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20 Solved Questions with Answers
  • Polity

    1. "The most significant achievement of modern law in India is the constitutionalization of environmental problems by the Supreme Court." Discuss this statement with the help of relevant case laws.

    Constitutionalisation of Environmental problem means aligning environmental problem to violation of fundamental rights of individual or community or abrogation of responsibility by government to enforce directive principles so as to impart meaningful decency to environmental problem.

    Judicial pronouncement that led to constitutionalisation of environmental problems are:

    • Right to Pollution Free Environment - In Subhash Kumar vs. State. of Bihar (1991) the Supreme Court held that right to life is a fundamental right under Art. 21 of the Constitution and it include the right to pollution free environment. Thus, SC imparted constitutionality to right to pollution free environment.
    • Polluters Pay Principle- In M. C. Mehta vs. Union of India (1986) The Supreme Court introduced the “principle of absolute liability”. This enabled that now hazardous industries will be liable for environmental damage.
    • Right to Clean Air- To ensure right of citizens to have clean air, SC introduced Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) in Delhi and NCR region in M. C. Mehta case vs Union of India (2020) which ensured gradually curbing the industrial activities as pollution level peaks.
    • Right to Compensatory Afforestation- The SC under it established Compensatory Afforestation Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) to prevent the misuse of funds raised for afforestation, which inevitably resulted in legislation on the CAMPA Act 2016.

    Thus, SC as guardian of fundamental rights has effectively employed the provision of laws and judicial pronouncement to protect citizens right to environment as fundamental right under Right to dignified life.

  • Polity

    2. "Right of movement and residence throughout the territory of India are freely available to the Indian citizens, but these rights are not absolute." Comment.

    The Right of movement and residence throughout the territory of India is one of the most important fundamental rights available to the citizens of India.

    Article 19(1)(d) of the Indian Constitution entitles every citizen to move freely throughout the territory of the country. Moreover, it is available only to the citizens and to shareholders of a company but not to foreigners or legal entities like companies or corporations, etc.

    Freedom of movement has two dimensions — internal and external. Article 19(1)(d) protects only the internal dimension, i.e., the right to move withing the country.

    Restrictions on this freedom can only be imposed on two grounds which are mentioned in Article 19(5) of the constitution itself, namely, the interests of the public and the protection of interests of any Scheduled Tribe.

    Article 19(1)(e) provides the right “to reside and settle in any part of the territory of India” to the Indian citizens. Just like Article 19(1)(d), this right is also subject to reasonable restrictions.

    However, these rights are not absolute. For example, for protecting the interests of the Scheduled Tribes in India, various provisions have been enshrined in the Fifth and Sixth Schedule of the Indian Constitution. Some of these deal with the limitation or prohibition of the transfer of land in such areas as well as the regulation of the allotment of land.

    Further, in the State of Uttar Pradesh v. Kaushaliya (1963), the Supreme Court held that the right of movement of prostitutes may be restricted on the grounds of public health and in the interest of public morals.

    Thus, this right, while enhancing the mobility of the Indian citizens, is also subject to certain restrictions that help in maintaining a fine balance between freedoms and rights of the people.

  • Governance

    3. To what extent, in your opinion, has the decentralisation of power in India changed the governance landscape at the grassroots?

    The 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendment to the Indian Constitution formally recognised a third tier of government at the grassroot level, thereby creating the legal conditions for local self-rule i.e. Panchayati Raj and Municipalities. Under the Article 40 of the Indian Constitution, the States shall take steps to organise Village Panchayats and endow them powers and authority to function as unit of self-government.

    Achievement of Decentralisation of Power

    • Decision-making: The local people can participate in decision-making at local-level issues.
    • Women representation: 33% reservation for women has helped to increase women’s voice and representation in our democracy.
    • Swachh Bharat Abhiyan: In 2019, India became open-defecation free because of ground level work by local bodies.
    • Literacy campaign: Arati Devi, sarpanch in a village in Ganjam district in Odisha is credited with starting a literacy campaign for women and reviving traditional folk art in Ganjam.
    • Self-help Groups: Meena Behen, sarpanch from a village in Gujarat, has worked for inculcating leadership skills to the self-help group (SHG).

    Some Issues Which Halt the Decentralisation of Power in Letter and Spirit

    • Inadequate Finances: Limited power to impose cesses and taxes.
    • Unscientific Distribution of Functions: Panchayat and the Panchayat Samiti functions overlap, leading to confusion, duplication of efforts.
    • Lack of Coordination: Government officials do not coordinate with local representatives.
    • No real Functions: Functions like education, health, sanitation and water are remain concentrated with State Governments.

