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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 04 JULY 2018


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 04 JULY 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 – Part of static series under the heading – “Powers of president”

1) Discuss the control that president can exercise on the executive by virtue of his/her discretionary powers?(250 words)

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to describe the discretionary powers of the president and how through these powers the president becomes more than just a nominal head.

Directive word

DISCUSS – This is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments. Here we have to debate the discretionary powers of the president as to whether or not they are required in a West Ministerial system.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – You can start by mentioning some of the terms used to describe the president – nominal head, titular head, ceremonial post etc.

Body – Examine the powers of the president. Discuss his discretionary powers and how through his discretionary powers he does indeed hold a position more than being just a ceremonial head. You can mention the relevant constitutional provisions as well. Thereafter debate whether it is desirable in a prime ministerial form of government for the president to have a say. Mention both sides of the debate.

Conclusion – Mention that despite BR Ambedkar opining that president is merely a ceremonial head, he can through his discretionary powers wield at least moral authority over the government.

Background :-

  • Being a republic there is no hereditary monarch but the President in India as the head of the State. The President is not directly elected but indirectly. As President is the head of the State, not of the Government , India does not have Presidential form of Government , President works on the advice of the Ministry etc many experts consider President as a mere figure head, titular head.

How can president exercise control on the executive by discretionary powers :-

  • Indian President is not a ceremonial head, unlike many other countries. All important decisions regarding the country are taken in the name of Indian President, though most of these will be based on the binding advice given by Council of Ministers(CoM), as per Article 74 of Indian Constitution. But there are certain exceptions, where he can use his discretionary powers.
  • The cases of discretionary powers are as below :
    • Suspensive Veto:
      • The President has discretionary power when he exercises suspensive veto i.e. when he returns a bill (not money bill) for reconsideration of the parliament.
      • However if the bill is passed again by the Parliament with or without amendments and presented again to the President, it is obligatory for him to give his assent to the bill.
    • Pocket Veto:
      • This is not a provision mentioned in the Indian constitution, but this is a possible situation when the President of India can use his discretionary power. In this case , the President neither ratifies nor reject nor return the bill, but simply keeps the bill pending for an indefinite period.
      • As the time limit within which the President has to take the decision with respect to a bill presented to him for assent, has not been mentioned in the constitution, in effect the inaction of the President stops the bill from becoming an act.
    • President can seek information from Prime Minister:
      • Under article 78 the President enjoys the right to seek information from the PM regarding the administration of the affairs of the union.
      • Under the established convention, the President has the right to warn or encourage the Council of Minister (CoM) in the exercise of its power.
    • Case of no sitting of both houses:
      • Under Article 85, the President can summon each House of Parliament to meet at such time and place as he thinks fit, to ensure that six months shall not intervene between its last sitting in one session and the date appointed for its sitting in the next session.
    • Case of no majority:
      • When no political party or coalition of parties enjoy the majority in Lok Sabha, then the President has discretion in inviting the leader of that party or coalition of parties who in his opinion is able to form a stable government.
    • Case of no-confidence with CoM- dissolving Loksabha:
      • It is for the president to decide if he should dissolve Loksabha or not when CoM loses the majority in Lok Sabha.
      • The President can dissolve Lok Sabha only on the advice of CoM but the advice is binding only if the government is a majority government.
    • Case of no-confidence with CoM- dissolving CoM:
      • It is for the president to decide if he should dissolve CoM or not when CoM loses the majority in Lok Sabha.
    • Case of caretaker government
      • A caretaker government does not enjoy the confidence of Lok Sabha and hence it is not expected to take major decisions but only to make the day-to-day administrative decisions. It is for the President to decided the day-to-day decisions.
    • India needs a president because:-
      • The Indian Constitution has given many a provisions, which clearly state that the President of India is not merely a figure head.
      • The status of the position of the Indian President is somewhere in between the British Crown and that of the American President.
      • The principal role of the President is to prevent a parliamentary government from becoming a parliamentary anarchy and it is the Presidential authority that keeps the country and the people bond together.
    • However President’s role has been questioned because:-
      • In Shamsher Singh State of Punjab, the Supreme Court held that, the Governor and President are only the formal heads of the state, and when they require satisfaction as required by the Constitution, it is not their personal satisfaction but the satisfaction of the Council of Ministers on whose aid and advice they exercise powers and functions
      • Apart from political cronyism, the appointment of Presidents has often smacked of tokenism.

