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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 06 MARCH 2019


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 06 MARCH 2019


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.


Topic– Post-independence consolidation and reorganization within the country.

1) Discuss how  the approach of Gandhiji and Pandit Nehru to the issue of Socialism as a goal of National Policy was different and  also indicate the impact of their views on our Constitution and Government policy. (250 words)

Bipin Chandra, India after Independence

 

Why this question:

The question is about comparison of the methods of Gandhiji and Pandit Nehru and more so specifically with respect to Socialism as a goal of Nationalism and about how they have left an imprint on our constitution even today.

Directive word:

Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.

Key demands of the question:

The answer should highlight  the approach of Gandhiji towards socialism as a goal of Nationalism and then Pandit Nehru’s views towards it and his approach. The answer must also bring out how today’s constitution also manifests their contributions towards the idea of socialism, and not only that but even in government policies.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction

Start with importance of socialism as a goal of Nationalism then and today.

Body

Discuss the different approaches of the 2 –

  • The policy of Nehru was based upon the fact that there must be industrial development at all costs. Nehru wanted a country with Modern Large Scale Industries, while Gandhi, who was in favor of autonomous villages . Gandhi wanted village as an independent unit, while Nehru wanted it as a subordinate unit to a higher organization. Gandhi wanted a cottage based economy etc. then move on to discuss their impact on constitution – the socialist principles of the constitution that are enshrined because of them, and even the government policies of today. A good answer should have examples of both to justify better. For ex. The recent ban of liquor in Bihar was a socialist principle based policy as suggested by Gandhiji.

Conclusion

Conclude  with how the image of the two has imprints in our society even today.

Introduction:

Socialism in India is a political movement founded early in the 20th century, as a part of the broader Indian independence movement against the colonial British Raj. It grew quickly in popularity as it espoused the causes of India’s farmers and labourers against the zamindars, princely class and landed gentry. It shaped the principal economic and social policies of the Indian government after independence until the early 1990s, when India moved towards a more market-based economy. However, it remains a potent influence on Indian politics, with a large number of national and regional political parties espousing democratic socialism.

Body:

Socialism was a global fashion in the first half of the 20th century and was even stronger in the British Commonwealth than in other parts of the world. Though Gandhi and Nehru were both great leaders of the Indian nation toward an independent state, their values and the methods they embraced, and their notions of the term “progress” vastly differed. India chose to embrace a Nehruvian development scheme meant it is vital we analyze the two possibilities that could have been; essentially comparing the ideations of Nehru and Gandhi.

  • Nehruvian Socialism:
    • Nehru pressed for a socialist development in the country with “touch’ of capitalism.
    • Nehruvian development implied a model following the Soviet and Chinese examples of that time. He believed that the large scale industrial development and the planning based economic growth models they followed was the best method by which to take the Indian Economy forward and onto the global field.
    • Newly independent India needed to be delivered from its tattered past marked by colonial and feudalistic exploitation and humiliation.
    • For him, socialism and the state were unsurpassed tools of making a tired, exploited and humiliated people into a modern, self-confident, progressive nation.
    • Nehru created a mechanism forcing the individuals and businesses to conform to a state determined planning process.
    • Nehru used whatever tools his Western education exposed him to—greater role of the state in production and planning. The state would create a fair and prosperous world for all.
    • Socialism, whose essence is the removal of poverty and establishment of equal opportunities if not of equality in the strictest sense, has necessarily to suit the conditions of each country, and Nehru’s constant effort was to bring about changes without destroying the fabric of Indian society, even if certain parts of that fabric were to be replaced.
  • Gandhian Socialism:
    • It is largely characterized by its affinity to the principles and objectives of nonviolent humanistic socialism.
    • It rejects any form of favouritism or violent class war.
    • It also promotes the socio-economic harmony- especially the village economy.
    • It emphasises on Decentralization of power, where each village is a self-sufficient unit with utmost autonomy.
    • Gandhi’s economic ideas also aim to promote spiritual development and harmony with a rejection of materialism.
    • Gandhi’s emphasis on peace, “trusteeship” and co-operation has been touted as an alternative to competition.
    • Gandhian focus on human development is also seen as an effective emphasis on the eradication of poverty, social conflict and backwardness in developing nations.
    • The value of an industry should be gauged less by the dividends it pays to shareholders than by its effect on the bodies, soul and spirits of the people employed in it.

