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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 10 March 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: Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues.

1. Account for the journey of working-class movement in India since the advent of modern industries. How did this contrasting group emerge as an organized class in late 1920s? Comment. (250 words)

Reference:  Modern Indian history by Spectrum Publications

Why the question:

The question is based on the working class movement of the 18th century.  

Key Demand of the question:

Account for the journey of working-class movement in India since the advent of modern industries and discuss their emergence as an organized class in the later phase.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start with the advent of working class.

Body:

Trace the development of all India class consciousness in various phases. The modern worker made their appearance in India in the second half of 19th century with the slow beginnings of Railways and modern industries. Before the nationalists began to associate with working class agitations towards the end of 19th century, there were several strikes, agitations.

Explain the phases – (1850s -1900), coming of Swadeshi movement, late 1920s onwards.

Then discuss how this process of emergence of working class as an organized all India class is inextricably linked with the growth of national movement as Indian working class could not exist before the notion of ‘Indian’ people had begun to take root.

Conclusion:

Conclude with importance of it.

Introduction:

The modern Indian working class arose in consequence to the development and growth of factory industries in India from the second half of the nineteenth century. It is however about the turn of the twentieth century, it took the shape of working class. An exact estimate of the total population of the working class is difficult to arrive at but N. M. Joshi, on the basis of the 1931 census, calculated ‘the labouring class at 50million out of which roughly 10 percent were working in the organised industry’.

Body:

According to the labour historians, the span of working class activities in India is divided into three distinct phases.

  • The first phase (1850 to 1890):
    • The actions of the working class in the earliest stage were sporadic and unorganised in nature and hence were mostly ineffective.
    • Some philanthropists in the 1880s sought to improve working conditions by urging the British authorities in India to introduce legislations for improving its condition. S. S. Bengalee in Bombay, Sasipada Banerjee in Bengal and Lokhandya in Maharashtra were prominent among them.
    • In the last decades of the 19th century, there occurred strikes at Bombay, Kurla, Surat, Wardha, Ahmedabad and in other places.
    • The strikes however were only sporadic, spontaneous, localised and short-lived and were caused by factors such as reduction in wages, imposition of fines, dismissal or reprimand of the worker.
    • These actions and militancy, which they showed, helped in the development of class solidarity and consciousness, which was missing earlier.
    • The resistance was mediated by outsiders or outside leaders. Agitations grew and they were not on individual issues but on broader economic questions, thus leading to a gradual improvement later on.
  • The second phase (1890 to 1918):
    • It is only from the late 19th century in Madras, and from the second decade of the twentieth century in Bombay that serious attempts were made for the formation of associations that could lead organised form of protests.
    • Between 1915-1922, there was resurgence of workers’ movement along with the Home Rule movement and the Non-cooperation movement. The most important development was undoubtedly, the formation of All-India Trade Union Congress under the leadership of Tilak and Lala Lajpat Rai.
  • The third phase (1918 to 1947):
    • It was after World War I that the working class struggle in the country entered into a different phase. The unorganised movement of the workers took an organised form
    • Trade unions were formed on modern lines.
    • Firstly, in the 1920s serious attempts were made by the Congress and the Communists to mobilize the working class and hence from then onwards the national movement established a connection with the working class.
    • Secondly, it was in 1920 that the first attempt to form an all India organisation was made. Tilak, was instrumental in the formation of the All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC)
    • Thirdly, in this decade, India witnessed a large number of strikes. The strikes were prolonged and well participated by the workers. The number of strikes and the number of workers involved in these strikes went on increasing in the subsequent decades
    • The clearest policy of the Congress came only in 1936 when it appointed a committee to look after labour matters. Thus it was from the late 1930s that the Congress established deep links with the working class in the country
    • Communists who arrived in the 1920s seriously became interested in working class questions and therefore they sought to mobilise the working class through the Workers and Peasant Parties (WPPs) in which they were active throughout the country.
      • The WPPs were able to organise the working class considerably. ‘The WPPs were most successful in Bombay where it organised a strike in 1928 than in other cities of India.
    • There was a radicalisation of working class activity by the end of the 1920s but what is also crucial is that there also grew differences between the Moderates and the Communists; as a result, the AITUC split and the National Trade Union Federation (NTUF) was formed by the moderate leaders
    • The RTUC merged with the AITUC in 1935 and the NTUF affiliated itself with the AITUC in 1938. As a result of this, there was a growth of trade unions and trade union activity throughout the 1930s and the 1940s. The number of strikes went up by the end of the 1930s.
      • The strikes spread to several smaller industrial towns in the country
      • The working class during these struggles were not only defensive but were also offensive in the sense that they demanded among other things restoration of wage cuts, recognition of their union rights and resisted new forms of oppression of labour.
      • It has also been found that increasing number of women workers came to the forefront of the workers’ struggle
    • On the industrial front, from 1939 onwards the working condition of the workers was affected seriously.
      • There was increase in the working hours, multiple shift systems were introduced, wages were significantly reduced, and workers. on the whole, were subjected to great hardships.
      • As a result, strikes erupted throughout the country and probably the most important demand of the workers was the demand for a Dearness Allowance against rising prices and cost of living.
    • The last years of the colonial rule also saw a remarkable sharp increase in strikes on economic issues all over the country. The all-India strike of the Post and Telegraph Department employees being the most well-known among them.

