GD/WAT Topic for IIFT, XLRI, IIMs, SIBM, and other B schools- Trends in India’s Foreign Policy


India is rising and so are its international profile, engagements and obligations  growing significantly. With time, comes new, challenging and critical demands on India from international community which arouse and strain, India’s aspirations and legitimate interests. There comes the need for charting the India’s foreign policy and the position that India should take, or not take, on specific issues.

Fighting three wars with Pakistan in the west due to the conflicting claims to the state of  Kashmir, loss in 1962 war with China in the North over a long disputed border, China’s nuclear tests and its supplying of arms to Pakistan exacerbated Indian insecurity. India pledged itself to non alignment on the international stage and it diluted its non-aligned stance in the 1970s by developing a special relationship with the USSR which bestowed India with diplomatic support over issues such as Kashmir.

India steadily drifted towards the Soviet Union and its relations with all the other major centres of power –the US, Western Europe, China and Japan– remained underdeveloped during the cold war. And now India and the US are locked in an unprecedented engagement, at once intense and expansive. Beijing is now India’s largest trading partner in goods after the prolonged chill in India’s bilateral relations with China from the 1960s to the 1980s,  and while it is building strategic partnerships with the EU and Japan, India has also managed to hold on to its special relationship with post Soviet Russia.

Foreign direct investment was not encouraged as in 1990 it amounted  only to a few hundred  million dollar. In 1970s the expulsion of  IBM and Coca cola, was viewed as a progressive step encouraging economic self sufficiency. Perhaps, this was a natural fear in a country that had been colonized by a commercial enterprise i.e., the East India Company. In 1993, China signalled  a shift from its long standing tilt on Pakistani side on the Kashmir issue which improved its relations with India.

India has seen significant changes in its international and domestic environment over the past few decades which has challenged two basic foreign policy premises. First, the creation of a centrally directed economy has been emphasized, which would be designed to develop the industrial and technological capabilities with minimum foreign investment and maximum self reliance. Second, the need and desire to maintain a nonaligned foreign policy that evolved into a close relationship of convenience with the USSR.

Going back to 2000, President Clinton’s five day visit to India and Indian Prime Minister Vajpayee’s reciprocal visit to U.S. threw the light on a much improved bilateral relationship. Apart from this, the hearing that the Vajpayee government gave to the deputy secretary of the U.S. state department, Richard Armitage was the indicator of continuity in the improved relationship. These official visits drew attention to a crucial reorientation of Indian Foreign policy. During these visits, the Indian side stressed on Indian business and the economy and the importance of close relationships with countries that would help it grow economically.

A  new  trend  is  emerging  in  Indian  Foreign  Policy  with  New  Delhi becoming major development partner for many countries in South Asia, Southeast Asia & Africa.

Regardless of the change with time, the foreign policies of large countries like India are always based on a set of core values. The usual turnover of governments and leaders have no effect on them and nor do they alter much over time. The commitment of India to internationalism, independence of judgement in the conduct of external relations, support for world democratisation and contributions to the maintenance of international peace and security are legacies of India’s national movement.

In the 21st century, India’s foreign policy will remain rooted in these core values, but Delhi must necessarily adapt to changing external circumstances and its shifting domestic needs. Its main purpose, however, will remain the same: the creation of a favourable external environment for the rapid improvement of the living standards of the Indian people.

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Posted by Yogita Kapoor, September 27, 2016 12:37:00 PM 

Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?


This is one of the most frequently asked questions in a Personal Interview. So, make sure you are well prepared with an answer before you step into the interview room. When asked this question, share with your interviewer the goals you have set in your life for the next five years.

Since you are about to embark on an MBA journey, inform the interviewer how the MBA fits into your five-year goal. If you are keen on pursuing a job in the management role, enlighten your interviewer on the specific path you have in mind (e.g. finance manager, marketing manager, or strategy manager). When your career goals are in line with what you plan to pursue in a business school, it shows that you are focused and organized.

These are some of the qualities that interviewers are looking for. No business school wants candidates who are confused about their career goals or plans in life. So, always conduct in-depth research on your short term goals and be consistent with them throughout the interview.

