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[ Day 18 – Synopsis ] 75 Days Mains Revision Plan 2023 – Polity & Ethics

 

Polity


 

Q1. How does the separation of powers in the Indian constitutional scheme compare to that of the United Kingdom, the United States, and France? (10M)

Introduction

The separation of powers is a fundamental principle in democratic systems, aimed at preventing the concentration of power in a single authority. It divides the functions of government into three branches: the legislative, executive, and judicial branches. The doctrine of separation of powers forms the foundation on which the whole structure of the Indian constitution is based.

Body:

Comparing separation of powers in Indian constitutional scheme with UK, USA and France:

India UK USA France
In India, the separation of powers is not as rigidly defined as in some other countries.

 

The Indian Constitution establishes three main branches of government:

●       the executive,

●       the legislature,

●       and the judiciary.

The UK follows a parliamentary system where there is no strict separation of powers between the executive and legislative branches. The United States has a well-defined separation of powers among three branches: the executive, the legislature, and the judiciary. France also adheres to the principle of separation of powers.

 

The French Constitution establishes three main branches:

the executive, the legislature, and the judiciary.

The President is the head of state and represents the executive branch, while the Prime Minister leads the government as the head of the executive branch.

 

The Parliament represents the legislative branch, consisting of the Lok Sabha (Lower House) and Rajya Sabha (Upper House).

 

The executive power is concentrated in the hands of the Prime Minister and the Cabinet, who are members of the Parliament.

 

The Monarch, who is the head of state, has limited powers and performs ceremonial roles.

The President is the head of the executive branch.

 

 

The Congress, consisting of the House of Representatives and the Senate, forms the legislative branch.

The President, as the head of state and government, represents the executive branch.

 

The Parliament, consisting of the National Assembly and the Senate, represents the legislative branch.

The judiciary is independent and entrusted with interpreting and enforcing the laws.

 

The Indian system exhibits some intermingling of powers.

●       For example, the President, who is part of the executive, has certain legislative functions, such as assenting to bills passed by Parliament.

●       Additionally, the Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers, who are part of the executive, are also members of the legislature.

The judiciary operates independently, but there is no formal written constitution, and the Parliament has the authority to make or change laws, including constitutional laws.

 

The concept of mixed government with checks and balances given by Blackstone is more predominant in U.K. The three branches are not formally separated and continue to have overlapped as it is in India.

The judiciary, led by the Supreme Court, is responsible for interpreting laws.

●       Each branch has specific powers and checks and balances over the others, outlined in the US Constitution.

The judiciary, headed by the Court of Cassation, is independent and ensures the application of laws.

 

Conclusion

In the Indian situation, the principles of constitutional restraint and confidence have been implemented in such a manner that no institution can, by means of a specific or necessary clause, usurp the duties or powers delegated to another institution and cannot detach itself from the basic roles that belong to the organ in compliance with the Constitution.

 

Value addition

Judicial Pronouncements on Separation of powers:

 

 

Q2. What are the objectives of the Indian Constitution as outlined in its Preamble? Can the Preamble be amended, and if so, under what conditions? (10M)

Introduction

Preamble is the Introductory part of the Constitution which is rightly defined as “Soul of the Constitution” & “Identity card of the constitution”. It was inspired from US constitution. It contains the gist of the constitution and is an embodiment of the Objectives Resolution passed by the constituent Assembly. The whole of Indian Constitution is an elaboration of the preamble.

Body:

Objectives of the Indian Constitution as outlined in its Preamble:

  • Justice: The Preamble seeks to secure justice, social, economic, and political for all citizens. It reflects the commitment to establishing a just society where every individual enjoys equal opportunities and fairness.
  • Liberty: The Preamble aims to secure liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith, and worship. It emphasizes the importance of individual freedom and the protection of fundamental rights.
  • Equality: The Preamble seeks to promote equality of status and opportunity. It envisions a society that ensures equality before the law and prohibits discrimination based on factors such as caste, religion, gender, or race.
  • Fraternity: The Preamble emphasizes the promotion of fraternity among the people of India. It envisions a sense of brotherhood and unity among citizens, transcending social, linguistic, regional, and religious diversities.
  • Sovereign: The Preamble declares India as a sovereign nation, indicating its independence from external control and its ability to determine its own destiny.
  • Socialist: The term “socialist” was added to the Preamble through the 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act of 1976. It reflects the commitment to achieving a socialistic pattern of society, aiming for equitable distribution of resources and welfare of all citizens.
  • Secular: Another addition through the 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act, the term “secular” reflects the principle of religious neutrality adopted by the Indian state. It ensures equal treatment of all religions and freedom of religion for individuals.
  • Democratic: The Preamble highlights India’s commitment to being a democratic nation, where power rests with the people. It promotes a system of government based on popular participation, representative institutions, and the rule of law.
  • Republic: The term indicates that the head of the state is elected by the people. In India, the President of India is the elected head of the state.

