Dec. 30, 2020

Mains Daily Question
Dec. 30, 2020

  1. Make an account of the different types of soils and their distribution in India.


  • Give a brief introduction about soils.

  • Discuss various types of soils along with their distribution areas.

  • Conclude appropriately.

Model Answer

Soil is the mixture of rock debris and organic materials which develop on the earth’s surface. The major factors affecting the formation of soil are relief, parent material, climate, vegetation and other life-forms and time. Besides these, human activities also influence it to a large extent. Components of the soil are mineral particles, humus, water and air.

Various types of soil and their distribution areas are:

  1. Alluvial soils- Alluvial soils are widespread in the northern plains and the river valleys. The alluvial soils vary in nature from sandy loam to clay. They are generally rich in potash but poor in phosphorous.

  2. Black soils- Black soil covers most of the Deccan Plateau which includes parts of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and some parts of Tamil Nadu. The black soils are generally clayey, deep and impermeable.

  3. Red and Yellow soils- Red soil develops on crystalline igneous rocks in areas of low rainfall in the eastern and southern part of the Deccan Plateau. Along the piedmont zone of the Western Ghat, long stretch of area is occupied by red loamy soil. It looks yellow when itoccurs in a hydrated form.

  4. Laterite soils- The laterite soils develop in areas with high temperature and high rainfall. The laterite soils are commonly found in Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh and the hilly areas of Odisha and Assam.

  5. Forest soils- Forest soils are formed in the forest areas where sufficient rainfall is available. The soils vary in structure and texture depending on the mountain environment where they are formed.

  6. Arid soils- These are generally sandy in structure and saline in nature. Arid soils develop in western Rajasthan, which exhibits characteristic arid topography.

  7. Saline soils- Saline soils contain a larger proportion of sodium, potassium and magnesium. Saline soils are more widespread in western Gujarat, deltas of the eastern coast and in Sunderban areas of West Bengal.

  8. Peaty soils- These soils are rich in humus and organic content. It occurs widely in the northern part of Bihar, southern part of Uttaranchal and the coastal areas of West Bengal, Orissa and Tamil Nadu.

Soil is the most important layer of the earth’s crust, and proper steps like contour bunding, contour terracing, regulated forestry, controlled grazing etc. are needed to conserve this resource.


Subjects : Geography

Dec. 28, 2020

Mains Daily Question
Dec. 28, 2020

  1. Highlight the ways in which atomic energy can be put to peaceful uses.



  • Introduce with highlighting the peaceful use of atomic energy

  • Explain peaceful uses of atomic energy in medicine, industry, agriculture etc.

  • Conclude appropriately

Model Answer

US President D Eisenhower brought international focus on peaceful uses of atomic energy with his “Atoms for Peace” initiative in 1953. In India, the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) was founded in 1954, with Dr Homi Bhabha at its helm. The AEC is the governing body of the Department of Atomic Energy, whose motto is “Atoms in the service of the nation”.

Peaceful Uses of Atomic energy

  1. Medicine

  2. Diagnosis: Radiopharmaceuticals uses trace amounts of radioactive material that are selectively localised in the body and retained at the sites of diseases. This locus is then imaged by using gamma scintigraphy. Eg Positron Emission Tomography (PET Scan)

  3. Treatment:

  4. Targeted radionuclide therapy: Radioactive material is introduced in the body which localises at disease site and delivers cytotoxic doses of radiation to specific disease sites without affecting normal surrounding tissues

  5. Radiation therapy delivers high energy radiation using a machine (external beam radiation or teletherapy), or by inserting the source within the body (brachytherapy)

  • Hydrogel: Developed by BARC (Bhabha Atomic Research Centre) using gamma or electron beam irradiation helps in burn wound healing

  1. Sterilization of medical equipment such as gloves, surgical instruments etc

  2. Agriculture

  3. To induce mutations to develop pest- or drought-resistant crops, or to develop high yielding varieties

  4. Food preservation by irradiation and disinfecting. This will reduce the 30% food wastage seen in India due to pest attack, moulds infestation and contamination.

  5. Radiation delays ripening and senescence

  6. Energy: Nuclear energy provides a low carbon way of generating electricity. India has 22 nuclear power plants (capacity of 6780 MW) with 12 under way. It provides 1.2% of the total energy mix.

