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VISION IAS

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Approach Answer: General Studies Mains Mock Test 740 (2015)

All the questions are compulsory and carry 12.5 marks each. NOT MORE THAN 200 WORDS.

Answer all the questions in NOT MORE THAN 200 WORDS each. Content of the answers is more important than
its length. All questions carry equal marks. 12.5X20=250

1. Legislative Councils in states are expensive and otherwise superfluous legislative appendages. Examine
the utility of legislative councils in this context. Also, comment on the procedural aspect of setting up
and abolishing them.

Approach:

Provide a brief introduction of legislative councils. Explain their significance and the adhoc demands
made by the states regarding creating and abolishing them.
Provide arguments for and against legislative councils.
Finally, comment on the procedural aspect of creation and abolition of legislative councils in the light
of recent developments.

Answer:

Article 169 lays down the procedure of creation and abolition of a State Legislative council. Legislative
councils serve the purpose of upper house in states like Rajya Sabha at the centre however have much
less power. Currently, seven states have legislative councils.

The desirability of a bicameral legislature at the State level has been debated since the days of the
Constituent Assembly, and recent developments have revived the debate.

Arguments against Legislative Councils:

Superfluous legislative appendages: If a majority of the members in the upper house belong to the
same party which holds majority in the lower house, the upper house will become a mere ditto
chamber.
Not an Effective Check: Powers of the Legislative Councils are limited to the extent that they can
hardly impose any effective check on the Assemblies. It can only delay a bill by four months.
Backdoor Entrance of the Defeated Members: It is apprehended by the critics that a Legislative
Council may be utilized to accommodate discredited party-men who may not be returned to the
Assemblies.
Costly Institution: Bicameralism in the States is an expensive experiment and a big drain on the
States exchequer.
A Heterogeneous Chamber: A blend of direct election, indirect election and nomination makes the
Council a hotchpotch of representation. A chamber so heterogeneously constituted, neither serves
the purpose of a revisory chamber nor acts as an effective brake against hasty legislation.

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However, it is also argued that legislative councils can check against hasty legislation, despotic tendencies
of lower chamber and can accommodate talented persons who dont want to contest assembly
elections.

Procedural aspect:

The creation and abolition of legislative councils is currently at the whims of state government and
union parliament as state Legislative Assembly can pass a resolution for the creation and abolition of
councils and the Union Parliament passes a laws for it.
In this context, a parliamentary committee, examining the Rajasthan and Assam bills relating to
creation of the Legislative Council, suggested that there should be a national policy on having a
permanent second chamber so that a subsequent government cannot abolish it at its whim.
This is a better way to address the issue instead of relying on ad-hocism. While framing such a policy,
it will also have to be decided whether the time and resources involved in having a second chamber
is worth spending.

2. Ordinances have turned what were supposed to be exceptional powers into a procedural device to
outmanoeuvre the Parliament. Discuss. Also, examine whether the existing safeguards are sufficient to
check the misuse of ordinances.

Approach:

Introduction should briefly explain and contextualize the statement.

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Need for suitable restraint on the ordinance making power should be discussed in the light of

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instances of misuse and regular re-promulgation. Quote judicial pronouncements in this context as

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well.

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Conclude with stressing the constitutional rationality of ordinance-making power and the need for
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each organ to play its role appropriately.
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Answer:
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Article 123 says that an ordinance may be promulgated if the President is satisfied that circumstances
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exist that render it necessary to take immediate action. Similar provisions apply under article 213 in the
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case of the Governor in states. Ordinances have the same force and standing as the Acts of Parliament.
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In the case of ordinances, consultation and deliberation involved in parliamentary legislation is confined
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to the executive and ultimately rest on the subjective satisfaction of the President or the Governor.
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Promulgation of ordinances has been criticized for:


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Obstructing Parliamentary negotiations


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Rendering parliamentary opposition to legislation ineffective.


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Not following necessity of immediate action test.


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Not being representative and deliberative.


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Creating imbalance between the executive and legislature involving the entry of the former into
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the domain of the latter.


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The criticism of provision and practice of ordinances is acutely felt due to the perceived or actual misuse,
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which has manifested on many occasions in the form of:

Re-promulgation of ordinances, also termed as the ordinance raj by the supreme court in the
D.C. Wadhwa case
Passage of important measures through Ordinances by-passing the legislature.

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The need for suitable restraint on the promulgation of ordinance making powers of the executive has
involved:

Putting a time frame on the validity of ordinances.


Making Subjective satisfaction of the President Justiciable.
Restraining re-promulgation.
Doing away with the provisions.

It is not the constitutionality of these provisions but the practice and implementation that is in question.
In this context the judiciary has observed that:

Ordinances are in the nature of emergency powers of the President and the governor.
Ordinance-making power was a legislative power given to the President and hence subject to
judicial review under article 13.

The Constitution provides certain qualifying conditions for the promulgation of ordinances, the key lies in
the judicious implementation of these provisions and containing the use of ordinance to exceptional
circumstances only as was the rationale behind these provisions.

3. While the British Parliament is a sovereign legislature, the Parliaments of India and USA are non-
sovereign legislatures. Explain. Also, compare the organisation and powers of the Indian Lok Sabha
with the British House of Commons.

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Approach:

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Explain the meaning of parliamentary sovereignty in introduction.

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Discuss the features of parliamentary system of UK and compare it with Indian system.
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Finally, explain the limitations of parliamentary sovereignty in India.
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Answer:
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The doctrine of 'sovereignty of Parliament' is associated with the British Parliament.


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According to AV Dicey, the British jurist, this principle has three implications:
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The Parliament can make, amend, substitute or repeal any law.


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The Parliament can make constitutional laws by the same procedure as ordinary laws.
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The Parliamentary laws cannot be declared invalid by the Judiciary as being unconstitutional. In
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other words, there is no system of judicial review in Britain.


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Even though India Parliament is inspired from Westminster system, there are differences both in terms of
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organisation and the power.


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Organization of the Parliament:


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The upper chamber of British Parliament is known as House of Lords. It has no fixed number
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unlike Rajya Sabha in India and currently it is the biggest legislative body among democracies
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across the world. It is one of the least powerful upper house in world.
The lower house i.e. house of commons is one with the most authority. UK is divided into 650
constituencies each electing one MP to the commons. Thus house of common is much more
representative than Lok Sabha of India, considering the population of India and UK.

