Answers: Mains Marathon – UPSC Mains Current Affairs Questions – September 24, 2018


Q.1) Discuss the swarajist and no changer controversy that rose during the freedom struggle


Withdrawal of the Non-Cooperation Movement led to serious differences among the leaders who had to decide how to prevent the movement from lapsing into passivity.


One school of thought headed by C.R. Das and Motilal Nehru, known as swarajists advocated that nationalists should end the boycott of the Legislative Councils, enter them, obstruct their working according to official plans, expose their weaknesses, transform them into arenas of political struggle and thus use them to arouse public enthusiasm.

  1. Das and Motilal Nehru formed the Congress-Khilafat Swarajya Party with C.R. Das as president and Motilal Nehru as one of the secretaries. The new party was to function as a group within the Congress.
  2. It accepted the Congress programme except in one respect it would take part in Council elections.
  3. They agitated through powerful speeches on questions of self-government, civil liberties and industrial development.
  4. But they failed to change the policies of the authoritarian Government of India

No changers:

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Dr Ansari, Babu Rajendra Prasad and others, known as ‘no-changers’, opposed Council entry.

  1. They warned that legislative politics would lead to neglect of work among the masses, weaken nationalist fervour and create rivalries among the leaders.
  2. They, therefore, continued to emphasise the constructive programme of spinning, temperance, Hindu-Muslim unity, removal of untouchability and grassroots work in the villages and among the poor.
  3. This would, they said, gradually prepare the country for the new round of mass struggle.
  4. Symbolic of this work were hundreds of ashrams that came up all over the country where young men and women promoted charkha and khadi, and worked among the lower castes and tribal people.
  5. Hundreds of National schools and colleges came up where young persons were trained in a non-colonial ideological framework. Moreover, constructive workers served as the backbone of the civil disobedience movements as their active organisers.
  6. While the Swarajists and the ‘no-changers’ worked in their own separate ways, there was no basic difference between the two as they kept on the best of terms and recognised each other anti-imperialist character.


Q.2) Skill India Programme has capacity to reap rich demographic dividend, however programme faces numerous lacunae. In the light of the statement critically analyse the skill development programme.


By 2020, India’s median age will be 29 and we will have the youngest workforce globally.  Of the total global workforce by then almost 28% will be available in India. India has potential to be termed as the ‘Skill Capital of the World’.

But almost 70% of engineering graduates are not employable as per industry reports. Also, only 4.69% of India’s workforce is formally skilled, as against 52% in the US, 68% in the UK, 75% in Germany, 80% in Japan and 96% in South Korea.

Current global economic slowdown, stagnancy in agricultural output, over 50% of the country under drought impact is reducing the employment opportunities.

If we do not take proper forward strategic steps towards this, the demographic dividend may pose a threat of converting into demographic disaster.

Skill India programme

  1. It aims to train over 40 crore people in India in different skills by 2022.
  2. It includes various initiatives of the government like “National Skill Development Mission”, “National Policy for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, 2015”, “Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY)” and the “Skill Loan scheme”.
  3. The two goals in ‘Skill India’ are, first, to meet employers’ needs of skills and, second, to prepare workers (young and old) for a decent livelihood.


  1. Insufficiency of funds to implement. Major chunk of it goes into PMKVY and leaves very little for the related schemes.
  2. India is a diverse country in terms of language, religion, income, caste, gender, geography, etc. This diversity also reflects disparity. To cater to all sections for skill development is a challenge.
  3. Unless companies begin paying wages that commensurate with the skills of the workers, the Mission is not likely to leave any significant dent.
  4. It is being noticed that even after completing skill training, placement opportunities come few and far between.
  5. skill development alone is not going to matter unless it is complemented with employment generation, particularly when around 12.8 million people are entering the job market every year.
  6. Next generation is hardly interested in tilling the soil, to retain youth in agriculture, skill development in this sector is a challenging task.
  7. Poor state of training institutes (ITIs) and lack of industry-academia ties are persistent problems.

way ahead:

