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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 05 OCTOBER 2017


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 05 OCTOBER 2017


NOTE: Please remember that following ‘answers’ are NOT ‘model answers’. They are NOT synopsis too if we go by definition of the term. What we are providing is content that both meets demand of the question and at the same time gives you extra points in the form of background information.


Topic:   Urbanisation-problems and remedies; Social empowerment; 

1) How is urbanisation affecting social and cultural life of rural migrants in Indian cities? Examine. (200 Words)

Livemint

 

Introduction :- Urbanization is an index of transformation from traditional rural economies to modern industrial one. It is a progressive concentration of population in urban unit (Davis, 1965). Kingsley Davis has explained urbanization as process of switch from spread-out pattern of human settlements to one of concentration in urban centers

India shares most characteristic features of urbanization in the developing countries. It is the most significant phenomenon of 20th century which has almost affected all aspects of national life in India.

Large numbers of young people are migrating because rural India is saturated and cannot provide employment opportunities for a growing population. Many end up as rag pickers or casual construction workers. They come alone and then bring their relatives or friends. It is a chain migration.

According to 2011 survey 68% migrants were rural migrants.

Impact of urbanization on Socio cultural life of rural migrants :-                 

  • Freedom, recognition :- Many of the rural migrants find it good to migrate to cities in order to get rid off the rigid barriers of caste, community, social hierarchy of rural India. They get the feel of equality and freedom to adopt one’s own choice of work rather than ascribed work to them.
  • Economic enhancement :- If worked properly these rural migrants earn much better as compared to their rural incomes which helps them to survive and enhance their economic life.
  • Cultural shock :- The migrated rural folk experience some alien culture and have to adapt to the fast city life. Brotherhood bondages of village life are replaced with anonymity, neighbourhood with isolation and healthy living with congested slum areas.
  • Self doubts, rejections :- the advanced city life disillusions the rural people. They often get adopted to lower chores and daily wage works hence feel dejected. Self doubts like we are not part of this urban life, we are uneducated, less aware, confident hence should confine our self to meagre things prevails in them.

Urbanisation is the revolutionary phenomenon. It will impact every aspect of the life of people. Rural migrant population is more vulnerable owing to their background. Hence suitable steps by urban authority must be taken like registration of such people, care for their living, regulation of their working conditions, check on their harassments by authorities, arrangements for education, sanitation etc. Governments schemes like Housing for all, Electricity for all, Rajiv Gandhi urban slum development program etc. can be helpful.


Topic:  Structure, organization and functioning of the Judiciary

2) Establishing an apex Constitutional Court of India and regional Supreme Courts as final courts of Appeals solves judicial delays and access simultaneously. Comment. (200 Words)

The Hindu

Introduction :- The National Court Appeal with regional benches in Chennai, Mumbai and Kolkata is meant to act as final court of justice in dealing with appeals from the decisions of the High Courts and tribunals within their region in civil, criminal, labour and revenue matters. In such a scenario, a much-relieved Supreme Court of India situated in Delhi would only hear matters of constitutional law and public law.

It will solve problems of judicial delays and access simultaneously :-

  • A National Court of Appeals makes sense, with the Supreme Court being burdened with cases of all kinds. The Supreme Court was meant to be a Constitutional Court. However, the sheer weight of its case backlog leaves the court with little time for its primal functions.
  • Geographical proximity to the court is definitely an aspect of access to justice. The fact that the Supreme Court sits only in New Delhi limits accessibility to litigants from south India. High Courts meant for facilitating easy access to justice are losing their sheen in many ways.
  • If a court of appeal is established, the majority of appeals from high courts can be addressed in these courts.
  • A court of appeal can work as an excellent mechanism to sieve cases. If there are areas of law that are particularly unsettled and need clarification, the court of appeal can club them together and send these forward to the Supreme Court. Not only can a number of individual cases be disposed of but areas of law can also be settled and a clear precedent set.
  • If the Supreme Court only deals with crucial cases, the process will become streamlined and will save a lot of time and expense, for both litigants and the courts.
  • It would relieve the Supreme Court of the weight of hearing regular civil and criminal appeals, allowing the court to concentrate on determining only fundamental questions of constitutional importance.

