SECURE SYNOPSIS: 21 MAY 2018

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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 21 MAY 2018


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.


General Studies – 1


Topic: Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the
present- significant events, personalities, issues.

1) Examine how Subhash Chandra Bose tried to give the Indian National Congress a socialist direction?(250 words)

Bipin Chandra – India’s struggle for independence , Pg 16

Reference

Key demand of the question

The focus of the question is not on the role played by Bose in the national movement but on bringing out how he attempted to give the national Congress a socialist direction. We also need to discuss the impact that this push had on the direction that the freedom struggle took.

Directive word

Examine – When you are asked to examine, you have to probe deeper into the topic,  get into details, and find out the causes or implications if any. Here the focus has to be on how subash Bose tried to give the Congress socialist leanings, the impact of it and whether or not he succeeded.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – introduce Subash Bose, the role he played in the national movement, the number of times he became congress president etc

Body

  • Mention how he managed to give Congress a socialist push – under his chairmanship, by being involved in left leaning student politics along with Nehru, his views on economy and industrialization etc
  • Mention the impact that this had on the course of Congress and national struggle – discuss about the split and Bose’s attempts at winning freedom through an all out war.
  • Examine whether Bose succeeded in his attempt to give a socialist push to Congress

Conclusion – conclude by underlining the immense role that Bose played in our freedom struggle.

Background:-

  • Netaji Subhas Chandra Bosewas an Indian nationalist whose defiant patriotism made him a hero in India. Since joining the freedom movement of the country in 1921, Subhash Chandra Bose had been speaking in clear terms in support of socialism.

How Bose gave Congress a push towards socialism:-

  • The statements of Bose, both within and outside the Congress platform, coupled with political radicalisation which was taking shape towards the end of 1920s, paved the way for the Congress to gradually encompass socialist content within it s policies and programmes.
  • Bose along with Nehru and younger section of the congress acted as a pressure group and insisted for the inclusion of and for making economic issues an integral part of the Congress policies and programmes.
  • The AICC at Bombay session held in 1929 stated in a resolution that the poverty and misery of the Indian people is not only due to foreign exploitation in India, but also the economic structure of society which the alien rulers supported so that the exploitation continues.
  • In order to remove the poverty it is essential to make revolutionary changes in the present economic and social structure of society and to remove gross inequality. This resolution is significant to the extent that within the Congress party the seeds of a socialist programme were sown for the first time.
  • Bose had been a leader of the younger, radical, wing of the Indian National Congress in the late 1920s and 1930s, rising to become Congress President in 1938 and 1939 during with he pursued socialist agenda.

Impact:-

  • Subhash Chandra Bose declared the formation of a platform within the Congress, the Forward Bloc, with an aim to consolidate the leftist forces of the country and to march them forward with the action against the British, in order to achieve Indian independence.
  • Bose had launched the National Planning Committee for drawing up a comprehensive plan of industrialisation and of development .
    • Bose believed that his launching of the National Planning Committee as the Congress President, in 1938, for drawing up a comprehensive plan of industrialisation and of development caused further annoyance to Mahatma Gandhi who was opposed to industrialization
  • His radical ideology conflicted with many leaders of congress especially Gandhi due to which he had to resign from congress presidency in1939 .
  • He wanted complete independence for India instead of dominion status especially on the onset of world war 2.
  • His socialist and patriotism is even respected today as he created a sense of enthusiasm, made women participated in the Indian national army ,tried to make India a true place for all castes and classes.

TOPIC:  poverty and developmental issues, Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.


2) Gender inequalities in access to formal credit have long manifested in India’s scarce gender-wise financial statistics. Analyze.(250 words)

Financial express

Why this question

Global Findex Survey released by World Bank has underlined a critical issue – gender inequality in access to formal finance. This issue has multiple linkages with GS 1, 2 and 3. The issue of gender inequality, access of finance to SHGs etc, inclusive growth, gender empowerment are all linked to this finding. Thus, it becomes important from Mains perspective.

Key demand of the question

The question demands us to bring out the issue in its entirety. There are two important keywords here which have to be explained and connected – “gender inequalities in access to formal credit” and “scarce gender wise financial statistics”. Following aspects are to be mentioned in your answer

  • Status quo – reflecting gender inequality presently
  • The impacts of gender inequality in access to formal finance
  • Causes behind the issue – here lack of data highlights the lack of policy focus to specifically address this issue.
  • Way forward

Directive word

Analyze – When asked to analyze, you  have to examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them as a whole in a summary. In the above question, post discussing the issues as highlighted above, Summarize your answer by linking the points.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Give details about Global Findex Survey and highlight the finding linked to gender inequality in access to formal finance which should set the course of your answer

Body

  • Highlight the detailed findings of the report both the positives (gender gap is reducing in opening of accounts) and the negatives (access to formal finance, refer to stats in article)
  • Explain the statistics by linking it to real issues on ground such as access to finance for SHGs, women start ups etc
  • Highlight the impact of the present situation if it continues to remain so – women are today seen as agents of development , access to finance is thus critical
  • Highlight where have we gone wrong – mention that the lack of policy focus is evident in the lack of finance related statistics from a gender perspective. Mention other causes too

Conclusion – Briefly Summarize and mention a way forward.

 

Background:-

  • World Bank recently published the results of its Global Findex Survey (2017) which provides valuable information on financial inclusion and behaviours across countries.
  • The gap in access and usage is even more telling for females, where evidence indicates inclusion policies providing entry to formal finance fail to bridge gender inequalities, for which specific, broader intervention efforts are needed.

