user6's blog

THE GIST of Editorial for UPSC Exams : 20 March 2020 (Giving Human Rights Commissions more teeth (The Hindu))

Giving Human Rights Commissions more teeth (The Hindu)

Mains Paper 2:Polity
Prelims level: Human Rights Commissions
Mains level:Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies

Context:

  • The purpose of the Act was to establish an institutional framework that could effectively protect, promote and fulfil the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Indian Constitution.
  • The Act created a National Human Rights Commission, and also, Human Rights Commissions at the levels of the various States.

Background:

  • In 1993, the Indian Parliament enacted the Protection of Human Rights Act.
  • There have been the usual critiques of the politicisation of autonomous bodies, and selectiveness.
  • Even more than that, however, it has been alleged that for all intents and purposes, the Human Rights Commissions are toothless: at the highest, they play an advisory role, with the government left free to disobey or even disregard their findings.

Pending case:

  • A pending case before the High Court of Madras has assumed great significance.
  • A Full Bench of the High Court will be deciding upon whether “recommendations” made by the Human Rights Commissions are binding upon their respective State (or Central) governments, or whether the .................................................

CLICK HERE FOR FULL EDITORIAL (Only for Course Members)

Constitutional commitment:

  • There needs to be good reason for interpretations of this kind. This brings us to the purpose of the Human Rights Act, and the importance of fourth branch institutions.
  • As indicated above, the Human Rights Act exists to ensure the protection and promotion of human rights.
  • To fulfil this purpose, the Act ....................................

CLICK HERE FOR FULL EDITORIAL (Only for Course Members)

Way forward:

  • The courts have invoked constitutional purpose to determine the powers of various fourth branch institutions in cases of ambiguity.
  • It is therefore clear that in determining the powers of autonomous bodies such as the Human Rights Commission, the role that fourth branch institutions are expected to play in the constitutional scheme is significant.
  • The Supreme Court held as much in the context of “opinions” rendered by the Foreigners Tribunals, using very similar logic to say that these “opinions” were binding.
  • The crucial role played by a Human Rights Commission — and the requirement of state accountability in a democracy committed to a ‘culture of justification’ — strongly indicates that the Commission’s recommendations should be binding upon the state.

    Click here to Join IAS PRE Online Course

    General Studies Pre. Cum Mains Study Materials

THE GIST of Editorial for UPSC Exams : 20 March 2020 (Need for re-orientation (The Hindu))

Need for re-orientation (The Hindu)

Mains Paper 2:National
Prelims level: Higher education institutions
Mains level:Role and performance of state universities in higher education sector

Context:

  • Out of about a thousand higher education institutions (HEIs) that are authorised to award degrees in India.
  • About 400 are state public universities that produce over 90% of our graduates (including those from the colleges affiliated to them) and contribute to about one-third of the research publications from this country.

Background:

  • Their quality and performance is poor in most cases is accepted as a given today.
  • It is evidenced by their poor performance in institutional rankings, the poor employment status of their students, rather poor quality of their publications, negligible presence in national-level policy/decision-making bodies, ..................................................

CLICK HERE FOR FULL EDITORIAL (Only for Course Members)

Support for Central institutions:

  • Central government HEIs are valuable and should be supported in all ways.
  • That they have hardly ever been short of funding and patronage has been ensured by the Central government and its arms; national-level parties, industries and businesses; and the national elite and the intelligentsia.
  • It is the existence of such an unwritten contract at the national level that appears to be the key factor for the performance of these Central government institutions.

Why state universities are failing behind?

  • However, a similar consensus and contract has never been built between the State universities and State governments, State-level political parties and organisations, industry and businesses; and the elite and the intelligentsia. It is as though State-level players do not have much stake in the stability and performance of the State university system.
  • One reason why State-level ...............................

CLICK HERE FOR FULL EDITORIAL (Only for Course Members)

For a state contract:

  • In order to receive much more funding and support from the State system then, State universities would have to commit to delivering lots more to the State and its people where they are located.
  • They must come up with a new vision and programmes specifically addressing the needs of the State, its industry, economy and society, and on the basis of it make the State-level players commit to providing full ownership and support to them.
  • In other words establish a contract between the State universities and the State system similar to what seems to be existing between the Central institutions and the Central government and other national-level stakeholders.

Conclusion:

THE GIST of Editorial for UPSC Exams : 20 March 2020 (Competitive impropriety: On Ranjan Gogoi’s Rajya Sabha nomination(The Hindu))

Competitive impropriety: On Ranjan Gogoi’s Rajya Sabha nomination(The Hindu)

Mains Paper 2:Polity
Prelims level: Rajya Sabha nomination
Mains level:Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of variousConstitutional Bodies

Context:

  • The President’s nomination of former Chief Justice of India, Ranjan Gogoi, as a Rajya Sabha member so soon after his retirement will be seen as a crass example of a regime rewarding a member of the judiciary for meeting its expectations during his tenure.

Background:

  • It will be futile to argue that it is a well-deserved recognition for an eminent jurist.
  • The gap of four months between his retirement and nomination, and the fact that a series of decisions in his court were in seeming conformity with the present government’s expectations militate against such a justification.

The second argument:

  • There have been instances of retired Chief Justices being nominated to the Upper House or appointed Governors, does not cut ice either, as it is nothing more than a dubious claim to the same level of impropriety.
  • In fact, references to the late CJI Ranganath Mishra and Justice Baharul Islam as valid precedents reflect quite poorly on the executive, and amount to competitive impropriety.

Past examples:

  • There continues to be a perception that these were lapses in propriety. Justice Mishra’s commission of inquiry absolved the Congress from any organisational responsibility for the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. Justice Islam exonerated a Congress Chief Minister of wrong-doing in a financial scandal in Bihar.
  • The party had helped Justice Islam move both ways between Parliament and the judiciary. He quit the Upper House in 1972 to take office as a High Court judge. In 1983, he quit as a Supreme Court judge to contest an election.

Cohesion between the judiciary and the legislature:

  • Mr. Gogoi’s appointment cannot be seen, as he has sought to project, as a way of ensuring cohesion between the judiciary and the legislature. He no longer represents the judiciary, and his contribution will be........................................

CLICK HERE FOR FULL EDITORIAL (Only for Course Members)

Way forward:

  • Also, he ought to have followed the example of his former colleagues who had declared that they would not accept any post-retirement work from the government.
  • And one cannot forget that his tenure was clouded by an employee’s complaint of sexual harassment, which acquired greater credibility after she was reinstated following his exoneration by a committee of judges.
  • As for the government, making such an offer to a just-retired CJI is not mere brazenness. It indicates an alarming intention to undermine judicial authority so that the elected executive is seen as all-powerful.

