Saturday, 30 June 2012

Police Reform Debates in India: A Summary

Reproduced from: CHRI 2011, Police Reform Debates in India.

India’s police continue to be governed by an archaic and colonial police law passed in 1861. The Indian Constitution makes policing a state subject and therefore the state governments have the responsibility to provide their communities with a police service. However, after independence most have adopted the 1861 Act without change, while others have passed laws heavily based on the 1861 Act.

The need for reform of police in India and - fundamentally- the police laws, has been long recognised.  There has been almost 30 years of debate and discussion by government created committees and commissions on the way forward for police reform, but India remains saddled with an outdated and old-fashioned law, while report after report gathers dust on government bookshelves without implementation.

This publication sets out selected reforms of these committees,  beginning with the National Police Commission, the first committee set up by the Indian government to report on policing.  The National Police Commission began sitting in 1979, in the context of a post-Emergency India, and produced eight reports, including a Model Police Act, between 1979 and 1981.

Friday, 29 June 2012

Sociology material

Dear Friends,

I have come across an interesting ebook which could be useful for Paper 1. It covers the ussual topics of sociological perspectives, stratification, deviance etc, but also has chapters on aging, health, population etc. Although written for undergraduate students of the USA it would be useful in understanding theory. Do take a look.

Sociology: Understanding and Changing the Social World, Brief Edition, v. 1.0

Monday, 25 June 2012

Macrosociology and Microsociology

The theoretical perspectives of sociology can be broadly categorised into two camps: macrosociology and microsociology. Macrosociologists focus on the big picture, which usually means things as social structure, social institutions, social-political-economic change. They look at large scale social forces that change the course of human society and the lives of individuals. Microsociologist, on the other hand study social interaction. They look at how families, co-workers and other small groups interact; why they interact the way they do, and how they interpret the meanings of their interactions and social settings.
Eg: In studying armed robbery, macrosociologists would discuss why robbery rates are higher in some communities than others, whether changes in national economy affects robbery rates etc. Microsociologists would focus on why individual robbers decide to commit robbery and how they decide their targets. 

Within the broad macro camp two perspectives dominate: functionalism and social conflict theories. Within the micro camp the dominating perspectives are: symbolic interactionism and utilitarianism (rational choice theory/exchange theory).  [Randal Collins 1994, Four Sociological Traditions].

How practical is Scientific Sociology?

‘Scientific’ sociology is understood here as Sociology’s effort to be a science- ‘positivistic’ sociology. August Comte proposed the concept of positivism as the scientifically-based sociological research that uses scientific tools such as survey, sampling, objective measurement, and cultural and historical analysis to study and understand society. 

The key components of any science are:
-      Methodology inspired from pure sciences: establishment of ‘cause-and-effect’ social laws; quantitative methods
-          Objectivity
-          Verifiable Conclusions/ Reliability
-          Value Neutrality
-      Relativism (means that there are no universal absolute principles, and all principles are subject to change- falsifiability of theories)

There are some difficulties for sociology to be a science because:
  1. Nature of subject matter: (Wo)men have consciousness thus may act differently in different contexts and  also different people may act differently in the same context.
  2. Objectivity: the researcher is also human and in her interactions with the subjects may project her prejudices on the latter.
  3. Value Neutrality: Marxists have doubts about the value neutrality of positivist thinkers because of the latter’s preoccupation with social order, social consensus and stability.

Pure Science vs. Applied Science

JJ Thompson (discoverer of electron) in 1916 said that pure science was one which was motivated by curiosity and a desire to learn more about the laws of nature. Applied science on the other hand is an attempt to answer specific questions. In Sociology too, this tussle between understanding society for its own sake, or to use that knowledge to reform society dates back to the beginning of the discipline. Thus sociology gas been identified with having two tasks:
Pure Sociology: to study the basic laws of social change and social structure
Applied Sociology:  Involved the conscious use of this knowledge to attain a better society.

This dual purpose is evident from the works of early sociologists onwards. Comte and Durkheim were disturbed by the social unrest caused due to the French Revolution and Enlightenment. Comte developed social physics to understand social statics and social dynamics (the pure sociology part). This knowledge was to be used by sociology to assist in the ‘reforms’ that were propelling society towards the positivistic stage (the applied part of sociology).

