SECURE SYNOPSIS: 21 February 2017
NOTE: Please remember that following ‘answers’ are NOT ‘model answers’. They are NOT synopsis too if we go by definition of the term. What we are providing is content that both meets demand of the question and at the same time gives you extra points in the form of background information.
General Studies – 1;
Topic:Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.
The recent protest on issue of Jallikattu, the disputes regarding sharing Cauvery water in Tamil Nadu shows that many issues can be addressed with help of ancient art forms.
- Gender equality:-Sangam literature attached due importance to women in domestic environment, codified self-discipline and post-marital way of life – strive for improved participation of women in economy, politics and social environment
2. Good governance:-Thiruvalluvar in his work Tirukkural, demonstrated importance of decentralization, advocated fairness and justice (Manu Needi Cholan), avoidance of Nepotism etc (Eg Nepotism alleged in appointments to state PSU’s)
- Water management :-Ancient Tamil society believed that water holds the key to the land’s development, health, food security and economic progress, the same can be replicated in managing the current river basins, drought management and also resolution of disputes (Eg Kauvery dispute)
4. Resource management :-Equitable distribution of resources was evident in traditional society, while currently regional disparity in development is evident with East TN (industrial clusters) as expense of West and central parts (rich in resources) so a proper formulation of skill, environmental and regional development policies are needed
- International footprint:-Tamil rulers had improved connections with Sri Lanka (Ceylon), SE Asia, so similar efforts must be made to reinvigorate the diplomacy, and also peaceful resolution of disputes (EG India-SL fishermen dispute)
6. Social cohesion:-Increasing caste/class conflicts in TN can be resolved through increased tolerance via spiritual connection (Bhakti movement), cultural festivals rooted in traditions like ‘Urur Olcott Kuppam Vizha’, ‘Carnatic music’ etc
Ancient society though lacking the resources we have in present, but they offer us a treasure of ‘love and wisdom’ with universal and practical rules for effective governance. Customized assimilation of traditional rules, though are needed to fit the needs of the modern society.
Topic: Redrawal of national boundaries, colonization,
2) What do you understand by ‘two state solution’ in the Israel – Palestine conflict situation? What are the other alternative solutions available and which one should international players endorse and push for? Critically examine. (200 Words)
Two state solution:-
- Thetwo-state solution refers to a solution of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict which calls for “two states for two groups of people.” The two-state solution envisages an independent State of Palestine alongside the State of Israel, west of the Jordan River.
- The boundary between the two states is still subject to dispute and negotiation, with Palestinian and Arab leadership insisting on the “1967 borders”, which is not accepted by Israel. The territory of the former Mandate Palestine which shall not form part of the Palestinian State, shall be part of Israeli territory.
- There have been manydiplomatic efforts to realize a two state solution, starting from the 1991 Madrid Conference. There followed the 1993 Oslo Accords and the failed 2000 Camp David Summit followed by the Taba negotiations in early 2001. In 2002, the Arab League proposed the Arab Peace Initiative. The latest initiative, which also failed, was the 2013–14 peace talks.
Why two state solution is dead:-
Land grabbing has been a fundamental element of Israel’s approach towards the Palestinians. Israel has the monopoly to use force, both against Palestinian civilians and militants. But in reality the occupation by Palestine only deepened. This is because Israel on paper remains committed to two states, but has always preferred a no-state solution.
1) To retain the status quo: a militarised Jewish state permanently occupying the Palestinian territories and even annexing parts of it, without giving full citizenship rights to the Palestinians.
2) To have a single democratic federal state with equal rights to Jews, Muslims, Christians and others.
3) Three state solution- Territorial redrawing of boundaries between Israel, Palestine and Jordan(mainly regarding West Bank and Gaza Strip)
International community should proceed to resolve the crisis step by step and hence pursue the option of Self-rule to Palestine. This alternative delineates functions of each government reducing scope of intervention. It also provides a healthy and stable first foundation for establishment of two states. It can act as a ceasefire solution while the tedious redrawing of boundaries is finalized upon. But it suffers from the intent of both parties to ensure successful implementation of this solution with impeding downfall imminent though not manifested.
It is time for world community and the two parties to end the Impending lacuna of two state, look beyond individual objective and move towards a holistic broad based solution at the earliest.
