Mains Marathon

Mains Marathon – UPSC Mains Current Affairs Questions – January 16

Read the following questions and answer them by clicking on the links in not more than 200 words

Time: 30 Minutes

Kindly review each others answers, so that everyone improves. 

1.In the context of prevailing drought situation in Kerala, examine the solutions and steps taken by the government for fighting droughts in India. (GS 1)

केरल में सूखे की स्थिति के संदर्भ में, भारत में सूखे से लड़ने के लिए सरकार द्वारा उठाए गए कदमों की जांच करें।

The Hindu | Link

2.As per the recent International Labour Organisation (ILO) report, the number of unemployed people in India is expected to rise by 3 lakh by 2018, How can the government tackle the increasing rate of unemployment in India? (GS 1)

हाल ही में अंतरराष्ट्रीय श्रम संगठन (आईएलओ) की रिपोर्ट में, भारत में बेरोजगार लोगों की संख्या 2018 तक 3 लाख की वृद्धि होने की उम्मीद है। भारत सरकार कैसे बढ़ती बेरोजगारी से निपट सकती है?

The Hindu | TOI | Link

3.What do you understand by strategic partnership? Is there a need for India to have a clearer policy on strategic partnerships? (GS 2)

रणनीतिक साझेदारी से आप क्या समझते हैं? क्या भारत के लिए रणनीतिक साझेदारी पर स्पष्ट नीति होने की जरूरत है?

The Hindu | The Diplomat

4.How does ethics influence value systems? Explain with suitable examples. (GS 4)

नैतिकता कैसे मूल्य प्रणाली को प्रभावित करता है? उपयुक्त उदाहरण के साथ समझाएँ।


International Relations

The Story of India – Japan Relations – by IFS Officer Nayantara D


China’s increasing engagement with Afghanistan

“Almost every great power in history, when they were rising, was deeply involved in Afghanistan, and China will not be an exception.”-  Prof Wang Lian.

China  launched  a new official forum in Kabul, the ‘China-Pakistan-Afghanistan Strategic Dialogue’.  This triangular engagement is likely to emerge as a major force shaping India’s north western frontiers.

What was the outcome of the dialogue ?

· Major commitments to promote regional cooperation.

·  Finance a 1500 MW hydro-electric power project in the Kunar province in eastern Afghanistan. To be managed jointly by Pakistan and Afghanistan and the project will feed into the power grids of both countries.

· Intent to promote two important trans-border transport corridors—a motorway linking Kabul with Peshawar and a rail link between Quetta and Kandahar. These infrastructure projects would complement China’s Silk Road projects and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

· Afghanistan , China , Pakistan sought to increase mutual strategic trust as well as enhance mutually beneficial cooperation. They also reaffirmed that terrorism, extremism and separatism pose a major threat to the security and stability of the region and agreed to deepen counter-terrorism and security cooperation.

Why China might succeed ?

·  Convergence of China’s interests with that of Pakistan

·  After USA’s withdrawal, Kabul looks upon China as a hope to stabilize Pakistan army’s overt gestures.

·  Russia is engaging with China, and is warming up to Pakistan as well. It might back China’s leadership role in Afghanistan.

· The Chinese emphasize that non-­interference in the internal politics of other countries is a pillar of their foreign policy. China’s main motivations are denying sanctuary to terrorist and separatist groups. It looks to encourage investment, expand trade to develop its interior and western regions. This will help China in catering to domestic demand rather than solely relying on export­-led growth that has primarily benefited its coastal cities.

How does India see it ?

·  Indians and Afghanistan share a common history, common foes of fundamentalism and Pakistan-backed terrorism, as well as a common future in South Asia. India must also recognize that there is widespread international and regional support for China’s strategic entry into Afghanistan. China’s approach may be important in re-energizing the region and providing the opportunities for the prosperity and security that will underpin Afghanistan’s future. 



