CSE Mains 2020 General Studies Paper 2 Answers
- January 13, 2021
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- Category: Mains
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General Studies Paper 2 Answers
Q1. “There is a need for simplification of Procedure for disqualification of persons found guilty of corrupt practices under the Representation of Peoples Act”. Comment (Answer in 150 words)
Santosh Sir’s take on the question:
Free and fair election and electoral reform are in news in last few years. There has been few cases of members being disqualified because of corrupt practices. I had asked many questions on Sec 123 of RPA.
Free and fair election is basis of any democracy. To ensure this sanctity of election process in India the section 123 of the Representation of People, Act (RPS) 1951 provides for disqualification of persons found guilty of corrupt practices.
Need of simplification of procedure:
- Address delay: Corrupt practices have the effect of vitiating the whole election and if not addressed in timely manner will break the trust and fairness of person for electoral.
- Multiple layers in disqualification: After court holds person to be guilty then again to decide on disqualification opinion of ECI is taken by the President.
- Ambiguity: Ex- Ashok Chavan case (Maharashtra) in 2014 was decided by the ECI (almost 6 years after representation was made) in a case of excess expenditure not mentioned in election offences (“A corrupt practices”). It didn’t go through election petition route and Delhi High court dismissed petition challenging ECI jurisdiction which was based on “implied authorization” as the persons sponsoring advertisements are responsible office bearers holding important positions in the party.
What needs to be done:
- Addressing ambiguity: The ECI may be made authority to hear “corrupt practices” as almost all instances of corrupt practices also falls under its regulation of Model Code of conduct. Right of appeal to high court/Supreme court against judgement could be made.
- 2. Time-bound hearing: As evident in Ashok Chavan case by the time process completes the disqualification loses relevance with electoral at loss. Thus, this needs to be concluded in maximum one month with daily hearing.
- A clear awareness drive by the ECI to make people aware of the procedure to file complaint under corrupt practices as current position is too legalistic for a common man to understand.
Election is the path to maintain the sanctity of democracy and thus procedure of addressing corrupt practices concern needs to be made simple, unambiguous and time-bound.
Q.2) “Recent amendments to the Right to Information Act will have profound impact on the autonomy and independence of the Information Commission”. Discuss. (Answer in 150 words)
Santosh Sir’s take on the question:
RTI Act amendments have been criticised for diluting the autonomy of the CIC. I have asked it numerous times. I had also predicted in MAINS OPTIMA 2020
Write about RTI as the master key to governance imparting information as right was in controversy for recent amendments seen as interfering in independence of information commissioners.
- First bring out what amendments have been made recently.
- Term of Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) and Information Commissioner (ICs) at Centre and State: Earlier Act provided for 5 years term, which will now be notified by the Central government.
- Salary, allowances and other terms of services will also be set by the Central government
- Section entailing pension amounts for retired government officials being deducted from the Information commissioner’s salary has now been withdrawn.
- Now explain how its impacting independence and what are governments counter argument
|Impacting Independence||Government Argument|
Conclusion and way ahead:
The concerns regarding amendments need to be addressed through assurance by the government. While the amendment does not weaken enforcers as such, but public consultation as well as states must be onboard in such changes. Also focus should be on aspects like filling up offices, strengthening sanctioning mechanism by following stipulated timelines in the RTI act are done it will augur well for transparent government in India.
Q.3) How far do you think cooperation, competition and confrontation have shaped the nature of federation in India? Cite some recent examples to validate your answer. (Answer in 150 words)
Santosh Sir’s Take on the question:
Indian federalism is under strain for various reasons in the last one years.
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in slowdown which as impacted the GST revenues leading to Centre delaying the GST compensation to the states. There were also issues related DM Act and AIS.
Approach: Question is asking about Indian federation evolution over the years in context of competition, cooperation and confrontation.
Introduction: Explain in a line about federation (i.e., coming together of a national and regional government under a political unit) and then Nature of Indian federation which is “Union of state” as mentioned in Article 1 of the Constitution being “Federation with Centralising tendency”.
Body: Discuss role of each of three C’s in shaping federation
Cooperation, Competition and Confrontation shaping federation:
Ex- Many Southern states contested inclusion of 2011 population data in 15th Finance Commission terms of reference or contested emphasis on Hindi language promotion as part of three language policy
Conclude by emphasizing these aspects in promoting federalism. i.e.
Successful federation is not one which is more stable. Rather it is one with the confrontation and competition as way of engagement and finally engagement leading to cooperation for achieving overall goals.
Q.4) The judicial system in India and UK seem to be converging as well as diverging in recent times. Highlight the key points of convergence and divergence between the two nations in terms of their judicial practices. (Answer in 150 words)
Approach: The question is basically focussing on judicial supremacy of India vs Parliamentary supremacy of Britain with other convergence and divergence in system.
Introduction: Evolution of Indian judiciary with the Government of India, Act 1935 as the source imparts similarity as well as differences in judicial system of India and UK.
Body: Discuss points of convergence and divergence and explain each point with focus on aspects like judicial independence, Parliamentary sovereignty
Area of divergence:
- Parliamentary sovereignty in UK vs a mix of judicial supremacy and Parliamentary sovereignty in India
- Single Integrated Judiciary in India vs Different system in UK (One for Britain and Wales, other for Scotland etc.)
- System of appointment of judges (In UK appointment is by a queen on recommendation of PM who gets name from a selection commission vs Collegium system with Judges appointing judges)
- The UK judiciary is a result of evolution over the years and in India it is result of Constitution
Area of Convergence
- Administration of Rule of Law
- Follows Common Law system i.e., law created by judges and similar quasi-judicial tribunals by virtue of being stated in written opinions and arises as a precedent
- Highest Court of appeal
- judicial independence is the principle (Both ensures it through their own system of appointment)
Conclude on lines that the functioning, composition and legal procedure have close convergence as source is Government of India Act. At the same time divergence is due to India adopting its Constitution in its unique context to ensure an Integrated judiciary.
