SYNOPSIS: IASbaba’s TLP 2016 [19th Oct] – UPSC Mains GS Questions [HOT]

  • November 2, 2016
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SYNOPSIS- IASbaba’s TLP 2016 [19th Oct] – UPSC Mains GS Questions [HOT]


1. Discuss the socio-economic significance of land ceiling. Has this land reform been successful? Critically examine.


Mention what is land ceiling act and why was it introduced in first place.


Socio-economic significance:-

-Talk about how surplus land from landlord and Zamindars were confiscated and distributed to landless laborers and tenants.

-Mention the changes distribution brought in economic sphere like landless became owners, more investment in up keeping of land and better land management, raise in cultivation and production.

-Talk how the societal framework changed like to some level egalitarian society was being set up, gap between rich and poor reduced, equality, status and dignity of life, how it helped came out of poverty, social discrimination etc.

How far it was successful:

-How rich farmers held fertile land and gave away degraded land on which no much cultivation was possible.

-Transfer of land in to relatives, benami’s etc.

-Raise in litigation and approaching court because of art 31.

-Loopholes and arbitrary process. Being state subject how laws varied across the country.


End optimistically saying since we are in liberalization era, this is not the solution in present times and how tenancy reforms and tenancy laws can be implemented to increase livelihood, security, safety of agriculture laborers, tenants and bring them into main stream development.

Best answer: Yogesh Bhatt

Land ceiling act was implemented in India in 1961-62 by state governments. It was defined the size of land holding that one person/family can own. It varies with quality of life and in different states based on social economic condition.

It has following significance-

-As per constitutional values- as promised by constitution for economic justice, land ceiling was one step to achieve that goal.

-Land distribution- it helped government to get land from big farmers and distributed to small farmers to sustain their livelihood.

-Equality- it assured degree of equality especially when more than 70% population direct dependent on farming for livelihood.

-Better land management- small farmers did more intensive farming, more investment to increase production and covered uncultivated land also.

It helped to resist disturbing movement like Telangana peasant movement

However this land reform was largely fail to achieve what was expected because of following reasons-

1- Different states had different land ceiling rules

2- Judicial complexity as property was fundamental right.

3- Political will get influence by big land owners who had political and economical muscles

4- Poor land records so poor land distribution

5- Many exemptions for religious, cooperatives, and charitable institutes

6- Loop hole in the law itself and poor administration management to implement it.

Land ceiling success was visible in few states like West Bengal where state government implement it with more vigor. However it happened with time as family size increased and land get distributed in next 2-3 generations.

2. Discuss the associated advantages of consolidation of land holdings. How does cooperative farming compliment land consolidation in augmenting rural farm income? Discuss.


Introduction: –

Your introduction should define the land holding in brief and also add some facts related to land holding in India.

Facts: –



  • http://image.slidesharecdn.com/reformsinagriculture-150326072129-conversion-gate01/95/reforms-in-indian-agriculture-10-638.jpg?cb=1427951713


Body: –

  • Need of consolidation of Land holdings: –
  • Small and marginal holdings have an adverse impact on efficient farming thereby impacting the economic prosperity of the farmer. Difficulty in access to agricultural credit is a prominent drawback related to small farm holdings.
  • Research suggests that only 14% of marginal and 27% of small holdings were able to get credit from institutional sources whereas about 33% of medium and 29% of large farmers could avail institutional credit in India.
  • Producers with small holdings also often face problems due to inefficiencies in transporting their produce leading to increased dependence on middlemen. Therefore, there is loss of income which becomes the middleman’s commission.
  • Small holdings also have drawbacks in finding access to infrastructure facilities such as on-farm pack houses, grading areas and other related facilities.
  • With increasing urbanization and industrial demand, and subsequent pressure on the availability of cultivable land, the scope for expansion of the area available for cultivation is limited.
  • Also, core to the challenge is an increasing population which leads to further fragmentation of land holdings.
  • To ensure farmer-centric agricultural development, land consolidation efforts for good quality and efficient farming needs to be undertaken.
  • NGOs, farmer associations and the extension wing of the agricultural ministry at the grass root level should educate small and marginal farmers on the benefits of land consolidation which will reap benefits in scaling up of their operations and increasing profitability.
  • Mention the associated advantage of consolidation of land holdings:
  • maintaining and promoting the sustainability of agriculture.
  • (Good points mentioned under best answer section – Please refer)
  • Cooperative farming augment act as well as act as alternative to land consolidation.
    –     Helps fetch a better price in market.
  • Input supply assured by it like seed, fertilizer, and equipment and so on.
  • To purchase new equipment or new farm land can be done easily under cooperative farming. Consolidated lands require higher investment. Cooperatives makes it easy to get credit.
  • where geography and social factors limit consolidation, co-operative farming brings benefit of standardization of product.
  • Marketing of agriculture commodity through public and private channel, better price negotiation is key benefits of it. Ex- NCDEX purchase pulse from cooperative farmers in Gujarat.