Conclusion:-

  • Despite considered as a ceremonial head the role played by Presidents over the years has been enormous and for the benefit of the country to uphold public interest.

 


General Studies – 2


TopicStructure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary.

2) Better listing of cases can improve the quality and efficiency of the functioning of the courts in India. Critically analyze. (250 words)

The hindu

 

Why this question

Indian judiciary forms a vital, dynamic institution in Indian society. However, despite its successes  (particularly the role of SC in upholding democracy and constitutional values), Indian courts have a staggeringly high case pendency ratios.  This is turn is a result of many ills affecting Indian judiciary. The issue is related to GS-2 syllabus under the following heading

Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to dig deep into the process of listing of cases, how they affect justice delivery; and bring out the amendments that can be made therein in order to improve the quality and efficiency of functioning of the courts.

Directive word

Critically analyze- we have to dig deep into the issue and discuss all the relevant and important aspects of the question in terms of the key demand of the question. We have to connect those aspects and at the end come with a personal opinion on the issue.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Mention that for decades, the primary measure of court efficiency has been case disposal rates. Mention the number of pending cases in SC, HC, Lower courts.

Body-

  • Bring out how case listing impacts justice delivery. E.g erratic pattern, cases at the day end left, disinterest in older cases,  etc.
  • Discuss how case listing can be improved. E.g more systematic, distributed according to case type and stage, priority to older cases etc.

Conclusion– form a fair and balanced conclusion in 2-3 lines. Mention other factors affecting justice delivery- appointments, vacancy, corruption etc.

Background:-

  • For decades, the primary measure of court efficiency has been case disposal rates. Public perception of court performance and individual judges now hinges on the number of cases pending before them.
  • As of September 30, 2016, the Supreme Court has nearly 61,000 pending cases, official figures say. The high courts have a backlog of more than 40 lakh cases, and all subordinate courts together are yet to get disposed.

Present issues and why better listing of cases is necessary:-

  • Present constraints:-
    • Focusing on pendency of cases alone puts pressure on judges to dispose of as many cases as possible, a problematic situation as it does not consider the quality of adjudication Neither does it shed light on the exact nature of cases that have remained pending the longest, or the stage at which pendency recurs the most.
    • Listing patterns were generally erratic, with the number of matters listed for the same courtroom ranging from 1 to 126 a month. In some courtrooms, it was 80-120 cases for a month.
    • A large number of cases listed in a day meant that inevitably, matters listed towards the end of the day remained left over. Thus, cases in the final stages of hearing most often clogged the case pipeline.
    • Old pending matters barely made it to court. Case data over three years showed that 91% of them remained unheard despite being allotted a separate day and specific judges. Some experts point out that these cases were listed for the second half of the day but would eventually never come up for hearing because of the large number of other urgent and routine matters listed. 
    • Uncertainty:-
      • The uncertainty around which cases will come up for hearing means neither judges nor lawyers can plan their preparation.
      • This situation compels lawyers to waste time waiting in court and enables them to cite the simultaneous listing of multiple cases as an excuse for adjournments.
      • Registry staff must manage the massive task of re-listing leftover matters in an already bulging docket, instead of streamlining case flow.
  • Benefits of better case listing:-
    • Scientific listing has clear benefits. It will introduce standardisation across courts and help disincentivise judges from using discretionary practices in the number and nature of cases listed before them.
    • It will promote fairness as a reasonable number of cases would be listed every day, and distributed across the day based on stage and case type.
    • Another benefit would be better quality of adjudication. With an ever-increasing caseload, it is only fair to question the quality of decision-making. 

