Mains Marathon

Answered: Mains Marathon – UPSC Mains Current Affairs Questions – March 17

Following are the Suggested Answers for Mains Marathon, March 17:

1.What do you mean by Enemy Property? Discuss the various changes proposed in the newly amended Enemy Property Bill. (GS 2)

दुश्मन संपत्ति का क्या मतलब है? नव संशोधित शत्रु संपत्ति विधेयक में प्रस्तावित विभिन्न परिवर्तनों की चर्चा करें।

The Hindu | PRS | India Today


  • The Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Bill, 2016, amends the Enemy Property Act, 1968.So the Heirs of those who migrated to Pakistan and China during Partition will have no claim over the properties left behind in India.
  • To avoid any litigation and encroachments because of the original law, necessary amendments have been imposed on the 1968 act.

Enemy property:

  • According to the bill “enemy property” refers to any property belonging to, held or managed on behalf of an enemy, an enemy subject or an enemy firm.
  • The government has vested these properties in the Custodian of Enemy Property for India, an office instituted under the Central government.

Highlights of the bill are:

  • The Bill amends the Enemy Property Act, 1968, to vest all rights, titles and interests over enemy property in the Custodian.
  • The Bill declares transfer of enemy property by the enemy, conducted under the Act, to be This applies retrospectively to transfers that have occurred before or after 1968.
  • The Bill prohibits civil courts and other authorities from entertaining disputes related to enemy property.
  • Inheritance law will not be applicable on Enemy Property.This will put an end to the long-pending issue.
  • Also it is not illegal as the legal tenants of the property will be protected under the Tenancy Act and does not violate any human rights.
  • No Indian heir belonging to the enemy can claim property.


  • The Act allows transfer of enemy property from the enemy to other persons. The Bill declares all such transfers as void. This may be arbitrary and in violation of Article 14 of the Constitution.
  • The Bill prohibits civil courts from entertaining any disputes with regard to enemy property. It does not provide any alternative judicial remedy Therefore, it limits judicial recourse or access to courts available to aggrieved persons
  • Many analysts claim that this bill is unfair to the Muslim community.
  • On Human violation the government’s argument is if Pakistan can seize the properties of Indian citizens then this amendment will be natural justice.This is not right.

2.Discuss the key provisions of Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016. Also, examine its key issues. (GS 2)

मातृत्व लाभ (संशोधन) विधेयक, 2016 के प्रमुख प्रावधानों पर चर्चा करें। इसके अलावा, इसके प्रमुख मुद्दों पर गौर करें।

The Hindu-1 | The Hindu-2 | PRS | Mint | PIB


  • The Bill is an amendment to the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961, which protects the employment of women and entitles her to full-paid absence from work to take care for her child. Once the Bill is law, it will benefit about 1.8 million women.

Key provisions of maternity benefit bill, 2016:-

  • The Bill extends the period of paid maternity leave for women working in the organised sector to 26 weeks from the current 12.
  • Organisations which employ more than 30 women (or 50 people, whichever is less) will now have to provide a crèche. The mother is allowed to visit the crèche four times during the day.
  • Also, mothers who adopt babies are entitled to 12 weeks of paid maternity leave.
  • Makes India third on the list of countries with most maternity leave, after Canada and Norway where it is 50 weeks and 44 weeks respectively.
  • The Bill also provides for maternity leave of 12 weeks to mothers adopting a child below the age of three months as well as to commissioning mothers (defined as a biological mother) who uses her egg to have a surrogate child. In such cases, 12-week period of maternity leave will be calculated from the date the child is handed over to the adoptive or commissioning mother.
  • The Bill has a provision under which an employer can permit a woman to work from home, if the nature of work assigned permits her to do so.
  • The amendments would ensure that full maternal care is provided during the full bloom period and will encourage more women to join the workforce in organised sector.
  • The Bill requires an establishment to inform a woman of all benefits that would be available under the Bill, at the time of her appointment. Such information must be given in writing and electronically.
  • The move will also be beneficial for children’s health. This will enable women to exclusively breast-feed the child for 6 months, which is critical for the good health of the child.
  • The mother will also be able to take care of her own health and fully recuperate before she returns to work.
  • It will have positive impact on women’s participation in labour force and will improve the work- life balance of the women workers.