Impact of the Gandhian and Nehruvian Socialism on Constitution and Policies:

  • Nehru focused on the development of heavy industries which would produce capital goods, a move intended to create a base of capital stock on which the production of consumer goods could steadily take place.
  • Nehru also directed investment towards higher education, setting up institutions such as the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT), Indian Institutes of Management (IIM) and the National Institute of Design (NID), in a bid to ensure that the human capital levels in India would be high enough to prevent the market from being dominated by just a handful of players.
  • Nehru’s unflinching commitment to democracy, his unwavering belief in secularism and his emphasis on scientific research and development.
  • Nehru’s vision incorporated a strong state which would help develop a foundation on which a market economy could later flourish.
  • In the 42nd amendment, the phrase ‘socialist’ was added to the preamble of Indian Constitution. Therefore, India became a “democratic socialist” country.
  • India’s socialist pattern of society will be classless and casteless. Her socialism will be based on noble means, guaranteeing freedom of thought and conscience.
  • A comprehensive policy of social reorganization has been taken up in the form of Panchayat Raj, Co-operative Farming and community Development Projects to quicken progress towards Socialism and strengthen parliamentary democracy.
  • In Indian framework, the “socialist” gives a positive direction to State activities. They include:

Eradicating poverty; increasing production; Modernizing the economy; preventing the growth of monopoly; Reducing disparities and inequalities between different classes, castes and religions.

  • It is appraised that socialism in Indian Constitution seeks to establish a welfare State.

Conclusion:

Despite the economic reforms of 1991, India still follows the Socialist principles of both Gandhi and Nehru seen in the forms of Public-Private Partnerships, State support to the weaker sections of society, strengthening the local governments, promotion of MSMEs and village industries etc. A good mix of both Gandhian and Nehruvian socialist ideals has ensured the development fruits to reach all citizens.


Topic– Post-independence consolidation and reorganization within the country.

2) In what way did Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel get ahead in avoiding the evil consequences of the doctrine of lapse of paramountcy and in integrating Indian States? Examine.(250 words)

Bipin Chandra, modern India – NCERT

Why this question:

The question is in the context of role lead by Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel in integrating Indian States and dealing with the evils of paramountcy of doctrine of lapse.

demand of the question:

you should discuss how Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel took the charge post-independence and sensed the urgent and imperative need of in integrating Indian States, his tactics, broke the union of separatist Princes and by 15th August 1947, all except Hyderabad, Junagarh and Kashmir acceded to India.

Directive word

Examine – When asked to ‘Examine’, we have to look into the topic (content words) in detail, inspect it, investigate it and establish the key facts and issues related to the topic in question. While doing so we should explain why these facts and issues are important and their implications.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction

Narrate the background of events – the declaration of doctrine of lapse of paramountcy by the Britain.

Body

Elaborate on – Sardar Patel’s plan to integrate princely states ; Rapid Integration of States, Creating Unions out of States, Using Force at right time- when some states like Junagadh, Hyderabad, Travancore etc. wanted to join Pakistan or stay independent.

And Thus Patel avoided the evil consequences with his patience, quick decision making skills at right time to proceed the rapid integration of states.

Conclusion

conclude with the outcome and its effect on Freedom struggle.

 

Introduction:

With the enactment of Indian Independence Act, 1947, it declared the lapse of suzerainty (paramountcy) of the Crown. The Indian States regained their position which they had prior to the assumption of suzerainty by the Crown. The ‘iron man of India’, Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel was valued on one hand for being politically astute and on the other hand for his pragmatic acumen, necessary to bring together the more than 500 bits and pieces of royal territories into the fold of the Indian union.

Body:

The issue of the princely states was not an easy affair to resolve. Unsurprisingly, when the British announced their departure, most of the princes thought it to be the best moment to claim independent statehood. There were many others, who were caught in a tug of war between India and Pakistan.

Patel often invoked the patriotism of the princes in his attempt to convince them to join India. On other occasions he reminded them of the possibility of anarchy and on event of their refusal to join. He also introduced the concept of ‘privy purses’ as a payment to be made to the families of the princes for their agreement to integrate with India.

With great skill and masterful diplomacy & using both persuasion & pressure, Patel succeeded in integrating hundreds of princely states. Most princely states joined Constituent Assembly with wisdom but others like of Junagarh, Kashmir, Manipur and Hyderabad publicly announced their desire to claim an independent status.

