Answers: Mains Marathon – UPSC Mains Current Affairs Questions – March 12, 2018


Q.1) ‘The high-voltage communal tension between majority Sinhala and minority Muslims in Srilanka is more about politics and less about religion.’ Discuss. (GS – 2)


  • Sri Lanka has declared a state of emergency for ten days to rein in the spread of communal violence between majority Sinhala and minority Muslims in Kandy district that left two persons dead and left a trail of destruction.

The high-voltage communal tension between majority Sinhala and minority Muslims in Srilanka is more about politics and less about religion:

There is serious trouble when politics meets competitive religious divides.

Vote bank politics:

  • Rajapaksa attributed his Sri Lanka Podujana Peramunna party (SLPP) win to his opposition’s sale of “national assets” to the Chinese, and among other things the rising cost of living.
  • But it is to be noted that his own government in past contributed much in Chinese imperialism.
  • Also, former President Rajpaksa wants to come to power into by reconciling majority which is proven by the results of the recent local poll winning 231 of 340 local councils.
  • Following the present violence, his popularity will only rise further.

Sinhala -Muslim clashes operating with impunity:

  • Media and analytical reports indicate rising Sinhala -Muslim clashes, with leaders of Sinhala mobs operating with impunity.
  • Persons like Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara, general secretary of the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) allege that the Muslims, despite being in the minority, have powerful friends from outside the country, a thinly veiled reference to international terrorist groups.

Srilankan inhabitants joining the Islamic terror groups:

  • Mohamed Muhsin Sharfaz Nilam a resident of Kandy, was one of the first to die under the banner of the Islamic State.
  • Educated in Islamic doctrines in Pakistan, he left with his entire family including six children and his parents for Syria.
  • It later emerged that he was leading a fight with 16 Sri Lankans.
  • Thereafter, the government claimed that another 32 Sri Lankans from well established families had joined the Islamic State.
  • These incidents are resut of deliberate governmnet negligence.
  • Such absconding from one’s country should not be kept only in records just for the sake of doing so instead strict restrictions should be formulated.

Q.2) What do you mean by credit culture in banking? What are its significance and what do you think are the possible ways to achieve better credit culture for long term benefits to India? (GS – 3)


  • Credit culture refers to the collection of principles, actions, deterrents and rewards within the lending organisation.
  • Credit Culture is also ‘the institutional priorities, traditions and philosophies’ surrounding lending or credit decisions.
  • It is a concept that needs to rigorously be developed over time and communicated in an effective way.


  • A good bank has a good credit culture.
  • A profitable, well-run bank that enhances shareholder value consistently and predictably relies on a disciplined credit culture to make it happen.
  • In contrast, bad banks have lousy credit cultures plagued by the undisciplined, the self-interested, and the wrongheaded, who collectively make these banks fail at profitability and shareholder value.
  • If a culture is not supportive of an organization’s goals, the organization’s ultimate success is already in doubt.

How to achieve better credit culture?

Possible ways to achieve better credit culture for long term benefits to India are as follows:

  • One way to achieve it is to exclude the defaulting promoters from bidding for their assets during insolvency proceedings.
  • With the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) doing away with all the past dispensations to resolve the bad loan problem, and voting for initiation of insolvency proceedings against erring borrowers, there is a need to strengthen the National Company Law Tribunals (NCLTs).
  • It is important that the capacities of NCLTs are expanded so that they can deal with all cases.
  • The promoters of companies against whom banks had initiated insolvency proceedings should be kept out of the bidding process for the same assets for the long-term benefit of improving credit culture.
  • A short-term goal for banks would be to look at maximising the value from the assets which are being put up for bidding and that can happen by allowing the promoters to bid for the assets.
  • From a longer-term perspective getting the right credit culture where every borrower repays is more important.

Q.3) Write short notes on the following:

a) Kuthiyottam ritual (GS – 1)

  • The Kuthiyottam ritual is usually performed every year during the Pongala festival at the Attukal Bhagavathy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.
  • Nearly 1,000 young boys undertake a seven-day penance before Pongala day.
  • These boys are said to represent the wounded soldiers of the goddess.
  • The boys have to observe strict discipline and stay inside the temple for seven days.
  • The rigours include sleeping on the floor, strict diet restrictions, and bathing three times a day. They also have to prostrate 1,008 times before the deity.
  • The ritual also reportedly involves piercing the child’s side with a small hook and knotting a thread through it to symbolise their bond with the Goddess

b)Trick Index in Economy (GS – 3)

  • Trick Index in Economy refers to a financial indicator that shows the the number of stocks, or any other financial security, in an index that during any particular moment of the day are trading above or below their last closing price.
  • It is calculated simply by subtracting the number of stocks showing downticks from the number of stocks that are showing upticks during the day.
  • The tick index is one of the many indicators used by traders to gauge the general mood of the market.
  • It gives traders a good idea of the general breadth of a market advance or decline, which can have an impact on their trades.

c) Chain Migration in Demography (GS – 2)

  • This refers to the process wherein the emigration of a certain group of people from a region causes more people from the same region to move to a particular foreign destination.
  • Such migration happens as a result of the increasing spread of positive information about the foreign destination among a certain population through the early settlers.
  • This encourages more people from the same region to move to the foreign country in search of better economic and other opportunities.
  • The first movers to a foreign country are also likely to help more people from their family and hometowns to move out and settle into a new foreign destination.
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