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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 03 JUNE 2019


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 03 JUNE 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: Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act.

1) Do you think EVMs fail on the tests of a free and fair election? Discuss with respect to the aspects of transparency, verifiability, and secrecy.(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question:

The question is intended to evaluate the issues associated with EVMs.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss in detail the problems associated with EVMs and solutions to overcome them.

Directive:

DiscussThis 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.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly explain what are EVMs ,how they function.

Body:

Body of the answer should discuss the following aspects:

Problems with EVMs:

  • EVMs are neither transparent nor verifiable – Neither can the voter see her vote being recorded, nor can it be verified later whether the vote was recorded correctly; What is verifiable is the total number of votes cast, not the choice expressed in each vote.
  • VVPATs solve only one-half of the EVMs’ transparency problem: the voting part.
  • counting part remains an opaque operation – If anyone suspects a counting error, there is no recourse; VVPATs can solve this problem too, through statistics; At present, the EC’s VVPAT auditing is restricted to one randomly chosen polling booth per constituency; K. Ashok Vardhan Shetty, a former IAS officer, demonstrates that this sample size will fail to detect faulty EVMs 98-99% of the time; He also shows that VVPATs can be an effective deterrent to fraud only on the condition that the detection of even one faulty EVM in a constituency must entail the VVPAT hand-counting of all the EVMs in that constituency.
  • Secrecy – With the paper ballot, the EC could mix ballot papers from different booths before counting, so that voting preferences could not be connected to a given locality; booth-wise counting allows one to discern voting patterns and renders marginalized communities vulnerable to pressure; need Totalizer machines.
  • neither the EC nor the voter knows for sure what software is running in a particular EVM.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

Electronic Voting Machines (“EVM”) are being used in Indian General and State Elections to implement electronic voting in part from 1999 elections. EVMs have replaced paper ballots in local, state and general (parliamentary) elections in India.

Political parties have time and again raised voice against the credibility of the ECI-EVMs, alleging tampering of EVMs during the said elections. However, the Election Commission has rejected these allegations.

Body:

Concerns about EVMs:

  • Transparency:
    • EVMs are neither transparent nor verifiable.
    • Neither can the voter see her vote being recorded, nor can it be verified later whether the vote was recorded correctly.
    • What is verifiable is the total number of votes cast and not the choice expressed in each vote.
  • Verifiability:
    • An electronic display of the voter’s selection may not be the same as the vote stored electronically in the machine’s memory.
    • To rectify this, the Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) was introduced.
    • But VVPATs solve only the problems at the voting part and the counting part still remains an opaque operation.
    • Also, at present, the EC’s VVPAT auditing is restricted to one randomly chosen polling booth per constituency.
    • However, this sample size will fail to detect faulty EVMs 98-99% of the time.
    • VVPATs can be an effective deterrent to fraud only, when the detection of even one faulty EVM in a constituency is followed by the VVPAT auditing of all the EVMs (at all booths) in that constituency.
    • This poses a serious logistical challenge and hence VVPATs are not the answer to counting level failures.
  • Secrecy:
    • With the paper ballot, the EC could mix ballot papers from different booths before counting, so that voting preferences could not be connected to a given locality.
    • However, the votes cast via EVMs are counted on individual booth basis, which allows one to discern voting patterns and renders marginalised communities vulnerable to pressure.
    • A totaliser machine was proposed as a remedy to this alternative.
    • Totaliser machine allows votes from 14 booths to be counted together so that voters are saved from pre-poll intimidation and post-poll harassment.
    • But the EC has shown no intent yet to adopt them at the national level.

So, on all three counts such as transparency, verifiability and secrecy — EVMs are flawed.Also, the recent track record of EVMs indicates that the number of malfunctions in a national election will be high.