  7. Waste management: Hygenization of sludge and waste water to make it less polluting once it enters streams and rivers. It can be made part of Swachch Bharat.

  8. Water

  9. Purification

  10. Isotope hydrology techniques to estimate and trace underground water resources; monitor surface water

  11. Measure water contamination

  12. Academic
    1. Carbon dating to estimate age of fossils using radioactive decay

  13. Industry
    1. Ionizing smoke detectors

    2. Radiography (use of X rays) to find defects in metallic castings and welds

Atomic/Nuclear Energy in India (and other nuclear states) is completely under the control of the government. India has done well in successfully harvesting this science in an attempt to solve many of the country’s problems such as medical cures, electricity generation, etc.


Subjects : Current Affairs

Dec. 25, 2020

Mains Daily Question
Dec. 25, 2020

  1. Critically discuss the need of Rajya Sabha in Indian Polity.


  • Briefly introduce Rajya Sabha

  • Give arguments in favor of need of Rajya Sabha

  • Then give arguments against the need of Rajya Sabha

  • Conclude while taking a stand based on arguments

Model Answer

The Constitution makers opted for Bicameralism, with the Council of States (later renamed as The Rajya Sabha) as the upper house of the Parliament of India. The upper house was envisaged to represent the interests of the states in the Parliament while also aiding and checking the legislative powers of the directly elected lower house. The members (except some nominated ones) of the House are elected by the elected members of the Assemblies of the States and two Union Territories. Recently, there was demand to abolish the Rajya Sabha for excessively obstructing legislative agenda.

Arguments In Favour Of Rajya Sabha

  • Act as a screener:  It facilitates a second look at legislations that may sometimes be the result of purely political compulsions of the ruling majority in the popular House. Due to indirect election of its members, Rajya Sabha do not take populist decisions.

  • New Ideas: It also has the advantage of having some people who have excelled in different areas of life who can participate in the debates with an amount of authority and learning.

  • Federalism: The bicameral nature of Indian Parliament is in line with fulfilling the spirit of federalism.

Arguments Against The Need Of Rajya Sabha:

  • A heaven for losers: Rajya Sabha has become a heaven for losers in elections, crony capitalists, compromised journalists and party fundraisers. 

  • Obstruction to legislative process: Rajya Sabha is acting as sort of hindrance to quick legislative process, not an effective point of second scrutiny.

  • Unequal representation of states: There are unequal seats for different states. So, federal element seems biased here.

  • Lack of power regarding certain bills: It can’t bring no confidence motion or amend other important bills like money bill.

Rajya Sabha, when it functions appropriately, has an important role to play in Indian democracy. Yet, its descent over the recent times into a political tool for opposition to block elected government's mandate without due deliberation has reduced its utility and honour.  

Nevertheless, Rajya Sabha is required on many accounts. It has equal powers in case of ordinary bills. Also it has some special powers such as legislating on state subject (Art 249), creation of All India Service (Article 312), removal of Vice President etc. Thus, there is a need to strengthen Rajya Sabha, not demonish it.


Subjects : Polity

Dec. 23, 2020

Mains Daily Question
Dec. 23, 2020

  1. Discuss the role played by reformers in the 19th century for the emancipation of women.



  • Briefly give various social ills present in 19th century related to women.

  • Discuss the role played by reformers for emancipation of women.

  • Conclude appropriately

Model Answer

In the 19th century, women were generally accorded a low status, with no identity of their own. They were further suppressed by practices such as purdah, early marriage, ban on widow remarriage, sati, polygamy etc. and discriminated against in education, inheritance etc. Seeing women's poor plight, some social reformers took it upon themselves to improve the status of women.


Role Played By Reformers For The Emancipation Of Women

  • Raja Ram Mohan Roy- He was the first person to take an initiative to challenge the practice of Sati. He also made efforts to advocate widow re-marriage, attacked polygamy and the degraded status of widows.

  • Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar- The first Hindu Widow Remarriage Act was introduced in 1856 owing to his relentless efforts. He also protested against child-marriage, campaigned against polygamy, and championed female education.

