Daily Mains Newsletter for UPSC 27 Dec 2021

Daily Mains Newsletter For UPSC
| RaghukulCS

27 Dec 2021 - Monday


Table of Contents

The elderly are Assets, not Dependents

  • Proof of a truly developed country lies in the way it not only nurtures it is young but also cares for its elders equally.

What is a Demographic Dividend?

  • It is expected to give a push to economic growth due to the lower dependency ratio which results from having a larger proportion of the population in the working-age group.
  • The “Asian Tigers” — countries such as South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore — as also China, have exemplified the benefits.

What do NFHS-5 data indicate?

  • Younger population
  • A larger youth population will give an impetus to innovation and entrepreneurship.
  • As desired the young are in focus, with many programmes to facilitate their education, entrepreneurship, sports training as well as their well-being.
  • The focus must not only be from an economic viewpoint, but also from a health perspective. Poor health could nullify the demographic advantage.
  • The metrics for infant and child health continue to be dismal.
  • Senior Citizens
  • Life expectancy in India has risen from 50 (1970-75) to 70 years (2014-18).
  • As a result, the number of elders (over 60 years) is expected to increase (195 million in 2031, and 300 million by 2050.)
  • Rather than looking at them as dependents converting them to productive members of society depends on two factors – their health and their capabilities.

What is the current health status of Senior Citizens?

  • As per Longitudinal Ageing Study in India (LASI), 11% of the elderly suffer from at least one form of impairment (locomotive, mental, visual and hearing).
  • About 58 lakhs Indians die from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in India annually.
  • Cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevalence is estimated to be 34% amongst 60-74-year-olds.
  • Though in 2016 Healthcare Access and Quality Index (HAQ), India improved its score (24.7 in 1990 to 41.2 in 2016) it ranks 145 out of 195 countries.
  • Factors such as familial neglect, low education levels, socio-cultural beliefs, low trust in institutionalised health-care services and affordability affects the health of elders.
  • Inequity in health-care access compounds the problems for the elderly who are physically, financially and at times psychologically restricted.
  • With the rising elderly population, the biggest challenge is providing quality, affordable and accessible health care services to the elderly.

Are Government Schemes adequate enough?

  • The Government does have schemes but is inadequate.
  • Despite Ayushman Bharat, the Government’s health insurance scheme for the deprived, and private health insurance, a NITI Aayog report indicates that 400 million Indians do not have any financial cover for health expenses. (Largely elders)
  • Both the Centre and States have pension schemes for the elders, but these provide as low as ₹350 to ₹400 a month in some States. Even this is not universal.
  • A 2007 law requires States to ensure earmarked facilities for elders in every district hospital, headed by a doctor with experience in geriatric care.
  • Yet, a status report filed by the Government in the Supreme Court of India in 2019 stated that 16 States and Union Territories (‘of 35’) did not have a single ward/bed dedicated to elders.

How should we address this issue?

  • They require specialised medical services like tile or home consultations, physiotherapy and rehabilitation services, mental health counselling and treatment.
  • Seniors-first approach led to over 73% of the elderly population receiving at least one dose and 40% being doubly vaccinated by October 2021.
  • Considering the success story, India should go with an elderly prioritised approach.
  • Creation of adequate services for them will benefit all other age groups.
  • India needs to rapidly increase its public healthcare spending, and invest in the creation of well-equipped medical care facilities, home health-care and rehabilitation services.
  • Presently, India has a major deficit in infrastructure and skilled medical care resources, with 1.3 hospital beds, 0.65 physicians, and 1.3 nurses for every 1,000 people.
  • Over the next decade, we have the potential to add more than 3 million beds, 1.54 million doctors and 2.4 million nurses.
  • We need to accelerate implementation of programmes such as the National Programme for Health Care of the Elderly (NPHCE).
  • The Ayushman Bharat and PM-JAY ecosystems need to be further expanded and similar, special health-care coverage schemes and services need to be created for senior citizens from the lower economic strata.
  • The National Digital Health Mission has tremendous potential to expand medical consultations into the interiors of the country.
  • However, this requires a digital literacy campaign for senior citizens.
  • These essential steps will help to convert elders into a massive resource for socio-cultural and economic development, giving an altogether different perspective to “demographic dividend”.


