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[Mission 2023] Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 01 October 2022

 

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.

 

Answer the following questions in 150 words:


General Studies – 1


 

1. What is neurodiversity? Discuss the benefits of having a neurodiverse workforce and measures needed to promote neurodiversity at workplaces.

Reference: The Hindu

 

Introduction

Neurodiversity in the workplace refers to including people with neurodivergent conditions such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, autism spectrum disorders, dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia and Asperger’s Syndrome. Harvard Health Publishing defines neurodiversity as a notion that every person interacts and experiences their surroundings differently; there is no right way of thinking, learning, or/and behaving. These differences should not be construed as defects or disorders.

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Background: Neurodiverse workforce

  • According to a recent report, nearly 2 million people in India suffer from this neurological and developmental disorder and are therefore identified as autistic.
  • Another study by Deloitte estimates that nearly 20% of the world is neurodiverse.
  • In the U.S., it is estimated that 85% of people on the autism spectrum are unemployed compared with 4.2% of the overall population.
  • Hence, there is an urgency to create a work environment that welcomes neurodiverse individuals.
  • It is unjust that even with all the necessary skill sets and degrees, these persons are denied a job because they may react to situations differently from non-neurodiverse persons. While part of the problem could be lack of awareness about neurodivergent conditions, it is time organisations created a more accommodating environment.

Benefits of having a neurodiverse workforce

  • Organisations embracing neurodiversity enjoy a competitive edge in several areas such as efficiency, creativity, and culture.
  • A study by JPMorgan Chase shows that professionals in its ‘Autism at Work’ initiative made fewer errors and were 90% to 140% more productive than neurotypical employees.
  • Moreover, studies have shown that teams with both neurodivergent and neurotypical members are far more efficient than teams that comprise neurotypical employees alone.
  • Neurodivergent individuals possess excellent attention to detail and an uncanny ability to focus on complex and repetitive tasks over a more extended period than their neurotypical peers.
  • A study by the University of Montreal found that in a test involving completing a visual pattern, people on the autism spectrum could finish their task 40% faster than those who were not on the spectrum.
  • Additionally, people with dyslexia have more robust spatial reasoning — they can think about objects in three dimensions and analyse such objects even with limited information.
  • They have problem-solving capabilities which allow them to see multiple solutions to a problem. They are often out-of-the-box thinkers with average or above-average intelligence.

Measures to promote neurodiversity in workplace

  • Hiring neurodiverse people: Companies such as Deloitte, Microsoft, SAP, JPMorgan Chase, and E&Y have introduced neurodiversity hiring programmes.
    • Eg: Indian-origin companies Hatti Kaapi and Lemon Tree Hotels have also included a neurodiverse workforce.
  • Proactive leadership: Management Human resources and leadership teams must work together to ensure that the workplace is mindful of and cooperative towards neurodiverse individuals.
  • Inclusion: The process of building an inclusive culture includes customising interviews, ensuring day-to-day assistance for these specially abled individuals, and providing proper infrastructure so that they can perform at their optimal levels.
  • Removing barriers: Organisations must not only remove barriers that obstruct the progress of such individuals but also create conducive conditions for them to achieve their true potential.
  • Mentorship: Mentorship programmes can benefit some, while others might require professional training on shared social and communication skills. Many employees with neurodiversity may find the hustle and bustle of a traditional office disturbing. Therefore, neurodivergent friendly offices catering to the employees’ diverse sensory responses can help ensure that these employees are comfortable in office spaces.

Conclusion

However, creating the right environment is an ever-evolving exercise that requires openness and a will to change on the employer’s part. This flexibility can result in exceptional benefits with minimal or no additional costs. To ensure higher profitability and be respected as a responsible employer globally, companies need to widen their definition of inclusivity by providing higher participation of a neurodiverse workforce.

