Answers: Mains Marathon – UPSC Mains Current Affairs Questions – March 6, 2018


Q.1) Gender inequality is one of the most criticized provisions of Article 35 A. Explain and also highlight the other controversies and significance attached with it. (GS – 2)


  • Article 35A of the Indian Constitution is an article that empowers the Jammu & Kashmir state’s legislature to define “permanent residents” of the state and provide special rights and privileges to those permanent residents.
  • It also empowers the state’s legislature to frame any law without attracting a challenge on grounds of violating the Right to Equality of people from other states or any other right under the Indian Constitution.
  • Article 35A permits the legislature of Jammu and Kashmir to define a list of “permanent residents” of the state, who are eligible to vote, work for the state government, own land and property within the state as well as secure public employments and college admissions.

What are the criticisms of Article 35A?

The criticisms of Article 35A are as follows:

  • The provisions of Article 35 A violates the right of women to marry a man of their choice by not giving the heirs any right to property, it the women marries a man not holding permanent residence.
  • Thus, Article 35A suffers from the violation of Article 14, equality before the law.
  • The entire industrial sector and private sector suffers due to the property ownership restrictions.
  • Students are facing problems in taking admission in colleges.
  • The barring of the outsiders to buy land in J&K raises the issue of Right to equality(Article14-16).
  • Along with the validity of article 370, this article is being challenged for its existence and longevity in the Indian constitution.
  • Article 35A was not added by parliamentary procedure under article 368. It has been enacted by executive order by president and it has to procedure by legislature procedure.
  • It prohibits a non-resident from owning property in the State of J&K, is discriminatory and violates Art 19(d) and Article 19(e)

Q.2) Discuss the provisions of the new draft National Automotive Policy through which the government targets for a holistic development of automobile sector in India. What are the drawbacks in achieving the objectives of the new draft National Automotive Policy? (GS – 2)


  • Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises is working for formulating the National Automotive Policy for holistic development of automobile sector in India.

The provisions of National Automotive Policy are as follows:

  • Adopt a long-term roadmap for emission standards beyond Bharat Stage (BS) VI and harmonize the same with global standards by 2028.
  • Rollout Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) norms till 2025 and beyond and setup incentives/ penalties.
  • Adopt a composite criterion based on length and CO2 emissions to classify vehicles for differential taxation purposes.
  • Harmonize automotive standards over the next 5 years in line with WP-29.
  • Improve the skill development and training eco-system, increase accountability of Automotive Skills Development Council (ASDC) and implement a Labor Market Information System.
  • Retain tax exemption on different levels of Research & Development expenditure with strong audit control.
  • Scale-up of indigenous R&D with commercially viable innovations.
  • Harmonize Applicant Information System (AIS) and Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS)standards on safety critical parts over next 3 years.
  • Fast track adoption of Bharat New Vehicle Safety Assessment Program.
  • It proposes creation of a nodal body with a two-tier structure having an Apex Body supported by the National Automotive Council (NAC).

What are the drawbacks in achieving the objectives of the new draft National Automotive Policy?

The loopholes in the new draft National Automotive Policy are as follows:

Differences between the standards of new and replacement parts:

  • Discrepancies between the standards of new and replacement parts can cause major issues in safety, emissions, and performance of the vehicle.

Dual certification requirements:

  • The dual certification requirements lead to higher cost of compliance for smaller manufacturers.

Poor domestic capability:

  • Poor domestic capability for producing components used in green vehicles will be a major bottleneck for shifting to cleaner vehicles.

Absence of a long-term industry roadmap:

  • Currently, the automobile industry needs a long-term visibility of automotive regulations and avoids any uncertainty on the future requirement of technologies, testing and skills.

Shortage of skilled manpower:

  • The automotive industry in India is in continuous need of skilled manpower, given the limited training capacity and employability of the trained workforce.

Issues with the supply chain infrastructure:

  • Inadequate development of logistics and supply chain infrastructure in India leads to inefficiencies, delays and high costs.

Q.3) Give a brief account of Coral diversity in India. Also discuss the factors which lead to decrease in coral cover in India. (GS – 3)


  • Coral diversity and formation of reefs are centred around four major regions:
    • The Gulf of Kutch
    • The Lakshadweep atolls
    • The Gulf of Mannar
    • The Andaman and Nicobar Islands
  • Besides these hotspots, patchy reefs are present in other coastal regions, from the coast of Goa and parts of the Malvan marine national park to the Kanyakumari district in southern Tamil Nadu.

What factors lead to decrease in coral cover in India?

Factors which lead to decrease in coral cover in India are as follows:

  • India’s reefs have long being threatened by both natural and human-induced factors.
  • Climate change is the primary factor, with multiple bleaching events occurring in the last two decades, resulting in substantial reductions to coral cover and growth.
  • Increase atmospheric carbon dioxide have decreased the pH of oceans and resulting in ocean acidification, which seriously hinder the reef building capacity of corals.
  • Activities like coral mining, unregulated tourism, overfishing and construction also have direct and indirect impacts on reef health by destroying the reef structure or disturbing its species balance
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