SYNOPSIS: IASbaba’s TLP 2016 [1st Sep] – UPSC Mains GS Questions [HOT]

  • September 2, 2016
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SYNOPSIS- IASbaba’s TLP 2016 [1st Sep] – UPSC Mains GS Questions [HOT]


1. Discuss the significance of land as a resource. How do land resources get depleted? How do we protect and conserve land? Discuss.


(This is a straight forward question. Only thing which you should keep in mind is the current development in the respective field. Link it with the current affairs news. Give examples of government schemes or any technological innovations. That will bring you in a different league. Otherwise almost everybody who is sincerely preparing will write same type of answer.)

Note: In Geography, it is always advisable to make a map or diagram.

Here we are just giving the guidelines as almost all the points have been mentioned in the best answers below:


Your introduction should define the land resource and then state the significance of land as a resource.

Reason for depletion of Land Resources:

Mention the reasons of Land Resources. You can categorize them under natural, anthropogenic factors etc.

Ways to protect and conserve land

Here you should give the names of policies and Technological solutions like Soil Health card scheme, Organic Farming, Swacch Bharat Abhiyan, Drip Irrigation, Solid waste management, UNCCD, SDG goals etc.

(There are many good answers but below three are the best)


Best answer 1: Deep

Land is an essential natural resource, both for the survival and prosperity of humanity, and for the maintenance of all terrestrial ecosystems. It is a limited and shrinking resource.


  1. a) a store of wealth for individuals, groups, or a community
    b) Production of food, fibre, fuel
    c) Biological habitats for plants, animals and micro-organisms
    d) Co-determinant in the global energy balance and the global hydrological cycle
    e) Storehouse of minerals and raw materials for human use

Reason of land depletion:

  1. Land clearance or deforestation
  2. Poor farming practices like jhoom cultivation
  3. Overgrazing and over-drafting
  4. Inappropriate irrigation or over irrigation
  5. Urban sprawl and commercial development
  6. Exposure of naked soil after harvesting by heavy equipment
  7. Monoculture, destabilizing the local ecosystem
  8. Dumping of non-biodegradable trash, such as plastics or industrial effluents
  9. Soil erosion or acidification

Protection and Conservation of land resource:

# Raising awareness.
# Contour ploughing
# Terrace farming
# Crop rotation and strip cropping
# Mulching
# Shelter belts
# Agro-forestry and community farming
# Construction of check dams and gully-trap
# Afforestation and reforestation programmes
# Scientific waste management practice including solid waste, e-waste and biomedical waste
# Stringent judicial norms and government regulation
# Definite land use policy for industry and urban development

A limited but quintessential resource like land is need to be properly assessed, utilized and maintained.


Best answer 2: Yogesh Bhatt

Land is the natural gift by Mother Nature which has huge significance as

  1. Nutrient source- Land provides nutrients and other surviving elements which help autotrophs to make food and which further translocation energy to other living beings.
  2. Natural balance- Land is a great recourse to ensure heat cycle, maintain nutrient and hydrological cycle and other natural functions needed for life.
  3. Forest and agri development- forest which are lung of earth sustain over land resource, agriculture, prime livelihood is biggest user of land resource.
  4. Industrial development- all resources for industrial development like energy, geological location, transpiration all based on land location where it get established.
    Land resource get depleted by
  1. Natural factor- like climate conditions, natural weathering process, climate anomaly like earthquake, tsunami, land slide, sea action and so on. It is natural and slow.
  2. Human action – are like intensive agriculture practices, mining, human settlement. deforestation, desertification, use of chemicals and so on. It is most dangerous and fastest.

To conserve land human need to take concrete and long term steps like

  1. Sustainable agriculture- emerging natural farming, organic farming, and zero tillage agriculture has promising sustainable future.
  2. Forestation- need to sustain earth lung by achieving 33% land coverage by forest resources with full diversity.
  3. Check desertification – by having scientific human settlement, increase forest coverage, and international cooperation.
  4. Sustainable economic development- land resource is limited to it need sustainable use in economic activities.

Proposed SDG has ample scope to protect land resources and it is deeply correlated with climate change movement also so for earth sustainability, land recourse use optimization will be the key.

