Answers: Mains Marathon – UPSC Mains Current Affairs Questions – August 22, 2018


Q.1) Critically assess the need of military reform in India, giving special importance to recommendations of Naresh Chandra Committee.

Answer:  Need for military reform in India:

  1. Boundary disputes with Pakistan and China – China has rapidly modernized its armed forces and has emerged as a major arms developer and exporter. This poses a challenge to India.
  2. Successive committee reports have pointed to the need for a unified command structure in India due to the lack of coordination between the three armed forces.
  3. Warfare in the cyber and space domains affect all the arms. Fast moving digital battlefield requires flatter decision-making structures as compared to multiple verticals.
  4. Proposal about a tri-service chief, first mooted by the Arun Singh Committee in 1990, is yet to be implemented.
  5. 72% of budget goes into cost of personnel, 17% for maintenance of equipment and just 11% for new equipment.
  6. Indian military remains structured in the same way that it was thirty or even forty years ago.

Naresh Chandra committee recommendations:

  1. Creation of a new post of Intelligence Advisor to assist the NSA and the National Intelligence Board on matters relating to coordination in the functioning of intelligence committee
  2. Amendment to Prevention of Corruption Act to reassure honest officers, who take important decisions about defence equipment acquisition, so that they are not harassed for errors of judgement or decision taken in good faith.
  3. A permanent Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee
  4. Expediting the creation of new instruments for counter-terrorism, such as the National Intelligence Grid and National Counter Terrorism Centre.
  5. Deputation of officers from services up to director’s level in Ministry of Defense
  6. Measures to augment the flow of foreign language experts into the intelligence and security agencies, which face a severe shortage of trained linguists
  7. Promotion of synergy in civil-military functioning to ensure integration. To begin with, the deputation of armed services officers up to director level in the Ministry of Defence should be considered.
  8. Early establishment of a National Defence University (NDU) and the creation of a separate think-tank on internal security.


Q.2) Discuss the factors behind India’s ailing indigenous defense manufacturing. How new Strategic Partnership guidelines would be able to transform defense manufacturing in India?

Answer: Challenges in indigenous defence manufacturing:

  1. Subhash Bhamre committee says that “Make in India” initiative for the defence sector continues to languish due to procedural delays.
  2. The FDI in defence manufacturing is still at 49%. This does not incentivise foreign investments into India.
  3. The ‘offset policy’ is not effective most of the times. Many important contracts like the Multi-role Tanker Transport Aircraft (mid-air refueller) and the M-777 howitzer have faced considerable delays due to the offsets problem.
  4. The technology transfers under the defence deals do not favour India. Most of the time, the vital components of technology are not transferred.
  5. Lack of investment in defence production. Most of the defence budget(76%) goes into personnel only. Just 17% of it is spent on acquiring new technologies.
  6. The defence production at present is concentrated in the govt-run OFBs which are inefficient and lack updated technologies.
  7. The necessary skills and research environment for the defence production is lacking in India.

Strategic Partnership guidelines: this is intended to institutionalise a mechanism to encourage broader participation of the private sector in the manufacture of defence platforms and equipment. The following four segments have been identified for  acquisition under Strategic Partnership (SP) route:

a) Fighter Aircraft

b) Helicopters

c) Submarines

d) Armoured Fighting Vehicles (AFVs) / Main Battle Tanks (MBTs).


  1. This brings in private sector participation into defence production, which has been dominated by public sector units so far. This will bring in competition into the sector.
  2. The much needed investments into the sector will come.
  3. This encourages cutting edge research in new technologies as private partners aim for profits.
  4. More MSMEs will enter the sector as the whole defence industry along with its ancillary suppliers will grow.


Q.3) What were the reasons for which Fundamental Duties have repeatedly been called ineffective? Highlight the need and importance of incorporating FDs in Indian Constitution.  

Answer:  42nd  Constitutional Amendment to the constitution added a new part IVA to the Constitution. This part contained the Fundamental duties.

Why FDs are called ineffective:

  1. They are non-justiciable as the constitution does not provide for their direct enforcement by the courts.
  2. There  is no legal sanction against their violation life in the case of Fundamental Rights.
  3. The list of duties is not exhaustive as it does not cover other important duties like casting vote, paying taxes, family planning and so on.
  4. Some of the duties are vague, ambiguous and difficult to be understood by the common man. They are used to abuse people who choose to interpret the duties differently.
  5. Though Swaran Singh Committee had suggested for penalty or punishment for the non-performance of Fundamental Duties, it was not incorporated.

Need for incorporating FDs in constitution:

  1. Swaran Singh committee felt that citizens should become conscious that in addition to the enjoyment of rights, they also have certain duties to perform as well.
  2. They serve as a reminder to the citizens that while enjoying their rights, they should also be conscious of duties they owe to their country, their society and to their fellow citizens.
  3. They serve as a source of inspiration for the citizens and promote a sense of discipline and commitment among them. They create a feeling that the citizens are not mere spectators but active participants in the realisation of national goals.

Importance of FDs in constitution:

  1. Cherishing noble ideals of freedom struggle is a moral precept and respecting the Constitution, National Flag and National Anthem is a civic duty.
  2. They contain a codification of tasks integral to the Indian way of life.
  3. They serve as a warning against the anti-national and antisocial activities like burning the national flag, destroying public property and so on.
  4. They help the courts in examining and determining the constitutional validity of a law. In 1992 SC ruled that in determining the constitutionality of any law, if a court finds that the law in question seeks to give effect to a FD, it may consider such law to be ‘reasonable’ in relation to Article 14 (equality before law) or Article 19 (six freedoms) and thus save such law from unconstitutionality.
  5. The moral value of fundamental duties would be not to smother rights but to establish a democratic balance by making the people conscious of their duties equally as they are conscious of their rights.


Q.4)  The Constitution itself declares that the Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP) are fundamental to the governance of the country. In the light of the statement, discuss the importance of DPSP and highlight how these are different from the Fundamental Rights?

Answer:  The DPSP are enumerated in Part IV of the Constitution. Article 37 of the constitution says that these principles are fundamental in the governance of the country and it shall be the duty of the State to apply these principles in making laws.

Importance of DPSP:

  1. Directives have great value because they lay down that the goal of Indian polity is ‘economic democracy’ as distinguished from ‘political democracy’.
  2. They remind governments of the basic principles of the new social and economic order, which the Constitution aims at building.
  3. They have helped the courts in exercising their power of judicial review, that is, the power to determine the constitutional validity of a law.
  4. They facilitate stability and continuity in domestic and foreign policies in political, economic and social spheres in spite of the changes of the party in power.
  5. They are supplementary to the fundamental rights of the citizens. They are intended to fill  in the vacuum in Part III by providing for social and economic rights.
  6. Their implementation creates a favourable atmosphere for the full and proper enjoyment of the fundamental rights by the citizens. Political democracy, without economic democracy, has no meaning.
  7. They enable the opposition to exercise influence and control over the operations of the government. The Opposition can blame the ruling party on the ground that its activities are opposed to the Directives.

How DPSP differ from Fundamental Rights:

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