SYNOPSIS: IASbaba’s TLP 2016 [13th Oct] – UPSC Mains GS Questions [HOT]

  • October 24, 2016
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SYNOPSIS- IASbaba’s TLP 2016 [13th Oct] – UPSC Mains GS Questions [HOT]


1. The ongoing nutrition transition in India must have coarse grains as the driver of dietary transformation. Do you agree? Substantiate.


India’s consumption pattern is undergoing change from carbohydrates rich food to protein and micro nutrients rich foods. In this transition, we need to introduce coarse grains as major drivers of change since it provides all the necessary requirements for healthy life. Also u can write what are coarse grains and give examples of the same.


Benefits of coarse grains in dietary transformation

-Write majorly related to health of people like micro and macro nutrient supplement from them.

-Then how it can replace conventional foods and their contents and there benefits like fiber and roughages in removal of toxicity from body, protein for body building, iron for anaemic problems esp. women etc.

-Then end with how it can also help in sustaining agriculture, started by small and marginal groups of farmers and still be profitable like grown in drought prone areas, cheaper costs in cultivation like requires less fertilizers etc. which is again a benefit in health related.


End with saying how it can be used to tackle climate change, sustainable agriculture and what role government can play like higher MSP support, introduction in mid-day means scheme etc.

BEST Answer:-

Yogesh Bhatt

Sustainable development goal 2 seeks end of all form of malnutrition by 2030. India who is trying to achieving this target, need dietary transformation by including millets and coarse grain. Coarse grains are important because

1- Nutritional value- Millets are much more nutritious to other grains like wheat and rice and have significantly more protein, vitamins, and minerals.

2- Protein source- it is vegetarian source of protein especially for poor people who cannot afford other sources like meat, egg, and fish food.

3- Food for all- Millets considered as healthy food for all people irrespective of age. It can feed to infant and old age people also. Diabetic people can also take it.

4- Health promoting activity of millet in equal or even higher than fruits and vegetables.

5- Rich source of nutrients for pregnant women so need to feed them for better health of new born baby and mother.

 6- Access to poor- tribal community, small and marginal farmers who are largely poor, traditionally grown millets and it was source of nutrient for them. That needs to reemphasize again specially in drought prone areas.

Millets need to be part of second green revolution. Variety of millets like figure millet, great millet, foax millet is already well grown in Indian climatic condition, it is time to promote them under national food security mission and make part of PDS system so it will be available to most needy section of society.



India houses the largest number of hunger affected people in the world. Thus food and nutritive security remains one of the foremost government goals. Coarse grains may help in driving he dietary transformation towards nutritive security as:

  1. Millets have higher protein content and other micronutrients.

– Important for muscle growth of children.

– For old age strength.

– Very essential for lactating mothers.

– for poor, it becomes one of the cheapest source of protein.

  1. They require lesser maintenance in terms of transportation and storage

– longer shelf life.

– less affected by pests when compared to rice and wheat.

– less dependent on monsoonal rains. (Can be grown in lesser waters)

  1. Income generating backward linkages-

– the regions of production of millet generally have lower income population, thus a drive to coarse grains would also result in higher income -> higher growth -> better nutrition.

  1. In the face of climate change, food security becomes important – coarse grains deserve importance .

– less water required as compared to rice and wheat.

– more resistant to changing weather.

– wide range of climatic factors where it may grow.

The government has attempted encouraging such crops through plans like ISOPOM. It should further include millets in the NFSM, raise the MSP of pulses and announce it beforehand and encourage larger production through micro irrigation facilities in such areas. 

2. ‘Cropping pattern’ and ‘crop rotation’ are two different concepts. Examine. Also discuss the factors that determine cropping pattern in a region. Take suitable examples.

Cropping Pattern:

Cropping pattern means the proportion of area under various crops at a point of time. The crop statistics published by the governments are used to denote the cropping patterns. Cropping pattern is, however, a dynamic concept as it changes over space and time. (by Dr. Majid Hussain Sir)

The cropping patterns of a region are closely influenced by the geo-climatic, socio-cultural, economic, historical and political factors.

