Daily Mains Newsletter For UPSC
| RaghukulCS

26 June 2021 - Saturday



Mains Value Addition

Mains Analysis

Topic No

Topic Name



Relevant advice for health care-givers, mothers-to-be

The Hindu


The Great Kerala Inequality

Indian Express

Mains Value Addition

Future State: On Centre’s J&K outreach

SyllabusGS 3: Internal Security

Analysis: –

  • Political leaders from Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) who attended a meeting called by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday came away with a sense of optimism: restoration of Statehood is somewhere on the horizon, even if a total reversal of the withdrawal of the special status remains unlikely.
  • The meeting itself was a surprise, and came at a time when expectations of any quick resolution were very low.
  • But the fact that a spectrum of political leaders got the invitation from the Centre without any set pre-conditions had raised hopes of progress.
  • Eventually, the meeting gave reason to Kashmir’s political class to believe in possibilities that did not seem to exist just a week earlier.
  • But restoration of Statehood to J&K, which was reorganised as two Union Territories, should be the first step in the revival of the democratic political process and not the culmination of some elaborate negotiation strategy.
  • Modi described the meeting as an “important step in the ongoing efforts towards a developed and progressive J&K”.

Uttar Pradesh ranked best State under Smart Cities Mission

SyllabusGS 1: Urbanization, their problems and their remedies.

Analysis: –

  • Uttar Pradesh was ranked the best State and Indore and Surat were jointly named the best cities by the Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry for their work under the Smart Cities Mission.
  • At a virtual event to mark the sixth anniversary of the launch of the Smart Cities Mission, the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) and the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Urban (PMAY-U), the Ministry announced that Uttar Pradesh had been ranked one, Madhya Pradesh was second and Tamil Nadu third in the India Smart Cities Awards 2020.
  • The Ministry said in a statement that 22% in terms of the total value of the projects proposed and 52% in terms of the total number of projects proposed by the 100 Smart Cities had been completed so far.

Mains Analysis

Relevant advice for health care-givers, mothers-to-be

Why in News?

With COVID-19 compounding maternal and neonatal complications, vaccination and special facilities must be priorities

Syllabus—GS2- Health

  • India’s demographic dividend is largely dependent on its high birth rate. The number of births in India is ~ 72,000 per day; taking into account the 10 month duration of gestation and pregnancy losses, the number of pregnant women on any single day will be much larger.
  • Maternity services in India, both public and private, already overburdened with large numbers even in pre-COVID-19 times, face a crisis situation with the conditions caused by the pandemic.
  • Currently, the number of new cases of COVID-19 per day and the number of daily COVID-19 deaths in India are among the highest in the world.

Facts about women’s problems: –

  • Recent reports from Kerala on pregnant mothers, have uncovered many serious medical problems faced by pregnant women like: pre-eclampsia, pre-term labour maternal infections, increased caesarean section rates, fetal growth restriction due to placental insufficiency, still births, neonatal infections and respiratory distress.
  • According to a recent publication in the Journal of the American Medical Association, maternal mortality is several-fold higher in COVID-19 positive pregnant mothers than in non-COVID-19 pregnant women.

Concerns: –

  • Many pregnant women need admission to the intensive care unit and prolonged hospitalisation.
  • There is an urgent need for action from professional bodies to avert a serious calamity.
  • Government, in consultation with these bodies, should immediately facilitate counselling and care for women in the reproductive age group.

Steps to be taken

  • With the massive increase in numbers of COVID-19 infections with the second wave of the novel coronavirus , this important matter should be taken up on a war footing, alerting women in the reproductive age group and the medical profession.
  • Two important steps must be considered immediately: Advise all women to postpone pregnancy till both partners are vaccinated; Offer vaccination to all un-vaccinated pregnant women.
  • The demands on health-care personnel who provide antenatal care would decrease; they can be redeployed for COVID-19 care and the vaccination programme.
  • Reduction in the number of antenatal visits, online consultations, protocols for ultrasonography, glucose tolerance test and antepartum fetal evaluation must be followed by all caregivers.
  • Dedicated and safe ultrasound scan centres for pregnant women, manned exclusively by immunised personnel (either vaccinated or after recovery from previous COVID-19 infection) is a need of the hour.
  • Pregnant women with fever should be considered to have COVID-19 unless proven otherwise and be taken care of in triage areas with all personal protective measures in place till COVID-19 test results are available.
  • COVID-19 pregnancies and non-COVID-19 pregnancies should be handled in different settings to prevent infecting susceptible mothers.
  • Unvaccinated health-care workers providing care for pregnant women should be quickly vaccinated.

