UPSC GS Paper 1 – Set 1 2017 (Part - 2) (Download PDF)


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Q. “Inspite of adverse environmental impact, coal mining is still inevitable for development”. Discuss (150 words): We are moving for renewable resources but coal is important for thermal power plants – those cannot be abandoned.

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IAS Mains 2017 GS Paper 1 Discussion (Part 1)

Dr. Manishika Jain explains IAS Mains 2017 GS Paper 1 Discussion (Part 1)

  • Coal is king and paramount Lord of industry is an old saying in the industrial world, the Supreme Court in 2014 said this while emphasizing the importance of the mineral resource regarded by many as black diamond
  • Abundant, affordable and dependent energy supply
  • Cheapest source of energy
  • Provide numerous jobs
  • Even for USA, Coal provides 56 % of the electricity used each day
  • Important for industries
  • Neyveli 5 % disinvestment to public
  • Steam coal - also known as thermal coal - is mainly used in power generation.
  • Coking coal - also known as metallurgical coal - is mainly used in steel production.
  • Activated carbon - used in filters for water and air purification and in kidney dialysis machines.
  • Carbon fibre - an extremely strong but light weight reinforcement material used in construction, mountain bikes and tennis rackets.
  • Silicon metal - used to produce silicones and silanes, which are in turn used to make lubricants, water repellents, resins, cosmetics, hair shampoos and toothpastes.
  • Uses of coal include alumina refineries, paper manufacturers, and the chemical and pharmaceutical industries.
  • Production of chemical products
  • Refined coal tar is used in the manufacture of chemicals like creosote oil, naphthalene, phenol, and benzene
  • Ammonia gas from coke is used to manufacture ammonia salts, nitric acid and agricultural fertilizers. Coal by-products: soap, aspirins, solvents, dyes, plastics and fibres (rayon and nylon)

Q. Mention the advantages of the cultivation of pulses because of which the year 2016 was declared as the International Year of Pulses by United Nations. (150 words)

  • Pulses are leguminous crop
  • Pulses are a vital source of plant-based proteins and amino acids for people around the globe
  • Pulse crops produce a number of different compounds that feed soil microbes and benefit soil health
  • Increase soil microbial activity
  • Exude greater amounts and different types of amino acids than non-legumes
  • Pulse crops residue has different biochemical composition (e. g. Carbon/Nitrogen ratio) than other crop residues
  • Breaks disease, weed and insect cycle
  • Pulses utilize soil bacteria to draw nitrogen from the air. This natural process replaces the need to add nitrogen fertilizers in pulse crops, which means pulses use half the energy inputs of other crops.
Image of Nitrogen In The Air

Image of Nitrogen In The Air

Image of Nitrogen In The Air

  • When pulses are grown, they use 1/2 to 1/10 the water of other sources of protein
Image of pulses and increasing resilience

Image of Pulses and Increasing Resilience

Image of pulses and increasing resilience

Q. How does the cryosphere affect global climate? (150 words)

  • Cryosphere where water exists as solid form (frozen)
  • 70 % water is stored as fresh water in glaciers
  • In terms of the ice mass and its heat capacity, the cryosphere is the second largest component of the climate system (after oceans)
  • Its relevance for climate variability and change is based on physical properties, such as its high surface reflectivity (albedo) and the latent heat associated with phase changes, which have a strong impact on the surface energy balance.
  • Highly reflective and protect earth from getting warm
  • It reflects more sunlight than open waters
  • Changes in snow and ice cover affect air temperatures, sea levels, ocean currents, and storm pattern
  • Global-scale decline of snow and ice over many years, especially since 1980 and increasing during the past decade
  • Most mountain glaciers are getting smaller
  • Snow cover is retreating earlier in the spring
  • Sea ice in the Arctic is shrinking in all seasons, mainly in summer.

Q. In the context of the diversity of India, can it be said that the regions form cultural units rather than the States? Give reasons with examples for your view point. (150 words)

  • States demarcated on linguistic basis
  • Languages changes with few kilometers
  • Diverse geography with core Hinduism
  • Under Mao, China evolved into a nation with a single language and ethnicity and cultural diversity was thrown out of the door (no homogeneity in India)
  • Caste system
  • Food and taste
  • Forts and palaces
  • Youth and vision
  • Culture lived even under the British colonial period.
  • Example – Rajasthan (Mewar, Marwar, Sekhawati, Hadoti – cultural centers)

Q. What are the two major legal initiatives by the State since Independence addressing discrimination against Scheduled Tribes (STs)? (150 words)

  • Article 17 of constitution which provided for the abolition of Untouchability the parliament enacted the Untouchability (Offences) Act, 1955. It was renamed as Protection of Civil Rights Actby an amendment in 1976.
  • Schedule Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006: It has also been called the Forest Rights Act, the Tribal Rights Act, the Tribal Bill, and the Tribal Land Act. The law concerns the rights of forest-dwelling communities to land and other resources, denied to them over decades as a result of the continuance of colonial forest laws in India. Title, use and relief and displacement rights.
  • Schedule Caste and Schedule Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act, 2015: Parliament amended the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act of 1989 to tighten provisions to ensure speedier justice to SCs and STs. The new provisions now provide for an increase in the existing quantum of relief from between Rs. 75,000 to Rs. 7,50,000 to Rs. 85,000 to Rs. 8,25,000, depending on the nature of the offence.
  • Separate National Commission for SC and ST
  • Recent initiative of the central Government ordering branches of every bank to promote SC/ST entrepreneur.
  • Need – change mindset of people, financial condition and pro-activeness of government

- Published/Last Modified on: October 2, 2018

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