Depending on the terrain, topography, slope, temperature, amount and reliability of rainfall, soils and availability of water for irrigation, the cropping patterns vary from region to region. Those areas of the world where physical diversities are less, the cropping patterns are less diversified. For example, in the rainfall deficient areas of Rajasthan (India), the farmers grow bajra (bulrush millet), while in the Brahmaputra valley of Assam rice is the dominant crop.

(Note: Following details are an extract from Majid Hussain, Agriculture chapter, for your understanding. The answer only requires a differentiation between Cropping Pattern And Crop Rotation.)

The cropping patterns of a region or areal unit may be deter­mined on the basis of areal strength of individual crops. The first, second and third ranking crops of an areal unit may be called as the dominant crops of that unit. These crops, if occupying more or less the same percentage of the total cropped area, shall be competing for area with each other and the farmer will decide which crop may fetch him more profit in a given year under the prevailing rainfall and de­mand, supply and commodity price condition.

In general, for the de­termination of cropping patterns of a region, the minor crops (crops occupying insignificant proportion of the total cropped area) are eliminated.

Apart from the proportion of area under a particular crop, its relative yield also guides the suitability of that crop in a given geo-climatic and cultural setting.

The relative yield index and the relative spread index for the determination of suitability of crop may be cal­culated by applying the following formulas:

Relative Yield Index =

Mean yield of the crop in a component areal unit/Mean yield of the total area x 100

Relative Spread Index =

Area of the crop expressed as percentage of the total cultivated area in the areal unit /Area of the crop expressed as percentage of the total cultivated land in the entire region x 100

The area under each crop in a given region may be classified un­der four categories:

(i) High yield, high spread

(ii) High yield, low spread

(iii) Low yield, high spread

(iv) Low yield, low spread

On the availability of an alternative more efficient crop than the existing ones, new cropping patterns may emerge in a region. The cropping patterns may be intensified with the help of high yielding short duration varieties. Any cropping sequence to be adopted by the cultivators should be flexible.

Crop Rotation:

Crop rotation is the agricultural process of sowing different successive crops in the same field. It is done to maintain the fertility of the soil and natural pest control.

Usually two contrasting crops are grown in succession so that nutrients required by one-crop are not required by other. Mostly the second crop is a leguminous or nitrogen fixing crop. For example, in North India, if three successive crops are grown in the same field, than two gain crops are rotated with pulses, i.e., Wheat-Pulse-Rice rotation.

Best Answer: Mandar Jeware (Good Presentation)



3. Discuss the suitability and significance of micro irrigation in Indian conditions. Is there any initiative to make micro irrigation more popular and wide spread? Discuss.


Your introduction should mention about micro irrigations techniques in brief.


Facts: –




Additional info:

Advantages of Drip Irrigation:

  1. Maximum use of available water.
  2. No water being available to weeds.
  3. Maximum crop yield.
  4. High efficiency in the use of fertilizers.
  5. Less weed growth and restricts population of potential hosts.
  6. Low labour and relatively low operation cost.
  7. No soil erosion.
  8. Improved infiltration in soil of low intake.
  9. Ready adjustment to sophisticated automatic control.
  10. No runoff of fertilizers into ground water.
  11. Less evaporation losses of water as compared to surface irrigation.
  12. Improves seed germination.
  13. Decreased to tillage operations.

Disadvantages of Drip Irrigation:

In spite of the fact that drip irrigation has so many potential benefits, they’re a certain limitation also, there are as follow:

  1. Sensitivity to clogging
  2. Moisture distribution problem
  3. Salinity hazards
  4. High cost compared to furrow.
  5. High skill is required for design, install and operation.

Body: –

  • Mention the significance and suitability in brief. – Below mention detail is given for understanding purpose but you should take the outline from the detail given and put points accordingly.

The suitability of the various irrigation methods, i.e. surface, sprinkler or drip irrigation, depends mainly on the following factors:

– natural conditions

– type of crop

– type of technology

– previous experience with irrigation

– required labour inputs

– costs and benefits.