ECI’s views on reliability of EVMs:

  • EVMs are standalone systems and not connected to internet unlike EVM used in other countries like USA.
  • Program which controls the functioning of the control unit is burnt into a micro chip on a “one time programmable basis”. Once burnt it cannot be read, copied out or altered
  • EVM’s use dynamic coding to enhance security of data transmitted from ballot unit to control unit
  • As an additional precautionary measure, the machines prepared for a poll are physically sealed in the presence of candidates or their agents and guarded by CRPF
  • Allegation regarding modification of votes using an external chip (not much base found by SC and EC)
  • Two-stage randomization is done, to make sure nobody is able to determine constituency-EVM mapping

Measures taken by ECI:

  • The ECI has said that if the proportion of EVMs whose vote count will be verified with the help of a VVPAT is increased substantially, the declaration of results will be delayed by up to six days.
  • In 2009, ECI invited sceptics to demonstrate the alleged fallibility of EVMs, using 100 randomly sourced machines from 10 states. The outcome was that none of the persons who were given opportunity could demonstrate that ECI-EVM could be tampered in any of the 100 machines put on display.
  • ECI said that EVMs can neither be reprogrammed nor controlled by the external device. The source code is so designed that it allows the voter to cast the vote only once. The next vote can be recorded only after the Presiding Officer enables the ballot on the Control Unit. In between, the machine becomes dead to any signal from outside.
  • ECI has also offered opportunities more than once to those alleging the tamperability of EVM, no one has been able to demonstrate to the Commission that the EVM with ECI and used in the country’s election process, can be manipulated or tampered with.
  • Following a PIL by Subramanian Swamy, Supreme Court asked EC to introduce VVPAT.

Conclusion:

ECI has put in place an elaborate technical and administrative system of safeguards to ensure error-free functioning of EVMs in elections. ECI says it is thus fully satisfied with the tamper proof functioning of the ECI-EVMs. The Commission does not find any merit in such allegations and reject all such allegations and suspicions raised by some political parties. Therefore, ECI has assured all citizens that EVM of ECI are tamper proof and fully satisfied with the integrity of electoral process using EVM.


Topic:  Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act.

2) Discuss How Representation of People’s Act, 1951 is different from the provisions related to elections in Constitution of India?(250 words)

Indian Polity by Lakshmikanth

Why this question:

Question is straightforward and is about comparing the constitutional provisions and Representation of People’s Act, 1951.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must provide for a detailed comparison of Representation of People’s Act, 1951 and the available constitutional provisions.

Directive:

DiscussThis 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.

Structure of the answer

Introduction:

write a few introductory lines elections in India.

Body:

Answers must discuss the – Part XV of Indian Constitution which is Elections. Along with it explain constitutional provisions.

  • The Representation of People Act 1950, which provides for allocation of seats and delimitation of constituencies of the Parliament and state legislature, officers related to conduct of elections, preparation of electoral rolls and manner of filling seats in the Council of States allotted to Union Territories.
  • The Representation of People Act, 1951, which provides for the conduct of elections of the Houses of Parliament and to the House or Houses of the Legislature of each State, the qualifications and disqualifications for membership of those Houses, the corrupt practices and other offences at or in connection with such elections and the decision of doubts and disputes arising out of or in connection with such elections.
  • Delimitation Commission Act of 1952, which provides for the readjustment of seats, delimitation and reservation of territorial constituencies and other related matters.
  • The Presidential and Vice-Presidential Election Act 1952, which provides for the conduct of Presidential and Vice- Presidential election and mechanism for the settlement of any dispute arising out of such elections.

Conclusion –

Conclude with way forward.

 

Introduction:

India being the largest democracy of the world, elections in India have been the largest electoral exercise in the world since the 1stgeneral elections of 1952.The cultural, linguistic, religious and ethnic diversity of the country make this event more complex. Every individual who is a citizen of India and has attained the voting age shall be entitled to be registered as a voter.

 

Body:

Part XV of the Constitution of India consists of Articles on Elections.

  • Article 324 of the Constitution provides that the power of superintendence, direction and control of elections to parliament, state legislatures, the office of president of India and the office of vice-president of India shall be vested in the election commission.
  • Article 325: No person to be ineligible for inclusion in, or to claim to be included in a special, electoral roll on grounds of religion, race, caste or sex
  • Article 326: Elections to the House of the People and to the Legislative Assemblies of States to be on the basis of adult suffrage
  • Article 327: Power of Parliament to make provision with respect to elections to Legislatures
  • Article 328: Power of Legislature of a State to make provision with respect to elections to such Legislature
  • Article 329: Bar to interference by courts in electoral matters
  • Article 329A: [Repealed.]
  • Article 82: In India, delimitation is carried out by the Delimitation Commission, set up after every census by an act of the Parliament.

Constitution allows Parliament to make provisions in all matters relating to elections to the Parliament and State Legislatures. In exercise of this power, the Parliament has enacted laws like Representation of the People Act 1950 (RPA Act 1950), Representation of the People Act 1951 (RPA Act 1951).