 

 


General Studies – 2


 

2. From the Indian perspective, discuss the relevance of ‘no harm rule’ in order to promote environmental and developmental policies while not causing damage to the environment of neighbouring countries or of areas beyond the limits of national jurisdiction.

Reference: The Hindu

 

The no-harm rule is a widely recognised principle of customary international law whereby a State is duty-bound to prevent, reduce and control the risk of environmental harm to other states.

States have, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and the principles of international law, the sovereign right to exploit their own resources pursuant to their own environmental and developmental policies, and the responsibility to ensure that activities within their jurisdiction or control do not cause damage to the environment of other States or of areas beyond the limits of national jurisdiction. (Rio Principle 6)

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International law

  • In accordance with customary international law, no state has to use its territory in a manner that causes harm to another state while using a shared natural resource; this amounts to saying that there is a binding obligation on all states not to release water to cause floods in another co-sharer of the river water.
  • This obligation gives rise to other procedural norms that support the management of floods, which include notification of planned measures, the exchange of data and information, and also public participation.
  • The International Court of Justice (ICJ), in the Pulp Mills on the River Uruguay (Argentina vs Uruguay) case (2010), upheld that conducting a transboundary environmental impact assessment (TEIA) of a planned measure or projects on the shared water course is part of customary international law.
    • In fact, the ICJ noted that the acting state must notify the affected party of the results of TEIA to “enable the notified party to participate in the process of ensuring that the assessment is complete, so that it can then consider the plan and its effects with a full knowledge of the facts”.

Relevance of no-harm rule for India

  • Closer home, there is the case of China being the upper riparian in the Brahmaputra, which spans India and Bangladesh, enjoying apparent leverage vis-à-vis lower riparian India. During the monsoon, flooding has been the recurrent feature in the last several decades in Assam.
    • India faces other woes in the form of the construction of dams by China.
    • China’s excessive water release, as a “dam controller”, in violation of customary international law has the potential to exacerbate flooding in Assam in future.
  • India’s main concern is that there is no comprehensive sub-basin or all basin-level mechanism to deal with water management of Brahmaputra.
  • Neither India or China are party to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses (UNWC) 1997 or the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes 1992 (Water Convention).
  • In the absence of any mechanism, India relies on its memorandum of understanding (MoU) with China in 2013 with a view to sharing hydrological information during the flood season (June to September).
  • The MoU does not allow India access to urbanisation and deforestation activities on the Chinese side of the river basin.
  • With the MoU in the background, India by becoming a party to either the UNWC and the Water Convention could lay the groundwork for a bilateral treaty on the Brahmaputra but subject to the reservation that it should not insist on the insertion of a dispute settlement mechanism provision.

 

Conclusion

Governments of respective countries should command the developers of transboundary river infrastructures to conduct EIA and SIA in all project-affected communities of state borders and share the report so that preventive and precautionary measures can be taken.

 

3. New Delhi’s call for a structural overhaul of global multilateral institutions incorporates institutional accountability and a wider representation of the developing countries. Analyse.

Reference: The HinduInsights on India

New Delhi’s call for a structural overhaul of global multilateral institutions incorporates institutional accountability and a wider representation of the developing countries. Analyse.

Introduction

At the heart of India’s participation in the 77th General Assembly is the call for a ‘reformed multilateralism’ through which the United Nations Security Council should reform itself into a more inclusive organisation representing the contemporary realities of today. India’s call for this structural overhaul of global multilateral institutions incorporates institutional accountability and a wider representation of the developing countries.

