconstituting their domestic political economies. In terms of their regional

interests, Brussels would hardly look beyond Europe, and New Delhi was tied
down by developments in the subcontinent. The rise of China, the assertiveness
of Russia, and the temptations of retrenchment in the United States make it a lot
harder for New Delhi and Brussels to cope with the rapid change in the Middle
East and the Far East. Both India and the EU are under some compulsion to take
on larger security responsibilities in Eurasia and the Indo-Pacific. As middling
powers, New Delhi and Brussels have a greater chance of success if they
strengthen their partnership and improve bilateral strategic coordination on
regional affairs.

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21-Feb-2018 – Question 1

Illustrate the main causes of tension between India and China. Suggest the
possibilities of improving relationship. 200 words. 2016

Model Answer

The present relation between China and India has great uncertainty and
ambiguity as both the countries have adopted different attitude of methodology
and way of sorting the differences to emerge as regional powers mainly due to
the mutual suspicion and distrust rather due to the inheritance of issues. China
and India, the two largest developing countries in the world, share a number of
interests especially in the field of domestic development, and economic reform.
They are experiencing a period of rapid economic growth. However, both the
states are also struggling to define their role in the world given their new
profound influence on the global economy. Both promote the notion of a multi-
polar world in which they may serve as bigger players alongside the United States.
China’s strategic interests in India follows from its desire to maintain a peaceful
international environment create friendly relations with all the states and
especially with neighbors, prevent any attempt towards the formation of anti-
China blocs and finally develop new markets, investment opportunities and
resources to stimulate its economic growth. It also wants to resolve its domestic
problems in a coherent manner.

The main problem between the two countries is the Border question, which is a
historical one. The Border issue is rooted in the disputed status of the McMahon
Line, which defines the border between India and Tibet. India recognizes this

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agreement as the basis for its territorial claim while China objected the validity of
McMahon Line which was drawn in 1914 Simla convention because China
believes that it was not a party to Simla Convention so it is not bound to accept
the boundary demarcated by Simla convention. After the 1962 war, relationship
between China and India remained hostile for several decades. India’s grant of
statehood to Arunachal Pradesh in the late eighties (February 1987) which China
claims as a part of South Tibet caused the hostility on the bilateral relations to
such an extent that another border war seemed about to happen. China claimed
the major territorial concessions in populated areas of Arunachal Pradesh
particularly Twang because Chinese claim it to be central to Tibetan Buddhism
given that the sixth Dalai Lama was born there.

In all the times, water was regarded as a precious commodity and is essential for
human existence. That is why, its possession bestows power. The preciousness
and possession in geopolitical mechanics makes water a strategic commodity and
its role as a strategic asset or vulnerability cannot be overestimated. Thus, seen in
this context, water can become a source of both contention and cooperation in
the context of contemporary world. In case of China and India, water issues are
becoming major area of concern between two states. In fact, many strategic
thinkers are arguing that disputes relating to water will be major source of
conflict between the two countries in the future. China’s plan of constructing big
dams and diverting the water of rivers to its own advantage has discontented in
India. As there are four rivers that flow from China to India, the two countries
must have a better understanding relating to water sharing and other attending
benefits out of these rivers. However, China’s strategic advantage over these
rivers makes it possible for her to counterbalance India on many other issues.
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China views that India is treating Dalai Lama in India as government in exile in
Dharmsala which is just 200 miles away from China’s border. Further, the
presence of more than 1,00,000 Tibetans refugees in India and India’s continued
willingness to provide shelter to the Dalai Lama is a continued source of irritation
in China-India relations. Also China alleged that the Dalai Lama and his associates
are provoking the suicides by publicizing a “self-immolation guide” on the internet
and “openly encouraging Tibetans within Chinese border to carry out self-
immolations” against the China. China accused the Dalai Lama of being behind a
self-immolation protest by a Tibetan exile in India during the visit of Chinese
president in March 2012 and Chinese Primer in 21 May 2013.

