Answers: Mains Marathon – UPSC Mains Current Affairs Questions – February 28, 2019

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Q.1) Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) play predominant role in social areas as a third sector where public and private sectors fail to provide social services for the needy. Examine.

Answer:

In the contemporary society, the problems that people have been facing especially the poor are much more complex. It is not possible for government alone to effectively undertake such complex development activities. This paved way for the emergence of a role for NGOs in development processes.

Role of NGOs:

  1. They act as providers of services due to their ability to work more efficiently and more effectively than government agencies thereby playing an important role in the socio-economic transformation.
  2. It brings in accountability and transparency to governance.
  3. It acts as a human rights watchdog in the society.
  4. NGOs act as channels for donors to provide international development funds to low-income countries or developing countries.
  5. They act as mediators between people and government.
  6. Their awareness of grassroots help them in efficiently tuning the government programmes to local needs.

 

Q.2) On the one hand social media is seen as a challenge in internal security of India and on the other hand it can be a solution for the same. Critically examine.

Answer:

Challenges posed by social media:

  1. Fake News generate panic and push law and order system to the brink. The examples of NE people mass exodus from Bangalore and the recent riots in Muzaffarnagar are examples.
  2. Cyber Crimes – Cyber crimes have become prominent on Social Networking Sites because of the simple fact that people reveal a lot about themselves on these sites.
  3. Harassment of the vulnerable – particularly women and children
  4. The recent revelations of role of Cambridge Analytica in the victory of Trump points to the negative role of social media sites in politics.
  5. Today terrorists select Social Media as a practical alternative to disturb the function of nations and other business activities because this technique has potential to cause huge damage.

How it benefits:

  1. Due to the massive reach, it will be easy for the administration to spread correct information to citizens.
  2. the notion of a community is being reconceptualized after the introduction of social networking sites, as these sites serve as platforms for political-social organization. They act as vital tools of communication and collaboration.
  3. It has a huge role to play in times of disasters by assisting the administration.
  4. With the help of technology companies, it becomes easy to curtail some of these negative effects. WhatsApp’s restrictions on groups, forwards are an example. Twitter can also develop similar filters to reduce sharing of outrageous content.

 

Q.3) What are different types of cyclone? Discuss the stages in the process of development of tropical cyclones?

Answer:

Cyclone is a system of low atmospheric pressure in which the barometric gradient is steep.

Types of cyclones:

  1. Tropical cyclones are the ones that occur over tropical ocean regions. Hurricanes and typhoons are types of tropical cyclones.
  2. Temperate cyclones are formed over land and sea alike.

Development of Tropical Cyclones:

Four atmospheric and oceanic conditions are necessary for development of a cyclonic storm:

Initial stage:

  1. A warm sea temperature in excess of 26 degrees centigrade, to a depth of 60 m, which provides abundant water vapor in the air by evaporation.
  2. High relative humidity of the atmosphere to a height of about 7000 m facilitates condensation of water vapor into water droplets and clouds, releases heat energy and induces drop in pressure.
  3. Atmospheric instability encourages considerable vertical cumulus cloud convection when condensation of rising air occurs.
  4. A location of at least 4-5 latitude degrees from the Equator allows the influence of the forces due to the earth’s rotation to take effect in inducing cyclonic wind circulations around low pressure centers.

Mature stage:

  1. The main physical feature of a mature tropical cyclone is a spiral pattern of highly turbulent giant cumulus thundercloud bands. These bands spiral inwards and form a dense highly active central cloud core which wraps around a relatively calm and cloud-free “eye”.
  2. In contrast to the light wind conditions in the eye, the turbulent cloud formations extending outwards from the eye accompany winds of up to 250 kph, sufficient to destroy or severely damage most non-engineered structures in the affected communities.

Dissipation:

  1. A tropical cyclone begins to weaken in terms of its central low pressure, internal warm core and extremely high winds as soon as its sources of warm moist air begins to ebb or are abruptly cut off.
  2. This would occur during landfall, by movement into higher latitudes, or through influence of another low pressure system.

 

Q.4) Telecom sector in India is under deep financial crisis. What are the challenges faced by telecom sector in India? Also, mention steps taken by government tackle these challenges?

Answer:

Challenges faced by telecom sector:

  1. Financial Health of the Sector: Gross revenue has dropped by 15% to 20% for the year 2017-18 over the preceding year for the incumbents and overall sector revenue has dropped. Also, there is drop in voice and data revenue per user
  2. Limited Spectrum Availability: Available spectrum is less than 40% as compared to European nations and 50% as compared to China.
  3. High competition and tariff war: Competition heating up post entry of Reliance Jio. Other telecom players have to drop in tariff rates both for voice and data
  4. Lack of Telecom Infrastructure in Semi-rural and Rural areas: Service providers have to incur huge initial fixed cost to enter semi-rural and rural areas.
  5. Delays in Roll Out of Innovative Products and Services: Substantial delays in roll out of data-based products and services are hampering the progress of telecom sectors.
  6. Low Broad Band Penetration: Low broadband penetration in the country is a matter of concern and the government needs to do a lot more work in the field to go up in the global ladder.
  7. Over the top services: Over the Top (OTT) applications such as WhatsApp, OLA, Viber and so on do not need permission or a pact with a telecommunications company.
  8. License fee: The license fee of eight per cent of the Adjusted Gross Revenue including five per cent as Universal Service Levy (USL) is one of the highest in the world.

Steps taken by government

  1. Infrastructure status: The National Digital Communications Policy (NDCP) 2018 accorded telecom the status of critical and essential infrastructure.
  2. Ease in Merger & Acquisition guidelines: Ease in M & A helps the sector to consolidate.
  3. Revival of the National Optic Fibre Network: This enhance broadband connectivity. With the rising subscriber base, thrust on data services has enabled a smartphone revolution.
  4. Payment bank initiative: Operators have received in-principal approval from the RBI for Payments Bank license, which is expected to aide in customer retention and enables them to build on their M-Payment services.
  5. Mobile virtual network operators: Introduction of the concept of mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) by the regulator are expected to open up new opportunities for operators such as wholesale revenue stream.
  6. New national telecom policy: The policy proposes to invite sustainable investment over a period of time and promote fair competition. The National Digital Communications Policy 2018 has envisaged attracting investments worth US$ 100 billion in the telecommunications sector by 2022.
  7. Smart cities initiative: The Indian Government is planning to develop 100 smart city projects, where IoT would play a vital role in development of those cities.
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