Answers: Mains Marathon – UPSC Mains Current Affairs Questions – December 21


Q.1) India is becoming vulnerable to drug trafficking across vast seas off India and Pakistan. Discuss the preventive actions to be taken on port and ground. (GS-2)


  • According to Indian intelligence agencies, drug syndicates have been exploiting the vast seas off India and Pakistan.
  • Heroin and other drugs come down from Afghanistan and are loaded into fishing trawlers in Karachi, Keti Bandar or other smaller fishing harbors on the Pakistan coast.

Preventive actions to be taken on port:

  • Here are some more solutions to drug trafficking to consider:
  • Physical barriers could be installed so far as possible in areas below the waterline such as rudder trunking, overboard openings, exposed thrusters/propeller regions, etc.
  • Training should be given to make the crew aware of the possibility that drug traffickers may try find accomplices in order to achieve their ulterior motives of smuggling the drugs.
  • Warning signs or posters may additionally be pasted in the ship’s public areas for general awareness
  • Making risk assessment with officers and the crew to the best of knowledge available when the port of call is alleged of drug smuggling
  • Communicating and contacting the local port and custom authorities of the security threats and the measures to be imparted for combating drug trafficking.
  • A record of all events should be made in the relevant logs for all the communications and activities that have been observed between the ship and the local authorities.

Preventive actions to be taken on ground:

  • If there are specific task force officers assigned to the reduction of drug trafficking in each community, then this would also likely limit the number of individuals involved in this trade.
  • A thorough curriculum that looks at the illegal and illicit drugs for sale, the reasons why people take drugs and other forms of education may delay or eliminate the desire to experiment with them in the first place.
  • In recent months, Indian intelligence agencies have regularly tracked satellite phones of drug syndicates to gain significant clarity on their operation.

Q2) Recently the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites Remains (Amendment) Bill, 2017 has been proposed for amendment. Explain its need and threat from the amendment.  (GS-1)


  • The Union Cabinet has approved the introduction of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites Remains (Amendment) Bill, 2017 in the Parliament.
  • The bill states that amendments have been proposed in the legislation to the 1958 Act that prohibits any public work or project essential to the public or other constructions in areas around protected monuments.

The need for the amendment:

  • To make way for certain constructions limited strictly to public works and projects essential to public within the prohibited area, the following amendments have been approved:
  • Insertion of a new definition of “public works” in section 2 of the Act.
  • Amendment to section 20A of the Act so as to allow any Department or Office of the Central Government to carry out public works in the prohibited area after obtaining permission from the Central Government.
  • Insertion of a new clause (ea) to section 20-I of the principal Act.

Present threat:

  • Only three instances are considered enough by the Ministry of Culture to demand the withdrawal of the constraint imposed by the AMASR Act on any new construction within 100 metres of a protected monument.
  • The ministry speaks not on behalf of our cultural heritage, as it should, but pleads the cause of roadways, railway tracks, and unknown private landed interests.
  • Public works undertaken by the Central Government are usually extremely large projects – railway lines, ports, airports, highways etc.
  • The construction of which is bound to have an enormous impact on some of the more fragile monuments.
  • The direct amendment of law by the government without any consideration of such carefully planned and sustainable alternatives raises certain questions on the implication of modernization over the ancient heritage.

Q.3) In what ways pull and push factors accelerate the rate of human migration? Mention the effect of migration on the demography, education and economy.(GS-1)


  • People migrate for a number of reasons.
  • These reasons may fall under these four areas: Environmental, Economic, Cultural and Socio-political.
  • Within that, the reasons may also be “push” or “pull” factors.

Push Factors:

    • Push factors are those that force the individual to move voluntarily, and in many cases, they are forced because the individual risk something if they stay.
    • Push factors may include conflict, drought, famine, or extreme religious activity.
    • Poor economic activity and lack of job opportunities are also strong push factors for migration.
    • Other strong push factors include race and discriminating cultures, political intolerance and persecution of people who question the status quo.

Pull Factors:

  • Pull factors are those factors in the destination country that attract the individual or group to leave their home.
  • Better economic opportunities, more jobs, and the promise of a better life often pull people into new locations.
  • As people grow older and retire, many look for places with warm weather, peaceful and comfortable locations to spend their retirement after a lifetime of hard work and savings, such ideal places are pull factors too.

Effects of Migration:

Demographic effect:

  • Migration leads to demographical misbalance.
  • It is a faster change in the population structure characterized by a reduction in the proportion of young people and an increase in the proportion of the elderly.
  • With reference to example, despite the decline in total fertility rates (TFR) countrywide, 12 States of India continue to have TFR above 2.1 children per woman, known as replacement-level fertility.
  • However, when the TFR declines, the drop does not stop at 2.1, as seen in Kerala (1.6), Tamil Nadu (1.7) and Karnataka (1.8).

Educational effects:

  • The biggest negative impact on the country of exit perhaps is the fact that young graduates (or skilled labor and professional) leave to offer their services to other states rather than serving their native place.

Economic effects:

  • The departure of people of working age reduces the labor force.
  • It also weakens the growth of the home state.
  • The loss of labor may deter inward investment by private organization, increasing dependence on governmental initiatives.
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