Analysis of Sri Lanka Presidential Elections 2015 and Implications for India

Maithripala Sirisena defeated the incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

The election was significant for many reasons : –

• Rajapaksa sought a third term by amending the Constitution of Sri Lanka – that incumbent president could contest any number of times. And he lost.

•  The election took place two years earlier than the actual schedule.

•  2015 election was the second presidential election after the defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).  The military defeat of the LTTE did not work in Rajapaksa’s favour in this election. The minority community – Muslims, Tamil votes played a decisive role in defeating Rajapaksa.

• The reasons of Rajapaksa’s defeat were growing inflation, lack of economic opportunities , corruption and resentment of rural population against foreign companies involved in the agricultural sector. China’s increased involvement was also an issue brought in front by Sirisena. Increasing militarisation in Northern Province and slow progress in rebuilding war torn areas and failure in offering a concrete political solution worked against Rajapaksa.

How will India- Sri Lanka relations shape up now ?

• Sirisena has promised to evolve a more balanced approach in SL’s relations with both China and India. India should note that SL will not discard its relation with China. However the excessive tilt towards China by Rajapaksa will be addressed by the new President and he has suggested India should take advantage of the new position. The new Foreign minister of SL’s first visit being India and the first foreign visit of Sirisena is also going to be that to India. This gesture itself speaks volumes. An early visit to Colombo by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj as part of India’s “neighbourhood first” diplomacy could indeed be the first step towards that exploration. 

• Cooperation is likely to continue in areas of development assistance, economic and security cooperation. India is hopeful that SL will consider having a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement ( CEPA ). India has a Free Trade Agreement ( FTA ) with SL right now. Given the potential of maritime security in Indina Ocean region, India – SL should revisit the defence cooperation pact of 2003. 

•  India and Sri Lanka bilateral relations will depend on whether the new government will consider India’s concerns about the reconciliation process with Tamil minorities. The implementation of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution of Sri Lanka is an option that can devolve powers to the provinces.

•  There is also the question of fishermen issue and both the countries need to find a permanent solution involving the fishermen on both sides.

The new government in Colombo and a stronger political dispensation in India have the opportunity to restart the relation with a renewed vigour.



Why UNSC Reforms are required and significance for India

UN Security Council (UNSC), must reflect contemporary global realities.UNSC has been reduced to a tool to serve the caprice of its five permanent members. Due to its structural defects, he UNSC has never been capable of preventing the most destructive and deadly wars, many of which are catered by the countries entrusted with the veto. Russia’s armed intervetion in Ukraine, USA’s Iraq invasion are testimonies to this fact. As long as responsibility for the maintenance of peace and security is left to the whims of only the most powerful in the international order, the world cannot expect quality peacekeeping efforts. For this purpose the reform of the UN including the expansion of the UNSC in both permanent and non-permanent categories is crucial. To this end, the Government of India has been actively working along with other like-minded countries for building support among the UN membership for a meaningful restructuring and expansion of the UNSC.


Maritime challenges for India ; How should India tackle them ?

“While to other countries, the Indian Ocean is only one of the oceanic areas, to India it is the vital sea. Her future is dependent on the freedom of its waters.”

[su_heading size=”20″ margin=”0″]Maritime Challenges for India[/su_heading]

China’s growing naval presence in the Indian Ocean is a major challenge for India. Recently Chinese naval submarines docked  in Colombo . From developing maritime infrastructure in Gwadar, Hambantota and Chittagong in South Asia, to building and revitalizing port facilities in Mombasa, Dar-e-Salam and Bagamoyo on the East Coast of Africa, China seems to be creating a Chinese trade-corridor in the Indian Ocean. The Maritime Silk Route is indicative of that. The all weather Sino-Pakistan alliance, with its strong anti-Indian slant complicates our security problems further.China’s expanding naval footprint in the Indian Ocean would come into conflict with India’s sphere of strategic influence, triggering a chain of events that could eventually lead to a larger strategic confrontation. How China has been emerging as a strong influence in South Asia has been discussed at length in our previous article.