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(VIDEO) The Good Samaritan Law : Rajya Sabha TV Big Picture Debate

(VIDEO) The Good Samaritan Law : Rajya Sabha TV Big Picture Debate

Topic of Discussion: The Good Samaritan Law : Rajya Sabha TV Big Picture Debate

THE GIST of Editorial for UPSC Exams : 03 October 2018 (A flight path with obstacles)


A flight path with obstacles 


Mains Paper: 3 | Internal Security  
Prelims level: India’s drone use policy
Mains level: India’s drone use policy makes the possibility of a red tape-free flight very slim 

Introduction 

  • The ‘Swiss centre of excellence for agricultural research’, in Nyon, Switzerland, agriculture scientists fly a drone to study nitrogen level in leaves, not for a farm as a whole, but for each individual plant.
  • The drone takes a large number of images, which when fed into a computer model with data on soil condition, weather, time of the year and other information helps analyse which plants are deficient in nitrogen, enabling farmers to add corrective fertilizer only where necessary.
  • Sensefly, a Swiss drone manufacturer, has customers around the world whose use of drones has resulted in higher yield (more than 10% in observed case studies) and significantly lower usage of fertilizers and herbicides.

What are the policy contradictions?

  • The futuristic promise of unmanned flying vehicles a more immediate reality, India has largely been dragging its feet. 
  • The Ministry of Civil Aviation has attempted to give some structure to the development of drone infrastructure in India. While announcing the publication of these guidelines,
  • Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu made two points, the contradictions of which also highlight India’s lack of clarity on what it should do with drones. 
  • He estimated the potential of the “drone market” in India to be $1 trillion. 
  • He also said India’s security environment necessitated extra precautions.
  • The regulations have been drafted on flying a drone is a task wrapped tightly in immense paperwork. 
  • India’s regulations separate drones into five categories — nano, micro, small, medium and large. 
  • There is very little regulation for flying a nano up to 50 metres height, except for not flying near airports, military sites or in segregated airspace.
  • The paranoia kicks in from the micro category, starting with the application for a unique identification number (UIN) for each drone, with a long list of documentation including security clearances from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in several cases. 
  • Once the UIN is obtained, operators get to move to the next step of having to apply for an Unmanned Aircraft Operator Permit (UAOP), implying more forms, more annexures and more submissions. 
  • To fly a micro drone below 200 ft, users have to intimate the local police station 24 hours prior. (One application requires that it be submitted with seven copies.)
  • Manufacturers of drones as well as technologists and researchers making applications using drones have to test fly these frequently, often several times a day.
  • The structure of these regulations makes the possibility of a red tape-free flight very slim.

What is untapped potential?

  • The security and privacy risks of allowing drones to fly in an unregulated manner are high. 
  • India has to reach even the fraction of the $1 trillion potential.
  • Mr. Prabhu said, it needs to figure out a more balanced manner of regulation. The current rules are a start, but only in the sense that they free all drones from their previous illegality.
  • The real impact of drones will be in the many applications they will be put to. 
  • Agriculture is just one such. They are likely to be the disaster prevention systems, rescue operation leaders, and even public transport providers in the not too distant future. 
  • Missing out on working on these applications early enough will likely have serious repercussions to India’s future competitiveness in the field.

Conclusion 

  • India has to compete against these giants, it already has a lot of catching up to do.
  • Filing a series of applications in multiple copies and waiting for various government departments to respond is not the best way to get started.

Online Coaching for UPSC PRE Exam

General Studies Pre. Cum Mains Study Materials

UPSC Prelims Questions: 

Q.1) Aquila sometimes seen in news is a:
(a) Solar powered plane to beam internet
(b) Satellite to monitor ocean currents and tides
(c) Underwater observatory in the Arctic
(d) India's first indigenous radar mounted submarine
Answer:  A

UPSC Mains Questions:
Q.1) India’s drone use policy makes the possibility of a red tape-free flight very slim. Give you argument about the existing drone policy adopted by India. 

THE GIST of Editorial for UPSC Exams : 03 October 2018 (A Cure Called Inclusion)


A Cure Called Inclusion


Mains Paper: 2 | Health 
Prelims level: Not so important  
Mains level: Their marginalization affects the health of tribal communities. 

Introduction 

  • A report in this newspaper drew attention to the findings of an Expert Committee on Tribal Health appointed five years ago by the Ministries of Health and Family Welfare and Tribal Development. 
  • The report revealed that tribal communities lag behind the general population on most health parameters. 
  • Health is an under-discussed matter, both for the country’s political class and a significant section of its civil society. 
  • Discussions on health-related problems of tribals, minorities and Dalits are even rarer, both in the corridors of power and within the educated social class of the country.

Important highlights of this report 

  • Health is an interplay of a number of social, political, cultural, environmental and genetic factors.
  • It is important to identify the missing links in this sad story of tribal health in India. 
  • According to the 2011 census, Scheduled Tribes form 8.6 per cent of the country’s populations. 
  • Many of these tribes live in the most inaccessible geographical regions of the country.
  • In a study, published in The Lancet in May, India ranked 145 among 195 countries in terms of healthcare accessibility behind Bangladesh and Bhutan.

Factors depends on healthcare access 

  • Access to healthcare depends on a number of factors of which female literacy is an important determinant.
  • It is instrumental in shaping a group’s healthcare seeking behaviour. 
  • According to the 2011 Census, the female literacy of Scheduled Tribes is 56.5 per cent; this is almost 10 per cent below the national rate and is one reason for tribal groups doing poorly on health parameters. 
  • Financial insecurity is another major cause of the ill-health of tribal people. 
  • It is no accident that a majority of hunger deaths reported in the country in the past five years happened to be of members of Scheduled Tribes.

Health care situations around the world 

  • The poor health of an ethnic group is very often a result of the exclusion of that group from a country’s national imagination. 
  • The infant mortality rate of native North Americans and Alaskan natives, both underprivileged groups in the US, is 60 per cent higher than that of the Caucasians. 
  • According to 2012 figures, more than 6 per cent people from these groups suffer tuberculosis compared to 0.8 per cent for the US’s white population.
  • A poll conducted by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Harvard T H Chan School of Public Health revealed that about a quarter of Native Americans experienced discrimination when consulting a doctor or a health clinic. 
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia are also known to have poorer health compared to other Australians. 
  • Exclusion and marginalisation of a group leads to poverty, which in turn makes people from such groups vulnerable to diseases. 
  • This holds true for India’s Scheduled Tribes as well. 
  • Ending the marginalisation of tribal communities should then be at the heart of all government and civil society efforts to improve the health of people from tribal communities.
  • The healthcare facts in India among the tribal communities 
  • Universal healthcare is much more than providing infrastructure or alleviating specific health disorders through national programmes. 
  • It requires correction of a number of social parameters that govern health. Besides government apathy, problems specific to some tribal groups contribute to their poor health statistics. 
  • A 2004 study in Jhagram block of West Bengal’s Medinipur district, for example, showed that 63.6 per cent Santhal (a Scheduled Tribe) mothers were aware of family planning measures, as compared to 87 per cent non-Santhal women. 
  • Scheduled Tribe communities are known to be vulnerable to specific diseases  people of Odisha’s Gond tribe, for example, are susceptible to sickle cell disease.

