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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 3 April 2020


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


 

Topic:  population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies. Effects of globalization on Indian society.

1. In the middle of COVID-19 adversity lays a massive opportunity for India to reboot its rural landscape. Do you agree? Analyse.(250 words)

Reference: Business World

Why this question:

The question is amidst the pandemic facing the world and in one has to analyse if India can reboot its rural landscape.

Key demand of the question:

Explain how and why in the middle of COVID-19 adversity lays a massive opportunity for India to reboot its rural landscape.

Directive:

AnalyzeWhen asked to analyse, 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:

Briefly explain the context of the question, quote facts to highlight how the COVID outbreak has hit the urban centres badly.

Body:

To start with, explain the key services that rural regions in the country provide. Take hints from the article and explain in what ways India can boost its rural economy, Incentivize Rural Manufacturing and services sector, De-clutter the Mega Cities and incentivize migration into Smart Cities, focus on reskilling and up skilling etc. Discuss why India should focus on rural India amidst such adversities.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a futuristic and positive opinion.

Introduction:

India is a country of more than a billion people; the poverty levels in many areas are also high; and many of the cities, such as Mumbai and Kolkata, are extraordinarily dense. Since people who live in India often travel between different states for work, the lockdown also left hundreds of thousands of migrant workers stranded; many of them are trying to return home on foot.

Body:

Reasons why there is a massive opportunity in Rural areas:

  • India can leverage a whopping 65% of its population even in the peak of its lockdown because the rural India is largely insulated from the virus, well, with some exceptions like Up, Bihar, parts of Maharashtra and Kerala.
  • National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) data shows that more than one-fifth of rural households with self-employment in agriculture sector have income less than the poverty line which is one of the prime reasons why the people migrate to semi/urban India.
  • Agriculture labour productivity viz., gross value added (GVA) in India is less than a third of that in China and 1% of that of that in USA.
  • Livestock sector, which contributed around 4% to India’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2018-19, is particularly critical.
  • India has a mixed crop livestock farming system, where livestock become an important secondary source of income. Small and marginal farmers have high dependence on the livestock sector. Hence, boosting livestock sector will have a significant impact in improving rural incomes.
  • The manufacturing sector in rural India contributes 18% to rural output, but employs only 8% of the rural workforce. The rural workforce finds it difficult to get absorbed in the manufacturing sector. This is where skill development programmes in rural areas will play an important role.
  • The services sector contributes to about 27% to rural output, as against 55% to India’s GDP. A strong push to sectors like food processing, warehousing and logistics will hugely benefit farmer incomes, reduce the wastage of perishable commodities and provide employment to rural workers.

Measures needed to reboot rural landscape of India:

Boost Rural economy:

  • Improving the Agri related incomes and throughput would ensure more food availability and lessen the starvation.
  • Increase in productivity and through put from the above sectors would also ensure a considerable decline in the food inflation
  • Food inflation in India is amongst the highest in the across all developing nations. Controlling this would help both urban and rural India.
  • Government can provide surplus power and water to the farmers and plan to ensure a bountiful harvest this season.

Incentivize Rural Manufacturing and services sector

  • Improvement in employment in the manufacturing and services sectors are considered critical in improving rural income because these sectors pay more.
  • With significant investments in manufacturing already made in rural India, India should leverage on these facilities.
  • It is important however to ensure that the capacities of these facilities be altered to produce things India needs.

De-clutter the Mega Cities and incentivize migration into Smart Cities:

  • The lockdown has forced businesses to let employees operate from home. This is going to help most businesses pivot the way they do business and engage with employees.
  • Each business is going to attain a certain efficiency in this phase and improving on the engagement could mean businesses re-looking at the office space and infrastructure needed and the number of staff they need physically in the mega metros.
  • This phase could also let businesses evaluate the need for them to operate in the geographies they operate in.

Re-skilling and Upskilling:

  • One thing CoVid is doing is that it is re-defining how classes are conducted.
  • There are so many universities and coaching classes taking on-line classes already.
  • It wouldn’t be a farfetched idea to use the online classes to re-skill and upskill the huge number of unskilled, semi-skilled people to leverage the demographic dividend better.
  • With so many platforms offering training in coding and big data and with so much data centricity happening in every sector, it is imperative that India develops the talent pool that is employable in the new world.
  • It would benefit everyone If the skill development ministry can formalize this make-shift adoption of digital to impart training and recognize and offer certifications.