  • Junagarh
    • A small state on the coast of Saurashtra surrounded by Indian Territory
    • Had no link with Pakistan yet Nawab announced accession to Pak
    • But majority of the people (majorly Hindu), desired to join India
    • This led to a violent movement against Nawab along with Indian troops marching into the state
    • A plebiscite was held which favoured joining India.
  • Jammu and Kashmir
    • Hindu ruler Hari Singh tried to negotiate with India & Pak to have an independent status for his state.
    • Since majority population of the state was Muslim, the Pakistan thought Kashmir ‘belonged‘ to them.
    • On 15th August Harisingh offered standstill agreement with both countries which allowed the free movement of people & goods.
    • Pakistan signed the agreement but India didn’t.
    • Pakistan became impatient & started violating standstill agreement.
    • 24th October Hari Singh demanded military assistance from India.
    • Mountbatten pointed out that under international law India can send its troops only after state signs a formal instrument of accession
    • Thus on 26th Oct Maharaja signed instrument of accession which got ratified in 1954.
    • On 27th Oct. morning nearly 100 planes airlifted men and weapons to Srinagar.
    • Pakistan army left the main valley region but continue to occupy a large chunk of territory of Gilgit, Baltistan region – Pak occupied Kashmir.
  • Hyderabad
    • Largest princely state of India which was ruled by Nizam
    • Nizam led to tyrannical ways & aspired to set up a Muslim dominion rather than integration with India
    • He wanted an independent status for Hyderabad & thus entered into negotiation of standstill agreement with India
    • Meanwhile people revolted against Nizam’s rule, particularly the peasants of Telangana due to his worst oppression measures.
    • Nizam retaliated on popular movement by unleashing a para-military force
    • 150,000 soldiers were mobilized by Nizam to fight against the Indian Union
    • They murdered, maimed, raped and looted, targeting particularly the non-Muslims
    • In Sep 1948, Indian army under operation Polo invaded Hyderabad state & overthrew its Nizam, annexing the state merged it into the Indian Union.
  • Manipur
    • Indian government was prepared to be flexible in giving autonomy to some regions.
    • Maharaja of Manipur signed the instrument of Accession with the Indian government on the assurance that the internal autonomy of Manipur would be maintained.
    • Under the pressure of public view, Maharaja held elections in Manipur in June 1948 & thus state became a constitutional monarchy.
    • Manipur was the 1st part of India to hold an election based on universal adult franchise.
    • Government of India succeeded in pressurizing the Maharaja into signing a Merger Agreement in September 1949, without consulting the popularly elected Legislative Assembly of Manipur.
    • This caused a lot anger and resentment in Manipur, the consequences of which are still being felt.

Sardar Patel had strong will and his decisiveness, taking tough decisions, and his undivided loyalty towards Mahatma Gandhi marks him out among his peers. His skillful combination of diplomatic persuasion of pointing to the larger long term interests of the population and also with a certain amount of arms twisting which made it clear that there would be a price to pay if the rulers did not accept the conditions the Indian government was putting.

Conclusion:

Often referred to as the “Bismarck of India”, Patel was instrumental in bringing India together. Patel laid out the initial framework for persuading the princes to join, it was his secretary, V.P. Menon, who did the actual groundwork of coaxing them. The final touch in the process was applied by the Viceroy Lord Mountbatten.


Topic: Separation of powers between various organs, dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions.

3) Examine the existing traditional mechanisms for resolution of financial and commercial disputes in India also discuss the need for an online dispute resolution system. What measures need to be taken in this direction to achieve a robust dispute redressal system?(250 words)

Livemint

Why this question:

The article provides for an assessment of existing traditional dispute redressal system in India and highlights the necessity of a robust online dispute settlement system.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must evaluate the current systems of dispute resolution available in India, enlist the existing mechanism for resolution of financial and commercial disputes in India and then examine them whether they are sufficient and thus highlight the necessity of Online system.

Directive word:

Examine – When asked to ‘Examine’, we have to look into the topic (content words) in detail, inspect it, investigate it and establish the key facts and issues related to the topic in question. While doing so we should explain why these facts and issues are important and their implications.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Begin with dispute mechanism as a structured process that addresses disputes or grievances that arise between two or more parties engaged in business, legal, or societal relationships. Dispute mechanisms are used in dispute resolution, and may incorporate conciliation, conflict resolution, mediation, and negotiation.

