SYNOPSIS- IASbaba’s TLP 2016 [14th April] – UPSC Mains GS Questions [HOT]

  • April 15, 2016
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SYNOPSIS- IASbaba’s TLP 2016 [14th April] – UPSC Mains GS Questions [HOT]


1. Many regions in the state of Maharashtra are facing severe drought conditions this year. Why this part of the country is highly prone to such droughts? Can you suggest some strategies for mitigating droughts in this region?


Having the largest number of dams in the country, the state of Maharashtra is still facing the worst drought in four decades despite having spent millions on irrigation projects and having numerous water management institutions in the state. The sheer number of dams has not increased the water supply in the areas or led to any kind of relief.

Reasons for droughts

  • Current drought is a disaster of water management, accompanied by corruption, water-intensive cropping patterns and absence of a long-term view to manage water and drought.
  • Government’s plans of irrigation failed as its plans for upcoming projects were entangled in corruption, plagued with delays and cost overruns.
  • Building unviable large dams, wrong cropping patterns, water diversion for non-priority uses, neglect of local water systems and unaccountable water management by the State government, the Centre and the Maharashtra Water Resources Regulatory Authority
  • The precarious state of water in the state can be blamed on the increasing area under sugarcane cultivation in Maharashtra, water-intensive activities like running of sugar and wine factories in drought-affected districts.
  • Real estate builders continue to exploit the land further by coming up with massive construction projects in drought affected areas. These luxurious projects often target the elite who prefer large swimming pools in their backyards. And to top it all, the Indian premier league, which is the country’s most popular Cricket tournament, is going to be held in Maharashtra this month.


Natural factors

  • One third area of Maharashtra falls under semi-arid climatic zone – therefore deficient rainfall pattern – and non-perennial rivers.
  • El-Nino – leading to warming of central Pacific waters and consequently drought conditions in India. 2014 and 2015 have been reported to have witnessed worst El-Nino in metrological history.
  • These region lies in the leeward side of Western Ghats, therefore receives very less rainfall and absence of perennial forests also affects the rainfall pattern.

Suggestions (Choose any 4)

  1. Mostly all the drought affected districts are the major producers of sugar, therefore needs a shift in cropping pattern, more focus to cultivation of other crops that require lesser amount of water.
  2. Restoration of ecological balance – By Conserving, developing and harnessing land, water and other natural resources including rainfall
  3. Integrated watershed management – under National Watershed Programme – and with focus on strategies like Agro-forestry, Agro-horticulture
  4. Adoption of micro-irrigation methods and new technologies in agriculture for high yield and less water usage (Drip and Sprinkler irrigation systems)
  5. Drought resistant crops with technological intervention (bio-technology)
  6. Replicate water harvesting technique prevalent in other states – TN – compulsory roof top, Rajsthan’s traditional practice of storing water in Tanka
  7. Empowering farmers with knowledge of water management techniques, drought resistant crops, conservation of ground water. Awareness and self regulation among people will help to conserve the limited water resources.


Best answer: Peace

Maharashtra is facing third successive drought year with Marathwada region (Latur , Beed , Osmanabad , Nanded , Hingoli ) most severely affected along with the Vidarbha region. The severe drought conditions can be attributed to both climatic and man-made factors.

Climatic factors

  1. One third area of Maharashtra falls under semi-arid climatic zone – therefore deficient rainfall pattern and non-perinnial rivers.
  2. Climate change leading to insufficient rainfall and uneven rainfall pattern
  3. El-Nino – leading to warming of central Pacific waters and consequently drought conditions in India. 2014 and 2015 have been reported to have witnessed worst El-Nino in metrological history.

Along with the climatic factors , the larger role in droughts have been played by the man made factors, which have played havoc with the normal water cycle and rainfall.