Durkheim too, perturbed by the social disorder of his times (industrial strikes, church-state discord, political anti-Semitism), was driven to seek an improved understanding of society. He developed a research tool- ‘social fact’. Through this he identified the differences in earlier societies and modern societies. Durkheim argued that early societies were characterized by strong collective conscience (common morality) which provided cohesion to the society and support to its members. Alternatively modern societies had a weak collective conscience. This was the pure science part of his sociological theory. In applying this knowledge Durkheim argues that common morality could be strengthened in modern societies which would help people to cope better with the pathologies of their society.

For, feminist theorists the understanding of society is invariable succeeded by using the knowledge in social reform. This activism was as much part of their doing sociology as creating theory was.

Source: George Ritzer 2000, Sociological Theory

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Need to develop Small and Medium Cities for Sustainable Urbanisation

Extracts from:
Anand Sahasranaman, “Financing the Development of Small and Medium Cities”, EPW, June 16, 2012, Vol. XLVII, No. 24

Urbanisation in India is currently marked by two fundamental trends: 
(a) lopsided migration to the larger cities and 
(b) unbalanced regional economic development. 

A cause for major concern in India is that rural migrants have been bypassing small and medium towns and settling in the large cities. In this context, there is a need for the concerted development of small and medium cities as the key focus in the strategy to ensure sustainable urbanisation in India. 

Small and medium cities hold the key because:
  • These cities already have pre-existing economic bases, infrastructure and service delivery mechanisms and governance structures, no matter how insufficient.
  • They have evolved 'soft' ingredients such as culture and community that are essential for the make-up of any city.
  • Well-planned development of these cities can help disperse rural migration and prevent over-crowding of other metropolitan centres.
  • Developing small and medium cities will address the problem of unbalanced regional growth.

E-Governance and Corruption in States

Extract from: Jennifer Bushell, "E-Governance and Corruption in the States",  EPW, Jun 23 2012, Vol. XLVII, No.25

Bushell undertakes a comparative evaluation of one-stop computerised citizen service centres in various Indian states, during the period 1999-2009, to assess their efficacy. She found that the outcomes of policies related to e-governance in India are not correlated to conventional variables such as economic development. Instead the extent to which political parties in power expect such policies to affect their current and future electoral statuses affects  implementation.

Some computerized citizen service centres are: eSeva in Andhra Pradesh; Nemmadi in Karnataka;  Friends in Kerala; e-Mitra in Rajasthan; Civic Centres in Gujarat; and Sugam in Himachal Pradesh.

This analysis offers two important findings. 

1. First, while nearly all major Indian states implemented some type of computerised service centre programme during this period, the programmes themselves differed significantly  in  terms  of  the  number  and  type  of  services  made available to citizens.

2. To understand this variation in policy design and implementation it is necessary to understand the expected effect of these policies on the economic resources of incumbent politicians and in particular politicians’ expectations about the threat of more transparent service delivery to established sources of corrupt income. 

This means that:

  • where bribes are available in public service delivery – for example, when citizens find it necessary to pay “speed money” to access services – politicians  are  less  likely  to be  supportive of   policies to increase transparency in administration. Corruption in the day-to-day activities of the state in interaction with the public amounts to a Rs 21,000 crore market in petty corruption, that directly affects Indian citizens(Transparency International India and CMS 2005) .
  • Politicians in areas with lower preexisting  levels  of  petty  corruption  should  anticipate  that  reforms will only minimally affect their access to income, as the availability of bribes is low from the outset. 
  • However, where there are higher levels of petty corruption, the opposite is the case. Political incumbents who are more dependent on corruption to run their re-election campaigns will perceive improved service delivery as a threat to their illicit income. 
  • Politicians accustomed to higher levels of petty corruption, if they do implement reforms, should be less willing to implement a wide range of technology-enabled public services, so as to minimise the overall threat to incoming bribes. In particular, leaders should resist inclusion in computerised service centres of those services that offer the greatest potential for bribes, either due to their high demand by citizens, their typical value in terms of bribes, or both. These politicians are also more likely than their peers to resist the comprehensive automation of the service-delivery process, so as to retain non-computerised steps of service delivery that may offer opportunities for extraction of bribes

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Governance Knowledge Centre

This is a GoI initiative to disseminate information on governance procedures including best practices in various fields. Could be useful for PubAd and GS:

The mission of GKC is to:
To acquire and disseminate state-of-the-art and trusted knowledge in the field of governance 
- To facilitate stakeholder engagement to create collaborative knowledge on issues of public service delivery
To build an international collaborative governance knowledge partnership

The portal assists civil servants to seek practical and implementable solutions to the day-to-day challenges they face. It also offers a widespread and reputed lot of governance knowledge that civil society can utilize to understand the nuances of civil service practices and reforms.

