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Mains Answer Writing

One of the key components of these exams is the written test, which consists of a number of essay and comprehension questions. Candidates are expected to write clear and well-structured answers that demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the topics being tested.

21-August-2023

Q1. Even after having a number of schemes to address problems like poverty, malnutrition and hunger, these still remain a challenge for India. Discuss

Solution : 

  • The problems of poverty, malnutrition and hunger still are some of the pressing issues that India is facing currently. Although significant steps have been taken to curtail these problems, they still pose a formidable challenge. As per the latest figures 135 million people have been lifted out of poverty in the last five years, from 2015-16 to 2019-21. This is a commendable achievement based on the Multi-dimensional Poverty Index (MDPI) prepared by the NITI Aayog.
  • The UNDP had earlier estimated that India lifted 415 million people out of poverty (MDPI) over the period 2005- 06 to 2019-21 which has been the biggest lift-off so far in independent India’s history.
  • When India got freedom more than 80 per cent of people were in extreme poverty, which today hovers around 15 per cent as per MDPI and about 11 percent based on income criterion ($2.15PPP).
  • This gives us self confidence and almost all governments of the day have contributed to varying degrees but the pace of reduction has been much faster since 2005-06 than at any time in the past.

PROGRESS MADE BY INDIA ON POVERTY, HUNGER:

  1. India seems to be on track to almost abolish poverty in the next five to 10 years.
  2. On the issue of hunger, at least in terms of food availability, India has done well.
  3. The Green Revolution turned India from a “ship to mouth” economy to the largest exporter of rice. It has also enabled India to give free rice or wheat (5kg/month/person) to more than 800 million people under the PM Garib Kalyan Yojana, thus improving their economic access to basic staples.
  4. India also experienced the White Revolution (milk) and emerged as the largest producer of milk (222 MT), with the US coming at number two with just 102 MT of milk production.
  5. The gene revolution in cotton that was triggered by then PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s decision in 2002 to introduce Bt cotton, made India the largest producer of cotton (39million bales in 2013-14, up from just 13 million bales in2002-03).

ISSUES RELATED TO MALNUTRITION:

  • Malnutrition is still prevalent, especially amongst children below the age of five.
  • As per NFHS-5 (2019-21), 32 per cent of children were under weight, 35 per cent stunted, and 19 per cent wasted.
  • Although India made reasonably good progress in reducing infant mortality from 57 per cent in 2005-06 to 35 per cent in 2019-21, the progress on other indicators of malnutrition is not very satisfactory.
  • This is a real challenge for the government.

How can one deal with all these challenges that relate to a large segment of the population at the bottom of the economic pyramid?

  1. One simple answer would be to keep focus on accelerating economic growth and making it more inclusive.
  2. PM Modi talked about gender-led development in India citing the case of India having more women pilots than any other country. He also talked of giving training to women in 15,000 self-help groups, and these women will fly drones for agriculture use. That’s a unique idea, and if implemented, India could be at the top rank in women-driven drones.
  3. But if we look at women’s participation rate in our labour force (age group15- 59 years), it is pitiably low at about 30 per cent (2021-22).
  4. If we can focus on improving the literacy rate and providing quality education to young women, along with their skill formation, several of India’s problems, especially poverty, hunger and malnutrition can be solved.
  5. As per research conducted by Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) on the unit-level data of NFHS-3 and NFHS-4, it was found that women’s education beyond 12th grade is a key determinant of nutrition amongst children, as is access to better sanitation and more nutritious food.

WAY FORWARD:

  1. Incentivize and improve the access and quality of education for women through liberal scholarships, especially after 10th grade to Master’s level. This can give high returns, limiting family size and contributing significantly to the nation’s growth story.
  2. Focus on improving productivity in agriculture while making food more nutritious and the food system more climate resilient. This will require doubling or even tripling R&D expenditures in agriculture to make abundant food available at reasonably competitive prices.
  3. Putting export controls and stocking limits to push prices down is no solution. These are defunct policies of the Socialist Raj of the 1960s when India did not have foreign exchange to buy food. The Punjab Agriculture University which played a yeoman’s role in spreading the Green Revolution, and still ranks at the top, can be roped in to usher in a new revolution of sustainable growth and more nutritious food in agriculture.

 

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Q2. How can the Himalayan region address recent flood incidents and infrastructure vulnerabilities through climate-resilient development? Provide key strategies and measures for sustainable planning in this context. (10 Marks)

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Q3. Examine the risks posed by the AI revolution and suggest measures to ensure responsible and secure AI deployment. How can ethical concerns and technological advancement be balanced in the era of AI? (10 Marks)

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Q4. A Dalit teenager and his sister were brutally attacked by their schoolmates from a dominant caste, underscores the persistent challenge of caste-based discrimination and violence in Indian society. In the context of this incident, analyze the ethical considerations related to the incident. Additionally, suggest strategies that educational institutions and local administrations can adopt to ensure the protection and empowerment of marginalized communities in India. (GS4 – Answer in 250 words – 20 Marks)

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Q5. Discuss the importance of pulses in Indian agriculture, and challenges in cultivation. Propose strategies to encourage increased pulse production and consumption for enhancing agricultural sustainability and food security.

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Q6. Discuss the forms, causes, legal provisions, and challenges related to child abuse in India. How can a combined effort of government, civil society, and individuals contribute to preventing and addressing this issue? (10 Marks)

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