    For Local bodies and Panchayats to play a bigger role in human capital interventions, there is need for adequate fiscal resources along with functions and functionaries. The kind of autonomy for governance is provided to 5th and 6th Schedule States needs to be extended to all the States.

  • Polity

    4. Discuss the role of the Vice-President of India as the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha.

    The office of the Vice-President of India is the second highest constitutional office after the President. Articles 63-71 in Part V of the Constitution of India deals with the office of the Vice-President.

    Role of the Vice-Presidents of India as the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha

    • He presides over the meetings of the House and ensures that the proceedings of the House are conducted in accordance with the relevant constitutional provisions and conventions.
    • The communications to the President are made through the Chairman and he also communicates the decision of the House to the concerned authorities.
    • He is empowered to adjourn the House or to suspend its sitting during the absence of quorum.
    • He does not take part in the deliberations of the House except in the discharge of his duties as the Presiding Officer.
    • When a Bill is passed by the Houses and is in possession of the Rajya Sabha, the Chairman authenticates the Bill before presenting it to the President for assent.
    • He exercises only a casting vote in the case of equality of votes.
    • He is the custodian and guardian of the rights and privileges of the House and its members.
    • He determines the question as to disqualification of a member of the Rajya Sabha on ground of defection.
    • The Secretariat of Rajya Sabha functions under the control and direction of the Chairman.

    The Vice-President of India has been clothed with a dual capacity as the second head of the Executive and as the Presiding Officer of the Upper House of Parliament.

  • Polity

    5. Discuss the role of the National Commission for Backward Classes in the wake of its transformation from a statutory body to a constitutional body.

    The National Commission on Backward Classes (NCBC) was a statutory body under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. Later, the 102nd Constitutional Amendment Act of 2018, provided constitutional status to the NCBC.

    There are various transformations that have happened in the new NCBC:

    • As a statutory body, it derives its powers from statutes or laws made by parliament while now as a constitutional body it derives its powers and authorities from the Indian constitution.
    • 102nd Constitutional Amendment Act (CAA) inserted Article 338B which is regarding NCBC to examine complaints and welfare measures. This was lacking in the previous NCBC.
    • 102nd CAA also inserted a new Article 342A, which brings greater transparency as the Act specified the concurrence of parliament which is mandatory in the amendment of the list of backward classes.
    • In the new NCBC, the focus has shifted from reservation to the development of the backward class and the inclusion of grievance redressal.

    However, there are some underlying issues like, the recommendation of the NCBC is not mandatory and it has no responsibility to define backwardness.

    Thus, NCBC is an important commission for social progress. It should be gender sensitive and there should be no vote bank politics for better implementation of its rules.

  • Governance

    6. The Gati-Shakti Yojana needs meticulous co-ordination between the government and the private sector to achieve the goal of connectivity. Discuss.

    PM Gati-Shakti is a transformative approach for economic growth and sustainable development. The approach is driven by 7 engines, namely: Railways, Roads, Ports, Waterways, Airports, Mass Transport, Logistics Infrastructure.

    The approach is powered by Clean Energy and Sabka Prayas - the efforts of the Central Government, the state governments, and the private sector together - Leading to huge jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities for all.

    Need for the Government and the Private sector coordination:

    • Improving quality and efficiency of services delivery.
    • Exchange of expertise and managerial competence.
    • Driving investments and Finance availability.
    • Mobilisation of additional resources for activities.
    • Fostering entrepreneurship and innovation and technology development.
    • Ensuring optimal utilization of government investment and infrastructure.
    • Cost-effectiveness and competitiveness.
    • Addressing structural issues and environmental issues
    • Promote co-ordination, collaboration and cooperative development.

    Way forward

    • Feasibility mapping of the project needs strengthening.
    • Utilization of viability gap funds to ensure financial viability of the project
    • Prudent fiscal reporting and monitoring of risk allocations with all stakeholders.
    • Move the PPP model to the next level of maturity with redesigning.

    The projects pertaining to these 7 engines in the “National Infrastructure Pipeline” will be aligned with PM Gati-Shakti framework. It will ensure Indian infrastructure’s embrace of digital technology, which will improve overall project execution and efficiency.

  • Governance

    7. The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 remains only a legal document without intense sensitisation of government functionaries and citizens regarding disability. Comment.

    The Right to Persons with Disability Act came into force on 19th April 2017 to give an effect to the United Nations Conventions on Rights with Persons with Disability. With this the focus on disabilities has been shifted from the individual to society, i.e., from a medical model of disability to a social or human rights model of disability.