The natural conditions such as soil type, slope, climate, water quality and availability, have the following impact on the choice of an irrigation method:

Soil type: Sandy soils have a low water storage capacity and a high infiltration rate. They therefore need frequent but small irrigation applications, in particular when the sandy soil is also shallow. Under these circumstances, sprinkler or drip irrigation are more suitable than surface irrigation. On loam or clay soils all three irrigation methods can be used, but surface irrigation is more commonly found. Clay soils with low infiltration rates are ideally suited to surface irrigation.
When a variety of different soil types is found within one irrigation scheme, sprinkler or drip irrigation are recommended as they will ensure a more even water distribution.
Slope: Sprinkler or drip irrigation are preferred above surface irrigation on steeper or unevenly sloping lands as they require little or no land levelling. An exception is rice grown on terraces on sloping lands.
Climate: Strong wind can disturb the spraying of water from sprinklers. Under very windy conditions, drip or surface irrigation methods are preferred. In areas of supplementary irrigation, sprinkler or drip irrigation may be more suitable than surface irrigation because of their flexibility and adaptability to varying irrigation demands on the farm.
Water availability: Water application efficiency (see Annex 4, step 8) is generally higher with sprinkler and drip irrigation than surface irrigation and so these methods are preferred when water is in short supply. However, it must be remembered that efficiency is just as much a function of the irrigator as the method used.
Water quality: Surface irrigation is preferred if the irrigation water contains much sediment. The sediments may clog the drip or sprinkler irrigation systems.
If the irrigation water contains dissolved salts, drip irrigation is particularly suitable, as less water is applied to the soil than with surface methods.
Sprinkler systems are more efficient that surface irrigation methods in leaching out salts.


Surface irrigation can be used for all types of crops. Sprinkler and drip irrigation, because of their high capital investment per hectare, are mostly used for high value cash crops, such as vegetables and fruit trees. They are seldom used for the lower value staple crops.

Drip irrigation is suited to irrigating individual plants or trees or row crops such as vegetables and sugarcane. It is not suitable for close growing crops (e.g. rice).


The type of technology affects the choice of irrigation method. In general, drip and sprinkler irrigation are technically more complicated methods. The purchase of equipment requires high capital investment per hectare. To maintain the equipment a high level of ‘know-how’ has to be available. Also, a regular supply of fuel and spare parts must be maintained which – together with the purchase of equipment – may require foreign currency.

Surface irrigation systems – in particular small-scale schemes – usually require less sophisticated equipment for both construction and maintenance (unless pumps are used). The equipment needed is often easier to maintain and less dependent on the availability of foreign currency.


The choice of an irrigation method also depends on the irrigation tradition within the region or country. Introducing a previously unknown method may lead to unexpected complications. It is not certain that the farmers will accept the new method. The servicing of the equipment may be problematic and the costs may be high compared to the benefits.

Often it will be easier to improve the traditional irrigation method than to introduce a totally new method.


Surface irrigation often requires a much higher labour input – for construction, operation and maintenance – than sprinkler or drip irrigation. Surface irrigation requires accurate land levelling, regular maintenance and a high level of farmers’ organization to operate the system. Sprinkler and drip irrigation require little land levelling; system operation and maintenance are less labour-intensive.


Before choosing an irrigation method, an estimate must be made of the costs and benefits of the available options. On the cost side not only the construction and installation, but also the operation and maintenance (per hectare) should be taken into account. These costs should then be compared with the expected benefits (yields). It is obvious that farmers will only be interested in implementing a certain method if they consider this economically attractive


Government has initiated many schemes to make farmers aware of the benefits of micro-irrigation such as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme (2006), National Mission on Micro-irrigation (2010), National Mission on Sustainable Agriculture (2014) and the recent Pradhan Mnatri Krishi Sinchayi yojana.

The latest scheme PMKSY Per Drop More Crop is an important micro-irrigation scheme that focuses on District Level implementation of the scheme making district magistrates directly accountable. This scheme has been constantly publicized on all forms of media and is also being taught at various Kisan Melas.It becomes all the more important to use micro-irrigation and save water in all spheres of life when 54% of India faces high water stress.


Conclusion: –

You should conclude that micro irrigation is the need of the hour and efforts should be made it to make it accessible to everyone.


