Mains Q & A 15 February 2023
Q1. Since the costs of disregarding poor nutrition are too great for society, there must be a constant focus on the fight against malnutrition. Analyse. (250 Words)
Paper & Topic: GS II Social Sectors
India, the largest nation in the world, has 195 million undernourished citizens at the moment. In India, 4 out of 10 children, or around 47 million people, are chronically undernourished or stunted and do not develop to their full potential. Out of 107 countries, India is ranked 94th in the Global Hunger Index 2020. Malnutrition is caused by a lack of or an imbalance in some nutrients necessary for a healthy life.
Poor nutrition has the following effects:
The nutritional status of children under five has not significantly improved, according to the National Family Health Survey (NFHS)-5.
Slow progress has been made in reducing stunting, wasting, and undernutrition.
It is a national scandal because 5.5% of children under the age of five are stunted and 19.3% of them are wasted.
Childhood anaemia has gotten worse since NFHS-4.
Teenage girls and women between the ages of 15 and 49 are more likely to have anaemia.
Depending on which nutrients are lacking, malnutrition can result in anaemia, blindness, mental retardation, or even death, in addition to decreasing one’s ability to work and raising one’s susceptibility to illness.
India loses 4% of its annual GDP due to malnutrition.
What must be done:
After successfully monitoring breastfeeding initiation at the hospital, Anganwadi staff, ASHA employees, and auxiliary nurse midwives must continue to monitor exclusive breastfeeding until the infant is six months old.
The punctual beginning of the supplemental soft gruel feeding must be documented.
In addition, we need to guarantee that children under the age of three receive a take-home ration through the regular distribution of extra food from the Integrated Child Development Services.
Real-time monitoring of the Public Distribution System (PDS) will be particularly beneficial in ensuring food security for families.
Both the Poshan Abhiyan and the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana require community monitoring to achieve long-term nutrition security.
if anganwadis occasionally close without a valid reason.
if there are any irregularities in the field monitoring supervisors.
How to calculate the frequency and amount of dry rations.
served as lunch at anganwadi centres and schools.
whether information on the distribution of dry rations to anganwadis and schools is available on the web in real-time and is centrally accessible.
whether or whether the hot, cooked meals being provided can be monitored by parents and teachers.
To ensure dietary variety, determine if women’s self-help organisations contribute to meal preparation and purchase locally grown vegetables, grains, and millets.
whether access to eggs is restricted or denied due to social or political reasons.
Among the common foods that have been fortified include wheat, flour, rice, and edible oils.
It represents a scalable, cost-effective method to increase nutrient intake.
Standards for food fortification should be set, and recommendations should be updated, to encourage the use of fortified components in the hot prepared meals provided by the ICDS.
Expanding the range of diets
Because it may simultaneously boost intake of other food components, such as probiotics and antioxidants, rather than just micronutrients, it is the best strategy for improving population nutrition.
Numerous low-cost, food-based programmes can be implemented at the local level to improve micronutrient status.
In order to ensure that India’s development rests on rock-solid foundations, nourishment for early children must be given top attention. If India is to take advantage of long-term demographic benefits, it must prioritise nutrition in its health plan and rebuild the institutional infrastructure that supports the delivery of treatments.
Q2. Exactly what does the Uniform Civil Code entail? Do you think that introducing it now is the right time to do so? Critical analysis (150 words = 10 points)
Paper & Topic: GS II Constitutional Provisions
A single body of law covering the entire country that would apply to all religious groups in matters pertaining to their private life, such as adoption, inheritance, and marriage, would be provided through a standard civil code. It proposes to replace the personal laws based on the scriptures and customs of each significant religious community in the country with a unified set of laws regulating all citizens.
The government is required by Article 44 of the Constitution to endeavour to guarantee that all Indians have access to a single civil code.
The Supreme Court defended the Portuguese Civil Code of 1867 in its decision, saying that Goa is a “shining example” with a Uniform Civil Code.
Former Chief Justice of India (CJI) S. A. Bobde recently complimented the Uniform Civil Code of Goa and asked “intellectuals” taking part in “academic discussion” to visit there to learn more about it.
In support of the need for a unified civil code, the Delhi High Court instructed the federal government to take the necessary steps by declaring that the nation needs a law that is “common to everyone.”