It can be concluded that India’s long standing border dispute with China
particularly China’s claims on Arunachal Pradesh through which the river
Brahmaputra flows, comes in the way of meaningful cooperation on the water
issues. Here it can be said that border issue and water issues between both the
two states is closely interlinked with each other. In future, China is likely to use
water as a tool to pressurize India and to exact concessions on boundary
question. Thus, water will be the prime issue, apart from the border issues, that
will determine the future relations between the two largest states of the world
India and China. Besides, there life sustaining rivers coming from Tibet region of
China into India will be the major stimulant of co-operating or conflict between
the two.

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21-Feb-2018 – Question 2

Evaluate India’s participation in United Nations peace-keeping operations over

the years. 250 words. 2014

Model Answer

As one of the founding members of the UN, India’s contribution to the

maintenance of international peace and security has been second to none. In no
other field of activity has this been manifested more than in UN operations
commencing with our participation in the operations in Korea in 1950. The
operation in Korea, led by the USA, was a major military undertaking. India
participated militarily with a medical unit and later provided a Custodian Force for
the Neutral Nations Repatriation Commission. India also contributed significantly
to the Indo-China Supervisory Commission deployed in Cambodia, Laos and
Vietnam from 1954 to 1970. India has provided eleven force commanders and
five deputy commanders to date, and three military advisers at the Department
of Peacekeeping Operations including the first one Major General I J Rikhye; later
Lt Gen RS Mehta, and most recently, Lt Gen Guha.

India’s spontaneous and unreserved participation in UN peacekeeping operations

over the years has been a clear demonstration of the country’s commitment to
the objectives set out in the UN Charter. Not in terms of rhetoric and symbolism,
but in real and practical terms, even to the extent of accepting casualties to
personnel (about 150 fatalities to date). This commitment has been
acknowledged by the international community, successive Secretaries General
and the United Nations Secretariat. But even more significantly, the effectiveness

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of such participation and commitment to United Nations peacekeeping efforts has

drawn respect and praise from fellow professionals of other countries and many
others that have served jointly with our commanders, observers, police monitors
and contingents, in various parts of the world. Hence, the image of the Indian
forces in the international arena is that of highly competent and well-trained

In preparing ourselves for continued participation in United Nations peacekeeping

operations, it would be appropriate to take stock of the changes that have taken
place in the environment in which such operations are being increasingly
mounted in recent years, and the manner in which they are being executed and
take into account the radical changes in the nature of the peacekeeping
commitment. UN peacekeepers are increasingly being sent to regions where civil-
war type situations prevail; where there are no agreements, or if there are, these
are rather tenuous, or broken without compunction; where the consent or
cooperation of the belligerent parties cannot be relied upon; where constitutional
authority does not exist in many cases, or if it does, has limited authority. In such
situations, today’s peacekeepers are not only required to keep the warring parties
apart to the extent they can, but are increasingly called upon to safeguard
humanitarian relief operations, monitor human rights violations, assist in mine
clearance, monitor state boundaries or borders, provide civilian police support,
assist in rebuilding logistics infrastructure like roads, railways, bridges, and to
support electoral processes. In much of this the Indian Armed Forces have
practical experience based on the conduct of counter insurgency operations in
some parts of our own country and thus have a marked advantage over most
other forces from other parts of the world. This was more than amply
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demonstrated by the performance of our contingents in Cambodia, Somalia,

Mozambique, Angola, Rwanda and Sierra Leone. And continues to be
demonstrated by the contingents deployed in the Congo, South Sudan, and in

It was therefore most appropriate that in order to exploit our expertise and
experience in this arena, a Centre for United Nations Peacekeeping was set up in
September 2000 under the aegis of the United Service Institution of India in New
Delhi, with the support of the Ministry of External Affairs of the Government of
India. This Centre besides overseeing the training of contingents earmarked for
peacekeeping operations, has undertaken conduct of training courses for our sub-
unit commanders, military observers, officers earmarked for deputation on staff
appointments, and police personnel. These courses, now formally endorsed by
the Department of Peacekeeping Operations at UN HQ, are also being attended
by officers from a number of friendly foreign countries. In addition, the Centre
conducts national and international seminars and conferences on the subject of
peacekeeping. As it matures, the Centre will also be a repository of our
experiences in United Nations peacekeeping.

