Daily Mains Newsletter For UPSC
| RaghukulCS

17 APRIL 2021


Mains Value Addition

Mains Analysis

Topic No

Topic Name



When Aadhaar-related problems lead to denial of rations and benefits: what the data show

Indian Express


Vaccine diplomacy that needs specific clarifications

The Hindu

Mains Value Addition

No annuity rider, NPS subscribers get ₹5 lakh exit option

Syllabus– GS 2: Health

Analysis: –

  • Under Atmanirbhar Bharat 3.0 Mission COVID Suraksha was announced by the Government of India, to accelerate the development and production of Indigenous COVID Vaccines.
  • This is being implemented by Department of Biotechnology Govt. of India.
  • Under the Mission the Department of Biotechnology Govt of India is providing financial support as Grant to vaccine manufacturing facilities for enhanced production capacities.
  • The current production capacity of indigenously developed Covaxin vaccine will be doubled by May-June 2021 and then increased nearly 6-7 fold by July – August 2021 i.e increasing the production from 1 crore vaccine doses in April, 2021 to 6-7 crore vaccine dose/month in July – August. It is expected to reach nearly 10 crore doses per month by Sep 2021.
  • Few weeks back, Inter-ministerial teams had visited the sites of 2 main vaccine manufacturers in India to get their inputs on how production can be ramped up.
  • In this period, there have been extensive reviews and feasibility studies on the plans being discussed with vaccine manufacturers.
  • As a part this augmentation plan, capacities of Bharat Biotech Limited, Hyderabad as well as other public sector manufactures are being upgraded with required infrastructure and technology.
  • Financial support is being provided as grant from GoI to the tune of appx Rs 65 Cr to Bharat Biotech’s new Bangalore facility which is being repurposed to increase the capacity of vaccine production.

Myanmar's Ousted MPs Form National Unity Government Against Military After Coup

Syllabus– GS 3: International Relations

Analysis: –

Opponents of Myanmar’s junta forces have set up an interim National Unity government on April 15. The members of Aung San Suu Ky’s ousted cabinet and major ethnic minority groups have formed the government. The National Unity Government is an upgrade from the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw(CRPH), which was established shortly after the coup by elected lawmakers who were denied access to the seats by the military.


A video was posted on social media that showed activist Min Ko Naing who announced the formation of the new government. He was a leader of the failed 1988 uprising against a previous military dictatorship and he after the coup went underground. He has apparently been active in political organizing against the Myanmar forces. He has urged the people to support the National Unity government for the future of citizens.

Adolescent girls grappled with increased pressure to get married, more gender-based violence during pandemic: Study

Syllabus– GS 1: Women

Analysis: –

  • A study found that during the Covid-19 pandemic, women, particularly moms, invested more energy in household tasks, such as childcare and family tasks than men.
  • ‘COVID In Her Voice: A Girl-led and Centred Participatory Research Study also found girls spent longer hours on household chores and lacked tools to continue school education online.
  • The Covid-19 pandemic has fundamentally altered how people spend time, with possible consequences for subjective well-being. Using diverse samples from the United States, Canada, Denmark, Brazil, and Spain (n = 31,141), following a preregistered analytic plan, and employing both mega- and meta-analyses, the researchers found consistent gender differences in time spent on necessities.
  • During the pandemic, women, especially mothers, spent more time on tasks such as childcare and household chores.
  • To the extent that women spent more time on chores than men, they reported lower happiness.
  • These data represent one of the most rigorous investigations of gender differences in time use during the forced lockdowns created by the Covid-19 pandemic, and point toward individual differences that should be considered when designing policies now and post-Covid-19.

Mains Analysis

When Aadhaar-related problems lead to denial of rations and benefits: what the data show

Why in News?

The Supreme Court recently asked the Centre to respond to allegations made in a PIL by a Dalit woman from Jharkhand that 3 crore ration cards have been cancelled in the country because of the insistence on Aadhaar linkage and biometric authentication, and that this has resulted in the denial of foodgrains to poor citizens, which in turn has caused starvation deaths including that of the petitioner’s 11-year-old daughter.

Syllabus– GS 2: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design &implementation.

Ever since Aadhaar-based biometric authentication was introduced in PDS, there have been numerous reports about people’s fingerprints not getting confirmed by the e-PoS device at the ration shop, iris scanners not being there as backup, and a poor Internet connection forcing people to spend on another trip to the shop. Our survey confirms this and puts a number to it.