    Click here to Join IAS PRE Online Course

    General Studies Pre. Cum Mains Study Materials

THE GIST of Editorial for UPSC Exams : 20 March 2020 (In Upper House nomination, a fall for ‘aloofness’(The Hindu))

In Upper House nomination, a fall for ‘aloofness’(The Hindu)

Mains Paper 2:Polity
Prelims level: Rajya Sabha
Mains level:Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies

Context:

  • Within five months of his retirement as Chief Justice of India, Justice Ranjan Gogoi has been nominated to the Rajya Sabha by the government. Shortly before his retirement from the Supreme Court of India, he delivered several important verdicts with far-reaching political consequences that left the government pleased, including the Ayodhya judgment.
  • Before that, Justice Gogoi dismissed a review of the Rafale fighter aircraft deal without substantially dealing with the grounds on which the original judgment, negating an independent investigation, had been challenged.
  • The original judgment relied upon several pieces of false and misleading information, conveyed to the Supreme Court by the government, in an unsigned note and handed over in a sealed cover.

Key judgments handled:

  • During his tenure, Justice Gogoi also presided over and pushed through the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam, an exercise that has excluded more than 19 lakh people from the final version of the citizenship register, and which has been widely criticised on several grounds.
  • In short, the exercise presided over by ....................................................

CLICK HERE FOR FULL EDITORIAL (Only for Course Members)

A turning point:

  • Allegations of sexual harassment against him give us a good insight into this. A female staffer who was asked by him to work at his residence, accused him in an affidavit of detail, of harassment soon after he became the Chief Justice of India.
  • The action taken against her was astounding. Not only was she dismissed from service in an ex-parte hearing on frivolous grounds, but her brother-in-law, who was inducted to the Supreme Court staff under Justice .......................................................

CLICK HERE FOR FULL EDITORIAL (Only for Course Members)

A forgotten code:

  • The 16-point code of conduct for judges or as it was called the “Restatement of Values of Judicial Life” (adopted at a Chief Justices Conference in May 1997) states: “6. A judge should practice a degree of aloofness consistent with the dignity of his office”; 7. A judge shall not hear and decide a matter in which a member of his family, a close relation or a friend is concerned”.
  • Obviously this “aloofness”........................................................

CLICK HERE FOR FULL EDITORIAL (Only for Course Members)

Way forward:

  • Justice Gogoi and the government’s actions in the sexual harassment case and the offer of a Rajya Sabha seat by the government, raise serious doubts about the fairness of many critical judgments, including the ones mentioned above that were under Justice Gogoi’s watch.
  • The precedent that he has set strikes a blow against the independence of the judiciary. I hope that this shameful act will lead to public opprobrium which will deter other judges from emulating such conduct.

    Click here to Join IAS PRE Online Course

    General Studies Pre. Cum Mains Study Materials

THE GIST of Editorial for UPSC Exams : 20 March 2020 (Time for a powerful display of humanity(The Hindu))

Time for a powerful display of humanity(The Hindu)

Mains Paper 2:Health
Prelims level: COVID-19
Mains level:Pandemic preparedness situation in India

Context:

  • In a pandemic it is easy to apportion blame, but this is a moment for the world to be standing together
  • As the COVID-19 pandemic fells country after country, many in India are wondering if we are somehow different. Globally, it took roughly 45 days for the first 100,000 cases. It is likely to take nine days for the next 100,000. The global death count is now doubling every nine days and stands at 8,248, with 207,518 confirmed cases.
  • That is how epidemics work — they gather steam as infected individuals go on to infect even more people. Confirmed cases in India, as of today stand at 169, much lower than small countries such as Iceland (around 250).

Could this really be the case that we have fared better than everyone else?

  • Probably not. Testing in India remains abysmally low. Only about 10 in a million people in India have been tested, compared to say nearly 120 in a million in Thailand or 40 per million in Vietnam.
  • The stated explanation is that the limited number of test kits are being conserved for when they are truly needed but when is the need greater than right now? There are probably shortages even in being able to procure adequate supplies given that many countries are seeking to buy the limited stocks.
  • Testing is the most important thing we could be doing right now. As the Director General of the World Health Organization, Dr.Tedros Ghebreyesus, said recently about the need for more testing, “You cannot fight a fire blindfolded.”

Prevent undercounting:

  • We need to identify corona virus-infected patients in a timely manner in order to increase our chances of preventing secondary infections. There is no shame in saying that we have far more cases than what we have detected so far.
  • Even the United Kingdom, which .........................................................

CLICK HERE FOR FULL EDITORIAL (Only for Course Members)

Unprepared for pandemics:

  • This all sounds doomsday-like. But we have known for decades now that of all catastrophic events to befall humanity, between an asteroid hit and a nuclear war, a disease pandemic has always been the highest on our list of impact and probability.
  • There were some changes after the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) but not nearly enough. Pandemic preparedness always took a backseat to the crisis of the moment.And in fairness, there is truly no amount of preparation that can fully mitigate such an occurrence.

Way ahead:

  • In a time of crisis, it is easy to blame government or China or someone else. But this is really a time to stand together, keep an eye on our neighbours, friends, families, co-workers and indeed anyone who has less than we do.
  • That includes your household help, security guards, vendors and indeed anyone who touches your life. It is a time to see how we show the best of our human values while facing a crisis of a proportion none of us has ever witnessed in our lifetime.

Conclusion:

  • Things are about to get a lot worse. Let us hope that this brings out the best in us, and not the worst. Whether we know this or not, these events are just a dress rehearsal for the more challenging events such as climate change that are likely to be with us this century. And if we take care of each other, we will survive both these challenges with our humanity intact.

    Click here to Join IAS PRE Online Course

    General Studies Pre. Cum Mains Study Materials

THE GIST of Editorial for UPSC Exams : 19 March 2020 (For a floor test first: On Madhya Pradesh crisis (The Hindu))

For a floor test first: On Madhya Pradesh crisis (The Hindu)

Mains Paper 2:Polity
Prelims level: Floor test
Mains level:Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significantprovisions and basic structure

Context:

  • Propriety and law require the Kamal Nath-led Congress government in Madhya Pradesh to prove its majority on the floor of the legislature at the earliest.
  • Delaying tactics by Mr. Nath with more than a little help from the Speaker, who has adjourned the Assembly until March 26, go against democratic principles.
  • Equally, Governor Lalji Tandon’s position that the government will be presumed to have lost the majority unless it takes a floor test immediately is untenable.
  • The BJP might have been morally deviant, but Kamal Nath must prove his majority quickly.

Morality and legality:

  • The situation in the State raises other questions of morality and legality also, as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) innovates questionable routes to power that it did not win in the election.
  • The Congress had won a narrow .................................................

