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Daily Mains Newsletter For UPSC
| RaghukulCS

30 APRIL 2021


Mains Value Addition

Mains Analysis

Topic No

Topic Name



State repression that breaches public peace

The Hindu


The kids are not alright.

Indian Express

Mains Value Addition

Sri Lanka has prioritised relations with China, Gotabaya tells General Wei

Syllabus– GS2: IR: India and its neighbourhood

Analysis: –

  • Sri Lanka has prioritised developing relations with China and “firmly supports” China’s positions on issues concerning its core interests, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa told Chinese State Councilor and Minister of National Defence Wei Fenghe, according to Chinese state media.
  • The Sri Lankan President said his country “has been pursuing an independent foreign policy and will never bend to pressure from major powers outside the region as well as never forge an alliance with any country,” Xinhua news agency reported on Wednesday.
  • Sri Lanka and China vowed to enhance pragmatic cooperation in all sectors, “including the military”.
  • While specifics of the enhanced military ties are yet to emerge, Senior Sri Lankan Defence officials and the visiting Chinese delegation signed a ‘Military Assistance Protocol’, Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Defence said in a statement issued after the top Chinese official’s departure

U.S. will maintain strong military presence in Indo-Pacific to prevent conflict, says Joe Biden

GS 2: IR

Analysis: –

  • S. President Joe Biden said that he has told his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping that the U.S. will maintain a strong military presence in the Indo-Pacific “not to start conflict, but to prevent one,” as Beijing made efforts to expand influence in the strategically vital region.
  • In his first speech to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday night, Mr. Biden said he also told Mr. Xi that America welcomes competition but was not looking for conflict.
  • The relations between the U.S. and China are at an all-time low.
  • The two countries are currently engaged in a bitter confrontation over various issues, including trade, Beijing’s aggressive military moves in the disputed South China Sea and human rights in Hong Kong and Xinjiang region.
  • China claims sovereignty over all of the South China Sea. Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei and Taiwan have counter claims.

Mains Analysis

State repression that breaches public peace

Why in News?

The Government of Telangana, on March 30, 2021, issued a notification (G.O. Ms.73) banning 16 organisations under the Telangana Public Security Act, 1992 (TPSA), declaring them as ‘unlawful associations’ and ‘new front organisations of the proscribed Communist Party of India (Maoist)’, which was made public three weeks later on April 24, 2021.

Syllabus– GS 2: Important Aspects of Governance, Transparency and Accountability

  • On April 19, the High Court of Telangana described the State government’s affidavit in response to PILs urging for greater transparency in control, containment and care as ‘wishy washy’ and ‘disappointing’ and wondered whether the State was competing for the first place in the COVID-19 surge — and we might add, the failure in governance reflected therein.


  • Logically therefore, the attention of the government should be directed at managing the public health crisis and the distress caused to the people at large, demonstrating due diligence in fulfilling its constitutional obligations under Part IV of the Constitution.


  • The much-abused Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), 1967 had humble beginnings. But the upstart soon revealed that its model was the United States’ McCarthyite Un-American Activities Act. Its ally sedition is defined in the Penal Code. The instrument it wields is the National Investigation Agency Act, 2008.

Recent Incidents

  • From workers’ collectives, to women’s groups, students’ groups, Adivasi collectives and civil liberties groups — list trawls in anyone who is likely to resist or protest on any count by merely dubbing organisations as a ‘front’ or ‘new front’, or as ‘urban guerillas’.
  • The reason for the proposed ban is the fact that these activists are ‘moving in urban area by adopting various guerilla tactics… to wage war against the state’.
  • Interestingly, the rationale is strengthened by the fact that they have ‘joined hands with several organisations and [are] alluring the members into their folds [sic] inciting inflammatory statements, meetings and rallies highlighting various issues against the State and Central Governments’.
  • The G.O. goes on to state that these organisations are organising protests in the ‘barren lands’ of Chhattisgarh besides demanding the release of G.N. Saibaba, Varavara Rao, Rona Wilson and other leaders of various front organisations who were arrested in the Bhima Koregaon case, and ‘repealing of UAPA Act, Farm Laws, CAA/NRC etc’.
  • This omnibus labeling of organisations and so-called crimes in themselves are ground for challenging the ban.
  • The Bhima Koregaon case is ongoing. Even the investigation is as yet indeterminate. Construing support for the Bhima Koregaon accused as a crime under the TPSA is a criminal mis-reading and deliberate mis-application of an already draconian law.