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Current issues in multilateral institutions

  • Breakdown of multilateralism: The COVID-19 pandemic was a weak moment for UN’s multilateralism. It highlighted the UN’s institutional limitations when countries closed their borders, supply chains were interrupted and almost every country was in need of vaccines.
    • WHO was accused of catering to developed nations bidding, especially China by acting slow and not blaming China.
  • Developing nations stepping up: Countries of the global South, including India, which stepped up through relief efforts, drug distribution and vaccine manufacturing, have created space for a more inclusive UN, particularly through its Security Council (UNSC) reform.
    • World Bank and IMF are puppets of USA and the European nations. This led to China establishing alternatives for the two institutions.
  • Wars in 21st century: Second,N.-led multilateralism has been unable to provide strong mechanisms to prevent wars.
    • Eg: The shadow of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war has loomed large over several deadlocks in U.N.S.C. resolutions since the war broke out in February this year.
  • Paralysis in decision making: With the West boycotting Russia, the veto provision of the U.N.S.C. is expected to reach an even more redundant level than in the past. As such, a reformed multilateralism with greater representation could generate deeper regional stakes to prevent wars.
    • WTO has been stalled for many years now over Doha development agenda.
  • Chinese dominance: Finally, China’s rise, belligerence, and aggression which has been on display through its actions in the South China Sea, the Indo-Pacific region, and now increasingly globally, have also underscored the limitations of the U.N.-style multilateralism.
    • China’s growing dominance could lead it to carve its own multilateral matrix circumventing the West, economically and strategically.
    • The international isolation of Russia and Iran as well as increasing the United States’ Taiwan-related steps could usher in these changes more rapidly than expected.
  • China’s control of multilateral organisations, including the U.N., is only increasing — most recently seen in the unofficial pressure China exerted on the former U.N.’s human rights chief, Michelle Bachelet, to stop the release of a report by the U.N. Human Rights Council on the condition of Uyghurs in China. Moreover, China’s unabashed use of veto power against India continues at the U.N
    • Eg: In the most recent case, it blocked a joint India-U.S. proposal at the U.N. to enlist Sajid Mir, a top Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operative involved in directing the 2008 Mumbai attacks, as a ‘global terrorist’.

Potential for reforms

  • Multilateralism should promote international law, democracy, equity and justice, mutual respect, right to development and non-interference in internal affairs of any country without double standards.
  • It should make instruments of global governance more inclusive, representative, and participatory to facilitate greater and more meaningful participation of developing and least developed countries.
  • It should be based on inclusive consultation and collaboration for the benefit of all, while respecting sovereign independence, equality, mutual legitimate interests and concerns.
  • It should strengthen the capacities of individual states and international organizations to better respond to new and emerging, traditional and non-traditional challenges.
  • Indian approach to multilateralism: NORMS: NORMS stands for New Orientation for a Reformed Multilateral System.
    • India will work constructively with partners to bring innovative and inclusive solutions to foster development and for greater involvement of women and youth to shape a new paradigm.
    • A first and vital step is the reform of the United Nations Security Council. It must reflect contemporary realities to be more effective.

Conclusion and way forward

  • There is no easy way out for immediate consensus-building among nations over the limitations of these multilateral institutions.
  • For this, non-alignment or ad-hoc coalitions could never be the answer.
  • Issues-based coalitions are the best answer and Health is the easiest framework to work upon.
  • Lastly, there are many mini-laterals that should unite for a global commonality.

 

 


General Studies – 3


 

4. What are polymetallic nodules? Evaluate their potential to be a source of important industrial metals amidst global industrial metals supply chain disruption.

Reference: Live Mint 

Introduction

Poly metallic nodules are potato-shaped, largely porous Iron-Manganese oxide deposit nodules found in abundance carpeting the sea floor of world oceans with size ranging from 2 to 10 cm in diameter. These are considered as the precipitates of hot fluids from upwelling hot magma from deep interior of the oceanic crust, discharged through mineralized paths. Besides manganese and iron, they contain nickel, copper, cobalt, lead, molybdenum, cadmium, vanadium, titanium, of which nickel, cobalt and copper are considered to be of economic and strategic importance.

