Synopsis and Review-Think and Learn [Day 15]

  • IAS baba
  • July 14, 2015
  • 1
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Archives-Think and Learn-Mains 2015

Synopsis and Review – Think and Learn [Day 15]

GS 1) What is El-Nino? How is it caused and explain its significance to India.

This is a straight-forward and a simple conceptual question. Here, we at IASBaba are trying to test your comprehensive understanding of a phenomenon and its significance, and the ability to put it all in 200 words. So, whenever you want to revise, just reading these 200 words should be sufficient.

Defining, explaining and listing down the causes of El-Nino should take around 100 words. The significance to India, both pros and cons should take another 100 words. There is always some kind of speculation about the El-Nino, both in the Economic Survey and newspapers, so it is a very important topic to understand.

The Top Answer written for this question is by – Santosh Venkatesh

Ans) El Nino refers to warmer than usual sea surface temperatures(SST) in the eastern tropical pacific ocean causing changes in global climatic conditions.

In a Normal year there is a strong cold Peru Current and strong trade winds .As a result warm water moves from Peruvian coast to Australia. But in an El Nino year there is a weakening of trade winds and warm waters from Australia move towards Peru .These low pressure conditions on eastern pacific (Peru) and relative High pressure conditions in Western pacific (Australia) cause a changes in global climatic conditions and rainfall pattern.

Significance for India

i) An El Nino year could significantly weaken or delay the Indian monsoon.

ii) Rainfed areas which is 60 % of Net sown area in India, are heavily dependent on monsoon.El Nino could affect the livelihood of farmers due to crop failures.

iii) A link between cycles of malaria and El Nino has been established recently.

iv) IMD has indicated that output of Kharif crops such as rice may be impacted due to El-Nino. Pulses and Oil seeds may also need to be imported.

v) RBI has shown concerns regarding El Nino’s impact on Food prices and has shown caution in reducing interest rates.

Research on better Prediction models, Increasing area under irrigation and Proper Maintenance of Contingency and Buffer stocks would help India tackle this phenomenon.

GS 2) Critically analyze the role of ASHAs as an interface between the community and the public health system. Have they been successful in their mission? Give your views.

Understanding ASHAs is akin to understanding the rural health system of this country. So, this is a very important question to write. Since ASHAs need an overall understanding, we have used the directive “critically analyze”.

The second part of the question can be combined with the pros, and your views can be given within each point, while you ‘analyze’. So, around 100 words enumerating the positives of ASHAs and another 100 words detailing their negatives, obstacles and challenges would make an excellent answer.

The Top Answer for this question is written by – Anand

Ans) Accredited social health activists are the visible faces of primary health services. It is the front line functionaries that can make or break the image of an organisation as they are the ones responsible for ensuring last mile service delivery.

In this context analysing the role of ASHAS –

1) It is clearly established in studies that success of NRHM ows largely to Asha’s (States like tamilnadu, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh) proved it.

2) Infant mortality, maternal mortality, total fertility, institutional delivery, malaria , TB identification, birth certificate registration, immunisation, preventive health care services , rural sanitation improved phenomenally where ever ASHAS performance is good.

3) Owing to their familiarity with people they are helping in optimal utilisation of social capital.

Nevertheless their services are not totally free from criticism

a) Right from the appointment level there is nepotism.

b) Majority of the employment is taken up by educated upper caste women, some of them are uncommitted.

c) Some of them even hesitate to visit low caste habitations, failing the basic purpose of field level monitoring.

d) Apart from this collusion with Anganwadi workers and selling in black market of medicines, condoms,feeding cattle with protein powder (to improve milk yield) provided to children as part of ICDS are of COMMON occurrence in states like Karnataka and andhra Pradesh.

So efforts should be made to infuse dynamism in primary helath care delivery by

1) Providing adequate salaries and other remunerations.

2) Motivating them in realising their importance to organisational success by seminars

3) Maintaining diversity in appointment.

4) Improved monitoring, evaluation of their activities by social audits.Ultimately our aim should be to ensure affordable, amicable, equal, accessible and quality health Care.

GS 3) What are the benefits and risks of throwing open the financial sector to foreign banks in India? Explain.

Foreign banks working in the financial sector, (banking in this case), always have pros and cons. This question is a conflict between globalization and nationalism, profit motive and inclusive development, technology advancement and local practices.

So, understanding both positives and negatices of having foreign banks in the Indian banking sector is important to understand the whole financial structure and it’s implications on the country as a whole.

The Top Answer for this question is written by – Subhash Tadala

Ans) The expansion of Indian banking system welcomes new players especially foreign banks too. The entry of foreign bank can result in both benefits and risks:


a) Increased Investment flow from these banks makes cash strapped Indian finance sector to get a boost.

b) Their entry makes the investment rates more competitive and also delivers efficient market products.

c) FB’s improved methods and their banking technology improves the overall efficiency of banking system. HSBC is the first bank to start ATM in India.

d) FB’s has a history to support foreign trade mainly. So, our trade investment can be enhanced.

The equally risks associated are:

a) Non-Immune to global financial ups and downs. In fact, low Foreign banks presence made India relatively more immune to the 2008 financial crisis.

b) Low rural penetration can bring a distortion in the investment pattern. They had hardly any branches in rural areas.

c) Non importance to priority sector lending. This makes much needed sectors out of credit options.

d) Their entry may pose a risk to small domestic banks which are still nascant

Nevertheless, we have to keep in mind that they are not regional and come with a profit motive. In order to get benefits and dislodge the impacts, they must be made subsidiaries in short term and wholly owned in long term.

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