SYNOPSIS: IASbaba’s TLP 2016 [25th August] – UPSC Mains GS Questions [HOT]

  • August 26, 2016
  • 5
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SYNOPSIS- IASbaba’s TLP 2016 [25th August] – UPSC Mains GS Questions [HOT]


Today instead of 3, we have provided 5 questions on Geography. It is to ensure that you cover as much ground as possible in the TLP itself. Questions 1, 2 and 3, 6 and 7 will be reviewed by us and synopsis will be provided for the same. Questions 4 and 5 are for your practice and peer review only.

1. The polar regions are characterized by a typical optical phenomenon. Identify this phenomenon and explain its mechanism. What are the common names given to this phenomenon? Also discuss its impacts.

(The best answer for this question is so complete that no further synopsis is required. The Best answer can be taken as the synopsis):

Best answer 1 : Aragorn

Best answer 2 : vidhu

The polar regions experience an optical phenomenon called the Auroral lights. They are called as Aurora Borealis in the North Pole and Aurora Australis in the South Pole region.

This strange yet beautiful phenomenon has 2 elements:
1. earth’s magnetic field
2. solar flares emitted from the sun

In this phenomenon, glowing lights are produced in the atmosphere due to the

1. The sun emits solar flares due to regular explosions at it surface. These solar flares have a huge amount of atomic particles released by it which travel due to the solar winds.
2. On reaching near the earth, they interact with the earth’s magnetic field.
3.The earth’s magnetic field deflects these solar flares and prevents them from entering the earth’s atmosphere.
4. the mixing of the highly ionised stream of electrons and the magnetosphere at the poles produces cosmic glowing lights called the auroral lights.

Impact of such phenomenon
1. Solar flares which cause such effect cause ionising of the atmosphere and thus can affect our communication satellites
2. they disturb the power distribution channels of those regions
3. Astronauts who come under their influence might have health issues
4. Telecom and internet services are affected
5. they attract a lot of tourist who visit to see this event
6. they might help in solar and outer universe studies

Best Answer 3: Yanger

2. What is a cloudburst? Discuss the essential conditions that can trigger a cloudburst. What adverse impacts can it have on landforms and manmade structures? Explain.

A cloudburst is short-term extreme precipitation that takes place over a small area. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) labels rainfall over 100 mm per hour as cloudburst. Usually small areas – anywhere between 20-80 square kilometers are affected.

Essential conditions

Cloud burst can result from several different right ingredients that comes together.

Cloudbursts are associated with intensive heating of air parcels (not Air Mass), its rapid rising, and formation of thunderclouds. Interaction with local topography results in upward motion, especially where the atmospheric flow is perpendicular to topographic features.

Technically, Cloud burst is a situation when the inter-molecular forces between the H2O molecules get very high due to the rapid decrease in the temperature or excess of electrostatic induction in the clouds causing the lighting to remain inside the cloud only, which causes hyperactive energy inside the cloud. The water molecules get denser and denser and get condensed but do not leave the cloud due to excess of electro forces.
As the water concentration get higher and higher and so the weigh gets heavier the water no longer is able to maintain force with the clouds and so they fall and it precipitates

Adverse Impact

(Just mentioning points. It can be further elaborated.)


  • Floods
  • Landslides
  • Erosion
  • Damage to the standing crops
  • Change in river course

Man Made structures:

  • Siltation in Dams
  • Destruction of buildings, roads etc.

(few more points can be added)


Best answer 1: DK

When a heavy rainfall of almost 100mm occurred in the small geography within the few minutes, it is termed as cloudburst. Normally, particular rainfall can be leveled as cloudburst in the light of destruction caused by particular event. Cloudburst can be easily noted in mountainous areas although plain areas also susceptible to it.
Cloudburst occurs when the warm air from the air rushes to the clouds, obstruct drops from falling on the ground, mixing the raindrops into each other to form bigger drops and eventually, a stage comes when clouds as well as drops cannot be held anymore in the air, and hence heavy downpour occurs like the immediate downside the bucket full of water.
Topographical and atmospheric conditions such as mountain blocking the air flow which leads to rise in the temperature, presence of mountain to act as ladder for the uprising of the air and mountain itself generating heat for the air are necessary conditions for cloudburst.