    Challenges Associated with RPD Act, 2016

    • Lax Implementation: Most buildings in India are not disability-friendly, despite the Accessible India Campaign. quota of reservation but the majority of these posts are vacant.
    • Health, Education and Employment: Lack of awareness, care, and accessible medical facilities. Lack of availability of special schools and lower employment rates than others.
    • Discrimination and Problem of Dual Burden: Stigma attached, compounded by a lack of understanding of their rights, makes it difficult for them to attain their valued ‘functioning’.
    • Political Participation: Lack of live aggregate data, Inaccessibility of the voting process, Barriers to participation in Party Politics.

    Need for Sensitisation

    • To lessen institutional hindrances and upheld the judicial pronouncements.
    • To process schemes and initiatives launched by the governments, thoroughly and speedily.
    • People should treat disabled with empathy and institution focus on providing livelihood.
    • Respect for inherent dignity, individual autonomy and freedom to make one's own choices.
    • To ensure Non-discrimination, Accessibility and Equality of opportunity
    • Respect for difference and acceptance of persons with disabilities as part of humanity

    Way forward

    • Community-Based Rehabilitation (CBR) Approach and societal awareness.
    • Increasing Public Awareness and Understanding of Disability to change attitude.
    • Collaboration With States and proper scrutiny and tracking of allocated funds.

    While the government and the judiciary have adopted a right based approach with respect to disabled people, the implementation of the Act would require regular monitoring to ensure that the provisions of the Act are implemented in their letter and spirit.

  • Governance

    8. Reforming the government delivery system through the Direct Benefit Transfer Scheme is a progressive step, but it has its limitations too. Comment.

    Aiming greater transparency and accountability, the Government under its welfare programs has introduced the direct benefit transfer scheme. In 2011, Nandan Nilekani committee recommended the DBT scheme concept. Under DBT, transferring subsidies directly into the accounts of beneficiaries can minimize the duplication frauds and leakages. Some examples of DBT scheme are PM KISAN YOJANA, M GNREGA Scheme, PAHAL YOJANA etc.

    In the field of Government delivery system, DBT is a progressive step in many ways such as-

    • It prevents duplication fraud of beneficiaries.
    • It provides targeted delivery and reduces the delay time of payments.
    • DBT wipes out intermediaries or middleman culture. It reduces the window for corruption and exploitation of poor beneficiaries.
    • It includes the faster flow of targeted funds and services. By this way, it fulfils the positive aspirations of citizen charter.

    There is no doubt that DBT is a positive milestone in the government delivery system but it has some limitations which need to be addressed. Some of limitations are as follows-

    • Many beneficiaries are excluded due to not having access to banking services.
    • Due to lack of financial literacy among the masses, DBT cannot achieve its true potential.
    • Aadhaar card data and biometric data mismatch creates ruckus in service delivery system.
    • There are some networking issues in remote areas and rural areas. These led to a delay in services delivery.

    Way forward

    • There is a need for robust technical infrastructure and capacity building.
    • Collaboration and coordination among various government departments is very much needed for swift delivery of services to targeted beneficiaries.
    • Government should run the financial literacy awareness program for harnessing the true potential of Direct Benefit Scheme.
    • There should be a provision of single window redressal platform for all glitches and issues related to direct benefit transfers.

  • International Relations

    9. ‘India is an age-old friend of Sri Lanka.’ Discuss India's role in the recent crisis in Sri Lanka in the light of the preceding statement.

    Sri Lanka is one of the neighboring countries of India. Both countries have been in a cordial relationship since the rule of Mauryan Emperor Ashoka. Both countries have a legacy of intellectual, cultural, religious and linguistic interaction.

    Currently, Sri Lanka is under the grip of an unprecedented economic turmoil, the worst in seven decades, leaving millions struggling to buy food, medicine, fuel and other essentials.

    Reasons Behind the Sri Lankan Crisis

    • Easter Bomb Blasts, 2019 have impacted the tourism industry in Sri Lanka, which has lead to decline in forex reserves.
    • The new Government in 2019 promised lower tax rates.
    • Covid-19 Pandemic has impacted the exports of tea, rubber, spices and garments.
    • High Government expenditure led to fiscal deficit more than 10% in 2020-21.
    • In 2021, overnight shift to organic farming impacted food production.