Key issues:

  • In its implementation it is likely to adversely impact women in the workplace. The gender ratio in corporate India is already highly lopsided.This extension of maternity leave to six months will effectively double these costs and this is likely to result in much fewer women being employed in the corporate sector.
  • Complete negligence of the roles of fathers:
    • It also works as a double whammy against women, by heaping all parental responsibilities exclusively on her.
  • It ties women down to the primary role of being childcare providers and not professionals in the workplace.
  • While women will be provided with 26 weeks of maternity leave for two children, the period of leave for a third child will be 12 weeks. This could affect the growth and development of the third born child.
    • By limiting the enhanced benefit to two children, the government was indirectly putting restrictions on the number of children one can have.
  • The Act and Bill cover women workers employed in establishments with 10 or more employees, and other notified establishments. However, a majority of the women workforce, who are in the unorganised sectors, may not be covered.
  • There are several labour laws that provide maternity benefits to women in different sectors. These laws differ in their coverage, benefits and financing of such benefits.

New initiatives by companies like Work from Home and opening the debate of similar provision for relief to fathers can make the law even as regard to gender parity.As seen in some countries government can bear the cost of the maternity leave so that companies don’t get overwhelmed by the costs and encourage women employment.

3.To deal with the Non-Performing Assets (NPAs) or bad loans of the banks is the most challenging task in Indian Economy. Critically comment. (GS 3)

भारतीय अर्थव्यवस्था में गैर-प्रदर्शनकारी संपत्ति (एनपीए) या बैंकों के खराब ऋणों से निपटना सबसे चुनौतीपूर्ण कार्य है। गंभीर रूप से टिप्पणी करें।

ET |  The Hindu

The most challenging task of the Indian economy is bad loans or NPA because of the following reasons:

  • Non performing assets  adversely impact the banks by reducing their profits in the form of interests and provisions
  • They reduce the banks lending capacity by making them more risk averse, which in turn impacts the economy.
  • The banks inability to recover and realize such assets result in write offs which leads to a decrease in their net profits.
  • The non-repayment of the loans by the existing borrowers prevents the banks from lending to new borrowers. This slows down the credit recycling and reduce the size of credit multiplier.
  • Impacts the banking morale and credit worthiness of the people resulting in defaults by even the honest borrowers.
  • Results in the lowering of the deposit interest rates by the banks to recover the bank loss from the depositors.
  • On the contrary, the lending rates are increased by the banks that discourages the genuine borrowers from seeking loans and thereby affecting the economic productivity.
  • Even more, the domestic businesses cannot survive in an environment where they pay higher interest for their borrowings while their global competitors are furnishing the loans at low rates. This results in negative balance of trade and large unemployment and social unrest.
  • The lower rate of interest on deposits in a high inflationary economy will adversely affect the domestic savings and thereby the domestic investment.
  • India’s ability to accelerate growth fast enough to create new jobs for millions of young people entering the work force each year rests upon the government’s ability to fix the bad loans festering in the country’s banking system. If not, banks will fail to restart lending in earnest, undermining hopes of a sustained period of near double-digit growth.

However the impact of NPAs on the economy is subsided now by the various initiatives taken by the RBI and the government.

  • Loan classification is one such initiative. It requires the banks to classify the loans so that a buffer is kept aside to absorb the losses.
  • The restructuring of the debt through SDR (Strategic Debt Restructuring) and S4A (Scheme for Sustainable Structuring of Stressed Assets) is another move in the same direction.
    • This is primarily to give power to the banks for an out of court settlement with the borrowers and bypass the long process of judicial recovery.
  • The use of big data analytics to ameliorate credit risk decisions, and detect the likely defaults can help further to reduce NPAs.
  • The banks role in financial inclusion has been strengthened. With Jan Dhan Yojana and MUDRA scheme financial inclusion got impetus.


  • Centre must ‘go ahead’ and establish a Public Sector Asset Rehabilitation Agency (PARA) mooted by the CEA, but said such an agency should only consider those NPAs where sector specific reforms do not help
  • Taking tough action against wilful defaulters, including naming them.

While the profitability of some banks may be impaired in the short run, the system, once cleaned, will be able to support economic growth in a sustainable and profitable way.

reforms including plans for a new bankruptcy law to help banks get assets back from previously untouchable indebted tycoons.

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