UPSC Mains Daily Answer Writing (24-11-2022) - GS 2

UPSC Mains Daily Answer Writing

Questions

Q1. Donor support has enabled NGOs to undertake some cutting-edge research and action, but international financial support has bred chronic donor dependence, affected the work culture and autonomy of the NGOs and increased distrust between the states and the NGOs. Analyze. (150 words)  10 marks

Q2. Despite being lauded for its patient centric approach, the implementation of the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017, remains sluggish and mired with various issues. Discuss.(150 words) 10 marks


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Model Solutions

Q1. Donor support has enabled NGOs to undertake some cutting-edge research and action, but international financial support has bred chronic donor dependence, affected the work culture and autonomy of the NGOs and increased distrust between the states and the NGOs. Analyze. (150 words) 10 marks

Model Structure
Introduction:

  • Donor support has enabled NGOs to undertake some cutting-edge research and action in India.
  • NGOs like Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), WWF, TERI etc. have undertaken projects that affect climate change, health, education, pollution etc.

Main Body:

  • The NGO sector faces challenges due to international financial support:
    • The NGOs receiving grants and aid from foreign contributors turn dependent on them and ultimately toe the line as directed by the donor.
    • The dictation from foreign contributors affects the autonomy of the NGO.
      • It is not able to carry out independent projects and campaigns.
      • The interests pursued by the NGO are largely foreign as per the need of the donor.
    • This breed's negative work culture where scope of innovation, independent project development, creativity etc. is severely restricted.
  • International financial support has increased distrust between the states and the NGOs
    • As per amendments in FCRA- NGOs cannot use more than 50% of foreign funds for administrative expenses.
      • This shows distrust between them.
    • Illegally receiving foreign money.
      • Amnesty International was denied a license to bring in money by the Enforcement Directorate for receiving money illegally.
    • Campaigns against Developmental projects, such as the Mahan Coal Mine Project controversy erupted when Greenpeace campaigned against the project.
    • Effect on GDP of the country- In May 2014, a report from Intelligence Bureau (IB) accused NGOs such as Greenpeace, Cordaid of working at the behest of foreign power resulting in reduction of India’s GDP by 2-3% per year.
    • Alleged links to Maoists- In 2018, a number of NGO activists were arrested and accused of being Maoist's sympathizer.
      • Such as activists of People’s Union for Civil Liberties.

Conclusion:

  • In the ongoing pandemic NGOs have shown their ability to deliver services to weaker sections of society. However, the compulsory FCRA approval and registrations have been resulting in tied hands of NGOs, which are not able to receive foreign donation to provide medical relief.or
  • The NGO sector is the interface between the people and the state, their contribution to development, welfare and empowerment needs to be understood and supported aptly, so that it can work as an arm of the State in the business of Governance.

Q2. Despite being lauded for its patient centric approach, the implementation of the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017, remains sluggish and mired with various issues. Discuss.(150 words) 10 marks

Model Structure
Introduction:

  • According to a NIMHANS survey of 2015-2016, 14% of India’s population lives with some form of mental illness, out of which 1.9% suffer from severe mental illness.
  • Given the importance of this issue, the Parliament enacted the Mental Healthcare Act (MHA), 2017.

Main Body:

  • This Act has a patient-centric approach for persons with mental illness:
    • Right to access mental health care: Every person shall have a right to access mental healthcare and get treatment from mental health services.
    • Decriminalization of suicide: A person who attempts to commit suicide will be presumed to be suffering from severe stress.
    • Right to make an advance directive: Patients can decide on how to be treated or to not be treated for a mental illness.
    • Right to appoint a nominated representative: Patients can appoint a nominee to take all health-related decisions on his/her behalf.
  • The various challenges in the implementation of the Act are:
    • Loopholes in the Act:
      • The Act does not institute any third-party assessment or monitoring of the human rights situations in mental healthcare facilities.
      • The Act misses significant measures for reintegration and rehabilitation of patients with their families. According to a study, 1 in every 4 women in mental health centres is abandoned by her family.
    • Inadequate budgetary allocation: The preceding four Union Budgets allocated less than 1% of the total budget to mental health.
      • Creating impediments in public access to affordable mental healthcare.
    • Lack of human resource: There is a low proportion of mental health workforce in India (per 100,000 population).
      • Including psychiatrists (0.3), nurses (0.12), psychologists (0.07) and social workers (0.07).
    • Other issues: Poor awareness about the symptoms of mental illness, social stigma and abandonment of the mentally ill have resulted in a massive treatment gap.

Conclusion:

  • For a more comprehensive approach to promoting mental health, the need of the hour is swift and effective implementation of the MHA 2017.
  • Independent monitoring of human rights violations, more robust community-based interventions, increased financial allocations and timely notification of state rules under the Act.
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