CLICK HERE FOR FULL EDITORIAL (Only for Course Members)

Approach to the Supreme Court:

  • The BJP, the Congress and the rebel MLAs have all approached the Supreme Court which has taken up the matter with urgency.
  • The BJP is replaying the script that it ...........................................

CLICK HERE FOR FULL EDITORIAL (Only for Course Members)

Conclusion:

  • Engineered resignations of lawmakers have become a new tool for sabotaging mandates and camouflaging defections.
  • When the top court adjudicates on the Madhya Pradesh petitions, this larger point must be taken into consideration.
  • The situation demands new guidelines by the Court to deal with the now-familiar malaise, beyond setting a reasonably quick deadline for a floor test.

    Click here to Join IAS PRE Online Course

    General Studies Pre. Cum Mains Study Materials

THE GIST of Editorial for UPSC Exams : 19 March 2020 (Epicentre shifts: On coronavirus spread (The Hindu))

Epicentre shifts: On coronavirus spread (The Hindu)

Mains Paper 2:Health
Prelims level: SARS-CoV-2
Mains level:Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health

Context:

  • With 1,08,394 cases reported from outside mainland China as on March 17, there are more people infected with the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) in other parts of the world than in mainland China (81,058).
  • Also, as on March 17, the number of deaths (4,279) in the rest of the world is more than in mainland China (3,226).

Rising number:

  • On Monday, there was just one new laboratory-confirmed case and 12 deaths reported in Wuhan; outside Wuhan, no new case has been reported from Hubei province for 12 consecutive days.
  • Even as Iran recorded 16,169 cases ....................................

CLICK HERE FOR FULL EDITORIAL (Only for Course Members)

Big lessons:

  • There are big lessons that India and the rest of the world can learn from Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong and South Korea on containing the spread.
  • Taiwan began airport screening even before China reported its first case of human-to-human transmission on January 20.
  • Together with closing its borders by January-end, it raised awareness about the virus and the disease, and ways to minimise risk through handwashing and the use of face masks.
  • Taiwan essentially cut the transmission chain even before the virus could gain a foothold in the country.

Tracing contacts:

  • Following the World Health Organization’s guidelines to a tee, Singapore went after all suspect cases by testing all influenza-like and pneumonia cases and aggressively tracing contacts.
  • Like Taiwan and Hong Kong, ...............................................

CLICK HERE FOR FULL EDITORIAL (Only for Course Members)

Conclusion:

THE GIST of Editorial for UPSC Exams : 19 March 2020 (A revival of multilateralism, steered by India (The Hindu))

A revival of multilateralism, steered by India (The Hindu)

Mains Paper 2:International
Prelims level: COVID-19 crisis
Mains level:Effect of policies and politics of developed anddeveloping countries on India's interests

Context:

  • The COVID-19 pandemic has brought out in sharp relief the compelling reality that has been staring us in the face for the past several years. This reality has two aspects.

Key challenges:

  • One, that most challenges confronting the world and likely to confront it in the future, are cross-national in character.
  • They respect no national boundaries and are not amenable to national solutions.
  • Two, these challenges are cross-........................................

CLICK HERE FOR FULL EDITORIAL (Only for Course Members)

Rise of nationalism:

  • The intersection of cross-national and cross-domain challenges demand multilateral approaches. They require empowered international institutions of governance.
  • Underlying these must be a spirit of internationalism and solidarity, a sense of belonging to a common humanity. But over the past decade and more, the world has been moving in the reverse direction.
  • There has been an upsurge in narrow nationalism, an assertion of parochial interests over pursuit of shared interests and a fostering of competition among states rather than embracing collaboration.
  • COVID-19 has brought these deepening contradictions into very sharp relief. This is a global challenge which recognises no political boundaries.
  • It is intimately linked to the whole pattern of large-scale and high-density food production and distribution.
  • It is a health crisis but is also spawning an economic crisis through disrupting global value chains and creating a simultaneous demand shock. It is a classic cross-national and cross-domain challenge.

The current situation:

  • But interventions to deal with the COVID-19 crisis are so far almost entirely at the national level, relying on quarantine and social distancing.
  • There is virtually no coordination at the international level.
  • We are also seeing a blame game erupt between China and the United States which does not augur well for international cooperation and leadership.
  • While this is the present state of play, the long-term impact could follow alternative pathways.
  • One, the more hopeful outcome would be for countries to finally realise that there is no option but to move away from nationalistic urges and embrace the logic of international cooperation through revived and strengthened multilateral institutions and processes.

Major consequences:

  • The other more depressing consequence may be that nationalist trends become more intense, countries begin to build walls around themselves and even existing multilateralism is further weakened.
  • Institutions such as the United .................................

CLICK HERE FOR FULL EDITORIAL (Only for Course Members)

Remarks from Prime Minister:

  • In this context, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remarks at the recent The Economic Times Global Business Summit are to be welcomed.
  • While speaking of the COVID-19 crisis, he said, “Like today, the world is facing a huge challenge in the form of Corona Virus.
  • Financial institutions have also considered it a big challenge for the financial world.
  • Today, we all have to face this challenge together. We have to be victorious with the power of our resolution of ‘Collaborate to Create’.”
  • He went on to observe that while the world today is “inter-connected, inter-related and also interdependent”, it has “not been able to come on a single platform or frame a Global Agenda, a global goal of how to overcome world poverty, how to end terrorism, how to handle Climate Change issues.”  

Seeking friendship:

  • Mr. Modi lauded his government’s policy of seeking friendship with all countries as contrasted from the earlier policy of non-alignment.
  • He seemed to suggest that non-alignment was a defensive policy which advocated “equal distance from every country”.
  • Now, he claimed, India was still “neutral” — presumably meaning non-alignment — “but not on the basis of distance but on the basis of friendship”.
  • He cited India’s friendship with Iran and Saudi Arabia, and with the U.S. as well as Russia.
  • Elaborating on this, he added, “There was a time when people were neutral by creating equal distance, but we are now neutral by creating equal friendship.
  • Today we are being friends and trying to walk together. This is the very essence of India’s foreign policy and the economic policy of India today.”

Highlights of the India’s foreign policy:

  • Mr. Modi may wish to distinguish his foreign policy from that of his predecessors, but what he describes as its “essence” is hardly distinguishable from the basic principles of Indian foreign policy since Nehru.
  • India’s non-alignment was ...........................................

