Mains Marathon

Answered: Mains Marathon – UPSC Mains Current Affairs Questions – February 23

Mains Marathon UPSC Answer writing

1.What is Palliative care? The number of elderly persons in poverty in India are increasing rapidly and are unable to access basic healthcare. Discuss the reasons. (GS 1)

प्रशामक देखभाल क्या है? भारत में गरीब बुजुर्ग व्यक्तियों की संख्या तेजी से बढ़ रही है और बुनियादी स्वास्थ्य सेवा का उपयोग करने में असमर्थ हो रहे हैं। कारणों की चर्चा करें।

Suggested Answer

Palliative care:-

  • According to WHO,Palliative care is an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problem associated with life-threatening illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problems, physical, psychosocial and spiritual.
  • According to the report by the U.S. National Institutes of Health prevalence and incidence of diseases as well as hospitalisation rates are much higher in older people than the total population.


  • As per Census 2011, India has 103.2 million ‘60-plus’ people next only to China constituting around 8.6% of the population. Given the increasing longevity and high population growth, it is expected to reach 300 million by 2050.

Reasons why elderly persons are increasingly becoming poor in India and unable to access basic healthcare:-

  • According to a latest study conducted by Agewell Foundation, 65 per cent of old people are poor with no source of known income

o   The study reveals that due to lack of awareness about their rights in old age, many people are compelled to live in inhuman conditions.

  • Other factors include comparatively high illiteracy among elderly women, social norms and, above all, their higher level of patience and tolerance. Therefore, most elderly women remain within the four walls of their homes and majority of them are abused by their own family members.
  • Ineffectiveness in laws:
    • o The inherent inability of the elderly to approach a tribunal for recourse under the law, and poor implementation of the Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act in 2007 by various State governments.
  • Rural areas:
    • o At the country level population studies suggest that 80% of the elderly live in the rural areas, and this makes service delivery a challenge.
  • Neglect from families:An unfortunate but rather evident reason is the inability or hesitation in taking care of the elderly person in the home and seeing him/her as a burden.
  • In India when health care expenditure by government is around 1℅ of GDP,out of pocket expenditure is very high which is very burdensome especially for the elderly .
  • Non–availability of affordable models of healthcare:
    • o While home-based health solutions such as Portea have cropped up to cater to the demand for healthcare services by the elderly within the middle class, much less is available in terms of affordable models of health and social care for the poor, which is inconsistent with the changing needs of this age bracket.

Way forward:

  • Advocacy of old age issues at all levels of governance and most importantly implementation of policies pertaining to protection of interests of older persons should be ensured.
  • If 18 per cent of the population is going to be over 60 years of age by 2050, then it becomes almost crucial to encourage research in geriatric diseases, and push for building capacity in the geriatric departments across the primary and tertiary health-care systems.
  • There also seems to be a growing informal industry of home care providers, which urgently needs regulation and mandated guidelines so that a large pool of certified and affordable trained home care givers can help provide basic support.
  • State governments must be mandated to set up quality, affordable homes.
  • Industry will benefit by retaining their knowledge and experience and the elderly will continue to be financially independent and retain their sense of self-worth.
  • There needs to be more awareness about common degenerative diseases like dementia so that family members, care-givers.

2.What is the need for ratifying the convention on international terrorism? What role can India play? (GS 2)

अंतरराष्ट्रीय आतंकवाद पर सम्मेलन की पुष्टि करने की क्या जरूरत है? भारत क्या भूमिका निभा सकता है?

Suggested Answer


  • The Convention on international terrorism was proposed by India in 1996. In 2016, despite the passage of two decades, the countries are yet to come to a conclusion.

Need for ratification:-

  • The CCIT provides a legal framework which makes it binding on all signatories to deny funds and safe havens to terrorist groups.
  • To have a universal definition of terrorism that all 193-members of the UNGA will adopt into their own criminal law
  • To ban all terror groups and shut down terror camps
  • To make cross-border terrorism an extraditable offence worldwide.
  • Islamic state is growing it’s influence further east despite being under siege in Iraq and Syria. The deadly attacks in Pakistan, on a court and a Sufi shrine, and the unearthing of an IS cell in Hyderabad in India are proof.So there is a need for the global effort against terrorism.
  • Increased data sharing between foreign funding, drug and arms trade network and foreign tourist arrival (FTA) data.
  • Without it countries are unable to develop a norm under which terrorists shall be prosecuted or extradited. 

India’s role:-

  • India must isolate and act against countries that serve as safe havens for terrorists.
  • India must redouble its diplomatic efforts with the UN security council,US, the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC), and the Latin American countries who are creating major obstacles to ratify the UN Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism.
  • Adoption of the draft Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism will be an expression of India’s  resolve to fight terrorism.
  • Current differences between definition of terrorism need to be resolved through a broader framework with stress on human right violations and extra judicial killing

With terrorism on a rise and even countries who have been sponsors or terror becoming victims of it shows the necessity and significance of CCIT and with India’s continuous pursuance this can be achieved.

3.PSLV has become ISRO’s backbone for important and impressive missions. Discuss. (GS 3)

पीएसएलवी महत्वपूर्ण और प्रभावशाली मिशन के लिए इसरो की रीढ़ की हड्डी बन गया है। चर्चा करें ।

Suggested Answer


  • India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), the tried and tested workhorse of Isro, proved yet again that it can achieve more complex missions.
  • Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) accomplished a major feat recently by launching 104 satellites at one go.

Significance of PSLV:-

  • It has been in service for over twenty years and has launched various satellites for historic missions like Chandrayaan-1, Mars Orbiter Mission, Space Capsule Recovery Experiment, Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) etc. PSLV remains a favourite among various organisations as a launch service provider and has launched over 40 satellites for 19 countries.
    • o For instance, when India launched its Mars mission in 2014 for just about Rs450 crore ($73 million), the orbiter was put in space using the PSLV.
  • Commercial operations:
    • o It represents the incredible commercial opportunities that lie before ISRO, especially at a time when the world is straining to send stuff into space as cheaply as possible.
    • o From the 44 satellites for foreign countries that it launched between January 2014 and December 2016, Antrix, the ISRO’s commercial arm, has made around €98 million(Rs693 crore).
  • Transporting satellites to space can be done at low cost

However PSLV has several constraints:-

  • Payload capacity of PSLV is limited to 1500 kg therefore India is not able to target lucrative high payload market
  • Failure to develop robust GSLV vehicles makes ISRO use foreign launch vehicles draining foreign exchange
  • Limited GSLV capability has led to India sending human to space.

So India and ISRO should look towards developing GSLV and the GSLV mark III so that it has more options for launch vehicles than relying only on PSLV for further outer space exploration.


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