Answers: Mains Marathon – UPSC Mains Current Affairs Questions – August 10, 2018

Upcoming Current Affairs & Essay Test Series


Q.1) DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill, 2018 can be an important tool in solving crimes, but it is important that there are safeguards to protect human rights and prevent miscarriages of justice. Discuss.

Answer: The primary intended purpose for enactment of “The DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill” is for expanding the application of DNA-based forensic technologies to support and strengthen the justice delivery system of the country.

Role in solving crimes:

  1. It is the process of determining an individual’s DNA characteristics, which are as unique as fingerprints.
  2. Although 99.9% of human DNA sequences are the same in every person, enough of the DNA is different that it is possible to distinguish one individual from another, unless they are monozygotic (“identical”) twins.
  3. DNA profiling uses repetitive sequences that are highly variable, called variable number tandem repeats (VNTRs). VNTR loci are so variable that unrelated individuals are extremely unlikely to have the same VNTRs.

In this way, forensic DNA profiling helps in solving cases involving offences affecting the human body such as murder, rape, human trafficking, or grievous hurt and those against property including theft, burglary, and dacoity.

The Bill’s provisions will enable the cross-matching between persons who have been reported missing on the one hand and unidentified dead bodies found in various parts of the country on the other, and also for establishing the identity of victims in mass disasters.

Need to protect human rights

  1. Using DNA effectively during criminal investigations requires proper crime scene examination, trained and reliable policing, a trusted chain of custody of samples, reliable analysis, and proper use of expert evidence in court. Without these prerequisites, a DNA database will exacerbate rather than solve problems in the criminal justice system: for example, by leading to miscarriages of justice through (false matches or misinterpretation or planting of evidence, and diverting resources) from more important priorities.
  2. Many errors occur before samples get to the laboratory. So the requirement for laboratory accreditation should include quality assurance for crime scene examination.
  3. The Bill’s proposed DNA Regulatory Board is too powerful and insufficiently transparent or accountable.
  4. There is a need to restrict DNA profiling so that it uses only non-coding DNA, a commonly used international standard. It which prevents the use of parts of the DNA which code for personal characteristics, including medical conditions.
  5. There is no protection for international sharing of DNA profiles.


Q.2) The lateral entry scheme, if implemented properly, may foster more competitive spirit, break the complacency of the higher civil servants and eventually prove to be a pioneering initiative in public interest. Elucidate.

Answer:  Lateral Entry allows for professionals from diverse sectors to enter the civil services at a secretary level. This is expected to bring in efficiency through competition in the system

How it can help:

  1. By bringing in competition with professionals or specialists, the government servants are compelled to update their knowledge.
  2. Civil services in India is a generalist job whereas rapidly changing socio-economic-technological scenario demands one to be a specialist in various domains. Lateral entry brings in subject specialists to the job and contributes in improving the efficiency of the system
  3. Several committees on Personnel Administration have recommended lateral entry to improve the efficiency of Indian civil services.
  4. Higher bureaucracy in the secretariat often has to examine proposals received from specialised departments/corporations life the Central Public Works Department, Central Water Commission and prepare a cohesive note to facilitate the Minister concerned. This needs expertise in the respective domains.
  5. It supplements the existing stock of talent by attracting fresh blood into the system.
  6. It can also address the challenges of politics-bureaucrats nexus that is leading to cases of collusive corruption in India.
  7. It checks the automatic mode of every member of the higher services reaching the top echelons and brings in merit in promotions too.
  8. There are challenges, however, like the likely induction of loyalists to the current dispensation. Doubts have been expressed if private business houses would “plant” their people in order to influence government policies.


Q.3) A number of factors prompted the United States to enter the First World War Discuss. Also, enumerate the various consequences of the United States entering the war?

Answer: US entered the first world war after the sinking of the British ocean liner Lusitania by a German U-boat in 1915 where 128 Americans died. Effectively, it stayed neutral from 1914 to 1917.

