Answers: Mains Marathon – UPSC Mains Current Affairs Questions – April 23, 2019

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Q.1) “Character is not possessed rather cultivated.” Discuss with relevant example

Answer:

One is not born with character, but creates it. Character is a culmination of the experiences one faces, people one meets and the insights one gains.

Mahatma Gandhi did not by birth have all the values he prophesied. His mother taught him the importance of nonviolence. He learnt the importance of truthfulness through various experiments in life. He tested satyagraha in South Africa and believed in its ability before applying it to India.

It needs an individual to be aware of things happening around him. He should experiment with his value conflicts and build his personality over time. Family and educational institutions should help an individual in shaping his personality by inculcating values. In this process, any negative traits learnt through various social influences can be discarded.

Such self made personality gives an individual the strength to stand in tough times. This can be seen in the lives of many successful people like Abdul Kalam, Nelson Mandela etc.,

 

Q.2) What is IL & FS crisis? What are the factors contributing to defaults? Also, mention the steps taken by the government to resolve the IL & FS crisis.

Answer:

IL&FS missed more than five debt payments since August due to the lack of even short term liquidity and faces scrutiny from RBI. Credit rating agencies downgraded the company’s commercial paper to junk status. It triggered concerns around non-bank lenders whose stocks have fallen.

Factors behind the defaults:

  1. IL&FS is a story of “regulatory darkness” in India: As of now, the role of regulator has to be played by either the RBI or the Finance Ministry. Both of them ignored the problem.
  2. The problem has emerged because in the last few years, IL&FS has taken longer than expected to monetise some of its projects.
  3. Just like other infrastructure companies, IL&FS too expanded its portfolio rapidly during the infrastructure boom years and is now facing trouble with some of its projects, particularly in the roads sector.
  4. Firms have borrowed short-term when their revenue streams are long term.
  5. The rating agencies rated IL&FS as an AAA company and encouraged investors to invest their money in it. But now, they have conveniently rated it as junk.

Steps taken by government:

  1. RBI has already been cancelling licenses of those who do not have a minimum capital base of Rs 2 crore.
  2. RBI relaxed liquidity norms to ease the strain in the financial markets and allowed more bank lending to NBFCs. The provision will allow banks to free up Rs 50,000-60,000 crore of liquidity which banks can lend to NBFCs till December 31, 2018.
  3. Government filed a petition at NCLT under Companies Act. It allowed government to take over the board of IL&FS. Following this, the government appointed a new 6-member board to manage the IL&FS, which has been headed by Mr Uday Kotak.
  4. NHB has recently increased its refinancing limit by ₹6,000 crore– to ₹30,000 crore– to eligible institutions, including housing finance companies.

 

Q.3) Wage employment scheme like MGNREGA would be more effective than PM-KISAN to reduce rural distress. Examine

Answer:

According to several experts, strengthening the MGNREGA would be more prudent than a targeted cash transfer plan like PM-KISAN.

Why MNREGA is better:

  1. MGNREGA earnings for a household is more than a year’s income support through PM-KISAN. If two members of a household in Jharkhand work under MGNREGA for 30 days, they would earn ₹10,080 and a household of two in Haryana would earn ₹16,860 in 30 days. A month of MGNREGA earnings for a household is more than a year’s income support through PM-KISAN anywhere in the country.
  2. PM-KISAN is a targeted cash transfer programme , whereas MGNREGA is a universal programme. Any rural household willing to do manual work is eligible under the Act. According to the 2011 Socio-Economic and Caste Census, around 40% of rural households are landless and depend on manual labour. The landless can earn through the MGNREGA but are not eligible for the PM-KISAN scheme.
  3. It is unclear how tenant farmers, those without titles, and women farmers would be within the ambit of the PM-KISAN scheme.
  4. There is also substantial evidence to demonstrate that universal schemes are less prone to corruption than targeted schemes. In targeted programmes, it is very common to have errors of exclusion, i.e., genuine beneficiaries get left out.
  5. Strengthening an existing universal programme such as the MGNREGA would have been a prudent move instead of introducing a hasty targeted cash transfer programme.

 

Q.4) Constitution of India is a mere extension of Government of India Act, 1935. Do you agree, give reasons in support of your argument?

Answer:

Government of India Act, 1935:

  1. Establishment of an All-India Federation consisting of provinces and princely states as units. It divided the powers between the Centre and units in terms of three lists—Federal List, Provincial List and the Concurrent List.
  2. Abolished dyarchy in the provinces and introduced ‘provincial autonomy’ in its place.
  3. It also introduced responsible governments in provinces where governor was required to act with the advice of ministers responsible to the provincial legislature.
  4. Adoption of dyarchy at the Centre. The federal subjects were divided into reserved subjects and transferred subjects.
  5. Introduced bicameralism in 6 out of 11 provinces.
  6. Extended the principle of communal representation by providing separate electorates for depressed classes (scheduled castes), women and labour (workers).
  7. Abolished the Council of India, established by Government of India Act of 1858.
  8. Provided for the establishment of a Reserve Bank of India to control the currency and credit of the country.
  9. Provided for the establishment of Provincial Public Service Commission and Joint Public Service Commission for two or more provinces.
  10. It provided for the establishment of a Federal Court, which was set up in 1937.

The Constitution of India has borrowed most of its provisions from the Government of India Act of 1935. The structural part of the Constitution is largely derived from the GOI Act,1935. Features borrowed into the constitution:

  1. Federal scheme
  2. Role of federal judiciary
  3. Office of the governor
  4. Emergency provisions
  5. Public service commissions
  6. Administrative details

However, there are many other provisions that are included in the constitution derived from many other constitutions of the world. It would be an exaggeration to say that constitution is just an extension of the 1935 Act.

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