Why does female exclusion in finance exist

  • Numerous demand and supply-side constraints apply specifically to women.
  • Unbanked and low use of financial services correspond to low incomes and regions
  • Low educational attainment
  • Non-participation in the labour force as well as gender.
  • gender gaps are large and persistent in unemployment, wages, average years of schooling, unpaid care work
  • Safety concerns, socio-cultural restrictions prevent their empowerment, bargaining and decision-taking strength
  • Lack of collateral (title or formal ownership of material assets) makes many of them high-risk borrowers
  • An overall lack of empowerment therefore reflects in low awareness and demand for financial inclusion.

 

Formal credit women are accessing now:-

  • Findex 2017 estimates that 77% of Indian women now own a bank account
  • On this basic measure of financial inclusion, females are more financially included than before.
  • The male-female difference, or the gender gap, in account ownership narrowed to 6.4 percentage points in 2017
  • More financially aware about the avenues of formal credit.

Gender inequalities in access to formal credit:-

  • Evidence on broader inclusion of women into formal finance is disappointing.
    • Of more than three-fourths who have a bank account, less than a fifth save formally, i.e., at banks
    • The low preference for formal savings compares unfavourably with 30% of their Chinese and 26% global peers who save at a financial institution.
  • Women trail behind even more in access to formal credit markets.
  • The extent of their access to bank loans and dependence upon informal sources remained unchanged between 2014 and 2017 .
  • Distribution of outstanding credit in small borrower accounts shows 24.5% share of female account owners against 72% by men as on March 2017; 
  • Interest rates paid by female household heads are on average higher than their male counterparts. The gender differential reduces with per capita income improvements, showing poverty accentuates gender divisions.
  • Considering that about 10% of India’s total entrepreneurs are women, the virtual lack of access to formal credit is a huge constraint.
  • They are half as likely to own debit cards than men
  • Account usage for remittances, including digitally, by women is low while credit-card ownership and use is abysmal.

Way forward:-

  • Broader interventionist efforts are required to enhance female presence in finance, which must be prioritised if only because of more and more proof that this has positive growth and employment effects.
  • Financial inclusion of women was specifically integrated into the G20’s global development agenda (2012).India can complement these beyond what achieved through opening bank accounts through complementary policies and actions to promote access and usage by women.
  • Being part of SHG’s women can gain greater confidence in approaching banks and awareness.
  • Girl education needs to be the focus.

Conclusion:-

  • As women are today seen as agents of development and for the success of India’s demographic dividend access to finance for women is thus critical

 


General Studies – 2


Topic: Parliament and State Legislatures – structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.

3)The ordinance making power of the legislature should be used sparingly and with due respect to the constitution. Discuss.(250 words) 

epw

 

Why this question

Recently the Parliament promulgated 3 ordinances and it is a known fact that the state and the central govt have been resorting to indiscriminate use of ordinances, without any regard for the constitutional ethos. The question is related to GS 2 syllabus under the following heading-

Parliament and State Legislatures – structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.

Key demand of the question

The question simply wants us to discuss, why ordinances should not be promulgated frequently and what are its implications.

Directive word

Discuss- We have to write in detail about the cons of resorting to ordinance route frequently by the central and state governments.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– Mention article 123, 213; and some recent ordinances promulgated by the legislature. e.g Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance, 2018, Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance, 2018 etc.

Body

  1. Discuss in points, why ordinances should be promulgated only rarely.

e.g- it is against the constitutional scheme of responsibility of the executive towards the legislature, it is opposed to two core tenets of the rule of law- stability and consistency, absence of Parliamentary scrutiny and feedback,  ordinances passed in haste are often ill-designed etc.

  1. Discuss in points the need to promulgate ordinances. e.g when parliament is not in session, during emergency, in cases where immediate action is necessary etc.

Conclusion– Give a fair and concise opinion on the need and desirability of ordinance making power of the legislature and mention the SC judgements i.e C Wadhwa v State of Bihar (1987)and Krishna Kumar Singh v State of Bihar (2017).

Background:-

  • In a parliamentary democracy such as India, the ordinance promulgation power is supposed to be used as an exception and not as a matter of course. The constitutional scheme exists to ensure accountability of the political executive to the elected legislature.

Ordinance making in India:-

  • Articles 123 and 213 of the Constitution:-
  • These state that an ordinance may be promulgated to meet a certain circumstance, but must be laid before the legislature in question, and will expire within six weeks of the legislature being convened.
  • An ordinance is thus, by definition, limited in time, and can cease to have effect even earlier, if the legislature passes a resolution disapproving the ordinance.

Misuse of ordinance making power:-

  • The very nature of the ordinance might mean that a frequent resort to it is only self-defeating
  • Excessively used:-
    • Following the washout of the second half of the budget session, three ordinances have recently been promulgated by the President.
    • First was the Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance, 2018 ,followed by the Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance, 2018,amendments to the Commercial Courts, Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of High Courts Act, 2015 (henceforth Commercial Courts Act) were made through an ordinance. .
  • Misuse of ordinance power has been questioned:-
    • Supreme Court acted on concerns about the manner in which the ordinance promulgating power has been used at the state level.
    • First, in limiting the manner in which ordinances may be repromulgated and second, in ensuring that ordinances cease to be in effect, if they are not placed before the legislature.
    • Without imposing any substantive limits on when an ordinance may be promulgated, the Supreme Court has restrained the government’s ordinance-making power (though somewhat belatedly).
  • Self limiting:-
    • Validity and legality of actions taken on the basis of an ordinance will be in limbo, unless subsequent legislation is passed to the same effect by the legislature.
    • Overuse of ordinances goes fundamentally against two core tenets of the rule of law, stability and consistency
  • Self defeating due to absence of Parliamentary scrutiny and feedback :-
    • Governments may favour the “ordinance route” because it makes for good optics or helps them avoid the difficult task of political negotiation in Lok sabha and Rajya sabha that is part and parcel of lawmaking. That, however, is a self-defeating exercise.
    • Taking the ordinance route may only raise suspicions about the government’s motives and harden the opposition’s stand towards a measure, as was seen with the proposed amendments to the land acquisition law.
  • The executive’s power to issue ordinances, therefore, goes against separation of powers; for it acts neither as a check nor as a balance on the authority exercised by the other branches of government.
  • Ordinances passed in haste are often ill-designed

Why ordinance making is needed?