 

Way forward:-

  • One way to accelerate case movement is by making case listing more systematic. Here, courts must assess their performance based on the actual number of cases being heard. 
  • List preparation can be made more scientific if supported by a consistent study of the variance in the number of cases listed across courts, identifying the exact stages at which cases are clogging the pipeline for the longest duration, and the nature of cases left over. This will also ensure that only as many cases as can be reasonably heard will be listed on a daily basis.
  • Disposing of old and pending matters must be prioritised.
  • Specification of time limits has emerged as a distinctive feature of process reforms across jurisdictions that have been able to quantifiably minimise judicial delay, such as the UK and Singapore.

 

Conclusion:-

  • It is time that the judiciary as an institution opens itself to the services of competent external agencies that can help them record, manage and analyse their data better, to build and sustain a healthy institution.

Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

3) Although HECI will bring substantial reforms in education sector, it fails to address several problems affecting higher education in India. Critically analyze.(250 words)

The hindu

pib

Why this question

HECI has been recently proposed by the central government as a body which will replace UGC. It will have significant impact on higher education in India. But there are several issues in the body itself as well as unrelated to it, which need attention. The issue is related to GS- 2 syllabus under the following heading –

Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to bring out  how HECI will bring reform in education sector, what are the issues that are still left or arising out of HECI itself. Finally, we have to express our personal opinion on the issue.

Directive word

Critically analyze- Here we have to dig deep into the issue and address the key demands of the question individually, while maintaining a synergy between them. Based on our discussion, we have to form a personal opinion on the issue.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – write a few lines about HECI replacing UGC.

Body-

  • Discuss how HECI will reform higher education. E.g segregation of regulatory functions and power of grants, expanded powers in terms of closing down institutes, transparent public disclosures, merit-based decision making on matters regarding standards and quality in higher education, mentoring etc.
  • Discuss the issues arising out of HECI. e.g While the proposed Bill seeks to empower the HECI with all academic functions, its role vis-à-vis professional bodies is unclear; whether depriving the HECI completely of funding functions will affect its efficacy and stature in discharging its onerous responsibility remains a major question; HECI as an overarching regulator vs its aim to  develop mechanisms so that more institutions are encouraged to move out of its regulatory ambit ; multiplicity of roles of the chairperson etc.

Conclusion- mention the other challenges in the path of reforming higher education like allocation of resources etc. Form a fair and balanced opinion on the issue.

 

Background:-

  • Higher Education Commission of India (Repeal of University Grants Commission Act) Bill 2018 which seeks to repeal UGC Act and provides for setting up ofHigher Education Commission of India has been prepared by the Ministry of HRD and placed in public domain for comments and suggestions recently.
  • Government recently announced a complete overhaul of the apex higher education regulator- University Grants Commission, repeal of the UGC Act, 1951 and a fresh legislation to set up the Higher Education Commission of India (HECI)

Higher education commission of India:-

  • Focus of Higher Education Commission of India will be on improving academic standards and the quality of Higher Education.

