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

  • April 16, 2016
  • 6
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SYNOPSIS- IASbaba’s TLP 2016 [15th April] – UPSC Mains GS Questions [HOT]


1. The accidental fire in a temple of Kerala killed and injured many. In fact, hundreds are killed every year due to natural or man-made fires. What strategies would you suggest to prevent and mitigate the effects of fire accidents? Discuss.


On an average, in India, every year, about 25,000 persons die due to fires and related causes. Probably many of these deaths could have been prevented, had we taken enough fire protection measures. No comprehensive data is available in India on the economic losses suffered on account of fires. The recent fire tragedy at a Kerala temple caused by illegally stored firecrackers killing more than 100 & injuring many brings out the poor condition of state-preparedness against fire accidents.

Mitigation Strategy: (Choose any 4)

  • For mitigating a fire in any occupancy, whether it is a business house or in a factory or in a residential building, require a deep understanding about the problem, comprehensive Fire Safety Audit, regular inspection, maintenance and repair of defective equipment.
  • Infrastructure in place- fire-stations equipped with modern technology & well trained fir-fighters, dedicated helpline to reduce response time- mapping of cities using color coded zones based on their level of vulnerability.
  • Adherence to SOPs’, since in many cases Standard Operating Procedures are already in place but are not implemented due to untrained staff/inadequate numbers of deployment or political interference
  • On ground execution- mandatory fire safety drills & training for response at all public and private work places, schools, educational institutions- courses for people interested in being volunteers in case of fire-incidents.
  • Arrangements for speedy medical attention should be done by ensuring prior medical aid at event location, implementing concepts like green corridor


Prevention strategy: (Choose any 4)

  • Fires start when source of ignition comes into contact with combustible material. If we can control all sources of ignition and combustible material, we can greatly reduce the potential for fire. Adhering to explosion resistant building codes and reorientation of all existing infrastructures to make it fire resistant.
  • Heating and lighting systems that are inadequately maintained or safeguarded present risks. Many fires occur from electrical faults or misuse. Smoking is a notorious fire risk. It should be prohibited in all areas where it is especially dangerous. Strict quality checks and standards of electrical appliances, equipments, households items like stoves etc that often are cause of fire accidents.
  • Automatic fire sprinklers coupled with detection are the most effective fire protection system found in High Rise buildings which can, not only detect the fires, but also extinguish the fires in the initial stage itself. Application of Water Mist in various situation is gaining momentum every day.
  • Major fires start in storage area and warehouses than production areas. Poorly stored goods, even though they are not flammable, may help to spread fire and hinder fire fighters gaining access to the seat of the fire or reduce the effectiveness of sprinkler systems. Goods tidily stored with gangways may help to inhibit the spread of fire.
  • The legislations, standards and codes have a vital role in forcing the occupiers to provide the required fire protection system, both active and passive. Complying with all the fire and safety measures and adhering to the National Building Code of India, 2005.


Best answer: Valar dohaeris 

Ans. The recent fire tragedy at a Kerala temple caused by illegally stored firecrackers killing more than 100 & injuring many brings out the poor condition of state-preparedness against fire accidents. There is news of administrative orders against firecracker program that points to organisers flouting & incapacity of policy in executing the official orders. This mishap adds to the previous such tragic accidents- Kolkata hospital, Delhi movie theatre etc.

The steps to mitigate & prevent occurrence of fire-accidents must be among top priorities for policy measures. The following measures can be helpful-

  • Infrastructure in place- fire-stations equipped with modern technology & well trained fir-fighters, dedicated helpline to reduce response time- mapping of cities using color coded zones based on their level of vulnerability.
  • Policy initiatives- regulating and monitoring infrastructure building mandating compliance to fire-safety norms- especially public arenas, big malls/complexes etc
  • On ground execution- mandatory fire safety drills & training for response at all public and private work places, schools, educational institutions- courses for people interested in being volunteers in case of fire-incidents.
  • Stricter laws with punitive measures- for all those putting public life in danger by flouting safety norms and standards.
  • Strict quality checks and standards of electrical appliances, equipments, households items like stoves etc that often are cause of fire accidents.
  • Special task force- on lines of NDRF trained for fire accidents purpose- army often burdened with all relief work often it isn’t trained or prepared for.
  • Forest fire incidents be viewed holistically, dedicated infrastructure for such areas, collaborative learning from experiences of other countries like Australia.

