Answers: Mains Marathon – UPSC Mains Current Affairs Questions – January 24, 2019


Q.1) “Due to the unprecedented transformational change in the world of work, there are several transformational challenges that are bound to occur” Discuss the persistent and future challenges in the world of work with the advent of the fourth industrial revolution


ILO’s report titled ‘Future of Work’ presents the challenges facing the world of work in the future.

Persistent challenges:

  1. Job creation has not been sufficient to absorb the growth in the number of people seeking jobs.
  2. Working poverty still remains a major concern. In 2016,  emerging and developing countries accounted for a total  of 783 million working poor.
  3. Concerns about job quality have grown in recent years with the advent of gig economy and growing contractual and non-standard forms of employment.
  4. The distribution between capital and labour and between individuals has dramatically changed resulting in growing income inequality.
  5. In emerging  and developing countries, changing population dynamics have led to a bulge in the proportion of  the young population entering the labour market; however, job creation has been limited

Future Challenges:

  1. New technological innovations underpinning the Fourth Industrial Revolution, such as Big Data, 3-D printing, artificial intelligence and robotics will bring transformative impact on the nature work and result in job destruction.
  2. Only 53.6% of all households have internet access. In emerging countries, the share is only 15%. Given the rapid technological advancements, digital divide remains a key challenge for skill development and employment opportunities.
  3. Climate change has resulted in the collapse of fisheries, soil degradation, forced migration, atmospheric and water pollution and the loss of biodiversity and decrease in agricultural productivity. This has affected live and livelihoods of millions across globe.


Q.2) US’ action of detaining Huawei employee is not limited to streamlining the company’s trade policies but has larger geo-strategic objectives. Do you agree?


Trade problems:

  1. US alleges Huawei of conducting breach of IPR policy and stealing trade secrets and technologies from US companies trading with China.
  2. Chinese JVs with US companies coerce investors to share proprietary intellectual property (IP) in return for access to lucrative domestic markets, in violation of World Trade Organisation rules; a 2017 law required foreign automobile manufacturers to disclose sensitive technology regarding new energy vehicles
  3. U.S. Justice and Commerce Departments have pursued Chinese state-owned firms and intelligence agents for economic espionage in the aerospace, aircraft engine and semiconductor technology arenas

Geopolitical problems:

  1. According to US,Huawei allegedly used a Hong Kong shell company to sell equipment in Iran, in breach of US trade sanctions, and misled banks about its business dealings in Iran.
  2. Huawei is believed to carry out espionage on US citizens and indirectly on US security installations through electronic chips installed in its equipment, thus jeopardizing US national security.
  3. US also believes that Huawei is not a purely commercial entity and is working with Chinese government in carrying out snooping and cyber theft of critical information.
  4. Chinese goal of ‘Made in China 2025’ is also perceived as a threat to US’ global dominance.


Q.3) India is home to largest number of TB patients in the world despite continued efforts at tackling the disease. Analyse the reasons behind such high incidence of TB in India and suggest measures.    


India continues to have the highest number of tuberculosis (TB) cases in the world as revealed by the Global TB Report 2017 of World Health Organization (WHO).

Reasons for prevalence of TB:

  1. Rising cases of multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) in India.
  2. Poor diagnosis of TB.
  3. Challenges due to increasing HIV-TB double burden.
  4. Over reliance on over the counter drugs for medication is strengthening drug resistance.
  5. Underreporting and underdiagnosis of TB cases continue to be a challenge.
  6. Unregulated private sector and weak health systems.
  7. TB care and prevention investment remains low.

Measures to tackle the same:

  1. In 2016 RNTCP has expanded TB care services and made landmark changes in the strategy of diagnosis and treatment of TB.
  2. A new drug Bedaquiline was introduced for treatment of MDR-TB at 6 identified sites.
  3. Single window delivery of HIV-TB services was expanded at all Anti-retroviral Treatment (ART) centres in the country.
  4. ICT enabled treatment adherence support system (99 DOTS) was also extended for HIV-TB patients.
  5. E-NIKSHAY development and field testing began in Gujarat and Maharashtra.


Q.4) Discuss the steps taken by Government to safeguard India maritime zone and key challenges to the coastal security arrangement in Indian Ocean.


Challenges to coastal security:

  1. Maritime terrorism – undertaking of terrorist acts and activities within the maritime environment, using or against vessels or fixed platforms at sea or in port.
  2. shallow waters of the Sundarbans have been witnessing ‘acts of violence and detention’ by gangs of criminals that are akin to piracy.
  3. Indian coasts have been susceptible to smuggling.
  4. frequent straying of fishermen into neighboring country waters has not only jeopardized the safety of the fishermen but has also raised national security concerns.

Steps taken:

  1. Post 26/11, Navy was designated as the agency responsible for overall maritime security, including offshore and coastal security, while the Coast Guard was designated as the agency responsible for coastal security in territorial waters
  2. National Committee for Strengthening Maritime and Coastal Security (NCSMCS) is a National-level forum and apex mechanism for Maritime and Coastal Security, in which all concerned Ministries and government agencies are involved to coordinates all matters related to Maritime and Coastal Security.
  3. Coastal Security Scheme (CSS) was launched in 2005 across all nine coastal states and four coastal UTs to strengthen infrastructure of the marine police force in order to improve patrolling and surveillance of the coastal areas.
  4. Joint Operation Centers (JOCs) are manned 24×7 jointly by the teams of the Indian Navy, the Indian Coast Guard, and the Marine Police using commissioning of radar stations along the coastline.
  5. Coastal Surveillance Network (CSN) comprises of Chain of Static Sensors (CSS) including radar, Automatic Identification System (AIS), Long Range Identification and Tracking (LRIT), Day & Night cameras, communication systems.
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