IAS UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 25th July 2019
(PRELIMS + MAINS FOCUS)
Reservation in Private Jobs
Part of: Mains GS-II – Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors
- Andhra Pradesh becomes First State to Reserve 75% Private Jobs for Local Youths
- According to the new law, if a company does not find the necessary skills in locals, then it will need to train them in association with the state government,
- The law is applicable to all industrial units, factories, joint ventures and PPP projects.
- The step is positive in that it promotes local hiring
- This helps in addressing the discontent among native youth about loss of jobs to migrant labour from other states (like UP, Bihar)
- It is against the spirit of free-market economy
- If required skills are not found in local youth, then industries have to skill them increasing their cost of operations
- This will discourage major industries from outside the state to set up its unit in the state of AP
- Similar laws are proposed in other states like Madhya Pradesh, which cumulatively impacts the unity of India and freedom of its citizens (Article 19(1)(d), 19(1)(e),19(1)(g))
Prandhan Mantri Laghu Vyapari Maan-dhan Yojana (PMLVMDY)
Part of: Mains GS-II – Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes.
- The centre’s pension scheme for small traders (PMLVMDY) has been notified and being introduced on trial basis from this week
- The scheme assures a minimum monthly pension of Rs. 3,000/- month after attaining the age of 60 years
- Who can enrol for this scheme?
- All small shopkeepers and self-employed persons as well as the retail traders with GST turnover below Rs. 1.5 crore and age between 18-40 years
- Potential of the Scheme?
- The scheme would benefit more than 5 crore small shopkeepers and traders.
- Simplified process of enrolment– based on self-declaration as no documents are required except Aadhaar and bank account. Interested persons can enrol themselves through more than 3.25 lakh Common Service Centres spread across the country.
- Government of India will make matching contribution in the subscribers’ account
- LIC has been chosen as pension fund for this scheme.
Do you know?
- Only 7.4% of the working age population in India is covered under a pension program( 65% for Germany & 31% for Brazil) according to the 2017 WEF’s report on Global Human Capital.
- Demographically, India will transition slowly from a ‘young’ to a ‘greying’ country, where persons above the age of 60 would increase from 8.9% of the population now to 19.4% by 2050
- Ramadorai Committee on Household finances – India is sitting on a ticking pension time bomb, whereby demographic dividend can become demographic concern
Concerns associated with Sugarcane Industry
Part of: Mains GS-III – Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and MSP
- Centre has decided to halt the trend of rising MSP for Sugarcane
- Centre also to expand the buffer stock of sugar
Why such decisions?
- To correct the demand-supply imbalances – estimated production of sugar this year is 32.95 million, whereas domestic demand is just 26 million tonnes.
- To Stabilise retail prices – bumper harvest combined with high rates of recovery of sugar from sugarcane leading to glut in supply leading to crash in prices
- To Reduce payment arrears from mills to farmers – Centre announces the minimum price that mills must pay to sugar cane cultivators (large vote bank- hence subject to populism leading to loss for mill owners)
India rises in global innovation ranking
Part of: GS Prelims and Mains GS-III – Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development.
- India has improved from its previous year rank of 57 to 52 in the Global Innovation Index 2019
- There has been consistent improvement in past few years – 81 in 2015, which rose to 66 in 2016, 60 in 2017 and 57 in 2018.
- Major innovation drivers are ICT services exports, graduates in science and engineering, the quality of universities, gross capital formation and creative goods exports
- The report is brought out by the UN World Intellectual Property Organisation, INSEAD and CII
Milkyway’s violent birth decoded
- Our galaxy Milkyway merged with another small galaxy nearly 10 billion years ago, according to studies based on data from Gaia space observatory
- This collision increased our galaxy’s mass by about a quarter and triggered a period of accelerated star formation lasting about 2 to 4 billion years,
- Galaxies of all types began to form soon after Big Bang explosion (marked the beginning of Universe some 13.8 billion years ago)
- Gaia is a space observatory of the European Space Agency, launched in 2013
TOPIC: General studies 2
- Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.
- Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein.
- Parliament and State Legislatures – structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.
The limits of anti-defection
- The prolonged political crisis in Karnataka has demonstrated the ways in which the nearly 35-year-old anti-defection law can be used and abused.
