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[ Day 18 – Synopsis ] 75 Days Mains Revision Plan 2022 – Polity & Ethics



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.


Q1. Do fundamental duties precede fundamental rights? Discuss the need to find a balance between fundamental rights and duties? 10M


The fundamental rights empower the citizens; the fundamental duties remind the great responsibilities, rights and duties of the citizens are correlative and inseparable. Fundamental rights and fundamental duties both are two sides of the same coin.

Recently SC Judge Vikram Nath while delivering his keynote in the national symposium held in the memory of late Justice HR Khanna, said that Fundamental duties have always preceded fundamental rights.


Arguments in favor of Fundamental rights preceding the duties.

  • Fundamental duties basically imply the moral obligations of all citizens of a country. Originally, the fundamental duties of India were not a part of the Indian Constitution.
    • The Fundamental Duties were added in 1976,upon recommendation of the Swaran Singh Committee. Fundamental duties are themselves not enforceable but it can become a basis to become a law.
  • In Javed vs State of Haryana, the Supreme Court held that fundamental rights have to be read with Fundamental duties and DPSPs and they cannot be read in isolation.
  • Fundamental Duties have deep roots in Indian Civilization and developed countries give a “premium to them over individual rights” in the international scenario.
    • After Independence, the emphasis was primarily on duties. ‘Country first, self-afterwards.’
  • Every right has a corresponding duty” is imbibed in the very genesis of western jurisprudence.
    • In today’s world it is particularly important that duties are practiced as a mode of civilization and disciplined society.
  • A responsible citizen is the one who performs his social, moral, ethical obligations and his duty towards state and fellow citizens.
  • Therefore, Fundamental duties are guiding principles for citizens to perform their duties and be responsible towards the state.
  • Duties are ancient concept encompassed in the eastern jurisprudence as an aspect of human behavior known as ‘Dharma’.
    • Even Ramayana and Mahabharata depict the duty-bound society where everyone, from the king to the general public, prefers duties to rights and had a peaceful living even at odd times.

Need to balance between the rights and duties

  • Fundamental Rights can be enjoyed only in the world of duties as for any right there is a corresponding duty. When people fail to discharge their duties properly, their rights become meaningless.
  • Laski says that one man’s right is also his duty. Since the state protects and enforces rights, it also becomes the duty of all citizens to be loyal to the state and exercise their fundamental duties and defend their state. The correlation between them are explained as follows.
  1. Rights and Duties always go together
  • Rights and duties are closely related and cannot be separated from one another. Both go side by side. If the state gives the right to life to a citizen, it also imposes an obligation on him to not to expose his life to dangers, as well as to respect the life of others.
  • In Javed v. State of Haryana, Supreme Court held that Fundamental rights are not to be read in isolation. They have to be read along with the chapter on Directive Principles of State policy and the fundamental duties enshrined in Article 51A.
  1. Rights of a Citizen also implies Duties for him
  • The relationship between Fundamental Rights and Duties is that for every right there is a corresponding duty. One’s rights are another’s duty. If people don’t perform their duties, the rights of others would be affected.
  • When Right to Liberty and Freedom is ensured, the individual’s development will lead to excellence, scientific temper and respect for national ideals.
  1. Social benefit: 
  • As an individual has every right to live with dignity, it is the duty of every citizen to not destroy national property which provides services to the whole, respecting the women, cherish the values of the freedom movement.
  • Right to Equality, Against Discrimination, and Minorities Protection is ensured as under Fundamental Rights, Fundamental duties of upholding unity and integrity, promoting harmony, women’s dignity will ensure. 
  1. Establish a democratic balance:
  • The moral value contained in fundamental duties aim to establish a democratic balance by making the people conscious of their duties equally as they are conscious of their rights.


  1. Duty towards the State:
  • Since state protects and enforces rights, it also becomes the duty of all citizens to be loyal to the state. It is their duty to obey the laws of the state and to pay taxes honestly. Citizens should always be ready to defend the state.
    • Thus a citizen has both Rights and Duties. He enjoys rights and performs his duties.


  • The Constituent Assembly did not see duty as an important part of their vision.
  • Fundamental duties in Part IV are vague, ambiguous, and difficult to be understood by the common man.
  • The list of duties is not exhaustive as it does not cover other important duties like casting votes, paying taxes, family planning, and so on. In fact, the duty to pay taxes was recommended by the Swaran Singh Committee.
  • Making the rights subject to certain extrinsic duties can be seen as repugnant to a republic’s vision.


Both Fundamental Rights and Fundamental Duties are important as they complement each other. There can be no demand for rights if the duties bestowed are neglected. Even though only Fundamental Rights are enforceable and justiciable, Fundamental Duties are equally important. By performing moral obligations, we make efforts to create a better society, as was envisioned by the Constitution makers.

