Answers: Mains Marathon – UPSC Mains Current Affairs Questions – December 28, 2018


Q.1) What are the primary forces that influence ocean currents? Discuss with examples the influence of ocean currents on climate.


Ocean currents represent the flow of a regular volume of water in a definite path and direction.

The primary forces that influence the currents are:

  1. Insolation – Heating by solar energy causes the water to expand. This causes a very slight gradient and water tends to flow down the slope.
  2. Wind – Wind blowing on the surface of the ocean pushes the water to move.
  3. Gravity – Gravity tends to pull the water down to pile and create gradient variation.
  4. Coriolis force – it causes the water to move to the right in the northern hemisphere and to the left in the southern hemisphere.

Influence of ocean currents on climate:

  1. Desert formation – Cold ocean currents have a direct effect on desert formation in west coast regions of the tropical and subtropical continents. There is fog and most of the areas are arid due to desiccating effect (loss of moisture).
  2. Rains – Warm ocean currents bring rain to coastal areas and even interiors. Example: Summer Rainfall in British Type climate. Warm currents flow parallel to the east coasts of the continents in tropical and subtropical latitudes. This results in warm and rainy climates. These areas lie in the western margins of the subtropical anticyclones.
  3. Moderating effect – They are responsible for moderate temperatures at coasts. [North Atlantic Drift brings warmness to England. Canary cold current brings cooling effect to Spain, Portugal etc.]
  4. Fishing – Mixing of cold and warm ocean currents bear richest fishing grounds in the world. Example: Grand Banks around Newfoundland, Canada and North-Eastern Coast of Japan. The mixing of warm and cold currents help to replenish the oxygen and favor the growth of planktons, the primary food for fish population. The best fishing grounds of the world exist mainly in these mixing zones.
  5. Drizzle – Mixing of cold and warm ocean currents create foggy weather where precipitation occurs in the form of drizzle [Newfoundland].
  6. Tropical cyclones – They pile up warm waters in tropics and this warm water is the major force behind tropical cyclones.


Q.2) Give an account of various tribal uprising during the British rule in India. What were the various British policies which caused dissent among the tribal population?


Bengal and Eastern India:

The Sanyasi Revolt – The restrictions imposed on visits to holy places estranged the sanyasis.

The sanyasis retaliated by organising raids on the Company’s factories and state treasuries. Only after prolonged military action could Warren Hastings contain the raids by the sanyasis.

Chuar Uprising – Famine, enhanced land revenue demands and economic distress goaded the Chuar aboriginal tribesmen of Midnapore district to take up arms. The uprising lasted from 1766 to 1772 and then, again surfaced between 1795 and 1816.

Santhal Rising – The Santhals of Rajmahal Hills resented the oppression by revenue officials, police, money-lenders, landlords—in general, by the “outsiders’

Western India:

Bhil Uprisings: The Bhils, an aboriginal tribe concentrated around Khandesh, revolted against their new masters, the East India Company, fearing agrarian hardships and the worst under the new regime. One of their leaders was Sewaram. The Bhils revolted in 1817-19, and again in 1825, 1836 and 1846.

Cutch Rebellion: The British interfered in the internal feuds of the Cutch and, in 1819, defeated and deposed the ruler Rao Bharamal in favour of his infant. A British resident governed the areas as the de facto ruler with the help of a regency council.

South India:

Revolt of Raja of Vizianagaram – The East India Company invited the wrath of the people of Northern Sarkar when, after the acquisition of these territories in 1765, it demanded a tribute of three lakh rupees from the Raja and also asked the Raja to disband his troops.

Poligars’ Revolt – The Poligars of Dindigal and Malabar rose up against the oppressive land revenue system under the British during 1801-06. Sporadic rising of the Poligars in Madras Presidency continued till 1856.

Diwan Velu Tampi’s Revolt – The East India Company’s harsh conditions imposed on the state of Travancore, after both of them agreed to a subsidiary alliance arrangement under Wellesley in 1805, caused deep resentment. The ruler failed to pay the subsidy and fell in arrears.

North India:

Kuka Revolt – The Kuka Movement was founded in 1840 by Bhagat Jawahar Mai (also called Sian Saheb) in western Punjab. After the British took the Punjab, the movement transformed from a religious purification campaign to a political one.

Tribal uprisings – objectives:

  1. To regain the traditional rights of community over forest produce and ownership.
  2. To reclaim the land which is lost to outsiders.
  3. Against the nexus of moneylenders, officers and outsiders who encroached into the tribal system and led to a debt ridden tribal society.
  4. Rejection of alien elements and attempts to restore their pristine culture and relig­ion are also considered as responsible for the rise of messianic movements among the tribals.
  5. Sufferings caused by wars and harassment by the disbanded soldiery are also responsible for dissatisfaction among the tribals.


Q.3) Chabahar port of Iran has the potential to boost India’s contacts with Middle East and Central Asia. In this context analyse the strategic significance of Chabahar port for India.


India’s traditional limitations with respect to Afghanistan and Iran can be overcome, thanks to the Chabahar port.

India has developed a significant part of the Chabahar port.

Strategic significance:

  1. Bypassing Pakistan’s land barrier
  2. Contacts with central Asian countries made easy
  3. Plays a significant role in India’s energy security
  4. Chabahar port will boost India’s access to Iran, the key gateway to the International North-South Transport Corridor that has sea, rail and road routes between India, Russia, Iran, Europe and Central Asia.
  5. Chabahar port will be beneficial to India in countering Chinese presence in the Arabian Sea which China is trying to ensure by helping Pakistan develop the Gwadar port. Gwadar port is less than 400 km from Chabahar by road and 100 km by sea.
  6. With Chabahar port being developed and operated by India, Iran also becomes a military ally to India. Chabahar could be used in case China decides to flex its navy muscles by stationing ships in Gwadar port to reckon its upper hand in the Indian Ocean, Persian Gulf and Middle East.
  7. The import cost of oil to India will also see a considerable decline.
  8. Chabahar port will ensure in the establishment of a politically sustainable connectivity between India and Afghanistan. This is will, in turn, lead to better economic ties between the two countries.


Q.4) Integrity of a civil servant is a cardinal value of civil services. Analyse the reasons behind decline in civil service integrity and suggest solutions.


Integrity is a personal choice, an uncompromising and consistent commitment to honour moral, ethical, spiritual and artistic values and principles.

Integrity of civil servants is essential for the following reasons:

  1. To ensure financial accountability
  2. To give honest and courageous advice to political masters
  3. To remain service oriented despite facing odds
  4. To persevere to fulfil their constitutional duties

Reasons for decline in integrity:

  1. Lure of power and money leading to corruption
  2. Politicisation of services
  3. Fear of repercussions
  4. Lack of ethical framework to guide them in conflict situations
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