Print Friendly, PDF & Email

[Mission 2023] SECURE SYNOPSIS: 12 November 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

 

 

Answer the following questions in 150 words:


General Studies – 1


 

1. While the process of globalization was inevitable, it could lead to unemployment and social injustice, as well as to imposing cuts on social programme. Examine.

Reference: Insights on IndiaIndian Express 

Introduction

Globalization is a process of interaction and integration among the people, companies, and governments of different nations, a process driven by international trade and investment and aided by information technology. Being multi-dimensional and global in nature, this process has effects on the environment, on culture, on political systems, on economic development and prosperity, and on human physical well-being in societies around the world.

Meta Platforms Inc recently became the latest US company to cut jobs to rein in costs amid tightening monetary policy and growing fears of a recession. Job cuts announced by US-based employers jumped 13 per cent to 33,843 in October, the highest since February 2021, a report said.

Body

Globalization has increased inequalities

  • Globalization created opportunities only for the skilled or wealthy people. This increases the inequality between the rich and poor. This has made urban poor lives much harder, and caused the creation of slums.
  • On top of that, unhealthy process of urbanization is causing the deficiencies in the basic services such as housing, water supply, sanitation. This eventually made the poor as worst victims.
  • With globalisation, a trend of establishing industries in the rural areas has started as the availability of land is cheaper as well as unorganized labor. This may sound fruitful but because of the pollution from the industries, lives of the rural people have deteriorated.
  • Unemployment rate has increased and the growth of employment was slowed down during post-globalization period.
  • The inequality also increased in terms of sectoral share in GDP and employment, and inter-states per capita income.
  • In India, globalisation is leading to growth of a new generation of young and rich, and then there are millions of rural and urban poor and this inequality is growing. The rich are becoming preoccupied with their own advancement, given global complexities, the poor are in a state of existential poverty.
  • India is also infamous for child labour and underpayment.
  • The problem of jobless growth persisted with many people participating in agriculture (disguised employment)
  • Greater incorporation of technology which was ill suited for Indian labour market and gave rise to informal sector.

HoweverGlobalisation has also helped to reduced poverty

  • High economic growth
    • Globalization has become a major factor behind the high economic growth in the country. The favorable economic conditions have put a positive impact on the overall standard of living of the country.
    • Between 1981 and 2001 the percentage of rural people living on less than $1 a day decreased from 63 to 42 per cent in India
  • Percapita income increase
    • Due to the high economic growth, there has been rapid progress in the civic amenities. The per capita income has increased which has improved the standard of living of the masses. As economic growth is a great factor behind the improvement of the poverty, the rise in the economic condition of India had a favorable impact on the reducing the rate of poverty in the country.
  • Employment
    • Due to the high demand and the supply chains, there has been significant growth in the market. As such, more and more job opportunities are being created in different sectors. This has increased the per capita income considerably which has improved the poverty level to a great extent.
  • Agriculture benefitted
    • Due to the globalization, Indian agriculture has improved to some extent which has helped to reduce the poverty problems of the rural masses. Due to the globalization and introduction of better equipments, there has been a stark improvement in the techniques of agriculture.
  • Improvement in health care costs
    • Globalization has also positively affected the overall health care situation in the country. More and more medical innovations are coming in which are improving the health situation in India. The infant mortality rate and the malnutrition rate have significantly come down since the last decade.
  • Women
    • Technology has also increased access to education in India, especially to women. This has decreased the gap between men and women which was created by stratified gender roles.
  • Industrialization
    • It offers advantages such as production-scale efficiency, innovative technology, efficient utilisation of labour, net of tax price equalisation, and equalisation of productive world savings and investment resources.

Conclusion

The gap between rich and poor cannot be resolved without deliberate inequality-busting policies. Despite the onslaught of second-generation reforms and India joining the club of top economic actors at the global level, there is a long way to go for India before it can boast of substantive achievements in these critical areas. Apart from economic factors, non-economic factors such as deepening democracy and decentralisation can help in reducing inequalities.

Value addition

Key findings of the World Inequalities Report, 2022:

  • The gap between the rich and the poor in terms of share of national income is quite large, and growing rapidlyas a result of government policies that favour the affluent elite. The richest 10% of the global population takes home 52% of the global income, whereas the poorest 50% got only 8.5% of it.
  • Global wealth inequities are worse than income inequalities. While the poorest 50% own just 2% of the global wealth, the richest 10% own 76% of all the wealth.
  • Inequality between countries was narrowing while inequality within countries was increasing. While the gap between the average incomes of the richest 10% of countries and the average incomes of the poorest 50% of countries has dropped from 50x to less than 40x, the gap between the average incomes of the top 10% and the bottom 50% of individuals within countries has almost doubled, from 8.5x to 15x.
  • Countries are growing richer, governments are becoming poorer:The share of privately owned wealth in national wealth was rising, while that of public wealth (buildings, universities, roads, hospitals etc) was shrinking.

 


General Studies – 2


 

2. Enumerate the functions of the Enforcement Directorate (ED). Do you think that the Enforcement Directorate is being used to settle political scores? What measures are needed to maintain its neutrality?

Reference: The Hindu

Introduction

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) was established in 1956. ED is responsible for enforcement of the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (FEMA) and certain provisions under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002. The ED Headquarters is situated at New Delhi.

The Directorate of Enforcement, with its Headquarters at New Delhi is headed by the Director of Enforcement. There are five Regional offices at Mumbai, Chennai, Chandigarh, Kolkata and Delhi headed by Special Directors of Enforcement. Zonal Offices of the Directorate are headed by a Joint Director. The officers are appointed from Indian Revenue Service, Indian Corporate Law Service, Indian Police Service and Administrative Services.