Conclusion 

  • Improving the health of Scheduled Tribes requires a multi-pronged approach. 
  • An honest attempts at inclusion  politically, administratively and socially  should be behind all such endeavours.
  • Measures to tackle group specific health issues and capacity building of a group would go a long way in promoting their health.

Online Coaching for UPSC PRE Exam

General Studies Pre. Cum Mains Study Materials

UPSC Prelims Questions: 

Q.1) Mission Parivar Vikas aims to:
(a) improve access to family planning services.
(b) ensure livelihood opportunities for the next generation of a family.
(c) enhance assets of a family to improve income security.
(d) provide health insurance to at least one person of a household.
Answer:  A

UPSC Mains Questions:
Q.1)  What are the factors responsible for the healthcare situation among the tribal communities is not performing well? How it can be improve? 
 

THE GIST of Editorial for UPSC Exams : 03 October 2018 (From Plate to Plough: Get smarter on the farm)


From Plate to Plough: Get smarter on the farm


Mains Paper: 3 | Agriculture   
Prelims level: Input subsidies 
Mains level: Revitalizing India’s agriculture policy 

Introduction 

  • Public capital formation in agriculture has been declining from 3.9 per cent of agri-GDP in 1980-81 to 2.2 per cent in 2014-15 and recovered to 2.6 per cent in 2016-17.
  • The input subsidies on fertilisers, water, power, crop insurance and agri-credit have risen from 2.8 per cent to 8 per cent of agricultural GDP during the same period. 

Points highlighted by the Union Finance Minister 

  • Union Finance Minister remarked that India needs a good blend of investments and subsidies in its agriculture policy. 
  • It was heartening to hear him say that luckily, there is not a severe constraint on resources to invest in rural areas, be it roads, water (irrigation), sanitation, and even housing. 
  • Including agri-research and development (R&D) and quality education in this list of rural investments would have ensured handsome pay offs.
  • It reducing poverty and propelling agri-growth at a much faster pace than has been the case so far. This is the clear message of the book.
  • Most countries support agriculture to ensure food security and/or enhance farmers’ income. 
  • The main policy instruments to support farmers in India include subsidised fertilisers, power, agri-credit and crop insurance on the input side, and minimum support prices for major crops on the output front. 
  • In a recent study, conducted jointly by the OECD and ICRIER, estimated that India’s trade and marketing policies have inflicted a huge negative price burden upon the country’s farmers. 
  • The Producer Support Estimate (PSE) for India works out to be minus (-) 14 per cent of the gross farm receipts for the period 2000-01 to 2016-17.
  • This is primarily because of restrictive export policies (minimum export prices, export bans or export duties) and domestic marketing policies (due to the Essential Commodities Act, APMC, etc).

Important points highlighted in this book 

  • The public capital formation in agriculture has been declining from 3.9 per cent of agri-GDP in 1980-81 to 2.2 per cent in 2014-15 — it recovered to 2.6 per cent in 2016-17.
  • The input subsidies on fertilisers, water, power, crop insurance and agri-credit have risen from 2.8 per cent to 8 per cent of the agricultural GDP during the same period. 
  • The results show that expenditure incurred on Agri-R&E (Research and Education), roads or education are five to 10 times more powerful in alleviating poverty or increasing agri-GDP than a similar expenditure made on input subsidies.

What will be the policy suggestions?

  • Investment in public irrigation is very expensive, as it involves long lags, and the gap between the potential created and potential utilised has increased over time. 
  • To give higher returns, this leaky system must be fixed, it should be made more transparent and the gap between potential created and utilised bridged.
  • The present system of delivering subsidies through the pricing policy needs to be shifted to an income policy, which could be well-targeted, and leakages minimised on the lines of JAM trinity. 
  • Many OECD countries, as well as emerging countries such as China, are moving in that direction. Indian farms can also benefit from this move where input subsidies at least are given as DBT on a per hectare (ha) basis.
  • The investments need to be prioritised towards agricultural research and development, roads and education. Interestingly, at the global level, the private sector is leading in agri-R&D.
  • The big six companies have been investing more than $7 billion a year, which is almost seven times the expenditure incurred by the Indian Council Agricultural Research (ICAR). 

Conclusion 

  • India needs to access that technology, it needs to develop a proper IPR regime, which is in the interest of farmers as well as investors. 
  • India has a lesson to learn from China in this aspect as well. ChemChina, a PSU, has taken over Syngenta Corporation — a leading player in crop protection and seeds — for $43 billion.

Online Coaching for UPSC PRE Exam

General Studies Pre. Cum Mains Study Materials

UPSC Prelims Questions: 

Q.1) Which of the following agencies has launched India's first 'Agricultural Marketing and Farmer Friendly Reforms Index'?
(a) Union Ministry of Agriculture
(b) NITI Ayog
(c) Food Corporation of India
(d) Small Farmers’ Agriculture – Business Consortium
Answer:  B

UPSC Mains Questions:
Q.1) India needs to revitalize their agriculture policy rather than giving it subsides. Critically examine the statement. 

(Notification) UPSC Engineering Services Examination, 2019

(Notification) UPSC Engineering Services Examination, 2019

No.F. 2/2/2018-E.I(B): Preliminary/Stage-I Examination of the Engineering Services Examination for recruitment to the services/ posts mentioned in para 2 below will be held by the Union Public Service Commission on 6 th January, 2019 in accordance with the Rules published by Ministry of Railways in the Gazette of India Extraordinary dated 26 th September, 2018.
2. (A) Recruitment on the results of this examination will be made to the Services/ Posts under the following categories:-

  • Category I-Civil Engineering.
  • Category II-Mechanical Engineering.
  • Category III-Electrical Engineering.
  • Category IV-Electronics & Telecommunication Engineering

Category I-Civil Engineering

Group-A Services/Posts
(i) Indian Railway Service of Engineers.
(ii) Indian Railway Stores Service (Civil Engineering Posts).
(iii) Central Engineering Service
(iv) Indian Ordnance Factories Service AWM/JTS (Civil Engineering Post)
(v) Central Engineering Service (Roads), Group-A (Civil Engineering Posts).
(vi) Survey of India Group ‘A’ Service.
(vii) AEE(Civil) in Border Road Engineering Service.
(viii) Indian Defence Service of Engineers.
(ix) AEE(QS&C) in MES Surveyor Cadre

CATEGORY II—MECHANICAL ENGINEERING

Group-A Services/Posts
(i) Indian Railway Service of Mechanical Engineers.
(ii) Indian Railway Stores Service (Mechanical Engineering Posts).
(iii) Central Electrical & Mechanical Engineering Service (Mechanical Engineering Posts).
(iv) Indian Ordnance Factories Service AWM/JTS (Mechanical Engineering Posts).
(v) Defence Aeronautical Quality Assurance Service/SSO-II (Mechanical).
(vi) AEE in GSI Engineering Service Gr ‘A’.
(vii) Indian Defence Service of Engineers.
(viii) Indian Naval Armament Service (Mechanical Engineering Posts).
(ix) Asstt. Naval Store Officer Grade-I (Mechanical Engineering Posts) in Indian Navy.
(x) AEE(Mech) in Border Roads Engineering Service.