Contemporary Context of Indian Bureaucracy

Hello friends,

I found a link to a IGNOU chapter on 'Contemporary Context of Indian Bureaucracy'. A cursory glance of the chapter did not reveal how contemporary it is, but at best I don't think it should have been written before 2007-08, so I am guessing it will be still relevant for Pub Ad and GS. So, here goes:

If any of you also come across relevant links, kindly send them across.


Ten things Washington wants from New Delhi

Extract from: Christofer Clary, "Will India ever really be America's Partner", Foreign Policy, June 2012,0

Top ten things on Washington's wishlist for New Delhi:

1. Be ready for a conflict with China: Much strategic discussion in Washington today focuses on how India might help the United States in the event of a Sino-U.S. conflict. But India has its own troubled history in past fights with China....Concern over China is one reason the United States has pushed for more joint military exercises, more training, more defense sales, and more technology cooperation. Alas, India has occasionally restricted its military and diplomatic engagement with the United States for fear of offending Chinese sensitivities, most notably by curtailing multilateral exercises involving the United States after large naval maneuvers in 2007 aroused Chinese concerns. India fears that the United States will do just enough to provoke China but not enough to defend India if the going gets tough.

2. Fight fires in the Indian Ocean: The United States and India signed a maritime security framework in 2006, and naval cooperation is frequently given priority in official statements. In New Delhi, Panetta described the U.S. vision of "a peaceful Indian Ocean region supported by growing Indian capabilities." The United States will continue to operate in the region, but it has sought a more active Indian role -- in efforts like anti-piracy operations off the Horn of Africa. Unfortunately, Indian hesitance to work in coalitions, particularly those that might include Pakistan, has limited India's contributions. 

Monday, 18 June 2012

What's wrong with Pakistan?

extract from: Robert D. Kaplan, " Whats Wrong with Pakistan?", Foreign Policy, July-August 2012.,0

[Points of particular interest and relevance have been highlighted in bold font. This can have relevance also in public administration. I recommend reading the article in full at the link above. Spurthi.]

"Jinnah envisioned Pakistan as a federalized state in which the various ethnically based provinces retained a high degree of autonomy. With such freedom, the angst of domination by Punjabis -- and by each other -- would not have existed, allowing for a civil society to emerge and, with that, a state with vibrant institutional capacity. Indeed, history shows that central authority can only be effective if it is strictly delimited. Regrettably, Pakistan has been what 20th-century European scholars Ernest Gellner and Robert Montagne call a "segmentary" society. Hovering between centralization and anarchy, such a society, in Montagne's words, is typified by a regime that "drains the life from a region," even though, "because of its own fragility," it fails to establish lasting institutions. This is the byproduct of a landscape riven by mountains and desert, a place where tribes are strong and the central government is comparatively weak. Put another way, Pakistan, as King's College London scholar Anatol Lieven notes, is a weak state with strong societies.

Friday, 15 June 2012

Factors influencing Government Responsiveness

extracts from:
Belsey, Timothy and Burgess, R. 2002, "THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF GOVERNMENT RESPONSIVENESS: THEORY AND EVIDENCE FROM INDIA", The Quarterly Journal of Economics, November 2002.

In this article Belsey and Burgess present evidence from India that a more informed and politically active electorate strengthens incentives for governments to be responsive. State governments were found to be more responsive to quality of public distribution system, and calamity relief expenditure, where newspaper circulation is higher and electoral accountability greater. High newspaper circulation was achieved by a prominence of local newspapers in the regional language, which discussed local issues and gave voice to the people- putting pressure on local administration to perform better. Additionally increased accountability of the elected representatives to the public, especially vulnerable sections, was achieved in cases where electoral turnout is high and political competition is intense. Mass media can play a key role by enabling vulnerable citizens to monitor the actions of incumbents and to use this information in their voting decisions.

In other studies, Brunetti and Weder [1999] and Ahrend [2000] find that press freedom is associated with lower levels of corruption. Djankov et al (2001) found that state ownership of the media is, on the whole, negatively correlated with good government.