Body

Background

  • The Enforcement Directorate recently searched a dozen locations, including the main office of the Congress-owned National Heraldnewspaper in Delhi, as part of its investigation into a money-laundering case,
  • The fresh ED raids come days after interim Congress chief Sonia Gandhi was grilled by the central agency for three days in connection with the National Herald House alleged money laundering case.
  • The Gandhis are being investigated in what is called the “National Herald case” involving the Young Indian’s takeover of Associated Journals Limited (AJL), the company that runs the National Herald newspaper founded by India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.

Role of ED

  • ED investigates suspected violations of the provisions of the FEMA. Suspected violations includes, non-realization of export proceeds, “hawala transactions”, purchase of assets abroad, possession of foreign currency in huge amount, non-repatriation of foreign exchange, foreign exchange violations and other forms of violations under FEMA.
  • ED collects, develops and disseminates intelligence information related to violations of FEMA, 1999. The ED receives the intelligence inputs from Central and State Intelligence agencies, complaints etc.
  • ED has the power to attach the asset of the culprits found guilty of violation of FEMA. “Attachment of the assets” means prohibition of transfer, conversion, disposition or movement of property by an order issued under Chapter III of the Money Laundering Act [Section 2(1) (d)].
  • To undertake, search, seizure, arrest, prosecution action and survey etc. against offender of PMLA offence.
  • To provide and seek mutual legal assistance to/from respective states in respect of attachment/confiscation of proceeds of crime and handed over the transfer of accused persons under Money Laundering Act.
  • To settle cases of violations of the erstwhile FERA, 1973 and FEMA, 1999 and to decide penalties imposed on conclusion of settlement proceedings.
  • ED is playing a very crucial role in fighting the menace of corruption in the country.

ED as a political weapon

  • Tool for Political Vendetta: The governments of the day have been accused of brazenly using agencies like the ED, CBI to settle their own political scores.
    • There are concerns of Enforcement Directorate’s powers being misused to harass political opponents and intimidating them.
    • It is said that “Cases and probe agencies spring out of cold storage before elections, and turn cold soon after”.
    • Many have held the agencies’ moves as motivated, aimed at tilting the scales in favor of the incumbent government, done also through selective leaks by the agencies to browbeat political opponents.
  • The Investigation by ED is bound within the territory of India, while several high profile offenders have fled the country.
  • There is also a problem of manpower and intelligence gathering in Enforcement Directorate, that leads to delay in timely identification and prosecution of offenders.

Solution to address the issues:

  • Dedicated Fund and Grant for the agency to ensure its independent functioning.
  • Separate Recruitment for Enforcement Directorate on the lines of Civil Services.
  • A separate Academy for training the manpower and to instill the right values and virtues in the functioning is needed.
    • To Act without malice, prejudice or bias, and not allow the abuse of power.
  • More powers to ED: Under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, ED can now confiscate properties of offenders outside India, which may not be ‘proceeds of crime’.
  • Separate wings within ED for intelligence, surveillance and investigation can bring more efficiency.
  • Standard Training from time to time, to sharpen the investigative skills, and learning from global best practices.

Conclusion

As a premier financial investigation agency of the Government of India, the Enforcement Directorate must function in strict compliance with the Constitution and Laws of India. It must endeavour to establish and maintain high professional standards and credibility.

 

3. India and Brazil are natural powerhouses who have their strong relationship based on a common global vision, commitment to development and shared democratic values. Discuss.

Reference: The HinduInsights on India

Introduction

India and Brazil share a very close and multifaceted relationship at bilateral level as well as in plurilateral fora such as BRICS, BASIC, G-20, G-4, IBSA, International Solar Alliance, Bio future Platform and in the larger multilateral bodies such as the UN, WTO, UNESCO and WIPO. The bilateral strategic partnership, which has opened a new phase for India-Brazil relations in 2006, is based on a common global vision, shared democratic values, and a commitment to foster economic growth with social inclusion for the welfare of the people of both countries.

While there is considerable distance between India and Brazil, the former is 15,000 miles away, yet striking similarities can make the heart grow fonder. Both countries are multi-cultural, with a commitment to democracy; where the leadership has a strong mandate and a compatible profile.

Body

Background

In the presidential election in Brazil, on October 30 (the second round), the two-time former President, and leader of the leftist Worker’s Party (PT), Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva — universally known as Lula — defeated the far-right incumbent president, Jair Bolsonaro.

Indo-Brazilian relations:

Political Cooperation:

  • The strategic partnership established in 2006 between Brazil and India has deepened, with both countries cooperating closely within BRICS, IBSA, G4, G20, and the wider multilateral context of the United Nations.
  • Brazil and India (along with Germany and Japan) jointly pursued aspirations of permanent seats in the UN Security Council and worked towards a multipolar world where large developing countries can frame global rules and democratise international institutions.
  • Both countries played a pivotal role as leaders of the Global South or South-South cooperation.
  • The Brazilian foreign policy of reciprocal multilateralism is in concurrence with India’s policy of strategic autonomy.

Cultural Cooperation:

  • In Brazil, there is enormous interest in India’s culture, religion, performing arts and philosophy.
  • Brazil has a strong community of Yoga and Ayurveda practitioners. The Brazilian Association of Ayurveda (ABRA) is a non-profit association with offices in 9 states of Brazil and has members all over Brazil.
  • Mahatma Gandhi is highly regarded in Brazil and the government and NGOs are trying to inculcate the philosophy of non-violence among students, youth and police.

