Answers: Mains Marathon – UPSC Mains Current Affairs Questions – August 7, 2018

Upcoming Current Affairs & Essay Test Series


Q.1) Discuss the controversial issues around article 35A of the Indian constitution. Should Supreme Court repeal this provision? Provide valid arguments in support of your opinion.

Answer: 35A : Article 35 A empowers the Jammu & Kashmir State Legislature to define, “permanent residents” and to protect their rights in terms of employment, property and scholarship or aid by government organization.

What are the controversies around it:

  1. Article 35 A was added to the Constitution of India through a Presidential Order. Article 35A is based on a pact between the Union and the State and cannot be unilaterally altered.
  2. It is alleged that the law promotes gender bias and discrimination. It restricts the right to property if a native woman marries a man not holding a permanent resident certificate.
  3. It is argued that the article goes against the “very spirit of oneness of India” as it creates a “class within a class of Indian citizens”.

Why it needs to be repealed?

  1. The parliamentary route of lawmaking was bypassed when the President incorporated Article 35A into the Constitution. Though SC in Puranlal Lakhanpal judgement says that President may modify an existing provision in the Constitution under Article 370, it is silent whether President can introduce a new Article.
  2. Restricting citizens from other States from getting employment or buying property within Jammu and Kashmir is a violation of fundamental rights under Articles 14, 19 and 21 of the Constitution.

Why it needs to be retained?

  1. By striking down Article 35A, it would allow people from outside Jammu-Kashmir to settle in the state and acquire land and property, and the right to vote, thus altering the demography of the Muslim-majority state.
  2. The matter is “very sensitive” and requires a “larger debate”.

As the matter pertains to autonomy of the state of J&K, it needs to be debated more and more consultations with people of the state can be made. SC cannot impose any decision on the people and it is better if any decision comes from the legislature.


Q.2) India’s law governing motor vehicles and transport is archaic, lacking the provisions necessary to manage fast motorisation. Critically analyze the provisions of Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill.

Answer: The Motor Vehicle Act of 1988 has not been updated ever since it first came into being. Latest Road Accidents in India report by Road Transport and Highways Ministry reports 4,80,652 accidents in India in 2016 leading to about 1.5 lakh deaths. The new Motor Vehicle Amendment Bill aims to curb accidents with stiffer penalties.

MV Act: Where does it lack?

  1. Passenger transport sector within cities has grown amorphously, with vested interests exploiting the lack of transparency and regulatory bottlenecks.
  2. State-run services have not kept pace with the times. Major investments made in the urban metro rail systems are yielding poor results in the absence of last-mile connectivity services.

Provisions of MV(Amdt) Bill

  1. Setting up National Road Safety Board.
  2. Defines digital aggregators life Uber, Ola and Meru as market place for a passenger to connect with driver.
  3. Opens up the public transport sector for the private players.
  4. Aims to create National Transportation Policy within the ambit of a national Act giving power to the Centre.

Pros & Cons

Benefits from the bill:

  1. Creating an equitable regulatory framework for the orderly growth of services is critical.
  2. Regulatory changes introduced in Europe over the past few years for bus services have fostered competition, reduced fares and increased services operating across European Union member-states.
  3. The effort to curb institutionalised corruption at Regional Transport Offices by making it possible for dealers to directly register new vehicles, and enabling online applications for driving licences is welcome.
  4. New provisions to harness technology, including CCTV monitoring, to improve road safety are appreciated.

Opposed on these grounds:

  1. That it would threaten federalism because central law will prevail over all states and ‘transport’ is a subject in concurrent list.
  2. Amendments dealing with road safety are likely to achieve little without strong enforcement by the States.
  3. That dealers may end up gaining much from these new amendments.
  4. Lack of a professional accident investigation agency to determine best practices.
  5. Public Transportation System at present is a state subject and is operated by State Transport Undertakings (STUs). The transport sector workers fear if the private sector is allowed to interfere in this sector, it will create more difficulty to the public and will be a threat to the job security of the employees working under STUs.
  6. Feared that it will expedite privatization of public transport system and take-over by big private corporates leading to monopolization and enhancement of the public transport fares to the detriment interest of the common working people.


Q.3) During elections of 1930s Nazi party came out to become single largest party. What were the factors that contributed in its popularity?

Answer: In the 1932 elections, Nazis became the single largest party winning 230 seats out of 608.

Factors for their huge popularity are:

  1. They claimed that Marxists, Jews are the reason for real troubles to Germany. They promised prosperity to the nation by ridding Germans of them .
  2. They tapped on the huge sentiment against Versailles treaty and promised to overthrow the arrangement.
  3. The organisational abilities of Hitler made the Nazi army popular among youth.
  4. Fearing the communists, wealthy landowners and industrialists encouraged the Nazis’ policy.
  5. They also tapped on the weaknesses of the govt of Weimar republic, which was inherently weak, dull and failed to maintain law and order.
  6. The economic crisis of 1929 helped Hitler in attaining the power. The widespread unemployment gained mass support for Hitler.


Q.4) Explain why racism became a more important part of Italian fascism in the 1930s.

Answer:  Racial policy is an important component of the Fascist state introduced in ITaly under Mussolini. Though race did not make a component for a long time, it occupied a main place later.

It was not an important part of policy earlier:

  1. Mussolini encouraged Zionism at one time as he thought it useful to embarrass British.
  2. Many leading members of the Fascist party were Jews.

Why racism became important part of the policy?

  1. Mussolini believed that Italians belonged to Aryan race that was superior. He was worried that the slaves intermarried with Aryans and create a wrong impression of Italian character.
  2. After Britain and France received Abyssinian invasion negatively, Italy was pushed to make an alliance with Germany. He made the Rome-Berlin axis with Hitler in 1936.
  3. The possession of territory in Africa needs to be justified in the name of superiority of race. The Charter of Race published in 1938 claimed that Arabs, Africans and Jews were all inferior races.
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