Answers: Mains Marathon – UPSC Mains Current Affairs Questions – January 31, 2018


Q.1) Discuss how the “International Tourism Mart” will play an important role in expanding and strengthening India’s emerging tourism markets. (GS-3)


  • The Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, in association with the North Eastern States is organising the “International Tourism Mart” (ITM).

International Tourism Mart:

  • Northeast India International Travel Mart (NEITM or ITM) is a tourism event to showcase the Northeastern region of India, which is popularly known as North East (NE).
  • This event is organised by Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India in association with hosting State Govts. and other States of the region.
  • The regional states are Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tripura and West Bengal.
  • One of the 9 states hosts the event annually.

What are the highlights of International Tourism Mart?

  • The 6th International Tourism Mart, will put the spotlight on India’s “Act East Policy”, blossoming ties with ASEAN and the larger East Asia region, home to the world’s rapidly growing economies and India’s emerging tourism markets.
  • The panel discussions will also focus on promoting cultural ties, people-to-people contact with countries in the ASEAN region providing enhanced connectivity to the States of North Eastern Region with other countries in our neighbourhood, thereby developing inter-regional tourism between the ASEAN and North East Region of India.
  • The ITM 2017 will also see an active participation by the Ministry of DONER to synergize the process of development of tourism of the North East Region.
  • It brings together the tourism business fraternity and entrepreneurs from the eight North Eastern States.
  • The event has been planned and scheduled to facilitate interaction between buyers, sellers, media, Government agencies and other stakeholders.
  • Buyer and Media delegates from around the world and from different regions of the country are participating in the Mart and will engage in one-to-one meetings with sellers from the North East Region.
  • This will enable the tourism product suppliers from the region to reach out to international and domestic buyers, with the objective of promoting tourism to the region.

Q.2) India has potential to achieve 8.5% annual economic growth rate. Do you agree with the statement?  Justify with some valid arguments. (GS-3)


  • India has potential to achieve 8.5% annual economic growth rate.
  • It may be noted that India’s GDP data touched a three-year low in the q1 FY 18 at 5.7 percent compared to 6.1 percent in q4 FY 17 and 7.9 percent in q1 FY 17.

Has India achieved a growth rate of 8.5% before?

  • Yes, India has achieved a growth rate of 8.5% during 2004-2005.
  • So India has every potential to achieve 8.5% annual economic growth rate.

How can India achieve the 8-8.5% growth rate?

The measures that should be taken to achieve the 8-8.5% growth rate are as follows:

  • Agriculture needs to be reformed both externally and internally.
  • What is holding the country is a lack of right policies, which needs to be paid attention immediately.
  • There should be action on India’s demographic dividend.
  • India should invest in infrastructure and human capital to achieve and maintain high growth of over 8% over the next two decades
  • It needs to back of moderating inflation rates, lower current account and fiscal deficit, strong foreign currency reserve as well as stable tax policies.
  • It is important to sustain a higher growth rather than achieving it for a short period of time.
  • It is crucial to have basic education skills which boost productivity and income.
  • External factors energy imports and commodity imports needs to be strong and not ambiguous.
  • The external environment of the country should be conducive.

Q.3) With reference to constitutional status of Backward Class of India, do you think that Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes should have creamy layer categorization on the same line?


  • The Constitution refers to the term ‘backward classes’ in Articles 15(4), 16(4) and 340(1).
  • Articles 15(4) and 16(4) empower the State to make special provisions for any socially and educationally backward class of citizens.
  • Article 340(1) authorises the appointment of a Commission (National Commission for Backward Classes) to investigate the conditions of backward classes.
  • The commission will work for more equitable distribution of reservation benefits, as it raised the income ceiling for “Creamy layer”
  • It has been recommended on the grounds of equity and fair play by not equating these Extremely Backward Classes with the forwards among the backward classes.
  • Recently, the Cabinet also increased the “creamy layer” ceiling for the Other Backward Classes to 8  lakh per annum from the existing Rs 6 lakh for Central government jobs.
  • The raised limit will also be applicable to public sector undertakings.

Why Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes should have creamy layer categorization?

Yes, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes should have creamy layer categorization because of the following reasons:

  • The ‘creamy layer’ categorization is currently meant for the OBCs and is not applied to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
  • The reasons cited for this parity is that the provisions for reservations for SC/ST are not for their economical benefits but for their social upliftment.
  • Thus, SC/ST reservations are applicable irrespective of the financial status of the beneficiaries.
  • The recent petition by advocate Shobhit Tiwari argues that no class or caste remain homogeneously backward across time.
  • Only the backward portion of castes included in the list of SCs/STs alone is constitutionally entitled to the benefits of reservation.
  • But the uplifted/affluent and advanced sections of the SCs/STs snatch away the maximum benefit.
  • The 95% members of these communities are at a disadvantage.
  • The benefits of the reservation policy are not percolating down to the people who are in actual need of them.


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