Conclusion:

This adversity has brought upon us the urgency of a paradigm shift. There are many other things that could be accomplished but while the urban India is staying safe by shutting itself and healing, the above steps could ensure that the rural India could make up for the drop and also help India Inc pivot and start a new decade with new growth engines.

 

Topic:  Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions.

2. Discuss the Constitutional Status of Separation of Power in India.(250 words)

 Reference: Indian polity by Lakshmikant

Why this question:

The question is straightforward and from the static portions of GS paper II.

Key demand of the question:

One must explain the Constitutional Status of Separation of Power in India.

Directive:

DiscussThis 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.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly define what you understand by Separation of power.

Body:

  • The doctrine of separation of powers is a part of the basic structure of the Constitution, although not specifically mentioned. The legislature cannot pass a law violating this principle. The functions of the three organs are specifically mentioned in the Constitution.
  • Then discuss articles of the Constitution which suggest separation of powers; Article 50, Article 123, Articles 121 and 211, Article 361 etc.
  • Discuss how it is different from the western notion of separation of power.
  • Highlight the significance using examples.

 Conclusion:

Conclude by reasserting the importance of these concepts in the Indian constitution.

Introduction:

India is a land of diversity. To ensure that unity and integrity of the country are not compromised through despotism our forefathers had designed the governance system in which constitution is Supreme. The Supremacy of Constitution is maintained through Checks and balances.

Body:

Separation of powers: As the concept of Separation of Powers explained by Wade and Philips, it means three different things.

  • Each organ should have different persons in capacity, i.e., a person with a function in one organ should not be a part of another organ.
  • One organ should not interfere in the functioning of the other organs.
  • One organ should not exercise a function of another organ (they should stick to their mandate only).

Constitutional Status of Separation of Power in India:

The doctrine of separation of powers is a part of the basic structure of the Constitution, although not specifically mentioned. The legislature cannot pass a law violating this principle. The functions of the three organs are specifically mentioned in the Constitution.

  • Article 50:This article puts an obligation over the State to separate the judiciary from the executive. But, since this falls under the Directive Principles of State Policy, it is not enforceable.
  • Article 123:The President, being the executive head of the country, is empowered to exercise legislative powers in certain conditions.
  • Articles 121 and 211:These provide that the legislatures cannot discuss the conduct of a judge of the Supreme Court or High Court. They can do so only in case of impeachment.
  • Article 361:The President and Governors enjoy immunity from court proceedings.

There is a system of checks and balances wherein the various organs impose checks on one another by certain provisions.

  • The judiciary has the power of judicial review over the actions of the executive and the legislature.
  • The judiciary has the power to strike down any law passed by the legislature if it is unconstitutional or arbitrary as per Article 13 (if it violates Fundamental Rights).
  • It can also declare unconstitutional executive actions as void.
  • The legislature also reviews the functioning of the executive.
  • Although the judiciary is independent, the judges are appointed by the executive.
  • The legislature can also alter the basis of the judgment while adhering to the constitutional limitation.

Checks and balances ensure that no one organ becomes all-too powerful. The Constitution guarantees that the discretionary power bestowed on any one organ is within the democratic principle.

Few Judiciary decisions which upheld the Separation of Powers Doctrine

  • Kesavananda Bharati Case (1973):In this case, the SC held that the amending power of the Parliament is subject to the basic features of the Constitution. So, any amendment violating the basic features will be declared unconstitutional.
  • Indira Gandhi Vs Raj Narain Case (1975): In this case, the SC held that the adjudication of a dispute is a judicial function and parliament cannot exercise this function.
  • Swaran Singh Case (1998): In this case, the SC held the UP Governor’s pardon of a convict unconstitutional.

Conclusion:

The Constitutional Supremacy through checks and balances ensures that neither of organs of governance namely The legislature, Judiciary or Executive doesn’t become authoritative.  The fourth pillar, free and vibrant media further acts as a check and balance measure for the three organs of governance.

 

Topic:  Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions.

3. Discuss whether separation of power in India, as provided by the constitution, is rigorous and whether it is more of a separation of functions rather than separation of power?(250 words)

Reference: Indian polity by Lakshmikant

Why this question:

The question aims to analyse the concept of separation of power from the sense of its applicability.

