Answers: Mains Marathon – UPSC Mains Current Affairs Questions – July 25, 2018

Upcoming Current Affairs & Essay Test Series


Q.1) Explain how South African experiment prepared Gandhi JI for leader ship of the Indian National struggle. What were the reasons behind Gandhi ji’s non-participation in the national movement immediately after his return to India? (GS-1)

Answer: Gandhi led the struggle against discrimination of Indians settled in South Africa from 1893 to 1914.

How S African experiment helped:

  1. experience of leading poor Indian labourers helped him closely see their capacity for sacrifice and for bearing hardship
  2. built up his faith in the capacity of the Indian masses to participate in and sacrifice for a cause
  3. he had had the opportunity of leading Indians belonging to different religions: Hindus, Muslims, Christians and Parsis; different regions and different social classes.
  4. He learnt that leadership involves facing the ire not only of the enemy but also of one’s followers.
  5. provided Gandhiji with an opportunity for evolving his own style of politics and leadership, for trying out new techniques of struggle that can be replicated in India: he could understand the strengths and weaknesses of Gandhian method of struggle.

Reasons for not participating in INM immediately:

  1. his style of never intervening in a situation without first studying it with great care
  2. He spent the year travelling around the country and studying seeing things for himself
  3. he organized his ashram in Ahmedabad where he and his followers would lead a community life.
  4. He didn’t even participate in Home Rule movement because he didn’t think it is the best time to agitate for Home Rule when the British were in difficulty because of the First World War.
  5. His faith in ‘Moderate’ methods was long eroded
  6. he was deeply convinced that none of these methods of political struggle were really viable; the   only answer lay in Satyagraha.


Q.2) Champaran, Ahmedabad and Kheda served as a demonstrations of Gandhiji’s style and to him a surer understanding of strength and weaknesses of masses. Explain. (GS-1)

During the course of 1917 and early 1918, Gandhi was involved in three significant struggles — in Champaran in Bihar, in Ahmedabad and in Kheda in Gujarat.

How they demonstrated his style to Indians:

  1. helped him find his feet among the people of India
  2. earned the respect and commitment of many political workers, especially the younger ones who were impressed with his taking up problems of ordinary Indians.
  3. Gandhian forms of struggle like Satyagraha, non-cooperation and hunger strike were recognised by Indian masses – It was this reservoir of goodwill, and of experience, that encouraged Gandhiji, to call for a nation-wide protest against Rowlatt Act in 1919.

How it served Gandhi:

  1. understood limitations of masses – in Kheda struggle, Gandhi understood ‘the people were exhausted’ and he was actually ‘casting about for some graceful way of terminating the struggle.
  2. self-sacrifice of leader: In Ahmedabad, Gandhi found that after some days, the workers began to exhibit signs of weariness. In this situation, Gandhiji decided to go on a fast, to rally the workers and strengthen their resolve to continue.
  3. importance of compromise: in the case of indigo farmers, Gandhi settled for a compromise in the refund. He answered that even this refund had done enough damage to the planters’ prestige and position.
  4. in later freedom struggle, his decisions to call for a struggle or withdraw it were based on his understanding of the capacity masses gained from these early struggles.


Q.3) India lacks a legal framework to allow foreign educational institutions to set up campuses and award degrees. How far would allowing foreign universities in India would prove to be beneficial for education sector of India? (GS-2)

Answer: At present, there is no dedicated law that allow international educational institutions to set up India campuses without tying up with local players.

current legal framework on foreign universities:

  1. The Foreign Educational Institution (Regulation of Entry and Operation) Bill, 2010 could not be passed due to lack of consensus.
  2. Currently, there are more than 700 foreign education providers operating in India providing courses through partnerships, offer blended programmes or offer pure executive education for senior management of companies.
  3. Some are operating without an AICTE approval meaning that they do not have the right to offer degrees or diploma certifications in India.
  4. University Grants Commission (UGC) had prepared and notified rules that would allow certain not-for-profit foreign universities to set up campuses in India. But there were differing views between UGC and the law.

How foreign universities help:

  1. India has an ambitious target of providing higher education to 40 million students by 2020
  2. attract investments by allowing institutions to avail the opportunities in India’s education sector
  3. encourages competition and thus provide higher education of quality on a large scale
  4. give India a chance to develop autonomous institutions which can do research
  5. A recent survey found that a majority of those enrolled in distance education courses at Harvard University were Indians. By allowing foreign universities, we can cut down on flow of money outside
  6. these foreign universities also provide good opportunities for local academicians. There are many reputed lecturers and professors who are choosing to leave India to teach abroad because the salaries here are not commensurate with international standards
  7. Indian educational institutions would also benefit from knowledge transfer, collaborations and partnerships with foreign universities that are allowed to set shop in India.


Q.4) Discuss the reasons why hefty hike in MSP is not translating into the solutions for agri crisis in India? Also suggest some measures towards agri-reforms. (GS-3)

Answer: Minimum Support Price (MSP) aimed to insure agricultural producers against any sharp fall in farm prices. MSPs are announced by the Government of India at the beginning of the sowing season for certain crops.

How much hike in MSP:

Government has promised to ensure 50% returns to farmers over A2+FL costs which include all-paid-out expenses on fertilizers, seeds, machinery and hired labour plus an imputed value of family labour engaged in cultivation.

Over the years, MSP has increased but it did not address agri crisis.

Why increase in MSP not resolving Agri crisis?

  1. majority of farmers crops were not procured
  2. growers do not get to know the MSP as there are challenges relating to information dissemination
  3. MSP is not backed by a robust procurement policy and associated logistics is doomed to fail in the context of our production-centric approach.
  4. In the case of rice and wheat, grain mono-cropping and open-ended procurement at support price in agriculturally important States of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh are leading to disastrous environmental impacts.
  5. MSP for pulses: Acreage and production data of last 10-15 years shows weak correlation between MSP and production. But MSP for pulses increased significantly without taking into account global and domestic market conditions.
  6. calculation of MSP: It does not cover all the costs of production. IT is mostly A2+FL but not C2, that is the comprehensive cost of production.

Agri reforms:

  1. Direct procurement and decentralised procurement with support from state governments
  2. Price Deficiency payments – paying farmers the difference between MSP and market prices
  3. implementing e-trading of agri produce
  4. dismantling APMC norms
  5. Need an appropriate foreign trade policy and tariff policy in a way that will protect domestic growers without compromising the interests of consumers.


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