Adverse impacts:

Heavy rainfall turns into the flash floods after destructing the infrastructure due to heavy hit of water on houses and other infrastructure, hence generating double difficulty for human and other livings beings.

Economic loss and environmental losses are always attached to disasters and same can be associated with cloudburst.

Loss of roads and other communication modes make it difficult for disaster forces to act in immediate mode


Best answer 2: NR5

Best answer 3: Snowyyy  (Good Explanation of causes)

A cloudburst is an extreme amount of precipitation, sometimes with hail and thunder which last no longer than few minutes but is capable of creating flood like condition. According to IMD rainfall rate equal or greater than 100mm/hr. is cloudburst.

These are manifestation of intense vortices on small scale that generates strong convection currents that lifts the moisture laden air to form cumulonimbus cloud and these clouds sheds loads of water with ferocity.

But this is rapid precipitation which is possible only when large droplets can grow rapidly with small droplets which fall slowly and this is when chemical reaction takes place like diffusion of solid particles.

Topographical conditions like steep hills favors its formation. example 2013 kedarnath cloud burst in Uttrakhand.

Adverse effects include

  1. ON HUMAN – causes flood that led to loss of life and property. especially houses on slope gets damaged. it causes huge distraction. these further causes diseases.
  2. ON ENVIRONMENT- causes loss of vegetation, deforestation further deteriorating conditions like rise of temperature in the area.
  3. ON ANIMALS- animals lose their shelter and have to migrate to other places.

During rainy season especially in hilly regions thus it becomes vital to ascertain preventive measures to tackle the frequency of such disaster like identification of area and locally available resources along with medical preparedness.

3. What is an air mass? What are the essential conditions for the formation of an air mass? How does the passage of an air mass affect the weather conditions of a place. Explain by taking an example.


Air Mass is an extremely large body of air whose properties of temperature and moisture content (humidity), at any given altitude, are fairly similar in any horizontal direction.

  • can cover hundreds of thousands of square miles.
  • there can be small variations.


  • Conditions for the formation:
  1. Ideal source regions are regions that are generally flat topography and of uniform composition. Examples include central Canada, Siberia, the northern and southern oceans and large deserts.
  2. Their must be atmospheric divergence at the source region which creates conditions of  stability
  3. temperature and humidity must be relatively uniform for a long time for the development of air masses.
  4. Area with high pressure but little pressure differences is ideal for air mass formation.


  • Effects on the region of migration:
  1. Maritime air masses carry moisture from ocean to continents, thus bringing rainfall.e.g. northwest USA.
  2. Tropical air masses, transport latent heat, thus removing latitudinal heat imbalance.
  3. Most of the migratory atmospheric disturbances like cyclones originates at the contact zone of two air masses( called fronts), and the weather associated with it is determined by the characteristics of air masses involved.


Write a brief conclusion.

Best answer: Vish

An air mass is a large body of air having uniform temperature, humidity and pressure which it adapts from the surface present below it.

Essential conditions for air-mass
– uniformity in meteorological conditions on surface over which it is present.
– ample amount of time to adapt to the characteristics of surface
– plain topography will generally assist their formation. e,g, temperature inversion will not happen

Effects of passage of air mass:
– when cold and hot air-mass meet, they could cause rain due to formation of occluded front. for e.g. formation of extra-tropical cyclones in mid and high latitudes.
– passage of Maritime air-mass generally contains moisture and causes rain. e.g. rain in Mediterranean region
– Tropical air-mass is warm and doesn’t contains much-moisture and could create conditions for heat waves. for e.g. heat-waves in Odisha
– Polar air-mass influences climate, ozone formation and topography. Movement of such air-mass is primary reason of topographical differences in Arctic and Antarctic regions.
– Due to movement of polar air-mass during winters, vegetation growth is hindered in high and mid-latitude region.

4. Somali is perhaps the only region close to the equator that has dry climatic conditions. Discuss the factors that cause this anomaly. (Hint: Think in terms of ocean currents, elevation of Somalian plateau, direction of south west monsoon etc)

 5. The African continent is affected by a number of local winds. Identify at least three of them. Discuss their properties and also explain the changes that they bring to the regions through which they pass.

