Answers: Mains Marathon – UPSC Mains Current Affairs Questions – January 17, 2018


Q.1) In recent times, human-wildlife conflict is one of the biggest major threats for both the entities. What are the reasons attached to it? Critically examine how far the government has succeeded in implementing government schemes for conservation of tigers. (GS–3)  


  • Sanctuaries and National Parks are areas of significant ecological, floral, faunal or natural significance.
  • They are notified by State Governments and protected by the Forest Department under the provisions of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
  • Hunting of wild animals, encroachment and/or destruction of habitat, construction of tourist lodges and other such activities are prohibited.
  • A National Park or Wildlife Sanctuary that is considered significant for protecting tigers can be additionally designated as a Tiger Reserve.

What are the major threats for tigers in India?

  • The major threats for tigers in India are as follows:


  • In 2017, already 22 cases of poaching-related deaths have come to light.
  • Poaching and the illegal trade is the biggest and most concerning threat that the world’s remaining wild tigers face.
  • Demand for tiger skin, bone and other body parts, involves poaching and trafficking.

Loss of habitat:

  • An increase in human populations throughout tiger range countries has resulted in tiger habitats being reduced.
  • Only 7% of the tiger’s historical range is intact today and tiger habitats are left in isolated areas.
  • This results in small pockets of tiger habitat surrounded by human populations.

Loss of Prey Species:

  • Tiger preys species like deer and pigs, which are often poached and overhunted leading to devastating consequences for tigers.
  • An inadequate supply leads to poor health condition and of food forces tigers to increase their range when searching for a meal.

Human-Wildlife Conflict:

  • As the human population continues to increase, people encroach farther into historic tiger habitat.
  • As a result, human and wildlife conflicts can lead to revenge killings and result in negative attitudes toward tigers that hinder future conservation efforts.  

What are the reasons for the failure of these initiatives?

  • The reasons for the failure of government schemes for conservation of tigers are as follows:

Difficulties in isolating the core areas:

  • The aim of projects such as ‘Project Tiger’ was to isolate the core areas from human encroachment and the remaining areas were to be made into buffer zones.
  • But in practice however, the complete isolation of core areas proved difficult.

Inefficiency in implementing policies:

  • Even though the government has spent a fortune in the last 10 years but efficient implementation of its policies still remains the crux of the problem.

No proper coordination:

  • There is an immense lack of coordination amongst the bodies dealing with conservation of tigers.
  • There is no intelligence gathering system and if there is some intelligence input, there does not exist adequate action mechanism.

Unskilled forest guards:

  • Forest guards still haven’t eradicated poaching completely.
  • There is not only a 30% staff shortage in the forest department but also a deficiency of quality weapons.

Improper utilization of funds:

  • Funds are released by the centre on time but these funds are extremely insufficient.
  • This creates a Shortage of all basic materials required for tiger protection.

Way ahead:

  • The need of the hour is to secure their habitats and corridors and to enhance protective cover of those outside of Protected Area.
  • Vacancies for field staff must be filled and only qualified persons knowing basics of computer and other techniques must be recruited.
  • These staff should be paid reasonably.
  • A proper training needs to be given to newly recruited staff.
  • They should be made part of the government initiatives and good quality weapons should be provided
  • A legal system that provides very harsh punishment in a quick manner needs to be established.

Q.2) Explain the salient features of Electronic-Human Resource Management System (e-HRMS)? Do you think e-HRMS will be a major advantage in the public administration? (GS–1)


  • On 25th, December, 2017 The Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh launched the electronic-Human Resource Management System (e-HRMS).

Salient features of electronic-Human Resource Management System (e-HRMS):

  • The salient features of electronic-Human Resource Management System are as follows:
  • Single platform: With launch of e-HRMS, employees will be able to not only see all their details w.r.t service book, leave, GPF, Salary etc., but also apply for different kind of claims/reimbursements, loan/advances, leave, leave encashment, LTC advances, Tour etc. on a single platform.
  • No dependency: Employees shall not be dependant for data updating on administration, but they may themselves update the data with their login subject to verification by concerned administration.
  • Track status easily: They will be able to track status and match details instantly.
  • The system is designed in a way to obtain all management related inputs/reports through its Dashboard.
  • Online data updating: All pendency of data updating as well as claims will be seen online by senior authorities that will instill more responsibility and accountability among all government servants.

