Q.1) Borrowing from outside can possibly bear the extra burden generated on the Indian economy due to COVID-19. Critically comment (250 words)
Why this question?
India might have a window abroad for raising funds to tackle its COVID-19 crisis.
Unprecedented threat of COVID-19 and associated economic hardships
- COVID-19 and need for raising funds from outside
- Background of India’s capital inflows
- Before 1991
- After 1991
- Existing external account conditions
- Debt to GDP ratio(Long term-Short term)
- Forex reserves
- Exchange rates etc
- Probable negative outcomes due to
- Exchange rate fluctuations
- Trade restrictions and low exports
- Low capital inflows
Find a balance between the two arguments through the need for ‘an open economy with low external debt can possibly bear the extra burden’.
Q.2) Racism of various forms is found in most countries on Earth and India is not an exception. In this context, examine the need for an anti-discrimination law in India. (15marks - 250words)
Why this question? - Former West Indies captain Darren Sammy has alleged that he was subjected to racist comments during his stint with Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League.
Intro - One can start by highlighting the constitutional values guaranteed by Indian constitution which ensures equality.
Body - Briefly, explain some of these constitutional values. Despite constitutional protection discrimination on various grounds still present. Mention reasons for this.
Way ahead - Responsibility of all the three branches of government to ensure equality among individuals.
Conclusion - Conclude by saying that for enforcing constitutional protections, an anti-discrimination law is the need of the hour.
Q.3) Discuss Role of Ayushman Bharat (AB-PMJAY) in tackling the covid-19 pandemic (15M, 250 Words)
Why this question?
- Coronavirus infections in India have shot past 300,000, swelling the demand for medical care.The country’s healthcare infrastructure is creaking, especially in urban areas.
Introduction to the answer:
- About AB-PMJAY
Role of AB-PMJAY in tackling the covid-19 pandemic
- Testing: Free testing and treatment for COVID-19 available under Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PM JAY).
- Empanelled hospitals: It has also empaneled more than 1,500 hospitals recently to increase access to both covid-19 and more importantly, non-covid-19 health conditions.
- It has been empaneling the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)-approved private labs directly for covid testing.
- Leveraging data: They are also using their large database to identify people who are at a high risk of mortality from covid infection, in particular —elderly people with co-morbidities.
- Identifying hotspots: NHA is also using daily hospitalization reports to see if there is a spike in respiratory or influenza-like illnesses in any part of the country. NHA alerts the local authorities about such spikes on a daily basis.
- Technology implementation
- Empanelment of more labs and hospitals: NHA has brought about process innovation in its digital empanelment mechanism to bring on-board more labs (exclusively for covid testing) and hospitals through “HEM Lite", a simpler fast-tracked digital mechanism for swift empanelment on a temporary basis.
- Managing the tele-consultation for self-reported Aarogya Setu cases and PM-JAY high-risk beneficiaries.
- The NHA is using its call centre to manage the covid-19 helpline 1075.
Conclusion: Active private sector involvement will be critical in case there is a surge in the number of COVID-19 patient that need care. States are in the process of enlisting private sector hospitals that can be converted into COVID-19 ONLY hospitals.
Q.4) Nepal has recently passed a constitutional amendment act to include kalapani in its official map. Discuss the various factors responsible for the current move of Nepal government and its implication.
Why in news:
- The Lower House of Nepal's Parliament on Saturday unanimously passed the historic Second Constitution Amendment Bill guaranteeing legal status for the updated political map of Nepal which includes India's territories in Uttarakhand’s Pithoragarh district.
- Introduce with recent amendment.
- Discuss the immediate and historical factors responsible
- Underlying reasons are far more complex: Nepali Prime Minister’s exploitation of the matter, by raising the banner of Nepali nationalism and painting India as a hegemon, is part of a frequent pattern that indicates that relations between the two countries need a fundamental reset.
- Nepali nationalism: Under the Nepali Constitution, a new Prime Minister enjoys a guaranteed two-year period during which a no-confidence motion is not permitted.
- This ended in February unleashing simmering resentment against Mr. Oli’s governance style and performance. His inept handling of the COVID-19 pandemic added to the growing disenchantment.
- Implication of this move by Nepal:Indo-Nepal border negotiations will be all the more complicated as secretaries have no right to negotiate on the provisions of our Constitution.
- the speed with which the constitutional amendment was passed has left little space for diplomacy now.
Suggest way ahead and conclude.
Q.5) Covid crisis exposed the shortcomings of the University Education system in India ? Comment. 10 marks (150 words)
Why this question:
The history lurched over the last 60 days and COVID has exposed the vulnerability of the education system.
Start with Covid and associated lockdown
How Vulnerability is exposed:
- Here tell the extent of job loses people with degrees are facing plus the future course is appearing bleak
- Tell about other problems:
- Broken employability promises
- Poor Return on Investment
- Education loan NPAs
- Inclusiveness Deficit
- Obsolete Curriculums
- You can tell focus on skill universities as they enhance your chances of employment
- Tell some changes in UGC Act, Apprenticeship Act to boost skill universities.
- Lift the licence raj for degree-linked apprentices and recognise skills universities.
We need to have a system that works like 1/4th college, 1/4th ITI, 1/4th apprenticeship, and 1/4th employment exchange.