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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 26 February 2021


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.

1. Discuss the challenges to urbanization in India. Also, suggest methods for improving the efficiency of urban agglomerations in India. (250 words)

Reference:  “No more urban legend” – The economic times

Why the question:

15th Finance Commission has provided some insights for improving the efficiency of urban agglomerations in India. Thus the question.

Key Demand of the question:

One must explain the challenges to urbanization in India and suggest methods for improving the efficiency of urban agglomerations in India.

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 with some key data on urban setup in India.

Body:

The answer body must have the following aspects covered:

First explain the benefits of urbanisation in detail.

Then explain the challenges to urbanization in India such as – Slow growth , Emphasis on self-sufficient villages, Spatial and functional fragmentation in the governance of urban agglomerations, Lack of Integrated and coordinated governance across an urban agglomeration, Non-compliance with 74th Constitutional Amendment (Articles 243P and 243ZE)  etc.

Later present some initiatives for planned urbanization like – Urban employment programme Swarna Jayanti Shahari Rozgar Yojana (SJSRY)-1997, Housing programme Valmiki Ambedkar Awas Yojana (VAMBAY)-2001, Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM)-2005 etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude by suggesting 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:

Cities are living ecosystems. They need to be managed accordingly. Rather than going by populist measures or sticking to the original master plans, local solutions to local problems, innovative, in situ and tailor made solutions should be evolved, adapted and adhered to. Authorities need to be willing to learn, evolve and discard if necessary. 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.

 


General Studies – 2


 

Topic: Indian polity – President

2. Account for the control that president can exercise on the executive by virtue of his/her discretionary powers. (250 words)

Reference:  Indian polity by Lakshmikant

Why the question:

The question is from the static portions of GS paper I , part Indian polity.

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:

Account – Weigh up to what extent something is true. Persuade the reader of your argument by citing relevant research but also remember to point out any flaws and counter- arguments as well. Conclude by stating clearly how far you are in agreement with the original proposition.

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.

Introduction:

Article 53 reads as ‘The executive power of the Union shall be vested in the President and shall be exercised by him either directly or through officers’ subordinate to him’. In spite of the expression ‘directly’ in Article 53 of the Constitution, India’s President merely ‘reigns and does not rule’. The role of president is largely ceremonial in nature. This was the consequence of 42nd Constitutional Amendment that drastically curtailed the President’s powers with respect to the Council of Ministers. Article 74 (1) now mandates the President to act on the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers. This prevents the president becoming a power center rivalling that of prime minister.

Body:

President’s role in Indian political setup:

  • The President of India is the Head of State and the Chief Executive. The executive powers of the Union are in the hands of the President.
  • The President of India is vested with Legislative, Executive and Judicial powers. But as the advice given by CoM is binding on Indian President, in reality, most of these powers rest with the COM; but decisions are taken in the name of President of India.
  • He exercises these either directly or through officers’ subordinate to him. However, being the head of a parliamentary system, he is only a constitutional/titular head and exercises nominal power.
  • The President always acts in accordance with the advice of the Council of Ministers and the Prime Minister. All his powers are really used by the Prime Minister and the Union Council of Ministers.
  • The President holds the highest office in India, represents the sovereignty of India, enjoys the highest position and plays a valuable part in the working of the Indian Constitutional system.
  • President is also the supreme commander of armed forces and has powers to prorogue or dissolve the Parliament.
  • He/She further makes appointments to important posts including the PM, state governors and Supreme Court and High Court judges.

By looking at the powers of the President, it becomes quite easy to evaluate the position of the President. At the face value, the powers of the President appear to be very big and formidable. A close review, however, reveals that President of India is a nominal and constitutional executive head who exercises all his powers on the advice of the Prime Minister and his Council of Ministers. The President is always bound to accept the advice of the Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers. However, despite such a provision, the President is neither merely a figure head nor a rubber stamp in the hands of the Ministry.

President’s discretionary powers:

  • 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 a 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 decide the day-to-day decisions.

