Answers: Mains Marathon – UPSC Mains Current Affairs Questions – January 15, 2018


Q1) “China may have strong economic relations and healthy trade with other nations but India is not a weak country too.” In this context, discuss the bolstering capacities of India. Mention the key areas where China has been making adverse impact on India as her neighbor. (GS-2)


  • The Indian Ministry of Defence has decided to significantly enhance infrastructure along the Sino-Indian border including near Doklam.

What are the bolstering capabilities of India?

  • The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) following the Dokalam standoff had fast-tracked the construction of the 73 strategic India-China Border Roads along the LAC, most of which are planned to be completed by 2022.
  • Besides developing proper road connectivity, India is also ensuring the capability development of its forcesthrough force multipliers such as artillery guns and helicopters to be ready for any future conflict.
  • A road map for intra-sector connectivity within the central sector and the inter-sector connectivity with neighboring areas is also taken into consideration.

What are the causes of friction between India and China?

  • India has done well since 1991 and has emerged as one of the largest economies in the world, but the gap with China will remain enduring for the foreseeable future. Some of the causes of friction between India and China are as follows:
  • One of the major reasons of tension between India and China is the border dispute surrounding Arunachal Pradesh.
  • There is another region named Aksai Chin in Jammu and Kashmir that is part of this border dispute as well; Arunachal Pradesh is a part of India while Aksai Chin is a part of China.
  • China has also been opposed to India’s entry in Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) that contains 48 countries in all.
  • China wants to be a dominant force in Indian Ocean. China has adopted a strategy named String of Pearls whereby it has set up bases all across the area, where India and the US maintain naval bases as well.
  • Thus, India is afraid that this is a major containment strategy by its northeastern neighbours.
  • In case of China and India, water issues are becoming major area of concern between two states.
  • China’s plan of constructing big dams and diverting the water of rivers to its own advantage has discontented in India.


  • India needs to be self-reliant in the defence sector.
  • Jointness and integration by all services should be a priority for emerging challenges.
  • Moreover, utmost priority has to be given to procurement of arms, ammunition and equipment.

Q.2)  In the light of modern slavery, what are the reasons for India’s rejection of the recent report introduced by Global Slavery Index, 2016. Critically analysis the arguments attached to it. (GS-1)


  • India sends a refutation to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) challenging India’s ranking in a global slavery report.
  • The country will now build pressure on the global body to distance itself from the Australian-based NGO-Walk Free Foundation.

What is India’s position in the recent Global Slavery Index?

  • The 2016 Global Slavery Index estimates that 45.8 million people are subject to some form of modern slavery in the world today.
  • Now, India has been ranked 4th out of 167 countries.
  • The top three countries were North Korea, Uzbekistan and Cambodia.
  • In 2016, it was deemed to have some 18.3 million people trapped in slavery.
  • In 2017, about 1.4% of the population working under coercive conditions.

Why is India against the report?

  • India has raised question about why the International Labour Organization (ILO) tied up with Walk Free Foundation  (WFF) to produce a report on ‘modern slavery’, a term ILO hasn’t so far defined in its own convention.
  • The ILO, without following any protocol, endorsed WFF’s survey.

Where is India lagging behind?

  • The long-term structural weakness of India’s economic reform has been the inability to expand the market for jobs in sync with its demographic growth.
  • Many of these new-age slaves are women and children, the most vulnerable sections on the frontline of economic slowdown and poverty.
  • Increase in number of slaves every year is due to the rank failure of India’s law enforcement institutions.

Q.3) Rural unemployment is still of the biggest hurdle for India’s economic growth rate; one of its key reasons is crop failure. Examine the other reason for the same. Suggest some measures for improvement. (GS-3)


  • After an array of suicidal cases of the farmers in India, the Rural Development Ministry is in the midst of examining proposals that promises to leapfrog job creation for the rural youth.

What are the causes of rural unemployment in India?

  • According to the report, Rural Agricultural Commission, Indian Agriculturalists are unemployed for about 6 months in a year. Some of the reasons are as follows:
  • In India the population is excessively increasing: At this rate of increase in population, no country can guarantee full employment to its hands.
  • The employment planning of the government is not adequate: In comparison to population growth, employment opportunities did not increase.

Agricultural drawbacks:

  • India has a limited area of agricultural land: Attempt is being made to break the barren land and bring greater area under the orbit of the agriculture.
  • Agriculture in India is a seasonal affair: There is a season for sowing and harvesting. After that the farmers have no job.
  • Agricultural people are not educated: Due to lack of education, they are not able to utilise their energy in proper manner.
  • Agricultural holdings are small: the lands are scattered and fragmented. Because of these drawbacks, the agricultural product is not at all sufficient for the people who depend who depend on it.
  • Rural India depend directly on various cottage industries for their livelihood: But, now-a-days, these are adversely affected by the industrialisation process.
  • The present woes of agrarian distress is a result of having no vision for agriculture sector which is mostly dependent on farming and its failure is affecting other sectors including the banking.

What are the government initiatives to generate rural employment in India?

  • Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, MGNREGA): It is an Indian labour law and social securilty measure that aims to guarantee the right to work.
  • It aims to enhance livelihood security in rural areas by providing at least 100 days of wage employment in a financial year to every household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work.
  • Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana or DDU-GKY: It is Government of India youth employment scheme.
  • It aims to target youth, under the age group of 15–35 years.
  • DDU-GKY is a part of the National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM), tasked with the dual objectives of adding diversity to the incomes of rural poor families and cater to the career aspirations of rural youth.
  • Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP): Jobs created by the Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP), generates employment in rural and urban areas by initiating new micro enterprises and small projects.
  • Make in India Programme: The main aim of the Make in India programme is to generate employment in the manufacturing sector.
  • Startup India: Under this programme, the government encouraged banks to provide finance to young entrepreneurs to start their own business ventures.

What is the way forward?

  • More cottage industries and other industries pertaining to agriculture need set up in the village.
  • Demand for the industrial manufacturing sector has to come from rural India which can be generated byincreasing the purchasing power of rural population where farming remains the main activity of employment.
  • Unless the farming infrastructure receives significant boost, farmers in India will stop finding agriculture as a viable source of income.
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