6. The Rajya Sabha recently passed the Mental Healthcare Bill. What was the need of having a law relating to people having mental illness? Have the provisions of the law tried to address the pressing issues being raised by various stakeholders? Analyse.

(Solution consist of Detailed Explanation just for better understanding. You should cut short it while writing in the exam.)

This Bill seeks to replace the Mental Health Act, 1987. In 2007, India ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which requires signatory countries to change their laws to give effect to the rights of persons with mental illness. It was believed that the 1987 Act did not adequately protect these rights, and a need was felt to provide them with better treatment and improve their access to health services.

Apart from this, other reasons for a new bill:

  • Ambiguity in defining Mental illness
  • Criminalization of Suicide

(More points can be added here)

Facts and Figures:

  1. According to a report published by The Lancet and The Lancet Psychiatry. In 2013, 31 million years of healthy life were lost to mental illness in India. Estimates now suggest that by 2025, 38.1 million years of healthy life will be lost to mental illness in India (23 per cent increase)
  2. According to Census 2011, over 21 million people in India as suffering from one or the other kind of disability. Among the five types of disabilities on which data has been collected – Mental disability consists of 10.3% population.

Major Stakeholders:

  1. Patients and their family/Guardian
  2. Doctors/ psychiatrists etc.
  3. Right Activists
  4. Government and Implementing agencies
  5. Society as large
  6. Insurance companies/ Market etc.

What are key rights being guaranteed under the Bill?

  • Manner of treatment: The Bill states that every person would have the right to specify how he would like to be treated for mental illness in the event of a mental health situation. An individual will also specify who will be the person responsible for taking decisions with regard to the treatment, his admission into a hospital, etc.
  • Access to public health care: The Bill guarantees every person the right to access mental health care and treatment from the government. This right includes affordable, good quality, easy access to services such as minimum mental health services in every district. Persons with mental illness also have the right to equality of treatment and protection from inhuman and degrading treatment.
  • Suicide decriminalized: Currently, attempting suicide is punishable with imprisonment for up to a year and/or a fine. The Bill decriminalizes suicide. It states that whoever attempts suicide will be presumed to be under severe stress, and shall not punished for it.
  • Insurance: The Bill requires that every insurance company shall provide medical insurance for mentally ill persons on the same basis as is available for physical illnesses.

Issues which are not been addressed yet:

  • Implementation challenges: The Bill does not estimate the expenditure required to meet the obligations under the Bill nor does it provide details of the sharing of expenses between the central and state governments. Without the allocation of adequate funds, the implementation of the Bill could be affected.
  • Guardianship of mentally ill persons: The 1987 Act has detailed provisions related to appointment and removal of a guardian, and his powers and duties. The provisions related to guardianship of mentally ill persons are in the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (RPD) Bill, 2014, which is pending in Parliament. If the Bill is passed by Parliament in its current form, there will be a legal vacuum with regard to provisions of guardianship of mentally ill persons
  • penalties for non-compliance: The Bill does not prescribe specific penalties for non-compliance with several of its provisions. A general punishment of imprisonment up to 6 months or a penalty of up to Rs 10,000, or both, is provided. The absence of specific penal provisions might create ambiguities with regard to the implementation of the Bill


It should reflect optimism while accepting the short comings.


Best answer 1: Lincoln         

Mental Healthcare Bill passed by Rajya Sabha is an important piece of legislation that addresses various aspects of Mental helthcare

Need for the legislation

1) mental healhcare was neglected component of healthcare and this bill has put the spotlight back on and corrects many issues int the set up.

2) 6-7% of the population suffers from some form of mental illnes, 1-2% being critically ill.
3) It helps India adhere to UN convention of Persons with Disabilities to which India is a party.

Issues adressed by the legislation

1) It decriminalises Sucicide

2) Prohibits use of convulsive therapy on children, on adults it can be used only with anesthesia or muscle relaxants.

3) Makes it mandatory to provide mental healthcare facilities in every district.

4) Every person shall have the right to access mental health care and treatment from services run or funded by the government.

5) Insurance companies have to consider mental illness on same basis of physical illness, cannot be denied insurance.