President can play an effective role:

The President is not a silent institution and his role stands beyond the constitutional provisions and established conventions. The powers of the President flow from the oath he takes under Article 60 to ‘preserve, protect and defend the Constitution and submit himself to the service and well -being of people of India’. Therefore, new norms can be devised and used to preserve the faith and belief of the common man in the system. These norms can be:

  • The Constitution is silent on the limitations on the President’s activities in public affairs. Public speaking of president can initiate the debate in the society.
  • Use of pocket veto in the cases which are considered to be undermining the Constitution.
  • Reaching out to the people of India.

Conclusion:

Within the confines of constitution, a president can redefine the activities of his office. The President can declare Emergency, suspend rights, dissolve state Assemblies and declare the government bankrupt.

 

Topic: Indian polity – Governor

3. Although in India, Governor of the state is Constitutional head like President he may have more rights, do you agree? Explain. (250 words)

Reference:  Indian polity by Lakshmikant

Why the question:

The question is amidst the recent controversies around the government formation in the UT of Puducherry and the role played by the Governor.

Key Demand of the question:

One must discuss and provide for a critical analysis as to in what way role of the Governor outweighs the role of president who is the head of the state.

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 the constitutional positions of the president and the Governor.

Body:

Explain with suitable examples in what way Governor of the state has more rights at times compared to the president.

Justify your stand with recent examples.

The question is straightforward and there isn’t much to deliberate.

Conclusion:

Conclude with importance of the post and its relevance in the Indian constitutional setup.

Introduction:

The office of Governor is a British Indian transplant with a federalistic flavour. The role of office of Governor was confined to normal routine ceremonial functions earlier but now enjoys more powers. Discretionary powers of Governor in state are much more extensive in comparison to the President in centre in India. He/She is not bound to act on the advice of the council of Ministers in certain circumstances, even he need not seek its advice.

Body:

Discretional powers of Governor more than president:

Duality of the powers:

  • Governors enjoy more discretion than President because of duality of functions they have to perform. He is given higher discretionary powers, for proper functioning of the Constitution.
  • He has prima facie discretion in deciding whether a proposed law by a State is violative of the Constitution. He also has greater discretion with regard to dissolution of Legislative Assembly when it does not function according to the Constitution.

Constitution provision itself:

  • Discretionary powers of Governor in state are much more extensive in comparison to the President in center in India. For example, Article 163 of the constitution says that there shall be a Council of Ministers in the states with the Chief Minister at the head to aid and advise the Governor in exercise his functions, except those which are required to be done by the Governor on his/ her discretion.
  • The constitution further mentions that if any question arises whether a matter falls within the Governor’s discretion or not, decision of the Governor shall be final, and the validity of anything done by the Governor shall not be called in question on the ground that he ought or ought not to have acted in his discretion. Moreover, what advice was tendered by the Governor to the Ministry cannot be inquired into a court.

Some discretionary powers are as follows:

  • Appointment of the Chief Minister: Generally, the leader of the party with majority is appointed as the Chief Minister. But in situation where no party gets absolute majority, the Governor exercises his discretionary powers in appointing the Chief Minister.
  • Dismissal of a Ministry: A minister holds offices during the pleasure of the Governor. When the ministry losses support of the house, the governor will dismiss the ministry. But he cannot dismiss it until it losses majority support.
  • Advising the President for proclamation of Emergency: The Governor advises the President to proclaim emergency when he is satisfied that the Government cannot carried on in accordance with the provisions of the constitution, under Article 356.
  • Reservation of a bill for the consideration of the President: On his/ her discretion, the Governor can reserve a bill passed by the state legislature for president’s assent. However, situations are mentioned in Article 200, when he will reserve the bill, yet he can use, discretion regarding this matter. Governor has discretion to refuse to sign to an ordinary bill passed by the state legislature.
  • Dissolution of Legislative Assembly: The Governor summons, prorogues and dissolves the Legislative Assembly, according to article 174. When the ministry loses the majority and the Governor is satisfied he may dissolve the House.
  • Governor determines the amount payable by the Government of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram to an autonomous Tribal District Council as royalty accruing from licenses for mineral exploration.
  • Seeking information: Governor can seek information from the chief minister with regard to the administrative and legislative matters of the state.
  • Thus, though the Governor is made the constitutional head of a state like president of India, yet there is a thin line as the Constitution empowers the Governor to act without the advice of the Chief Minister and his council and can use discretion on certain matters.
  • Governor determines the amount payable by the Government of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram to an autonomous Tribal District Council as royalty accruing from licenses for mineral exploration.
  • Thus, though the Governor is made the constitutional head of a state like president of India, yet there is a thin line as the Constitution empowers the Governor to act without the advice of the Chief Minister and his council and can use discretion on certain matters.

