Synopsis and Review – Think and Learn [Day 26]
GS 1) How has the Supreme Court of India defined and interpreted secularism? Critically analyse. (200 Words, 10 Marks)
Today’s Top answer is written by – Nishant
Ans) Secularism in India stems from the Vedas itself – Sarva Dharma Sambhava. Indian Constitution also stands for a secular state. Its guardian, the Supreme Court though has interpreted secularism differently at various points of time. Some pointers to throw light on this:
– Indian Secularism is a positive concept i.e. equal respect and protection to all religions. This is in contrast to the western concept of complete separation between state and religion.
– Secularism is implicit in Indian Constitution through Right to Religion under article 25-28 as well as article 15 and 16.
– Going a step forward, it declared secularism as a basic feature of the constitution in SR Bommai case 1994
Despite a clear stand, the Supreme Court has not gone far enough to provide an infallible definition of secularism. It turned ambivalent on the need for a Uniform Civil Code after the controversy surrounding Shah Bano verdict erupted in 1985. With rise of religious nationalism in the 90s, it failed to differentiate between Hinduism and the neo-concept of Hindutva and minority religions became too sensitive to meddle with. It intervened ineffectively in the Babri Masjid incident in 1993, ironically declaring secularism as a basic feature the very next year.
In present times also, the Supreme Court has struggled to arrest cases of forced conversion, accepting that secularism in India might be under threat.
GS 2) Lack of security of tenure for important posts in India had greatly hampered the morale and efficiency of civil service. Discuss. Suggest measures to address this issue. (200 Words, 10 Marks)
Today’s Top answer is written by – L.I.
Ans) Civil service in India has been subjected to the whims and fancies of politics, with unstable terms and appointments. This has led to
– Non transparency in appointments and transfers: Leads to lack of motivation for improving one’s efficiency
– Using transfers as a means of incarcerating honest and efficient officials: Prevents the officials from taking bold, progressive decisions for projects and schemes
– Lack of innovation and creativity for improving their departments [and themselves] among officers
– More nexus and corruption between bureaucrats and political class, thereby leading to trust deficit among the public.
Some measures on the line of 2nd Administrative Reforms Commission:
– Wipe out vested political interference in appointment through a robust Rules of Conduct
– Civil Service Board for recommending transfers and appointments
– Transparency in appointment and transfer by making reasons known in public domain
– Fixed minimum tenure
– Safeguards from arbitrary action by government in cases of dismissal, removal etc
The civil services has been criticized mainly because of political interference which leads to inefficiency. Independence and autonomy to work in a progressive manner will ensure the progress of democracy and good governance.
GS 3) Critically discuss why and examine the concerns raised by the inhabitants of the Sunderban region regarding the growing number of Tigers in their forests. (200 Words, 10 Marks)
Today’s Top answer is written by – Enticer
Ans) As per the State of Forest report 2014, there has been increase in the population of tiger reported, which is maximum in the West Bengal. This is good for India’s fauna population and biodiversity.
But this increase has raised the concern of the inhabitants of the Sunderbans, following are the major problems faced by them due to increase in the number of tigers in their forests :
a) Population increase of tigers have led to increase in human-animal conflict in forests.
b) Livelihood issues created as inhabitants are unable to go to forest to collect basic necessities like timber and other forest produce.
c)Due to shrinkage of habitation, sometimes tigers enter into human habitation attacking the people living there.
The threat posed by increase in tiger population in Sundarbans need to be addressed immediately by following measures:
a) There is a need to adopt ex-situ tiger conservation techniques by shifting them from their original habitats to zoological parks and other big tiger reserves.
b)Locals must be provided provided proper training to respond in case of human animal conflicts.
c)More forest guards must be deputed in Sundarban regions along with relaxation in rules of anti-poaching, in case it is urgently require the killing of any tiger if it is posing threat.
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