Challenging UAPA

  • The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, or UAPA, is widely challenged by everyone with a rudimentary understanding of the Constitution as being against every constitutional guarantee.
  • Pending repeal, it is our constitutional right to challenge its application in every case in which we believe its application is a travesty of the Constitution.
  • Protesting against the UAPA or seeking its repeal cannot in itself be construed as an unlawful activity, as this notification by the Telangana government seems to suggest.
  • This brings us to protests against the CAA and Farm Laws which the G.O. 73 expressly mentions. There has been widespread protest against the farm laws in the State as well as against the CAA.
  • While Telangana Chief Minister, K. Chandrashekar Rao, refused to take a definite stand on the Farm Laws in the legislative debates on this issue, his stand on the CAA is clear and unequivocal.
  • The Telangana Assembly passed a resolution against the CAA, the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the National Population Register on March 15, 2020, stating that the CAA violated the constitutional guarantees of equality, non-discrimination and secularism, and will ‘endanger the lives of vulnerable groups who do not possess adequate documentary proof of citizenship’ — and went on to state that, ‘there are serious questions as to the legality and constitutionality of the CAA, NPR and NRC’.
  • There is no indication that the State Legislature has reversed its stand on this question.

Notification amidst tensions: –

  • At a time when the government is facing the heat for mismanaging public health and safety, and therefore endangering public security, the response is to blow out a smokescreen invoking draconian legislation to declare the demand for governmental accountability as an unlawful activity that is evidence of participation in an unlawful association.

Global Example: –

Northern Ireland introduced preventive detention on August 9, 1971, only to abandon it on December 5, 1975. Preventive detention in this country is as old as independent India and is protected lovingly by its Constitution. Imprisonment is itself a form of punishment under the Penal Code (Section 53.) Detention laws empower the States to designate the place.

Way Forward:-

Police and law and order are State subjects. A constitutional amendment and its strained interpretation were used to justify the NIA Act. The Centre steps in and imposes its own fiat on the State police. Settled rules of criminal jurisprudence regarding grant of bail, confessions and period of investigation are violated by the NIA.

Question: –

It is state repression that breaches public peace. Not the demand by citizens for state accountability. Explain.

The kids are not alright.

Why in News?

Recent anti-stigma movement led by celebrities by disclosing & revealing their struggles with mental illness.

Recent studies showcasing the positive impact of COVID on mental health in the direction of de-stigmatization.

Syllabus– GS2: Issues relating to relating to Mental Health.

According to Graham Thornicroft a renowned psychiatrist, Stigma is divided into three components- Knowledge, Attitude & Behaviour, whereas behavior emerges from social isolation such as pandemic-induced lockdown as well as exclusion from mainstream society.

What is Mental Health?

  • According to WHO, Mental health is defined as a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.
  • Around the globe, one in seven people living in low-resource countries does not receive treatment for depression.
  • Mental health stigma is the key barrier in seeking care.

India & Mental health:

  • According to the first comprehensive study of mental illness burden in Lancet in titled “The burden of mental disorders across the states of India: the Global Burden of Disease Study 1990–2017”, also highlights the status of mental health issues in India.

  • In 2017, there were 197.3 million people with mental disorders in India i.e. 14.3% of India’s total population.
  • Mental illnesses were dominated by depressive disorder (45.7 million) and anxiety disorder (44.9 million).
  • Mental disorders contributed 4.7% of the total DALYs (disability-adjusted life years) in India in 2017, compared to 2.5% in 1990.
  • Among Indian states, Adulthood onset mental disorders were higher in southern states, whereas Childhood/Adolescence onset mental disorders were higher in northern states.
  • Females contribute a substantially higher percentage in depressive disorders to total DALYs.
  • In the Post-COVID budget, although centre has increased the health budget from 1.2% to 2.5% of GDP, but it ignored mental health by allocating a mere 0.05%.

Mental Health & Children:

  • Within overall well-being, mental well-being is the most ignored & marginalized aspect & for children, it is furthermore ignored due to social stigma.
  • India is home to the highest rates of child abuse, depression and suicide amongst children & youth in the world.
  • Pandemic not only caused imminent physical threat & trauma but also disrupted daily life which had jarring effects on children’s mental health.


  • The schools & their daily rituals have been acted as a platform for emotional safety & stability for children’s healthy growth & development.
  • But this pandemic has broken it down with the closure of educational institutions & restriction of children into closed 4 walls.

