Suggested Answers: Mains Marathon – UPSC Mains Current Affairs Questions – August 18

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Below are the suggested answers of UPSC Mains Marathon Current Affairs Questions – August 18.

Note: The suggested answers are indicative only, and not exhaustive.

1. Low income of farmers results into large incidence of farmers committing suicide all over the country. What needs to be done to address farmer’s suicide? Suggest steps to increase farmers’ income in India.(GS 3)

The Hindu


  • Repeated crop failures, debt hassles, lack of alternative sources of income, absence of institutional finance have left the farmers with no other solution other than ending their lives and thus became a national issue and needs immediate look.

What can be done to address farmers suicide:-

  • The dependency of agriculture on nature should be reduced. This calls for effective management of water during seasons of good monsoons.
  • Making institutional finance available to every farmer is another important solution to save to the farmers from debt traps of money lenders.
  • Farmers need to be advised and guided on economical methods of cultivation which would save finances for them. The technological advancement in agriculture should be passed down to the small farmers.
  • government could also explore the possibility of pooling of the lands of small farmers and making a bigger chunk of economically cultivable land.
  • Small farmers should be encouraged to develop alternative sources of income and the government should take up the responsibility of providing training to the farmers to acquire new skills.
  • Relief packages should be given as a benefit to farmers to enable them to sustain their livelihood rather than as a relief to families of farmers who commit suicide.
  • Need for meaningful crop insurance policies
    • Crop insurance is must and the claim should be settled easily under the supervision of the district collectors.
  • MS Swaminathan recommendations need to be implemented to provide farmers security.

Ways to increased farmers income are :-

  • MSP and procurement is one. We also need to improve productivity. The marketable surplus from agriculture has to be enhanced. We should also look at making a value addition to biomass. For example, paddy straw is a biomass product that could be used to make edible mushrooms.
  • Multiple crops
    • Cultivation of multi crops such as coconut, turmeric, pine apple, banana, apple, papaya, ginger will yield profitable results to the farmers.
  • Special agricultural zone
    • Just like industrial zone, there is an urgent need to establish special agricultural zones, where only farming and agriculture related activity should be allowed.
  • Need to modernize agriculture
    • By introducing farm techniques which guarantee a definite success, an increase in youth participation on agricultural fields is economically possible.
  • Educate the farmers
    • Many farmers in India are not aware of crop rotation
  • Need for national weather risk management system/disease alert system
    • Facilitating  national weather risk management system that alerts farmers when there is a danger of extreme weather, would go a long way in reducing losses in agriculture
    • For example, water watch cooperative, a Netherlands based organization, has developed a disease alert system that sends an alarm to farmers.

“Give a man a fish, he will eat for a day but teach him how to fish, he will eat for the rest of his life”, so goes the popular saying, the case of our Indian farmers is similar to this. Hence instead of looking to short term solutions long term initiatives need to be strengthened.With governments focus on insurance schemes, PMKSY India is moving in the right direction.

2. Discuss the reasons for Ozone layer depletion. Does aircraft affect the Climate and Ozone? (GS 1)

The Hindu 

Ozone layer depletion:-

  • Ozone layer depletion is one of the most serious problems faced by our planet earth. It is also one of the prime reasons which are leading to global warming.

Reasons for ozone layer depletion:-

  • Ozone depletionoccurs when chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) formerly found in aerosol spray cans and refrigerants are released into the atmosphere. These gases, through several chemical reactions, cause the ozone molecules to break down, reducing ozone’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation-absorbing capacity.
    • CFC’s account for almost 80% of the total depletion of ozone.
  • Low temperatures, increase in the level of chlorine and bromine gases in the upper stratosphere are some of the reasons that leads to ozone layer depletion.
  • Hydro chlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Such substances are found in vehicular emissions, by-products of industrial processes, aerosols and refrigerants.

Aircraft affects climate and ozone:-

  • Aeroplanes may be ejecting significant amounts of black carbon (BC) a pollutant that upsets the monsoon and quicken glacier melt  and may be depleting the ozone layer.
  • Black carbon particles can linger long enough to provide a fertile ground for other chemical reactions that can deplete the ozone layer.
  • Because BC particles strongly absorb solar and terrestrial radiation and heats up the atmosphere it can upset the monsoon system. If deposited on snow, it could accelerate the heating of snow and quicken the melting of glaciers.
  • The engines of an airplane work by burning fossil fuel (combustion). This produces carbon dioxide and water vapour. Currently, airplanes are also the worst when compared to other forms of transport in terms on the impact of greenhouse gases per passages. Aircraft engines also emit heat and noise.

3. What is meant by climate ethics? Why is it important to study? Discuss any one climate issue affecting the world from the viewpoint of climate ethics.(GS 4)

Link-1 | Link-2

Climate ethics:-

  • Climate ethicsis an area of research that focuses on the ethical dimensions of climate change (also known as global warming and concepts such as climate justice.It reinforces article 51 (a)(g) to protect natural environment and compassion for living beings.

What is the need for studying this:-

  • To clarify the ethical dilemmas already existing like
    • how to balance the rights and responsibilities of the developed and developing world
    • how to evaluate geo-engineering schemes designed to reverse or slow climate change
    • how to assess our responsibility to future generations who must live with a climate we are shaping today
  • In the current context climate ethics is a significant development.It is just not solely focussed on climate change and global warming but has multiple dimensions as it broadly includes
    • human rights
    • climate justice  and
    • equitable dimensions as well
  • It also deals with differentiated responsibilities of the government towards environment protection ,funding to help developing countries to achieve climatic goals.
  • The stronger these ethics are the countries would take measures to save environment like Costa Rica has banned open pit Mining,Ecuador ban on metal mining etc.
  • Without strong climate ethics and policies many countries and islands in the world can submerge under water.
  • There are erratic rains,increase in calamities around the world,rising costs to mitigate the effects of climate change so it becomes even more important to understand climate ethics.
  • also try to make more sensible about meaning less wastage of resources by luxury living standards of the developed world at the cost of the poor nations.

Climate issue affecting the world from the view point of climate ethics:-

  • In the context of global warming the impacts have been huge all around the world with melting of glaciers,rising water level ,inundation of land,threatening food security etc.
  • So the countries have come together in the form of Paris agreement to uphold their commitment of climate ethics and ensure sustainable development .
  • CBDR is one of the mechanisms being worked on to share the environmental responsibilities and to uphold the countries environmental goals and help poorer nations alleviate poverty.
  • Similarly many still believe climate change is overhyped and the recent US withdrawal from Paris agreement strengthens such thinking .But with climate ethics the climate naysayers attitude can be changed.
  • Therefore climate ethics and justice is an imperative for the world and India is actively participating to uphold these by moving towards renewable energy,commitment towards SDG etc.


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