  • It ought to be Power to legislate when Parliament is not in session.
    • When legislature is not in session: the President can only promulgate when either of the House of Parliament is not in session.
  • Immediate action is needed:
    • The President though has the power of promulgating the ordinances but same cannot be done unless he is satisfied that there are circumstances that require him to take immediate action.
  • Parliament should approve:after the ordinance has been passed it is required to be approved by the parliament within six weeks of reassembling. The same will cease to operate if disapproved by either House.
  • During emergency

Way forward:-

  • Even if there is broad consensus that a certain legislative measure is needed, parliamentary scrutiny is valuable in and of itself.
  • Reference to the standing committee and open debate about the merits of a bill and its drafting are likely to address shortcomings or oversights in the law.
  • Ordinances are not immune from judicial challenge:-
    • The Supreme Court, in Krishna Kumar Singh v. State of Bihar, made a series of pronouncements with potentially huge implications for the future of democratic governance in the country. The case raised intricate constitutional questions concerning the executive’s power to make law through ordinance.

Topic: India and its bilateral relationship

4) New challenges confront India and Russia in their bilateral relationship which requires India to tread cautiously. Examine. (250 words)

Reference

Why this question

With Modi’s visit to Sochi coming soon, a time to have a relook at the India Russia bilateral relationship is required. The relationship is passing through tumultuous times on account of the geopolitical changes taking place. It requires India to tread cautiously in how it deals with Russia, who has been a time tested partner of India. This question thus becomes important in preparing for India Russia relationship.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to bring out the following points

  • What are the new challenges that confront India and Russia in their relationship going forward
  • What impact would it have on the future of India Russia relationship and India’s overall foreign policy.
  • How should India deal with these new challenges

Directive word

Examine – When you are asked to examine, you have to probe deeper into the topic,  get into details, and find out the causes or implications if any. The issues discussed above need to be brought out.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – The overall trend of India Russia relationship is to be brought out with special emphasis on the fact that India and Russia have been time tested partners so far, and the emerging divergences are a matter of concern.

Body

  • Discuss the new challenges confronting India and Russia in their bilateral relationship. Discuss it under heads like
    • Geopolitical situation impacts – China factory, Pakistan factor, USA factor
    • Geostrategic situation impacts – Similarity of interests in central Asia, Indo Pacific and alliances being formed there
    • Economic challenges – India Russia trade not picking up
    • Lack of people to people contacts
    • Also discuss the strong points of the relationship such as nuclear and defence cooperation etc to show that the situation is not entirely bleak
  • Discuss the impacts that the challenges would have on India Russia partnership going ahead and on India’s overall foreign policy
  • Discuss in brief the need for India to maintain the balancing act.

Conclusion – Mention that the situation requires India to maintain relations with various stakeholders and how India should achieve this.

Background:-

  • In 2017, India and Russia started paying more attention to their bilateral  relations , reviving a stagnant relationship and recovering some of the momentum that was lost over the past few years

New challenges:-

  • Geopolitical:-
    • India, of course, has a long standing relationship with Russia but that is undergoing a shift in light of rapidly evolving geopolitical realities.
    • There is a change in how Moscow views its regional priorities in South Asia.
    • Shifting geopolitical dynamics driven by the rise of China
    • International sanctions against the Kremlin, and its never-ending economic stagnation point to imminent changes for India-Russia relations in the coming years.
    • Cold War type rhetoric against Russia is gaining traction in western Europe and there is a growing consolidation of negative views against Moscow
  • Russia-China-Pakistan:-
    • Russia’s increasing tilt towards Pakistan as it seeks to favour with China.
    • Russia publicly called on India to join China’s Belt and Road initiative .
    • Indian strategists fear a China-Pakistan-Russia axis. For them, Russia’s transfer of Mi-35 M attack helicopters to Pakistan in 2017 is a cause of concern.
  • Quad:-
    • Also slowed displeasure over New Delhi’s warming up to the idea of a quadrilateral engagement involving the US, India, Japan and Australia in the Indo-Pacific.
  • Economic:-
    • Despite augmenting trade volumes, Russia’s exports to India are barely 2 percent of India’s total imports and in an economic sense, Russia’s struggling economy has little to offer to India in the long-term.
  • Defence:-
    • Russia is still the largest supplier of defence equipment(70%) but its share in overall imports has progressively declined.
  • Afghanistan:-
    • On the issue of the Afghan crisis, while Russia appreciates India’s concerns about Pakistan’s intentions in Afghanistan, it also believes that there cannot be a solution without involving Pakistan and the Taliban.
    • Russia, unlike India, views Afghanistan through the prism of its rivalry with the US.
  • US- Indian relations:-
    • The rapidly expanding ties between India and USA after the nuclear deal in 2008.
    • The growing defence relationship between India-US.
      • India’s decision to sign the three ”foundational” defence Agreements with US has surfaced as a cause of serious concern for Russia.
        • Logistics Support Agreement (LSA)
        • Communications Interoperability and Security Memorandum of Agreement  (CISMOA)
        • Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA) for Geo-spatial Cooperation
      • Russia feels that India is virtually entering into a military alliance with USA, which will severely restrict Russia’s ability to share sophisticated defence technology with it