Following are the differences related to power of Indian and UK parliament. These differences also limit
the sovereignty of Indian Parliament.

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Written Nature of the Constitution: The Parliament has to operate within the limits prescribed by
the Constitution. In Britain, on the other hand, the Constitution is neither written nor there is
anything like a fundamental law of the land.
Federal System of Government: India has a federal system of government with a constitutional
division of powers between the Union and the states. Britain, on the other hand, has a unitary
system of government and hence, all the powers are vested in the Centre.
System of Judicial Review: The adoption of an independent Judiciary with the power of judicial
review also restricts the supremacy of our Parliament. The British Courts have to apply the
Parliamentary laws to specific cases, without examining their constitutionality, legality or
reasonableness.
Fundamental Rights: Article 13 prohibits the State from making a law that either takes away
totally or abrogates in part a fundamental right. In Britain, on the other hand, there is no
codification of justiciable fundamental rights.

In this regard, the Indian Parliament is similar to the American Congress. In USA also, the sovereignty of
Congress is legally restricted by the written character of the Constitution, the federal system of
government, the system of judicial review and the Bill of Rights.

Extra information regarding amendment of USA constitution (not required in answer):

To Propose Amendments

In the U.S. Congress, both the House of Representatives and the Senate approve by a two-thirds
supermajority vote, a joint resolution amending the Constitution. Amendments so approved do

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not require the signature of the President of the United States and are sent directly to the states

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for ratification.

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Two-thirds of the state legislatures ask Congress to call a national convention to propose

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amendments. (This method has never been used.)

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To Ratify Amendments
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Three-fourths of the state legislatures approve it, or


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Ratifying conventions in three-fourths of the states approve it. This method has been used only
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once -- to ratify the 21st Amendment -- repealing Prohibition.


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4. Is it possible and practicable to reconcile divergent laws and customs of different communities and
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formulate a uniform or common code that would be acceptable to all communities? Discuss in the
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context of debates surrounding the formulation of a uniform civil code in India.


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Approach:
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Briefly explain the meaning of Universal Civil Code (UCC).


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Then, give a brief history or views of Constitution makers on UCC along with Shah Bano verdict by
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the Supreme Court.


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Also, give arguments for and against implementing the UCC.


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Finally, conclude with a balanced opinion.


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Answer:

Uniform Civil Code is a proposal to replace the personal laws based on the scriptures and customs of
each major religious community in the country with a common set governing every citizen. These laws
are different from public laws and cover marriage, divorce, inheritance, adoption and maintenance.

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Constitution makers debated these personal laws extensively. Progressive thinkers saw them as divisive
and wanted a Uniform Civil Code in order to create a sense of common Indian national identity and
eradicate casteist and religious mindset. But opponents argued that it would destroy the cultural identity
of minorities. Thus, a compromise was reached the UCC was placed under the Directive Principles
under Article 44(these are non-binding), but which the state shall endeavour to achieve.

The demand for UCC , however, reached its peak in the mid -80s after the Supreme Court verdict in the
famous Shah Bano case( 1985) in which SC granted her maintenance for life under Section 125 of the
Cr.P.C (according to which he had to maintain her until she remarries or dies, if she has no means of her
own for survival). The Supreme Court also held that the Cr.P.C. was common for all and that she could
claim maintenance under it. Thus the Court over ruled the Muslim Personal Law.

Arguments for having UCC

It will de-link law from religion, which is a very desirable objective to achieve in a secular and socialist
pattern of society.
It will help in doing away with diversity and overlapping provisions in personal laws of different
religions and hence, simplify the Indian legal system and make Indian society more homogeneous.
It will create a national identity and will help in containing fissiparous tendencies in the country .
It will help in reducing gender bias in different religious laws of different communities like Triple
Talaq in Muslim law, allowing Polygamy , etc
Personal Laws confer unconstitutional benefits - Hindus get tax exemption under Hindu Undivided
Family. Muslims need not register a gift deed thus saving stamp duty.
Litigation due to personal law world decrease;

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Arguments against the UCC in India

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It would be against the secular spirit of the Constitution and against the Articles-25, 26 and 29

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because India has a diverse culture with people of so many religions living and professing their
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religion and its important to respect their religious affiliation when it comes to exercising their rights
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under personal laws.


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It may result into communal riots and feelings of hostility.


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It is largely looked upon by Muslims and other minorities as a threat to their identity because the
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code in itself seems to be favoring the majority population of Hindus and doubt that it will be secular
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in nature.
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Although , people belonging to different religions and denominations practice different personal laws in
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India is a testimony to nation's unity and secular spirit but all religious communities need to be taken
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into confidence before such a move and it should be clear that Uniform Civil code doesnt mean
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imposition of majority religion law it only means uniformity in personal laws as the Supreme Court
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recently stated.
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5. Several constitutional experts have found the process of appointment and removal of governor to be
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against the very grain of democractic traditions and constitutional propriety. Do you think that this
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process warrants a fresh look in context of recent controversies surrounding the post?
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Approach:
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Central theme of the question critical review of is process of appointment and removal of governor. Your
answer should consist of these points:

Briefly explain current practice of process of appointment and removal of governor.


Cite recent trends which lead to the current discussion.

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Give suggestions for the betterment of this practice based on official judgement or committee
reports.
Answer:

Our constitution states that Governor is to be appointed by the President of India on the advice of
council of ministers according to Article 155. There is no procedure for impeachment of Governor, he
shall hold office as per the pleasure of the President. But he can be removed by the President on the
grounds of grave delinquency like bribery etc.

In our country, it has become a tradition that whenever there is change of guard at the centre, State
governors are removed or appointed as per the convenience of the center. Recently also it has led to
many controversies when current government asked some state governors to resign immediately.

The Chief Justice K. G. Balakrishnan, in 2010 emphasized that no Governor can be removed on basis of
being "out of sync with policies and ideologies of Union Govt. at centre. This decision also states that
governors can be removed, but there must be "compelling" reasons for doing so. This judgment also
provided an exception that the government can initiate the process of removal of the Governor by first
building a case file citing reasons for the removal of the Governor. Principle of natural justice must be
followed, Governor must be given a chance to explain his position.

The Sarkaria Commission on Centre-State relations suggested :

that a Governor should be someone eminent in some walk of life,


one not too intimately connected with the local politics of the State, and
should not be one who has taken too great a part in politics generally, and particularly in the recent

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past. It suggested that a politician from the ruling party at the Centre should not be appointed

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Governor of a State run by another party.

