Answers: Mains Marathon – UPSC Mains Current Affairs Questions – March 15, 2019


Q.1) Recently announced  ‘Pradhan Mantri Shram-Yogi Maandhan’ scheme in the Union budget would provide the much needed support to unorganised sector workers. Critically examine.


Pradhan Mantri Shram-Yogi Maandhan is a pension scheme for workers in the unorganised sector.


  1. Under the scheme, an assured monthly pension of Rs. 3000 rupees per month will be provided to workers in the unorganised sector, whose income is up to Rs 15,000 per month, after 60 years of age.
  2. To avail the scheme, workers have to contribute an amount ranging from ₹55 to ₹100 each month, depending on their age, at the time of joining the scheme and equal contribution would be paid by the government.
  3. The scheme is expected to benefit 10 crore workers and would be implemented from this fiscal itself.
  4. The new pension scheme will run alongside the existing Atal Pension Yojana which provides a defined pension, depending on the contribution, and its period.
  5. The scheme will be enforced through the Unorganised Workers’ Social Security Act, 2008, (UWSS Act) that gives a legal framework for providing social security benefits to workers in the unorganised sector.


  1. It provides a social security system for unorganised sector in their old age. To some extent this gaps the huge economic inequalities.
  2. This scheme will provide for future security to those employees who are at high risk to lose their jobs due to any limitations to physical health.


Q.2) What is your opinion on having educational qualifications for contesting local body elections?


Governments of Rajasthan and Haryana have mandated educational qualifications for contesting local body elections.

Though it is supported on the ground that it provides for informed politicians, this has certain problems:

  1. It acts as a barrier to grassroots democracy
  2. Not many people are literate to contest in elections
  3. It goes against the basic principle that anyone can contest an election in democracy
  4. It transfers the burden of state to provide basic education, to people
  5. In states like Rajasthan where women are traditionally denied rights, this goes against their political participation

Thus the responsibility of state lite in providing education to all its citizens while simultaneously strengthening local bodies through training in particular areas.


Q.3) Explain different types of the seismic wave? What do you mean by shadow zone?


There are 3 type of earthquake waves:

  1. Primary (P) waves: They are longitudinal waves that can pass through both solids and liquids. But they travel slowly through liquids. Also as the density of medium increases their velocity also increases.
  2. Secondary (S) waves: They are transverse waves so can’t pass through liquids.
  3. Love (L) waves & Raleigh (R) waves: They are surface waves and don’t go deeper into the earth. L waves are faster than R waves so the sequence of arrival is PSLR. R waves are analogous to water waves i.e. movement of particles takes place in the vertical plane. In L waves movement of particles takes place in the horizontal plane only but at 90º to the direction of propagation of the wave.

Shadow Zone:

The shadow zone is the area of the earth from 104 to 140 degrees from a given earthquake that does not receive any direct P waves. The shadow zone results from S waves being stopped entirely by the liquid core and P waves being refracted by the liquid core.

The shadow zone for ‘P’ waves is an area that corresponds to an angle between 103 and 142 degrees.

The shadow zone of ‘S’ waves extends almost halfway around the globe from the earthquake’s focus. The shadow zone for ‘S’ waves is an area that corresponds to an angle between 103 and 180 degrees.

By the observing the changes in direction of the waves (emergence of shadow zones), different layers can be identified.


Q.4) Do you think Gandhi’s relevance is more today than it was during his lifetime. Discuss


Some of the major challenges that appear during the 21st century India and that need to be dealt with seriously are as follows:

  1. All pervasive presence of violence and keeping it within limits besides eliminating terrorism.
  2. Ensuring equitable distribution of wealth and natural resource, also to halt and reverse the exploitation and insensitivity shown in preserving balance in nature.
  3. Elimination of poverty and hunger.
  4. Increase in reliance of rulers and politicians on religious fundamentalist elements and by exploiting religious sentiments.
  5. Decline of moral, spiritual and ethical considerations and the expanding influence of consumerism and materialism.

Gandhi’s ideas:

  1. Trusteeship: Trusteeship is the means to promote equal distribution of wealth in the society and assures the generation and intelligent use of wealth.
  2. Pity and compassion: According to Gandhi there is a very thin line between pity and compassion. Pity is degrading and oppressive while compassion is uplifting for giver and receiver. When we feel pity we feed someone and when feeding becomes an end in itself it becomes a problem.
  3. Sarvodaya: Sarvodaya implies the rise and well-being of all.
  4. Satyagraha and non-violence: Satyagraha is the method of nonviolent action in search and adherence to ‘truth’. Gandhi proposed a civilized way of opposing rigid and unjust practices of the aggressor and to seek truth, a process which seeks change not through coercion or aggression but through a ‘change of heart’.
  5. Creative resolution of conflict: To Gandhi, cooperation and harmony rather than conflict and struggle constitute the fundamental law of the universe. Conflicts occur more as temporary irregularities in the even and ordered flow of life.
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