Trade Relations:

  • In 2021, our bilateral trade touched USD11.53 billion with an increase of 63.5 percent over 2020. Balance of trade was USD1.93 billion in favour of India. India is now the 5thlargest trading partner of Brazil.
  • Brazil wants to increase the trade with India three times the present trade volume. The major focus is on commodities and so it is difficult to raise the trade volume. India grows coffee which is Brazil’s major export; animal feed is the major export of Brazil for which there is no market in India.
  • Brazil is rich in minerals and agricultural resources. If we look at the future trade there are possibilities like India might need to import pulses. India exports generic drugs and other pharmaceutical products. The services industry, IT and biotechnology is well established.
  • Brazil has an organisation which is the counter part of Indian Council for Agricultural Research called Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa). The cattle stock of Brazil is very important for them. Nellorebeef cattle originated from Ongole Cattle originally brought to Brazil from India. They are named after the district of Nellore in Andhra Pradesh state in India. So, there are some Indian connections to its origin.

Defense Relations:

  • The defence relationship is possible; both are large countries with large defense needs whether it is helicopters or aircrafts. India has bought Embraer aircraft from Brazil where only few countries in the developing world make aircraft. There is possibility of cooperation in science and technology and developing designs.
  • Both countries have normal exchanges for instance Brazilian officers coming to National Defence College, providing training exercises and visits of chiefs. Both countries are aware that the requirements are large. The real potential is in designing and developing the defence industry.
  • Brazil and India signed a bilateral ‘Defence Cooperation Agreement’ in 2003 that calls for cooperation in defence-related matters, especially in the field of Research and Development, acquisition and logistic support between the two countries.

Strategic Relationship:

  • Both are mature democracies, developing countries, have different perspectives on many issues which is different from other countries, want a greater voice for ourselves, both are the partners for the expansion of security council and for becoming permanent members, both believe in institutional reforms in IMF, World Bank and UNSC. We are Natural Partners with the same kind of outlook on global issues.
  • Despite the huge distance, lot of cultural differences and different kind of history, there are remarkable affinities and common values. India was colonized by British and Brazil was colonized by Portuguese. Just as India sees coalition governments, differences between centre and state, Independence of judiciary, a very vibrant press, critical kind of NGOs, Brazil also has a same kind of political climate like many parties, many regions, and differences between central and state governments.
  • Both are developing countries with same size in economies. Brazil has lot of people trapped in poverty like India. Therefore in Democracy, Development, and Diversity, Brazil is also a country with many religion, languages, and cultures. Brazil is also familiar with the same kind of Diversity which India is familiar.
  • Brazil has a space programme which was stared at a time when India started it. But India has gone far ahead. From time-to-time ISRO has offered technical knowhow to Brazil.

The rising ties between India and Brazil will send out strong signals of South-South cooperation

With much in common, the door is wide open to forge a social, cultural, people-to-people and economic relationship to boost trade. This will send out a strong signal of South-South co-operation.

  • Brazil’s number one export to India is crude oil, but, mind you, it is experiencing an oil production boom and will be amongst the top-5 oil producing countries in the world over the next decade.
  • As a large producer of sugarcane, Brazil started a bioethanol programme which is highly effective and is a means of bio-energy which can fire up thermal cogeneration plants. One resultant by-product are bio-pellets (a substitute for coal) and a means of clean energy, the urgent need of the hour in India.
  • In wind energy, Brazil is the cheapest source; a Brazilian company manufacturing wind turbine generators WEG is already in India. This resource can be fully tapped.
  • An ideal energy partner is around the corner, almost a God sent, and India should clinch a deal, especially in the wake of recent global events which could result in an oil crisis.
  • Brazil is not only self-sufficient in food production, but exports commodities including pulses to the Indian market. India consumes a variety of different foods, its growing and expanding population requires a perennial source, especially for proteins.
  • The ingredients for an all-encompassing relationship are, therefore, in place. Now, the two countries must repose trust in each other—make it solid like BRICS (Bricks) to bind aspirations, goals, and objectives of two nations.
  • India can start with a clean slate, having opted out of trade agreements, to put in place a bilateral framework/ agreement. This will be a “First” as we look beyond our neighbourhood principle.
  • It will also facilitate the flow of investments, and strengthen and fortify India’s strategic interests. Moving in this direction will be a practical litmus test for the ease of doing business. It will send out positive signals to foreign investors. A bilateral agreement between the two countries will secure this, which, in turn, will globally push India up in the ‘World Bank Ease of doing’ index.
  • We can go from a stage where the countries not only have a BRICS ‘bank’ in common, but can bank upon each other for ushering in the winds of change.

Conclusion

The time is right for deepening this relationship. In fact, the Brazilian ministry of mines and energy has said that “India and Brazil are key players in the international energy landscape, both as consumers and producers. We are joining hands to create an international biofuel market and supply our planet with renewable and clean energy.” This partnership will make the presidential visit a landmark win-win, setting the right ‘pulse’.

 


General Studies – 3


 

4. National Green Tribunal (NGT) is a vital cog in environment regulation but it needs to improve its performance to do full justice to its environmental mandate. Examine.

Reference: The Hindu

 

Introduction

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) was established in 2010 under the National Green Tribunal Act. It is a specialized environmental court that deals with cases relating to environmental protection and the conservation of forests. It has judicial powers that allow it to exclusively decide civil environmental matters. The tribunal is guided by principles of natural justice and is not bound by the mainstream code of civil procedure. The Supreme Court has declared the National Green Tribunal’s (NGT) position as a “unique” forum endowed with suo motu powers to take up environmental issues across the country.

Body

Performance of NGT

  • The NGT has been recognized as one of the most progressive Tribunals in the world.
  • This jurisprudential leap has allowed our country to enter a rather exclusive group of nations which have set up such institutions with broad powers.
  • In the Almitra H Patel Vs Union of India case, it directed states to implement Solid Waste Management Rules and prohibited open burning of waste on lands.
  • Many Projects which were approved in violation of the law such as an Aranmula Airport, Kerala; Lower Demwe Hydro Power Project and Nyamnjangu in Arunachal Pradesh; mining projects in in Goa; and coal mining projects in Chhattisgarh were either cancelled or fresh assessments were directed.