Strong relations with Russia :-

 

  • Economic:-
    • 2017 was a breakthrough in bilateral relations for Moscow and New Delhi. Both nations experienced impressive 22 percent growth in trade and boosted cooperation in a number of spheres ranging from agriculture to energy to pharmaceuticals.
    • Earlier, Russia’s largest oil producer, Rosneft, closed a $12.9 billion purchase of India’s second largest private oil refiner, Essar Oil, which marked one of the biggest foreign investment in India. 
    • Once the Arctic trading routes open and the International North South Transport Corridor (INSTC) and the India-Eurasian Economic Union FTA fructify, trade relations could deepen.
  • Military:-
    • Two countries likewise seek stronger ties in the military sector.
    • Russia keeps its competitive edge and remains the largest supplier of weapons to the Indian market.
    • Both nations signed an inter-governmental agreement for the purchase of the S-400 Triumf advanced Air Defense Systems estimated at $4.5 billion.
    • Moscow and New Delhi also agreed on the import of Kamov Ka 226T light utility helicopters and collaboration in manufacturing of four Admiral Grigorovich–class guided-missile stealth frigates. 
  • Close relationship between leaders:-
    • The personal friendship between premiers of the to countries facilitate an impression of strategic bilateral relations. 
  • International:-
    • Russia played a key role in facilitating New Delhi’s membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. 
    • There are no fundamental disagreements between Russia and India , unlike their relations with the other major powers.
    • Both countries aspire for a multipolar world, in which they are significant players.
    • On issues of mutual and paramount importance both countries have consistently supported each other.
      • Some recent instances include India’s refusal to join the US-led sanctions on Russia and Russia’s unwavering support for India’s membership into the NSG.
      • Moscow and New Delhi both voted against the US on the Jerusalem resolution at the UN.
    • Both the countries signed the St Petersburg Declaration in June 2017, envisaging an action plan for deepening relations in all areas, including political and economic development of the two countries and also to ensure that their ties contribute to the establishment of a more peaceful and just world order.
    • Both countries strongly condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.
      • Both the nations called for early conclusion of negotiations on the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism to strengthen the global counter-terrorism normative and legal framework to combat this scourge.

Way forward:-

  • Russia and India need to find new areas of cooperation to preserve their strategic partnership
  • The two countries need to develop a broader economic relationship through joint development and manufacturing for export  particularly of defence equipment  to other countries. This would help India develop its defence industrial base and also dovetail into its “Make in India” initiative.
  • Diamond trade is an area where the two countries could improve cooperation. India has skills in diamond polishing and Russia has resources of diamonds.
  • Nuclear cooperation is yet another area with high potential.
  • Human resources:-
    • Russia faces a serious demographic crisis and to diversify and modernise its economy it will need skilled and low-skilled labour.
    • It might be a good for the two countries to think of ways in which Indian labour can contribute to the Russian economy.
  • Introduction of more scholarships and investment in exhibitions and cultural festivals could benefit both countries.
  • Tourism is yet another sector that can be tapped.
  • Both countries should strengthen bilateral ties in the spheres of strategic, political, security, nuclear energy, hydrocarbons, defence procurement, academia and people to people relations.

Conclusion:-

  • India-Russia relations seem to have finally made the transition from a nostalgia-driven relationship to a more transactional one. However, the political leadership in both countries should seize the moment and work towards a more sustainable strategic partnership

 


General Studies – 3


TOPIC: Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.

5) The arbitrary and indiscriminate use of the Public Safety Act, 1978 to stifle political dissent in the Kashmir Valley shows a blatant disregard for the Constitution and the right to personal liberty. Critically comment.(250 words)

epw

Why this question

Along with AFSPA, PSA has been criticized for its human right violations in Kashmir. In recent years the act has been alleged to be misused more frequently than AFSPA. The question is indirectly related to GS 3 syllabus under the following heading-

Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.

Key demand of the question

the question wants us to bring out the need for PSA and how it affects the rights of the individual.

Directive word

Critically comment- we have to see both the sides of the issue here- need for PSA and how it undermines personal liberty and  other rights provided by the constitution.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– mention the nature, history of PSA. e.g its purpose of legislation, year and territorial limits involved

Body

  1. Discuss in points, need for PSA.

e.g law and order maintenance, prevention and handling of terrorism, need in case of emergency e.g during undeclared strikes and protests etc.

  1.  Discuss in points the cons of PSA, especially with respect to constitutional rights. e.g

Acting in a manner prejudicial to the maintenance of public order has been defined in extremely broad terms, minors also booked under PSA, vague charges cited, non-application of mind on part of the executive authority etc.

Conclusion– Present a concise conclusion based on the above discussion and mentioning SC directives in this regard and suggest the need to apply them in letter and spirit.

 

Background:-

  • Along with AFSPA, Public safety act has been criticized for its human right violations in Kashmir. In recent years the act has been alleged to be misused more frequently than AFSPA.

Public safety act 1978:

  • PSA allows the police to take a person into preventive detention without a trial or the actual commission of an offence.
  • The grounds on which this can be done include preventing a person from acting in a manner prejudicial to the maintenance of public order or security of the state.
  • In cases in which the conduct is said to be prejudicial to the maintenance of public order, the period of detention is three months, extendable up to one year, while in cases involving the security of the state it is six months, extendable up to two years.
  • The act is still applied in light of
    • The national security of the state
    • Keeping in mind the law and order situation in Kashmir
    • To prevent and handle terrorism
    • Needed in case of emergency especially during undeclared strikes and protests etc.