Conclusion:

To sum up, the movement of the organised workers in the country dates back to the period when industrialisation started and the first working class in the country appeared. The movements however took an organised form after the First World War with the emergence of trade unions. Movement of the workers, since then, continues to surface even today but the organised movements in the country face a number of problems. The most important of all the problems include fragmentation of unions, affiliation of the unions with political parties, lack of militancy by the established unions and a general apathy towards organising workers employed in the unorganised sector of the economy. All these problems have affected the working class movement in the country adversely.

 


General Studies – 2


 

Topic: Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act.

2. What are Electoral bonds? Critically examine its role in ensuring transparency in electoral financing. (250 words)

Reference:  The Hindu

Why the question:

The question is based on the theme of electoral bonds.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss the concept of electoral bonds and examine its role in ensuring transparency in electoral financing.

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 the concept of electoral bonds.

Body:

Under the electoral bond scheme, an electoral bond, issued in the nature of a promissory note, can be bought by any Indian citizen or company incorporated in India. The scheme allows parties to receive these bonds.

This new instrument of political party funding is aimed to ensure greater transparency by addressing the issue of anonymous financing. It sought to eliminate black money from the system.

Present their merits and demerits. Discuss its role in ensuring transparency in electoral financing.

Conclusion:

Conclude with its significance.

Introduction:

An electoral bond is like a promissory note that can be bought by any Indian citizen or company incorporated in India from select branches of State Bank of India. The citizen or corporate can then donate the same to any eligible political party of his/her choice. The bonds are similar to bank notes that are payable to the bearer on demand and are free of interest. An individual or party will be allowed to purchase these bonds digitally or through cheque.

Body:

Electoral bonds will allow donors to pay political parties using banks as an intermediary. Although called a bond, the banking instrument resembling promissory notes will not carry any interest. The electoral bond, which will be a bearer instrument, will not carry the name of the payee and can be bought for any value, in multiples of Rs 1,000, Rs 10,000, Rs 1 lakh, Rs 10 lakh or Rs 1 crore.

Rationale behind introduction of the electoral bonds:

  • Electoral bonds have been introduced to promote transparency in funding and donation received by political parties.
  • The scheme envisages building a transparent system of acquiring bonds with validated KYC and an audit trail. A limited window and a very short maturity period would make misuse improbable.
  • The electoral bonds will prompt donors to take the banking route to donate, with their identity captured by the issuing authority. This will ensure transparency and accountability and is a big step towards electoral reform.
  • The previous system of cash donations from anonymous sources is wholly non-transparent. The donor, the donee, the quantum of donations and the nature of expenditure are all undisclosed.
  • According to government the system of Bonds will encourage political donations of clean money from individuals, companies, HUF, religious groups, charities, etc.
  • After purchasing the bonds, these entities can hand them to political parties of their choice, which must redeem them within the prescribed time.
  • Some element of transparency would be introduced in as much as all donors declare in their accounts the amount of bonds that they have purchased and all parties declare the quantum of bonds that they have received.
  • The electoral bonds are aimed at rooting out the current system of largely anonymous cash donations made to political parties which lead to the generation of black money in the economy.

