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Indo-French harmony on President Macron's visit to India : Important Topics for UPSC Exams


Indo-French harmony on President Macron's visit to India : Important Topics for UPSC Exams


France was the first country in the West with which India established a strategic partnership and the first with which India initiated a strategic dialogue after our 1998 nuclear tests when France refrained from imposing sanctions on us and at the same time leaders from no other country have been honoured as many times as chief guests at India’s Republic Day celebrations. 

Indo -French Cooperation

New vision in the Indian Ocean region

  • Aimed at countering China’s growing presence in the region.

International Solar Alliance

  • India and France by challenging the geopolitical power structure configured around fossil-fuel energy resources are proposing an alternative leadership model for the less developed world,.

  • Mr. Modi and Mr. Macron declared they would ensure cheaper solar energy and increase avenues for financing and Mr. Macron asserted that $1 trillion is needed to reach the ISA goals by 2030: India and France have so far committed $1.4 billion and $1.3 billion, respectively.

Agreement in the field of Nuclear Energy

  • Recommitment to starting the Jaitapur nuclear power plant.

Joint Venture in Climate Change Cooperation

  • Joint ventures on climate change cooperation are reactions to the U.S. abdicating its role by announcing its pullout from the Paris accord.

Logistic Agreement

  • The “reciprocal logistics support” agreement and this agreement has seen less opposition compared to INDO-US LEMOA, which was passed in a very compromised manner and after a much longer negotiation.

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Corruption in India - An Analysis : Important Topics for UPSC Exams


Corruption in India - An Analysis : Important Topics for UPSC Exams


What is corruption?

Corruption refers to the act of misuse and abuse of power especially by those in the government for personal gains either pecuniary or a favor.

The menace of corruption is pervasive in India, from petty bribes demand by the policemen to multi-crore scams at the highest political level like 2G scam. It is not only limited to government authorities but can be seen within the private sector as well, for instance, the Satyam scandal. In the Corruption perception index of 2016 India stands at 79th place out of 176 countries. It not only hampers the economic growth but also undermines the rule of law in the country.

More than 50% people in India have accepted giving bribes while accessing public services. Though recently held protest under the banner of ‘India against corruption’ brought corruption at the center stage of the political discourse and led to passage of Lokpal Act, it ended up merely as a political gimmick with little progress seen in reforms on the other fronts such as electoral and administrative.

 

Reason for corruption in India:

1. Political:

  • Use of black money in elections: According to various studies, a Lok Sabha election candidate ends up spending at least 30 Cr. as against the legal limit of only Rs. 70 lakh. In the last 10 year the declared expenditure has increased by more than 400% for the LS elections(1) while 69% of their income came from unknown sources(2). This rising expenditure is rather seen as investment by the candidates who then misuse their power to amass the illegal wealth. Assets some MPs have even seen a jump of more than 1000% between successive elections

  • Criminalization of politics: More than 30% of the legislators in the country have pending criminal cases against them. When law breakers become the law makers, rule of law is the first casualty.

  • Crony capitalism: With the economic reforms undertaken in the aftermath of the BoP crisis of 1991, private sector has become a prominent player in the market earlier monopolized by the state. This has led to growth of unholy nexus between Politicians and businessmen. The recent amendment in to RPA that allow the corporates to keep their donation secret further strengthen the veil of secrecy around such a nexus.

 

2. Economic:

  • High share of informal sector: In India more than 80% of the workforce is in the informal sector and therefore do not come under the ambit of tax or labor laws. Such enterprises usually bribe the officials to keep out of the ambit of laws where the compliance is costly and complex

 

  • Ease of doing business: The plethora of approvals required to start and run a business with no transparency and legal accountability related to matters such as time limits force the entrepreneurs to overcome the red tapism through bribery.

  • High inequalities: In India 1% of the rich hold about 60% of the total wealth. At the upper income levels it leads to crony capitalism, at lower income levels it forces people to bribe the  officials even to get their basic needs fulfilled. This is so because poor lacks the purchasing power to buy the services from the market and therefore depends mostly on public provisioning of the basic services such as food from PDS shops.