  • Swami Vivekananda- He laid stress on the removal of religious superstitions, obscurantism, and outdated social customs. He motivated the people to respect women while he himself worked for women’s upliftment and education.

  • Sir Syed Ahmed Khan- He worked hard to raise the status of the Muslim women. He was against the purdah system, polygamy, easy divorce and lack of education among the girls. He made commendable efforts to promote women’s education.

  • Jyotirao Phule- He first educated his wife, after which both of them opened a school for girls in India in 1848 and took up the cause of women and started a girls’ school in Poona in 1851. He is also remembered for his efforts towards promoting widow remarriage.

  • Pandita Ramabai- She promoted girls’ education and started the Arya Mahila Samaj in 1881, in Pune, to improve the condition of women, especially child widows. In 1889, she established the Mukti Mission, in Pune, a refuge for young widows who had been deserted and abused by their families.

The social reformers worked hard for the emancipation of women. But these reform movements had certain limitations. It affected a very small percentage of the population, mostly the educated class and could not reach the vast masses of the peasantry and urban poor who continued to live in the same conditions.



Subjects : Modern History

Dec. 21, 2020

Mains Daily Question
Dec. 21, 2020

  1. “The Food Processing Sector, often termed as a Sunrise Sector, has great potential to contribute to Indian economy, including in growth, employment generation and investment”. Explain.


  • Introduce the Food Processing Sector as a Sunrise sector

  • Highlight its potential to contribute in growth, employment generation and investment in Indian economy

  • Mention some government steps to promote the Food Processing Sector.

  • Conclude appropriately

Model Answer

Food processing industry (FPI) is one area which has the potential to add value to farm output, create alternate employment opportunities, improve exports and strengthen the domestic supply chain. Recognising the immense potential of FPI in promoting inclusive growth, it has been identified as one of the sunrise sector. This sector serves as a vital link between the agriculture and the industrial segments of the economy. The economic potential of the FPI are as follows:

  1. Growth

  • The Indian FPI accounts for 32 per cent of the country’s total food market, one of the largest industries in India and is ranked fifth in terms of production, consumption, export and expected growth.

  • During the last six years ending 2017-18, Food Processing Industries sector has been growing at an average annual growth rate of around 5.06 per cent.

  • In 2017-18, the food processing industry accounted for 7.9 per cent of manufacturing GVA and 9.5 per cent in agricultural value added.

  • The value of processed food exports during 2018-19 was of the order of US $ 35.30 billion accounting for about 10.70 per cent of India’s total exports.

  1. Employment Generation

  • Over 16 % of the total workforce in the organised sector and 32 % in the unorganised manufacturing sector are employed in the food processing industries. The industry employs nearly 15 million people directly and 37 million indirectly.

  • According to the Annual Survey of Industries for 2016-17, the total number of persons engaged in registered food processing sector was 18.54 lakhs. Also, unregistered food processing sector supported employment to 51.11 lakh workers as per the National Sample Survey Office 73rd Round, 2015-16 and constitutes 14.18 per cent of employment in the unregistered manufacturing sector.

  • As per a report by ASSOCHAM, It can generate employment of 9 million person days by 2024.

  1. Investment

  • Indian food processing sector has the potential to attract US$ 33 billion of investment by 2024 according to an ASSOCHAM report.

  • Sops for private sector participation include 100 per cent FDI under automatic route.

  • Liberalisation and growth of organised retail have made the Indian market more attractive for global players. With a large agriculture sector, abundant livestock, and cost competitiveness, India is fast emerging as a sourcing hub of processed food.

Other than economic benefits, well-developed food processing sector reduces wastage, ensures value addition, promotes crop diversification as well as export earnings. Looking at the benefits and potential of FPI, the GoI has taken many initiatives to promote this sector such as launching an umbrella scheme named SAMPADA (Scheme for Agro-Marine Processing and Development of Agro-Processing Clusters), starting National Mission on Food Processing (NMFP) during 12th FYP, bringing food and agro–based processing units and cold chain infrastructure under Priority Sector Lending (PSL), permitting 100% FDI in food retail in India, and setting up a Special Fund of Rs. 2000 crore in NABARD to make available affordable credit at concessional rate of interest


Despite these efforts, the FPI suffers from many lacunas such as low level of govt outlay, unfinished reforms of APMC, tariff and non-tariif barrier, insufficient infrastructure etc. Thus, there is a need to give further thrust to the FPI. The way forward could be - better food safety and quality assurance mechanisms, technology upgradation, relaxation of export norms, greater access to credit, rationalize taxes and levies, ramp up infrastructure like quality power, modern logistics and reliable transport. The entire value chain needs proactive policy attention so as to step up oversight, shore up quality standards and boost innovation.

