Answers: Mains Marathon – UPSC Mains Current Affairs Questions – March 5, 2019

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Q.1) Making hospitalisation affordable brings readily noticeable relief, there is no alternative to strengthening primary health care in the pursuit of an efficient health systems. Discuss

Answer:

Primary Health care system is the first point of contact between health system and person, in case a person falls sick.  Its main aim is to provide local care to a patient because professionals related to primary care are normal generalists.

Need for strong primary health care system:

  1. Primary health interventions help detect diseases early, well before complications set in.
  2. It reduces the need for expensive secondary and tertiary healthcare.
  3. Of the total current expenditure on health classified by healthcare functions, preventive care accounts for 6.7%, while spending on curing people account for 51% of the total expenditure on health.
  4. Developed nations such as the UK, Australia, Canada, Netherlands and Sweden spend a large share of their federal healthcare budgets on primary care.
  5. India has been spending huge amount in cure of non-communicable diseases, which can only be won through a primary health system that ensures that chronic diseases are not only detected early, but also that preventive action is taken to ensure improved lifestyles.
  6. Unavailability of PHC from government leads to heavy burden of out of pocket expenses on consultations and drugs.

 

Q.2) Highlight the effectiveness of UNSC bans on terrorist groups. What other international mechanisms are available with India to defeat the harmful objectives of international terrorist groups?

Answer:

UNSC ban:

The ban will subject the person and the groups to global travel ban, asset freeze and arms embargo.

Challenges:

  1. The process follows arbitrary procedures for terrorist black-listing an individual or organisation
  2. Limitations of consensus and veto by members like China
  3. Lack of support from host country like Pakistan renders the resolution ineffective
  4. The committee is being criticised for being non transparent and in recent time there is demand for its reforms to address procedural shortcomings

Other mechanisms:

  1. FATF blacklisting
  2. United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
  3. United Nations Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force
  4. United Nations Counter-Terrorism Committee
  5. Eighteen universal instruments (fourteen instruments and four amendments) against international terrorism have been elaborated within the framework of the United Nations system relating to specific terrorist activities.
  6. Bilateral and multilateral mechanisms on information and intelligence exchange between countries

 

Q.3) As per the information revealed by an RTI, total of 384 tigers have been killed by poachers across the country in the last ten years. Discuss the reasons which create hurdles in elimination of poaching and laws and mechanism available in India against it?

Answer:

Hurdles in eliminating poaching:

  1. Difficult terrain
  2. Support of local groups to organised criminal gangs due to poverty
  3. Lack of infrastructure
  4. weak law enforcement mechanism; lack of coordination between the administration and law enforcement
  5. Disasters in the protected areas
  6. ineffective and cumbersome intelligence-gathering mechanism
  7. lack of monetary resources and modern equipment
  8. absence of anti-trafficking and anti-poaching tools, manpower, vehicles, and skilled enforcers

Mechanisms available:

  1. Wildlife Protection Act has stipulated strict punishments which include prison terms and fines
  2. Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB)
  3. TRAFFIC India pioneered the training of the sniffer dogs for wildlife protection in India back in 2008
  4. India is member of organisations like CITES, CMS that arrest cross border trade of wildlife
  5. Protected areas in the country also provide a shield against wildlife trade

 

Q.4) Lightning though less talked about, but is one of the major cause of hundreds of death tolls during rainy seasons around the world. Discuss the steps taken by government in India for safeguard of people from lightning and suggest what more can be done?

Answer:

Lightning strikes are common in India during heavy monsoon rains. At least 2,000 people have died in lightning strikes in India every year since 2005, according to the National Crime Records Bureau.

The lack of a reliable warning system is often cited as one reason for the high number of deaths. Another is that a large number of people work outdoors in India compared to other parts of the world, which makes them more vulnerable.

Steps:

  1. Collect proper statistics and conduct research on how to reduce fatalities.
  2. Apart from the Indian Meteorological Department, the only such centre that studies lightning and advises citizens is the Lightning Awareness and Research Centre (LARC) started by the Centre for Innovation in Science and Social Action.
  3. Empowering SDMAs and local bodies to act against it.
  4. Preventive measures like awareness generation through focused IEC activities.
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