Those appearing in Mains 2018, please check this article after GS papers are over.
Why use current affairs in UPSC Sociology answers?
- Sociology is a dynamic subject. And, when it comes to UPSC, it gives a dynamic touch to even static subjects. For e.g. There was a question in Sanskrit literature on how can Sanskrit help in resolving the problem of terrorism. Surprised? 🙂
- Many questions in UPSC Sociology are directly influenced by contemporary events. E.g. There was unrest in JNU around 2016. And , there was a question in UPSC Sociology Mains 2016 – University campus as a Social System.
- Gone are those days when you could reproduce some XYZ’s interpretation of an issue, and sail through. The questions, of late, demand YOUR OWN analysis of the issue.
- If you reinforce your understanding through current affairs, it lends support to the argument you are putting forth. For example: This question was asked in 2017 UPSC Sociology- Give an assessment of Durkheimian notion of ‘scared’ and ‘profane’ in sociology of religion. (10 Marks). You may use Supreme Court decision allowing women of all age groups to enter Sabarimala temple. Earlier they were considered as profane, now sacred. It is also an example of how law/judiciary can bring about social change.
- Another question asked in 2017: Examine the relationship between the contemporary trends in marriage and changing form of family. (10 Marks). In this answer, you may quote the recent Supreme Court judgement legalising same-sex marriage.
For clarification on how to use current affairs in UPSC Sociology, visit this post-
Features of this example-set
- Examples are grouped under broad categories – Thinkers, Religion, Miscellaneous etc.
- Related syllabus are topics are highlighted or mention within [-]
- Links to important articles are given alongside. You may refer to these links for details.
- Do check “Related Posts” below for government schemes and other live examples for UPSC Sociology.
- Suicides in India have increased by 23% from 2000 to 2015 according to data released by the National Health Profile, 2018. Health (mental and physical) concerns are the leading causes of suicides in India, accounting for over 20% of all suicides • Housewives comprise the largest share of suicides (18%); while farmers comprise 11%. Some has linked this to nature of the social transformation in the nature of the family, which is occurring in India. • Suicides among most demographics are declining over time and farmer suicides are declining the fastest • Suicide ‘contagion’ can occur if suicides are overly dramatized and/or played up. • Mental Healthcare Act 2017 has decriminalized suicide.
- Farmers Suicides | Student Suicide | Suicide in armed forces |
- PASSIVE EUTHANASIA: The bench upheld that the fundamental right to life and dignity includes right to refuse treatment and die with dignity because the fundamental right to a “meaningful existence” includes a person’s choice to die without suffering (including terminally ill) [Intended-Unintended consequences]
- WORLD HAPPINESS REPORT 2018: India has been ranked low at 133rd position highlighted by low scores on generosity, perception on corruption, freedom to make life choices, life expectancy etc. • It lagged far behind neighbouring countries such as China (86th), Pakistan (75th) and Nepal (101st) and behind all the SAARC nations. [Self and Identity]
- As the interests of workers across nations and sectors are often not aligned, uniting them seems impossible [Karl Marx]
- TRIBAL SUB PLAN: A comprehensive policy for development of Scheduled Tribes was prepared by an expert committee set up in 1972, which suggested Tribal Sub Plans (TSP) for scheduled Tribes in 1976 (5th Five Year Plan).
- Ghana Just Taught The World A Lesson It Shouldn’t Forget – Banned All Fairness Products. Merton’s reference group theory is used in an exploitative manner to promote such hazardous chemicals.
- Karl Marx @ 200: No Dear Capitalism, He’s Not Irrelevant Yet
- Punjab cabinet has proposed to amend Section 295A of Indian Penal Code. It will introduce a new section 295AA in IPC. It proposes life imprisonment for whosoever cause injury, damage or sacrilege to four religious texts, that is the Guru Grant Sahib, the Quran, the Bhagwat Geeta and the Bible. Aims to promote social harmony and public order.
- MOB LYNCHING: Government has set up a high-level committee chaired by the Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba to make recommendations for checking incidents of mob lynching across the country.
- Recently, Supreme Court has held that National Commission for Minority Education Institutions (NCMEI) has original jurisdiction to determine an establishment as a minority education institution.
- RIGHT TO CONVERT IS A FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT: The Supreme Court recently gave a judgement regarding a person’s right to choose a religion.
- Network of survivors demands ban on female genital mutilation [Religion, Women]
- Have no religion or caste, say 1.24 lakh Kerala students
- Caste in politics is linked to lived realities
- Presenting caste as fate
- The casteist gay groom ad is a hard lesson for civil rights activists.