Best Answer3: – Prash

Paper 1 – http://a.disquscdn.com/uploads/mediaembed/images/4185/668/original.jpg

Paper 2 – http://a.disquscdn.com/uploads/mediaembed/images/4185/670/original.jpg

2. What are the locational factors for the paper industry? Give an account of the distribution of paper industry in India and also the reasons for the same.

Paper is one of the core industries and is linked to the basic human needs. Paper is the pre-requisite for education and literacy and its use is an index of advancement in these two fields as well as the overall well being of the society.

This is the most important of all the forest based industries. Some industries fall under the group of agro-based industries and some under chemical industry due to its manufacturing process and because of certain chemicals used for its manufacturing.

Locational factors:

  1. Located near Raw materials available locations:
  • Paper industries uses coarse, cheap and weight losing raw materials and seeks raw material oriented locations.
  • dependent on forest based raw materials (soft wood obtained from eucalyptus, pine-wood, wattle, bamboo and mulberry trees), agro based raw materials (sabai grass, bamboo, fibrous residue of the sugarcane stalk/bagasse) and other materials (waste paper, rags, straw from rice and wheat, jute sticks)
  • They are located near the forest tracts along the Western Ghats, the Eastern Ghats, central India and the Tarai-Bhabar area at the foot hills of the Himalayas.
  • There are vast stands of temperate forests in the Himalayan region which can provide large quantities of soft woods.
  1. Located near rivers and streams:
  • They’re located near rivers and streams as wooden logs are bulky and difficult to transport. Rivers provide cheap and convenient mode of transport.
  • Paper mills are usually situated near the coast, where the rivers on which the log are floated reach the sea, and where paper or pulp can be loaded on ships for export.
  • Paper/pulp mills require clean water free from chemical/pollutants. This is one the reason why they were setup in forest locations away from polluted rivers.
  1. Energy:
  • A ton of newsprint may require about 2,000 kilowatt hours of electricity and thus, vast power sources are essential. Paper plants show an affinity towards cheap hydel-power sources.
  1. Labour:
  • Paper and pulp mills are highly mechanized and require little manpower. They can be located in remote regions having labour shortage.
  1. Capital:
  • Paper industry is a capital-intensive industry; therefore, large capital is required for sophisticated machinery and other works.

Distribution of paper industry in India (also provide reason – Many of you have missed this)


Picture link: http://cdn.yourarticlelibrary.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/clip_image002129.jpg

Paper industries located near raw material:

Dependent on bamboo, softwood, eucalyptus: E.g. South Gujarat (bagasse and eucalyptus), Odisha, MP. Paper mills in Karanataka use locally grown bamboo and bagasse obtained from the sugar mills.

Paper industries located near market demand:

Kolkata: raw material brought from North Eastern States, cheap labor, coal, water available.

Lucknow: Depend on bagasse (from sugarmills), rags, wheat bran. Sabai grass brought from Terrai region.


Best answer 1: Lizzy

Paper 1 – http://a.disquscdn.com/uploads/mediaembed/images/4186/5044/original.jpg

Paper 2 – http://a.disquscdn.com/uploads/mediaembed/images/4186/5042/original.jpg

Best answer 2: CSE2016 aspirant (ABG)

Paper 1 – http://a.disquscdn.com/uploads/mediaembed/images/4185/6608/original.jpg

Paper 2 – http://a.disquscdn.com/uploads/mediaembed/images/4185/6609/original.jpg

3. Identify various regions of the world (including India) that are known as hubs of automobile manufacturing. Which factors have contributed to the growth of automobile industry in these regions? Discuss. Are the established regions facing competition from the new and emerging ones? Examine.

Hubs of Automobile manufacturing:

Initially established in Europe. Germany (Ruhr Valley), UK (Coventry, London, Birmingham), Italy and France became leaders in automobile production in Pre World War Era.

Post World War 2, US emerged as the highest producer of Automobiles. Major centers were around Great lake region- Detroit, Toledo, Cleveland etc.

With rapid Industrialisation, Asian countries started competing with the western world. Using the 6-sigma and lean manufacturing techniques, Japan became the world leader. China and South Korea made remarkable progress. Currently, China is the highest Producer of automobiles in the World.

After Economic reforms and globalisation, there was rapid development of the industry in India. Major production centers are near the Metro cities. Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and Delhi NCR developed first. Recently the manufacturing facilities have been developed near Hyderabad and Ahmadabad.

