Answers: Mains Marathon – UPSC Mains Current Affairs Questions – December 7, 2018

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Q.1) The G20 bloc brings congruence between developed and developing countries. In this light evaluate the relevance of G20.

Answer:

The G20 membership comprises a mix of the world’s largest advanced and emerging economies. It was established in 2008 amidst the global financial crisis to increase international economic cooperation.

Challenges to relevance of G20:

  1. Animosity, shifting coalitions and potential blocs within the G20 — such as the G7 and BRICS — affect the likelihood of reaching consensus with in group.
  2. Although IMF resources had been increased, the current level of international safety nets is not enough to stabilize the global economy.
  3. The slowdown in the pace of global finance reforms is another problem for the G20.
  4. The G20 focuses mostly on reforming the global financial system to increase global economic growth. But the world is also experiencing severe socio-economic problems such as increasing income inequality, youth unemployment and gender inequality.
  5. G-20 failed to become either the economic or the political “global steering committee” that it wished to be. It failed to foresee the need to consult nations outside the G-20 about decisions which directly affected them.

Need for G20:

  1. Threat to rules based trading order due to rising protectionism.
  2. G-20 is a useful framework for discussing global economic problems.

 

Q.2) What is regionalism. How does regionalism support India’s federal character?

Answer:

Regionalism as an ideology seeks to advance the cause of a region. It aims to further the socio economic and allround well being of a region.

Cases of regionalism in India:

In India, regionalism is borne out of many factors – cultural, economic and political. While some are outcomes of the diversity in the country, some are due to the imbalanced regional development witnessed over decades.

  1. Language proved to be a source of regionalism Eg., formation of Andhra Pradesh out of Tamil Nadu on the common ground of Tamil speaking people.
  2. Ethnic ties were the cause behind demands for statehood in several North Eastern states like Nagaland.
  3. Uneven economic growth have led to demands for separate states in the background regions of states. Eg., Telangana in Andhra Pradesh, Chattisgarh out of Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand out of Bihar etc.,
  4. Today, sons of soil doctrine and backlash against migrant workers are the forms of regionalism.
  5. Interstate disputes over sharing of river waters, construction of dams etc., Cauvery water dispute, Krishna water dispute are examples.

Within federal framework:

  1. Almost all the states accommodated themselves within the federal framework except the few instances of secessionism. Loyalty to region did not stand against loyalty to the country.
  2. Creation of states based on rational demands have reduced the discord to some extent.
  3. Measures like 73rd and 74th amendments, 5th and 6th schedules created greater autonomy for respective regions and reduced any sources of discord.
  4. Today country is witnessing a trend of competitive federalism where states are competing for development.
  5. Technology is playing a larger role in integration of the country economically and politically. Eg., GST, NITI Ayog

 

Q.3) What do you mean by political attitude? What are the factors that can affect one’s political attitude?

Answer:

Political attitudes are the approaches of people towards the areas of public life, life nationalism, liberalism etc., These attitudes decide how people participate, whom they vote for and which political parties they support.

Factors shaping political attitudes:

  1. Family – it is the primary factor impacting young minds’ political opinions. Children tend to grow up and have the political attitude similar to their parents.
  2. Education & knowledge – education empowers an individual to assess the political developments through his own lens. It enables him to understand them without taking of others to interpret the happenings.
  3. Economic conditions – one’s economic condition plays a great role in deciding which way they choose. A capitalist may want a reform friendly government to win while a poor man may prefer one with socialist tendencies.
  4. Group/ community – race/ religion/ gender/ region – these play a large role in shaping one’s ideas of what is right. A person from a small region in a state may be easily swayed by political opinion in favour of smaller states. Similarly women may support political movements demanding greater share for women in every walk of life.

 

Q.4) Despite the various interventions taken by the government to address the problem of malnutrition, still it is widely prevalent in India. Analyse.

Answer:

Malnutrition involves a dietary deficiency. According to WHO, malnutrition is the gravest single threat to global public health. 38% of children under 5 are affected by stunting. About 21% of children under 5 are defined as ’wasted’ or ‘severely wasted.

Governmental interventions:

  1. Mid Day Meal scheme
  2. ICDS – Integrated Child Development Service Programme is a programme under which a package of integrated services consisting of supplementary nutrition, immunization, health check up are provided to the most vulnerable groups within children and women
  3. POSHAN Abhiyan targets to reduce stunting, undernutrition, anemia (among young children, women and adolescent girls) and reduce low birth weight by 2%, 2%, 3% and 2% per annum respectively.
  4. Mothers Absolute Affection (MAA) – It is an attempt to bring undiluted focus on promotion of breastfeeding.

Challenges in eliminating it:

  1. Poverty and lack of proper food availability. Rising costs of food due to poor management of agriculture policies.
  2. Limitations of schemes life PDS in providing quality nutrition.
  3. Lack of awareness on micronutrient deficiencies.  Low awareness regarding nutrition and use of local nutritious food including sources of nutrients.
  4. Changing lifestyles leading to bad food choices and obesity. Food patterns shifted towards cereal-centric diets.
  5. Inadequate access to safe drinking water and proper sanitation facilities.
  6. Inappropriate and sub-optimal infant and young child feeding and caring practices.
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