UPSC CSE MAINS SYLLABUS - GS – 2- History of the world will include events from 18th century such as industrial revolution, world wars, redrawal of national boundaries, colonization, decolonization.
QUESTION 1: How did the Libyan conflict come about? Discuss its impacts. How does the future peace process hold in Libya? (250 words, 15 marks).
How did the issue come about:
- The issue in Libya surfaced nine years ago.
- NATO-backed uprising toppled Muammar Gaddafi.
- Following these local groups took different positions.
- An attempted democratic transition slid out of control as armed groups built local power bases and coalesced round rival political factions.
- After a battle for Tripoli in 2014, one faction moved east and set up a parallel government and institutions.
- It recognised Haftar as military chief as he began a long campaign against Islamist groups and other opponents in Benghazi.
- The GNA emerged from a December 2015, UN-backed agreement struck as Islamic State gained a foothold in Libya and migrant smuggling to Europe surged. But eastern factions spurned the deal.
- Instead, Haftar consolidated control of the east and swept south in early 2019 before launching his offensive on Tripoli.
Contemporary issue in Libya:
- Khalifa Haftar’s self-proclaimed Libyan National Army (LNA) has been battling forces aligned with the Tripoli-based, internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA).
- Both sides are formed from local armed factions, whose shifting loyalties have helped steer the course of the conflict.
- Both have depended heavily on foreign allies pursuing strategic and political goals in Libya.
- Turkey stepped up its military support for the GNA in January after signing a maritime deal with Tripoli, allowing it to repel a 14-month LNA offensive against the capital.
- Haftar has long enjoyed backing from countries including the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Russia and Jordan.
- Nearly 400,000 Libyans have been displaced over the past nine years.
- Thousands more have died.
- The conflict has cost tens of billions of dollars in lost oil revenue, damaged infrastructure, and sharply reduced living standards.
- Coronavirusinfections have started to surge.
- The collapse of public services has fuelled protests in western Libya against the political elite.
What is the way forward:
- Fighting stopped in June but both sides have continued to mobilise.
- The ceasefire call by GNA head Fayez al-Sarraj proposed demilitarising Sirte, allowing an oil restart by freezing revenues until a political deal is reached, and elections in March.
- But it is unclear how much backing those ideas have in the west, let alone the east.
- The LNA dismissed the Sarraj’s announcement as a ploy.
- A parallel ceasefire call by Aguila Saleh, head of an eastern parliament aligned with Haftar, proposed Sirte as the seat of a new government.
- The United Nations is pushing the two sides to resolve issues including oil revenue distribution, the make-up of a unity government and the status of armed groups.
- Foreign powers officially back the process, but have also shipped arms to their allies, undercutting diplomatic efforts.
UPSC CSE MAINS SYLLABUS - GS –2- Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health,
Education, Human Resources.
QUESTION 2: The COVID pandemic has taught that there is a need to reverse health sector neglect with a reform agenda. Elucidate. Also explain the need for Universal Health Care.
(250 words, 15 marks)
Need for UHC:
- Universal Health Care is absolutely the need of the hour. The Pandemic has exposed the precarious conditions of the migrants , below poverty line people.
- They constitute a significant portion of Indian population.
- Bulwarking them against such health distress is essential.
The government has looked poised to employ Ayushman Bharat–Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PM-JAY) health insurance as the tool for achieving UHC, and such calls have only grown stronger in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Plans are reportedly under way to extend coverage to the non-poor population under AB-PM-JAY, which currently covers the bottom 40% of the population.
Issues in UHC:
- Stark maldistribution of health-care facilities (almost two-thirds of corporate hospitals concentrated in major cities) and low budgetary appropriations for insurance could mean that universal insurance does not translate to universal access to services.
- Thus far, insurance-based incentives to drive private players into the rural countryside have been largely unsuccessful, and experience suggests that the public sector could be the only effective alternative.
- Envisaging universal health insurance without enough regulatory robustness to handle everything from malpractices to monopolistic tendencies is a case in point.
- This could have major cost, equity, and quality implications.
- Taking the health insurance route to UHC driven by private players, rather than strengthening the public provisioning of health care, is reflective of the non-negotiability of private health care in India. This could have several unwanted consequences, which merits attention.
Health care reforms:
- One preceding measure before going for UHC that warrants importance is creating a credible health infrastructure.
- Various reports have flagged the precarious nature of health infrastructure including a lack of human resources. This needs to be rectified.
- This will complete the UHC.
- The regulations and scrutiny of the private health sector by the National Health Authority is a welcome measure. Irregularities by various private hospitals have come to fore. Hence, further regulation measures are needed. Technology could be of great support here.
- An effective roll-out of UHC would require a robust regulatory and administrative architecture, entailing huge administrative expenses and technical capabilities.
- Harmonising benefits and entitlements among various beneficiary groups, and a formalisation and consolidation of practices.
Civil society would need to utilise this opening to generate widespread public consensus and pressure for health-care reform. The fact that States with higher per-capita public spending on health have fared better against COVID-19 can be invoked to back the reform argument.