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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

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

  • 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.
    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”.
    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

Yes:

  • 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

No:-

  • 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 them.so blanket ban might not be the solution but some alternative needs to be looked into.

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Mains Marathon

Answered: Mains Marathon – UPSC Mains Current Affairs Questions – April 12th


Following are the Suggested Answers for Mains Marathon, April 12:


  1. Do you think that the recent liquor ban ruling by SC is a judicial overreach? Also, discuss whether removal of liquor vends from highways is an effective way of curbing accidents due to drunken driving. (GS 2) 

Introduction:-

  • The Supreme court modified its order on March 31 to give some relief; and has now prohibited the sale of liquor within 220 metres instead of 500 metres of national and state highways in towns with a population less than 20,000. Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Meghalaya have been exempted.
  • The essence of the judgment is based on statistics that alcohol-related accidents and deaths on highways are 3.3 per cent and 4.6 per cent.

No,it’s not a judicial overreach:-

  • The court was right in at least taking the first step in the direction of implementing Article 47. This Court while exercising its jurisdiction has neither formulated policy nor has it assumed a legislative function,”
  • It was the Centre’s idea
  • The court pointed to a model policy for alcoholic beverages and alcohol prepared by the Centre more than a decade, which includes in paragraph 92(2), a provision suggesting no licence for sale of liquor should be granted to shops within 100 metres from a state or national highway.
  • The expert body agreed:
  • The National Road Safety Council is an advisory body set up by the Centre to help guide policy on road safety. The council features representatives from state governments, various ministries and external experts.
  • According to the court, the NRSC unanimously agreed in 2004, that licences for liquor shops should not be given along national highways.

Yes,it’s a judicial overreach:-

  • All directive principles of state policy are ‘policy issues’ which should be left to the government. It is not the job of the court to force the government to implement them.
  • This was certainly not a fit case to invoke the extraordinary powers of the court to do ‘complete justice’ under Article 142.
  • Governmental intent in this matter is clear from the 2004 directive of the National Road Safety Council established under the Motor Vehicle Act,1988 in which states have been repeatedly advised ‘not only to remove liquor shops from the national highways but also to immediately stop issuance of fresh licences to liquor vendors along with national highways’.
  • The media has also criticised this order for the loss of jobs and revenue; and also on the ground that red wine is good for health.

It’s an effective step:-

  • Booze ban is intended to steer the safety wheel for night travellers

It’s not an effective step:-

  • The two orders of the Supreme Court have had catastrophic fiscal consequences for almost all states, with revenue losses estimated to be in excess of Rs 75,000 crore and a potential loss of one million jobs.
  • No country in the world, much less its courts, reduced deaths by drunken driving by closing liquor shops. Stringent punishment for those driving after drinking, being found with alcohol above a certain limit (through breath and/or blood tests) has a salutary effect.
  • The ban puts thousands of valid businesses employing lakhs of people at risk.
  • Such closures will lead to enormous losses to business and tourism, which will translate into jobs lost as well as huge revenue losses for state governments which could have been spent on people’s welfare.
  • The uncertainty of India’s business climate will deter investment from coming to India.
  • And given the number of livelihoods at stake it’s more than likely that illegal liquor vends will proliferate along highways, leading to bigger risks to public safety.
  • To avoid the ban, Punjab changed the National Highway status of its roads to state highway

Policing should improve on highways to tackle drunken driving. State governments should be directed to allocate more resources for this purpose. Only constant checking of drivers and punishment for offenders can deter those who drink and drive. Blanket bans and prohibition-like decrees, whether from judiciary or legislature, only make the problem worse.


  1. GST may widen the economic discrepancies within the states leading to rise in political fragmentation. Critically comment. (GS 3)

How GST can lead to political fragmentation:-

  • It is being rolled out in a political economy context characterized by skyrocketing economic disparity both between and within major states.may put pressure on the federal nature of India’s polity.
  • The centralization of economic policy, as epitomized by GST, is occurring in a political economy context in which regional parties are more important than ever.
  • GST aims to forge an economic union of India at a time when the economic disparity among the various states of India is at its peak.Such economic disparity combined with India’s unique political diversity renders the GST regime vulnerable to fractious demands.
  • It is then evident that the policy priorities and taxation structure need to be different for these two states, in line with their economic and demographic differences.
  • GST can potentially exacerbate regional inequality. What complicates this further in the Indian context is its unique nature of political diversity.

However the views of GST against political fragmentation are overhyped because of the following reasons :-

  • GST formation is based on political consensus , thus reducing possibility of fragmentation
  • GST council: It has one state one vote , thus giving equal voice to all states
  • One nation one market would improve interdependency and reduce fragmentation

How it will increase economic discrepancies:-

  • The richer states can lose out on revenue as inter state trade is strong in India .
  • Additional taxes cannot be levied by states under GST.
  • Investment situation in poorer states might not develop even after GST is implemented as they don’t have sufficient resources to provide tax incentives.
  • The states with high consumption would garner more state taxes vis-a-vis poor states that have low per capita income and poverty

Positive implications on economy:-

  • The implication is that uniform tax rates across all states of India will serve as a unifying force of efficiency.
  • Replacing several hundreds of different tax rates across the 29 states of India with just five tax slabs for all goods and services will reduce friction in the movement of goods and services across state borders.
  • This can boost economic activity and contribute substantially to gross domestic product (GDP) growth. For these reasons, the GST initiative has been justifiably acclaimed as a milestone economic reform in independent India.
  • Poorer states with get benefitted because of uniform taxation .
  • increase in revenue of all states especially poor ones like Bihar, UP that have highest corruption and lack state capacity
  • Tax base: Poor state have huge population ie demand especially for FMCG goods, thus they would collect higher taxes in destination based system.
  • Overall national economy would improve due to ease of doing business and higher foreign investments.
  • Tax evasion will decrease.