Factors which prompted US entry:

  1. The invasion of neutral Belgium and stories of German atrocities in the country which shocked and outraged the Americans. Stories of unarmed civilians being killed and small towns being destroyed circulated throughout the press.
  2. Trade between the Central Powers and U.S. was severely curtailed by Britain’s naval blockade of Germany.
  3. U.S. banks also provided the warring nations with loans, the bulk of which went to the Allies.
  4. A German submarine sank the British ocean liner Lusitania, resulting in the deaths of nearly 1,200 people, including 128 Americans. This strained diplomatic relations between US and Germany. It also turned public opinion against Germany. Despite promises, German U-boats sank a series of U.S. merchant ships, resulting in multiple casualties.
  5. Zimmerman telegram proposed an alliance between Germany and Mexico that if America joined the war on the side of the Allies. They promised that Germans would support the Mexicans in regaining the territory they’d lost in the Mexican-American War.
  6. After this incident, US officially entered the First World War.

Consequences of US entry:

  1. It brought the war on European front to an end.
  2. US explanded its trade heavily taking advantage of Europe’s preoccupation with war. Thus it could rise as an economic power by the end of the war. The balance of economic power began the transfer from the drained nations of Europe to America.
  3. U.S’ military was turned into a large-scale fighting force with the intense experience of modern war


Q.4) What were the various causes of French Revolution? Discuss the impacts this revolution had on Europe.

Answer:  French Revolution is the revolutionary movement that shook France between 1787 and 1799. It denotes the end of the ancien régime in France.

Causes of French Revolution:

Social causes:

  1. French society was divided into classes, or estates. There were two privileged classes, the clergy and the nobles. In a population of 25,000,000 people, these two classes together owned about 40% of the total land of France. The life of the nobility was everywhere characterized by extravagance and luxury.
  2. The rest of the people of France were called the Third Estate. They were the common people and numbered about 95%of the total population. Most of them lived in poverty and had to pay a large share of taxes disproportionate to their incomes.

The Intellectual Movement:

  1. The French revolutionary philosophers asserted that man was born to be happy. They believed that man can attain happiness if reason is allowed to destroy prejudice and reform man’s institutions.
  2. The clergy were the first to feel the brunt of the French philosophers. A long series of scientific advances dating from the Renaissance helped in their campaign against the clergy.
  3. The French economists of the time were called ‘physiocrats’. They believed in “Laissez faire”
  4. Montesquieu, thought about the kind of government that is best suited to man and outlined the principles of constitutional monarchy.

Immediate causes:

  1. Louis XVI’s need for money compelled him to agree to a meeting of the States General— the old feudal assembly. Louis wanted to obtain its consent for new loans and taxes. All three Estates were represented in it but each one held a separate meeting.
  2. Members of the Third Estate, claiming to represent 96 per cent of the nation’s population, declared themselves the National Assembly.
  3. This led to the fall of Bastille and the revolution spread to rural parts of France. Soon, the king was forced to flee.

Impact on Europe:

  1. It inspired revolutionary movements in almost every country of Europe. Eg., the 1830 and 1848 revolutions.
  2. Even though the old ruling dynasty of France had been restored to power in 1815, and the autocratic governments of Europe found themselves safe for the time being, the rulers found it increasingly difficult to rule the people.
  3. Some of the changes that took place in many parts of Europe in the early 19th century were the immediate, direct consequences of the Revolution and the Napoleonic wars.
  4. The wars in which France was engaged with other European powers had resulted in the French occupation of vast areas of Europe for some time.
  5. The French soldiers, wherever they went, carried with them ideas of liberty and equality shaking the old feudal order. They destroyed serfdom in areas which came under their occupation and modernized the systems of administration.
  6. Under Napoleon, the French had become conquerors instead of liberators. The countries which organized popular resistance against the French occupation carried out reforms in their social and political system. The leading powers of Europe did not succeed in restoring the old order either in France or in the countries that the Revolution had reached.
  7. The political and social systems of the 18th century had received a heavy blow. They were soon to die in most of Europe under the impact of the revolutionary movements that sprang up everywhere in Europe.
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