CATEGORY III—ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING

Group-A Services/Posts
(i) Indian Railway Service of Electrical Engineers.
(ii) Indian Railway Stores Service (Electrical Engineering Posts).
(iii) Central Electrical & Mechanical Engineering Service (Electrical Engineering Posts).
(iv) Indian Defence Service of Engineers.
(v) Indian Naval Armament Service (Electrical Engineering Posts).
(vi) Asstt. Naval Store Officer Grade-I (Electrical Engineering Posts) in Indian Navy.

CATEGORY IV—ELECTRONICS AND TELECOMMUNICATION ENGINEERING

Group-A/B Services/Posts
(i) Indian Railway Service of Signal Engineers.
(ii) Indian Railway Stores Service (Telecommunication/Electronics Engineering Posts).
(iii) Indian Radio Regulatory Service Gr ‘A’.
(iv) Indian Ordnance Factories Service AWM/JTS (Electronics and Telecom Engineering Posts).
(v) Indian Telecommunication Service Gr ‘A’.
(vi) Indian Naval Armament Service (Electronics and Telecom Engineering Posts).
(vii) Asstt. Naval Store Officer Grade-I(Electronics and Telecom Engg. Posts) in Indian Navy.
(viii) Junior Telecom Officer Gr ‘B’.

Educational Qualification:

For admission to the examination, a candidate must have –
(a) obtained a degree in Engineering from a University incorporated by an Act of the Central or State Legislature in India or other Educational Institutions established by an Act of Parliament or declared to be deemed as Universities under Section 3 of the University Grants Commission Act, 1956; or 
(b) passed Sections A and B of the Institution Examinations of the Institution of Engineers (India); or
(c) obtained a degree/diploma in Engineering from such foreign University/College/Institution and under such conditions as may be recognised by the Government for the purpose from time to time, or
(d) passed Graduate Membership Examination of the Institution of Electronics and Telecommunication Engineers (India);or
(e) passed Associate Membership Examination Parts II and III/Sections A and B of the Aeronautical Society of India; or
(f) passed Graduate Membership Examination of the Institution of Electronics and Radio Engineers, London held after November, 1959

Plan of Examination:

1. The examination shall be conducted according to the following plan :—
(i) Stage-I: Engineering Services (Preliminary/Stage-I) Examination (Objective Type Papers) for the selection of candidates for the Stage-II: Engineering Services (Main/Stage-II) Examination;
(ii) Stage-II: Engineering Services (Main/Stage-II) Examination (Conventional Type Papers) and
(iii) Stage-III : Personality Test

Age Limits:

(a)A candidate for this examination must have attained the age of 21 years and must not have attained the age of 30 years on the 1st January, 2019 i.e., he/she must have been born not earlier than 2nd January, 1989 and not later than 1st January, 1998.
(b) The upper age-limit of 30 years will be relaxable upto 35 years in the case of Government servants of the following categories, if they are employed in a Department/ Office under the control of any of the authorities mentioned in column 1 below and apply for admission to the examination for all or any of the Service(s)/Post(s) mentioned in column 2, for which they are otherwise eligible. 

Medical Examination :

Candidates finally recommended by the Commission on the basis of Engineering Services Examination, 2019 shall be required to undergo medical examination.
(a) Every candidate, on being finally recommended by Commission will be required to undergo medical examination as and when so decided by the Ministry of Railways (Railway Board) irrespective of the fact that he/she has appeared for such medical examination in the past and found fit/unfit on the basis of earlier examination.
(b) The medical examination will be conducted at various Railway Hospitals under Ministry of Railways (Railway Board). Other additional instructions for candidates are listed at Annexure-II. The findings of the Railways Medical Board will be taken as final and binding for all allotment purposes. 

Physical standards :

Candidates must be physically fit according to physical standards for admission to Engineering Services Examination, 2019 as per guidelines given in Appendix-II of the Rules for the Engineering Services Examination, 2019  published in the Gazette of India Extraordinary dated 26.09.2018.

Application Fee:

Candidates (excepting Female/SC/ST/ PH who are exempted from payment of fee) are required to pay a fee of Rs. 200/- (Rupees T w o hundred only) either by depositing the money in any Branch of SBI by cash or by using net  banking facility of State Bank of India.

HOW TO APPLY:

(a) Candidates are required to apply Online using the link www.upsc online.nic.in. Detailed instructions for filling up online applications are available on the above mentioned website.
(b) The applicants are advised to submit only single application; however, if due to any unavoidable situation, if he/she submits another/multiple applications, then he/ she must ensure that application with the higher RID is complete in all respects like applicants' details, examination centre, photograph, signature, fee etc. The applicants who are submitting multiple applications should note that only the applications with higher RID (Registration ID) shall be entertained by the Commission and fee paid against one RID shall not be adjusted against any other RID.
(c) All candidates, whether already in Government Service, or in Government owned industrial undertakings or other similar organisations or in private employment, should apply online direct to the Commission. Persons, already in Government service whether in a permanent or temporary capacity or as work-charged employees other than causal or daily rated employees or those serving under public enterprises are, however, required to inform their Head of Office/Department that they have applied for the Examination. Candidates should note that in case communication is received from their employer by the Commission withholding permission to the candidates applying for/appearing at the Examination, their application will be liable to be rejected/ candidature will be liable to be cancelled.