Limitations of NGT

  • The jurisdiction of NGT is curtailed as Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972and Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 is not under its ambit.
  • This restricts the jurisdiction area of NGT and at times hampers its functioning as the crucial forest rights issue is linked directly to the environment.
  • The sanctioned strength of 10 each under judicial and expert members are not filled. The lack of human and financial resources has led to high pendency of cases – which undermines NGT’s very objective of disposal of appeals within 6 months.
  • The option of appeals has nullified the purpose of reducing burden on the higher courts.
  • The justice delivery mechanism is also hindered by a limited number of regional benches.

Is endowment of Suo-motu powers to NGT a step in the right direction?

  • The Supreme Court recently declared that the National Green Tribunal is vested with suo motu powers to take cognizance on the basis of letters, representations and media reports
  • This could allow the NGT to play a more effective role in environmental protection.
  • However, the need for suo moto powers itself reiterates the idea that a judicial body must ‘swoop in’ to protect constitutional values, if the legislature or the executive is ill equipped to perform their functions.
  • The Tribunal would have a direct effect on the functioning of executive bodies, such as the Municipal Corporation in the present case.
  • Unlike orders based on petitions, cases taken up suo moto would allow the tribunal itself to decide what issues it should consider and to what extent it can infringe on the executive’s domain.

Way forward

  • There is an immediate need to set up new regional benches. Further, these should be based in a place that has the highest forest cover or large mineral deposit.
  • Appeal may be provided against the order of the NGT before a larger Bench of the Tribunal before the matter reaches to the Supreme Court or High Court.
  • Vacancies in NGT, needs to be filled as soon as possible.
  • There is a need for the central and state governments to work in collaboration with the NGT for balancing between environment & economy.
  • NGT should also identify institutions and experts who can help it to scientifically estimate environmental damages/compensation/fines on a case-to-case basis. 

 

 

5. What is climate change ‘Loss and Damage’? Should rich nations compensate the poor countries most vulnerable to climate change? State your opinion.

Reference: Hindustan TimesIndian Express

Introduction

Loss and damage refer to the negative consequences of climate change on human societies and the natural environment. Climate change is affecting the frequency, intensity and geographical distribution of extreme weather events such as storms, floods and heatwaves, and slow-onset events such as sea level rise, ocean acidification, loss of biodiversity and desertification.

Body

About Loss and Damage

  • ‘Loss and Damage’ has a distinct but contested meaning in the international climate change policy debate. It is predominately about how to support developing countries that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change.
  •  All of these result in loss and damage, both economic and non-economic. Economic loss and damage may include damage to crops, homes or infrastructure.
  • Non-economic loss and damage may include harm to human health and mobility; loss of access to territory, of cultural heritage and of indigenous and local knowledge; and loss of and damage to biodiversity and habitats.

Need for rich nations compensating poor countries for Loss and Damage due to climate change

  • Loss and Damage (L&D), which essentially tries to capture inability to cope with the effects of warming. This is distinct from mitigation, or reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and adaptation, or finding ways to live in a warmer world.
  • In Warsaw  in 2013, all parties agreed to set up a new mechanism on L&D.
  • The issue is important because even after GHG emissions are reduced and communities adapt to climate change, there would still be loss and damage to people, livelihoods and infrastructure as a result of their inability to cope with climate change.
  • At its heart, the demand for compensation for loss and damage from climate disasters is an extension of the universally acknowledged “Polluter Pays” principle, that makes the polluter liable for paying not just for the cost of remedial action, but also for compensating the victims of environmental damage caused by their actions.
  • In the climate change framework, the burden of responsibility falls on those rich countries that have contributed most of the greenhouse gas emissions since 1850, generally considered to be the beginning of the industrial age.
    • The United States and the European Union, including the UK, account for over 50 per cent of all emissions during this time.
    • If Russia, Canada, Japan, and Australia are included, the combined contribution goes past 65 per cent, or almost two-thirds of all emissions.
  • Historical responsibility is important because carbon dioxide remains in the atmosphere for hundreds of years, and it is the cumulative accumulation of this carbon dioxide that causes global warming.
  • A country like India, currently the third largest emitter, accounts for only 3 per cent of historical emissions. China, which is the world’s biggest emitter for over 15 years now, has contributed about 11 per cent to total emissions since 1850.
  • According to a recent report by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Efforts (UNOCHA) the United States alone is estimated to have “inflicted more than $1.9 trillion in damages to other countries” due to its emissions. Then there are non-economic losses as well, including loss of lives, displacement and migration, health impacts, and damage to cultural heritage.

Warsaw mechanism

  • The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the 1994 international agreement that lays down the broad principles of the global effort to fight climate change, acknowledges the differentiated responsibility of nations.
  • It makes it clear that rich countries must provide both the finance and the technology to developing nations to help tackle climate change. However, the UNFCCC does not mention loss and damage.
  • In 2009, developed countries agreed to provide US$ 100 billion every year from 2020 to help developing nations fight climate change.
    • However, they are struggling to fulfill this promise.
  • It was after much struggle that developing countries and environment groups managed to establish a separate channel on loss and damages. The Warsaw International Mechanism (WIM) for Loss and Damages, set up in 2013, was the first formal acknowledgment of the need to compensate developing countries struck by climate disasters.

Conclusion

While including loss and damage into the COP’s formal agenda — instead of the WIM — is a good beginning, it is just the first step. It might be several years before money actually begins to flow in to compensate poorer countries. Also, past record suggests that the quantum of money put on the table for climate change purposes is never commensurate to the requirements.

