Answers: Mains Marathon – UPSC Mains Current Affairs Questions – January 3, 2018

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Q.1) “Just like Portugal, ban on alcohol is to be treated as a public health issue and not as a criminal issue and ban it. The latter may give birth to other socio-economic hurdles for the country” Explain. GS – 1


  • Ban on alcohol doesn’t really seem to uproot the behavioral pattern of the consumers.
  • Instead the economy goes through a rough patch and consumer pace declines.

Impact of non-banning the consumption of alcohol:

  • According to psychologist Jack Brehm, humans hate obstruction of personal freedom.
  • Accordingly, they get into a rebellious state of mind to regain their freedom through illegal affairs.
  • The undercover liquor supply makes its way for new problems like spurious liquor, gang wars and sale of other narcotic substances.
  • With the ban on alcohol may bring in adulteration, which in turn cost the lives of many.
  • Economically, following the Supreme Court, the country has been facing problems for clubs, hotels and restaurants.
  • Food and beverage revenues have declined by 30-40% since the court order, and specialty restaurants have been badly hit.
  • With hardly any progress being made on resolving the issue, the hospitality industry says business in hotels on arterial roads has been crippled.
  • This adverse economic situation of the hotels directly affects their employees too.


  • At a time when the economy is going through a rough patch, and consumer pace has declined, the ban on alcohol will hit the hotels that survive on food and beverage sales even harder.

Q.2 organized crimes are increasing day by day in India, can it be said that the Indian legislations against organized crimes have failed? Justify your viewpoint.  (GS–2)


  • Organized crime is a category of transnational, national, or local groupings of highly centralized enterprises run by criminals.

Loopholes in the laws against crimes in India:

Inadequate Legal Structure:

  • India does not have a special law to control/suppress organised crime.
  • The existing general conspiracy law and relevant specialActs law is inadequate as it targets individuals and not the criminal groups or criminal enterprises.

Difficulties in Obtaining Proof:

  • As organised criminal groups are structured in a hierarchical manner, the higher echelons of leadership are insulated from law enforcement.
  • It may be possible to have the actual perpetrators of crime convicted, but it is difficult to go beyond them in the hierarchy because of rules of evidence, particularly, non-admissibility of confessions made by criminals before the police.

No legal backing for witness:

  • The witnesses are not willing to depose for fear of their lives and there is no law to provide protection to the witnesses against organized gangs.

Lack of Resources & Training:

  • Most of the States face a resources crunch and are not in the position to spare adequate resources for the criminal justice system agencies.
  • Also the number of police personnel posted in police stations is inadequate.
  • Besides, hardly any training facilities exist for the investigation of organised crimes.

Lack of Co-ordination:

  • India does not have a national level agency to co-ordinate the efforts of the State/city police organisations as well as central enforcement agencies, for combating organised crime.
  • Further, there is no agency to collect, collate, analyse, document and function as a central exchange of information relating to international and inter-state gangs operating in India and abroad.
  • Similarly, there is no system of sustained pursuit of selected gangs at the national and State level.

Way forward:

  • Modern organized crime constitutes a global challenge that must be met with a concerted, global response.
  • The police department has to been given a free hand to deal effectively with troublemakers.
  • Most importantly no politician should give patronage to the criminals in lieu of money or power.
  • Most of the crimes are communicated through wires or internet; thus, the cybersecurity needs to be strict and under continuous surveillance.   
  • The government should introduce hi-tech software and machineries in order to keep a track on the high alert areas.   

Q.3) What are the major causes, effects and solutions that can be assigned to hidden hunger in India? (GS-1)


  • Hidden hunger, or micronutrient deficiency, is a major public health problem in developing countries
  • It is caused by a lack of essential vitamins and minerals (e.g. vitamin A, zinc, iron, iodine) in the diet.


  • Hidden hunger can lead to illness, blindness, premature death, reduced productivity, and impaired mental development, particularly among women and children in developing countries.
  • It wreaks the economic, locking countries into cycles of poor nutrition, lost productivity, poverty and reduced economic growth.


  • People suffering from hidden hunger are often too poor to be able to afford foods that are more nutritious, or otherwise lack access to these foods.  
  • Moreover, the well-to-do habitually eat large amounts of staple food crops (such as maize, wheat, and rice) that are high in calories.
  • Food may lack sufficient micronutrients or fewer intakes of foods that are rich in micronutrients such as fruits, vegetables, and animal and fish products.



  • Supplementation is the primary method that has been used in attempts to reduce micronutrient deficiency.
  • The weak and vulnerable section of the society should be provided these supplements free of cost.

Diversifying Diets:

  • Dietary diversification ensures a healthy diet that ­contains a balanced and adequate combination of macronutrients, essential micronutrients, and other food-based substances such as dietary fiber.

Food Fortification:

  • Food fortification adds trace amounts of micronutrients to staple foods or condiments during processing, helps consumers get the recommended levels of micronutrients.
  • Fortification has been particularly successful for iodized salt; 71 percent of the world’s population has access to iodized salt.
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