What is the issue?

  • Over the last three decades, the Supreme Court (SC) has gradually designated itself the de facto administrative head of all courts in India.

What are the recent developments?

  • A Supreme Court bench approved CJI’s vision of creating a National Judicial Infrastructure Corporation (NJIC) to administer judicial infrastructure across the country.
  • A proposal has been sent on these lines to the Law Ministry.
  • The court is trying to secure through the judicial route what it is unlikely to get through administrative negotiations.

What is the problem with this decision?

  • There are serious issues of constitutional propriety with how the Supreme Court is gradually taking over the administration of the district judiciary.
  • The Constitution clearly vests the administration of district judiciary (appointments, budgeting, daily running) with the High Courts and state governments.

What are some cases where SC took over the administration?

  • All India Judges Association (first case) 1991 – AIJA, representing the district judges, approached the Supreme Court to secure better service conditions for their members.
  • Since then, the Supreme Court has been in a tussle with the Union and state governments over the issue of pay for the district judiciary in 3 major judgments in 1993, 2002 and 202.
  • In Malik Mazhar Sultan vs UP Public Service Commission litigation, the Supreme Court prescribed timelines and monitored the recruitment of judges for the district judiciary.
  • In 2006, the Supreme Court decided on a legal question regarding the UP Judicial Service Rules, 2001.
  • The Supreme Court took control of the way appointments are made to the district judiciary.
  • In Imtiyaz Ahmad v. the State of UP, Allahabad High Court granted a prolonged stay of a criminal proceeding. It was transformed by the Supreme Court into a vehicle for an assortment of judicial reforms.

In what ways Supreme Court usurp the administration of district courts?

  • SC gave directions to the Law Commission to study specific issues.
  • Supreme Court gave a specific formula to calculate the required number of judges for the district judiciary to all High Courts.
  • This new method of calculation contradicted a formula proposed by the Supreme Court in 2002 in one of the AIJA cases.
  • This same case became the launchpad for the Supreme Court’s demand for the creation of a “national umbrella organization” to look after the judiciary’s need for infrastructure.
  • In several cases the Supreme Court has also summoned government officials and registrars of High Courts to stand before them and provide explanations.
  • Supreme Court has appointed amici curiae (friend of the court) to advise on the nature of judicial reforms to be implemented. They are generally selected from amongst the senior lawyers of the Supreme Court.

What is the criticism behind SC moves?

  • The amici Curiae not only have little experience of practicing before the district judiciary, but they also usually lack the skill and time required for policy research.
  • Most importantly, court-appointed amici rarely point fingers at the judiciary for their shortcomings.
  • This courtroom policy-making by the Supreme Court, apart from being fragmented across various benches and amici, there is little hope for consistency, this is also undemocratic since it lacks avenues for public participation.
  • It also treats principles like federalism (which the court has held to be part of the “basic structure”) very casually, often proposing “one size fits all” solutions for the entire district judiciary across India.
  • In certain cases, judicial reform could be better served by the Supreme Court’s withdrawal.
  • It must begin by creating a culture of transparency within the judiciary.

Ethics | Paper – IV | Terms


  • It is constructed from the Greek syn, meaning “together,” and pathos, referring to feeling or emotion, is used when one person shares the feelings of another, as when one experiences sadness when someone close is experiencing grief or loss.
  • Sympathy is when you share the feelings of another.
  • Examples:
  • Patting someone on the shoulder at a funeral
  • Putting a hand on someone’s arm when they tell you their bad news


  • It is a newer word also related to “pathos.”
  • It differs from sympathy in carrying an implication of greater emotional distance.
  • With empathy, you can imagine or understand how someone might feel, without necessarily having those feelings yourself.
  • Empathy is when you understand the feelings of another but do not necessarily share them.

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