 

However there are some concerns as well :-

  • Splitting the Supreme Court will be a very regrettable step. The Supreme Court has to be at one place and there can’t be circuit benches like high courts.
  • Dilution of the Supreme Court and its aura as an apex court may not be in line with the concept of the Supreme Court envisioned by the architects of the Constitution.
  • The issue of proximity is relevant only up to high courts and can’t be extended to the Supreme Court. There are enough high court benches to address that issue.
  • This suggestion would require an amendment in Article 130 of the Constitution which is impermissible as this would change the constitution of the Supreme Court completely.
  • Also, NCA will mean more expense and hardship to litigant.

 

What else can be done?

 

Efforts should be to strengthen subordinate judiciary (high courts) so that proper justice can be dispensed with.

  • The Supreme Court should discourage the usage of the High Court as a mere stepping-stone towards the end of judicial hierarchy. The glory and resplendence of High Courts should be reclaimed.
  • All High Courts must entertain writs, including in the burgeoning service matters, only before Single Benches in the first instance and then to a Division Bench in the form of a Letter Patents Appeal so as to provide at least a two-tier accessible hierarchy of approach.
  • The challenges to orders of tribunals, irrespective of the former status of their adjudicating Members or Chairpersons, must only be allowed to be entertained by Division Benches of High Courts and not directly to the Supreme Court since the highest Court cannot be rendered the first appellate Court from statutory tribunals and neither can justice be made unaffordable for our citizens.

 

Conclusion:

A National Court of Appeal is being advocated as an intermediate forum between the Supreme Court and the various high courts of India. But a better solution to ease the higher judiciary’s burden may lie in strengthening that of the lower. Before adverting to a new layer, the conception of which may be difficult to achieve, we need to strategise and reconfigure our existing judicial hierarchy to the rising challenges before us. The only way to do it is to revitalise our High Courts and restore them to their pinnacle.

 


 

Topic:Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health.

3) The Mental Health Care Act, 2017 fails to address cyber bullying as a contributing factor towards mental illness. Highlighting the health consequences of cyber bullying, comment on remedial measures that cane be taken. (200 Words)

The Hindu

Introduction :- Cyberbullying or cyberharassment is a form of bullying or harassment using electronic forms of contact. Cyberbullying has become increasingly common, especially among teenagers. Harmful bullying behavior can include posting rumors about a person, threats, sexual remarks, disclose victims’ personal information, or pejorative labels (i.e., hate speech).

Eight out of 10 people in India have experienced some form of online harassment, with 41% of women having faced sexual harassment on the web, according to a new survey commissioned by cybersecurity solutions firm, Norton by Symantec.

Health impact of cyber bullying :-

  • Research had demonstrated a number of serious consequences of cyberbullying victimization. For example, victims have lower self-esteem, increased suicidal ideation, and a variety of emotional responses, retaliating, being scared, frustrated, angry, and depressed.
  • People have reported that Cyberbullying can be more harmful than traditional bullying because there is no escaping it.
  • One of the most damaging effects is that a victim begins to avoid friends and activities, often the very intention of the cyberbully.
  • Cyberbullying campaigns are sometimes so damaging that victims have committed suicide. There are at least four examples in the United States where cyberbullying has been linked to the suicide of a teenager. The suicide of Megan Meieris a recent example.
  • Cyberbullying is an intense form of psychological abuse, whose victims are more than twice as likely to suffer from mental disorders compared to traditional bullying.
  • Victims can suffer because of cyberbullying long after it ends. Being bullied can lead to a lifetime of low self-esteem. This may cause chronic fatigue, insomnia and poor performance in school or at work. Depression is not uncommon, with some victims feeling an overall sense of hopelessness and worthlessness about their lives.