6) Advance Directive: A mentally-ill person shall have the right to make an advance directive that states how he wants to be treated for the illness during a mental health situation and who his nominated representative shall be.

Issues unaddressed by the legislation are:

1) Bill does not address issues related to guardianship of mentally ill persons.
2) It does not make provision to fund mental healthcare facility in every district. The sharing of expenditure b/w Centre and state is also not mentioned.
3) India allocates just over 1% of the Centre’s health budget to mental health, with States making comparable allocations. This situation should change if the provisions of the bill are to be meaningful.

The bill is a positive step and revolutionary in some regards. The lacunae mentioned above needs to be addressed to make it more robust

Best answer 2: MDA

India has ratified UN Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities which also includes mentally ill persons and their rights. In a climate of under-reporting of mental illnesses due to social stigma, a Mental healthcare bill is utmost necessary.

A 2005 estimate shows that 6-7% of population suffers from mental illness and WHO claims that one in 4 persons is likely to have had such disease. With rising stress and new mental disorders, the 1987 healthcare act did not adequately protect rights and access to mental health services has been dismal, thus the need for a law relating to people having mental illness.
Yes, the law has addressed some pressing issues:

#Mental illness covers disorders like schizophrenia, depression, etc and also substance abuse (does not include mental retardation).

# Right to specify manner of treatment (where to be treated and who can take decisions on his behalf)
#Access to public mental health care including affordable, good quality services in every district.
#Persons with mental illness have been guaranteed the right to equality of treatment (protection from inhuman and degrading treatment.)

#Suicide has been decriminalized.

# Medical insurance for mental illness at par with physical illnesses.

However, implementation has been overlooked. Issues of guardianship of mentally ill persons and absence of specific penal provisions might create ambiguities. There is no estimate of government expenditure and no details of sharing of expenses between the central and state governments.

While India has been at the forefront of celebrating International yoga day and is famous for its holistic approach to body and mind, Public health is still an area demanding coordination between both state and central Govt. on account of funds and facilities. Way ahead lies in bringing in qualified doctors, timely audit and community rehabilitation post treatment (like gainful employment)

Best answer 3: DK

Mental health care bill has been passed by the Rajya Sabha due to following necessities:
Inadequacy of 1987’s act to protect the rights of the mentally ill patient. This act also failed to provide better treatment and improved access of health services
Under UN convention on rights of person with disability, which India has ratified, it becomes necessary to set up mental healthcare as per international standards in country.
In society, mentally ill person can’t be treated as sick person, instead treated as under the influence of evil power which can only be cured through tantric, but people ends up in the more difficult situation than the initial stage due to unscientific methods of treatment. Hence, institutional treatment is much needed to break social stigma.

Mentally ill person sometimes attempts unsuccessful suicide attempt, which lands him under the case of IPC, which can’t be justified at any instance.
In effect, newly bill decriminalized the suicidal attempt, and made central and state govt. liable to set up reformed infrastructure for treatment in which outpatient care and community based rehabilitation also considered. Bill also provides right to the mentally ill person to choose specify method of treatment and insurance companies also directed to cover mental illness under health policies.

No provision of funding and sharing ratio of expenditure between the states and centre.
Absence of a strategy to generate professional resources like doctors and nurses to cater future demands of healthcare.

Bill does not specifically mention the non-compliance exercises under which punishment and fines imposed on offenders.

Overall, bill is welcome step by govt. by acknowledging its changed responsibilities about the modern society’s healthcare and criticisms can be settled by making provisions of further scope for improvement during practical implementation

7. What in your opinion are the factors responsible for the Kashmir unrest? Why solution seems elusive even after 70 years of independence? Is there a way out? Analyse.


Explain that the factors responsible for unrest is not of recent days but its roots can be traced back to 1947 when the treaty of accession was signed with India till recent killing of Burhan Wani (i.e. past 70 years)

Now provide the factors. It should include the following factors (with description of 2 sentences for each)

  • Political factors
  • Socio-economic factors
  • External factors and Security factors
  • Geographical factors
  • Historical factors
  • Religious factors

Why attaining peace or solution has been difficult to achieve?

Here, since question provides “analyze”, explain the reasons.