 

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


General Studies – 1


 

6. Learning in their mother tongue, benefits children in numerous ways. It associates them with their culture, ensures enhanced cognitive development, and supports the learning of other languages. In the light of the above statement, mention the need of preserving the linguistic diversity in India.

Reference: Indian ExpressInsights on India

Introduction

At the foundational stage, ensuring the understanding of literacy and numeracy by the learners is by far more important than thrusting the language of commerce. In a 1953 report entitled “The use of vernacular languages in Education”, by the UN, two aspects stood out. One, its iteration that “every child of school age should attend school, and the best medium of teaching is the mother tongue of the pupil.” And two, its emphasis that “all languages, even the so-called primitive ones, are capable of becoming media for school teaching; some perhaps merely as a bridge to a second language, while others maybe used at all levels of education”.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has completed the Mother Tongue Survey of India (MTSI) with field videography of the country’s 576 languages.

Body

Benefits of Education in mother tongue

  • Mother tongue is critically important for cognitive, psychological and personality development, education and learning.
  • Psychologists say it’s important that expressions and vocabulary are chosen with care when we talk to children.
  • Research shows how the brain differently absorbs and recalls languages learnt in early childhood and later life.
  • Every language spoken in the world represents a special culture, melody, colour and is an asset.
  • Several psychological, social and educational experiments proved that learning through the mother tongue is deeper, faster and more effective.
  • Much of a child’s future social and intellectual development hingeson the milestone of mother tongue.
  • Incomplete first language skills often make learning other languages more difficult.
  • Children of migrant families are finding themselves at crossroads, being unable to master either the first or the second language they are forced to study in.
  • Gandhiji warned: “If the English educated neglect as they have done and even now continue, as some do, to be ignorant of mother tongue, linguistic starvation will abide.”

Challenges in implementation

  • The National Education Policy, 2020 has advocated, that “wherever possible, the medium of instruction until at least Grade 5, but preferably till Grade 8 and beyond, will be the home language/mother tongue/local language/regional language” for both public and private schools. There are a few challenges in realising the NEP tenets.
  • A given class may have learners from more than one mother tongue, teachers are not recruited on the basis of languages understood, spoken and written by them, and often resources are not available in the languages understood by the child.
  • While there is no need for haste in making educational materials available in Indian languages, the approach and methodology should be discussed threadbare by policymakers and educationists,without political pressure or interference.
    • In Tamil Nadu, for instance, the bid to impart engineering education through the Tamil medium has not created any impact despite the principal political players using language as a political too
  • What should be made obvious is that the use of English, wherever desirable, should be retained, with no aversion shown on the ground that it is a “foreign” language.

Need and Significance to preserve India’s linguistic diversity:

  • Ecological diversity.
  • Cultural diversity through oral traditions, stories, songs, poetry, and rituals passed down from generation to generation.
  • Languages express identity
  • Languages are repositories of history
  • Language contribute to the sum of human knowledge
  • Languages are interesting in themselves
  • improved cognitive abilities in children when they are taught in their mother tongue in primary school

Conclusion

There is enough research and evidence now to prove that if children are taught in their mother tongue, particularly in the foundational years (ages 3 to 8), then higher retention, higher proficiencies, lesser repetition of grades, and improved test scores are seen. To create a student-centric environment, we cannot allow the “sink or swim’ approach of submersion. Given the available resources, bilingual teaching, with the aid of bilingual textbooks and e-content, etc. can be a great beginning to secure the future of our learners and their abilities.

Value Addition

Linguistic diversity in India

  • The rich demographic mixture of India can be gauged from the fact that it has 28 states and 9 union territories.
  • Each State has its own commonly spoken language, and the spoken dialect of the language can change every hundred kilometers.
  • Multilingualismis the way of life in India as people in different parts of the country speak more than one language from their birth and learns additional languages during their life time.
  • According to the Census of India (2011), there are 121 languages spoken across India.
  • Out of these, 22 are scheduled languages, which can be given official status by respective states or be used to conduct administrative work or used in the state legislature; the remaining 99 languages have the status of non-scheduled languages.
  • The two official languages of India (federal government) are Hindi and English, while the states have the authority to designate their own official language.
  • Though officially there are 122 languages,Peoples Linguistic Survey of India has identified 780 languages, of which 50 are extinct in past five decades.
  • The twenty-two languages that are recognised by the Constitution are: Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kashmiri, Kannada, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santhali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu are included in the Eighth Schedule of the constitution.
  • 14 of these scheduled languages have more than 10 million speakers each. To put this figure into perspective, the population of some countries, e.g. Norway is much less than 10 million.
  • There are around 528 million Hindi speakers, while there are 3 million speakers of Odiya and 1.4 million speakers of Bodo.
  • Tamil (declared in 2004), Sanskrit (2005), Kannada (2008), Telugu (2008), Malayalam (2013), and Odia (2014)have been recognised as classical languages with special status and recognition by Government of India.
  • The classical languages have written and oral history of more than 1000 years. In comparison to these, English is very young as it has the history of only 300 years.
  • Rabindranath Tagoreonce said “If God had so wished, he could have made all the Indians speak one language, the unity of India has been and shall always be a unity in diversity.”
  • There are many more languages that are spoken in India, and astonishingly all these languages further have numerous dialects.

 


General Studies – 2


 

7. Discuss the role of the Law Commission of India in conducting research and advising the Government of India on legal reform. According to you, what are the major legal reforms that are needed in the country?

Reference: Indian ExpressInsights on India

 

Introduction

The Law Ministry describes the Law Commission of India as a non-statutory body that is constituted by a notification of the Government of India, with definite terms of reference to carry out research in the field of law.

