UPSC Mains Daily Answer Writing (16-12-2022) - GS 1


Q1. Explain the critical role played by different jet streams in Indian monsoon. (150 words)  10 marks

Q2. Why has the Russian Far East emerged as a region of growing interest for India? (150 words)    10 words

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Model Solutions

Q1. Explain the critical role played by different jet streams in Indian monsoon. (150 words) 10 marks

Model Structure

  • Jet streams are strong, narrow, meandering air currents found in the higher part of the atmosphere near tropopause.
  • Jet streams play a very important role in the formation, steering, and intensifying of monsoon in the Indian subcontinent.

Main Body:
The role played by different jet streams in influencing Indian monsoons is as under:

  • Role of Subtropical Westerly Jet Stream (STWJ): Also known as the westerly, it flows between 25-35 degrees N at an altitude of 12-14 km. Its influence on the monsoons is as follows:
    • Attracting south-west monsoon: When STJ shifts northward in summer, it also pulls the ITCZ and the south-east trade winds northwards, which enter India as the South-West monsoon after changing direction due to Coriolis force.
    • Reinforcing tropical easterly: The STWJ re-energizes the hot air mass system over Tibet, which restrengthens the Tropical Easterly Jet Stream (TEJ). This causes the monsoon winds to blow with greater strength over Indian subcontinent.
    • Monsoon breaks: Re-establishment of STWJ over Gangetic plains results in Monsoon breaks.
    • Returning Monsoon: With a southward shift in pressure belts during winter, STWJ returns to its position over Northern Plains. This helps the North East monsoon which brings rains to Coromandel coast.
  • Role of Tropical Easterly Jet Stream (TEJ): It flows roughly along Kolkata-Bangalore Axis.
    • TEJ sinks into permanent high pressure present in the Southern Indian Ocean (Mascarene Basin). This intensifies the high-pressure miking pressure gradient steeper.
    • Winds diverging from this high pressure crosses the equator and comes in India in the form of South-West Monsoon Brings rains in India.
    • The frequency, direction and intensity of depressions dictate the rainfall pattern during South-west monsoons.
  • Role of Somali jet stream: It is a narrow, temporary jet stream in the middle and lower troposphere. It gets bifurcated by Ethiopian highlands and a branch of this Jet Stream flows over Indian ocean.
    • Strengthens the South-west monsoon: It enhances the progress of South-west monsoons, creating an early set in of the rains.
    • Inter-hemispheric circulation: It links the wind patterns, and sea surface temperatures from southern Indian ocean and India, including the effects of ENSO.


  • Monsoon is a complex climatic phenomenon, whose understanding is continuing to evolve. The role played by jet streams in ushering in, strengthening and retreating of monsoons has been well established through scientific research and empirical data.

Q2. Why has the Russian Far East emerged as a region of growing interest for India? (150 words) 10 words

Model structure

  • The Russian Far East is a vast region with stretches from Lake Baikal to the Pacific Ocean and comprises roughly a third of Russia’s territory.
  • The region is rich in natural resources but it is an economically underdeveloped sparsely populated region which needs capital, technology, labor and markets while India is a country with a labor-surplus and a resource-deficit, in need of energy, mineral resources and farming land.

Main Body:
The reasons for India’s interest in Russia’s Far East are as listed below:

  • Geopolitical and Strategic Reasons
    • A larger footprint in the Russian Far-east region enhances India’s presence in China’s immediate neighborhood.
    • It can be a step towards balancing China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
    • India’s partnership with Japan in the investment plan in the region can develop new strategic alignments.
    • It gives India strategic presence in the Arctic region with influence on prospective frameworks on the region's governance.
    • It will help India in increasing her presence in South-China Sea and giving a fillip to her Indo-Pacific strategy.
  • Energy Resources
    • India can diversify its energy sector through investments in sectors such as coking coal, timber, natural gas etc. For example, ONGC Videsh’s investments in Sakhalin-1 project.
    • Cooperation in the hydrocarbon sector gives Indian and Russian companies an opportunity to share the technologies and expertise.
    • India can diversify its dependence on Gulf countries for oil and energy.
  • Road, Rail and Maritime Connectivity
    • Direct maritime corridor envisaged between Chennai and Vladivostok can cut the shipping time to 24 days from present 40 days.
    • India can develop alternatives to the Suez route for its international trade, and develop stronger trade ties with eastern Asian economies.
    • India can also get access to resources and trade from Central Asia through trans- Siberian Railways.
  • India’s soft influence in the region
    • India has extended a $1 billion line of credit for the development of the Russian Far East through trade linkage.
    • Presence of Indian manpower will help in balancing Chinese ‘demographic invasion’ into the region.
  • Expanding economic linkages with Russia
    • Opportunities in pharmaceuticals, agriculture, tele-medicine, education, on-shore services etc. can be explored in line with India and Russia’s goal to triple bilateral trade to $30 billion by 2025.
    • India can also get access to the Arctic Ocean region, and associated economic resources such as new trade routes and mineral oil and gas reserves.


  • India-Russia relationship offers opportunities for complementary partnership. India and Russia's cooperation in the Russian Far-east region is an instructive example of the future course of diplomatic possibilities between India and Russia.
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