(Add on:)

  • Cooperative farming is a method wherein farmers pool their resources in certain areas of agricultural activity for mutual benefit.
  • Broadly cooperative societies are divided into two types based on the nature of activity. One, for offering agricultural services and the other for agricultural production by sharing production resources like land, water, machinery and implements. Majority of cooperative societies in the world today belong to service cooperatives which are further distinguished by three models viz., supply cooperatives, marketing cooperatives and credit cooperatives.
  1. Supply cooperatives deal with providing critical agricultural inputs like seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, micro nutrients and farm machinery
  2. Marketing cooperatives handle operations like harvesting, packing, distribution, sales and marketing of farm produce and also livestock and related products.
  3. Credit cooperatives are established mainly to take care of the working capital and investment requirements of the farmers.
  • India has a robust and effective Panchayati Raj system that is an institutional forum for undertaking developmental projects. Pilot studies of collective farming, structured and monitored by the Panchayats can be undertaken at various gram and zila parishad levels.
  • In the coming years, as the agricultural labour availability becomes scarce, farm mechanization will play a critical enabling role where machines can replace the human labour for farming. A major deterrent so far has been the fragmented and smaller land holdings in villages where the physical movement of large farm machines like combine harvesters and large tractors has been difficult and often counterproductive.

Conclusion: – (Good conclusion by Guru)

You can conclude it by saying that Land consolidation reforms have been partially successful. Fragmented lands have led to lower agricultural productivity. For a second green revolution, we need successful land consolidations integrated with cooperative models like Amul.

Best Answer1: – KUNA3885 (thevagabond85)

According to NSSO report, rural land holding size have halved over last 20 years. This has necessitated the need for consolidation of lands for following associated advantages:

* land acquisition for setting up new units or expanding existing units is a major hurdle to growth of manufacturing sector. Consolidation will help reduce number of stakeholders and thus ease the land acquisition process.

* bigger farm size mean better chances of mechanization of agriculture as tractors etc. used in western big farm lands are neither practically feasible nor economically viable.

reduced land related litigation will relieve already over-burdened judiciary. Two-thirds of civil cases in district courts relate to land and property matters

easier land survey and maintenance of land records 

* better implementation and up-scaling of cluster based schemes like paramparagat krishi vikas yojana (PKVY)

However, absence of proper land record coupled with varied state laws, the land consolidation is a problematic task. This necessitates to look into the complimentary cooperative farming for the following benefits:

* this will bypass the need of buying/selling the land. thus benefits of large lands can be reaped keeping land ownership as such.

* farmers (land owners) will be in better bargaining position thus reduced chances of exploitation.

* cooperative farming has known to provide better income realization for involved farmers.

* reduced push migration from villages due to increased employment opportunity.

NITI aayog’s Model Lease law is a welcome step in the direction of land consolidation. States adopting this model along with better credit assurance and infrastructural changes (road, electricity etc) will help increase productivity of much stressed land.


Best Answer2: Kumar Harsh [ILP: KUMA0203]


3. Do you think the impetus on land reforms must change its nature keeping in mind the emergence of advanced agricultural technologies? Analyse.

Introduction: –

Your introduction should include the post-independence land reforms efforts and their focus.

