Answers: Mains Marathon – UPSC Mains Current Affairs Questions – February 12, 2018


Q.1) What do you mean by Gender Responsive Budgeting? What are the schemes and initiatives taken to encourage and empower women in the recent the Union Budget 2018? (GS-3)


  • Gender-responsive budgeting seeks to ensure that the collection and allocation of public resources is carried out in ways that are effective and contribute to advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment.
  • Gender-responsive budgeting is not about creating separate budgets for women, or solely increasing spending on women’s programs.
  • It should be based on in-depth analysis that identifies effective interventions for implementing policies and laws that advance women’s rights.
  • It provides tools to assess the different needs and contributions of men and women, and boys and girls within the existing revenues, expenditures and allocations and calls for adjusting budget policies to benefit all groups.

Schemes and initiatives taken to encourage and empower women in the recent the Union Budget 2018:

The Schemes and initiatives taken to encourage and empower women in the recent the Union Budget 2018 are as follows:

Budget allocation:

  • The total budget allocation to the Department of Women and Child Development will be Rs 24700 crores for the FY 2018-19.

Schemes and initiatives:

Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan – Kusum Scheme:

  • Central government has announced Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan – Kusum Scheme for farmers.
  • Kusum Scheme will solarize agricultural pump sets to double the income of farmers by 2022.

Solar Charkha Scheme:

  • The Government of India has introduced Solar Charkha Scheme under Solar Spindle Mission.
  • Its objective is to generate women employment with five crore jobs and promote khadi.

Take-home salary:

  • Take-home salary of new women employees to go up in the formal sector.
  • The government will fund 12% of wages for new employees of Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) in all sectors

Rate of the EPF for women:

  • The EPF contribution from women employees will be brought down from 12 per cent to 8 per cent in their first three years of employment.
  • For this, the Employees Provident Fund Act will be amended accordingly.

Self-help groups:

  • Women self-help groups will be encouraged to take up organic farming.

Loans to women self-help groups:

  • Loans to women self-help groups will increase to Rs 75,000 crore by March 2019.

Electricity connections:

  • Under-privileged women will get four crore electricity connections under Saubhagya Yojana.

Mudra Yojana:

  • The allocation for Mudra Yojana, which provides entrepreneurship loans to those who may not otherwise be able to access funds, has been raised from Rs 2.44 lakh crore to Rs 3 lakh crore.

Q.2) Discuss the problems plaguing the Indian Judiciary for which it is losing its sheen. What are some of the steps taken by the government in order to address the same? (GS–2)


  • Our judicial system prides itself in being one of the greatest things to have happened to Indian Democracy.
  • Sadly, it is losing quite a lot of its sheen courtesy taking very long to clear cases which have been affected quite a few people some numbering in tens of thousands.

Problems faced by Indian Judiciary:

The problems faced by Indian Judiciary are as follows:

  • There is much delay in judgment and huge pendency of cases.
  • Lack of judges and inefficient management is the reason behind delay in justice delivery.
  • Inadequate data on pending cases and lack of scientific maintenance of data makes it difficult to analyse problems and propose sustainable solutions for the judiciary.
  • There is no unanimity on the number of judges in the country.
  • A lot of cases are entertained under article 136, which would otherwise not fall in the criminal/appellate/advisory jurisdictions.
  • Often the judges have to hear cases related to technical matters such as taxation, environmental policy etc.
  • There is lack of infrastructure and manpower shortage.
  • Judicial proceedings are prohibitively expensive and confusing for commoners and delay in justice delivery has denied gainful opportunities for many.
  • Judiciary lacks expertise in dealing with new age problems like Corp Tax, Cyber laws, International treaties, Climate change and its conservative attitude is exploited and corrupt go scot free.
  • Corruption is also an major issue in judicial system as it is any other government department especially in lower courts increasing transparency and accountability corruption can be bought down.
  • Absence of separate Commercial Courts to adjudicate on disputes of civil nature resulting in large number of pending civil suits related to various business and services related disputes in the high courts.

Following steps were taken by the government to address the above mentioned problems are:

Steps taken by the government to address the problems faced by Indian judiciary are as follows:

  • Tribunals: Tribunals have been set up to deal with technical matters and appeals against their orders are usually capped.
  • Special benches like the social justice bench have been set up.
  • Quasi judicial bodies like NHRC take some load off the judiciary
  • Recently India has seen efforts like separate benches for Trade disputes, Tribunals, Lok Adalats and Rural courts, NJAC, release of undertrials, PIL etc to unclog .

Q.3) Section 375 of the IPC now states that sexual intercourse or acts with a man with his own wife, not being under eighteen years of age, is not rape. What do you understand by marital rape? Do you think that government’s refusal to criminalize marital rape is unjust and inconsistent? Comment critically. (GS- 1)


  • Marital rape or spousal rape is the act of sexual intercourse with one’s spouse without the consent of the other spouse.
  • Also, Section 375 of the IPC now states that sexual intercourse or acts with a man with his own wife, not being under eighteen years of age, is not rape.

Government’s refusal to criminalize marital rape:

Yes, to an extent, government’s refusal to criminalize marital rape is unjust and inconsistent.

  • When a woman says she is sexually violated, that is not the only thing happening to her – it is often coupled with the husband not giving money, or beating her.
  • Marital rape is a form of domestic violence and sexual abuse.
  • Although it was once widely unrecognized by law and society as wrong or as a crime, it is now recognized as rape by many societies around the world, repudiated by international conventions, and increasingly criminalized.
  • The issues of sexual and domestic violence within marriage and the family unit, and more generally, the issue of violence against women, have come to growing international attention from the second half of the 20th century.

Misuse of law against marital rape:

  • Marital rape is difficult, practically impossible to prove or disprove.
  • There are several questions that remain unanswered by those demanding a new law to deal specifically with marital rape.
  • What may appear to be marital rape to an individual wife, it may not appear so to others.
  • As to what constitutes marital rape and what would constitute marital non-rape needs to be defined precisely before a view on its criminalization is taken
  • If all sexual acts by a man with his own wife will qualify to be marital rape, then the judgment as to whether it is a marital rape or not will singularly rest with the wife.
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