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Background: Industrial metals supply chain disruption

  • EVs today are primarily dependent on lithium-ion batteries. The cathode for this battery is made up of layered crystals of lithium metal oxides. The metal is usually a mix of nickel, cobalt, aluminium and manganese. The dramatic rise in demand for EVs has put the supply of all these metals under stress.
  • Second, trade tensions between China and the US have a ripple effect on industrial metals because China is often the largest ‘refiner’ of these metals. For instance, about 80% of the world’s lithium refining capacity is controlled by China.
  • And third, the conflict in Ukraine has put mineral supply from Russia at risk. Russia is a major producer of many metals, but is a key producer of nickel.

Potential of polymetallic nodules as source of important industrial metal

  • They contain Rare Earth Elements and metals which are important to high-tech industries.
  • The amount of copper contained in the CCZ nodules is estimated to be about 20% of that held in global land-based reserves.
  • These Rare earth minerals are considered as the great source of valuable minerals such as gold, silver and zinc.

Significance for India

  • India is presently having an area of 75,000 square km, located about 1600 km away from her southern tip. Polymetallic nodules resource potential in this site is 380 million tonnes.
  • This would open new opportunities for resources of commercial and strategic value.
  • It is envisaged that 10% of recovery of that large reserve can meet the energy requirement of India for the next 100 years.
  • India is entirely dependent on imports to meet its requirements of cobalt, which is the most strategic of the three metals (cobalt, copper and nickel).
    • As for copper and nickel, India is in a precarious position.
  • Empowerment of coastal communities and attaining greater social and economic inclusion by providing Employment opportunities, skill-sets and capacities.
  • Providing a boost to coastal and national economies and development of blue economy.
  • Promoting entrepreneurship in new areas of economic activity and new development in electronics industry.
  • It will strengthen the bilateral relationship of India with Japan, Germany and South Korea.
  • The recent acquisition of India’s deep-sea exploration ship ‘Samudra Ratnakar’ by the Geological Survey of India is a significant development in this regard.

 

Issues with mining polymetallic nodules

  • The exploration for PM creates significant environmental impact on the deep seabed.
  • Over the last few years, research activity has centred on mitigating this environmental impact.
  • A significant area of study has been the ‘sediment plume’ left behind after scooping up PM from the ocean floor.
  • PMs take millions of years to form and provide a critical habitat for an array of unique and understudied species.
  • Deep-sea habitats evolve slowly, so a recovery from mining could take several centuries.

Conclusion

India has had a mixed track record of mining on land in a commercially purposeful, environmentally safe and community sensitive way. While deep-sea mining facilitates migration to cleaner technologies and has no local human communities to worry about, it has high technical complexity and a potentially harsh environmental impact. Yet, as the world begins to tread on the deep ocean floor, India may have to follow.

 

 

5. Critically analyse the potential of Geo-engineering as a climate change mitigation strategy.

Reference: Down to Earth

Introduction

Geoengineering interventions are large-scale attempts to purposefully alter the climate system in order to offset the effects of global warming. Most geoengineering proposals can be divided into two types: solar radiation management (SRM) and carbon dioxide removal (CDR). Geoengineering offers the hope of temporarily reversing some aspects of global warming and allowing the natural climate to be substantially preserved whilst greenhouse gas emissions are brought under control and removed from the atmosphere by natural or artificial processes.

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Positives of geoengineering:

  • As expected, the climate would begin to cool once geoengineering commences. This initial cooling phase, would provide relief, particularly for species that were unable to keep up with past warming.
  • Also, birds and fish which may have moved in response to elevated temperatures in the past will possibly turn back.
  • If solar geoengineering were ramped up slowly to half the rate of warming over the coming decades, then it seems likely it would reduce many climate risks. Solar geoengineering deployment can be ended without the impacts of a termination shock if it is gradually ramped down over decades.
  • The climate models reveal that the large-scale action would indeed calm things down a bit and potentially reduce the number of North Atlantic cyclones.