Why it is a welcome move in reforming higher education:-

  • Better administration:-
    • Centre has embarked on a process of reform of the regulatory agencies for better administration of the higher education sector. In fulfilment of the above,  draft Act is in accordance with the commitment of Government for reforming the regulatory systems that provide for more autonomy and facilitate holistic growth of the education system which provides greater opportunities to the Indian students at more affordable cost.
  • Less Government and more Governance:
    • Downsizing the scope of the Regulator. No more interference in the management issues of the educational institutions.
    • Key thrust areas of the HECI will be downsizing over governance of institutions, bring in disclosure based regulatory regime and powers of enforcement of regulations
  • Separation of grant functions:
    • The grant functions would be carried out by the HRD Ministry, and the HECI would focus only on academic matters.
  • End of Inspection Raj:
    • Regulation is done through transparent public disclosures, merit-based decision making on matters regarding standards and quality in higher education
  • Focus on academic quality:
    • HECI is tasked with the mandate of improving academic standards with specific focus on learning outcomes, evaluation of academic performance by institutions, mentoring of institutions, training of teachers, promote use of educational technology etc.
    • It will develop norms for setting standards for opening and closure of institutions, provide for greater flexibility and autonomy to institutions, lay standards for appointments to critical leadership positions at the institutional level irrespective of University started under any Law (including State Law)
    • The Commission shall have the power to grant authorization for starting of academic operations on the basis of their compliance with norms of academic quality.
  • Takes away funding powers from the proposed regulator and gives it powers to ensure academic quality and even close down bogus institutions.
  • Powers to enforce :
    • The Regulator will have powers to enforce compliance to the academic quality standards and will have the power to order closure of sub-standard and bogus institutions. Non-compliance could result in fines or jail sentence.
    • The HECI will also be backed with penal powers to order closure of institutes that violate set norms, imposition of fines where necessary and provisions for imprisonment up to three years where necessary.
    • The Bill also provides for the penal provisions, which albeit graded in nature, will cover withdrawal of power to grant degrees/ diplomas or direction to cease academic operations and in cases of wilful non-compliance, may result in prosecution sanction as per the Criminal Procedure Code with a punishment of imprisonment for a term which may extend up to 3 years.
  • HECI is tasked with the mandate of improving academic standards with specific focus on learning outcomes, evaluation of academic performance by institutions, mentoring of institutions, training of teachers, promote use of educational technology etc.
  • HECI will also set standards for opening and closure of institutes, provide greater flexibility and autonomy to institutesand lays standards for appointments to critical leadership positions at institutions across spectrums and even for those falling under state laws.
  • The UGC and its regulatory regime have been criticised by a number of committees and their reports for its restrictive and suffocating processes. Several committees including the Prof Yash Pal committee and the National Knowledge Commission have recommended a single education regulator to rid higher education of red tape and lethargy.
  • Other provisions in the bill are:–
    • It will also have the powers to revoke authorization granting to a higher education institution where there is a case of wilful or continuous default in compliance with the norms / regulations.
    • It will also have the power to recommend closure of institutions which fail to adhere to minimum standards without affecting students interest.
    • The Commission will encourage higher education institutions to formulate a Code of Good Practices covering promotion of research, teaching and learning.
    • The Commission will also specify norms and processes for fixing of fee chargeable by higher education institutions and advice the Central Government or the State Governments, as the case may be, regarding steps to be taken for making education affordable to all
    • The Commission will monitor, through a national data base, all matters covering the development of emerging fields of knowledge and balanced growth of higher education institutions in all spheres and specially in promotion of academic quality in higher education.