Body:

Discuss the following :

  • Financial and commercial Dispute Redressal mechanisms in India.
  • India’s performance in dispute redressal is still poor; Challenges in the existing system , what needs to be done to overcome the present challenges.
  • Need for online resolution systems
  • Way forward – role of technology, online platform etc

Conclusion:

Conclude with optimism, that India is fast moving and It is not beyond its capabilities to harness the merits of technology in its governance systems.

Introduction:

A dispute resolution mechanism is a structured process that addresses disputes or grievances that arise between two or more parties engaged in business, legal, or societal relationships. Dispute mechanisms are used in dispute resolution, and may incorporate conciliation, conflict resolution, mediation, and negotiation.

Body:

With India opening up its markets in the early 1990’s, the Indian legal and judicial system has had to come to terms with the reality of globalization as well. As a large country, both in terms of population and area, there is tremendous pressure on India’s resources and its institutions. The legal system is no exception to this. The existing traditional mechanisms for resolution of financial and commercial disputes in India are

  • The Judiciary: The Supreme Court is at the apex of the entire judicial system, followed by High Courts in each state or group of states. Below each state’s High Court lies a hierarchy of subordinate courts. Panchayat Courts also function in some states under various names like Nyaya Panchayat, Panchayat Adalat, and Gram Kachheri to decide civil and criminal disputes of petty and local nature. Lok Adalat is another form of judicial forum that has been set up to dispose of smaller cases and to decrease the burgeoning case load.
  • Commercial Courts, Commercial Divisions and Commercial Appellate Divisions (“Special Courts”): Pursuant to the Commercial Courts Act, special Commercial Courts have been established in each state. ‘Commercial Disputes’ of a ‘Specified Value’ are to be heard by such Commercial Courts/Division. Further, Commercial Appellate Divisions within the High Courts have also been constituted.
  • Tribunals: Specialized tribunals such as the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal, the National Company Law Tribunal, the Goods and Services Tax Appellate Tribunal, the Consumer Forum, the Central and State Administrative Tribunals, the Debt Recovery Tribunal, and the Intellectual Property Appellate Tribunal are established under various enactments. Appeals from the orders of these tribunals/appellate tribunals lie to the High Court and the Supreme Court, as the case maybe. The organization of the subordinate courts and tribunals varies slightly from state to state.
  • Subordinate Courts: Next in the hierarchy of the courts are the subordinate courts and tribunals. The highest civil court in each district is that of the District Judge. Below such courts are several others, depending on the individual set up of each district, including the Court of Small Causes for petty matters
  • Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code, 2016: The Bankruptcy Code is comprehensive insolvency legislation as it consolidates the existing laws relating to insolvency of companies, limited liability entities (including limited liability partnerships), unlimited liability partnerships, and individuals into a single legislation.
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution:
    • Arbitration: It is the act of dispute settlement through an arbitrator, i.e. a third party, who is not involved in the dispute. It is an alternative dispute settlement mechanism, aiming at settlement outside the court. In 2015, Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act was enacted to improve the arbitration in India. The Act is based on the 1985 UNCITRAL (The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law) Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration and the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules 1976.
    • Mediation: The Process of mediation aims to facilitate the development of a consensual solution by the disputing parties. The Mediation process is overseen by a non-partisan third party – the Mediator. The authority of the mediator vests on the consent of the parties that he should facilitate their negotiations.
    • Conciliation: Conciliation is a less formal form of arbitration. This process does not require an existence of any prior agreement. Any party can request the other party to appoint a conciliator. One conciliator is preferred but two or three are also allowed. In case of multiple conciliators, all must act jointly. If a party rejects an offer to conciliate, there can be no conciliation.
    • Negotiation: Negotiation is a dialogue intended to resolve disputes, to produce an agreement upon courses of action, to bargain for individual or collective advantage, or to craft outcomes to satisfy various interests. It is the primary method of alternative dispute resolution.

