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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 17 November 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.


General Studies – 1


 

Topic : population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies.

2. Critically examine the issues directed towards sustainable urbanization. Discuss various government schemes to address the challenges arising in the way of urbanization. (250 words)

Reference:  smartnet.niua.org

Why the question:

The question is about issues related to sustainable urbanisation.

Key Demand of the question:

Explain the various government schemes to address the challenges arising in the way of urbanization. Discuss the issues directed towards sustainable urbanisation.

Directive:

Critically examine – When asked to ‘Examine’, we have to 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. 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:

Introduction:

Define what sustainable urbanisation is. Explain that the world has urbanized rapidly in recent years, offering countries opportunities to improve the lives of people and enhance economic development in towns and cities.

Body:

In the answer body explain what are problems associated with urban sustainability?

Explain how does urbanization affect the sustainability?

Discuss – The problems associated with urbanization are: High population density, inadequate infrastructure, lack of affordable housing, flooding, pollution, slum creation, crime, congestion and poverty. This problem of high population density is caused due to the heavy rate of migration from rural areas.

Elaborate upon the various government schemes to address the challenges arising in the way of urbanization.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

Currently, India’s nearly 30% population lives in urban areas and it is expected to rise upto 50% by 2050. Being a developing country with a huge population pressure India is facing many challenges due to rural to urban migration. To contain these challenges and to make a proper trajectory towards new India, Sustainable urban planning is an important aspect.

Body:

Significance of sustainable urbanization:

  • Safe drinking water: According to a report by NITI Aayog, 21 cities will run out of groundwater by 2020. To avoid further worsening of such crisis we need careful urban planning.
  • Affordable housing: One of the largest government programmes is to provide affordable housing to citizens. Sustainable urban planning will help to manage land resources in equitable way.
  • Urban sewage and solid waste management: In India less than quarter of the waste generated gets proper treatment. For rapidly growing urban agglomerations we need planning to manage this rising challenge.
  • Transportation and communication: Sustainable urban planning will provide efficient and eco-friendly public transport facilities to overpopulated urban cities of India.
  • Sustainable urban planning will also help in equitable resources distribution and affordable service delivery.
  • It will also help in creating sustainable environment and disaster management.

In absence of sustainable urban planning India is facing manifold challenges:

  • Rise in Slums: Few of the Asia’s largest slums are in Delhi and Mumbai where unplanned urbanisation led to polluted water, health issues and rising rate of crimes.
  • Urban flooding: Floods in Mumbai and Chennai are examples of urban flooding. These are results of unsustainable urbanisation.
  • Rising number of accidents: Fires in buildings and deaths in various urban accidents are daily routine in Indian cities.
  • Degrading environment: According to WHO report, out of 20 most polluted cities, 14 are in India.

Challenges in sustainable urbanization:

  • Economic Sustainability
      • Lack of Investments
      • Poor technology
  • Ecological Sustainability
      • Dependence on fossil fuels and coal energy
      • Poor Waste management process and technologies
      • Vehicular pollution and Climate Change
  • Social Sustainability
      • Building society based on constitutional principles
      • Increasing Population and Proliferation of Slums
      • Lack of public awareness
      • Weak gender perspective in development

Government efforts towards sustainable urbanization:

  • Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) as a step towards harnessing the agglomeration economies of the urban centres and making cities engines of growth.
  • It envisages convergence across various initiatives such as Amrut, Smart Cities, Hriday (National Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana), Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana and Swachh Bharat.
  • Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana for affordable housing with credit linked subsidy.
  • Smart cities Mission- It is an urban development programme launched by the government of India with the mission to develop 100 cities across the country and making them citizen friendly and sustainable.

Way forward:

  • India needs to work on achieving the goals set by United Nations under SDG-11 to be achieved by 2030.
  • Need for Comprehensive National urban plan for effective and timely implementation of policies and schemes
  • Ensure access for all through adequate, safe and affordable housing and basic services and upgrade slums, transport systems for all, improving road safety, notably by expanding public transport.
  • Give special attention to the needs of those in vulnerable situations, women and children, persons with disabilities and older persons.
  • Reduce the adverse per capita environmental impact of cities, including by paying special attention to air quality and municipal and other waste management.
  • Provide universal access to safe, inclusive and accessible, green and public spaces.
  • Support positive economic, social and environmental links between urban, peri-urban and rural areas by strengthening national and regional development planning
  • Substantially increase the number of cities and human settlements adopting and implementing integrated policies and plans towards inclusion, resource efficiency, mitigation and adaptation to climate change, resilience to disasters, and develop and implement, in line with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.