Apart from the job role that you see yourself in, you can add in names of companies that you envision working for once you graduate from the business school. Generally, many business schools have on-campus interviews and they invite certain companies to hire students.

So, if you see that there is an affiliation between the business school and the company of your dreams, inform your interviewer. He/she will definitely be impressed by your determination and motivation to excel in your career.

Never be vague in your answers. Interviewers want to know specifically what goals you have in mind and how you plan to achieve them. So, plan your answer step by step and clear the interview with flying colors.

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Posted by Yogita Kapoor Saturday, September 24, 2016 5:25:00 PM Categories: GD/ PI Tips




As a young boy he ran a tea stall and at 18, he went wandering to the Himalayas seeking ‘sanyas’, this man had the nerve to tell the bigwigs, ‘going to be fully responsible for Gujarat or not at all’ when offered to be  the Deputy Chief Minister. A man known not to mince his words, Narendra Modi became the longest serving Chief Minister in Gujarat’s history after being in power for 2063 days continuously, in July 2007 and the era of Modi is still in no hurry to approach the other end.

Narendra Damodardas Modi , a self imposed autocrat and notably, a great strategist has been serving the Indian state of Gujarat for the past 12 years and is undeniably the most charismatic leader of the country. His tenure as the chief minister started with a blemish of sorts in the form of the 2002 riots of Gujarat, which left 1000 or so Muslims dead and a lot more with memories to haunt them forever. Narendra Modi garnered unsympathetic (mis)followers when he refused to apologise and resign maintaining his stance of un-involvement in any of the wrongdoings. However, Gujarat grew to be the most efficient and stable state of its time, picking itself soon after the riots and in the present day, every man in Gujarat worships Modi and his manoeuvres to bring the state to an industrial zenith. Understandably, the crime and corruption rates have gone down where as the education and industrial sectors are gaining leaps and bounds.

However, it is noted that the impact Modi asserts in his home state is often missing when it comes to the nation, at large. The population outside Gujarat still, somewhere think of the macabre riots when they think of Narendra Modi. No doubt, he is a devoted leader and foresees a future laden with great industries and growth powered by solar energy, Narendra Modi needs to build up an image which is infused with a modicum of flexibility and more regard for the masses, not just Hindus in particular. He is one of the best the country has, but to widen his appeal, it is mandatory Modi widens his humanistic approach and as he says, the dream of ‘Surajya’ for India will be fulfilled.

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Posted by Yogita Kapoor, Monday, September 05, 2016 03:00:00 PM Categories: General Awareness



