Answered: Mains Marathon – UPSC Mains Current Affairs Questions – July 26

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  • The government will levy 5 per cent GST on solar panels as against earlier classification of 18 per cent. In view of this, examine the likely impact of GST on the Indian Solar Industry.(GS 3) The Hindu Introduction:

    • With India committing to Paris climate agreement and renewable energy given more importance analyzing the impact of GST on solar industry is an imperative.

    Impact of GST on Indian solar industry:- Negatives:-

    • suppliers are not passing on the benefit arising out of input tax credits, leading to higher prices .
    • Increased the cost of the projects by about 12%
    • The ambiguity over the other inputs which are used for projects other than in the solar sector is creating confusion among solar developers.
    • New rates would hit more than 10 GW of ongoing utility scale projects and pose a threat to their viability.
    • Increase in competition faced by domestic manufacturers from low cost Chinese modules
      • with 5 per cent added tax on solar modules, the competition will intensify even more than it is currently now.
    • Those who had bid aggressively for solar projects in the past six months assuming that solar panels rates would fall under the new regime would also face some problems during the transitional period.


    • Under GST solar has been placed at par with coal, augurs well for the long-term energy security of the country. This, quite rightly, addresses the unique energy dilemma that India faces.
    • There is expected to be a 4-5 per cent rise in project cost after the GST. That would not mean a significant impact in the per unit cost.
    • The government’s rollback of decision of taxing it earlier at 18% comes as a major respite for the industry
    • Besides removing the cascading effect of taxes, GST will improve cash flows due to change in rates of taxation.
    • Another positive impact of GST is availability of input credit against supply of solar goods which will improve cash flows and EBITDA.
    • GST will also minimize hassles for the vendors like abolition of ‘C’ FORM, ‘F’ form and CST which added to project costs.
    • The decision is also expected to boost inter-state trade directly with customers.
    • Reduction in multiple tax compliances state as well as central can be co-related with corresponding reduction in administrative costs.
    • Provides Push to new schemes of GOI/states-canaltop/rooftop solar, Saur sujala yojana.MNRE/NISE started Solar Mitras etc. also gets pushed.

    What is needed more?

    • Bank credit under MUDRA, Startup and Standup India needed also for this sector.
    • Nabard/RBI guidelines making solar a priority sector lending enabled is pathbreaking.

    Therefore it would be prudent to state that implementation of GST will not dampen the solar sector if one were to take into account the broader picture.

    2. Examine the loopholes in the private sector healthcare in India. Can public-private partnership (PPP) model improve healthcare in India? Discuss.(GS 3) Live Mint | ET Introduction:-

    • The national health policy notes that the growing incidences of catastrophic expenditure due to healthcare costs, which are presently estimated to be one of the major contributors to poverty so analyzing private healthcare and innovative measures like PPP is a necessity.

    Loopholes in the private sector healthcare:-

    • Private healthcare providers in India typically offer high quality treatment at highly unreasonable costs
    • There is no regulatory authority or statutory neutral body to check for medical malpractices of private hospitals
    • The majority of private healthcare professionals happen to be concentrated in urban areas where consumers have higher paying power.
    • There is very little integration by private players, they rather work as parallel competitors to public hospitals.
    • They are not sensitive to poor as for instance private hospitals feel that funds provided under RSBY are so low that only primary and secondary helathcare services can be provided.
    • Nexus between hospitals, diagnostic centers and pharmacies leading to patient exploitation.
    • Profit making tendencies sometimes leads to prevalence of unethical practices.
    • To recover their initial investment, there is tendency among the doctors to recommend unnecessary test, which increases the cost of the care.

    However in a country like India private hospitals still provides largest healthcare due to the following benefits:-

    • Offers quality service
    • Poor quality of care in the public sector, with more than 57% of households pointing to this as the reason for a preference for private health care.
    • Other major reasons are distance of the public sector facility, long wait times, and inconvenient hours of operation
    • greater efficiency, better management skills and focused strategies and stronger resource base whether in terms of monetary resources or human resources.

    PPP model will improve healthcare in India :-

    • Increase accessibility and availability of services to rural India:-
      • Most of the major private hospitals are located in the metro centres and PPPs could really help improve services in rural India.
      • bring the necessary resources human and others to rural India
    • Quality of manpower improved:
      • Due to various reasons, many of the private medical institutions in this country are extremely poor and PPP in the medical education sector could really address this deficit
    • It would improve primary care services which in turn would improve quality of life
    • PPP models have worked remarkably in the international healthcare scenario. More or less all international healthcare providers or regulators work on the PPP model the most notable example being the World Health Organisation.
    • Moreover this helps to reduce the financing burden in the health sector.
      • Some of the successful Public Private Partnerships (PPP) involves laboratory services (pathology, radiology, CT scan, MRI etc.), mobile medical units, PHC management, telemedicine services and hospital maintenance.
    • The basic objective of favoring PPP in the health sector is to ensure universal health coverage with special focus on Primary Health Care.
    • The recent NITI Aayog proposed PPP proposes to make state governments more accountable if they default on paying their private partners through a penalty.
    • It will be more welfare oriented than profit oriented and ethically more compliant


    • It goes against the spirit of India’s national health policy
    • Itwould corporatize healthcare-
      • Following a PPP model could make the healthcare industry a simple profit and loss one which could leave out the most vulnerable sections of the society those that can t afford it.
    • the earlier concept of PPP has remained a non-starter. High on this list is the lack of trust and a lack of understanding of the financial aspirations of the providers
    • It could lead to widespread corruption
      • Imagine if the healthcare industry functioned like this and government handed out contracts to their companies it would surely lead to non-existent healthcare services and even greater inequity in healthcare resources.
    • The Government could completely get out of the healthcare sector
      • This would mean that the government would over time confine itself to providing small package services and would be primarily just a purchaser of virtually all clinical services from the corporatized private sector.

    What can be done?

    • There needs to be, therefore, a healthy mix of Govt/CGHS pricing for patients referred by the Government and free market pricing for self-paying patients, to make the operational economics viable.
    • Results from pilot case studies need to be analysed and then implemented nation wide.

    3. Can we be good without the existence of God? Discuss. Do you think there is a connection between God and morality?(GS 4)

    • Theists undoubtedly find in God a source of moral strength and resolve.On the theistic view, objective moral values are rooted in God. God’s own holy and perfectly good nature supplies the absolute standard against which all actions and decisions are measured.
    • God’s moral nature is what Plato called the “Good.” He is the locus and source of moral value. He is by nature loving, generous, just, faithful, kind, and so forth.
    • According to society in general ,a person who believes in God is less likely to be feared in the neighborhood, and is more likely to be a savoring influence in his community and is considered more moral.
    • Those who believe in God are much more likely to have respect and concern for their fellows than those who do not
    • According to surveys,frequent worship attendance predicted lower scores on a dishonesty scale that assessed, for example, self-serving lies, tax cheating, and failing to report damaging a parked car. Moreover, in cities where churchgoing or temple gping is high, crime rates are low.
    • Most of the People try to be good out of the fear of the god and God or religion acts as a thing people look up to to adhere by something would happen to them if they don’t do a particular thing.
    • However doing good is a personal perspective. There are some people who have no religious philosophy. They profess not to believe in any Supreme Being. In spite of this, they lead reasonably respectful lives. They do not murder, commit adultery, or embezzle from their employers.
    • On the other hand, there are those who profess to be quite religious, and yet, clearly, they are as far from godliness as one can be.
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