CLICK HERE FOR FULL EDITORIAL (Only for Course Members)

Pandemic as opportunity:

  • The Prime Minister made no reference to the role of the U.N., the premier multilateral institution, as a global platform for collaborative initiatives.
  • There may have been irritation over remarks by the UN Secretary General on India’s domestic affairs and the activism displayed by the UN Commissioner for Human Rights on the Citizenship (Amendment) Act controversy.
  • This should not influence India’s long-standing commitment to the U.N. as the only truly inclusive global platform enjoying international legitimacy despite its failings.
  • If one has to look for a “single platform” where a Global Voice could be created, as the Prime Minister suggested, surely a reformed and strengthened U.N. should be on India’s agenda.

Way forward:

  • The COVID-19 pandemic presents India with an opportunity to revive multilateralism, become a strong and credible champion of internationalism and assume a leadership role in a world that is adrift.
  • The inspiration for this should come from reaffirming the well springs of India’s foreign policy since its Independence rather than seeking to break free.

    Click here to Join IAS PRE Online Course

    General Studies Pre. Cum Mains Study Materials

THE GIST of Editorial for UPSC Exams : 19 March 2020 (A constitutional obligation(Indian Express))

A constitutional obligation(Indian Express)

Mains Paper 2:Polity
Prelims level: Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019
Mains level:Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significantprovisions and basic structure

Context:

  • The joyous birth of the Indian nation-state is co-terminus with the horrors of Partition in 1947.
  • A natural consequence thereof was the influx of migrants due to the two-nation theory employed by West and East Pakistan.
  • Many Indian states came to be affected by the process of immigration which challenged the demographic dimensions of the states as influx did not cease even after Partition.

Background:

  • Many minorities found themselves at the mercy of nations which followed a state religion. At the time, the population of both Pakistan and Bangladesh comprised several non-Muslims.
  • However, as opposed to India which is a secular nation, both Pakistan and Bangladesh are Islamic states.
  • Being historically and geographically interlinked with both ancestral and spiritual ties, it falls as nothing short of an obligation for the Indian nation-state to provide refuge to non-muslim minorities who have been persecuted for their “otherness” in these countries over the past six decades.

Nature of obligation:

  • This obligation is constitutional in nature and its genesis can be found in the Constituent Assembly debates.
  • During the debate that took place on Articles 5 and 6 on August 10, 1949, in the constituent assembly, B R Ambedkar, the chairman of the drafting committee of the Constitution of
  • India, had expressed hardship in........................................

CLICK HERE FOR FULL EDITORIAL (Only for Course Members)

Other features:

  • Other salient features of the Bill include the exemption granted to a large part of the North East region from applicability of the proposed law (except Manipur), cut-off dates for entry into India and a clause related to Overseas Citizen of India.
  • The Bill is a manifestation of a constitutional promise made to those who have suffered in the aftermath of Partition and its consequences.
  • Many doubts have been cast on the legality of the Bill. However, the Bill does conform to India’s constitutional spirit. Here’s how:

Parliament’s power to enact the Bill:

  • An examination of the text of Article 11 of the Indian Constitution reveals that Parliament is empowered to make any law relating to the acquisition or termination of citizenship and all other matters relating to citizenship.
  • Further, it was the intent of the framers of the Constitution for Parliament to have the power to include those who, at the time of the Constitution coming into existence, were not included within the fold of the citizenship laws.
  • It is therefore well within the rights of Parliament to enact this Bill and it stands the test of procedural due process.

Presumption of Legality:

  • A basic rule of interpretation is always presumption in favour of the constitutionality of a statute. The burden is upon him who attacks it to show that there has been a clear transgression of constitutional principles.
  • The presumption may be rebutted in certain cases by showing that on the fact of the statute, there is no classification and no difference peculiar to any individual or class, and not applicable to any other individual or class — and yet, the law hits only a particular individual or class.
  • It ought to be assumed that the legislature correctly understands and appreciates the needs of its own people, that its law are directed to problems made manifest by experience, and, that its discrimination is based on adequate grounds.

Presumption of constitutionality:

  • In order to sustain the presumption of constitutionality, the court may take into consideration matters of common knowledge, matters of report, the history of the times, and such facts which may exist at the time of the legislation.
  • Thus, the legislation is free to recognise degrees of harm and may confine its restriction to those cases where the need is deemed to be the clearest.
  • While good faith and knowledge ..................................

CLICK HERE FOR FULL EDITORIAL (Only for Course Members)

Test of reasonable classification and intelligible differentia:

  • The exception to Article 14 is broadly the test of reasonable classification and intelligible differentia.
  • The Bill stands the test of reasonable ..................................

CLICK HERE FOR FULL EDITORIAL (Only for Course Members)

Way forward:

  • The Courts allow permissible classification, which includes selective application of a law according to the exigencies where it is sanctioned.
  • The provisions of the Bill appear to have made a classification based on the fact of minority communities being persecuted in the specified countries on the basis of their religion and leaving their country without valid travel documents.
  • By introducing this Bill the Indian state is enforcing a positive discrimination which is necessary, expedient and legally and constitutionally permissible.

    Click here to Join IAS PRE Online Course

    General Studies Pre. Cum Mains Study Materials

THE GIST of Editorial for UPSC Exams : 19 March 2020 (Virus and opportunity (Indian Express))

Virus and opportunity (Indian Express)

Mains Paper 4:Ethics
Prelims level: Not much
Mains level:Social distancing and its opportunities

Context:

  • Corona has given us a glimpse into how we may solve overcrowding problems in the future, whether in terms of traffic, in healthcare facilities or the courtroom.
  • If social distancing and working from home is a way to cope with the coronavirus epidemic, could these form the basis for technology-guided solutions in the future as well?

Concept of paperless and people less court:

  • The concept of paperless and people-less courts is an achievable and realistic goal. We just have to change our attitude.
  • The legal curriculum has to change. ..............................

CLICK HERE FOR FULL EDITORIAL (Only for Course Members)

Role of technology:

  • Technology can be indeed a solution for the legal fraternity while dealing with both contentious and non-contentious matters.
  • We must invest in virtual courtrooms and it became convinced that, barring a few exceptions, hearings can be conducted on a virtual basis.
  • This will eliminate paper and it will eliminate crowding. But it will certainly not eliminate work and the workplace.
  • In the era of high-speed internet and other advanced technologies, we can change our future and create opportunities for everyone.
  • Virtual courtrooms and case management, and the use of technology, data science and artificial intelligence will address the issue of judicial delay that has clogged our legal system.

Way ahead:

  • The rule of law will be upheld in the true sense when the justice delivery system will become efficient, people-friendly and citizens can receive legal redress in a time-bound manner.
  • We have an opportunity to ............................................

CLICK HERE FOR FULL EDITORIAL (Only for Course Members)

Conclusion:

THE GIST of Editorial for UPSC Exams : 18 March 2020 (Defense Diplomacy (Mint))

Defense Diplomacy (Mint)

Mains Paper 2:International Relations
Prelims level: Defense Diplomacy
Mains level:Role of India in Defense Diplomacy

Context:

  • India is currently facing international criticism for some of its actions.
  • The “defence diplomacy” which is at the centre stage in the pursuit of its foreign policy, has helped India to stay afloat.

