Q.1) The recent India - China conflict along LAC is a warning signal for expediting the Integrated Battle Groups Concept. Comment 10 marks (150 words)
Why this question:
The recent death of 20 soldiers along LAC in Ladakh calls for augmenting the deployment of mountain corps in the difficult terrain areas so that the chinese can’t intrude easily into Indian territory.
Give current context of Chinese intrusion along LAC
Reason for conflict:
- LAC not clearly defined
- Accusation on China for Covid 19 and Boycott China Products campaigns in India
- India made road near Lipulekh pass
- China wants to assert its control over Aksai Chin
- China wants to portray itself a super power
- Indian Territory being intruded
- 20 Indian Soldiers died
- It is a blot on India’s Military Potential
IGP could be game changer:
Define the concept and tell its significance
- Ensure better integration and self-sufficiency as compared to existing formations, allowing it to strike harder and quicker across the border.
- With this mobilization of troops would be possible within 12-48 hours based on the location.
- Acts as a deterrence against Chinese and Pakistan’s intrusion.
- Integration will help in synergising the strength of different units into one, thereby improving war fighting capability.
Expeditious completion of IGP concept for creating effective deterrence is need of the hour.
Q.2) Discuss about India China economic relations and also suggest measures that India should adopt to reduce dependency on China.
Why in news:
- The border clashes with China and the COVID-19 pandemic have reignited questions about India’s dependence on Chinese manufacturing.
- Discuss about increase trade between India and china
- Highlight major sectors where import is increasing and discuss what are the major factors responsible for trade deficit.
- Suggest measures to reduce dependency such as skill upgradation
- Conclude with India’s vision of self reliance.
Q.3) The proposal for the Rajya Sabha had no easy sailing in the Constituent Assembly. In this context, examine the need and relevance of the Upper House in the Indian polity. (15marks - 250words)
Why this question? - Elections to 19 Rajya Sabha seats spread over nine States, including polls in 18 that had been deferred due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic to be held.
Intro - Highlight constitutional provision that provides for the constitution of RS.
Body - Discuss how RS emerged in brief, and arguments of opponents and proponents in constituent assembly for a bicameral parliament. Then, highlight the issues faced by RS. After that mention the need and relevance of Upper house in Indian Polity.
Way ahead - Reforms to make RS more efficient, so that it can fulfil the objectives for which it was created.
Conclusion - A lasting solution to probity in Rajya Sabha elections can only come from within political parties.
Q.4)Highlight the features and cultural significance of megalithic culture in India. (150 words)
Why this question?
The recent Kodumanal excavation threw light on burial rituals and the concept of the afterlife in megalithic culture.
Define megalithic culture
- The period of occurrence
- Belief in afterlife
- Mention Burial sites
- dolmenoid cists
- cairn circles
- capstones etc
- Sites in India
- Cultural significance
- Also mention Gonds of central India and the Khasis of Meghalaya etc
Q.5) Coal sector reforms will increase self-reliance, remove operational efficiencies and usher in an era of greater prosperity. Critically analyze. (15 M, 250 Words)
Why this question?
- India has opened up the coal sector completely for commercial mining for all local and global firms after easing restrictions on end-use and prior experience in auctions via an ordinance.
Introduction to the answer:
- Brief info about India’s coal sector, current status regarding production, consumption and import dependency.
Govt. initiatives for coals sector reforms:
- A transparent mechanism was set in place through a legislation, the Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Act, 2015, to return the cancelled blocks to industry, via auctions.
- Critical coal stocks: In 2014, two-thirds of the major power plants had critical coal stocks of less than seven days. Now, coal stocks at thermal power plants have risen to its highest-ever level, and is enough for 30 days.
- On the process side, the coal ministry has simplified the process of the mining plan approval process from 90 days to 30 days.
- A more equitable system of sharing revenues, which moved away from fixed rates to an ad-valorem system. So when the prices go up, the miner shares more with the government and if they decrease, he shares less.
- The Mineral Laws (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 allows any India-registered company to bid and develop coal blocks.
- The Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act provides that the central government can auction coal and lignite mining licences only to companies engaged in iron and steel, power and coal washing sectors.
Benefits of coal sector reforms:
- Augment production capacity
- Attracting FDI
- Immense job opportunities and provide a boost to the government’s Make in India programme, since coal mining operations require large machines and manpower.
- Local development: It will lead to the induction of new technology and competition in the sector. Consequently, the economies of coal-bearing states like Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Odisha will also grow since all the revenue from these auctions will accrue exclusively to them.
- Environmental hazard: The list of 41 mines showed several are located in biodiversity-rich forest areas in central India, including a few in one of the largest contiguous stretches of dense forest called Hasdeo Arand that spans 170,000 hectares.
- Tribal regions: Coal and iron ore are found in districts that have significant forest cover and host a large population of scheduled tribe and backward community.
- With no end use and pricing restrictions, the government is also giving up its important responsibility of safeguarding public interest, protecting the environment and upholding the prevailing constitutional safeguards for the areas in question.
- Import dependency: India has the fourth largest coal reserve in the world, is the second largest producer in the world, but is also the second largest coal importer. Around 85 per cent of the India's coking coal demand is met through imports.
India will have rise to energy challenge and increasingly get into clean coal technology. CIL will invest thousands of crores of rupees on mechanizing coal movement to mine coal technologically and more efficiently, reducing pollution and improving efficiency. More needs to be done to allay the environmental concerns.