SYNOPSIS: IASbaba’s TLP – 2018: UPSC Mains General Studies Questions [13th December 2017]- Day 18
1. What do you understand by the term ‘vulnerability’? Why does vulnerability arise? Is it intrinsic of gender, religion, caste or region? Or is it structural? Examine with the help of suitable examples.
- Definition of vulnerability
- Why does it arise
- Intrinsic or structural
Definition of term vulnerability:
Vulnerability is the state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked, either physically, mentally or emotionally. It is a state of being in distress. Constant state of vulnerability hampers natural growth, physical and mental of an individual and society. It arises because of natural biological, economic and also structural man-made reasons. It is both intrinsic and structural.
Vulnerability is intrinsic to:
Patriarchy, the feature of Indian society makes women vulnerable. Women are the worst suffers of evils like rapes, child marriages, dowry and domestic violence.
Also, because of biological reasons, women are more vulnerable than men in certain aspects. This vulnerability is intrinsic in sex. For example, air pollution affects more women negatively than men.
The notion of the superiority of one religion over other leads to minority religion open for domination by majority.
The caste system which is unique to Indian society has developed a hierarchy where the people in the lowest level are the worst suffers. Example- The literacy is lowest among SCs(Scheduled castes), maximum percentage in BPL population is that of SCs.
Caste atrocities, honor killings etc., shows the vulnerability of low castes.
Due to lower levels of socio-economic development, lower castes and few sections of minority religions are vulnerable to economic crises like unemployment etc.
Regionalism post LPG has played an important role in widening the vulnerability gaps. The lopsided development of human resources has heavily contributed to exploitation and fruits of development are shared by few rather than inclusive development.
Geographical location inherently makes some regions prone to risks of disasters, economically prosperous regions are less vulnerable and peaceful.
Example- Youth of Jammu Kashmir due to lack of education and regional turbulence are more prone to terrorist instigations.
People of coasts are vulnerable to cyclones while people of arid areas are vulnerable to droughts.
Vulnerability is also structural:
The unequal access to resources has resulted into vulnerability for the have-nots of the society.
Example- In case of any natural disasters the poor people are worst hit,
Demonetization affected the people in unorganized sector more as compared to those in the organized sector.
The cyclone Ockhi has devastated the livelihood of fishermen in coastal area. But, the rich in the same area were not much affected by the cyclone.
Thus, vulnerability is closely associated to the socio political, regional and economic status of the person/community. It is one of the biggest concern in modern world and can be addressed by reducing the inequality in the society at various levels. Both intrinsic and structural vulnerabilities should be addressed. While economic resources are needed to address structural vulnerabilities, it is the ethos of a society that will address the intrinsic vulnerabilities. Sustainable development with equitable distribution can only be a viable option to reduce vulnerability gap.
Q2. Why are women considered to be vulnerable? Has it got something to do with their life cycle and prevailing social prejudices? Illustrate. Also comment whether ongoing government initiatives targeted towards women address their vulnerability.
- First elaborate why women are vulnerable – use headings to differentiate between various points
- Your answer to part-I should automatically lead to part-II – in this case, the government initiatives and its effectiveness
- Conclusion should be crisp, clear, affirmative and optimistic.
- Adhere to word limit at all times.
Women in India remain vulnerable throughout their journey from “the womb to their tomb”. Multiple reasons contribute to their misery:
- They are physically weaker than men
- Prone to sexual violence such as rape, harassment etc.
- Attributes like menstrual cycle, child-bearing capacity create barriers in daily life – both professional and personal
- Patriarchal nature of Indian society which considers women inherently inferior
- Economic dependence, lack of education opportunities add to their vulnerability
- Unequal gender roles which restrict women to homemaking and caretaking
In light of above arguments, the government has taken many initiatives based on a life-cycle approach:
- Improving sex ratio
- PCPNDT Act 1994 prohibits selective abortion
- Janani Suraksha Yojana for institutional delivery
- Girl Education
- Beti Bachao Beti Padhao
- Adolescent Girls
- SABLA Scheme for health, hygiene, reproductive care of adolescent girls
- Women Empowerment
- Nayi Roshni for promoting women entrepreneurship
- SHG program with focus on women
- Ujjwala scheme for distribution of gas connection to poor women
Despite the success of such government initiatives, the attitudinal change in India society is yet to take place as seen through the increasing crimes against women. Thus, what is needed is change at the individual level where our actions match our culture which holds women in highest regards.
