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Model answers for UPSC CSE Mains GS paper 1 - 2017: 4-6
Question 4: What problems are germane to the decolonization process in the Malay Peninsula? Answer: The Malay Peninsula comprising the parts of current states of Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Myanmar attracted the British in late 18th century and by the end of 19th century they controlled most of the peninsula. During second world war, Japanese invaded the peninsula and captured Singapore. After the war a federation of Malaya was created under British protection yet Malaya got its independence only in 1957. The decolonisation process in this region was beset with its own set of problems: 1. Malaya was a complex area consisting of nine states each ruled by a Sultan, two British settlements, Malacca and Penang, and a small island Singapore. Their consolidation into a federation was a challenge.
2. The population was multiracial mostly Malays and Chinese, with some Indians and Europeans as well. They had different interests and had disagreements related to issues regarding the federation e.g Malays opposed the weakening of the Malay rulers and granting citizenship to ethnic Chinese. 3. Chinese communist guerrillas led by Chin Peng who had hitherto resisted the Japanese, now started strikes and violence against the British forcing the latter to declare a state of emergency which further delayed Malayan independence by a decade. Finally, after separation of Singapore in 1965 and coming up of Malaysia the decolonisation process was completed in true sense in Malay Peninsula.
Question 5: How does the Juno Mission of NASA help to understand the origin and evolution of the Earth? Answer: NASA's Juno spacecraft was launched in 2011 to study the Jupiter's atmosphere, magnetic environment and weather patterns. However it can also shed light on the history , formation and evolution of Earth. 1. By mapping Jupiter's gravitational and magnetic fields, Juno can help in finding out if Jupiter had a central core or not which will help establish how the planet was formed. Same process of formation may be attributed to the Earth too, being in the same solar system. 2. Knowing Jupiter's composition could reveal about early Solar System. The gas giants are believed to have played a major role in the process of planet formation because their huge masses allowed them to shape the orbits of other objects - planets, asteroids and comets - in their planetary systems.
3. Juno will help in finding out the amount of water and ammonia in Jupiter's atmosphere which will help in determining which planet formation theory is correct. 4. Juno can map Jupiter's intense magnetic field and study the planet's auroras As magnetic field, atmospheric and internal composition and auroras are interrelated and are also applicable for Earth, it can help in understanding evolution of Earth's own magnetic field.
Question 6:"Inspite of adverse environmental impact coal mining is still inevitable for development". Discuss. Answer: Coal, also known as black gold, forms a crucial fuel for the engine of development especially in poor and developing countries despite its role in pollution, global warming and climate change. The mining and burning of coal in power plants causes significant air, water and soil pollution. The emission of greenhouse gases from power plants enhances global warming. Yet coal is considered to be inevitable for development because: 1. Coal is a cheap, widely available and easily mined source of energy compared to other fossil and non-fossil sources. 2. Developing countries like India and China who have rich coal mines and huge power demand have more than 60% of their power generation from coal based power plants.
3. Electricity demand in India is expected to double by 2022. The nuclear power generation is costly and ecologically risky as seen in Fukushima and is in nascent stage; solar power needs expansion and hydropower involves issues such as displacement, flooding etc. 4. Coal is also required as a raw material in steel and heavy engineering industry and has multiplier effect on other sectors e.g. in providing employment especially in poor and backward areas (Odisha, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh). Thus prima facie it appears that coal is indispensable for development in the near term, yet due to its unsustainable and polluting nature, its use should be reduced gradually, and use of alternative/clean sources like nuclear, solar and wind should be promoted.