Inventions and discoveries in Physics and Chemistry

Anderson — Discovered positive electrons.
Archimedes — Discovery of the Principles of lever and of specific gravity; invention  of the famous Archimedean screw.
Avogadro — An Italian scientist known for Avogadro’s Hypothesis.
Bacquerel  —R adio-activity of uranium.
Baird — Television.
Baron Napier — Logarithms.
Benjamin Franklin — Invented lightning conductor.
Bessemer—Steel smelting process.
Bhabha, Dr H.J.—Research in Cosmic rays and Quantum theory.
Binet—Intelligence Test.
Birbal Sahni—Researches in Botany.
Bose, J.C.—Invented Crescograph and published many works on plant physiology. He discovered that plants have sense and perception.
Bose, S.N.—Discovery of a group of nuclear particles named after him “Boson”.
Boyle—Boyle’s law; Pressure x volume = constant at a constant given temperature. Boyle was the greatest scientist of England in his time.
Bohr—Electron Theory—Atomic structure.
Braun, Dr Wernher von—space flying.
Bunsen—Invention of the spectroscope.
Carothers—Nylon plastics.
Cavendish—Discovery of chemical composition of water; discovery of hydrogen (Inflammable Air); ‘rare gases’.
Chadwick—Discovery of the neutron.
Chandrasekhar—Mathematical Astrophysics.
Charles Darwin—Theory of Evolution; Origin of Species.
Clarke, Arthur C.—Concept of Geostationary Orbit.
Curie, Madame—Discovery of radium.
Dalton—Atomic theory; laws of chemical combination; law of partial pressures; the law of multiple proportions.
Democritus—Greek philosopher—(Atomic theory).
Dewar—Invented cordite, liquid oxygen and introduced thermos flask.
Einstein—Theory of relativity.
Euclid—Science of geometry.
Fahrenheit—Fahrenheit mercury thermometric scale in which freezing point is  –32° and boiling point is 212°.
Faraday—Electromagnetic induction and laws of electrolysis.
Fermi—Discovered artificial splitting of atoms.
Freud—Doctrine of Psycho-analysis.
Gay Lussac—Law of gases.
Gauss—System of absolute electric measurements.
Good Year—Discovered the art of vulcanising rubber.
Herschel, William—Discovered the Planet—Uranus.
Hertz—Electrical waves.
Hippalus—Founder of scientific astronomy.
Hoffmann—Discovered the first aniline dye.
Kelvin, Lord—Dynamical theory of heat.
Khorana, Dr Hargobind—Deciphering the genetic code.
Kodak—Film and photographic goods.
Lablanc—Manufacture of washing soda.
Lawrence—Invention of cyclotron.
Lockyer—Helium gas.
Louis Braille—Perfected his system of  reading and writing for the blind.
Marconi—Wireless telegraphy; radio.
Maria-Montessori—‘Montessori’ method of teaching children.
Maxwell—Electro-magnetic Theory of Light.
Meghnad Saha—Effect of pressure on Radiation through bodies.
Mendel—Laws of heredity.
Mandeleev—Periodic Table.
Morse—Morse system of electric telegraphy.
Newton—Laws of gravitation; Law of Motion.
Oliver Lodge—Physicist.Researches in wireless communications.
Oppenheimer—Researches in atomic theory.
Otto Hahn—Discovery of uranium fission.
Parsons—Steam turbine.
Pavlov—Theory of Conditioned Reflex.
Perkin—‘Mauve dye’.
Pitman—Founded the Pitman system of phonographic shorthand.
Planck—Quantum theory.
Plimsoll—Introduced a line of demarcation on the ships beyond which the ships cannot be loaded.
Priestley—Discovery of Oxygen.
Raman, C.V.—“Raman Effect” on polarisation of light and theories on crystals and diamond formation.
Ramanathan—Molecular scattering of light in fluids.
Ramanujam—A great Indian mathematician.
Ramsay—Discovery of Inert gases such as Argon, Neon, Helium etc.
Ray, P.C.—Researches in chemistry.
Regnault—Experiments in regard to the physical properties of bodies and their relation to heat.
Roger Bacon—Gun powder.
Rontgen—Discovery of X-rays.
Rohmkorff—Induction coil.
Rutherford—Atomic Research; succeeded in splitting the atom for the first time in 1918.
Stephenson—British engineer and pioneer in Railways. He was the first to put a locomotive on the line that was able to draw a train of 31 carriages.
Thomson, J.J.—Discovered electron.
Travers—Discovery of Neon gas (Working with Ramsay).
Urey—Discovery of Heavy Hydrogen.
Volta—Current electricity and electric battery.

Pioneers in Mechanical Inventions and Discoveries

Austin—Motor Car.
Bell, Graham—Telephone.
Caxton—Printing Press.
Daimler—Gas engine.
Davy—Miner’s Safety Lamp.
Diesel—Internal Combustion engine (Diesel engine).
Dunlop—Pneumatic tyre.
Edison—First electric bulb and gramophone.
Fick—Law of Diffusion—Fick’s Law.
Frank Whittle—Jet propulsion.
Fulton—Stream boat.
Gillette—Safety razor.
Guttenburg—Art of Printing.
Hoe—Rotary Printing Press.
Howe—Sewing Machine.
Huygens—Pendulum clock.
James Watt—Steam engine (patented in 1769).
Landstrom, J.E.—Safety Matches.
Macmillan—Bicycle (1842).
Mauser—Magazine of rifle.
Mercator—Celestial and a terrestrial globe.
Montgolfier—Balloon (1883)
Pascal—Calculating Machine.
Puckle, James—Machine gun
Stephenson—Railway engine.
Swinton—Military tank.
Watt, Robert Watson—Radar.
W. & O. Wright (Wright Brothers)Aeroplane (1903).
Waterman—Fountain pen.
Zeiss—Lenses; Camera.

