Day 2 – The Constitution, Comparison and Features – GS 2
Q.1) Critically examine the extent to which the Directive Principles of State Policy have been implemented in India. Examine their relevance in the era of liberalization and globalisation.
This is a straight-forward question, so the selection of the Top Answer would be strict, as almost everyone will write a similar answer.
For this, mentioning of the relevant Constitutional articles is mandatory, where the DPSP are mentioned. Even mention of Ireland is helpful. Then one paragraph dealing with the legislation which have implemented the DPSPs and another paragraph which talks about the negative aspects is a must.
Then a last paragraph showing the impact of LPG and DPSP’s relevance would be more than enough.
The Top Answer for this question is written by – Pushkal
Ans) Directive Principles of State Policies (DPSPs) enumerated in our Constitution(Art.36-51) are based on Ireland model. DPSPs serve to provide citizens their social and economic rights and to make India into a welfare state.
Successive govts. have been successful in granting a legal framework to a majority of DPSPs . Few of these are listed below:
1) Providing free legal aid through National Free Legal Service Act.
2) Right to work through MGNREGA.
3) Organisation of village panchayat through 73rd Amendment Act 1992.
4) Protection of Environment through Environment Act 1986.
5) Providing free and compulsory education to children through RTE via 86th Amend. Act.
But as far as implementation of these legislation is concerned, govts. have remained unsuccessful. Implementation of these requires political will that comes under the Governance. There is no accountability of the implementing agencies, there is a lack of infrastructure, resources required, lack of financial decentralization , etc.
Art. 39 provide for equal distribution of resources among the people to ensure social and economic equality. But after the LPG reforms of 1991, rather than providing more opportunities to the people in open market, reforms have resulted in more inequality. The Indian market favored the foreign goods and compromised indigenous industries.
So, observing the results of LPG reforms, there is a need today that govts. should strive towards implementing the objectives of the DPSPs rather than merely enacting the legislation on them.
Q.2) “Fundamental duties are only ethical or moral duties and should not form a part of the Fundamental law.” Critically comment.
Always remember that for such Polity questions, a mention of the relevant Constitutional Articles is a must. And for this particular question which has “critically comment” has its directive, there are two aspects on top of just pros and cons –
a) The need for making F.Ds a part of the fundamental law – Pros and Cons.
b) Some of the F.Ds are already a part of various legislations while some are not.
So, covering thes two dimensions would be more than enough.
The Top Answer for this question is written by – Meera Kelkar
Ans) Fundamental duties were added to the Part IV A of the constitution under Article 51A by the 42nd amendment 1976, on the recommendations of Swaran Singh Committee.
Over the years, many important laws have been enacted out of them which plays a major role in the present scenario. Some of them are the Prevention of Insult to National Honour act, National Flag code, Protection of civil rights act, Wildlife protection act, forest conservation act, other criminal laws dealing with punishment for encouraging enmity etc.
Some of the fundamental duties from which these legislations are formed play a major role in the development of the nation.If they were to remain mere moral duties, then the nation would have seen chaos and destruction of biodiversity by now. The Fundamental duties therefore act as an implicit warning / obligation on the people and thereby helps in maintaining harmony and integrity between them.
But, all the Fundamental duties cannot become a part of Fundamental law since that would lead to too much ambiguity and wastage of national income by long court hearings. Some of these are developing scientific temper, cherishing the noble ideas that inspired freedom struggle, Collective activity etc. An act on these duties would be too vague and confusing.
The existing laws should be amended at regular intervals and more stringent laws should be framed to safeguard Public Property and abjure violence.
Q.3) Enumerate the political philosophies enshrined in the Indian Constitution. How far are they mutually reconcilable?
The crux of the question is “mutually reconcilable”, as one can enumerate whatever political philosophy one wants, but one should give more importance in ensuring that the philosophies which are mentioned are mutually reconcilable.
The Top Answer for this question is written by – Sepoy No. 1446
Ans) The Indian constitution is an expression of a wide range of political philosophy enshrined in one big document.
Six Major political philosophies can be traced into Indian constitution – Socialism, Liberalism, Republicanism, Federalism, Feminism and Environmentalism.