Key demand of the question:

One must deliberate whether separation of power in India, as provided by the constitution, is rigorous and whether it is more of a separation of functions rather than separation of power.

Directive:

Discuss – Here in your discussion, you need to explain what it meant by rigorous separation of power and separation of function rather than power. Keeping the constitution and political system of India in mind we need to provide answers to the nature of SoP in India in theory and in practice.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly define separation of power in the Indian context.

Body:

To start with, explain that by rigorous separation of power, we mean that whether each wing of government i.e. executive, legislature, and judiciary function in silos or whether there are linkages between their functioning. By separation of function rather than of power, we mean the linkage between the executive and legislative where the minister derive their legitimacy from legislature. The question expects us to discuss these issues.

Discuss the nature of SoP in India. In the first part, discuss the checks and balances in practice and in theory which ensure that the three wings do not work in silos. Thus the nature of SoP in India is not rigorous.

In the second part, discuss the judgment of SC in Ram Jawaya Case and mention that the executive derives its legitimacy from Parliament and are a part of Parliament. This it is more like separation of function.

Conclusion:

Summarize your answer based on arguments provided above.

Introduction:

The concept of Separation of powers is one such measure. The premise behind the Separation of Power is that when a single person or group has a large amount of power, they can become dangerous to citizens. The separation of Power is a method of removing the amount of power in any groups hands, making it more difficult to abuse. It is generally accepted that there are three main categories of governmental functions: (i) the legislative, (ii) the Executive, and (iii) the Judicial.

Body:

The doctrine of separation of power in its true sense is very rigid and this is one of the reasons of why it is not strictly accepted by the large number of countries in the world. The main object, as per Montesquieu’s “Doctrine of separation of power” is that there should be government of law rather than having willed and whims of the official. Also another most important feature of this doctrine is that there should be independence of judiciary i.e. it should be free from the other organs of the state and if it is so then justice would be delivered properly.

Separation of Powers and The Indian Constitution:

  • Indian Constitution does not make any absolute or rigid separation of powers of three organs owing to its pro “responsibility approach rather than having stability at the centre stage.
  • This has, however been further supplemented and reiterated by the Indian Supreme Court in Ram Jawaya Kapur v. State of Punjab, the Court though Mukherjee J. held that.
  • The Indian Constitution has indeed not recognized the doctrine of separation of powers in its absolute rigidity, but the functions of different parts or branches of the government have been sufficiently differentiated and consequently it can very well be said that our Constitution does not contemplate assumption, by one organ or part of the state, of functions that essentially belong to another.
  • A more refined and clarified view taken in Ram Jawaya’s case can be found in Katar Singh v. State of Punjab, where Ramaswamy J. stated.
  • It is the basic postulate under the Indian Constitution that the legal sovereign power has been distributed between the legislature to make the law, the executive to implement the law and the judiciary to interpret the law within the limits set down by the Constitution

Comparison of Separation of Powers in USA:

  • The doctrine of separation of powers forms the foundation on which the whole structure of the constitution is based. It has been accepted and strictly adopted in U.S.A.
  • The doctrine of separation finds its home in U.S. It forms the basis of the American constitutional structure.
  • Article I vests the legislative power in the congress; Article II vests executive power in the President and Article III vests judicial power in the Supreme Court.
  • The framers of the American constitution believed that the principle of separation of powers would help to prevent the rise of tyrannical government by making it impossible for a single group of persons to exercise too much power.
  • Accordingly, they intended that the balance of power should be attained by checks and balances between separate organs of the government.
  • This alternative system existing with the separation of prevents any organ to become supreme.

Conclusion:

In a democratic country goals are enshrined in the Constitution and the state machinery is then setup accordingly. And here it can be seen that constitutional provisions are made as such to support a parliamentary form of Government where the principle cannot be followed rigidly. The Supreme Court rulings also justify that the alternative system of checks and balances is the requirement, not the strict doctrine. A constitutionalism, the philosophical concept of the constitution also insists on limitations being placed upon governmental power to secure basic freedoms of the individual. Hence, the conclusion drawn out of the study is that there is no strict separation of powers but the different branches of the government have been sufficiently differentiated.

 

Topic:  Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.

