UPSC Mains 2016 | GS Paper 3 – Analysis


Day 3 of the Mains Examination remained marred with the aspirants anticipating and brainstorming over the contemporary issues that may have crossed the thoughts of the examiner.

It is to be noted that the UPSC did not disappoint the aspirants with unconventional topics that we all fear of. The reviews by the students seem quite convincing that the examination was scoring and it had the potential to compensate the loss of marks in the previous test. A general gazing upon the question paper confirms that the examiner has tried to touch each and every aspect of the syllabus without giving undue attention to a specific issue. The questions and the structure of the examination seems inclusive and justifies every section of the syllabus.

A general trend of the economic policies of the Government has been followed with a critical approach. Anyone who has followed the trend would have attempted the examination with a great vigour. The examination followed the contemporary approach of breaking the backbone of the conventional static approach that most of the coaching institutes and notes seller follow.

UPSC has tried to augment critical observation and development of patterned approach for the future aspirants. It is advisable for the students to follow a routine pattern and draw parallels to the contemporary topics because the Economic policies of the Government are perfectly in sync with each other. It is also advisable for the students to multiply their sources of news because reliance on a single source may prove ineffective to grasp complicated yet important issues. Although the examination is very generic, it still requires a lot of writing practice, which we have been conducting throughout our course.

We, at RMISG are ready to blend with the dynamic wind that has fallen upon the window panes of our organisation. We have been successful in predicting most of the topics that the UPSC has served in this examination. Our students have been successful in sailing across this wavy sea because we have tightened their buckles with brainstorming techniques that are quintessential for this examination. The words may fall short to comprehensively explain our open-minded teaching technique and open-arms policy for criticism and suggestions. We believe in revolutionising and breaking the moulds of inconsistencies that prevail in this service of education. Therefore, we request you to pay a visit and be a part of this change.

UPSC Mains 2016 | GS Paper 3

UPSC has conducted the Mains GS Paper 3. Below are the questions which were asked by UPSC in Paper 3 of Mains 2016

  1. How globalisation has led to reduction of employment in the formal sector of the Indian economy? Is increased informalization determental to the development of the country?   (12.5 Marks)
  2. Women empowerment in India needs gender budgeting. What are the requirements and status of gender budgeting in the Indian context? (12.5 Marks)
  3. Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) is necessary for bringing unbanked to the institutional finance fold. Do you agree with this for financial inclusion of the poorer section of the Indian society? Give arguments to justify your opinion.   (12.5 Marks) 
  4. What are ‘Smart Cities’? Examine their relevance for Urban Development in India. Will it increase rural-urban differences? Give arguments for ‘Smart Villages’ in the light of PURA and RURBAN mission.   (12.5 Marks)
  5. Justify the need for FDI for the development of the Indian economy. Why there is gap between MoUs signed and actual FDIs? Suggest remedial steps to be taken for increasing actual FDIs in India.   (12.5 Marks)
  6. Comment on the challenges for inclusive growth which include careless and useless manpower in the Indian context. Suggest measures to be taken for facing these challenges.   (12.5 Marks)
  7. What is water use efficiency? Describe the role of micro-irrigation in increasing the water use efficiency.   (12.5 Marks)
  8. What is allelopathy? Discuss its role in major cropping systems of irrigated agriculture.   (12.5 Marks)
  9. Discuss the role of land reforms in agriculture development. Identify the factors that were responsible for the success of land reforms in India.   (12.5 Marks)
  10. Given the vulnerability of Indian agriculture to vagaries of nature, discuss the need for crop Insurance and bring out the salient features of the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY).   (12.5 Marks)
  11. Give an account of the current status and the targets to be achieved pertaining to renewable energy sources in the country. Discuss in brief the importance of National Programme on Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs)   (12.5 Marks)
  12. Discuss Indias achievements in the field of Space Science and Technology. How the application of this technology has helped India in its socio-economic development?   (12.5 Marks)
  13. Why is nanotechnology one of the key technologies of the 21st century? Describe the salient features of Indian government’s Mission on Nanoscience and Technology and the scope of its application in the development process of a country.   (12.5 Marks)
  14. Rehabilitation of human settlements is one of the important environmental impacts which always attract controversy while planning major project. Discuss the measures suggested for mitigation of this impact while prospering major developmental projects   (12.5 Marks)
  15. The frequency of urban floods due to high intensity rainfall is increasing over the years. Discussing the reasons for urban floods, highlight the mechanism for prepared to reduce the risk during such events.   (12.5 Marks) 
  16. With reference to National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) guidelines, discuss the measures to be adopted to mitigate of the recent incidents of cloudbursts in many places of Uttarakhand.   (12.5 Marks)
  17.  The term ‘Hot Pursuit’ and ‘Surgical Strike’ are often used in connection with armed action against terrorist attacks. Discuss the strategic impact of such actions.   (12.5 Marks)
  18. “Terrorism is emerging as a competitive industry over the last few decades”. Analyse the above statement.   (12.5 Marks)
  19. Border Management is a complex task due to difficult terrain and hostile relations with some countries. Educilate the challenges and strategies for effective Border Management.   (12.5 Marks)
  20. Use of Internet and social media by non-state actors for subversive activities is a major security concern. How have these been misused in the recent past? Suggest effective guidelines to curb the above threat   (12.5 Marks)