This suggests that there is a role for both democratic institutions and mass media in ensuring that the preferences of citizens are reflected in policy.Thus Belsey and Burgess conclude that representative democracy and the development of free and independent regional presses appear as key factors in ensuring protection for vulnerable citizens.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Public Administration, Ethnic Conflict and Economic Development

extracts from:
Esman, Milton J., 1997, "Public Administration, Ethnic Conflict and Economic Development", Public Administration Review, Vol 57, No.6.

[Although the article does not contain any Indian examples, I think it will improve understanding of competing politics of various communities in India with special reference to 'reservation politics'.  Further the article can be useful for the topic on 'Development Dynamics'. Spurthi].

Public Administration (PA)  literature normally assumes a society of individuals who may be divided by age, gender, region, occupation, or class, but nor by ethnicity— collective racial, cultural, or religious identities. This is equally true of the subfield of development administration. The literature on ethnic politics pays little attention to PA. The purpose of this essay is to emphasize the importance of ethnic realities in public administration.

In most of the less-developed countries, ethnic minorities have been mobilized to defend their collective interests and promote their demand in competition (civil or violent) with other ethnic communities, and in opposition to government policies and practices. Under these circumstances ethnic politics constitutes an important dimension of public affairs, as it becomes a critical intermediary between public administration and economic development.

There are two principal expressions of this relationship:

Monday, 11 June 2012

Public Participation and Organizational Performance

Extracts from:
Neshkova, M and Guo, D. 2011, "Public Participation and Organizational Performance : Evidence from State Agencies", Journal of Public Administration Theory and Practice, OUP.

Public engagement in administration has been widely advocated by theorists and practitioners alike since 1950s to the present day.
  • According to democratic theorists (e.g., Dahl 1989; Urbinati and Warren 2008), the importance of public participation stems from the principle that those affected by public policies should have a meaningful and equal opportunity to influence policy outcomes. 
  • New  governance scholars emphasize ‘‘the collaborative nature of modern efforts to meet human needs’’ (Salamon 2002), and encourage public administrators to engage citizens in a more active manner. 

Nabatchi (2010) nicely summarizes the reasons why American public administration should strive to better engage citizens in the work of government:
(a) to promote and maintain democracy,
(b) to compensate for its long-stranding embrace of bureaucratic ethos, and
(c) to respond to the needs associated with the recent shift to network and collaborative governance.

Nonetheless, there are two theoretical perspectives about the effect of public participation on organizational performance.

Collaborative Governance in Theory and Practice

extracts from:
Chris Ansell, Alison Gash, 2007, "Collaborative Governance in Theory and Practice",Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, OUP.

Ansell and Gash define collaborative governance as follows:
"A governing arrangement where one or more public agencies directly engage non-state stakeholders in a collective decision-making process that is formal, consensus-oriented, and deliberative and that aims to make or implement public policy or manage public programs or assets".

Friday, 8 June 2012

Great Pacific Garbage Patch

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, also described as the Pacific Trash Vortex, is gyre of marine litter in the central North Pacific Ocean located roughly between135°W to 155°W and 35°N to 42°N. The patch extends over an indeterminate area, with estimates ranging very widely depending on the degree of plastic concentration used to define the affected area.
Map showing the oceans' five major gyresThe Patch is characterized by exceptionally high concentrations of plastics,chemical sludge and other debris that have been trapped by the currents of the North Pacific Gyre in a relatively stationary region of the North Pacific Ocean (commonly referred to as horse latitudes). The patch consists primarily of suspended particulates in the upper water column (and is therefore not visible from satellites). 
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch formed gradually as a result of marine pollution gathered by oceanic currents.The gyre's rotational pattern draws in waste material from across the North Pacific Ocean, including coastal waters off North America and Japan. As material is captured in the currents, wind-driven surface currents gradually move floating debris toward the center, trapping it in the region.
It was recently in the news as the debris caused by the Japan Tsunami of 2011 is said to have floated towards this garbage patch.
A similar patch of floating plastic debris is found in the Atlantic Ocean. See: North Atlantic Garbage Patch
A gyre is any large system of rotating ocean currents. The 5 major gyres are: North Pacific Gyre, South Pacific Gyre, Indian Ocean Gyre, North Atlantic Gyre and South Atlantic Gyre.