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If only these norms are followed in practice, the need to ease out inconvenient Governors will not arise.
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Puncchi Commission also emphasised for including specific procedure for appointment/removal of
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governor in the constitution itself.


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So, it is right time to change the current practice of appointment and removal of Governors according to
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the SC decision and Sarkaria Commission recommendations.


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6. Repeated violations of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) have raised questions on its effectiveness. In
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this light, discuss the idea of making MCC a part of Representation of Peoples Act, 1951.
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Approach:
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Provide a brief introduction of MCC and with examples show the criticism it has faced.
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Then, provide the arguments for MCC as part of RPA as well as negative implications of legalizing
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MCC.
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Provide a balanced conclusion.


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Answer:
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Model Code of Conduct is a set of guidelines issued by the Election Commission of India for conduct of
political parties and candidates during elections mainly with respect to speeches, polling day, polling
booths, election manifestos, processions and general conduct.

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However, this code is frequently violated by political parties. It was very much evident in recently held
Bihar elections, where leaders used issues like religion, caste and nationalism to get the favour. Social
media is also used for vitiating the election environment.

Consequently, the idea of making MCC statutory part under RPA act 1951 is widely argued on following
grounds:

It will become legal framework which can be justifiable in the court.


It will also seek to regulate activities in social media.
This will enable the election commission to take adequate action as per the violation committed by
political parties.
It will create a fair play for all the contestant without vitiating the atmosphere which can lead to law
and order problem.

But this action of creating statutory framework has various implications:

It can blur the image of election commission as neutral body as an action taken by EC can be seen as
a biased action.
If the model code of conduct is converted into a law, it will result into increase litigation and delay
the election process.
Various political parties also seen this move of legalizing the MCC as an attempt of taking power of
election commission.

In addition to this Supreme Court in Union of India Vs. Harbans Sigh Jalal opined that legalizing MCC,
may not be suitable option, instead following can be done:

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The increase in quantum of punishment in case of violation which is already backed by laws under

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RPA and IPC.

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Creating more awareness in political parties about MCC by training and awareness programmes.
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Use of whip office in parties to regulate activities during elections.
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Discouraging the violation on social media by amending IT act.


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Legalizing the MCC will be an attempt to fill the loopholes in the laws. However, these loopholes can be
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easily plugged by inner party democracy and pragmatic election commissions decisions.
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7. The government cannot condition receipt of public benefits on waiver of fundamental rights. Discuss
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this statement in context of the recent issues raised in the Aadhaar petitions.
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Approach:
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This question is based on Supreme Courts examination of Aadhaar Card implementation by Government
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of India. So the answer should consist of these points:


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Briefly discuss past directives of Supreme Court regarding Aadhar Card.


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Examine the current controversy surrounding this matter.


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Also, discuss the benefits of Aadhaar


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In conclusion discuss the way ahead.


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Answer:

In the context of the use of Aadhar card for welfare schemes, there is an ongoing debate in the country
between the privacy rights of citizens and their protection for rich and poor alike.

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In 2013, Supreme Court had directed that no person should suffer for not getting Aadhaar. The present
government requested the Supreme Court to revoke its order as it intends to use Aadhaar for various
services.

Supreme Court stated that Aadhaar will not be used for any other purposes except PDS, kerosene and
LPG distribution system and made it clear that even for availing these facilities Aadhaar card will not be
mandatory.

Issues with Aadhar:

As gleaned from various SC judgements Right to Privacy is an integral aspect of the Right to Life and
Liberty. In this context, the Supreme Court restrained the central government and the UIDAI from
sharing data with any third party without the consent of the Aadhaar-holder in writing.
Governments argument that poor must be prepared to surrender their right of privacy to continue
receiving the subsidy payments and other benefits was rejected by the SC.
These is no comprehensive legislation on privacy issues raised by Aadhar.
Every governments most basic obligation is to protect its citizens rights both their right to
sustenance and their right to the privacy that enables freedom equally.

On the other hand, Aadhar has a huge potential in redrawing the public service delivery mechanism. It
carries with it a large group of advantages including better targeting, plugging leakages etc. Aadhar is the
central plank of a plethora of ambitious projects mooted by government like Digi locker, e-sign etc.

The need of the hour is to address the privacy concerns of citizens by incorporating adequate and
necessary safeguards. Without parliamentary sanction and legislative backing, the process is legally

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untenable and unacceptable.

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8. Though the institutions protecting human rights and rights of the vulnerable sections are meant to act
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as watchdogs, they are treated as subordinate departments with scant regard for their autonomy or
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statutory character. Discuss the issues which these institutions are facing related to appointment,
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structure and functioning.


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The answer can be started by:


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First highlighting in brief the role of various Commissions involved in protecting human rights and
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rights of vulnerable sections.


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Secondly, bring out separately the issues in these commissions with respect to appointments,
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structure and functioning.


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Finally conclude the answer with need for reforms to safeguard the interests of the people.
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Answer:
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Various institutions for protecting human rights and rights of vulnerable sections are premised on the
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belief that they can protect and promote the rights of special groups more effectively like NHRC, SHRC,
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National Commission for Women, National Commission for SCs and Sts, etc.
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However, these institutions are coming under criticism due to lack of autonomy in appointment,
structure and functioning.

Issues with Appointment:

Complete control of the Government in the selection of Chairperson and members- eg Nat. Commission
for Women- this non-institutionalization of procedures for the appointment of the Chairperson and

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members of the Commission has increased the possibility that competent and committed persons are
less likely to get appointed as members and in this process non-partisan functioning of the Commission is
less likely to be implemented.

Frequent removal and appointment of personnel on ad-hoc basis, gives way to temporary structure
to various commissions.
Some Commissions do not have the power to select own members rather the power is vested with
the Union Government eg. Nat. Commission for Women
Except the NHRC which can appoint technical staff and the NCPCR which can constitute a panel of
consultants, rest all commissions are dependent on the government for their establishment,
infrastructure, staff, and grants.

Issue with Structure:

These Commissions have less representation from NGOs and civil society and maximum members
in these Commissions are either retired bureaucrats or judges due to which they have earned the
reputation of post- retirement hubs for the bureaucrats or parking lots for the judges.
Being bureaucratic in structure, with personnel chiefly drawn from govt. only have led to red tapism
and delay in action in case of violations.