As experience clearly indicates that police and administration aren’t capable enough to be incharge of huge political, religious gatherings, they must be supported by complementary forces on case to case basis. On a root level there is need to make public more aware & thus more prepared to tackle such incidents.

2. Explain the economics of cattle rearing in a developing country like India. Why is it said that livestock is just like a credit card to the rural farmers? Explain.

  • Intro:

write a brief introduction about how cattle rearing has been practiced by farming communities.

  • Body:
  1. The world cattle inventory in 2016 is 971.4826 million head. India has the largest cattle inventory in the world followed by Brazil & China. India has 301.6 million cattle (30%).
  2. the livestock sector  contributed over 4.1 per cent of the total GDP in 2012-13 directly or indirectly.
  3. Region: Largest states Bihar and Jharkhand, UP, MP, Maharashtra, Orissa, Rajasthan and Karnataka. The number of milch animals increased from  62  million  in  2000 to  15  million  in  2012, thus  adding to  the  improved  milch  herd  of  the  country.
  4. Milk production: 44 India ranks first in milk production,  accounting  for  17  per cent of world production. During 2012-13, milk production peaked at 132.43 MT, thus becoming an important secondary source of income for 70 million rural households engaged in dairying and for 70 per cent of the workforce that comprised women.
  5. The average year-on-year growth rate of milk at 4.04 per cent vis-à-vis the world average of 2.2 per cent shows sustained growth in availability of milk and milk products for the growing population.
  6. Largest milk producing states in India: Uttar Pradesh (UP) commands highest share of over 17% in total milk production, followed by Rajasthan (11%), Andhra Pradesh (9%), Punjab (8%) and Gujarat (8%).
  7. Animal Husbandry constitutes to 25% of total agricultural output acting as major source of income for both farmers & Government.
  8. Cattle rearing insulate the farmers from the vagaries of climate, by giving a second income source. For marginal farmers, cattle rearing gives a supplementary income(16%)
  9. Meat exports: India exported 2.4 million tonnes of beef and veal in FY2015 making in largest exporter of beef followed by Brazil and Australia. India itself accounts for 23.5 per cent of global beef exports. This is up from a 20.8 per cent share last year.
  10. Cattle rearing support many industries, like tanneries, sugar industry, soap industry.


Cattle as Credit card: Just like a credit card is used to buy something, and the payment is done at a later date, farmers can use their cattle as both a guarantee, to buy seeds, small equipment etc. and can payoff the obligations using income generated from the cattle( either by selling milk, or selling off the cattle itself). The immediate need can be met, without having to wait for the harvest of the crops.

  • Conclusion:

Write a brief conclusion.

Best answer: Bhavana

Primitive hunter whose major source of food was animal soon turned out to be a herder because of its recognized potentiality and significance. Animal husbandry has become a major source of growth in almost all countries and for developing countries such as India where agriculture has immense importance it has become inseparable part of economic growth. Agriculture constitutes 16% of Indian GDP and 25% of which is contributed by animal rearing and other allied activities

  1. Socio-economic—
    >>Diversified output like hoods, wool, horns and hides provide market for sale>rise in per capita income.
    >>Assured source of income in case of market uncertainty and climate adversity>Less farmer distress.
    >>Accessibility to milk, eggs and meat fulfills nutrition demand> human capital formation.
    >>Working opportunities for women and relaxed pressure on land>inclusive and sustainable development.
  2. Cattle rearing and Indian economy—
    >>India is largest producer of milk and top exporter of buffalo meat which provides self sufficiency in food production.
    >>Reduced dependence on chemical fertilizers coupled with rising demand of organic food and animal products.
    >>Increased self-employability and reduced migration.

Animal rearing is said to be a credit card for farmers because-

>> credit card are assured source of money supply in case of any emergency so as animal rearing proves beneficial in times of climatic vagaries and in other adversities.

>>Animal products like skin are less effected by any external negativity and are always in demand.

Though animal rearing adds to the all aspects of agricultural growth but they need effective infrastructure, cold storage system and robust supply chain. Absence of proper care and lack of veterinary services can be harmful for them.

3. Traditionally, jute has been a popular natural fibre in India. In the last few decades, however, the jute industry seems to have declined. Enumerate the factors behind this decline. Also suggest ways to enhance the popularity of jute products.


India accounts for an estimated 70 per cent of the world’s total production of jute products. Over 90 mills are currently operational, 67 in West Bengal alone. The rest are in Bihar, Assam, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh. The industry supports over 40 lakh farmers and 3.7 lakh jute labourers,

Reasons for decline of Jute industry in India.

