Displaying 6 of 6 records

Title: Eye on the monsoon

Issue: South-west monsoons

Syllabus: General Studies-III - Environment - Environmental Pollution

Context: India Meteorological Department has predicted a ‘normal rainfall’ scenario in India. However, they have observed a significant possibility of a deficit

Highlights

1)      The India Meteorological Department is an agency of the Ministry of Earth Sciences of the Government of India. It is the principal agency responsible for meteorological observations, weather forecasting and seismology’

2)      Significance of the monsoons in India: The monsoon is crucial for the 60% of gross cropped area in farming that is rain-fed. Around 50% of India’s total food output comes in the form of summer crops. A delayed monsoon can lead to supply issues and even accelerate food inflation.

3)      Recently there has been an increase in erratic behavior of monsoons in India. Sudden on-burst of Indian monsoons, coupled with non-uniform coverage, long-breaks in precipitation.

4)      Possible reasons for the rise in erratic behavior of the Indian monsoons

  • Atmospheric changes caused by pollution
  • Particulate matter released through various industrial and agricultural processes
  • Some of these aerosols suppress the rainfall and disperse it across the land, causing long breaks in precipitation, while others absorb heat and lead to a convection phenomenon that increases rainfall in some places

5)      Furthermore, falling groundwater level has placed more emphasis on the South-west monsoon

6)      What should government do?

  • set up of new recharging wells
  • help the farmers raise the efficiency of irrigation
  • Build structures to harvest rainwater. Example: Lakes, wetlands, ponds etc
  • reduce pollution in industries to the largest extent possible
  • Use of fossil fuels and biomass should be reduced
  • Rainwater harvesting  should be made mandatory

Takeaway point: Policymakers in our country should take a more proactive and dynamic role to prevent pollution and loss of rivers, wetlands and lakes that hold precious waters.

Keywords: 'South-west monsoons' 'Aerosols' 'Environmental pollution 'Groundwater'
 

# Previous UPSC Question Marks Year
1 What are the impediments in disposing the huge quantities of discarded solid wastes which are continuously being generated? How do we remove safely the toxic wastes that have been accumulating in our habitable environment? (150 Words, 10 Marks) 10 2018
2 The Namami Gange and National mission for clean Ganga (NMCG) programmes and causes of mixed results from the previous schemes. What quantum leaps can help preserve the river Ganga better than incremental inputs? (200 words) 13 2015
3 Should the pursuit of carbon credits and clean development mechanisms set up under UNFCCC be maintained even though there has been a massive slide in the value of a carbon credit? Discuss with respect to India’s energy needs for economic growth. (200 words) 13 2014
4 Enumerate the National Water Policy of India. Taking river Ganges as an example, discuss the strategies which may be adopted for river water pollution control and management. What are the legal provisions of management and handling of hazardous wastes in India? (200 words) 10 marks 10 2013
5 Why do environmentalists regard asbestos and polythene as pollutants? (150 words) 2005
6 Global Warming''-Discuss. (250 words) 2004
7 What are greenhouse gases? What impact do they have on the Earth's climate and with what consequences? Elaborate. (150 words) 2000
8 What do you understand by Environmental Pollution? Mention the various kinds of pollution and their effect on human health in India. (150 words) 1992
9 State the types of environmental pollution and some of the places where it has occurred due to the progress of industrialization in India. Which parts of India were mainly affected by the severe drought of 1987 − 88? What were its main consequences? 1988
10 Objectives of Ganga Action Plan. Explain in brief the benefits of the plan 1985
11 Indicate the sources of atmospheric pollution in the major urban centers in India and the steps to be taken to minimise the problem. 1979
12 Indicate the sources of atmospheric pollution in the major urban centers in India and the steps to be taken to minimise the problem. 1979

Title: Yemen’s woes

Issue: Saudi Arabia-Yemen war

Syllabus: General Studies-II - International Relations - Important events around the World