Issues with Functioning:

Funding - Both regional and national institutions are primary funded by government which make it
potentially vunerable to political interference. In addition to this these funds are inadequate for
awareness programmes. Also, though an appropriation is made by Parliament, the funds are routed

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through the Ministry.

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Investigation - The investigating agencies are provided to NHRC and SHRC by government which are

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not suitable for the independent investigations

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Overlapping of functions - Several commissions like National Commission for Women, National
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Commission for Minorities etc. have functions, which are overlapping with NHRC. It make issues
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more complicated to solve. Also, the NCW and NCPCR, on the other hand, can look into complaints
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relating to deprivation of womens rights and child rights, respectively, irrespective of whether the
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complaints relate to public servants or private entities.


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The mandate of the NHRC is limited to inquiring into complaints of violation of human rights or
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abetment or negligence in the prevention of such violations by public servants. Commissions feels
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handicapped when government agencies fail to implement their recommendations.


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For effective results and protecting the rights of many, the anomalies in these Commissions need to be
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corrected and reforms like providing these institutions with separate personnel support; increased
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funding and ensuring accountability of these Commissions ; more representation to Civil Society, etc. will
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aid in protecting the human rights of the people and vulnerable sections in particular.
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9. Equality of seats among states in Rajya Sabha could not be adopted after independence because of the
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circumstances prevailing at that time. However, there is a need to take a fresh look at this. Evaluate.
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Approach:
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Explain the first statement i.e. the reasons behind not adopting equality of seats after independence.
Mention the problems smaller states face along with other issues due to unequal representation.
Also mention the issues with equal representation.
Discuss the relevance of the reasons unequal representation was adopted in present context and
conclude your answer. You can take either point of view.

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Answer:

Rajya Sabha, being a federal chamber, States and Union territories have been allocated seats in this
House on the basis of population. As a result, number of seats allocated to its federating units is not
uniform.

Even though some in the Constituent Assembly favoured the equal representation of states, it was not
adopted as Indian federation was not formed out of any contract unlike United States. Also, there were
centrifugal tendencies and the country had just witnesses the mayhem of partition and thus a centralized
polity with unequal representation of states in RS was adopted.

This system has been criticized by many on following grounds:

Nine States in India have just one member each in the Rajya Sabha. Just ten populous States
occupy nearly 70% of the total elected membership of the Upper House. Some smaller States
have expressed resentment at their inability to make their voice felt at the Centre.
A resolution under article 249 can be passed even if bottom 14 states having least
representation oppose such a resolution.
The number of seats in the Lok Sabha anyway is directly linked to the population and there is no
need to duplicate the principle.
Due to coalition politics, the interests of parties take precedence over the interests of the States.
So there are concerns whether even after giving equal representation, the behaviour of
representatives of those States in the council will be according to the interests of State and not
their interests of their party.

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However, there are issues with equal representation also:

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Equal representation will not represent population which is ultimate base for mobilization of

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Some scholar argues that providing equal share in Rajya Sabha will create centrifugal tendencies.
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Equal representation can create a sense of disaffection in people of larger state towards
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democracy as their issues will gets less weightage.


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However, Indian federation has matured since independence and a balance of power between States is
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desirable and this is possible by equality of representation in the Rajya Sabha. The functioning of Rajya
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Sabha can be reformed to achieve the original purpose of federal equilibrium. Punchhi Commission also
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endorsed equality of representation of states in Rajya Sabha.


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10. For inclusive and sustainable growth, India needs both cooperative as well as competitive federalism.
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Discuss.
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Approach:
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Recent government decision has led to the discussion on whether federalism should be cooperative or
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competitive. This question is based on it and the answer should consist of the following:
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Introduce the concept of inclusive and sustainable growth.


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Briefly explain cooperative and competitive federalism. Also cite examples.


Discuss the need to maintain a balance on the two approaches .

Answer:

In a country as diverse as India, the States play an important role in achieving the objectives of inclusive
and sustainable growth, which call for equitable growth opportunities to all stakeholders.

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The essence of Co-operative federalism in this regard is that the Centre and the State Governments
should be guided by the broader national concerns. It encourages the Government at different levels to
take advantage of a large national market, diverse and rich natural resources and the potential of human
capabilities in all parts of the country. A case in point could be GST where manufacturing states are
giving up their tax earnings for equal sharing with consuming states for the sake of uniform tax laws.

While a harmonious relationship and co-operative spirit between the Centre and the states and among
the States themselves is welcome, a healthy competition among the States for evolving efficient and
socially inclined policies and programmes is also desirable. This calls for the need to have competitive
federalism. Under the concept of Competitive federalism, States would vie with each other to attract
investments and also hopefully provide better public goods and services.

It requires States to reform their programmes and provide goods and services that they can self-fund.
States compete with each other to attract funds and investment, which facilitates efficiency in
administration and enhances developmental activities. Recent initiatives like Vibrant Gujrat and
Resurgent Rajasthan are some of the examples of competitive federalism. Healthy competition strives to
improve physical and social infrastructure within the state. Recent 14th Finance Commission
recommendation also followed competitive federalism idea. Now States should be allowed to chalk out
their programmes and schemes with greater financial strength and autonomy, while observing financial
prudence and discipline.

Even as it is important for states to compete at a certain level, there is greater need to take the disparity
among the States into consideration. Some States may have specialized factor conditions such as skilled
labour, capital and infrastructure which others may not be endowed with.

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Therefore, to expect all States to catch up uniformly in the process of growth and development would be

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a fallacy. Many States still need the help of the Centre and require extra funding before they can imagine

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competing. Hence purely relying on the spirit of competitive federalism may not work in our country as

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some traditionally disadvantaged states like north-eastern states may not be able to compete on their
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own. Therefore both the systems of Competitive and Cooperative Federalism are not mutually exclusive
s

and a balance between the two is needed for inclusive and sustainable growth.
ru
u
(p
m
tta
ho
us

11. Article 311 of the Constitution has been a matter of much debate. Arguments range from its retention
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in its present form, or even strengthening it, to its total deletion. Comment.
rP
ka
an

Approach:
uv
rS

Introduce your answer by giving a brief on Article 311.


fo
ed

Discuss why it has been a matter of debate.


is

Give arguments to retain/strengthen/delete it.


al
on

Conclude - what you think is appropriate in this regard.


rs
pe
s

Answer:
ti
en
m

Article 311 of Constitution deals with Dismissal, removal or reduction in rank of persons employed in civil
cu
do

capacities under the Union or a State.


is
Th

The major reason it has been a matter of debate is that it is considered to be the biggest stumbling block
or irritant in making corrupt public servants accountable for their misdeeds.