  • Some of the most important objectives of land reforms in India are as follows:
  • Rational use of Resources
  • Raising Production Level
  • Removal of Exploitation
  • Social Welfare
  • Planned Development
  • Raising the Standard of Living.


Body: –

Mention the changing nature of Agricultural techniques

  • Corporate farming: -requires large farm land
  • Precision farming: -can work on small land holdings but very costly initially
  • High yield seeds: -can be used by both small and large lands
  • Generation of revenue through by products of agriculture: -cost benefits will increase as the size of the farm land increases.
  • Crop diversification: -large farm lands have better possibility.
  • Pest and draught control: -It has made even the small land holders resistant from huge losses but it is costly.

Mention the changes required in Land reforms.

So the land reforms should keep the changing nature of agriculture techniques in mind. Now land consolidation should not be the only major focus because even small land holdings can generate good revenue and work on it efficiently. But at last, we to have to also take into consideration the cost benefit analysis of small holdings vs the large tracts. Cooperative farming can rise as a common ground where small land holders can come on a common platform to make a large land and improve the productivity overall. Land reform should keep such efforts into consideration.


Conclusion: –

Your conclusion should mention that changing nature of agricultural techniques has forced us to rethink on the nature and focus of land reforms. Now, the need has arisen that we should keep in mind the changing dynamics of land distribution and agricultural productivity while finalising the nature of land reforms in India.


Best Answer1: Naadan Parinda

Owing to colonial legacy which led to increased socio-economic disparities among people and reduced fairness of land holdings,India moved towards land reforms.These reforms revolved around-zamindari abolition,land ceilings,tenancy reforms and cooperatives.
In changed scenario where we are facing burden of high population growth and fragmented lands,land ceiling do not appear to be politically and economically viable.Similarly,with arrival of technologies like HYV seeds,drip irrigation,precision farming and increased efforts towards organic farming,craze for land consolidation is reduced.
For ex-Sikkim,the first organic state of India do not have large tracts of land under one person.But changed agricultural practices increased their incomes.
However its not that large tracts are not required.They are useful in plantation agriculture and hence have potential to boost India’s trade regime.Also they reduce land wastage under partitions.But the way in which we look through prism of traditional beliefs needs to be changed.
In times when we are going in for increased FDI and private sector participation,corporate farming has become viable option for even small holders,who can come under cooperative heads.Model APMC act too allows farmer to be more independent seller.
Hence instead of pushing in more towards land reforms in traditional sense,need to augment and apply modern techniques available in most efficient manner.Eventually it will lead to fulfillment of goal of land reforms i.e. socio-economic development of people.

Best Answer2:  Red dragon

Technology has touched the agricultural practice in India. It has brought manyfold advantages to this country (e.g. Green revolution). Land being its basis has to stay in tandem with technological changes for maximum benefits.

Nature of land reforms –

– Increasing mechanisation require large plot of land but in India case it is fragmented, therefore consolidation is required

– Biofuel (technology driven product) making a way for commercial crops like jatropha, groundnuts and others. Land segments are required where these crops can be planted without damaging environment or food security (e.g. National Land Use Policy).

– Need a provision to assess the Soil health (like SIA) after Bt crop (brinjal) plantation or Neem coated urea use

– Land bank; it can be assemblage of uncultivated lands (e.g. saline area, desert, bad land, coastal area), these can be leased/lent to outsiders (FDI) or entrepreneurs for planting crops like (Bt, hybrid-pattakali rice or curcus). these may be adapted to topography

– marginal size of land don’t attract investors, hence hindrance to technology transfer

Technology can be a bane or boon depending on its uses. Increasing reliance on it to solve agricultural shortcomings (less acreage) behoves an adaptable land policy. which must be farmers and environment friendly.

4. Recently the launch of GSAT-18 was postponed due to cross winds. What are cross winds? How do they get generated?

The winds which are not parallel to, or directly opposite to the line of travel of an object, they are called cross winds.

Note that wind doesn’t have to be exactly perpendicular to an object to be called a cross wind. It should only have a perpendicular component. The force can be separated into two vector components:

  • The headwind or tailwind component in the direction of motion,
  • The crosswind component perpendicular to the former.