Context: Saudi Arabia has conducted airstrikes on Sana’a (capital of Yemen), the city is controlled by Houthi rebels. Saudi Arabia has accused Houthi rebels (supported by Iran) of carrying out an attack on Saudi’s oil pipeline. This airstrike was in retaliation to that

Highlights

1)      About Saudi Arabia-Yemen crisis:

  • In the wake of Arab spring, there was a political uncertainty in the country
  • Houthi, a shia minority community captured the power owing to political uncertainty in the country
  • Houthi, are alleged to be backed by Iran
  • Alarmed by the rise of a group they believed to be backed militarily by regional Shia power Iran, Saudi Arabia and eight other mostly Sunni Arab states began an air campaign aimed at removing illegal Houthi government in 2015
  • The war so far has been inconclusive

2)      Effect of the war so far:

  • The country is on the brink of a famine.
  • Hunger problem and health-care crisis.
  • Many a civilians have lost their lives, which includes many children

3)      As part of the December 2018 ceasefire agreement, there was temporary peace in the region. But, the recent attack by Saudi Arabia on Sana’a might plunge the country back into a conflict

4)      What should be done? Any resumption of hostilities will only create more problems for ordinary Yemenis. In this regard, both Saudi Arabia and Houthi rebels should be persuaded to continue talks under international mediation and replicate the Hodeida model elsewhere in Yemen

Further reading: What is Hodeida model?

The model refers to the December ceasefire that took effect in the Red Sea port city where both the rebels and government forces stuck to it till the rebels pulled out recently

Takeaway point: Focus should be given at rebuilding the country (Yemen) rather than plunging the country into further a state of war.

Keywords: 'US-Iran tensions 'Yemen-Saudi Arabia war' 'Houthis' 'Hodeida '
 

Currently there are no previous questions available.

Currently there are no previous questions available.


Title: Moral ambiguity on the Rohingyas

Issue: India's action on Rohingyas plight

Syllabus: General Studies-II - International Relations - India and its neighborhood

Context: India’s position on Rohingyas issue has been criticized by many in the society. Many believe that India should adopt a more active role in favor of Rohingyas

Highlights

1)      Who are Rohingyas? Rohingya are an ethnic group, largely comprising Muslims, who predominantly live in the Western Myanmar province of Rakhine. They speak a dialect of Bengali, as opposed to the commonly spoken Burmese language.

2)      Myanmar and Rohingyas: Though they have been living in the South East Asian country for generations, Myanmar considers them as persons who migrated to their land during the Colonial rule.

  • It has not granted Rohingyas full citizenship yet
  • Since they are not citizens, they are not entitled to be part of civil service. Their movements are also restricted within the Rakhine state.
  • Myanmar state, which was ruled by the military junta until 2011, has been accused of ethnic cleansing in Rakhine by the United Nations.
  • Muslim militants in Myanmar staged a coordinated attack on 30 police posts and an army base in Rakhine state in 2017.
  • The “clearance operations” to root out these militants launched since 2017 by the Myanmar military has once again affected the lives of Rohingya. Many of whom have migrated to neighboring countries. Example: Bangladesh, India

3)      India’s position so far:

  • Recently, India has abstained from voting on a UN Human Rights Council draft resolution which drew attention of the world on Human rights situation in Myanmar
  • India justified its stand for abstention stating that since Myanmar is not part of ‘International Criminal Court’ (ICC), it would be wrong to impose any punitive interventions by the ICC on Myanmar
  • India has so far not condemned the actions of Myanmar army even though there are evidences of genocide committed by the Myanmar army against Rohingyas in the region

4)      Reasons for India’s stand: Arms and business ties

  • India is one of Myanmar’s top arms suppliers
  • India wants to modernize Myanmar army with the intent of securing its 1,640-km plus border with Myanmar and forge a sustainable strategic partnership
  • Indian companies have sizeable investment in Myanmar

5)      India’s stand on Rohingyas could complicate relationship with Bangladesh: It has been observed that India’s approach could be increasingly seen by Bangladesh which is hosting nearly a million Rohingya refugees, to be tilted in Myanmar’s favor.

