Answers: Mains Marathon – UPSC Mains Current Affairs Questions – April 15, 2019

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Q.1) In electoral bond case, the Supreme Court ordered all political parties to furnish the details of the electoral bond. Critically analyse supreme court judgement in context of electoral reforms

Answer:

As per the judgement of the Supreme Court, all political parties are to disclose to the Election Commission of India the details of every donation they receive through electoral bonds

Problems with electoral bonds:

  1. bonds will help any party that is in power because the government can know who donated what money and to whom.
  2. Also income tax breaks may not be available for donations through electoral bonds. This pushes the donor to choose between remaining anonymous and saving on taxes
  3. electoral bonds had legalised the anonymity of political donors and the parties receiving contributions
  4. right to vote meant the right to make an informed choice. Knowing the candidate was only “half the exercise”; the voters should also know the source of funding of parties who put up these candidates
  5. elections are being fuelled by black money
  6. Donors who contribute less than ₹20,000 to political parties through purchase of electoral bonds need not provide their identity details like PAN
  7. as the donor’s name is not known, any shell company can make donations and the source from where the money is coming would be difficult to trace

 

Q.2) Recently scientist unveils the first direct image of black hole. What are the key findings?  What is the significance of this image?

Answer:

The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT has taken the first direct image of a black hole in the centre of another galaxy called galaxy Messier 87.

Findings:

  1. The researchers were able to deduce the mass of the M87* at 6.5 billion times that of the Sun
  2. EHT scientists also deduced the radius of the event horizon as 3.8 micro-arcseconds
  3. Rotation of the black hole is in a clockwise direction, and that its spin points away from earth
  4. The ring of light around the black hole looks a little lopsided

Significance:

  1. Einstein’s Relativity is a real scientific law: Image of a black hole is the first direct proof of existence of black hole and proves that Einstein’s Relativity is a real scientific law.
  2. More precise knowledge about black hole : The image doesn’t show the black hole’s event horizon, but it is enough to infer some of the black hole’s properties
  3. Accurate estimates for black hole masses: EHT observations were able to deduce the mass of the M87* at 6.5 billion times that of the Sun. Previous estimates — based on models as well as spectroscopic observations of the galaxy by the Hubble Space Telescope — ranged between 3.5 and 7.7 billion solar masses.
  4. Help in proving other theories: It would help in proving other theories such as the Big Bang theory, where the plot is similar

 

Q.3) The provision of health, education and public services matters more than income support schemes. Examine

Answer:

Limitations of Income support scheme:

  1. The sum assured may not meet the basic required incomes of an average income household
  2. Cash transfers do not address the structural issues in Indian society that arise from caste, religious, disability and gender based disparities
  3. Identification of beneficiaries is a major challenge
  4. Loan waivers have already put a strain on state exchequers. The income transfer scheme will further strain the fiscal capacity of states
  5. In the absence of robust health, education infrastructure the incomes will be mostly spent on these services provided by private providers

 

Q.4) What were the objectives of various tribal uprisings in India during British rule? Evaluate their compatibility with freedom struggle.

Answer:

Tribal uprisings – objectives:

  1. To regain the traditional rights of community over forest produce and ownership.
  2. To reclaim the land which is lost to outsiders.
  3. Against the nexus of moneylenders, officers and outsiders who encroached into the tribal system and led to a debt ridden tribal society.
  4. Rejection of alien elements and attempts to restore their pristine culture and relig­ion are also considered as responsible for the rise of messianic movements among the tribals.
  5. Sufferings caused by wars and harassment by the disbanded soldiery are also responsible for dissatisfaction among the tribals.

Wrt Freedom struggle:

  1. Mostly the solidarity was within the tribal community and not for the rest of India, which is the objective of freedom struggle.
  2. They are isolated in nature and fought only for the local reasons of the tribe.
  3. They did not understand the larger picture of colonial exploitation.
  4. As most of the uprisings were dispersed across the country, there seems to be no unity and united front against the British rule
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