Similarities:

  • Both the President and Governor have the status of Constitutional Heads.
  • All executive decisions are taken in their name but actual power is exercised by Council of Ministers
  • All ordinary / money bills passed must get their assent before they become an act.
  • Both of them have powers to promulgate ordinances.
  • All Money bills can be introduced with prior recommendation of President in the Lok Sabha and Governor in the state legislature.
  • Both have clemency powers.

Conclusion:

As envisaged in the Indian constitution in a federal constitutional division of power between center and real power vests in council of ministers’ president and governor are only ceremonial heads of state. Real power lies with elected government headed by PM and CM.

 

Topic: Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary—Ministries and Departments of the Government; pressure groups and formal/informal associations and their role in the Polity.

4. UTs having legislatures with ultimate control vested in the central administrator reflect the Structural Fragility of Union Territories in India. Critically examine. (250 words)

Reference:  The Hindu

Why the question:

The article presents the political turmoil in the Union Territory of Puducherry and this the structural fragility associated with UTs in India.

Key Demand of the question:

Critically examine how UTs having legislatures with ultimate control vested in the central administrator reflect the Structural Fragility of Union Territories in India.

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:

Start with a brief background of the question.

Body:

Explain that the original Constitution under Article 239 provided for the administration of UTs directly by the President through the administrators. However there was a general perception that this framework fails to meet the democratic aspirations of the people.

Article 239A was brought in 1962, to enable Parliament to create legislatures for the UTs. In this direction, some UTs were provided with a legislature and Council of Ministers to fulfil the democratic aspirations of the people of these territories.

Then present an analysis of the constitutional provisions and their implementation brings to light the structural fragility of Union Territories (UTs) in the Indian federation.

Conclusion:

Conclude that experience shows that the UTs having legislatures with ultimate control vested in the central administrator are not workable. There should a relook at the existing legal and constitutional provisions to realize the vision of a free and autonomous government in the UTs.

Introduction:

String of defection causing instability in the state legislatures have not spared even the Union Territories with legislature. The sudden and inexplicable resignations of Congress MLAs from the Puducherry Assembly have turned out to be an ingenious move to topple the Congress government led by V. Narayanasamy.

Body:

Structural fragility of Union Territories with Legislatures:

  • Ultimate control of Centre: Although legislatures were given to some Union Territories, to realise the aspirations of people, the Centre still has predominant role and has overriding authority on all laws/regulations.
  • Administrator: As seen in the case of Delhi, administration was hamstrung by the Administrator/Lt. Governor who was appointed by a different party at the Centre. Ultimately Supreme Court had to intervene.
  • Article 239A was originally brought in, in 1962, to enable Parliament to create legislatures for the UTs. The composition of the legislature as provided in the Constitution. It is a body that is elected, or partly elected and partly nominated.
  • Nomination of members: The Government of Union Territories Act provides for a 33-member House for Puducherry of whom three are to be nominated by the Central government.
    • So, when the Union government nominated three BJP members to the Assembly without consulting the government, it was challenged in the court.
    • Finally, the Supreme Court ( Lakshminarayanan v. Union of India, 2019) held that the Union government is not required to consult the State government for nominating members to the Assembly and the nominated members have the same right to vote as the elected members.
  • A simple amendment in the Government of Union Territories Act, 1963 can create a legislature with more than 50% nominated members. This goes against the ideals of representative democracy.

Yet Union Territories have been strengthened with supreme court rulings over time. In NCT of Delhi v. Union of India (2019), the Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court had said that the administrator should not misuse this power to frustrate the functioning of the elected government in the territory and use it after all methods have failed to reconcile the differences between him/her and the Council of Ministers, experience tells us a different story.

