Answers: Mains Marathon – UPSC Mains Current Affairs Questions – January 21, 2019


Q 1: Work-led migration can acts as potential bridge to demand-supply gap in Indian economy. Discuss the nature, concerns and reform needed for efficient  work-led migration in India?


Nature of migration in India:

  1. Seasonal – due to the seasonal nature of agriculture, most of the farm labour shift to urban areas in off-farm season
  2. Distress – due to failure of agriculture and distress in agrarian economy
  3. Rural – urban

a) Due to push factors

b) Due to pull factors

4. Gender

a) Women- general migrate after marriage; but the rising literacy levels have led to more women migrating for employment purposes

b) Men – due to poor job opportunities in rural areas, men are migrating to urban areas leading to feminisation of agriculture


  1. it is not free from distress — distress due to unemployment or underemployment in agriculture, natural calamities, and input/output market imperfections.
  2. a migrant’s lack of skills presents a major hindrance in entering the labour market.
  3. modern formal urban sector has often not been able to absorb the large number of rural workers entering the urban labour market.
  4. Most jobs in the urban informal sector pay poorly and involve self-employed workers who do petty production as they cant gain good value jobs
  5. various forms of discrimination do not allow migrants to graduate to better-paying jobs. They earn only two-thirds of what is earned by non-migrant workers, according to 2014 data.
  6. they have to incur a large cost of migration which includes the ‘search cost’ and the hazard of being cheated.
  7. they are outside the state-provided health care and education system; this forces them to borrow from employers in order to meet these expenses. frequent borrowing forces them to sell assets towards repayment of their loans.


  1. Scale-up interventions aimed at enhancing the benefits from circular or temporary migration.
  2. consider cultural dimensions reinforced by caste hierarchies and social consequences while targeting migrants.
  3. Need to build a national policy for migration
    1. Access to information on employment availability before migrating reduces the period of unemployment significantly.
    2. distinguish between policy interventions aimed at ‘migrants for survival’ and ‘migrants for employment’. Continued interventions over long periods of time yield better results for seasonal migrants. Eg., Interventions aimed at enhanced skill development
    3. Local bodies and NGOs which bring about structural changes in local regions need to be provided more space.


Q 2: Trust on institution depends on its transparent working. In this Context discuss challenges of Collegium system of judges appointment and reform measure needed?


In the case of judicial appointments,  in the third judges case (1998), SC opined that the consultation process to be adopted by CJI requires ‘consultation of plurality judges’. He should consult a collegium of 4 senior most judges of SC and even if two judges give an adverse opinion, he should not send the recommendation to the government.

Challenges posed by collegium:

  1. Main decision makers in cases of appointments and transfers were the judges i.e. the chief justice and two senior most judges who are not accountable to the public.
  2. It failed to keep pace with the stalled vacancies due to various reasons of caste and other political and communal reasons.
  3. There is no intelligence gathering mechanism to collect and keep a check on the professional and personal background of potential appointees.
  4. 214th Law commission of India criticized collegium on constitutional grounds. The word ‘collegium’ was not used by the constitution originally and the S.P Gupta case brought about its usage by using it.
  5. Chief justice of India should consult the collegium while the constitution says that the CJI and the judges should be consulted by the President.

Reforms needed:

  1. Bringing a judicial accountability bill clearly defining the punishments for deviant behavior.
  2. Making collegium functioning more transparent through openly welcoming applicants, listing out all the decision making process for public scrutiny.
  3. Working up a model of NJAC with balance of power.


Q 3: What are the reasons for declining population of indigenous tribes across world. Analyze the importance of isolation of indigenous tribes?


The recent incident involving Sentinelese tribe has brought the attention on indigenous tribes world over and the policy approach towards them.

Reasons for decline:

  1. Climate change
  2. Harmful external contacts that carry diseases to which the tribes do not have resistance.
  3. Influx of outside population and encroachment of their lands

Need for isolation:

  1. Large chunk of the population of the 10 Great Andamanese tribes was wiped out after the indigenous peoples caught syphilis, measles, and influenza on an epidemic scale following contact with the early settlers
  2. These tribes might be isolated, but their demise will have serious consequences. With their reverence for and understanding of nature, such groups serve as the world’s environmental sentinels.
  3. Safeguarding 80% of global diversity and playing a critical role in climate change mitigation and adaptation.
  4. When the devastating 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami struck, more than a quarter-million people died across 14 countries, but the two isolated Andaman tribes, which rely on traditional warning systems, suffered no known casualties.
  5. Indigenous people are an essential element of cultural diversity and ecological harmony, not to mention a biological treasure for scientists seeking to reconstruct evolutionary and migratory histories.


Q 4: What is National Skill Qualification Framework (NSQF). Discuss the importance, problems in implementation and way forwards for NSQF?


NSQF is an important component of Skill India Programme.


  1. It organises all courses according to a series of levels of knowledge, skills and aptitude, in 10 levels.
  2. It is similar to classes in schools, for instance, level 1 corresponds to Class 9. Levels 2, 3 and 4 correspond to Classes 10, 11 and 12, respectively. Levels 5-7 correspond to undergraduate education, and so on.
  3. All training and educational institutions must define eligibility criteria for admission to various courses in terms of NSQF levels.

India’s skill agenda got a push when the government introduced the National Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF). This organises all qualifications according to a series of levels of knowledge, skills and aptitude, just like classes in general academic education.


  1. Unlike general academic education, where certain level of certification is required before further progression is permitted, there is no clear definition of the course curriculum within the NSQF that enables upward mobility.
  2. There is no connection of the tertiary level vocational courses to prior real knowledge of theory or practical experience in a vocational field.
  3. Efforts to introduce new Bachelor of Vocation and Bachelor of Skills courses were made, but the alignment of these courses was not completed.
  4. Lack of alignment between the HRD Ministry (responsible for the school level and Bachelor of Vocation courses) and the Ministry of Skill Development (responsible for non-school/non-university-related vocational courses).
  5. There are too many Sector Skill Councils in India and each is not comprehensive, like we have four SSCs for manufacturing but they are treated as one in World Skills courses.

Way forward:

  1. Need for more holistic training and re-examining the narrow, short-term NSQF-based NSDC courses.
  2. NSDC should include skills in broader occupation groups to enable trainees work at the international level.
  3. SSCs should be consolidated in line with the National Industrial Classification of India to improve quality, outcomes, and help in directly assessing the trainee’s competence. It might also bring some coherence to our skills data collection system.
  4. Vocational education must provide broader skills in broader occupational groups.
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