 

Amenability of preamble:

  • As per Article 368, the Preamble of the Constitution of India can be amended. This has been reiterated by Supreme court in Keshvananda Bharti case (1973). Court stated that since the Preamble is part of the constitution, it can be amended as per the constitutional provisions.
    • However, the basic structure of the Constitution, including the essential features and principles enshrined in the Preamble, cannot be amended.
  • So far, only one amendment has been made to the Preamble of the constitution.
  • This amendment was made in the year 1976, by the 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act.
  • After this amendment, three new words were added to the Preamble, namely, socialist, secular, and integrity.

 

Conclusion

Preamble of the Constitution of India is one of the best of its kind ever drafted. Both in ideas and expression it is a unique one. It embodies the spirit of the constitution to build up an independent nation which will ensure the triumph of justice, liberty, equality and fraternity.

 


Ethics


Syllabus: Social influence and persuasion

Q3. What attributes enables an individual to successfully persuade others? Discuss using suitable examples (10M)

Introduction:

Persuasion is a symbolic process in which communicators try to convince other people through the transmission of a message to change their attitudes or behaviors.

Body:

Attributes that help in successful persuasion: As per psychologist Robert Cialdini these are the six  principles of persuasion

 

  • Reciprocity: a salesperson offering a free trial can elicit a sense of obligation from customers to know about the product in detail and increases chances of buying it.
    • Attributes: Being empathetic, emotionally intelligent and understanding of others needs creates reciprocity.
  • Scarcity: Limited-time offers, exclusive memberships capitalize on the principle of scarcity.
    • Attributes: Being active listeners can help know what’s needed and help tailor our arguments. “The best way to persuade people is with your ears – by listening to them.” – Dean Rusk
  • Authority: a dentist recommending a specific toothpaste brand based on their professional knowledge can persuade patients to choose that product.
  • Attributes: Knowledge, expertise, , experience, confidence, professionalism.
  • Consistency: during campaigns politicians often refer to successful implementation of their previous promises or schemes as a way to increasing the likelihood of continued support
    • Attributes : remain determined, overcome obstacles, and maintain focus on the desired outcome.
  • Likability: Celebrity endorsements or using relatable spokespersons in advertisements are examples of leveraging liking to persuade consumers.
    • Attributes : Establishing credibility and trust through honesty and integrity.
  • Consensus or social proof: “Ujjwala Yojana’s Give it up campaign” – seeing their close friends and family give up LPG subsidy others too get inspired.
    • Attributes: strong network of influential contacts, social intelligence to leverage connections.

As Edward R. Murrow says “To persuade others, we must be believable; to be believable, we must be credible; to be credible, we must be truthful.”

Conclusion:

The art of persuasion is not in changing people’s minds, but in understanding them well enough to know what to say to achieve the desired result. The six principles mentioned above would help in understanding and effectively persuading others.

 

 


Case Study


Q4. Karthik is posted as head of the police department in a Maoist affected state. One of the constables had posted on social media about the petty living conditions of the lower-level police personnel in the state. This had brought widespread criticism of the government and the department from across state urging for the necessary actions. The constable was transferred to a moist affected district as punishment for violating the conduct rules. His wife committed suicide following the row. The incident triggered state wide protest and agitation with constables and their families protesting and marching to the state capital causing the law-and-order situation. Their demand is better facilities, allowances, fixed duty hours and weekly off among other things. Some of the constables have threatened the government with the warnings of resigning from service and joining the Maoists camp. Upon initial inquiry it is found that the protest was orchestrated by aggrieved elements, who were either dismissed from the service or have been under the departmental enquiries.

    1. What are the ethical issues involved in the case?
    2. What course of action would you suggest for Karthik to resolve the present situation?
    3. As head of the police department what measures should Karthik take to avoid recurrence of such protest in future?

Synopsis:

The given case study revolves around the ethical dilemmas faced by Karthik, the head of the police department in a Maoist affected state.