Best Answer1: -ritz69



Best Answer2: -Anjlika Gupta

Indian agriculture presently suffers from twin problems of: –

  1. Water Scarcity
  2. Increasing population to feed.

Micro-irrigation as a technique is important: –

  1. To increase productivity while saving water- According to UNFAO, irrigation and livestock in India accounts for around 90% of water usage with only 4% of usable water resources.
  2. Depleting ground water can be controlled especially in regions of Punjab and Haryana.
  3. dependence of population on agriculture both in terms of employ-ability and food security.
  4. decrease dependence of agriculture on monsoon and groundwater, former is highly variable while the latter is depleting day by day.
  5. Can be combined with fertilizer i.r Fertigation hence judicious and effective use of both fertilizer and water.

Government has initiated many schemes to make farmers aware of the benefits of micro-irrigation such as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme(2006),National Mission on Micro-irrigation(2010), National Mission on Sustainable Agriculture (2014) and the recent Pradhan Mnatri Krishi Sinchayi yojana.

The latest scheme PMKSY Per Drop More Crop is an important micro-irrigation scheme that focuses on District Level implementation of the scheme making district magistrates directly accountable. This scheme has been constantly publicized on all forms of media and is also being taught at various Kisan Melas.It becomes all the more important to use micro-irrigation and save water in all spheres of life when 54% of India faces high water stress.


Best Answer3: – naadan parinda

Micro irrigation primarily differs from conventional irrigation aspect as it focuses on using water more efficiently and effectively in small quantities.The speciality is its focus on the type of crop too. It comprises of multiple types like drip irrigation,usage of sprinklers etc.
Significance in Indian conditions-

>helps efficient usage of highly depriving ground water as found by National water commission
>soil conservation amidst growing menace of soil erosion
>reduced higher usage of fertilisers which potentially lead to groundwater pollution and lower soil productivity

>can help in drought prone regions like Marathwada,Saurashtra,Bundelkhand where water availability is low and economic constraints are more

>will reduce loss of soil fertility due to capillary action and salination
>help conservation of water

However certain constraints do exist-

>farmers due to unawareness and lack of credit facility do not tend to opt this option
>better coordination among union and states regarding fund availability and coverage is required
Government has come up with schemes like national mission on micro irrigation,PMKSY to work out these constraints.PMKSY has tried to adequately deal with funding and implementation aspects.It has scope to work in concert with Neeranchal and soil health card mission too.India has also went into multiple international agreements with Israel and Saudi regarding dryland farming.

With water becoming a valuable resource,its wise usage is critical to mankind.Hence focussing on micro irrigation projects and plugging existing loopholes will be important.

Best Answer4: – Aniruddh Shrivastava

Micro irrigation is a form of irrigation which saves water by allowing water to drip slowly to the roots of crops. India, where arranging the resources for irrigation is a big challenge, can get benefited by this irrigation system on a large scale.


1) Fertilizer and nutrient loss can be minimized in Punjab-Haryana region.
2) In rainfall deficit region of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Vidarbha, drip irrigation can save crops from damage.

3) It will reduce soil erosion in Rajasthan like areas where a big portion of land has lost its fertility because of soil erosion.


1) In areas where paddy and sugarcane is produced which requires enough water consistently, drip irrigation might not bear bruits.

2) This irrigation system is costly. Poor states cannot afford without central assistance.

3) Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan suffer from extreme temperature in Summer. Sun rays can damage plastic tubes used in drip irrigation.

4) In states like Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Odisha where farmers and not literate and aware about new technologies, mishandling and wrong set up of system might waste water.

National Mission on Micro Irrigation was launched by government in 2006 which assured to set up this system in 18 states. Since installation and maintenance cost is high this mission could not achieve its objective significantly. A revival of this mission is required with new imported technologies like Waterbox and Tal-ya.

Micro irrigation has immense potential. At the time when water scarcity problem is taking global shape, drip irrigation is a boon for farmers.

4. Discuss the rationale behind constituting the Monetary Policy Committee. What will be its functions? How is it different from the previous arrangement?

