Mains Marathon

Answered: Mains Marathon – UPSC Mains Current Affairs Questions – March 10

1.What is the importance of India’s Trilateral Maritime Security Cooperation Initiative? How can it address the ever increasing maritime security concerns in the Indian Ocean Region? Discuss critically. (GS 1)

भारत के त्रिपक्षीय समुद्री सुरक्षा सहयोग पहल का क्या महत्व है? हिंद महासागर क्षेत्र में बढ़ती समुद्री सुरक्षा संबंधी के चिंताओं को कैसे संबोधित कर सकते हैं? गंभीर रूप से चर्चा करें।

IDSA | Link-1 | Link-2 | Link-3

India’s trilateral maritime security cooperation initiative:-

  • India, Sri Lanka and Maldives launched the Trilateral Cooperation in Maritime Security in October 2011 at the first NSA-level Trilateral Meeting on Maritime Security Cooperation in Maldives.


  • Maintaining peace and security in the IOR. China, the United States (US) and Japan are willing to play a major role in the region.
    • For instance, the construction of ports and base facilities in the IOR
      Sea routes by China is a concern for India even though China asserts that it is purely for commercial and economic purposes.
  • Perceived or real threat perception from external sources
  • Energy security; disaster management; non-traditional threats, such as maritime terrorism, arms and drug trade, piracy, human and arms smuggling.
  • Security of SLOC for trade and energy supply.IOR maritime activity is
    primarily concentrated on trade of oil and gas and any disruption in the activity would
    increase the energy costs of the states situated in the region.
  • The protection of Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs) and its surveillance is another factor that promoted cooperation.
  • Has the potential for further improving naval ties in the shared Indian Ocean neighbourhood.

 How does it address the ever increasing maritime security concerns in the Indian ocean:

  • Enhancing cooperation in Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) through
    provision of Long Range Identification and Tracking (LRIT) services, MDA training and
    Merchant Ship Information System (MSIS) software by India, sharing of Automatic
    Identification System (AIS) data
  • Strengthening of coordination of maritime search and Rescue(SAR) including SAR training
  • Promoting marine oil pollution response cooperation
  • Expanding bilateral ‘DOSTI’ (friendship) exercises through holding of table top exercises
  • Further enhancing sharing of the information on illegal maritime activities through existing points of contact.
  • Maintaining lines of communication on illegal maritime activities, and cooperation in legal and policy issues related to piracy.


  • There has, however, been no meeting under this mechanism for over three years and a fresh impetus for this initiative seems to be lacking .
  • Mauritius and Seychelles had attended the last meeting as ‘guests’. Their inclusion into an expanded initiative is also pending
  • Lack of consensus on the future of this construct:
    • The convergence of interests in this domain is a challenging task given the divergent,strategic and economic interests in the IOR between these three countries.
    • The fishermen issue between India and Sri Lanka is a sensitive issue involving minority communities on both sides.
  • Lack of bureaucratic priority being assigned to the issue.
  • The lack of common legal framework in dealing with this issue will act as an impediment. The death sentence given to five Indian fishermen in the past years in Sri Lanka is an example of lack of consensus on legal procedures.
  • In many cases illegal maritime  activities are carried out with local communities support..

Suggestions to improve:

  • The expansion of Chinese activities in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) should also be considered as another driver for India to further strengthen this initiative.
  • There is a need to be involved in maritime infrastructure building in the
    Infrastructure building along sea coasts is an important element of
  • If funds are acting as constraint, one has to find other mechanisms to
    build the confidence and trust. India can enter into a consortium with other like-minded players to keep these nations engaged.
  • There is an urgent need to understand legal processes in each of these countries that
    deal with maritime terrorism and other illegal activities.There is a need for
    convergence in this area.
  • India,SriLanka and Maldives can work on coordinated patrols and sharing of information
  • Need to invest in more technical cooperation and training of personnel in Sri Lanka
    and Maldives.
  • Expansion of joint patrols including Mauritius and Seychelles will enhance
  • Involvement of SAARC in maritime cooperation, which may benefit in creating an atmosphere of trust and confidence.

Maritime security challenges in the region continue to be an issue of concern and this effective regional mechanism needs to be strengthened to deal effectively with them.

2.What is Big Data? How can it bring about a positive social change in the world? (GS 3)

बिग डेटा क्या है? यह दुनिया में एक सकारात्मक सामाजिक परिवर्तन कैसे ला सकती है?