Q.5) ‘Once a Speaker, Always a speaker’! Do you think this practice should be adopted to impart objectivity to the office of the Speaker of Lok Sabha? What could be it’s implication for the robust functioning of parliamentary business in India? ( (Answer in 150 words)
Santosh Sir’s take on the question:
There is a growing trend of speakers of legislative bodies acting against the constitutional duty of being neutral. The Supreme Court has cautioned and called on Parliament to strengthen certain aspects of the law to discourage “undemocratic practices”.
- DPS – MARCH 2020( 16TH MARCH)
Recent incidents in Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly has proved that office of speaker remains controversial. Comment
Features of British Speaker
The position of the Speaker is a position of great prestige and dignity. In UK, there is a convention that once a Speaker, always a Speaker. It means that a Speaker’s constituency is unchallenged. Once a person is appointed as a Speaker he gives formal resignation from his political parties. He has a casting vote and ultimate disciplinary powers with respect to the conduct of the House and MPs.
Speaker of Lok Sabha
Though our position is midway between the British and the US model, it is theoretically closer to the British model. But similar conventions do not exist. For instance:
- It is not necessary for the Speaker to resign from his party
- If he decides to resign, he will not be disqualified under the Anti-defection law.
- No convention in India that he will be elected uncontested.
Therefore, if the British convention of ‘Once a Speaker, Always a speaker’ is adopted it will impart neutrality and impartiality to the position of the speaker. Since the seat of the speaker is a safe and secure seat he/ashe can act independently of the party. He will not be seen as a party loyalist by other party members.This will improve the functioning of the Parliament.
Q.6) In order to enhance the prospects of social development, sound and adequate health care policies are needed in the fields of geriatric and maternal health care. Discuss (Answer in 150 words)
Santosh Sir’s take on the question:
The corona crisis has highlighted the issue of aged people and women.
Social development is about improving the well-being of every individual in society so they can reach their full potential. The success of society is linked to the well-being of each and every citizen.
Social development means investing in people. It requires the removal of barriers so that all citizens can journey toward their dreams with confidence and dignity. It is about refusing to accept that people who live in poverty will always be poor. It is about helping people so they can move forward on their path to self-sufficiency.
According to a 2017 report by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA),around 12.5% of India’s population will be 60 years and older by 2030.
The United Nations estimates that at current levels of fertility and mortality, one out of every 55 women in India faces the risk of maternal death, compared with one in 80 in Pakistan and one in 610 in Sri Lanka.
Though India performed well in reducing MMR, more challenges are to be addressed to achieve a society which is inclusive.
Challenges associated with maternal health care in India:
- Addressing anaemia and Malnourishment in both mother and child:
According to government figures from the year 2015-2016, 22.9 per cent of women in the 15-29 age group are underweight, as compared to 20.2 per cent of men in the same age group.
- The problem of hidden hunger:
(80% of which 1/3rd being women and girls)
- Gender inequality and poor sanitation
- Anti natal and neo natal healthcare
- Availability of doctors:
Studies and Survey reveal that in India, there is one government doctor for every 10,189 people (the World Health Organisation recommends a ratio of 1:1,000) implying a deficit of 6,00,000 doctors. The nurse:patient ratio is 1:483, implying a shortage of two million nurses.)
- Rural urban divide:
National Commission on Macroeconomics and Health (NCMH) report that about 80 per cent of health infrastructure, medical manpower and other health resources are concentrated in urban areas where only 31 per cent of the population live.
Schemes to address maternal healthcare in India:
This program focuses on Public Health facilities to help. They will be assisted by helping them improve their maternity operation theatres, and help augment the quality of care in labour rooms.
This program will be implemented in all Community Health Centres (CHC), First Referral Unit (FRU), District Hospitals, Medical College Hospitals.
Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY):
On fulfilling certain conditions, the beneficiaries would receive Rs 5,000 in 3 instalments.Cash benefits would be directly transferred to the bank accounts of the beneficiaries.
Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana – Common Application Software (PMMVY – CAS)is used for monitoring this program.
Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY):
This scheme is completely sponsored by the Government of India.
Janani Suraksha Yojana comes under the National Health Mission.
Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan (PMSMA)
This program was launched with the objective of detecting and treating cases of anaemia.
Elderly persons and associated challenges:
India is going through a demographic transition with a fall in fertility rate and increase in life expectancy.
A positive side of this is rise in working class thereby decrease in dependency ratio. Soon, we will face another challenge with a rapid increase in the number of aged and the associated health and social issues, as large bulk of population will move from working ages to old ages, thereby increasing the old age dependency.
According to Population Census 2011, there are nearly 104 million elderly persons in India.
According to a 2017 report by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA),By 2050, the percentage of elderly population in India will increase to one-fifth of the total population.
Challenges faced by elderly persons:
A familiarity with the medical profile of the elderly is essential for planning and implementation of policy related to healthy old age. Certain diseases are more common among elderly than among the youth.
- Studies have identified hypertension, cataract, osteoarthritis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), ischemic heart disease, diabetes mellitus, benign prostatic hypertrophy, upper and lower gastrointestinal dysmotility (dyspepsia and constipation), and depression as the common diseases among older patients that account for nearly 85% of all the diagnosis among elderly.
- Due to age-related physiological changes and alterations in host defenses, they are more prone to infectious diseases, though the clinical manifestations are subtle and nonspecific.
- Tuberculosis is emerging as an important disease among elderly, and more than 90% of them are endogenous in origin.
- Tuberculosis-related mortality was 20% among elderly as compared to 3% in younger age group.
- Diabetes is becoming an emerging epidemic among the elderly age group. The prevalence of diabetes increases as the age advances.
- The prevalence of cardiovascular diseases in the geriatric population is between 13% and 22%.
- As the age advances, the cognitive functions of the elderly also get affected. Depression is quite common among geriatric population.
- Disorders such as dementia usually caused by underlying nonreversible conditions such as Alzheimer’s and vascular trauma have a huge impact on ADL of the elderly and will increase the burden on caregiver.
Efforts from Government:
The National Programme for the Health Care for the Elderly (NPHCE) is an articulation of the International and national commitments of the Government as envisaged under the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), National Policy on Older Persons (NPOP) adopted by the Government of India in 1999 & Section 20 of “The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007” dealing with provisions for medical care of Senior Citizen.