5.  “A planning institution must be a systems crusader and a force of persuasion, not just a authority centre”, analyse the statement with reference to the role being played by NITI Aayog in the current times.(250 words)

Reference: The Hindu

Why this question:

The article analyses critically the role played by the planning body – NITI Aayog amidst the corona crisis.

Key demand of the question:

Explain in what way A planning institution must be a systems reformer and a force of persuasion, not just a control centre.

Directive:

AnalyzeWhen asked to analyse, 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:

Briefly narrate the situation in question alongside the efforts being made by the NITI Aayog.

Body:

To start with, explain what are the ideal roles and responsibilities that a national planning body must render to its country. Highlight the fundamental issues a national plan must address- such as the condition of the environment, the shape of the economy, and pace of human development, need consistent action over decades. Discuss in brief the role of NITI Aayog, bring out the lacunae. Suggest measures to address the challenges before it.

Conclusion:

Conclude that democratic governance is the need of the hour and the planning body must become a systems reformer and a force of persuasion and not just a control centre.

Introduction:

The world, including India has been facing the menace of COVID-19 lately.  The attack by the SARS-CoV-2 virus has once again highlighted the bad shape of the Indian economy and the precariousness in the lives of millions of people. National planning, whether it is Planning Commission or NITI Aayog, has failed to produce all-round development of India’s economy so far. Any planning institution in a federal and democratic system faces two basic challenges— a constitutional challenge, and the challenge of Competence.

Body:

Constitutional challenges:

  • Short-termism in policymaking is a weakness of electoral democracies everywhere.
  • The fundamental issues a national plan must address the need to consistent action over decades. Because governments that change in shorter spans in electoral democracies.
  • Moreover, if the planning body does not have constitutional status independent from that of the government, it will be forced to bend to the will of the latter. Planning in China does not face this disruption.
  • A fundamental principle of democratic governance is that the power to allocate public money must be supervised by elected representatives.
  • Therefore, a planning body that allocates money must be backed by a constitutional charter, and also accountable to Parliament.
  • India’s national planning process must address the constitutional relationship between the Centre and the States.
  • Constitutionally established Finance Commissions determine the sharing of centrally raised resources with the States.
  • The role of a national planning commission or NITI Aayog is thus under question.

Competency challenges:

  • A national planning institution must guide all-round progress. It must assist in achieving not just faster GDP growth, but also more socially inclusive, and more environmentally sustainable growth.
  • For this, it needs a good model in which societal and environmental forces are within the model.
  • An economy is a complex system, in which all the parts are connected, is that the system cannot be healthy if any part becomes very sick.
  • Therefore, a healthy global system must help its weaker members to become stronger.
  • Another feature of complex systems with many interacting forces is that the forces combine in unique ways in different parts of the system.
  • For example, the conditions of livelihoods, the natural environment, and infrastructure, combine in different ways in different localities and States. Therefore, systems solutions must be local too.

Measures needed:

  • Address the constitutional relationship between the Centre and the States.
  • Going by the fundamental principle of democratic governance that provides for supervision by elected representatives with regard to planning institutions who have the power to allocate public money.
  • A planning body that allocates money must be backed by a constitutional charter, and also it should be accountable to Parliament.

Conclusion:

The planning system of the country needs introspection to deal with the structural and functional problems it faces. A robust planning system centered on local problems backed by local solutions is the need of the hour and essential in future too; to deal with the larger problems and challenges of the country.

 

Topic:  Security challenges and their management in border areas – linkages of organized crime with terrorism. Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate. Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth.

6. Despite upsurge in exports and cut in imports of Defence equipment, India’s Defence sector remains uncompetitive globally. Examine.(250 words)

Reference: The Hindu

Key demand of the question:

According to latest estimates released by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), the Indian defence exports have increased and defence imports have decreased during the period between 2009-13 and 2014-18.Thus the question.

Directive:

ExamineWhen asked to ‘Examine’, we must look into the topic (content words) in detail, inspect it, investigate it and establish the key facts and issues related to the topic in question. While doing so we should explain why these facts and issues are important and their implications.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly put forth the background of the question.

Body:

To start with, discuss why India’s defence model faces challenges despite the positive trends generated by ‘Make in India’. Discuss the positives and negatives of Make in India drive. Explain the factors contributing to falling imports apart from the make in India concept; Indian defence acquisitions have also fallen due to the cancellation of big-ticket items. SMEs still face stunted growth because India’s defence industrial model is at odds with global trends in that it tends to create disincentives for the private sector. Suggest upon the current export trends. Thus, from a volume and value standpoint, Indian defence exports, while showing a promising upward trend has failed to meet desired success globally. To help ideas meet action, there is a need to create an environment for greater participation of private industry.