Advantages of electronic-Human Resource Management System (e-HRMS):

  • This system has various advantages such as:
  • Providing Dash board for employee and management, Updated service records, E-governance in office procedures, Reduced file movement, Faster service delivery, Assist in decision making, Common document repository of employees, Standardization of Master Data, Minimize manual entry of data, Ease of sharing information among stake holders, e-Sign for accountability/authenticity, PFMS and e-HRMS integration for faster payments of GPF, advances, Loans, reimbursements.
  • This will reduce employee’s grievances to a certain extent.
  • Even availability of online data of employees will help organisation to take many administrative decisions easily like planning of recruitments, posting of official to a task as per their experience and qualification, easily available online to the administration.
  • It will also help employees to concentrate more on public service once free from personal anxiety of getting their due work done.
  • That will enhance public delivery more satisfactory and more employees will be available for core work of the Government than maintaining of Service Book.
  • Availability of centralized data will enable Government for policy research and planning as such educational qualifications and other competencies and deficiencies may be easily obtained.
  • It will enable Government to take transfer and posting decisions more pragmatically based on reliable first hand data.
  • The e-service book for DOPT employees launched on March 30, 2017 was also an initiative taken to fully automate it with live updating of all records.


  • Electronic-Human Resource Management System (e-HRMS) was not only the solution to manpower planning but its integration with other e-Governance applications extended its ambit to various other Government G2G, G2E and G2C services.

Q.3) Discuss the role of World Trade Centre in achieving food security. Why the member countries of World Trade Centre could not come to the conclusion on the agreement on food security? (GS–1)


  • The 164 members of World Trade Organisation recently met to discuss substantive issues such as the food security right of developing countries and the centrality of development in multilateral trade negotiations.

Role of World Trade Centre in achieving food security:

  • The role of World Trade Centre in achieving food security is as follows:

Agriculture Committee:

  • Work on food security at the WTO takes place in the Agriculture Committee.
  • The Committee on Agriculture oversees the implementation of the Agriculture Agreement.
  • Its key responsibility is to monitor how WTO members are complying with their commitments.

Agricultural Market Information System (AMIS):

  • The WTO also contributes expertise to an Agricultural Market Information System (AMIS), as recommended by the United Nations High Level Task Force on the Global Food Security Crisis, to which the WTO is a member.

Public stockholding programmes:

  • Since 2013, WTO members have agreed to negotiate and find a permanent solution to the issue of public stockholding programmes for food security purposes.
  • Under these programmes, developing countries purchase and stockpile food, and distribute it to people in need.
  • However, some of these programmes involve support to farmers and are therefore considered to distort trade.

Why the agreement on food security right has been a failure?

  • The WTO’s member countries could not meet the following criteria:

Public stockholding:

  • Despite best efforts, the members of WTO could not meet the deadline on public stockholding for food security purposes.

Public stockholding:

  • The members could not even agree on more detailed programmes in many areas.

Centrality of development:

  • They also could not agree on the centrality of development, which underlies the Doha Round, as well as special and differential treatment for all developing countries.

U.S creates a hurdle:

  • The U.S. blocked the demands of more than a 100 developing nations, including India and China, to implement their food security programmes without difficult conditions.
  • Since all major decisions in the WTO need to be taken by ‘the membership as a whole’, even a single country can end up being the deal-breaker.

Way ahead:

  • The only way to get an outcome in these very difficult issues is when every side shows flexibility.
  • There should be a free flow of cooperation and understanding among its members.
  • Members of WTO should first resolve outstanding issues of the ongoing Doha Round negotiations that began in 2001 with a ‘development agenda’ before considering ‘new issues’.


Print Friendly and PDF