Conclusion:

The announcement of a new urbanisation policy that seeks to rebuild Indian cities around clusters of human capital, instead of considering them simply as an agglomeration of land use, is a welcome transformation. We need to empower our cities, with a focus on land policy reforms, granting urban local bodies the autonomy to raise funds and enforce local land usage norms.

 

Topic : The Freedom Struggle — its various stages and important contributors/contributions from different parts of the country.

3. In what ways did the naval mutiny prove to be the last nail in the coffin of British colonial aspirations in India? Elucidate. (250 words)

Reference: Previous year UPSC papers, Modern Indian history by Bipin Chandra

Why the question:

The question is from GS paper I and is based on the incident of naval mutiny in the modern Indian history.

Key Demand of the question:

Explain in what ways the naval mutiny proved to be the last nail in the coffin of British colonial aspirations in India.

Directive:

Elucidate – Give a detailed account as to how and why it occurred, or what is the particular context. You must be defining key terms where ever appropriate, and substantiate with relevant associated facts.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

The Royal Indian Naval Ratings or Naval mutiny was a revolt of Indian Naval servicemen against British higher officials. The earliest revolt was against racial discrimination by British officials but soon it turned into a rebellion and spread across India.

Body:

The answer body must capture the reasons that led to the revolt.

Then move on to discuss the role of naval mutiny in ending British colonial aspirations.

Present the timeline of the entire mutiny, its impact and effect. The RIN Mutiny began in Bombay, and spread throughout British India, covering 78 ships, 20 shore establishments and 20,000 sailors. The mutiny also found widespread support among the people who were already discontent with the British establishment.

Conclusion:

Thus, naval mutiny in sense was an indication of what is going to follow in the future if independence was not obtained. The loss of British power after World War II further eroded their belief of retaining one of the prized possessions of the crown: India.

Introduction:

Seventy-four years ago on February 18, 1946, some 1,100 Indian sailors or “ratings” of the HMIS Talwar and the Royal Indian Navy (RIN) Signal School in Bombay declared a hunger strike, triggered by the conditions and treatment of Indians in the Navy. Royal Indian Navy (RIN) revolt started as a strike by ratings in one of the battleships at Bombay in February, 1946. It was a protest against conditions of service, discrimination, etc. The revolt spread and found support throughout India.

Body:

Demands of the ratings:

While the immediate trigger was the demand for better food and working conditions, the agitation soon turned into a wider demand for independence from British rule. The protesting sailors demanded:

  • Release of all political prisoners including those from Indian National Army (INA).
  • Action against the commander for ill-treatment and using insulting language,
  • Revision of pay and allowances to put RIN employees on a par with their counterparts in the Royal Navy,
  • Demobilisation of RIN personnel with provisions for peacetime employment,
  • Release of Indian forces stationed in Indonesia, and better treatment of subordinates by their officers

Upsurge of nationalism

  • The RIN strike came at a time when the Indian nationalist sentiment had reached fever pitch across the country.
  • This chain of events led to the “mounting fever of excitement affecting the whole political climate”.
  • Soon, ordinary people joined the ratings, and life came to a virtual standstill in both Bombay and Calcutta. There were meetings, processions, strikes, and hartals.
  • In Bombay, labourers participated in a general strike called by the Communist Party of India and the Bombay Students’ Union. In many cities across India, students boycotted classes in solidarity.
  • The response of the state was brutal. It is estimated that over 220 people died in police firing, while roughly 1,000 were injured.

Significance of the events

  • The RIN revolt remains a legend today. It was an event that strengthened further the determination among all sections of the Indian people to see the end of British rule.
  • Deep solidarity and amity among religious groups was in evidence, which appeared to run counter to the rapidly spreading atmosphere of communal hatred and animosity.
  • However, communal unity was more in the nature of organisational unity than a unity among the two major communities.
  • Within months, India was to be devoured by a terrible communal conflagration.

