Answers: Mains Marathon – UPSC Mains Current Affairs Questions – February 12, 2019

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Q.1) What is human trafficking? What has the government done to deal with human trafficking?


Human trafficking is the trade of humans for the purpose of forced labour, sexual slavery, or commercial sexual exploitation for the trafficker or others.

Government steps:

  1. The Government of India penalises trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation through the Immoral Trafficking Prevention Act (ITPA)
  2. India also prohibits bonded and forced labour through the Bonded Labour Abolition Act, the Child Labour Act, and the Juvenile Justice Act.
  3. Indian authorities also use Sections 366(A) and 372 of the Indian Penal Code, prohibiting kidnapping and selling minors into prostitution respectively, to arrest traffickers.
  4. Victims of bonded labour are entitled to compensation from the central government for rehabilitation.
  5. Launched an anti human trafficking web portal for interested parties to share information.
  6. The Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018
  7. The Government of India applies the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act 2013 which defines human trafficking and “provides stringent punishment for human trafficking; trafficking of children for exploitation in any form including physical exploitation; or any form of sexual exploitation, slavery, servitude or the forced removal of organs”
  8. Regional Task Force implements the SAARC Convention on the prevention of Trafficking in Women and Children


Q.2) What is your opinion on having educational qualifications for contesting local body elections?


Governments life Rajasthan and Haryana have mandated educational qualifications for contesting local body elections.

Though it is supported on the ground that it provides for informed politicians, this has certain problems:

  1. It acts as a barrier to grassroots democracy
  2. Not many people are literate to contest in elections
  3. It goes against the basic principle that anyone can contest an election in democracy
  4. It transfers the burden of state to provide basic education, to people
  5. In states like Rajasthan where women are traditionally denied rights, this goes against their political participation

Thus the responsibility of state lite in providing education to all its citizens while simultaneously strengthening local bodies through training in particular areas.


Q.3) What is the Pradhan Mantri Shram-Yogi Maandhan (PMSYM) which was announced in this year’s budget?What are its features?How is it different from the Atal Pension Yojana?


Pradhan Mantri Shram-Yogi Maandhan is a pension scheme for workers in the unorganised sector.


  1. Under the scheme, an assured monthly pension of Rs. 3000 rupees per month will be provided to workers in the unorganised sector, whose income is up to Rs 15,000 per month, after 60 years of age.
  2. To avail the scheme, workers have to contribute an amount ranging from ₹55 to ₹100 each month, depending on their age, at the time of joining the scheme and equal contribution would be paid by the government.
  3. The scheme is expected to benefit 10 crore workers and would be implemented from this fiscal itself.
  4. The new pension scheme will run alongside the existing Atal Pension Yojana which provides a defined pension, depending on the contribution, and its period.
  5. The scheme will be enforced through the Unorganised Workers’ Social Security Act, 2008, (UWSS Act) that gives a legal framework for providing social security benefits to workers in the unorganised sector.

Atal Pension Yojana:

  1. Atal Pension Yojana (APY), a pension scheme for citizens of India is focussed on the unorganised sector workers.
  2. Under the APY, guaranteed minimum pension of Rs.1,000, Rs.2,000, Rs.3,000, Rs.4,000 and Rs.5,000 per month will be given at the age of 60 years depending on the contributions by the subscribers.


Q.4) What are the different types of measures taken by the government to address the issue of poverty?


  1. Farm Loan waivers
  2. DDU Antyodaya Yojana
  3. Start Up India and Standup India to encourage entrepreneurship
  5. Digital India – to bring India’s rural population into the fold through BharatNet to deliver broadband connectivity services of at least 100 Mbps to nearly 625,000 villages. Common Service Center program has enhanced digital integration in rural communities by establishing 725,000 kiosks around India to provide trainings on over 300 services.
  6. Swachh Bharat Abhiyan aims to eliminate open defecation and promote increased hygiene by building 12mn toilets in rural areas of the country.
  7. National Health Protection Scheme – to provide free healthcare to 500mn people.
  8. Aadhaar program – attempts to prevent the leakage of funds and ease service provision in healthcare and banking with greater ease.
  9. For skill development – Skill India, Make in India, Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMGEP), Pradhan Mantri Rojgar Protsahan Yojana, and Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana.
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