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(VIDEO) Judiciary: From realism to idealism - Rajya Sabha TV Big Picture Debate

(VIDEO) Judiciary: From realism to idealism -

Rajya Sabha TV Big Picture Debate

Topic of Discussion: Judiciary: From realism to idealism - Rajya Sabha TV Big Picture Debate
Expert Panel Name : Justice R.S. Sodhi, Former Delhi High Court Judge ;Soli Sorabjee, Former Attorney General of India ;Satya Prakash, Legal Editor, The Tribune; Frank Rausan Pereira (Anchor)

Courtesy: Rajya Sabha TV

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Political and Constitutional Crises in Maldives : Important Topics for UPSC Exams


Political and Constitutional Crises in Maldives : Important Topics for UPSC Exams


Why in News?

  • On February 5, the Maldivian government declared a state of emergency after Supreme Court’s order to release opposition leaders from the prison. The declaration was followed by a spate of high-profile arrests.

  • Even media has been receiving threats following the coverage of the February 1st Supreme Court ruling that set off the crisis. However, security is provided to government- backed media stations.

  • Opposition leaders of Maldives have advocated India to intervene amid the Constitutional crisis and state of emergency.

What is the issue?

  • Maldives highest Court regarding the release of political prisoners stated that “Dissidents must be released because their trials were politically inspired and flawed”.

  • President Abdullah Yameen, who is considered closer to the China, had instituted an emergency in the country after the Judgement of Maldivian Supreme court to release the political prisoners.

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(VIDEO) India-France Matters - Rajya Sabha TV Big Picture Debate

(VIDEO) India-France Matters - Rajya Sabha TV Big Picture Debate

Topic of Discussion: India-France Matters - Rajya Sabha TV Big Picture Debate
Expert Panel Name : Sheel Kant Sharma, Former Diplomat, Prof. Sriram Sundar Chaulia, Dean, Jindal School of International Affairs, Alok Bansal, Director, India Foundation; Frank Rausan Pereira (Anchor)

Courtesy: Rajya Sabha TV

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Tribunals and Tribunalisation (Polity) : Important Topics for UPSC Exams


Tribunals and tribunalisation (Polity) : Important Topics for UPSC Exams


Tribunal is an administrative body established for the purpose of discharging quasi-judicial duties. Tribunals relieve the burden of judiciary and provide quick and speedy justice. It is to be noted that tribunals are not courts because courts follow the Courts are governed by strict procedure defined in CrPC, IPC and the Indian Evidence Act whereas tribunals are driven by the principles of natural justice.

Mandate (Constitutional provisions)

The provision for Tribunals was added by the 42nd Constitutional amendment act which added two new articles to the constitution.

1. Article 323-A : of the constitution which  empowers the parliament to provide for the establishment of administrative tribunals for adjudicating the disputes relating to recruitment and conditions of service of a person appointed to public service of centre, states, local bodies, public corporations and other public authority. Accordingly parliament has enacted Administrative Tribunals Act,1985 which authorizes parliament to establish Centre and state Administrative tribunals (CAT & SATs).

A. Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT):  It was set up in 1985 with the principal bench at Delhi and additional benches in other states ( It now has 17 benches, 15 operating at seats of HC’s and 2 in Lucknow and Jaipur.

  • It has original jurisdiction in matters related to recruitment and service of public servants (All India services, central services etc).

  • Its members have a status of High Court judges and are appointed by president.

  • Appeals against the order of CAT  lie before the division of High Court after Supreme Court’s Chandra Kumar Judgement.

B. State administrative tribunals

  • Central government can establish state administrative tribunals on request of the state according to Administrative tribunals act of 1985

  • SAT’s enjoy original jurisdiction in relation to the matters of state government employees.

  • Chairman and members are appointed by President in consultation with the governor.