Criticism:-

  • The act provides for extremely vague offences to be covered and is, thus, conducive to misuse. Acting in a manner prejudicial to the maintenance of public order has been defined in extremely broad terms.
  • Supreme court criticized:-
    • This law has been described as lawless by the Supreme Court (A K Roy v Union of India1982) and has been excessively applied with many preventive detention orders .
  • Affects personal liberty:-
    • The arbitrary nature of the use of the PSA has led to a chilling effect.
    • Nobody knows what conduct attracts detention under the PSA or who may be the next target. It has been used against political leaders, human rights activists, protesters, and even common criminals.
    • Moreover, the uncertainty that comes along with a PSA order is such that it affects not only the detainee, but his entire family.
    • In 2011, Amnesty International released a report about the PSA, highlighting its misuse to stifle political dissent.
    • Scope for arbitrary detentions under the PSA is tremendous:-
      • On an average, each person has been identified as having committed offences under three first information reports (FIRs). However, most of these FIRs are “open FIRs.” 
    • Against constitution:-
      • Lack of safeguards:-
        • Modern criminal justice systems rely on the presumption of innocence, that is, a person is innocent until proven otherwise through a free and fair trial. In this act Procedural safeguards to ensure that innocents are not incarcerated, are absent.
        • The most important safeguard is the fact that the police cannot detain a person under the act itself. Under the act, this power is vested with the district magistrate and divisional commissioner. However, this safeguard has proven highly ineffective as magistrates mechanically approve most orders.
      • In the case of the PSA, all criminals, no matter how minor the offence, are deprived of these safeguards because of such broad and vague definitions
      • Detentions:-
        • Supreme Court stating that detainees should be held as close to their residence as possible to ensure ease of access for their families and lawyers.
        • However, not only has this directive been flouted, but also none of the orders issued have laid down reasons for such transfers. As a result of this, the detainees are unable to access their families or lawyers. This severely hampers their right to legal representation.
      • Materials Not Supplied
        • The act itself allows for grounds of detention to be kept secret from the detainee for up to 10 days. However, this is permitted only in “exceptional cases.”
        • In practice, the materials on the basis of which the person has been detained are never provided.
        • This violates the right of the detainee to be promptly informed of the grounds of their detention.
      • Right to Representation
        • The right to representation under the PSA is violated at several levels. The provisions of the act do not explicitly provide for such a right, and the few rights that are available are also rendered ineffective in practice.
        • Under the PSA, there is no judicial recourse or appeal process. 
      • Delay in issuing PSA orders:-
        • Logic of preventive detention is that immediate and swift action is required without wasting time for a trial to take the person into custody.
        • However, this is defeated when there are large delays on the part of the executive itself and, thus, the preventive detention is not justified.
      • Detainee in prior custody:
        • In one-fourth of the cases, detainees had already been formally arrested for offences under regular criminal laws. However, most dossiers studied do not mention the prior arrest.
      • Juveniles:-
        • Juveniles had been detained. This is against international human rights laws and the Juvenile Justice Act. However, following the Amnesty International report in 2011, the PSA was amended to specifically exclude its application to minors.
        • In spite of this, juveniles are still being detained under the PSA and have been sent to prisons in Jammu like other detainees.
      • Judicial delays:-
        • The Jammu and Kashmir High Court guidelines as well as those laid down by the Supreme Court state that a habeas corpuspetition must be decided within a maximum of 15 days
        • However the entire process takes three to four months, which is even longer than the detention period specified in cases where a person’s conduct is found to be prejudicial to the maintenance of public order.

Way forward:-

  • To prevent the misuse of PSA under the prevailing conditions, the judiciary can be harnessed to ensure the effective implementation of safeguards provided in the act itself. This can be done through tailoring judicial guidelines to ensure that hearings are conducted within the specified time frame.
  • The higher judiciary can also reprimand magistrates for their failure to apply their mind or follow the law as opposed to merely reiterating guidelines endlessly.
  • The administration can simultaneously be sensitised in regard to the application of the act. A sensitisation programme should be carried out en masse for magistrates across the state. 

Topic:Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life; Challenges to internal security

6) Drone use for civilian purposes have immense applications but also poses regulatory challenges. Examine. Also evaluate whether India needs a policy for regulating drone use?(250 words)

Reference

 

Why this question

Drone technology has advanced significantly and drones are now being used for multiple purposes. At the same time, these applications are creating challenges for internal security. Moreover, India’s policy architecture is quite underdeveloped in this area. Thus this issue becomes important.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to highlight the following points in our answer

  • The applications of drone technology, also touch upon how India is making use of the technology with greater emphasis on civilian use
  • The security challenges that India faces due to unregulàted use of drones
  • The need for a robust policy and how should the contours of the policy look like

Directive word

Examine – When you are asked to examine, you have to probe deeper into the topic,  get into details, and find out the causes or implications if any. The issues discussed above need to be brought out.

Evaluate – Based on your examination of the issue conclude on the need of a drone policy for India.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Mention in brief about the growing use of drones for civilian as well as military purposes.