Manmade factors

  1. Unviable large dams – With 3,712 major, minor and medium projects, Maharashtra has the highest number of dams in the country
  2. Incomplete irrigation projects
  3. Overutilization of water resources – in water guzzling crops like sugarcane (Sugarcane cultivation has increased by 10% ) and the wine factories
  4. Water diversion for non-priority usage. Eg : IPL Matches
  5. Overexploitation of ground water
  6. Development of Industries and cities putting additional load on water resources
  7. Neglect of local water systems
  8. Unaccountable water management

This has to be met with both long term and short term measures for drought mitigation in the area, at local level and policy level.

Measures for drought mitigation:

  1. Change in cropping pattern to less water intensive crops.
  2. Efficient utilisation of local water systems
  3. Restoration of ecological balance – By Conserving, developing and harnessing land , water and other natural resources including rainfall
  4. Integrated watershed management – Under National Watershed Programme
  5. Drought proofing through integrated area development approach ( DPAP , 1974)
  6. Adoption of micro-irrigation methods and new technologies in agriculture for high yield and less water usage.
  7. Creation of and promotion of non-agricultural employment opportunities.

Thus, with co-ordinated planning and drought management strategies , the goal of drought mitigation can be realised.

2. There is an urgent need to set up a mechanism to ensure the protection of whistle-blowers in India. Why? Discuss. Apart from statutes and regulations what additional measures would you recommend to be a part of this mechanism? Give reasons.



A whistleblower is a person who exposes any kind of information or activity that is deemed illegal, unethical, or not correct within an organization that is either private or public eg S Dubey and Manjunath had been whistleblowers.

Need to protect

As regards to the risky task they take up voluntarily as face threats even of life, there is need to protect them because

1- Good examples. They set precedence

2- Promote transparency and good governance

3- Required so as to let rule of law prevail

4- Protection of whistleblowers as part of their FR Article 21


Protection of WB bill 2011 has been enacted in 2014 aimed at giving protection to WBs. Apart from legislative measures following steps can be taken

1- More awareness about PIDPI (public interest disclosure and protection of informer) or whistleblower resolution should be created in public

2- Anonymity to WB. This can be made easier using modern technology

3- Security of tenure to avoid punishment posting etc

4- Fast tracking of cases within judiciary regarding WB.

5- Less media exposure to maintain secrecy of WB wherever possible

6- Enhancing the list of categories where name disclosure is not mandatory

7- Revamp of portals like “Blow ur Whistle” launched by CVC earlier which is not now functioning.


The rankings of India in Transparency Index are 76 which is quite low compare to developed economics. As such to improve our ranking in general and governance in particular, weeding out malpractices and corruption is necessary for which WB have a vital role to play.

Best Answer: vengeancee

Whistleblowers are those who expose wrongdoings of any organization or institution either public or private. Recent suspicious deaths in Vyapam Scam, Satyendra Dubey case 2003, Manjunath cash 2005, are few examples which suggest an urgent need to setup mechanism to ensure their protection because:

1)         It takes huge amount of bravery to come out & reveal truth, protecting will set good precedence for future.

2)         To avoid any damage to their life or family in lieu of any act of retribution done by those getting harmed by his/her exposure.

3)         Promote ethical, legal, and principle behavior in working of organizations.

4)     Will add another brick in formation of Good Governance, and requisite moral conduct of authorities.

Additions measures:

1)         Easier & equally anonymous medium for whistleblowers to effectively communicate wrongdoings, this can be done by E-Complaints with uploading of relevant proofs.

2)         Government should provide full moral backing & incase identity is revealed then full police protection without an exception.

3)     Separate tribunal setup for monitoring of case related to unearthing by whistleblowers for quick disposal with no pending delays.

4)         Enhancing the existing list of 10 prohibited categories where name disclosure not mandated in pending bill to be enhanced.

5)         As per amendment bill 2015, competent authority to which prohibited disclosure will be presented is not specified with qualification of members, this should be done.

Work culture has been sufficiently lacking in India, with recent SC order of disclosing whistleblowers name in CBI director case was heavily under scanner & further puts an additional need to make necessary changes in the Amendment Bill pending since May 2015.