About defence diplomacy:

  • Defence diplomacy is a term used in international politics.
  • It refers to the pursuit of foreign policy objectives through the peaceful employment of defence resources and capabilities.
  • In earlier years, India hardly looked at military interactions as a means to further the national interest. But, this has changed.

Benefits from defence diplomacy to India:

  • India is currently under international criticism, especially from the muslim world, for some of its actions.
  • At the same time, its economy has also been sliding.
  • Defence diplomacy has helped India to stay afloat in this worrying environment.
  • It has taken the form of frequent and ambitious joint exercises with militaries of the region and beyond, port visits by warships, and so on.
  • While with most countries this has been not very significant, with the US in particular, and with Japan, the interface has been substantial.

India’s defence diplomacy strategy:

  • The Indo-Pacific has been repeatedly proclaimed as a region of mutual interest and our understanding of the term is different.
  • The precise purpose of the term...........................................

CLICK HERE FOR FULL EDITORIAL (Only for Course Members)

How should India’s diplomacy be?

  • With China, India share disputed borders and a tense security relationship.
  • With Russia, a defence interface that goes back six decades stands in some difficulty now.
  • In the Muslim world, Iran cannot be easily ignored, nor Indonesia in the ASEAN, or Bangladesh next door.
  • With these countries, India needs to increase its defence interactions so long as India recognises its limitations.

Impact of defence diplomacy:

THE GIST of Editorial for UPSC Exams : 18 March 2020 (Fight for the finite: On budgetary allocation for health (The Hindu))

Fight for the finite: On budgetary allocation for health (The Hindu)

Mains Paper 2:Health
Prelims level: SARS-CoV-2
Mains level:Increasing budgetary allocation for health

Context:

  • It is an incontrovertible truth that material resources are finite. Demand in most sectors will continue to exceed supply in times of a pandemic.
  • With the number of SARS-CoV-2 positive cases on the rise, and the number of deaths going up as well, the question is whether national and state health systems will be able to cope with ever-rising demands — for testing kits, for hospital beds, ventilators, why, even masks and hand sanitisers.

Highlights of the demand:

  • This extraordinary demand has traditional production and systems of delivery choking and most often, unable to match supply to demand.
  • Health-care resources, ............................

CLICK HERE FOR FULL EDITORIAL (Only for Course Members)

India’s healthcare system:

  • With India crossing 100 positive cases, it is impossible to ignore the question about whether the health system is robust enough to meet this emergency. What is known, however, does not inspire confidence.
  • For years, India’s health expenditure as a percentage of GDP has been abysmal at about 1%.
  • As per the National Health Profile, 2019, collated by the Central Bureau of Health Intelligence unit of the Directorate General of Health Services, there has been no significant change in health-care expenditure since 2009-2010.
  • The highest it has been in the decade is 1.28 % of the GDP, and hit the nadir at 0.98 % in 2014-2015.

Per capita expenditure:

  • The report does record that per capita public expenditure on health in nominal terms went up from ₹621 in 2009-10 to ₹1,112 in 2015-16.
  • A WHO bulletin of .............................

CLICK HERE FOR FULL EDITORIAL (Only for Course Members)

Way forward:

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a promise to increase public health spending to 2.5 % of GDP by 2025.
  • His government would do well to treat this epidemic as an opportunity to drastically scale up budgetary allocations for health to facilitate expansion of capacity.
  • Health budgetary allocation must go up if India is to prepare for an unpredictable epidemic.
  • Epidemics are known to change the course of history; India must steer this one to harness finite resources optimally for the benefit of all.

    Click here to Join IAS PRE Online Course

    General Studies Pre. Cum Mains Study Materials

THE GIST of Editorial for UPSC Exams : 18 March 2020 (Back to SAARC: On Modi's video conference with leaders (The Hindu))

Back to SAARC: On Modi's video conference with leaders (The Hindu)

Mains Paper 2: International Relations
Prelims level: SAARC
Mains level:India and its neighbourhood relations

Context:

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to convene a video conference of leaders of the eight-member SAARC on Sunday represents a much-needed “out-of-the-box” thinking as the world faces the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

Political borders:

  • Pandemics do not recognise political borders, and in times of trouble, reaching out to neighbouring countries is the most obvious course of action.
  • To that end, PM had a hour-long ...................................

CLICK HERE FOR FULL EDITORIAL (Only for Course Members)

Spread in the continent:

  • With close to 300 positive cases, South Asia has seen a much lower incidence globally, but given its much higher population density, it is clear that any outbreak will lead to far more casualties.
  • Other concerns are about under-reporting, as fewer people are being tested in much of South Asia, and whether public health services can cope.
  • It remains to be seen how closely the SAARC countries will cooperate to deal with the virus.
  • PM Modi did well to engage with leaders of South Asia on combating COVID-19.
  • While speaking to his counterparts was a part of Mr. Modi’s message, it was, however, certainly not the whole.

Reaching out to SAARC:

  • The fact that he decided to make the video conference available live indicates his desire to also reach out to and reassure the public in the SAARC region.
  • Beyond this is the message sent out .................................

CLICK HERE FOR FULL EDITORIAL (Only for Course Members)

Conclusion:

THE GIST of Editorial for UPSC Exams : 18 March 2020 (When every line in the book is violated (The Hindu))

When every line in the book is violated (The Hindu)

Mains Paper 1:Society
Prelims level: Not much
Mains level:Impact of riot on education

Context:

  • After a violent riot, teachers of young children have a difficult time deciding what to say in their classes when children ask awkward questions.
  • Some of these questions arise from the news that children have heard or from the scenes they have seen on television.
  • In some cases, they ask about what they have seen with their own eyes. There are also questions reflecting the children’s desire to verify something their parents have told them.
  • It is not difficult to imagine the bewildering array of queries that the recent communal riots in the nation’s capital have triggered in the minds of young people.

Little efforts:

  • How a teacher can address them is anyone’s guess.
  • Cities such as Mumbai and Delhi and many provincial towns of northern India have considerable experience of living through violent riots.
  • Little effort has been made to study the response of children to such occurrences and the dilemma that teachers face when classes resume after a riot.
  • A violent riot is normally seen as a breakdown of law and order. That it indeed is, implying a weakening of the state’s moral authority and people’s trust in it.
  • Within a few days, the state re-establishes its authority and state functionaries, such as the police and other officers, start to assume that the damage done to their credibility has been restored.