Representation of Peoples Act 1950 (RPA Act 1950) provides for the following:

  • Qualification of voters.
  • Preparation of electoral rolls.
  • Delimitation of constituencies.
  • Allocation of seats in the Parliament and state legislatures.

Representation of Peoples Act 1951 (RPA Act 1951) provides for:

  • Actual conduct of elections.
  • Administrative machinery for conducting elections.
  • Poll.
  • Election offences.
  • Election disputes.
  • By-elections.
  • Registration of political parties.

Delimitation Commission Act of 1952, which provides for the readjustment of seats, delimitation and reservation of territorial constituencies and other related matters.

The Presidential and Vice-Presidential Election Act 1952, which provides for the conduct of Presidential and Vice- Presidential election and mechanism for the settlement of any dispute arising out of such elections.

Conclusion:

Elections are the life blood of any democracy. The robustness of electoral processes determines the fate of the nation. The timely reforms to the electoral process by ECI, according to the changing needs of the society and the strong review of the judiciary have helped in conduction of free and fair elections till date.


Topic: Social issues

3) “Suicides are a not just a consequence of psychological or emotional influences alone but have social dimensions too”. Discuss in the context of rising student suicides in India.(250 words)

Epw

Why this question:

The article discusses the death of Payal Tadvi, a 26-year-old resident doctor at Mumbai’s BYL Nair Hospital, which has exposed yet again the insidious nature of discrimination and casteism against Scheduled Caste (SC)/Scheduled Tribe (ST) students in medical colleges.

Demand of the question:

Answer must discuss how suicides are a not anymore just a consequence of psychological or emotional influences alone but have social dimensions too.

Directive word:

DiscussThis 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.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction

Start with stating facts of the scenario.

Body

Discuss the following points in detail:

  • First bring out the general reasons for suicides ranging from fear of failing in examinations, constant criticism from teachers, bullying from peers, family pressure and a loss of a sense of a decent future etc.
  • Then discuss what are the social reasons?
  • Discuss the cases of Rohit vemula, Payal Tadvi.
  • Infer what needs to be done to do away with such heinous incidences.

Conclusion

Conclude with what needs to be done.

Introduction:

Sociologist Emile Durkheim had famously hypothesised that ‘suicides are a result of not just psychological or emotional factors but social factors as well’. The death of Payal Tadvi, a 26-year-old resident doctor at Mumbai’s BYL Nair Hospital, has exposed yet again the insidious nature of discrimination and casteism against Scheduled Caste (SC)/Scheduled Tribe (ST) students in medical colleges. Tadvi belonged to the Bhil Muslim community, recognised as an ST group. The death of Rohith Vemula, the Dalit student pursuing his PhD at the University of Hyderabad, whose suicide was described as “institutional murder” in 2016 is also a case in point.

Body:

Reasons for high number of suicides in India are a mix of psychological or emotional influences and social dimensions:

  • Discrimination:
    • Discrimination and slurs for having belonged to an ST community and having procured admission into the college through the SC/ST quota.
    • Racial slurs, Sexist slur etc. leading to extreme harassment of individuals.
    • Caste-based discrimination and resentment from upper-caste students and faculty is common in the high-pressure environment of medical colleges, as well as in other higher educational institutes in the country.
    • The 2007 report by the Thorat Committee has shown how rampant and varied the caste-based discrimination practices were in AIIMS, the country’s premier medical college.
  • The past few decades have witnessed economic, labour and social changes on a scale rarely seen before. Such rapid change with the economic dislocation and change in social and community links it brings can be destabilizing.
  • Youth suicide:
    • Reason for such high numbers can be attributed to lack of economic, social, and emotional resources.
    • More specifically, academic pressure, workplace stress, social pressures, modernisation of urban centers, relationship concerns, and the breakdown of support systems.
    • Some researchers have attributed the rise of youth suicide to urbanisation and the breakdown of the traditional large family support system.
    • The clash of values within families is an important factor for young people in their lives. As young Indians become more progressive, their traditionalist households become less supportive of their choices pertaining to financial independence, marriage age, rehabilitation, taking care of the elderly etc
    • The deaths of 49 students in Navodaya Vidyalaya schools in the last five years, and of three students preparing for the IIT entrance examinations in Kota in a span of four days, brings the issue of youth suicides to the fore again.
    • More youths are taking their lives due to the fear of failing in examinations, constant flak from teachers, bullying from peers, family pressure and a loss of a sense of a decent future.
    • These cases force us to recognise that youth suicides are ubiquitous, and the educational ecosystem must take the blame for this.
  • Depression:
    • Depression and suicidal thoughts are two of the most frightening things a person can face in their lifetime. Unfortunately, acting on those suicidal thoughts is a far too common scenario for many across the world, including students.
    • WHO says that depression and suicide are closely linked and, at its worst, depression can lead to suicide.18 per cent of the total number of people suffering from depression globally were in India in 2015.