Best Answer: Lavanya Yemulvar
3. Institutions and bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of vulnerable sections lack the teeth to enforce their mandate. Do you agree? Substantiate with the help of suitable examples.
In Introduction, define who vulnerable sections of society are. In body, mention the bodies and institution, here categorize them than just mentioning randomly. Then mention what they lack specific to each of them and then what everyone lacks in common.
Introduction: Vulnerable sections are those due to their age, disability or any other circumstances whether temporary or permanent are dependent on others or at the greater risk of being harmed than the general population. In case of India, they are SC, ST, Women, and Disabled people among others.
Points to be covered:
- National commission for SC.
- National Commission for ST.
- National commission for linguistic minorities.
- National Human rights commission and state human rights commission.
- National commission for women.
- National commission for backward castes.
- National commission for minorities.
- National commission for protection of child rights.
These are some of the commission established. You are required to pick some of them and explain. Two from each one of them are explained below.
- National Commission for SC & ST:
- Participate and advise in planning process of socio-economic development of schedules castes and tribes.
- Inclusion of communities under SC & ST’s.
- They are just recommendations in nature. Doesn’t have powers to enforce them.
- No powers to punish violation of SC & ST rights or punish atrocities against them.
- National Human rights commission:
- No power to impose penalties or punishment but recommend the same to central government.
- Cannot investigate the cases of more than last one preceding year.
- Lack of specialists to investigate human rights violation cases.
Common points to most of them:
- Political interference in case of appointments, recommendations, workings etc.
- Lack of financial autonomy.
- Man power shortage.
- Lack of statutory and constitutional powers for implementations.
- Vacancies in commission members.
Due to lack of any real powers, they are called toothless tigers by critics. With so much pendency in cases related to each of their domains at various levels of judiciary, government can provide these bodies’ some powers so that cases related to vulnerable sections are disposed of and relief to victims are provided soon.
Connecting the dots:
- Constitutional bodies in India.
- Statutory bodies in India.
Best Answer: No best Answer.
4. Elderly population in India is one of the most vulnerable sections of the society in an age of changing social dynamics. Comment. What measures have been taken by the government to ensure their welfare? Are they enough? Examine.
Broadly there are three parts of this question. In first part you need to explain how elderly population is vulnerable keeping the ‘changing social Dynamics’ in mind.
Second part is straight forward where you need to mention some of the welfare measures of Government taken for elderly population.
In the last part you need to examine if the efforts are good enough to bring them out of that vulnerability status.
Some of the important points that should be present in your answer are:
- The culture of Joint family is decreasing and more and more nuclear families are found. Because employment opportunities children are living separately from their parents and there is no one left to take care of them.
- The isolation of elderly people cause physiological and psychological problems.
- Elderly people are easy targets for thieves and robbers. In many cases household helpers have murdered the old residents for money.
- Their dietary needs are different and they are prone to epidemics, diseases and natural disasters.
- Social security is lacking in India causing financial dependence of senior citizens.
- In many cases the elderly are exploited by their own family members. There have been cases of violence or children forcefully sending their parents out of their own house.
Following are the important Government initiatives:
- The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has been designated as the nodal Ministry for the welfare of senior citizens.
- The Ageing Division in the Social Defence Bureau of the Department of Social Justice and Empowerment develops and implements programmes and policies for the senior citizens in collaboration with State Governments, Non- Governmental Organizations PRIs and civil society.
- An “Integrated Programme for Older Persons” (IPOP) was launched in 1992, and was revised in 2008 and 2015 with new innovative projects for the welfare of Senior Citizens. Several initiatives including the creation of Old Age Homes, awareness initiatives etc. were made as part of the programme.
- A National Policy on Older Persons (NPOP) was announced in January 1999 to ensure the well-being of the older persons.
- The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act was enacted in December 2007. Following are the main features of the Act.
- Maintenance of Parents/ senior citizens by children/ relatives made obligatory
and justiciable through Tribunals
- Revocation of transfer of property by senior citizens in case of negligence
iii. Penal provision for abandonment of senior citizens
- Establishment of Old Age Homes for Indigent Senior Citizens
- Protection of life and property of senior citizens
- Adequate medical facilities for Senior Citizens
- National Council of Senior Citizens (NCSrC) was established in 2012.
- Elderly pension under NSAP: Under the Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme (IGNOAPS) by Ministry of Rural Development
- Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has implemented the National Programme for the Health Care for the Elderly (NPHCE) from the year 2010-11.
