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Before we start the question-wise analysis, here are some of the observations with regards to UPSC 2020 Mains GS paper 3:
- Taking the comprehensive view of the paper, the questions are more tilted towards Current Affairs.
- Define potential GDP and explain its determinants. What are the factors that have been inhibiting India from realizing its potential GDP?
- How does the draft Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) Notification, 2020 differ from the existing EIA Notification, 2006?
- What are the salient features of the Jal Shakti Abhiyan launched by the Government of India for water conservation and water security?
- The static topics are also a repetition of previous years’ trends.
- What are the main constraints in the transport and marketing of agricultural produce in India?
- What do you understand by nanotechnology and how is it helping in the health sector?
- The straightforwardness of questions made the paper very general and easy to tackle.
- For effective border area management, discuss the steps required to be taken to deny local support to militants and also suggest ways to manage favorable perception among locals.
- COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented devastation worldwide. However, technological advancements are being availed readily to win over the crisis. Give an account of how technology was sought to aid the management of the pandemic.
- Very few questions require some specific knowledge but manageable.
- What are the major factors responsible for making the rice-wheat system a success? In spite of this success, how has this system become a bane in India?
- What are the determinants of left-wing extremism in the Eastern part of India? What strategy should the Government of India, civil administration, and security forces adopt to counter the threat in the affected areas?
- Weightage according to the sectors:
- Economy & Agriculture- 8
- Environment & Disaster Management- 6
- Science & Technology- 2
- Internal Security- 4
The questions are easy to handle if the students have a thorough idea of syllabus and a hold on Current Affairs. Bringing out multi-dimensionality will fetch good marks.
Question-wise analysis of UPSC 2020 GS Paper 3
Q1. Explain intragenerational and intergenerational issues of equity from the perspective of inclusive growth and sustainable development.
CD TEST Q.) What do you understand by fiscal deficit? Does higher fiscal deficit violate the principles of intergenerational equity in longer run ? Critically analyse.
- Simply start by defining Inter and Intra generational equity.
- In the body, with the help of examples link these two equities with inclusive growth and sustainable development.
- Eg: Equity in education has two dimensions. The first is fairness, which basically means making sure that personal and social circumstances – for example, gender, socio-economic status, or ethnic origin – should not be an obstacle to achieving educational potential.
- The second is inclusion, in other words ensuring a basic minimum standard of education for all – for example that everyone should be able to read, write and do simple arithmetic.
- Similarly bring up other dimensions like health, finance, environment, etc.
- Conclude either by suggesting some reforms or giving certain schemes like Jan Dhan Yojana and so on.
Q2. Define potential GDP and explain its determinants. What are the factors that have been inhibiting India from realizing its potential GDP?
CD TEST Q. Among several factors for India’s potential growth, at this moment, government expenditure is the most effective one. Do you agree? What are the impediments in increasing Government expenditure? (10 marks)
- Straight forward- define potential GDP- Potential gross domestic product (GDP) is defined in the OECD’s Economic Outlook publication as the level of output that an economy can produce at a constant inflation rate. Although an economy can temporarily produce more than its potential level of output, that comes at the cost of rising inflation.
- Its determinants- The capital stock, the potential labor force depending on demographic factors and participation rates, the non-accelerating inflation rate of unemployment, and the level of labor efficiency determine this potential output which is important to calculate the output gap.
- Give the factors inhibiting its growth with examples.
- Conclude by giving suggestions about how to overcome the challenges.
Q3. What are the main constraints in transport and marketing of agricultural produce in India?
CD TEST Q. The APMC Act has been blamed for poor price realisation by the farmers. Recently announced reforms promise to do away with such issues in the APMC Act. In light of this, examine the issues with APMC Acts and how the promised reforms are expected to resolve such issues.
- Start with some data regarding the current status of transport issues in agricultural marketing
- Give the main constraints like- perishable goods, road infrastructure, modal interconnect, mandi infrastructure, inadequate logistics connectivity, support and facilities to ensure the farmers timely delivery of their harvest into the markets; lack of services including mobile cold storage for fresh perishable produce and so on.
- Conclude by suggesting a way forward for overcoming these hurdles.
Q4. What are the challenges and opportunities of food processing sector in the country? How can income of the farmers be substantially increased by encouraging food processing?