Final nail in the coffin

  • This revolt was different from the other revolts in the sense that, after 1857 it was the first time that the British realized that the Royal Indian forces were no more obedient to the British commands and were in concurrence with the overall defiant nationalist sentiments prevailing in the entire country.
  • Mutinies are usually confined to a particular station, establishment or ship. However, this was the first instance when the entire service joined the revolt.
  • Most striking feature was that it was directed against the British government and not against superior officers – not a single officer, British or Indian, was harmed.
  • Fearless action by the masses was an expression of militancy in the popular mind. Revolt in the armed forces had a great liberating effect on the minds of people.
  • It displayed that the armed forces no longer obeyed the British authority rather it was the nationalist leaders who held sway over them. The RIN revolt was seen as an event marking the end of British rule.

Conclusion:

The leaders realized that any mass uprising would inevitably carry the risk of not being amenable to centralized direction and control. Besides, now that independence and power were in sight, they were eager not to encourage indiscipline in the armed forces. It was immediately after this revolt that PM Atlee dispatched the Cabinet Mission to India, so it is also inferred that the mutiny hastened the process of transfer of power to India. It is also important to mention that the revolt came to an end after the nationalist leaders, Sardar Patel and Mohammad Ali Jinnah on receiving a request to intervene by the British, issued a statement calling upon the mutineers to surrender.

 

 


General Studies – 2


 

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

4. Analyse how the new labour laws are an attack on workers’ ability to safeguard their rights.(250 words)

Reference: The Hindu 

Why the question:

The article analyses how the new labour laws are an attack on workers’ ability to safeguard their rights.

Key Demand of the question:

Explain in what way the new labour laws are an attack on workers’ ability to safeguard their rights.

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:

Present a brief background of labour law reforms in the country.

Body:

Labour law reform has been on the table since 1991 as every government’s favorite solution for economic growth. Yet, there was no consensus between governments, political parties, workers and their trade unions, and employers, on what this meant.

In 2019, the Central Government introduced four bills on labour codes to consolidate 29 central laws.

While the Wages Code was passed in 2019, the other three bills were referred to a Standing Committee on Labour. As per the recommendations of the Committee, the government replaced these bills with new ones in September 2020, and these were passed in the same month.

Present the criticisms against it. List down the demerits.

Conclusion:

Conclude by suggesting what needs to be done to address these issues.

Introduction:

The three new labour codes passed by Parliament recently acknowledge platform and gig workers as new occupational categories in the making. The specific issues of working in factories, the duration of time needed on a factory floor, and associated issues are recognised as the parameters for defining an ideal worker.

The Code on Wages, 2019, tries to expand this idea by using ‘wages’ as the primary definition of who an ‘employee’ is. Yet, the terms ‘gig worker’, ‘platform worker’ and ‘gig economy’ not defined with in connection with their wages.

The new Code on Social Security allows a platform worker to be defined by their vulnerability — not their labour, nor the vulnerabilities of platform work.

Body:

Issues with the code

  • Since the laws are prescriptive, what is written within them creates the limits to what rights can be demanded, and how these rights can be demanded.
  • Platform delivery people can claim benefits, but not labour rights.
  • This distinction makes them beneficiaries of State programmes.
  • This does not allow them to go to court to demand better and stable pay, or regulate the algorithms that assign the tasks.
  • This also means that the government or courts cannot pull up platform companies for lapses [ex. choice of pay, work hours etc.].

Benefits with no guarantee

  • In the Code on Social Security, 2020, platform workers are now eligible for benefits like maternity benefits, life and disability cover, old age protection, provident fund, employment injury benefits, and so on.
  • None of these are secure benefits.
  • This means that from time to time, the Central government can formulate welfare schemes that cover these aspects of personal and work security, but they are not guaranteed.
  • Actualising these benefits will depend on the political will at the Central and State government-levels and how unions elicit political support.
  • The language in the Code is open enough to imply that platform companies can be called upon to contribute either solely or with the government.

Due to the Covid-19 crisis, the workers have been abandoned by their employers and by the state tragically. Labour laws are civilizational goals and cannot be trumped on the excuse of a pandemic.

Demand of the Employers:

  • Employers now want labour laws to be relaxed.
  • Several States have exempted industries from complying with various provisions of laws.
  • The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has suggested 12-hour work shifts.
  • It also wants the governments to issue directions to make workers join duty failing which the workers would face penal actions.
  • This will take away the protection conferred on organised labour by Parliament.