Important Dates:

LAST DATE FOR SUBMISSION  OF APPLICATIONS : 22.10.2018

Click Here for Official Notification

Courtesy: UPSC

Important Links:

THE GIST of Editorial for UPSC Exams : 02 October 2018 (Gandhi for the young)


Gandhi for the young


Mains Paper: 2 | Personalities 
Prelims level: M.K. Gandhi 
Mains level: Human Values lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators;

Context 

  • As the packaging of the “official” Gandhi becomes the norm, I do not find the real/living Gandhi 
  • Courage  resist the dictates of the “caste association”, and choose to go to England for higher studies;
  • The foundations of Pedagogue  “integral education”.
  • Creative  “salt” into a mass movement;
  • Determined with his frail body walking through the villages of Noakhali with a lamp of truth amid the all-pervading darkness.
  • The attempt to reduce him into a statist symbol, I fear, has kept many  particularly, the radical youth  separated from him.
  • Even though they speak of Bhagat Singh and Ambedkar, and romanticise Marx and Che, it is not so easy to find them engaging with Gandhi in a meaningful and creative way.
  • It is important to see the relationship between radicalism and the spirit of courage.
  • As we read Bhagat Singh’s diary — particularly his note on why he was an atheist — we experience an inspiring illustration of courage.
  • The courage not to find “false consolation” by deriving the idea of God and “next life”.

No wonder, it attracts the young, but then, what about Gandhi? 

  • Gandhi sought to inject courage in our consciousness, the courage to fight the aggression of the hyper-masculine colonial modernity through the spirit of “non-cooperation”.
  • The ethics of satyagraha, and the cultivation of the qualities like endurance and even the “art of dying” by reducing oneself to “zero”.
  • Marx died in the late 19th century. Yet, with the dynamic character of modern capitalism, culture industry, creative Marxists like Antonio Gramsci and Herbert Marcuse reinvented Marx, and made his essential spirit of criticality relevant for our age.
  • Likewise, I believe, it is not altogether impossible to reinvent Gandhi in the changing times, and evolve a new language of resistance.
  • Gandhi’s time of colonialism, religious reform and nationalist movement.
  • While the seductive slogan of “good governance” hides the growing cleavage between the rich and the poor, the city and the village, and techno-managers and farmers, the practice of cultural nationalism promotes the militarisation of consciousness, and the expanding culture industry transforms the
  • aspiring middle-class into greedy consumers and non-reflexive recipients of all sorts of “apps” and techno-solutions.
  • Environmental degradation, lynching and cow vigilantism, rapidly growing pornographic mentality, caste, religion and gender.
  • The question is whether the sensitive youth can find something in Gandhi to come out of this insanity.
  • Two important ideas of Gandhi — “soul force” and “gentle anarchy”.
  • Soul force cultivates the power of the self, our inner resources, and our ability to have control over body, diet and life’s needs.
  • The ethico-political power of the people rather than a bureaucratic state.
  • On January 30, 1948, when he was walking to attend the prayer meeting in Birla House in Delhi, he was trying to see sanity in the insane Subcontinent.
  • Do the youth realise that killing Gandhi is like killing a dream, a possibility; and this demonic force has not yet disappeared from our society?

Online Coaching for UPSC PRE Exam

General Studies Pre. Cum Mains Study Materials

UPSC Prelims Questions: 

Q.1) Consider the following statements regarding ‘Swadeshi movement’ of 1905:
1. It was the first Gandhian Movement.
2. It was triggered because of the partition of Bengal.
3. There was large scale participation of peasants in picketing foreign.
Which of the above statements are incorrect?
a) 1 only
b) 1 and 3
c) 2 only
d) 2 and 3
Answer:  B

UPSC Mains Questions:
Q.1) Describe the M K Gandhi’s contributions in upgrading human values towards Indian Society. 

THE GIST of Editorial for UPSC Exams : 02 October 2018 (Too little cleanliness and too much godliness)


Too little cleanliness and too much godliness


Mains Paper: 2 | Governance 
Prelims level: Swachh Bharat Abhiyan
Mains level: India needs a waste management system and not a single one, but multiple kinds of waste management systems to deal with local conditions

Context 

  • The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (SBA) is Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s flagship programme. 
  • In 2014, he announced that by 2 October 2019, the 150th birth anniversary of Gandhi.
  • India will be open defecation free. 
  • Like Gandhi, Modi also places cleanliness above godliness with his election slogan ‘toilets before temples’. 

Facts of SBA 

  • In 2014, about 61.7% of all Indians defecated in the open. 
  • Today, that number, according to the government, is 5.45%. 
  • This large reduction has come from constructing 86.6 million toilets across India.
  • The SBA claims that 25 states and Union territories are now completely open defecation free. 

India really more swachh as a result of these efforts? 

  • The main reason for this failure is equating the availability of a toilet with the preference to not defecate in the open.
  • The toilets are provided for free by the government; Indians prefer defecating in the open to using basic latrines. As basic latrines need to be emptied out manually or pumped by simple machines, they are unacceptable to upper caste Hindus. 
  • Dealing with human feces is considered polluting and is historically associated with untouchability. Indians are unlikely to use toilets without a water connection, or a soak pit, or a sewage system, to easily deal with the waste.
  • Any manual pumping of waste is unacceptable and unlikely.
  • If India constructs sewage and waste management systems, open defecation will automatically reduce and eventually be eliminated. 
  • Increase in the construction of toilets and a campaign has to end open defecation is that this takes place within a caste stranglehold. 
  • Manual scavenging, which was outlawed in 1993 is very much present. 
  • Dalit communities who historically engaged in manual scavenging are once again being forced to do the same job. 
  • Upper castes, and even other higher caste Dalits, force these jobs on them. 
  • The SBA provides no contracted jobs to these scavengers to deal with the waste, nor does it provide equipment, or safe working conditions. 
  • There are another failure is that if toilets are actually used for defecation, which then enters a sewage system.
  • There is still a problem of dumping untreated waste in landfills and rivers. 
  • Indian rivers have reached high levels of toxicity because of untreated human and industrial waste being dumped in staggering quantities. 

Way forward 

  • To solve all these failures, India needs a waste management system and not a single one, but multiple kinds of waste management systems to deal with local conditions. 
  • Defecation is not a problem only when it’s in the open. Untreated waste handled by humans without safety gear leads to fatalities, and when dumped in rivers increases infant mortality, reduces life expectancy, and overall health outcomes. 
  • Union government needs the SBA should be tackling the big questions on waste management and sewage systems. 
  • Instead it pats itself on the back for building and distributing free toilets. With 
  • This plan India will certainly not be swachh by Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary, and on Gandhi’s 250th birth anniversary we will still be drowning in our own waste if it hasn’t killed us. 

Online Coaching for UPSC PRE Exam

General Studies Pre. Cum Mains Study Materials

UPSC Prelims Questions: 

Q.1) The Swachh Yug campaign aims to
(a) create awareness about cleanliness among youths all over India.
(b) ensure solid waste management in cities along river Ganga.
(c) end the practice of open defecation in villages along Ganga through behavioral changes.
(d) ensure proper sanitation facilities for girls in every school.
Answer:  C

UPSC Mains Questions:
Q.1) India really more swachh as a result of these efforts? 