Negatives of geoengineering:

  • A recent study shows that rapid application, followed by abrupt termination of this temporary tech-fix can in fact accelerate climate change.
  • The increase in temperature from the abrupt termination is so quick that most species, terrestrial or marine, may not be able to keep up with it and eventually perish.
  • The increase in temperature is two to four times more rapid than climate change without geoengineering. This increase would be dangerous for biodiversity and ecosystems.
  • Reptiles, mammals, fish and birds that have been moving at 1.7 km/year on average will now have to move faster than 10 km/year to remain in their preferred climatic zones. This raises serious concerns, especially for less-mobile animals like amphibians and corals.
  • Not just species but entire ecosystems could collapse by suddenly hitting the stop button on geoengineering.
    • For example, temperate grassland and savannahs, which are maintained by specific combinations of temperature and rainfall, may experience increasing rates of temperatures, but an opposing trend in rainfall, after 2070.
  • Ineffectiveness
    • The effectiveness of the techniques proposed may fall short of predictions.
    • In ocean iron fertilization, for example, the amount of carbon dioxide removed from the atmosphere may be much lower than predicted, as carbon taken up by plankton may be released back into the atmosphere from dead plankton, rather than being carried to the bottom of the sea and sequestered.
  • Model results from a 2016 study, suggest that blooming algae could even accelerate Arctic warming.
  • Moral hazard or risk compensation
    • The existence of such techniques may reduce the political and social impetus to reduce carbon emissions
  • Albedo modification strategies could rapidly cool the planet’s surface but pose environmental and other risksthat are not well understood and therefore should not be deployed at climate-altering scales.
  • In the case of environmental risks, the offsetting of greenhouse gases by increasing the reflection of sunlight is not going to be perfect. Some people, potentially a small minority, will get less rainfall. There is concern about what particles might do to the ozone layer.
  • The drop off of tropical storms in one area would actually lead to a spike in drought in parts of Africa, according to the data.

Way forward:

  • The potential of natural systems as an effective solution for sequestering carbon dioxide has led to several efforts to scale nature-based solutions to mitigate climate change.
  • These proliferating efforts, however, must take cognisance of the fact that these solutions are effective only when applied while protecting the already existing forest.
  • Additionally, we must not run blindly after planting trees; instead, we must back reason with science.
  • Trees should be planted where they belong, that too with native species, and in consultation with local communities.

Conclusion:

In any case in the meantime, two aspects are certain: under no scenario could climate engineering serve as a substitute to reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and it would be better to implement such technologies with more nuanced research.

Value addition

Some geoengineering techniques and its drawbacks:

Carbon capture and storage technologies:

  • This carbon dioxide removal approach focuses on removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere and locking them away.
  • The process starts with the capture of generated CO2 which undergoes a compression process to form a dense fluid. This eases the transport and storage of the captured CO2.
  • The dense fluid is transported via pipelines and then injected into an underground storage facility.
  • Captured CO2 can also be used as a raw material in other industrial processes such as bicarbonates.
  • The CCS has significant backing from the International Energy Agency and the IPCC.
  • However, it still is hanging in uncertainty due to high upfront costs in the instalment of such plants.
  • A growing number of corporations are pouring money into so-called engineered carbon removal techniques.
  • However, these technologies are at a nascent stage and need an overhaul to be exploited.
  • Carbon dioxide may be stored deep underground. Reservoir design faults, rock fissures, and tectonic processes may act to release the gas stored into the ocean or atmosphere leading to unintended consequences such as ocean acidification etc.

solar radiation modification:

  • This process does not affect atmospheric greenhouse gases but aims to reflect the solar radiation coming to the earth.
  • The science of the method is, however, largely model-based, and the impacts of deflecting the solar radiations could be unpredictable.
  • Additionally, due to the thermal inertia of the climate system, removal of the radiation modification could result in the escalation of temperature very quickly, giving significantly less time to adapt.
  • Another side effect of the radiation modification process could be natural vegetation.
  • Since solar radiation is responsible for photosynthesis, sudden masking of solar radiation could significantly affect the process.
  • While these questions remain unanswered, the futures of these technologies remain uncertain.