Conclusion:

The ‘platform worker’ identity has the potential to grow in power and scope, but it will be mediated by politicians, election years, rates of under-employment, and large, investment- heavy technology companies that are notorious for not complying with local laws

 

 


General Studies – 3


 

Topic : Disaster and disaster management.

5. Explain the recent trends in disaster management worldwide. (250 words)

Reference: egyankosh.ac.in

Why the question:

The question is straightforward and is based on the concept of disaster management across the world.

Key Demand of the question:

Explain the recent trends in disaster management worldwide.

Directive:

Explain – Clarify the topic by giving a detailed account as to how and why it occurred, or what is the particular context. You must be defining key terms where ever appropriate, and substantiate with relevant associated facts.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start with importance of Disaster management in general.

Body:

Experience with natural disasters over the past few years has led to the realization that disasters are not one off events, rather a result of concretized vulnerabilities, which need to be addressed/ treated over time through sustained public policy in this regard.

Discuss the factors involved; explain in what way the world has witnessed change in terms of disaster management strategies with changing trends in disasters.

Present case studies.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

Disasters have been increasing in frequency and intensity over the past few decades. This has been directly linked to the nature and extent of human activities taking place in erstwhile natural surroundings. The correlation between disaster prevention, mitigation, preparedness and relief with sustainable development policy in general is only too evident to be any longer overlooked.

Body:

Causes for Occurrence of Disaster

  • Environmental degradation: Removal of trees and forest cover from a watershed area have caused, soil erosion, expansion of flood plain area in upper and middle course of rivers and groundwater depletion.
  • Developmental process: Exploitation of land use, development of infrastructure, rapid urbanization and technological development have caused increasing pressure over the natural resources.
  • Political issues: War, nuclear power aspirations, fight between countries to become super power and conquering land, sea and skies. These have resulted into wide range of disaster events such as Hiroshima nuclear explosion, Syrian civil war, growing militarisation of oceans and outer space.
  • Industrialization: This has resulted into warming of earth and frequency of extreme weather events has also increased.

Recent trends in disaster management

  • Disaster management is a multi-disciplinary area which includes forecasting, warning, search and rescue, relief, reconstruction and rehabilitation.
  • Building Community Resilience: Stress on Social Capital.
  • Disaster Management efforts are geared towards disaster risk management.
  • A long-term mitigation strategy, particularly building capacities at the local level with active participation of the people.
  • Investing in local response capacities therefore saves lives and money; which is the main inference
  • The trend is towards people-cantered governance, which is participatory and accountable, public policy oriented towards sustainable development
  • Increasing ‘voice’ for incorporating the same in modern engineering knowledge to find lasting solution to physical vulnerability of infrastructure in disaster prone areas
  • Government of India had brought a shift from its relief centric approach to the one with greater emphasis is on preparedness, prevention and mitigation.
  • Disaster management became part of the policy framework as poor and under privileged are more affected.

Challenges in Disaster Risk Reduction

  • Insufficient levels of implementation for each monitored activity. For example, Disaster risk management plans or a risk sensitive building codes exist but they are not enforced because of a lack of government capacity or public awareness.
  • Lack of local capacities to implement disaster risk management. Weak capacity at the local levels undermines the implementation Disaster preparedness plans.
  • Absence of integration of climate change into Disaster risk management plans.
  • Divergence of obtaining political and economic commitments due to other competing needs and priorities such as poverty reduction, social welfare, education etc. require greater attention and funding.
  • Poor coordination between stakeholders, there is inadequate access with respect to risk assessment, monitoring, early warning, disaster response and other Disaster related activities.
  • Insufficient investment in building disaster resilient strategies, also private sector are least contributors in the share of investment.

Way Forward

  • Disasters are no longer to be considered as occurrences that are to be managed through emergency response services. So, there is a need to foster a culture of prevention and identification of the key issues to be addressed especially in the development process.
  • The path ahead for managing disasters is to bring in a people-centered development strategy.
  • Strategies for disaster management should be accompanied by strong political will, keenness and commitment on the part of all concerned actors involved in the exercise.
  • Educating people in Disaster Risk Reduction is the need of the hour and it can be done through decentralised planning, implementation and monitoring and control.
  • The major strategies which should get prominence are institutionalising national systems and capacities, strengthening governance mechanisms at local level, building community resilience, reducing the vulnerabilities of the communities at risk and public private people partnerships etc.
  • Disaster Management has to embark upon a strategy aimed at holistic human development integrating the sustainable development goals, policies and practices that harness people’s strengths instead of vulnerabilities.

