[GS Prelims] Prelims Hacks – [1]

Consider this question asked in UPSC Prelims 2018:

He wrote biographies of Mazzini, Garibaldi, Shivaji and Shrikrishna; stayed in America for some time; and was also elected to the Central Assembly. He was:

  1. Aurobindo Ghosh
  2. Bipin Chandra Pal
  3. Lala Lajpat Rai
  4. Motilal Nehru

About this question:

  • All four names given in the options can be found in any modern history book.
  • However, it is difficult for any candidate to observe the minute details related to each one’s lives while going through the book.
  • Still, this question can be answered by using some ‘HACKS’. (Calculative risk can be taken)

 HACKS to attempt this question with minimum risk:

Hack 1: When one goes through modern history even superficially, one come across the fact that Aurobindo Ghosh and Lala Lajpat Rai were very learned person as they wrote several books. While one don’t come across many books authored by Bipin Chandra Pal and Motilal Nehru (with respect to details mentioned in books). So, we can easily filter out Aurobindo and Lajpat Rai as the probable answers.

Hack 2: Further, one has read that Aurobindo stayed in England for his education. Even if one doesn’t know this he/she can ponder upon the fact that Aurobindo was a philosopher, so there are very little chances of him writing biographies. This makes Lajpat Rai the most probable answer.

Hack 3: Further, it is mentioned several times in books that Lajpat Rai had American connection. He went to US and Canada.

Hack 4: In those days, and even now, generally people belonging to Punjab had the American/Canadian connection. So, Lajpat Rai, being a Punjabi had the highest chance among all four to stay in America. Scholars from other regions in India generally used to go to England.

So, on the basis of the above hacks, one can easily eliminate Bipin Chandra Pal and Motilal Nehru, and go on to mark either Aurobindo Ghosh and Lala Lajpat Rai. However, if one further uses some more common sense or logic on the basis of his/her readings of few standard texts, one can finally come to Lajpat Rai as the most probable answer, which is the correct answer.

Added standalone facts about Lala Lajpat Rai:

  • Lala Lajpat Rai was greatly influenced by the Arya Samaj and its founder Swami Dayanand Saraswati. He wrote his biography (1899) and also a book on the history of Arya Samaj (1915).
  • On being elected as President at historic Calcutta Congress (Special) Session in September, 1920, he said, “There is no life without freedom and there is no Freedom without ‘Swarajya’ or self –government.
  • At the Nagpur Congress session in December 1920, he fully endorsed Gandhiji’s program of Non-cooperation with the British.
  • Lalaji established at Lahore the ‘Tilak School of Politics’ in 1920 and the Quami Vidyapeeth in 1921.
  • He founded the Servants of People Society (Lok Sevak Mandal )to work for social reform in May 1921.
  • He was arrested on 31st January 1922 and sentenced for two years rigorous imprisonment for participation in Non-cooperation movement.
  • He joined Swaraj Party in 1926 and was elected its Deputy Leader in the Central Legislative Assembly. He later resigned from the Swaraj Party in August 1926. On 16 February 1928, he moved the resolution in the Central Legislative Assembly refusing co-operation with the Simon Commission as the latter had no Indian member.
  • Lalaji was greatly influenced by the Arya Samaj and its founder Swami Dayanand Saraswati.
  • In collaboration with Mahatma Hans Raj,, he founded the DAV School at Lahore, 1886.
  • He founded Punjab National Bank along with Lala Harkishan Lal at Lahore (1894) and Lakshmi Insurance Company to give boost to export by Indian traders.
  • He was also closely associated with the Hindu Mahasabha.
  • He launched three English weeklies, The Regenerator of Aryavarta (1883); The Panjabee (1904) and The people (1925); an Urdu weekly Deshopkarak(1883) and an Urdu daily Bande Mataram (1920).
  • Assaulted by the police while leading a demonstration against the Commission in Lahore on 30th October 1928, he succumbed to severe injuries on 17th November 1928.
  • Lalaji died as martyr. Paying tribute to him Gandhiji wrote in Young India under the caption ‘Long Live Lalaji’: ‘Men like Lalaji cannot die so long as the sun shines in the Indian sky.”


Gist of Editorials: To Create Jobs | GS – III

Relevance : GS Paper III (Economy)

The Indian economy is growing fast growing. However, unemployment rate is very high.

Present economic situation offers no hope to provide jobs

  • Fragmentation of farm holdings is continuing.
  • Migration to urban areas is increasing.
  • New technologies such as digitalization, robotics, etc are killing jobs
  • Outsourcing of employment to private firms by the govt has dealt a blow to quality jobs.
  • Inadequate allocation as well as glitches in MGNERGA  are causing distress in rural employment.

How to address this crisis of joblessness?

  • The place to look for new jobs is businesses at the bottom of the pyramid i.e. small-scale sector.
  • Thereafter come the small to medium size units.
  • The maximum policy focus should be on demands of the corporate sector.
  • Infrastructure for small businesses has to be available at a minimum cost. Here local governments have to take the initiative.
  • Accounting for the largest chunk of India’s GDP, service sector  needs to be focused upon.
  • The one magic key to job creation is skills creation.
  • A sustainable agriculture will have to make do with fewer and fewer cultivators.

Gist of Editorials: Interim Solution | GS – III

Relevance : GS Paper III (Economy)

Theme of the article

A framework agreement on capital, surplus transfers from RBI to government will smoothen ties between the two.

Surplus transfers by the RBI

  • The RBI has agreed to transfer an interim dividend or surplus profits to the government.
  • This surplus transfer is a reflection on fiscal management and government finances.

Is the demand of surplus transfer by the govt justified?

  • As the owner or controlling shareholder, government can seek a return on the capital deployed.
  • But a distinction needs to be made in case of central bank due to its role in monetary and financial stability.
  • In the risk environment, banks should be equipped to build strong capital buffers as a cushion.

Way forward

  • Bimal Jalan committee is now reviewing RBI’s economic capital framework.
  • A similar legislative framework on surplus transfer can help narrow differences between RBI and the government.