    India’s Support to Sri Lanka in the Recent Crisis

    • Food, health and energy security package as well as foreign reserves support amounting to more than USD 3.5 billion.
    • A concessional loan of US$ 1 billion.
    • A Line of Credit (LOC) of USD 500 million for financing purchase of petroleum product such as diesel, petrol and aviation fuel.
    • A consignment of 40,000 MT of fuel supplied by Indian Oil Corporation outside the LOC facility.
    • A currency swap facility of USD 400 million under the SAARC Currency Swap Framework 2019-22.
    • A large consignment of drugs and medical supplies was gifted to various hospitals in Sri Lanka.
    • A dollar credit line amounting to USD 55 million for the procurement of 65000 MT Urea fertiliser from India for the Yala season cultivation.

    The Sri Lankan crisis is not just a domestic problem, but it has a spill-over effect on other South Asian countries also. India’s assistance to Sri Lanka is in line with its policy of neighborhood first and vision for Security and Growth for All (SAGAR). These twin principles underline India’s emphasis on emerging as a first respondent to meet the requirements of neighboring countries in the region.

  • International Relations

    10. Do you think that BIMSTEC is a parallel organisation like the SAARC? Waht are the similarities and dissimilarities between the two? How are Indian foreign policy objectives realized by forming this new organisation?

    The failure of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) to nurture cooperation in South Asia has pushed regional players to search for an alternative. The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) is a grouping of nations in the Bay of Bengal region, is popularly favoured as the viable option.

    BIMSTEC as a parallel organisation to SAARC

    • BIMSTEC’s primary focus is on economic and technical cooperation among the countries of South Asia.
    • BIMSTEC member countries have generally cordial relationships, which is missing in SAARC.
    • Pakistan’s sponsored terror attack on Uri, Pathankot, has forced India to stop engagement with Pakistan.
    • SAARC satellite project was abandoned, following objection from Pakistan in 2016.
    • SAARC does not have any arrangement for resolving disputes or mediating conflicts.

    Similarities and Dissimilarities between SAARC and BIMSTEC

    Similarities Dissimilarities
    • Both are inter-regional organisation of South Asia.
    • India, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh are common members.
    • Both focus on economic and regional cooperation. 
    • SAARC has a Free Trade Agreement, but BIMSTEC does not have one.
    • SAARC maintains permanent diplomatic relations at the United Nations as an observer, but BIMSTEC does not have this.
    • SAARC is more about territorial connectivity (BBIN Motor Vehicle Agreement) while BIMSTEC focuses more on maritime association.

    BIMSTEC is fulfilling India’s foreign policy objectives

    • Failure of SAARC as Pakistan’s non-cooperation has stalled inter-regional connectivity, which forced India to look for an alternative of SAARC.
    • BIMSTEC acts as a bridge between South Asian and Southeast Asia in terms of science, technology, trade and commerce.
    • Two influential regional powers, Thailand and India, adds to the comfort of smaller neighbors by reducing the fear of dominance by one big power.
    • BIMSTEC countries have much greater trade potential as compared to SAARC. The free trade agreement will be beneficial for the growth story of South Asia.
    • India’s goal of net security provider in Indian Ocean Region also gets a push with coordination and communication among BIMSEC countries.

    The two organisations focus on geographically overlapping regions. However, this does not make BIMSTEC, an alternative of SAARC. The success of BIMSTEC only adds a new chapter in regional cooperation in South Asia. The resurgence of SAARC is also important for India-Afghanistan relations because at present India does not have diplomatic relations with Taliban led government in Afghanistan.

  • Polity

    11. Discuss the procedures to decide the disputes arising out of the election of a Member of the Parliament or State Legislature under The Representation of the People Act, 1951. What are the grounds on which the election of any returned candidate may be declared void? What remedy is available to the aggrieved party against the decision? Refer to the case laws.

    The Representation of the People Act, 1951 provides for the conduct of elections. This Act also lays down the procedure for settling disputes arising out of elections.

    To decide election disputes, the procedure begins with filing an election petition inquiring into the validity of the Parliamentary or local government elections’ result. The petition shall be filed in the respective High Court by any candidate, or an elector related to the election personally. Moreover, an election petition calling in question an election shall be filed within 45 days from the results declaration date.

    The election of a particular candidate can be declared void if the High Court opines that:

    • On the date of his/her election a returned candidate was not qualified or was disqualified to be chosen to fill the seat.
    • Any corrupt practice has been committed by a returned candidate.
    • There was an improper acceptance of any nomination.
    • There has been any improper reception, refusal or rejection of any vote or the reception of any vote which is void.
    • There has been any non-compliance with the provisions of the Constitution or RPA.

    Certain remedies are available to the aggrieved parties against the order(s) of the High Court. The aggrieved party can file an appeal to the Supreme Court within 30 days from the order of the High Court.

