Mains Marathon

Answered: Mains Marathon – UPSC Mains Current Affairs Questions – December 28

1.What is a nuclear triad? “The successful test-firing of the long-range ballistic missile Agni-V for the fourth time by India is a significant step towards building a credible nuclear deterrence”. Discuss. (GS 2)

परमाणु त्रय(नुक्लेअर ट्रायड) क्या है? “भारत का चौथी बार लंबी दूरी की बैलिस्टिक मिसाइल अग्नि-V का सफल परीक्षण, विश्वसनीय परमाणु प्रतिरोधक क्षमता निर्माण की दिशा में एक महत्वपूर्ण कदम है।” चर्चा करें।

Suggested Answer:

A nuclear triad refers to the nuclear weapons delivery of a strategic nuclear arsenal which consists of three components: land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), strategic bombers, and submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs). In simple terms, it is the capability to launch nuclear weapons from land, air and sea. India had the first two capabilities i.e. launching weapons from land using ICBMs(Agni series missiles) and launching them from air using strategic bombers(Sukhoi) and now with the induction of INS Arihant, reportedly armed with K-15 Sagarika missiles, India has achieved the third and final step in building a nuclear triad.
Credible Minimum Deterrence is the principle on which India’s nuclear doctrine is based.

It underlines no first use (NFU) with a second strike capability, and falls under minimal deterrence. In nuclear strategy, pure minimal deterrence is a doctrine holding that the only mission of nuclear weapons is to deter a nuclear adversary by making the cost of a first strike unacceptably high. To present a credible deterrent, there must be the assurance that any attack would trigger a retaliatory strike.
Agni V, with a range of more than 5000km, is the latest in the Agni series of missiles. The success of Agni V is a significant step towards building a credible deterrence, as-

  • Agni V strengthens the first part of our nuclear triad, thus helping build a stronger deterrence.
  • For having a credible deterrence, a strong second strike capability is necessary. Agni V is the most advanced of the Agni series missiles and helps provide a reliable method for weapon delivery.
  • It can easily be transported from one place to another and can be launched from a canister (it has all-weather and all-terrain mobile launch capability). This makes it easy to hide and launch.
  • It has inbuilt new technologies for navigation and guidance (fire and forget system). This coupled with a high accuracy and long range, makes for a potent weapon.
  • It is indigenous developed and so the successful test fire of the missile would give a fillip to India’s defence technology.

Though the successful launch of Agni V is a positive step, our doctrine of Minimum Credible Deterrence still faces many issues, like-

  • We have only one submarine capable of launching nuclear weapons.
  • Repeated failure of Nirbhay land attack cruise missile that is meant to carry nuclear warheads.
  • Agni V has the longest range of around 5000km (with payload). This is significantly lesser than ICBMs of countries like China and USA.
  • A credible second-strike capability should also be complemented by a modern, powerful military. But all the three arms of Indian military are plagued with multiple problems and urgently need modernization.

The successful launch of Agni V is a major step towards building credible nuclear deterrence. But we need to enhance our defence capabilities in all fields- from traditional to modern welfare- so as to build a true credible deterrence.

2.Write a short note on the Shyama Prasad Mukherji Rurban Mission. (GS 3)

श्यामा प्रसाद मुखर्जी रुर्बन मिशन पर एक संक्षिप्त लेख लिखें।

Suggested Answer:

The government has launched Shyama Prasad Mukherji Rurban Mission with an aim to bridge the urban-rural divide and to make rural areas sustainable in all respects- economically, socially and physically. The need for such a mission was felt due to a variety of reasons like increasing unemployment especially among rural youth, increasing urbanization and correspondingly increasing pressure on the infrastructure of urban areas etc. This mission replaces the similar mission launched earlier- PURA (Providing Urban Amenities to Rural Areas).
The various aspects of this mission are-

  • Aim-

The Mission aims at development of rural growth clusters which have latent potential for growth, in all States and UTs, which would trigger overall development in the region.