Value Addition:

Difference between FRs and FDs

Fundamental Rights Fundamental Duties
o   They are basic human rights guaranteed by the Constitution of a country to its citizens.

o   Have legal sanction and are enforceable in courts.

o   It exists by virtue of fact that one is human being.

o   Base on privileges granted to oneself

o   They are six in numbers.

o   Any citizen can make use of it pertaining to right to life and freedom of speech etc.

o   Moral obligation bestowed upon the citizens to uphold unity in diversity and promote the spirit of patriotism.

o   Can only be enforced if passed as a law.

o   Exists as responsibility as one is human being and citizen of a state.

o   Is based on accountability.

o   They are 11 in numbers.

o   It is expected from any citizen to carry out so that society and country as a whole can benefit.


Q2. With respect to ‘asymmetrical federalism’ adopted by the Indian constitution, analyze how diverse regional aspirations have managed to constantly assert themselves, resulting in the decentralization of governance in India. 15M


Asymmetrical federalism” means federalism based on unequal powers and relationships in political, administrative and fiscal arrangement spheres between the units constituting a federation or simply it involves the granting of differential rights to certain federal units.” It entails asymmetric division of powers.

It also means that different constituent states would possess different powers like one or more states has considerably more power than the other though having same constitutional status.


Drivers of diverse regional aspirations?


  • Socio-economic development and regional disparities: The uneven pattern of socioeconomic development has created regional disparities. The categorization and sub-categorization of the states on the basis of socioeconomic indicators have generated resentment against the central leadership.
  • Feeling Alienated: When that region feels alienated from others and neglected, it demands greater autonomy for itself in the form of status, recognition, and power.
  • Aspirations: The people want maximum economic development; be it in employment, infrastructure, health, etc. This aspiration for development of region’s economy can prove dangerous to the government if not dealt with.
    • Vidarbha, Marathwada, region of Maharastra, North-East Karnataka, Telangana before division of Andhra Pradesh etc.


  • The North-eastern states were created on the basis of culture and other traditional aspects. There is a distinct difference in ethnicity from the rest of India.
    • Besides the economic issues, the regional culture played significant role in the formation of Jharkhand as a state.
  • The regional aspirations include the recognition of the religion and culture at the central level. They want their culture and traditions to be recognized as distinct and significant.
    • If the region is facing the economic crisis, economic inequality or lacking in terms of economic development, it creates a sense of insecurity and hatred.


  • The regional conflicts keep rising in the interest of language. Therefore, the problem of determining the national language of India has been an issue for a long time.
    • Belgaum issue between Maharashtra and Karnataka.

These diverse regional aspirations have managed to constantly assert themselves, resulting in the decentralization of governance in India. Following reasons can be attributed for it.

  • 1980s may be seen as a period of rising regional aspirations for autonomy, often outside the framework of the Indian Union.
  • These movements were long drawn and concluded in negotiated settlements of accords between central government and the groups leading the movement for autonomy.
    • Certain accommodations involve conferring special status to states under article 371 and its subsection.

Some of the regional aspirations asserting towards decentralization are as under

  • Article 371 entrusts the Governor of Maharashtra with a special responsibility to establish Separate development boards for Vidarbha, Marathwada, and the rest Of the State, while the Governor of Gujarat has a similar responsibility towards Saurashtra, Kutch and the rest of Gujarat.
  • Article 371A provides for safeguards to religious or social practices of Nagas, their
    customary law and procedures and restrictions on the ownership and transfer of land in
    Similar protection is accorded for the Mizos in Mizoram under Article 371G.
  • Article 371B contained a special provision for Assam under which a committee of legislators from the tribal areas was formed to look after their interest.
    • The tribal areas later became Meghalaya State.
  • Article 371D provides for a provision under which the President can pass an order to provide equitable opportunities and facilities to people belonging to different parts Of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana in public employment and education.
  • Article 371F provides for special provisions for the state of Sikkim to enable the protection of existing laws of the state before its accession to India.
  • Administration of tribal areas i.e Sixth Schedule
    • There is another significant tier of administration under the larger framework of asymmetric federalism i.e sixth schedule.
    • The Sixth Schedule to the Constitution contains provisions for the administration of tribal areas in Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram.
    • These create autonomous districts and autonomous regions. Any autonomous district with different Scheduled Tribes will be divided into autonomous regions. These will be administered by District Councils and Regional Councils.
      • These Councils can make laws with respect to allotment, occupation and use of land, management of forests other than reserve forests and water courses.
      • Besides they can regulate social customs, marriage and divorce and property issues.
  • Union Territories: The Union Territories also represent a kind of asymmetry. The main forms of administrative units in India are the Centre and the States. But there are other forms, too, all set up to address specific local, historical and geographical contexts known as a Union Territory.
  • Puducherry and Delhi have legislatures, while the other union territories under the Centre do not have legislatures or a ministerial council to advise the administrator.
  • Even between Puducherry and Delhi, there is a notable difference. Puducherry has legislative powers on any matter mentioned in the State List or the Concurrent List, insofar as it applies to the Union Territory.
    • Delhi, which has the same field, has three further exceptions: police, land and public order are outside its purview.
  • Special Category status has been provided to various states which enables them to get extra financial support from the Centre.
    • This status is accorded to only few states on account of low population density, difficult terrain, strategic location
  • Centrally Sponsored Schemes– these schemes are designed by the central government are mostly uniform across states. However, there is scope for discrimination between states in the selection of schemes and in its design.
    • Often, new schemes can be introduced merely to favour a particular state or group of states.
    • Also, there can be different contribution principles for different states for the same scheme.


