Answers: Mains Marathon – UPSC Mains Current Affairs Questions – March 8, 2019


Q.1) Recent belated acquittal of death row convicts by Supreme Court highlights the need to junk the death penalty. In your opinion should capital punishment be abolished?


Reasons to abolish capital punishment:

  1. It denies a chance at reforming the accused
  2. The procedure is not always flawless
  3. It believes in the traditional idea of retributive justice
  4. It goes against the fundamental human rights and dignity of life
  5. Many times, the investigative machinery is found to be biased against people from certain backgrounds


Q.2) What are the reason that even better education for women is not leading to better job opportunities, marriage prospects or freedom of movement. In your opinion what should be done to improve the quality of life of women?


Despite higher enrolment ratios and better education outcomes, many women are not finding themselves suitably placed in the job market. This is due to a bad combination of social, cultural, political and economic factors.

Way out:

  1. Empowering women with latest skills
  2. Creating competition in markets traditionally considered female dominated life nurses. This improves remuneration
  3. Changing social attitudes through IEC campaigns and stricter law enforcement mechanisms
  4. Empowering women by creating awareness about their rights and basic liberties
  5. Gender sensitisation through education


Q.3) Despite the National Family Health Survey 4 (NFHS4) showing an encouraging improvement in  child nutrition, India continues to fare poorly in world rankings on child nutrition. Discuss the reasons for the same and suggest what needs to be done?


Recent ranking on global hunger put India below many of our neighbors on malnutrition.


  1. Lack of awareness on nutritional practices
  2. Lack of diversity in diets
  3. Poor health of women
  4. Unavailable health and support systems at grassroots levels
  5. Poverty leads to poor affordability of food
  6. Diversity of the challenge – top down, one size fits all approach

To do:

  1. Evidence based policy making by focusing on the highly vulnerable districts
  2. Focusing on unique needs of certain groups like SC/ST/minorities/women/children/obese children
  3. Fortification of foods
  4. Encouraging diverse diets with the help of agriculture scientists
  5. Providing nutritious food through the national food subsidy program
  6. Extending MDM scheme to all levels of government education


Q.4) Shifting of traditional joint family into nuclear family makes elderly emotionally and financially insecure. Explain


Problems facing elderly:

  1. Displaced from their traditional localities into mostly urban areas where there is a lack of community deprives emotional support
  2. They are mostly confined to the role of caretakers to grandchildren, thus their personal activities of interest are neglected
  3. High costs of urban life makes any meagre savings useless if children ignore parents
  4. Lack of awareness of many issues ranging from services providers like plumbers/ electricians to poor information on transport systems in cities etc., makes them dependent on someone else; thus reducing their agency
  5. Soaring health costs makes them dependent on children and this may even lead to conflicts in many families
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