General Studies – 2
Topic: Issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein.
3) Disparities between states in India have been strengthening, not weakening, over time. The less developed States are falling behind the richer ones instead of catching up. Discuss the causes and remedies. (200 Words)
REASON FOR DIVERGENCE INSTEAD OF CONVERGENCE
1)HISTORICAL FACTORS:-Some states like West Bengal and Western Maharashtra got historical lead due to British establishments. Some ports like Surat in Gujrat, Cochi in kerala, Calcutta in west Bengal, Vishakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh were developed since British time period.
2) GEO-STRATEGIC FACTORS: The difficult terrain, waterways, climate etc, for e.g. coastal states has done well due to their developed ports and waterways for trade in comparison to the inland regions.
3)SOCIAL FACTORS: The poor and iliterate sections of less developed regions has high fertility rate thus growing population and the incapacity to harness rich demographic dividend due to less developed job market leads to backwardness of state.
4)ADMINISTRATIVE FACTORS: Red tapism, corruption, low ease of doing of business environment and political, administrative inefficiency to manage insurgency(Maioism, Naxalism, Naga unrest) in these regions.
5)ECONOMIC FACTORS: High input cost due to inadequate infrastructure, lack of demand driven market and less support (subsidy, taxation etc)from already financially insufficient state are reasons for disparities. Also historical economic pattern of state like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar mostly depends on agricultural activities, while other states like southern states are driven by service economy.
6) POLICY FACTORS:-Centre in past had adopted particular policies like Green Revolution in states of Punjab, Haryana leaving behind other states. Mostly infrastructure developments of Fast trains, Bullet trains happen in cities like Mumbai, Ahmedabad.
7) NATURAL RESOURCES:-Most important reason for regional disparity is that India’s different regions are endowed with different natural and human-based resources. Some states such as West Bengal, Jharkhand, Odisha, Chhattisgarh etc. are endowed with better mineral resources while others such as Punjab and Haryana have better irrigation facilities.
8) OTHERS: social barrier(gender wage gap), poor skills, poor health and education services allocation, state incapacity of redistribution of income etc.
- Bridge the gap:- Centre must adopt suitable policies in favor of lagging states ex financial support, targeted schemes for all round development of these states, infrastructure development etc.
- Schemes like SMART city development projects, RURBAN mission, Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana needs promotion in these states.
- Competitive federalism must be channelized to develop the least developed. Statewise Ease of doing business ranking will help to find out inadequacies in some states to grow.
- Breaking the dependency on traditional economic pattern of the state ex Agriculture and diverting state resources to other activities like horticulture, organic farming which gives favorable remunerations.
- Skilling of youth of such state is important with Skill India, USTAD, Nai Manzil in order to increase self-employability rate and stop their immigration to other states.
Conclusion:-Central government and state government must work together for overall development of India. Real development happens when each and every part of country progress together.
Topic: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora
It is the foreign policy position that a nations’ interests are best served by keeping the affairs of other countries at a distance. Reasons for limiting international involvement- to avoid being drawn into dangerous and otherwise undesirable conflicts, perceived benefit from avoiding international trade agreements or other mutual assistance pacts.
This differs from isolationism in that it recognizes the existence of connection between global events and American security. Hence, it favours a scaling back of overseas commitments and not completes renunciation. It advocates doctrine of ‘America first’.
The recent actions of the President of USA do call for the shifting to a neo-isolationist regime. New U.S. Govt. blames the liberal practices of globalization for economic injustice to workers in the form of unemployment, poverty, migration crisis and degradation of traditional U.S. values. So, it is advocating protectionism and isolationism.
The neo-isolationist tendency of the new administration in USA can be highlighted through the following steps:
- Withdrawal of USA from trade-alliances: example-TPP, and re-negotiations for Trans-Atlantic partnership.
- Withdrawal from military alliances: The future of NATO looks insecure, as the current President has demanded a re-structuring of the organization, and the reduction in the burden currently borne by USA.
- Retreat of military forces: 2016 estimates tell that U.S. military forces were present in 138 nations, causing destruction as well as stability. Eg. Japan, S.Korea.
- Restrictions on the labour mobility and immigration : stricter rules for visas and immigrations, immigration bans on muslims from 7 nations .