- How caste is marring mid-day meals:
- Law Commission of India has released a Consultation Paper on ‘Reform of Family Law’. Age of consent for marriage: It advocates for change in the age of consent for marriage, opining that the current difference of 18 years for girls and 21 years of age for boys simply contributes to the stereotype that wives must be younger than their husbands.
- CHILD MARRIAGE NUMBERS DROP SHARPLY: • The proportion of girls getting married in India has nearly halved in a decade, the United Nations children’s agency UNICEF said recently. Child marriages decline in India: UNICEF
- LIVEABILITY INDEX: The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has decided to bring out a liveability index of 116 cities with funding from World Bank. It ranks the cities in order of the quality of life offered by these 116 cities which includes 99 smart cities already identified, state capitals, and cities with 1 million-plus population
- Smart City + HRIDAY + RURBAN + AMRUT
- Recently, NITI Aayog has launched Move Hack, a global mobility hackathon to crowd source solutions aimed at the future of mobility in India.
- RYTHU BANDHU SCHEME: Recently Telangana government launched a scheme named Rythu Bandhu (Friend of farmers) scheme to support farmers. It is first of a kind investment support scheme for farmers which involves cheque payments to farmers based on their landholdings. The government gives every beneficiary farmer Rs. 4,000 per acre as “investment support” before every crop season.
- The CCEA has given its approval for Green Revolution – Krishonnati Yojana in agriculture sector beyond 12th Five Year Plan for the period from 2017-18 to 2019-20.The scheme has been continued as part of its objective to double farmers’ income by 2022. • It is an umbrella of 11 schemes/missions under Ministry of Agriculture.
- A Statement of Intent has been signed between NITI Ayog and IBM to develop Precision Agriculture using Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Aspirational Districts.
- RASHTRIYA GRAM SWARAJ ABHIYAN: It is a centrally sponsored scheme which aims at making rural local bodies self-sustainable, financially stable and more efficient.
- Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana(PKVY): Its objectives are o To support and promote organic farming and thereby improving soil health. o Reduce farmer’s dependence on fertilizers and agricultural chemicals to improve yields.
- Pradhan Mantri Fasal BIma Yojana (PMFBY) Objectives of the scheme • To provide insurance coverage and financial support to the farmers in the event of natural calamities, pests & diseases.
- Unnat Bharat Abhiyaan 2.0 • It is phase 2 of Unnat Bharat Abhiyaan where students of premier institutions will help in solving the problems faced by rural population across the country. • Unnat Bharat Abhiyaan was launched by govt. of India.
- Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016: o The Bill defines a transgender person as one who is partly female or male; or a combination of female and male; or neither female nor male. In addition, the person’s gender must not match the gender assigned at birth, and includes trans-men, trans-women, persons with intersex variations and gender queers. Census 2011 – 4.8 lakhs transgender people in India. Only 30,000 are registered with Election Commission of India. It provides no child who is born a transgender can be separated from his parents except on a court’s order.
- Muzaffarpur Alert: Death penalty for raping minor girls won’t ensure their safety in government shelters. [Violence against women]
- Trans and feminist rights have been falsely cast in opposition [Transgenders, Feminism]
- Special sewer cleaning machines to replace manual scavengers in Delhi: [Dalit]
- Care Economy in India • Women in India do almost 10 times as much unpaid work as men leaving them out of the formal workforce and unable to contribute to the economy. • Due to the higher share of unpaid care work such as cooking, cleaning, and taking care of children and older members of the family, women’s contribution is left out of GDP. • Women are responsible for only 17% of India’s GDP (In China-40%).
- The Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD) has been making continuous efforts to mainstream the implementation of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act, 2013. It seeks to protect women from sexual harassment at their place of work. The Act defines sexual harassment at the workplace and creates a mechanism for redressal of complaints. [Violence against women]
- Measures which an organisation can take to enhance the safety of women at workplace: Getting women to speak up: Deploying technology: Gender sensitisation training
- Lok Sabha has recently passed the Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018. A National Anti-Trafficking Bureau (NATB) will be established for coordinating, monitoring and surveillance of trafficking cases. It will also deal with crimes having inter-state ramifications.
- PROPOSED NATIONAL POLICY FOR DOMESTIC WORKERS: Inclusion of domestic workers in the existing legislations. • Registration of domestic workers. • Right to form their own associations, trade unions. • Right to have minimum wages, access to social security, protection from abuse, harassment, violence.
- DEVELOPMENT INDUCED DISPLACEMENT OF TRIBALS: As per Art 338, NCST has directed Andhra Pradesh to improve on resettlement and rehabilitation of tribal families displaced by Indira Sagar Polavaram project.