Findings on Electoral bonds:

  • In the process of vetting the Centre’s electoral bonds scheme in December 2017, the Law Ministry repeatedly objected to the Finance Ministry’s stipulation that political parties must have a 1% vote share in Lok Sabha or State Assembly elections in order to be eligible for the scheme, documents obtained through an RTI query.
  • The documents obtained through RTI show that the Law Ministry recommended the imposition of a 6% vote share requirement or the removal of the vote share requirement entirely.
  • The Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) also objected to the vote share requirement as discriminatory, while political parties themselves were not consulted.

Electoral bonds and transparency:

  • The move could be misused, given the lack of disclosure requirements for individuals purchasing electoral bonds.
  • Electoral bonds make electoral funding even more opaque. It will bring more and more black money into the political system. electoral bonds would cause a “serious impact” on transparency in funding of political parties
  • With electoral bonds there can be a legal channel for companies to round-trip their tax haven cash to a political party. If this could be arranged, then a businessman could lobby for a change in policy, and legally funnel a part of the profits accruing from this policy change to the politician or party that brought it about.
  • The amendments would pump in black money for political funding through shell companies and allow “unchecked foreign funding of political parties in India which could lead to Indian politics being influenced by foreign companies
  • Companies no longer need to declare the names of the parties to which they have donated so shareholders won’t know where their money has gone.
  • They have potential to load the dice heavily in favour of the ruling party as the donor bank and the receiver bank know the identity of the person. But both the banks report to the RBI which, in turn, is subject to the Central government’s will to know.

Alternative mechanisms for electoral funding:

  • According to Former Chief Election Commissioner S.Y. Quraishi, an alternative worth exploring is a National Electoral Fund to which all donors can contribute.
  • The funds would be allocated to political parties in proportion to the votes they get. Not only would this protect the identity of donors, it would also weed out black money from political funding.
  • The total cost of MPLADS funding for all MPs is nearly ₹4,000 crore every year, and scrapping the scheme even for one year in an MP’s five-year term will be enough to bankroll state funding of Lok Sabha candidates. This is a legalized way of allowing MPs and MLAs to shower money on their constituencies at state expense.
  • Direct funding of candidates, who will be reimbursed according to their final share of the votes cast.
  • The best way to bring about such transparency in political funding is to put a complete ban on cash donations by individuals or companies to political parties.
  • Making it mandatory for all parties to receive donations only by cheque, or other modes of money transfer.
  • There should be clear provisions for getting tax benefits for all those making such donations.
  • Make it mandatory for political parties to submit details of all donations received with the Election Commission and also with the income-tax department.
  • State funding of political parties can be considered. The Indrajit Gupta Committee on State Funding of Elections had endorsed partial state funding of recognised political parties.
  • The mechanics of this process need to be carefully worked out to establish the allocation of money to national parties, State parties and independent candidates, and to check candidate’s own expenditure over and above that which is provided by the state.
  • Voters have to be made aware through awareness campaigns about ill effects of money power during elections. Bringing political parties under the preview of RTI act.

 

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

3. The nativist labour laws of Andhra Pradesh and Haryana victimizes the low-income migrant workers.do you agree? Critically analyse. (250 words)

Reference:  Indian Express

Why the question:

Haryana Governor’s assent to The Haryana State Employment of Local Candidates Act of 2020 , thus the question.

Key Demand of the question:

Critically analyse the nativist labor laws brought out by the two states.

Directive:

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:

Introduction:

Start with details of the laws established by the State of Haryana and Andhra Pradesh.

Body:

First explain the favorable reasons for such laws – Most migration for work in India happens within state borders. The Census 2011 data revealed that in almost all Indian districts, less than 10% of the urban workforce comprised of inter- state migrants.

Then present the evolution of nativist labour laws in India, and then discuss the problems associated with nativist labour laws; their unconstitutionality, how they curtail the employer’s choice, they can be anti-migrant in nature and how they can promote subnational nativism.

Conclusion:

Conclude with ideal solutions and suggest the need for balance in bringing such laws into force.

Introduction:

Despite the constitutional provisions, in the past three years, anti-migrant rhetoric is increasingly turning into legislative reality. In 2019, the government of Andhra Pradesh passed the Andhra Pradesh Employment of Local Candidates in the Industries/Factories Bill, 2019, reserving 75 per cent of jobs for locals. Most recently, in March, the Haryana government passed the Haryana State Employment of Local Candidates Bill, 2020.