NCERT Fundamentals of Physical Geography. Class 11.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Public Administration Diagrams

Hello Friends,

Have come across a site from where we can get a few diagrams (example below) to use for the public administration papers.

Also Mr. Om Kasera (rank 17/2011) has shared his pub ad diagrams on the following site:
A zipfile of the same can be accessed from

Passing on the info for your interest.


Crossing the Boundary between Traditional Public Administration and Postmodern Public Administration

Sociology Mains Syllabus with required Readings

Hello Friends,

I found a good document on material to be studied for Sociology optional. This is prepared by VISION IAS ( ) and am reproducing it below.

They are also offering test-series for GS and few other optionals like Socio, Pub Ad,  Geography etc. I have not myself taken these test series but apparently their feedback is prompt and good.


SOCIOLOGY (MAINS)                    


TOPICS                                                                                                 Reference Books
1.        Sociology - The Discipline:
(a)      Modernity and social changes in Europe and emergence of sociology.  – ESO – 13 (IGNOU, B.A )
(b)       Scope of the subject and comparison with other social sciences. – Sociology : T B Bottomore
(c)        Sociology and common sense.                                                      – Sociology : Anthony Giddens
2.         Sociology as Science:
(a)       Science, scientific method and critique.                                         - Sociology : Anthony Giddens
(b)       Major theoretical strands of research methodology.                      - Sociology : Anthony Giddens
(c)        Positivism and its critique.                                                            - Sociology by Haralambos and Holborn
(d)       Fact value and objectivity.                                                            – MSO – 002 ( IGNOU , MA )
(e)       Non- positivist methodologies.                                                     - Sociology by Haralambos and Holborn
3.         Research Methods and Analysis:                                             – MSO – 002 ( IGNOU , MA )
(a)       Qualitative and quantitative methods.
(b)       Techniques of data collection.
(c)        Variables, sampling, hypothesis, reliability and validity.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Indian Painting: Other styles

There are a few more styles of Indian Painting which were not covered in the earlier posts. Am discussing them here:

Madhubani Painting
Warli Painting
Phad Painting
Manjusha Art
Mandana Painting

Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts

The Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) was established in 1987 in memory of Smt. Indira Gandhi. 
  • It is an autonomous institution under the Ministry of Culture, as a centre for research, academic pursuit and dissemination in the field of the arts. 
  • The Arts' encompass a wide range of subjects - from archaeology and anthropology to the visual and performing arts, enveloping them in a complementary and non-demarcated vision. 
  • Through its diverse programmes the IGNCA seeks to place the arts within the context of the natural and human environment. 
  • The IGNCA has three Regional Centres in India in Bengalooru, Varanasi and Guwahati.

Puppet Theatre of India

 Puppetry throughout the ages has held an important place in traditional entertainment. Like traditional theatre, themes for puppet theatre are mostly based on epics and legends. Puppets from different parts of the country have their own identity. Regional styles of painting and sculpture are reflected in them.

Almost all types of puppets are found in India: String puppets; Shadow puppets; Rod puppets; Glove puppets.

India has a rich and ancient tradition of string puppets or marionettes. Marionettes having jointed limbs controlled by strings allow far greater flexibility and are, therefore, the most articulate of the puppets. Rajasthan, Orissa, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu are some of the regions where this form of puppetry has flourished.

Kathputli, Rajsathan

  • Carved from a single piece of wood, 
  • Oval faces, large eyes, arched eyebrows and large lips are some of the distinct facial features of these string puppets. 
  • these puppets are like large dolls which are colourfully dressed. Their costumes and headgears are designed in the medieval Rajasthani style of dress. 
  • These puppets wear long trailing skirts and do not have legs. 
  • The Kathputli is accompanied by a highly dramatised version of the regional music. 
  • Puppeteers manipulate them with two to five strings which are normally tied to their fingers and not to a prop or a support.

UNESCO Intangible Heritage Lists & India

Cultural heritage does not end at monuments and collections of objects. It also includes traditions or living expressions inherited from our ancestors and passed on to our descendants.  While fragile, intangible cultural heritage is an important factor in maintaining cultural diversity in the face of growing globalization. 

Thus in 2003, the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage came into being which identified five broad ‘domains’ in which intangible cultural heritage is manifested:

Traditional Theatre Forms of India

Drama in itself is a complete form of arts. It includes in its framework acting, dialogue, poetry, music, singing etc. Traditional theatre-forms are an expression of the feelings of the community. They are presented on various occasions such as festivals, fairs, ritual offerings, gatherings etc throughout the year. Some generic features of traditional theatre-forms are given at the end of the article. 