Analysis of the causes of delay in contracts shows that the major reasons resulting in time over-runs, and resultant cost over-runs, are the ineffectiveness of Dispute Resolution Mechanism and the penalty clauses in contract documents. Although several modifications have been made in existing arbitration procedures, they have brought little comfort. Disputes amounting to a large sum (over Rs. 3, 50,000 crores) are pending with Arbitrators / Conciliators for periods ranging between 2 and 10 years

Need for online resolution systems

  • Online Dispute Resolution Mechanism is a laudable initiative to fast-track dispute resolution and it shall go a long way in resolving disputes.
  • Helps in attracting more foreign investment by projecting India as an investor-friendly country and strengthen economy.
  • Country like India having a sound legal framework and ease of doing business can become a natural choice for investors
  • This will help courts to concentrate on access to justice to people in better manner.
  • The rapid development of the Internet and electronic commerce, Online Disputes Resolution has been labelled “a logical and natural step” as it facilitates expeditious resolution of disputes.
  • Domestic and international trade and commerce has spurred competition provide more opportunities and imputed risks.
  • The commercial arbitration in India is witnessing a steady transition and it should become more simpler.
  • The flagship programs like establishment of Smart Cities in India would require a techno-legal smart dispute resolution mechanism.

Way forward:

  • There is, therefore, a crying need to develop an appropriate complaint handling mechanism to address disputes that arise on these platforms.
  • Any such system we build should be capable of functioning online and operating at a scale that enables it to deal with the high volume of disputes they will doubtless need to process.
  • Ideally, they should be capable of processing some portion of the disputes using automated decision-making algorithms that leverage the digital nature of the platform and the underlying e-commerce transactions.
  • We should actively resist the urge to merely place a digital layer on top of existing dispute resolution methods.
  • We should look to develop solutions that take advantage of the auditability of electronic transactions by incorporating non-repudiability directly into the design to provide greater certainty of outcome.
  • e-commerce workflow that will allow online dispute resolution frameworks to conclusively establish whether or not contractual obligations have been effectively performed—along the lines of principles that have been successfully experimented with in the context of blockchain-based smart contracts, should be incorporated.
  • Regardless of the outcome, the process should be clear and transparent and the verdict fair on its face.

Conclusion:

With the increase of e-commerce and e-businesses, many disputes arise between parties across borders and Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) is, therefore, the need of the hour. In order to ensure speedy resolution of commercial disputes and facilitate effective conduct of international and domestic disputes, it is necessary to adopt various dispute resolution mechanisms. 


Topic: Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.

4) Election Commission of India has been known for its rich legacy of being independent and inclusive, however studies suggest that the electorate count has decreased over time In comparison with census count. Comment and also suggest what steps should be taken with respect to these missing voters from the electoral rolls of the world’s largest democracy. (250 words)

Livemint

Why this question:

The article highlights studies suggesting More than 50 million voters—most of them young—missing from India’s electoral rolls,  and provides for a detailed analysis of electoral and census data .

Key demand of the question:

The question expects you to provide for a detailed picture of the scenario, you must detail upon the inclusiveness of ECI, the provisions therefore for the marginalized and the ‘invisible’ sections of the society and the women in the society. you must discuss the problems associated and suggest what measures should be taken to make it more inclusive.

Directive word

Comment- here we have to express our knowledge and understanding of the issue and form an overall opinion thereupon.

Structure of the answer

Introduction:  

Start with Importance of ECI ; inclusiveness as an essential component in the electoral process of the country.

Body:  

Body should discuss the following broad aspects in detail –

  • Why inclusiveness is in question? What is the issue of missing records?
  • Issue of – greater scrutiny in the voter registration process and inadequate registration in the youngest age group.
  • What are the implications for the electoral process?
  • Way forward

Conclusion:

Conclude with how ECI has a rich legacy of being independent and inclusive. It must live up to that legacy and remove all doubts about missing voters from the electoral rolls of the world’s largest democracy.

Introduction:

Independent India’s first electoral rolls were painstakingly prepared as India moved from limited franchise under the British Raj to universal franchise after Independence. However, more than 50 million voters—most of them young—may be missing from India’s electoral rolls for Elections 2019, an analysis of electoral and census data suggests.

Body:

The officials responsible for drafting the first electoral rolls of world’s largest democracy took special care to ensure that the marginalized and the ‘invisible’ sections of the society, such as pavement dwellers and refugees without robust documentation, found a place in the electoral rolls.

In the process, the making of the electoral rolls ended up influencing the framing of the Constitution itself leading to an independent election commission that is not subject to the whims and prejudices of local officials.

