DAILY MAINS NEWSLETTER FOR UPSC | 03 APR 2021 | RaghukulCS

Daily Mains Newsletter For UPSC
| RaghukulCS

03 APRIL 2021

Index

Mains Value Addition

Mains Analysis

Topic No

Topic Name

Source

1

A missing science pillar in the COVID response

The Hindu

2

Police need a makeover.

Indian Express

3

Unreasonable restrictions

Indian Express

Mains Value Addition

Maternal deaths rose during a pandemic: study

Syllabus – GS 2: Health

Analysis: –

  • Risk of mothers dying during pregnancy or childbirth in India has increased by more than a third during covid-19 compared with pre-pandemic instances, a review of data published in The Lancet Global Health journal has revealed.
  • Global lockdowns, disruption in maternal health services, reduction in health seeking behaviour and fear of getting infected from health providers added to pregnancy risks and led to worsened health outcomes for women and infants.

The Delhi government is planning to set up three electronic waste parks in each municipal division for dismantling and recycling used products.

Syllabus – GS 3: Environment

Analysis: –

  • The Delhi government is planning to set up three electronic waste parks in each municipal division for dismantling and recycling used products.
  • Officials are preparing a plan on how the parks are to be built following directions from the principal scientific advisor to the Centre, and L-G.
  • The parks will have buildings for dismantling and recycling processes. E-waste recycling was earlier not permitted in Delhi, but the MCDs allowed it recently,” said an official.
  • The official said the plan involves collecting e-waste from informal sector workers at these three parks, and supplying recycled products to manufacturers from here.
  • The parks are proposed to be spread over spaces of about 20-acre each in areas within north, east and south Delhi.
  • About 95% of e-waste recycling is still done by the informal sector.
  • Through this park, it is estimated that at least the amount of e-waste produced in Delhi can be recycled, as all stakeholders in e-waste management ecosystem will be brought under the same roof

Delhi to get its first Partition Museum, set to open on August 15

Syllabus – GS 3: Economy

Analysis: –

  • It was the Partition of 1947 that changed the face of Delhi forever. As thousands of its residents fled, Delhi also took in nearly half a million refugees from Pakistan in the months pre and post August 1947.
  • It is only fitting that the capital is now set to get a museum to solemnly mark that moment in its history, which opens to the public on August 15 this year.
  • The museum — an extension of Amritsar’s Partition Museum — will come up at the Dara Shikoh Library building in Old Delhi’s Mori Gate. Built in 1643 and named after Shah Jahan’s eldest son, Dara Shikoh, the building currently stands in the Ambedkar University Delhi campus.
  • In the later years, it served as the residence of Mughal viceroy of Punjab, Ali Mardan Khan, and then of David Ochterlony, a British officer in the Mughal court.
  • Three museums are coming up at the building. Besides the Partition Museum, for which the Delhi government’s Department of Archaeology has joined hands with The Arts and Cultural Heritage Trust (TAACHT), there will be a museum dedicated to the life of Dara Shikoh, and one to display antiquities and artefacts in its possession.

Expiry of Trump’s H-1B visa ban: How does the IT sector gain

Syllabus – GS 3: Economy

Analysis: –

  • US President Joe Biden on Thursday let a June 2020 executive order banning the issuance of new non-immigrant worker visas expire.
  • The executive order, signed by his predecessor Donald Trump, had barred the entry of eligible work visa holders, first for 60 days till August, which was extended till December and then March 31.

What was the proclamation issued by former US President Donald Trump?

  • In June last year, Trump had signed an executive order barring the entry of H-1B and other foreign work visa holders citing it as an essential step to save the jobs of Americans who had lost their work due to the Covid-19 crisis.
  • In his proclamation, Trump had said that these US workers had been “hurt through no fault of their own due to coronavirus and they should not remain on the sidelineswhile being replaced by new foreign labour”.

Why did President Biden let the executive order by Trump expire?

  • Though the H-1B and other work visas have often been criticised for allowing cheap labour in the US at the expense of its local workforce, they have also proven beneficial to the US when it comes to getting inexpensive but highly skilled and trained workers.
  • Global IT companies, industry bodies, and other global tech captains such as Alphabet and Google Inc’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Sundar Pichai, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, had then condemned the June 2020 move and said that the H-1B visa regimes had a net positive impact on the US economy.

How does the expiry of the June 2020 order help Indian IT industry?