Body:

Nativist labour laws: Detrimental to migrant workers

  • The migrant crisis in 2020 in the wake of pandemic shed light on the vulnerability of inter-state migrants who have no social security.
    • To their long list of woes, ranging from precarious livelihoods to lack of access to portable social security, they now have an added source of concern — nativist laws.
  • Sectors which do end up employing a large number of inter-state migrant workers, like that of Surat’s power loom industry which employs workers from Odisha — do so because the local workers do not aspire for those jobs.
  • The law also appears to be tough to implement on the ground and one can expect a parallel market to emerge on the ability to prove local residence, as it often happens in the case of ration cards.
  • Further, the income cut-off in Haryana’s law conveys that the rich can move anywhere in India and work as they please but those same opportunities are to be denied to poorer inter-state migrant workers.
  • By restricting migration choices, the governments of Andhra Pradesh and Haryana send out bad signals in the labour market, especially when their own elites have benefited tremendously from internal and international migration.
  • It will increase the burden of unemployment in states that send the migrants and also dip in economic activity where migrant workers are needed but not provided from local populace.

Measures needed:

  • Enhanced Expenditure on Education: Government must increase expenditure to 6% of GDP and ensure better learning outcomes.
  • Skills Training: Skill India program launched in 2015 has an objective of enabling a large number of Indian youths to take up industry-relevant skill training that will help them in securing a better livelihood.
  • India needs to learn from technical and vocational training/education models in China, Germany, Japan, Brazil, and Singapore, who had similar challenges in the past, along with learning from its own experiences to adopt a comprehensive model that can bridge the skill gaps and ensure employability of youths.
  • There are number of labour-intensive manufacturing sectors in India such as food processing, leather and footwear, wood manufacturers and furniture, textiles and apparel and garments. Special packages, individually designed for each industry are needed to create jobs.
  • Public investment in sectors like health, education, police and judiciary can create many government jobs.
  • Decentralisation of Industrial activities is necessary so that people of every region get employment.
  • Development of the rural areas will help mitigate the migration of the rural people to the urban areas thus decreasing the pressure on the urban area jobs.
  • Concrete measures aimed at removing the social barriers for women’s entry and their continuous participation in the job market is needed.
  • Government needs to keep a strict watch on the education system and should try to implement new ways to generate skilled labour force.

Conclusion:

Nativist laws within India shows the hypocrisy, when the same officials decried Trump’s anti-immigration laws.  Also, such laws, sow the seeds of the balkanisation of our country. Such laws ought to be challenged in the courts.

 

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

4. Swachh Bharat Mission 2 .0 speaks of sustained behavioral change while embarking on the newer agendas of sustainable solid waste management and safe disposal of wastewater and reuse. Elaborate. (250 words)

Reference: Indian Express  

Why the question:

The question is is based on the nuances of Swachh Bharat mission 2.0.

Key Demand of the question:

Elaborate on the features and utility of Swachh Bharat mission 2.0.

Directive:

Elaborate – 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:

Start with brief introduction on what SBM is.

Body:

The answer body must have the following aspects covered:

Discuss the agenda and focus of the mission – It will focus on Open Defecation Free Plus (ODF Plus), which includes ODF sustainability and Solid and Liquid Waste Management (SLWM).

SBM (G) Phase-II will be implemented from 2020-21 to 2024-25 in a mission mode with a total outlay of Rs. 1,40,881 crores.

Elaborate on how it speaks of sustained behavioral change while embarking on the newer agendas of sustainable solid waste management and safe disposal of wastewater and reuse.

Conclusion:

Conclude with importance.

Introduction:

The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister, approved the Phase II of the Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen) [SBM (G)] till 2024-25, which will focus on Open Defecation Free Plus (ODF Plus), which includes ODF sustainability and Solid and Liquid Waste Management (SLWM). The program will also work towards ensuring that no one is left behind and everyone uses a toilet. SBM (G) Phase-II will also be implemented from 2020-21 to 2024-25.