6)      What can India do? India should exert pressure on Myanmar to change its behavior towards Rohingyas. India too should move from just providing economic aid to Bangladesh and Myanmar to regional compact (Much like Jordan compact: to ensure humanitarian assistance to the needy). Deportation of some of the Rohingyas who migrated to India should be temporarily suspended until there is a normalcy of relations between Rohingyas and Myanmar

Takeaway point: India’s pragmatic approach is aimed at balancing relationship between all the stakeholders involved. However, such an approach is morally questionable since it avoids talking about the genocide committed against the Rohingyas.

Keywords: 'Myanmar' 'Rohingyas' 'Bangladesh' 'India' 'Morality'
 

# Previous UPSC Question Marks Year
1 ‘China is using its economic relations and positive trade surplus as tools to develop potential military power status in Asia’, In the light of this statement, discuss its impact on India as her neighbor. (150 words) 2017
2 “Increasing cross-border terrorist attacks in India and growing interference in the internal affairs of several member-states by Pakistan are not conducive for the future of SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation).” Explain with suitable examples 2016
3 Project `Mausam’ is considered a unique foreign policy initiative of the Indian Government to improve relationship with its neighbors. Does the project have a strategic dimension? Discuss. (200 words) 15 marks 2015
4 Terrorist activities and mutual distrust have clouded India-Pakistan relations. To what extent the use of soft power like sports and cultural exchanges could help generate goodwill between the two countries? Discuss with suitable examples. (200 words) 15 marks. 2015
5 With respect to the South China sea, maritime territorial disputes and rising tension affirm the need for safeguarding maritime security to ensure freedom of navigation and over flight throughout the region. In this context, discuss the bilateral issues between India and China. (200 words) 10 marks 2014
6 The proposed withdrawal of International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) from Afghanistan in 2014 is fraught with major security implications for the countries of the region. Examine in light of the fact that India is faced with a plethora of challenges and needs to safeguard its own strategic interests. (200 words) 10 marks 2013
7 What do you understand by ‘The String of Pearls’? How does it impact India? Briefly outline the steps taken by India to counter this. (200 words) 10 marks 2013
8 Discuss the political developments in Maldives in the last two years. Should they be of any cause of concern to India? (200 words) 10 marks 2013
9 In respect of India-Sri Lanka relations, discuss how domestic factors influence foreign policy. (200 words) 10 marks 2013
10 Do you think that China’s emergence as one of the largest trading partners of India had adversely affected the settlement of the outstanding border problem? 20 2012
11 Discuss the contentious issues that have caused the prolonged constitutional logjam in Nepal. 20 2012
12 Why have the resource rich African and South Asian countries remained poor for decades? Explain. 20 2012
13 Discuss the likely negative impact of the protectionist measures proposed by the US on India’s software industry. 20 2012
14 How have the US sanctions against Iran affected India’s bilateral relations with Iran? 20 2012
15 ‘The situation today is far different to that prevalent fifty years back when the Indus Water treaty was seined.’ Highlight the complexity of the current challenges on both sides of the border in this regard. Do you think that a review of the Treaty is in India’s best interests? (250 words) 15 marks. 20 2012
16 List the Central Asian Republics and identify those of particular strategic and economic importance to India. Examine the opportunities and bottlenecks in enhancing relations with these countries. (250 words) 15 marks. 20 2011
17 Critically examine the security and strategic implications of the so-called 'string of pearls' theory for India. (250 words) 15 marks. 20 2011
18 As regards the increasing rates of melting of Arctic Sea ice, the interests of the Arctic Council Nations may not coincide with those of the wider world. Explain. (150 words) 10 marks. 20 2011
19 Bring out the FDI and employment implications of China being a manufacturing hub and India a services hub. (150 words) 15 marks. 20 2010
20 Terrorism: Source in Pakistan and Afghanistan (150 words) 2006
21 Examine the developments in Afghanistan in the post-Taliban period. (150 words) 2005
22 What is meant by Gujral Doctrine? Write its specific principles 150 words 1997
23 Mention the advantages which India enjoys being at the head of the Indian Ocean. (150 words) 1996
24 What geopolitical and economic advantages are enjoyed by India due to its location in the southern part of the Continent of Asia? (150 words) 1989
25 What are the differences in the approaches of India and Nepal to the transit-trade question? How is this question complicated by other issues (About 250 words)? 1989
26 Has the IPKF been able to achieve the goal set before it by the terms of the Indo-Sri Lanka Agreement? What are the options available to India (About 150 words)? (20) 1987
27 Why did USSR send troops to Afganistan? What are the broad issues involved? What has been India's response to the Afgan situation (Not more than 150 words)? 25 1980

