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


Q.1) If India does not resolve its differences with its small neighbors, it will only pave the way for China to assert itself more in the India’s neighbourhood. Discuss.


From Sri Lanka to Nepal, most of India’s smaller neighbours often played the “China card” whenever they had any differences with India.

Reasons for insecurity of our neighbours:

  1. Big brother syndrome
  2. Pakistan often quotes the Bangladesh liberation war as a symbol of India’s aggression on its neighbours
  3. India’s interference in few internal issues like Nepal’s elections and the recent road blockade
  4. The close ethnic ties within the region like Indian Tamils and Sri Lankan Tamils and similar feelings with Madhesis make strict separation of national and international issues difficult
  5. India is a major economy in South Asia and this eventually leads to insecurity among the smaller nations.

What India can do:

  1. Improving connectivity within the region
  2. Strengthening the SAARC framework and reinventing SAFTA by reducing barriers to trade.
  3. India must clearly communicate its neighborhood policy with specific red lines.
  4. Abiding by the Panchsheel principles in dealing with all nations.
  5. Ensuring peace in the region and working towards its stability.


Q.2) The recent UNHCR report highlights India as one of the prime destination for illegal migration. Discuss the security risks associated with it and the remedial measures needed to address this threat.


India in its 70 years as an independent nation-state has seen its fair share of refugee problems. Refugees and illegal migrants from across the borders have posed multiple challenges to the nation.

Security risks:

  1. The arrival of large numbers of migrants, especially from very different social or cultural backgrounds than the receiving communities can pose serious challenges to social cohesion.
  2. This can have practical implications for states, for example, regarding the allocation of resources.
  3. Migrants can compete with locals in the labor market, especially during periods of recession, and thus become magnets for resentment.
  4. Where significant numbers of people are settled in a restricted area for a long period of time, as is the case in some refugee and IDP camps, they can have a detrimental effect on the local environment.
  5. If these migrants have ties with criminal elements in their countries, they can be source of insurgency as witnessed in Kashmir and some of the North Eastern states.

Remedial measures:

  1. India should formulate its own refugee policy.
  2. Strengthening border policing and fences.
  3. Enabling for development in the victim areas.
  4. Strong defence mechanisms
  5. Bilateral understanding with neighbors.


Q.3) Cyber security is an increasingly important domain from the warfare and law and order point of view. In this context critically examine National Cyber Security Policy.


Countries attack each other to steal sensitive information, and criminals fool customers into giving them financial information. Also, an increasing number of Indians are going digital and doing transactions online, and these hacking incidents expose the country’s cyber security vulnerabilities. There has been a surge of about 350% of cybercrime cases registered under the Information Technology (IT) Act, 2000 from the year of 2011 to 2014.

National Cyber Security Policy – analysis:

This policy aims to create a secure cyber ecosystem in the country, generate adequate trust and confidence in IT system and transactions in cyberspace.


  1. Enhanced collaboration between government and industry on cyber security matters.
  2. Increase in demand for security professionals including implementers, managers, auditors, trainers. Hence, creation of new jobs.
  3. Increased investments in security giving boost to cyber security products and services market in India.
  4. Better coordinated R&D through collaboration of government, industry and academia.
  5. Sensitization towards protection of personal information against cyber threats and in pursuance of security programs.


  1. Mandatory security measures through regulations may create problems for those sectors that are not mature in security implementations.
  2. The declared cyber security policy has proved to be a paper work only with no actual implementation till date.
  3. The offensive and defensive cyber security capabilities of India are still missing.
  4. It will be a Challenge for ICT Supply Chain in the country towards positioning of indigenous products as more secure products.
  5. Lack of sufficient human resources to meet the targets set under the policy.
  6. Data colonization: India is net exporter of information however data servers of majority of digital service providers are located outside India.
  7. Lack of uniform standards: There are variety of devices used with non-uniform standards which makes it difficult to provide for a uniform security protocol.


Q.4) What is national security doctrine? What are the issues in India’s national security?  Why India needs a national security doctrine?


A national security doctrine helps the country identify and prioritize that country’s geopolitical interests.

Issues with India’s security:

  1. Border security issues from across India’s eastern and Western borders
  2. Threats from nuclear weapons with two nuclear neighbors – China and Pakistan
  3. Refugees threat due to instability in the region
  4. Terrorism emanating from an unstable Afghanistan and Pakistan
  5. Cyber security threats in today’s digital age
  6. Lack of military modernisation
  7. Border issues and other disputes over ethnicities with many neighbors

Need for NSD in India:

  1. It spells out the command and control structures for meeting eventualities such as terror strikes
  2. It must be anchored in the foundational values of the Constitution so that the outcomes are not decided by the majority party in power in the country.
  3. Instead of working only towards the political unity and preservation of India, the doctrine needs to define India’s role in the world and its commitment to protecting the life, liberty and interests of its people.
  4. This will bring in a reform of the foundations of India’s security establishment.
  5. Lack of strategic direction in writing means that the possibility of repeating mistakes from the past are very high.
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