THE GIST of Editorial for UPSC Exams : 02 October 2018 (Creating an India Consensus for growth)


Creating an India Consensus for growth


Mains Paper: 3 | Economics 
Prelims level: Not so important
Mains level: Economic reforms and related consequences 

Context 

  • A principal cause of the global politico-economic malaise is the widespread breakdown of people’s trust in the political establishments that have been ruling them in the past few decades.
  • Another force disrupting the Washington-dominated march of globalization is the remarkable rise of China. “Death by China” is the title of a book by Peter Navarro, chief of trade and policy in the Trump administration.
  • The US, shaken by what China achieved by its industrial policies to become the factory of the world, is alarmed by what it may achieve by its Made in China 2025 policy whereby it aims to also dominate emerging technology sectors, such as robotics and artificial intelligence. 
  • The US in the ongoing trade war between the two countries is that China should dismantle its Made in China 2025 policy. 

Economic development a comparison between India and China 

  • The China’s and India’s economic development since the 1990s is stark.
  • Now China’s manufacturing sector is 10 times as large, and machinery production in China is 50 times more than in India.
  • India and China have taken different paths to industrial development since the 1990s.
  • India was coerced into adopting the path of the Washington Consensus when it turned to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for support because its foreign exchange reserves had become precariously low.
  • India had to open its economy for more imports and more investments by foreigners. Free market ideologies, on which the Washington Consensus was founded, forbade government supported industrial policies. 
  • Whereas China stayed on its own course of building domestic capabilities.

What has been India’s overall economic achievement? 

  • India’s current account deficit has averaged 1.9% over the past five years, hardly less than the 2% in 1990 when India had to go to the IMF. 
  • India does not have to turn to the IMF now because inflows of foreign direct investment (FDI) and foreign institutional investment (FII) since 2000 have been over $600 billion. 
  • Central depository data show that foreign investors (FDI and FII) own a combined 56% of the value of all shares outstanding.
  • It is estimated that more than half of all profits generated by the organized private sector accrue to foreign investors. 
  • India, meanwhile, is confronted with a big economic and political challenge. 
  • Good times for its masses will come only when their incomes rise faster, with jobs and ownership of enterprises. 
  • The numbers of jobs generated by each unit of gross domestic product (GDP) growth—is among the lowest in the world. 
  • Small enterprises find it difficult to do business and grow. 
  • Even large enterprises have not been investing much in recent years. 

The principles of the Washington Consensus 

  • No boundaries for flows of trade and finance.
  • Rights of investors privileged over rights of workers.
  • Limited role for governments in economies.
  • Social security is a ‘socialist’ idea, and therefore bad.
  • National governments subordinated to international organizations (WTO, World Bank) and to demands of international investors and companies.
  • National industrial policies forbidden.

Way forward 

  • India needs sound economic policies to grow more production, more enterprises, and more jobs in India. 
  • A strategy is necessary to integrate trade, industry, labour, finance, and other policies to achieve the country’s goals.
  • Economic reforms whose thrust is to provide consumers more stuff to aspire for, but do not provide them the means to earn and pay for, are short-sighted. 
  • They will result in social and political problems, as India is experiencing now.
  • The litmus test of India’s economic strategy must not be whether it is attractive for foreign investors (which seems to matter too much now to many Indian economists and policy-makers), but whether it is attractive for small, Indian entrepreneurs. 
  • When Washington has dumped the principles of the Washington Consensus, it is time for India’s economists and policy-makers to wake up to a new world order. 
  • It is high time that India creates an India Consensus for its own development. 
  • Shorter term benefits, of satisfying customer needs (in this case the armed forces) and accepting suppliers’ conditions so that deals can be done continue to weigh over longer term requirements of building the country’s own industrial base. 
  • India  need to be taken more seriously in shaping global trade and geo-political policies, as China is now, India must change the policy framework applied to its own development. 

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UPSC Prelims Questions: 

Q.1) Which among the following is/are the qualitative tools to control credit creation by RBI?
1. Open Market Operations
2. Repo Rate
3. Margin Requirements
4. Credit Rationing Policy
Select the correct answer using the code given below:
(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 3 only
(c) 1, 2 and 3 only
(d) 3 and 4 only
Answer:  D

UPSC Mains Questions:
Q.1)   What has been India’s overall economic achievement? 

(VIDEO) Law and Child Abuse : Rajya Sabha TV Big Picture Debate

(VIDEO) Law and Child Abuse : Rajya Sabha TV Big Picture Debate

Topic of Discussion: Law and Child Abuse : Rajya Sabha TV Big Picture Debate

THE GIST of Editorial for UPSC Exams : 01 October 2018 (An ongoing quest for equality)


An ongoing quest for equality 


Mains Paper: 2 | Judiciary
Prelims level: Sabarimala verdict
Mains level: The Supreme Court will soon have the opportunity to consider the differing opinions in the Sabarimala verdict 

Introduction 

  • The Supreme Court delivered a 4:1 verdict on throwing open the doors of the Sabarimala temple to women of all ages.
  • At stake were several thorny questions.
  • How deep must the judiciary’s inquiry go in deciding whether to intervene in matters of religion? 
  • Should the court disturb ethical choices made by a community of believers? 
  • How must the integrity behind these practices be judged? 
  • Are religious exercises susceptible to conventional constitutional standards of justice and equality?
  • The majority agreed that women of all ages should be allowed to freely access the Sabarimala temple, each of the court’s judgments, including Justice Indu Malhotra’s dissenting opinion, speaks to a different, and constitutionally plausible, vision.

Article 26

  • The temple, they argued, enjoyed denominational status under Article 26 of the Constitution, which allowed it to determine for itself the manner in which it managed its religious affairs. 
  • It prohibiting women of menstruating age from entering Sabarimala, they contended, is supported by the temple’s long-honoured custom.
  • Lord Ayyappan is a “Naishtika Brahmachari”, allowing women aged between 10 and 50 years to enter the temple, it was claimed, would affect the deity’s “celibacy”. 
  • The Travancore Devaswom Board, which administers the temple, further asserted, was supported by Rule 3(b) of the Kerala Hindu Places of Public Worship (Authorisation of Entry) Rules, 1965, which states, “Women who are not by custom and usage allowed to enter a place of public worship shall not be entitled to enter or offer worship in any place of public worship.”
  • The devotees of the Sabarimala temple, they found, were in no way distinct from the larger community of Hindu believers. 
  • Consequently, the court also repudiated the validity of Rule 3(b), which, it said, was, at its core, discriminatory towards women.
  • The rule had approached the court, the public interest petitions, she ruled, were not maintainable.
  • Her concerns are undeniably valid and must animate future cases.
  • The challenges to the practice had been entertained as far back as in 2006, and given that specific questions of far-reaching importance were posed to the Constitution Bench by reference, the majority quite correctly chose to deliver a verdict on merits.
  • Justice Malhotra also ruled that the Sabarimala temple constitutes a separate religious denomination, and, therefore, the temple’s administrators were at liberty to make customary exceptions in matters of religious practice.
  • This freedom is extended power to the temple to proscribe women from entering its precincts.