Clear benefits of vaccination

  • The health authorities in the United Kingdom and the United States have realised the benefits and the safety of vaccinating pregnant women and have approved vaccination of all pregnant women with mRNA vaccines.
  • Inactivated virus vaccines are safe during pregnancy and the World Health Organization has given a nod to the use of the inactivated Synovac vaccines.
  • Therefore, the inactivated vaccine available in India (Covaxin) may have advantages over the vectored vaccines (Covishield and Sputnik) for vaccinating pregnant women.


  • The availability and advantages of the vaccine for pregnant women should be publicised and awareness should be created among the public.
  • Vaccine hesitancy in pregnant women is likely to be much higher than in the general population — this should be addressed by information, education and effective communication.
  • Professional bodies recommended to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare that vaccination be offered to pregnant women after providing adequate information and counselling — and the Indian Council of Medical Research and the Ministry of Health have approved this, welcome steps in the right direction.

Way Forward: –

  • India will do well to enhance vaccination coverage of couples planning pregnancy and pregnant women on a priority basis in order to protect mothers and their new-born.

Question: –

  • Maternity services in India, both public and private, already overburdened with large numbers even in pre-COVID-19 times, face a crisis situation with the conditions caused by the pandemic. Illustrate the statement.

The Great Kerala Inequality

Why in News?

The recent series of alleged suicides by young women, due to dowry-related violence, and the intensity of violence each had to encounter reveal cracks in the social and economic fabric of Kerala.

Syllabus—GS1: Issues related to Women

  • The state govt has announced a round-the-clock helpline for women to report dowry harassment, domestic violence & other gender crimes.
  • The govt has promised to strengthen domestic resolution centres in all districts.
  • But the efficacy of such measures in reducing the increasing trend of violence against women is not known.

Kerala’s Development vs. Kerala’s Great Gender Inequality:

The Glorious Story of One Side:

  • Kerala’s development experience is marked by very high social & human development indicators:
    • With the state listed first among others in almost all indicators.
    •  The female literacy rate in Kerala s among the highest i.e. 95%
    • Kerala has a better sex ratio compared to most states.
  • The Women’s collective “Kudumbashree”, has gained international attention & is widely accepted as a model of Women’s empowerment.
  • The critical of the contribution of women as frontline soldiers to heading health minister needs to be noted.

The Untold Story of other Side:

  • Even with the above positive indicators,  the crimes against women are increasing in Kerala
  • As per the latest NCRB data, though the dowry deaths are small in number but the cases of cruelty by husbands or relatives that could be seen as a proxy for dowry-related violence are substantial.
  • Kerala’s development achievements largely revolved around social & political movements.
  • It never took the gender question seriously, even when many Women are central to the struggles.
  • While basic socio-economic problems of class & caste were addressed, but gender-based exploitation remained unaddressed.
  • With the flow of remittances & expansion of the middle class, restrictions on females were redefined.
    • Though females were allowed to pursue their education, the marriage prospects are given priority over economic independence.
  • The increased demand for teachers in the marriage market & the restrictions on Women’s economic choices or withdrawal from education or employment after marriage are all indications of a gendered fabric.
  • Women may not face much discrimination as children but the process of preparing them to graduate to the role of a wife begins early.
    • The withdrawal over time from the economic sphere completely or partially is also the reason for increased dowry demands,
    • However, even for earning women, they rarely have an equal role in decision-making & many women agreeing to male decisions as a part of their responsibility.
  • The major hypocrisy in Kerala society is that one hand the people will be socially & politically conscious & may appear as progressive individuals in their public life.
    • But when it comes to their personal life, none of these values are respected & practiced.

Way Forward:

  • Unless larger public action is directed at improving women’s status at an overall level through promoting women’s equality in various fields of life, any ad hoc measures could not result in change.
  • It is high time to equip girls to take a stand against dowry & marriage systems as well as question women’s subordination at large.

 Question: –

The recent series of alleged suicides of young women due to dowry-related violence & the intensity of violence each had to encounter reveal cracks in the social & economic fabric of Kerala. Discuss.

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