- To provide accessible, affordable, and high-quality long-term, comprehensive and dedicated care services to an Ageing population,
- Creating a new “architecture” for Ageing,
- To build a framework to create an enabling environment for “a Society for all Ages”,
- To promote the concept of Active and Healthy Ageing.
- India is a developing nation and it still has a long way to go in maternal, child and geriatric care.
- Our country is yet to be sensitized toward the need for comprehensive geriatric care and maternal health care which otherwise will get absorbed in the myriads of problems our country is facing.
- Active campaigning and advocacy will be required to promote legislation, influence public policy, conduct research, and provide public education on a wide range of issues of concern to elders and maternal health.
India being a signatory of SDG’s, should work on the Goal 16 (Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels) to realise the positive impacts of social development in all spheres.
Q.7) “Institutional quality is a crucial driver of economic performance”. In this context, suggest reforms in Civil Service for Strengthening Democracy. (Answer in 150 words)
Santosh Sir’s take on the question:
Mission karma yogi in one of the most important civil service reforms to be introduced by the government.
- DPS – 3 SEPTEMBER 2020
There is a growing realization that many agencies of government are functioning sub optimally, and government programmes have not always yielded the desired results. While the achievements of the public services are praiseworthy in dealing with the vast expanded responsibilities since Independence and especially during difficult periods of crisis, they are often deficient in crucial areas such as productivity, responsiveness, accountability and integrity. Authority frequently appears to be divorced from accountability, leading to a system of realistic and plausible alibis for non-performance. Inefficiency, corruption and delays have become, in public perception, the hallmarks of public administration in India.
Administration should be reformed to bring about improved transparency, greater accountability and streamlining of the structure of government, based on decentralization, civil services reform, an open and responsive government, rule of law, fiscal and environmental sustainability and elimination of all forms of corruption. Th ere is need to restructure our governance institutions and rejuvenate our administrative system so that it can respond to the growing challenges of governance. Th e State needs to reorient its focus on the core functions of government such as maintaining peace and stability in the country and the task of social investment and provision of public goods through investment in the social sectors like health and education, as these are critical to lifting people out of abject need, preventing inter-generational transmission of poverty, long term development of human capital, achievement of full human potential and promotion of rapid, sustainable and equitable economic growth.
Administration must become far more accountable and effective in delivering results with the same expenditure. In order to accomplish these goals, there should be conscious eff orts to establish the links and fuse authority with accountability. While compliance with processes is important to ensure objectivity and fairness, the processes themselves need to be simplified and changed from time to time. Priority needs to be given to ensuring that the intended outcomes benefit society. Th ere is need to redesign our delivery mechanisms in an innovative manner based on past experience and best practices and deploy the nation’s fi nest talent for this purpose.
Capacity of Civil Services plays a vital role in rendering a wide variety of services, implementing welfare programs and performing core governance functions. A transformational change in Civil Service Capacity is proposed to be affected by organically linking the transformation of work culture, strengthening public institutions and adopting modern technology to build civil service capacity with the overall aim of ensuring efficient delivery of services to citizens.
Q.8) “The emergence of Fourth Industrial Revolution (Digital Revolution) has initiated e-Governance as an integral part of the government”. Discuss (Answer in 150 words)
Santosh Sir’s take on the question:
Increasing use of Artificial Intelligence and related technology has led government to take up new ideas like Smart city etc.
E-Governance initiatives have played an important role in shaping the progressive e-Governance strategy of the country. e-Governance in India has steadily evolved from computerization of Government Departments to initiatives that encapsulate the finer points of Governance, such as citizen centricity, service orientation and transparency.
- Rising inequality and falling levels of trust, political leaders and their citizens are becoming increasingly sceptical about the potential of further global integration to contribute to national interests.
- public and private sector organisations and individuals are embracing a range of emerging technologies which know no geographic or political boundaries
- Traditional models of governance are being disrupted by technologies.
- challenge of adopting digital means of managing and securing information within and across large bureaucracies,
- Private sector players, particularly those deeply involved in the production or deployment of new technologies, often consider governments to be short-sighted, ill-prepared and, more often than not, acting in ways that stifle innovation, which result in a further erosion of trust between these different actors, and a corresponding shortage of cooperation and collaboration
- new governance models must highlight and integrate the fact that the responsibility for governance does not lie purely with the public sector. Instead, it must harness the insight and influence of the private sector while ensuring that citizens are protected from the negative and disruptive elements of emerging technologies.
- The Fourth Industrial Revolution is revealing a number of gaps and opportunities in how leaders govern in both the public and private sectors. These range from increasing the capacity of existing governance structures to assess and absorb new technologies, to the creation of entirely new roles for policymakers so as to better balance the need.
- Accelerating the societal benefits of artificial intelligence and machine learning while ensuring equity, privacy, transparency, accountability and social impact.
New technologies intervene and enable large-scale transformation and help in the implementation of ambitious government plans. Governance is a challenge in a country as vast, diverse and rapidly developing as India. E-governance thus is important to make governance effective and easy catering to the needs of people.
Q.9) critically examine the role of WHO in providing global health security during the COVID-19 Pandemic (Answer in 150 words)
Santosh Sir’s take on the question:
This was an expected questions. WHO has been in news for all the wrong reasons last year. I have asked this question umpteen number of times.
- DPS 10th July has exactly the same question
Context: WHO handling of pandemic has been highly critical
OPTIMA (MAINS 2020)
Start with WHO and its role in global health security (global institution to expand international health cooperation due to increased mobility, globalisation etc.). Also discuss how WHO became most important agency to deal with the pandemic in coordinated manner.
- First discuss the pro-activeness shown by WHO in fighting pandemic within its capacity which is limited. For ex-
- Issuing guidelines once Pandemic was declared in March
- Acted as one source for scientific approach to handle, prevention, track and test
- Along with Un it formed Solidary Response Fund to address challenges frontline workers have been facing and Global Humanitarian Response Plan was launched.
