Answers: Mains Marathon – UPSC Mains Current Affairs Questions – October 20


Q.1) Rising evidences proves that childhood obesity is a global epidemic which is affecting even the poorer nations. In this context, what are the causes of obesity in children? The World Health Organization (WHO) has recently released new guidelines on tackling obesity in children.  Discuss. (GS-1)


  • The World Health Organization (WHO) has released new guidelines on how trained professionals can better identify youngsters in need of help.
  • These new guidelines are updates for the Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI).

World Health Organization (WHO):

  • The World Health Organization (WHO), established on 7 April 1948, is the body of the United Nations (UN) responsible for directing and coordinating health.
  •  Its current priorities include managing:
  1. communicable diseases, the mitigation of the effects of non-communicable diseases,
  2. sexual and reproductive health, development, and ageing,
  3. nutrition, food security and healthy eating,
  4. occupational health; substance abuse and
  5. driving the development of reporting, publications, and networking.

What are the guidelines to manage obesity in children provided by the World Health Organisation?

  • The WHO guidelines is entitled as “Assessing and managing children at primary healthcare facilities to prevent overweight and obesity in the context of the double burden of malnutrition”.
  • The guideline aims to support the efforts to achieve a host of goals such as, the Sustainable Development Goals, the global targets set by the Comprehensive implementation plan on maternal, infant and young child nutrition, and the Global strategy for women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health 2016–2030.
  • The guidelines of WHO are as follows: an overview:
  1. WHO has issued guidelines to support primary healthcare workers and identify and manage children who are overweight or obese.
  2. Where infants and children are identified as overweight, WHO recommends providing counselling to parents and caregivers on nutrition and physical activity.
  3. This can be done by a health worker at primary health-care level, if adequately trained, or at a referral clinic or local hospital.
  4. WHO recommends that all infants and children aged less than 5 years presenting to primary health-care facilities should have both weight and height measured.
  5. WHO also recommends not to provide formulated supplementary foods on a routine basis to children who are moderately wasted or stunted.

What are the causes of obesity in children?

  • Children become overweight and obese for a variety of reasons. Some of them are as follows:
  1. The most common cause is genetic factors,
  2. lack of physical activity,
  3. unhealthy eating patterns,
  4. overweight caused by a medical condition such as a hormonal problem and
  5. psychological issues may also lead to obesity in some children.
  • As a matter of fact, although weight problems run in families, not all children with a family history of obesity will be overweight.

Why is it important to control obesity at an early age?

  • Children who are obese have a higher risk of developing health problems. Thus it becomes important to control it at the initial stage. Some of the potential threats involved are as follows:
  1. Children and adults who are overweight are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes.
  2. Diabetes can lead to eye disease, nerve damage, and kidney dysfunction.
  3. High cholesterol and high blood pressure raise the risk of future heart disease in obese children.
  4. Asthma is chronic inflammation of the lung’s airways and obesity is the most common comorbidity.

Q.2) With rising atrocities in a democratic country like India, there is a need of debate on police reforms. Discuss the need of police in the democracy and the reforms that are required for their better functioning. (GS-2)

What is the need of police in the democracy?

  • Democracy is the only system of governance that, guarantees the freedom of people and the police as an only institution to protect and curtail the citizenry’s excesses.
  • he police, in any society are the most visible representative of the state’s power. They serve as the backbone of the state’s peace and tranquility.

Some of the key roles of the police in the democracy are as follows:

  • Firstly, the police are expected to be in the front line of defence of not only human rights but in defending our nascent democracy.
  • Secondly, the police make effective communication between the commoners and law and order.
  • Thirdly, police takes political, social, and psychological decisions under the radar of democratic nature of Indian society.

What is the need for police reforms in India?

  • The first thing to note  here is that ‘police’ is a ‘state’ subject. Nevertheless, there are a number of  different problems that plague the institution in all the states.
  • Today, police have become the subjects of Parliamentarians and legislators with a high degree of politicization and allegiance towards ruling party.
  • The global average ratio of police-population is 270 to 100,000, where it’s 120 in India.
  • With far less man power and ill-equipped, people of India are the least secured people on the globe.
  • There is lack of effective accountability mechanisms.
  • The lack of effective accountability mechanisms and periodic review of performance has misplaced the public’s confidence in the police.

Due to corruption in the police system, the investigation process goes on for decades.

What are the police reforms required in India?

  • Primarily, there should be a balance ought to be stroked between allowing the freedom of an individual and the enforcement of all the lawful laws of the society.
  • To strengthen the lacking effectiveness of the police force, the government comes up with the following initiatives:
  • Recently, an Umbrella Scheme, ‘Modernisation of Police Forces’, has been cleared, with the government.
  • It is said to be one of the biggest moves towards police modernisation in India.

Q.3) Child marriages in India have been a historical problem. In this context, what are the major reasons for prevalence of Child Marriage in India? What are the laws against child marriage in the constitution of India?Discuss in context with recent developments. (GS-1)

Major reasons for prevalence of Child Marriage in India

Economies of marriage

  • Poverty and marriage expenses such as dowry may lead a family to marry off their daughter at a young age to reduce these costs.
  • Patriarchal Indian society considers a girl as an economic burden. Marrying her off at an early age is a way to transfer this burden to the marital family.
  • It is believed that the marriage of the boy brings home an additional hand to assist the unpaid household and economic activities.

Lack of education:

  • Poor educational opportunities for girls, especially in rural areas increase the vulnerability of a girl child to be married off early.
  • In the current patriarchal set up a girl’s right to education is regarded as a secondary priority to her labor in the household
  • This aggravates the situation as the girls power to resist marriage and opt for alternative aspirations is decreased.
  • Patriarchy and gender inequalities prevailing in the Indian society is one of the major reasons for persisting high incidence of child marriages.
  • Prevailing cultural perspectives too encourage the child marriage to thrive in.
  • Inadequate implementation of laws is a major reason for persisting menace of child marriage in the country.

Laws against child marriage in the constitution of India

Child Marriage Restraint Act or Sarda Act of 1929                             

  • The Act was published in the Gazette of India Part-IV.
  • The main aim of the Act was to restrain solemnization of child marriages in India.
  • The Act prohibited marriage of boys below 18years and of girls below 12 years of age.

Child Marriage Restraint (Amendment) Act of 1978

  • The Act rose the minimum age at marriage for girls to 18years and that of boys to 21 years.

The Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006

  • The Act came into effect on 1st November 2007
  • Under this Act, “child” means a person who, if a male, has not completed twenty-one years of age, and if a female, has not completed eighteen years of age.
  • The Act defines “child marriage” as a marriage where either of the contracting parties is a child
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