Body:

Behavioural change efforts in SBM 1.0:

  • The mission has demonstrated progress on several parameters – from the rapid build-up of toilets across the country, to making the sanitation conversation a household theme.
  • The mission has unlocked funding for sanitation at the national, state and municipal levels.
  • A nationwide communication campaign, which drove several positive messages on the need for better sanitation, has kept this issue at the front and center of the national policy narrative.
  • In one of the promotional videos of SBM, featuring celebrity ambassador Vidya Balan, the protagonist asks a man on his wedding day whether he had a toilet at home, to which the answer was negative.
  • This prompts her to ask the bride to remove her veil, suggesting that a man who lets his wife defecate in the open has no right to ask her to follow the purdah.
  • This was later amended, highlighting the importance of viewing every communication through a gender lens lest there be unintended collateral damage.
  • It is heartening to notice changes in SBM messaging that reflect major transformations, attempting to popularise and portray stories of women groups and successful women swachhta champions to create the much-needed social ripple that would inspire women to take complete charge as they seek to achieve a healthy and dignified life for themselves and their families.
  • In Jharkhand, trained women masons built over 15 lakh toilets in one year, and helped the state achieve its open defecation free (rural) target.
  • The India Sanitation Coalition has helped link micro-finance with self-help groups run by women for sanitation needs.
  • Increasingly, interventions with these groups which drive livelihoods can be designed to produce income and well-being impact with water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) programmes.

The Solid and Liquid Waste Management (SLWM) component of ODF Plus will be monitored on the basis of output-outcome indicators for 4 key areas:

  • Plastic waste management,
  • Biodegradable solid waste management (including animal waste management),
  • Greywater management
  • Faecal sludge management.

SBM 2.0 & impetus on sustained behavioural change:

  • The Swachh Bharat Mission 2.0 (SBM) aims, among other things, to find solutions for sustained behaviour change, addressing women and their personal hygiene needs.
  • There is a growing consensus now that whereas the statutory framework relating to sanitation is gender neutral in its approach, the policy framework does recognise gender-related issues.
  • A national monitoring and evaluation system to track and measure gender outcomes in SBM is necessary.
  • Several researchers in this space have commented that gender analysis frameworks have a long history in development practice.
  • We can learn from these frameworks to support design, implementation, and measurement that can bridge the gender equality gap in sanitation.
  • SBM’s current focus on the implementation of the infrastructure of water and sanitation could take attention away from the much-needed continuing focus on behaviour change and gender.
  • We will need effective communications and training programmes to build the capacity of stakeholders on gender targeting, both on the supply and demand sides of interventions.
  • Information, education, and communication, which aims at behaviour change of the masses, is key to the success of the Swachhata mission 2.0.
  • In past SBM 1.0, the government has also very effectively used over 8 lakh swachhagrahis, mainly women, who for small honorariums work to push through behavioural change at the community level.

Conclusion:

The sustainable development goals (Target 6.2) require India “by 2030, to achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and end open defecation, paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations.” Besides the government, the role of non-state actors, including that of institutions like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, UNICEF and several NGOs, must be lauded as we pursue sustainable sanitation using a powerful gender lens. There is no doubt that women can help to drive change and bring about lasting change as the jan andolan for swachhta, health and sanitation gains momentum.

 

 


General Studies – 3


 

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

5. The unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), 1967 and the NIA act where recently amended in the wake of strengthening the security environment in the country. Analyze the changes in this context while discussing the scope and reasons for opposing the UAPA by human rights organizations. (250 words)

Reference:  Indian Express

Why the question:

The question is from the portions of GS paper III, part internal security and challenges therein.

Key Demand of the question:

One has to analyse critically how under each new regime, UAPA grants greater powers to the state and has fewer safeguards for individual 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:

Start with brief introduction of the recent amendments made to the Acts.

Body:

The answer body must explain that there is an imbalance between the fundamental freedoms of citizens and interests of the State through the Act in the name of security.

It is primarily meant to combat terror and proscribe known terrorist organisations. Parliament, in the latest amendment to UAPA in July 2019, chose to proscribe individuals and their activities by paving the way to name individuals as terrorists even though they may have no affiliation with any of the 36 terrorist organisations referred to in the First Schedule of the Act. The government seeks to justify this amendment consistent with its alleged desire to effectively deal with terrorists and terrorist organisations who threaten security.

Unfortunately, the provisions of UAPA have, in the recent past, been used against those known to speak up for the oppressed, those who foster the cause of civil rights, and others who oppose the government and its policies.

Present examples.

Conclusion:

Conclude with what needs to be done.