These flexible, accommodative and innovative arrangements have been devised to incorporate the complex differences and identities across the nation. However, while transparent asymmetric  arrangements can be justified as they contribute to nation building;



Q3. How can we effectively use social media to positively influence the moral attitudes of the younger generation? Give your suggestions. 10M


Moral attitudes are those attitudes which are based on our moral convictions and may convey our concept of right or wrong. They are stronger than moral principles. Since moral standards are not the same for everyone, they differ from person to person. Qualities of Moral Attitudes include Faithfulness, Reverence, Goodness, veracity among others.

Positive implication of moral attitudes is that these attitudes tangled with strong emotions. Therefore, averts deviant behaviors among normal societies due to fear of social Ostracization e.g. child molestation, incest. Thus, moral attitude is not a neutral concept.

Social Media is a collective term for websites and applications that focus on communication, community-based input, interaction, content-sharing and collaboration. People use this to stay in touch and interact with friends, family and various communities.


Social media can be used to positively influence the moral attitudes of younger generation through

  • Offering Support – Many issues till now which are under shadow or not recognized by society, deprivations to vulnerable sections who didn’t have a voice-over their rights etc are now coming under the light of society through social media like Facebook, YouTube etc. Younger generations who don’t know these issues get clarity over issues.
  • Eg- the LGBTQ rights campaign,#MeToo – a social movement against sexual abuse, and sexual harassment of Women in twitter , enabled youth to have a positive moral attitude toward the rights of LGBTQ and women.
  • Developing Scientific Temper – Over the decades, people follow various moral attitudes without actually knowing the reasons behind that moral attitude. Social media brings forth a progressive society that is free of superstitions and irrational practices.
  • g. – Social media exposed irrational practices in Kalburgi (Karnataka), where kids are buried in ground to neck level during a solar eclipse.
    • Parents believe that by doing these children will be free from skin diseases & not become physically challenged.
  • Environmental ethics – In this 21st century there are huge debates over the development and conservation and protection of the environment. Social media helps the younger generation to have a positive Moral attitude towards Environmental issues.
  • Eg – Greta Thunberg, a climate activist used Instagram to spread her strike against government policies regarding climate change. Soon youth from around the world were engaging in similar protests in their communities. Her interviews with the media, in turn, created more content about her movement.
  • Better communication – Social media can act as a tool for discussing many moral issues through debates. Philosophers, Subject experts can give their opinions about issues existing in society thus youth can get clarity over the right or wrong side of moral issues. This helps youths to build moral attitudes.
  • g. – Many TV channels started debates over moral issues like Nuclear proliferation issues vs Iran’s declaration to build nuclear weapons.
    • Through these debates, an individual who is against nuclear proliferation will enhance his/her moral attitude over the issue.
  • Tolerance – Promoting tolerance among people for differing thoughts and ideas. People using social media networks are more likely to be flexible and tolerant towards other religious beliefs and practices.
  • Motivating youths – Social media often has a positive influence on young people’s motivation. Social media also allowed them to access the information they found
  • Building relationships – Usually Family, friends shape the Moral attitudes of youths. But many sections are deprived of this opportunity.
  • For instance, LGBTQ youth are less likely to be friends with family members online and more likely to join social media sites.
  • Citizenship
    • Teenagers who are exposed to and take an interest in news media are more likely to be interested in major social and political issues like climate change.
      • In this example, media can encourage them to become more involved as citizens in their communities.
    • Health and lifestyle
      • Teenagers can also pick up important health promotion messages from social media and other media.
      • This might include messages aimed at preventing youth depression and suicide, promoting positive, respectful relationships, or encouraging healthy eating and lifestyle habits.
    • Identity
      • Good-quality stories in television shows and movies can help teenagers explore aspects of identity like sexuality, relationships, gender or ethics – for example, the treatment of sexuality in a movie like Bohemian Rhapsody, or gender in Ride Like a Girl, or ethics in a TV show like The Good Place. Watching these shows with your child is a great opportunity for discussion.
    • As a platform for showing empathy and compassion.