Conclusion:

Experience shows that the UTs having legislatures with ultimate control vested in the central administrator are not workable. The redemption for the harried governments of these territories lies in the removal of the legal and constitutional provisions which enable the administrator to breathe down the neck of the elected government.

 

 


General Studies – 3


 

Topic: Security challenges and their management in border areas – linkages of organized crime with terrorism.

5. The human rights agenda in the world is facing a major challenge from terrorism, in this context discuss the challenges posed by Terrorism  and suggest steps to be taken by the world countries to combat the menace. (250 words)

Reference:  The Hindu

Why the question:

Terrorism is a “crime against humanity”, said External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar recently addressing the High Level Segment of the 46th Session of Human Rights Council (HRC). Thus the question.

Key Demand of the question:

Explain the threats that the World is facing because of Terrrorism and suggest solutions to address the same.

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:

“Terrorism continues to be one of the gravest threats to humankind. It is a crime against humanity and violates the most fundamental human right, namely the ‘Right to Life’

Body:

Explain first how human rights agenda in the world is facing a major challenge from terrorism.

Discuss the issue of terrorism in detail, give examples to substantiate better.

Then suggest solutions such as – Stopping terrorism requires tackling issues such as foreign fighters, border controls and cutting off funds.

Present Indian case as well as that of world.

Conclusion:

Conclude by suggesting both long term and short term solutions.

Introduction:

Terrorism is the planned, organized and systematic use of violence as a means of coercion for political, religious or ideological purposes. It has become a global phenomenon posing major threat to international peace, security and stability.

Body:

Terrorism and challenge to Human Rights:

  • South Asia has been impacted by the activities of terrorist organizations such as Al‑Qaida and Lashkar-e-Taiba. The growing interlinkages between terrorist groups, cross-border operations, including financing networks, and the exploitation of modern technologies — means that no country can stay aloof from the effects of terrorism.
    • Loss of civilian life and uncertainty on the security of life is a gross human rights violation.
  • In 2017, terrorist attacks in conflict countries averaged 2.4 deaths, compared to 0.84 deaths in non-conflict countries. Terrorist attacks are more lethal on average in countries with a greater intensity of conflict. In 2017, countries in a state of war averaged 2.97 deaths per attack, compared to 1.36 in countries involved in a minor armed conflict.
  • Global Counter‑Terrorism Strategy has witnessed little practical impact on the ground. A comprehensive convention will provide a strong legal basis for tackling terrorism.
    • Non-agreement on counter-terror strategy is a collective failure of nations in the realm of human rights.
  • There was no change in the five countries most impacted by terrorism, which include Iraq, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Syria and Pakistan. All of these countries have been ranked in the worst five every year since 2013.
  • Conflict continued to be the primary driver of terrorist activity for the countries most impacted by terrorism in 2017.
  • There are numerous possible reasons for this difference. Countries in conflict have a greater availability of more military-grade small arms and bomb-making capabilities.
  • Countries that are not in conflict tend to be more economically-developed and spend more on intelligence gathering, policing and counterterrorism. This shows the importance of human rights in governance.

Steps needed to curb terrorism:

  • Combat Terror financing: The FATF makes recommendations for combating financial crime, reviews members’ policies and procedures, and seeks to increase acceptance of anti-money laundering regulations across the globe. Eg: Pakistan is on greylist for two years
  • Intelligence sharing: As terrorism is taking global form, intelligence sharing among countries is critical in preventing or minimizing the terror attacks. Eg: Easter attack possibility was shared by India to Sri Lanka, though it was not acted upon.
  • Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism: Conclusion of India led CCIT Convention is still pending as there is no consensus even on the definition of terrorism.
    • No international convention exists, that determines intelligence and evidence sharing, extradition of accused persons hiding outside national territory.
    • This needs to be finalized at the earliest.
  • Global cooperation on extremist content: Christchurch Call of Action outlined voluntary commitments from governments, ISPs to address issue of violent extremist content online. India is a signatory to this plan
  • Global sanctions against nations that are State sponsors of terrorism. Eg: UNSC must come up with stringent sanctions against nations.