A vehicle behaves as though it is directly experiencing a lateral effect of the magnitude of the crosswind component only.


  • In aviation, a crosswind is the component of wind that is blowing across the runway, making landings and take-offs more difficult than if the wind were blowing straight down the runway. If a crosswind is strong enough, it can damage an aircraft’s undercarriage upon landing.
  • Crosswinds can also cause difficulty with ground vehicles traveling on wet or slippery roads (snow, ice, standing water, etc.), especially when gusting conditions affect vehicles that have a large side area such as vans, SUVs, and tractor-trailers.
  • Cyclists are also significantly affected by crosswinds. Saving energy by avoiding riding in wind is a major part of the tactics of road bicycle racing, and this particularly applies in crosswinds.

Hence in order to avoid this effect, the satellite launch was postponed.

The causes of generation of cross winds can be numerous:

  • Local pressure gradient generation because of increase in heat during the day.
  • Local winds or periodic winds like sea breeze and land breeze can act as cross winds.
  • Upper atmospheric geostropic winds as well as jet streams can also act as cross winds.
  • The can be generated during cyclones when the direction of wind is variable.

Best Answer 1 : Vidhu

Cross wind is that wind component which is not parallel to directly with/against the line of travel. They have a component perpendicular to the line of travel thus reducing the vehicle’s relative velocity and brings in danger of damage to the vehicle.
In aviation these are winds which blow across the runaway making the landing, take-off very difficult, shaky and can damage the undercarriage of the aircraft.
They may also cause change in direction, slippage of the vehicles and can be a hazard to the driver.

They are generated due to:

  1. Local disturbances in the air around the area of operation’
    2. They can be formed from any wind system be it permanent or local
    3. A cyclonic wind can trigger their generation

The recent launch of GSAT 18 was delayed due to the presence of cross winds which could have made the launch susceptible to damage or wayward movements.

Best Answer 2 : Meiji

India recently launched GSAT-18 – an Indian Communications satellite indigenously built by ISRO and launched from Kourou, French Guiana. The launch was delayed by 24 hours due to cross winds. A crosswind is any wind that has a perpendicular component to the line or direction of travel. This affects the aerodynamics of many forms of transport.

When winds blowing are not parallel to the direction of motion, the winds can be derived into two vectors –

  1. Headwind or tailwind in the direction of motion
    b. Crosswind component perpendicular to former component.

While the first component is parallel to the direction of motion it may add or reduce the velocity of the vehicle. Whereas, the second component acts perpendicularly against the direction of motion causing change of path of motion and turbulence in many cases.

The winds which lead to the formation of crosswinds can be any winds either planetary winds, seasonal winds or local winds. There crosswind stabilization technologies available through Advanced Driver Assistance systems which use sensors to detect forces acting on the vehicle and make necessary changes in vehicular motion and direction.

5. India needs more ISROs and more Government-led strategic R&D investments. Elucidate.

Question provides a statement and asks you to explain/clarify the same.

Why India needs more ISRO-like organizations? First, explain what characteristics/factors made ISRO unique and successful.

Also explain why we need more Government-led R&D investments.

Need for many more ISROs and government led R&D investments in key strategic areas:

Key points (ISRO model)

  • ISRO has made tremendous strides over the past four decades in research and development (R&D) led innovation and has succeeded in developing key technologies at very low cost
  • R&D driven organisation that developed important strategic and commercial products
  • Helped to build private R&D and manufacturing ecosystems around them
  • It backed on government led R&D investment but the extent of private sector participation in R&D and manufacturing, and the manufacturing ecosystem was major around 80% (i.e. private industries contribution was maximum)
  • It showed how private R&D and manufacturing can build on top of the government-led R&D initiatives.

(Benefits of government-led R&D investments)

Government-led R&D is an important component of the total R&D spending in a country.

Government-led R&D investments spurs industries, creates jobs and helps to tackle big challenges. Often government-led R&D is also driven by a country’s strategic interests.

The government should set up new enterprises in key areas (as mentioned below) to provide the economy with new competitive capacity that the private sector finds too risky or too complex to enter.