Impact of riot on education:

  • In the context of education, however, the impact of a riot goes much deeper. Although schools are the main provider of education, their routine functioning is hardly an adequate measure of the state’s expectation from their role.
  • As an institution of the state, a school — .........................................

CLICK HERE FOR FULL EDITORIAL (Only for Course Members)

The real loss:

  • This perception is erroneous because it does not take into account the school’s real loss in terms of its own authority to serve and perpetuate the state’s morality.
  • Every core value of education is injured by the violence that breaks out among citizens during a riot.
  • It takes years to explain to the young that relations among people and communities are guided by certain values.
  • Even a specific topic such as respect for someone else’s property and publicly owned infrastructure takes a long time to teach in a manner that it would make sense to children.
  • All this effort is wasted when children see with their own eyes that people are killing others and burning shops, houses and buses.
  • In the case of Delhi, the damage done to children’s learning was greater as it included the incredible realisation that the police did nothing and merely watched when the killing and looting started.
  • The magical significance of the phone number 100 is conveyed to children in their primary classes. Why didn’t the police stop the riot, children want to know.

Then and Now:

  • No wonder that teachers feel like Sisyphus when teaching resumes after a riot. Sisyphus was a king depicted in Greek mythology.
  • He was condemned to a life of hard labour which involved routinely destroying its own accomplishment.
  • Sisyphus was supposed .....................................

CLICK HERE FOR FULL EDITORIAL (Only for Course Members)

Official Curriculum:

  • Although the official curriculum now proudly claims to promote critical thinking and foundational learning, these terms provide little scope for responding to what is happening in one’s own neighbourhood or the country.
  • Like everything else in education, these wonderful sounding terms are now used for promoting hollow formal routines.
  • The Delhi riots coincided with an official visit of the American President, Donald Trump, to India, beginning February 24.
  • His wife, Melania Trump, was scheduled to witness how a government school transacts a so-called ‘happiness’ curriculum.
  • It was terribly ironical that she was attending a ‘happiness’ class in south Delhi while violence and fire raged in the north-eastern part of the city.
  • We can imagine the meaning of the happiness that curriculum designers hope to impart through this innovation.
  • In their design, happiness is another form of cynicism, marking the capacity to stay aloof and unaffected by the fate of fellow human beings.

Sanctity of education:

  • Textbooks, teachers and principals routinely tell children that India’s religious diversity is a matter of pride.
  • What, then, accounts for so ..........................................

CLICK HERE FOR FULL EDITORIAL (Only for Course Members)

Conclusion:

  • Violent riots knock down the sanctity of public education and people’s faith in it as a resource for maintaining basic human values.
  • In a post-conflict phase, officers and teachers must decide what they will tell the young and how.
  • To follow the modern idiom and simply ‘move on’ (i.e. put the riots behind) is to invite the usual price that unresolved trauma incurs. Its effects go deeper.
  • The temporary social breakdown that riots signify requires a long-term strategy to restore teachers’ morale and people’s trust in schools.
  • Simply ignoring the damage done to the sanity of young minds is tantamount to letting democracy suffer the loss of intellectual vitality that education alone can provide.

    Click here to Join IAS PRE Online Course

    General Studies Pre. Cum Mains Study Materials

THE GIST of Editorial for UPSC Exams : 17 March 2020 (Kanshiram’s legacy of Dalit empowerment left adrift (The Hindu))

Kanshiram’s legacy of Dalit empowerment left adrift (The Hindu)

Mains Paper 4:Ethics
Prelims level:Kanshiram
Mains level:Human Values - lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers andadministrators

Context:

  • In republican India’s history, there is no politician who can match Kanshiram’s life story. No one else could have carved a niche for the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Other Backward Classes and the Minorities as much as he did.
  • He came on the Indian political scene without a resumé popping with credentials of legacy, inheritance, wealth, title, surname or party.
  • Irrespective of all these barriers, he sculpted a solid, unremitting, electrifying Bahujan movement in India.

Early life:

  • He hailed from an agriculturist Chamar family, but being a Sikh had no impact on caste exclusions of Dalits in the region.
  • Kanshiram, born on March 15, 1934, was aware of this, yet not to the extent of grasping the nuances of such discrimination.
  • He had naively thought of Brahmins as being a poor and backward community due to their low status in Jaat-dominant Punjab.

Later life:

  • In his later life, there was one incident in his diverse working stints that had an impact on him.
  • In 1957, he settled for a job as a ............................

CLICK HERE FOR FULL EDITORIAL (Only for Course Members)

Political disrupter:

  • It must be noted that Kanshiram did not leave extensive written records or archives barring the classic, The Chamcha Age (An Era of the Stooge).
  • Dedicated to Mahatma Jyotirao .............................................

CLICK HERE FOR FULL EDITORIAL (Only for Course Members)

BAMCEF:

  • There are several Bahujan organisations that work towards Dr. Ambedkar’s dream of a non-caste India.
  • But the origins of this can be traced back to the BAMCEF, or the All India Backward (SC, ST, and OBC) and Minority Communities Employees Federation.
  • Along with his colleagues, Kanshiram began one of the largest unions of government employees.
  • Through BAMCEF, he connected SC, ST, OBCs, and other minorities to fight back against atrocities and discrimination.
  • With a structure in place, he was able to help create a strong sense of accountability towards the community.
  • Thus, the widely popular initiative ‘Pay Back to Society’ was inaugurated in 1973. As a part of BAMCEF there were simultaneous initiatives such as the BAMCEF Datta Grahan, -Bhaichara, -Sahkarita.
  • In 1981, the Dalit ShoshitSamaj Sangharsh Samiti (DS-4) with 10 wings (students, women, etc.) was established to experiment with socio-political possibilities. Eventually the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) was formally established in 1984.
  • Kanshiram declared that he wanted the community to become givers rather than receivers. For that to happen it required training and preparation. Cadre camps and various events filled the gap.

Strengthening oppressed caste associations:

  • Instead of downplaying the importance of caste, Kanshiram opted to strengthen oppressed caste associations which was one way to weaken the structures that sustain caste.
  • Every ‘upper’ caste had an investment in caste, which is why it transferred this into structures that catered to its needs. Kanshiram invested in the cultures of caste and cultural methods of anti-casteism.
  • He understood well that artists and ....................................

CLICK HERE FOR FULL EDITORIAL (Only for Course Members)

Growing void:

  • In hindsight, we are yet to find similar investments by his protégés. There are certainly no intellectual research wings, as was the case earlier, which can provide guidance to the movement.
  • There is no media that can converse with the public on a daily basis on Dalit issues; neither is there any trust-building mechanism.