- RESERVATION IN PROMOTION: The Supreme Court has permitted Central government for reservation in promotion to SC/ST employees working in the public sector in “accordance with law”.
- INDECENT REPRESENTATION OF WOMEN (PROHIBITION) ACT (IRWA), 1986: Recently, Ministry of Women and Child Development has proposed amendments in IRWA. Government enacted the Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act (IRWA), 1986 to prohibit indecent representation of women through advertisements, publications, writings, paintings, figures or in any other manner, in response to the demand by the women’s movement for a legislative action against the derogatory depiction of women in India.
- WOMEN IN PRISONS: The Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD) has published its report titled ‘Women in Prisons.’ There are approximately 4.2 Lakh persons in jail in India, of which, around 18000 (about 4.3%) are women. Of these, around 12000 (66.8%) are undertrial prisoners.
- Recently, Ministry of Home Affairs has created a new division to address issues related to women safety in comprehensive manner in coordination with relevant Ministries/ Departments and State Governments.
- Malnourished children in India: Steps taken by Government • National Nutrition Mission with a target to bring down stunting in children from 38.4% to 25% by 2022. • Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme: ICDS covers the nutrition needs of children of 6 months -6 years age, pregnant and lactating mothers.
- Ministry of Women and Child Development has approved 100 additional One Stop Centres. ervices Offered by OSC • Emergency response and rescue services. • Medical Assistance to women affected by Violence. • Skilled counsellor to provide Socio-Psychological Support/ Counselling etc.
- CHILD RAPE: Recently an ordinance was passed by the government to allow courts to pronounce death penalty to those convicted of raping children below the age of 12 years.
- Investment Limit for Senior Citizens has been doubled under Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandan Yojana (PMVVY). The time limit for subscription has also been increased from May 4, 2018 to March 31, 2020. [Ageing]
- Recently, Union Cabinet has approved to expand the Scheduled Areas under Schedule-V of the Constitution of India in some areas of Rajasthan. The areas will now be a part of the Tribal subplan within the existing schemes of central and the state governments.
- VAN DHAN SCHEME: Ministry of Tribal Affairs has recently launched Van Dhan Scheme. Under the scheme 10 Self Help Groups of 30 Tribal gatherers (Van Dhan Vikas Samuh) will be constituted. They will then be provided with working capital to add value to the products collected from the jungle.
- ‘LaQshya’ will improve quality of care during delivery and immediate post-partum period thus providing Respectful Maternity Care (RMC) to all pregnant women attending public health facilities. This will reduce maternal and newborn morbidity and mortality.[Reproductive health]
- SUVIDHA: It is an affordable sanitary napkin launched to ensure ‘Swachhta, Swasthya and Suvidha’ for the underprivileged Women of India. [Reproductive health]
- International Labour Organisation (ILO) survey in 2017 had ranked India’s Female Labour Force Participation (FLFP) rate at 121 out of 131 countries in 2013.[Patriarchy, gender discrimination]
- NIRBHAYA FUND: It was created after its announcement in 2013 Union Budget with a corpus of 100 crore for empowerment and safety of girl child and women. The move is aimed at women safety in public spaces and quick response systems to create deterrence against crime after the recommendations of Empowered Committee. [Violence against women]
- NO TRIBAL TO BE EVICTED FROM TIGER RESERVES: The National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) has temporarily banned displacement of tribals from forest areas and critical tiger reserves to ensure tiger conservation does not infringe on tribal rights.
- According to the ‘Revisiting Women in STEM’ survey, 45% of those working in STEM (Science, technology, engineering, and medicine) jobs were dissatisfied with their current career choice. Most of the high-tech jobs in STEM field are high-paying, meaning that the lack of women in these roles is contributing to gender salary gap.
- India has the highest number of acid attacks in the world. The number of acid attack continues to rise despite stricter laws and punishments. As per NCRB data, 187 acid attacks and 202 attempts of such attack took place across India in 2016. [Violence Against Women]
- WOMEN SET TO BE INDUCTED IN TERRITORIAL ARMY: Delhi High court has paved way for induction of women into TA units by quashing Centre’s notification barring the same.