    In the Azhar Hussain v. Rajiv Gandhi case (1985), the election petition by Azhar Hussain was dismissed both by the High Court and the Supreme Court due to a lack of evidence substantiating the allegation of corrupt practices by the returning candidate.

    An application for a stay on the High Court’s order can be made to the High Court. The Supreme Court can also put a stay on the operation of the order made by the High Court based on the aggrieved party’s appeal.

    For example, in the Indira Gandhi v. Raj Narain case (1975). Her election was initially voided by the Allahabad High Court on charges of corrupt practices. She later appealed to the Supreme Court which upheld her election.

    Thus, the Representation of the People Act, 1951 is crucial for the efficient functioning of the Indian democracy as it enables the conduct of streamlined elections and provides the necessary redressal mechanism to the aggrieved parties involved.

  • Polity

    12. Discuss the essential conditions for exercise of the legislative powers by the Governor. Discuss the legality of re-promulgation of ordinances by the Governor without placing them before the Legislature.

    The Governor is a part of the state executive in India and the constitution of India has given her/him various legislative powers under part VI of the constitution.

    There are different essential conditions under which the Governor uses its legislative powers:

    • Every new year the first session of the state legislature is addressed by the Governor.
    • If the office of the speaker or the deputy speaker (chairman or deputy chairman in case of the legislative council) is vacant to preside the state legislative assembly (SLA), then Governor can appoint any member from the SLA to preside for the meeting.
    • Governor can reserve any bill of the state legislature (except the money bill) for reconsideration by the president.
    • In the condition of the disqualification of the member of the state legislature, Governor can decide its legality after consultation with the Election Commission.
    • The most important legislative power the Governor perform is that he can make ordinances when the state legislature is not in session.

    Under Article 213 of the constitution, the Governor can issue ordinances when the state legislature is not in session and he can re-promulgate the ordinance thrice.

    DC Wadhwa Case 1987: The Supreme court held that the legislative power of the executive to promulgate ordinances is to be used in exceptional circumstances and not as a substitute for the law-making power of the legislature.

    Krishna Kumar Singh Case 2017: Supreme court stated that the re-promulgation of ordinances is a fraud on the Constitution and a subversion of democratic legislative processes.

    Indian Constitution has provided for the separation of powers among the legislature, executive, and judiciary where enacting laws is the function of the legislature. Hence, if certain circumstances arise, then the Governor can re-promulgate the ordinances after giving answers to some questions of the legislature like about their urgency and absolute needs.

  • Polity

    13. "While the national political parties in India favour centralisation, the regional parties are in favour of State autonomy." Comment.

    Centralisation means concentration of decision making and planning at one unit so as to bring in uniformity in the process. It often means consolidation of power or authority. State autonomy refers to degree of control over resources independent of any central authority. There has been tussle between the national and regional political parties over issues such as development, representation at forums and finances.

    Political parties are recognised as national parties or state parties depending upon their performance in general election of Lok Sabha or Vidhan Sabha. The conditions for being listed as a national or a state party are specified under the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968.

    National Political Parties favour centralisation

    • To achieve uniformity in goals and objectives of political parties
    • To have better control over party cadre members
    • To achieve uniformity in programme of political parties
    • To better target the public at large
    • To better their chances of winning upcoming elections

    However, centralisation is generally associated with annihilation of regional parties and regional issues and gives prime importance to issues concerning national security. It often demands obedience, overlook accountability and transparency. Thus, centralisation should not overlook the regional issues like development of region, employment etc.

    Regional parties favour state autonomy

    • Regional parties are formed on the lines of identity, statehood, ethnicity, development.,
    • They are in close proximity with the local issues, needs and demands
    • They are against the bureaucratic bottleneck
    • To fasten the decision making at ground level
    • To better mobilise resources according to the need of population
    • To better their ambition of becoming national parties

    Regional parties in India are of opinion that regional issues are different from national issues. However, rise in regional parties has also led to another problem of horse trading of members which has pushed the state’s demand for autonomy and development at backseat for certain political gains. This is unhealthy for any democracy. Thus, it is necessary that demand of regional parties are aligned with unity and integrity of India.

  • Polity

    14. Critically examine the procedures through which the Presidents of India and France are elected.

    France is one of the earliest republics of the modern world. India adopted the word republic from France constitution. President of India and President of France are executive head of the state. As the executive head of the state both the offices enjoy certain ceremonial positions as commander-in-chief of their respective armed forces.

    Commonalities between election procedure of President of India and France

    • Election is held after every 5 years.
    • There are rounds of election procedures till the candidate secures absolute majority.
    • Both the Presidents have to secure absolute majority though from different college of electors to win the election.