Criticism:-

  • The HECI will be bestowed with comprehensive and overriding powers, including ordering the closure of institutions, in all academic and related matters while the power lies with the MHRD.
  • While the proposed Bill seeks to empower the HECI with all academic functions, its role vis-à-vis professional bodies is unclear.
  • Whether depriving the HECI completely of funding functions will affect its efficacy and stature in discharging its onerous responsibility remains a major question.
  • There are questions about how effective the role of the HECI would be to regulate state institutions with less than inadequate central funding merits serious attention.
  • No clarity about members role:-
    • The secretary of the HECI will be an officer of the rank of joint secretary and above or a reputed academic and will serve as its member-secretary. Whether they have voting rights or not is not clear.
    • The secretary, higher education is envisaged to play many roles, serving as a member of the search-cum-selection committee of the chairperson and vice-chairperson, then processing their appointment as a key functionary of the government, and finally acting as a member of the HECI. Such multiplicity of roles may create difficulties and conflict of interest.
    • Also, the power of the government to remove the chairperson and members is rather overwhelming and should be constrained.
  • By withdrawing financial powers from the regulator and handing them over to the central government, and by giving the HECI unilateral and absolute powers to authorize , monitor, shut down, and recommend disinvestment from Higher Educational Institutions, the Draft Bill will expose higher education in the country to ideological manipulation, loss of much needed diversity as well as academic standards, fee hikes, and profiteering.
  • Similar to UGC:-
    • The new Act proposes that the chairperson of the HECI can be selected from among functionaries of Central and state governments. However, previously the chairman of the UGC was chosen from among persons who are not officers of the government or any state government in order to keep its independence. The new legislation even allows the chairperson to be an overseas citizen of India.
  • The UGC was empowered to set minimum standards whereas the HECI has been empowered to lay down standards. The critique says that this too hits at the idea of institutional autonomy as “the substantive struggle of universities with the UGC has been in the last few years, to ensure that its minimum regulations do not achieve the status of maximality.
  • Teachers are being pushed out of the new HECI. The representation of teachers has been ominously reduced to just two.
  • Critics:-
    • They are also concerned with Section 15.3(d) which could make funding for research, beholden to political priorities of parties in power, and subject to ideological manipulation.
    • Section 15.3(g) and 15.4(f) grants the HECI the power to order closure of institutions which fail to adhere to minimum standards without affecting the student’s interest or fail to get accreditation within the specified period.
      • The critique cautions against this power, as there are only a limited number of higher education institutions in India and arbitrary closure or threats can deprive students of the limited education that they can access
    • They are of the opinion that setting up of the new regulator is of no use as it will increase the interference of government in academic matters.

Way forward:-

  • Despite some apparent infirmities, the proposed Bill shows the resolve of the government to move forward in reforming the sector.
  • Major issues like making the universities the hub of scientific and technological research, restoring the value of education in social sciences and the humanities, ensuring that poor and meritorious students can afford to be educated in subjects of their choice, improving the quality of instruction to enhance the employability of the students, addressing the concerns of faculty shortage, etc. require a quantum jump in allocation of public resources to this sector.
  • There is a need for rapidly expanding public expenditure .

General Studies – 3


Topic– Indian Economy – Issues

4)Examine why disinvestment is necessary? Analyze whether there is a need to relook at the policy of disinvestment?(250 words)

Financial express

Reference

Why this question

Disinvestment, especially after the attempt at strategic sale of Air Asia, is in news often and quite important for mains.

Key demand of the question

The question is basically a static question, where the points mentioned in the article can be incorporated to embellish your answer. We need to examine the need of disinvestment, discuss the macro features of the policy of disinvestment and analyze in light of examples highlighted in the article, whether there is a need to have a relook at it.

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.

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.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Highlight that the recent attempt at air India sale, and the hesitant approach in case of IDBI etc shows the reticence of government towards disinvestment.

Body

  • Mention the benefits of disinvestment
  • role of the government versus the market was sought to be redefined
  • loss-making public enterprises were sought to be revived
  • Inability of the government to be present in all function and no necessity of it as well. etc
  • discuss the policy of disinvestment
  • Public Sector Undertakings are the wealth of the Nation and to ensure this wealth rests in the hands of the people, promote public ownership of CPSE
  • While pursuing disinvestment through minority stake sale in listed CPSEs, the Government will retain majority shareholding, i.e. at least 51 per cent of the shareholding and management control of the Public Sector Undertakings
  • Strategic disinvestment by way of sale of substantial portion of Government shareholding in identified CPSEs upto 50 per cent or more, alongwith transfer of management control
  • Examine whether this has yielded results. Highlight that public sector is wary of government partnership, objectives of LPG to be met etc. Also discuss why there is a need to remain cautious with respect to disinvestment.

Conclusion – Discuss what should be the way forward.

Background :-

  • Recently there have been issues with the disinvestment of IDBI bank and Air India airline showing the issues associated with disinvestment in India.

Disinvestment:-

  • Disinvestment, or divestment, refers to the act of a business or government selling or liquidating an asset or subsidiary or the process of dilution of a government’s stake in a PSU (Public Sector Undertaking).

