Mains Marathon

Answered: Mains Marathon – UPSC Mains Current Affairs Questions – April 13th

Following are the Suggested Answers for Mains Marathon, April 13:

  1. Discuss the key provisions of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) (Prevention and Control) Bill, 2017 recently passed by the parliament. (GS 2)

The Hindu | PRS

• Today, approximately 21 lakh people are living with HIV, as per government estimates. The adult prevalence is in the range of 0.3%, of which around 40% are women.
• The HIV AIDS bill is an important step in ensuring that the progress made against HIV is not halted and discrimination against HIV affected individuals is reduced.
Key provisions:-
• There is no denying that it is a good base for an active health rights movement to build upon.
• The legislation empowers those who have contracted the infection in a variety of ways: such as protecting against discrimination in employment, education, health-care services, getting insurance and renting property.
Access to insurance for persons with HIV is an important part of the Bill.
• Numerous provisions of this bill ensure government accountability and commitment into providing HIV prevention, testing, treatment and care to those at risk.
• For the first time, the bill brings together a human-rights perspective to public health, and makes antiretroviral treatment a right of HIV/AIDS patients.
• The central and state governments are duty bound to provide for treatment and also arrange for the management of risk reduction of vulnerable populations. This will ensure that in the future no Indian has to struggle for diagnosis or treatment.
• The bill also mandates the appointment of an ombudsman in every state to inquire into complaints related to the violation of the Act and the provision of health care services.
• The bill seeks to protect the high-risk groups from discrimination, both through administration of treatment for their infections as well as improving their access to welfare schemes and services.
• The bill also mandates that cases relating to HIV positive persons shall be disposed off by the court on a priority basis.

A person between the age of 12 to 18 years who has sufficient maturity in understanding and managing the affairs of his HIV or AIDS affected family shall be competent to act as a guardian of another sibling below 18 years of age

  • It gives the right to minors to reside in a shared household and prohibits people from spreading any hate against them.
    • The Bill also prohibits any individual from publishing information or advocating feelings of hatred against HIV positive persons and those living with them.
    • The need for privacy, the bill also mandates that no HIV test, medical treatment, or research can be conducted on a person without their informed consent. This ensures that those affected by HIV have the right to privacy and confidentiality.
    • The bill also mandates that no person can be compelled to disclose their HIV status except with informed consent, and if required by a court order.
    • The bill also addresses discrimination in everyday life through numerous provisions especially at the workplace and within communities.
    • It prohibits discrimination against HIV positive persons and those affected in numerous aspects. These include the denial, termination, discontinuation or unfair treatment with regard to employment and in educational establishments, health care services, residing or renting property, standing for public or private office, and provision of insurance (unless based on actuarial studies).
    • The bill also prohibits the requirement for HIV testing as a pre-requisite for obtaining employment or accessing health care or education.
    • Does not guarantee access to anti-retroviral drugs and treatment for opportunistic infections.
    • Experts are disappointed that the Centre’s commitment to take all measures necessary to prevent the spread of HIV or AIDS is not reflected in the Bill, in the form of the right to treatment.The law only enjoins the States to provide access “as far as possible”.
    Way forward:
    • Viewed against the national commitment to Goal 3 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals to “end the epidemic of AIDS” by 2030, a rapid scaling up of interventions to prevent new cases and to offer free universal treatment is critical.
    Publicly funded insurance can easily bring this subset of care-seekers into the overall risk pool. Such a measure is also necessary to make the forward-looking provisions in the new law meaningful, and to provide opportunities for education, skill-building and employment.

  1. What do you understand by cooperative federalism? Cite some differences between Cooperative federalism and Collaborative Sub-regionalism. Do you agree that there is a greater need for provincial autonomy in India? (GS 2)

Live Mint

Cooperative federalism:-

  • It is a concept of federalism in which national, state, and local governments interactcooperatively and collectively to solve common problems.

Instruments to ensure co-operation between centre and states

  • Indian constitution has provided several instruments to ensure co-operation between centre and states. These are mentioned below:
    • 7thschedule: It clearly demarcates central, state and concurrent list based on the principle of subsidiarity. Residuary power has been kept with centre.
    • Integrated Judiciary, All India Services: An integrated judicial system has been established to enforce both state as well as central laws. All India services provide another uniting factor in co-operative federalism.
    • Under article 263 of the constitution Inter State Council has been established to discuss and investigate the subject of common interest between the centre and the states.
    • For interstate water disputes parliament can adjudicate for the same.
    • Zonal council:
      • These are statutory bodies established under the State reorganisation act of 1956 to ensure co-ordination. It provided for 5 zonal councils, one for each north, south, east, west, central. North eastern council has been created under separate act.
    • Other mechanisms: National Development Council, NITI (National Initiative for Transforming India) Ayog, Finance commission under article 280 of the constitution.

Differences between cooperative federalism and collaborative sub regionalism:-

  • Former exist within nation boundaries, later exist across them
  • Sector of collaboration: Former includes almost all the sectors whereas later include predominantly economic- trade, commerce, transport etc
  • Basis: Former has its basis in constitution, later has it in shared interest among the participant countries.

Yes there is a need for greater provincial autonomy in India:-

  • Examples from China :-
    • Provincial governments play a big part in setting the agenda of the sub-regional initiatives that China is a part of.
    • The role played by the border province of Yunnan, for instance, has been highly instrumental in the success of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS).
  • The geographical expanse of India mandates a role for border states greater than New Delhi in matters of sub-regional cooperation. West Bengal and all the North-Eastern states become crucial in this regard.
  • States can themselves choose to cooperate on the sector needed rather than being dictated by the centre in top-down approach

No it’s not needed :-

  • Srilanka-india relation have been impacted by issue of Tamilnadu in the past
  • Constitutionally, international relation is the prerogative and responsibilty of union under union list

Thus centre and states need to put national interest as the priority and need to work collaboratively with necessary autonomy to the states.

  1. Prohibition on all online content about pre-natal sex determination will curtail the fundamental right to know of a genuine information-seeker who is driven by curiosity. Discuss. (GS 2)

The Hindu


  • The Supreme Court recently observed that a general prohibition on all online content about pre-natal sex determination will curtail the fundamental right to know of a genuine information-seeker.
  • curtailing the right to know under Article 19 (1) (a) of the Constitution.
  • It would hinder research in many fields like sociology,science etc..It would deprive researchers, academicians and students valuable information on the issue
  • Online sellers will be at loss , who sell genuine information to related subject.
  • Total blanket ban will reduce our efforts to filter on some clinics or entities who indulge in PNDT


  • Ban is needed to keep the female foeticide in control and curb illegal sex determination and growing unregistered clinics.
  • Ban can ensure the wider interpretation of the PCPDNT act.
  • Also provides a check on the monetary exploitation by such practices.

What can be done?

  • Cooperate with google, facebook to remove ads ; strict implementation of PNDT act by involving NGO and common individual ; data availability about the problem associated with foeticide.
  • There should be some restrictions and advertisements should be banned as per law but not all information.
  • Microsoft and Yahoo also contended that the companies had no supervisory or editorial control over the contents uploaded by users on their websites and there was no mechanism to auto block blanket ban might not be the solution but some alternative needs to be looked into.

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