- Tracked and supported vaccine development
- Regular health bulletin to keep everyone informed and counter misinformation’s
Limitations within which it functioned:
- Poor capacity of WHO: Recommendary role, low funding (only about 2 billion dollar), lacks authority for directing an international response for pandemic of such scale.
- Geopolitics over issue
- Discuss in detail criticism over its role:
- Delayed declaration of public health concern of international independence
- Lack of independence and complicity with some nations
- Poor preparedness as it already had sound data about SARS virus
- Delayed declaration of human-to-human transmission even after Taiwan reported case
- It did not endorse travel and tourism restriction and cited it as stigmatising countries
- Stakeholder accountability missing as many countries criticised it for its overall response
Conclusion should focus on need of reform in WHO.
Pandemic overwhelmed all aspects of life and so was the case with the WHO’s role. This is the time to acknowledge issues in the body and launch a reform process to address its funding concern, granting autonomy as well as creating an accountability mechanism.
Q.10) “Indian diaspora has a decisive role to play in the politics and economy of America and European Countries”. Comment with examples. (Answer in 150 words)
Santosh Sir’s take on the question:
Howdy Modi and Trump visit highlighted on role of Indian diaspora in USA.
- DPS – MARCH 2020(14th March)
Introduction: Discuss about diaspora and India as the largest country of origin for international migrants. Ex-
Diaspora refers to person/s belonging to a particular country with a common origin or culture, but residing outside their homeland for various reasons. America and Europe has emerged as major destination particularly for skilled workers from India and has been instrumental in developing relations between two.
- Separate discussion in two parts i.e., impact on politics and secondly on economy
- A) Impact on politics:
- Deepening political relationship: Ex- Indian diaspora in USA as an important political lobby has influence on USA’s policy making.
- Shaping policy: Ex- In USA, UK, Canada and even in other countries many persons of Indian origin rose to the rank of ministers
- CARICOM countries have presence of more than a million-strong Indian diaspora which act as a vibrant and enduring link of friendship with the Caribbean (Ex- Guyana, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago) as well as have been even at top of political leadership.
- Domestic politics: UK as well as Canada sees politics over Sikhs or issues in Punjab as they form a major part of diaspora. This at times act as negative factor in relations as well.
- Diaspora event: Ex- Howdy Modi and similar events elsewhere shows important role diaspora has today on domestic as well as foreign relationship.
- Increasing role of soft power
- B) Economy:
- Remittances contribution
- Source of investment
- Contributor to GDP. Ex- In UK Indian diaspora contribute to 6% of GDP.
- Strategic relations: Civil Nuclear deal with the USA saw very important role of diaspora
- Developing knowledge economy of America and Europe. Ex- STEM immigration as major share in these countries
Conclude on the lines that diaspora has emerged as the major strength of India with a major determinant of foreign relations.
Q.11) Indian Constitution exhibits centralizing tendencies to maintain unity and integrity of the nation. Elucidate in the perspective of the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897; The Disaster Management Act, 2005 and recently passed Farm Acts. (Answer in 250 words)
Santosh Sir’s take on the question:
There were few controversies in management of corona virus induced pandemic because of federal set up. I had predicted the same question in my DPS in the month of May, 2020.
Many experts criticised the centre guideline to states under DM Act as unconstitutional. There was an article in the Hindu and I had predicted the below question. The same question was taken by the paper setter
Unitary Features of the Constitution
A strong centre – The Union Government becomes all powerful in certain times like emergencies. Article 200 of the Constitution of India demands that the States must comply with the central laws. Other features include
- Single Constitution
- Single citizenship
- Flexibility of Constitution
- Integrated judiciary
- Appointment of the Centre
- All India Services
- Emergency provisions
Why is India called a quasi-federal?
Article 1 of the Constitution of India states that ‘India that is Bharat shall be a union of states’.
Indian federation was not a product of coming together of states to form the federal union of India. It was rather a conversion of a unitary system into a federal system.
It is a compromise between two conflicting considerations such as autonomy enjoyed by states within the constitutionally prescribed limit (State List) and the need for a strong centre in view of the unity and integrity of the country (Union List).
Constitution of India has deviated from the traditional federal systems like US, Switzerland and Australia and incorporated a large number of unitary or non-federal features, tilting the balance of power in favour of the Centre. This has prompted the Constitutional experts to challenge the federal character of the Indian Constitution. Thus, KC Wheare described the Constitution of India as “quasi-federal”. He remarked that “Indian Union is a unitary state with subsidiary federal features rather than a federal state with subsidiary unitary features.”
Thus, Paul Appleby characterises the Indian system as “extremely federal”. Morris Jones termed it as a “bargaining federalism”. Ivor Jennings has described it as a “federation with a strong centralising tendency”. He observed that “the Indian Constitution is mainly federal with unique safeguards for enforcing national unity and growth”. Alexandrowicz stated that “India is a case sui generis (i.e., unique in character). Granville Austin called the Indian federalism as a “cooperative federalism”. He said that though the Constitution of India has created a strong Central government, it has not made the state governments weak and has not reduced them to the level of administrative agencies for the execution of policies of the Central government. He described the Indian federation as “a new kind of federation to meet India’s peculiar needs”.
Disaster Management Act
- The Central government followed a mostly top-down approach in tackling the covid pandemic.
The Centre has issued guidelines from time to time, ostensibly under the Disaster Management Act of 2005, containing varying restrictions on public activity and commerce which the States were expected to enforce.
- The Centre directed the State governments to scrupulously enforce the set of guidelines.
- This centralised approach was counterproductive, has put the federal structure of India under strain, and is in fact beyond the powers of the Central government.
In Bommai case (1994), the Supreme Court laid down that the Constitution is federal and characterised federalism as its ‘basic feature’. It observed: “The fact that under the scheme of our Constitution, greater power is conferred upon the Centre vis-a-vis the states does not mean that the states are mere appendages of the Centre. The states have an independent constitutional existence. They are not satellites or agents of the Centre. Within the sphere allotted to them, the states are supreme. The fact that during emergency and in certain other eventualities their powers are overridden or invaded by the Centre is not destructive of the essential federal feature of the Constitution. They are exceptions and the exceptions are not a rule. Let it be said that the federalism in the Indian Constitution is not a matter of administrative convenience, but one of principle—the outcome of our own process and a recognition of the ground realities”.
