Answers: Mains Marathon – UPSC Mains Current Affairs Questions – April 30, 2019

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Q.1 In light of the recent attacks by ISIS and its presence in the Indian Subcontinent, how far do you think India’s counter-terrorism strategy is strong enough to insulate its land and people from falling prey to such extremists ideologies and its inevitable consequences?

Answer:

Challenges in India’s counter terrorism:

  1. Increasing role of social media driven extremism and spread of radicalisation
  2. Lack of comprehensive one stop solution for anti terror activity that involves all the stakeholders – civil society, centre, states and citizens
  3. State and non state actors from across the borders
  4. Many players who exploit the faultlines in Indian society across religions or castes
  5. Growing hate speeches and hate crimes within the country

Way ahead:

  1. Establishing NCTC with full participation of the states
  2. Training state and local law and order responders
  3. Curbing terror finance is one of the stated goals of demonetisation.

a) Raids conducted by Security Agencies, to choke the funding patterns of various terrorists outfits.

b) Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA)

c) Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has issued a number of circulars, which provide guidelines and standards to be met by banks, which includes the master circular of Know Your Customer/Anti-Money Laundering/Countering the Finance of Terrorism Obligations

4. Strong multilateral mechanisms to enhance cooperation among nations

 

Q.2) Examining the role of forests governance in securing ecosystem services and ensured livelihoods, discuss as to how it can be made more meaningful and effective in India.

Answer:

Often the development and environmental protection are seen as contradicting to each other in forest governance.

Balancing livelihood and ecosystem needs:

  1. Enhancing the role of local communities in making decisions on projects and also giving them a share in benefits out of such projects
  2. Not allowing extremely damaging infrastructure projects in deep forest areas
  3. Compensatory mechanisms have to be strictly enforced
  4. Social impact assessment and environmental impact assessment have to be transparently done
  5. Relief and rehabilitation projects should also include the social and cultural costs of damage

 

Q.3 Heatwave has emerged as one of the major severe weather events around the globe in recent years. Elaborate. Also, discuss the measures that should be taken for heat wave risk reduction.

Answer:

Reasons for increasing heat waves:

  1. Sparser pre-monsoon season showers leaves less moisture than normal to the area and thus making large parts of India arid and dry.
  2. El Nino is often responsible for increasing temperatures in Asia.
  3. Climate change is also responsible for increasing extremes in temperatures and rainfall.
  4. Urban heat island effect – Our city planning is responsible for replacing our green spaces and water bodies with concrete.
  5. Reduced span of winter and variability of seasons.

Measures to be taken:

  1. Educating people about the measures they should take to avoid the ill effects of heat wave conditions.
  2. Forecast and Issuance of Heat Alert or Heat Warning.
  3. Acclimatization: People at risk are those who have come from a cooler climate to a hot climate. When such visitors arrive during the heatwave season, they should be advised not to move out in open.
  4. Preparation of Heat Wave Action Plan
  5. Mitigating Heat Wave through constructing shelters/ sheds, bus stands and provide drinking water points at worksites

 

Q.4 Absolute freedom and independence of judges is imperative and necessary for the better administration of Justice. Critically Analyse.

Answer:

Need for judicial independence:

  1. For judicial decisions to be fully independent from pressures of legislature
  2. To uphold the fundamental rights of citizens against state’s power
  3. To address concerns of marginalised sections often ignored by administration and legislature; through Public Interest Litigation
  4. To act as the conscience keeper of the nation and defend the constitution
  5. To hold accountable various executive and legislative actions through judicial review
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