Measures needed:

  • First, stop-gap solutions to setting up expert committees and counsellors in schools have not been able to solve the problem.
  • The deep-rooted causes must be addressed. The government must undertake a comprehensive study on the reasons behind these suicides.
  • Second, the curriculum should be designed in ways that stress the importance of mental exercises and meditation. E.g: The Delhi government’s initiative on the ‘Happiness Curriculum’ may be a step in the right direction.
  • Third, with regards to higher education, 12 measures were suggested by the Justice Roopanwal Commission.
  • Making Equal Opportunity Cells with an anti-discrimination officer functional in universities and colleges.
  • Starting from the most “innocuous” of ragging practices to “extreme harassment,” such discriminatory behaviour in fact constitutes violence and is an assault on the human rights of a person that prevents them from leading their lives with dignity and obtaining an education.
  • Educational approaches in schools, namely, teaching about the facts of suicide, developing educational modules in life skills, and problem-solving and training teachers
  • Psychological support and care should be given to the individual. The state can seek assistance from NGOs as well as religious missionaries for this purpose.
  • Strengthening the existing National Mental Health Programme and the district mental health programme, along with focus on training resources and streamlining of funds are some other recommendations for fighting depression and suicide.
  • Finally, it is high time we seek to reinvent our educational ecosystem in ways that impregnate new meanings, new ideas of living, and renewed possibilities that could transform a life of precarity into a life worth living.

Conclusion:

Suicide is the second leading cause of death among school age youth. However, suicide is preventable. Youth who are contemplating suicide frequently give warning signs of their distress. Parents, teachers, and friends are in a key position to pick up on these signs and get help. Most important is to never take these warning signs lightly or promise to keep them secret.


Topic: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

4) Discuss the significance of Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN)? What are the bottlenecks in the scheme? Do you think it can serve as a path-breaking support incentive for farmers?(250 words)

Pib

Why this question:

The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved that the ambit of the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) would be comprehensively extended. With this decision, all land holding eligible farmer families (subject to the prevalent exclusion criteria) would avail of the benefits under this scheme.

Key demand of the question:

The answer is direct and is about discussing the salient features of the scheme, its challenges and the benefits it would get for farmers.

Directive word:

DiscussThis 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.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Begin with brief write up on the scheme.

Body:

The answer must discuss the following:

  • Around 12 crore small and marginal farmer families are expected to benefit from this. It would not only provide assured supplemental income to the most vulnerable farmer families, but would also meet their emergent needs especially before the harvest season. It would pave the way for the farmers to earn and live a respectable living.
  • Under this programme, vulnerable landholding farmer families, having cultivable land up to 2 hectares, will be provided direct income support at the rate of Rs. 6,000 per year.
  • This income support will be transferred directly into the bank accounts of beneficiary farmers, in three equal installments of Rs. 2,000 each.
  • The complete expenditure of Rs 75000 crore for the scheme will borne by the Union Government in 2019-20.
  • Discuss the benefits.
  • Challenges in detail.
  • Conclude with way forward.

Conclusion:

Conclude with its importance.

Introduction:

The general budget of 2019 announced a scheme, Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi, under which vulnerable landholding farmer families, having cultivable land up to 2 hectares, will be provided direct income support of ₹6,000 a year.

Body:

The significance of Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN):

  • Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi will provide assured income to small and marginal farmers.
  • The amount will be transferred directly into their account in 3 equal instalments.
  • The complete expenditure of Rs 75000 crore for the scheme will borne by the Union Government in 2019-20.
  • The revised Scheme is expected to cover around 2 crore more farmers, increasing the coverage of PM-KISAN to around 14.5 crore beneficiaries.
  • With this decision, all land holding eligible farmer families (subject to the prevalent exclusion criteria) would avail of the benefits under this scheme.
  • It would not only provide assured supplemental income to the most vulnerable farmer families, but would also meet their emergent needs especially before the harvest season.
  • It would pave the way for the farmers to earn and live a respectable living.

