Mains Q & A 08 June 2023

Mains Q & A 08 JUNE 2023

Q1. Care work is essential for our society and the economy as a whole, and India requires a strategy and action plan for better care work policies. Discuss. (250 words)

Paper & Topic: GS II à Social issues

Model Answer:




The term “care work” describes the labour and services, both paid and unpaid, that support caring in all of its manifestations. Care labour includes direct tasks like feeding a newborn or nursing a sick partner as well as indirect tasks like cooking and cleaning. Involving teachers, nurses, community health professionals, social workers, and domestic workers, it also involves a variety of industries like education, health, and social work.



Care Work’s Importance for India:


According to UN estimates, the working-age population is losing ground to an increase in the share of the elderly.

The conventional joint-family structure is being replaced by nuclear, single-parent, and international households as a result of urbanisation, disconnecting them from ties to the local community.

Globally, increased spending on care services has the potential to generate 300 million extra jobs, many of which will be held by women. In turn, this will help progress Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 8 and raise female labour force participation.


Caregiving challenges:


According to the ILO, India invests less than 1% of GDP on infrastructure and services related to care labour, such as early childhood education, maternity, disability, and illness benefits, and long-term care.

Women bear a disproportionate amount of the responsibility of unpaid care since they perform 10 times as much domestic work as males.

It is difficult for women to balance paid and unpaid labour duties. Reports of elevated levels of stress are not unusual.

In actuality, women report higher degrees of depressive and anxious symptoms, as well as worse subjective well-being and life satisfaction.

According to the Maternity Act of 2017, companies are required to offer childcare services within a certain radius. However, implementation continues to be poor in practise. According to IFC studies from 2019, only 49% of firms had creche facilities in place.

Women do not reduce their unpaid labour hours in proportion to their rise in paid work time. Men’s part of unpaid work has not increased at the same rate as women’s share of paid employment, either.

When women experience poverty and reside in areas with inadequate infrastructure, the double burden is made worse.

Household chores take much longer in places where food and water are hard to come by.

A large number of States do not acknowledge the 2.5 million women who work as Anganwadi workers, auxiliary nurse-midwives, and accredited social-health advocates as workers or pay them a set monthly salary.

Even though the National Platform for Domestic Workers Bill 2016 and the National Policy on Domestic Workers are still being considered, there hasn’t been much progress made in formalising the working conditions for India’s 3.9 million domestic workers, 2.6 million of whom are women.


Moving ahead:


creating employment, particularly for women. According to a Women’s Budget Group (2019) estimate, 11 million new jobs—nearly a third of which would be for women—could be created in the Indian health and care industry with an additional 2% of the GDP.

According to the ILO, nations with greater mother work to population ratios invest in both childcare facilities and parental leave laws to lessen the strain on women.

The provision of care should be seen as a shared obligation and a public good.

A higher maternal employment to population ratio will result from investments in both childcare infrastructure and parental leave regulations.

The GDP would be able to account for the economic contribution of AWWs, ANMs, ASHAs, domestic help, etc. if these individuals were recognised as formal sector employees.

The ‘Decent labour Agenda’ principles of the ILO place a strong emphasis on appreciating the importance of unpaid care labour.

In India, the average female daily pay increased from 59% to 72% between 1993–1994 and 2018–19.

The 5R framework for decent care work put out by the ILO is focussed on attaining gender equality.


It exhorts:



decrease in unpaid caregiving.

redistributing unpaid caregiving tasks.

rewarding carers and providing quality jobs.

representation in societal discussions and labour negotiations.


The government must conceptualise a strategy and action plan for better care policies, care service provisions, and decent working conditions for care workers in consultation with the pertinent parties.



Q2. Examine the electoral bond programme critically as a special tool for financing elections with the aim of achieving political funding transparency. (250 words).

Paper & Topic: GS II à Election related issues

Model Answer:




Donors will be able to pay political parties through banks with the use of electoral bonds. The banking product, which resembles promissory notes but is referred to as a bond, will not bear interest. The electoral bond, a bearer instrument that may be purchased for any amount in multiples of Rs 1,000, Rs 10,000, Rs 1 lakh, Rs 10 lakh, or Rs 1 crore, will not bear the name of the payee.





The cases against the electoral bonds system will be heard by India’s top court.

The 2018-launched programme has been legally contested by Common Cause and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), two well-known non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in India.

They claim that the introduction of electoral bonds is “distorting democracy” in India, along with a number of other critics.