CD TEST Q. India is one of the biggest food producing hubs in the world but recently the food processing industry in India is not showing the desired results. Write a note on the challenges being faced by the food processing industry in India. Also suggest the measures needed to revamp the food processing sector?
- Introduce either by giving some data on food processing sectors in India or by defining the sector.
- Discuss the challenges and opportunities in two three points.
- Provide the link of improving the food processing sector and its impact on farmers income.
- You can quote Dalwai Committee and Niti Ayog recommendations also.
- Conclude by providing suggestions for furthering up the sector.
Q5. What do you understand by nanotechnology and how is it helping in health sector?
CD TEST Q. Nanotechnology is a pathbreaking technology which can create many new materials and devices with a wide range of applications, such as in nanomedicine, nanoelectronics etc. Discuss.
Q. “Nanotechnology is an area of science and technology that holds highly promising prospects for military applications, considering its wide applicability in defensive as well as offensive operations.” Examine.
- Straight forward question
- Define nanotechnology
- Give its applications in health sector especially the emerging diseases and the cure provided by nanotechnology
- End the answer by giving the way forward about how to utilise the sector to its full potential.
Q6. How is science interwoven deeply with our lives? What are the striking changes in agriculture triggered off by the science-based technologies?
CD TEST Q. Examine how India should use breakthroughs in biotechnology and genetic engineering for achieving the goal of low-input, high-output agriculture which is a prerequisite for doubling farmers’ income.
- Introduce the answer by providing a few examples about use of science in everyday life.
- Open ended question so the body will contain all possible dimensions in the answer.
- Then give advancement in science and its utilisation in agriculture- drone technology, happy seed drill machine, irrigation technologies etc.
- Link the environmental concern and utilisation of science in overcoming the challenges in the field of agriculture.
Q7. How does the draft Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) Notification, 2020 differ from the existing EIA Notification, 2006?
CD TEST Q. How does the draft Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) Notification, 2020 differ from the existing EIA Notification, 2006?
- Straight forward question
- Provide the major amendments made in the draft Act and how is it better or its limitations a compared to earlier version
Q8. What are the salient features of the Jal Shakti Abhiyan launched by the Government of India for water conservation and water security?
CD TEST Q. In a world driven by climate change, water, as a public resource, has become crucial. In the light of this, discuss how Jal Jeevan Mission will bring some respite in the lives of people in general and rural areas in particular.
- Give the current status of water usage and scarcity in India.
- Give the relevant salient features- which will help India in its water conservation ideas.
- Provide a way forward for the capacity utilization of the scheme.
Q9. Discuss different types of cybercrimes and measures required to be taken to fight the menace.
CD TEST Q. As “Digital India” grows, cyber security vulnerabilities will increase too. In this context, critically analyse India’s cyber security capabilities.
- Define cybercrime and its aspects
- Different types- phishing, fake news, frauds, malware attacks etc.
- Dimensions- from all stakeholders’ perspective.
- Give the measures taken by Indian Government and also some international obligations.
- Conclude by providing some mitigation measures.
Q10. For effective border area management, discuss the steps required to be taken to deny local support to militants and also suggest ways to manage favourable perception among locals.
- Start by giving a view on the situation around boundary areas in India.
- Give different steps taken by the Government in terms of providing a trust, use of technology, border area management by the forces involved, use of traditional methods adopted by locals, etc.
- Suggest ways for a comprehensive strategy to manage border area issues.
Q11. Explain the meaning of investment in an economy in terms of capital formation. Discuss the factors to be considered while designing a concession agreement between a public entity and a private entity.
Q12. Explain the rationale behind the Goods and Services Tax (Compensation to States) Act of 2017. How has COVID-19 impacted the GST compensation fund and created new federal tensions?
CD TEST Q. What were the reasons for making provisions under GST for paying the states compensation for tax revenue shortfall? What are the implications of the provision for the Central government?
Q.) The Goods and Service Tax has been a grand bargain in cooperative federalism. But the issue of GST compensation to the States in the aftermath of lockdown threatens this achievement in federalism. In light of this, explain the issue of compensation and suggest the ways to deal with it.
- Give the current scenario of GST Act in India.
- Discuss both the sides of bringing the Act in India. Provide the Pros and Cons of it.
- Its role during the time of Pandemic and why it created tensions in the federal system.
- Conclude by providing suggestions about how to make the system more effective in future.