Conclusion:

  • Moving to the present state of the BSP, it appears that the party leadership lacks a committed young cadre that can be trained to take over the reins of the leadership.
  • Kanshiram’s legacy remains alive and kicking in the words of the BSP’s chief Mayawati.
  • But in the absence of any credible sourcing of talent, organisations such as the Bhim Army and many BAMCEF-BSP inspired regional parties could step in and fill the vacuum.

    Click here to Join IAS PRE Online Course

    General Studies Pre. Cum Mains Study Materials

THE GIST of Editorial for UPSC Exams : 17 March 2020 (The ambit and the limits of ‘diaspora diplomacy’(The Hindu))

The ambit and the limits of ‘diaspora diplomacy’(The Hindu)

Mains Paper 2:International Relations
Prelims level:Transferability of Votes
Mains level:Indian diaspora and its role in world politics

Context:

  • Joint rallies by U.S. President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Ahmedabad last month and at Houston last September were unique for their concept and for their crowd sizes.
  • IT was also for the promise they held out to the leaders themselves: of audiences that would blend support for Mr. Trump with that for Mr. Modi politically.

Way beyond the bilateral relations:

  • As a result, speaking beyond bilateral relations, both leaders paid tribute to the three million people of Indian origin who are American citizens, who will vote in elections this year.
  • In Ahmedabad, Mr. Trump referred to Indian Americans as “truly spectacular people”.
  • In Houston, Mr. Modi said the 2016 ......................................

CLICK HERE FOR FULL EDITORIAL (Only for Course Members)

Pitching to both audiences:

  • Mr. Modi has also brought this dual effect into play in several diaspora rallies worldwide.
  • At each of them, he has spoken of initiatives taken by his government for Indians, and also those for the diaspora, pitching to both audiences at one time.
  • In Israel, for example, Mr. Modi spent much of his speech on talking about his agricultural programmes, which was meant for domestic audiences watching his speech on television.
  • And then announced the start of a direct Air India flight to Tel Aviv, to big cheers from his live audience.
  • The government has also frequently blurred the line between Indian expatriates and Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) in describing India’s strength abroad. In March 2017, the Ministry of External Affairs raised the issue of attacks on Indians strongly with the U.S. government, after three incidents of suspected hate crimes.
  • Only one of the three was an Indian citizen, the rest were Americans of Indian extraction. This is an important distinction from the past.

Transferability of Votes:

  • India has the world’s largest diaspora, about 17.5 million and receives the highest remittance of $78.6 billion from Indians living abroad (Global Migration Report 2020).
  • Members of the diaspora, often seen as more “successful” and therefore more influential, can have a big impact on their relatives back home, and this makes for a potent combination for any politician.
  • Mr. Modi’s joint rallies with former ..................................................

CLICK HERE FOR FULL EDITORIAL (Only for Course Members)

US election:

  • In the upcoming U.S. election, it remains to be seen whether the Trump outreaches at Houston and Ahmedabad bring in a haul of new Indian-American voters, but the statistics are daunting.
  • In the 2016 election, 77% of Indian Americans voted for Hillary Clinton while just 16% voted for Mr. Trump.
  • The second issue is that politically active members of the Indian diaspora don’t necessarily support the Indian government’s actions.
  • And often, because they are of Indian origin, hold the government in New Delhi to higher standards than they do others.
  • The U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairperson for Asia, Ami Bera, voiced his concerns quite plainly about Kashmir and the CAA during a visit to India last month, for example, saying that the India that he “loved” was “democratic and secular”.
  • The sponsor of the U.S. House resolution on Kashmir (HR745) Pramila Jayapal; co-chair of U.S. Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’s campaign Ro Khanna; and former presidential contender Kamala Harris, have all been openly critical of the government’s actions.
  • The conclusion for the government is that it cannot own only that part of the diaspora that supports its decisions, and must celebrate the fact that members of the Indian diaspora, from both sides of the political divide, are successful and influential.

Interest and Interference:

  • The government must ensure that its focus on the diaspora doesn’t become a factor in its bilateral relations.
  • While it is perfectly legitimate and laudable to ensure the safety and well-being of Indian citizens in different parts of the world, as the Modi government has done, it must tread more lightly on issues that concern foreign citizens of Indian origin.
  • Addressing the Lok Sabha .............................................

CLICK HERE FOR FULL EDITORIAL (Only for Course Members)

Way forward:

  • Finally, the government must consider the impact that policies conflating the PIOs with Indian citizens could have on the diaspora itself.
  • Most immigrant Indian communities have been marked by their ability to assimilate into the countries they now live in.
  • It is necessary for New Delhi to look at the political choices of Indian migrants abroad through a more realistic lens.
  • Much of that comes from a desire to be treated as equal citizens, not as immigrants. A few also have bad memories of anti-immigrant sentiments in the 1960s and 1970s in Europe and the U.S., when they were targeted and accused of “divided loyalties”.
  • Laying claim to their kinship and culture and taking pride in their success is one thing.
  • It would be a mistake to lay claim to their politics.

    Click here to Join IAS PRE Online Course

    General Studies Pre. Cum Mains Study Materials

THE GIST of Editorial for UPSC Exams : 17 March 2020 (Closing the gender gap in science (The Hindu))

Closing the gender gap in science (The Hindu)

Mains Paper 1:Society
Prelims level:National Science Day
Mains level:Role of women and women's organization

Context:

  • India celebrates National Science Day on February 28 every year to mark C.V. Raman’s discovery of the scattering of light.
  • For the last 33 years, on this day, research institutes and other academic centres in the country have been holding public outreach programmes or conducting meetings on select topics.

About the theme:

  • This year, the theme was Women in Science.
  • This is a timely and relevant theme, but it is also rather ironic given that Raman himself did not warm up to the idea of women in science.
  • For some time, this prejudice meant that women candidates were refused admission to the Indian Institute of Science in the 1930s, during Raman’s tenure as director.

Lost opportunities:

  • Despite his progressive political and philosophical convictions, Raman was a traditionalist.
  • Like many others of the time, he imbibed the sexist views that were part of society then. Among his three women students, only Anna Mani was able to choose a scientific career, although she could not get a doctoral degree.
  • Sunanda Bai was not awarded a PhD, and committed suicide for unknown reasons.
  • Lalitha Doraiswamy left her studies and chose to marry Subramanyan Chandrasekhar, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1983.

Why did these talented women fail to get their due?

  • It would be interesting to contrast their journeys with the story of Janaki Ammal. Ammal opted to pursue a Masters degree from the Michigan State University in the U.S. and continued her scientific career .................................................

CLICK HERE FOR FULL EDITORIAL (Only for Course Members)

Initiatives taken towards social transformation:

  • It is true that a resurgent inclusive nationalism propounded by Mahatma Gandhi, Rabindranath Tagore, Jawaharlal Nehru and others during the struggle for Independence encouraged women, at least those who were part of the upper social strata, to break the familial and cultural shackles and enter the public space.
  • While cultural and social causes ..............................................

