OAS Mains-2019 Daily Answer Writing-19/05/2020

Paper:   General Studies Paper-I

Section:  Current National Issues and Topics of Social Relevance

Topic:  Gender Inequality, Education

Question 1

Nearly all the religions have discriminated the women. In this context examine the need for the Uniform Civil Code.

Sample Answer

Uniform Civil Code generally refers to that part of law which deals with family affairs of an individual and denotes uniform law for all citizens, irrespective of his/her religion, caste or tribe. A Uniform Civil Code administers the same set of secular civil laws to govern different people belonging to different religions and regions. This supersedes the right of citizens to be governed under different personal laws based on their religion or ethnicity. The common areas covered by a civil code include:

  1. Personal Status
  2. Rights related to acquisition and administration of property
  3. Marriage, divorce and adoption

From human history Nearly all the religions have discriminated the women so we need Uniform Civil Code due to it will Give More Rights to the Women. Our society is patriarchal and misogynistic in nature and by allowing old religious rules to continue to govern the family life we are condemning all Indian women to subjugation and mistreatment. A uniform civil code will also help in improving the condition of women in India.

Challenges: Accommodation of various ideas/beliefs and consensus building should be the key rather than legal enforcement of a uniform set of norms. The society must be slowed reformed and no manner of coercion must be exercised. The fears among the minority community of majority domination must be adequately allayed and all apprehensions addressed. In the views of some experts, the idea of uniform civil code is against secularism ideals as it involves the state interfering in religious matters.

Way Ahead: It is commonly observed that personal laws of almost all religions are discriminatory towards women. Men are usually granted upper preferential status in matters of succession and inheritance. Uniform civil code will bring both men and women at par. So we have to adopt Uniform Civil Code not for the sake of religion but for the well bing of half of human population the women.

Question 2

“After universalisation of Primary Education, though enrollment ratio increasing but quality of schooling declining.” Comment

Sample Answer

Primary education has been universalised with more than 95% of the children below 14 in schools, but the quality of schooling is abysmal. The recent ASER report of the Union HRD ministry reiterates the same

Trends in Primary Enrollment:

While the Right to Education Act came into force in 2010, the current trend towards universal elementary education was well in place before that. As early as 2005, primary enrolment levels were as high as 90%, according to the Union HRD Ministry‘s Annual Status of Education Report‖ (ASER).

For the first time in India, we are beginning to see cohorts of children almost all of whom have completed eight years of schooling. While over a little over 11 million were enrolled in Class 8 in 2005-06, the number has almost doubled to around 22 million in 2014-15. Also, the gender divide seems to have narrowed over the years in the upper primary level, with more girls getting retained in school. While in 2006, 10% of 13-year-old girls and 21% of 15-year-old girls were not enrolled in school, the numbers for 2016 stands at 4.2% and 14% respectively.

Low quality of Primary Education

For over a decade, the ASER reports have been pointing out that foundational skills like reading and basic arithmetic are worryingly low for kids in school. About a quarter of all children in Class 8  struggle with reading simple texts and more than half are still unable to do basic arithmetic operations.

ASER data also suggests a declining trend over time, which means that successive cohorts are doing worse than their previous counterparts. A hint of this decline was also visible in the analyses done on  past rounds of the government‘s National Achievement Survey data.

Way Forward

Every year we will be graduating a cohort of close to 25 million young and hopeful boys and girls from elementary school. While aspirations run high, learning levels are worryingly insufficient, and are far lower than they should be even based on curricular expectations of Class 8. While moves to universalise secondary schooling and expand skilling are underway, we also need to prioritise quality enhancement in Primary level

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