Therefore GST would significantly benefit Indian economy and there is need for mitigating the concerns in a amicable and friendly manner so that political consensus stays intact.


  1. “Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.” Analyze this statement. (GS 4)

How is leadership the capacity to translate vision into reality:-

  • Leadership is defined as “the process in which an individual influences the group of individuals to attain a common goal ”. The goal is attained by reciprocated cooperation and cohesive behaviour. A leader infuses a sense of positivity and directs others to reach the specified goal.
  • A leader has a dream, and the passion to pursue it. A leader also has analytical skills, decision-making ability, and a go-getter attitude. Leaders dream big and have the grit to bring those dreams into reality. They also possess virtues like integrity, dedication, fairness, openness of mind to greet new ideas, and innovativeness. A good leader is one who is influential enough to get others to follow him/her willingly.
    • For instance during Indian freedom struggle,masses followed Indian leaders like Gandhi,Bose,Bhagat Singh willingly and helped them achieve Indian independence.
  • Most great leaders have a noticeably superior skill at articulating, in very authentic manner, their vision for the enterprise and what it means for all of us in real, tangible and inclusive ways.
  • The truly extraordinary leaders also have the situational intelligence to help each team recognize their role in the success equation, feel the gravitas of their contribution and create the unity of focused, fast and flexible teams throughout the organization.

Some times even good leaders can’t translate their vision into reality in that era may be because of lack of resources and technology in that particular time but could be translated into reality but under the leadership of different individuals at a different age .

Thus, leadership is a potential ability to help team reach a goal. To ensure that vision is successfully translated into reality, leader shall align their personal vision with the greater vision of the organisation to bring motivation within the leader.


 

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Download: Mains Marathon – April 2017 Compilation


Download the compiled file of ForumIAS Mains Marathon (April, 2017) Compilation by clicking on the image below:


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For other DownloadsVisit our Free Downloads Page


 

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Mains Marathon

Essay Test – June 3, 2017



Instructions:  Write an essay on any one of the following in about 1000-1200 words.
Time : 90 minutes

Marks : 125


1. The government should not be in the business of doing business.


2. Triple Talaq: An issue of gender equality, not religion.


 

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UPSC Current Affairs Questions and Answer Writing – Mains Marathon – June 2nd

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Mains Marathon

UPSC Current Affairs Questions and Answer Writing – Mains Marathon – June 1st

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Mains Marathon

UPSC Current Affairs Questions and Answer Writing – Mains Marathon – May 31



There are some technical issues, due to which posts are being published in delay.


Read the following questions and answer them by clicking on the links in not more than 200 words

Time: 30 Minutes

Kindly review each others answers.


1.  The French Revolution became the classic example of a revolution which many nations tried to emulate. Discuss the biggest achievements of the French Revolution. (GS 1)

Link


2. What was New Imperialism? How was it different from the earlier version? (GS 1)

Link


3. Discuss how maternal undernourishment is a potent contributor to child stunting in India. (GS 2)

LinkUNICEF


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Mains Marathon

Questions and Answer Writing – Mains Marathon – May 31



Sorry for the delay. There are some technical issues. We will try to resolve them soon.


Read the following questions and answer them by clicking on the links in not more than 200 words

Time: 30 Minutes

Kindly review each others answers.


1.  The French Revolution became the classic example of a revolution which many nations tried to emulate. Discuss the biggest achievements of the French Revolution. (GS 1)

Link


2. What was New Imperialism? How was it different from the earlier version? (GS 1)

Link


3. Discuss how maternal undernourishment is a potent contributor to child stunting in India. (GS 2)

LinkUNICEF


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Mains Marathon

UPSC Current Affairs Questions and Answer Writing – Mains Marathon – May 30



Sorry for the delay. There are some technical issues. We will try to resolve them soon.


Read the following questions and answer them by clicking on the links in not more than 200 words

Time: 30 Minutes

Kindly review each others answers.


1. Briefly discuss about the location and significance of Mangroves in India. (GS 1)

Link-1 | Link-2 | Link-3


2. Discuss the consequences of Climate Change on agriculture and food security in India. (GS 1, GS 3)

Link-1 | Link-2


3. How can the government ensure accountability and transparency in the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities in India? (GS 3)

Link


Update: New Plan for Portal


 

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Mains Marathon

UPSC Current Affairs Questions and Answer Writing – Mains Marathon – May 29



Read the following questions and answer them by clicking on the links in not more than 200 words

Time: 30 Minutes

Kindly review each others answers.


1. Discuss the key elements of Asia Africa Growth Corridor. (GS 2)

The Hindu


2. Political optics have overpowered economic logic in the framing of the GST structure. Critically comment. (GS 3)

Live Mint


3. “Ethics is nothing else than reverence for life.” Discuss.  (GS 4)