1. What is General theory of Relativity? Explain how it was proved? (10 marks - 150 words)
Why this question? - New developments in Science and Technology is a favourite topic of UPSC and questions have been asked frequently from here in GS3. General theory of relativity is always in the news due to various developments in the solar system.
Intro - The theory presented by Albert Einstein in 1915, is essentially a theory of gravity.
Body - The basic idea is that instead of being an invisible force that attracts objects to one another, gravity is a curving or warping of space.
- The more massive an object, the more it warps the space around it.
- This warping also affects measurements of time. Just as gravity can stretch or warp space, it can also dilate time.
- Apparent position of sun,moon,stars in the solar system.
Conclusion - The theory thus proved the concept of gravity given by Newton.
2. ‘System of virtual courts can be the important step to bring efficiency in the Indian judiciary’ Critically comment. (250 words)
Why this question?
Amidst the national lockdown due to COVID-19, the Supreme Court and several other courts have been holding virtual proceedings.
Reference to recently issued guidelines by SC regarding holding virtual proceedings can be made.
- Meaning of the virtual courts
- Significance during nationwide lockdown
- Positive outcomes:Transparency and Accountability, Removal of procedural delays,saving cost and time etc
- Problems associated:Presenting evidence in digital format,importance of open court hearings,digital illiteracy in India,protecting sensitive information etc
Steps for building digital literacy,resolving technical and connectivity issues and protection against hacking etc can be mentioned.
3. In the light of the recently released report ‘Trends in World Military Expenditure, 2019’,Critically comment on India’s defence expenditure. (250 words)
Why this question?
The annual report ‘Trends in World Military Expenditure, 2019’ was released recently by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
India as third largest military spender worldwide
- Mention analysis of the stats in the report in GDP terms,trends in past few years etc
- Compare India with the nearby countries as well as with USA,China and Russia
- Explain vulnerability of India’s international borders such as Pakistan and China and the need of protecting borders
- Low attention towards other sectors:Compare India’s military expenditure with low expenditure on sectors such as health, education,infrastructure,R&D etc
Mention the need of finding a balance between India’s spending on various vital sectors.
4. Recently the Ozone layer over the Arctic closed due to phenomena called polar vortex.In the light of this statement, discuss the factors responsible for ozone depletion and formation of polar vortex.
Why this question:
The Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) and Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) confirmed that the largest hole in the Ozone layer above the Arctic has been closed.
Write about the importance of the ozone layer.
Various factors responsible for ozone layer depletion
- It can be divided into anthropogenic causes and natural causes: deforestation, vehicular emissions, excessive industrialisation, forest fires.
Define polar vortex and its formation. Also mention measures taken to protect ozone layer: Montreal protocol etc
Suggest a few steps that can be taken to protect the ozone layer.
5. What do you understand by the term Monetary Policy Committee, as constituted under the RBI Act. Briefly highlighting this, explain the adverse consequences if there is not a synergy between what MPC is recommending and what RBI is doing. (250 words)
Why this Question:
Some Experts (including former RBI Governor Urjit Patel) have cautioned RBI of not by-passing the monetary policy committee’s framework.
MPC was established in 2016 under the RBI Act,1934 in order to augment transparency and accountability in the monetary policy formulation.
Tell Key Facts about MPC:
- 6 members
- RBI Governor has Casting Vote
- Primarily Targets Inflation ( Current 4 % ( -2% to 6 %)
Current Scenario Linkage:
- RBI infusing money without taking into consideration MPC targets
- Further Divergence enhanced owing to COVID 19 issue
- Dilution of Transparency and Accountability
- Divergence from Desired inflation target
- Cost Push inflation can further impact borrowing rates, inflict losses on banks, and imperil financial stability.
- Household and investor expectations for inflation in India could unhinge
- Negative impact External Sector and Investment
Way Ahead/ Conclusion:
- In both normal and unexpected times RBI should not deviate from the MPC framework.
- Focus should be done making MPC more enduring -
- Decisions on monetary policy actions based on voting by committee members,
- provision of inflation and growth forecasts in the resolution statement, and
- coordination of rate-setting and liquidity management, need to be adhered to.