Factors affecting the location of Industry:

Market: Automobiles are still considered as luxury goods and industries are located near the markets (i.e. Metropolitans). It is a weight gaining industry so it is established close to the market.

Labour: Availability of cheap and skilled labour.

Government policies: Policies and tax regimes play a very important role in deciding the location of automobile industry.

Transport infrastructure: The new industries are established near ports and well connected places so that raw material can be easily imported and finished goods can be exported.

Raw material and agglomeration of industries: Since different types of raw materials are required, from glass to rubber tyres, automobile industry near agglomeration of industries, reduces the cost of production.

Other natural factors are also responsible to decide the location of industry like- availability of water, topography, climate etc.

With gradual political stability of the world, many developing economies emerged where purchasing power of people is increasing. The established regions are definitely facing a tough competition from these emerging regions. Some of these emerging economies are- India, Brazil, Iran, UAE and some eastern European countries.

The favourable factors of these regions are- less investment, Cheap land and labour, untapped market, institutional support etc.

image 1

The above figure clearly shows the decreasing market share of mature economies and increasing share of rapidly emerging economies.

Best Answer : Dreamz Unlimited




4. India has reached out to the Middle East with renewed vigor and interest. Why? Examine.

(Note: Most of you have answered importance of Middle East countries to India. Please read the question carefully – It is giving a statement describing that ‘India and Middle East countries are moving towards renewed ties and engagement’ and asking you to examine and answer why their relationship has got a new momentum. So explain the changing dynamics and recent engagements between the two)

India looks at the Middle East and Gulf region as part of its ‘extended neighbourhood’ with only the Arabian Sea in between.

India has long continuous strategic relations with the Middle East combined with the economic interdependence. The relationship in the field of energy, and the diaspora are only some of the strategic factors that has lead Indian governments in the past and in the present to engage, cooperate and maintain close relations with this region.

India having had success in ‘Look East Policy’ now emphasizes on ‘Link West Policy’ with renewed vigor and interest.

Reasons for this renewed engagements and interests:

  1. Proactive government engagement (more and more ties and engagements) from both region – witnessed between India and Iran, India and UAE, now between India and Egypt.
  2. Investment and aggressive market push of the new government – With Iran sanctions removed, India has raised its interests with Iran.
  3. Renewed Indian foreign policy – shift from inclusive growth and entitlement policies towards market-based economic policies, emphasis on infrastructure development and creation of an investment-friendly environment.
  4. India-GCC Free Trade Agreement – which is in under negotiation could usher in a new era of trade.
  5. Growing national energy demands to fuel economic growth
  6. Growing security concerns and instability in ME region and impact on diaspora etc.
  7. Growing competition – To contain China’s OBOR and Silk Road Initiatives

(Some of these points should be in your answer. You can provide some short explanation to each of these points.)

End with good conclusion.


Best answer: El Nino

Although India has ties with Middle East since ancient times, India has shown new interest and vigor in the relation . In reciprocation our Prime Minister has been awarded with highest civilian award of Saudi Arabia. Following are reason this change:

  1. Competition from China
  • There is an opportunity cost in not engaging with Middle East. China can reach out to west Asia and Europe conveniently to serve its interest of trade and energy security in which India can lag behind.
  • West Asian countries present opportunity for us to balance China’s regional dominance through it’s the One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiatives, geographic advantage enjoyed by Pakistan and strengthen our own “project Mausam”.
  1. Strategic importance
  • Middle East provides avenue for connectivity with Europe, central Asia and Russia through infrastructure projects like North-South corridor, Ashgabat Agreement and Chabahar port.
  • Collaboration with UAE for underground strategic crude oil storage facilities.
  • 70 per cent of India’s imported energy needs come from West Asia.
  • Ties with West Asia would be helpful for India’s bids for permanent seat at UNSC.


  1. Economic Importance –
  • Huge market for India goods and services.
  • The region is home to millions of Indians, sending remittances of $70 billion.
  • Tomorrow West Asia will be moving from instability to stability and India will have developmental opportunities in Syria and Iraq and was case for Afghanistan.
  1. Security concerns –
  • Government has been working closely with intelligence agencies in UAE, Syria and Turkey to avert potential damage from ISIS. Turkey has deported at least 6 Indians in the past when they were trying to cross over to Syria.

However there is challenge in balancing the relation with Saudi Arabia, Iran and Israel. With pragmatism and cooperation we can build better relation with Middle East and bring regional peace and prosperity.

