Answers: Mains Marathon – UPSC Mains Current Affairs Questions – October 4, 2018

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Q.1) E-mobility is a nascent industry in India. What are the challenges facing the adoption of e-vehicles in India. Write about the FAME-II mission.

Answer:

The local production of inputs for Electric Vehicles is at just about 35% of total input production.

Challenges facing adoption of e-vehicles:

  1. Differences between the standards of new and replacement parts can cause major issues in safety, emissions, and performance of the vehicle.
  2. Dual certification requirements lead to higher cost of compliance for smaller manufacturers.
  3. Poor domestic capability for producing components used in green vehicles will be a major bottleneck for shifting to cleaner vehicles.
  4. Absence of a long-term industry roadmap leads to uncertainty on the future requirement of technologies, testing and skills.
  5. 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.

FAME – II:

With an aim to promote eco-friendly vehicles, government launched the FAME India scheme in 2015. Under this, incentives are being offered on proper hybrid and electric cars, two-wheelers and three-wheelers.

FAME phase II will ensure incentives are given to a wider range of EVs. The scheme will provide subsidies to battery-operated scooters and motorcycles, three-wheelers etc.,

Q.2) India needs a good blend of investments and subsidies in its agriculture policy. What are the various ways by which government is supporting farmers. How agriculture is important to improve food security and in supporting rural economy.

Answer:

Ways of supporting farmers:

The main policy instruments to support farmers in India include subsidised fertilisers, power, agri-credit and crop insurance on the input side, and minimum support prices for major crops on the output front.

Analysis of the measures:

  1. A recent study conducted jointly by the OECD and ICRIER, estimated that India’s trade and marketing policies have inflicted a huge negative price burden upon the country’s farmers.
  2. The Producer Support Estimate (PSE) for India works out to be -14% of the gross farm receipts for the period 2000-01 to 2016-17. This is primarily because of restrictive export policies and domestic marketing policies.
  3. Public capital formation in agriculture has been declining from 3.9% of agri-GDP in 1980-81 to 2.6% in 2016-17 while input subsidies have risen from 2.8% to 8% of the agricultural GDP during the same period.
  4. Expenditure incurred on Agri-R&E (Research and Education) are five to 10 times more powerful in alleviating poverty or increasing agri-GDP than a similar expenditure made on input subsidies.

Agriculture for food security and rural economy:

  1. Agriculture’s success depends on the successful management of natural resources. Proper environmental management leads to survival of the rural economy.
  2. Reviving and reinventing Indian agriculture is necessary to meet growing food demands of population and also meet the needs for diversity of food grains.
  3. As the Lewisian model suggests, success of agriculture is important for the successful transition to other sectors of economy.
  4. It prevents distress migration, leads to rise in rural incomes and thus a general improvement in standards of living.

 

Q.3) Describe the demands of the early nationalists in the Indian freedom struggle. Discuss how these demands were different from the nationalists who emerged later that led to Surat Split.

Answer:

Demands of early nationalists (or) moderates:

  1. Moderates aimed at administrative and constitutional reforms.
  2. Moderates wanted more Indians in the administration and not to an end of British rule.
  3. Moderates believed in constitutional means and worked within the framework of the law. Their methods including passing resolutions, persuasion, sending petitions and appeals.
  4. Most of the moderate leaders were inspired by the ideas of western philosophers like Mill, Burke, Spencer, and Bentham. Moderates imbibed western ideas of liberalism, democracy, equity, and freedom.

Examples of moderate leaders-Dadabhai Naoroji, Gopal Krishna Gokhale etc.

Demands of later nationalists:

  1. Extremists aimed at nothing short of swaraj as it existed in the United Kingdom and its self-governing colonies. Tilak said, “Swaraj is my birth right and I shall have it”.
  2. Extremists wanted to end the British rule.
  3. 3.Extremist denounced British rule and defied it. Many of them were arrested because of anti-British activities.
  4. Extremists believed in atma shakti or self-reliance as a weapon against domination.
  5. Extremist rejected British rule and held it responsible for the backwardness and poverty of the Indian people.

Examples of extremist leaders- Bala Gangadhara Tilak, Bipin Chandra Pal and Lala Lajpat Rai, Aurobindo Ghosh.

Q.4) Discuss in detail the three adjectives added in the preamble by 42nd constitutional amendment act, 1976.

Answer:

The three adjectives added are Socialist, Secular and Integrity.

  1. Socialist
  • Even before the term was added by the 42nd Amendment in 1976, Constitution had a socialist content in the form of certain DPSPs.
  • Indian brand of socialism is ‘democratic socialism’ and not ‘communistic socialism’ that involves nationalisation of all means of production and distribution and the abolition of private property.
  • Democratic socialism adopts a ‘mixed economy’ where both public and private sectors co-exist. It aims to end poverty, ignorance, disease and inequality of opportunity.
  • Indian socialism is a blend of Marxism and Gandhism, leaning heavily towards Gandhian socialism.
  1. Secular
  • Although the words ‘secular state’  were not expressly mentioned in the Constitution, Articles 25 to 28 have been included in the constitution.
  • Indian Constitution embodies the positive concept of secularism whereby all religions in our country have the same status and support from the state.
  1. Integrity
  • Preamble declares that fraternity has to assure two things—the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the nation. The word ‘integrity’ has been added to the preamble by the 42nd CA.
  • The phrase ‘unity and integrity of the nation’ embraces both the psychological and territorial dimensions of national integration. Article 1 of the Constitution describes India as a ‘Union of States’ to make it clear that the states have no right to secede from the Union, implying the indestructible nature of the Indian Union. It aims at overcoming hindrances to national integration like communalism, regionalism, casteism, linguism, secessionism and so on.
  • FDs makes it the duty of every citizen of India to uphold and protect the sovereignty, unity and integrity of India.
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