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Below are the suggested answers of UPSC Mains Marathon Current Affairs Questions – August 11.

Note: The suggested answers are indicative only, and not exhaustive.


1. Discuss the important objectives of Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006. Examine the impact of child marriage on maternal mortality and right to education.(GS 1)

The Hindu | NCW | Link

Introdution:

  • According to 2001 census, there are 1.5 millions of girls in India under the age of 15 years already married.
  • Worldwide, the United Nations estimates more than 60 million women and girls are affected, and considers girl child marriage to be a health and human rights violation.
  • To ensure that child marriage is eradicated from within the society, the Government of India enacted Prevention of Child marriage Act 2006 by replacing the earlier legislation of Child Marriage Restraint Act 1929

Objectives of prohibition of children act ,2006:-

  • It is to prohibit solemnization of child marriage and connected and incidental matters.
  • armed with enabling provisions to prohibit for child marriage, protect and provide relief to victim and enhance punishment for those who abet, promote or solemnize such marriage.
  • This Act also calls appointment of Child Marriage Prohibition Officer for implementing this Act
  • To ensure socio economic development of the child through education.
  • To protect and promote the interests of the child marriage victim and ensure strict penalty for offenders

Impact of child marriage on maternal mortality and right to education:

  • Maternal mortality:
    • Countries in which girls are commonly married before the age of 18 have significantly higher rates of maternal and infant mortality.
    • Girls married as minors are more likely to bear children as minors, resulting in higher risk for delivery complications, low infant birth weight and child malnutrition.
    • The data from the International Centre for Research on Women shows that girls who are younger than 15 years are five times more likely to die in childbirth than women who are in their 20s.
    • Pregnancy is seen consistently to be one of the leading causes of death for girls ages 15 to 19 worldwide.
    • Premature labour, Still Births children and New Born Deaths
      • UNICEF estimates that rates of still births and new-born deaths are 50% higher among mothers under 20 than in mothers who give birth in their 20s.
    • Child marriage often entails a very violent introduction into sexual relations, which can cause long-term health issues for women.
      • Obstetric Fistula is a dangerous medical condition which young mothers are consequently at much higher risk of developing this otherwise-preventable condition.
      • A report by the Ministry of Women and Child Development shows that as of 2013 over two million girls and young mothers are affected by this complication in India.
    • Risk of HIV and other Sexually Transmitted Diseases Since child brides are often married to older, sexually experienced men, they are also at risk of being affected by sexually transmitted diseases.
    • Thus Child Marriage is an act of gender violence with severe health consequences, which also has myriad social implications
  • Education:
    • Harmful consequences of such child marriage are that, child losses opportunities for education and segregation from family and friends, sexual exploitation, child more vulnerable to domestic violence,
    • it is clear that child marriage often means the end to a girls’ formal education.
    • Child marriage and early pregnancy can also force girls out of school.
    • Girls tend to drop out before or shortly after marriage because their new role of wife often comes with new expectations around taking care of the home as well as caring for children and extended family.

Way ahead:

  • Education can be one of the most powerful tools to enable girls to avoid child marriage and fulfil their potential.
  • more community awareness, building on girls’ education and capacity building of the families are necessary.
  • In today’s world skill building and making the girls economically independent will go a long way in curbing the problem of child marriage
  • need to address the root cause of child marriage: gender inequality and the low value assigned to girls in society.
  • media could also be used to change the mindset of people with the help of street plays, poster campaigns, television documentaries, SMS campaigns, radio shows and printed articles.

2. Analyze the state-wise performance of the services sector in India. Examine the reasons for the disparity in the performance. What advantage does service sector industry enjoy over the manufacturing sector in India?(GS 3)

Live Mint | Link

Introduction:

  • The services sector is not only the dominant sector in India’s GDP, but has also attracted significant foreign investment flows, contributed significantly to exports as well as provided large-scale employment.
  • The services sector is the key driver of India’s economic growth.
  • The sector contributed around 66.1 per cent of its Gross Value Added growth in 2015-16, thereby becoming an important net foreign exchange earner and the most attractive sector for FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) inflows

State wise performance of services sector in India and reasons for disparities:

  • Southern states like Tamilnadu and karnata have more IT services because of availability of labour which is also cheap.
  • Because of classy infrastructure in the regions like Delhi,Mumbai the services sector is booming here.
  • However some of the states lack investment like the north eastern states, due to lack of proper connectivity, infrastructure and at the same time security issues
  • Lack of development ,Human resource availability, Naxal movements affect some of the regions like Orissa,Chattisgarh etc..
  • Services establishments in richer states adopt technology somewhat more than those in poor ones, while those in urban areas have greater usage ratios than their rural counterparts.
  • Policies of the government in southern states where land is allotted for IT companies in some states as well.
    • Availability of skilled manpower is easy in these states as well.