Q.12) Judicial legislation is antithetical to the doctrine of separation of powers as envisaged in the Indian Constitution. In this context justify the filing of large number of public interest petitions praying for issuing guidelines to executive authorities. (Answer in 250 words)
Santosh Sir’s Take on the question:
Increasing resort to PIL is a cause of concern for last few years. Many a times, frivolous PILs are filed which leads to pendency of cases. Last years,The Solicitor General said ‘professional PIL shops’ must be locked. Therefore, I had asked this question.
Daily Practice Sheet
- DPS – OCTOBER 2019(19th October)
The concept of Public Interest Litigation (PIL) originated and developed in the USA in the 1960s. In the USA, it was designed to provide legal representation to previously unrepresented groups and interests.
In India, the PIL is a product of the judicial activism role of the Supreme Court. It was introduced in the early 1980s. Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer and Justice P.N. Bhagwati were the pioneers of the concept of PIL.
PIL is also known variously as Social Action Litigation (SAL), Social Interest Litigation (SIL) and Class Action Litigation (CAL).
The introduction of PIL in India was facilitated by the relaxation of the traditional rule of ‘locus standi’. Under the PIL, any public-spirited citizen or a social organisation can move the court for the enforcement of the rights of any person or group of persons who because of their poverty or ignorance or socially or economically disadvantaged position are themselves unable to approach the court for the remedies.
SC in Janata Dal v. H.S. Chowdhary, 1992 has defined the PIL as “a legal action initiated in a court of law for the enforcement of public interest or general interest in which the public or a class of the community have pecuniary interest or some interest by which their legal rights or liabilities are affected.”
PIL is absolutely necessary for maintaining the rule of law, furthering the cause of justice and accelerating the pace of realisation of the constitutional objectives. In other words, the real purposes of PIL are:
- vindication of the rule of law,
- facilitating effective access to justice to the socially and economically weaker sections of the society, and
- meaningful realisation of the fundamental rights.
Any citizen can file a public case by filing a petition:
- Under 32 of the Indian Constitution, in the Supreme Court.
- Under 226 of the Indian Constitution, in the High Court
- Under 133 of the Criminal Procedure Code, in the Court of Magistrate.
Features of PIL
The various features of the PIL are explained below:
- PIL is a strategic arm of the legal aid movement and is intended to bring justice within the reach of the poor masses, who constitute the low visibility area of humanity.
- PIL is intended to promote and vindicate public interest.
- PIL demands that violations of constitutional and legal rights of large numbers of people who are poor, ignorant or in a socially or economically disadvantaged position should not go unnoticed and unredressed.
- PIL is essentially a co-operative effort on the part of the petitioner, the State or Public Authority, and the Court to secure observance of the constitutional or legal rights, benefits and privileges conferred upon the vulnerable sections of the community and to reach social justice to them.
- In PIL, litigation is undertaken for the purpose of redressing public injury, enforcing public duty, protecting social, collective, diffused rights and interests or vindicating public interest.
- In PIL, the role held by the Court is more assertive than in traditional actions; it is creative rather than passive and it assumes a more positive attitude in determining acts.
- Though in PIL court enjoys a degree of flexibility unknown to the trial of traditional private law litigations, whatever the procedure adopted by the court it must be procedure known to judicial tenets and characteristics of a judicial proceeding.
- In a PIL, unlike traditional dispute resolution mechanism, there is no determination on adjudication of individual rights.
Advantages of PIL
- Accessible legal redressal for all, especially poor and marginalised, balance of law and justice.
- Allows access to justice for economically challenged sections, and provides a platform for them to advocate for their rights.
- Implements judicial review concept.
- Ensures judicial monitoring of state institutions (transparency, inter se checks and balances between wings of the government).
- Democratizes justice; protects human rights.
- Raises awareness on important issues.
- Allows judicial monitoring of state institutions.
Disadvantages of PIL
- Problem of competing rights, wherein the recognition or grant of rights to one section of the society leads to disadvantage to another section of marginalized population.
- Frivolous cases can be filed by parties with vested interest without heavy court fees, leading to the time and attention of the Court being diverted from genuine and crucial matters.
- Potential for judicial overreach, which violates the doctrine of separation of powers.
- Inordinate delays in the disposal of PIL cases.
Landmark PIL cases
- Hussainara Khatoon v. State of Bihar (Considered first PIL case in India – focused on the inhuman conditions of prisons and under trial prisoners).
- C. Mehta v. Union of India (Several cases for environment preservation were initiated by way of PILs).
- Vishaka v. State of Rajasthan (The Supreme Court laid down guidelines for prevention of sexual harassment of women at the workplace.
- Parmanand Katara v. Union of India (The Supreme Court held in this case that it is a paramount obligation of every member of medical profession to give medical aid to every injured citizen as soon as possible without waiting for any procedural formalities).
Q.13) The strength and sustenance of local institutions in India has shifted from their formative phase of ‘functions , functionaries and funds’ to the contemporary stage of’ functionality’. Highlight the critical challenges faced by local institutions in terms of their functionality in recent times. (Answer in 250 words)
Santosh Sir’s Take on the question:
Local bodies have been in news because of their role during corona pandemic.
The 73rd and 74th Amendments of the Constitution, which aimed at a fundamental shift in the nature of governance, were passed in 1992 and came into effect in 1993 with great hope and anticipation. However, the past experience of over a decade shows that creating structures of elected local governments and ensuring regular elections do not necessarily guarantee effective local empowerment.
The quality of being suited to serve a purpose well is called functionality.
- 73rd Amendment was that the transfer of various governance functions—like the provision of education, health, sanitation, and water was not mandated.
- PRIs cannot govern unless they are given the authority to actually perform functions related to governance.
- 73rd Amendment is the lack of finances for PRIs. Local governments can either raise their own revenue through local taxes or receive intergovernmental transfers. The 73th Amendment recognized both forms of public finance, but did not mandate either
Despite the mandatory constitutional injunctions, it took years, and in some cases a decade, to even constitute local governments and hold elections.