Socialism looks for socio-economic equality which comes under conflict with liberalism sometimes,especially after introduction of economic liberalization. In pursuance of liberalism government is amending certain laws to provide more autonomy to facilitate individual freedom and openness. Federalism also comes into this conflict war. There are mechanism like NITI Ayog and National development council to iron out differences. But this continues to be a challenge,especially for liberalism.
Republicanism strengthens democratism which in turn strengthens socialism and feminism. The last one is getting more emphasis these days due to increasing women participation, gender budgeting and gender parity in occupational mobility and education achievement. Political gender parity remains elusive,partly to be blamed for patriarchal structure of Indian society. The last one, Environmentalism, has also grown in stature and size,especially under aegis of UNFCCC and India’s national action plan of climate change. Environmentalism strengthens feminism but sometimes creates problem in federal relations.
Thus there are occasional incompatibility in some of the philosophies but as a living document constitution continues to foster these philosophies with varying success.
Q.4) “The present Indian Constitution is an amalgamation of various British provisions and Acts introduced in the previous two centuries.” Narrate the evolution of the various British legislations right from 1773 until 1947 and critically comment on their influence on the present Constitution.
Commenting on the philosophy of each British legislation and how it contributed to the Constitution is what is demanded in this question. One-Two line explanation for each legislation from 1773 till 1947 is more than enough.
The Top Answer is written by – Samudra Gupta
Ans) The evolution of British legislation from 1773 to 1947 are as follows:
Until 1858 the acts were mainly intended to shift the control of power the company to the british govt though they did make attempts to facilitate administration in the country.
-Pitts Act 1784 created a board of control to check the activities of the company,
-Charter Act 1813 removed monopoly of the company in trade with the East,
-Charter Act 1833 created a centralised administrative structure in the country
Post 1858 ,the legislations mainly aimed at improving the administration in the country and they finally culminated in responsible government.
-Councils Act 1861 created a wing for legislation while that of 1891 expanded it.
-Act 1909 created separate electorates
-Act 1919 created bicameralism, dyarchy at provincial levels etc
-Act 1935 had provisions of federalism, separate electorates, provincial autonomy etc
Indian connstitution in its present form draws heavily from the act 1935 in terms of divison of powers between center and states, bicameralism at the centre, more powers to Governor etc. At the same time we incoroporated provisons to suit the needs of an independent india such as Universal adult franchise, Removal of untouchability etc
Though an amalgamation of previous acts,our present constitution incorporates only those provisons which match the ideals of freedom struggle.
Q.5) How are the Fundamental Rights different from other legal and constitutional rights? What makes them so special?
Though a very simple question in literal sense but deceptive for most of you. Could have been handled easily but it was not the case. Except one or two, no one did justice to this. Here, rather than mentioning the features of FR, you have to compare and contrast it with legal and constitutional rights. It should include examples in case. Like, if you are talking about enforceability then do mention the rights for FR as well as Legal & constitutional. For the first part of the answer, you shouldn’t take more than 100 words.
Next part is where only special features need to be mentioned. Not everything!
The Top Answer is written by – Nishant
Ans) Fundamental Rights are those which are important for the well-being of an individual. They are guaranteed and protected by the Constitution. They are ‘fundamental’ for two reasons:
a) They are mentioned in the Constitution itself.
b) They cannot be taken away by ordinary legislation except in rare circumstances.
On the other hand Legal and Constitutional Rights are “granted” and not preexisting such as the right to vote. An individual cannot move the Supreme Court for their violation or curtailment through appropriate legislation.
Certain features which make Fundamental Rights special and different from other rights are:
– They are absolutely essential for an individual’s all round development. It makes them most vulnerable towards a tyrannical government and hence needs highest protection
– They facilitate establishment of Rule of Law by respecting individual freedom and liberty. For eg. Article 21 encompasses all necessary conditions required for a meaningful life.
– Act as a natural check on the absolute authority of the government and abuse of power, like implementing populist measures to further self-interest. Thus they lay foundation for social justice and equality
– Provide heft to the Directive Principles to be followed by the government
Hence, where legal and constitutional rights are merely privileges extended by the state, Fundamental Rights go much beyond their stated meanings.