Title: the case against war on Iran

Issue: US-Iran tension

Syllabus: General Studies-II - International Relations - Important events around the World

Context: The President of USA, Donald Trump has threatened Iran against any military moves made against USA or its ally. Such high rhetoric might just push U.S on the brink of another major war in West Asia

Highlights

1)      The present government in USA has taken a hawkish stance against Iran. USA under Trump has reneged from Iran nuclear deal in recent times, imposed sanctions on Iran’s interests.

2)      Recently, USA claiming to have credible intelligence has sent an aircraft carrier group and a bomber squadron to the Gulf

3)      All the stances of the present government are aimed to achieve a regime change in Iran.

4)      USA is being further hardened in its stance by support given to it by Saudi Arabia and Israel (both of whom which look at Iran as an enemy)

5)      Reasons to avoid such a full blown conflict in the region: Any war to such an effect would be morally wrong because:

  • Iran has not done anything wrong to warrant such an action. It has followed the terms and conditions set upon it because of Iran nuclear deal
  • Any action taken by USA against Iran would have to be unilateral. It will not be possible to get the approval of the United Nations Security Council
  • U.S.’s European allies, including the U.K are against any military action
  • Iran has sizeable military might to inflict damages on US military action if the situation comes to that.
  • Iran could activate non-state militia groups which it has nurtured in several countries.
  • Iran could block the Strait of Hormuz, which lies between the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, through which one-third of the world’s LNG and 20% of total oil production flows

6)      Consequences of such a unilateral action: A unilateral military action would further weaken international institutions and create more fissures in the Atlantic alliance.

7)      Diplomacy: Some of the concerns raised by US on Iran nuclear deal were genuine, but to unilaterally pull out from it rather than engage constructively with Iran was a short-sighted approach. US should start engaging with Iran through diplomacy rather than through any war

Takeaway point: US should immediately start with de-escalation process. It should also establish some form of positive engagement with Iran

Keywords: 'USA' 'Iran' 'Israel 'Saudi Arabia' 'Iran nuclear deal 'Strait of Hormuz' 'military action'
 

Currently there are no previous questions available.


Title: Why the BJP is not invincible in Uttar Pradesh?

Issue: Hindutva ideology

Syllabus: General Studies-II - Indian Polity and Constitution - Elections, Representation of Peoples Act

Context: The coalition that emerged out of Uttar Pradesh (UP) has given rise to an alternative to the Hindutva ideology of BJP in India

Highlights

1)      UP is a key battleground for many political parties in India. Since a sizeable share (80) of 543 Lok Sabha seats are allocated to this state

2)      It is expected that BJP would be unable to replicate the victory that it had achieved in 2014

3)      Reasons why BJP would be unable to replicate the victory:

  • Anti-incumbency
  • Emergence of a new alternative to BJP’s Hindutva

4)      About the new alternative: SP-BSP narrative offers a narrative of social justice and is also based on the value of secularism. Such a narrative is expected to dent the prospects of BJP according to the author

