Answered: Mains Marathon – UPSC Mains Current Affairs Questions – June 29


1.What was the primary cause of the World War 2? Also, Discuss the contribution of India in World War 2.(GS 1)

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Primary cause of the world war II:-

  • There are many causes which led slowly to WWII but the primary cause which triggered the war is certainly the failure of appeasement
  • In the late 1930s, Britain and France were desperate to avoid another
    war with Germany.
  • Even though the Anschluss and the presence of German troops in the Rhineland were violations of the Versailles peace treaty, Britain and France did not react aggressively
  • This helped convince Hitler that these nations would not go to war over
    German territorial expansion.

    • The treaty had given the Sudetenland region, which had a population of around three million ethnic Germans, to the new nation of Czechoslovakia.
    • In 1938, Hitler demanded that the region be returned to Germany which was obliged by the allies.
  • In return, Hitler agreed not to make any further claims over disputed territory in Europe.
    • Despite these assurances, Germany invaded the rest of Czechoslovakia in March 1939.
  • The failure of appeasement resulted in Britain and France adopting a
    harder line against Germany. When Hitler began demanding the return of
    territories in Poland
    , Britain formed an Anglo-Polish alliance to guarantee
    Poland’s security.
  • In September 1939, Germany invaded Poland; and
    Britain, France and the British Dominions, including Australia, declared war on Germany.

However the other important reasons are:

  • Certainly the treaties devised at the end of World War I played a role, creating resentment in countries like Germany and Austria.
  • Japan also resented the humiliating
    abandonment of a racial equality clause at the Paris Peace Conference.
  • Fascism emerged in European countries as a response to economic recession
    and the rise of communism.
  • National aspirations and imperial ambitions helped ignite a conflict that would eventually erupt in theatres of war across four continents.
  • The Great Depression
    • Germany was one of the worst affected nations during the Depression, with mass unemployment becoming a major problem
    • Hitler and Nazis became attractive to Germans during this period.
    • This gave Hitler the opportunity to rise to power.

Contribution of India in World War II:-

  • Economic contribution:
    • Since India was under British rule much of money from many subsidiary kings directly/indirectly went to world war II.
  • Military contribution:
    • British India sent over two and a half million volunteer shoulders to fight under British commands against the axis power.
    • In South-East Asia alone, 700,000 Indian troops joined the effort to oust Japanese armies from Burma, Malaya and Indo-China.
    • Indian Army in Africa:
      • Indian army considered to be largest voluntary army fought in the WW-II supporting British side specially in Africa. This helped Allied forces in a big way.
      • Since Hitler concentrated all his efforts nearly at end of WW-II to conquer Poland/Russia, he relied on Mussolini to take control over African region.But Mussolini was in some kind of quest to win Greece more than anything else.
      • Allied forces from Africa which included Indian army did very good job in taking all the area which was earlier in control of Axis forces and also Parts of France Egypt etc…
    • Indian Army in Asia:
      • Due to unique geographical location of India, it helped to stop further advance of Japanese army in South-East Asia region. Indian Airforce involved in attacking Japanese forces stationed in Burma.
    • Indian Army in Europe: Many troops involved in liberating Italy as well.
  • Strategic position of Orissa and Bengal and even IIT Kharagpur  was used by the allied countries to restrict Japan by air and naval strikes.
  •  India liberated British colonies like Singapore and Hong Kong after Japan’s surrender.
  •  Ordinary workers – Chefs, boot makers, coolies played a passive role during the war.

2.Discuss the various land reforms measures brought by several governments since independence.(GS 3)

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Land reforms since independence:-