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Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality

Technology is improving at a rapid pace, as many things are possible today that were not possible 10 years ago even if we tried our best to make it happen. Today, some of the impossible things are rising to the occasion in the form of Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality. But what are they exactly? Let’s find out.
Back in the 1990s, virtual reality was on the lips of everyone as multiple companies tried and failed to make it happen. The most notable device back then was the Nintendo Virtual Boy, though it failed miserably, and was discontinued a year after going on sale. Since then, Nintendo has never attempted improve on the technology, which could set the company behind its competition as virtual reality is slowly creeping back into our lives.
When it comes to augmented reality, we’re looking at something that has found more success in the consumer space when compared to virtual reality. We’ve seen several applications with AR, along with video game and hardware devices such as the Google Glass. It is clear that the way things are right now, AR has the upper hand against VR, and that might not be changing anytime soon.
What is Augmented Reality-
Augmented reality is the blending of virtual reality and real life, as developers can create images within applications that blend in with contents in the real world. With AR, users are able to interact with virtual contents in the real world, and are able to distinguish between the two. The best example of AR can be – ‘Pokemon Go’.
What is Virtual Reality-
Virtual reality is all about the creation of a virtual world that users can interact with. This virtual world should be designed in such a way that users would find it difficult to tell the difference from what is real and what is not. Furthermore, VR is usually achieved by the wearing of a VR helmet or goggles similar to the Oculus Rift.
Difference and similarities-
Both virtual reality and augmented reality are similar in the goal of immersing the user, though both systems to this in different ways. With AR, users continue to be in touch with the real world while interacting with virtual objects around them. With VR, the user is isolated from the real world while immersed in a world that is completely fabricated. As it stands, VR might work better for video games and social networking in a virtual environment, such as Second Life, or even PlayStation Home.
Which technology will succeed?
As it stands, augmented reality is ahead of virtual reality, as there are several products already on the market. We are witnessing the rise of AR hardware devices from Google in the form of Glass, and also plans from Microsoft to launch something similar with its $150 million purchase for wearable computing assets.
On the matter of VR, the technology is just stepping up to the plate. It’s still far away from being this great thing for social encounters in a virtual world, but with the rise of the Oculus Rift, it is getting there.
It can be believed that both AR and VR will succeed; however, AR might have more commercial success though, because it does not completely take people out of the real world.
NOTE-: This topic and Air Defence System are two of the most expected questions for Science and Technology section in UPSC Mains this year.

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Maritime Security of India

Maritime Security of India is faced with multiple and complex security and strategic challenges. There is political turmoil and instability in the immediate neighbourhood. These have a direct impact on India’s security. India would have to proactively shape the strategic environment in her area of interest for her to be counted as a predominant power.


  • To deter conflict and coercion against India.
  • To conduct maritime military operations in a manner that enables early termination of conflict on terms favourable to India.
  • To shape a favourable and positive maritime environment, for enhancing net security in India’s areas of maritime interest.
  • To protect Indian coastal and offshore assets against attacks and threats emanating from or at sea.
  • To develop requisite maritime force levels and maintain capability for meeting India’s maritime security requirements.

Maritime Security | Areas of Interest

Primary Areas

  • India’s coastal areas and maritime zones, including coastline, islands, internal sea waters, territorial waters, contiguous zone, EEZ and continental shelf.
  • Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal, Andaman Sea, and their littoral regions.
  • Persian Gulf and its littoral, which is source of majority of our oil supplies and gas imports, and is home to more than seven million expatriate Indians.
  • Gulf of Oman, Gulf of Aden, Red Sea, and their littoral regions.
  • South-West Indian Ocean, including IOR island nations therein and East Coast of Africa littoral regions.
  • Choke points leading to, from and across Indian Ocean, including Six degree Channel; Eight/Nine-degree Channels; Straits of Hormuz, Bab-el-Mandeb, Malacca, Singapore, Sunda and Lombok; Mozambique Channel, and Cape of Good Hope and their littoral regions.
  • Other areas encompassing our SLOCs, and vital energy and resource interests.