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23-Feb-2018 – Question 1

Critically analyze India’s nuclear policy. 200 words. 2016

Model Answer

India’s nuclear doctrine is an important variable determining nuclear stability in

South Asia, especially because the doctrine is generally considered to be
restrained. So any indication of change in the doctrine is a cause for concern.
Though there continue to be significant disagreements within the Indian strategic
community about many elements of nuclear doctrine, the debate has stagnated,
and no longer produces new ideas about how to deal with the most pressing
dilemma that New Delhi faces: countering Pakistan’s tactical nuclear weapons
(TNWs). India might need to shift its massive retaliation nuclear strategy to some
form of modulated retaliation to deal with this challenge.

India released its Draft Nuclear Doctrine (DND) in August 1999. The DND was
prepared by the semi-official National Security Advisory Board (NSAB) and was
quickly disowned by the Indian government, though many details of the DND
faithfully followed previous government statements, including authoritative
statements in parliament regarding credible minimum deterrence and NFU. In
January 2003, New Delhi released its official nuclear doctrine. The official doctrine
itself was based on the DND, though there were also some differences. These
included suggesting that India might use nuclear weapons to retaliate against
attacks using chemical and biological weapons (CBW), and that Indian retaliation
to any nuclear attack would be massive. In a speech in 2010, the then national
security adviser, Shivshankar Menon, stated that India’s doctrine is “no first use

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against non-nuclear weapon states,” implying that NFU does not apply to nuclear-
armed powers. Though Menon’s remarks created some controversy, they appear
to have been an inadvertent error—such a formulation has not been reiterated
subsequently. In April 2013, a few additional details about the nuclear doctrine
were outlined in a speech by Shyam Saran, the head of the NSAB, in a speech in
New Delhi. Saran explicitly stated that the “views” he was sharing were his own
and not those of the government, but he did reveal details about the
management of India’s nuclear forces that were not in the public realm, so his
speech can be considered an unofficial elaboration of the details of India’s nuclear
doctrine. He outlined the makeup of the Strategic Programme Staff, which carries
out the general staff work of the NCA, and of the Strategic Armament Safety
Authority, which looks after the safety and security aspects of nuclear weapons.
In March 2012, a nonofficial task force of strategic analysts, put together by the
Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies in New Delhi, also produced an alternate
nuclear doctrine for India, which largely stuck to the principles of the official
doctrine, with the exception of rejecting the characterization of “massive” to refer
to retaliation to any nuclear attack on India, preferring the characterization of
“punitive” that was used in the DND.

There is a near consensus in the Indian strategic community that India’s nuclear
doctrine needs to be periodically reexamined. There is also a consensus that the
Indian government needs to release more information about its nuclear doctrine
and policy, both in order to deter adversaries and so that Indian public debate is
better informed. This does not mean, however, that everyone in the strategic
community agrees that the doctrine needs to be revised. At the least, there is no
consensus about the direction any revision would take. Though there has been
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significant debate and disagreement about the advisability of India’s NFU policy,
the dominant opinion is still that India should maintain it. To the extent that there
is a desire to change the NFU, moderates would like to reorient the doctrine more
in the direction of the DND and abandon some of the expansion that the official
doctrine introduced, such as nuclear retaliation for CBW attacks and references to
massive retaliation. Expansionists, on the other hand, would prefer abandoning
the NFU altogether and retaining a much more flexible approach toward nuclear
force expansion.

On the issue of tactical weapons, though there has been disquiet about Pakistan’s
TNWs and their impact on India’s conventional war options, the predominant
opinion appears to be that there is no need for India to consider any change to its
doctrine. This reflects the fact that New Delhi has few realistic alternatives
available for dealing with Pakistan’s TNWs. Ultimately, these public doctrinal
debates might not be particularly important in keying changes to India’s nuclear
doctrine. As Vipin Narang has pointed out, India might drift toward a much more
aggressive nuclear doctrine simply because the country’s political leadership does
not pay sufficient attention to the military and defense scientific bureaucracies.
The effect of these debates on India’s official policy is difficult to predict. On one
hand, it appears as if the Indian government was indeed responding to public
criticism when it released the official doctrine in 2003. On the other hand, despite
several years of vigorous debate, there is little public indication that there is any
effort at the official level to respond to criticisms from either the moderates or
the expansionists. While it is unlikely that the Indian government will radically
alter its existing nuclear doctrine, it is possible that it might release a new edition
of the nuclear doctrine, given the strong consensus among India’s strategic elite
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about the need for periodic review and the need for the release of more
information about the nuclear doctrine. If a new edition of the doctrine does
come out, it will hopefully correct some of the errors and contradictions in the
previous edition, thereby strengthening the doctrine as a whole.