Now I shall present notes on the various traditional theatre-forms of India.[Q on this was asked in 2011 Mains]

Bhand Pather
  • traditional theatre form of Kashmir 
  • a unique combination of dance, music and acting. 
  • Biting satire, wit and parody characterize the form. 
  • music is provided with surnai, nagaara and dhol. 
  • The actors of Bhand Pather are mainly from the farming community and the impact of their way of living, ideals and sensitivity in the drama is discernible.
  • Sometimes masks are also used in the performance.


Indian Classical Dances

In literature, the first references come from the Vedas where dance and music have their roots. A more consistent history of dance can be reconstructed from the epics, the several Puranas and the rich body of dramatic and poetic literature known as the nataka and the kavya in Sanskrit. From the 12th century to the 19th century there were many regional forms called the musical play or sangeet-nataka. Contemporary classical dance forms are known to have evolved out of these musical plays. Classical dances recognized by the Government of India are (as evidenced from their listing on the Centre for Cultural Resources and Training website- CCRT is an autonomous institution under the Ministry of Culture, GoI):
  1. Bharatnatyam-  
  2. Kathakali, 
  3. Kuchipudi, 
  4. Kathak, 
  5. Manipuri, 
  6. Odissi and 
  7. Sattriya.

Monday, 4 June 2012

Indian Painting: Modern Indian Painting

Roughly, many consider that the modern period in Indian art began around 1857 or so. This is a historical premise. When we talk of modern Indian Art, we generally start with the Bengal School of Painting.

Towards the close of the nineteenth century, Indian painting, as an extension of the Indian miniature painting, snapped and fell on the decline. This lacuna  was not filled until the early years of the twentieth century, and even then not truly. There was only some minor artistic expression in the intervening period by way of the 'Bazar' and 'Company' styles of painting, apart from the more substantial folk forms which were alive in many parts of the country. 

Indian Painting: Wall Paintings

The list of paintings in this category have been taken from the Centre for Cultural Resources and Training website. ( 

  • Bhimbhetka rock shelters are situated in Vindhya ranges in Madhya Pradesh. 
  • One of the earliest example of Indian Painting. The paintings date from 1500-2000 BC.
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Paintings  depict the lives and times of the people who lived in the caves, including scenes of childbirth, communal dancing and drinking, and religious rites and burials, hunting as well as the natural environment around them.  Animals such as bisonstigerslionswild boarelephantsantelopesdogs,lizardscrocodiles, etc., have been abundantly depicted in some caves.
  • Executed mainly in red and transparent with the occasional use of green and yellow.  

Indian Painting: Schools of Painting

In 2010, a question was asked about distinguishing features of Rajasthani and Pahari Schools of painting for 12 marks and 150 words. So am giving below small writeups about different schools of painting.

Before I start I would like to give a brief overview of Indian Painting. The Centre for Cultural Resources and Training (CCRT) categorizes Indian painting into Wall Painting, Miniature Painting and Modern Indian Painting.      
  • Wall Painting includes the cave art of Bhimbhetka, Ajanta etc, and also to references to mural paintings in ancient Buddhist texts like the Vinayapitaka, and Mahabharata and Ramayana.2
  • Modern Indian Painting is stated to have begun from 1857 with the Bengal School of Painting. Early stalwarts were Raja Ravi Verma and Abanindranath Tagore and their followers. 3
In this article I will be elaborating on Miniature Art and its various schools.
[The CCRT an autonomous organisation under Ministry of Culture, GOI, whose main objective is to spread awareness about Indian culture among students.1 mural is any piece of artwork painted or applied directly on a wall, ceiling or other large permanent surface.5]

Saturday, 2 June 2012

History Two-Markers 2008

CSE (Mains) 2008, GS Paper I

Ilbert Bill: The Ilbert Bill was introduced by Lord Ripon in 1883 that allowed Indian judges and magistrates the jurisdiction to try British offenders in criminal cases at the District level. It was named after Courtenay Ilbert, the recently-appointed legal adviser to the Council of India, who had proposed it as a compromise between two previously suggested bills. However, the introduction of the bill led to intense opposition in Britain and from British settlers in India that ultimately played on racial tensions before it was enacted in 1884 in a severely compromised state. The bitter controversy deepened antagonism between the British and Indians and was a prelude to the formation of the Indian National Congress the following year.1