  • After the abolition of the Zamindari system some major reforms like ceiling on land holdings, tenancy reform and consolidation of holdings have effected a big change in village economy.
  • After independence, most of the major legislations with far-reaching consequences to land reforms have been passed.  The main features of the laws relating to land reforms are:
    • All states passed the laws to abolish intermediaries, with varying provisions for resumption for self-cultivation.
    • Ceiling laws showed wide variations in their actual ceilings.
    • All laws provided heritable rights to the tenants. Eviction is possible only if tenants violates the conditions of the agreement or if the landowner wants the land back for self-cultivation.
    • In all states the provisions for redistribution gave preference to SC caste for allocation of surplus land.
    • Provisions with respect to tribal lands were made in every state with sizeable tribal populations.
  • The five components of land reform are
    • Abolition of the Intermediataries:-
      • Following the recommendation of Kumarappa Committee, all the states in India enacted legislation for the abolition of intermediary tenures in the 1950s,
  • Tenancy Reforms:
    • Many land owners do not practice agriculture themselves. They lease out their lands to other needy persons on written or oral agreement for agriculture.
    • Some States have enacted laws to protect the interest of the tenants in such cases.
  • Ceiling on landholdings:
      • Ceiling limits have been prescribed by the States, above which a family can not own the land.
      • The surplus land is taken over by the State Government and distributed to the land less persons.
  • Consolidation of holdings, and
  • Compilation and updating of land records:
      • Computerisation of land records were done with states like MP,Karnataka
  • Bhoodan lands:-
    • The land owners who had large quantities of land were persuaded to surrender some parts of their land were persuaded to surrender some parts of their lands voluntarily during the time of shri vinobha bhave.
  • Common Property Resources:-
    • The village commons are used by the community for various purposes like pasture lands, for collection of minor forest produce and fuel wood etc. Some States have conferred rights to the community over such resources through enactments.
  • Waste Lands:-
    • States also distribute the wastelands available with them to the land less persons.
  • Tribal Land Alienation:-
    • Scheduled Tribes living in various parts of India are particularly in a vulnerable position as their lives are intertwined with the land.
    • Most of the States have enacted laws to protect their rights on the land. They cannot sell their lands to non STs.
    • If land is alienated fraudulently from them, then the States proactively pursue such cases so that the land is restored to the tribals.
    • Also the successive state governments have been following the policy of distribution of gram samaj land to the landless than strict implementation of the ceilings.


  • Land is a state subject:-
    • There are different laws for land and land records in different states.
    • So the records are out of date in most of the states and they do not reflect the ground reality.
      • Allotted land to the landless was waterlogged,unlevel,wasteland or sandy land not suitable for cultivation.
      • Government officials were bribed by the landlords and there was lack of support from government functionaries.
      • Also the bureaucracy neglected land management issues because it got loaded with other functions  and responsibilities.some of the survey operations like in darbhanga and Bhagalpur in 1964 are still waiting completion.
      • No efforts have been made to conduct resurveys to create up to date land records for villages for which land records are not available owing to the expensive and time consuming nature of resurvey operations.
      • To add to the above miseries of the rural population,majority of the revenue courts are choked with thousands of cases pertaining to land issues.
    • Land records modernisation schemes also did not show a large impact as the system of monitoring was not emphatically spelt out.
      • Also both the schemes excluded interconnectivity,GIS,connectivity with banks and treasuries and registration.The progress was uneven through out the country.
    • Land use planning:-
      • Good agricultural land is being acquired for industrial purposes where as large stretches of waste lands near to these sites are not used.
      • This is endangering for food security, excess land is being acquired for a project which is further sold at a premium. farmers are paid the rate of agricultural land while the land is used commercially.
      • Also many farmers were evicted during this process from their lands.
    • Adequate rehabilitation and resettlement of the displaced persons is not being ensured etc.
    • While land reforms were being implemented many big landlords distributed their land in several names to escape the provisions of the act.
    • Most studies indicate that inequalities increased instead of decreasing.The number of landless labourers has risen while the wealthiest 10% of the population monopolizes more land now than in 1951.
    • The issues related to land at present are dealt by various government departments including revenue, settlement and registration but there is little scope of interdepartmental coordination.
      • Also the revenue officials are not trained effectively to solve the disputes.
    • Land reforms and scheduled tribes:60% of indias forest cover lies in 187 tribal districts covered by sixth and fifth schedule of the constitution. The ST’s in India have also been losing access to their traditional lands. The 10th five year plan noted that between 1951 and 1990 21.3 million people were displaced of which 40% were tribal people.


