Answers: Mains Marathon – UPSC Mains Current Affairs Questions – January 10, 2019

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Q.1) Legislature as people representative body should reflects society as whole by providing reservation to women who constitute half of population. Discuss the significance women reservation in legislature?

Answer:

Need for reservations:

  1. The Constitution of India guaranteed justice-social, economic and political, liberty of thought, and equality to all citizens.
  2. While the global average for Women in Parliament stands at 22.4%, India is at the 103rd place out of 140 countries with a mere 12% representation.
  3. Article 243 (D) already allows political reservation of women in every panchayat elections.
  4. Poor participation of women has a direct impact on the priorities and assumptions of policies and legislations.
  5. There will be a qualitative change in governance with the inclusion of women in decision-making processes.

 

Q.2) The mandates of Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 and National Register of Citizens Assam exercise are contradictory. In this context analyze the problems in implementation of Joint Parliamentary Committee report on Citizenship Bill 2016?

Answer:

Citizenship amendment bill aims to provide citizenship to the persecuted minorities from our neighbouring countries. But the NRC is an exercise aimed at addressing the problem of refugees in the state of Assam. Thus the two exercises are contradictory.

Joint Parliamentary Committee report on Citizenship Bill 2016:

  1. Assam government should help settle migrants “especially in places which are not densely populated, thus, causing lesser impact on the demographic changes and providing succour to the indigenous Assamese people.”
  2. The committee cited submissions from various ministries to the effect that “the fear of religious persecution is real and widely prevalent in all three countries under reference”.
  3. The committee concurred “with the proposal of the government to enable members of the six minority communities”, who had come from the three neighbouring countries due to “religious persecution”, to apply for citizenship.
  4. The committee maintained that keeping Bangladesh out of the purview of the proposed amendments “would negate the very objects and reasons for bringing the Bill”.

Problems:

  1. RAW expressed concerns that laws like this can lead to some groups infiltrating their own people into our country.
  2. The basic stand of the bill that links religion to citizenship is supported with this report.
  3. The bill could end up exposing the ethnic divisions in the state of Assam.
  4. The Bill went against the provisions of the 1985 accord and Section 6A

 

Q.3) What could be implications of withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan in the region. In this context analyze need of reform in India’s Afghan policy?

Answer:

Implications of US withdrawal:

  1. The internal situation in Afghanistan is aggravated by the uncertainty of the democratic process.
  2. Afghanistan is experiencing political, social and security instability, with extremists taking advantage of the turmoil in the country.
  3. The removal or reduction of the U.S. presence from most theatres of action has created space for regional players: leaving Syria to Iran and its allies; Yemen to Saudi Arabia; Afghanistan to players like Russia, Pakistan and Iran; and Pakistan to China.

Indian policy:

  1. India cannot replace Pakistan’s position geographically, nor can it ever offer the U.S. or any other force what Pakistan has offered in the past, including bases and permission for U.S. forces to bomb its own territory.
  2. India’s best course with Afghanistan remains its own regional strategy, not becoming a part of any other country’s strategy.
  3. Close bilateral consultations like this week’s visit to Delhi of National Security Advisor Hamdullah Mohib, are the basis of India’s ability to help Afghanistan according to its needs, not India’s ambitions, and the reason for the immense popularity and goodwill India continues to enjoy in Afghanistan.
  4. In Afghanistan, the decision to downsize troop presence comes at a moment when Washington has embarked on direct talks with the Taliban brokered by Pakistan.

 

Q.4) Poor Learning Outcomes in elementary education is attributed to No Detention Policy under Right to Education Act. Critically Analyze?   

Answer:

Right to Education Act 2009 includes a no detention policy where no child admitted in a school will be held back in any class till Class 8.

Problems with No Detention Policy:

  1. Falling learning outcomes that translate into an over 20% dropout at Class IX.
  2. Consecutive ASER reports have found that learning outcomes remain below par.  
  3. Teachers lost leverage over students with many government schools turning into mere “mid-day meal” providers.
  4. NDP led to the undermining of the need to evaluate a school-goer’s learning outcomes.
  5. Continuous Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) that aimed to assess the child’s understanding is yet to be implemented in many schools.
  6. The already overloaded teachers were not given adequate training to undertake CCE.
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