Retired High Court Chief Justice Rituraj Awasthi has been appointed as the chairperson of the 22nd law commission of India which was constituted in 2020. The other five members on the panel would be former Kerala High Court judge Justice K T Sankaran, M Karunanithi, and law professors Anand Paliwal, D P Verma, and Raka Arya.

Body

Role of Law Commission

  • The Law Commission shall, on a reference made to it by the Central Government or suo motu, undertake research in law and review of existing laws in India for making reforms and enacting new legislation.
  • It shall also undertake studies and research for bringing reforms in the justice delivery systems for elimination of delay in procedures, speedy disposal of cases, reduction in cost of litigation, etc.
  • It also suggest such legislations as might be necessary to implement the Directive Principles and to attain the objectives set out in the Preamble of the Constitution.
  • It helps revise the Central Acts of general importance so as to simplify them and remove anomalies, ambiguities and inequities”.
  • The Commission makes recommendations to the Government in the form of Reports as per its terms of reference.
  • The Law Commission was first constituted in 1955, and has so far submitted 277 reports.

Shortcomings of Law Commissions

  • The reports and recommendations made by the Law Commission are non-binding, that is, it is up to the Government’s discretion to accept or reject the recommendations made by the Commission.
  • However, it is estimated that about 45 per cent of its recommendations have been acted upon or made into law till now.
  • The gap between the constitution of two consecutive Law Commissions is usually too long. For instance, the tenure of the 21st Law Commission ended on 31 August 2018 and the 22nd Law Commission got approval in 2020.
  • The Government has often been accused of practising favouritism while appointing members to the body.
  • It has been observed in recent times that the Commission’s report is less detailed because of a lack of a research backup team.

Reforms needed

  • Changing the status of Law Commission from an advisory body to a statutory or constitutional one.
  • The Law Commission should be brought under a statute with definite terms on appointments, its functions and powers spelt out.
  • Allocation of adequate funds to ensure quality research by experts having in-depth knowledge on law subjects, especially juristic ones.
  • There is also a need to reduce the gap between the constitution of two consecutive Commissions to ensure continuity.

Conclusion

The Law Commissions of India have made remarkable contributions to law formulation in the country through their in-depth and dedicated research as well as specialized and well-thought suggested reforms and reports.

Value addition

Composition:

  • Apart from having a full-time chairperson, the commission will have four full-time members, including a member-secretary.
  • Law and Legislative Secretaries in the Law Ministry will be the ex-officio members of the commission.
  • It will also have not more than five part-time members.
  • A retired Supreme Court judge or Chief Justice of a High Court will head the Commission.

 

 

8. The Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) judgment fails to uphold the constitutional values meant to end the perpetuation of discrimination against the SCs, STs and other backward classes. Critically Examine.

Reference: Indian ExpressThe Hindu

Introduction

The Constitution (103 Amendment) Act, 2019 was enacted which provides 10% reservation in jobs and educational institutions to the economically weaker sections in the general category.  Recently, the Supreme Court has upheld the validity of the 103rd Constitutional Amendment which provides 10% reservation for the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) among forward castes in government jobs and colleges across India. The SC said that EWS quota does not violate equality and the basic structure of the constitution. Reservation in addition to existing reservation does not violate provisions of the Constitution.

The Supreme Court of India’s recent decision, upholding the constitutional validity of the law granting 10% reservation to Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) of the upper castes, has ignited much debate. Some pundits have affirmed the judgment marks the death knell of caste as a factor in reservation, while others argue that it underscores its perpetual relevance.

Body

Reservation leads to casteless and classless society:

  • The 10% quota law is a step towards a classless and casteless society, the Union government has indicated in the Supreme Court.
  • The Centre referred to the court’s past decisions that called for the “attainment of economic equality as the final and only solution to the besetting problems” of the country. The Constitution (103rd Amendment) Act, 2019, was meant to benefit the economically weaker sections of society who were not covered by the existing schemes of reservation.
  • It said the law was meant to benefit a large section of the population of 135 crore people, who are mostly lower middle class and below the poverty line.
  • The government quoted the 2010 report of the Commission for Economically Backward Classes, chaired by Major General S.R. Sinho (retired), which said 18.2% of the general category came under the below poverty line (BPL).
  • The Government took support of the 13-page affidavit quoted from a 1985 Constitution Bench judgment in K.C. Vasanth Kumar vs Karnataka, which quotes Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and Mahatma Gandhi to drive home the point that the economy of a family, and not its caste, should be the determining factor of social and educational backwardness.
  • Article 15(6) and Article 16(6) are enabling provisions for advancement of the economically weaker sections and are, in fact, in conformity with the principle of reservation and affirmative action, It argued that a “mere amendment” to an Article would not violate the basic structure of the Constitution.
  • Furthermore, the 50% ceiling applied to the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes. The new provision dealt with the economically weaker sections. “The limit of 50% is only applicable to reservation under Articles 15(4), 15(5) and 16(4) and does not apply to Article 15(6).”

The pros of the reservation Act are:

  • Alleviation of Poverty: It is expected to help the needy among the higher castes.
  • Reduces ghost beneficiaries: In some cases, it is expected to eliminate the desperation of those who, in the past, would resort to obtaining fake Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST)certificates that were used to seek entry into professional courses.
  • Removes Prejudice: The reservation will prevent these higher castes from holding reservations responsible for national disintegration and perpetuation of casteism, as they widely believe.
  • Reduces Unwanted Adoptions: The legislation is also expected to keep savarna-caste aspirants from seeking adoption into SC/ST families in order to procure SC/ST certificates.
  • No deceptive self-characterisation:Ironically, the 10% quota can help these savarnas retain their authentic caste identity. In this way, they can now avoid facing humiliation in courts of law on account of being exposed as fake caste certificate holders.