What is being done and more steps required :-

  • International efforts :- The Cybersmile Foundation is a cyberbullying charity committed to tackling all forms of online bullying, abuse, and hate campaigns. Cybersmile provides support to victims and their friends and families through social mediainteraction, email and helpline support. They also run an annual event, Stop Cyberbullying Day, to draw attention to the issue.
  • A number organizations are in coalition to provide awareness, protection and recourse for the escalating problem. Some aim to inform and provide measures to avoid as well as effectively terminate cyberbullying and cyberharassment. Anti-bullying charity Act Against Bullyinglaunched the CyberKind campaign in August 2009 to promote positive internet usage.
  • In 2007, YouTube introduced the first Anti-Bullying Channel for youth, (BeatBullying) engaging the assistance of celebrities to tackle the problem


 

Topic:  Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests

4) Iranian Stability is crucial for global stability and Indian prosperity. Comment. (200 Words)

The Hindu

 

Introduction :- India–Iran relations refers to the bilateral relations between the countries India and Iran. Independent India and Iran established diplomatic relations on 15 March 1950. The recent tussle between US and Iran over the nuclear deal and the signing of deals in P5+1 platform shows growing instability.

Need of Iran’s stability for global stability :-

  • Geographical position of Iran is very strategic for stability of entire region of West Asia, middle east.
  • The power politics in west Asia need a balancing power in form of stable Iran.
  • Iran has been increasingly getting engaged with world powers. China, EU are Iran’s major trade partner while Russia is major defence partner. It’s stability is crucial for maintaining it’s own growth.
  • A stable Iran can play a pivotal role in countering the terrorism threat of region in terms of ISIS.
  • Iran is nuclear capable country. It’s instability may cause danger to world nuclear security.

Need of Iran’s stability for Indian prosperity :-

  • In 2011, the US$12 billion annual oil trade between India and Iran was halted due to extensive economic sanctions against Iran. Hence a stable Iran is in much interest of India for energy security.
  • Iran’s trade with India exceeded US$13 billion in 2007, an 80% increase in trade volume within a year
  • India has many developmental and infrastructural projects like Chahbahar port, Faraz B oil field (with ONGC Videsh ltd).  Iran is, with Indian aid, upgrading the Chabahar-Milak road and constructing a bridge on the route to Zaranj.
  • The North–South Transport Corridor is the shiprail, and roadroute for moving freight between IndiaRussiaIranEurope and Central Asia
  • A significant proportion of Indian diaspora resides in Iran. Stability will ensure their security and flow of remittances to India.
  • Iran is a gateway for India to central Asia. It’s maritime and land connectivity to central Asia for India can be ensured with peace and stability in region.

A stable Iran will not only stabilize the region there but will contribute to world order, stability and prosperity. It’s in every nation’s interest to  make efforts in this direction.


Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to education, human resources

5) The failure of children to achieve minimum proficiency levels despite attending school is an economic and ethical crisis. Comment.  (200  Words)

Livemint

Introduction :- ASER 2016 survey shows proportion of Class V children who can read a Class II level text fell to 47.8% in 2016 from 48.1% in 2014. Now, research shows that this is not just an Indian problem but a global epidemic that threatens several low- and middle-income countries across the globe. New estimates from the Unesco Institute for Statistics (UIS) indicate that about 617 million children or six out of every 10 
children are not achieving minimum proficiency levels in reading and mathematics.

It’s an economic and ethical crisis :-

  • This learning crisis comes at a time when enrolment levels have increased across the board. India has achieved near-universal enrolment this indicates the poor quality of investment and failure to check the performance time to time.
  • Such poor performance will be harmful for the countries experiencing demographic dividend. Such unskilled and low proficient population will burden the existing problems of unemployment, poverty etc.
  • Theses poor results shows lack of state’s responsibility towards it’s children and lack of care, empathy, compassion towards this weaker section of society.

