Mains Paper 2: Polity
Prelims level: COVID 19 hotspots
Mains level: Functions and responsibilities of the both Centre and states
The guidelines for Lockdown 4, announced by the Union Ministry of Home
Affairs to continue a trend that began about two weeks ago. The ministry had
allowed a range of economic activities in the non-COVID 19
The doubling rate of the coronavirus infection has improved to 13.6 per
cent in the last three days, after a tough 15 days when it hovered around
11.5 per cent. The mortality and recovery figures of COVID-19 patients have
also shown positive trends, according to the Union Ministry of Health and
However, these developments should not make state health authorities
lose sight of the challenges they will face in the coming weeks. For
example, according to a report in this newspaper, about two-thirds of the
Shramik Special trains that ferry migrants back to their homes originate in
COVID-19 hotspots. State authorities will have to make arrangements to test
and, if need be, isolate the returning migrants in a dignified manner.
The resumption of inter-state buses could make their task of managing
the pandemic tougher. At the same time, improvements in transport could ease
the desperation of the working class — that has borne a disproportionate
burden of the country’s battle against the coronavirus — and check the
already large toll on India’s roads and highways.
That is why state governments need to be open-minded in exercising their
transport-related powers during Lockdown 4.
States to designate zones:
State governments had alleged that the earlier criteria of designating
entire districts as infection zones circumscribed their capacity to
kickstart economic activities. The new guidelines allow them to designate
The new guidelines allow the states to deal with such eventualities.
Their micro-management of the battle against COVID-19 will be watched.
Devolution of powers to states to micro-manage the pandemic is welcome. They
will need to work with local bodies.
Q1. With reference to the Labour laws, consider the following
statements: 1. UP has suspended the application of almost all labour laws in the state
for the next three years including the Minimum Wages Act.
2. The subject of ‘Labour’ falls in the State list.
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