    Dissimilarities between election procedure of President of India and France

    • The President of France is elected by universal adult franchise. On the other hand, the President of India is elected by the elected members of Parliament and State Legislative Assemblies.
    • The nomination of President of India requires 50 electors as proposers and 50 electors as seconders, whereas President of France requires 500 elected officials as proposers.
    • The French presidential election is split up into two rounds. In the first round, people can vote for any of the candidates that have gathered the 500 signatures. If no candidate receives an absolute majority, then in second round candidate can vote for only remaining candidate who emerged first and second in first and second round.
    • There is no procedure of security deposits in French Presidential elections unlike Indian Presidential election.

    Thus, we can say that there are some similarities as well as dissimilarities in election procedure of Presidents India and France. However, the procedure of election may be different but their role as head of the respective republics to embark on the road of growth and development of nation and their ability to maintain social harmony in diverse nation are equally similar.

  • Polity

    15. Discuss the role of the Election Commission of India in the light of the evolution of the Model Code of Conduct.

    The Election Commission of India (ECI) is an autonomous constitutional body responsible for administering Union and State election processes in India. In the context of free and fair elections, Model Code of Conduct (MCC) plays a crucial role.

    The Model Code of Conduct is a set of guidelines issued by the Election Commission to regulate political parties and candidates prior to elections. MCC is operational from the date on which the election schedule is announced until the date of result announcement.

    Evolution of Model Code of Conduct

    • The origins of the Model Code of Conduct lie in the Assembly elections of Kerala in 1960, when the State administration prepared a ‘Code of Conduct’ for political factors.
    • In the Lok Sabha elections of 1962, the Election Commission of India circulated the code to all recognized political parties and State Governments, and it was followed.
    • In 1991, the Election Commission decided to enforce the Model Code of Conduct more strictly because of repeated flouting of the election norms and continued corruption.

    Role of ECI in the Enforcement of MCC

    • As part of its mandate to conduct free and fair elections under Article 324 of the Constitution, the Election Commission ensures that ruling parties at the Centre and in States adhere to the code.
    • In case of electoral offences, malpractices, and corrupt practices like inducements to voters, bribery, intimidation or any undue influence, the Election Commission acts against violators.
    • The Election Commission has devised several mechanisms for efficient enforcement of MCC such as:
      • Joint task forces of enforcement agencies and flying squads.
      • Introduction of the c-VIGIL mobile app through which audio-visual evidence of malpractices can be reported.

    Model Code of Conduct does not have any statutory backing, it has come to acquire strength in the past decade because of its strict enforcement by the Election Commission. The various technological advancement has presented new challenges in the path of ensuring fair elections, but initiatives took by the Election Commission regarding the enforcement of model code of conduct seem to have been fruitful.

  • Social Justice

    16. Besides the welfare schemes, India needs deft management of inflation and unemployment to serve the poor and the underprivileged sections of the society. Discuss.

    India has leading demographic dividend, fifth largest economy by nominal GDP and third largest by purchasing power parity. But on another side, the current inflation projection is around 6.7 percent. CMIE report says that India’s overall unemployment rate is 6.8 percent. Despite of large share of welfare funding in various scheme like PM AWAS YOJANA, AYUSHMAN BHARAT, MUDRA YOJANA etc, India’s considerable population live under poverty.

    Need for deft management of inflation and unemployment

    • It can help to smoothly functioning of demand- supply chains and positive growth cycle which can minimize unemployment.
    • It can reduce the production cost which can minimise the unemployment rate.
    • It can create the favourable investment opportunities and the new employment opportunities.
    • It can help to reduce the fiscal deficit which can provide more funding to welfare schemes.
    • It can help to address the economic chaos created by Covid19 pandemic.
    • It can help to achieve the SDG Goals of No Poverty, No Hunger.
    • It is key to envision the goal of Atam Nirabhar Bharat.

    Needed Steps

    • Strictly adherence to FRBM act guidelines, Finance Commission recommendations, qualitative and quantitative instruments of monetary policy.
    • Need for provision of ‘Urban MGNREGA’ like concept for urban poor (7.8 percent urban unemployment rate).
    • Need of more skill development initiatives to harnessing the true potential of demographic dividends.
    • Need to prepare buffer initiatives to save Indian economy from global spill over effects.
    • Advance computing technology and data analytics to strategize inflation management and other schemes to serve the poor and under privileged sections.
    • More Financial inclusion initiatives can help to reduce poverty and empowers the poor citizen.