The electorate count has decreased over time in comparison with census count because:

  • The inclusive legacy that India’s election officials have for many years erred on the side of caution in removing names from the electoral register.
  • The complaints throughout most of independent India’s history have been of including duplicate names, and even names of dead persons.
  • However, today the complaint is one of widespread omissions. Example: Millions of voters—by some estimates, nearly 2% of the eligible electorate—have been missing from Telangana’s electoral rolls in the latest elections and the deletions have not followed due process, according to election officials.
  • New migrants from other constituencies and non-deletion of those who have migrated out due to poor updation of electoral rolls.
  • Data from the 2018 electoral rolls suggests that there could be 52 million missing voters on the electoral rolls.
  • Calculations based on the 2011 census data combined with age-wise mortality rates to estimate the current voting-age population revealed that for 2018, there should be 931 million eligible voters but there were only 878 million names on electoral rolls, an under-count of 6%.
  • The missing names in the electoral register are largely those of women.
  • The latest data from the 2019 electoral rolls reveals that the elector count according to the electoral roll falls short of the census estimates in 12 of the 14 states for which data is available.
  • Greater scrutiny in the voter registration process and inadequate registration in the youngest age group have led to the decreased counts on the electoral rolls over the past two decades.
  • The lower elector roll count could also be a result of declining interest in voting among youth.
  • According to a 2017 study by the not-for-profit Janaagraha Centre for Citizenship and Democracy, Booth Level Officers in major cities are under-paid, ill-trained, and over-burdened.
  • Their lack of training can, therefore, be a serious hindrance to updation of electorate list.
  • The government’s National Electoral Rolls Purification and Authentication Programme (NERPAP), which links electoral rolls to the Aadhaar database, has generated further controversy.
  • Delhi-based Centre for Research and Debates in Development Policy argued that Muslims tended to be under-represented more than others in several states in the electoral rolls based on their analysis of disaggregated electoral data.

Measures taken:

  • The Systematic Voter’s Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP) programme of Election Commission of India is a landmark programme to inform, educate, motivate and facilitate voters and in turn make Indian democracy more participative and meaningful.
  • Awareness Creation- to encourage more young voters to take part in the electoral process. The Government of India has decided to celebrate January 25th of every year as ‘National Voters Day ‘ . It started from January 25, 2011 to mark Commission’s foundation day.
  • The ECI collaborated with educational institutions, youth organizations such as NYKS, NSS, NCC etc. to tap new voters and promote greater awareness.
  • ECI also collaborated with Government media, private media, Civil Society and credible NGOs for increasing people’s awareness regarding electoral participation.
  • Electoral literacy was made a major component of the Sakshar Bharat Programme of the Government of India.

Way forward:

  • Creation of a fully computerized database of electors, comprehensive photo electoral roll; de-duplication technologies to eliminate bogus and duplicate entries.
  • The Law Commission endorses the ECI’s suggestions regarding the introduction of common electoral rolls for Assembly, Parliamentary, and local body elections. However, require an amendment in the State laws pertaining to the conduct of local body elections.
  • Proper training, adequate payment and to lower the burden of the booth level officers.
  • ECI is developing a full-fledged ‘Strategic Framework on Accessible Elections’ going into the next Lok Sabha polls to make sure Elections are accessible to Divyang.
  • ECI has tied up with India Post to send Form 6, which is the application for inclusion of names in electoral rolls to the registered address, are underway.
  • Use of social media to educate, create awareness of voting among the new-generation voters.

Conclusion:

Qualitatively and quantitatively, the voter’s participation is bedrock for a participative democracy. Similarly, the voter registration and electorate education are central to the election management process.


Topic:  Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora./ Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth.

5) What do you understand by Generalized System of Preferences (GSP)? Critically analyze its significance in India-US trade? (250 words)

The hindu

 

Why this question:

The article is in the backdrop of the Trump’s declaration of the end  of preferential trade terms for India under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) programme. The article provides for more details on the same.

Key demand of the question:

The answer should discuss the following – What is Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) , its objectives, historical context with respect to Indo-US economic relations, did it benefit India in the  past and what will be the consequences of it on India due to this move.

Directive word

Critically analyze – When asked to analyze, you  have to examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them as a whole in a summary. When ‘critically’ is suffixed or prefixed to a directive, one needs to look at the good and bad of the topic and give a fair judgement.

Structure of the answer

Introduction:

Discuss the context of GSP in Indo – US economic relations.

Body:

Discussion of the answer should capture the following points :

  • How the withdrawal of the GSP benefit is expected to adversely affect exports from India.
  • What is the objective of GSP?
  • Who are the beneficiaries under GSP?
  • Which are the product groups covered under GSP?
  • What is the difference between GSP and the usual trade arrangement under WTO?
  • What is the new Trump administration’s approach on GSP?
  • Impact of GSP withdrawal on India.