The essential practices doctrine

  • The differing views between the majority and the dissenting opinions on the maintainability of the petitions and the denominational status of the temple are stark, the real nub of the controversy is elsewhere.
  • It lies in Justice Malhotra’s withering and principled critique of the essential practices doctrine, through which the court has virtually assumed theological prerogative.
  • In determining whether a purportedly religious command is constitutionally protected, the courts have sought to test whether such a belief is essential to that religion. 
  • The CJI Misra found that the practice of excluding women aged between 10 and 50 years from the Sabarimala temple is dispensable, in that the “nature” of the Hindu religion would not be “fundamentally altered” by allowing women to enter the temple. 
  • Although an examination of this kind is strongly backed by precedent, Justice Malhotra was especially critical of the approach. 
  • The power of judicial review ought not to accord to courts the authority to judge the rationality of a matter of faith.
  • The issue of what constitutes an essential religious practice,” she wrote, “is for the religious community to decide.”

Way forward

  • Therefore, for Justice Chandrachud, the Constitution must be seen as a document that seeks to bring about a transformed society. 
  • When a religious practice goes so far as to deny women equal status in society, when notions of purity and pollution are employed to perpetuate discrimination.
  • The Constitution ought to mandate a shattering of the conventional divides between the private and the public.
  • Justice Chandrachud’s opinion, is to assess whether an exclusion founded on religious belief, essential or otherwise, encroaches on a person’s basic right to dignity.
  • In other words, discrimination couched as plurality cannot be allowed to undermine the Constitution’s basic “quest for equality”.
  • The court might well want to refer the case to a bench of seven judges or more and re-examine altogether the continuing validity of the essential practices doctrine. 
  • It might also want to heed Justice Chandrachud’s words that “the Constitution exists not only to disenable entrenched structures of discrimination and prejudice, but to empower those who traditionally have been deprived of an equal citizenship.”

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UPSC Prelims Questions: 

Q.1) Consider the following statements:
1. Right to establish and maintain institutions for religious purpose is enjoyed by religious minorities only.
2. Right to conserve language, script or culture is enjoyed by religious and linguistic minorities only.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2
Answer:  D

UPSC Mains Questions:
Q.1)  Are religious exercises susceptible to conventional constitutional standards of justice and equality? Substantiate with your argument. 

THE GIST of Editorial for UPSC Exams : 01 October 2018 (The case for another interest rate hike)


The case for another interest rate hike


Mains Paper: 3 | Economics 
Prelims level: Monetary policy committee
Mains level: Conservative policy stance will serve India better at this stage.

Context 

  • The macroeconomic outlook has changed considerably since the last meeting of the monetary policy committee (MPC) of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), and so have expectations in financial markets. 
  • The majority of analysts now expect the rate-setting committee to raise policy rates largely due to developments on the external front.

Observations made by RBI 

  • The MPC is driven by the inflation targeting mandate, renewed weakness in the rupee will affect inflation and inflationary expectations. 
  • The crude prices have risen over 12% since the last meeting and are expected to remain elevated in the coming months.
  • New forecasts suggest that crude prices could actually rise above $100 per barrel in the foreseeable future. 
  • The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is unwilling to increase production and sanctions on Iran is affecting supplies. 
  • Apart from pushing inflation, higher crude prices would further increase the current account deficit (CAD) and put more pressure on the currency.
  • Financing the CAD would not be easy in the current global environment. 
  • Though the US Federal Reserve is raising rates along expected lines, continued tightening will affect capital flows to emerging market economies. 
  • The US central bank is expected to raise interest rates once more this year, followed by three rate hikes next year. 
  • Foreign investors have sold Indian assets worth over $11 billion so far this year.

Steps taken by government 

  • Several steps taken in recent weeks to attract capital flows and reduce “non-essential” imports.
  • It encouraging short-term debt inflows and arbitrarily raising import duty can do more harm than good in the medium term. 
  • It is important to highlight that there are no easy short-term solutions to reduce pressure on the external account. 
  • The government should focus on removing impediments for reviving exports.
  • The depreciation in rupee should help exporters here—but only to an extent given that the data shows that this relationship is somewhat weak in India.
  • Further, the newly constituted high-level advisory group would do well to suggest exact policy measures that will help boost exports.
  • Higher crude prices will also increase fiscal risks.
  • The government has done well to resist the pressure to reduce taxes on fuel products. 
  • The central bank should be prepared for possible fiscal slippage. 
  • Higher crude prices have complicated India’s macroeconomic management. 
  • Also, it comes at a time of tightening global financial conditions.
  • The inflation forecast is likely to go up on the back of higher crude prices and a weaker currency.
  • A rate hike at this stage would be a prudent response and give confidence to financial markets that the central bank is willing to sacrifice some growth to maintain price and macro stability.
  • The increase in CAD and sustained higher core inflation suggest that there is a case for some moderation in demand and, in an election year, monetary policy will have to do a balancing act. 
  • This will also help ease pressure on the currency. 

Conclusion 

  • A pause at this stage could confuse the market and may lead to greater volatility, particularly in the currency market. 
  • Yields on 10-year government bonds have gone up by over 30 basis points since the last policy review. 
  • Also, if the MPC decides not to act now, it will have to wait till December to make the next policy move. 
  • This could lead to greater uncertainty in the market. Apart from the policy action, financial markets will also closely watch the tone of the policy statement.
  • It will be interesting to see if the MPC throws more light on the inflationary impact of currency movement.

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UPSC Prelims Questions: 

Q.1) Which of the following statements is/are correct with respect to Monetary Policy Committee (MPC)?
1. It is constituted by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
2. It sets the inflation target to be achieved by RBI.
Select the correct answer using the code given below.
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2
Answer:  D

UPSC Mains Questions:
Q.1) Conservative policy stance will serve India better at this stage. Critically examine the statement. 

THE GIST of Editorial for UPSC Exams : 01 October 2018 (Time to review India’s reservation policies)


Time to review India’s reservation policies


Mains Paper: 2 | Polity 
Prelims level: United Nations Development Programme
Mains level: The challenge for India is that while many sections of the society remain disadvantaged (STs, for one), political action has shifted to relative discrimination within reserved groups

Context 

  • A report by the United Nations Development Programme titled Human Development for Everyone sets out in elegant prose the meaning and purpose of human development. 
  • It says “human development is all about human freedom: Freedom to realize the full potential of every human life, not just for a few, nor of most, but of all lives in every corner of the world—now and in the future”. 