    Challenges

    • In age of globalisation, it is challenging to remain untouched from various geopolitical episodes like Russia- Ukraine War, China- Taiwan issues etc.
    • Natural events like floods, cyclones and droughts mismanage the inflation management. These events lead to large-scale mass migration, poverty and hunger.
    • Progress of welfare works can be hindered by political instability, elements of corruption and red tapism.

    Way Forward

    • Need to encourage local cooperative societies and self-help groups for more employment generation at local level.
    • India’s logistics infrastructure should be integrated and robust. It would reduce the production cost and would create new employment.
    • There should be more diverse skill enhancement initiatives to improve employment opportunities.

  • Social Justice

    17. Do you agree with the view that increasing dependence on donor agencies for development reduces the importance of community participation in the development process? Justify your answer.

    Donor agencies are the agencies which provide financial help in the developmental process. It may be a national or international agency, like Japan International Cooperation, World Bank, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation etc. In recent times, development processes have been getting dependent on donor agencies for the obvious reason to have easy access to funds.

    However, this increasing dependence devoid of community participation is fraught with risks. In simple terms, community participation means involving the grassroot level stakeholders in the developmental process.

    In this respect, the following points can be noted that pertain to the working of donor agencies:

    • Given the strong financial backing of donor agencies there is less hindrance in the development process. However, they have less accountability in the whole process because they are very objective in nature rather than participatory.
    • In the developmental process, donor agencies can have their own rules related to labour wages and their working conditions. This often reduces community participation to the extent that it even alienates the same communities for which it is vouched.
    • They are more technology-oriented and productivity-focussed. This often causes a decrease in labour force participation. Additionally, donor agencies can also promote favoritism, this means that they help as per their choice not as per need. This can lead to regionally skewed development.

    Thus, to ensure effective development process, community participation is a must to illustrate, consider the tribal areas. The best way to ensure its development is to involve the tribals by means of manpower contribution, social audit, allowing them to promote their language & culture, promotion of cooperative culture, etc.

    If one gets dependent only on donor agencies then it is like a top-down approach to the development process which can often be away from the ground realities.

    Thus, Donor agencies are humanitarian but if we get over-dependent on them, then they will ignore domestic or local needs and, in some way, it is like colonialism and this will affect community participation. So, a balanced approach is more suitable in any developmental process between donor agencies and communities.

  • Social Justice

    18. The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 remains indadequate in promoting incentive-based system for children's education without generating awareness about the importance of schooling. Analyse.

    The Right to Education Act 2009 (RTE Act 2009) was enacted by the Parliament of India on 4th August 2009. It provides for free and compulsory education for children aged between 6-14 years under Article 21(A) of the Constitution of India. India is one of the 135 countries to have made education a fundamental right for every child.

    Main Features of RTE Act 2009

    • Compulsory and free education for all up to class 8.
    • Maintain proper norms and standards relating to
      • Pupil-Teacher-Ratios
      • Classrooms
      • Separate toilets for girls and boys
      • Drinking water facility
    • Special provisions for admission of children out of school. They will be admitted to an age-appropriate class.
    • Zero tolerance against discrimination and harassment.
    • No child can be held back or expelled from school till Class 8.
    • All private schools to reserve 25 % of their seats for children belonging to socially disadvantaged and economically weaker sections.

    Incentives provided to encourage parents and children to complete education

    • Free of cost textbooks, uniforms and stationary items.
    • Mid-Day Meal scheme (PM Poshan): The scheme covers 11.80 crore children across Classes 1 to 8.
    • Sarva Siksha Abhiyan
      • To add additional classrooms, toilets and drinking facilities.
      • Providing education to the differently abled or children with special needs.
      • To bridge the digital gap by offering computer education to the children.
    • Strengthening for providing quality Education in Madrassas (SPQEM)
      • To bring about qualitative education and follow National Education System standards in subjects.
      • Providing Science labs, Computer labs in the secondary and higher secondary stage madrasas.

    Key issues for achieving RTE

    • Lack of awareness among child labourers, migrant children, differently abled children about free educations, books, uniforms and other incentives.
    • Lack of awareness about 25% reservation for disadvantaged sections of the society.
    • Lack of awareness about the fundamental right Article 21A.
    • Minorities children especially the poor class are unaware for special provisions under the SPQEM scheme.

    Steps Need to Be Taken to Create Awareness

    • Campaign: The representative of local bodies and Sarpanch of Panchayats should organise campaign in their local areas.
    • Awareness can be done with the help social media platforms like Facebook and YouTube.
    • The Government teachers should be visit to the backward areas to aware people about the incentives provided by the government like mid-day meal.