Arguments to retain it:

Article 311 subjects the doctrine of pleasure contained in the preceding Article 310 to certain
safeguards.

11 www.visionias.in Vision IAS


It upholds the principle of natural justice by giving a reasonable opportunity of being heard to
the civil servant in respect of charges.

Arguments to strengthen it:

Political leaders most of the time exploit the power in their hands to punish those public
servants who do not act as per their whims and fancies and dare to be upright.
This article provides protection to honest and ethical officers. It helps them to work without
undue political interference and fear of political backlashes.
SC judgments has diluted the protection under this Art - Changes in Section 6 A of DSPE act
which gives free hand to CBI to investigate without a sanction from government. (CBI can be
misused against officers who do not toe the line of political masters).

Arguments for its deletion:

The provisions of Article 311 have come in the way of bringing corrupt civil servants to book
Will act as deterrence for dishonest officers hence potential to reduce corruption.
Promotes discipline, accountability, transparency, efficiency and effectiveness of administration.

Way Forward:

It has accordingly become necessary to revisit the issue of constitutional safeguards under Article
311 and to amend it to ensure that the honest and efficient officials are given the requisite
protection but the dishonest are not allowed prospering in office.

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A provision should be added through amendment that prior sanction should not be necessary for

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prosecuting a public servant who has been trapped red-handed or found in possession of assets

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disproportionate to known sources of income.

gm
In the long run it is desirable that provision of Ministerial responsibility should also be added as

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in UK. 27
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ru
u
(p
m
tta

12. While Public Interest Litigations have provided access to justice for the poor and the marginalized
ho

sections of the society but many vested interests have also misused it. In this context, examine the
us

utility of PILs as a tool of social justice.


ur
rP
ka

Approach:
an
uv
rS

Highlight how Public Interest Litigations have benefitted the poor and marginalized by illustrating the
fo

link between positive contribution of PILs and Judicial Activism.


ed

Also, discuss the misuse and pitfalls of PIL.


is
al

Conclude by presenting a forward outlook.


on
rs
pe

Answer:
s
ti
en

Public interest litigation means any litigation conducted for the benefit of public or for the removal of
m
cu

some public grievance. Any public spirited person can move the court for public cause by filing a petition
do

in the Supreme Court under Article 32 of the Constitution or in the High Court under Article 226 of the
is
Th

constitution or before the Court of Magistrate under sec.133 of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 . The
traditional requirement of locus standi is relaxed in PIL.

To achieve justice in the society, Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has proved to be a useful tool. It provides
a means to justice to disadvantaged sections of society and enables civil society to not only spread
awareness about human rights and also allows them to participate in government decision making.

12 www.visionias.in Vision IAS


The most important contribution of PIL has been to bring courts closer to the disadvantaged
sections of society such as prisoners, destitute, child or bonded labourers, women, and
scheduled castes/tribes.
As Directive Principles are not justiciable, the courts imported some of these principles into the
FRs thus making various socio-economic rights as importantat least in theoryas civil and
political rights. This resulted in the legal recognition of rights as important as education, health,
livelihood, pollution-free environment, privacy and speedy trial.
PIL is also an instrument to promote rule of law, demand fairness and transparency, fight
corruption in administration, and enhance the overall accountability of the government agencies.
Through PIL, judiciary also triggered legislative reforms and filled in legislative gaps in important
areas. For instance, the Supreme Court in the Vishaka case laid down detailed guidelines on
sexual harassment at the workplace.
The Indian judiciary, courtesy of PIL, has helped in ensuring the reservation of seats for SCs/STs
and other backwards classes in employment or educational institutions.

Ulterior purpose: While PIL has proved to be a useful tool for the marginalized disadvantaged groups, it is
being misused by people agitating for private grievances in the grab of public interest and seeking
publicity rather than espousing public causes.

Almost any issue is presented to the courts in the guise of public interest because of the allurements that
the PIL jurisprudence offers (e.g. inexpensive, quick response, and high impact). Frivolous PIL plaintiffs
waste the time and energy of the courts, the judiciary and add to the burden of increasing backlog.

Although the Supreme Court has compiled a set of Guidelines to be Followed for Entertaining
Letters/Petitions Received by it as PIL it is critical to ensure that PIL does not become a back-door to

)
om
enter the courts to fulfill private interests, settle political scores or simply to gain easy publicity.

l.c
ai
gm
PIL enables civil society to play an active role in spreading social awareness about human rights, in

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providing voice to the marginalised sections of society, and in allowing their participation in government
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27
decision making. If civil society and disadvantaged groups lose faith in the efficacy of PIL, that would
s

sound a death knell for it.


ru
u
(p
m
tta
ho
us

13. What do you understand by alternate dispute redressal mechanism? Discuss the various tools of ADR.
ur

In light of the problems faced by the Indian judiciary enumerate the advantages of Lok Adalats.
rP
ka
an

Approach:
uv
rS

Define ADR and discuss various tools such as arbitration, mediation, conciliation.
fo
ed

Briefly bring out the problems such as high number of cases, inadequacy of judges etc. in courts.
is

Discuss how Lok Adalats help overcome these problems in last part of the answer.
al
on
rs

Answer:
pe
s
ti
en

Alternative dispute redressal mechanism includes dispute resolution processes and techniques that act
m

as a means for disagreeing parties to come to an agreement without litigation. Following are the tools of
cu
do

ADR:
is
Th

Arbitration: Arbitration is a process in which a neutral third party render a decision based on the
merits of the case.
Mediation: The process of mediation aims to facilitate the development of a consensual solution
by the disputing parties. Mediation is overseen by a non-partisan third party.
Conciliation: This is a process by which resolution of disputes is achieved by compromise or
voluntary agreement. In contrast to arbitration, the conciliator does not render a binding award.

13 www.visionias.in Vision IAS


Indian judicial system is characterized by rampant delay in the disposition of the cases due to inadequate
number of courts and judges in the country. High cost of litigation and complex legal procedure alienates
the poor and uneducated from the judicial system.