                           We just need to be mindful users and keep a healthy perspective about social media’s role in our lives. Then we can use it to inspire, educate, show empathy, and become better communicators.


Case Study: 20M

Q4. You are the headmaster of a school in one of the remotest villages in the state. You are a respectable person in the village, as you have always focused on child’s education and overall development.

Pandemic has largely affected the performance of children in your school, as children were unable to access online education. Working with several NGOs and local leaders you have provided them with smartphones. Though it has helped many students few of them have started helping their parents in their fields and are not interested in pursuing their education further.  As they are not inclined towards studies, their parents are also not interested in educating them further as they feel their kids are more helpful in the field.

Meanwhile, they have sold the smartphones provided to them.  You are upset because of this.  But at the same time, you want to make sure that they return to school and continue their education.

In light of the above situation,

1) What are the ethical issues involved when someone misuses their benefits?

2) Discuss the measures, which you are going to employ to convince the parents, and students who don’t want to return to school.



The case study highlights the negative impact of pandemic to education in general and to rural students in particular. The issue focusses on lack of quality education for rural children and apathy/ignorance of their parents. It also exhibits digital divide existing in India and highlights misuse the benefits given to them at the time of crisis.

Facts of the given case:

Static inputs: Will be helpful in decision making

  1. You are the headmaster and respected person.
  2. Village is in remote part of the region.
  3. Your focus is on children’s education and overall development. This shows your commitment and hence decisions shouldn’t compromise on this aspect.
  4. NGO’s and local leaders facilitating smartphones.

Issues/Challenges: Will be helpful in identifying ethical issues and challenges and those that need to be addressed.

  1. Pandemic- Affected performance of students. – Challenge to instill interest in students
  2. Inability to access online education. Due to lack of smartphones and digital literacy or even inability to get data recharge. – Challenge is to ensure accessibility.
  3. Children foregoing education and helping parents in their field and losing interest in education – Challenge is to change their perception about importance of formal education.
  4. This sets a bad precedent where even parents losing interest to send their children to schools or letting them pursue education. – Challenge is to change their perception and to educate them about the importance of education to their children.
  5. Selling smartphones– Challenge is to arrange for new ones.




  1. Ethical issues involved in case-study
  • Misuse of smartphones by students may make me lose trust in students and their parents.
  • Philanthropists like NGOs and Local leaders may also lose trust in me. This instance may reduce my credibility and reputation in society.
  • This weakens my ethical values like compassion and humanity.
  • Misuse of mobile phones by students shows a lack of accountability and honesty by students and their parents to me.
  • It may be a short-term gain for students and their parents too but it will largely affect students and their family’s future.
  • Lack of education at the school level will affect children’s overall development.
  • It may further widen the digital divide in society, and decline the literacy rate in the village.
  • Lack of responsibility of parents about their children’s education and future life.
  • Instances like this demotivate not only the NGOs, and local leaders who are working in the education field but also in other social fields.


  1. Measures to convey to the parents and students
  • I will try to persuade both students and their parents by citing the importance of education and the consequences they will face in future if students are deprived of education.
  • If they are not persuaded, I will use famous personalities like leaders and celebrities to socially influence parents and children. This may change their attitude towards education.
  • I will also motivate student peer groups to influence their friends who dropped education since peer groups are the most influential to change the mindset set of dropout children.
  • I will convince NGOs and local leaders to help students once again by providing smartphones by assuring that the same instances of misuse will not be repeated by students.
  • I will also try to find out the reasons why students are losing interest in education and why parents are supporting children to do their fieldwork rather than supporting their education.
  • If there are any issues with the quality of online education, I will sort out those issues by talking with other teachers and suggesting they use graphics and real-life pictures in online classes to attract students.
  • If students are not compatible with online education, our staff will make arrangements for offline classes in some public places like temples, grounds etc.
  • After the pandemic is over, to retain students in school and continue their education, I will make arrangements for a children-friendly environment in school and also provide them scholarships.
  • If there are any issues like financial problems for parents, I will contact NGOs and local leaders who helped me earlier and also other philanthropists to help the needy parents.



Providing education and ensuring children’s overall development should be the primary focus of every stakeholder involved. Pandemic had certainly posed a challenge to the delivery of quality education to children and also threatening their future education. But irrespective of that, it is the duty of every parent to ensure continuity of education to their children and to make use of the tools provided.