- Even when local governments are constituted and elections are held, States often postponed the subsequent elections on some pretext or other. Each time it is an uphill task to ensure compliance in some States, even with the mandatory provisions of the Constitution.
- There has been no linear development or evolution in respect of democratic decentralisation.
- State Governments, legislators and civil servants are in general reluctant to effectively empower local governments. Only the bare minimum required to implement the strict letter of the Constitution prevails in many States. What is implied by the spirit of the Constitution and principles of democracy is often ignored.
- Even mandatory provisions likethe constitution of District PlanningCommittees and Metropolitan Planning Committees have been ignored in many States.
- Where the Panchayats have been constituted and elections held regularly, they are still left at the mercy of State Legislatures and State Executive. Although local governments have a long tradition of autonomy, the fact that Union and State Governments have an established tradition of centralisation for nearly four decades, means that strong vested interests have developed over time disallowing devolution of power.
- Some legislators at times tend to act as ‘executives’, intervening in transfers and postings, sanctioning of local bodies’ contracts and tenders, crime investigation and prosecution – all of which are therefore often at the mercy of the local legislator. Given the compulsions of survival, the State Government which depends on the goodwill and support of legislators, does not usually intervene except where the Constitution specifically and unambiguously directs it.
Q.14) Rajya Sabha has been transformed from a ‘useless Stepney tyre’ to the most useful supportive organ in past few decades. Highlight the factors as well as areas in which this transformation could be visible. (Answer in 250 words) 15 Marks
Santosh Sir’s Take on the question:
I had predicted this question in MAINS OPTIMA 2020 and also in last 30 days practice. This is because last year RS had 250th session.
Rajya Sabha is the second chamber of the Parliament or also called Upper house. It recently completed 100 years of existence as it was formed from the provisions of the Government of India Act, 1919.
Transformation from “Useless Stepney tyre” to supportive organ:
Initial decade saw the chambers predominantly seen as a rahabilitatory chamber for politicians. It di not perform much other than a dilatory role most of the times. However, changed structure and dynamics of Indian federation has made its role important as envisaged in the Constitution: Check against hasty, defective, and ill-considered law; Represent states; representation to eminent persons.
Areas where change is visible:
- Law making: Majority in Rajya Sabha became important for parties in power to ensure passage of laws in recent times.
- Deliberation: The discussion on bills like Triple Talaq bill and Citizen Bill as reflective of society’s reaction was only possible due to RS as it easily passed in LS.
- Fixing accountability and addressing the challenge of majoritarianism: Balance of power in Rajya Sabha is such that no party in power can have its way easily due to rising say of regional parties in Rajysabha (Ex- Big reginal players like AIADMK, AITMC, BJD etc. have become significant player)
- Expert nomination has given it an upper hand in having quality membership. Ex- Manmohan Singh, Arun Jaitley and others are being brought in to effectively represent parties position.
- Productivity: Except few instances the Rajyasabha has consistently seen longer hours of discussion for law making.
- Rajya Sabha elections becoming visible and event of significance now
Factors for change:
- One party dominance giving way to coalitions: This has made role of smaller regional players important in Parliament with government almost always needing support of some regional parties in Rajya Sabha.
- Evolution of Federalism: Federalism in India has evolved over the years with necessary influence on Rajya Sabha’s role
- Prominent members contributing to its dignity: From Indira Gandhi to Manmohan Singh to Arun Jaitley has raise the dignity and quality of Rajya Sabha debates.
- Increased role of Opposition: Initial years post-independence saw either poor presence of opposition or absence. But, today situation is different and opposition sees Rajya Sabha as an effective place to put across their views and fix accountability of the government
Thus, Rajya Sabha in recent times has seen qualitative change. Though few issues like walkout, unruly behaviour or low productivity have also accompanied it and needs major disciplinaryb role of chairperson. Yet, it has been a welcome change for Indian federalism.
Q.15) Which steps are required for constitutionalization of a commission? Do you think imparting constitutionality to the national commission for woman would ensure greater gender justice and empowerment in India? Give reasons. (Answer in 250 words). 15 Marks
Santosh Sir’s Take on the question:
NCW was in news because of shadow pandemic.
9th APRIL DAILY PRACTICE SHEET
Introduction: Directly talk the basic process involved in Constitutionalization.
Constitutionalization of a commission in India requires passing of a Constitutional Amendment bill under art. 368. It gives important powers and authority making body strong and more autonomous as authority is directly from the Constitution.
Body: 1. First talk of steps involved in Constitutionalization
- Once the demand or need for constitutionalization arises than a Constitutional amendment bill is introduced in any of the two houses of the Parliament under article 368. Ex- 123rd amendment bill for NCBC
- It either inserts any new article or amends existing one to create or give Constitutional status to the commission. Ex- 123rd amendment bill added art 338 B and amended art 342 a and art 366.
- The bill needs to be passed in first house through a special majority ie.,
- 2/3rd of the members presents and voting, and
- Absolute majority of the house
- The bill once passed in first house is sent to the second house and same procedure with need for special majority is repeated.
- Finally, bill is sent to the President for assent and once he/she grants assent the Commission becomes a Constitutional body.
- Now talk about if you think Constitutionality to the NCW will impart greater gender justice and empowerment of women in India with supporting arguments.
The National Commission for Women was set up as statutory body in January 1992 under the National Commission for Women Act, 1990.
- Grievance redressal: Constitutionality on the lines of NCSCT, NCST, NCBC will make NCW a more effective grievance redressal body.
- Autonomy: Deriving authority from government will make it more autonomous.
- Accountable to Parliament: As report of a constitutional body will need to be given more attention and give reasons for non-acceptance of recommendation.
- Empower NCW: Currently it can at max it can hear cases and recommend actions to the officials. Constitutionality may lead to power of a civil court thereby strengthening body.
These things make NCW a more stronger body in fulfilling its role mandated in NCW, Act 1990 leading to gender justice and empowerment. These roles are:
- review the Constitutional and Legal safeguards for women ;
- recommend remedial legislative measures ;
- facilitate redressal of grievances and
- advise the Government on all policy matters affecting women
- talk also it may not be sufficient in achieving gender justice and empowerment as:
- Lack of effectiveness of Constitutional bodies like NCSC, NCST.