Lala Har Dayal: founded the Ghadr Party in America. He encouraged Indian students to acquire a scientific and sociological education and set up a house for them (similar to Shywamji Krishnaverma's India House in London). He was a scholar of Sanskrit, studied in Oxford University and had a teaching position at Princeton University (USA).2

Blog success in CSE 2011(Mains)

As a self-gratifying exercise I am just reviewing how many issues covered in my blog were actually asked in the GS question papers of 2011 CSE (mains) or how many of the articles could have contributed to answering the questions. So here goes...

GS Paper I
1. Q on "Telecom Ministry's proposed Spectrum Management Commission" (5 mks): S-band Spectrum
2. Q on Rahim Fahimuddin Khan Dagar (2 mks) - Personalities page
3. Q on V.Tejeswini Bai (2 mks) - Personalities page

GS Paper II
1. Q on " Strategic and Economic importance of Central Asian Republics to India" (20 mks) : India and SCO 
2. Q on "...implications of 'string of pearls' theory" (20 mks). The following articles could have contributed
     - Chinese influence in Myanmar
     -  China-Bangladesh
     -  China- India
3. Q on "SAFTA vs. BIMSTEC" (20 mks). India-Myanmar could have contributed.
4. Q on "importance of SME Expo and Conference in Dubai for Indian business" (12 mks) : MSME
5. Q on "political and economic relationship between India and South Africa" (12 mks) : India and Africa
6. Q on "melting of Arctic sea ice" (12 mks) : India and Arctic
7. Q on " strategic interests replacing commercial interests in Cam Ranh Bay" (12 mks) : Controversies in South China Sea
8. Q on "INSPIRE programme of DoS&T" : Science research in Indian universities

Its interesting for me to note that I have shown greater interest in Foreign Affairs which could have definitely helped in Paper II. This time I need to also focus attention on India-specific issues which will impact Paper I. 

Friday, 1 June 2012


You know, I have realised that the 'mains' are actually called so for a reason. They are indeed the most important part of the civil service exam. In popular usage of CSE aspirants, it often refers to the written exam only- and it most definitely makes or breaks the 'attempt'. A boundary score will not put you in the final list even if one performs exceedingly well in the interview; and to be top of the final list you certainly need a 1100+ score in the written alone (hoping to get atleast 180+ in interview).

So,...this would be the third time I would be writing the mains (if the Gods of UPSC deign to pass me in the prelims that is). It would also be the final attempt for me-so am eager to pour all the remaining blood, sweat and grime of my being into it. But then, what shall I do differently or what shall I persist with in GS prep has bewildered me. The reason being my GS scores in 2011 exam. Despite attempting 520 marks, of which although100 marks was pure hawabazi and the remaining 420-informed writing of various degrees, I managed a measly score of 201 (unfortunately nothing auspicious in that score). And thanks to the scores of my remaining papers I did not even manage an interview call this time. And that was the UPSC ka jhatka- zor ka jhatka bahut zor se laga!

Pondering over my scores and performance in the last exam, I have decided on a few to-do's which will hopefully not repeat this year's debacle.

History Two-Markers: 2011-2009

Hello. Am compiling below information on some of the 2 to 5 marker questions that have been asked previously in the CSE GS papers. (In the hope that some of them may be repeated) :)


Benoy-Badal-Dinesh Martyrdom: In 1930, Benoy Krishna Basu, Badal Gupta and Dinesh Gupta shot Colonel NS Simpson the inspector-general of prisons who was infamous for his brutal oppression of prisoners, in the Writer's Building, Kolkata (present seat of power of the Bengal govt). 
Benoy, Badal and Dinesh got into Writers' dressed as Europeans so they wouldn't draw any suspicion. They shot Simpson and a gunbattle ensued between them and the British police. The police overpowered them and the trio adopted different ways to evade arrest. Badal consumed potassium cyanide, while Benoy and Dinesh turned the revolvers on themselves. Benoy died later in a hospital and Dinesh, who survived, was ordered to be hanged till death on July 7, 1931.  
Years later, the Dalhousie Square which is the central business district of Kolkata and the seat of state government was renamed after the trio as BBD Bagh. Also in July 2011, the state government planned a memorial for the three martyrs in Writer's Building. 1