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


Q.1) What do you understand by agroforestry? Highlight the benefits of agroforestry.


Agroforestry is the management and integration of trees, crops and livestock on the same plot of land.


  1. Using the ecological functions of trees, animals and crops has the potential of increasing food production while simultaneously reducing agriculture’s footprint on the environment.
  2. IT has a role in improving water’s quality and availability.
  3. Agroforestry can increase and diversify farmers’ incomes and allow them to have access to more nutritious food.
  4. Agroforestry can empower women, validate indigenous knowledge and improve rural livelihoods.
  5. The trees felled or their residues can be used as wood energy for cooking and/or heating.
  6. Leaves, and other parts of trees, can serve as forage for livestock.
  7. By capturing, filtering and storing water, agroforestry systems may play an important role in regulating water supply.
  8. Trees and plants grown on farms are important sources of medicines and natural remedies, which help improve people’s health.
  9. The economic value of tree products has great potential to support agro foresters working their way out of poverty.


Q.2) How can BRICS play a role in resolving issues between India and China?


India and China’s standoff at the Doklam ended a week before China hosts the annual BRICS last year.

Role of BRICS:

  1. BRICS has given China a chance to play a greater role in global governance and it doesn’t want to disturb that.
  2. BRICS has furthered the cause of a multipolar world.
  3. Its role in acting towards development of the developing world reduces tensions between the leading economies of the grouping, India and China.
  4. BRICS loses its credibility without India’s support and China cannot continue to ignore India on the international scene.


Q.3) What is the utility of GDP in measuring the economic growth of Indian economy? Is there any need to overhaul the measurement of India’s GDP?


Gross Domestic Product or GDP measures the total value of goods produced and services provided in a country during one year.

Utility of GDP in measuring growth – benefits:

  1. This provides a macroeconomic view of the state of economy and helps in making policy decisions.
  2. It also makes comparison of Indian economy with other global economies simple and efficient as most countries adopt it as a measure of economy.
  3. Businesses can also use GDP as a guide to decide how best to expand or contract their production and other business activities.

Challenges and need to overhaul:

  1. It does not account for several unofficial income sources – GDP relies on official data, so it does not take into account the extent of the  underground economy, which can be significant in some nations.
  2. It is an imperfect measure in some cases –  GDP does not take into account profits earned in a nation by overseas companies that are remitted back to foreign investors.
  3. It emphasizes economic output without considering economic well-being – GDP growth alone cannot measure a nation’s development or its citizens’ well-being.
  4. It does not measure the environmental damage occured in the process of development.
  5. As the name says, GDP measures only the gross picture of the nation’s economy, thus it ignores the per capita economic health.


Q.4) Examine the prospects and challenges of food processing industry.



  1. India opened up to liberalization, privatization and globalization and thus became an attractive market for the global players.
  2. With a huge base of raw materials, India is becoming as a sourcing hub for the processed food.
  3. India has got a natural advantage with its diverse agro-climatic conditions and different cropping pattern.
  4. Census data shows that India’s demographic dividend is favouring the youth; this has huge potential for growth of its food market.
  5. Urbanization is a major factor for the development of the food processing industry in India.
  6. Consumption pattern of Indian consumer is driving towards processed packaged food.


  1. Indian food industry suffers from inadequate infrastructural  facilities.
  2. It suffer from shortage of skilled and semi-skilled man power.
  3. Despite a huge base of raw materials to the food processing industry, still the quality of the products received by the industry is not up to the world standard.
  4. As Indian agriculture is a gamble of monsoon, there always exists an uncertainty in the crop production.
  5. APMC acts and other marketing regulations prevent the growth of market.
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