Justification for the electoral bonds:


To encourage openness in the finance and donations received by political parties, electoral bonds have been created.

The plan calls for developing a transparent bond purchasing process with verified KYC and an audit trail. Misuse would be unlikely due to the small window and fast maturation phase.

The electoral bonds will encourage contributors to make donations through banking, allowing the issuing authorities to collect their identities. This is a significant step towards election reform and will assure transparency and accountability.

The prior practise of receiving cash donations from unidentified sources is completely opaque. All of the information regarding the donor, donee, amount of donations, and type of expenditure is kept secret.

The government claims that the Bonds system will stimulate contributions of clean money to politics from individuals, businesses, HUF, religious organisations, charities, etc.

These organisations can buy the bonds and then give them to the political parties of their choice, who must redeem them within the allotted time.

All contributors and parties would be required to disclose the number of bonds they have purchased in their accounts as well as the number of bonds they have received. This would add a certain measure of openness to the process.

The electoral bonds are intended to end the practise of giving significant amounts of money to political parties in an anonymous manner, which results in the creation of black money in the economy.


Results regarding electoral bonds:


Election-related bonds have grown to be a crucial source of funding for all major political parties since their establishment.

Parties redeemed electoral bonds of Rs 6,514.50 crore between March 2018 and January 2021.

Over 50% of the total income of all national and regional parties was contributed using this means, even though the ruling BJP managed to receive the majority (60.17%) of political donations produced through the bonds.

It appears that for both of the major political parties, the amount of political donations coming from cash contributions or other anonymous sources has significantly declined.

Today, more money is instead transferred through the established financial system. The former method could not permit this because the majority of political donations were made in cash and hence could not be tracked.

When compared to the previous system, the electoral bonds plan is better from this perspective.


Election bonds have only made opacity more acceptable:

Given the lack of disclosure rules for those buying electoral bonds, the action could be abused.

Election financing is much more ambiguous because to electoral bonds. More and more illicit funds will enter the political system as a result. Election-related bonds would have a “serious impact” on political party financial transparency.

With the use of electoral bonds, businesses may have a legal way to donate money they have stashed away in tax havens to a political party. If this could be accomplished, a businessman may lawfully donate a portion of the profits that result from the policy change to the politician or party that was responsible for it.

The reforms will allow “unchecked foreign funding of political parties in India which could lead to Indian politics being influenced by foreign companies” and inject illegal money for political fundraising through front companies.

To prevent shareholders from knowing where their money has gone, companies are no longer required to disclose the names of the organisations to whom they have made donations.

Given that both the donor bank and the receiver bank are aware of the individual’s name, they have the potential to substantially support the ruling party. However, both banks submit reports to the RBI, which in turn is bound by the desire for information of the Central government.


Alternative methods of financing elections:


A National Electoral Fund that accepts contributions from all contributors, according to the former chief election commissioner S.Y. Quraishi, is a solution worth considering.

The money would be distributed to political parties in accordance with the number of votes they receive. This will not only safeguard contributors’ privacy but also eliminate dark money from political donations.

The annual cost of MPLADS funding for all MPs is close to 4,000 crore, and even one year of the five-year term of an MP would be enough to cover state sponsorship of Lok Sabha candidates. This is a sanctioned method of allowing MPs and MLAs to lavish funds on their constituents at the expense of the state.

Candidates who receive direct money will be compensated based on their final percentage of votes cast.

The only approach to achieve such transparency in political fundraising is to outlaw any cash contributions to political parties from people or businesses.

requiring that all parties only accept donations sent by cheque or other forms of payment.

For all those who make such donations, there should be clear guidelines for receiving tax benefits.

Make it a requirement that political parties share information on all donations with the income-tax department and the Election Commission.

Political party funding by the government is a possibility. The partial state sponsorship of recognised political parties was approved by the Indrajit Gupta Committee on State sponsorship of Elections.

To allocate funds to national parties, state parties, and independent candidates, as well as to monitor candidates’ personal expenditures above what the government contributes, the mechanics of this procedure must be properly developed.

Through awareness campaigns, voters must be made aware of the negative impacts of money power in elections. adding political parties to the RTI act’s scope.





According to the 255th Law Commission Report on Electoral Reforms, political fundraising secrecy leads to “lobbying and capture” of government by large funders. The Election Commission is one of the commissions that has provided specific recommendations on appropriate solutions. Examining and implementing public funding with the appropriate checks and balances is necessary.

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