- Recently, Ministry of Electronics and Information technology (MeITY) announced a project Stree Swabhiman. It aims to create a sustainable model for providing adolescent girls and women an access to affordable sanitary products in rural areas. [Reproductive health]
- Government of India has constituted a National Commission for Denotified, Nomadic & Semi-Nomadic Tribes with a mandate to identify and prepare a state-wise list of DNT/NT, apart from assessing the status of their inclusion in SC/ST/OBC, identification of areas where they are densely populated, reviewing the progress of development and suggesting appropriate measures for their upliftment. [Tribe]
- Number of women pilots doubles to 1000 in four years. [Women]
- Wearable band to be introduced in Bengaluru to ensure women safety: [Syllabus topic: Violence Against Women]
- DISTRICT MINERAL FOUNDATION (DMF) Aimed to address the ironic inequality of India’s mining affected districts where the richest lands are inhabited by some of the poorest and most deprived persons and to ensure socio- economic and environmental justice for them by maximizing the welfare and benefit of the mining-affected people and areas in a targeted manner.[Tribals]
- About Pradhan Mantri Khanij Kshetra Kalyan Yojana (PMKKKY) | PMKKKY is a programme launched in September 2015 to provide for the welfare of areas and people directly or indirectly affected by mining related operations. PMKKKY is implemented by the District Mineral Foundations (DMFs) of the respective districts using the funds accruing to the DMF from miners. [Tribals]
- Are Dalit women less or more mobile than upper caste women in India? Jatis hold the answer. https://theprint.in/opinion/are-dalit-women-less-or-more-mobile-than-upper-caste-women-in-india-jatis-hold-the-answer/93426/
- In the monsoon session Lok Sabha passed the amendment to The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (second amendment) Bill, 2017 to abolish the ‘No- Detention’ policy in schools. Detaining children at the elementary level damages their self-esteem and give them a permanent inferiority complex: The social stigma associated with “failing”, has deeply damaging effects on the psyche of the child.
- PRADHAN MANTRI JAN AROGYA YOJANA. There will be a provision of Rs 5 lakh per annum as health assurance (no premium to be paid by beneficiary) for each family and free of cost treatment for serious diseases. • The cashless benefits can be availed from any public or private empaneled hospital across India. However, the payment will be done on Package rate basis (involving secondary and tertiary care) defined by Government.
- NITI Aayog has unveiled the blue print of National Health Stack (NHS), a shared digital healthcare infrastructure. A centralized health record for all citizens of the country in order to streamline the health information and facilitate effective management of the same.
- INSTITUTIONS OF EMINENCE: The Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) has granted Institution of Eminence (IoE) status to six educational institutions including 3 from Public Sector and 3 from Private Sector.
- DRAFT HIGHER EDUCATION COMMISSION OF INDIA (HECI) BILL, 2018: The Ministry of Human Resource and Development (MHRD) has prepared a HECI (Repeal of University Grants Commission Act) Bill 2018 and has placed it in public domain for comments and suggestions.
- Recently, Happy School Project was launched by UNESCO with the involvement of Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development (MGIEPS) in India. It was launched in 2014 with the aim of promoting learner well-being and holistic development in School.
- NATIONAL SKILL DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION (NSDC) AND NATIONAL SKILL DEVELOPMENT FUND (NSDF) for skill development, entrepreneurship
- INTEGRATED SCHOOL EDUCATION SCHEME: Government has decided to subsume Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) and Teacher Education (TE) which were operational since more than 15 years under an integrated school education scheme.
- Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS): Launched in 1975, for children (6 months to 6 years) and pregnant & lactating mothers irrespective of their economic and social status. [Infant mortality]
- In budget 2018, a flagship National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS) was announced under Ayushman Bharat programme for a New India 2022.
- The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (chaired by the Prime Minister) has approved the continuation of Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) beyond 12th Plan for three years from 2017-18 to 2019-20. [Work and Economic Life]
- The Andhra Pradesh government has announced Mukhya Mantri Yuva Nestam scheme to provide unemployment allowance of Rs 1000 per month to the unemployed youth (between 22-35 years of age) through DBT using Aadhar.
- Urbanisation: Delhi and Mumbai are the only two cities to feature on the Global Liveability Index which and they have been ranked 112 and 117 respectively.
- Population dynamics: Assam has published the final draft of the updated National Register of Citizens (NRC).
- Assam To Launch Universal Old Age Pension: [Ageing]
- Chipko’ rerun to save Delhi’s lungs [Syllabus topic: Environmental movements]
- Corruption: PREVENTION OF CORRUPTION (AMENDMENT) ACT, 2018: Giving bribe is now an offence. Police officer cannot initiate probe without approval of relevant authority or govt.
- Principles of Global Compact for Migration: People-centred approach: promotes the well-being of migrants and the members of communities in countries of origin, transit and destination. • National sovereignty: safeguards the sovereign right of States to determine their own migration policy.
- Odisha is breaking the patriarchy, one deed at a time [Patriarchy]
- Tuticorin Sterlite protests: [Protests]
- States are obligated to stop lynchings, observes Chief Justice of India [Religion, Democracy, State]
- Universal basic Income (UBI): Poverty and vulnerability reduction: UBI will result in equitable distribution of wealth. Better targeting: As all individuals are targeted, exclusion error is zero.
