SYNOPSIS: IASbaba’s TLP 2017 [16th Feb] – Day 24

  • March 8, 2017
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IASbaba's Daily Current Affairs Mar 2017, UPSC Mains Answer Writing
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SYNOPSIS- IASbaba’s TLP 2017 [16th Feb] – Day 24


1. Why do earthquakes occur? Which regions of the world are highly prone to earthquakes and why? Analyse.

Since the question is very direct and general, let’s have a general discussion on the matter.

Earthquakes are vibrations of the earth caused by sudden movement of rocks that have been strained beyond their elastic limit.

Main causes of the earthquake are plate tectonics, volcanic eruption or anthropogenic activities like explosions, reservoir induced seismicity, mining and rigging etc. (You separately mention the natural and anthropogenic causes.) There is a release of huge amount of energy in the form of sound and seismic waves causing shaking of earth’s surface.

The point where earthquake generates is called focus and the point just above the focus on the surface is called epicenter.

The magnitude of earthquake is estimated by Richter scale, while intensity is described Mercalli scale. The magnitude of the earthquake remains same everywhere while intensity decreases going away from the epicenter.

Depth of focus:

The depth of an earthquake generally varies from about 10-700 km below the surface of the earth. Although the movement of material within the earth occurs throughout the mantle and core, earthquakes are concentrated only in its 700 km. Within this range earthquakes can be grouped according to depth of focus.

  1. Shallow focus earthquake: These earthquakes occur from the surface to the depth of 70km, they occur in all seismic belts and produce the largest percentage of earthquakes.
  2. Intermediate focus earthquake: They occur between 70 and 300km below the surface of the earth.
  • Deep focus earthquake: They occur in the range of 300 to 700km of depth.

Both the intermediate and deep focus earthquakes are limited in number and distribution. The maximum energy released by an earthquake decreases with increase in depth. Hence most of the large and destructive earthquakes have shallow focus.

Consequences of earthquakes:

The main consequences of earthquake are:

  1. Rise and subsidence of land surface. High magnitude earthquakes can create fissures and embankments and thus results into new landforms deforming the ground surface.
  2. Enormous Damage to property.
  • Loss of human and animal life.
  1. Devastating fires, floods and landslides.
  2. Flash floods. Many a times due to earthquake the dams and embankments gets ruptured and causes flash floods resulting in loss of life and property.
  3. Landslides

Highly earthquake prone regions usually lie on the plate boundary regions as tectonic activity is highest felt there. These are the regions of strong folding and faulting. The following world map shows the areas of high tectonic activity.

(Note: Do make a world map showing the earthquake prone regions.)

The following best answer is selected because it is too detailed and will give you all an insight on the matter. Do not consider it a model answer. It has breached the word limit by miles.


Best Answer : Axi Tak





2. Discuss the significance of polar ice caps. Why are they receding? What would be its consequences? Examine.


Polar ice caps are dome-shaped sheets of ice found near the North and South Poles. They form because high-latitude Polar Regions receive less heat from the Sun than other areas on Earth.


Significance of polar ice caps.

  1. Polar ice caps help in reducing the temperature of the earth by reflecting back the incoming solar radiation because of high Albedo.
  2. These ice caps regulate the ocean currents and the Air-currents thereby sustaining the life on earth. They help in redistributing the excess incoming heat from the equatorial region to throughout the earth.
  3. It traps large quantities of Methane.
  4. It supports native wildlife like polar bears, penguins, seals and whales.
  5. Unbroken swaths of sea ice normally limit how much moisture moves from the ocean to the atmosphere, making it harder for strong storms to develop. As sea ice dwindles, storm formation is easier and ocean waves can grow larger.

Why are they receding?

  1. Much of destruction of polar ice caps can be contributed to Anthropogenic ACTIVITIES of human civilization specifically after industrial revolution. Increased use of carbon contained fossil fuels like Coal, Petrol and
  2. Greenhouse gases like methane released from farming activities causes temperature of earth to increase due to which these ice caps melt.


  1. Melting of ice caps would increase the surface temperatures and sea levels as well as sea surface temperatures which would result into submergence of coastlines coastal cities.
  2. Melting would release large quantities of Methane presently trapped which would further accelerate green-house effect by creating a positive loopback mechanism.
  3. Native animals like polar bears, penguins would face extinction.
  4. It will create frequent extreme weather conditions like, due to increased sea surface temperature tropical cyclone will become more frequent and stronger causing large scale destruction.
  5. Migration patterns of birds and animals will change causing loss of habitation and food sources both at the source and the destination.