Subjects : Economy

Dec. 18, 2020

Mains Daily Question
Dec. 18, 2020

  1. Globalization has proved to be double-edged sword for women workers by simultaneously creating opportunities as well as new set of challenges. Discuss. (15 marks)



  • Introduce with globalization

  • List the multifaceted opportunities craeted for working women as a result of globalization.

  • Mention the new challenges as well the women workers had to face.

  • Conclude with measures to overcome the challenges

Model Answer

Globalization is the process of the cultural, social and economic integration of a country with the rest of the world through trade, travel, cultural exchange, social media etc. Globalization has impacted various sections of society including women workers.

The various opportunities for women workers created through globalization are as follows:

  • Creation Of Jobs In Formal Sector: The investment by the MNCs in India has led to creation of job opportunities, including for women workers.

  • Internationalization Of The Issue Of Women Workers Rights: Globalization has also brought focus on the issue of workers’ rights, especially for women, through International Labour Organisation and World Trade Organisation. This has led to the creation and standardization of various rights.

  • Strengthening Of The Women Workers In The Informal Sector: Globalization has provided the opportunity of export, trade for the informal sectors of India benefitting the women workers in such sectors.

  • Others: Globalization has led to integration into not only world's economy but also certain global values and rights as well as creation of opportunity for jobs and increased pay. This has raised the self confidence of women workers, made them economically independent and also enhanced the decision making power of the women workers.

However, globalization has also proved to be a major challenge for women workers in the following sense:

  • Gender Pay Gap:Various reports have highlighted that the globalization has either failed to fill the gender pay gap or has further accentuated this situation.

  • Loss of Jobs: The increased competition and innovation from all over the world has led to loss of jobs, including of women, in certain sectors that couldn't compete.

  • Strain On Traditional Social Structure: Globalization, by creating jobs predominantly in urban areas led to mass movement of workers to urban areas, thus disturbing and straining traditional social as well as family structures. 

  • Migration: Feminisation of rural labour has led to migration of male members to urban areas.

  • Sexual Eaxploitation:Movement of women workers to far off areas and away from families has also led to increased vulnerability and increased sexual exploitation and even trafficking. 

  • Health hazard: The increased competition and work pressure on women workers often led to them being employed in poorly paid, part time and exploitative jobs. This has impacted physical and mental health of the women workers. 

Thus, while globalisation has led to great benefits, it is also necessary to mitigate the negative impact of it on women workers by skill development, innovation, developing policies to mitigate risks, so as to create an enduring environment for women worker’s holistic development.


Subjects : Social Issues

Dec. 16, 2020

Mains Daily Question
Dec. 16, 2020

  1. Non-Partisanship is a foundational value of Civil Service. What do you understand by Non-partisanship? Explain its importance in Civil Service. (150 words)



  • Define Non-partisanship

  • Give example of Non-partisanship

  • Explain its importance in Civil Service

  • Conclude accordingly

Model Answer

Non-partisanship in Civil Service means non-disposition of civil servants towards any political party i.e. to exhibit political neutrality. The values of the administrator should flow from the constitution but not from the philosophy of any political party. Non-partisanship is the process of not involving in any political party even if the person has strong faith in any political thought.


In India we have two kinds of executive i.e. Political Executives (elected) and permanent executives (appointed based on meritocracy). The political executives generally lack expertise so the permanent executives assist the former in policy formulation and their implementation. This makes non-partisanship a non-negotiable and foundational value of civil service. 


Importance of Non-partisanship Partisanship in Civil Service:

  • Non-partitionship helps to maintain trust of people in Administration.

  • It helps to maintain healthy relationship between political executives and civil servants.

  • It motivates civil servant to provide recommendations/suggestions to policy makers without ill-will or favor.