Conclusion –

Conclude with the impact that the removal of GSP indicate a tough trade position by the US; especially for countries like India who benefited much from the scheme.

Introduction:

Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) is a preferential tariff system extended by developed countries (also known as preference giving countries or donor countries) to developing countries (also known as preference receiving countries or beneficiary countries). It involves reduced MFN Tariffs or duty-free entry of eligible products exported by beneficiary countries to the markets of donor countries. GSP has been given on non-reciprocal basis yet the US has linked it with market access and tariff reduction which is against the basic tenets of GSP.

Example: The USA’s GSP sets zero tariffs for certain goods from a set of 121 developing countries to foster their trade and economic development. The GSP programme accounts for some $5.6 billion of India’s exports to the U.S.in 2017, making India the largest GSP beneficiary. The Indian government confirmed that the United States has given a 60-day withdrawal notice to India on the GSP benefits, which amount to duty reduction of $190 million per annum.

Body:

The objective of GSP:

  • The objective of GSP was to give development support to poor countries by promoting exports from them into the developed countries.
  • According to the USTR, GSP promotes sustainable development in beneficiary countries by helping these countries to increase and diversify their trade with the United States.
  • GSP provide opportunities for many of the world’s poorest countries to use trade to grow their economies and climb out of poverty.
  • GSP also boosts American competitiveness by reducing costs of imported inputs used by U.S. companies to manufacture goods in the United States.

The product groups covered under GSP:

  • The products covered under GSP are mainly agricultural products including animal husbandry, meat and fisheries and handicraft products.
  • Chemicals, gems and jewellery, engineering and textiles are among the Indian industrial sectors that benefit from the GSP.
  • Other products which are generally the specialized products of the developing countries.

Benefits of GSP to India:

  • Indian exporters benefit indirectly – through the benefit that accrues to the importer by way of reduced tariff or duty free entry of eligible Indian products
  • Reduction or removal of import duty on an Indian product makes it more competitive to the importer – other things (e.g. quality) being equal.
  • This tariff preference helps new exporters to penetrate a market and established exporters to increase their market share and to improve upon the profit margins, in the donor country.

Reasons for GSP withdrawal on India:

  • S. President has announced that he intends to end preferential trade terms for India under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) programme.
  • The reason attributed to it is that India has not assured the United States that it will provide equitable and reasonable access to the markets of India.
  • According to the US Trade Representative, India has implemented a wide array of trade barriers that create serious negative effects on United States commerce.
  • India had failed to take the necessary steps to meet the GSP criterion, despite intensive engagement, it said.
  • India’s new e-commerce rules — which have impacted American companies like Amazon and Walmart (majority owner of Flipkart), price controls on medical devices (cardiac stents), tariffs on ICT products like smart watches and high-end mobile phones and lack of greater market access for the U.S. dairy industry are among the issues that have caused trade friction between the two countries.

Impact of GSP withdrawal on India:

  • India exports nearly 50 products of the 94 products on which GSP benefits are stopped.
  • In total India exports nearly 1,937 products to the US under GSP. According to the Washington Post, 90 percent of Indian/Brazilian exports to America face normal US tariffs and hence will remain unaffected from the exit of the GSP program.
  • Removal of GSP indicates a tough trade position by the US; especially for countries like India who benefited much from the scheme. The US was insisting India to reduce its trade surplus.
  • India is the 11th largest trade surplus country for the US and India enjoyed an annual trade surplus of $ 21 bn in 2017-18.
  • The US decision to withdraw duty benefits under its Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) programme will have a marginal impact on few domestic sectors such as processed food, leather, plastic, and engineering goods, exporters body FIEO.
  • India is predominantly exporting intermediate and semi-manufactured goods to the US under the GSP, the same has helped in cost-effectiveness and price-competitiveness of American downstream industry.
  • The GSP withdrawal will also impact the competitiveness of many manufacturing sectors and will hit the consumers at the same time.

Conclusion:

The issue of Indian tariffs being high has been raised from time to time. It is pertinent that India’s tariffs are within its bound rates under WTO commitments, and are on the average well below these bound rates. India’s trade-weighted average tariffs are 7.6 per cent, which is comparable with the most open developing economies and some developed economies.


Topic-Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life.