- Gender justice and empowerment is a multi-dimensional factor and NCW through grievance redressal, and suggestion to government forms just one aspect. There are other areas like patriarchy, discrimination against women, poor social indicators, lack of political and economic power etc.
Thus, Constitutionality to NCW will certainly be a big step towards gender justice and empowerment, But, it may need much more in other areas as well.
Q.16) “Incidence and intensity of poverty are most important in determining poverty based on income alone”. In this context analyze the latest United Nations Multi Poverty Index report. (Answer in 250 words) 15 Marks
Santosh Sir’s Take on the question:
Poverty has been in news this years. I had discussed this issue in the Daily Prelims Notes. Although index was not expected , but UPSC surprised many in this case including me.
Incidence of multidimensional poverty is the proportion of people who are poor according to the MPI (those who are deprived in at least one third of the weighted indicators). Intensity of multidimensional poverty is the weighted average number of deprivations poor people experience at the same time. MPI is calculated by multiplying these two-giving ideas of multidimensional poverty.
Analysing latest UN MPI report:
- Incidence and intensity determining poverty based on income is evident when high multi dimensionally poor areas are also one with lowest income globally.
- About 84.3% of multidimensionally poor people live in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.
- 67% of multidimensionally poor people are in middle-income countries:
- More than half of multi-dimensional poor are children below 18 years wit low or no income support.
- Out of 1.3 billion poor more than 80% are deprived in at least five of the ten indicators used to measure health, education and living standards in the global MPI showing overall income poverty of this group.
- Positive for India: It lifted 270 million people put of poverty between 2005-06 and 2015-16 which accompanied high wealth creation during the decade showing positive relation between income and incidence and intensity of poverty.
- The poverty levels will be set back by almost 3 to 10 years in different countries in the wake of Cobvid-19 which led to fall in income.
- India is 62nd among 107 countries with an MPI score of 0.123 and 27.91% incidence of poverty which is nearer to its income based estimation of 22%.
The MPI measurement with 10 indicators like nutrition, health, education etc. is a clear reflection of incidence and intensity of poverty determining poverty based on income alone. Thus, a approach has to be based on SDG goal 1 of eradicating poverty by targeting these 10 parameters which will effectively improve standard of living and hence income.
Q.17) “Microfinance as an anti-poverty vaccine is aimed at asset creation and income security of the rural poor in India”. Evaluate the role of Self Help Groups in achieving twin objectives along with empowering women in rural India. (Answer in 250 words) 15 Marks
Santosh Sir’s Take on the question:
I has asked a similar question in DPS.
- DPS 5th May 2020 DPS
- NOVEMBER 17 DPS
SHGs are informal associations of people (mainly women) coming together to find ways to make their living conditions better with saving of members forming basis of SHGs. It gives a character of participatory community organisation and acts as a social and economic capital for poor, particularly women promoting asset creation and income in the process.
Success of SHGs in achieving twin aims of asset creation and income security and empowerment of women:
- Asset creation: Success of SHG Bank linkages programme in India which as per NABARD by 2020 included more than 102 lakh SHGs(group of 10 to 20) with access to credit invested in rural cottage industries or self-employment oppurtunities
- Success of SEWA in Gujrat, TANWA in Tamil Nadu etc. which not only provided income security to women through sewing, embroidery, but also helped develop assets for them in rural India with self employment oppurtunities.
- Credit support pushing self-employment: Ex- Ajeevika Express Yojna saw many rural SHGs undertaking role as provider of transport services in area with boost in income to them and creation of transport services assets for region.
- Jeevika didi of Bihar (Through SHGs) made Rs 40 lakhs within 4 months during covid-19 by making mask with Mithila painting on it.
- Women as major beneficiary: Total number of SHGs saving linked with banks is 102.43 lakhs with 88.32 lakhs exclusively women SHGs (NABARD report as on 31september 2020).
- Empowering women not only economically but also socially and politically: EX- For the first time a SHG member was elected MP from Odisha in 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
- Success of Kudumbshree program in Kerala: It emerged as one of the biggest poverty removal strategy led by SHG through asset creation and income security through employment. The scheme majorly included women as SHG member and is thus a perfect example of asset creation, income security as well as women empowerment through SHGs.
However few concerns were raised on SHGs role in micro-finance strategy by Malegam committee:
- Ghost beneficiaries
- Individual as member of multiple SHGs raising loan and defaulting
- Lack of sufficient gap in disbursal of fund and first instalment makes fund available to members small.
- Issues of sustainability, capacity and technology as very few SHGs are able to rise from micro-finance to that of micro-entrepreneurship (Ex- SEWA)
- Poor presence in northern and eastern states with more poor population.
- Gap in borrowing and delivery makes it tough for poor living on daily wages.
SHGs have truly been a vehicle of income security, asset creation and women empowerment in rural India. To transition it into next sage of entrepreneurship much support, timely delivery of fund and training and awareness of members is needed.
Q.18) National EDUCATION Policy 2020 is in conformity with the Sustainable Development Goals-4 (2030). It intended to restructure and re-orient the education system in India. Critically examine the statement. (Answer in 250 words) 15 Marks
Santosh Sir’s Take on the question:
NEP was expected to appear this year. I had asked similar question in Daily Practice Sheet.
NEP 2020 based on draft prepared by the K KASTURIRANGAN COMMITTEE seeks to bring it in conformity with the SDG 4 goal of “ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning oppurtunities for all”.
Features of NEP to reorient and restructure education system in India and its positive aspects:
- Aims to revise and revamp all aspects of national education in sync with SDH 4 and India’s development goals.
- Reforming school education:
- Universal access to early childhood care and education through Anganwadis and pre-schools.
- Quality improvement through National Mission on Foundational Literacy and Numeracy
- Teaching in mother tongue to increase access
- Boost infrastructure, promote Open and distance learning to contain drop out.
- Vocational education from class 7th.