5. With the new impetus to India’s relations with the Arab world, there are numerous diplomatic challenges and security threats that remain unaddressed and seek urgent attention. Do you agree? Substantiate.

(For any International relation question, you should know the Geographical Location of that region that will help you to understand the type of relationship – Strategic, Economic, Cultural etc. with that country.)

Arab world comprises of the 22 countries and territories of the Arab League. (Arabic speaking countries)

 image 2


Importance of Arab world:

  • Major oil and gas exporters – OPEC/ GCC etc.
  • Strategic Importance – Suez Canal etc.- Major trade routes
  • Economically – Few Countries like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar etc. are very rich, Dubai etc. are major financial Hubs – used to invest lot in other part of the world.
  • Conflict area in present times.
  • Major Religious center of Three major religion of the world
  • Cultural Significance- Home of various Historical monuments

(Answer is given in point form for indicative purpose. You should add/ elaborate as per your need. We tried to put most of the dimensions so that you can think in those direction and enrich your answer.)


Your introduction should include the recent happenings in Indo- Arab relations.

  • Manama Declaration – Arab India cooperation
  • Recent visits by President and PM
  • PM Modi was conferred with Highest civilian award by Saudi Arabia
  • Various pacts related to Security, Terrorism etc.
  • Investment in India and major trade partners.

(You can add more points here)


Major diplomatic and Security threats:

Diplomatic Issues:

  1. Saudi-Iran divide
  2. Sectarian confrontations
  3. Syrian crisis
  4. Israel – Palestine issue
  5. Diaspora related – Yemen, Nitaqat law etc.
  6. Human right violation
  7. Cases against diplomats
  8. Relationship with Pakistan- Kashmir issue
  9. Presence of China
  10. UNSC seat etc.

Security threats:

  • National Security
  1. Rise of extremism – Wahhabism etc.
  2. Rise of Terrorism – ISIS, Al Qaeda etc.
  3. Nuclear threat
  4. Withdrawal of NATO forces from Afghanistan can have direct impact on both Arab and India
  5. Maritime Security – Piracy
  6. Presence of US, NATO navy
  7. Cooperation on Indian Ocean- the new battleground for World powers
  • Energy Security
  1. Global slowdown
  2. It will have economic implications too – impact on diaspora, trade, FDI etc.
  • Economic Relations

(we can add more points here)

Conclusion: Your conclusion should reflect optimism and reflect that even after having so many hurdles we are moving forward. There is a need of Area specific policy from Indian side.

Best answer: Machiavelli

There have been an increased vigor and energy in India- Arab relation and this is visible through various bilateral visits and diplomatic engagements. India – Arab ministerial conference is another such initiative. Arab world has its own regional dynamics and is a complex region to engage. This will require cautious approach on part of India considering various opportunities and challenges that region offers.

Diplomatic challenges:

> Arab – Israel conflict: India’s increasing engagement with Israel and its stand on Palestine issue need a very delicate balance and hence there is need to de hyphenating the both.

> Diaspora: India has around 6 million diasporas in the region. falling oil prices and consequent loss of jobs in the region could trigger trouble for immigrant workers.

> Saudi – Iran conflict: Another grey area that needs diplomatic skill to balance India relations with Iran and Saudi – Arabia. Lifting of UN sanctions from Iran has again stretched Iran as the regional power.

Security threats:

> Energy security: India is largely dependent on Arab world for much of its energy needs both oil and gas. long lasting crisis in the region, Syria war, Yemen crisis could affect India’s interest severely.

> Diaspora safety: with more than 5 million diasporas in the region, mainly immigrant worker any crisis in region will need their evacuation through diplomatic means. as seen in operation RAHAT and Airlift.

> Internal security: Rise of ISIS and their Salafist ideology has led to polarisation of youth worldwide and India is no exception . there is threat to secular thread of india due to religious fundamentalism .

> economic security : India has almost 180 billion $ trade with the region and a remittance of around 40 billion $ . The region is a big source of foreign reserve . any instability will affect economy to a great extent.

Thus India must develop a strategy to deal not the region as a whole but on nation to nation basis building greater confidence in the region and in the immigrants. Must try to diversify its needs and increasing share of renewable. The region do offer an opportunity as power vacuum is there but India must act with regional powers including Russia and china to be a moderator.

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