2. Article 323-B  which empowers the parliament and the state legislatures to establish tribunals for adjudication of disputes related to following matters

• Taxation

• Foreign exchange, Imports and Exports

• Industry and Labour

• Land reforms

• Ceiling on Urban Property

• Elections to parliament and state legislature

• Food stuffs

• Rent and Tenancy Rights

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(Answer Key) UPSC Combined Defence Services Examination (I), 2017

(Answer Key) UPSC Combined Defence Services Examination (I), 2017

Exam Name: Combined Defence Services Examination (I),

Year: 2017

Subjects:

  • General Knowledge
  • English
  • Elementary Mathematics

Click Here to Download General Knowledge Answer Key

Click Here to Download English Answer Key

Click Here to Download Elementary Mathematics Answer Key

Public Private Partnership (PPP) in Healthcare Sector : Important Topics for UPSC Exams


Public Private Partnership (PPP) in Healthcare Sector : Important Topics for UPSC Exams


Introduction

  • The highest attainable standard of health is a fundamental right of every human being. However, healthcare delivery poses a significant challenge for policymakers in India.

  • The news of overcharging by  a private hospital for dengue treatment, despite not being able to save the patient's life, was met with an outrage.

Issues in Public Healthcare

  • Lack of resources such as 1:1,700, doctor:citizen ratio, well below the minimum ratio of 1:1,000 stipulated by WHO.

  • Rural areas and smaller towns of India are worst sufferer, where even basic health services remain inaccessible, many cases were reported where ward boy and alone found running the primary healthcare center.

  • Inadequate government spending on healthcare and lack of access to health insurance to large section of the society.

  • The quality of public health services in India continue to remain below expectations which hamper economic growth of the country.

  • Government's inability to build sufficient capacity and infrastructure, difficulty in reaching out to poor and vulnerable groups.

  • An undersized skilled workforce and the absence of upgraded technology is a major challenge in health sector.

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(Download) NCERT English, Hindi PDF Books : Hindi

ncert-books.jpg (400×160)

(Download) NCERT English, Hindi PDF Books : Hindi

NCERT E-books PDF are available in English Medium and  Hindi Medium for FREE! download.

एनसीईआरटी NCERT Class- 5th to 12th : Hindi

Skilling India - Needs and Challenges : Important Topics for UPSC Exams


Skilling India - Needs and Challenges : Important Topics for UPSC Exams


Introduction

  • India is passing through a phase of unprecedented demographic changes, wherein the proportion of the working age population (15-59 years) is likely to rise from around 58 per cent in 2001 to over 64 per cent by 2021, according to a Survey.

  • Current predictions suggest a steady increase in the youth population to 464 million by 2021 and finally a decline to 458 million by 2026.

  • In order to survive in their respective field and also to face the high level of competition in future people will have to skill multiple times and periodic upgradation of skill will be needed.

Why skilling is needed

  • Diversification of economy: from being largely agro-based to a manufacturing and service-based economy. So diverse skill is needed to accomodate the workforce in new sector

  • Outdated skills : our most of the  workforce is hampered with outdated skills.So Market-relevant skills are needed in today’s highly competitive job market.

  • Technological advancement: due to which blue collar jobs will become increasingly scarce so high skill is needed to be relevant in the market.

  • Demand of skilled worker: according to a  government’s analysis by 2022, 24 sectors will need an additional 109 million skilled workers.

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(VIDEO) Passive Euthanasia: Death With Dignity - Rajya Sabha TV Big Picture Debate

(VIDEO) Passive Euthanasia: Death With Dignity -

Rajya Sabha TV Big Picture Debate

Topic of Discussion: Passive Euthanasia: Death With Dignity - Rajya Sabha TV Big Picture Debate
Expert Panel Name : J Sai Deepak, Advocate, Supreme Court ; Satya Prakash, Legal Editor, The Tribune ; Dr Rakesh Kumar Gupta, Former President, Delhi Medical Association ; Vipul Mudgal, Director and Chief Executive of Common Cause; Frank Rausan Pereira (Anchor)

Courtesy: Rajya Sabha TV

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Khap Panchayat and Honor Killing : Important Topics for UPSC Exams


Khap Panchayat and Honor Killing : Important Topics for UPSC Exams


Why in News?