Based on Gandhian principles Lok Adalat is Indian contribution to the world jurisprudence of ADR. Lok
Adalats are a step towards fulfilling the directives under Article 39A for equal justice and free legal aid.

Advantages of the Lok Adalats:

The Lok Adalats can ensure speedy justice as they can be conducted at suitable places and in
local languages.
Lok Adalat is the only institutionalized mechanism of dispute resolution in which parties do not
have to bear any expenses and fee paid in a regular court is refunded if the case is settled in Lok
Adalat.
In Lok Adalats, disputes are not only settled but also the cordial relations between the parties
are retained as disputes are resolved amicably.
Disputes can be directly brought before the Lok Adalats and no appeals lies against the order of
the Lok Adalats and thus it helps to alleviate the burden of arrears of cases.

The introduction of Lok Adalats succeeded in providing a supplementary forum to the victims for
satisfactory settlement of their disputes. This mechanism should be taken full advantage of and more
number of Lok Adalats needs to be organized to achieve access to justice for all.

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om
14. Bringing political parties under the ambit of RTI will not only usher accountability and transparency in

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governance but will also be a major step towards electoral reforms. Discuss.

ai
gm
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Approach:
27
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Introduction should briefly discuss the importance and background of bringing political parties under
ru
u

the ambit of RTI.


(p
m

Highlight how it may usher in transparency and accountability in the functioning of political party as
tta

well as being a step towards electoral reforms.


ho
us
ur

Answer:
rP
ka
an

In 2013, the Central Information Commission (CIC) had made a decision to classify political parties as
uv

public authorities and bring them under the ambit of the RTI Act. However, in a matter pending before
rS

the Supreme Court, the government contends that the Central Information Commission (CIC) had made a
fo
ed

"very liberal interpretation" of Section 2(h) of the RTI Act, which led to an "erroneous" conclusion that
is

political parties are public authorities.


al
on
rs

It maintains that declaring a political party as public authority under the RTI Act would hamper its
pe

smooth internal working. Also, during the process of enactment of the RTI Act, the Parliament never
s
ti
en

visualized or considered to bring the political parties within the ambit of the said Act. Inclusion of
m

political parties is also apprehended on the grounds that political rivals might file RTI applications with
cu
do

malicious intentions to the CPIOs of political parties, thereby, adversely affecting their political
is

functioning.
Th

On the contrary, it is argued that political parties receive huge sums of money in form of donations and
contributions from corporates, trusts and individuals but do not disclose complete information about the
sources of such donations. Sources of such funding have a direct connection with the policies that the
party would make once it comes to power. The 255th Law Commission report has also tried to highlight
the problems that a democracy has to face because of unregulated funding in elections.

14 www.visionias.in Vision IAS


Bringing political parties under the ambit of RTI will not only usher accountability and transparency in
governance but will also be a major step towards electoral reforms. Transparency in working will act as a
check on arbitrariness and corruption in governance. It will also curb wide-spread criminalization in
political parties as thousands of citizens acting as monitors would be extremely vigilant and
uncompromising.

Political parties are the direct link between the government and the citizens. They are bodies constituted
according to the provisions of the law of the land. Their functioning represents the functioning of the
government of the country in the most rudimentary sense and if we expect transparency from the
government there must be a similar expectation from the political parties.

By bringing political parties in the public authority domain the confidence of the common man on
democracy and the political system of the country would increase. There is no better electoral reform
than strengthening the faith of common man in the electoral system.

15. A generational shift in railway operations is required. In light of this, discuss the need for an
independent tariff and safety regulatory authority of India.

Approach:

Discuss the need for a regulatory authority for railways.

)
om
Mention why such an authority has not been set up so far, in order to link the answer to the given

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statement.

ai
gm
Whilst explaining how this authority would be a generational shift, conclude on a positive note.

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Answer: 27
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ru
u

For a long time, pricing or rather politicisation of pricing was considered the biggest hurdle in
(p
m

reforming the railways. This led to the origin of an idea to set up a separate tariff regulatory
tta

authority. That could delink fare and freight structure from political vagaries.
ho
us

Also, recently various reports have highlighted a decline in the share of railways in the inter-modal
ur

transport mix of the country. To illustrate, in goods transportation, the share of railways which used
rP

to be 71 percent in 1970, dropped to 35 percent in 2007. Even, in passenger transport, the share of
ka
an

railways has plunged from 36 percent in 1970 to almost 14 percent in 2007.


uv
rS

Being managed as a monopoly under the Ministry of Railways, the sector has become politically
fo
ed

sensitive. Furthermore, the sector faces acute supply-side shortages due to inadequate infrastructure.
is

Thus, the Govt. is planning to set up Rail Tariff and Safety Regulatory Authority (RTA), an independent
al
on

institutional mechanism for deciding passenger fares and freight tariff based on efficiency and prevailing
rs

market conditions.
pe
s
ti
en

The RTA will monitor efficiency and passenger safety issues as well. Also, the setting up of RTA is in
m

consonance with the recommendations of Sam Pitroda Committee and Bibek Debroy committee.
cu
do
is

Need for an Independent tariff and Safety Regulatory Authority of India in Railways:
Th

The power to fix rail tariff has always rested with the Union Government through the Railway Board,
so as to protect passengers from arbitrary hikes by the monopoly supplier. However, in the past ten
years, passenger fare has not been increased at all due to populist measures and pressures adopted
by different parties and citizens The Railway Board is both the executing and the policy-making body.
It acts as the provider as well as the regulator of all services. Thus, there is a conflict of interest.
Aggrieved rail users today have no effective redressal mechanism. Indian Railways has remained

15 www.visionias.in Vision IAS


organisationally unchanged since the formation of the Railway Board in 1905. Unless there is a
structural change in this regard, the RTA will not able to make a difference.
At present, safety in railway operations is being regulated by a body outside the railway system and
according to the Railways Act, adherence to safety rules in the railways is overseen by the
Commission of Railway Safety (CRS) The Commission of Railway Safety has consistently failed to
ensure safety standards.

Thus, in this regard RTA if set up will not only consider the requirements of the Railways but also engage
with all stake-holders to usher in a new pricing regime through a transparent process. It will gradually
bring down cross subsidization between different segments; will ensure transparency.

Therefore, separation of the policy making functions and management of railways coupled with setting
up of an independent regulator, will go a long way in promoting accountability, transparency and both
intra and inter modal competition in the railways.