- The ‘Pivot-to-Asia’ doctrine of the previous administration is being undone.
- Domestic industry in USA would seek revival to rebuild capability in process increasing employment of the people.
- Reduced spending on military abroad would enhance welfare democracy of USA due to increased social spending.
- Quasi-unipolar to multi-polar world order – reduced American interventions and influence globally will pave way for new world order.
- Loss of Geo strategic relevance and position. – U.S. being major beneficiary of internationalism, in the form of geo-political as well as strategic advantages and primacy in international institutions . Eg In Asia , due to retreat of military and economic protectionism.
- Reduced profit to the heavy contributor to economy, the Arms industry.
- Imbalance in the world order : Retreat of U.S. from the role of GLOBAL POLICEMAN and its efforts towards GLOBAL GOOD SOCIETY and WORLD ORDER, will create power vacuum. However imperfect , global order is necessary for our collective survival. The sudden transition will create chaos as global platform is not yet ready.
- Instability in the democracies maintained with the help of U.S. assistance.
The implications that it will have on India, and the world, are as follows:
- Rising influence of China in Asia, and in the Asia-Pacific region, thus affecting India too. China, at a time when its pet project is ready to take off -the OBOR, will force India to revisit its decision of not joining the OBOR.
The growing closeness of China and Russia will again have impact on Indo-Russia relations.
- Possible adoption of RCEP, led by Chinese initiatives.
- A possible threat faced by Europe from Russia, in the wake of US administration’s indifference towards NATO.
- India might face a dual strategic threat in the face of a possible bolstering of ties between China and Russia.
- Loss in service front due to restriction on H1-B visa in USA.
- India can rethink to play reconstruction and financial aid role in states facing USA withdrawal. Eg As it did with Afghanistan
- North Korea might seek to proliferate its nuclear arsenal as Japan and S.Korea will try to strengthen their strategic positions in the absence of U.S. military presence.
In fact, the current neo-isolationist tendency of USA will create a tremendous power vacuum, and loss of strategic influence for USA, and even its allies. At the same time, the world as a whole might see itself sandwiched between a quasi-uni-polar, and a multi-polar world order.
Topic: Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies
Tribunals: Other Constitutional Dimensions, Indian Polity – Laxmikanth
The tribunals in India are of two types, the first being the administrative tribunals(Art-323A) and the other being those tribunals that are set up for dealing with cases pertaining to specific subject matters.
Administrative tribunals in India look into matters of disputes arising out of conditions of service, appointments, etc. related to public officials.
Its merits are:-
- Flexibility of procedure – as rigid procedures and evidence ordeals of courts are not followed, rather it goes by the principle of natural justice.
- Provide efficiency in dispensing justice due to cost and time effectiveness.
- Deburdening of judiciary- They have helped in significantly reducing the burden of the judiciary, though appeals can be made there.
- Expert involvement – saves time and increases effectiveness.
Its demerits are:-
- Executive interference – it is reported in tribunals to influence judgements.
- No uniform procedure.
- No adequate machinery for effective enforcement of their orders.
- Staffed by persons lacking sufficient expertise and professional competence in dispensation of justice.
Functioning of Administrative tribunals –
- The tribunals have functioned pro-actively in many cases so far. For example, the prompt justice offered by the NGT, the diligent role played by tribunals for the telecom sector and securities market, which have helped strengthen the enforcement of the mandate of the regulatory bodies like TRAI and SEBI. But, at the same time, most of the tribunals have not been up to the mark. For example: The huge pendency of cases in the Debt Recovery tribunals has indeed been a cause of concern, where their slow functioning has heightened concerns about their efficiency.
- It suffers from lack of autonomy especially in terms of appointment and funding, hence being at the disposal of executive which leads to loss of objectivity and impartiality due to patronage and influence.
- Appeals to HC and SC neutralize the cost and time effectiveness by causing inordinate delay in final verdict.
- The resource gap tilting towards the government as compared to the officials.
Despite such challenges, tribunals are great recourses in rendering justice in government, reducing conflicts and disputes related to public officials who are agents of good governance. In the interest of better justice delivery, the institutions like tribunals cannot be dispensed with altogether. In fact, what can be done is that their traditional structures and methods of functioning can be reformed, and a spirit of professionalism should be infused in them.
