Answers: Mains Marathon – UPSC Mains Current Affairs Questions – July 30, 2018

Upcoming Current Affairs & Essay Test Series


Q.1) How far do you think that Personal Data Protection bill, 2018 will prove to be effective in protecting the personal data of individual? (GS-3)

Answer: the high level expert group led by B.N Sri Krishna has recently submitted the draft Personal Data PRotection Bill.

The panel has identified 50 laws and regulations which can overlap with the data protection framework.

Contents of the bill

  1. Recognises that right to privacy is a fundamental right and it is necessary to protect personal data as an essential facet of informational privacy.
  2. DAta protection authority to be established as an independent regulatory body for enforcement and effective implementation of the law.
  3. An appellate tribunal to be established or grant powers to an existing tribunal to hear and dispose appeal against orders of DPA.
  4. It covers the processing of personal data both by public and private entities.
  5. personal data collected, used, shared, disclosed or otherwise processed by companies incorporated under Indian law will be covered, irrespective of where it is actually processed in India.
  6. bill notes that that ‘data principal’ which means the individual or the person providing their data, has a right to “right to restrict or prevent continuing disclosure.”
  7. It calls for privacy by design on part of data processors but shall not apply to processing of anonymised data.

Effective in protecting the personal data

  1. This is definitely a first step in evolving India’s data protection framework
  2. Need to protect indians data from companies with servers abroad is recognised
  3. Recognising the need for amendments to Aadhaar is a good step in protecting privacy from govt entities
  4. Provided the much needed right to be forgotten, which is crucial to right to privacy

Not so effective

  1. This localization of personal data is likely become a trade barrier in key markets
  2. stringent penalties proposed on the misuse of data would create deterrence and also compel organizations to build a controls-led environment while processing or storing personal data
  3. There are exceptions that undermine the objective of the proposed law. For instance, there is a special exemption granted under Section 13 that would exclude any data gathering activity that is carved out by an Act of Parliament on the grounds of necessity.
  4. suggests an amendment that would undermine existing language and the institutional framework of the RTI Act.
  5. the bill does not allow for a right of total erasure like the European Union does.


Q.2) Although India has brought down HIV incidence, but social stigma surrounding it, is still high. Discuss and also highlight how Indian laws are aggravating the problems of HIV infected people. (GS-2)

Answer: India brought down the number of new cases of HIV and HIV related deaths by 27% and 56%, respectively, between 2010 and 2017.

Social stigma around it

Though surveys show declining social stigma surrounding people infected with HIV, this problem needs to be tackled given that there are 2.1mn cases in India.

  1. Most often people are not aware of the reasons for spread of the disease and perceive the infected as morally wrong in sexual activity
  2. The unfounded fears related to touching the infected, moving with them
  3. Most of the infected fear stigma and fail to get identified or treated for the problem

How laws are aggravating the problem

Laws can legitimise stigma and give licence to the harassment of groups at the highest risk of HIV.

  1. The Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act criminalises several aspects of sex work thus affecting the vulnerable group of sex workers
  2. Section 377 of the IPC criminalises gay sex.
  3. Studies show that fear of prosecution under such laws prevents homosexual men, drug-users and sex workers from seeking HIV screening and treatment.
  4. This can be understand from these facts: awareness of their HIV status among men who have sex with other men was 41% in India; 52% of those who knew their status were receiving treatment, and of these, 83% had suppressed viral levels
  5. Even insurance does not cover the expenses of HIV infected person and it is making treatment even complicated
  6. Right to health is universal and India must ensure that no one is left behind in the fight against HIV.


Q.3) Bring out the evidences available that suggests Seafloor is spreading and also provide an account of the types of plate boundaries. (GS-1)

Answer: Seafloor spreading is a process that occurs at mid-ocean ridges, where new oceanic crust is formed through volcanic activity and then gradually moves away from the ridge.

Evidences to explain the process:

  1. Molten material – warmer temperature near the mid-Atlantic ridge and the other surface being cold the molten magma continues to push upward
  2. Type of rocks – The samples obtained from the seafloor drill reveals that the rocks away from the mid-oceanic ridge were relatively older than the rocks near to it. The old rocks were also denser and thicker compared to the thinner and less dense rocks in the mid-oceanic ridge.
  3. Age of rocks – By the use of radiometric age dating and studying fossil ages, it was also found out the rocks of the sea floor age is younger than the continental rocks.
  4. Magnetic survey – The investigation of the mid-ocean-ridge, using the magnetic stripes resulted in the three discoveries. First, stripes of normal and reversed polarity were alternate across the bottom of the ocean. Second, the alternate stripes of normal and reversed polarity formed a mirror image to the other side of the ridge. The third is the abrupt ending of stripes when it reached the edge of the continent or an ocean trench.
  5. All along the oceanic ridges, volcanic eruptions are common and are bringing huge amounts of lava to the surface.
  6. The rocks on either side of the crease are showing similarities in terms of period of formation, chemical composition and magnetic properties

Types of plate boundaries

There are three types of plate boundaries. These exist at the convergence of various tectonic plates.

  1. Divergent boundary – A divergent boundary occurs when two tectonic plates move away from each other. Along these boundaries, lava spews from long fissures and geysers spurt superheated water. Frequent earthquakes strike along the rift.
  2. Convergent boundary – When two plates come together, it is known as a convergent boundary. The impact of the two colliding plates leads to formation of a rugged mountain range. A chain of volcanoes often forms parallel to the boundary, to the mountain range, and to the trench. Powerful earthquakes can also occur.
  3. Transform boundary – Two plates sliding past each other forms a transform plate boundary. Rocks that line the boundary create a linear fault valley or undersea canyon.


Q.4) “The exogenic processes derive their energy from atmosphere”. Discuss (GS-1)

Answer: Exogenic processes include geological phenomena and processes that originate externally to the Earth’s surface. They include the processes of weathering, erosion, transportation, deposition, denudation etc.,

How they derive their energy from atmosphere:

  1. Weathering – it occurs due to the action of elements of climate like temperature, pressure, winds and precipitation. They cause weathering in rocks like physical weathering or mechanical weathering due to changes in temperature or excessive rainfall.
  2. Erosion and deposition – Erosion involves acquisition and transportation of rock debris. This is caused by agents like the wind, running water, glaciers, waves and ground water. Of these, the first three agents are controlled by climatic conditions while climate is decided by the energy of the sun
  3. Mass movement – These movements transfer the mass of rock debris down the slopes under the direct influence of gravity. Though weathering is not a prerequisite for a mass movement, it aids in mass movement. Thus the climatic factors that aided weathering play a role in mass movement too.
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