Bottlenecks in the scheme:

  • Landless labourers are not being covered under PM-KISAN.
  • Cash transfers are not greatly superior in terms of leakages compared to other schemes of in-kind transfer such as the public distribution system (PDS).
  • A targeted cash transfer scheme envisions the role of the state to only providing cash income to the poor. This kind of approach seeks to absolve the state of its responsibility in providing basic services such as health, education, nutrition and livelihood.
  • Cash transfer scheme such as PM-KISAN cannot be substituted for subsidies and other institutional support systems such as the National Food Security Act-powered public distribution system. In fact, such cash transfer schemes could be counterproductive and may lead to more distress.
  • Cash transfers do not solve the following problems which are the reasons for the current agrarian crisis. The Agrarian crisis is not just of low incomes in agriculture. The genesis of the current crisis lies in the faulty and ad hoc export-import policy, lack of infrastructure and cartelisation and collusion in agricultural markets, which have prevented farmers from realizing the market prices for agricultural produce.
  • Cash transfer is neither a substitute for the structural reforms needed in agriculture, nor does it adequately compensate the farmer for the risks and uncertainty of crop cultivation.
  • In the absence of proper tenancy records, it will also benefit the absentee landlords.
  • It is no substitute for the lack of investment in agriculture, which has declined at 2.3% per annum in real terms.
  • According to National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development’s (NABARD) All India Rural Financial Inclusion Survey (Nafis) small and marginal farmers earned Rs 79,802-1,19,878 in 2015-16. This means that the Rs 6,000 annual direct income transfer under PM-KISAN would be only about 5-8% of their existing income levels.
  • By taking away precious fiscal resources, it makes the farmer more vulnerable to both market as well as non-market induced risks.

Way forward:

  • For a long-term solution, the government should first implement existing schemes, like it should give assured procurement and marketing of all commodities having MSP.
  • The Swaminathan Committee in 2004 had recommended farmers be allowed to fix the price for their produce on their own (cost of production plus 50% as profit), keeping local factors in mind.
  • Greater focus is required on enhancing farmer loan repayment capacity via smooth supply and value chains, and better price realisations.
  • The government must focus on three things: crop insurance, better irrigation and subsidised seed and fertilisers.

Conclusion:

It is in some of these contexts that strengthening an existing universal programme such as the MGNREGA would have been a prudent move instead of introducing a hasty targeted cash transfer programme. At a time of such acute distress, there is a need to the Central government to improve the existing universal infrastructure of the MGNREGA before plunging into a programme pretending to augment farmers’ income.


Topic:  Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

5) Critically analyse the Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018 and vis-à-vis evaluate the sex work debate in India. (250 words)

epw

Why this question:

The question is intended to critically analyse the Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018 and assess the sex workers debate looming the Indian scenario.

Key demands of the question:

The answer must discuss in detail the salient features of the proposed Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018 and then evaluate in detail the entire debate involving sex workers.

Directive:

Critically analyzeWhen 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

In a few introductory lines discuss the issue of sex workers and associated concerns in India.

Body

The body of the answer has to capture the following aspects:

  • Explain first how the politics of sex work has been shaped by the ascendance of the global anti-trafficking legal order – Trafficking as a problem of organized crime whereby bad actors coerce and dupe innocent young women into highly exploitative labour, particularly sex work.
  • Discuss the salient features of Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018, its flaws, hurdles etc. and why it has not been brought onto action yet.
  • Then move onto explain the status of sex workers in India, forms of violence faced by sex workers.
  • Discuss the govt. initiatives taken to improve their conditions other than this and suggest way forward.

Conclusion

Conclude with importance and urgency of bringing such a bill into action.

Introduction:

Trafficking in human beings is the third largest organized crime violating basic human rights. There is no specific law so far to deal with this crime. Accordingly, the Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018 was prepared. The Bill addresses one of the most pervasive yet invisible crimes affecting the most vulnerable persons especially women and children. The new law will make India a leader among South Asian countries to combat trafficking. The bill eventually lapsed, however it provides an occasion for evaluating the sex work debate in India.