  1. Skill development initiatives need to focus on developing conducive skills that can be utilised by people locally so that there is a check on large scale migration of population towards the urban and industrial centres.
  2. States need to be given more autonomy and support, financial or otherwise, as they have deeper understanding of the needs and problems of their region.
  3. Socially and economically marginalised sections, religious minorities, differently-abled people, women and trans genders are particularly required to be brought into the fold with affirmative actions.
  4. Government to focus on industries that are labour intensive and not merely capital-intensive or technology-driven
  5. Creating effective demand in the domestic economy is as important as promoting export-based economic growth; relying on foreign direct investments; or, dependence on big industries
  6. Communities and local industries need to be consulted before designing any such programme, instead of resorting to top-down approach


Q.3) Loans given under MUDRA and SIDBI bank have potential to become next generation NPA. Critically analyse the problems of NPA and give suggestions to tackle it


Credit Guarantee Scheme for MSME run by SIDBI facilitates easy access to credit from organized banking sector to first generation entrepreneurs in the Micro and Small Enterprises (MSE) sector. Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana aims to “fund the unfunded” by bringing such enterprises to the formal financial system and extending affordable credit to them.

Both these schemes are implemented with welfare focus, thus giving loans at subsidized rates and also without due diligence. Thus, Raghuram Rajan raised an issue that they have potential to turn into NPAs.

Problem of NPA:

  1. Lending operations are linked with expectations of how the economy will behave. If the economy is growing at a fast pace, it is assumed that the same will prevail in future.
  2. When business cycles are buoyant and interest rates low, companies go in for big investments and banks lend to them. Growth in bank credit averaged 19% per annum between FY08 and FY12. Interest costs are not considered as it is assumed that it is a small component of the cost and can be absorbed by the growth.
  3. Then the economy was impacted by various controversies in the natural resources sectors and the after effects of 2008 recession, life growth slowdown in our trading partners. This impacted investments and led to an increase in stalled projects as bureaucrats were not willing to take decisions.
  4. Bank credit growth subsequently slowed and the average growth rate came down to 11% between FY13 and FY17.

Ways to deal with it:

  1. Privatisation of state-run banks.
  2. Banks need to maintain strict vigilance during pre- and post-sanction due diligence processes. They must fortify their internal processes to effectively monitor funds.
  3. Economic survey says that, due to the IBC, banks are able to recover more amount, than If the same company’s assets were auctioned off under SARFAESI act.
  4. Due to banking amendment act, RBI forced the PSBs to refer ~3 lakh crore worth cases to NCLT for IBC resolution.
  5. The creation of a secondary market for distressed assets in India will allow for a faster and more efficient resolution of distressed loans and provide a framework for addressing future NPA problems.
  6. Banks should conduct necessary sensitivity analysis and contingency planning while appraising the projects and it should build adequate safeguards against such external factors.
  7. More autonomy in making lending decisions, for PSUs.
  8. Merger of banks to create more robust banks.


Q.4) Discuss the importance and potential impact of Dam rehabilitation improvement project (DRIP)


DRIP is targeted at the repair and rehabilitation of 198 dam projects across the seven states of Jharkhand (DVC), Karnataka,  Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, and Uttarakhand.

Importance of DRIP:

  1. It aims to improve the safety and operational performance of selected existing dams in a sustainable manner.
  2. It also strengthens the dam safety institutional setup of participating States / Implementing Agencies.
  3. Largely ageing profile of Indian dams – about 75% of which are over 20 years old

Potential impact of the project:

  1. Desilting of reservoirs.
  2. Flood marking
  3. Improving communications – as much as possible real-time – between dams and upstream rain and river flow gauging stations and with other dams and control offices, as well as with civil authorities in flood plains downstream of the dam
  4. Improving dam safety instrumentation
  5. Improving the ability to withstand higher floods, including additional flood handling facilities, if needed
  6. Improving toe drains and seepage measuring devices
  7. Structural strengthening of dams to withstand higher earthquake loads and flood water levels
Print Friendly and PDF