1- Partition- Jute producing area to East Pakistan now Bangladesh and Mills in India.

2- Competition-  Post 1971 Bangladesh started modernisation of jute industry in their country. Our industry still working on old and outdated machinery.

3- Cropping Pattern– HYVs of other crops like paddy replacing jute cultivation.

4- Non Viability of jute cultivation- Input costs have increased and price of finished goods is not enough to cover increased costs.

5- Alternative availability- Other materials like plastic are replacing jute in making of bags ropes covers etc. Plastic is cheap and easily available.

6- Left Wing Extremism in WB, Chattishgarh, Odisha, and Eastern Bihar, traditional jute area left jute mills and industries heavily affected. Eg Northbrook Jute Mill

7- JPM Act which was there to support jute industry became curse itself. It created a regular customer as Govt PDS but killed competition. Now dilution of Act when industry is sick is again tragic.

Measures to regain the popularity of jute products.

1- Support jute production and industry to produce more jute products. This can be done by fixing MSP for jute and increasing credit to jute industry.

2- Promotion of Jute handicrafts. Can be done to make jute and jute products popular.

3- R&D to improve quality production texture and other features of jute so as to make it acceptable in current markets.

4- Promotion of Jute as environmentally safe and biodegradable and hence increase its usage and popularity. Policy formation for enhancing export of Jute products as a low carbon footprint product.

5- Incentivize industries using jute products by providing carbon credits and hence promoting usage.

6- Jute Research Association and other similar organizations need to be rejuvenated.

7- Creating new markets and novel products from jute making them popular and hence increase demand. Marketing via mahila e haat etc is a step in right direction.

8- Glamorising and branding of jute products. Tie ups with Fashion schools like IFT may help.


Jute, the golden fibre is most common fibre in world after cotton. Considering the potential of jute industry and jute products, the revamp of industry is quite required for economic betterment of nation in general and cultivators in particular.


Best Answer : BABA90

Jute, popularly known as Golden fibre, is the second most important vegetable fibre after cotton in terms of usage, consumption, production and availability. India ranks first in the production of Jute.

However, Its Jute Industry, mostly concentrated in West bengal, in the past few decades has witnessed a declining trend with almost all of them are making losses and some are closing down.

This negative trend in the Jute Industry is owing to following factors and forces:

  1. Shortage of raw material – Non-availabil­ity of sufficient quantity of superior quality raw material is one of the major problems of the industry. To meet this shortage, raw material is imported.
  2. 2. High cost of production: Equipments for production are all worn out, outmoded in design. Many mills are uneconomic. Products are made costlier.
  3. Competition – Newly started jute industry in Bangladesh has captured some of the market of Indian jute goods
  4. Substitute goods- Jute products are fast losing market to plastic, synthetic fibres and similar substitute products.
  5. Strikes and lockouts – Labour unrest, strikes and lockouts accompanied by violence adversely impacted Jute industry. This is driven by Poor financial conditions amid dwindling demand and labour problems.
  6. Illegal Imports –Illegal import of raw jute and finished products from Bangladesh also contributed to declining trend.
  7. Dilution of Govt policies- Government diluted Jute Packaging Materials (Compulsory use in Packing Commodities) Act, 1987 in 2012-13 to allow greater usage of plastic bags as packaging material for sugar and food grains.

Ways to enhance the popularity of jute products:

  1. Formulating a diversification policy – To give emphasis on promoting diversification in use of jute, for preparing shopping bags, carriers, handicrafts accessories, jute sculptures, footwear, clothes etc. this policy could be linked with Make in India.
  2. Involving SHGs to encourage citizens to use Jute products in their day to day. Besides, SHGs can also play an active role in marketing of Jute products.
  3. Information, education, communication (IEC) campaigns – to educate people on various benefits of using jute products like eco-friendly, affordability, esthetic appeal, durability etc.
  4. Modernization of Jute Industry– This is necessary in order to ensure that jute products remain competitive as compared to synthetic products capturing the market.
  5. Encouraging the use of Jute geo-textiles in construction sector.

In this direction, government has set up skill development centers and Jute Diversification project units which will be linked with the ‘Skill India’ initiative of the Government.

Thus, considering the benefits of jute and competitive advantages India has, it is necessary to take an integrated approach by government to check the declining trend of jute Industry and popularize the use of jute products.

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