Write a brief conclusion.


Best answer: Hermione Granger

  1. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/65ae684ccac9335ecc07cf627aff926c864a8103a8e540c1fc07fe96d7644f97.jpg
  2. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1108fd8d4f3721fdde41bbdd83148262b723a4fb456674eb31596687b4107465.jpg

3. Discuss the differences between the fauna of Australia with that of the world. Why such stark differences are there? Discuss.


Write a short introduction.


About 80 percent of Australian plant species are only found on, or endemic to, the Australian continent. These native plants include plants such as eucalypts, acacias, casuarinas, hummock grasses and flowering plants, including banksias and kangaroo paw.

  1. Presence of Marsupials: This single most primitive species of vertebrates are unique and native to Australian region. Eg kangaroo.
  2. Presence of Monotremes: The egg-laying mammals such as Duckbill platypus are seldom found in any other part of world as they are found in Australia. The presence of Echidna also adds uniqueness to this place.
  3. Absence of placental mammals: placental mammals such are very rare and generally nor found here.
  4. Moderate species of reptiles such as snake and lizards are found.

The reason behind this uniqueness of the region can be attributed to the long drawn isolation of the continent from rest of world. This isolation lead to many other factors which in combination resulted in this uniqueness. Some of the factors are:

  1. Lack of genetic influx: Due to isolation, the genetic stock in the region evolved with little influx from outside which resulted in more uniqueness in species.
  2. Faunal asylum: The species of this region where isolated from competitive and predatory pressures which rest of the world was subjected to. This helped in survival of many unique species such as kangaroos etc.
  3. Effect of Flora: More than ninety percent of tress in Australia belong to single genus that is eucalyptus. Also the grasses and shrubs are mostly dominated by a single genus.
  4. Lack of competition has led to growth in physical size of the reptiles, which has led to unique niche for these reptiles.


Write a brief conclusion.


Best answer: PBN



4. What is Surajkund festival? Is having such festivals at regular intervals good for Indian tourism? Discuss its pros and cons. You can also draw parallels with the Art of Living festival that created so much controversy in India.


Surajkund Festival is a crafts mela celebrated in Faridabad to celebrate the rich culture of Indian Handicrafts and give craftsmen a platform to showcase their art on a large scale.

It is organised annually by the Surajkund Mela Authority & Haryana Tourism in collaboration with Union Ministries of Tourism, Textiles, Culture and External Affairs. The Surajkund Mela is unique as it showcases the richness and diversity of the handicrafts, handlooms and cultural fabric of India, & is the largest crafts fair in the world.

For the 31thSurajkund International Crafts Mela-2017, the state of Jharkhand has been chosen to be the Theme State. At least 20 countries & all the states of India will be participating in the Mela.

Is having such festivals at regular intervals good for Indian tourism?

Having such festivals at regular intervals have contributed in the development of cultural tourism it attracts culture tourists to local community events to promote cultural exchanges between tourists and resident. Cultural tourism generates economic activity for towns and cities, communities and states across the country.

Tourism planners are now using historical and cultural themes to create annual events in order to attract more tourists and creating the cultural image of the host destinations by organizing a festival at local level. Organizing such events and festivals are not targeted on any specific group. Hosting of such events helps in the development of tourism and brings out a lot of economic benefits along with the cultural benefits. Most of the researchers have cited that the local community plays a very important role in the development of tourism by organizing festivals.

Direct and indirect tourism are generated on a large scale when events are organized to cater out of regional visitors or get grants and sponsorships.

Number of visitors has increased year by year which affects the local economy. The tourists and visitors spend money within the community, enhance the local economy and supporting restaurants, hotels and other tourism-related businesses. It also acts as source of earning for informal (handicrafts) market.

Fairs and festivals of this country are some of the key contributors to the image of Incredible India.

A suitable promotional strategy with special focus on Festival Tourism is necessary to create more awareness about the fairs and festivals of this country. Another important challenge is safety of travellers, especially women travelers.

