Answers: Mains Marathon – UPSC Mains Current Affairs Questions – April 30, 2018

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Q.1)The move by the Trump administration to end the work permits of spouses of H1B visas would have a major impact on India’s economy, demography and society. Comment.

Trump won the 2016 US Presidential elections mainly due to his promise to provide jobs for Americans and to make America great again. Pursuant to this, the government of USA started restricting issual and visas and gave incentives to companies to hire citizens.

The number of new H1-B visas issued were reduced. As a follow up, the government is planning to revoke the work permits of spouses of H1B visa holders. The spouses of H1-B visas were allowed to work at a job under the H4-EAD visa.They provided with work permits by the previous Obama administration. This move could affect nearly 1 lakh Non Resident Indian families in USA as is evident from the fact that out of the H-4 spouses with work authorisation as of early 2017, a total of 94 percent were women, and the vast majority, 93 per cent, were from India.


1)The spouses of H-1B high-skilled employees would be unable to work legally and contribute financially to their households and communities, as well as pay taxes on their wages.

2)Indian IT services companies are reacting to the situation by increasing lobbying spends in the US as they try to limit the damage from Trump administration’s tough stand on immigration. This would hit their profit margin which might lead to job cuts.

3)It would affect US economy as Indian immigrants have been contributing immensely to the nations service sector and overall growth

4)Many families would be returning back to india. This would create a highly competitive environment in a place where there is already shortage of jobs.

5)The growth of services sector and hence the Indian economy would be affected.

6)Skilled professionals may look for job opportunities in other countries like Canada, New Zealand, Australia etc.

Indian government has to take an initiative and talk to the Trump administration to protect the interests of Non Resident Indians in USA. Simultaneously efforts must be taken to create more highly skilled jobs to accommodate the aspirations of the growing youth population.

Q.2)National Family Health Survey-4 data revealed that 38% of children are stunted, 35.7% are underweight in India and about 21% of children under the age of five are wasted (low weight for height). Enumerate the various steps taken by the government to end malnutrition.Discuss the reason behind the perennial presence of malnutrition in spite of all these measures.

The recent National Family Health Survey-4 data shows that the problem of malnutrition in India has not improved much despite various steps taken by the government. Ending malnutrition was a part of Millenium Development Goals and also the Sustainable Development Goals. Not only the government but also various Non Profit Organisations are working to end malnutrition in India.

Steps taken by the government to end malnutrition:

1)Integrated Child Development Scheme

2)Mid Day Meal Scheme

3)Fortification of foods

4)Generating awareness among parents to emphasise more on quality

5)Rajiv Gandhi Scheme for Adolescent Girl

6)Tie up with NGOs like Akshaya Patra, World Vision Foundation etc.

Reason behind presence of Malnutrition in spite of government initiatives to end it:

1)Corruption in implementation of schemes

2)Diversion of ration meant for mid day meal

3)Poor quality of food given in mid day meals.

4)Poor sanitation and hygiene decreases the nutrition absorption rate

6)Low social status of women

7)Lack of infrastructure in rural areas.

Malnutrition in India is worse than that in Sub Saharan Africa. A 360 degree approach is required to end malnutrition.

Q.3)Write a short note on:

1)Biopharma Mission

  • National Biopharma mission, also known as the Innovate In India(i3) mission is an industry- academia collaborative mission of Department of Biotechnology (DBT) in collaboration with World Bank for accelerating discovery research to early development of Biopharmaceuticals and to be implemented by Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC).
  • It aspires to create an enabling ecosystem to promote entrepreneurship and indigenous manufacturing in the sector.
  • The aim of the mission is to enable and nurture an ecosystem for preparing India’s technological and product development capabilities in biopharmaceutical to a level that will be globally competitive over the next decade, and transform the health standards of India’s population through affordable product development.
  • The program will specifically focus on the development of new vaccines, bio-therapeutics, diagnostics and medical devices to address the rising burden of diseases in the country

2)Atal New India Challenge

  • NITI Aayog recently announced the launch of Atal New India Challenge.under Atal Innovation Mission.
  • The Atal New India Challenge aims to address the second Commercialization Valley of Death, in which innovators are unable to access resources for piloting, testing, and market creation.
  • The vision of the Atal New India Challenge is two-fold:
  1. help create products from existing technologies relevant for national and social causes           


(b) help new deep-tech products find markets and early customers (commercialization) in   

the context of India.

  • It will provide grants of up to Rs 1 crore to innovative products and solutions which address challenges in 17 different fields.
  • This grant support will be supplemented by mentoring, handholding, incubating and other support as needed at various stages of commercialisation while generating wider deployment.
  • The grants will not be mutually exclusive – multiple grants may be given in a focus area, based on the Selection Committee’s perception of potential.
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