Link-1 | Link-2 | Link-3 

Big data:-

  • Big datais a term for data sets that are so large or complex that traditional data processing application softwares are inadequate to deal with them.
  • Big data can be described by the following characteristics:
    • Volume:
      • The quantity of generated and stored data. The size of the data determines the value and potential insight- and whether it can actually be considered big data or not.
    • Variety:
      • The type and nature of the data. This helps people who analyze it to effectively use the resulting insight.
    • Velocity:
      • In this context, the speed at which the data is generated and processed to meet the demands and challenges that lie in the path of growth and development.
    • Variability:
      • Inconsistency of the data set can hamper processes to handle and manage it.
    • Veracity:
      • The quality of captured data can vary greatly, affecting accurate analysis


  • In 2010, this industry was worth more than $100 billion and was growing at almost 10 percent a year.

How can it bring about a positive social change in the world:-

  • Practitioners in fields such as public health and humanitarian relief view big data as a critical driver of empirically based problem-solving.
  • Advancements in big data analysis offer cost-effective opportunities to improve decision-making in critical development areas such as health care, employment, economic productivity, crime, security, and natural disasterand resource management.
  • Health:-
    • Big data analytics has helped healthcare improve by providing personalized medicine and prescriptive analytics, clinical risk intervention and predictive analytics, waste and care variability reduction, automated external and internal reporting of patient data, standardized medical terms and patient registries and fragmented point solutions
    • For instance ,mHealth Alliance is a public health group that analyses data transmitted from patients’ mobile phones in countries like Bangladesh and South Africa.
  • Education:
    • Educators armed with data-driven insight can make a significant impact on school systems, students and curriculums. By analyzing big data, they can identify at-risk students, make sure students are making adequate progress, and can implement a better system for evaluation.
  • Charitable sector:
    • Playing a vital role in the charitable sector. Some social organisations are using existing open government data to better target their services, to improve advocacy and fundraising, and to support knowledge sharing and collaboration between different charities and agencies.
  • Governance:
    • When government agencies are able to harness and apply analytics to their big data, they gain significant ground when it comes to managing utilities, running agencies, dealing with traffic congestion or preventing crime
  • Development:
    • Global Pulse, a new initiative by the United Nations, wants to leverage Big Data for global development.
  • Data journalism: publishers and journalists use big data tools to provide unique and innovative insights and infographics.
  • The Internet of Things, with the help of big data, therefore transforms the media industry, companies and even governments, opening up a new era of economic growth and competitiveness.
  • IT:
    • Big data has come to prominence within Business Operationsas a tool to help employees work more efficiently and streamline the collection and distribution of Information Technology (IT).
  • Retail banking:
    • The volume of business data worldwide, across all companies, doubles every 1.2 years, according to estimates
    • With large amounts of information streaming in from countless sources, banks are faced with finding new and innovative ways to manage big data
  • Manufacturing:
    • Armed with insight that big data can provide, manufacturers can boost quality and output while minimizing waste
  • Sports:-
    • Big data can be used to improve training and understanding competitors, using sport sensors. It is also possible to predict winners in a match using big data analytics.

Changes in big data technologies and management approaches need to be accompanied by similarly dramatic shifts in how data supports decisions and product/service innovation.

3.“Be brave. Take risks. Nothing can substitute experience.” Comment. (GS 4)

“बहादुर रहो। जोखिम लो। कुछ भी अनुभव का स्थानापन्न नहीं कर सकता है।” टिप्पणी करें

Success of any kind takes risks, it means putting yourself on the line and risking failure in order to better yourself and your life.An individual who spend their entire lives living inside their comfort zone never taking the risk to step outside it end up achieving very little worthwhile with their time.

Many risks-takers failed in their ventures. Sailors died and space-shuttles exploded killing all aboard. But humans did not stop taking the risks. The risk taking attitude despite achieving failure is appreciated by the society for the intense concentration and will power used.

The discoveries and gains that result from the ventures, know no limits.When risks are taken sometimes people fail but failure provides a plethora of experience which can help them to be successful.

Experience helps people to analyse their work in a better way so that they do not repeat their mistake.For instance during the freedom struggle Indians learnt from the failures of many movements and reformed their approach for independence.

Recently the most celebrated Olympian in the history Michael Phelps made a comeback in Rio Olympics.It is the experience he gained over the years and the risk taking attitude helped him to be so.

However experience alone cannot ensure success ,other qualities like perseverance,willingness to work hard need to be imbibed as well.Therefore to achieve something great one should be brave enough to take risks and gain positively from the experiences they encountered .


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