    It has been twelve years since the implementation of RTE Act, but it still has a long way to go to be called successful in its purpose. All parents want their child to get quality education and food, but due to limited awareness, deserving children are missing out of school. Hence, digital media campaign can change the scenario and India’s demographic dividend will turn into asset for the nation.

  • International Relations

    19. How will I2U2 (India, Israel, UAE and USA) grouping transform India's position in global politics?

    I2U2 stands for India, Israel, the UAE and the US. It is also referred as the ‘West Asian Quad’. I2U2 was initially formed in 2021 to deal with issues concerning maritime security, infrastructure and transport.

    Role of I2U2 to Transform India’s Position in Global Politics

    • Ties with West Asia
      • India will have more freedom to interact with Israel and its Gulf partners because of I2U2 grouping.
      • The Abraham Accord will help India to close the gap between Israel and the Gulf countries.
    • Crude Oil and Defence
      • UAE and Saudi Arabia are India’s one of the top oil exporters. And Israel is India’s important defence partner.
    • Success of India’s Foreign policy in West Asia
      • India has successfully balanced its diplomatic ties with Israel and Gulf Countries, despite the Israel’s missile attack on Gaza Strip and West Bank.
      • I2U2 grouping will further deepen India’s ties with both UAE and Israel.
      • Also, it will also help India to project itself as a strong bridge between the Israel and Arab world.
    • India and USA
      • Now, India and the US have two platforms to engage with each other in Indo-pacific region, i.e. QUAD and I2U2 group.
      • It further strengthens India’s role as net security provider in Indian Ocean Region.
    • Food Security
      • USD 2 billion will be invested to create a number of Integrated Food Parks around India along with modern climate technologies.
      • It will aid in food insecurity in South Asia and the Middle East.
    • Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)
      • It is a boost to Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement signed between India & UAE, which is the highest contributor of FDI to India from Gulf.
    • Clean Energy
      • A hybrid renewable energy project of wind and solar power along with battery energy storage technology, will be established in Gujarat.
      • It will reduce the energy scarcity in South Asia through grid network.

    The I2U2 group makes lot of sense in West Asia and South Asia geopolitics. For India, it leverages its good relations with Israel, the Gulf and the USA to further build economic and diplomatic relations. But there is need for confidence building measures between Israel and Arab world as both of them don’t trust each other. Here, India can act as a communication channel to build trust among Israel and Arab world.

  • International Relations

    20. 'Clean energy is the order of the day.' Describe briefly India's changing policy towards climate change in various international fora in the context of geopolitics.

    India’s climate change policy has undergone a significant change over the years, from seeking energy security to taking initiative in the field of clean energy at a global level, the country’s diplomatic stand at the Conference of Parties reflects its pro-environment outlook. By accepting the net-zero commitments, India has reiterated its stand that its policy on climate change is based on the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities.

    India, since ancient times, has always promoted harmony with nature. This can be further evidenced by the country’s commitment to the Paris Accord and the acceptance of the net-zero targets, proving that India is aware of clean energy’s significance.

    In this context, the five-point agenda of Panchamrit for dealing with climate change, including ambitious targets related to the use of renewable energy for meeting the country’s energy requirements, reduction in carbon emissions and intensity in its economy and achieving the target of net-zero, are a clear statement by India of its commitment towards clean energy as well as its intent for taking a leading role in the same.

    • India’s geopolitical and global outlook, based on the constantly evolving global environmental challenges, can be witnessed by the country’s diplomacy at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
    • India does not agree to the imposition of legally binding targets since it requires strategic autonomy to (a) pursue its domestic developmental agenda and (b) identify the method required to commit to targets related to climate change and clean energy.
    • India, keeping the ambition of enhancing its global profile and power ambitions, has moved away from a reactionary to a participatory approach. This can be seen with India’s change in position from its response to the Kyoto Protocol commitments as compared to the Paris Agreement.
    • Further, keeping in line with its diplomatic endeavours globally and the recognition of clean energy’s significance, India has taken a leading role along with other major global players in several international initiatives such as the International Solar Alliance (ISA), the One Sun, One World and One Grid programme and the Lifestyle for Environment (LiFE) Movement.
    • Further, India has also raised its concerns regarding the reluctance of the developed nations in sharing the necessary technologies with the developing nations to enable them to effectively deal with climate change.

    Thus, India has modified its climate change policy according to the developments taking place on a global scale and has taken initiatives in mitigating issues arising out of climate change while keeping in mind its geopolitical objectives.

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