Services sector advantages over manufacturing sector are:

  • Services account for many more of the larger establishments in India compared to manufacturing.
  • Services are also much more urbanized than manufacturing. While large manufacturing firms are moving away from the urban core to the rural periphery, the same trend is not evident for organized services.
  • Relative to manufacturing, economic activity in services tends to be spread around larger distance bands.
  • They create many more jobs
  • contribute more to output and productivity growth.
  • They also employ more women
  • Are less likely to despoil the environment. Services are also less vulnerable to global trade protectionism.
  • Flexibility of work available.
  • Although services are more urbanized than manufacturing, they are not tied to big cities.
    • This raises the possibility that services could be the new growth driver that can promote inclusive spatial development, and create more jobs in secondary cities.
  • Services have the potential to better spread spatial gains, if complemented by policies such as investment in digital literacy and better regulation.
  • Activity for organized manufacturing tends to decline faster and in a more regular pattern from the three largest cities compared to services, where activity is relatively more spread out.

3. What are the possible security concerns related to Aadhar? Do you think that privacy is ensured in Aadhar? Justify your answer with reasons.(GS 3)

Indian Express-1 | The Hindu | Indian Express-2 | Link

Introduction:

  • Aadhaar, the Unique Identification of individuals in India has become one of the largest biometric identification projects in the world, having touched 1.2 billion people.
  • With the passing of Aadhaar act in 2016, use of Aadhaar for various private and public services has increased multifold including e-Know Your Customer for issuing mobile SIMs, linking bank accounts for direct benefit transfer, and more recently for income-tax filing, amongst others
  • So there is a need to assess the security complications and privacy issues with respect to Aadhar

Security and privacy concerns due to aadhar:

  • The possibility of identity theft and the possibility of government surveillance of residents.
  • The identity information so collected and combined with other information such as bank account number, hospital ID, student entrance test registration number can reveal lot more about the individual than what a mere Aadhaar number provides.
    • Hence, privacy violation through aggregation in the case of Aadhaar is quite high as more and more services use Aadhaar for identification and authentication.
  • Secondary use:
    • Secondary use is the use of data for purposes unrelated to the purposes for which the data was initially collected without the data subject’s consent.
    • Aadhar can be used for secondary use
  • Confidentiality:
    • Any disclosure of identity information and hence a breach of confidentiality is likely to raise serious credibility issues.
  • personal data collected during Aadhaar enrolment might make its way into the hands of private players
    • UIDAI had outsourced the responsibility of collecting the data to 556 private agencies.
  • Aadhar is supported on the myth that biometric based identity is infallible, robust and safe.But this is not true
  • To commit an Aadhaar-enabled fraud, it is sufficient to fake the biometric authentication, so the security of the database itself is not a factor to consider at all
  • The entire burden of uncertainty is borne by the individual. If authentication fails on all counts, the only recourse available is to update the biometrics in the database, which is again governed by ambiguous regulations
  • Biometric authentication is essentially a method of image recognition (or pattern matching) and always results in a probabilistic score, rather than a clear match/mismatch.
    • This has been clearly revealed in the security breach case involving Axis Bank, Suvidhaa Infoserve and eMudhra
    • Use of biometric authentication as a means of identity presents a persistent and immitigable risk of identity theft.

Privacy is ensured by Aadhar:

  • Experts make points on UIDAI’s defence on three counts:
    • The database is sufficiently encrypted and protected against breaches
  • biometric collection at the authentication end is encrypted (either in software or in hardware)
  •  there are penal provisions in the Aadhaar Act to deter any unauthorised access.
  • The associated benefits of Aadhaar, including de-duplication, efficiency, and transparency, especially to the advantage of the poor who were extorted by intermediaries this far are very necessary

What can be done?

  • It should be mandatory that the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) develops clear rules as to who gets “requesting entity” status and the enforcement regulation for disclosing the primary Aadhaar number as well as any aggregated information based on Aadhaar number.
  • Instead of making all decisions ex-post, the need of the hour is a comprehensive ex-ante privacy regulation that addresses all dimensions of privacy.
  • . A comprehensive regulation on the use of Aadhaar card, number, and associated information is required for residents to repose their faith on Aadhaar.
  • At the same time, the tidbits in the Information Technology (Amendment) Act 2008 such as clauses 66A & 72 alone are not sufficient for protecting the privacy of individuals.
  • With national ID project well underway, a comprehensive privacy and data protection regulation is the need of the hour.

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