- The political crisis that began in Karnataka with the resignation of 15 MLAs that took five days and multiple missed deadlines to be put to vote
- This underscored the tortuous working of India’s anti-defection law and threw up a range of associated legal and constitutional questions.
- The incident calls for an interpretation of the three provisions of the Constitution: Article 190 (vacation of seats), Article 164 (1B), and the Xth schedule of the Constitution.
- The seeds of the anti-defection law were sown after the general elections in 1967.
- Anti-defection provisions in India were first introduced in 1985 through the 52nd amendment to the Constitution.
- It lays down the process by which legislators may be disqualified on grounds of defection by the Presiding Officer of a legislature based on a petition by any other member of the House.
- The practice so far is that courts do not interfere until a decision regarding disqualification is taken
- The anti-defection law does not specify a timeframe for Speakers to decide on defection proceedings.
- When the politics demanded, Speakers were either quick to pass judgment on defection proceedings or delayed acting on them for years on end.
Grounds of disqualification under Anti-Defection law:
- A legislator is deemed to have defected if he either voluntarily gives up the membership of his party or disobeys the directives of the party leadership on a vote. This implies that a legislator defying (abstaining or voting against) the party whip on any issue can lose his membership of the House. The law applies to both Parliament and state assemblies.
Exceptions under the law:
- Legislators may change their party without the risk of disqualification in certain circumstances.
- The law allows a party to merge with or into another party provided that at least two-thirds of its legislators are in favour of the merger
The amendment, by which the Tenth Schedule was inserted in the Constitution, did three broad things.
- Firstly, it made legislators liable to be penalised for their conduct both inside (voting against the whip of the party) and outside (making speeches, etc.) the legislature — the penalty being the loss of their seats in Parliament or the state legislatures.
- Secondly, it protected legislators from disqualification in cases where there was a split (with 1/3rd of members splitting) or merger (with 2/3rds of members merging) of a legislature party with another political party.
- Thirdly, it made the Presiding Officer of the concerned legislature the sole arbiter of defection proceedings
Early attempts at a law to find the solution to the defections:
- The first one was made by Indira’s Home Minister Uma Shankar Dikshit in 1973;
- The second,in 1978, by Shanti Bhushan, Minister for Law and Justice in the Janata Party government of Morarji Desai.
- The third attempt which was successful —was made in 1985, after the Congress won more than 400 seats in Lok Sabha in the aftermath of Indira’s assassination.
The 2003 Amendment
- The last step in the legislative journey of the anti-defection law came in 2003.
- A Constitution Amendment Bill was introduced in Parliament by the government of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to address some of the issues with the law.
- A committee headed by Pranab Mukherjee examined the Bill.
Pranab Mukherjee Committee observations:
- It is observed that the lure of office of profit plays dominant part in the political horse-trading resulting in spate of defections and counter defections.
- The one-third split provision which offered protection to defectors was deleted from the law on the committee’s recommendation.
- The 2003 Amendment also incorporated the 1967 advice of the Y B Chavan committee in limiting the size of the Council of Ministers, and preventing defecting legislators from joining the Council of Ministers until their re-election.
- Politicians found loopholes in this law and used it for their own benefit. It is high time that a watchdog should be provided to our Parliament and there is a need for our constitutional pundits to revisit the issue to combat the menace of corruption and defection which has eroded the values of democracy.
- There is need to build a political consensus so that the room for political and policy expression in parliament for an individual member is expanded.
- The anti-defection law seeks to provide a stable government by ensuring the legislators do not switch sides.
- However, this law also restricts a legislator from voting in line with his conscience, judgement and interests of his electorate.
- Such a situation impedes the oversight function of the legislature over the government, by ensuring that members vote based on the decisions taken by the party leadership, and not what their constituents would like them to vote for.
- The long drawn-out events in the Karnataka Vidhan Sabha have shown that even after three decades, the anti-defection law has not been able to stop political defections
Connecting the dots:
- Discuss the concerns against anti-defection laws suggest the possible reforms that can be made to anti-defection law?
- Even after three decades, the anti-defection law has not been able to stop political defections. Critically analyse the given statement?
TOPIC: General studies 2
- Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources
- Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
Healthcare system needs more healing hands
- The fault lines of the Indian healthcare system, especially those of our understaffed and under-skilled health workforce, are in urgent need of repair
- The Supreme Court has averred that health is a human right, while expressing its anguish at the spate of child deaths in Muzaffarpur.