  • Lack of dialogues between leaders of people and government.
  • Increased militarization of the area (due to AFSPA) creates an unhealthy atmosphere which results into people’s protest against the State.
  • Social and political alienation regular curfews, human rights violations committed by security force personnel.
  • Internationalization of issue and Pakistani infiltration
  • Political bureaucratic failure.
  • Failure of Article 370 to assimilate J&K with India.

Way out:

  • Effective dialogue between all stakeholders.
  • Mainstreaming Kashmiri people with other parts of India.
  • Relaxation of AFSPA in peaceful areas and focus more on aiding developmental activities.
  • Strong political will and economic and social development through effective penetration of governmental schemes that reaches grass roots levels. (both Centre and State)
  • Influence of religious and local leader to help government to connect to local people.
  • Establishment of grievance redressal mechanism and effective bureaucratic structure.

Thus inclusive development of Kashmir with rest of India is the need of hour. For this both government authorities as well as citizens needs to be sensitized.

Best answer 1:  vidhu

The Special state of Jammu & Kashmir has been facing unrest in the last few decades. These unrest have risen in recent times. The situation began in 1947 with accession to the Indian state but worsened during 1980s with the rise in militant insurgency.

Some of the possible reasons for such events can be:

  1. Political: the state has had its ups and downs with political setup. From allegations of rigged elections, boycotts of elections, and President’s rule for large periods to record turnout in polls, the state has been in political turmoil many times
  2. Legal: The demand of a plebiscite has been there since 1947 which the people feel is their legal right as per the instrument of accession. This has enraged generations of Kashmiri people
  3. Social : poor education and health system, allegations of penetration of radical Islam in the majorly Sufi Islam region, wounds of 1980s insurgency and indoctrination of youth by radical leaders
  4. economic: unemployment, lack of new job avenues, poor industrial setup, declining tourism due to terror attacks, loss of crops due to floods, cloudburst have made the people lose hope in the present system
  5. Geographical: The presence of a envious neighbor in the form of Pakistan which uses terrorism as a diplomatic tool
  6. laws like AFSPA, regular curfews , presence of armed forces, allegations of human right violations are also some reasons for the unrest among people

The Indian State as well as the stakeholders in Kashmir has been in negotiations for finding a solution for the issue. the problem persists due to:

  1. Iack of dialogues between leaders of people and government
  2. Rigid stand by all state holders showing little ground for understanding each other
  3. Use of terrorism by Pakistan
  4. Lack of development in the region portraying apathy by the Indian State

The governments and the stakeholders must not leave the path of dialogues among themselves. Along with it if economic development if speeded up with improvement of health and education setup and relaxation of AFSPA in peaceful areas then there can be a path reached for reducing the unrest among the people.

Best answer 2: Nazreen

Heaven on earth since 1990, entangled between the social and political crises, leading to a state of destruction and tension.

Factors behind such situation:-

  • Infiltration> Pakistani militants always took benefit of inhospitable hills to spread terror in Kashmir.
  • Religious insecurity> led Kashmiri pundits to left their their homes.
  • Anti nationalist elements> supported by paks’ ISI, always on killing of terrorists like Afzal Guru and in current past of Burhan Wani, started violence against Army personnels.
  • Poverty> due to low economic opportunities some youth get influced by penny offered by militant groups, and took bad step against their own brothers.
  • Low literacy rate> this create an inability in human mind to correctly differentiate between good and bad thus, caught themselves in a continuous state of deterioration.

Solution seems elusive:-

  • Because of no regular change in the provisions of AFSPA, which rather than making developments, created a vicious cycle.
  • No presence of “strong political will” of both centre and state govts.
  • Commulative steps have not been taken by inclusion of all stakeholders while making decisions over it.
  • Not following of simla agreement, pakistan’s effort of including UN, always led to zero conclusion.

Yes, there is way out:-

  • Need to merge J&K with mainstream india by inducing opportunistic development in the region.
  • Grievance cells> in every district to deal with minute problems of citizens.
  • “Firm” stand against pakistan’s illegal activities.

Army spend its lot over this region, many innocent lost their lives and even valley ‘s shine is blurred somewhere,. Removal of pallet guns is progressive step, such more humanistic steps is required now to make it again “zannat”(heaven).

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