- Ministry of Finance: The Ministry has allowed health insurance programmes up to the age of 65 years.
- Several tax incentives for senior citizens and very senior citizens were provided by the Ministry of Finance. These include Higher income tax exemption for both senior citizens and very senior citizens.
- Deductions under Section 80DD: Higher interest payments for Senior Citizen Saving Schemes.
- Deduction for medical treatment of a dependent senior citizen suffering from specified diseases.
- Ministry of Home Affairs: Chapter V of the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007 provides for protection of life and property of senior citizens.
- Ministry of Railways and Civil Aviation: have introduced concessions fare concessions for senior citizens.
- “Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana”, a ‘Scheme for providing Physical Aids and Assisted-living Devices for Senior citizens belonging to BPL category’
- Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojna is a pension scheme launched for the senior citizens over the age of 60.
All the initiatives taken by the government are with good intent. But the harsh ground reality is that, these amazing schemes have not penetrated to a large elderly population. Many of the people are either not aware or not in a position to avail the benefits of these schemes.
P.S. You can add some measures for effective implementation of these schemes.
Note: While answering this part, take a lot of care of the words that you use. These policies are made by people who have been in the system for past 20 – 25 years. You are just trying to get into the system right now. By reading some books and newspapers, you are not exactly in a right position to take a harsh stand.
Best Answer: Deadpool
Q.5) The rise in juvenile delinquency bears testimony to the increasing vulnerability of the young minds towards violence and crime. Comment. What measures must be taken to ensure that the young in India have a constructive and colourful future? Also examine the role of society at large.
The number of juveniles or minors, legally those under 18 years of age, taking up crime has seen an alarming high over the past decade. This should be a particular reason to worry about for a country where 47.21 crore i.e. almost 39% of the population is under 18.
According to latest NCRB data, 33,526 cases against juveniles – majority of them in the age group of 16 to 18 years – were recorded for various offences during 2014. A cause for concern is that the highest share of cases registered against juveniles were reported for theft (20%), rape (5.9%) and grievous hurt and assault on women with intent to outrage her modesty (4.7% each).
Reasons behind the increasing vulnerability of the young minds towards violence and crime:
Poverty has always bred resentment, a root-cause of many crimes. But over the years, a fast-changing and developing society has introduced other insecurities, they are:
- Across socio-economic and educational groups children are affected by parents not spending quality time with them, and by an increasingly competitive world,
- In lower middle class families, for instance, where both parents are working, children grow up in a vacuum.
- In middle class families, parents have multiple expectations from the child, including high grades in school.
- This often makes the school environment a threatening one for the child. When children fail to cope, depression may lead to substance abuse, and then crime.
- In high-income families, almost every amenity is provided to the child either from a desire by parents to maintain their own status in society or to satisfy the ego of the child.
- The child finds refuge in the virtual world where there is an information overdose.
Children are also quick to pick up on friction between adults. “In cases of marital discord or domestic violence, kids do not reach out to their parents. They consult their friends who may not give the best advice.”
Measures to be taken to counter the juvenile crimes:
- The onus to ensure that children do not stray is with adults. At home and at educational institutions, they need to monitor the behaviour of children and behave like role models for youngsters.
- One solution to avoid juvenile crime is for parents to be held legally responsible when their teenaged children break the law.
- Early detection and counselling for those with criminal tendencies is important so that they do not end up as offenders, and also so that they don’t influence others to do the same.
- This is possible only when parents are cognizant of what is wrong in the child’s behavior and alert to correcting him/her.
- Prevention of juvenile crime is also an important part of the juvenile justice system. But the Indian state has completely neglected this aspect
- There is little involvement of psychological counselling during the reform procedure.
Without getting into the debate of punishment and the age of criminality, it is important to instil respect for the law. By and large in India, we do not have rule of law. And youngsters are finding out that it is easy to get away with breaking the law.
Role of society in large to prevent juvenile crimes:
The burden of delinquency prevention is widely distributed between parents, schools, non-profits, and governmental agencies at the federal, state and local levels. With so many diverse stakeholders, it is difficult to come to solid conclusions about who is responsible for protecting at-risk youth. While much of the research indicates that parents are the first line of defense in identifying and preventing delinquent behavior, parents tend to look to government agencies to create better delinquency prevention programs.
Best answer: Ashis kar