Answers: Mains Marathon – UPSC Mains Current Affairs Questions – March 29, 2018


Q.1)   Recently, the Supreme Court upholds choice of consenting adults to love and marriage as a part of fundamental rights.  In this context discuss the reasons for honour killing in India. What can be the possible implications of honour killing?(GS 1)

Supreme Court upholds choice of consenting adults to love and marriage as part of Fundamental rights. It violates article 14, 15, 21, 39(f) of the Constitution. Honour killing is defined as the killing of a relative, especially a girl or woman, who is perceived to have brought dishonour on the family. India registered 251 honour killings in 2015, recording a big spike in murders carried out by people professing to be acting in defence of their family’s reputation. It involves the murder of a woman or girl by male family members.

Reasons for honour killing:

  • The apex court pointed out that three per cent of honour killings were linked to gotra. The remaining 97% were due to religion and other reasons.
  • Continued rigidity of the caste system: Hence in the fear of losing the caste status, which they gain many benefits, makes them commit this heinous crime.
  • Same gotra or outside marriages: The mentality of the people till now such that they will not be ready to accept the marriages which have taken place in the same gotra or outside. The society still negatives the right of choice in marriage.
  • Lack of formal governance:The root of the cause for the increase of it is because the formal governance has not been able to reach the rural areas.
  • Illiteracy and unawareness about the rights: Large section of the society unknown about the  rights which are made to protect them in our constitution incapacity due to lack in education. The honour crime violates Article 14, 15 (1) & (3) 19, 21 and 39 (f) of the Constitution of India.
  • Danger of losing Prestige and Status in society: A person’s ascribed status is more important than the achieved status.
  • Another characteristic of honour killings is that the perpetrators often do not face negative stigma within their communities,because their behaviour is seen as justified.


The incident of honour killing has increased in India in recent times. Such a heinous crime has ethical implications:

  • Violations of human rights.
  • It Infringes right to live with dignity as per article 21 of the Constitution of India.
  • Creates crisis of credibility in the government machinery to control such killings
  • Undermines integrity of institutions such as police, judiciary etc
  • Infringes right to choose and creates stress, fear, trauma among the lover
  • Hampers notion of national integration, solidarity, cooperation etc among various communities and creates suspicion in the minds of people.
  • May hamper peace and tranquility.
  • Shows lack of rational thinking capability, emotional intelligence etc
  • The ethical values of a society such as tolerance, respect for diversity, self determination etc. are degraded when such gruesome acts are either committed or ratified.

Q.2) What was the recent controversy involving Cambridge Analytica in India? Why is India more vulnerable to personal data misuse by big online social platforms?  What measures needs to be taken for data protection?(GS 3)

Cambridge Analytica (CA) is a UK-based data analytics firm, whose parent company is Strategic Communication Laboratories (SCL). It claims to build psychological profiles of voters to help its clients win elections

Controversy in India:

  •  Political parties in India, including the ruling BJP and the Congress, have accused each other of engaging the services of Cambridge Analytica, leading to questions over influencing elections “through questionable means.”
  • The government has sent a notice to U.K.-based Cambridge Analytica — accused of misusing data of 50 million Facebook users — asking it to disclose if data of Indian users was used, and to name the entities that used their services.
  • Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad also warned Facebook against the misuse of Indians’ data and any attempt to influence the electoral processes of this country.
  • The firm has been asked to reply by March 31.

India became more vulnerable because of the following reasons:

  • For millions of Indians, the discovery of internet itself happens through Facebook. There are over 2.2 billion users globally, out of that 250 millions of them are in India.
  • While regulators in the US, China and the EU have put in place laws to address concerns around privacy and data protection, India has so far taken a piecemeal approach.

Following measures can be taken for data protection:

  • It is time for technology companies like Facebook to take the onus of creating awareness about data protection upon themselves.
  • Awareness should be backed up with strong data protection laws that impose heavy penalties on violators.
  • Consumers on their part should be cautious of sharing information online.
  • The experience world over is that many corporations are averse to installing even basic security if it involves investment. It is ultimately the management that has to take the call.
  • High security is inconvenient and painful but is worth the money spent on it if the reputation of an organisation has to be protected.

Q3) Write short notes on:

a) Indian Rhino Vision 2020: (GS – 3)

b) ‘Backstop resources theory’ in Economics (GS – 3)

a) Indian Rhino Vision 2020: (GS – 3)

  • Indian Rhino Vision (IRV) 2020 is a partnership between the Assam Forest Department, the Bodoland Territorial Council, WWF, IRF, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
  • Its goal is to have a wild population of at least 3,000 Greater one-horned rhinos in the Indian state of Assam, spread over seven protected areas, by the year 2020.
  • IRV 2020 is an ambitious rhino range and population expansion programme.

Significance of IRV, 2020:

  • There are only approximately 3,333 Greater one-horned rhinos left in the world (as at 31 December 2012), with about 75% of those found in the Indian state of Assam.
  • Through the concentrated efforts of the IRV2020 programme, the species is increasing in number once again, despite the continued threats of poaching and habitat loss.
  • IRV 2020 is an exceptionally significant and inspirational programme that has captivated imaginations and support locally in Assam and nationally in India.

b) ‘Backstop resources theory’ in Economics (GS – 3)

  • Backstop resources theory states that as the demand for a resource that is in limited supply increases, it will kick in a process that results in the exploitation of other alternative resources to meet human needs.

For example:

  • As the demand for oil increases even as its available supply decreases, this will cause the price of oil to shoot up and push businesses to look for alternative sources of energy.


  • The theory implies that humans need not worry about running out of resources as prices will always provide an incentive to tap into alternative resources and develop technology for efficient use of these resources.


Print Friendly and PDF