India is the ideal nation for UCC:
Promotion of secularism: Regardless of a person’s religious affiliation, all people must be subject to the same set of laws, which is the basis of real secularism. A secular republic requires common law that applies to all citizens rather than norms that are differentiated depending on religious beliefs. It would help to end gender discrimination based on religion and maintain the secular fabric of the country.
Protection of Women’s Rights & Vulnerable Groups: The most vulnerable sections of society will be protected. Women have been subjected to discrimination through personal laws in the name of sociocultural and religious customs. In order to protect women’s rights to a life of dignity and to have control over both their bodies and their lives, UCC may therefore bring all communities together.
Gender equity: Women’s rights are usually limited under Hindu and Islamic law. The Indian Constitution’s protection of fundamental liberties is in contradiction with certain religiously based conventions. The government should adopt a universal civil code, according to a number of court decisions, most notably the Shah Bano case ruling.
stops discrimination on the basis of religion: Personal laws make distinctions according to a person’s religious beliefs. A single statute with the same rules regarding extramarital affairs will provide justice for those who feel they have been treated unfairly.
Many harmful, unequal, and unreasonable rituals and traditions that are now practised in many civilizations can be eliminated with the help of a reasonable, uniform, and common personal law. For instance, laws that prohibit manual scavenging. This practise cannot be justified in a mature democracy like India, despite the fact that it may have been common in the past.
Indian law, which includes the Evidence Act, Partnership Act, Sale of Goods Act, and Civil Procedure Code, follows a single code in the vast majority of civil proceedings. States have, however, made many modifications, thus there are differences in some areas even under these secular civil standards.
UCC shouldn’t be dismissed as a pipe dream, according to Justice Prathiba M. Singh of the Delhi High Court, as caste, community, and religious divisions are gradually eroding in contemporary Indian society.
UCC facilitates administration, making it simple to manage India’s enormous population base.
The following issues stand in the way of UCC passing:
A uniform civil code is opposed by religious organisations on the grounds that it would interfere with religious matters and violate the fundamental liberties guaranteed by article 25 of the constitution.
If everyone in the nation were painted the same colour, diversity would be reduced. Every tribe has unique customs and rituals that are a reflection of their culture. If a single set of laws replaces all of a tribe’s customs and traditions, the tribe may go through an identity crisis. This might make social discontent worse.
If communal politics were to be implemented, they would be a tyranny for the minority and lead to a lot of unrest across the country.
Threat to Multiculturalism: The unique characteristics of Indian society’s multicultural identity may be eliminated by a single set of laws.
likewise impacts the majority Hindus, for example, have particular laws that only apply to them. As a result, both the majority and the minority are impacted by this issue.
Lack of Political Will: Given enough political will, UCC might be implemented because the BJP Government has already handled more important problems like the Ayodhya Dispute and the repeal of Article 370.
Sensitive and challenging task – To create such a code in its true spirit, it is necessary to freely borrow from different personal laws, gradually amend each, issue judicial declarations guaranteeing gender equality, and adopt expansive interpretations of marriage, maintenance, adoption, and succession by taking into account the benefits that one community receives from the others. To finish this assignment, a lot of time and resources will be required. Government should always be fair and considerate to both majority and minority communities. In any other circumstance, it might lead to much more terrible intergroup conflict.
Time is not yet right for this reform; there needs to be enough time to inspire confidence in the community given the strong opposition from the Muslim community in India, the overlap with other controversies like the beef scandal, the saffronization of college and high school curricula, and the top leadership’s silence on these issues. Otherwise, these attempts to make things more equitable will backfire, increasing the unease and susceptibility of Muslims and other minorities to being led to fundamentalist and extreme viewpoints.
The communities themselves should initiate the current personal law reforms, which call for extensive sensitization efforts.
Existing institutions must be modernised, made more democratic, and strengthened to accommodate this transformation. Across all religions, there must be serious efforts made to empower women.
UCC can only develop through an evolutionary process that safeguards India’s extensive legal tradition and treats all personal laws equally.
A diverse civil code must give way to a uniform one gradually; it cannot happen quickly. As a result, the administration must make gradual progress rather than quick decisions.
People from many societies must converse and deliberate in order to discover common ground.
The foundational principles of the Constitution acknowledge diversity and make an effort to promote harmony among people of different denominations. Although highly desirable, a unified legal system might potentially undermine the integrity and cohesion of the nation. Therefore, a single body of law should only include those components of rituals and traditions that hurt people. Reform and order must be implemented gradually in a democracy with the rule of law.
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