The cons of the reservation are:

  • Discredits the moral foundation of the principle of social justice:
    • The principle of social justicecalls for ‘equal treatment of equals’ and ‘affirmative action for less advantage sections’.
    • Constitution outlines special provisions for only four classes– SCs, STs, Backward Classes and Anglo Indians in the Articles 330-342 under Part 16.
    • The provision is clearly mentioned as reservation is explicitly for ‘social exclusion and discrimination’. Notably, the “socially and educationally backward classes” was the target group in quotas for OBCs.
    • Unfairness or an element of injusticeis rooted in the practice of untouchability, whereas pure economic backwardness is rooted in the systemic inability to provide jobs to the higher castes.
    • The lack of opportunities is not due to untouchability, but due to the inability of the state and the market to provide enough jobs for the qualified and the needy.
    • The new reservation policy has transformed from a policy meant to provide a level playing field for those suffering from historical discrimination and those who are weaker sections of the society to a policy meant as a dole for those sections of society who are poor and lack jobs.
    • The Indira Sawhney casehad further held that social backwardness cannot be determined only with reference to an economic criterion.
  • Violation of DPSP:
    • The Article 46, which is a non-justiciable Directive Principle, says that the state shall promote educational and economic interests of “weaker sections”, in particular SCs and STs, and protect them from “social injustices” and “all forms of exploitation”.
    • While the 103rd Amendment mentions Article 46 in its statement and objects, it seems the government overlooked the fact that upper castes neither face social injustice nor are subjected to any form of exploitation.
    • Moreover, the Constitution makes provisions for commissions to look into matters relating to implementation of constitutional safeguards for Scheduled Castes (Article 338), Scheduled Tribes (338A) and Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (339),but has not created any commission for the economically backward classes.
  • Unavailability of Data:
    • The Union or state governments have no such data to prove that ‘upper’ caste individuals, who have less than Rs 8 lakh annual income, are not adequately represented in government jobs and higher educational institutions. There is a strong possibility that they are actually over-represented in these places.
  • Arbitrary Criteria:
    • The criteria used by the government to decide the eligibility for this reservation is vague and is not based on any data or study.
    • Even the SC questioned the government whether they have checked the GDP per capita for every State while deciding the monetary limit for giving the EWS reservation.
    • Statistics show that the per capita income in states differs widely – Goa is the state having the highest per capita income of almost Rs. 4 lakhs whereas Bihar is at the bottom with Rs.40,000.
  • Sincerity of the Government
    • Centre did not give enough time for discussion on it before it was tabled in Parliament for its final approval.
  • Lack of objectivity
    • an objection is raised about the procedure that the government adopted in order to fix the criteria for educational and economic backwardness. The government arrived at the figure of 10%, without any proper and thorough documentation by a duly constituted commission.

Conclusion:

Thus, the quota for the economically poor among the upper castes has been seen essentially as a poverty alleviation move dressed up as reservation. It is high time now that the Indian political class overcame its tendency of continually expanding the scope of reservation in pursuit of electoral gains, and realised that it is not the panacea for problems.

Instead of giving reservation based on different criteria, the government should focus on quality of education and other effective social upliftment measures. It should create a spirit of entrepreneurship and make them job-givers instead of a job seeker.


General Studies – 3


 

9. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) has been criticised for following a narrow preservationist agenda centred on protecting charismatic species through trade-restrictive policies that disregard the livelihood strategies of communities living alongside wildlife. Evaluate.

Reference: Insights on India

 

Introduction

The international trade of animals and plants stands as one of the biggest threats to many endangered species worldwide. Illegal wildlife trade (including illegal logging) is thought to generate up to USD$175bn annually, making it almost as lucrative as drugs-, arms and people trafficking.

The sole global body regulating this trade is the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

Body

About CITES

  • CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) is aninternational agreement between governments.
  • CITES was drafted as a result of a resolutionadopted in 1963 at a meeting of members of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
  • Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.
  • Although CITES is legally binding on the Parties itdoes not take the place of national laws. Rather it provides a framework to be respected by each Party, which has to adopt its own domestic legislation to ensure that CITES is implemented at the national level.

Working of CITES

  • CITES works by subjecting international trade in specimens of selected species to certain controls.
    • Allimport, export, re-export and introduction from the sea of species covered by the Convention has to be authorized through a licensing system.
    • Each Party to the Convention must designate one or more Management Authoritiesin charge of administering that licensing system and one or more Scientific Authorities to advise them on the effects of trade on the status of the species.
  • Thespecies covered by CITES are listed in three Appendices, according to the degree of protection they need.
    • Appendix I includes species threatened with extinction. Trade in specimens of these species is permitted only in exceptional circumstances.
    • Appendix II includes species not necessarily threatened with extinction, but in which trade must be controlled in order to avoid utilization incompatible with their survival.
    • This Appendix III contains species that are protected in at least one country, which has asked other CITES Parties for assistance in controlling the trade.
    • Changes to Appendix III follow a distinct procedure from changes to Appendices I and II, as each Party’s is entitled to make unilateral amendments to it.
  • For the most part it is the member nations that must enforce CITES regulations in their own countries, although the CITES Standing Committee does have a mechanism to recommend trade suspensions on countries that are persistent offenders.
  • In this year’sCoP member governments were asked to explicitly incorporate corruption into their policies against wildlife trafficking.
  • CITES has been widely regarded as one of themost effective international environmental treaties in existence.
  • Through a permitting system implemented between its 183 member states, the Treaty protects over 35,000 species of plants and animals.
  • A study by TRAFFIC was presented which showcaseda 96 per cent drop in the amount of legal ivory openly for sale in Bangkok’s markets subsequent to their inclusion in the CITES-led National Ivory Action Plan process.