Mental Health and related issues

  • Studies across 30 countries have concluded that stigma is “universal”- e.g. 90% of people with schizophrenia across the world.
  • Stigma rates in higher-income countries may be greater than those in other because of the pressure to excel.
  • Fear of failure plagues some people with mental illness, not to apply for jobs & stall their intimate relations.
  • Entertainment industry contributing to stigma through their poor portrayals & interpretations of mental health.
  • To capture the reader’s attention & create sensationalized headlines, Media exploits mental illness.
  • Lack of genuine sympathy with the problem prevents the subject of mental health from being saved from neglect.
  • Mental ill people are often criminalized & covered as killers in the media as the result of some isolated incidents.
  • Another important dimension is people with schizophrenia often blame family members as the biggest source of stigma.


Mental health & COVID:

  • The pandemic & consequent lockdown have had a profound impact on mental health & well-being mainly among youth.
  • It has been reported across the world, there has been a 4-folds increase in anxiety & depressive symptoms among adults.
  • The 18-25 age group, are exhibiting, even more, higher rates of emotional distress, as well as a marked increase in substance misuse, suicidal thoughts & behaviours.
  • As per the WHO survey, COVID-19 has disrupted or halted critical mental health services in 93% of countries worldwide but its demand has been increasing.

 Positives impact of COVID on mental Health:-

  • Despite its devastating effects, COVID-19 could reduce mental health care stigma.
  • Ten to 15 years ago, stigma was even more stifling, but during the pandemic this negativity being replaced with more responsible, sensitive & honest stories by media that made a concerted effort in shifting public & personal sensibilities with respect to mental illness.


  • COVID is likely to affect psychological health & wellbeing for enforced social distancing, long-term side effects & inability to access care for other health conditions.
  • Working through the pandemic has led mental health professionals, to understand the need to connect with people & provide assessment & treatment via technology.

Solutions: –

  1. Enhancing contact with people who experienced mental health problems is the best way to reduce stigma.
  2. Providing a space where they may be welcomed & listened to, rather than judged, will go a long way towards enabling them to share their experiences.
  3. Researchers in Andhra Pradesh used posters and a short street play as an intervention technique to reduce mental health stigma. The main aim of the play was to manifest, deliver & culturally adapt & train society for the benefit of those fenced on its fringes.
  4. Families should be encouraged to be attached without being over-involved and providing space to a mentally ill family member for their own improvements.
  5. Love, Empathy, compassion, and companionship are humanitarian methods that go a long way in the healing process.

Government Measures: –

  1. In 1982, the government of India launched the National Mental Health Programme (NMHP) to improve the status of mental health in India with 3 components:
    • Treatment of Mentally ill
    • Rehabilitation
    • Prevention and promotion of positive mental health
  2. Launched District Mental Health Programme (DMHP) in1996 with an objective to provide community mental health services at the primary health care level.
  3. Mental Health Care Act 2017 enacted to provide mental healthcare & services for mentally ill persons and to protect, promote & fulfill their rights.
  4. National health mission & Ayushman Bharat initiative includes components to address mental health disorders of children & adolescents.
  5. WHO’s Comprehensive Mental Action Plan 2013-2020 was adopted by the 66th World Health Assembly.
  6. Sustainable Development Goals targets 3.4 and 3.5 talks about reducing mental illness within the population.

Way forward:

  • Increasing mental healthcare facilities & infrastructure through more resource allocation in the budget as well as adequate Mental healthcare professional availability.
  • Increasing awareness among patients & the public to undertake timely treatment & to break down societal prejudices/ stigma.
  • Strengthening & promoting the role of communities & families in addressing mental health stigma & discrimination.
  • Scaling up Digitally-mediated therapy would improve rural India’s mental health through telemedicine like NIMHANS in Karnataka.
  • Community-based Interventions: helps reduce in social stigma associated with mental illness & also provide timely treatment such as Schizophrenia Research India’s (SCARF) mobile bus clinic which is run by an NGO bridge the rural-urban divide.
  • it is high time to develop new ways to enhance social interaction with mentally ill people that can be achieved by offering them a secure, virtual, space for self-expression. The need of the hour is for remaking Policy & Public discourse that listens to public distress & reconsider priorities in terms of their well-being.


Question: –

Discuss how the Collateral advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic could be a sense of new normality that can help people to feel less stigmatized whilst seeking help.

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