- PUNJAB DRUG MENACE: Doda/Phukki/left-over husk of Opium is consumed by farmers and workers of many states and at least 1/3rd rural population consumes it in Punjab. It does not come within drug addiction. The Punjab Government has demanded to amend NDPS (Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substance) Act to bring death penalty for first time offenders and has declared it mandatory for its employees to undergo screening for drug use. – DEVIANCE
- Recently Andhra Pradesh MPs have been protesting for special category status for the state which centre has refused. 14th Finance Commission recommendations • The Commission has not categorised states between normal states or special category states as it is beyond its terms of reference.[Regionalism]
- Transformation of Aspirational Districts programme aims to quickly and effectively transform the chosen 115 districts, with at least one from 28 states (excluding Goa).
- The Payment of Gratuity (Amendment) Bill, 2017 was passed by the Parliament. It was enacted to provide for a scheme for the payment of gratuity to employees engaged in factories, mines, oilfields, plantations, ports, railway companies, shops or other establishments who have rendered a minimum five years of continuous service with the establishment employing ten or more persons. It increases the ceiling of tax-free gratuity amount to Rs 20 lakh from Rs 10 lakh bringing organized sector workers at par with Central Government employees.
- SPECIAL CATEGORY STATUS (SCS): Recently Andhra Pradesh MPs have been protesting for special category status for the state which centre has refused.[Regionalism, Democracy]
- TRANSFORMATION OF ASPIRATIONAL DISTRICTS: The issue of a widespread disparity in development indicators among various regions of the country has been dealt with by the policy makers for a long time. [Regionalism, Inequality, Democracy]
- The demise of the nation state
- Arunachal Pradesh Assembly passed a bill to do away with the Anchal Samiti (Intermediate level) and set up a two-tier system in the state. [Democracy, Decentralisation]
- Priority Sector Lending [Poverty, Women, Agriculture, Formal/Informal economy]
- Corporate social responsibility is a management concept whereby companies integrate social and environmental concerns in their business operations and interactions with their stakeholders.
- Recently the Corruption Perception Index was released by Transparency International. The index ranks 180 countries – India ranked 81st.
- MSME sector – Employment – cabinet has approved proposal for theamendment in Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development (MSMED) Act, 2006. o A micro enterprise: annual turnover does not exceed five crore rupees
- THREE PARENTS BABY: UK became the first country to have officially approved procedures to create “three-parent” babies [Socialisation, Family]
- The Supreme Court recently said any attack against an adult man and woman opting for an inter-caste marriage by khap panchayats or associations is “absolutely illegal”. [Marriage, Village, Democracy]
- NATIONAL REGISTER OF CITIZEN: State of Assam published the first draft of updated National Register of Citizen (NRC). [Citizenship]
- SIKKIM ALLOWS FORGING RELATIONSHIP WITH TREES: One can enter into fraternal ties, i.e. Mitini/Mith relationship, with the tree in which case the tree will be called as Mith/Mit tree. • One can also adopt a tree as his/her own child in which case the tree will be called as an Adopted tree and commitment to preserve a tree in remembrance of a departed relative will be known as Smriti tree. [Kinship, Family]
- Recently, International Labor Organization has released its World Employment and Social outlook trend 2018. Unemployment in India is estimated to be raised to 18.3 million in 2017 from an earlier estimate of 17.8 million. • In India, the share of informal employment has risen within almost all manufacturing industries, partly as a result of labour market rigidities preventing modern manufacturing from creating employment opportunities. Inequalities in Labor Market- women face segregation in terms of the sector, occupation and type of employment relationship. Similarly, global youth unemployment rate is standing at 13 per cent. Ageing Population- Globally, people aged 65 and above will reach 11.7 per cent of total population in 2030, up from 9.3 per cent in 2017. This may result into slowdown in labour force growth. [Work and Economic Life]
- Supreme Court allows entry of women of all ages in Sabarimala temple. [Religion, Women, Secularisation, Law and Social change]
- Over 270 million people moved out of poverty in India since 2005-06, improvement fastest among STs, Muslims, shows UN data. [Syllabus topic: Poverty and Inequality]
- Upward mobility: Muslims down; SCs, STs up; upper-caste & OBCs unchanged | The Indian Express [Mobility]
- How senior citizens can benefit from reverse mortgage [Syllabus topic: Emerging issues: Ageing]
- Law As Tool For Social Change : Examples From Karunanidhi
- India is no country for older women [Women, Ageing]
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