Answers: Mains Marathon – UPSC Mains Current Affairs Questions – January 4, 2019


Q.1) What do you mean by Blockchain technology? Discuss how blockchain technology can be applied in healthcare, education and agricultural sector.


Blockchain is a growing list of records, called blocks, which are linked using cryptography.


  1. Easily manage clinical trials data
  2. electronic medical records maintenance
  3. useful in drug traceability is security to address the problem of fake drugs
  4. Data collected from IoT devices (Internet of Things) or monitoring systems
  5. Processing medical insurance claims

Q.2) What is Basic Structure of Indian Constitution? Discuss the significance of the Basic Structure doctrine.


In the Kesavananda Bharati case (1973) SC laid down a new doctrine of the ‘basic structure’ (or ‘basic features’) of the Constitution. It ruled that the constituent power of Parliament under Article 368 does not enable it to alter the ‘basic structure’ of the Constitution. This means that the Parliament cannot abridge or take away a Fundamental Right that forms a part of the ‘basic structure’ of the Constitution.

Significance of the doctrine:

  1. It defends the core principles of constitution from majority governments.
  2. It protects the principle of separation of powers by recognising the independence of judiciary as part of basic structure
  3. It gave power to the legislatures to restrain the unlimited powers to the citizens.
  4. maintaining the supremacy of the Constitution


Q.3) Discuss the significance of Pradhan mantri Ujjwala Yojana? What are the bottlenecks in the scheme?


The aim of the scheme is to provide LPG connections to BPL households.


  1. Protect health of women from indoor pollution
  2. reduce drudgery and the time spent on cooking
  3. Reduce the impact on neighborhood forests cutdown for fuel
  4. Also reduces the time in collecting firewood


  1. actual usage of LPG is limited due to cost of refills
  2. Unavailability of gas supply in remote areas due to lack of distributors
  3. Various surveys reveal that around 40% of LPG-deprived households in rural areas cite a lack of information about the process of getting a connection as a challenge.


Q.4) Unplanned Metro Rail projects in cities pose more problems than the solutions they offer. In the light of this statement evaluate how Metro Rail Policy 2017 addresses this problem.


The salient features of this policy are as follows:

  1. Makes PPP component mandatory for availing central assistance on metro projects.
  2. Mandates Alternate Analysis, requiring evaluation of other modes of mass transit like BRTS (Bus Rapid Transit System), Light Rail Transit, Tramways, Metro Rail and Regional Rail in terms of demand, capacity, cost and ease of implementation.
  3. Mandatory to set up Urban Metropolitan Transport Authority (UMTA). This authority will prepare Comprehensive Mobility Plans for cities for ensuring complete multi-modal integration for optimal utilization of capacities.
  4. Third party assessment of metro rail proposals.
  5. Stipulates a shift from the present ‘Financial Internal Rate of Return of 8%’ to ‘Economic Internal Rate of Return of 14%’ for approving metro projects.
  6. Value Capture Financing tools to mobilize resources for financing metro projects by capturing a share of increase in the asset values through ‘Betterment Levy’.
  7. To ensure financial viability, it asks States to clearly indicate the measures to be taken for commercial/property development at stations and on other urban land and for other means of maximum non-fare revenue generation through advertisements, lease of space etc., backed by statutory support.

How it helps:

  1. PPP model reduces the burden on the government in funding metro projects.
  2. It reduces the chances for project being stalled by mandating establishment on authority.
  3. It reduces the risk in funding by mandating plan assessment.
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