Topic: Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.
6) The constitution of India contains special directives to protect the interests of linguistic minorities and to promote the development of Hindi language. Critically discuss significance of these directives and issues arising out of them. (200 Words)
Official Language: Other Constitutional Dimensions, Indian Polity – Laxmikanth
India is a country having diverse cultures, languages ,religions , communities . To bind these diverse elements together and to create a unified India constitution has various provisions and directions. It includes provisions encompassing the safeguards for the linguistic minorities in the states, and for the development of the Hindi language.
The significance and the issues arising out of them are:
- Promotion of Hindi as a national language can help foster national unity.
- The linguistic minorities have been able to preserve their cultural identity over the years.
- Language had served as an essential element of bonding and fulfillment of regional aspirations. Communication in regional language helps with administrative efficiency within the state functioning.
However, some of the negative highlights of such provisions have been:
- Attempts to forcibly introduce Hindi as the sole language has led to tensions in some states, especially those in the south such as Tamil Nadu.
- Often, the provisions for receiving education in minority languages in states are found to be extremely inadequate.
The directives present in the constitution for protection of linguistic minorities are:
- Fundamental Rights (Articles 29 and 30) allows linguistic minorities to establish their educational institutions and manage its affairs.
- Article 350A – provides for instruction in mother tongue in primary stage of education. State and local authority should ensure this provision.
- Appointing Commissioner for Linguistic minorities.
- Minority educational institutions discriminating with others.
- State has to provide extra resources.
These issues (about Hindi language) are reflective of India is having Federal structure where views and opinions of people having different background are considered – promoting Federalism. Providing rights to linguistic minorities helped to assimilate them in mainstream and eliminating skepticism about majority speaking language imposing on them.
Topic: Role of civil services in a democracy.
7) What do you understand by public services? Differentiate between all India services and central services. Critically comment if safeguards provided under the constitution for civil servants are in tune with the spirit of democratic ideals. (200 Words)
Public Services: Other Constitutional Dimensions, Indian Polity – Laxmikanth
Public services are those services which are provided by the state to its citizens under its jurisdiction either directly or by financing provision of services.
In India, public services are broadly classified into three categories:
a) All India Services(AIS)
b) Central Services
c) State Services
All India Services and the Central services are different from each other in the following ways:
- a) All India Services (AIS)
These are jointly controlled by the Centre as well as the state. The immediate control lies with the state, while the ultimate control lies with the center.
Disciplinary actions against them can be taken by both the center and the state.
- b) Central Services
They are under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Central govt.
They are appointed and trained by the center.
Differences between AIS and Central services:
1) Jurisdiction of work: AIS are common to both central and state government, whereas central services work under the exclusive jurisdiction of the central government.
2) Salaries and pensions: In case of AIS, salaries and pensions met by state government, whereas central government pays for central government employees.
3) Though AIS works in state government but their recruitment and training expenditure bear by central government only.
Article 308 to 314 in part XIV of the Constitution of India established some safeguards for civil servants are in tune with democratic ideals for the following reasons:
Article 311 places two restrictions to safeguard the civil servant against any arbitrary dismissal from their posts:
1) A civil servant cannot be dismissed or removed by any authority subordinate to that by which he was appointed.
2) A civil servant cannot be dismissed or removed except after an inquiry in which he had been informed of the charges against him and given reasonable opportunity in respect of heard in respect of those charges.
3) Article 309 empowers parliament and state legislature can impose reasonable restrictions on fundamental rights of public servant in the interest of integrity, honesty, efficiency, discipline, impartiality, secrecy, and neutrality.
4) Originally, the opportunity of being heard was given to civil servant at 2 stage – Inquiry stage and punishment stage. But after 42 amendments, disciplinary can be taken without giving him any opportunity of making any representation on the penalty proposed
The constitutional safeguards provided to the civil servants are in tune with spirit of democratic ideals for the following reasons:
- The constitution of India Provides Freedom of Speech and Right to be heard to all citizens of India. This protection of very basic rights of an individual irrespective of his /her employment goes in tune with spirit of constitution.