  • In its latest observation while hearing a petition filed by Shakti Vahini, an NGO, to make honour killing a specific crime, the Supreme Court took a severe stand against intervention by Khap panchayats in inter-religious, inter-caste marriages of adult men and women.

  • Addressing on Honour killing Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra said that two adults are free to marry and “no third party” including Parents, society and khaps has a right to harass or cause harm to them.

  • Recently, Centre in a reply to supreme court on the issue of Honour killing, has mentioned that there should be provision to inform the officer who is registering the marriage by the couple facing such threat and the officer in turn can intimate the police to provide them security.

What is Honour Killing

  • Killing of a relative, generally a female, who is supposed to have brought dishonour on the family through the acts like Inter-caste/ Inter-Religious Marriage is defined as Honour killing.

  • In 2015 alone, 251 honour killings were registered in India and the Honour killings have been reported mainly in the Indian states of Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh while it is also widespread in South India and the western Indian states of Gujarat and Maharashtra.

What is Khap Panchayat?

  • Khap is a cluster of villages united by caste and geography and all boys and girls within a khap are considered brothers or sisters.

  • In Khap Panchayats, the leadership is to be chosen on the parameters of social status, stature, age, gender, financial power etc. These are not truly democratic bodies, but a consultative process is formally observed where the decisions are respected by the community under peer pressure to shun social stigma for a failure to adhere to the decisions. The principle of natural justice is hardly observed

  • In areas governed by Khap panchayats Love marriages are considered taboo and those living in a Khap are not allowed to marry in the same gotra or even in any gotra from the same village.

  • Social boycotts and fines are the major tools for implementing the orders of Khap Panchaayts and incidents like Dalit girl in Haryana committing suicide after being allegedly gangraped on the orders of Khap Panchayat are not rare.

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Judicial Accountability and Judicial Reforms : Important Topics for UPSC Exams


Judicial Accountability and Judicial Reforms : Important Topics for UPSC Exams


Introduction

  • The Indian Judiciary plays an increasingly important role in the life and the governance of this country..

  • Recently CJI as the master of the roster with the sole prerogative to determine which Bench of judges gets to hear which cases comes under question.

  • Four senior judges of supreme court came in public and organized a press conference to tell that everything is not going fine inside the judiciary, they were mainly pointing on the CJI that he is allocating case to benches in arbitrary manner

Why judicial reforms and accountability

  • For ensuring speedy justice: Speedy justice is not only our fundamental right but also a most important requirement for maintaining the rule of law and delivering good governance.

  • Opaque internal structure founded on a combination of unquestioning trust in the office of CJI along with instinctive distaste for any interference by parliament or executive in judicial functioning

  • Judiciary as guardian of our constitution: Judicial accountability is more important, as decline of values in judiciary is far more dangerous than in any other organ of the government as judiciary has to act as the guardian of our constitution.

  • Virtually absolute power with court: the courts in India enjoy virtually absolute power than any Court in the world. So accountability is must.

  • To clear the backlog cases – more than 3 core cases are pending in judiciary there clearance needs holistic reform in the judiciary.

  • In its absence, the judicial system ends up serving the interests of the corrupt and the law-breakers.

Reforms Needed

  • Supreme Court act can be passed by parliament after consulting all stakeholders- judiciary, civil society, bar association and political opinion.

  • This act will restructure the supreme court into 3 division

  1. Admission-special leave petition under article 136 will be heard by this bench comprising of 5 judges

  2. Constitutional- 5 judges bench to deal with constitutional matter.

  3. Appellate-rest 21 judges will be divided into 7 benches of 3 judge each to hear appeal against HC judgment.

  • Judges will be circulated among 3 division at particular interval.

  • By this act present crisis can be solved – coherency in SC decision as same 5 judge will listen to constitutional matter. CJI being master of roster issue will also be solved.

  • Timely appointment of judges –there should not be any vacancy in Courts.

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