Answers: Mains Marathon – UPSC Mains Current Affairs Questions – December 27, 2018


Q.1) Discuss the causes of increasing human-animal conflict in India. What guidelines have been provided by Ministry of Environment and Forest and Climate Change Guidelines to prevent and address Human-Animal conflicts?


Reasons for increasing conflicts:

  1. Shrinking habitat affecting the population drastically
  2. Increased killing of people due to destruction of crops of farmers
  3. Development challenges like increasing need for agricultural land and mining
  4. Deforestation and encroachment of forest land
  5. Electrocution
  6. Problems are often solved at state level and coordination is missing between different states

Guidelines of MoEFCC:

Quick response:

  1. Public information and helplines
  2. Hubs for information transmission and response
  3. Collaboration of local interested organisations
  4. Clear Standard Operating Procedures for personnel


  1. Rescue centres for animals
  2. Arranging veterinary services


  1. Mobilizing volunteers for interacting with public
  2. Information campaign on conservation friendly practices
  3. Regular meetings of field functionaries

Forest management:

  1. Clearing along boundaries of forests
  2. Identifying regular movement corridors of large wildlife
  3. Observing status of wildlife especially in their migration corridors
  4. Deployment of personnel and quick action on conflicts
  5. Use of local data in spatial patterns
  6. Maintaining foraging ground within the forest along boundaries


Q.2) What are coral reefs? Discuss the different types of coral reefs. What are favourable conditions for growth and development of coral reefs?


Coral reefs are built by and made up of thousands of tiny animals—coral “polyps”—that are related to anemones and jellyfish.

Different types of coral reefs:

  1. Fringing reefs are reefs that grow directly from a shore. They are located very close to land, and often form a shallow lagoon between the beach and the main body of the reef.
  2. Barrier reefs are extensive reefs that parallel a shore, and are separated from it by lagoon.
  3. An atoll is a roughly circular oceanic reef system surrounding a large central lagoon.

Favorable conditions for growth:

  1. Sunlight: Corals need to grow in shallow water where sunlight can reach them. Corals depend on the zooxanthellae (algae) that grow inside of them for oxygen and other things, and since these algae needs sunlight to survive, corals also need sunlight to survive. Corals rarely develop in water deeper than 165 feet (50 meters).
  2. Clear water: Corals need clear water that lets sunlight through; they don’t thrive well when the water is opaque. Sediment and plankton can cloud water, which decreases the amount of sunlight that reaches the zooxanthellae.
  3. Warm water temperature: Reef-building corals require warm water conditions to survive. Different corals living in different regions can withstand various temperature fluctuations. However, corals generally live in water temperatures of 68–90° F or 20–32° C.
  4. Clean water: Corals are sensitive to pollution and sediments. Sediment can create cloudy water and be deposited on corals, blocking out the sun and harming the polyps. Wastewater discharged into the ocean near the reef can contain too many nutrients that cause seaweeds to overgrow the reef.
  5. Saltwater: Corals need saltwater to survive and require a certain balance in the ratio of salt to water. This is why corals don’t live in areas where rivers drain fresh water into the ocean (“estuaries”).


Q.3) Highlighting the features of E-waste Management Rules, 2016, evaluate how they will address the problem of e-waste in India.


E-waste (Management) Rules, 2016:

  1. Over 21 products (Schedule-I) were included under the purview of the rule.
  2. Purview is extended to components of Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE), along with their products.
  3. Strengthened the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR)
  4. Producer Responsibility Organisation has been introduced to strengthen EPR. PRO is a professional organisation authorised by producers to share the responsibility for collection and channelisation of e-waste generated from the ‘end-of-life’ products to ensure environmentally sound management of such e-waste.
  5. Every producer shall provide detailed information on the constituents of the equipment and their components along with a declaration of conformance to the RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) provisions.
  6. CPCB shall conduct random sampling of electrical and electronic equipment placed on the market to monitor and verify the compliance of RoHS provisions.

Challenges in implementation:

  1. Collection of the used products would pose a challenge
  2. Lack of technology
  3. Most of the informal sector thriving on these e-waste needs to be integrated
  4. Lack of awareness about these rules and the procedures involved


Q.4) MPLADS scheme empowers MPs to effect changes in the society but it has many loopholes. Discuss.


MPLADS is a Central Plan Scheme fully funded by the Government of India under which funds are released in the form of grants-in-aid directly to the district authorities. Every Member of Parliament (MP) gets ₹5 crore annually to undertake development works of his choice in his constituency.

  1. The funds released under the Scheme are non-lapsable, i.e. the entitlement of funds not released in a particular year is carried forward to the subsequent years, subject to eligibility.
  2. Under MPLADS, the role of the Members of Parliament is limited to recommend works. Thereafter, it is the responsibility of the district authority to sanction, execute and complete the works recommended by Members of Parliament within the stipulated time period.

Recently, CIC has directed the government to proactively disclose on its website the details of works undertaken under the Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) in every constituency.


  1. The entire progress report is reduced into some statistics, which does not give any information to the seeker as to what work was taken and to what extent it was completed.
  2. Since 2008, internal audits by MoSPI show that majority of MPs have failed. Audits show that not even a single MP has been able to effectively utilise allocated funds for development in his/her constituency.
  3. There are many that favour scrapping MPLADS on account ineffective utilisation/misuse of funds, poor monitoring mechanisms etc.
  4. The scheme is seen to be violative of the concept of separation of powers (as MPs become members of the executive) and there were rampant use MPLADS funds.
  5. According to the Evaluation Report of Planning Commission, maintenance of assets is a major weakness. There is simply no accountability on maintenance of assets created.
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