  • Land use planning is very important in physical environmental management as well as biodiversity conservation. experiences from Gujarat need to be replicated like records maps are digitilised.
  • department of land resources has proposed to have national land use plan and state land use plan.
  • If degraded land is acquitted for distribution government should make the land cultivable.
  • Tensil and district level officials  should exercise effective supervision in identification of beneficiaries and working of the land management committee.
  • Resale of the land by the allottees should be prohibited.also government should provide credit,inputs etc to enable the land allottees to properly cultivate the land.
  • National land council should be reorganised on the lines of the NDC so as to make it a fully federal structure.
  • State governments have to decide on the allocation of resources as a matter of state’s commitment to this sector and not treat this as part of central government allocations.
  • In order to extricate land revenue administration from its present situation it must be placed under the plan head.
  • Advanced technological methods like satellite imagery may be tried because it is less expensive and less time consuming.
  • Regarding the land acquisition bill Some critics say that a district level regulator should be put in place to resolve any dispute when small and marginal farmers are either forced or induced to sell land by powerful contractors.
  • Replicating the Land banks model in kerala in other states.

3.What is the impact of El Nino and La Nina on monsoons?Discuss. (GS 1)

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  • El Niño and La Niña are opposite phases of what is known as the El Niño-Southern Oscillation(ENSO) cycle.
  • The ENSO cycle is a scientific term that describes the fluctuations in temperature between the ocean and atmosphere in the east-central Equatorial Pacific (approximately between the International Date Line and 120 degrees West).
  • La Niña is sometimes referred to as the cold phaseof ENSO and El Niño as the warm phase of ENSO.
    • La Niña is defined as the positive phase of El Niño Southern Oscillation and is associated with cooler than average sea surface temperatures in the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean.
  • El Niño refers to the large-scale ocean-atmosphere climate interaction linked to a periodic warming in sea surface temperatures across the central and east-central Equatorial Pacific.

Impact of El Nino and La Nina on monsoons:-

  • La Nina usually results in better than normal monsoon in India.
  • ENSO-induced warm zones in the Pacific cause the warm air over them to rise and initiate circulation cells. Such cells along northern Australia, Indonesia and the eastern edge of the Indian Ocean could have their downdraft sides over a nascent monsoon circulation cell in the Indian Ocean, which would disrupt its formation, causing poor monsoon rains over the subcontinent. This model implies that El Nino years should coincide with deficient monsoon rains.
  • El Niño-like conditions leave
    countries like India, Indonesia and Aus-
    tralia drier, increasing chances of wild-
    fires and lower crop production, while
    leading to heavier rainfall in the eastern Pacific and South American nations, raising the spectre of floods and land- slides.
  • India is expected to be the first to
    suffer, with weaker monsoon rains, undermining the nation’s fragile food supply.

El nino:-

Off the coast of Peru (read in Eastern Pacific and Central Pacific), there is normally cool surface water because of the cold Peruvian current. But El Niño makes it go warm.


When the water becomes warm, the tread winds, which otherwise flow from East to west, either reverse their direction or get lost.

Due to this warm water, the air gets up and surface air pressure above Eastern Pacific gets down. On the other hand, the waters cool off in western pacific and off Asia. This leads to rise in surface pressure over the Indian Ocean, Indonesia, and Australia.

Now as the pressure over the Peruvian coast reduces because of the warm sea water, the flow of moisture laden winds is directed to the Peruvian coasts from the western pacific (the areas near North Australia and South-east Asia – refer to the diagrams above).
Hence, the moisture laden winds that should have moved towards the Indian coast now move towards the Peruvian coast.

The warm water causes lots of clouds getting formed in that area, causing heavy rains in Peruvian desert during El Niño years.
This robs the Indian subcontinent of its share in the Monsoon rains. The greater the temperature and pressure difference, the greater would be the shortage in the rainfall in India.

La Nina:

The water in Eastern Pacific, which is otherwise cool; gets colder than normal. There is no reversal of the trade winds but it causes strong high pressure over the eastern equatorial Pacific.

On the other hand, low pressure is caused over Western Pacific and Off Asia.
This has so far caused the following major effects: Drought in Ecuador and Peru. Low temperature, High Pressure in Eastern Pacific.
Heavy floods in Australia; High Temperature in Western Pacific, Indian Ocean, Off coast Somalia and good rains in India. Drought in East Africa.

For India, an El Niño is often a cause for concern because of its adverse impact on the south-west monsoon; this happened in 2009. A La Niña, on the other hand, is often beneficial for the monsoon, especially in the latter half. The La Niña that appeared in the Pacific in 2010 probably helped 2010’s south-west monsoon end on a favorable note.

  • Indian droughts since 1950, it is observed that India faced 13 droughts and 10 of these were in El Nino years and one in a La Nina year.


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