- Setting up Gender Inclusion Fund for female and transgender students.
- Special Education Zones (SEZs) for Large populations from SEDGs (socially and educationally disadvantaged Group) to be declared SEZs.
- Children with disabilities will be enabled to fully participate in the regular schooling process from the foundational stage to higher education
- Higher education:
- Institutional restructuring by dividing institutions in: Research Universities, Teaching Universities, Autonomous degree-granting colleges with different level of focus on research and teaching.
- Multidisciplinary education with multiple entry and exit provision to align education with learning and not mere exams
- Higher Education commission of India as umbrella body to regulate HE.
- Earmark suitable Government funds for the education of SEDGs
- Set clear targets for higher GER for SEDGs
- Enhance gender balance in admissions to HEIs
- Enhance access by establishing more high-quality HEIs in aspirational districts
- Special Education Zones containing larger numbers of SEDGs
- Other reforms include teachers training, increasing education funding to 6% of GDP, national Research body etc.
Concerns in NEP:
- Fear of Commercialisation and privatisation of education: Many argue that in the name of philanthropic schools and PPP, is laying the roadmap for entry of private players in education. Further National Admission Test for university entry will promote coaching, rote learning.
- Lack of evidence: Failure of 4-year programme in Delhi was not taken in account in new strategy for HE.
- Federal axis: Responsibility lies largely with the state and thus without their support NEP may be high on ideals.
- Funding: Target of 6% of GDP has been there for too long since Kothari committee, yet, it is not forthcoming.
- Poor early childhood care infrastructure and research might create roadblocks in initial stages plus people’s mindset where they are not prepared to send children to school before certain age particularly in villages.
- Centralising regulatory body for higher education may promote bureaucratic hurdles and autonomy of institutions.
Thus, NEP is a timely and much needed education policy almost after 34 years and is well though out one in line with the SDG 4. However, there is lot of ground to be covered for making it a reality.
Q.19) ‘Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QUAD)’ is transforming itself into a trade block from the military alliance, in present times. Discuss (Answer in 250 words) 15 Marks
Santosh Sir’s Take on the question:
This was a predicted question because of growing importance of QUAD in the backdrop of Chinses assertivesness. I had asked the same numerous times in the DPS.
Introduction: Briefly write what is quad (4 countries in it) and how it formed with the aim of containing the rise of China with it being largely seen as an Asian Nato i.e., military alliance. Post 2017 meet the Quad is trying to diversify from mere being a military alliance.
- QUAD as a military alliance:
- Like minded countries with commonality of democracy.
- Common concern with the rise of China
- Geo-political alignment of the world with focus on Indo-Pacific necessitating realignment in region
- Participation in Naval exercises. Ex- Malabar (initially Australia was not part of it, but, recently it also participated)
- Transformation of Quad into a trade alliance:
- Need: 1. China being part of recently finalized 15-member RCEP in the region gives it a very strong position. TO counter this a strong economic agenda must be part of quad.
- Economy as the basis of close security cooperation
- Complex interdependence in current world order: Today, none of the relationship is one-dimensional, thus to be a sustainable relation it must be multi-dimensional.
- Countering growing perception about China’s essentiality in region in connectivity projects like MSR.
- Examples of transformation:
- Post-2017 meeting of QUAD (after 10 years of no development) focus was on strategic financing in infrastructure projects in the region.
- Need of free and open Indo-pacific for it sees one of the highest trade traffic
- Talks over cooperation in Blue Dot Network projects for developing infrastructure in region to diversify countries options for such projects
- Proposals like Supply Chain Resilient initiative by India, japan and Australia with the focus on countering BRI and other initiatives
- Developing into quad plus
- Deepening multilateralism when WTO is in shambles
QUAD is certainly undergoing transformation. But objective is still same i.e., security. But this diversification is wider acknowledgement of failure of a bloc in times of globalisation without an effective trading cooperation.
Q.20) What is the significance of Indo-US deals over Indo-Russian defence deals? Discuss with reference to stability in the Indo-Pacific region (Answer in 250 words) 15 Marks
Santosh Sir’s Take on the question:
India-US Defence relationship has depended in recent times with signing of CAATSA. However, it has impacted India-Russia Defence deal of S -400. You can see below how I had predicted the same question in the Daily Practice Sheet.
Context: CAATSA and India’s effort to balance its dies with the Russia, a traditional ally and USA, current natural partner in Indo-Pacific construct.
In one line talk about Indo-Pacific and show in India’s construct how both USA, Russia is important (PM’s Shangri La dialogue speech) and recent trend has been more closeness with USA.
- Show some trends in defence deals with two countries in recent year Ex- US sale of defence equipment to India stands at $18 billion today. From 2008 to 2013, 76% of Indian defence imports were from Russia. From 2013 to 2018, this number dropped to 58%. In the meantime, imports from the US have increased significantly.
- Now move on to show significance of Indo–US ties offers over Indo-Russia defence in Indo-Pacific construct. Discuss and explain below points
- India’s need for advance warning capability, radar, reconnaissance and strategic capability hardware are likely to be American because the US has the latest technology.
- Payback provision as part of nuclear deal
- Diversification: In 1990, when around 80% of the inventory was Russian, the dissolution of the Soviet Union made India realise the risk of being dependent on a single nation for military hardware.
- Strategic reasons to gain advantage in Indo-Pacific and counter China’s assertiveness
- Russia-China strategic relations has made too much dependence on Russian defence equipment a concern.
- CAATSA and India’s signing of foundational agreement with the USA like LEMOA, BECA etc.
- Finally, also talk about India’s balanced approach as evident in India’s buying of S-400 defence system amidst CAATSA threat. This is also significant as Russia offers advantage for India’s existing arsenal consists of Russian import. Also, Russia offers even better Transfer of Technology and joint production (Ex- Brahmos)
Today’s world is too complex to have a one to one relationship. Rather, the approach has to be national interest and in the context of rising geopolitical tensions and Chinese border threat it is essential to boost defence arsenal and USA is seen as one with more advanced weapon system. At the same time Russia’s role as a traditional ally must be protected to develop multiple stakeholders in Indo-Pacific.
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