Body:

Sex work debate in India:

  • The resilient pathways of global governmentality anchoring the sexual politics of anti-trafficking discourse internationally are mirrored in India.
  • Feminist abolitionist NGOs (for example, Apne Aap) follow radical feminists to see all “prostitution” as sexual violence while non-feminist abolitionist NGOs (Shakti Vahini, Bachpan Bachao Andolan [BBA]) as socially conservative cultural nationalists want to protect the “dignity” of Indian women and children.
  • They are heavily invested in raids, rescue, and rehabilitation.
  • Since the 1990s, they have resorted to public interest litigation (PIL), assisted the executive in setting up specialist state agencies and drafted operating protocols.
  • The governmentalised postcolonial state became an open site for these NGOs who were in turn appointed to key expert committees.
  • They used the 2012 Delhi rape case to successfully lobby the Verma Committee for a stand-alone trafficking offence and to criminalise those engaging trafficked persons or minors for sexual exploitation.
  • Indian sex workers’ groups draw on materialist feminist thought and have long countered anti-sex work laws.
  • Sex workers litigated against the Suppression of Immoral Traffic in Women and Girls Act, 1956 for violating their constitutionally protected right to occupation. In the 1990s, they used HIV prevention funding to mobilise sex workers

Significance of the bill:

  • The Bill addresses one of the most pervasive yet invisible crimes affecting the most vulnerable persons especially women and children. The new law will make India a leader among South Asian countries to combat trafficking.
  • The bill addresses the issue of trafficking from the point of view of prevention, rescue and rehabilitation (first to address the issue of victim rehabilitation).
  • Setting up of one or more special homes in each district for the purpose of providing long-term institutional support for the rehabilitation of victims is another feature of the Bill.
  • Unlike the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act (ITPA), 1956, Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, 1976, and Section 370 of the Indian Penal Code, the new Bill takes a holistic view and aims to prevent trafficking for forced labour, beggary and organ transplant, among many others.
  • The Bill also provides for designated courts in each district for time-bound trial and repatriation of victims within a period of one year from taking into cognizance. This is welcome move.
  • The Bill also provides for seizing of property located in foreign lands which is a good effort to deal with such crimes.
  • It is gender-neutral and covers transgender persons.
  • It doesn’t criminalise the victims, but instead provides them with shelter, compensation, and counselling.
  • The Bill also relies on Article 21 of the Constitution, guaranteeing that no person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to the procedure established by law.
  • The Bill takes note of the fact that India has ratified the United Nations Convention on Transnational Organised Crime and its three Optional Protocols, including the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in persons, especially women and children.

Limitations of the bill:

  • The 2018 bill was a draconian legislation reliant on a classic raid-rescue-rehabilitation model for victims. It exemplified abolitionist thinking; every influential Indian abolitionist had the minister’s ear. The bill presumed the victim’s lack of agency.
  • Importantly, it did not repeal the Immoral Trafficking Prevention Act but channelled its letter and spirit by extending the ITPA model to all forms of labour exploitation. Thus, it was redundant given existing laws on trafficking.
  • A close read of the bill’s passage however also reveals pragmatic concessions to sex workers in the interests of diffusing their objections to the bill.
  • The bill offered the right to rehabilitation which sex workers have repeatedly denounced as useless at best and abusive at worst.
  • National investigation agency is an understaffed organisation, that is already tackling the gigantic footprint of terrorism across the subcontinent and there are doubts whether it might be in a position to take on and investigate cases of human trafficking.
  • Will be a setback for already marginalised groups, including bonded labourers, child labourers, migrant workers, sex workers etc.
  • Sex trafficking is one such issue. Even as the number of victims of sex trafficking was as high as 16 million, the Bill does not mention the word ‘sexual exploitation’ or ‘prostitution’ anywhere.
  • Bill neither has any punishment for customers or clients nor does it have a provision to prevent the trafficking of marginalised girls and women.
  • The Bill also speaks of repatriation but fails to mention the psycho-socio and economic rehabilitation of the victim.
  • National investigation agency is an understaffed organisation, that is already tackling the gigantic footprint of terrorism across the subcontinent and there are doubts whether it might be in a position to take on and investigate cases of human trafficking.
  • According to experts most of the trafficking is taking place in small towns so focus should be on policing and not NIA.
  • Assertion that the bill covers ‘new’ forms of trafficking that are not addressed under existing laws is not completely true.
  • The Anti-Trafficking Bill has not been preceded by any substantial research or analysis.