5)      Similarities between BJP and SP-BJP combine: There is a strong dependence on identity of the leader to mobilize votes rather than the work done by those parties

Takeaway point: Identity politics is still playing a significant role in Indian politics. Such kind of politics is not a good sign for Indian democracy

Keywords: 'Hindutva' 'Social justice' 'Secularism' 'Identity'
 

# Previous UPSC Question Marks Year
1 In the light of recent controversy regarding the use of Electronic Voting Machines (EVM), what are the challenges before the Election Commission of India to ensure the trustworthiness of elections in India? (10) 2018
2 To enhance the quality of democracy in India the Election Commission of India has proposed electoral reforms in 2016. What are the suggested reforms and how far are they significant to make democracy successful? (250 words) 2017
3 Examine the impact of Regional Political Parties in Indian politics. (150 words) 15 marks. 2008
4 what are the Main determination of voting behavior in India? (250 words) 2007
5 Identify the major electoral reforms which are necessary in the Indian Political System. (150 words) 2000
6 Is it correct to describe the party system in India as One party Dominant system ?give reasons for your answer. 1985
7 Why was it considered necessary to pass the anti-defection bill ? In what ways is it likely to improve the political health of the country? 1984
8 Despite all talk of an effective opposition why has it not been possible to develop an effective opposition in India? Enumerate the principle impediments to the achievements if the much desired political objective 1983
9 The Phenomenon of Political defection in India assumed large proportions in recent years. Bring out the factor responsible for the growth of this phenomenon. Is it right to say than ban on defection will amount to suppression of thought and action? 45 1981

Currently there are no previous questions available.


Title: A jibe that marked a new low in electoral politics

Issue: Decency and decorum in electoral politics

Syllabus: General Studies-II - Indian Polity and Constitution - Elections, Representation of Peoples Act

Context: Indian political discourse suffered a huge setback in the general elections conducted recently.

Highlights

  1. Politics should be made on those aspects which have an effect increasing the standard of living in a citizen’s life
  2. Parties should concentrate on fighting elections on the issue of development, jobs, security, law and order, price rise etc
  3. However, in the recent elections, political discourse was majorly concentrated towards targeting the character of a person, at times even a person who has long passed away.
  4. Consequences of such a scenario: Such character assassination affects the democratic values in the country. Important issues which affect the general citizens are lost in the background of such a discourse. Decency and decorum suffers due to such a narrative

Takeaway point: Any political discourse should be based on set of principles which improve the democratic spirit in the country rather than destroying it

Keywords: 'Political discourse' 'decency 'decorum' 'Elections'
 

# Previous UPSC Question Marks Year
1 In the light of recent controversy regarding the use of Electronic Voting Machines (EVM), what are the challenges before the Election Commission of India to ensure the trustworthiness of elections in India? (10) 2018
2 To enhance the quality of democracy in India the Election Commission of India has proposed electoral reforms in 2016. What are the suggested reforms and how far are they significant to make democracy successful? (250 words) 2017
3 Examine the impact of Regional Political Parties in Indian politics. (150 words) 15 marks. 2008
4 what are the Main determination of voting behavior in India? (250 words) 2007
5 Identify the major electoral reforms which are necessary in the Indian Political System. (150 words) 2000
6 Is it correct to describe the party system in India as One party Dominant system ?give reasons for your answer. 1985
7 Why was it considered necessary to pass the anti-defection bill ? In what ways is it likely to improve the political health of the country? 1984
8 Despite all talk of an effective opposition why has it not been possible to develop an effective opposition in India? Enumerate the principle impediments to the achievements if the much desired political objective 1983
9 The Phenomenon of Political defection in India assumed large proportions in recent years. Bring out the factor responsible for the growth of this phenomenon. Is it right to say than ban on defection will amount to suppression of thought and action? 45 1981

Currently there are no previous questions available.