Q13. What are the major factors responsible for making the rice-wheat system a success? In spite of this success how has this system become bane in India?
CD TEST Q. Analyse Critically whether the existing cropping patterns in different parts of India would need any change for better agriculture performance in the future.
- You can start by giving a view on the present status of the Green Revolution in India and how it created a bias towards the Rice-Wheat system.
- Factors responsible for its success- technologies gave advantage to this like hybrid seeds, machines , irrigation etc. more price for this, MSP on these two crops etc.
- How is it a bane- irrigation infrastructure not adequate still many areas are involved in this leading to underground water exploitation, limiting crop diversification and so on.
- Conclusion should contain suggestions to overcome the above problems.
Q14. Suggest measures to improve water storage and irrigation system to make judicious use under depleting scenario.
CD TEST Q. What do you understand by micro irrigation? Discuss its importance to a country like India?
- Straight forward question
- Use of technology, drip irrigation system, water harvesting techniques, sponge cities mission etc.
Q15. COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented devastation worldwide. However, technological advancements are being availed readily to win over the crisis. Give an account of how technology was sought to aid management of the pandemic.
- Introduce by giving the scenario of covid pandemic.
- Technological advancement- for testing like RT PCR, Antigen test kits, PPEs, use of simulations to detect the mutations and easier development of vaccines, testing variants of medicines already available etc.
Q16. Describe the benefits of deriving electric energy from sunlight in contrast to the conventional energy generation. What are the initiatives offered by our Government for this purpose?
CD TEST Q. What are the advantages of Lithium ion batteries that makes it most suitable for e-vehicles and other devices? Examine India’s technological and manufacturing capabilities in this crucial product.
- Start by giving a general perspective on the usage of Renewable energy in India.
- Give the benefits of Solar Energy over Conventional Thermal Energy- less polluting, long lasting supply, easier availability, better outreach etc.
- Give Government initiatives like- ISA, Solar Energy Mega parks, KUSUM scheme, Net Metering etc.
- Conclude giving suggestions of improving the renewable energy sector more.
Q17. What are the key features of the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) initiated by the Government of India?
CD TEST Q. Discuss key features of the National clean air program? Will it be able to solve the problem of air pollution in India.Critically examine?
- Direct question
- Give the introduction about the pollution problems at present.
- Describe the key features of the NCAP.
- Conclude by giving way forward for proper implementation of the plan and some innovative methods.
Q18. Discuss the recent measures initiated in disaster management by the Government of India departing from the earlier reactive approach.
CD TEST Q. The National Disaster Management Plan is devoid of many important elements that make a good and robust action plan. It may fulfill the formal requirement of law of having a plan but it may not be effective in achieving its grandiose vision of building resilience. Discuss.
- Introduce by discussing the ongoing pandemic.
- Discuss about the changes done- like PM CARES Fund, changes in Epidemic acts, lockdown etc.
- Conclusion- measures to bring about more mitigation related efforts and visionary approach.
Q19. What are the determinants of left-wing extremism in Eastern part of India? What strategy should the Government of India, civil administration and security forces adopt to counter the threat in the affected areas?
CD TEST Q. The Government of India has adopted an integrated and holistic approach to deal with the Left Wing Extremist (LWE) insurgency. In this context, discuss the challenges while dealing with this internal security in India. Critically analyse the steps are taken by India to curb this menace.
- Introduction: define some context of LWE in India.
- Give the determinants of such activities happening in different states.
- Strategy from different authorities- Developmental plans, educational opportunities, awareness, rehabilitation policies etc.
- Way forward and suggestions for further improvements.
Q20. Analyse internal security threats and transborder crimes along Myanmar, Bangladesh and Pakistan borders including Line of Control (LoC). Also discuss the role played by various security forces in this regard.
CD TEST Q. Cross-Border movement of insurgents is only one of the several security challenges facing the policing of the border in North-East India. Examine the various challenges currently emanating across the India-Bangladesh border. Also, discuss the steps to counter the challenges.
- Define the term internal security threats or add some current affairs-related news.
- Discuss various threats emerging on border fronts- illegal immigration, smuggling, ceasefire violations, terrorist attacks, organized crimes, ethnic conflicts, etc.
- Discuss the strategies adopted by India in this respect.
- The role played by border forces, paramilitary forces, etc to curb such crimes.
- Way forward and innovative suggestions for border management.
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