UPSC Mains Daily Answer Writing - 19 October (GS 2)


  1. “Development and welfare schemes for the vulnerable, by its nature, are discriminatory in approach.” Do you agree ? Give reasons for your answer. (15)
  2. Skill development programmes have succeeded in increasing human resources supply to various sectors. In the context of the statement, analyze the linkages between education, skill and employment. (15)

Model Solutions

1. “Development and welfare schemes for the vulnerable, by its nature, are discriminatory in approach.” Do you agree ? Give reasons for your answer.(15)

Core Demand: Give arguments for how development and welfare schemes for the vulnerable are discriminatory in approach. Also discuss how this is a positive discrimination and is mandatory.

Model Structure

  • Contextual - The discriminatory nature of welfare schemes targeting vulnerable populations is a stark reminder of the persistent disparities within societies. Such discrimination can undermine the very purpose of welfare programs meant to uplift the marginalized
  • Contextual - Welfare schemes intended to support vulnerable populations can inadvertently perpetuate discrimination due to inherent biases, unequal access, or systemic flaws exacerbating social inequalities

Main Body
Even though there are various welfare schemes for the betterment of vulnerable sections, they are discriminatory in ways like:

  • These welfare programs can unintentionally stigmatize the beneficiaries thus creating negative perceptions.
  • The targeted approach of these welfare schemes treats different segments of the population differently thus becoming discriminatory.
  • Giving more resources to welfare programs means diversion from sectors which benefit the population as a whole leading to sectoral disparities.
  • Fostering a freebie culture and its misuse in elections.
  • Unexpected consequences like women specific schemes can cause discrimination against men.
  • Accusation of being freeloaders and looking down upon the beneficiaries.
  • Exclusion errors.

But on the whole, these development and welfare schemes are indispensable and they promote positive discrimination by

  • Social Justice which is a part of directive principles and fundamental duty.
  • Inclusive growth by adhering to the concept of antyodaya.
  • Welfare programs promote equity rather than equality because many times, different groups need different levels of support to achieve the same outcomes which is a premise of equity.
  • Decreases economic stratification, which is on the rise in recent years as pointed out by the Oxfam report.


  • Positive discrimination within welfare schemes for vulnerable populations is not only justified but essential. It acknowledges historical injustices and systemic inequalities, aiming to rectify them by providing targeted support.
  • Positive discrimination not only uplifts marginalized communities but also fosters a more inclusive and equitable society, ultimately benefiting all its members. While such measures may be temporary, they serve as a catalyst for long-term change, promoting fairness and social cohesion.

2. Skill development programmes have succeeded in increasing human resources supply to various sectors. In the context of the statement, analyze the linkages between education, skill and employment. (15)

Core Demand: Briefly discuss how skill development has ensured human resource supply. Analyze the linkage between education and skill development which ultimately results in employment.

Model Structure


  • Contextual- According to the 2015 report on National Policy on Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, only 4.7% of the total workforce in India had formal skill training compared with 52% in the US, 80% in Japan and 96% in South Korea.
  • Skill development programs play a pivotal role in augmenting human resources by equipping individuals with the knowledge and expertise needed for gainful employment and economic participation.

Main Body
Skill development programmes in the past few years have increased the supply of human resources to various sectors.

  • As per the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, more than 100 million people got training through skill development programs since 2015, like the National Skill India Mission, PM Kaushal Vikas Yojana etc.
  • The National Skill Development Council estimated that sectors where most of these skilled workers have been employed include construction, health, manufacturing and infrastructure.
  • Institutes like National Council for Vocational Education and Training, National Skill Training Institutes, Industrial Training Institutes, Sector Skill Councils etc have played a huge role in increasing supply of human resources.
  • National Skill Development Fund is a trust which raises funds from the Government and Non-Government sectors for Skill Development in the country.
  • Over 1.3 cr. people have received short term training or RPL under PMKVY.
  • Lakhs of people have trained under subschemes like Covid Crash Course programme and Skill Hub Initiative.
  • To change the attitude towards vocational training, events like India Skills Competition have been organized.

Linkages between Education, Skill and Employment:

Education as a Foundation:

  • Basic Education: Basic education, including primary and secondary schooling, equips individuals with fundamental literacy and numeracy skills.
  • Higher Education: Higher education plays a significant role in preparing individuals for specialised fields and professions.
  • Since 2014-15, there has been an increase of around 72 lakh in the enrolment (21%), according to AISHE report.
  • Moreover, The NEP 2020 framework emphasizes skill development, to foster deeper integration between higher education and vocational training.
    Skill Development as a Complement:
  • Technical and Vocational Training: Skill development programs, such as technical and vocational training, offer specific, practical skills that are directly applicable to various industries.
  • Soft Skills: In addition to technical skills, soft skills like communication, teamwork, problem-solving, and adaptability are crucial in the modern job market.
  • The India Skill Report 2023 reveals improvement in overall employability among young people, increasing from 46.2 percent to 50.3 percent this year.
  • Alignment with Industry Needs: Skill development programs should align with the needs of the job market. They should focus on providing skills that are in demand in various sectors, ensuring that individuals are job-ready upon completion.
  • Imparting skills will also enhance entrepreneurship skills, going beyond to create the capabilities of workers as not only an employment seeker but also an employment giver.


  • A skill gap study by the National Skill Development Corporation for 2010-2014 time period called for a net incremental requirement of 10.97 crores of skilled manpower in 24 sectors by 2022. Steps must be taken to ensure this is taken care of.
  • Apprenticeship is a well accepted practise in countries like USA, UK and Germany. India can encourage it further by tying up with MSMEs.

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