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Mains Marathon

Answered: Mains Marathon – UPSC Mains Current Affairs Questions – April 19th


Following are the Suggested Answers for Mains Marathon, April 19:


  1. The HIV and AIDS Bill was passed in Lok Sabha recently. Discuss its key provisions. How can it reduce stigma and discrimination?(GS 2)

हाल ही में लोकसभा में एचआईवी और एड्स बिल पारित किया गया है। उसके प्रमुख प्रावधानों पर चर्चा करें। यह भेदभाव कैसे कम कर सकता है?

The Hindu | IE | Link

 

Background:-

  • 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.
  • Guardianship:
    • 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

 

Concerns:-

  • 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”.

How can it reduce stigma and discrimination?

  • 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.
  • While social change will take time and stigma will not end immediately, this bill is a step in the right direction. It is a much needed and long awaited measure that will work to reduce stigma and discrimination towards people living with HIV.

 

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. Discuss the factors and phenomena that are speeding up the Glacial Melt.(GS 1)

ग्लेशियल मेल्ट को गति देने के घटनाओं पर चर्चा करें।

The Hindu

 

Background:-

  • In recent months, unprecedented rates of glacier melts have been reported both in the Antarctic and the Arctic.

Glacial melt:-

Factors and phenomena:

  • Expanding rift or crack along the Larsen C shelf in the Antarctic.
    • Even though the Larsen C collapse by itself, since it is in the water, will not raise sea levels, it will hasten the melting of the glacier it is connected to.
  • Anthropogenic activities impact on earth . Man made interferences in the natural ecology of the glacial regions adversely affect the melting.
  • Last several years, glaciologists have noticed that ice melt in the summer has increased and covers a larger area than previous years. Scientists now realise that a lot of the recent melt has been due to increasing surface melt, in addition to calving or breaking off of chunks of ice.
  • Experts have known that there are feedback mechanisms that speed up glacier melt:
    • Soot and dust carried by air from various places, bacteria and algal pigments in the meltwater, any other pigments in the glacier can all reduce the reflection of the sunlight, thus increasing the absorption of heat energy by the ice. This consequently increases ice melt, which then absorbs more solar radiation, thus accelerating a feedback process.
  • There are also other phenomena that seem to have an influence on glacier melt. Temperatures in Northern Greenland have been much warmer and in fact, surface melt has doubled Greenland’s contribution to sea level rise over the period 1992-2011 to 0.74 mm per year.
  • Carbon dioxide concentrations have crossed 400 ppm in the atmosphere and are the highest they have been in the past 4,00,000 years.
  • Modelling glacier melt is very complex as it is affected by the temperature of the water, ocean currents and other factors still not entirely understood, along with various positive feedback mechanisms that can speed up the melting.
  • Axial precession of the Earth leads to cyclic ice ages.
  • Snowfall:
    • Lack of snowfall in higher reaches impact building of glacier leading to overall size reduction

Way forward:-

  • Enforcing the coastal regulation zone, protecting vulnerable districts and the most vulnerable communities which rely on ecosystems and the sea for their livelihoods are areas that need strengthening.
  • Regional agreements related to refugees from climate effects need to be initiated.
  • Check carbon emission to reduce global warming which is the root cause
  • Government of India has already initiated various steps to monitor the glaciers via SASE of DRDO, ratification of Paris climate change. There is a need for global coordinated steps to move toward carbon-free economy

  1. List the consequences of not having the right to vote as a constitutional right.(GS 2)

संवैधानिक अधिकार के रूप में वोट करने के अधिकार न होने के परिणामों की सूची दें।

The Hindu

 

Right to vote:-

  • Article 326 of the Constitution provides for universal adult suffrage, but does not specifically mention the right to vote.
  • The Supreme court has refused to categorically recognise the right to vote as an inalienable constitutional right, frequently holding that it is a privilege that can be taken away as easily as it is granted.It is disconcerting that the court still does not clearly acknowledge a constitutional right to vote.

Consequences if not having it as a Constitutional​ right are:-

  • The absence of a constitutional right to vote has real consequences, for it makes it easier to impose wide restrictions on who can exercise that right, and the circumstances in which they may do so.
  • Constitutional remedies need not be guaranteed if this right is violated
  • It could be altered or diluted at the whims of the executive or legislature.
  • Democratic credentials of any political system could be questioned.
  • The non constitutional status could be exploited towards exclusion of certain racial or ethnic communities.
  • It could affect the integrity and tranquility in a nation and may give rise to political violence.
  • Dilution of right to vote may give rise to authoritarianism.

.Positives of this stance are:-

  • It is useful in keeping criminal away from voting.
  • Only Judiciary can play a vital role of any dispute, so people are assured of fair trial

 

A constitutional status to right to vote ensures the stability of the system as well as people’s faith in democracy and hence the need for it.


 

 

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