Topic: Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein.
1. Without a paradigm shift in politics, Centre-state relations will only become more fractious, and federalism the victim in the current pandemic times in the country. Critically analyse. (250 words)
Reference: Hindustan Times
Why this question:
The question is amidst the ongoing turmoil that the centre-state relations are facing owing to the pandemic.
Key demand of the question:
Analyse in detail how and why the centre-state relations will require a paradigm shift in politics to ensure that they don’t become fractious.
Critically analyze – When 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. When ‘critically’ is suffixed or prefixed to a directive, one needs to look at the good and bad of the topic and give a fair judgment.
Structure of the answer:
Firstly explain the context of the question, highlight the changes that pandemic has posed to the federal fabric of the country.
Explain that the month-long national lockdown has exposed fault lines in a system under stress from competing alternate visions of what India should be. Centre-state conflicts are mounting over myriad issues: the management of the disease itself; the management of the lockdown; a roadmap for lifting restrictions so that normalcy returns; and allocation of financial resources to meet the health, social and economic challenges ahead. Discuss the need for strong political shift in favour of federalism. Suggest solutions like – approach would have been for the Centre to give broad guidelines for the management of the epidemic and the lockdown, arrange for finances to tackle the health and economic emergencies overwhelming the country, and keep the inter-state supply chain functional so that there are no shortages and economic activity doesn’t die completely.
Conclude with way forward.