Mains Marathon

Answered: Mains Marathon – UPSC Mains Current Affairs Questions – Mar 15

Following are the Suggested Answers for Mains Marathon, Mar 15:

1.What is Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (the Commission or CLCS) and Law of the Sea treaty? Examine the significance of CLCS membership for India. (GS 1)

महाद्वीपीय शेल्फ (आयोग या सीएलसीएस) और सागर संधि के कानून की सीमा आयोग क्या है? भारत के लिए सीएलसीएस सदस्यता के महत्व की जांच करें।

The Hindu | Link-1 | Link-2


  • The purpose of the Commission is to facilitate the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea in respect of the establishment of the outer limits of the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles (M) from the baselines from which the breadth of the territorial sea is measured.
  • The Commission shall make  binding recommendations to coastal States on matters related to the establishment of those limits.
  • To provide scientific and technical advice, if requested by the coastal State concerned during preparation of such data.
  • The Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) consists of 21 members (elected for the period 2007-12), who all have technical expertise within the scientific areas of geology, geophysics or hydrography.
    • The members are candidates from those countries, who have ratified the UNCLOS.
  • Commission ordinarily meets twice a year..

Law of the sea treaty:

The Law of the Sea Treaty, formally known as the Third United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, or UNCLOS III, was adopted in 1982.  Its purpose is to establish a comprehensive set of rules governing the oceans and to replace previous U.N. Conventions on the Law of the Sea.

The Law of the Sea Treaty calls for technology transfers and wealth transfers from developed to undeveloped nations.  It also requires parties to the treaty to adopt regulations and laws to control pollution of the marine environment.

the treaty also establishes specific jurisdictional limits on the ocean area that countries may claim, including a 12-mile territorial sea limit and a 200-mile exclusive economic zone limit.

Some proponents of the treaty believe that the treaty will establish a system of property rights for mineral extraction in deep sea beds, making the investment in such ventures more attractive.

Significance of CLCS membership to India:

  • It is a U.N. scientific body that decides what portions of the seabed can be exclusively mined for natural resources such as oil, precious metals and minerals. With the disputes with Indian neighbours, south China sea disputes , this becomes rather important.
    • India has had disputes with several neighbours Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka over how the continental shelf  can be fairly distributed.
  • China and Pakistan would likely takeover two of the five seats allotted to the so-called Asia-Pacific group.
  • Membership of the commission allows India to gauge the scientific strength of claims by countries to parts of the seabed that, like territorial waters, are often hard to demarcate. Such information is privy only to participants.
  • India has huge interest in CLCS and applied for extending the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) up to 350 nautical miles from the existing 200 nautical miles. India’s submission to CLCS will likely come up for scrutiny later this year.

However India felt the need to nominate to international tribunal for the law of the sea which is a judicious position over CLCS.Also CLCS is not a paid position which would lead to further administrative costs .

Therefore India should look for the mechanism where this body is given equal importance.

2.Is hyperloop just a fast bullet train? If it’s not high pressure or a vacuum, how does the propulsion work? Explain.(GS 3)

क्या हाइपरलोप सिर्फ एक तेज बुलेट ट्रेन है? यदि यह उच्च दबाव या वैक्यूम नहीं है, तो प्रणोदन कैसे काम करता है?

The Hindu | Link-1 | Link-2



  • The Hyperloop is a mode of transportation that shoots pods filled with people through vaccum sealed tubes.
  • Hyperloop would consist of capsules transported at high speeds through the length of low pressure tubes that are elevated off the ground.
  • The pods would accelerate to cruising speed gradually using a linear electric motor and glide above their track using passive magnetic levitation or air bearings. The tubes could also go above ground on columns or underground, eliminating the dangers of grade crossings.
  • Linear induction motors located along the tube would accelerate and decelerate the capsule to the appropriate speed for each section of the tube route. With rolling resistance eliminated and air resistance greatly reduced, the capsules can glide for the bulk of the journey.


Similarities with the bullet train:

  • Both forms of transportation will bring reprieve to travellers who must waste time stuck in traffic or opt for costly plane tickets to get between cities.
  • Hyperloop One’s technology uses passive maglev for the same purpose


  • Hyperloop reaches speeds of more than 500 miles per hour. The bullet train will reach 150 miles per hour.
  • Added advantage is that it cuts down the cost as there is no cost of making rail roads
  • Hyperloop is just a sort of maglev train. But because it doesn’t have to deal with as much air resistance, top speeds are much higher.
  • Hyperloop would be cheaper for several reasons, including the fact that governments wouldn’t need to purchase land to make it happen.


At present there are some concerns like the high noise levels due to air being compressed and ducted around the capsule at near-sonic speeds and the vibration and jostling. Even if the tube is initially smooth, ground may shift due to seismic activity.Despite the concerns this concept revolutionises the transportation sector .

3.Functioning of the current global economy has affected the economic and political relationship between the large and small economies. Critically examine the reasons for the same. (GS 2)

वर्तमान वैश्विक अर्थव्यवस्था के कार्यकलापों ने बड़े और छोटे अर्थव्यवस्थाओं के बीच आर्थिक और राजनीतिक संबंधों को प्रभावित किया है। गंभीर रूप से कारणों की जांच करें।

The Hindu


In the past few years especially since the 2009 financial crisis the global economy has undergone major stress and this had implications on the relationships of different economies.

Economic relationship :

  • The China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the New Development Bank of the BRICS could provide the required $8-15 trillion, marginalising the World Bank.
  • There will be consequences for the World Trade Organisation, In particular if the WTO dispute resolution panels rule against the U.S., leading to a questioning of the rule-based system itself.
  • The shift to a consumption-driven economy will open markets for S. goods despite Chinese exports decline.
  • India is more vulnerable with two-thirds of the exports of the $150-billion IT industry to the U.S. and the ‘Make in India’ strategy colliding with US priorities, requiring India to make strategic choices.
  • There had not been much change in the purchasing power parity  of the developed countries however China grew by 4 times and other developing countries also benefitted.


Political relationship:

  • China is projecting the One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative as a replacement for the U.S.-led post-1950 multilateral institutions.
  • The new US government is looking into the relevance of the United Nations for the U.S., favouring bilateral deals and forcing others to rethink the nature and role of international cooperation.
  • With multilateral institutions like ASEAN, BIMSTEC,SAARC and others the regional cooperation has seen good growth putting developing countries in the dominant position.
  • The stagnation in the European economy after the 2009 financial crisis has led to rise of insecurities with in people and led to protests against immigration which culminated into BREXIT in Europe and rise of hate crimes and racist attitude in US in the recent months.
  • The changes in economy have led to US India closeness as well to counter China.At the same time Russia China have been coming close.So new allies are forming.
  • Other issues like cybersecurity,terrorism have been in the front seat of governments policies which increased protectionistic  approach.

What needs to be done?

  • India should become part of the growing Asian market.
  • India should reconsider large-scale purchases from abroad for massive investment in cybersecurity and the related digital economy that will make the ‘Digital India’ initiative into ‘Digital Asia’.


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