Key findings: –

  1. Some findings from our national and state surveys are related to this issue.
  2. In its National Election Study (NES) during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Lokniti-CSDS had asked electors whether they had ever been denied foodgrains due to non-possession/production of an Aadhaar ID or because their Aadhaar biometric details didn’t match or on account of technical or server issues.
  3. On analysing the responses of those from ration-card-holding households, (four-fifths of the 12,000+ electors interviewed said their household held one), it turned out that 28% or over one in four households had indeed experienced such a situation

Rural vs urban, the states

  • Contrary to the notion that seeding and authentication problems are occurring mostly in remote areas, our data indicates that they are nearly of the same magnitude in villages and towns/cities —while 28% of respondents belonging to ration card-holding households in rural areas were refused ration due to Aadhaar-related issues at some point, in urban areas this was 27%.
  • In both rural and urban areas, the poorest were worst affected – 39% of households with a monthly income below Rs 2,000 said they were at some point denied PDS ration due to Aadhaar problems.

Challenges: –

  • The most striking difference was noticed when we disaggregated the responses by a grouping of Hindi-speaking heartland states vis-à-vis the rest.
  • In the Hindi belt — Bihar, Jharkhand, MP, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, UP and Uttarakhand, states once described as ‘Bimaru’ by some economists for their backwardness — as many as 40% of RC-holding households reported a denial of ration due to Aadhaar issues (Table 1), compared to 20% households in the rest of the country.
  • Our data also suggests that the problem may be less due to non-possession of Aadhaar and more due to biometric authentication and server issues, as respondents from 95% of RC-holding households in the ‘Bimaru’ belt did report having Aadhaar.
  • Coincidentally, 5 of the 7 heartland states — Bihar, Jharkhand, MP, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh —also had Assembly elections either after the 2019 national election or just before, and in surveys during these elections Lokniti asked the very same question as during NES 2019.
  • We can therefore double check, using much larger samples, whether the situation in these states is as grave as the NES data suggests.
  • The proportion of RC-holding households that reported having experienced ration denial due to Aadhaar-related factors was: in Rajasthan, 36%; in Chhattisgarh, 39%; in MP and Jharkhand, over 40%; and in Bihar, particularly high at 56%.

Way Forward: –

  • While our data only indicates a denial of PDS grains due to Aadhaar-related issues and doesn’t confirm the allegation of ration card cancellation (since our question wasn’t that specific), the fact that one-fourth households did at some point not get ration they were entitled to because of the Aadhaar compulsion is a serious matter.
  • Moreover, the problem isn’t just limited to PDS. Our surveys also asked people whether their household had ever been denied benefit of a government scheme it was eligible for due to Aadhaar-related issues, and the responses and trends were quite similar.

Question: –

Critically evaluate the implementation of Adhaar in various states. Explain the merits and demerits of the Adhaar project.

Vaccine diplomacy that needs specific clarifications

Why in News: –

The recent amendment in IBC is a step to address some structural weakness in India’s resolution architecture through the introduction of pre-packs for MSMEs.

Syllabus: – GS3: Indian economy &issues, Banking

  • t’s been 55 days, 71 countries, 586 lakh doses and counting into India’s Covid-19 vaccine diplomacy. And the first ever summit of the Quad leaders Friday has given it a whole new booster shot.
  • While 80.75 lakh doses have been sent as gift, free of charge, 165.24 lakh doses have been delivered as part of Covax mechanism under the aegis of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation. An estimated 339.67 lakh doses have been sent as part of commercial deals.
  • Just under a fifth of the entire stock of New Delhi’s Vaccine Maitri, 90 lakh doses, has gone to Bangladesh, the top recipient among the neighbours. Pakistan will get vaccines made in India through Covax.
  • Muraleedharan also stated that India was sending these vaccines abroad in the “form of grant, commercial sales of manufacturers GAVI’s COVAX facility”.
  • Eight days later, Mr. Muraleedharan made the same points while answering a question in the Lok Sabha but he also, significantly, added, “The supply to GAVI’s COVAX facility is an obligation since India is a member of this multilateral body and also a recipient of vaccines from this body.”
  • As of April 13, India had supplied over 65 million vaccines to 90 countries.
  • Of these more than 10 million were sent as grants, almost 36 million on a commercial basis and about 19 million under the COVAX program.
  • These estimates are based on the Ministry of External Affairs statistics.
  • Taken together, these supplies come to around a month of India’s current COVID-19 vaccines production.
  • Vaccines were sent as grants from the third week of January through March; some small quantities have also been sent this month.
  • Vaccines were exported on a commercial basis mainly from the end of January through February, with a small number in March.
  • The COVAX dispatch was made overwhelmingly in March, though some small supplies have continued in April.

