Answered: Mains Marathon – UPSC Mains Current Affairs Questions – July 19

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  1. Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely. (GS 4)
  • Democracy by simple definition is ‘Government by the people- a form of government in which supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system’.
  • A successful democracy relies heavily on the abilities and intelligence of the populace. Democracy cannot succeed without a culture of learning, introspection, and critical thinking.
  • In recent years, corruption, and malpractices have grown to a great extent in all spheres of life, politics has not remained untouched either. But then the people who are chosen to run the government are from amongst the people itself.
  • In recent years, with growing political corruption, people are being driven away from voting as they term all politicians the same. People neglect their responsibility which shows their social mind set. People fail to understand that to run the country they need to elect, relatively good candidate to run the country.
  • When people don’t choose wisely the democracy turns into a dictatorship as was seen in history in the case of Germany,Italy etc.’The difference between a democracy and dictatorship is that in a democracy you vote first and take orders later; in a dictatorship you don’t have to waste your time voting.
  • In the case of India ,already many people do not vote and even those who vote mostly rely largely on emotion as opposed to analysis, impulsivity rather than contemplation, myopic petulance rather than reason and broad perspective.
    • So because of this despite being one of the greatest democracies there are still many trivial things which pay a large role in bringing disharmony in the society like caste,religion etc.
  • The moment people started misjudging then the representative elected would also be wrong and true democracy would be failed.Unless the true stakeholders own the democracy, you can’t make the democracy truthful.
  • While choosing the leaders one cannot be biased , influenced or irresponsible. One can’t say at this moment that one is just loyal to some party or individual.It is in the greater interest of the nation one has to think and chose.
  • There are democractic countries like the Scandinavian countries where because of teh right choice of people are one of the most developed and socially forward nations.So it all comes to the people in the democracy and their decision to choose wisely.
  • So the safeguard for democracy is the massive education of the masses about democracy.
  • Also people should take social responsibility then only the people can chose wisely and make democracies great.


There is a primary school in your jurisdiction and you are the sarpanch of a Panchayat. Recently the government made a directive that aadhar has to be linked with mid day meals scheme. Earlier all children irrespective of whether they have aadhar cards or not used to have lunch at school but with this some of the children got excluded because of which parents stopped sending them to school. This could lead to failure of mid day meal scheme.

  1. What are the ethical questions raised because of this directive by the government ? How can you tackle it at Panchayat level.
  2. As a public servant what arguments you will put forward to convince the excluded children parents to send them to school.

According to fundamental rights Article 21A of the fundamental rights ,it is the right of children for free and compulsory education. But in this case study this is being compromised as children are not allowed to send to school because they are denied food.So this is a larger issue related with malnutrition and hunger which government is trying to eradicate.

  • Some of the ethical questions that are raised here are :-

    • Empathy and compassion towards the children.
    • Sarpanch has to face a ethical dilemma whether to follow the rule of law or go by the conscience.For instance nutritional security denied in the light of the government’s directive even when SC ordered that it is not mandatory for social welfare schemes.
    • Also denying basic human dignity of right to food.
    • Exclusion of the children welfare schemes.

    As a sarpanch I would like to take the following actions:-

    • As a public servant need to be abided by the rules,I can try to raise some funds form NGO’s to fund these students who are not enrolled in Aadhar to have food at school.Then convince parents to send the children to school.
    • Then I would get the permission from higher authorities to arrange an aadhar registration centre in the school premises and get the children who don’t have Aadhar to be enrolled with their parents permission.
    • By doing the above I am following the government’s directive and at the same time as a human tried to be emphathetic towards the situation of the children and get them the basic right to food and education at school.

    Some of the options I would have to convince the children’s parents are:-

    • Trying to convince them that of they come to school they would have proper nutrition and food and be healthy.
    • If they do not come to school they would just be drop outs and would not have a good future and end being child labour.
    • The parents can be convinced that the children will not face any problem and they will be served proper food as they are enrolled with Aadhar.
    • Responsibility of every adult to provide adequate opportunities for education to his or her ward under the age of 14 under RTE Act.


    In a village named karkala,a woman doesn’t have an aadhar card.Despite attempts to get enrolled,the effort has been futile due to failure of the government machinery to take her fingerprints.Because of this she is denied work under NREGA and got no rations.She is the sole bread winner of the family but with no source of income.Despite SC declaring Aadhar as voluntary it is treated as mandatory for being part of social welfare schemes.This came to your notice and you are the district collector. 1.What are the possible actions you can take and what are the consequences arising from those actions. 2.What ethical dilemmas you would face as an administrator for resolving this issue? 3.What is the effective way to comeup with a solution for this situation and why? In this particular case study,there is an issue of denying of entitlement via social welfare schemes which leads to a larger issue poverty.So the right to life as she is the sole bread winner of the family and right to work under DPSP is threatened. Actions that can be taken and consequences :- 1. I would like to know the reasons why she was not enrolled Aadhar card and if it’s a technical issue get it resolved immediately and get her Aadhar but not give her the job till she is enrolled with Aadhar. Consequences are:-

    • Negatives:
      • As a human I am not understanding the situation of the women by making her wait till she gets Aadhar as she already tried it earlier.
      • Strict adherence to rules led to destruction of livelihood of a family .
    • Positives:
      • As a civil servant,I have abided by the code of conduct of being impartial and being objectivity towards rules.

    2. As supreme court declared Aadhar is not mandatory I would check her other government ID ‘s and see if she is allotted rations and job in NREGA. Consequences are :-

    • Positives:
      • Empathy and compassion towards the suffered and the weaker sections.
      • Brings administration close to the people and gain their trust
      • Ensures livelihood security for the woman
      • Under utilitarianism the action is justified as the end matters.

    However concerns are :-

    • The rules are not followed so actions are against code of conduct.
    • Might receive action from the higher authorities.
    • Being a public servant I am acting against the government’s direction of making Aadhar mandatory to check inefficiencies at the grass root level.

    3. As the woman already tried to enrol in Aadhar I will find out whaf the issue was and take that application to get her enrolled with MGNREGA. Also take serious action on the departments for delaying the process and provide necessary relief for her for the problem caused. Russell Wilson – Wisconsin Badgers Consequences :-

    • Positives:
      • The needs of the public are met along with their trust in the administrative efficiency .
      • Transparency and accountability of the government machinery are showed explicably.

    The third course of the action can be followed along with that he effective way is to bring this matter in front of the higher authorities of the state and know if Aadhar is mandatory for social welfare schemes as questioned by supreme court and then implement the schemes accordingly.

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