Amendments needed:

  • Improving Section 370 of the Indian Penal Code’s definition of trafficking of persons. The definition should be based on the UN Protocol that addresses the issue of vulnerability.
  • Prohibiting the purchase of sex and servitude. If the buyers of sex are not punished then the supply will never stop. This industry is a highly demand-driven industry; thus, to solve the problem, even buyers of sex workers should be punished.
  • Section 8 of the Immoral Traffic Prevention Act, 1956 criminalises women who are made to stand in public spaces by the traffickers. These women should be treated as victims and not offenders
  • The government must refer the Bill to a standing committee for comprehensive consultations with Indian trade unions and workers groups.

Conclusion:

Trafficking bill was a step ahead in the measures which were bold and holistic response to a socioeconomic problem of labour exploitation. This can help India realise SDG 8.7.


Topic : Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment

6) Necessity to view sustainable development from the prism of interest of flora and fauna and not just from the standpoint of human beings is the need of the hour. Discuss. (250 words)

Epw

 

Why this question:

The article brings out the case study of Reintroduction of the Asiatic Lion and amidst

Key demands of the question:

The answer should discuss the statement and need for eco centric approach.

Directive:

DiscussThis 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.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

One can start by bringing out the need for such an approach in the current times.

Body:

Answer to the question should highlight the significance of eco-centric approach, necessity to view sustainable development from the prism of interest of flora and fauna and not just from the standpoint of human beings. Specifically with respect to the concept of eco-centrism. One can take hints from the article and discuss the SC verdicts in detail and suggest your opinion in a balanced way.

Conclusion:

Conclude with significance of such conservation efforts.

Introduction:

The recent controversy over the shifting of mugger crocodiles from their habitat near the Statue of Unity in Gujarat for tourist “safety,” has generated controversy. It is not clear as to whether the legal procedures under the provisions of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 were followed or not. However, the eagerness of the Gujarat government to shift the crocodiles on the presumption that it will cause danger to tourists, is to be contrasted with its vehement opposition to the shifting of few endangered Asiatic lions from Gujarat to a proposed second home in Kuno–Palpur Wildlife Sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh (MP). The reluctance of Gujarat to part with Asiatic lions assumes a serious dimension in view of the death of a sizeable number of lions due to the outbreak of suspected canine distemper.

Body:

The Supreme Court in Centre for Environmental Law v Union of India 2013 ruled that Eco-centrism is nature-centred, where humans are part of nature and non-humans have intrinsic value. In other words, human interest does not take automatic precedence and humans have obligations to non-humans independently of human interest. Eco-centrism is, therefore, life-centred, nature-centred where nature includes both humans and non-humans.

The principle of eco-centrism was relied upon by the Court in highlighting the importance of protecting the fauna and flora

Sustainable Development and Intergenerational equity presume the superior needs of individuals and distribute the use of natural resources in such a way that it must be fairly conveyed between the present and future generations.

The need for eco-centrism:

In ethical terms: ecocentrism expands the moral community (and ethics) from being just about ourselves. It means we are not concerned only with humanity; we extend respect and care to all life, and indeed to terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems themselves.

In evolutionary terms: ecocentrism reflects the fact Homo sapiens evolved out of the rich web of life on Earth – a legacy stretching back an almost unimaginable 3.5 billion years.

In spiritual terms: Many people and some societies have developed ecocentric moral sentiments. There is increasing evidence that ecocentric values are being fused into nature-based, ecocentric spiritualities, many of which are innovative and new. With such spiritualities, even people who are entirely naturalistic in their worldviews, often speak of the Earth and its ecosystems as ‘sacred’ and thus worthy of reverent care and defence

In ecological terms: ecocentrism reminds us that all life is interdependent and that both humans and nonhumans are absolutely dependent on the ecosystem processes that nature provides. An anthropocentric conservation ethic alone is wholly inadequate for conserving biodiversity.

Conclusion:

The shift has been gradual but steady, but there is still a long way to achieve absolute eco-centrism, if they intend to do so. It is imperative that the government and the people realise that the flora and fauna should be at the center of sustainable development for the latter to be successful.


Topic: Attitude: content, structure, function; its influence and relation with thought and behaviour – Scientific temper

7) What is scientific temper? Discuss the need for inculcating scientific temper among the masses.(250 words)

Indianexpress

Why this question:

The question is about discussing the concept of scientific temper, Discuss the need for inculcating scientific temper among the masses.