 

 


General Studies – 4


 

 Topic : Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in-human actions; dimensions of ethics; ethics – in private and public relationships. Human Values – lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators; role of Family society and educational institutions in inculcating values.

6. What are the determinants of moral values of a society? How they influence adherence of ethics in such society? Explain with examples. (250 words)

Reference: Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude by Lexicon Publications

Why the question:

The question is based on the determinants of moral values of a society.

Key Demand of the question:

Briefly explain the determinants of moral values of a society and explain how they influence adherence of ethics in such society.

Directive:

Explain – Clarify the topic by giving a detailed account as to how and why it occurred, or what is the particular context. You must be defining key terms where ever appropriate, and substantiate with relevant associated facts.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Define moral values and give its examples.

Body:

Moral values of society are standards of behaviour evolved in a society. They lead to common minimum acceptable conduct in society by the people.

Mention the determinants of moral values of a society such as family values, schooling, culture, religion etc. Explain how they influence adherence of ethics in society.

Give examples to substantiate your opinion.

Conclusion:

Conclude that moral values of society help in ensuring common minimum standards of behaviour in society.

Introduction:

Ethics is concerned with what is good for individuals and society and is also described as moral philosophy. The term is derived from the Greek word ethos which can mean custom, habit, character or disposition. At its simplest, ethics is a system of moral principles. They affect how people make decisions and lead their lives.

Body:

Determinants of moral values of a society:

Legal Interpretations

The need to control, legislate and regulate, the ethical conduct at the government, individual, and corporate levels has its roots back to the ancient world. For example, one of the earliest law codes developed, the Code of Hammurabi, made Bribery a crime in Babylon during the eighteenth century B.C

Most ancient societies’ shares common ethical codes, such as against murder, causing injury to fellow human, and attacks on honour and reputation of an individual. In modern world societies, Law and justice to the public are closely related to ethics and they enforce certain rights and duties in an attempt to repress and punish deviations from these standards.

Culture/Country

The culture and the country, in which an individual is based, influence one’s ethical decisions or behaviour. All cultures differ in values and morals. In western culture, one may look into the person’s eyes when one is conversing or talking to them. But in certain Asian cultures such as Korea, it is very rude to converse with a person that is “higher” status (age, work etc.) while looking into their eyes. Thus, what is ethical in a country may not be ethical in other countries.

Stages of moral development

Moral development is the process through which children develop proper attitudes and behaviors toward other in society, based on social and culture norms, rules and laws.

Personal values and morals

An individual’s values and morals will also influence his or her ethical standards. A key variable which affects the ethical behavior is “locus of control”. An individual with an internal locus of control believes that he/she can control the events in his/her life. An individual with an external locus of control believes that fate or luck or other people affect his life.

Family influences

Individuals start to form ethical standards as children in response to their perception of their parent’s behaviour and are likely to adopt high ethical standards if they see that their family members adhere to high ethical standard. They develop lower ethical standards if their family members are involved in unethical behaviours.

Peer influences

Peers are colleagues who are always around us in conducting our daily work. The behaviors and attitudes of peers influence an individual’s decisions in their life. They play an important role in ethical decision making. Thus, an employee must establish good relationships with colleagues. If there are no good relations among colleagues, there is no harmonious atmosphere which further leads to failure in achieving one’s goal.

Life experiences

Individual’s life experiences analyze key ethical concepts such as “right”, “wrong,” and “permissible.” It lets us explores possible sources of moral obligation such as God, human reason, or the desire to be happy. It seeks to establish principles of right behavior that may serve as action guides for individuals and groups.

Conclusion:

Thus, Morality is determined by various psychosocial factors including the personality traits, social cognition, emotional intelligence, metaphysical beliefs, value orientation etc.

 

Topic : Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and world.

7. Discuss John Stuart Mill’s idea on freedom of thought and expressions also throw light on his views on representative democracy. (250 words)

Reference: Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude by Lexicon Publications

Why the question:

The question is based on the ideas of John Stuart Mill.