Way Forward :-

  • The World Bank lists four such elements—students, teachers, school administration and school infrastructure. If any one malfunctions, the entire system is threatened. Fixing the ecosystem means tackling each element individually and collectively.
  • Students :- Looking for health of students and their fitness is important as healthy child will perform better. Early interventions targeting pregnant women, new mothers and their infants can be particularly effective. India’s integrated child development services scheme and the mid-day meal scheme are good examples.
  • Teachers must be trained, skilled and repeatedly assessed for their performance. In Ethiopia and Guatemala, only one-third of the total instructional time was used for teaching. In India, teachers from government schools double up as census workers and election officers.
  • School administration :- A 2015 study by Stanford University’s Nicholas Bloom and others on management practices across 1,800 high schools in eight countries, including India, showed that better management produced better educational outcomes.

Assessing, measuring and benchmarking performance is the first step. Ultimately, breaking out of the low learning trap will require concerted action and evidence-based policymaking.

 

It is tempting to blame this on lack of resources but let’s not forget the success story of post-war South Korea, or of Vietnam and Peru, Malaysia and Tanzania—which have only recently improved learning outcomes.


Topic: Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act.

6) Simultaneous elections may be logistical advantageous but raise concerns on sanctity of democratic processes. Comment. (200 Words)

The Hindu

Introduction :- Frequent elections, according to experts, hamper long-term policymaking because every decision is seen as bait for votes. Hence, to end this vicious cycle of elections, PM Modi had recommended holding of simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly elections all over the country. 

It’s advantages :-

  • The massive expenditure that is currently incurred for the conduct of separate elections.
  • The policy paralysis that results from the imposition of the Model Code of Conduct during election time.
  • Impact on delivery of essential services.
  • Burden on crucial manpower that is deployed during election time.

 

Need of frequent election for sanctity of democratic process :-

 

  • Politicians, who tend to forget voters after the elections for five years have to return to them. This enhances accountability, keeps them on their toes.
  • Elections give a boost to the economy at the grassroots level, creating work opportunities for lakhs of people.
  • There are some environmental benefits also that flow out of the rigorous enforcement of public discipline like non-defacement of private and public property, noise and air pollution, ban on plastics, etc.
  • Local and national issues do not get mixed up to distort priorities. In voters’ minds, local issues overtake wider state and national issues.
  • Besides, a staggered electoral cycle also acts as a check against demagoguery, fascism and oligarchy, in that order.
  • It also ensures that the mood of the nation at a particular moment does not hand over political power across a three-tiered democratic structure to one dispensation or individual. It gives people a chance to distinguish between the national, state and local interests, rather than being swept away in a “wave”, often manufactured by corporate media and the economic muscle of commercial carpetbaggers.

 

Challenges in simultaneous elections :-

  • The biggest challenge is achieving political consensus, which seems to be “chimerical”.
  • Regional parties will be more opposed to the idea than national parties because there is always a tendency for voters to vote the same party in power in the state and at the Centre in case the Lok Sabha polls and the state elections are held together.
  • Also, according to IDFC, there is a 77% chance that the Indian voter will vote for the same party for both the state and Centre when elections are held simultaneously.

 

Way forward :-

One India, One election is an interesting concept but whether it will decrease the evils that the nation/government wants to get rid of needs to be debated thoroughly. To be sure, there are multiple issues that will need to be addressed if the country intends to move in this direction. The concerns and suggestions of different stakeholders will have to be debated in order to build political consensus around the idea. That said, the proposal will not only have economic benefits but will free up precious political space for policy discussions. It will also help in taking forward the process of economic reforms as decisions will not always be hostage to assembly elections.


