Author Archives: INSIGHTS

BOOK REVIEW: The Discovery of India

Saurabh Goyal

the-discovery-of-india-

Feeling of loss is no alien to human nature; indeed it abounds in our modern age marked by pace and aspiration. But seldom does it happen that a book leaves you in that feeling, like a loss of a long friend. A book is essentially a monologue and at most exposes one to the writer’s mind. But even that monologue can resonate with your inner intimate questions and then the book becomes a dialogue. Discovery of India is one such book.

Written in a prison cell, this book is a discovery of his past by a troubled yet resolute mind. It is an admission of the failings of one’s land, but not with a sense of helplessness and self-pity but with a sense of responsibility, hope and action. This book is the product of the times when an ancient civilisation encumbered by the burden of its past, shamed by its present status of stagnation and slavery was coming to terms with harsh realities of the present and intimidating challenges of the future. That was a moment of transition. And in those moments national mind runs the risk of getting overwhelmed; it craves for an anchorage, a civilisational aspiration. And Jawaharlal Nehru tries to establish that anchorage. He ventures into past and traces the roots of our country. Though not deeply, he examines the culture, the literature, the science, the philosophy and the vital force which drove India as one nation, one people. One might sense a tinge of self-glorification during this part of the book but that can be forgiven for the honesty and self-realisation of his failings on the part of the writer. This journey to the past is not for the romance of the past or the nostalgia, it is a purposeful journey; a journey to consolidate one’s ancient heritage and wisdom; to frankly face one’s mistakes and failings; and to prepare oneself for the change.

To classify this book as one of the historical accounts of India will be an incomplete assessment. Nehru is wrestling with many themes in this book- the vital links that connect past with the present and portend future trajectories; an individual’s sense of self and civilsational values he inhabits; and larger journey of humanity. The book tries to understand the pathways through which these themes feed into one another.

The approach Nehru adopts is an amalgam of pragmatism and idealism, of normative and empirical; of inner and physical; of visible and invisible. The clarity of thoughts in this book astonishes the reader. And so does the realisation by the author of his limits of comprehension.

It is an indispensable account to come to terms with the idea of modern India and the promise of an ancient civilisation.

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General Studies Daily Answer Writing Challenge

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16 April 2014

Topic: World History: French Revolution

Questions:

  1. To what extent were Enlightenment ideas responsible for and apparent in the reforms of the French Revolution?
  2. Do you think the French Revolution confirmed or contradicted the main political trends of the eighteenth century?

Reference

Topic: Science and Technology

Questions

  1. What are vector borne diseases? What are the steps taken to by global and national institutions to tackle this?

Reference

(S&T Questions and References by – Tauseef)

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Insights Secure-2014: Questions On Current Events

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16 April 2014

Answer ALL the questions in about 200 words

1. Critically examine the existing problems in internet governance and cyber security. What steps have been taken by concerned nations to address these problems?

The Hindu

2. Examine the implications of  China’s recent financial reforms on India’s economy?

Business Standard

3. Critically comment on the role and importance of the Prime Minister’s Office in India.

Business Standard

4. Why is it important for India to have a strong and friendly relationship with Iran? Critically analyse.

The Indian Express

5. What measures can government take to stop the spread of cancer in India? Examine.

The Hindu

 

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Secure 2014 Update

Today’s questions will be posted at 10.30 am.

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General Studies Daily Answer Writing Challenge

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15, April 2014

Topic: World History (American Revolution)

Question: 

  1. Explain how three of the following altered Americans’ perceptions of Britain during the years 1763 to 1775. Which affected colonists the most and why? a) the French and Indian War b) virtual representation c) Samuel Adams d) the Declaratory Act e) the boycott of British goods f) Thomas Paine

Source: Sparknotes

Reference

Topic: Science and Technology

Question

  1. What is rotavirus? What is the controversy and criticism regarding this?

Reference:

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Insights Secure-2014: Questions On Current Events

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15, April 2014

Answer ALL the questions in about 200 words

1. What is India’s nuclear doctrine? Does it need a revision? Substantiate.

Business Standard

2. Examine the emerging threats to food crops in India. What should be done to ensure their productivity and growth to meet growing demand for food? Comment.

Business Standard

3. Examine the contentious issues between India and ASEAN in finalising Free Trade Agreement between them in services.

Business Standard

4. What is aptitude? What are the foundational values for civil servants? Explain any three of them.

The Hindu

5. What is artificial blood? How is it produced? What are its applications?

The Hindu

6. Critically comment on the existing barriers to deepen Indian democracy further. In your opinion, what reforms are needed to deepen it further? Comment.

The Indian Express

7. What are the main challenges that Afghanistan would face in coming days in its quest to become democracy and a stable country? Analyze.