Body

  • Talk about the applications of drones for civilian purposes. Highlight the practical examples of where drones are being used.
  • Talk about the security challenges that it poses
  • Discuss the present policy architecture
  • Examine the lacunae that needs to be filled through a robust drone policy

Conclusion – based on your arguments made above, conclude whether India needs a drone policy urgently or not

Background:-

  • Global spending on drones over the next five years will be approximately $100 billion.
  • A large chunk of this spending is likely to be on the commercial and civil sector. However, there are still several questions about the legal, regulatory, and policy aspects, both at the global governance and the national levels, that need to be addressed.

Drone use for civilian purposes:-

  • Use of drones for civilian purposes remain underdeveloped, because regulations regarding the technology are not yet fully established. 
  • Use of UAVs in the commercial and social sectors has increased.
    • For instance, Amazon stated in 2013 that it will use drones for delivery of packages and has been exploring its feasibility since then.
  • Monitoring critical infrastructure such as ports, power plants, and infrastructure construction with drones are other important civilian functions that are being explored.
  • Possible commercial applications include package delivery, photography or spraying pesticides on crops.
  • Various state departments and police forces are also using UAVs for various activities. Areas like aerial photography, surveying, crop spraying, inspection of transmission power lines and gas pipelines etc are seeing a huge demand for use of drones,
  • Advancements in fields such as automation, robotics, miniaturization, materials science, spectral and thermal imaging, and light detection and ranging have resulted in drone-enabled solutions in areas as diverse as the agriculture, power, infrastructure, and telecom sectors, as well as crowd and disaster management.

Regulatory challenges:-

  • Despite a near complete ban on drones, there have been large number of drone sightings in Indian skies. Indian policymakers need to recognise that blanket bans do not work.
  • Prospect of more drones in the sky has also fuelled concerns about consumer privacy and government surveillance.
  • Drafting a comprehensive drone regulation needs understanding of various domains, and given the huge number of stakeholders, this is expected to be a very complex piece of regulation.
  • India also has unique problem of accountability and enforcement mechanism, which needs to be adequately addressed in our framework. 
  • The legal liability for a drone comes under question as it is difficult to ascertain whether the device malfunctioned or if it was incorrectly handled or operated in the absence of these guidelines.
  • The absence of guidelines for drone imports also poses a massive threat to national security.
  • There is also the heightened risk of air accidents due to malfunctioning of drones, which can be dangerous to both life and property.
  • Another peril of not having such regulations is the vulnerability of these drones to hacking. For instance, just as malicious software and spyware can be placed on any number of mobile instruments procured from outside the country, the same can be easily implanted in drones.
  • Another parameter that could be used to determine trespass is the intent of the drone operator. While this might be the toughest to judge, it does provide a moral basis for ascertaining a case of trespass. 

India needs a policy for regulating drone use:-

  • New policy framework is needed, which must effectively address issues such as liability in case of drone-to-drone collisions and interference, regulatory, legal, and quality control and licensing requirements.
    • For instance, a conspicuous lacuna is that the DGCA circulators do not mention anything about import standards, even though the majority of the drones in India are imported.
  • The lack of a policy outline on quality control for indigenously manufactured- and built-drones is equally troubling.
  • It assumes significance as recent incidents of drones or UAVs flying near airports have raised safety ,privacy and security concerns.
  • Currently, India doesn’t have a well-defined law on UAVs, and though any kind of drone flying is banned in India, due to lack of provisions to book the operators, authorities can only seize the machines. 
    • Further, there are no rules or policies in place to ensure that they are operated safely.
    • Since there are no set regulations, there are a lot of irresponsible usage and a potential threat to public safety. 
    • No clear guidance exists on the liability standards for midair collisions and injury to property or persons in the event of untoward incidents.
    • In the absence of clear common law rules, Indian states could well step in to regulate UAV activity through a patchwork of rules, resulting in a version of drone federalism as already witnessed in the United States.
    • Though the present draft guidelines issued by DGCA purportedly safeguard citizen interests, several conflict points have gone unidentified or have been cursorily touched upon by these guidelines.
    • Stop-gap measures taken by different state and central agencies have not been effective whether in addressing issues of quality control, or response mechanism in the event of an incident, questions of privacy and trespass, air traffic, terrorist threat management, and legal liability.
  • Most striking absence in the regulations is that of import standardisation. As a sizable percentage of India’s drones continue to be imported, there is a need to ensure their quality control and standardisation. No legislation addressing this aspect has been passed by the DGCA. 
  • Adding to the failure to address import quality standardisation of drones is the lack of policy on quality control of indigenously-manufactured and -built drones. There is no focused regulation regarding domestically-produced drones and the industry is left to its own standards, if at all it has any. 
  • UAV activity will impact proprietary interests because common law has not clearly demarcated the commons from owned airspaces.

Regulations in India that exist :-

  • In India, the first true notification regarding drones came as a Public Notice issued by the Office of the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) in 2014.
  • The document listed out the need for potential operators to take approval and onerous conditions were put that in reality means a near complete ban on drones. 

Way forward:-

  • There needs to be a minimum stipulation of height above which drones can fly in order to prevent operators from trespassing on private property.
  • It has been provided that no person can fly a drone over a densely-populated area without prior permission. This needs to be qualified with respect to what constitutes a densely populated area and the distance at which a drone can be flown.
  • India must also examine prevailing policy mechanisms in other countries to adopt their best practices as it formalises its regulatory framework. However, a point to be underlined is that guidelines alone are not sufficient; key is ensuring implementation and compliance.

Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

7) Critically analyze the process of removal of dams, as witnessed in several European countries, with special emphasis on India.(250 words) 

Reference

Why this question

Dams exert a huge influence on the environment, especially the rivers on which they are built. Recently many dams were removed by several countries in Europe. The process has its own strengths and limitations. The issue is related to GS 3 syllabus under the following heading-

Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

Key demand of the question

The question wants us to write in detail about the pros and cons/ limitations of the dam removal. We then have to form an opinion on the issue vis a vis India.

