GS Writing Challenge: 31st Aug, 2017

By Atul Roy|Updated : August 31st, 2017

Synopsis Aug 31, 2017


The major reason for decolonization was Britain’s inability to hold onto its colonial possessions and not the resistance offered by the colonies. Critically comment.

General approach:

  • Introduce the phase of decolonization
  • To critically comment on the statement, present your arguments for both the sides.
  • Finally conclude your arguments.

Points to be considered:

  • Britain had survived the World War II, but its wealth, prestige and authority had been severely reduced. The British found themselves locked into an imperial endgame from which every exit was blocked except the trapdoor to oblivion.
  • The famine in India in 1943 due to the shortage of food and consequent pressure from socio-political organizations, Japanese contemplation of an Indian invasion, INA release movement, RIN revolt, Tebhaga movement, Worli revolt, Telangana peasant revolt were the resistance offered by India.
  • Asians and Africans became aware of social and political matters as a result of their involvement in the war.
  • Outside pressure: UN stood firmly against decolonization and demanded a step by step program for decolonization.


The size of the cabinet should be as big as governmental work justifies and as big as the Prime Minister can manage as a team. How far the efficacy of a government then is inversely related to the size of the cabinet? Discuss.

General approach:

  • Introduce the constitutional provision governing the size of the government (article 72).
  • Talk about two general situations where large and small size is required.
  • Discuss pros and cons of both the sides.  

Points to be considered:

  • The size of the Cabinet is dependent on a variety of factors like political compulsions, representation of various factions, mode of functioning of the Prime ministerial candidate, experience and capabilities of ministers etc.
  • In case of coalition government, while a reasonable sized Cabinet proves effectual due to splitting of and equal sharing of responsibilities, a large Cabinet results in chaos.
  • Overlap of duties, differences between the different ministries, overcoming which will be a challenge in itself.
  • Small size indeed finds an equal footing with minimum government and maximum governance.



Use of Internet and social media by non-state actors for subversive activities is a major concern. How have these been misused in the recent past? Suggest effective guidelines to curb the above threat.

General approach:

  • Emphasize the given statement in the introduction.
  • Discuss the methods used by non state actors and some past events and activities.
  • Enumerate effective measures.

Points to be considered:

  • Recent WannaCry ransomware cyber attack, recruitment by IS, Radicalization, use of bitcoin and online payment services to fund terrorist activities, Mirai botnet attack in 2016.
  • Legal, institutional, and infrastructural measures such as creating cyber army, cyber hub, encryption policy, awareness programs, digital literacy, sufficient human resource in NATGRID and CERT-In.



Human beings should always be treated as ‘ends’ in themselves and never as merely `means’. Explain the meaning and significance of this statement, giving its implications in the modern techno-economic society.

General approach:

  • The statement is given by Immanuel Kant. Discuss the value approach in ethics and its significance.
  • Later giving special emphasis to the present techno-economic society explain how values in human life impact.

Points to be considered:

  • The fact that we are human has value in itself. If a person is an end-in-himself it means his inherent value doesn't depend on anything else - it doesn't depend on whether the person is enjoying his life, or making other people's lives better. We exist, so we have value.
  • Also we shouldn't treat other people as a means to our own ends.
  • This idea applies to us too. We shouldn't treat ourselves as a means to our own ends; instead we should respect our inherent worth. This can be used as an argument against euthanasia, suicide and other behaviours that damage us.
  • The betterment and well-being of humanity is the goal, and not the means to something else. The statement pushes us to stay away from looking at humans from a strictly utilitarian perspective.
  • The intimate details of humans are freely available and traded without consent. Such trade looks at humans, and information pertaining to them, as means to achieve the end of monetary gains. Therefore, the statement especially applies in the modern techno-economic world where exploitation of humans is taken for granted.
  • The example can also include Misuse of Right to privacy under Aadhar scheme.


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