16. It has been argued that the 'First past the post' system fails to represent the will of the majority and
encourages vote-bank politics. In this context, examine whether India should adopt Proportional
Representation System to reform our electoral process.

Approach:

Briefly discuss both electoral systems.


Critically analyse both system and their utilization.

)
om
Reasons to consider Proportional Representation in a diverse country like India and complications

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involved in its implementation.

ai
gm
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Answer:
27
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India follows FPTP electoral system. There is lot of discussion going around recently after 2014 Lok Sabha
ru
u

Election to consider a different electoral model befitting Indian democratic system. 31% vote share of the
(p
m

largest party in the polls were dubbed as too low for legitimately ruling India and we have seen parties
tta

forming government with lower vote share in past elections. So it has been argued that the 'First past the
ho
us

post' system fails to represent the will of the majority and encourages vote-bank politics.
ur
rP

Examples from across the world:


ka
an
uv

Countries in the other part of the world are implementing different models to enhance the quality and
rS

efficacy of the representation befitting their diverse cultures and communities to run their Government.
fo

For example, In Germany half the Bundestag is elected directly, the other half comes through
ed
is

proportional system, with a cut-off at 5% of the vote share.


al
on
rs

Merits of first past the post system


pe
s
ti

The First Past the Post system is the simplest form of plurality/majority system,
en
m

Uses single member districts and candidate-centred voting.


cu
do

This system is defended primarily on the grounds of simplicity and its tendency to produce winners and
is
Th

governability.

Proportional Representation System

In Proportional system, seats are decided based on the vote share of the party. The advocates of
the PR system argue that, in a country like India this alternative reduces the importance of
smaller regional parties, which often cause political instability to achieve their narrow goals.

16 www.visionias.in Vision IAS


The major political parties with nationwide presence will get more seats because of the
percentage of votes polled in their favour and it ensures stability. It will put an end to extreme
regionalism and divisive caste and communal politics.

Problems with PR system

The people who argue against the PR feel that it will not accommodate the concerns and interests of the
miniscule or smaller castes and religions. Because of their smaller number of votes, these areas may not
get any representation in the Parliament.

While FPTP may not be representative enough, PR may put smaller and regional parties at an unfair
disadvantage. Ultimately, we will have to first decide what we want out of its elections and then choose
the electoral system that works for those goals.

17. Independence of judiciary and separation of powers, both are part of the basic structure of the
constitution. In this context, discuss the recent Supreme Court judgment on the constitutional validity
of the National Judicial Appointments Commission.

Approach:

Briefly explain doctrine of separation of power.


List the constitutional provisions ensuring judicial independence. Point out the lack of checks and
balances for judiciary.

)
om
Discuss the case for judicial independence and maintaining separation of power as sacrosanct

l.c
principles of constitution in context of NJAC judgement.

ai
gm
Conclude by acknowledging the need for reforms even in the collegium system.

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27
Answer:
s h0
ru
u

The separation of powers doctrine, aims at separating power among legislature, executive and judiciary
(p
m

such that tyranny by the government may be prevented entirely as equal power vests in three separate
tta

organs which act as a check and balance for each other.


ho
us
ur

The role of the judiciary is to protect the rule of law and ensure supremacy of law. Thus judiciary must be
rP

independent from other organs of the government and must be able to perform their functions without
ka
an

fear or favor. Thus both separation of power and independence of judiciary are part of the basic
uv

structure.
rS
fo
ed

Recently, the Supreme court struck down the NJAC act on the grounds of it being ultra vires of the
is

constitution.
al
on
rs

The Judges struck down the NJAC for judicial appointments on the grounds:
pe
s
ti

Judges held that the concept of judicial independence included judicial appointments, and that
en

the primacy of the judiciary in the appointments process was an integral part of maintaining
cu

judicial independence.
do
is

By allowing for a situation in which the opinion of the judiciary could be vetoed by a combination
Th

of the law minister and the eminent members, this primacy was destroyed.

However, the annulment of NJAC raises various issues. For example:

Many committees and parliamentary proceedings pointed towards irregular and malafide
process of judicial appointments in hitherto collegium system on the grounds of it being
unaccountable, opaque, and problems of favouritism and nepotism

17 www.visionias.in Vision IAS


It can be argued that to legislate is the function of the legislature and judiciary itself is infringing
the doctrine of separation of power by annulling the legislation.
In countries such as Britain, there is an independent body that appoint judges, while in the USA,
federal judges are appointed by the president with the advice and consent of the senate.

In this context, the Supreme Court should undertake reforms in the collegium system and also involve
executive in the selection committee in way that it remains independent from political interference at
the same time being accountable to the democratic traditions. Most importantly the process of selection
itself should be transparent which is not in collegium and NJAC also didnt try to solve this issue.

18. AMRUT gives state governments the flexibility in designing schemes and eases central monitoring.
Explain. How far can it recast the urban landscape of India?

Approach:

Introduce AMRUT and its overall guiding principles.


List the provisions in AMRUT that provide autonomy and power to states while relaxing monitoring
by the central government.
Highlight the features that are an improvement over JNNURM and are likely to transform the urban
landscape of India.

Answer:

)
om
AMRUT or Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation seeks to adopt a project approach to

l.c
ensure basic infrastructure services in Urban areas. The overall implementation of the project is linked to

ai
gm
promotion of urban reforms such as e-governance, constitution of professional municipal cadre,

@
devolving funds and functions to urban local bodies, improvement in assessment and collection of
27
municipal taxes, credit rating of urban local bodies, and citizen-centric urban planning.
s h0
ru
u

AMRUT aims to empower the States in the following ways:


(p
m
tta

Ten percent of the annual budget allocation shall be given to States/UTs as incentive based on
ho
us

achievement of reforms during the previous year.


ur

A reform matrix with timelines would be circulated to States in the Guidelines.


rP
ka

States get the flexibility of designing schemes based on the needs of identified cities and in their
an

execution and monitoring.


uv

States will only submit State Annual Action Plans to the Centre for broad concurrence based on
rS
fo

which funds will be released. In a significant departure from JNNURM, Central Government will not
ed

appraise individual projects.


is
al

The use of these funds will be recommended by the State High Power Steering Committee (SHPSC)
on

and will form a part of the State Annual Action Plan (SAAP).
rs
pe

Other functions of SHPSC include planning of fund flow in short, medium and long term projects and
s
ti

exploring innovative ways for resource mobilization, private finance and land leveraging.
en

The SHPSC would also look into lack of supervision and other violations besides monitoring the
m
cu

quality of work, recommending proposals for release of instalment of funds and organising timely
do

audits.
is
Th

The States will decide on the inter-Urban Local Bodies allocation based on gap analysis and financial
strength of ULBs.
The ULBs will develop road maps for reform implementation, capacity building and coordination
among stakeholders for timely completion of projects without escalation of project cost.
The prioritization of ULBs for funding will be done after consultation with local MPs, Mayors and
Commissioners of the concerned ULBs.