Directive word

Critically analyse- we have to dig deep into the question and identify the reasons/ logic behind, success of  dam removal projects. We have to form a personal opinion on the above issue.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– Mention the names of a few dams that were removed recently in Europe like the Vezons dam.

Body

  1. Discuss the purposes of dam removal. e.g protecting environment, preventing accidents, prevent maintenance of outdated plants, equipments etc.
  2. Discuss the limitations of dam removal. e.g only a few dams are being removed and far greater no.is being built, updating the plant and equipment will avoid dam removal, huge costs involved especially for large and viable projects, not a sustainable solution in energy thirsty world etc.
  3. Discuss the prospects of dam removal in India. e.g high costs involved, lack of availability of alternate sources of energy, no public pressure for dam removal etc.

Conclusion- form a concise, fair and a balanced conclusion based on the above discussion.

Background:-

  • Dam removal gained momentum after the EU adopted the Water Framework Directive in 2000 which made it imperative for member states to improve ecological protection of rivers and lakes.
  • According to Dam Removal Europe, 3,450 dams have already been removed in Sweden, Spain, Portugal, UK, Switzerland and France. 
  • Recently the French government and Spain have agreed to protecting environment, preventing accidents, prevent maintenance of outdated plants, equipments etc.

Advantages of dam removal:-

  • River restoration:-
    • Brings life back to their rivers by taking down many small and obsolete dams .
  • Fish species:-
    • Nearly one in 10 of Europe’s fish species could face extinction due to expanding hydropower dams in the western Balkans.
    • These dams have blocked fish migration routes for generations, preventing them from mating.
    • Dams alter the natural characteristics of a river system. Long stretches of rivers, which once flowed freely from source to outlet, become a series of pools, hindering migrating fish from reaching spawning grounds in the upper reaches.
  • Costs :-
  • Costs including environmental, safety, and socio-cultural impacts
  • Reinstating the natural sediment and nutrient flow
  • Eliminating safety risks, restoring opportunities for recreation, and saving taxpayer money.

Positives of dams:-

  • Dams may provide a variety of benefits, including water supply, power generation, flood control, recreation, and irrigation.
  • After the dam formation, the energy security issues of India have been resolved to an extent. As a part of development it is very important as 53% of land area is rain fed thus the irrigation through these dams plays a very important role in agriculture
  • Disadvantages of dam removal:-
    • Dam removal does result in fundamental changes to the local environment. The reservoir will be eliminated, and with it the flat-water habitat that had been created.
    • Wetlands surrounding the reservoir may also be drained, although new wetlands are often created both in the newly restored river reach above the former dam site and in the river below.
    • Sediment that collects behind a dam, sometimes over hundreds of years, may contain toxics such as PCBs, dioxide, and heavy metals.
    • Removal of these toxic materials is often extremely expensive, and the threat of re-suspending these toxic-laden sediments in the process of dam removal has the potential to damage downstream water quality and threaten the health of fish and wildlife and water users.
    • Short term impacts of the dam removal itself can include increased water turbidity and sediment build up downstream from releasing large amounts of sediment from the reservoir, and water quality impacts from sudden releases of water and changes in temperature.
    • Only a few dams are being removed and far greater numbers are being built, updating the plant and equipment will avoid dam removal, huge costs involved especially for large and viable projects, not a sustainable solution in energy thirsty world etc.

Indian scenario:-

  • India, the third largest dam-building nation in the world after China and the US, has more than 5,000 large dams.

Why India needs to follow western approach of dam removal?

  • Conflicts over water have spiralled in India in the last few decades with states squabbling over reduced share of water due to damming of rivers. Odisha-Chhattisgarh water conflict is one of the long-raging disputes.
  • India needs fewer obstacles and more free flowing rivers, without which, the world will never be able to stem biodiversity loss.
  • Dams, which interfere with the continuous flow, don’t just lead to depression of groundwater table in the downstream but also restrict movement of organisms, nutrients and sand along a river, which has an impact on downstream aquatic system and biodiversity.
  • Rivers of West Bengal are heavily damned or irrigation and to provide flood control, but in effect it upsets hydrological balance.
  • Dams don’t solve the problem of lack of water storage. On the contrary, the storage capacity of a river is reduced to 75 per cent due to the problem of silting.
  • Due to excessive dams on Narmada,in the very last stretch of the river there is virtually no water, borewells in the river bed are spouting saline water with high levels of chloride, salinity in the soil has also increased.

Concerns with dam removal in India:-

  • Because the size and location of dams vary so greatly, the cost to remove an individual dam can range from tens of thousands of dollars to hundreds of millions of dollars.
  • High costs are involved
  • There is lack of availability of alternate sources of energy so dam removal is not feasible at present
  • No public pressure for dam removal

 

Way forward:-

  • India needs to follow Japan that have created multiple sub-surface dams. Unlike a surface dam, water loss by evaporation is minimal in underground dams. In a country like India, where evaporation rates are very high, this can be the game changer.
  • Building coastal reservoirs
    • Storing floodwater during rainy season with the help of coastal reservoirs is the best solution to overcome water shortage.
  • Flood control can often be accomplished more effectively and for less money by restoring wetlands, maintaining riparian buffers, or moving people out of the floodplain.
  • Updating antiquated irrigation systems and replacing inappropriate crops can dramatically reduce the need for dams and reservoirs in the arid West.
  • Rather than plugging rivers with multiple hydropower dams, a cheaper and less environmentally harmful solution is to use existing energy efficiency technologies.

Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment

8) Discuss the problems faced by rivers in India. Examine the factors behind failure of river rejuvenation programs in India.(250 words) 

Reference

The hindu

Why this question

Most of Indian rivers are highly polluted and in stress and the situation  is exacerbated by the Climate Change and a growing population. The question is related to GS 3 syllabus under the following heading-

Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment

Key demand of the question

The question wants us to write in detail about the problems faced by Indian rivers and why river rejuvenation programs in India are not successful.

Directive word

Discuss- we have to write in detail about  the first part of the question- problems faced by rivers;

Examine- we have to bring out the reasons behind poor performance of river rejuvenation programmes in India.

Structure of the answer

Introduction- mention the health and condition of most of the Indian rivers and programs like  Namami Ganga, Yamuna bachao etc.

Body

  1. discuss in points, problems faced by Indian rivers. e.g pollution, illegal occupation, sand mining, dams, declining flow in peninsular rivers, agricultural flow etc.
  2. Discuss in points, reasons behind failure of river rejuvenation programs. e.g lack of proper planning and timely disbursement of resources, failure to control entry of pollutants, insufficient sewage treatment facilities, open defecation etc.

Conclusion– Present a fair, balanced and concise opinion.

 

 

Background:-

  • Rivers are increasingly being treated as lifelines to an ever-growing population, the realisation of which is still to sink in as far as India is concerned.

Problems faced by rivers in India:-

  • Pollution:-
    • More than half the rivers in India are polluted, with the developing economic power unlikely to meet demand for fresh water from its still-growing population .
    • A primary cause is the quantity of sewage generated by cities and towns along polluted stretches .
  • Country’s waterways have also suffered badly in recent years, with vast quantities of municipal and industrial waste discharged into them every day.
  • Relentless dumping of waste and release of untreated effluents is posing a serious threat to the over 50 rivers in the country. 
    • Ganga has been dammed, over-drained and sullied by sewage as well as industrial waste from the numerous towns and cities which dot the river bank.
  • Even in the mountains, many rivers are said to be disappearing at most of the locations as hydropower projects divert them into underground tunnels
  • Overuse:-
    • Further, the Indus and Teesta are among the eight mighty rivers of the world that run dry from overuse, according to the National Geographic Society.
  • The biggest threats to the existence of rivers are big dams, canal diversions, hydropower projects and pollution.
  • Huge population in river banks

River rejuvenation programs and their failure:-

  • With deteriorating quality of water in Ganga and Yamuna in 1985, the Ganga Action Plan (GAP) Phase I, followed by GAP Phase II, starting in 1993.
    • Similarly, the Yamuna Action Plan (YAP) was also started in 1993 as a bilateral project with the Japanese Government.
    • In 2009, the National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA) with the Prime Minister as its Chairman, was formed.
    • The total expenditure till March 2014 was Rs986.34 crore. In July, 2014, the Modi Government launched the Namami Gange Project with more or less the same purpose as the GAP has served.
  • Government  has  focussed on cleaning the Ganges but there has been little progress so far on a project which has defeated successive administrations, despite substantial funding.
  • Declaration of the Ganga and the Yamuna as living entities signals a renewed effort to rescue our rivers. 
  • Reasons for failure:-
    • River water disputes like Mahadayi dispute are turned into a political issue.
    • There are different municipal agencies and government bodies, often working at cross purposes, who are supposed to be working to save rivers.
    • Yamuna River Project has not addressed the issue of environmental flow which is crucial to save a river.
      • It does not tell the action plans for rejuvenation of the river and its riparian ecosystem that generate ecological services including the storage of flood water, enhanced recharging of ground water, flood regulation, treatment of sewage before and after discharging into river.
    • Straightening of rivers is entirely opposed to their ecological integrity and is environmentally destructive and downright dangerous to the river banks and riverine population.
    • There is no understanding of river hydrology and floodplains, which form diverse habitats for flora and fauna. Here lies the root of the problem,
    • Water in India is a state government subject and water laws are state-based. The state has the constitutional power to make laws, to implement and regulate water supplies, irrigation and canals, drainage and embankments, water storage and hydropower. This creates conflicts between centre and state.
    • There is nothing in the constitution or law that shows an understanding of what a river is, what services it provides or the conservation of rivers
      • There is no legal protection for rivers in India. This is the reason various legal and institutional measures such as the Water Pollution Act, CPCB, the state pollution control boards, Ganga Action Plan, Yamuna Action Plan and the National River Conservation Plan have yielded no results.
      • Successive governments have ignored river protection and a proposal for a river regulation zone has been gathering dust for over a decade.
      • Government resolution (GR) mentions desilting, straightening and deepening of rivers. This is not river rejuvenation.
      • Government is just focusing on pollution and trying to find an engineering solution while ignoring the core issue, the ecological problem.
    • Open defecation in the rivers

Way forward:-

  • All state governments must make it mandatory to have rain water harvesting techniques in government as well as private buildings and make roof water and surface harvesting mandatory.
  • Include embankments, embankment roads, and roads on either side of the river need to be developed as greenways, with walkways, cycle paths and recreational centres to facilitate the link between citizens and the river.
  • Rejuvenation of wetlands:-
    • These wetlands can store millions of gallons of flood water and recharge ground water and also enhance the river flow during lean period
  • Reforestation and protection of forested catchments:-
    • Forested catchments reduce soil erosion and siltation of the river, they regulate stream flows and micro climate. A protected catchment automatically means lesser silt in rivers
  • Vegetated and protected riparian banks. These protect the river banks, reduce erosion and maintain water quality