  • The US government has a cap of 85,000 total H-1B visas for each year. Of this, 65,000 H-1B visas are issued to highly skilled foreign workers, while the rest 20,000 can be additionally allotted to highly skilled foreign workers who have a higher education or master’s degree from an American university.
  • Indian IT companies are among the biggest beneficiaries of the US H-1B visa regime, and have since 1990s cornered a lion’s share of the total number of visas issued each year.
  • Though over the years most Indian companies have reduced their dependence on work visa such as H-1B and L-1, they remain very popular among Indian workers overall.

Mains Analysis

A missing science pillar in the COVID response

Why in News: –India’s fight against the resurgence of the coronavirus is a challenge requiring strengthened data and better science.

Syllabus: -GS 2: Issues related to health

  • Maharashtra seems to be particularly affected, but nearly all States are reporting increases.
  • The epidemiology of COVID-19 is poorly understood, but some early understanding of the transmission of the virus can enable a more effective science-driven response.

Variants in India

  • The UK, Brazilian and South African variants are not the only ones currently circulating in the Indian population.
  • Like any other organism, the coronavirus is also constantly mutating, with some changes in its genetic structure happening in every replication cycle.
  • Most of these mutations are inconsequential, and do not alter the overall nature or behaviour of the coronavirus.
  • But a few of them, possibly one in thousands, can introduce important changes, helping the virus to adapt or survive better.
  • During this epidemic, three kinds of changes are being keenly watched — those that increase the ability of the virus to spread faster, those that cause more severe disease in the infected person, and those that help the virus escape the immune response.
  • The UK, Brazilian and South African variants are such strains.
  • Each of them now has its own families, meaning there have been many subsequent mutations in these but with the original defining mutation remaining intact.
  • These three variant families, or lineages, have been found in multiple countries, and are mainly responsible for the surge in cases in Europe and Brazil.

Spread of variants

  • The surge is probably driven by variants from the original, as variants worldwide comprise much of the current wave.
  • A resumption of global travel meant that spread of variants into India was inevitable, with the only question being when.
  • The wishful thinking that India had achieved “herd immunity”.
  • Notions of herd immunity do not fully capture the fact that for largely unknown reasons, viral transmission is cyclical.
  • Much of the infection in India might well be mild, with less durable immune protection than induced by vaccination.
  • ‘Asymptomatic infection is more commonly reported in Indian serosurveys, exceeding 90% in some, in contrast to high-income countries, where about one-third of infections report as asymptomatic’.

Pattern in India

  • Delhi had two major peaks, in 2020, of death rates and case rates, one in June and another in November, and now is entering a third major wave.
  • Within Mumbai, the current wave appears to be affecting more affluent areas and private hospitals, in contrast to last year where the highest infection levels were in the slums and poorer areas.
  • Forthcoming mortality-based analyses suggest several sub-waves exist within major viral peaks, reflecting subtle changes in community transmission.
  • The ebbs and flow of vaccine transmission are far more variable than we assume.

 

Data must guide decisions


  • India needs to increase the quantity, quality and public availability of actual data to guide decision-making.
  • Theories or mathematical models are hugely uncertain, particularly early on in the epidemic.
  • First, collection of anonymised demographic and risk details (age, sex, travel, contact with other COVID-19 patients, existing chronic conditions, current smoking) on all positive cases on a central website in each State remains a priority.
  • Second, greatly expanded sequencing of the viral genome is needed from many parts of India, which can be achieved by re-programming sequencing capacity in Indian academic and commercial laboratories.
  • Third, far better reporting of COVID-19 deaths is needed. Daily or weekly reporting of the total death counts by age and sex by each municipality would help track if there is a spike in presumed COVID-19 deaths.
  • The Registrar General of India’s verbal autopsy studies are invaluable, but must be reactivated to review deaths occurring in 2020, given that the last available results are from 2013.
  • The Indian Council of Medical Research’s national sero survey had design limitations such that it probably underestimated the true national prevalence.
  • A far larger and better set of serial surveys is required. Finally, we need to understand better why some populations are not affected.
  • Widespread existing immunity, perhaps from direct exposure to bat corona viruses might be one explanation.

Counter growing inequity

  • Affluent and connected urban elites of India are vaccinating quickly, but the poorer and less educated Indians are being left behind.
  • Vaccination campaigns need to reach the poor adults over age 45, without having to prove anything other than approximate age.
  • Follow-up studies among the vaccinated can establish the durability of protection, and, ideally, reduction in transmission.

