SYNOPSIS: IASbaba’s TLP – 2018: UPSC Mains General Studies Questions [19th December 2017]- Day 22
Q.1) While the private sector dominates healthcare delivery across the country, a majority of the population living below the poverty line (BPL) continues to rely on the under-financed and short-staffed public sector for its healthcare needs, as a result of which these remain unmet. Comment. Also suggest ideas to improve the status of public healthcare in India.
With the lowest government spend and public spend, as a proportion of gross domestic product, and the lowest per capita health spend which leads to the private sector domination in the healthcare delivery across the country, a majority of the population living below the poverty line the ability to spend Rs 47 per day in urban areas, Rs 32 per day in rural areas, continues to rely on the under-financed and short-staffed public sector for its healthcare needs, as a result of which these remain unmet.
Major issues with Indian healthcare sector and government budget spending:
- The public expenditure on health sector remains a dismal show of only around 1.4% of the GDP.
- The investment in health research has been low with a modest rate of 1% of the total public health expenditure.
- Insurance coverage remains low as per the latest NSSO reports over 80% of India’s population remains uncovered by any health insurance scheme.
- Under the centre run Rashtriya Swyasthya Bima Abhiyan, only 13% of the rural and 12% of the urban population had access to insurance cover.
There has been a stark rise in the out-of-pocket expenditure i.e., 6.9% in rural areas and 5.5% in urban areas – OOP in proportion to monthly expenditure. This led to an increasing number of households facing catastrophic expenditures due to health costs.
Urban and rural divide and the role of private sector in healthcare sector:
The majority of healthcare professionals happen to be concentrated in urban areas where consumers have higher paying power, leaving rural areas underserved. India meets the global average in the number of physicians, but 74 percent of its doctors cater to a third of the urban population, or no more than 442 million people, according to a KPMG report.
Some of the key roadblocks, then, for India’s healthcare industry:
- Population growth.
- Insurance penetration into the rural India especially in health sector.
- Infrastructure development in public healthcare sector is poor.
- Urban rural disparity in healthcare sector.
Measures to improve public health sector:
- Make health as a fundamental right for better implementation and targeting.
- There has also been an emergence of “frugal innovation” in the private sector, products and business models that offer quality diagnostics and care at a much more affordable price.
- Healthcare delivery in India is now uniquely poised to undergo a change at all its stages: prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. No single entity in the healthcare sector can work in isolation.
- Implementation of National Health Policy 2017 as it aims at achieving universal health coverage and delivering quality health care services to all at affordable cost.
- Using all the available latest technology from IOT to AI, to offer healthcare sector at a much affordable prices.
- The Global Promotion of the Traditional System of Medicines.
- Focus on India’s commitment towards SDG goal 3.
Health plays a vital role in ensuring the rights of people and in facilitating social justice. A healthy and strong rural India can reap the best from the future world. Developments in health sector enhance the human resource and also open avenues for revenue and employment generation.
Best answer: vivek
2. Why doesn’t India have globally competitive institutions of education? Examine. What would it take to transform higher education in India? Analyse.
- India lacks globally competitive educational institutions- Why?
- Steps required to transform higher education in India
Every year, when the Times Higher Education World University Rankings or the QS World University Rankings are announced, Indian institutions fail to make the mark.
India lacks globally competitive institutions of education as:
- The sector is plagued by a shortage of well-trained faculty, poor infrastructure and outdated and irrelevant curricula.
- There is a lack of research orientation, even in the best of Indian institutions. The number of PhDs produced in science and engineering is “minuscule” compared with China and the US.
- Lack of funding which stand at 3.7% of GDP in 2016-17 budget.
- Lack of autonomy and political interference not only in the administration and management but also, in curricula.
- Poor quality of education at primary and secondary education (as often pointed out by ASER reports) affects the quality at the level of higher education as well.
Steps required to transform higher education in India:
- Increasing investment in research from 1 per cent of GDP to 2 per cent and concentrating research funding “in high potential institutions and faculty through competition”.
- Online modes of education as being used by several educational organisations, should be encouraged further.
- To ensure that the skills of Indian students are aligned with what the market demands, the courses and teachers needs to be aligned accordingly.
- Foreign educational institutions should be allowed to enter into collaborations with Indian institutions on a large scale. This will help in enhancing capabilities as far as curricular and pedagogical practices.
- effective implementation of suggestion given by various committee i.e. Kothari commission, T.S.R. Subramanian committee etc.
Initiatives like Higher Education Financing Agency, GIAN initiative declaring Institute of
national importance, Rashtriya Madhyamik siksha abhiyaan, Rashtriya Uchhatar Siksha Abhiyaan etc are some of the steps taken in positive direction.
Apart from these above recommended steps must be taken if India is to reap her demographic dividend.
Best answer: Aditi Jain
3. Low standards in education, lack of requisite skills and unemployment form a vicious cycle which is detrimental to India’s demographic dividend. Comment. How can human resource development play a role in addressing this problem? Examine.
- You can start by defining or writing about demographic dividend in general or of India in particular
- Deal separately with Education, Skills and unemployment part. Write about vicious cycle and its detrimental impact to India
- Write about Human Resource development and its role in addressing this problem
- You can write few measures here as well
Introduction: A demographic dividend is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a nation and can either make or mar its citizens’ present and future. India has young population more than the total population of all the G7 countries combined.
Each year about 12 lakh new entrants enter the job market in India. Over 60.5% of India’s Population is “Young”, out of which only 14% are skilled. With lower incentives in Agricultural Sector, limited capacity in Service Sector, most of this burden falls on the Manufacturing and Industrial Sector.