The Indian Express

8. Should there be reservation in private sector for the SC, ST and backward castes? Critically comment.

The Hindu

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General Studies – Daily Answer Writing Challenge

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April 14, 2014

Topic: World History (Industrial Revolution)

Question

  1. Discuss the effects of the industrial economy on Western European peasant women and working-class women from 1830-1914.

Reference

 

Topic: Science and Technology

Question

  1. “Indigenous development of navigational system is essential for India’s security system”. In the light of the statement, discuss the recent developments and its importance and compare Indian system with global navigational system.

Reference

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Insights Secure-2014: Questions On Current Events

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14 April 2014

Answer ALL the questions in about 200 words

1. Discuss the growth of communist movement in India before and after the Independence.

Business Standard

2. Explain the contentious issues and claims of both India and China in their border disputes talks.

Business Standard

3. What is the composition of India’s foreign reserves basket? Is it good for the economy to have large foreign currency reserves? Examine.

Business Standard

4. What were the reasons behind 1973 Arab oil embargo? What were its consequences? Examine

The Indian Express

5. Explain the applications of robotics in ocean research and rescue missions.

The Hindu

 

 

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Weekly Essay Writing Challenge – 2014 – Week Two

Write an essay on the following topic in about 2500 words.

 

Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever” – Mahatma Gandhi

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Insights Secure-2014: Questions On Current Events

NOTE: From this week onward Secure questions won’t be posted on Sundays. It’s because there will be Essay Writing Challenge and one should get time on Sundays to revise all the stuff they would have read in that week. Any important articles that would have appeared on Sundays would be covered on next Monday so that you won’t miss anything. Thank you.

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12 April 2014

Answer ALL the following questions in about 200 words

1. Critically examine the nature of economic relationship between India and Russia.

The Hindu

2.  Write a note on the cropping pattern of tobacco in India.

The Hindu

3. It is found that certain cancers are affected by the socio-economic status of individuals in India. Elaborate with examples.

The Hindu

4. Critically discuss how the industrial and trade policies of developed countries have affected the livelihood of poor countries by causing a change in the climate.

The Hindu

5. In your opinion, why do you think India is witnessing increased number of atrocities against women, especially rapes? Critically comment.

The Hindu

 

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General Studies – Daily Answer Writing Challenge

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11 April 2014

Topic: India and Its Neighbours

Question

  1. Critically examine the nature of economic, political and defence relationship between India and Myanmar. (400 Words)

Reference

21 Comments

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Insights Secure-2014: Questions On Current Events

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11, April 2014

Answer ALL the following questions in about 200 words

1. Should India shift towards ‘first use’ policy of nuclear weapons? Substantiate your answer with examples.

Business Standard

2. What do you understand by the phrases ‘re-shoring’ and ‘next–shoring’ in the manufacturing sector? Explain.

Business Standard

3. Critically examine the present nature of manufacturing sector and policy focus on it in India.  What shift, if at all the sector needs one, should be brought into this sector in India in the light of recent global developments in this sector?

Business Standard

4. It is said that the success of the proposed Maritime Silk Route initiative  by China will be consequential to regional stability and global peace. Analyse the objectives of this initiative and critically evaluate the assessment made in the given statement.

The Hindu

5. What is a CT scanner? What is the principle behind its functioning? What are its uses?

The Hindu

6. What is fascism? Critically compare and contrast the versions of fascism practised before, during and after World War -2.

The Indian Express

 

212 Comments

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General Studies – Daily Answer Writing Challenge

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April 10, 2014

Topic: India and its Neighbours

Question:

  1. Critically analyze the changing nature of relationship between India and Nepal in various areas.

Reference

28 Comments

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Insights Secure-2014: Questions On Current Events

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10 April 2014

Answer ALL the questions in about 200 words

1. What is Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA) under WTO? Should India sign it? What are the benefits? Explain.

Business Standard

2. Critically comment on the recent developments in the polity and economy of Turkey.

Business Standard

3. Examine the history of border disputes between India and China. What efforts were made prior to 1962 to resolve the border issue?

The Hindu

4. “Indian society is not yet fully secular, while the Indian state understands secularism as state neutrality towards religion combined with select interventions in the religious domain to safeguard some rights. ” In the light of the statement, comment on the nature of secularism practised by the society and the government in India.

The Hindu

5. Analyze the factors which have contributed towards high voter turnouts during recent  elections.

The Hindu

6. “When India organises its higher education structure effectively and provides the support needed, it will do well in the rankings.” What needs to be done by India? Comment.

The Indian Express

217 Comments

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Insights Secure-2014 – UPDATE

 

 

Today questions will be posted at 10.30 am. Thank you

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