Mains Marathon

Answered: Mains Marathon – UPSC Mains Current Affairs Questions – March 22

Following are the Suggested Answers for Mains Marathon, March 22:


1.India has among the lowest pooled expenditure for health care. Discuss the reasons. (GS 1)

भारत का स्वास्थ्य देखभाल के लिए बहुत कम पूल्ड व्यय है। कारणों पर चर्चा करें।

The Hindu


  • India has among the lowest pooled expenditure for health care; between 2004-2014, approximately 4-7% of households fell below the poverty line as a result of high out-of-pocket expense.
  • Pooled expenditure includes government expenditure and insurance


  • The extent of pooling is determined by the government’s tax allocation to health and insurance coverage in the country. India’s low tax to GDP ratio and allocations of around 5% of general government expenditure to health impact the total quantum of funds available. 
  • 5% allocation to health translates to a mere $267 per individual, a number far lower than the OECD average of $4,698. On an index measuring country performance on the health-related Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) indicators, India ranks poorly at 143 out of 188 countries.
  • Control exercised by the government on the health system:
  • There is no price control on what hospitals and physicians may charge for their services
  • No instituting of licensing processes for hospitals, similar to the Certificate of Need process in the U.S., which can help a regionally-equitable distribution of hospitals by incentivising the setting up of facilities in poorly served areas.
  • No prioritization of resources for health within government budgets,
  • Low insurance penetration especially for poor and rural areas.Even the Rashtriya swasthya bhima yojana is not known to people much.
  • Right to health as a fundamental rights is still not enforced.

Other side:

India spends close to 5% of its GDP on health. While this may appear low when compared to 18% of the U.S., data show that Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries spend 8-11%, middle-income countries close to 6%, and India’s peers, the lower-middle-income countries 4.5%. By these measures, India’s health-care spending, while still somewhat low, is not unusually so.

What can be done?

  • To increase pooled funds for health care, India needs to both provide a significantly higher level of allocation to health care in its annual Budgets, as in Thailand, as well as extend schemes such as the Employees’ State Insurance Scheme (ESIS) currently a mandatory insurance scheme only for low-wage earners in the formal sector in India  to all employees.
  • Gradually the informal sector, both in upper and lower income, can be included by making it mandatory for all residents to buy into national or state health insurance schemes as has been successfully done in Kyrgyzstan, China, and South Korea. Such a path will allow India to deliver on quality health care and equitable health outcomes to all of its people.

2.How did the early peasant rebellions differ from the later peasant rebellions in India’s Struggle for freedom? Examine. (GS 1)

भारत के स्वतंत्रता संघर्ष में बाद के किसान विद्रोहियों से शुरुआती किसान विद्रोह कैसे भिन्न थे? जांच करें।

Link-1 | Link-2 | NIOS

Early Peasant rebellions:

  • After 1857’s revolt, The British had crushed down native princes and zamindars. Hence farmers themselves became main force of agitations.
  • Target was sometimes government, sometimes moneylender, sometimes landlord/ zamindar
  • Territorial reach was limited and was not organized on mass-scale.
    • The localised nature of these revolts were seen in Moplah uprising was due to hike in revenue demands and reduction of field sizes
  • Often spontaneous with limited coordination
  • lacked continuity or long term struggle.
  • Never threatened British supremacy
  • Farmers didn’t mind paying rent, revenue, interest on debt but only agitated when they were raised to an abnormal level.
  • Lacked understanding of colonial economic system or divide and rule policy of the British. Farmers’ agitations were based within framework of old social order, hence often failed because government could woo a faction by granting them concession and hence movement would collapse.
    • Government issued a notification that the Indian farmers cannot be compelled to grow indigo and that it would ensure that all disputes were settled by legal means. By the end of 1860, Indigo planters should down their factories and cultivation of indigo was virtually wiped out from Bengal.
    • In the deccan riots Initially government resorted to use of police force and arrest. but later appointed a commission, passed Agriculturists Relief Act in 1879 and on the operation of Civil Procedure Code.Now the peasants could not be arrested and sent to jail if they failed to pay their debts

Later peasant rebellions:

  • Earlier kisan movements usually didn’t demand abolition of Zamindari. They merely wanted a fair system of land revenue and land tenancy. But these new movements strongly demanded for abolition of Zamindari.
  • Even when they were unsuccessful, they created a climate which necessitated the post-independence land reforms and abolition of Zamindari.
  • Earlier movements were by and large non-violent. But now they turned militant e.g. Telangana movement in Hyderabad state and the Tebhaga movement in Bengal. Similarly All India Kisan Sabha openly preached militancy, violence against Zamindars.
  • Peasant leaders anticipated freedom and new social order. Hence new movements started with renewed vigour especially after WWII.