Many emerging areas of advanced manufacturing, relating to robotics, artificial intelligence, equipment for high-speed communications, new materials, nanotechnology and new-generation drugs hardly have any Indian presence. Economic and national security calls for such presence, as Indian Space Research Organisation’s (Isro) in space. Telecom networks are not mere commercial installations. They have a huge bearing on national security and are vulnerable to cyber warfare. For the ‘Make in India’ initiative to succeed, we need high-quality R&D investments in both public and private sector.

In all such sectors, the state needs to set up new enterprises with the right degree of capitalisation, clear goals and management structures that nourish initiative and creativity and, at the same time, detect and punish dysfunctionality.

As a product/technology matures, the role of the private sector can grow. Where possible (in terms of technology capabilities), the private sector can also play an upfront role in collaborating on new technology development.

Such new companies would also need huge manpower in R&D. These human resources would be their real capital. Talent will need to be compensated well. Knowledge workers need a work environment that is free from red tape and inspires everyone to bring out their best.

Many of today’s great technologies and innovations were built on this R&D foundation laid by the government-led R&D investments.

C-DoT used to be a pioneering public enterprise of this kind. Maruti, BHEL and NTPC were created and led as outstanding enterprises, albeit state-owned.


Best answer: abhishekrwt597 (This answer needs some tweaking but many points are good)

The success of ISRO in recent years has propelled India into the league of space technology heavyweights globally. While the pros and cons of a relatively poor country pursuing an expensive space mission can be debated, there is little doubt that its success has re-emphasized the role of Govt in pursuing strategic R&D activities.

The success of ISRO can be put down to a few factors, that are scarcely found in Indian Govt organizatons.

1) A pool of dedicated experts: ISRO’s success owes greatly to recruiting and retaining experts from the relevant fields. In an era of generalists proliferation, this is a refreshing change

2) Keeping it small and slim: Having a small professional specialist bureaucracy helped ISRO cut down on HR costs and reduce red tapism and delay. This money was diverted to research activities.

3) Every Research undertaken by ISRO has a strategic vision attached to it, to make india a major player in the space industry in coming years. RLV, GSLV,etc all are means to this end. That no research is undertaken for research;s sake prevents meandering and ensures efficient usage of scarce resources.

4) International collaboration with Major space agencies(NASA, ROSCOMOS,ESA) has been actively pursued to supplement know how in critical technologies. Often such issues are bogged down by concerns of national sovereignty. This has been wisely avoided.

The govt needs to be an active player in such strategic pursuits. While the pvt sector collaboration may be sought, it currently lacks the required scale and expertise in several cutting edge areas of S&T. Further, the motive of national interest of the Govt can rarely be duplicated in the profit minded private sector. Such breakthroughs also increase the diplomatic clout of the govt and pushes its case as a future world power. Lastly, such research also creates many new sunrise industries, cascading job opportunities and opens future avenues for research.

Thus the advantages of such investments are multidimensional. Although gains may not be immediate, it is definitely an opportunity worth pursuing.

Best answer 2: vidhu

India had been the champion of developments in the field of Science and Technology in the ancient times. But the present India is infected by poverty, illiteracy, population explosion, corruption which diverts attention and funding for Public sector scientific organizations.

The bright star in India’s S&T development is ISRO which has time and again proved that with the right management and financial and political support, even at a shoe string budget, India can outpace the developed nations in space technology.

Organizations like ISRO are directly under the PMO which helps reduce conflict of interest and political interference as seen in others like DRDO. The aim, objectives, management hierarchy are clearly defined. ISRO not only brings in the best scientific talent but also takes support from universities, private sector, MSMEs to build scientific and commercial satellites that bring revenue and respect to India. The ability to take risks also helps it learn and correct its mistakes.

With IRSO as a model and inspiration, India needs more organisations like it and more public funded scientific initiatives. The government has the resources which private sector can help with innovations, technology and management support. Government can support but reduce interference. New areas like medicine, Artificial Intelligence, manufacturing need innovation and development if India has to be at pace with the developed countries. Government led initiatives would give boost to development of S&T, employment, poverty reduction, motivation for private sector to compete and support and hence help in the economic growth of India.

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