Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation. Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.
1. Increasing age at first marriage, age at first birth, can be a promising approach to improve maternal and child nutrition. Do you agree? Discuss (250 words)
Reference: The Hindu
Why the question:
The Indian Prime Minister has stated in his Independence Day speech that the government may take a relook at the age of marriage of women.
Key Demand of the question:
Discuss in what way increasing age at first marriage, age at first birth, can be a promising approach to improve maternal and child nutrition.
Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.
Structure of the answer:
Present briefly the background related to the context of the question.
When a girl is married too early and has a child before the age of 20 years, available evidence highlights the detrimental effect it has on the health and growth of the baby as well as the health of the mother.
Scientific studies have shown that children born to adolescent mothers (10-19 years) were more likely to be stunted (shorter for their age) than those born to young adults (20-24 years), and adult mothers.
Children born to adolescent mothers also had higher prevalence of low weight as compared to adult mothers.
Given the relation between age of a girl entering motherhood and the age of a girl at marriage, the government has indicated its willingness to take strong decisions about the age of marriage of girls.
Present the counter arguments if any.
Conclude by emphasizing focus on women empowerment.