The circumstances and the awareness of the nationalists and the people has led to the goals of peasant revolts being different in the 19 th and the 20 th century.

3.How is ASEAN vital to India’s Act East policy? Examine. (GS 2)

भारत की अधिनियम पूर्व नीति में आसियान कैसे महत्वपूर्ण है? जांच करें।

The Hindu

The  relations with ASEAN have become multi-faceted to encompass security, strategic, political, counterterrorism, and defense collaboration in addition to economic ties.


  • Historical ties:
    • India also have cultural ties with few ASEAN countries like Indonesia which can prove vital to deepen to the relationship and make it stronger by deploying soft power.
  • Security:
    • ASEAN is an important part of India’s vision of an open, mutual, inclusive and rules-based security architecture in the Asia Pacific region.
    • Cooperation to curb terrorism, especially in face of rising influence of Islamic State has assumed priority. Thus, to get rid of it, a global alliance for Counter Terrorism is need of the hour, where both India and ASEAN can play the major role.
    • Defense partnerships with several ASEAN states have advanced.
  • Geographic:
    • Most of the world’s shipping traffic including energy shipments traverse Asian waters.
    • India Myanmar Thailand (IMT ) trilateral highway and KALADAN multimodal transit transport system to connect India’s North-East with Myanmar’s Sittwe port will give boost to trade and people to people contact programs.
    • India’s North Eastern states are strategically placed as the gateway to South East Asia through Myanmar, an ASEAN member.
  • Economic:
    • The implementation of the Free Trade Agreement on Investment and Services between ASEAN and India in 2016 will promote the development of all member countries.
    • ASEAN has been a strategic partner of India since 2012. India and ASEAN have 30 dialogue mechanisms which meet regularly. Trade between India and ASEAN stood at USD 65.04 billion in 2015-16 and comprises 10.12 per cent of India’s total trade with the world.
    • The ASEAN-India economic integration process has got a fillip with the creation of the ASEAN-India Free Trade Area following the entry into force of the ASEAN-India Trade in Services and Investment Agreements.
  • Geopolitical:
    • India and its relations with the ASEAN countries have a major role in shaping the future of Asia, and by repercussions the future of international politics.
    • Closer cooperation in reforming of and democratizing the UN and its institution by making them more reflective of the contemporary realities, might strengthen the bond between India and ASEAN in 21st century.
  • Social:
    • Besides, other transnational crimes such as trafficking particularly in women and children, cyber crimes, international economic crimes, environmental crimes, sea piracy and money laundering needs to be checked through effective institutional linkages and programmes of cooperation giving priority to information exchange and capacity building

Concerns :-

  • Trade imbalance with some of the countries in ASEAN.
  • With rising political disputes​ in the south China sea India might face difficulties as ASEAN countries relation might get affected.
  • India still remains outside the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum
  • India has entered into a number of pacts, agreements and FTAs with nations of ASEAN but its record for implementation of such accords has been poor.
  • India lags behind China and Japan in almost all spheres of Pan East Asian cooperation, East Asian observers reckon that India has so far appeared less proactive than China on some critical issues.
  • Some analysts feel that India’s Look East Policy lacks a strategic vision despite seeking defense cooperation with some ASEAN nations (Myanmar, Indonesia and Vietnam) and securing a role for joint patrolling in the Malacca Straits.  India does not take an assertive role perhaps due to it limited military capability.
  • The lack of proper cross-border transit points and integrated transport networks has posed major challenges. To facilitate growth of border trade government introduced an Export Development Fund (EDF) for the Northeast traders and entrepreneurs. There is no provision to track where and how these funds are utilized. 

Hence India should tailor the bilateral relations with every country in different way to suit the requirements of that particular country and that of India. ASEAN and EAS hold great promise for India. Adequate interaction with these groupings will result in better integration with this region and facilitate India economic development. Indian businesses which are looking to go global will get huge markets in other countries. They will be able to export their goods and get a market share because of low tariffs due to the pacts, agreements and FTAs.




Print Friendly