Conclusion:

Conclude that to ensure that ‘Make in India’ initiative reaches its full potential, focus should be laid on export promotion/facilitation and export regulation.

Introduction:

Indian defence sector has been largely dependent on foreign imports. However, this trend is not in the long term Security interest of the Nation. However, the trend has been changing in recent times. According to the latest estimates released by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) in the period between 2009-13 and 2014-18, Indian defence imports fell even as exports increased.

Body:

Reasons for India’s reduced imports:

  • Make in India initiative
    • Defence Procurement Procedure, 2016 lays out measures necessary for building India’s defence Industry
    • A new category called ‘Buy Indian Indigenously Designed, Developed and Manufactured’ (IDDM) was created under DPP-2016 which was given highest preference in defence procurement.
    • For imported defence goods, its Components & service parts from Indian enterprises (private & public sector) have been prioritised by the government
    • Simplifying “Make” procedures especially for MSMEs to encourage indigenous defence production
    • Relaxed norms that makes private partners eligible for technology transfers so as to boost their capabilities.
    • In 2018-19, the three armed services sourced 54% of their defence equipment from Indian industry for their combined capital and revenue expenditures
  • Contribution by SMEs:
    • Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) until 2016 accounted for 17.5% share of the Indian defence market.
    • According to government of India data for the financial year 2018-19, the three armed services for their combined capital and revenue expenditures sourced 54% of their defence equipment from Indian industry.
  • Cancellation of defence contracts:
    • Government has cancelled the defence contracts which led to significant reduction of import bill
    • In 2015, government reduced the size of the original acquisition of 126 Rafale Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) from Dassault to 36 aircraft, which is also responsible for significantly driving down the import bill.
    • India-Russia joint venture for the development of the advanced Su-57 stealth Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA). India cancelled involvement in 2018 due to rising dissatisfaction in delays with the project as well as the absence of capabilities that would befit a fifth generation fighter jet.
  • Public sector contribution:
    • Among arms producers, India has four companies among the top 100 biggest arms producers of the world.
    • It is estimated, according to SIPRI, their combined sales were $7.5 billion in 2017, representing a 1% jump from 2016.
    • The largest Indian arms producers are the Indian Ordnance Factories and the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), which are placed 37th and 38th, respectively, followed by Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL). All four of these companies are public sector enterprises and account for the bulk of the domestic armament demand.
  • Delays in supplying equipment:
    • Delays in supplying of equipments by vendors also led to falling imports.
    • For instance, T-90 battle tanks & Su-30 combat aircraft from Russia; Submarines from France

Reasons for rise of defence exports

  • In the last two fiscal years, 2017-18 and 2018-19, exports have witnessed a surge from ₹7,500 crore to ₹11,000 crore, representing a 40% increase in exports.
  • Removal of export barrier: Government has removed several products that were earlier restricted from exports
  • Government dispensed with the No Objection Certificate (NOC) under the DPP that restricted exports of aerospace products & several dual-use items

Way forward:

  • To boost indigenization, DRDO needs to be given more autonomy like space and atomic energy departments
  • With opening up of 100% FDI in defence sector, giving private players an opportunity would bring in the money as well as competition to the Defence PSUs.
  • Setting up of the planned defence industrial corridors.
  • Robust Defence Diplomacy, for which a cadre of defence diplomats should be created so that new co-ordination with world can bring new idea and innovations.
  • Setting up of a Defence Export Organization to promote export of defence equipments.
  • Instituting an Independent Audit addressing issues of inefficiency and accountability, this shall help in keeping the flow of ideas and innovation.
  • Setting up an aerospace university, can help in bringing new ideas and innovations

Conclusion:

Thus, from a volume and value standpoint, Indian defence exports, while showing a promising upward trend has failed to meet desired success globally. To help ideas meet action, there is a need to create an environment for greater participation of private industry. To ensure that ‘Make in India’ initiative reaches its full potential, focus should be laid on export promotion/facilitation and export regulation.

 

Topic:  Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation. Security challenges and their management in border areas – linkages of organized crime with terrorism.