Secondary Areas

  • South-East Indian Ocean, including sea routes to the Pacific Ocean and littoral regions in vicinity.
  • South and East China Seas, Western Pacific Ocean, and their littoral regions.
  • Southern Indian Ocean Region, including Antarctica.
  • Mediterranean Sea, West Coast of Africa, and their littoral regions.
  • Other areas of national interest based on considerations of Indian diaspora, overseas investments and political relations.

Threats :

Traditional Threats and Sources :

Refer to states with organized military capability and resources, which harbour adversarial posture and inimical intent towards India.

Non-Traditional Threats and Sources

  • Maritime Terrorism
  • Piracy and Armed Robbery at Sea
  • Unregulated Activities at Sea – This may be experienced within the EEZ, especially for nations with a large EEZ and relatively smaller maritime forces.
  • Trafficking/ Smuggling.
  • Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (IUU).
  • Proliferation of Private Armed Security.
  • Climate Change and Natural Disasters

Maritime Security  | Critical Common Requirements

Certain aspects overlap and others remain common.

  • Maritime Domain Awareness.
  • Force Structures and Capabilities.
  • Preparedness and Presence.
  • Networked Operations.
  • Jointness and Coordination.
  • Strategic Communication.

India’s Deterrence Strategy

Nuclear Deterrence Based on maintenance of a credible minimum deterrent, with assurance of massive nuclear retaliation designed to inflict unacceptable damage, in response to a nuclear strike against India.

Conventional Deterrence Requires maintenance of suitable combat power for exercising both methods of deterrence, viz. by denial and by punishment.

Main Components of Maritime Security Strategy for Deterrence :

  • Force Structure and Capabilities.
  • Threat Assessment and Contingency Planning.
  • Strategic Situational Awareness and Maritime Domain Awareness.
  • Preparedness and Presence.
  • Strategic Communication.
  • Operational Principles

Strategic Effects Sought :

  • Repulsion of aggression.
  • Management of escalation.
  • Degradation of the threats emanating from conflict.
  • Imposition of punitive costs.
  • Psychological dominance.
  • Creation of military conditions for an early and favourable conclusion of conflict.
  • Protection of national maritime interests.
  • Preparedness for Conflict.

Contingency Planning

  • Human resource development, including adequate and realistic training, for the full spectrum of maritime operations.
  • Higher operational availability and readiness of combat forces.
  • Suitable weapons and arming policies.
  • Sufficient stock of munitions and combat spares for sustaining the envisaged tempo, scale, intensity and duration of conflict.
  • Quick and dispersed Operational Turn Round (OTR) capability.
  • Improved operational logistics and replenishment capability at sea.
  • Maintain presence in areas of interest, to develop MDA, obtain familiarity with the operational environment, and enable quick response to any crisis.
  • Augment means and improve preparedness through the strategy for force and capability development.

Principles of Net Maritime Security

  • Preservation of Peace.
  • Promotion of Stability.
  • Maintenance of Security.

Actions for Net Maritime Security

  • Presence and Rapid Response.
  • Maritime Engagement.
  • Capacity Building and Capability Enhancement.
  • Develop Regional MDA.
  • Maritime Security Operations.
  • Strategic Communication for Net Maritime Security.

Presence and Rapid Response

Both independently and in coordination with friendly foreign maritime forces

  • Presence and Surveillance Mission (PSM).
  • Patrol
  • Overseas Deployment (OSD).

Maritime Engagement

  • Port Visits.
  • Personnel Exchanges.
  • Staff Talks and Interactions.
  • Exercises with Foreign Navies.
  • Maritime Assistance.
  • Operational Interactions.
  • High-Level Maritime Strategic Interactions.

Maritime Security Operations

  • EEZ Surveillance and Patrols.
  • Coordinated Patrols (CORPAT).
  • Anti-Piracy Operations.
  • Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Operations.
  • Non-combatant Evacuation Operations.
  • Maritime Interdiction Operations (MIO).
  • Peace Support Operations (PSO).
  • Maritime Search and Rescue (M-SAR).