18 www.visionias.in Vision IAS


In comparison to JNNURM, under which eligibility conditions were quite narrow and only 63 cities/urban
agglomerations were provided assistance, AMRUT will be implemented in 500 cities and towns each with
a population of one lakh and above. This will ensure that the projects are not concentrated in a few
major states/cities. AMRUT, therefore, aims to recast the urban landscape of the country by making
urban areas more livable and inclusive besides driving the economic growth.

19. There has been a tendency to resolve specialized cases faster through the means of Tribunals. In light
of this, discuss the issue of increasing "tribunalisation" of courts in India.

Approach:

In brief, highlight the reasons for creating Tribunals.


Explain the meaning of the term tribunalisation, along with giving cases/instances for increasing
tribunalisation in India.
Finally, conclude the answer.

Answer:

Tribunals, one of the bodies of administrative adjudication in India, have witnessed much debate in the
recent years. The tribunals were established with the object of providing a speedy, cheap and
decentralised determination of disputes arising out of the various welfare legislations.

Another important reason for the new development was that while the courts were accustomed

)
om
to dealing with cases primarily according to law, the exigencies of modern administration

l.c
requires the adjudication of disputes not necessarily on the basis of technical questions of law,

ai
gm
but also after considering the policy intentions and the public interest.

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Besides, tribunals were also seen as bodies manned by experts who could professionally and
27
fairly deal with the issues which though challengeable in courts of law, yet required technical
s h0

expertise. The Railway Claims Tribunal, CESTAT ITAT, Labour Tribunals, the Companies Tribunal,
ru
u

various Compensation Tribunals, Revenue Courts of various States, etc., can be cited as examples
(p
m

of such tribunals.
tta
ho
us

However, increasing tribunalisation which refers to the perception of usurping of certain judicial powers
ur

from courts by tribunal, arises from the over interpretation of Article 50 of Indian constitution which
rP
ka

deals with separation of judiciary from executive It points out tha State shall take steps to separate the
an

judiciary from the executive in the public services of the State.


uv
rS

Some instances of Tribunalisation:


fo
ed
is

The first tribunal was set up in India 25 years ago to take the load off high courts. At last count,
al
on

there are 93 specialised tribunals in India, the latest one being , 61-member Companies
rs
pe

Appellate Tribunal.
s

The Court in Chandra Kumar vs UOI Case (1997) suggested that the tribunals should enjoy the
ti
en

same constitutional protections as the Courts( HC and SC). This meant that when the jurisdiction
m

is being transferred from a court to a tribunal, the members of this tribunal should hold a rank,
cu
do

status and capacity which is as close to those of the judges in a court as possible.
is

Finding retired judges and competent candidates with qualifications set out by Parliament, to be
Th

members of quasi-judicial tribunals has been a difficult task.


Tribunals are under the direct administrative control of ministries within the government which
administer their day to day functioning and appointments and hence are likely to be influenced
by the government's opinion ,thus interfering with the justice delivery.
The recent Supreme Court judgment which struck down the National Tax Tribunals (NTT) also
clearly spelt out the parameters to test the constitutionality of tribunals.

19 www.visionias.in Vision IAS


Recently, the Department of Legal Affairs in the Law Ministry had recently proposed the idea for
possibility of merging the functions of tribunals with some other tribunals to avoid
overlapping/identical functions being discharged by them.

However, not all tribunals are insulated to mainstream judiciary like Rent Control Tribunals, Motor
Vehicles Tribunals, Labour Tribunals etc are part of the judiciary and are working better than the
independent tribunals. Thus, despite so many concerns, tribunals have been pivotal and effective in
addressing disputes in past.

20. While the 73rd and 74th constitutional amendments provided for representation to women in local
governance, much work remains to be done to ensure their true participation, given their present
socio-economic conditions. Comment.

Approach:

Need to bring out in the answer that the constitutional safeguards provided to women at the local
level are many.
List the provisions provided in 73rd and 74th amendments in this direction, but also show that socio-
economic reality on the ground differs.
List the challenges faced by panchayats in this direction.
Conclude by suggesting reforms.

Answer:

)
om
l.c
The 73rd and 74th Amendments passed in 1993, which introduced panchayats and municipalities in the

ai
gm
Constitution, reserve one-third of seats for women in these bodies. In some states the reservation in PRIs

@
for women even extended to fifty percent. However, there are many stumbling blocks to the political
27
empowerment of women. For example:
s h0
ru
u

Despite several states extending 50% reservation to women, gender-based discrimination is


(p
m

evident from reports that the elected women representatives acted as mere figureheads, while
tta

the real power lied with men, more so in the case of illiterate women. In many parts of India,
ho
us

especially in northern states the husband performs the duties of the women pradhans and gram
ur

sabha members in lieu of the women themselves.


rP
ka

Non-cooperation of the male members that they primarily face on the basis of gender
an

discrimination. In many cases when women heads were seen as too assertive or challenging the
uv

male-dominated authority, they were humiliated or even killed.


rS
fo

Often, the men of the village do not accord them the respect and regard that is their due.
ed

Due to lack of knowledge and information and in some cases illiteracy, very often they have to
is
al

depend upon the second hand knowledge. Officials take advantage of their inexperience and
on

poor education.
rs
pe

Women are scarcely elected from non-reserved seats.


s
ti

Effective devolution is so uneven and inadequate that oftentimes, even the ablest women are
en

crippled for want of the rightful allocation of functions, finances and functionaries without which
m
cu

effective Panchayati Raj is rendered impossible.


do
is
Th

Thus, it is important that rather than just superimposing the rights at the ground level, certain
fundamental changes are brought in the socio-economic structures of the village as per the principles of
equality and liberty enshrined as fundamental rights in our constitution.
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