Introduction:

The Unlawful Activities Prevention Amendment (UAPA) Bill is an anti-terror legislation that seeks to designate an individual as a “terrorist”. Recently, parliament cleared the changes to the existing law as well as some features in the National Investigation Agency (NIA) Act. However, Opposition parties and civil liberties lawyers have criticized the bill, arguing it could be used to target dissent against the government and infringe on citizens’ civil rights.

Body:

Changes in the UAPA and the NIA Act:

  • Designating someone terrorist: The Bill seeks to empower the central government to designate an individual a “terrorist” if they are found committing, preparing for, promoting, or involved in an act of terror.
  • A similar provision already exists in Part 4 and 6 of the legislation for organizations that can be designated as a “terrorist organization”.
  • The central government may designate an individual as a terrorist through a notification in the official gazette, and add his name to the schedule supplemented to the UAPA Bill.
  • Approval for the seizure of property by NIA: Under the Act, an investigating officer is required to obtain the prior approval of the Director-General of Police to seize properties that may be connected with terrorism.
  • The Bill adds that if the investigation is conducted by an officer of the National Investigation Agency (NIA), the approval of the Director-General of NIA would be required for seizure of such property.
  • The investigation by NIA: Under the Act, investigation of cases may be conducted by officers of the rank of Deputy Superintendent or Assistant Commissioner of Police or above.
  • The Bill additionally empowers the officers of the NIA, of the rank of Inspector or above, to investigate cases.
  • Insertion to the schedule of treaties: The Act defines terrorist acts to include acts committed within the scope of any of the treaties listed in a schedule to the Act.
  • The Schedule lists nine treaties, including the Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings (1997), and the Convention against Taking of Hostages (1979).
  • The Bill adds another treaty to the list.  This is the International Convention for Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism (2005).

Opposition by human rights organization

  • Terror and Terrorist not defined: The words “terror” or “terrorist” are not defined in the UAPA Bill. Section 15 of the UAPA defines a “terrorist act” as any act committed with intent to threaten or likely to threaten the unity, integrity, security, economic security, or sovereignty of India or with intent to strike terror or likely to strike terror in the people or any section of the people in India or in any foreign country.
  • An official designation as a terrorist will be akin to ‘civil death’ for a person, with social boycott, expulsion from job, hounding by media, and perhaps attack from self-proclaimed vigilante groups following.
  • The original Act dealt with “unlawful” acts related to secession; anti-terror provisions were introduced in 2004.
  • This is a potentially dangerous amendment which will empower officials of Union Ministry to brand any person ‘a terrorist ‘, without following due process.
  • The name of such a person will be included in the ‘Fourth Schedule’ proposed to be added in the parent Act.
  • The only statutory remedy available to such a person is to make an application before the Central Government for de-notification, which will be considered by the Review Committee constituted by the Government itself.
  • The amendment does not provide any legal consequences in case an individual is designated a terrorist.
  • The inclusion of one’s name in the Fourth Schedule as a terrorist per se will not lead to any conviction, imprisonment, fines, disqualifications or any sort of civil penalties. So this is simply power for the government to brand anyone as a terrorist.
  • An official designation as a terrorist will be akin to ‘civil death’ for a person with the social boycott, expulsion from the job, hounded by the media, and perhaps attack from self-proclaimed vigilante groups following.
  • UAPA has been used to file shaky and insubstantial cases against selfless, dedicated human rights activists and NGOs.
  • Even if the person is eventually acquitted of the charges, the delays in conducting judicial proceedings mean the case may only get heard several years after their arrest – failure to get bail means they have to spend the entire time in jail.
  • The Act also interferes with the privacy and liberty of individuals contravening the provisions which protect against arbitrary or unlawful interference with a person’s privacy and home.
  • The Act allows for searches, seizures, and arrests based on the ‘personal knowledge’ of the police officers without a written validation from a superior judicial authority.

Way Forward:

  • This law is aimed at the effective prevention of unlawful activities associations in India.
  • Its main objective is to make powers available for dealing with activities directed against the integrity and sovereignty of India.
  • But there must be a distinction between an individual and an organization, and it must be kept in mind that the Constitution guarantees the former the right to life and liberty.
  • There is a need to undertake structural changes to provide transparency in the proceedings to make UAPA act more accountable.
  • Proper justification must be provided for the seizure of the properties and assets of an individual.
  • The bill must ensure judicial solutions to the wrongly accused to safeguard the individual’s dignity, freedom, and equality in the society.
  • The government must also rethink the issues pertaining to the rights of life and liberty, and federalism.