  • Approach-
    The mission works on a cluster based approach. The mission would develop a cluster of Smart villages by provisioning economic activities, developing skills & local entrepreneurship and building the required infrastructure.
  • Selection of clusters-
    The clusters would be selected by the State governments, assisted by the Ministry of Rural Development. The clusters will be geographically contiguous Gram Panchayats with a population of about 25000 to 50000 in plain and coastal areas and a population of 5000 to 15000 in desert, hilly or tribal areas. There would be a separate approach for selection of clusters in Tribal and Non-Tribal Districts.
    Selection process would be as follows- The central ministry would formulate a list, based on scientific principles and objective analysis of parameters like demography, economy, tourism, pilgrimage significance etc. The state governments would then choose the clusters out of the suggested ones.
  • Planning-
    These clusters would be well delineated areas with planned layouts prepared following the various planning norms. The States would prepare Integrated Cluster Action Plans for Rurban Clusters, which would be comprehensive plan documents detailing out the strategy for the cluster, desired outcomes, resources required etc. These plans would then be integrated with the District/Master plans.
  • Funding-
    The resources would be obtained by converging the various Central Sector, Centrally Sponsored and State Sector schemes. Along with this, the mission will provide an additional funding support of upto 30 percent of the project cost per cluster as Critical Gap Funding (CGF) as Central Share to enable development of such Rurban clusters.
  • Impact of the mission-
    • o The biggest positive impact of the mission would be a boost to overall regional growth
    • o It would help generate employment.
    • o It would help in the development of infrastructure (like roads, power lines etc) in the rural areas.
    • o It would disburden/decongest urban areas.
    • o It will strengthen the rural economy and make it sustainable.
    • o It will help strengthen Centre-State relations.
  • Challenges-
    • o Ensuring cooperation and synergy among various ministries and departments at state and centre level will be a big challenge
    • o Timely release of funds as well as devolution of power to village Panchayats to formulate their own sub-plans.
    • o The exact plan to dovetail all the schemes has not been laid out.
    • o Ensuring that the states have the necessary expertise to not only select the clusters but also implement the plans.
    • o The states do not have the freedom to select/suggest clusters which are not proposed by the central ministry. This could be seen as curtailment of state autonomy.

Shyama Prasad Mukherji Rurban mission is a positive step towards boosting the rural economy. It aims to make progress not just on an economic level but also on social and physical level. However, its success depends greatly on coordination and cooperation not just between the state and centre but also between citizens.

3.How could social pressure and persuasion contribute to the success of Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana? (GS 4)

सामाजिक दबाव और अनुनय कैसे प्रधानमंत्री कौशल विकास योजना को सफल बना सकते हैं?

Suggested Answer:

A staggering 10 million people join the workforce in India every year. But, the skill profile of this workforce varies. On one hand we have highly qualified graduates and on the other end of the spectrum are the uneducated. Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana is a noble attempt by the Government to bridge this gap and to provide employment skills to the school/college dropouts and unemployed youth. Through well defined curriculum, short term training as per National Skill Qualification Framework and placement assistance, this program intends to provide the youth an opportunity to get gainfully employed.
The intentions here are noble. The supporting framework in terms of National Skill Development Council, Training Partners and Inspection Agencies is also present. But, like any other scheme, the success will depend on eager participation of all the stakeholders like the unemployed youth, industry and the government. It is here that social pressure and persuasion can play the role of a catalyst.

• The attitude of society in India towards the vocational training and bridge courses has never been positive. This is reflected in the fact that only 2% of the workforce has received vocational training in comparison with Scandinavian countries where this number is 50-60%. Vocational training in fields like tourism and hospitality, beauty and wellness, plumbing, food processing, hardware, catering etc can prove to be a great opportunity for the unemployed to get a vocation. But, as the societal outlook is not very positive towards such courses is not conducive, this opportunity is lost. A change in the societal attitude by persuasion from government via advertisements and greater support in placements will go a long way in success of this scheme.
• Parents and youth need to be persuaded to see these courses as an opportunity and to get enrolled in them.
• Providing extensive media coverage to Rozgaar Melas, participation of youth and industries in them can be increased.
• Industries should be persuaded to employ youths trained under this scheme. It could be in terms of moral suasion or financial incentives. A very small percent of jobs can be reserved for these youth.
• Social pressure in terms of regular monitoring and feedback from such institutes would help in ensuring good quality of education/courses.
PMKVY could help in a great way in reducing unemployment and by using the two pronged approach of social pressure and persuasion, this scheme will be able to achieve its goal of taking full advantage of the opportunity that demographic dividend presents.


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