CLICK HERE FOR FULL EDITORIAL (Only for Course Members)

The ‘leaky pipeline’ problem

  • However, the trouble starts after women obtain their educational qualifications.
  • The percentage of women in faculty positions drops to less than 20%; only a few reach the top positions of institutes and universities.
  • This is also the time when many of them become mothers, sometimes because of familial pressure.
  • The Indian Science Academies are aware of the problem. But the reform should start from their own backyard. In all the three science academies combined, only about 10% are women Fellows.
  • Including more women in science is not only important from the human rights perspective; it also impacts the quality of science and the advancement of society itself.
  • This is not to say that the situation is hopeless. There have been changes that give us hope too.
  • The role of women engineers in the launch of the Indian Space Research Organisation’s second moon mission, Chandrayaan-2, is now legendary.

India’s performance in Global Gender Gap Index 2020:

  • According to the Global Gender Gap Index 2020,a study covering 153 economies, India has slipped to the 112th spot from its 108th position in 2018.
  • The report also says it would take .............................................

CLICK HERE FOR FULL EDITORIAL (Only for Course Members)

Way forward:

  • Women across the world face the ‘leaky pipeline’ problem.
  • Without supportive institutional structures in place, women, when they are pregnant, worry about gaps in publications, how they will do fieldwork, whether they will get promotions.
  • Productivity concerns are high for women, especially in academia where the number of papers you publish is a marker of productivity.
  • In India, we have many examples of women researchers who are involved in exciting scientific experiments.
  • It is imperative that we understand and remove the sexism and institutional obstacles that prevent more women from entering the scientific field.

    Click here to Join IAS PRE Online Course

    General Studies Pre. Cum Mains Study Materials

THE GIST of Editorial for UPSC Exams : 17 March 2020 (Sorry picture (Indian Express))

Sorry picture (Indian Express)

Mains Paper 2:Polity
Prelims level:Article 21
Mains level:Fundamental right to privacy protection

Context:

  • The court deservedly reprimanded the Adityanath government for “undemocratic functioning”, for violating the individual’s fundamental right to privacy and the assurance of Article 21.

Court’s verdict:

  • The Allahabad High Court had, suo motu, taken cognisance of the UP government’s vindictive move to put up roadside posters naming and shaming and giving photos and details of individuals accused of damaging public ..........................................

CLICK HERE FOR FULL EDITORIAL (Only for Course Members)

Introducing the Uttar Pradesh Recovery of Damage to Public and Private Property Ordinance 2020:

  • The UP government’s move is an attempt to intimidate and hound the protester, that it is guilty of trying to undermine the presumption of innocence until proven guilty by due process of law — a cardinal principle of criminal jurisprudence.
  • Taking its cue from the apex court, the .........................................

CLICK HERE FOR FULL EDITORIAL (Only for Course Members)

Conclusion:

  • The Supreme Court has shown a disturbing lack of urgency in habeas corpus cases relating to Kashmir recently, and in matters of hate speech and sedition, yet it remains the citizen’s best hope for protection of individual liberties against state trespass and transgression.
  • It must be hoped that the larger bench which will hear the UP government’s challenge of the Allahabad HC ruling in this week, will make amends for the impression of delay and miscarriage of justice in the case so far.

    Click here to Join IAS PRE Online Course

    General Studies Pre. Cum Mains Study Materials

THE GIST of Editorial for UPSC Exams : 17 March 2020 (A questionable delay(Indian Express))

A questionable delay(Indian Express)

Mains Paper 2:Polity
Prelims level:Anti defection law
Mains level:Role of speaker and its limitations

Context:

  • The Madhya Pradesh assembly the ruling Congress has 108 MLAs against the BJP’s 107.
  • Both have short of the effective majority mark of 112, following the disqualification of six defectors whose resignations have been accepted by Speaker.
  • However, despite MLAs of both sides showing up for the floor test on Monday, he adjourned the House until March 26 without conducting it, citing concern over the coronavirus pandemic.

Question to the validity of the government:

  • As a result, the validity of the government will remain in question for 10 days, a very long time in politics.
  • The allegiance of the speaker to ..................................................

CLICK HERE FOR FULL EDITORIAL (Only for Course Members)

Constitution during a crucial vote in the Lok Sabha.

  • Across states that vary in size and perceived importance, from Maharashtra to Manipur, assembly speakers have, through their conduct, invited accusations of partisan behaviour.
  • Hearing the case concerning Manipur Congress MLA T Shyam Kumar, who switched to the BJP after it formed a government in 2017 and received a portfolio.

Application of the anti-defection:

  • The Supreme Court ruled in January that rigorous application of the anti-defection law under the 10th Schedule of the Constitution is crucial to the maintenance of a healthy democracy.
  • The speaker is the guardian ...............................

CLICK HERE FOR FULL EDITORIAL (Only for Course Members)

Conclusion:

THE GIST of Editorial for UPSC Exams : 16 March 2020 (Essential Commodities Act (Mint))

Essential Commodities Act (Mint)

Mains Paper 2:Polity
Prelims level:Essential Commodities Act
Mains level: Shortcomings of the Essential Commodities Act

Context:

  • The ECA was enacted in 1955 to give government the power to regulate the production, supply anddistribution of a whole host of commodities it declares ‘essential’ in order to make them available toconsumers at fair prices.
  • The list of items under the Act include drugs, fertilisers, pulses and edible oils, and petroleum andpetroleum products. The Centre can include new commodities as and when the need arises, and takethem off the list once the situation improves.
  • If the Centre finds that a certain commodity is in short supply and its price is spiking, it can notifystock-holding limits on it for a specified period. The States act on this notification to specify limits andtake steps to ensure that these are adhered to.
  • A State can, however, choose not to impose any restrictions. But once it does, traders have to immediately sell into the market any stocks held beyond the mandated quantity.

Shortcomings of the Act:

  • However, the Act has created market distortions that have prevented the efficient development ofagricultural markets.
  • Given that almost all crops are seasonal, ensuring round-the-clock supply requires adequate buildup of stocks during the season. So, it may not always be possible to differentiate between genuinestock build-up and speculative hoarding.
  • Also, there can be genuine shortages .................................................

CLICK HERE FOR FULL EDITORIAL (Only for Course Members)

Way forward:

Pages


GET DAILY EMAIL NEWSLETTER for UPSC IAS Exams

Signup today for free and be the first to get notified on new updates.
DONT FORGET TO CONFIRM YOUR EMAIL LINK after Submit.


 
Subscribe to RSS - user6's blog