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic: Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration: Status and problems; ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions; laws, rules, regulations and conscience as sources of ethical guidance; accountability and ethical governance; strengthening of ethical and moral values in governance; ethical issues in international relations and funding; corporate governance.

6. Propose some measures for the enhancement of Indian bureaucracy for effective public administration. (250 words)

Reference:  Indian Express

Why the question:

The article brings to us measures for the enhancement of Indian bureaucracy for effective public administration.

Key Demand of the question:

Present some measures for the enhancement of Indian bureaucracy for effective public administration in the country.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly first account for the status of Indian bureaucracy.

Body:

The question is straightforward and there isn’t much to deliberate. One should suggest measures like – recruiting at a younger age, training frequency, Sectorial specializations within broad generalization,

Use big data to measure governance quality, Discourage the practice of appointing retiring/retired officers etc.

Elaborate each point and substantiate with examples wherever possible.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

The malady of political interference has its origin in the fifties and sixties when civil servants and political leaders started working together. With deepening democracy, it was expected that their respective roles would be defined in the context of our Constitution and refined further. Maturing democracy should have been accompanied by role definition, which unfortunately did not happen. The structural lethargy and high individual complacency levels prevented any attempt for role clarification. The vaguely defined equation that the political boss takes the decision and the bureaucrat carries it out, has left much room for irrationality, arbitrariness and indolence.

Body:

According to a study `IAS Meets Big Data’ by the Carnegie Institute, there is a lingering view that politicisation of civil services has become more, not less, entrenched. It says the World Bank’s government effectiveness index that captures the quality of country’s civil service and its independence from political pressure, places India in the 45th percentile globally, nearly 10 percentage point decline from country’s position in 1996, when the data was first collected. It concludes that political interference generates substantial inefficiency; the best officers do not always occupy important positions, while political loyalty offers bureaucrats an alternative path to career success.

The key issues and problems faced in bureaucratic work culture are:

  • Structure of administration:
    • Structure of administration that is created through the relative powers of these three streams of authority promotes fragmentation, centralization, and non-responsiveness to local needs.
    • Bureaucracies are predictable and accountable, but these traits also make them change-resistant.
    • Bureaucratic environments are big on policies and procedures, and unfortunately, sometimes employees and even leaders forget to think for themselves.
  • Lack of Transparency:
    • The lack of percolation of much of the information about organization’s decisions.
    • Even personnel in supervisory roles are probably blindsided by unexpected announcements, new initiatives, and policy changes.
  • Coordinated action is very difficult:
    • Departments have offices at different geographic units, and there is no accepted coordinator at all. This further reduces the capacity of coordinated action and responsiveness to local needs.
  • Lack of proper role and capacity building:
    • Role of local governments tends to be unclear, resulting in conflict between political representatives and officials, which leads to further disempowerment.
    • The Indian bureaucracy is structured so that the least skilled and lowest paid personnel actually implement government programmes.
    • Success is unlikely if the person undertaking this task has poor understanding and skills.
  • Shortage of personnel:
    • At the field level, there is an acute shortage of personnel. The availability of technical personnel is very patchy.
  • Focus on output and not on outcomes:
    • Rigid departmental programmes frame all activities and officials define their roles in terms of implementing programmes rather than goals such as reducing malnutrition.
  • Failure of technology:
    • Technology has also added to centralization by strengthening links between the State departments and the field offices, rather than links between the field officials and the community.
    • Endless Paperwork and Red Tapism adds to failure of technology.
    • The basic flaws of excessive centralization and authoritarianism have only been strengthened.
    • These problems are exacerbated by widespread corruption, which further reduces professionalism.

Reforms needed:

  • Independent civil service boards at the centre and the states that would make recommendations on the postings and transfers of civil servants
  • Fixed tenures for civil servants at a posting.
  • Formal recording of instructions/orders/directions from political authorities and legislators, among others, on what they ask civil servants to do.
  • One reason for the slow pace of decision-making in key ministries is the fear among officers about possible victimization in case something goes wrong. Written orders, while preventing abuse, can also shield officers from such fears.
  • Ideally, there should be a political consensus on protecting civil servants from abuses in the system.