- These safeguards ensure the balance of power and check arbitrary action by any section of government. The prospect of arbitrary dismissal or removal from service does not arise, as authorities subordinate to the appointing authority cannot undertake such actions. This goes in symphony with spirit of constitution.
- It offers sufficient safeguards to the civil servant to present his version of any case, in the event of any disciplinary proceeding against him. It encourages civil servants to take hard but necessary decisions for efficient administration.
Negative aspects which arise as result of this is that:
- The time taken for completion of any disciplinary proceeding is too long, which provides sufficient shield to the corrupt officials.
- The provision of the President not resorting to the constitutionally mandated method of dismissal or removal in exceptional circumstances, to serve the cause of public interest, can be subject to misuse.
One should also know about concept of ‘Doctrine of pleasure’ in light of this answer.
The doctrine of Pleasure is a common law rule. This doctrine has its origin in England. The Doctrine of Pleasure is a special prerogative of the British Crown. In England, a servant of the Crown holds office during the pleasure of the Crown and he can be dismissed from the service of Crown at pleasure. The tenure of office of a civil servant can be terminated at any time without assigning any cause.
Doctrine of Pleasure in India:
Doctrine of Pleasure under the Indian Constitution is also based on the same policy considerations as it existed under the common law in England. Though doctrine of pleasure is accepted in India as it has developed in England, it has not been completely accepted in India. This means that the Doctrine is subject to constitutional limitations. Therefore, when there is a specific provision in the Constitution giving to servant tenure different from that provided in Article 310, then that servant would be excluded from the operation of the pleasure doctrine.
The following are expressly excluded by the Constitution from the rule of Pleasure. They are:
- Supreme Court Judges (Article 124)
- Auditor General (Article 148)
- High Court Judges (Article 217, 218)
- A member of Public Service Commission (Article 317)
- The Chief Election Commissioner.
General Studies – 3
Topic: Security challenges and their management in border areas; linkages of organized crime with terrorism
8) It is said that the recent judgment by a Delhi court acquitting two persons accused of involvement in the 2005 serial blasts in the city, is a telling commentary on India’s faulty counter-terror posture, one that demands a holistic overhaul. Do you agree? Critically comment. (200 Words)
Indian counter-terror organizations and investigating agencies have been often criticized as causing huge delays, inefficient and unprofessional. The recent example of acquitting 2 persons which were wrongly charged for terror attacks have raised serious questions about investigation methods.
Problems with investigation agencies and counter-terror mechanisms-
- Investigation agencies particularly involved into terror attacks like special cells lack expertise and training required for anti-terror investigation.
- Many times it has been found that investigating agencies have fabricated the cases by framing wrong charges against accused persons just for the sake of solving the case.
- Investigating agencies are slow, inefficient and lack professionalism.
- Investigating officers employ extreme torture and inhumane coercive methods to make accused to accept the charges.
- Most of the officers do not follow standard operating procedure required to adopt while solving such cases. Eg delay in presenting accused to the magistrate and in filing charge sheet.
- Unlimited powers given to investigating agencies through acts like Prevention of Terrorism Act 2001 and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment (UAPA) in 2004 increases personal discretion of officers and unaccountability of such agencies.
Thus working methodologies of investigation agencies and anti-terror organizations are need to overhaul to prevent further any person from getting wrongly charged.
Steps to bring positive changes-
Ensuring departmental accountability of officials and investigating agencies- officers should be answerable and responsible for their all actions to prevent discretion and despotism.
Bringing professionalism- officers should be thoroughly trained and be equipped with latest technologies and best practices around the world.
Ensuring judicial accountability- judiciary must take note of any wrong-doing and malfeasance on the part of the investigating agency and should direct appropriate steps to ensure it.
Ensuring speedy trials- the trails of accused persons drag on for years thereby wasting their fruitful years of life. Thus law should ensure that trials of such cases are fast-tracked to ensure justice.
Enacting progressive laws- Indian political system has to remove draconian laws and should legislate progressive laws to bring about systematic change in criminal justice system.
The recently acquitted two persons, Rafiq Shah and Hussain Fazili were not the first ones to have acquitted after framing wrong charges and suffering imprisonment. Before them were the Mirza Iftikhar, Maqbool Shah and many more. This environment should change and change should take place throughout criminal justice system so that human rights of all citizens are preserved.