Answers: Mains Marathon – UPSC Mains Current Affairs Questions – March 19, 2018


Q.1) The practice of polygamy has a deep rooted existence in Indian society. In this context discuss the reasons why Supreme Court should delegitimize polygyny in India. What steps need to be taken in order to solve the problem of polygamy?(GS 1)

The practice of polygamy has a deep rooted existence in Indian society. Polygamy is the practice of marrying multiple spouses. When a man is married to more than one wife at a time, it is called polygyny. On the other hand when a woman is married to more than one husband at a time, it is called polyandry. Polygamy is banned under Hindu Marriage act, 1955 and section 494 of IPC (Indian penal code) makes it a punishable offence. Apart from that Koran allowed polygyny under special historical circumstances.

Why Supreme Court should delegitimize polygyny in India?

Supreme Court should delegitimize and completely ban polygyny in India because:

  • This practice is considered a violation of human and fundamental rights.
  • Against fundamental rights: This practices is in contravention of Article 14 (equality before law), and article 15(prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, or place of birth) and article 21(right to life and personal liberty) of the Constitution.
  • The practice of polygamy is neither harmonious with the modern principles of human rights and gender equality, nor an integral part of Islamic faith.
  • Against women dignity: The practice is highly derogatory and is against the dignity of women.
  • Offensive practice : As per Hindu marriage act practice of polygny is a serious offence against section 494 Indian Penal Code(IPC) which is punishable .

Steps needs to be taken to curb polygamy:

  • The Supreme court should try to regulate such practices instead of complete ban and delegitimization.
  • The Muslim communities need to discuss such issues among themselves.
  • A religious reform within the society is very important for its existence and viability.
  • The Supreme Court should concentrate on eradicating these social evils from the Indian society without hurting the sentiments of any particular community.
  • The court should take steps to eliminate the flaws in the Marriage Acts of different religious communities and should ensure that equal rights and equal say is given to every member of the family especially the women.
  • A blanket ban on polygnous practice as mentioned in Sharia is not desirable as it can trigger communal violence.
  • A middle path has to be taken to ensure women’s rights are not infiltrated and laws are not abused or transgressed.


Although the constitution provides religious freedom but it is not sacrosanct. It is subject to public order, morality etc. Hence no religious practice should discriminate against women and hide under the garb of right to religion.  Therefore, the Supreme Court of the land should concentrate on eradicating these social evils from the Indian society without hurting the sentiments of any particular community.

Q2)Discuss the effects of ocean acidification on coral reefs and also highlight other factors having adverse affects on the development of coral reefs. (GS 3)

Coral reefs are diverse underwater ecosystems held together by calcium carbonate structures secreted by corals.Coral reefs are built by colonies of tiny animals found in marine water that contain few nutrients.As oceans get more acidic, sediments that constitute coral reefs could begin dissolving by the end of this century.

Factors  threatening Corals around the world:

Ocean acidification:

  • Ocean acidification causes coral reef systems to erode.   Ocean acidification is the ongoing decrease in the PH of the Earth’s oceans, caused by the uptake of carbon dioxide(CO2) from the atmosphere.
  • In several reef systems, acidification also dissolves corals’ carbonate sediments.
  • Ocean acidification involves a shift towards pH-neutral conditions rather than a transition to acidic conditions.
  • Ocean acidification is expected to impact ocean species to varying degrees. Photosynthetic algae and seagrasses may benefit from higher CO2 conditions in the ocean, as they require CO2 to live just like plants on land.
  • Such acidification can reduce coral calcification and growth, and lead to a decline in coral diversity.
  • Fish behaviour is also impacted by ocean acidification, increasing the risk of mortality of some species.
  • Ocean acidification may also encourage the growth of seaweeds, which compete for space with corals. The growth of seagrasses also benefits from ocean acidification as long as light levels are high.

Other factors:

  • Increased ocean temperatures caused algae that live as symbionts within corals to leave, stressing the corals.
  •  Breakdown of coral reefs is due to waves, winds, hurricanes, and currents.
  • Temperature: Corals survive in very narrow range of temperature & adopted to live in warm waters. Slight change in temperature because of solar radiation variation cause coral bleaching
  • Climate change problem, ENSO effect also cause variation in temperature causing death of coral bleach
  • Fresh water dilution: Fresh water from runoffs causes dilution of fresh water. As corals are adapted to Saline water , they react adversely in such circumstances
  • Sedimentation: Sediments, industrial garbage disposal in ocean have caused chemicals accumulation in ocean water, thus hampering the growth of corals.
  • Epizootics: pathogen which cause disease.
  • Due to these reasons the corals are rapidly dying (through a process called coral bleaching). For example: more than half of the corals dead in the Great Barrier Reef region.

Q3) Write a short on the following

a) LaQshya programme(GS 1)

b) National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR)GS 1

LaQshya programme(GS 1)

  • It is an initiative to improve the quality of care in the labour rooms, operation theatres and other mother and child areas in public health facilities across the country.
  • The programme aims at implementing ‘fast-track’ interventions for achieving tangible results within 18 months.
  • Under the initiative, a multipronged strategy has been adopted, including improving infrastructure upgradation, ensuring availability of essential equipment, providing adequate human resources, capacity building of healthcare workers and improving quality processes in the labour room.
  • Ensuring privacy for mothers-to-be, providing a comfortable position during delivery, no-tolerance policy towards verbal or physical abuse on women and no demand of gratuitous payment by the staff.
  • A healthcare facility achieving 70% score on NQAS will be declared ‘LaQshya’ certified. Facilities scoring over 90, 80 and 70% will get platinum, gold and silver badges respectively.

National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR)GS 1

  • The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) is a statutory body established under the Commission for Protection of Child Rights Act in December 2005.
  • The commission works under the aegis of Ministry of Women and Child development.
  • Its Mandate is “to ensure that all Laws, Policies, Programmes, and Administrative Mechanisms are in consonance with the Child Rights perspective as enshrined in the Constitution of India and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
  • As defined by the commission, child includes those up to the age of 18 years.
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