3. The Indian media seems to be suffering from a negativity syndrome. Do you agree? Critically examine.

  • Intro:

Criticism is one of the essential virtues of democracy which doesn’t let the government feel omnipotent but the media has a larger role to play that is delivering the truth.

  • Body:
  • Reasons to show that Indian media has Negatively Syndrome.
  1. Mainstreaming: media today is featuring far right, ultra nationalists as representatives of center and center right, who are a little more liberal. Thus projecting ideas and agenda of miniscule minority as majority view.
  2. Mean world syndrome: People who watch more violence-related reports on TV and other forms of media, tended to believe that the world is more dangerous than it actually is. The same stories are shown with dramatic music, alarming graphics and on loop for 24 hours. All this amplifies the negative news and a constant focus on such news can create a psychosis that the world is worse than what it is.
  3. Agenda Setting: It simply refers to the practice of Media picking up one issue and giving it importance via constant coverage, and how this issue then becomes important for the viewers also, although in reality this may not have been that important to them. E.g.: issue of water supply to IPL venues is being constantly highlighted, but the measures to fight the impending drought are sidelined.
  4. Preventing growth of scientific temper: media is actively collaborating with saints and sadhus of dubious credentials to propagate fear; this is evident from the increase in number of babaji programmes on the national television, who seem to have answer for everything. This stymies the scientific and rational thinking of the people and misleads them.
  5. Corporate ownership and profit motives: Most of the primetime media channels are for profit and privately owned, which prioritizes profit over everything else, Selling fear, is the most profitable way to make profits as more people will then watch these channels increasing the TRPs and subsequently the advertisement revenue.
  6. 9:00 clock primetime news debates look like a group of frustrated individuals have been invited to vent off their frustration by screaming at each other, this may be relaxing to them but the frustration and anger is transmitted to the viewers.


  • Reasons to show that ,its not all negative:
  1. Indian media has time and again taken up positive issues, like health and well being, music and art.
  2. Numerous channels are dedicated to positives of life like adventure, food ,travel etc.
  3. Channels like RSTV, LSTV, DD etc. still conduct informative debates in a peaceful manner, if the people do not like informed sensible debates, media has no other choice.
  4. Media has taken up numerous citizen grievances to the government and made speedy Redressal possible.
  5. Its because of media that oppression against women, Dalits and minorities are being discussed at the national level, which otherwise will be ignored by the administration.
  6. The blaming of media as being negative is partly politically motivated, as parties try to deflect the blame from them onto the media
  • Conclusion:

Write a suitable conclusion and end the answer.

Best answer: Affu

Media in India has traced a long journey where during freedom struggle, a single newspaper use to arrive in a village and an educated person used to read it out to the present situation where electronic media has made strides culminating into 24/7 news channel
to sustain TRP these news channels are compelled to telecast negative news-which evokes emotions like fear, anxiety ,hence making them suffer from negativity syndrome
The negativity syndrome is real and it has spread to print media as well to remain in the competition

-The recent murder case of Sheena bora, suicide of TV actress testifies to the fact that Indian media has been excessively addicted to high profile murder and suicide cases, with no proper programs being run in parallel to avoid tendencies of suicide or depression
-the “Indian media go back” slogans during Nepal earthquake manifests the lack of sensitivity on the part of reporters leading to defamation of nation
-the incidents of “hate speeches”, “hurling of shoe at leaders” are given more footage than necessary raising questions on media ethics
-Media has given support to disaster response forces during floods in uttarakhand, jammu and Kashmir
-some media houses while highlighting road accidents(negative news) has taken up awareness campaigns
-though media houses are blamed for excessive footage of negative news related to politics-hate speeches, mud slings etc, they have also been active in exposing wrong doings of politicians
Any institution is as good as the people manning it, hence in order to get rid of unethical elements and prevent spread of negativity further, Press council of India, national broadcasting authority and all other stakeholders must work in tandem

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