Conclusion:

Terrorism is a complex, non-static phenomenon. Its associated motivations, financing and support mechanisms, methods of attack and choice of targets are often evolving, thereby compounding the challenges of ensuring the existence of an effective strategy to counter it. In this situation global cooperation is of paramount importance.

 

Topic : Money Laundering

6. What is Money Laundering? How does it work? Discuss its impact and explain the Legal Framework in India to deal with it.  (250 words)

Reference:  Hindustan Times

Why the question:

Jailed diamond merchant Nirav Modi can be extradited to India to face charges of fraud and money laundering, a UK court ruled on Thursday.

Key Demand of the question:

Explain the concept of Money Laundering and discuss its impact while throwing light upon legal framework in India.

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 with the definition of money laundering.

Body:

Money Laundering refers to converting illegal earned money into legitimate money. The government does not get any tax on the money because there is no accounting of the black money. So Money Laundering is a way to hide the illegally acquired money.

The term “money laundering” originated from the Mafia group in the United States of America. Mafia groups have made huge amounts of extortion, gambling, etc. and this money is shown as legal money. In India, “money laundering” is popularly known as Hawala transactions.

Then move on to explain how Money Laundering works? Discuss the impacts of money laundering.

Present in detail the Legal Framework in India to deal with Money laundering

Conclusion:

Thus, the evolving threats of money laundering supported by the emerging technologies need to be addressed with the equally advanced Anti-Money Laundering mechanisms like big data and artificial intelligence. Both international and domestic stakeholders need to come together by strengthening data sharing mechanisms amongst them to effectively eliminate the problem of money laundering.

Introduction:

Money laundering is the process of creating the appearance that large amounts of money obtained from criminal activity, such as drug trafficking or terrorist activity, originated from a legitimate source. The money from the illicit activity is considered dirty, and the process “launders” the money to make it look clean.

The term “money laundering” originated from the Mafia group in the United States of America. Mafia groups have made huge amounts of extortion, gambling, etc. and this money is shown as legal money. In India, “money laundering” is popularly known as Hawala transactions.

Body:

Working of Money Laundering:

A case of Money laundering ostensibly appears to be an above-board financial transaction, however, the criminality underneath is hidden by a three stage process:

  • The first stage is when the crime money is injected into the formal financial System. This is called ‘placement’;
  • In the second stage, money injected into the system is layered and spread over various transactions with a view obfuscate the tainted origin of the money. This process is called ‘layering’;
  • In the third and the final stage, money enters the financial system in such a way that original association with the crime is sought to be obliterated so that the money can then be used by the offender or person receiving as clean money. This is called ‘Integration’.

 

Efforts of Government of India to address money laundering:

Statutory framework:

In India, before the enactment of Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA) the major statutes that incorporated measures to address the problem of money laundering were:

  • PMLA Act:
    • It prescribes obligation of banking companies, financial institutions and intermediaries for verification and maintenance of records of the identity of all its clients and also of all transactions and for furnishing information of such transactions in prescribed form to the Financial Intelligence Unit-India (FIU-IND).
    • It empowers the Director of FIU-IND to impose fine on banking company, financial institution or intermediary if they or any of its officers fails to comply with the provisions of the Act as indicated above.
    • PMLA envisages setting up of an Adjudicating Authority to exercise jurisdiction, power and authority conferred by it essentially to confirm attachment or order confiscation of attached properties.
  • The Black money (undisclosed foreign income and assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015:
    • To deal with the menace of the black money existing in the form of undisclosed foreign income and assets by setting out the procedure for dealing with such income and assets.
  • Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Bill, 2015:
    • It aims to expand the definition of Benami Transactions and specifies the penalty to be imposed on a person entering into a Benami transaction.