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23-Feb-2018 – Question 2

Explain the socio-economic impacts of arms race and identify the obstacles in
the way of disarmament. 250 words. 2016

Model Answer

Today the social and economic problems of disarmament assume special

topicality. Not only the increased material resources annually used for non-
productive aims, but also the growing acuteness of food, raw material and energy
problems, the aggravation of the world ecological situation, the unsatisfied social
and economic needs of the majority of the world population, the prospects of
development of new, more formidable types of mass destruction weapons, etc.
On the other hand, encouraging prospects have opened up in connection with the
development of the process of detente, which has already led to considerable
changes in the entire system of international relations. Within the process of the
deepening of detente new opportunities appear for arriving at agreements
limiting armaments and leading to disarmament. The treatment of the problems
of stopping the nuclear arms race, nuclear disarmament, the limitation of the use
of science for military purposes and particularly the banning of the development
of new weapons of mass destruction, regional measures of military detente, the
reduction of conventional armaments, armed forces and military budgets reflects
conviction in the necessity of carrying out effective disarmament measures.

Effects of the arms race can be divided into several subcategories. An

indispensable correlate of the arms race is the emergence of military- industrial
complexes (MIC) with considerable power in society. Extensive literature dealing

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with the MICs was to a large extent a counter-reaction to earlier Western

literature that had devoted scant attention to the structural preconditions and
consequences of the armaments race, and was by character rather individualizing.
The impact of disarmament measures has usually been considered from the
conversion perspective which, in turn, is connected with the problem of
opportunity costs. The possibilities of converting resources used for military
purposes to civilian uses has been analysed, not only by the input-output method,
but also in case studies on either specific industries strongly dependent on
military contracts, or communities affected by such events as the closure of
military bases. The doctrine that military spending is necessary for the growth,
stability and continued functioning of these economies gains no strong support
nowadays. Economic and Social Consequences of Disarmament submitted to the
General Assembly in 1962, for example, concluded that “all the problems and
difficulties of transition connected with disarmament could be met by appropriate
national and international measures. There should thus be no doubt that the
diversion to peaceful purposes of the resources now in military use could be
accomplished to the benefit of all countries and lead to the improvement of world
economic and social conditions. The achievement of general and complete
disarmament would be an unqualified blessing to all mankind”.

Thus, the conversion of resources used for military purposes is believed to be a

feasible option, although some reservations to this generalization have been
made. process not working in certain firms, mostly United States based, which are
very dependent on military production – especially aircraft companies which
have attempted the transition to civilian production. This underlines the need for
governmental subsidy in such cases, but also in the conversion process in general.
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This support, however, is a controversial issue, as it would mean increasing State

interference in economic life; this is not universally favoured in market economy

Furthermore, there are significant differences between the phases in which

military spending was a predominantly domestic phenomenon and those in which
the activities of the military establishment and military industries have become
trans-nationalized. These broad examples indicate, firstly, that a dynamic view of
the economic and social consequences of the arms race and disarmament is
needed and, secondly, that these two different, but related aspects of
militarization must be explored in close connection to each other. Thirdly, the
approach to the economic and social consequences of the arms race and
disarmament should be sufficiently comprehensive. More emphasis has been
placed on the strategic, political and legal factors affecting the future of
disarmament and arms control. also involves linking the future military order of
the world (by implication one of disarmament) with the New International
Economic Order (NIEO). It is no exaggeration to say that the present military order
of the world is a considerable obstacle to the realization of NIEO. In the same vein
we would say that disarmament would contribute, in some cases, perhaps only
marginally, to carrying out, e. g. Unesco’s tasks in the NIEO context. These tasks
are, according to the Director-General of Unesco, autonomy in science and
technology, the promotion of cultural identity and the fight against poverty.

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