Why disinvestment is necessary ?

  • Disinvestment allows the transferring of the Indian government’s enormous public debt of its PSU’s to the Indian private sector. By transferring the debt the Indian government’s overall debt becomes greatly reduced.
  • Disinvestment also eliminates the taxpayer’s exposure to the monetary risk of PSU’s by transferring the exposure to the private sector where private stakeholders are willing step in and assume the monetary risk.
  • Disinvesting in PSU’s also enables the Indian government to raise funds for so that the government can invest in improving its current physical and social infrastructure.
  • Disinvestment allows the reallocation of PSU resources such as manpower, real estate, technological, and operational infrastructure to critical governmental sectors that require urgent assistance.
  • Sick PSU’s :-
    • Disinvestment forces financially sick PSU companies, through privatization, to either become healthy (profitable) enterprises or close down as a unhealthy business due to pressure from competing companies in the private sector.
  • Disinvestment of PSU’s in India, i.e. the hotel industry, would bring more competition into various private sectors thus dramatically improving the quality of service for the customer through the PSU having to compete in a competitive private market.
  • Disinvestment helps to promote broader share ownership for the citizens of India and also helps in the development of the capital market in India..
  • Disinvestment allows government assets allocated for profit-making ventures to instead be reallocated for use in non profit activities or social causes thus helping to strengthen both the non profit activities and social causes.
  • Reduces financial burden on the Government.
  • Improves public finances.
  • Introduces competition and market discipline.
  • Funds growth.
  • Encourages wider share of ownership.
  • Depoliticizes non-essential services.

Disinvestment policy:-

  • The salient features of the Policy are:
    • Public Sector Undertakings are the wealth of the Nation and to ensure this wealth rests in the hands of the people, promote public ownership of CPSEs
    • While pursuing disinvestment through minority stake sale in listed CPSEs, the Government will retain majority shareholding, i.e. at least 51 per cent of the shareholding and management control of the Public Sector Undertakings
    • Strategic disinvestment by way of sale of substantial portion of Government shareholding in identified CPSEs upto 50 per cent or more, alongwith transfer of management control.

There is a need to relook at the policy of disinvestment :-

  • Government has mostly used disinvestment for fiscal reasons rather than growth objectives.
  • Process of disinvestment is not favoured socially as it is against the interests of socially disadvantaged people.
  • Loss making units don’t attract investment so easily.
  • Over the years the policy of divestment has increasingly become a tool to raise resources to cover the fiscal deficit with little focus on market discipline or strategic objective.
  • Sometimes with the emergence of private monopolies consumer welfare will be reduced.
  • Mere change of ownership from public to private does not ensure higher efficiency and productivity.
  • It may lead to retrenchment of workers who will be deprived of the means of their livelihood.
  • Private sector governed as they are by profit motive has a tendency to use capital intensive techniques which will worsen unemployment problem in India.

Way forward :-

  • Define the priority sectorsfor the government based on its strategic interests.
  • Investment in PSU’s has to be in terms of generation of adequate social and strategic returns.
  • Financial return cannot be the sole reason for investment in PSUs. They have to serve social/strategic purposes. The key role of a PSU is to maintain competition in the sector and limit excessive monopoly.
  • Government ownership is required for sectors with strategic relevance such as defence, natural resources, etc. The government should, therefore, exit non-strategic sectorssuch as hotels, soaps, airlines, travel agencies and the manufacture and sale of alcohol.
  • The outlook towards strategic divestment should move from the current policy of emphasizing on public ownership and retaining majority shareholding to looking at the strategic interest.
  • It is important to realize that ownership is not a substitute for regulation. Therefore, instead of creating PSUs in non-priority sectors, the government should look into strengthening the regulatory framework that ensures efficient market conditions. The regulations should also ensure that the basic necessities of the consumers are met.

Conclusion :-

  • It is time that divestment is not seen as an option to cover for short-term fiscal gains; instead, it should be part of a strategic plan to improve the production of goods and services in India.