Way forward:

  • Measures to enhance accountability to the community, such as the Right to Information Act, social audits, and public service guarantee acts in various States is necessary.
  • Need for a fresh perspective from the outside–for example, bringing in a consultant who specializes in type of change with your type of organization–to encourage people to see that workable alternatives are possible.
  • Top-Down approach: The bosses at the top should lead by example. Changes will automatically trickle down to the lowest level.
  • An effective multi-generational team will work within an environment that doesn’t intimidate and allows for ownership of the vision at all levels.
  • The process of change within a bureaucracy to be slower than you might like. Create a phased implementation that the organization can digest change a little at a time.
  • The changes will encounter some resistance, and it needs to be combated gradually through constant and clear communication at all levels.
  • Make technology employee-friendly, increase their ease of use and educate employees about the advantages and benefits of how technology eases work.
  • Transparent and objective performance assessment system to keep the staff motivated.
  • Accountability towards decision making to be instilled in the organization.
  • Social audits need to be strengthened by educating and make people aware.
  • During policy formation and implementation, civil society members should be consulted so that the measures should be taken properly.

Conclusion:

Work culture is an intangible ecosystem that makes some places great to work and other places toxic. This is why work culture is so important in bringing out the best from your employees even in adverse circumstances. Negativity not only kills creativity and will to perform but also does not allow an employee to develop a sense of affection and ownership with the organization. Human beings are fundamentally simple and a positive work environment impacts the way they think, act and reflect.

 

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.

7. Should circumstances be the sole criterion for judging the morality of human action or the nature of the action and its purpose must also be considered? Explain and Justify your stand with examples. (250 words)

Reference:  Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude

Why the question:

The question is from the subject of ethics, theme- morality.

Key Demand of the question:

Clarify as to how circumstances can often decide morality and that human action also needs to be considered.

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 the definition of Morality.

Body:

The answer should contain the following parts:

• Identify the elements of human action (nature/object, circumstances, and purpose) that are analyzed for judging the morality of human action.

• Further, explain that though circumstances are a criterion but they are not the sole criterion since the object, as well as, purpose of human action should also be considered in deciding the morality of human action.

• To justify your point, give examples/illustrations to show that circumstances can’t make an action, whose object is bad, ethical, give suitable examples.

Conclusion:

Conclude with significance.

Introduction:

Every human act in the concrete order is done under particular circumstances. Circumstances may therefore affect the morality of an action and add something to the moral quality. Circumstances of a human action include such things as the act being done at a particular time, in a particular place, by a particular agent, in a particular manner. How the differing circumstances change the rightness or wrongness of actions.

Body:

Sometimes circumstances affect the morality of the action only in degree, that is, they contribute to increasing or diminishing the moral goodness or evil of human acts. For example, stealing is bad by object; stealing a rare object/or stealing from a destitute/poor increases the malice of the action. On the other hand, if a robber acts like Robin Hood by stealing from the rich to help the poor, his robberies become less immoral.

Some circumstances impart a new type of goodness or badness to an action by the effect of when and where it takes place.

  • When: Whether it is done during war or peace. For instance, there is an increase in the guilt of an intelligence officer who, when caught by an enemy country at the time of war, succumbs to threat of violence and discloses highly confidential information that severely affects national secret.
  • Where: Similarly, where the action takes place can affect its morality. For instance, a murder in a church/cathedral adds an additional moral evil to murder itself as it involves the profanation of a consecrated place of worship and hence the additional evil of sacrilege.

Circumstances can also diminish or lessen the agent’s responsibility. For instance, a woman who kills the person who attacks her chastity is absolved from the guilt of killing someone

Should Circumstances be the sole criterion?

No, circumstances alone cannot be the criteria. For instance, a destitute cannot kill and loot someone just because he/she is poor. That would lead to chaos.

Since all human actions occur at a certain time and at a certain place, the circumstances must always be considered in evaluating the moral quality of any human act.

Meanwhile, it must be understood that ‘a morally good act requires the goodness of the object, of the end, and of the circumstances together’. If any one of the three is evil, then the human act in question is evil and should be avoided.

Conclusion:

Thus, circumstances do matter but are not the sole or the only criterion to analyse the morality of an action. Actions are influenced by multiple factors such as the end it achieves, the intention behind an action, the time and place of action and so on. This is also why a universal moral code or ethical conduct cannot be given due to diversity of factors to consider.


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