 

 

Answer the following questions in 250 words(15 marks each):


General Studies – 1


 

6. India’s age-old dictum of ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’ can be realised by the draft National Tourism Policy 2022 which can lead to sustainable, responsible and inclusive tourism in line with our civilisational ethos. Analyse.

Reference: The HinduBusiness-Standard

Introduction

Sustainable tourism is defined by the UN Environment Program and UN World Tourism Organization as “tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment and host communities.”

 

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Draft National Tourism Policy

  • Framework: Draft on National Tourism Policy 2022 aims at improving the framework conditions for tourism development in the country.
    • Supporting tourism industries, strengthening tourism support functions and developing tourism sub-sectors.
    • Impetus to digitalisation, innovation and technology through the National Digital Tourism Mission and skilling through the Tourism and Hospitality Sector Skill Mission.
    • The policy also gives a special impetus to private sector participation through public-private-partnerships (PPP)
  • Guiding Principles : Promoting sustainable, responsible and inclusive tourism in line with our civilisational ethos From Gautama to Gandhi, India has always spoken about the inherent need to live harmoniously with nature and within our means.
    • The National Green Tourism Mission aims at institutionalising green approach.

Tourism potential in India

  • Employement generation: India has huge tourism potential. If capitalised properly it can emerge as one of the leading sectors to contribute to GDP and also has the potential to augment employment.
  • The Pandemic cost and recovery: The pandemic has caused conspicuous losses for this sector but over the past few months, all the major tourism indices such as domestic air passenger traffic, hotel occupancy and tourist footfalls have shown signs of recovery and are going back to pre-pandemic levels.
  • Short term estimate: By 2024, in short term the country is estimated to contribute USD 150 billion to the GDP from tourism, USD 30 billion in Foreign Exchange earnings and can get 15 million foreign tourist arrivals..
  • Medium term by 2030: It is estimated to grow at seven to nine per cent Compound Annual Growth Rate in the coming decade. In the medium term, that is 2030, the tourism-related goals are USD 250 billion GDP contribution; 137 million jobs, 56 million foreign tourist arrivals and USD 56 billion in foreign exchange earnings.
  • Visionary schemes: The visionary schemes like Swadesh Darshan or Dekho Apna Desh have the potential to increase tourism value while maintaining cultural integrity and ecological sustainability of the places.
  • Dekho Apna Desh: Dekho apna desh rolled out in 2020 envisages encouraging domestic tourism, urging people to visit places in India. India is a land of rich cultural heritage

 

Conclusion

If the goal of positioning of India as one of the world’s best tourism destinations by 2047, there is need to integrate various schemes of different ministries. Need to involve various stakeholders, and local communities; necessary interventions at urban and rural level should be a priority.

 

Value addition

Types of tourism

  • Domestic tourism: Refers to activities of a visitor within their country of residence and outside of their home (e.g. a Indian visiting other parts of India)
  • Inbound tourism: Refers to the activities of a visitor from outside of country of residence (e.g. a Spaniard visiting Britain).
  • Outbound tourism: Refers to the activities of a resident visitor outside of their country of residence (e.g. an Indian visiting an overseas country).

 

 


General Studies – 2


 

7. The landmark SC judgement that has extended the right to safe and legal abortion up to 24 weeks to unmarried and single women will go a long way in addressing anomalies in India’s abortion law and ensure right to bodily autonomy. Analyse. (250 words)

Reference: Indian ExpressThe Hindu

 

 

Introduction

Recently, the Supreme Court of India allowed an unmarried woman to end her pregnancy at 24 weeks, after the Delhi High Court refused to allow it, citing the provisions of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act.