Topic – Conservation and Environmental degradation

5) Critically analyze whether the practice of compensatory afforestation under CAMPA is ecologically sound?(250 words)

Indian express

 

Why this question

The article highlights a problem inherent in CAMPA where the value of natural forests is unrecognised and compensatory afforestation is deemed equivalent to recreating forest land. This article will help us in critical analysis of CAMPA.

Key demand of the question

The focus here is on understanding whether the provisions of CAMPA serves well the very purpose it is designed to achieve which is ecological conservation. We have to highlight the merits and demerits of the act and a fair and balanced view on it.

Directive word

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Highlight the growing threat of climate change and the risk India is under as pointed out by a recent WB report.

Body – Describe the main provisions of the Act like it ensures expeditious  and transparent utilization of amounts realised in lieu of forest land diverted for non-forest purpose. Examine the main ecological issues that the design and implementation of the act creates. Examine the role of the implementation agency as highlighted in the article. Thereafter, mention the need of an Act like CAMPA because of the  developmental imperative. Discuss how can we improve the situation.

Conclusion – Give a fair and balanced view on how far CAMPA helps in protecting the ecology. Mention that the challenge lies more in implementation than the design.

Compensatory afforestation programme :-

  • Compensatory Afforestation (CA) refers to afforestation and regeneration activities carried out as a way of compensating for forest land diverted to non-forest purposes. Here “non-forest purpose” means the breaking up or clearing of any forest land or a portion thereof for
    • The cultivation of tea, coffee, spices, rubber, palms, oil-bearing plants, horticultural crops or medicinal plants
    • Any purpose other than reafforestation

Merits:

  • Since forests are being diverted routinely (at the rate of about 20,000-25,000 ha per year according to the Ministry of Environment and Forests) a large sum of money is accruing to the government. It is to manage this money, and to use it for the designated purposes, that CAMPA is proposed to be set up
  • The (CAF act )legislation will allow states to access nearly 42000 crore rupees that is lying idle and channel it into afforestation projects.
  • Compensatory afforestation purports to be a ‘win-win’ solution: a win for the environment because lost forests are compensated for, and a win for business because these forests can be traded on international carbon markets for their value as carbon sinks.
  • It has provisions or administration of funds and utilization of funds by the user agencies to undertake plantations,protection of forests and forest-related infrastructure development.
  • The adverse impacts of diversion of forests will get mitigated.
  • Will create the much-needed employment opportunities in tribal areas.
  • It will result in increase of green cover and creation of productive assets.

 
Demerits:-

  • Programme will affect rights granted under the Forest Rights Act(FRA), 2006 by decimating the rights of forest dwelling communities .
  • There is difficulty in finding land, especially in smaller states, and in heavily forested ones like Chhattisgarh.
  • It seeks to use the money for the Green India Programme, wildlife protection and for infra development, etc which were not the original purposes of creating the fund.
  • Mis-utilisation of funds and lack of accountability
  • No community participation
    • The affected forest communities have no say in the management of CAMPA funds.
    • There is no long-term involvement of locals/tribals with the plantations.
  • It allows for an unconstitutional exercise of eminent domain the principle that the government ultimately has rights over all land in the country
  • Arrangements for land acquisition under the CAF Act violate existing land acquisition procedures in India.
    • CAF Act includes no legal provisions that can penalise misuse of land acquired.
    • It also doesn’t provide for any accountability mechanisms that oversee plantations.
    • Studies already reveal a startling number of ‘ghost’ plantations – plantations listed on the government’s ‘e-Green Watch’ website that simply don’t exist.
  • Compensatory afforestation renders the forest/non-forest distinction meaningless.
    • On the one hand, forest land is being clear-felled at lightning speed. while on the other, the forest department is acquiring more and more land under the ruse of compensatory afforestation.
  • It’s not just ‘non-forest land under the FCA that stands to become forest. Any and all other types of non-forest land qualify under the scheme.