 

Topic: Indian economy – employment

7) The union government has been pushing for changes in the labour law ecosystem by replacing all the labour laws with just four labour codes – the first of which is the Wage Code, which is being opposed by trade unions across India. Examine the components of the new wage code and reasons why it’s being opposed. (200 Words)

The Wire

 

Introduction :-  As part of labour law reforms, the Government has undertaken the exercise of rationalisation of the 38 Labour Acts by framing 4 labour codes viz Code on Wages, Code on Industrial Relations, Code on Social Security and Code on occupational safety, health and working conditions.

 

Wage code :-

  • It subsumes 4 existing Laws, viz. the Minimum Wages Act, 1948; the Payment of Wages Act, 1936; the Payment of Bonus Act, 1965; and the Equal Remuneration Act, 1976. 
  • The Code would ensure universal minimum wage for all industries and workers. Moreover, it will also cover those workers who are getting a monthly pay of higher than Rs 18,000.
  • Seeks to empower the Centre to set a minimum wage across sectors and states will have to maintain that.
  • The minimum wage would be applicable on all classes of workers. At present, it is applicable for scheduled industries or establishments in the law.

 

Why it is being opposed :-

  • The Bill makes a mockery of the idea of a ‘national minimum wage’ by providing for different national minimum wages to be fixed for different states – instead of providing for a uniform national minimum wage for the entire country.
  • Trade unions are demanding the same minimum wage of Rs 18,000 per month for all workers. But the Wage Code Bill does not provide for that.
  • The formulation of minimum wage has been kept under the sole discretion of the government without taking into consideration all stakeholders.
  • Another concern is that the Code has removed the Schedule of Employment, which lists the industries governed by labour laws.
  • Moreover, the Code significantly weakens the Equal Remuneration Act, one of the four laws it seeks to replace.
  • Significantly, the Code seeks to render trade unions toothless in a number of ways.
  • For one, the Code does away with the right of trade unions to legally access the audits  of the establishment’s accounts, The Code also deems workers who are participating in a strike to be absent.
  • As for revision of the minimum wages, the Code sets five years as the standard time for wages to be revised, while currently five years is the maximum period for the revision of wages.

 


Topic: Ethics in human actions; Ethical in international relations

 8) Biological and chemical warfare, as advanced as it may be, points on some genuine ethical concerns. Comment. (150 Words)

Reference

Introduction :- Biological warfare (BW)—also known as germ warfare—is the use of biological toxins or infectious agents such as bacteriaviruses, and fungi with the intent to kill or incapacitate humans, animals or plants as an act of war.

Chemical warfare (CW) involves using the toxic properties of chemical substances as weapons. This type of warfare is distinct from nuclear warfare and biological warfare, which together make up NBC, the military acronym for nuclear, biological, and chemical (warfare or weapons), all of which are considered “weapons of mass destruction” (WMDs).

The use of chemical and biological weapons like orange agent in Vietnam, mustard gas, Syrian ISIS using such weapons etc. highlights the growing threats of these weapons to humanity as they have some genuine ethical concerns involved :-

  • Mass destruction of humans :- These weapons out rightly and indiscriminately cause death to all. The victims includes not only the targeted, accused but also those who may not have any stake involved. It lowers the human dignity and treat lives of humans so cheap to be wiped out easily.
  • Physical and psychological impacts :- The agony, deaths, devastation caused by these warfare not only impact the victims but their family. It survives so long that it cripples the lives of many people.
  • It also creates threats to sustainability and survivability of planet earth in long term. Use of these weapons has disastrous impacts on forests, water sources, land etc.
  • There is a lack of accountability and responsibility in such attacks.
  • Their repeated and large scale occurrence shows failure of international ethical standards to restrict nations, state and non states actors from their use.

The peace and security of world along with respect and concern for human lives must be at the centre stage of international communities, nation and people. Shunning use of these weapons, regulating the hazardous chemical, biological agents, implementing international laws and convention like Geneva protocol etc. need to be implemented in true spirit.