Pioneers in Medical Inventions and Discoveries

Banting—Insulin (as a palliative for diabetes).
Barnard, Christian—Replacing the human heart.
Brahmchari, U.M.—Cure of Kala-a-zar fever.
Davy—Isolation of metals by electricity; studied properties of chlorine.
Domagk—Sulpha drugs as bactericides.
Eijkman—Cause of Beri-Beri.
Finsen—Discovered curative effect of ultra violet rays; photography.
Fleming, Alexander—Penicillin (in 1929).
Harvey—Circulation of blood.
Hahnemann—Homoeopathy (founder).
Hopkins, Frederick Gowland—Vitamin D.
Jenner—Smallpox Vaccination.
Koch—Tubercle Bacillus.
Lister, Lord—Antiseptic treatment.
Pasteur, Louis—Treatment of rabies; cure of hydrophobia.
Ronald Ross—Malaria Parasite.
Salk, Jonas E.—Anti-polio Vaccine.
Simpson and Harrison—Chloroform.

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Posted by Yogita Kapoor Saturday, September 03, 2016 11:30:00 PM Categories: General Awareness

Relation between GDP and Power Sector of a country


Think there’s absolutely no linkage? Think again.

The GDP of a country is essentially the value of its overall output of goods and services during a fiscal year at market prices, excluding net income from abroad. Many things are affected by the GDP – the growth rate, the unemployment rate, the monetary policy and asset allocation are the more predominant ones.

Electricity – (the lack of it) apart from being a major source of irritation in most Indian households – is absolutely essential for our businesses to run. The Power Sector, therefore, forms the backbone of most, if not all, industrial ventures in any country. Can you imagine what would happen if electricity ceased to exist in our lives?

The GDP would drop, for one.

Studies have shown that developed nation states with large GDPs like the United States of America and the Sweden also have very well developed power sectors. While the former has an energy consumption of 12,884 kWh per capita corresponding to a per capita GDP of $45,192, the latter has an energy consumption of 14,141 kWh per capita corresponding to a per capita GDP of $43,640.

China, the current leader among developing nations, has an energy consumption of 2,631 kWh per capita corresponding to its GDP of $3,749 per capita. Pakistan, on the other hand, has an energy consumption of 451 kWh per capita corresponding to its GDP of $949 per capita.

India has a meagre energy consumption of 597 kWh per capita corresponding to its GDP of $1,127 per capita.

Evidently, there seems to be a strong direct linkage between a country’s power sector and its GDP. This means that as the power sector of a country becomes more developed, its GDP increases and vice versa.

We are far, far away from achieving our full growth potential majorly because of the backwardness of our power sector, as compared to the power sectors of other developed and developing nations.

One of the contributors to this backwardness is the supply shortfall. Demand, especially peak demand, continues to outpace all supply output in India. This combined with an increased affordability of household and other electronic items has added to the burden on the power grid.

There is a need for coal sector reforms in India, as stated by CII. According to them, more coal-bearing areas need to be opened up by setting up exploration activity. This is predicted to boost production, increase scale and introduce competition.

 Aggregate Technical and Commercial Losses in the country amount to about 30-35% according to official records. This means that 30-35% of the billed amounts are just not realised. These figures could be even higher owing to the lack of transparency and the substantial proportion of the population that is not metered.

The weakest link in India’s power sector, however, is the distribution. Theft, pilferage and network losses are the maximum in this segment. Since distribution is perceived as a social obligation of the Government rather than a commercial activity, subsidized and often unmetered power adds to the woes of the power sector in the forms of technical losses, billing and recovery, and consumption habits. T&D (transmission and distribution) Losses were close to 20% in 2008. This means that about 20% of the power produced in the country is lost only in transmission and distribution. This loss is thrice of what it is in the USA.

Clearly, positive reforms in the power sector will contribute to long term economic growth. This is a problem area the Government has identified and is working towards tackling the issue. 

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Posted by Yogita Kapoor Saturday, September 3, 2016 11:30:00 PM Categories: General Awareness