7. List down the key features of National Security Act? What are the Criticisms and concerns over its misuse, comment on the need for its  review.(250 words)

Reference: Indian Express

Why this question:

Recently, many state governments have invoked the National Security Act (NSA) to detain people on doubtful offenses. The Act has stringent provisions against the arrested. The Usage of NSA by States is being seen as the misuse of these provisions. Thus the question.

Key demand of the question:

Explain the key features of National Security Act and elucidate upon the criticisms and concerns over its misuse, comment on the need for its review.

Directive:

Commenthere we have to express our knowledge and understanding of the issue and form an overall opinion thereupon.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start by explaining What is the NSA Act?

Body:

List down the key features –

  • National Security Act allows Central or State governments to prevent any person from acting as a threat to national security.
  • The Act also allows the government to preventively detain any person from disrupting supply or maintenance of essential commodities and services to the community or disrupting public order.
  • As per the act, a person can be detained for a maximum of 12 months but can be extended when fresh evidence is produced by the government.

Explain the concerns associated in detail and highlight the possibilities of its misuse.

Conclusion:

In a democracy often acts such as this hampers the progress of the nation. Already, the act is 40 years old and reconsidering it is the need of the hour. Arbitrary detention for personal goals becomes the norm which does not augur well for the country.

Introduction:

National Security Act is a stringent law that allows preventive detention for months, if authorities are satisfied that a person is a threat to national security or law and order. The person does not need to be charged during this period of detention. The goal is to prevent the individual from committing a crime. It was promulgated on September 23, 1980, during the Indira Gandhi government.

Body:

Recent instance of using NSA:

  • The Indore district administration invoked the National Security Act (NSA), 1980, against four persons accused of instigating residents of a locality to pelt stones and chase away health workers.
  • The Uttar Pradesh government has said that six persons associated with the Tablighi Jamaat who have been accused of misbehaving with women staff at the district hospital in Ghaziabad will be charged under the National Security Act (NSA).

key features of National Security Act:

As per the National Security Act, the grounds for preventive detention of a person include:

  • acting in any manner prejudicial to the defence of India, the relations of India with foreign powers, or the security of India.
  • regulating the continued presence of any foreigner in India or with a view to making arrangements for his expulsion from India.
  • preventing them from acting in any manner prejudicial to the security of the State or from acting in any manner prejudicial to the maintenance of public order or from acting in any manner prejudicial to the maintenance of supplies and services essential to the community it is necessary so to do.
  • Under the National Security Act, an individual can be detained without a charge for up to 12 months; the state government needs to be intimated that a person has been detained under the NSA.
  • A person detained under the National Security Act can be held for 10 days without being told the charges against them.
  • Appeal: The detained person can appeal before a high court advisory board but they are not allowed a lawyer during the trial.

Criticisms and concerns:

  • The NSA has repeatedly come under criticism for the way it is used by the police.
  • As per a Law Commission report from 2001, more than 14 lakh people (14,57,779) were held under preventive laws in India.
  • Typically, if a person is arrested, then he/she enjoy certain rights bestowed by the Indian Constitution. The person has to be informed of the reason for the arrest. Under Section 50 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), the person arrested has to be informed.
  • However, in the case of the NSA, the person can be held up to ten days without being informed of the reason.
  • Sections 56 and 76 of the same penal code guarantee the detained person to be produced before a court within 24 hours.
  • Apart from this, Article 22(1) of the Constitution allows the detainee to seek legal advice from a legal practitioner.
  • However, under the NSA, none of these above mentioned basic rights is permitted to the suspect.
  • The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), which collects and analyses crime data in the country, does not include cases under the NSA in its data as no FIRs are registered. Hence, no figures are available for the exact number of detentions under the NSA.
  • Some experts argue that the governments sometimes use the NSA as an extra-judicial power.
  • NSA has come under wide criticism for its misuse by the authorities. Experts describe the validity of the Act even during peacetime as ‘anachronism’.

Way forward:

  • National Security Act is more than 40 years old. Changes are required to ensure that the Act is not used arbitrarily.
  • Arbitrary use of the Act hampers democracy and basic rights of an individual.
  • Even, the Supreme Court has held that the law of preventive detention has to be strictly construed and meticulous compliance with the procedural safeguards, is mandatory and vital.