Historical context of reservation 

  • The major category of policies used in removing restrictions on freedoms is affirmative action or positive discrimination i.e., called reservation.
  • The first such policy in independent India dates to 1950. 
  • Part XVI of the Indian Constitution deals with reservation for scheduled castes (SC) and scheduled tribes (ST) in federal and state legislatures, as well as with the constitutional authority of the president to establish commissions to examine and recommend remedies for the welfare of SC and ST groups. 
  • This reservations in politics has been extended to employment (Article 16) and to higher education. It was expanded to include other backward classes (OBC) in later decades. 

Features of reservation system in India 

  • India is unique in the world in that reservation policies address historically disadvantaged groups, defined primarily by a caste system (most other countries base it on ethnicity, religion, language, gender or sexual preference). 
  • In most large states have about 60 subcastes, each defined as SC and ST. It is further complicated by the fact that it is implemented at both the federal and the state levels, and sometimes in combination with religion, economic and gender classifications. 
  • There is reservation in some contexts for backward class Muslims (a compound of economic and religious groups) and there is much controversy about whether Dalit Christians (a compound of caste and religion) groups retain their affirmative rights. 
  • The extension of the reservation system to OBCs has triggered further reaction; those not defined as OBC want in. 

Present status 

  • The passage of a long period of time since independence and reservation has also now ensured that the previously advantaged castes, such as Brahmins, Rajputs and Chettiars, have begun to feel severely disadvantaged.
  • They want to include the economically disadvantaged among them in the reserved groupings. 
  • India will once again see affirmative action-related rioting like it did in 2006, when reservation for OBCs in education,
  • In accordance with the 93rd amendment it was significantly expanded in government institutions, and the idea of it being extended to private institutions was given legislative sanction. 

Challenges for Indian Society 

  • The challenge for India is that while many sections of the society remain disadvantaged (STs, for one).
  • The political action has shifted to relative discrimination within reserved groups. 
  • As the reservation pie grows larger, in effect, it becomes a method of exclusion rather than inclusion. 
  • The Supreme Court ruled that it was not mandatory for the government to give reservation for job promotions, but removed a requirement that asked for data to support disadvantage.
  • Paradoxically, it appears this judgment has handed the power back to the executive to create laws that would do just such a thing. 

Conclusion  

  • India made a critical assessment of its affirmative action programmes. 
  • Simplification, legislative sunsets and periodic reviews should be important principles in the redesign. 
  • It is a touchy, volatile subject but the time has come. 
  • It necessitates getting out of the old habit of reservations and particular privileges being given to this caste or that group.

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UPSC Prelims Questions: 

Q.1) Which of the following provisions of the Constitution reveal the secular character of the Indian State?
1. All persons are equally entitled to freedom of conscience.
2. All minorities shall have right to establish and administer educational institute of their choice.
3. The state shall endeavor to secure for all the citizen Uniform Civil Code.
Select the correct answer using the code given below.
(a) 1 only
(b) 1 and 2 only
(c) 2 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3
Answer:  D

UPSC Mains Questions:
Q.1) The challenge for India is that while many sections of the society remain disadvantaged (STs, for one), political action has shifted to relative discrimination within reserved groups. Give your arguments from the above statement.
 

(VIDEO) Maldives Votes for Change : Rajya Sabha TV Big Picture Debate

(VIDEO) Maldives Votes for Change : Rajya Sabha TV Big Picture Debate

Topic of Discussion: Maldives Votes for Change : Rajya Sabha TV Big Picture Debate

THE GIST of Editorial for UPSC Exams : 29 September 2018 (Growing threats in the global economy)


Growing threats in the global economy


Mains Paper: 3 | Economy
Prelims level: Footloose finance
Mains level: Footloose finance plus unequal trade plus unaccountable corporations are posing challenges for policy makers everywhere.

Context 

  • Since 2008, leading central banks have pumped trillions of dollars into the global economy.
  • The big commercial banks at the centre of the crisis have recapitalized and financial markets have rebounded; government spending.
  • In which initially it helped stabilize the global economy after the crisis.
  • It has been squeezed; and wages have stagnated. 
  • This economic mix has failed to generate robust recoveries in advanced economies, and with debt levels higher than ever and income gaps widening.
  • The arc of politics has bent accordingly.

Threats to the emerging economy 

  • Emerging economies were also hit by financial shockwaves but recovered more quickly, declaring themselves decoupled from the problems of the advanced world.
  • In reality, much of their recovery was dependent on the liquidity splurge in advanced economies, triggering a borrowing spree, particularly by the corporate sector, as investors sacrificed caution in search of yield. 
  • Though advanced economies have not done enough individually or together to rebalance the global economy, the worry now is that normalizing monetary policy could send shockwaves through capital and currency markets in developing countries.
  • The damage is already apparent in some emerging economies but there are many others in a vulnerable position. Mitigating the problem is likely to be all the more difficult given the failure of post-crisis reforms.
  • Way out 
  • With big multinationals skimming the economic cream, many developing countries are putting their faith in disruptive digital technologies.
  • It also hoping that widespread use of data intelligence will strengthen development prospects. 
  • However, monopolization is, if anything, an even bigger threat in the digital economy than in the analogue economy. 
  • The super platforms have been able, through strengthened intellectual property rights, first-move advantages and sheer market power.
  • It has to establish a monopolistic hold over data that allows them to create super profits and to close down the possibility of newcomers entering the field.
  • Developing countries are particularly vulnerable on both fronts.
  • Active policy initiatives combining targeted industrial policies, tailored financing mechanisms and regulatory measures, including support for data localization.
  • It will be essential along with south-south cooperation to ensure international agreements preserve policy space.
  • The uncomfortable truth of our hyperglobalized world is that footloose finance plus unequal trade plus unaccountable corporations are posing challenges for policy makers everywhere. 
  • But neither a retreat to nostalgic nationalism nor a doubling down on support for “free trade” provide the right response. 

Conclusion 

  • In this world, deploying the big tariff guns will do little to correct the macroeconomic imbalances that lie behind the heightened anxiety of depressed northern communities or to break the Medici vicious circle of corporate political capture and rent-seeking behaviour.
  • Calls for extending free trade will simply provide ideological cover for a world dominated by large, footloose corporations, where free trade agreements, while promising a level playing field and more inclusive outcomes.
  • They  have curtailed policy space for developing countries and cut away protections for working people and small businesses, even as they have carved out more space for predatory international firms to boost their profits.
  • Reviving multilateralism will only happen if trust can be restored to the system. 
  • That will require rules for managing trade that can support commitments to full employment and rising wages, regulations for curtailing predatory corporate behaviour and guarantees of sufficient policy space to ensure countries can integrate into the global economy without compromising sustainable development goals.
  • It’s too much of the talk about reforming the system is moving in the wrong direction.

