Answers: Mains Marathon – UPSC Mains Current Affairs Questions – April 27, 2018


Q.1) Do you think that the social media has an influence on electoral outcomes in india? Substantiate with examples. Also suggest measures to reduce the negative impact of social media on elections.(GS – 2)

There has been an increasing use of social media in the election process right from creating voter awareness to campaigning. While it has helped increase the voter turn out there have been allegations that the social media has influenced the electoral outcomes. This is the case not only in India but also abroad as witnessed in the 2016 US Presidential Elections.

Ways in which social media influences electoral outcomes:

1)Impacts the youth more than other demographic profiles.

2)Anonymous nature of the social media allows rivals to create rumours and impose allegations.

3)Vested interests not based in India can reach out to voters for personal gains.

4)New ways of bribing voters.

5)Leaking private information to damage the reputation of leaders

6)Creating false sensational news

7)Not all parties are digitally equipped to reach out to voters through the social media.

8)Leaking opinion poll data online in prohibited hours.

Measures to reduce negative impact of social media on elections:

1)Election commission to tie up with service providers and monitor content- both official and unofficial by the parties.

2)To increase voter awareness and create a special unit for receiving complaints of false propaganda.

3)Ban online presence of candidates as a punishment for misuse.

4)Strengthening cyber security and related laws to prevent theft and misuse of personal information.                               

5)Creating a special cyber cell within the Election Commission

6)Providing free training and social media consultancy for smaller parties and independent candidates to create a level playing field.

The social media has influenced the electoral outcomes both positively and negatively. It is the duty of the Election Commission and the citizens to reduce the negative impact so as to ensure free and fair elections which is the very essence of democracy.

Q.2) Discuss the role of India in the implementation of 1987 Indo-Sri Lanka Peace Accord. What are the associated challenges in its implementation?  (GS – 2)

It has been more than 30 years since the Indo-Sri Lanka Peace Accord has been signed.India’s principal interest in Sri Lanka arises from the fact that Sinhala-majority Sri Lanka has a substantial Tamil population with close emotional, cultural and historical links to India. Thus, India signed the India-Sri Lanka Accord and the Indian Peace Keeping Force was deployed in Sri Lanka to enforce the accord.

Immediately after signing the accord the Sri Lankan government passed the 13th Amendment Act, that provided for provincial autonomy to a united Tamil majority northern and eastern province.But it was not implemented and the civil war continued as LTTE and the Sri Lankan government did not trust each other and both of them did not trust India. Even after India withdrew from Sri Lanka in India in 1990,an enraged LTTE retaliated by assassinating Rajiv Gandhi in 1991.After that India played a minimal role in the conflict between LTTE and the Sri Lankan Government.

It was only after the end of the Civil War that India started playing a proactive role in the reconstruction of the war torn area. India chalked out a plan to help the Internally Displaced People to return to normal life as quickly as possible. India promised the construction of housing units, rehabilitation of Northern Railway lines, wreck-removal and rehabilitation of the KKs Harbour, establishment of Vocational Training Centres, construction of a Cultural Centre in Jaffna, establishing an Agricultural Research Institute in the Northern Province, expanding the scholarship program for Sri Lankan students to pursue their studies in India, setting up Centres for English Language training and providing technical assistance for the National Action Plan for a Trilingual Sri Lanka.

Mutual trust between both the countries has reached a new level under the present government due to frequent visits.India and Sri Lanka have set up a Joint Working Group of Fisheries(JWG) and a hotline between the Coast Guards.India’s Sri Lankan policy in recent times is centred around economic cooperation and security concerns and far less on political matters.

Sri Lanka is in the process of making a new Constitution which would being an end to the executive Presidency and provide a political solution to the Tamil question by political devolution amongst others. India has been extended all possible help to ensure democracy prevails in the neighbourhood. Sri Lanka is vital link in China’s One Belt One Road initiative and India is moving closer to Sri Lanka in all other spheres in order to counter China.

Q.3) Write short notes on:

a) Parental investment in Biology (GS – 3)  

b) Payout ratio in economics (GS – 3)

Parental investment in Biology

  • Parental investment refers to the investment that a parent makes to raise an offspring.
  • The term was first proposed by British biologist Ronald Fisher in his 1930 book The Genetical Theory of Natural Selection.


  1. Mating investment: Consisting of the sexual act and the sex cells invested
  2. Rearing investment: time and energy expended to raise the offspring after conception
  • Significance: Parental investment helps in the reproductive success of a species by facilitating the passing of its genes to the next generation.
  • Women’s parental investment in both mating and rearing efforts is higher than that of the male. American biologist Robert Trivers used this fact to explain various mating preferences.

Payout Ratio:

  • Payout ratio is a financial metric used to express the proportion of company’s earnings paid out to investors as cash dividends.
  • It is calculated by dividing the cash dividend paid during the year by the total amount of earnings.
  • A lower payout ratio indicates that a company is retaining more of its earnings to fuel its growth
  • On contrary, a higher payout ratio indicates that a company is sharing more of its earnings with stockholders.
  • A payout ratio of more than 100% means that a company’s dividend payments are exceeding its net income.
  • Growth companies generally have a lower payout ratio than mature companies with fewer reinvestment opportunities.
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