Answers: Mains Marathon – UPSC Mains Current Affairs Questions – April 10, 2019

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Q.1) Gupta period is often called the Golden Age of ancient India. Examine

Answer:

Prosperity in the Gupta Empire initiated a period known as the Golden Age of India, marked by extensive inventions and discoveries in science, technology, engineering, art, dialectic, literature, logic, mathematics, astronomy, religion, and philosophy.

  1. Chandragupta II promoted the synthesis of science, art, philosophy, and religion because his court contained the Navartna, or the Nine Jewels who produced advancements in many academic fields.
  2. Aryabhata envisioned the concept of zero, as well as working on the approximation for the long-form number Pi. Aryabhata is also believed to be the first of the Indian mathematician-astronomers who postulated the theory that the Earth moves round the Sun and is not flat, but instead is round and rotates on its own axis.
  3. Varahamihira was an astronomer, astrologer, and mathematician, whose main work is a treatise on mathematical astronomy.
  4. Sushruta wrote the Samhita, a Sanskrit text on all of the major concepts of ayurvedic medicine, with innovative chapters on surgery.
  5. Kalidasa, considered the greatest poet and dramatist of the Sanskrit language, also belonged primarily to this period. He wrote plays, such as Shakuntala
  6. Vatsyayana, authored the Kama Sutra, which became a standard work on human sexual behavior, while Vishnu Sharma is author of the Panchatantra fables, one of the most widely-translated, non-religious books in history
  7. This time also produced magnificent architecture, including palaces and temples, as well as sculptures and paintings. The walls of Buddhist shrines and monasteries were decorated with colorful frescoes, a type of wall paintings.
  8. Gupta Empire became an important cultural center and influenced nearby kingdoms and regions in Burma, Sri Lanka, and Southeast Asia. Classical forms of Indian music and dance, created under the Guptas, are still practiced all over Asia today.

 

Q.2) What do you understand by fourth Industrial revolution? What are the opportunities and challenges associated with fourth Industrial revolution?

Answer:

4th IR or the major revolution since the industrial revolution involves fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres, collectively referred to as cyber-physical systems.

Opportunities to India:

  1. With more than 50% of population under the age of 27, India can become the knowledge economy of the world by supplying skilled workers that help in transition.
  2. It can help India leapfrog traditional phases of development and accelerate its transition to a developed nation.
  3. Artificial intelligence (AI) can be used effectively to reduce poverty by improving policy making and implementation.
  4. Improve the lives of farmers by effective use of technology for precision and climate smart agriculture.
  5. Blockchain has potential applications to a wide range of issues – from cross-border data flows to the future provision of government services and natural resource management.
  6. Unmanned aircraft systems, commonly referred to as drones, have the ability to increase crop yields, make dangerous jobs safe, and act as a lifeline for remote populations.

Challenges faced by India:

  1. As it is technology intensive, the capital costs involved in making the transition are challenging to a developing nation like India.
  2. As the technology rapidly changes with advances in science, there is a need to build flexible and dynamic models to respond to the changes and optimize their impact.
  3. Challenges in skilling the workforce with rapidly evolving skills.
  4. It may result in substantial job losses.
  5. The country can’t lead the industrial revolution and drive the change towards the advancement of fourth industrial revolution without the penetration of electricity and internet.
  6. India needs to strengthen the manufacturing sector by using the latest technology and material such as 3D printing, nanotechnology, precision mechanical device, integrated circuits, medical imaging devices.

 

Q.3) Good governance is incomplete without e-governance. Discuss. Also, briefly outline the potential barriers in the implementation of e-governance in India.

Answer:

No governance reform programme can be designed without e-governance at its core.

Benefits of e-gov:

  1. Reduces information gap between government and citizens
  2. Ease of access reduces role of government interface, thus arresting corruption
  3. The reach of government services can be far and widespread
  4. Transparency and accountability can be enforced with digital transactions

Limitations:

  1. Often, project design had been done in silos. It was a piecemeal approach which did not take into consideration the big picture with respect to delivery of services. It only ended up rendering internal processes more efficient, without impacting the delivery significantly
  2. Digital divide within our population renders e-governance ineffective for a majority
  3. Lack of infrastructure in rural areas
  4. Corruption still prevails as seen in the case of railway ticket booking through brokers

 

Q.4) NaMo TV highlight loopholes present in regulatory framework. Examine? What are the other issues issues with NaMo TV?

Answer:

NaMo TV is a 24-hour channel exclusively featuring Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speeches and pro-BJP content and was launched on various DTH and cable TV platforms on March 31.

Regulatory failure:

I&B Ministry has told the Election Commission that NaMo TV is a ‘platform service’. It is a kind of “advertising platform” and claimed that it does not need government’s approval.

  1. As per the Constitution, legislative & executive power over ‘Posts and telegraphs; telephones, wireless, broadcasting, and other like forms of communication’ vests with the Union
  2. All satellite-based channels require the ministry’s permission to be downlinked in the country irrespective of the content, or the platform it is available on.
  3. But the regulation allows the DTH platforms to offer its own value-added services, for which there is no licence required.
  4. There is no legal architecture covering ground operations of local cable operators or multi-system operators. NaMo TV broadcast feed available to the world via satellite without going through the process of acquiring a broadcast license highlight the loophole.

Other Issues:

  1. Violation of poll code: NaMo TV was launched after the election code of conduct was in force. For most parties, NaMo TV is a propaganda tool for ahead of the Lok Sabha election and it gives an unfair advantage to a party.
  2. Identity and ownership: There are no clarity over category of NaMo TV whether it is news channel or an add-on service offered by a direct-to-home (DTH) operator or an entertainment channel
  3. As Platform service: Many DTH Operator has told that NaMo TV is a ‘platform service’. While platform services have traditionally been exclusive offerings by each DTH operator, NaMo TV is available across DTH operators in the country.
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