Key demand of the question:

Answer should define what is scientific temper, importance of inculcating scientific temper, why is it necessary and what is its significance.

Directive:

DiscussThis 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.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

In a few introductory lines explain the concept of scientific temper.

Body:

One must cover the following aspects in the answer –

  • The Scientific temper is a way of life (defined in this context as an individual and social process of thinking and acting) which uses the scientific method and which may, consequently, include questioning, observing physical reality, testing, hypothesizing, analyzing, and communicating (not necessarily in that order).
  • Explain why is it important?
  • What are the advantages?
  • Challenges in inculcating the same.

Conclusion:

Conclude with significance.

Introduction:

Scientific temper is a way of thinking and acting which uses a method, including observing physical reality, questioning, testing, hypothesizing, analysing and communicating. It involves the application of logic and the avoidance of bias and preconceived notions in arriving at decisions, and becomes particularly valuable while deciding what is best for the community or the nation.  Article 51A of the Constitution lists the fundamental duties of citizens, which include development of scientific temper, humanism and spirit of inquiry and reform. It means the Indians must have an open mind to learn new things.

Body:

Jawaharlal Nehru was one of the first persons to use and advocate this term, in Discovery of India. According to him, “…it is necessary, not merely for the application of science but for life itself and the solution of its many problems”. Discussion, argument and analysis are its vital parts.

Need for inculcating scientific temper among the masses:

  • Elements of fairness, equality and democracy are built-in in scientific temper.
  • Twin features of internal pluralism and external receptivity have been woven into the development of Indian thought over the ages.
  • This richness of the tradition of argument has shaped India’s social world and the nature of Indian culture. It has deeply influenced Indian politics and the development of democracy in India and emergence of its secular priorities.
  • To weed out the ignorance. E.g.: Even literate and well-educated people believe in superstitions and follow those.
  • To reduce the intolerance in the society. E.g.: Killing of rational thinkers like Narendra Dabholkar, MM Kalburgi etc.
  • To curb the fake news, rumours and wrong influence of Social Media. Instead of thinking rationally and researching about something, people blindly follow what social media propagates.
  • Improve the status of women. E.g: Issues like temple entry during menstruation, child marriages, triple talaq etc. which are not based on rational thinking.
  • Scientists are hitting the street because they feel the climate of scientific enquiry in India is at threat of being compromised by political and religious interference by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and associated groups such as the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
  • Scientists are now concerned that instead of ring-fencing the Indian scientific community, the government has allowed intrusions that threaten to distract from areas of research that need the urgent attention of researchers, including in fields directly related to Indian economic development.
  • For instance, the elite Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, has been told by the ministry of science and technology to conduct “verifiable scientific research to establish the benefits”—reportedly, medicinal and other—derived from Panchagavya, a concoction of cow dung, cow urine, cow milk, curd and clarified butter (ghee) that is used in some traditional Hindu rituals.
  • We are seeing an increasing intrusion of theology into science. The influence of a variety of godmen and miracle makers is increasing alarmingly.
  • In an age when man has travelled to the moon and returned safely, astrological predictions based on the movements of planets or the lines of one’s palm or the number of alphabets in one’s name, are widely believed. Food fads, irrational health practices are on the increase.

 

Methods to inculcate Scientific temper:

  • In such a situation of social and cultural malaise, a major role of Scientific Temper is to revive confidence and hope and to dispel fatalistic outlook.
  • The campaign to promote Scientific Temper must inculcate values like equality and dignity of all human beings, distributive justice, dignity of labour, and social accountability of one’s actions.
  • Although big science (space probes, cosmic ray physics, etc.,) has served India well, the nation must also look at areas that are less eyeball-grabbing, such as water resources, agriculture and the environment, he said, requesting anonymity because he is not allowed to talk to the press.
  • science and scientists must have a position of pride in society which can influence many young students to move into scientific fields.
  • A nationwide science policy which should be able to anticipate problem areas, devise course correction.
  • Better funding of Science and Technology initiatives which would help in development of the society.
  • All these are essential for bringing about social, economic and cultural transformation of our country.

Conclusion:

Scientific temper needs to be promoted across all sections of the society systematically, using tools like National Knowledge Network. Public and political understanding of science should be based on evidence and debate with open mind.