Mains Marathon

Answered: Mains Marathon – UPSC Mains Current Affairs Questions – March 8

Following are the Suggested Answers for Mains Marathon, March 8:

1.What are sovereign funds? Centre has recently signed 20,000 crore for the NIIF. What is the significance of this move? (GS 3)

सार्वभौमिक धन क्या है? केंद्र ने हाल ही में एनआईआईएफ के लिए 20,000 करोड़ रुपये हस्ताक्षर किए हैं। इस कदम का क्या महत्व है?

The Hindu


  • The National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) has begun talks with two sovereign wealth funds to become the first investors to come on board, following the signing last fortnight of a government commitment to infuse 20,000 crore into the fund.

Sovereign funds:-

  • A sovereign wealth fund (SWF) consists of pools of money derived from a country’s reserves, set aside for investment purposes to benefit the country’s economy and citizens.
  • The funding for a sovereign wealth fund (SWF) comes from central bank reserves that accumulate as a result of budget and trade surpluses, and from revenue generated from the exports of natural resources.


  • It will help in solving the long drawn capital problems faced by present banking system in providing credits.
  • It can help in faster kick-start of projects both in greenfield and brownfield sector.
  • It can increase India’s trust globally and deepen the ties with contributing nations.
  • Having large share in the fund will also convince the investor of having a say in the project.
  • Official launch of the first Sovereign fund of India bring in line with other funds like Abu Dhabi Wealth Fund, Qatar Wealth Fund etc.
  • Social projects– like low cost housing and other projects which target Bottom of Pyramid can be started. NIIF will also attract 2% CSR spending.

NIIF is an alternate source of funding for projects in India at a time of economic crisis and the move is welcomes. However GOI to make sure to run the organisation with Probity,Integrity,accountability without interference for it to meet objectives.

2.The controversy over Tawang area between India and China goes back to the Shimla meet of 1914. Examine. (GS 2)

भारत और चीन के बीच तवांग क्षेत्र का विवाद 1914 के शिमला बैठक में चला जाता है। जांच करें।

The Hindu


  • The Simla Accord, or the Convention Between Great Britain, China, and Tibet,Simla asa treaty concerning the status of Tibet negotiated by representatives of the Republic of China, Tibet and the United Kingdom in Simla in 1913 and 1914.
  • The Accord provided that Tibet would be divided into “Outer Tibet” and “Inner Tibet”. OuterTibet, would “remain in the hands of the Tibetan Government at Lhasa under Chinese suzerainty, but China would not interfere in its administration.
  • “Inner Tibet”,roughly would be under the jurisdiction of the Chinese government. The Accord with its annexes also defines the boundary between Tibet and China proper and between Tibet and British India.China rejected the Accord.

However Tawang is culturally integrated to Tibet through Bomdila and the monastery of Buddhism practiced in Tibet due to

  • Ethinic similarity.
  • In 1950 it gained control over.

Despite many solutions put forward like the package deal solving border dispute still is a pretentious issue.Both countries need to recognize the mutual threat of terrorism would increase if they over indulge in the boundary confrontations.

1.Use of track 2 diplomacy should be made to create a stable environment for G2G talks.

2.A boundary commission agreed upon by both and administer by and International agency under UN.

3.What is meant by atmospheric pollution? What are the harmful effects of air pollution in India? Critically examine. (GS 1)

वायुमंडलीय प्रदूषण से आपका क्या मतलब है? भारत में वायु प्रदूषण के हानिकारक प्रभाव क्या हैं? गंभीर रूप से जांच करें।

Link-1 | Link-2

Atmospheric pollution:-

  • It is the introduction of harmful particulates, biological molecules or chemical molecules into the Earth’s atmosphere.
  • Air pollution in India is quite a serious issue with the major sources being fuelwood and biomass burning, fuel adulteration, vehicle emission and traffic congestion.
  • A 2013 study on non-smokers has found that Indians have 30% lower lung function compared to Europeans.

Effects of air pollution:-

  • Health:
    • Exposure to particulate matter for a long time can lead to respiratory and cardiovascular diseases such as asthma, bronchitis, lung cancer and heart attacks.
    • Outdoor air pollution was the fifth-largest killer in India and around 620,000 early deaths occurred from air pollution-related diseases in 2010.
    • Thinning of the protective ozone layer can cause increased amounts of UV radiation to reach the Earth, which can lead to more cases of skin cancer, cataracts, and impaired immune systems.
  • Environmental effects:
    • Acid rain:
      • Inthe environment, acid rain damages trees and causes soils and water bodies to acidify, making the water unsuitable for some fish and other wildlife. It also speeds the decay of buildings, statues, and sculptures that are part of our national heritage.
    • Eutrophication:
      • Air emissions of Nitrogen oxides from power plants, cars, trucks, and other sources contribute to the amount of nitrogen entering aquatic ecosystems.
    • Effects on wildlife:
      • Toxic pollutants in the air, or deposited on soils or surface waters,  can impact wildlife in a number of ways. Like humans, animals can experience health problems if they are exposed to sufficient concentrations of air toxics over time.
      • Studies show that air toxics are contributing to birth defects, reproductive failure, and disease in animals.
    • UV can also damage sensitive crops, such as soybeans, and reduce Crop yields:-
    • Air pollution can damage crops and trees in a variety of ways.Ground-level ozone can lead to reductions in agricultural crop and commercial forest yields, reduced growth and survivability of tree seedlings, and increased plant susceptibility to disease, pests and other environmental stresses.
    • Global warming :-
      • With the rise of the concentration of carbon dioxide in air,a general rise of temperature is witnessed.
    • Economy :-
    • A World Bank study shows that welfare costs and lost labour income due to air pollution amounted to 8.5% of India’s GDP in 2013.
    • Loss of productivity due to deterioration of the man power.

However these air polluting gases have some benefits as well :-

  • Has made the people aware of the importance of trees in mitigating climate change .
  • Although, some air pollutants like Particulate matter act as substrate for condensation, increasing rainfall ;
  • some sector of economy see more work like air filtering, air mask.
  • Some of these gases are necessary for life as well.

How can India tackle air pollution:

  • All stakeholders(individual, community, NGOs corporate, states, global institutions) should take their own responsibility for sustainable livelihoods for future generations.
  • Reduction in vehicular emission:
  • Use of alternate source of fuel like CNG and LPG.
    • More use of public transport.
    • Improvements in vehicular technology.
  • Increase in the research to bring down the cost of solar cell panels.
  • Government should support the financially venerable one’s to ensure up gradation to Bharat stage 6 norms
  • Techniques like climate smart agriculture should be used to ensure agriculture suffers least due to weather vagaries due to pollution.

Therefore with government taking a proactive role with schemes like odd even ,focussing more on renewable energy India can surely take on the menace of air pollution.

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