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UPSC Prelims Questions: 

Q.1)  The policy of Import Substitution refers:
(a) Importing goods from a nation which has a comparative advantage in world economy.
(b) Importing of manufactured products to substitute the import of primary products.
(c) Substituting imports with domestic production.
(d) Increasing exports to have a favorable balance of trade.
Answer:  C

UPSC Mains Questions:
Q.1)  What are the threats to the emerging economy? How it can resolve? 
 

THE GIST of Editorial for UPSC Exams : 29 September 2018 (Dumping an archaic law )


Dumping an archaic law 


Mains Paper: 2 | Polity
Prelims level: archaic law
Mains level: The Supreme Court decision to decriminalise adultery is a step in the right direction 

Introduction 

  • India was one of the few countries in the world that still considered adultery an offence. It decriminalised the offence of adultery by holding Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) unconstitutional.
  • The appalling attribute of the Indian definition of this crime was that it did not punish the erring spouses, but instead punished the adultering man, or rather ‘the outsider’, for having extra-marital relations with a woman who he knows to be married.
  • It was only an offence if the husband had not consented to this relation, implicitly suggesting that the wife was the property of her husband.
  • Hence, the husband was considered to be the “victim” of adultery and could file a case. The same recourse was, however, not available to the wife.

Moral wrong as crime

  • The main argument for retaining the criminal provision was that the outsider should be punished for breaching the matrimonial unit and that the law should mandate punishment for such a moral wrong. 
  • This violation was seen as a crime against the institution of marriage, thus justifying it to be a breach of security and well-being of society. 
  • So, this argument was unanimously dismissed by the bench. 
  • The court observed that the issue of adultery between spouses was a private matter, and could be a ground for divorce under civil law.
  • It did not warrant the use of criminal sanction against any party involved.
  • Moreover, no justification can be given by the state for penalising people with imprisonment for making intimate and personal choices.

Adultery Provision and Challenges 

  • The adultery provision also violated the right to equality guaranteed under Article 14. The court observed that women were treated as passive entities, and possessions of their husband. 
  • The fact that the commission of the offence would have been in the absence of the husband’s consent proved the inequality between the spouses. 
  • Section 497 consumed the identity of a wife, as an individual with rights as an equal partner to the marriage, tipping the scales to favour the husband. 
  • The court further explained: “Marriage in a constitutional regime is founded on the equality of and between spouses. 
  • Each of them is entitled to the same liberty which Part III [of the Constitution] guarantees.” 
  • Therefore, not affording both parties to a marriage equal rights and opportunities would be discriminatory and a violation of their right to equality.
  • Previous challenges to this provision claimed that exempting women under Section 497 from prosecution and being prosecuted was ‘protecting’ them.
  • But it was in consonance with Article 15(3) of the Constitution that allowed the state to make laws for the benefit of women and children. 
  • This provision was made when bigamy was prevalent and Lord Macaulay, the drafter of the IPC, did not find it fair to punish one inconsistency of the wife when the husband was allowed to marry many others.
  • However, a fallacy in this reasoning was pointed out by the court.
  • The law that takes away the right of women to prosecute, just as her husband had the right to proceed against the other man, could not be considered ‘beneficial’ and was, in fact, discriminatory.

Conclusion 

  • It is surprising to see that even after the verdict many have opposed this decision of the Supreme Court.
  • In most countries around the world have done away with this practice. 
  • While the struggle for equality in many other spheres still continues.
  • And the decision to scrap this archaic law is definitely a step in the right direction.

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UPSC Prelims Questions: 

Q.1)  The term ‘Equality’ in the preamble is supplemented by which provisions in the constitution?
1. Elections to the LokSabha and the state assemblies to be on the basis of adult suffrage (Article 326).
2. Abolition of untouchability (Article 17).
3. Abolition of titles (Article 18)
Select the correct answer using the code given below.
(a) 1 only
(b) 1 and 2 only
(c) 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3
Answer:  D

UPSC Mains Questions:
Q.1)  The Supreme Court decision to decriminalise adultery is a step in the right direction. Critically examine the statement.  
 

 

THE GIST of Editorial for UPSC Exams : 29 September 2018 (Opening the gates)


Opening the gates


Mains Paper: 2 | Polity
Prelims level: Sabarimala temple issue 
Mains level: The verdict allowing women devotees to enter Sabarimala is a powerful message for gender equality, constitutional morality. 

Introduction

  • The Supreme Court, in a 4:1 judgment, has ruled that women of all ages should be allowed the visit the Sabarimala shrine and stuck down the Kerala Hindu Places of Public Worship (Authorisation of Entry) Rules 1965.
  • In which prohibited entry of women aged between 10 and 50 in Sabarimala, as unconstitutional. 

Concurring opinions 

  • The three concurring opinions that form the majority have demolished the principal defences of the practices.
  • The Sabarimala devotees have constitutionally protected denominational rights.
  • They are entitled to prevent the entry of women to preserve the strict celibate nature of the deity.
  • And also that they are allowing women would interfere with an essential religious practice.

Other opinions 

  • The majority held that devotees of Lord Ayyappa do not constitute a separate religious denomination and that the prohibition on women is not an essential part of Hindu religion.
  • In a dissenting opinion, Justice Indu Malhotra chose not to review the religious practice on the touchstone of gender equality or individual freedom. 
  • Beyond the legality of the practice, which could have been addressed solely as an issue of discrimination or a tussle between two aspects of religious freedom.
  • The court has also sought to grapple with the stigmatisation of women devotees based on a medieval view of menstruation as symbolising impurity and pollution. 

Way forward

  • Justice Malhotra, who had recently ruled against Section 377 and the adultery law. 
  • Accordingly, “constitutional morality in a secular polity would imply the harmonisation of the fundamental rights, which include the right of every individual, religious denomination, or sect, to practise their faith and belief in accordance with the tenets of their religion, irrespective of whether the practise is rational or logical”.
  • At a time when the Supreme Court, by its own admission, is underlining the very importance of constitutional morality.
  • Justice Malhotra’s words are a cautionary reminder that it may need more than a judicial pronouncement to enable social reform.

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UPSC Prelims Questions: 

Q.1)  Mahamaham is a major festival celebrated every 12 years in the South Indian town of

a) Puttaparthi, Andhra Pradesh
b) Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu
c) Sabarimala, Kerala
d) Tirumala, Andhra Pradesh
Answer:  B

UPSC Mains Questions:
Q.1)  How the Sabarimala Verdict is important for Indian political ststem?

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