Conclusion:-

  • Restoring degraded forest land and wildlife corridors should be the top priority.
  • The Act must be harmonised with the extant laws to minimise litigation.
  • The top-down bureaucratic approach should be replaced with democratic decentralisation. 

General Studies – 4


TopicPublic/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration: Status and problems; ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions; laws, rules, regulations and conscience as sources of ethical guidance; accountability and ethical governance.

6)A dilemma is more demanding than a problem and it comes with a prescription to argue, not act. Comment.(250 words)

Reference

 


Why this question

Ethics, particularly the practical aspect of it, more or less revolves around dilemmas of various sorts. However the concept is often confused with “problem”, which has a very different meaning altogether. This is one of the basic concepts in ethics and is related to GS-4 syllabus under the following heading- Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration: Status and problems; ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions; laws, rules, regulations and conscience as sources of ethical guidance; accountability and ethical governance.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to explain and bring out the difference between a problem and a dilemma and explain how dilemma is more wider and demanding than a problem.

Directive word

comment- we have to take the stand on the given statement and then present justifications in favour of our opinion in the answer.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– define what is a problem

Body-

  • define a dilemma
  • discuss its meaning in relation to a problem-  e.g two possible alternatives none of which is more  desirable than the other,caught on the horns of a dilemma, sacrifice of one alternative in favour of another, more inclined to argue rather than act as taking decision is more protracted and difficult etc.
  • Discuss how to solve a dilemma- i.e  the terms of reference should be altered and the whole situation is reformulated and redefined so that full account is taken and due respect paid to the warring value options, which are then ordered and linked among themselves in a more systematic and coherent manner.

Conclusion- present your conclusion of the above discussion in relation to the demand of the question.

Answer:-

A problem is a situation in which a gap is found between what is and what ought to be. How a problem is framed depends on who is doing the defining. Dilemmas are messy, complicated, and conflict-filled situations that require undesirable choices between highly prized values that cannot be simultaneously or fully-solvedIn short, problems can be solved, but dilemmas only managed.

Example:-

A classroom teacher wants to video, digitize and then upload as a videocast his classes so students who are absent or want to review can download and watch the lesson. The tech director is concerned that students privacy rights (and board policy) will be violated if students can be recognized in the videocast.

The above example shows that dilemmas are conditions that can only be managed, not solved because they involve conflicts in values. Because of individual priorities and problem frames, it is impossible to deal with these issues so that everyone gets what she/he desires.

It is not surprising that organizations, especially those suffering from bureaucratic deficiencies in their reasoning and decision-making procedures, tend to confuse problems with dilemmas, and treat them indiscriminately

Usually, problems can be solved with a single, discrete solution. Dilemmas do not present a clear solution and in most cases are unable to be solved, but have to be managed over time towards a resolution. 

Dilemmas, unlike problems, cannot be solved in the terms in which they are initially presented to the decision-maker. Caught on the horns of a dilemma the decision-maker is not only faced with opposed and perhaps equally unwelcome alternatives; even worse their incompatible juxtaposition also implies that they are mutually exclusive in the sense that the satisfaction of the one can only be made if the other is sacrificed.

It is then the case that solving a dilemma resembles a zero sum game, whereby the choice of one value alternative is necessarily followed by the negation of the other. ‘Solving’ the dilemma in such a way would, therefore, be a contradiction since the solution reached likewise would seem to be no more than a a dichotomic split of the intertwined aspects of the issue at hand.

 

Dilemma is content specific where as problem is target specific and so in case of problem always a desired set of target is achieved whereas in case of dilemma a set of targets are sacrificed in lieu of a befitting one which not very often leads to accomplishment.

A dilemma may be dealt with in a more effective and appropriate way if the terms of reference are altered and the whole situation is reformulated and redefined so that full account is taken and due respect paid to the warring value options, which are then ordered and linked among themselves in a more systematic and coherent manner.