Developing Coastal and Off-shore Security Mechanisms

  • Coastal and Offshore Security Framework.
  • Coastal and Offshore Maritime Domain Awareness.
  • Coastal Community Participation.
  • Coordinated Presence and Patrol.
  • Coordinated Operational Response.
  • Cooperative Capability Development.
  • Maritime Governance.

Agencies for Coordinated Patrol

  • State Marine Police: Responsible for patrolling inner layer from coastline upto territorial waters, in coordination with Customs, Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and respective port authorities, as relevant.
  • Indian Coast Guard: Patrols maritime zones of India, and supports State Marine Police within inner layer as required.
  • Indian Navy: Supports Indian Coast Guard within maritime zones as required, and provides presence, including surveillance and patrol, on high seas beyond EEZ. Also undertakes patrolling in ODA, and its Sagar Prahari Bal (SPB) specialised force undertakes patrolling of naval harbours.

Maritime Governance

Multiple Agencies and Functions: National apex level policy and review of maritime security, covering all maritime agencies and domains, is undertaken through ‘National Committee for Strengthening Maritime and Coastal Security against Threats from Sea’ (NCSMCS), constituted under chairmanship of Cabinet Secretary in 2009. This has representatives from all ministries, departments, and organizations concerned in Government of India, as well as Chief Secretaries/Administrators and senior police officials of coastal states and UTs.

Force Levels and capability development

  • Indigenisation for Self-Reliance and Self-Sufficiency.
  • Standardisation and Modularity.
  • Maritime Domain Awareness.
  • Network Centric Operations.
  • Enhanced Reach and Sustainability.
  • Power Projection and Sea Control.
  • Force Protection.
  • Joint Operations.
  • Special Forces Operations.
  • Force Maintenance.
  • Infrastructure and Logistics.
  • New and Evolving Technologies.

New and Evolving Technologies

  • Future Satellites.
  • Precision Weapon Technologies.
  • Electromagnetic and Laser Technologies.
  • Propulsion and Power Technology.
  • Unmanned Marine Systems.
  • Computation and Automation Technologies.
  • Cyber Security Technologies.
  • Green Technologies.
  • Nano-Technology.

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Economy: Liquidity Revamp is not QE

RBI’s liquidity revamp is not QE

Context :

Reserve Bank of India have cut lending rates by 25 basis points and have asked banks to pass on the rate cut benefits to the consumers.Some observers have described the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) revised liquidity management framework as quantitative easing (QE).

RBI Liquidity

The new framework modernizes liquidity management by making it more market-based i.e. lowering down the rates and injecting more liquidity into market .

  1.  Complaints by banks that liquidity is too tight
  2. Need To Move From A Fixed Rate System To Floating Rate Regime ( to increase liquidity as per the needs of the economy)


Until a few years ago, if banks were in need of funds, it was done by banks borrowing at the central bank’s FIXED OVERNIGHT REPO window, if they were short, or by parking surplus liquidity at the lower FIXED OVERNIGHT REVERSE REPO window. But now  RBI relies on its DAILY MARKET-DRIVEN management in the LIQUIDITY ADJUSTMENT FACILITY (LAF), which is used to aid banks with their short-term liquidity mismatches.

Earlier, In order to encourage the use of term repos, RBI governor Raghuram Rajan had CAPPED liquidity injection at the overnight repo rate window while offering the balance via term repo auctions. The aim was that over time, banks would have to stop relying on RBI for liquidity support solely at the FIXED RATE WINDOW and INSTEAD adapt to FLOATING RATES at each auction.

     3. The availability now of variable rate reverse repo auctions also eliminates a pesky aspect of the earlier framework ; excess liquidity pushing the overnight rate away from the repo policy rate to the reverse repo rate, the lower end of the LAF corridor.
Why is the step not Quantitative easing?

To carry out QE central banks create money by buying securities, such as government bonds, from banks, with electronic cash that did not exist before. The new money swells the size of bank reserves in the economy by the quantity of assets purchased—hence “quantitative” easing. Like lowering interest rates, QE is supposed to stimulate the economy by encouraging banks to make more loans. The idea is that banks take the new money and buy assets to replace the ones they have sold to the central bank. That raises stock prices and lowers interest rates, which in turn boosts investment.

Here, in this case there is no excessive money creation, which is the hallmark of QE. RBI will inject liquidity (i.e. reserve money) as needed and then adjust the short-term liquidity to be consistent with its stance.