Significance of the Vaccine Supply: –

  • The Vaccine exports were contingent on requirements of the national vaccination program, vaccine production, and the compulsion arising out of the GAVI membership.
  • They do not however go to the basic question: ‘why’ send vaccines at all.
  • That is certainly a crucial query for the enormous domestic need for vaccines made each dose precious; hence, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s emphasis that no vaccine should go waste.
  • Clearly, India wishes to signal that it is a responsible global power that does not self-obsessively think of itself alone.
  • Significantly, India has not been shy of comparing its record with that of advanced western countries.

A side to foreign policy

  • This desire to be a good global citizen can be traced to the Objective Resolution moved by Jawaharlal Nehru in the Constituent Assembly on December 13, 1946.
  • It noted, inter alia, “This ancient land attains its rightful and honored place in the world and make its full and willing contribution to the promotion of world peace and the welfare of mankind.”
  • Modi followed this vision when he also told the Raisina Dialogue, “And we must think of the entire humanity not merely of those who are on our side of the borders. Humanity as a whole must be at the centre of our thinking and action.”
  • The Modi government also time and again invokes the ancient phrase ‘VasudhaivaKutumbakam”; Mr. Jaishankar did so at the Raisina Dialogue too. The premise of the ideal ‘VasudhaivaKutumbakam’ is no different to that of the Objective Resolution.
  • These approaches are the idealistic side of the foreign policy coin whose other face is fashioned by cold and ruthless realism and exclusive self-interest.
  • Foreign policymakers often seek to emphasize a country’s tradition of altruism and the imperative of enlightened self-interest — in all peoples’ safety and prosperity lies our own — to justify the assistance they give to other lands.
  • But they have to ultimately justify it to their own people on the basis of tangible short- or long-term strategic and economic interests.
  • This is particularly so in times of shortages when the welfare of a country’s own citizenry is directly and obviously at stake.

Challenges: –

  • Domestic production,The demands of the national vaccine program and
  • Requests for vaccines manufactured in India.
  • Muraleedharan clarified that it was obligatory to send vaccines contracted under GAVI’s COVAX facility.
  • Experts in international law can weigh in on this assertion because sovereign states can always invoke supreme national interest to override obligations.
  • Certainly, the vaccines sent as grants were voluntary and the commercial contracts of the company concerned could always be disregarded under existing laws.
  • Thus, all in all, vaccines sent abroad were for general foreign policy considerations for which there is some justification. But that is insufficient.
  • Specific clarifications are needed to convince the people that these exports have not been made at the cost of their health.

Way Forward: –

  • COVID-19 has upended the traditional north-south divide – with many developed countries faring worse than many low-income and developing nations. Partnership and mutual benefit are core tenets of India’s foreign policy and development cooperation.
  • The crisis has presented India with an opportunity to put these principles into practice, demonstrating that it has the knowledge, expertise, and capacity to make significant contributions to global public goods in times of crisis.
  • This even as it continues to battle the pandemic and its impacts at home.
  • India’s vaccine diplomacy also comes against the backdrop of increased geopolitical tensions with China.
  • In the wake of last year’s protracted border dispute between the two countries, Prime Minister Modi emphasised the need for India to be “atmanirbhar” (self-reliant) in the production of goods and services and play a more critical role in global value chains.
  • India’s show of strength in the vaccine race is a powerful expression of this sentiment.

Questions: –

The term “vaccine diplomacy” is being used widely in the media and discussions about the global distribution of various Covid-19 vaccinations. One also hears commonly about “vaccine nationalism”. Is vaccine diplomacy meaningfully different from earlier practices of states to link foreign aid and loans to their diplomatic goals? Explain.

Sale is Live

New Arrivals Magazines

Buy This Magazine at Just @50 Rs.

Click On Magazine Image  to Buy.

Buy This Magazine at Just @30 Rs.

Click On Magazine Image  to Buy.

Buy This Magazine at Just @30 Rs.

Click On Magazine Image  to Buy.

Share With Your Friends

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp
Share on print

Leave a Reply