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Supreme court Ruling in extending right to safe and legal abortion

  • It took an expansive view of the issue and interpreted MTP Act 2021, as the word partner instead of husband, exhibiting the intention of the law of the land to not confine it to only marital relationships.
  • It also said that the petitioner cannot be denied the benefit of the law, on the ground that she was unmarried, and that doing so would be contrary to the ‘object and spirit’ of the legislation.
  • Further, the bench directed the director of the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) to set up a medical board of two doctors to examine the woman (as per the provisions of the MTP Act) to determine if it was safe and not a risk to the life of the mother to terminate the pregnancy.
    • If it is their opinion that it is safe to do so, then AIIMS can conduct the procedure on her.

Addressing anomalies

  • While the law recognizes changes in a pregnant woman’s marital status with her spouses — such as divorce and widowhood — it does not address the situation for unmarried women.
  • It is a highly regulated procedure whereby the law transfers the decision-making power from the pregnant woman to the Recognized Medical Practitioner (RMP) and provides great discretion to the RMP to determine whether abortion should be provided or not.
  • The court noted that the Rules permit termination of pregnancies of up to 24 weeks in seven specific categories, including survivors of rape or sexual assault, minors, in case of physical disabilities and fetal malformation.
    • The court said that unmarried women whose pregnancy is over 20 weeks may have also conceived in a similarly vulnerable situation.
  • Pregnancy within and outside marriage: The legislature has not just used the word ‘husband’. It has also used the word ‘partner’.
    • So the legislature is not just concerned about women who undergo pregnancy within marriage, but outside marriage too.
    • Medical risk is the same for both married and unmarried women
  • Sec 3 of MTP Act: Section 3 (when pregnancies may be terminated by registered medical practitioners) of 1971 Act allows women who are less than 20 weeks’ pregnant to terminate if they had conceived due to the “failure of a family planning device”.
    • The law presumes that such a pregnancy would be a cause of mental anguish and constitute a “grave injury to the mental health of the pregnant woman”.

Conclusion

Access to abortion is critically tied to preserving and upholding the human rights of pregnant women, girls, and others, and hence to attaining social and gender justice. Only expanding the definition of women in the law can go a long way in making safe abortion a norm.

 

8. The Constitution of India places the post of the Attorney General for India (A-G) on a special footing. The A-G is the Government of India’s first law officer, and has the right of audience in all courts of the country. Elaborate.

Reference: Live Mint 

 

Introduction

The Constitution of India places the post of the A-G on a special footing. The A-G is the Government of India’s first law officer, and has the right of audience in all courts of the country.

Article 76(2) of the Constitution says “it shall be the duty of the Attorney-General to give advice to the Government of India upon such legal matters, and to perform such other duties of a legal character, as may from time to time be referred or assigned to him by the President”.

 

Body

Functions

  • The AGI is necessary for advising the Government of India on legal matters referred to them.
  • They also perform other legal duties assigned to them by the President.
  • The AGI has the right of audience in all Courts in India as well as the right to participate in the proceedings of the Parliament, though not to vote.
  • The AGI appears on behalf of the Government of India in all cases (including suits, appeals and other proceedings) in the Supreme Court in which GoI is concerned.
  • They also represent the Government of India in any reference made by the President to the Supreme Court under Article 143 of the Constitution.
  • The AG is assisted by a Solicitor General and four Additional Solicitors General.

Powers of AG

  • The AG can accept briefs but cannot appear against the Government.
  • They cannot defend an accused in criminal proceedings and accept the directorship of a company without the permission of the Government.
  • The AG is to be consulted only in legal matters of real importance and only after the Ministry of Law has been consulted.
  • All references to the AG are made by the Law Ministry.

Limitations to his powers

The AG:

  • should not advise or hold a brief against the Government of India
  • should not defend accused persons in criminal cases without the permission of the government of India
  • should not accept appointment as a director in any company without the permission of the government

 

Conclusion

Unlike the Attorney General of the United States, the AGI does not have any executive authority. Those functions are performed by the Law Minister of India. Also, the AG is not a government servant and is not debarred from private legal practice.

 

 


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