However such events and festivals at regular intervals has taken a toll on the environment. Large social gathering at these events have led to cause concrete harm to the eco-sensitive zone, as was witnessed during ‘Art of Living’ event along the Yamuna bank.

Such festivals organised on huge scale often flout safety norms, putting lives in danger- fire and stampede accidents- showing India in bad light.

Flouting environmental norms also becomes a regular practices- trees cut down for setting up shops or temporary structures- NGT ban and controversy during Art of Living festival

Best answer 1: Karthik

  1. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/94d901e9125fef7211de997037f2b7a5dd61c5a2aa32f1ebda2835d8634a150b.jpg
  2. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/30cfcaf033f62c38bb26a9615dbfb9a1154393414d86c020be27fb61af2962e1.jpg

Best answer 2: Valar dohaeris

Surajkund Festival is a crafts Mela celebrated in Faridabad to celebrate the rich culture of Indian Handicrafts and give craftsmen a platform to showcase their art on a large scale.

Such festivals hold their importance for Indian tourism in following ways-

  • Source of earning for informal handicrafts market.
  • Platform to showcase art on national and international level.
  • Recognition helps not only in preserving this craft but also funding from govt and others to promote in further.
  • Attracts tourists from around the world to Indian handicrafts, spreads the words in form of mementos.

However they aren’t without any faults-

  • Such festivals organised on huge scale often flout safety norms, putting lives in danger- fire and stampede accidents- showing India in bad light.
  • Flouting environmental norms also becomes a regular practices- trees cut down for setting up shops or temporary structures- NGT ban and controversy during Art of Living festival

Simple procedure of premediated planning, government directing the administration to balance tourism, skilled craftsmen’s needs with that of safety and environmental needs can make such joyous festivals free from any controversies and pave the way for better arrangements in future

5. What is GRIHA code? Why is there a need to make constructions compliant to such codes? Discuss.

GRIHA (Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment), the green rating system developed by The Energy Resources Institute (TERI), is promoted by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) as the National rating system.

GRIHA is a rating tool that helps people assesses the performance of their building against certain nationally acceptable benchmarks. It evaluates the environmental performance of a building holistically over its entire life cycle, thereby providing a definitive standard for what constitutes a ‘green building’. The rating system, based on accepted energy and environmental principles, will seek to strike a balance between the established practices and emerging concepts, both national and international.

There is a constant tussle between balancing the environment and development agenda, while meeting consumer needs and aspirations. Environment clearance of construction projects is a sore point that every developer and builder laments about. A builder/developer is expected to ensure that every resident has sustainable source of drinking water, has access to electricity and safe and healthy living. Often these needs may be compromised by sheer choice of location that may have little or no supply of water, may have remote access to basic infrastructure provision or may have erratic and unreliable power supply.

Green/environmental consideration is a matter of survival and there should be no choice but to adhere to the measures that promise sustainable and healthy living in our homes. The process, however may be made faster, transparent and more objectively assessable. GRIHA  offers precertification that is recognised by the ministry of environment and forests at the centre and state level for faster clearance of projects.

Its 100-point rating system spread over 34 criteria addresses environmental, energy, social and health issues that are essential for a good building/habitat. It is important to understand that green is good and not a burden.

Note: You can also discuss on how GRIHA helps to address the challenges of rapid urbanization, pollution control and transportation. How it helps to decrease carbon footprint, improves healthy demographic dividend.

On a broader scale, this system, along with the activities and processes that lead up to it, will benefit the community at large with the improvement in the environment by reducing GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions, reducing energy consumption and the stress on natural resources.

Some of the benefits of a green design to a building owner, user, and the society as a whole are as follows:

  • Reduced energy consumption without sacrificing the comfort levels
  • Reduced destruction of natural areas, habitats, and biodiversity, and reduced soil loss from erosion etc.
  • Reduced air and water pollution (with direct health benefits)
  • Reduced water consumption
  • Limited waste generation due to recycling and reuse
  • Reduced pollution loads
  • Increased user productivity
  • Enhanced image and marketability

Best answer 1: Raghav

  1. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/78470ee700290d4550ee90333c7003ae05bd1ca2afd21d3cde66e8bd1314ac28.jpg
  2. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5d494c2772f0b8f448dc278e8a104eda034db372174746c4ba1527cef0a2f03b.jpg

Best answer 2: yuyutsu


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