  1. The ethical issues involved are:
  • Freedom of expression vs Code of conduct: and the limitations imposed by the codes of conduct within the police department.
  • Punishment vs proportionality: of the disciplinary action taken as the transfer led to subsequent suicide of his wife.
  • Duty vs care: ethical responsibility of the department to provide a safe and conducive working environment for its employees.
  • Promoting stereotypes: Moist areas considered as punishment posting. If anything, these areas require efficient officers with high integrity and work ethic.’
  • Accountability and transparency: The orchestration of the protest raises questions about accountability and transparency within the police department.
  • Justice and fairness in investigations: it’s unsure whether the constable was transferred for his social media post or the subsequent protests he caused. What if his post never went viral?
  • Objective of disciplinary action: suicide and plot aggrieved elements to cause protests raises questions on the effectiveness and utility of disciplinary actions.
  • Ethical responsibility towards mental health: to prioritize the mental health and well-being of its personnel and their families.
  • Ethical leadership: The department never worked on grievance redressal of concerns raised by the constable but chose to transfer him.
  • Genuine demands vs coercion: constables can’t blackmail the public and government of the day by threatening to join moist forces.
  1. I would suggest the following course of actions:
  • Mediation and conflict Resolution: between constable and department engaging a neutral third party. For instance, the Committee of concerned Police (CCP) like in Andhra Pradesh in 1997 which formed The Committee of Concerned Citizens(CCC) who toured toured naxal areas engaging with society. This was a novel approach as previously the Naxalites and the state were seen as the only key actors.
  • Avoid stereotypes and bias: Not to treat posting in Naxalites areas as punishment posting. Implementation of a transparent and merit-based transfer policy as done by Kiran Bedi, former Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry.
  • Identify and address Immediate Demands: of the constables, such as improving facilities, allowances, fixed duty hours, and weekly offs. An example of this approach is the initiative taken by D. Roopa, former Deputy Inspector General of Prisons in Karnataka, who introduced reforms in prison systems, including improvements in living conditions and welfare measures for prison staff.
  • Conduct a Fair Investigation: into the constable’s transfer and the subsequent suicide of his wife and also the plot by aggrieved elements.
  • Rethink methods of punishment: for constables involved in protest and aggrieved constables if found guilty. One approach could be “Smart Policing Initiative” introduced by K. Vijay Kumar, former Director-General of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), which focused on capacity-building, skill enhancement, and behavioral training to prevent misconduct and improve discipline among CRPF personnel.
  • Welfare fund and wing: “Police Welfare and Development Fund” to address welfare needs. For instance, Sanjay Kundu, the Director-General of Himachal Pradesh Police, established a dedicated “Police Welfare Wing” to address living conditions, medical facilities, education support, and recreational activities, promoting a positive work environment and reducing the chances of protests.

 

It is crucial for Karthik to demonstrate empathy, accountability, and a willingness to address the legitimate concerns of the constables.

 

  1. Implement Reforms and Policy Changes to avoid such incidents:
    • Training and Capacity Building: like the “SMART” program initiated by the Mumbai Police, which focuses on training police personnel in soft skills, can serve as an inspiration.
    • Transparency and Accountability: like the “Dial 100” initiative in Uttar Pradesh, which allows citizens to directly report complaints against police personnel, promotes transparency and accountability.
    • Collaboration with stakeholders for improved working conditions: such as community leaders, civil society organizations, and government bodies. Such as ‘Friends of Police’ (Tamil Nadu), ‘Janamaithri Suraksha Project’ (Kerala), ‘Meira Paibi’ (Manipur)
    • Counselling: “Vishwas” program implemented by the Delhi Police or HATS (Help and Assistance to Tackle Stress) in Kerala for police officers who are suffering from mental stress, to help those who have personal problems such as addiction, issues with senior officers, family problems, financial problems, suicide tendencies etc.
    • Buddy System: In some states, senior police officers are assigned as mentors or buddies to newly recruited constables. This helps in providing guidance, support, fostering a sense of camaraderie and reducing the chances of discontent leading to protests.
    • Issue Social media conduct rules: For instance, U.P. Police’s new social media policy bars personnel from making videos/reels etc in uniform or live telecast by any personnel on their personal social media platform during duty.

 

By implementing these courses of actions, Karthik can work towards resolving the present situation, addressing the concerns of the constables, and fostering a more harmonious and productive work environment within the police department.


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