  • It helps in effective policy formulation and its implementation.

  • It also helps in mending self-interest based political ideology towards holistic development.

  • It keeps the ideology of constitution above any other political, religious or economic ideology.

To maintain compatibility and avoid conflicts between the bureaucracy and political leadership, non-partisanship is indispensable. This has been proved time and again by civil servants of exemplary statute such as T.N. Seshan, Vinod Rai etc who have brought various changes in election, auditing systems in India respectively. 


Subjects : Ethics

Dec. 14, 2020

Mains Daily Question
Dec. 14, 2020

  1. What do you understand by Good Governance? Discuss the main characteristics of good governance.



  • Introduce explaining the meaning of Good Governance.

  • Discuss the key characteristics of good governance.

  • Conclude by pointing out some initiatives taken by the government in this regard.

Model Answer

The World Bank popularised the concept of Good Governance in the 1990s. It deals with improving both qualitative and quantitative aspect of the governance framework in which the people can achieve their true potential and maximum welfare of the people is realised.

It ensures effective use of resources and deliverance of services to citizens and also provides social legitimacy to the system. So, the concept of Good Governance goes beyond the concept of Governance.

As per the UNESCAP, the characteristics of Good Governance are as follows:

  1. Participation: Participation by people of all race, caste, creed, and gender in governance ensures that the rights of citizens are respected and citizens feel obligated towards their duties at the same time.

  2. Rule of Law: This provides a suitable framework for good governance and ensures that human rights are protected and weaker sections feel safe.

  3. Transparency: It is important that the citizens are aware of the functioning of the government. The access to information and its free availability ensures fairness in decision making and implementation.

  4. Responsiveness: The institutions of the government ensure that the citizens are served in a reasonable time frame by removing unnecessary delays in decision making and implementation.

  5. Consensus-Oriented: The diverged interests are reconciled and the consensus is reached for maximum welfare of the society accounting for both short-term and long-term interests.

  6. Equity and Inclusiveness: The government takes care of interests of all its citizens and special care is given for most vulnerable groups such as minorities, SC/STs, women, etc. so that they don’t feel side-lined from the mainstream.

  7. Effectiveness and Efficiency: Good governance calls of optimal utilisation of resources at disposal. The wastage is minimised and sustainable development is encouraged.

  8. Accountability: It is crucial that both public and private institutions are accountable to their stakeholders and uphold the interest of the public at large.

Over the time the government has taken steps like Constitutionalising Panchayati Raj, formulating Citizens’ Charters, enacting RTI Act, promoting Cooperative Federalism, launching programs like Pro-Active Governance and Timely Implementation (PRAGATI), and even celebrating December 25th as “Good Governance Day” each year. However, the outcome is not commensurate with the initiatives taken. This can be gauged from the poor service delivery in India. The challenges to good governance are corruption, criminalization of politics, lingering administrative reforms, lack of IT infrastructure in many departments etc. Therefore, the mechanisms and institutions promoting the Good Governance must be strengthened over the time.


Subjects : Current Affairs

Dec. 11, 2020

Mains Daily Question
Dec. 11, 2020

  1. Discuss the successes and failures of Green Revolution.


  • Introduce with the green revolution

  • Enumerate the success achieved by green revolution like self-sufficiency, productivity etc.

  • Point out the failures of Green revolution like inequalities, degradation of environment etc.

  • Conclude with the way forward

Model Answer

The draught of 1966 also made it inevitable to develop new technique of agriculture to increase the production and make India self-sufficient in food grains. So, the HYVs (High Yielding Varieties) of seeds for wheat (from Mexico) and rice (from Philippines) were introduced in 1966-67. Coupled with use of chemical fertilization and better irrigation, these techniques were employed on full scale in Punjab & Haryana. This initiative was known as Green Revolution (GR) because of which surprising levels of productivity were achieved.

Successes of Green Revolution

  • Self-sufficiency: India witnessed a growth of 250% in food-grain production since the introduction of Green Revolution making India self-sufficient in food grains.

  • Productivity: Due to HYV seeds, chemical fertilisers, irrigation and mechanisation of agriculture, per hectare productivity of all crops e.g. wheat, rice, cotton, gram, maize and bajra has increased.