Institutional framework:

  • Enforcement directorate:
    • PMLA empowers certain officers of the Directorate of Enforcement to carry out investigations in cases involving offence of money laundering and also to attach the property involved in money laundering.
  • Financial Intelligence Unit:
    • It was established in India in 2004 as the central national agency responsible for receiving, processing, analyzing and disseminating information relating to suspect financial transactions.
    • FIU-IND is also responsible for coordinating and strengthening efforts of national and international intelligence, investigation and enforcement agencies in pursuing the global efforts against money laundering and related crimes.
    • FIU-IND is an independent body reporting directly to the Economic Intelligence Council (EIC) headed by the Finance Minister.

Way forward:

  • Make common people more aware about the problem- The poor and illiterate people, instead of going through lengthy paper work transactions in Banks, prefer the Hawala system which needs to be stopped.
  • Fulfilling the purpose of KYC Norms by doing proper KYC.
  • Establishment of comprehensive enforcement agencies
  • Promote cashless digital transaction

Conclusion:

The Indian government is serious about curbing money laundering so India has to focus on financial literacy education so that people are aware.

 

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic: Case Study

7. You, a reporter currently working as an intern, accompanied a small group of reporters to a political event organized by the ruling party’s state unit. The party was followed by dinner where you were also asked to join. Here, you noticed that alcohol was being served to some members of the ruling party. Consumption of alcohol had been declared illegal in the state a few months ago and the ban is being enforced strictly across the state. The other reporters in your group ignored the issue and asked you to ignore it as well. However, it was clear to you that the law was not being followed. (250 words)

(a) Identify the issues involved in this scenario.

(b) What are your duties in such a scenario?

(c) What course of action would you follow and why?. 

Reference:  Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude by Lexicon Publications

Why the question:

The question is a case study based on ethics involved in maintaining law and that in politics and its breach.

Key Demand of the question:

First identify the ethical concerns in the case and address the questions one by one with ethical dimensions in mind.   

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start with facts of the case.

Body:

The answer body must have the following aspects covered:

Discuss issues such as political apathy, insensitivity and lack of values.

Highlight the duties as an ethical journalist and a responsible citizen.

Discuss the action which you would take.

Conclusion:

Conclude the answer with a fair and balanced opinion.

Introduction:

The case involved both ethical journalism and ethical conscience of a young reporter who is asked to blatantly lie and hide a grave violation of rules. Not only is this illegal, but shows how the law makers themselves are the law breakers.

Body:

Stakeholders

  • The young journalist
  • Lawmakers consuming alcohol in dry state
  • State government and revenue loss
  • Police and Law and order problem in the state.
  • Experienced reporters and their ethical judgement

(a)Issues involved in the scenario

  • Journalists cannot always guarantee ‘truth’, but getting the facts right is the cardinal principle of journalism. In this case, not reporting the truth is injurious to the State and its governance
  • Journalists must be independent voices; they should not act, formally or informally, on behalf of special interests whether political, corporate or cultural. Hiding the truth upholds the belief that, Big Fish never fry and reinforces the same.
  • As a young journalist, this should not be the example that should be set especially whence starting the career.
  • Accountability of law makers is violated when they themselves are unravelling the laws made in the state.

(b)Duties

As a reporter, I am accountable to my conscience and adhere to the ideals of responsible journalism. Reporters and journalists are public watchdogs who bring to notice the wrongdoings in law and order or governance thereby enforcing accountability of public servants and politicians.

By not revealing the wrongdoing, not only leads to shielding the culprits, it also sets a wrong precedent. Unbiased reporting is the hallmark of a journalist and reporter.

(c)Course of Action

Being a young intern, it would be difficult to register protest in the function against the serving of liquor. I would rather carry strong evidence against the violation and give the same to the media houses. Wrong does not cease to be wrong if majority share in it. We are answerable to our conscience and the guilt of not doing one’s job well would always haunt me especially as I am entering the field of journalism.

The main reason for eroding credibility of media and reporting is because of the strong nexus between the politicians and media houses and excessive focus on revenue making from sensational news. To restore this, the need of the hour is honest and truthful reporting. Moreover, one cannot have different rules and laws for different people. Rule of law must be upheld and everyone is same and treated equal before the law of the land.

Conclusion:

In a democracy everyone is accountable to the people, and so is the media and the law makers. Therefore, Indian media must introspect and develop a sense of responsibility and maturity and always upheld truthfulness.


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