Key Demand of the question:

Present in detail the idea of freedom of thought and expressions as envisaged by John Stuart Mill. Also explain his views on representative democracy.

Directive:

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.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start by explaining briefly the Stuart Mill’s idea on freedom of thought and expression.

Body:

Talk about the underlying principles of his ideas; The Harm Principle, freedom of expression, no idea is completely false etc.

Then present about his views and opinions.

Discuss in detail then the Mill’s views on representative democracy.

Conclusion:

Conclude by emphasizing on the relevance of his ideas even today. Bring out the key takeaways of his ideas.

Introduction:

John Stuart Mill was a political thinker of the 19th century in Britain. He was one of the foremost believers in and practitioners of Utilitarianism, a system of thought that essentially declared an action to be proper if it was beneficial to the largest portion of society. In his essay, On Liberty, he argues that the preservation of individual liberty rests largely on protecting freedom of thought no matter how egregious or immoral and, by extension, the freedom to express oneself based on that thought.

Body:

Stuart Mill’s idea on freedom of thought and expression:

  • Freedom of expression: He presented four reasons why there should be freedom of expression even for those who advocate ideas that appear false or misleading today.
    • Eg: To express one’s likes and dislikes is imperative for both self-development and societal development
  • Suppression: Very often ideas that were considered false at one point by the entire society and therefore suppressed turned out to be true later on. A society that completely suppresses all ideas that are not acceptable today, runs the danger of losing the benefits of what might turn out to be very valuable knowledge.
    • Eg: Scientific revolution during Renaissance in Europe
  • The Harm Principle: State is only allowed to limit an individual’s liberty for the sake of preventing that person from harming others. Mill goes on to show that society should never suppress opinions unreasonably.
    • Eg: Reasonable Restrictions under Article 19(2)
  • No idea is completely false: What appears to be false to us has an element of truth. If we ban false ideas, we would lose that element of truth that they contain.
  • Truth does not emerge by itself: It is only through a conflict of opposing view that truth and trustworthiness emerges.
  • Man as a progressive being: Mill claims that the freedom of thought and expression will contribute to the permanent interests of man as a progressive being and to discover and know what is true is in our interests.
  • Develop rational thinking: Freedom helps us to develop rational thinking and intellectual faculties and makes us open-minded and thoughtful.
  • Challenging hypocrisy: Freedom helps in challenging hypocrisy, intellectual lethargy and leads to self-satisfaction. Public censure undermines intellectual courage and slows down the discovery of truth.
    • Eg: Mechanism of RTI and PIL ensuring dynamism of the democracy in India
  • Essential for meaningful life: Liberty of conscience, liberty to express and publish one’s opinions, liberty to live as one pleased and freedom of association as essential for a meaningful life and for the pursuit of one’s own good.

Mill’s views on representative democracy:

  • Utilitarianism: According to his utilitarian principle, greatest happiness means happiness of the greatest number as represented in democracy.
    • Eg: if a judge can prevent riots that will cause many deaths only by convicting an innocent person of a crime and imposing a severe punishment on that person, act utilitarianism implies that the judge should convict and punish the innocent person
  • Liberal individualism: A representative government encourages individuality and liberal individualism with tendency to foster self-development and individuality.
  • Direct democracy not feasible: In a country with a large population, direct democracy is not feasible, so a democratic government should be a representative democracy.
  • Participation: Democracy leads people to take a more active and intelligent participation in society and encourages the development of natural human sympathies.
  • Means to achieve the liberty of thought: He considered democracy as a sole means to achieve the end of the liberty of thought, expression and action, which, in turn, would develop, enrich and expand the personality of individuals in fullness.
  • Certain prerequisite for democracy: There are certain prerequisite for democracy and democracy without a democratic culture results into a ‘False Democracy’.
  • Mobocracy: Mill recognized that democracy can be transformed into tyranny of majority or mobocracy based on the numerical strength of the least educated class. To overcome this, Mill suggested reforms such as proportional representations, plural voting and women franchise.
    • Eg: Incidents of mob violence, spread of fake news
  • Not applicable to all: Mill did not consider representative democracy being applicable for all societies like uncivilized and barbaric societies were suitable for despotic rule.

Conclusion:

According to Mill, individuality means power or capacity for critical enquiry and responsible thought. It means self-development and the expression free will. He stressed total liberty of conscience, belief and expression as they were crucial to human development.


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