Answers: Mains Marathon – UPSC Mains Current Affairs Questions – February 19, 2019


Q.1) Pulwama attacks have exposed the gaps in our security apparatus and the urgent need to have a well-articulated national security doctrine. Comment


Doctrine is a stated principle of government policy mainly in foreign or military affairs.

Need to have a NSD:

  1. National Security Doctrine would enable government to address the crucial issue of coordination required to formulate and address new security challenges such as terror attacks that have arisen
  2. It helps to protect and promote national interests pertaining to security and dissuades adversaries from attempting to play mischief.
  3. It provides guidance to all stakeholders on policies related to national security. It helps in identification of the military, economic, diplomatic resources needed to meet the challenges.
  4. It offers reassurance to the citizens that the government has initiated appropriate protective measures to safeguard national security.
  5. It makes a State’s actions predictable. This is useful for reassuring neighbours, including adversaries.

NSD should include:

  1. The document must define national security in broad terms including military as well as non-military dimensions of security. It must clearly state the objectives of National Security Strategy.
  2. The doctrine must be accompanied by a national security strategy that spells out the command and control structures for meeting eventualities such as terror strikes.
  3. The document should describe the geopolitical environment and how it has affected India.
  4. The strategy document must identify the growing challenge of terrorism and asymmetric warfare for Indian security.
  5. It must pay special attention to the neighbouring countries, the extended neighbourhood and Indian Ocean.
  6. The document will need to give urgent attention to internal security issues including left wing extremism, Jammu and Kashmir, the North East, communalism, corruption, religious fundamentalism and extremism, regional and socio-economic inequalities.


Q.2) Wage employment scheme like MGNREGA would be more effective than PM-KISAN to reduce rural distress. Examine


According to several experts, strengthening the MGNREGA would be more prudent than a targeted cash transfer plan like PM-KISAN.

Why MNREGA is better:

  1. MGNREGA earnings for a household is more than a year’s income support through PM-KISAN. If two members of a household in Jharkhand work under MGNREGA for 30 days, they would earn ₹10,080 and a household of two in Haryana would earn ₹16,860 in 30 days. A month of MGNREGA earnings for a household is more than a year’s income support through PM-KISAN anywhere in the country.
  2. PM-KISAN is a targeted cash transfer programme , whereas MGNREGA is a universal programme. Any rural household willing to do manual work is eligible under the Act. According to the 2011 Socio-Economic and Caste Census, around 40% of rural households are landless and depend on manual labour. The landless can earn through the MGNREGA but are not eligible for the PM-KISAN scheme.
  3. It is unclear how tenant farmers, those without titles, and women farmers would be within the ambit of the PM-KISAN scheme.
  4. There is also substantial evidence to demonstrate that universal schemes are less prone to corruption than targeted schemes. In targeted programmes, it is very common to have errors of exclusion, i.e., genuine beneficiaries get left out.
  5. Strengthening an existing universal programme such as the MGNREGA would have been a prudent move instead of introducing a hasty targeted cash transfer programme.


Q.3) The Supreme Court’s decision on the question of whether the government of Delhi has executive control over those in its service points to the inherent complexity of the relations between the Delhi government and the Centre. Critically Examine.


Constitutional structure:

  1. The 69th Amendment Act, 1992 has added two new Articles 239AA and 239AB under which the Union Territory of Delhi has been given a special status.
  2. Art. 239AA provides that the Union Territory of Delhi shall now be called the National Capital Territory of Delhi and its administrator shall be known as Lt. Governor.
  3. It also creates a legislative assembly for Delhi which can make laws on subjects under the State List and Concurrent List except on these matters: public order, land, and police.
  4. Article 239AB provides that the President may by order suspend the operation of any provision of Article 239AA or of all or any of the provisions of any law made in pursuance of that article. This provision resembles Art.356 (President’s Rule)
  5. It also provides for a Council of Ministers for Delhi consisting of not more than 10% of the total number of members in the assembly.

Challenges with Delhi government:

  1. The disadvantages of not having full statehood status has been felt by many elected regimes in Delhi.
  2. It often leads to the domination of centre over state, stifling the Indian federal features.
  3. It gives more power to the appointed executive than the executive appointed after winning absolute majority.
  4. The role of governor is generally one that works on the aid and advice of council of ministers. This violates separation of powers.


Q.4) Explain different types of the seismic wave? What do you mean by shadow zone?


There are 3 type of earthquake waves:

  1. Primary (P) waves: They are longitudinal waves that can pass through both solids and liquids. But they travel slowly through liquids. Also as the density of medium increases their velocity also increases.
  2. Secondary (S) waves: They are transverse waves so can’t pass through liquids.
  3. Love (L) waves & Raleigh (R) waves: They are surface waves and don’t go deeper into the earth. L waves are faster than R waves so the sequence of arrival is PSLR. R waves are analogous to water waves i.e. movement of particles takes place in the vertical plane. In L waves movement of particles takes place in the horizontal plane only but at 90º to the direction of propagation of the wave.

Shadow Zone:

The shadow zone is the area of the earth from 104 to 140 degrees from a given earthquake that does not receive any direct P waves. The shadow zone results from S waves being stopped entirely by the liquid core and P waves being refracted by the liquid core.

The shadow zone for ‘P’ waves is an area that corresponds to an angle between 103 and 142 degrees.

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