Vaccination plan

  • The Disease Control Priorities Project estimates an adult national programme would cost about ?250 per Indian per year to cover routine annual flu vaccination, five-yearly pneumococcal vaccines, HPV vaccines for adolescent girls and tetanus for expectant mothers.
  • Thus, adult and child vaccination programmes are essential to prepare for future pandemics.

 

Genome sequencing…

  • India has the second highest number of people infected with the coronavirus during the epidemic. But it has done very few genome sequences of the different variants in circulation.
  • So far, it has carried out gene analysis of 19,092 samples from across the country, according to a statement made by the government in Parliament last week.
  • This includes the sequencing of 10,787 samples since the government set up INSACOG (Indian SARS-CoV2 Consortium on Genomics) in December specifically for this purpose.
  • Many other countries, including the United States and China, have analysed more than 100,000 gene sequences.

Way Forward: –

  • COVID-19 could well turn into a seasonal challenge and thus, the central government should actively consider launching a national adult vaccination programme that matches India’s commitment and success in expanding universal childhood vaccination.
  • More draconian steps, such as another full national lockdown should be considered carefully, as they incur a huge toll on the poor and stunt education of Indian children. It also remains unclear if the population would comply.

Question: –

The resurgence of COVID-19 presents a major challenge for governments, yet the best hope is to rapidly expand epidemiological evidence, share it with the public and build confidence that the vaccination programme will benefit all Indians. Discuss

Police need a makeover.

Why in News: –The recent chain of scandalous events in Maharashtra, again questions the credibility of Police system.

While disposing of Mumbai former commissioner’s plea, SC revisited its own judgment in Prakash Singh case.

Syllabus: – GS 2: Police Reforms (Executive)

Overburdened police force

 

  • State police forces had 24% vacancies (about 5.5 lakh vacancies) in January 2016. Hence, while the sanctioned police strength was 181 police per lakh persons in 2016, the actual strength was 137 police.
  • 86% of the state police comprises of constabulary. Constables are typically promoted once during their service, and normally retire as head constables.
  • This could weaken their incentive to perform well.
  • Crime per lakh population has increased by 28% over the last decade (2005-2015). However, convictions have been low. In 2015, convictions were secured in 47% of the cases registered under the Indian Penal Code, 1860.
  • The Law Commission has observed that one of the reasons behind this is the poor quality of investigations.

Supreme Court Directives in Prakash Singh Case:

In 2006, Supreme Court issued directions regarding a 1996 petition, for the implementation of the expert committee’s recommendations to prevent police abuse & misuse of police powers & the directions for Centre & State famously known as “The Prakash Singh Guidelines”.

State Security Commission:

  • Every state should constitute a commission that lays down policy for police functioning, police performance evaluation & mainly to curb political unwarranted influence on the police.

Police Establishment Board:

  • Every state shall constitute a police board that decides postings, transfers & promotions for officers below DSP rank.

Police Complaints Authority:

  • State & District level complaints authority needed to constitute for inquiring into allegations of serious misconduct & power abuse by police personnel.

Security of Tenure:

  • In order to protect against arbitrary transfers & postings, there is a need to provide a minimum tenure of 2 years for DGP at state & Chiefs of central forces.

DGP Appointment:

  • DGP appointment shall be taken on the basis of service length, good record & experience, chosen among 3 senior-most officers empanelled for promotion by UPSC.

National Security Commission:

  • For shortlisting of candidates for appointment as Chiefs of central armed police forces, National Security Commission is required.
  • Separation Of investigation and Law & Order:
  • To ensure speedier investigation, better expertise & friendly police, there is a need to separate the investigation wing from the law & order wing.

Need of Police reforms: –

  1. To reduce political interference in police functioning & rationalize the police performance evaluation system.
  2. To reduce politics & corruption and increase transparency in police appointments, promotions & transfers.
  3. Replacing the existing internal inquiries system & instilling public confidence in the police.
  4. To enable key police officials to withstand undue political. interference
  5. To reduce the uncertainty of office & tenure for the DGPs by reducing arbitrariness & personal considerations of the ruling class in appointments.
  6. For encouraging specialization in police force & upgrading the overall performance.
  7. Increasing transparency & streamlining policing by speedier & scientific investigation.

Improving police infrastructure

  • CAG audits have found shortages in weaponry with state police forces. For example, Rajasthan and West Bengal had shortages of 75% and 71% respectively in required weaponry with the state police.
  • The Bureau of Police Research and Development has also noted a 30.5% deficiency in stock of required vehicles (2,35,339 vehicles) with the state forces.
  • However, funds dedicated for modernisation of infrastructure are typically not utilised fully. For example, in 2015-16, only 14% of such funds were used by the states.