  • Employment: GR generated employment opportunities in diverse sectors where activities were created as a result of multiple cropping and mechanisation of farming. It helped to stimulate the non-farm economy that generated newer employment in various services such as milling, marketing, warehousing etc.

  • Industrial Development: Industries manufacturing agricultural tools like tractors, diesel engines, combines, threshers and pumping sets have been on a growth path since the GR.

Failures of Green Revolution

  • Regional Imbalance: The states in which GR was introduced became prosperous while the other regions, specially drought prone areas, were left behind. Irrigation coverage was optimum in IADP covered areas while other areas, which direly needed irrigation, were not adequately covered. Similarly, fertilizer availability, credit availability, technology availability etc were high in these areas.

  • Class Disparity: The benefits of GR were primarily reaped by the rich farmers as they had large land area, high amount of funds to invest in buying fertilizers, machines, HYV seeds etc. Majority of farmers on the other hand had small land holdings, less funds to invest; hence they could not be benefited much from GR. In this way, GR further widened the gap between the rich and the poor farmers.

  • Crop Disparity: Green revolution was primarily beneficial for wheat production and to some extent rice production. However, the crops like pulses, oilseeds, coarse cereals (jowar, bajra) continued to have low production.

  • Degraded Soil: Soil quality has degraded due to repetitive kind of cropping pattern, excessive exploitation of the land, lack of a suitable crop combination etc.

  • Fall In Water Table: The new HYV seeds required comparatively very high amount of water for irrigation, which resulted in lowering of water table. E.g. 5 tonnes of water needed to produce 1 kg of rice.

  • Environmental Degradation:The excessive and uncontrolled use of chemical fertilisers, pesticides and herbicides have degraded the environment by increasing pollution levels in land, water and air. E.g., eutrophication due to agriculture runoff.

  • Toxicity in Food Chain: Unbridled use of chemical pesticides and weedicides and their industrial production combined together had resulted in biomagnification and bioaccumulation of toxic elements in the whole food chain.

The above issues acted as an eye-opener and agri-scientists & policymakers are attempting to reap the benefits from the alternatives like organic farming, second green revolution, rainbow revolution etc.

Subjects : Economy

Dec. 9, 2020

Mains Daily Question
Dec. 9, 2020

  1. The Constitution of India provides pardoning power to the executive. Explain the pardoning powers of the President, and discuss how the scope of the pardoning power of the President is wider than the pardoning power of the Governor?


  • Introduce with why pardoning powers are provided to the executives

  • Highlight the Pardoning powers of the President under Article 72

  • Discuss how the scope of the pardoning power of the President is wider than the pardoning power of the Governor

  • Conclude appropriately

Model Answer

The Constitution of India grants clemency powers to President and Governors of States, respectively through Articles 72 and 161. These powers are to allow for correction of any possible judicial errors and to provide relief to those they regard as being punished unduly harshly.

Pardoning Powers of President and Governors

  • Under Article 72(1) of the Constitution, the President is empowered to grant pardons, reprieves, respites or remissions of punishment, or to suspend, remit or commute the sentence of any individual who has been convicted of offences in all cases where:

    1. the punishment or sentence is by a Court Martial;

    2. the punishment or sentence is for an offence against any law relating to a matter to which the executive power of the Union extends;

    3. the sentence is a sentence of death.

  • Similarly, under Article 161, the Governor of State is empowered to grant pardons, reprieves, respites or remissions of punishment or to suspend, remit or commute the sentence of any person convicted of any offence against any law relating to a matter to which the executive power of the State extends

  • So, it is clear from above that the scope of pardoning power of President under Article 72 is wider than the pardoning power of Governor under Article 161. The power differs in the following two ways:

  1. President can grant pardon in cases where the punishment or sentence is by a Court Martial, but Article 161 does not provide any such power to the Governor.

  2. The President can grant pardon in all cases where the sentence given is sentence of death, but pardoning power of Governor does not extend to death sentence cases.

However, the pardoning power of President and Governor is bound by the advice of their respective Councils of Ministers. The Supreme Court has held that the pardoning power is subject to judicial review in case of mala fide, irrelevant, irrational or discriminating pardons.

Subjects : Polity
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