Criticism and shortcomings

  • Some maintain that the focus of CITES on the classic approach to wildlife protection law enforcement and protected areas is holding back conservation in developing countries.
  • In 2014, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) announced a ban of international trade in specimens of five shark species and all manta ray species, including meat, gills and fins. However, the ruling is not enforceable and the trade in shark fin and manta gill-rakers for TCM soups, potions and other absurd concoctions still goes on.
  • CITES simply cannot force member countries to take necessary action to combat a highly organised criminal systemworth tens of billions of dollars.
  • The recent CITES meeting at Johannesburg did not implement a recommendation to impose sanctions on Madagascar, instead gave the country more time to clean up its act.
  • Many of its member countries lack the strong governance needed to effectively enforce CITES restrictions.
  • The decisions made by the Parties of CITES are intended to be based on scientific evidence, but the Treaty is often criticised for being open to influence by political or emotional motives.
    • In 2010, for example, the commercially valuable Atlantic Bluefin tuna was denied CITES protection, a decision widely believed to have been influenced by economic self-interest and politics.
  • CITES has rarely produced results for protected populations on its own.On the occasions where CITES protected species have shown significant improvement, it has almost always been part of a combination of efforts such as habitat restoration, captive breeding, community engagement in species and habitat management and law enforcement.

Conclusion

CITES as a body and group of governments must act with urgency especially with levels of legal and illegal trade at all-time highs, coupled with massive habitat loss, a burgeoning human population, and a seemingly endless number of threats to all species.  Poaching of wildlife is still rampant as wildlife trade and demand exists especially in south-east Asian countries and China. This requires a collective effort on part of governments and CITES must aid in encouraging nations to take more binding and tough measures to prevent destruction of wildlife.

 

 

10. What is Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)? CDM has been a useful source of finance to industry and may build a viable domestic carbon market in future on the foundations of industry interest as well as environmental protection. Discuss.

Reference: Insights on India

Introduction

The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), defined in Article 12 of the Protocol, allows a country with an emission-reduction or emission-limitation commitment under the Kyoto Protocol (Annex B Party) to implement an emission-reduction project in developing countries. Such projects can earn saleable certified emission reduction (CER) credits, each equivalent to one tonne of CO2, which can be counted towards meeting Kyoto targets. Along with China and Brazil, India is a leader in CDM. 

The mechanism is seen by many as a trailblazer. It is the first global, environmental investment and credit scheme of its kind, providing a standardized emissions offset instrument, CERs. A CDM project activity might involve, for example, a rural electrification project using solar panels or the installation of more energy-efficient boilers.

Body

Significance of CDM

  • The CDM permits the public and private sectors in high-income countries the chance to buy carbon credits from offset projects in low- or middle-income countries because it is the largest regulatory project-based mechanism.
  • CDM assists developed countries in meeting their pledges to reduce emissions.
  • It helps developing countries achieve long-term development.
  • CDM projects generate tradable, saleable certified emission reduction (CER) credits, which can be used by industrialised countries to meet a portion of their Kyoto Protocol emission reduction targets.
  • CDM projects provide other benefits such as:
    • investment in climate change mitigation projects in developing countries;
    • technology transfer or diffusion in host countries; and
    • improved community livelihoods through job creation or increased economic activity.

Shortcomings

  • Most developed countries are strongly opposed to permitting the carryover of CDM projects and their credits into the Paris Pact’s mechanisms.
  • It has been argued that CDM has failed to demonstrate environmental benefits in addition to the normal exchange of carbon credits or providing technological benefits.
  • Naysayers also contend that CDM’s transition to new mechanisms will have adverse impacts on carbon prices and investor sentiments in future markets.
  • There is also worry that Double-counting could compromise global ambition on reducing Green House Gas emissions.
  • The demand in the European Union,which has been the largest market for CDM credits, has declined sharply over the last decade because of regulatory barriers.
  • Thecredits lying unsold with the CDM projects could lose their economic worth.
  • Also, the CDM projects will have to go through the process of validation and registration againwith the new mechanism. This will involve additional financial and administrative costs.
  • According to some civil society organizations, the majority of CDM projects benefit large corporations while harming marginalized individuals.
  • A grassroots campaign of waste pickers began to oppose a CDM project in New Delhi in 2012.
  • The CDM does not penalize increased emissions, but it does reward them. As a result, it is almost like a subsidy for carbon reduction.
  • As a result, businesses may have a perverse incentive to increase their emissions in the short term in order to qualify for credits for long-term emission reductions.
  • The Kyoto Protocol’s environmental efficacy requires additional emission reductions from the CDM.
  • The CDM is essentially a transfer of income to non-Annex I nations without any additionality. However, additionality is a tough concept to demonstrate and is hotly contested.

Way forward

  • pragmatic assessment of possible gains and lossesfrom competing approaches to CDM transition into new mechanisms is the need of the hour.
  • CDM project proponents should be free to choose available cost-effective technologiesas long as the objective of emission reductions is achieved.
  • CDM projects should not be judged only on the criterion of technologybut the investments and ability to overcome market barriers should also be considered.
  • Countries which are having stakes in CDM should try to negotiate with ICAO for long-term use of credits originating.
  • In project/programme-based mechanisms, countries should make arrangements to prevent double-counting of emission reduction units in their national accounts.
  • CDM has been a useful source of finance to industry and India may build a viable domestic carbon market in future on the foundations of industry interest as well as environmental protection.

Conclusion

The mechanism promotes sustainable development and emission reductions while providing industrialised countries with some flexibility in meeting their emission reduction or limitation targets. A project utilizing a clean development mechanism must result in quantifiable advancements in climate change mitigation. The project must be able to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and offer genuine, long-term benefits.

 


Join our Official Telegram Channel HERE

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel HERE

Join our Twitter Account HERE 

Follow our Instagram  Account HERE