  • Introduction:

What is Monetary Policy Committee: The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) is a committee of the central bank — Reserve Bank of India, headed by its Governor. It was set up by amending the RBI Act after the government and RBI agreed to task RBI with the responsibility for price stability and inflation targeting. The RBI and the government signed the Monetary Policy Framework Agreement on February 20, 2015.

  • Body:
  • Rationale:
  • The major rational behind the establishment of MPC is moving towards a transparent and accountable monetary policy mechanism. This is possible now because MPC is an executive body of 6 members having 3 members from RBI and 3 from the government.
  • Till now a technical committee consisting of RBI Governor, Dy-Governor and advisors decided on the interest rates, the Governor had the final word.
  • Other countries such as England, New Zealand etc., have constituted MPC and experience has shown that the inflation has been effectively contained within the acceptable levels.
  • Since government representatives are also in the MPC, it will lead to more broad based, consensus oriented decision making. Which will lead to more predictable and stable policy regime.
  • Responsibility of maintaining a pre-determined inflation rate (currently at 4%) with a margin of +/- 2%. It will also have to take into consideration the growth of the nation in order to avoid the growth-inflation conflict.
  • MPC shows a major departure from the previous arrangement in terms of:
  1. Members – previous system had only RBI members but now equal members from government.
  2. Meetings- earlier there was no regular organized meetings but now MPC must meet regularly.
  3. Transparency – RBI’s policy decisions earlier acted as shocks even for the government but now all the decisions will be made open and transparent even to the public.
  • Conclusion:

Write a brief conclusion.

Best answer: The CredibleHulk.

Monetary Policy Committee has been constituted by amending the RBI Act, which would be the apex body to decide policy rates. It will have 6 members with equal representation from both the government and the RBI, an autonomous body.

Dr. Y. V. Reddy had mooted an idea of a task force with similar purpose way back in 2004. Some of thereasons put forward regarding need for an MPC are:

– An institutional arrangement having appropriate representation with clear objectives.

– Resolving the conflicts with the fiscal objectives and growth plans.

– Reassuring signals to the business community susceptible to vagaries of uncertainties and guessing-games.

Agencies like MPC are present in almost all the mature economies like USA, Australia, Singapore, etc. This is certainly an improvement over the previous arrangement –

– Separates regulatory and policy-making domain within the RBI.

– Logical policy rates based on Inflation-targeting, which were up till now fixed based on a broad-based assessment.

– Government also gets representation and can influence decisions.

– Enforceable accountability of the RBI and periodical targets and review mechanism.

There are a few concerns though as well –

– Undue influence of the government can affect RBI’s autonomy.

– Can allow political expediency to creep in.

– Inflation in a semi-formal and unpredictable economy like India is hard to predict and could be problematic as the sole metric for policy rates.

Based on how the experience comes out to be, suitable modifications can certainly be done to the institutional structure or methodology, but this is surely a right step in the right direction.

5. What is ‘on tap’ mechanism? Who is eligible to apply under this mechanism? Will it lead to financial inclusion? Discuss.

Introduction: –

You should explain what is ‘on tap’ mechanism.

  • The Indian financial sector was opened up in 1991, the gates to allow a private entity to start a bank were opened only three times.
  • The ‘stop & go’ approach has finally given way to a continuous or ‘on-tap’ licensing regime.
  • Under the ‘on tap’ mechanism an application for banking licence can be made at any time subject to certain conditions.


Body: –

  • Mention the eligibility under this mechanism



  • Explain financial inclusion in brief.
  • Explain the linkage between financial inclusion and on tap mechanism.
  • By putting universal bank licences on-tap, RBI is taking the attempt to encourage a more diverse and competitive sector a step further.
  • to include genuine NBFCs as part of formal banking system
  • provide banking facility to people in easier manner-easy access and affordability
  • Customers will get an option to come out of informal credit system and avail formal facilities in better manner
  • It will help in bringing more money in circulation in transparent manner, necessary to strengthen economy
  • Point out challenges in implementation – Please go through the article for better understanding.



Conclusion: –

You should conclude it by saying that even though there are some issues in implementation but on a larger scale it a positive step which will further strengthen the process of financial inclusion.

