Answers: Mains Marathon – UPSC Mains Current Affairs Questions – March 28, 2019


Q.1) What is Aadhar Payment Bridge system? what are the benefits and challenges associated with it?


Aadhar Payment Bridge System is used by the Government Departments and Agencies for the transfer of benefits and subsidies under Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) scheme launched by Government of India.


  1. APBS has led to electronification of a large number of retail payment transactions which were predominantly either in cash or cheque.
  2. Eliminates inordinate delays, multiple channels & paper work involved in the existing system.
  3. In case of change in bank account, customer is not required to convey the bank account details or change in bank details to the Government Department or Agency.
  4. Customer not required to open multiple bank accounts for receiving benefits and subsidies of various social welfare schemes – Customer just need to open one account and seed his/her Aadhaar number in the bank account to start receiving benefits and subsidies directly into his/her Aadhaar Enabled Bank Account.
  5. It helps the government to serve the goal of financial inclusion and reframe subsidy management program.


  1. Unreliable seeding of Aadhaar with bank account- It is alleged that when Jan Dhan Yojna was launched, seeding of Aadhar was done without due verification
  2. Inconsistencies between Aadhar database and bank database – Due to haphazard seeding, there is inconsistencies between Aadhar database and bank database which led to discontinuation of benefits and subsidies for a large number of poor beneficiaries.
  3. Uninformed consent – It is alleged that bank accounts have been mass-mapped onto the APBS without following due process of consent.
  4. Issue with Mapping of account – It is found that benefits are transferred to beneficiary rarely used account. Last year, Airtel allegedly opened its customer account to airtel payment bank without following due consent and verification norms and mapped this accounts to which subsidy payments would be directed.
  5. Diverted Payment – it is often found that benefits are transferred to others account under APB system.


Q.2) The demographic dividend is fast becoming a demographic liability in India due to lack of skill formation and employment. Discuss.


India currently with around 28% population in the youth category is witnessing an increase in its working age population which may saturate by 2040. By 2020, the median age in India will be just 28, compared to 37 in China and the US, 45 in Western Europe, and 49 in Japan.


  1. Investment on health and education
  2. Future growth could turn out to be jobless due to de-industrialization, de-globalization, and the fourth industrial revolution and technological progress.
  3. Heterogeneity among the states in their demographic profile – while the peninsular states are exhibiting a pattern similar to the developed economies, hinterland states are relatively young and dynamic, characterized by a rising working age population.
  4. A Skill Gap Study by NSDC estimates an incremental human resource requirement of 109.73 million skilled manpower by 2022 in 24 key sectors of the economy. This makes skill development integral to employment.
  5. Large pool of poorly educated youth.
  6. High demand for skilled manpower vis-a-vis low employability


Q.3) What do you mean by ‘Tolerance’? What is its importance for a civil servant?


Tolerance is the ability or willingness to tolerate the existence of opinions or behaviour that one dislikes or disagrees with.


  1. They have to work with people from diverse socio cultural backgrounds
  2. Civil servants have to be the change agents in a society with poor social attitudes. This needs patience more than any other quality.
  3. They have to maintain neutrality and work with any political party in power irrespective of their convergence/ divergence of ideologies.
  4. They have to give impartial advice and work on any policy irrespective of their ideology being considered or not.


Q.4) Analyze the major reasons behind the recent slowdown of the Chinese economy? Discuss its impact on India and the global economy?



  1. Overcapacity in crucial industries like steel
  2. Growing wages reducing the competitiveness of Chinese economy
  3. Global slowdown
  4. Ongoing trade war with the US
  5. Other long term reasons like serious and growing worries over the lack of regulation that sets doing business in China apart from that of the rest of the world. These include China’s complex and shady “shadow banking” problem of unregulated lenders, its cyber espionage activities and lax protection of intellectual property rights.


  1. Softening demand in China is being felt around the world, with slowing sales of goods from iPhones to automobiles, prompting warnings from the likes of Apple and Jaguar Land Rover.
  2. Chinese industry is closely integrated into international supply chains. At the turn of the century, China accounted for about 7%of global economic activity.
  3. China has the biggest share in India’s imports, at more than 16%. It is also the fourth largest export market for the country, with a 4.39% share. So the impact on India is unlikely to be huge.
  4. If yuan weakens, it makes imports from China cheaper; excess capacities in China could lead to dumping of products. This could hurt Indian companies. India’s exports of raw material to China could suffer.
  5. India could become a destination for Chinese companies; it would make economic sense for Chinese companies to shift manufacturing of products they sell in India.
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