- The tragedy in Bihar comes at a time when doctors and patients are locked in an aggressively adversarial relationship across the country.
- These are strict reminders that we need to urgently repair the fault lines in our health system.
- One of the major drawback is in terms of lack of health care workforce.
How many health workers do we need?
As per Millennium Development Goals (MDGs ):
- The minimum number of health workers needed per 1,000 populations is 22 as per world health organisation.
- The services includes maternal and child health as well as major infectious diseases.
- India’s National Health Mission too pursued the restricted MDG agenda, in which nearly 80% of population health needs were unaddressed.
As per Sustainable development Goals(SDG):
- The minimum number of health workers needed per 1,000 population are 44.5 as per WHO.
- This was based on 12 health indicators and the need to deliver universal health coverage.
- The services include non-communicable diseases, mental health and other conditions.
- World Health Organisation is a specialised agency of UN
- Established in 1948
- HQ : Geneva, Switzerland
- It is concerned with international public health
- It acts as coordinating authority on international public health
- India is a founder member of WHO.
- It is a member of UN Development Group (UNDP).
Recent statistics from National Sample Survey of 2016:
- Qualified allopathic doctors are overall 4.5 per 10, 000 Population, but only 1 per 11,000 in the public sector.
- The ratio of nurses and midwives to doctors is 1.7, while it should be at least 3:1
- India needs 2.5 million midwives, there are a total of only 1.3 million nurses overall, with many of them lacking adequate midwifery skills.
- Midwifery has been subsumed under general nursing, after independence.
How do we overcome these challenges?
- The reconstituted Medical Council of India, with a nominated Board of Governors, is doing a commendable job in reforming a moribund regulatory system of medical education.
- It proposes now to permit consortia of large private institutions of repute to start medical colleges or even partner with existing medical colleges to train more undergraduate students.
- It is necessary to upgrade district hospitals in these states and make them robust training facilities for undergraduate and postgraduate medical and nursing education as well as allied health professional training
- The National Health Mission should consider recruiting fresh medical graduates into a 3-year short service commission to provide for flexibility in posting to underserved states and areas.
- There is a need to revive midwifery training programmes to full potential by enhancing scale, skills, scope, social status and salaries.
- Digital technology, with decision support systems, management algorithms and tele-consulting, can greatly amplify their effectiveness.
- Advanced clinical nursing, needed for multiple specialities, can be developed by starting diplomas and fellowships affiliated to the NBE.
- There are far less healthcare providers than needed and those available are severely maldistributed across states, and between rural and urban areas.
- As the number of health workers raises and the country’s health system needs are saturated, the surplus may also invigorate the global health workforce as countries with ageing populations and shrinking workforce stretch their hands to seek support from India’s demographic bounty. But till then, India and Bihar first.
Connecting the dots:
- Discuss the challenges faced by health care system in India. Suggest the measures to address the challenges
- 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.
- “Health is a Human Right”. Elucidate the statement
- Discuss the goals and objectives of National health policy 2017
(TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE)
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Q.1) Prandhan Mantri Laghu Vyapari Maan-dhan Yojana is being implemented by which ministry?
- Ministry of Labour and employment
- Finance Ministry
- Ministry of Human Resource development
- Ministry of Skill development and entrepreneurship
Q.2) Global Innovation Index is brought out by
- World Bank
- World Economic Forum
- UN World Intellectual Property Organisation
Q.3) Fair and remunerative Prices for sugarcane is approved by
- Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs
- Commission for agricultural costs and committee
- Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers welfare
- Prime Minister’s Office
Q.4) Tarun Ramadorai Committee constituted by RBI dealt with which of the following issue?
- Household Finance
- Financial inclusion
- Impact of Demonetisation
Q.5) Gaia space observatory belongs to which space agency?
- ChinaNational Space Administration
- Indian Space Research Organisation
- European Space Agency
Draft New Education Policy offers contentious remedies for a structural malady in medical studies
Having the last word on ‘population control’
India’s shifting strategic concerns
Making Chennai a water-wise city
Share of the state
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Ailing healthcare system needs more healing hands
Agricultural growth needs warehousing reforms
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