 

Way Forward: –

  • It is high time that the unholy nexus between the criminals, politicians, bureaucrats & police needs to be broken.
  • While taking steps in the directions of decriminalization of politics, the parallel govt needs to restructure the police system in order to build a robust criminal justice system based on justice Malimath committee recommendations.
  • The primary role of police forces is to uphold and enforce laws, investigate crimes and ensure security for people in the country.
  • In a large and populous country like India, police forces need to be well-equipped, in terms of personnel, weaponry, forensic, communication and transport support, to perform their role well.
  • Further, they need to have the operational freedom to carry out their responsibilities professionally, and satisfactory working conditions (e.g., regulated working hours and promotion opportunities), while being held accountable for poor performance or misuse of power.

Question: –

Critically evaluate the need of police reforms in India.

Unreasonable restrictions

Why in News: –Since the unveiling of new National Education Policy 2020, debates around reforms in the education sphere cropping up.

In this regard, there has been voice echoing to re-examine the RTE bias against private non-minority institutions.

Syllabus: – GS 2: Fundamental rights & Issues related to education.

 

What is right to education?

  • To give effect for Article 21A that provided free & compulsory education as a fundamental right, Right to Education Act enacted in 2009.
  • The main aim of RTE is to ensure that every child gets quality elementary education.
  • Originally, Article 45 of the Constitution mentioned right to education has Directive principle that indicated “State should provide free & compulsory education to children upto age of 14”.
  • In 1992, SC in Mohini Jain v. State of Karnataka held that right to education is a part of Right to Life under Article 21.
  • In 1993, Court in Unnikrishnan JP v. State of Andhra Pradesh held that state was duty bound to provide primary education within its economic capacity & indicated need for private institutions to play role along with govt in this regard.
  • TMA Pai Foundation & P A Inamdar landmark judgments laid ground for insertion of Article 21A (Right to Education) as a Fundamental right by the 86th Constitutional Amendment.
  • In 2009, to enforce Article 21A in spirit Right to Education Act was enacted.

Some Features of Right to Education (RTE) Act 2009:

  1. It aims to provide primary education to all children aged 6 to 14 years.
  2. It mandates 25% reservation in the education institutions for the socially backward sections of the society.
  3. It focuses on making education system free of fear, trauma & anxiety through child centered& friendly methods.
  4. It provides for the appointment of teachers with eligible academic qualification.

Non-Minority Institutions:

  • Even when in Inamdar case, court held that there shall be no reservation in private institutions and that minority & non-minority are not treated differently.
  • But 93rd Constitutional amendment inserted Clause(5) in Article 15,that provides reservation in education institutions for backward classes & also excluded minority institutions from this ambit.
  • RTE Act 2009, doesn’t directly discriminated between minority & non-minority students.
  • But, in Society for Unaided Private Schools of Rajasthan case, court upheld that unaided minority schools are exempted from purview.
  • Even though Article 21A doesn’t discriminates but the arbitrary RTE Act discriminates between minority & non-minority institutions.
  • The above differentiation is unreasonable that violates Article 14 & uneconomical to private institutions.
  • The differentiation not only unreasonable but also lacks rational nexus between objective of universal education & exclusion of minority schools from RTE purview.
  • Even judiciary that follows the doctrine of harmonious construction of fundamental rights has upheld the exemption of minority institutions despite many RTE provisions would not interfere with their administrative rights.
  • In 2016, Sobha George case, Kerala high court held that Sect 16 of RTE that prohibits non-promotion till the completion of elementary education will also applicable to minority schools.
  • Despite functioning of minority institutions are not subjected to RTE but they are subjected to Fundamental rights such as Article 14,21 of the constitution.

Way Forward: –

  • Right to Education that ushered 2nd phase of rights revolutions in India, needs to relook at some of the discriminatory provisions of the act. To attain the goal of universal quality education that is accessible & affordable, India needs to create a harmonious balance between affirmative & discriminative provisions.
  • As that deadline was about to be passed many decades ago, the education minister at the time, MC Chagla, memorably said: “Our Constitution fathers did not intend that we just set up hovels, put students there, give untrained teachers, give them bad textbooks, no playgrounds, and say, we have complied with Article 45 and primary education is expanding… They meant that real education should be given to our children between the ages of 6 and 14” – (MC Chagla, 1964).

Question: –

 

Does the Rights to Education Act ensure effective mechanism for education and inclusion of the intended beneficiaries in the society? Discuss

Started From 14 Mar 2021

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