6) What is CCR5-delta 32 often seen in news recently?  What are its implications for Indian bioinformatics industry? Discuss (250 words)

Indianexpress

 

Why this question:

The article discusses the recent developments of  CCR5-delta 32: The rare mutation that could help stop HIV. It brings out the detailed analysis of case of the London Patient in which case the scientists have successfully duplicated Dr Hütter’s CCR5-delta 32 experiment.

Key demand of the question

The answer must elaborate in detail concept of CCR5-delta 32 in the context of London patient experiment -the  remarkable research breakthrough that appears to have cured the anonymous “London Patient” of HIV that was based on a stem cell transplant involving CCR5-delta 32 homozygous donor cells.

Directive word

Discuss– this is an all-encompassing directive which mandates us to write in detail about the key demand of the question. we also have to discuss about the related and important aspects of the question in order to bring out a complete picture of the issue in hand.

Structure of the answer

Introduction:

One can start with facts and details of the research on the anonymous “London Patient” of HIV  and the stem cell transplant involving CCR5-delta 32 homozygous donor cells.

Body:

Discuss  the details of the research, details of Dr Hütter’s CCR5-delta 32 experiment, relate it to the famous gene editing – CRISPR technology, in what way it is an improvement over it,  discuss how it is indeed a path-breaking technology.

Significance of it to the Indian bioinformatics sector etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward in the Health industry sector at a global level.

Introduction:

The remarkable research breakthrough that appears to have cured the anonymous “London Patient” of HIV is based on a stem cell transplant involving CCR5-delta 32 homozygous donor cells. This is the same treatment that cured Timothy Ray Brown, known as the “Berlin Patient” when he received two stem cell transplants in 2007 and 2008.

The news comes nearly 12 years to the day after the first patient known to be cured, a feat that researchers have long tried, and failed, to duplicate. The surprise success now confirms that a cure for HIV infection is possible, if difficult, opine researchers.

Body:

Mechanism behind CCR5-delta 32:

  • HIV uses the CCR5 protein to enter immune cells, but it can’t latch on to cells that carry the delta 32 mutation.
  • About 1% of people of Northern European descent, mainly Swedes, are born with a mutation known as CCR5-delta 32, which “locks ‘the door’ which prevents HIV from entering into the cell.
  • An allogenic stem cell transplant, which involves replacing the immune system of HIV Patient with donor hematopoietic stem cells (usually found in bone marrow) using gene editing technology, so that the former’s immune system could be regenerated, with no malignant cells.
  • Incidentally, CCR5 is the protein that Chinese scientist He Jiankui claimed to have modified with CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing in at least two children in an attempt to make them resistant to HIV.

India and HIV/AIDS

  • According to National AIDS Control Organization of India, the prevalence of AIDS in India in 2015 was 0.26% i.e about 2.11 million people.
  • India is home to the world’s third-largest population suffering from HIV/AIDS.
  • India aims to end HIV/AIDS by 2030 and is a signatory of UNAIDS programme 90-90-90 strategy by 2020.
  • It is also enshrined in Government of India’s National Health Policy (NHP 2017)
  • In 2017, 79% of people living with HIV were aware of their status, of whom 56% were on antiretroviral treatment (ART)

Way forward:

  • With India emerging as Biotechnology hub, more R&D efforts can be channelled towards such researches.
  • There is a need to develop gene-therapy approaches to knock out CCR5 on immune cells or their predecessor stem cells. Resistant to HIV infection, these modified cells should eventually clear the body of the virus.
  • To treat HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, scientists have been experimenting with using gene therapy to boost the immune system.
  • An increase in budgetary allocation to public health care but also a more concentrated effort to increase AIDS awareness.
  • Offering direct care to people suffering from HIV/AIDS, general awareness campaigns and the care of children orphaned due to HIV/AIDS-related scenarios.
  • Various organisations are working on innovative projects to tackle the stigma and discrimination that hinders access to effective HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care services amongst high-risk populations
  • The long-awaited legislation that seeks to end stigma and discrimination against HIV positive persons in workplace, hospitals and society, while also ensuring their privacy should be brought in to protect the dignity and ensure Right to life for the HIV/AIDS patients.

Conclusion:

                The CCR5-Delta 32 is still in the testing phase. It must be well-tested to confirm the effectiveness of the therapy before commercializing it as dangers of side-effects always lurk in new medical technologies. However, it opens new avenues and offers a ray of hope to many AIDS patients across the globe.