Vicious Cycle of Education, lack of skills, Unemployment
Public Education is not desirable to India’s job growth. Frequent Dropouts, Lack of Competition, in Public Schools make children unaccustomed to the Skill Set required by Jobs
Health- Global Hunger Index Ratings show high rates in Stunting, Wasting, IMR(48%) resulting in a weak demographic dividend
Vocational Training- Skill Development has not been well harnessed in India. National Occupancy Standards requiring at least 150 mins of Training is too high for Indian Schools. This results in inadequate Skill set for the market
Unemployment- Lack of Technological Skills, IT or Professional Skills, Low Know-how in Modern Techniques leads to jobless growth
- In the recent report of WB, where India falls in top nations who even can’t subtract two digit at 5th standard. Lack of education deprives children from initial thrust of “development” and also lead to widen range of relative deprivation.
- Skill India Mission, PMKVY scheme and National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) launched to inculcate vocational training culture and catalyze the private partnership but India with 36% skilled demographic, lags as its counterpart China, South Korea which constitute around ~92%.
- With prevailing jobless growth, According to the NSSO survey, unemployment in higher educational qualification (~15.6%) and India with 60% labour force participation, lags with its BRICS counterparts.
How can human resource development play a role?
Human Resource Development (HRD) as a framework helps in development of personal and organizational skills, knowledge, abilities and encouragement. Media, Civil society and govt. institutions i.e. NiTi Aayog etc. as part of HRD’s unit of transformational change and bulwark of civil liberties can help in
- Remedial reforms for learning deficit and healthy and sustainable infra of adaptive education
- Outcomes based approach of policy implementation refine with “local lense”
- Social Sensitization and resource mobilization that is mass media, civil society engagement with govt. as facilitator
- Qualitative service delivery for quantitative subjects with efficient, effective and in-time etc.
- Fostering and catalyzing the social cohesiveness
- Policy Changes in Education and Health-Increased Competition and Examination,- Dikdha Portal, NNM, SSA,BPBB
- Vocational training- Policy changes in NSO-Skill development, Entrepreneurship Summits, Research to spread incentives of Stand Up and Start Up India to Rural levels
- Bridging Net Divide via BharatNet, Net Neutrality,
- Call for Essays, Innovative Technology, Idea on Job Creation via My.Gov.In.
- Incentives to Panchayats,SHG’s, Anganwadi Workers in Entreprenurship Initiatives.
In brief, dividend has to be earned. It’s not the proverbial manna from heaven. Indeed, not earning it is not an option given the gap between the rising aspiration of the people and their economic status. So India need “objective realization of subjective means” to achieve the success of “Make in India” and real essence “New India”.
Best Answer: Sandhya
4. India’s admittance into the Wassenaar Arrangement, a multilateral export control regime, as its 42nd participating member is a big step forward in its quest for formal acceptance as a responsible nuclear power. Comment.
- Introduction- Define what is Wassenaar arrangement.
- Write how India’s acceptance will help it as formal recognition of responsible nuclear power.
The Wassenaar Arrangement is a grouping of 42 countries that seek to bring about security and stability by fostering transparent practices in the process of sale and transfer of arms and materials and technologies that can be used to make nuclear weapons with a view to prevent any undesirable buildup of such capabilities.
Points to be covered:
How India formally joining this arrangement will help it:
- Easy access which are proscribed for non-members:
- Easy access to dual use technology.
- Nuclear materials.
- Military equipment’s.
- Export/sales of indigenous products:
- Nuclear reactors.
- Materials and equipment’s.
- Development of new technology in collaboration with other members.
- Entry into Australia group.
- Transparency, accountability and exchange of information without restrain.
Each points above needs to be explained for a line or two.
Most of the multilateral forums related to arms and nuclear group have same members except China. So it will be easy for India to now enter into other forums and grouping formally without much resistance and also enter into civil nuclear deals with major nuclear powers without attracting adverse reactions.
Best answer: Akash
5. Hunger is not related as much to food production as to access and distribution. Comment. Are policies related to food production and distribution in India aligned accordingly? Examine.
- Introduction- Define what hunger is and India’s performance in hunger index.
- Write how unequal food access and distribution is major causes of Hunger around the world. And mention food production and distribution policies of India
Hunger is a condition in which a person, for a sustained period, is unable to eat sufficient food to meet basic nutritional needs. Recently released Hunger Index shows India at 100th place even behind countries like North Korea while being one of the largest food producers in World.
Points to be covered:
Production alone is not important seeing India’s performance but distribution and access is. Hunger related deaths are common recently in rural parts of country.
- Access to food:
- Availability and affordability.
- Procurement and storage.
- Proper distribution as per requirement: Ex: Nutritional and therapeutic food.
Policies related to food production and distribution in India:
- Food production:
- National Food Security Mission.
- Minimum Support price.
- Research and Development Institutes established.
- Food Distribution:
- Public Distribution System and Mid-Day meals schemes.
- Free ration for BPL: Anna Bhagya schemes of state governments.
- Institutes established: Ex: FCI, Food processing Units.
The question is whether these schemes are aligned properly or not. Do not write blatantly that they are not aligned at all. There are several issues with the implementation of the policies.
Explain each issue in a line or two.
Issues with policies:
- Beneficiary identification.
- Black marketing.
- Bogus cards.
- Aadhaar linkage issue.
Note: Answer should contain 8 to 10 points in total. Select points accordingly in each part and explain for a line or two. You can add your points too.
Policies and initiatives taken by government will not be successful unless public awareness is created. So government should make it a priority to educate people by using latest technology at its disposal so that it reaches the last person of every village in country.
Best answer: SST