Answers: Mains Marathon – UPSC Mains Current Affairs Questions – July 18, 2018

Mains Test Series


Q.1) “States are under obligation to prevent lynchings and mob violence and such incidents cannot happen by the remotest chance”. In the light of statement state the reasons of recent rise in mob violence in India and failure of state in stopping them.

Answer: India has witnessed a rise in mob aggression in the last few years. Ranging from killings by Gau Rakshak groups to assault on doctors and foreigners, this phenomenon poses a significant challenge to order and peace. It needs to be dealt with strongly. Supreme Court has recently asserted that states are under obligation to prevent lynching and mob violence.

Such incidents reduce faith in the government to protect people’s lives. It also leads to huge trust deficit in victim groups, who are mostly the marginalized communities. As the Broken Window syndrome points, this may lead to more violation of law and order and greater disrespect for rules.

Reasons for rise in mob violence:

  1. social media – recent attacks on suspicious child-lifters across the country highlights the potential of social media to spread false news. new, inexperienced smartphone users are prone to spread these rumours.
  2. delayed justice – leads to perpetrators not being punished severely
  3. aggressive propaganda – by vested interests eg., communal propaganda behind cow vigilantism
  4. prejudices and stereotypes – are being fanned to make people serve political interests of few
  5. limitations of policing – failure to identify areas of trouble and prevent them creates a kind of acceptance of breaking law in minds of people.

Failure of state

  1. State has failed to punish the perpetrators of lynching adequately previously, providing a sense of freedom to kill to other like-minded criminal nature people.
  2. State has failed to deal with the threats posed by social networking sites and apps, could not force adequate regulations to handle the situation.
  3. Failure of governments in justice delivery has somewhat broken the trust of people in law and order and taking the matter of security in their own hands as seen in the previous lynching incidents related to child abduction.
  4. Failure of state in stopping some ill-minded people from spreading hatred among different sections and religions of society.

India cannot let its law and order, security slip away in hands of mobs. A holistic and community-based strategy is the best way to combat the growing mob violence in India.

Q.2) “Blanket ban on plastic is an extreme measure and is naturally disruptive, instead overhauling the existing regulations on plastic waste management and municipal solid waste would have produced better results.” Elucidate.


India aims to do away with all single-use plastics by 2022. In line with this, Maharashtra government banned several consumer articles made of plastic. Several states and cities have been issuing deadlines to ban usage of plastic bags.

This blanket ban on plastic poses several challenges due to

  • lack of affordable alternatives.
  • Plastic bags are successful due to their affordability.
  • Lack of alternatives, affordable ones in particular affect the transition.
  • Industries – mostly small-scale ones are dependent on wide range of plastics due to its agility and affordability. These may face immediate challenges to design an alternate strategy.
  • Also, bans take time to implement and are not fully successful in eliminating the problem, as people are unaware of the reasons behind ban.

However, the ban on plastic in itself is not a problem. It needs to be addressed for a better environment. Along with it, several other systems would have been put in place to ensure a plastic free nation. These include:

As an alternative to ban it, plastic waste management rules and municipal solid waste regulations should have been overhauled, which are suffering from the challenges like:

  • only 9% of about nine billion tonnes of plastic produced getting recycled.
  • Data on volume of waste generated is not adequately available, and even less data is available on what it recycles.
  • Bulk of India’s plastic waste — estimated officially at 26,000 tonnes a day — is being dumped in the oceans
  • segregation at source has not taken off, as there is little awareness.

Thus, to handle these problems overhauling of plastic waste management rules and municipal solid waste regulations by following ways is needed:

  • The Urban Development Secretary in each State should be mandated to produce a monthly report on how much plastic waste is collected, including details of the types of chemicals involved, and the disposal methods.
  • Such compulsory disclosure norms will maintain public pressure on the authorities, including the State Pollution Control Boards.
  • Priority should be given to stop the generation of mixed waste, which prevents recovery of plastics.
  • Companies covered by extended producer responsibility provisions must be required to take back their waste.
  • incentives to reduce the use of plastic carry bags, single-use cups, plates and cutlery must be in place. Retailers must be required to switch to paper bags.
  • Implementing specifications for the recycling of different types of plastics issued by the Bureau of Indian Standards.


Q.3) Ocean circulation patterns have a profound effect on global climate. Comment?

Answer: Ocean currents are large movement of ocean water in a direction in a particular time. They have profound influence on the local and global climate.

The various ways of influence are:

Oceanic circulation transports heat from one latitude belt to another in a manner similar to the heat transported by the General circulation of the atmosphere. The cold waters of the Arctic and Antarctic circles move towards warmer water in tropical and equatorial regions, while the warm waters of the lower latitudes move pole ward.

They have profound influence on the local and global climate ion following ways:-

  • West coasts of the continents in tropical and subtropical latitudes (except close to the equator) are bordered by cool waters. Their average temperatures are relatively low with a narrow diurnal and annual ranges. There is fog, but generally the areas are arid.
  • West coasts of the continents in the middle and higher latitudes are bordered by warm waters which cause a distinct marine climate. They are characterised by cool summers and relatively mild winters with a narrow annual range of temperatures.
  • Warm currents flow parallel to the east coasts of the continents in tropical and subtropical latitudes. This results in warm and rainy climates. These areas lie in the western margins of the subtropical anti-cyclones.
  • The mixing of warm and cold currents help to replenish the oxygen and favour the growth of plankton, the primary food for fish- population. The best fishing grounds of the world exist mainly in these mixing zones.
  • Desert formation – Also, many deserts on western coasts of continents are due to the cold ocean currents.
  • Rains – Warm ocean currents bring rain to coastal areas and even interiors, but cold currents don’t. Example: Summer Rainfall in British Type climate.

Thus, ocean currents play a major role in influencing micro and macro level aspects of the global climate pattern.

Q.4) Most of our knowledge about the interior of the earth is largely based on estimates and inferences. Yet, a part of the information is obtained through direct observations and analysis of materials. Elucidate

Answer: As we cannot directly enter the earth’s interior, we have to depend on various sources to understand its structure. Most of them are indirect while few are direct.

Understanding from indirect sources:

  1. Depth: With depth, pressure and density increases and hence temperature.
  2. Meteors: Meteors and Earth are solar system objects that are born from the same nebular cloud. Thus they are likely to have a similar internal structure.
  3. Gravitation: The gravitation force (g) is not the same at different latitudes on the surface. It is greater near the poles and less at the equator. This is because of the distance from the center at the equator being greater than that at the poles.
  4. Gravity anomalies: The gravity values also differ according to the mass of material. The uneven distribution of mass of material within the earth influences this value. Such a difference is called gravity anomaly. Gravity anomalies give us information about the distribution of mass of the material in the crust of the earth.
  5. Magnetic field: The geodynamic effect helps scientists understand what’s happening inside the Earth’s core. Shifts in the magnetic field also provide clues to the inaccessible iron core.
  6. Seismic waves: Most of our understanding about earth’s interior comes from study of seismic waves. The pattern of movement of P and S waves according to the type of material inside is recorded on a seismograph. This gives us an understanding of the different layers of earths’ interior.

Direct sources:

  1. Deep earth mining and drilling- this reveals the nature of rocks deep down the surface. [Mponeng gold mine and TauTona gold mine in South Africa are deepest mines reaching to a depth of 3.9 km. And the deepest drilling is about 12 km deep]
  2. Volcanic eruption – it forms another source of obtaining direct information. Study of the volcanic rocks and emissions will help understand the deeper layers of earth to some extent.

Thus, of all the sources seismic waves help us the most in understanding earth’s interior.

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