Best Answer1: – abhishekrwt597 

On tap mechanism refers to a facility that is available at all times on demand and subject only to certain requirements. With respect to the banking sector, the on tap licensing mechanism is the recent process introduced by RBI, under which it shall grant banking licenses to individuals/entities meeting certain qualificatory criteria throughout the year. This is different from the earlier process of granting licenses only on periodic intervals.

NBFC, individuals with experience in banking and finance of atleast ten years, and resident owned pvt sector companies (provided total assets are atleast 5000 crore and non-banking revenue doesnt exceed 40% of total income) are eligible to apply for a banking license.

Through this process, the RBI has moved a step further towards eventual self-regulation of the sector by easing entry of pvt entities into the banking sector, that only saw two pvt entities being granted a universal banking license in the last round. This move is expected to help in financial inclusion, as greater competition shall ensure more choice for the consumer, leading to the discovery of a fair price and increasing focus on ethical banking.
Further, with saturation in metropolitan and tier 1 cities, banks are expected to move to other relatively unbanked areas (tier 2, towns, villages), that shall help in spread of financial literacy and bring people into the formal banking sector fold.
Lastly, greater competition will also compel banks to diversify their product offerings, allowing for customer with niche requirements to access the banking sector (Startup bank of HDFC(Cube)), furthering the process of inclusion.

Therefore, the on tap mechanism, as a reform aimed at financial inclusion, is indeed worth pursuing, and may be expected to yield desired results in the times to come.


Best Answer2: – SherniZaad

On Tap mechanism is a deviation from the RBI’s earlier policy of opening up of “bank license window” periodically, however, now an application for the bank license can be submitted at any time subjected to certain conditions.

According to RBI guidelines, following are eligible to apply under it: –

1) Non-Banking Financial Companies

2) Resident individuals and professionals with a minimum experience of 10 years in banking and finance.
3) Private sector entities and groups owned and controlled by residents with minimum asset worth 5000 crores

4) Individuals and companies directly or indirectly connected with large industrial houses.

They hold promise to facilitate financial inclusion: –

1)More private players will ensure greater competition leading to market equilibrium prices beneficial for both the parties.

2) Banks will go for innovative and diversified financial products and services in order to sustain the competition and will try to broaden their consumer base by spreading their reach to unbanked areas.

3) In order to make their products and services successful they will also come up with complementary services like improving digital literacy, awareness campaigns and advertisements which will foster financial inclusion.

However, few issues and challenges like behavioral aspects of consumers, lack of awareness, infrastructure bottlenecks can act as hurdles. If these are taken care of then On tap mechanism will act as a complimentary system with other initiatives like PMJDY, Small and Payment Banks, MUDRA, in order to fulfill our goal of financial inclusion leading towards an inclusive development.


Best Answer3: -naadan parinda

On tap mechanism is the evolved form of bank licensing policy. In this the aspirants for getting universal bank licenses can apply to RBI at any point of time in a year. It brings us to see a new trend where in earlier times it was RBI who used to decide when to open the application window for new banks.

Under this mechanism,multiple broad parameters for eligibility were laid down-

>Minimum capital backup of 500 Crores

>Minimum experience of 10 years in banking and finance sector

>Eventual reduction in stakes of promoters within periodic time intervals

>Necessity to have a clean track record of last 10 years

However RBI completely disallowed conglomerates and big industrial firms to apply.
The steps come in a series of banking sector reforms started from Narsimhan Committees.It will be beneficial in financial inclusion as-

>Will help to increase banks presence to tap the untapped market-cater needs to sectors like msme, agriculture

>will provide banking facility to people in more easier manner-easy access and affordability
>people get an option to come out of informal credit system and avail formal facilities in better manner
>will help to bring in more money in circulation in transparent manner, necessary to strengthen economy
However there are some crucial questions being raised by multiple aspirants regarding the time limit within which licenses be granted and need of ensuring more transparency. Also dis-allowance of large conglomerates raises question on reasonability of the move.
The need of hour is to settle the dust of confusions and ensure a promising path. Overall it is a good step in right direction which has multiple gains like financial inclusion, plugging of leakages using JAM & making more robust and transparent economy.


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