Q.1) A constitutional body, Finance commission has always been overshadowed by planning commission. Do you think Finance commission will regain its relevance after the formation of NITI Aayog ? Don’t you think, NITI Ayog is nothing but a better replica of Planning Commission?
The Top Answer for this Question is written by – AnkGarg0402
Ans) The Planning Commission, although, set up with the sole purpose of planning, its functions have gradually expanded to the entire ambit of administration. Due to its overarching powers, it has been termed as “super cabinet”.
The sharing of central resources with the States until now was done by two levels- the constitutional body i.e. Finance Commission and the Planning Commission. The amount of funds allocated by the Planning commission has recently surpassed that by the Finance Commission. Thus, with the scrapping of the former and transfer of its financial functions to the latter, Finance Commission will regain its relevance.
Although both- the Planning Commission (PC)and the Niti Ayog (NA) are envisaged to advise the Central government in planning, there still are sharp differences between the two including the following-
PC-Five Year Plan Formulation
NA-Cooperative federalism & designing the National agenda
2. Planning Model:
PC-Top-down socialist planning with excessively relying on technocrats. Based on one-size-fits-all without any customization.
NA-Participatory planning with including of free-market economist and specialists. Ad-hoc regional councils to address regional disparities.
PC-No direct participation from States and UTs.
NA-Represented in the Governing Councils.
4. Financial role:
PC-Decides amount of money to each States for centrally sponsored schemes and State Five year plans.
NA-Not clear; many transferred to Finance Ministry and respective ministries.
The structure and mandate of the newly constituted NITI Ayog clearly reflect the changing dynamics of the Indian economy after its liberalization. It should be used as an opportunity to learn from the failures of the old institution of Planning Commission and implement it with the constructive participation of all stakeholders.
Q.2) The recent judgement by SC to strike down the 99th Constitutional Amendment Act and the NJAC Act is a step towards protecting constitutionalism in India. Critically comment.
The Top Answer for this Question is written by – Vardan Maheshwari
Ans) The judgement of Supreme Court which quashed NJAC Act 2014 and 99th Constitutional Amendment Bill has generated a debate whether the judgement was a step towards protecting constitutionalism or a refusal to share power.
Assertions which support the quashing of the 99th CAA and NJAC Act 2014 are:
a)Judicial Supremacy cannot compromised as the GOVT. ITSELF IS ONE OF THE BIGGEST LITIGANTS IN THE COURTS from issues ranging from human rights violation to wrongful distribution of natural resources.
b)NJAC would have been a constitutional body but its COMPOSITION COULD HAVE BEEN CHANGED THROUGH AN ORDINARY BILL which would have undermined the judiciary’s independence.
c)Independence of judiciary is enshrined in the ARTICLE 51 of the Constitution.
d)The Rule of Law would cease to have any meaning if the functioning of the judiciary is seen as thwarting the will of people represented by elected legislatures.HOWEVER THE SC HAS ALSO AGREED THAT THERE ARE DEFICIENCIES IN THE COLLEGIUM SYSTEM.
However there are certain issues which put question mark on the judgement:
a)The judgement of the Supreme Court was based on an ambitious claim that the PRIMACY OF THE JUDICIARY IN APPOINTMENT PROCESS IS INDESPENSABLE FOR INDEPENDENCE OF JUDICIARY AND THAT FORMS THE PART OF BASIC STRUCTURE.
b)The judgement will not open the road of transparency in the judiciary. The incidents like UNCLE JUDGES have put a serious blame on the functioning of judiciary.
A room of improvement is there for making the judicial processes more transparent.Hence the judiciary and the executive must work together to evolve a mechanism which is more transparent and gives independence to judiciary.
Q.3) With social media becoming more and more socially and politically relevant, should there be a strong regulatory mechanism for it? Discuss.
The Top Answer for this Question is written by – Rahul Agarwal
Ans) Social media in recent times have become a significant tool for social and political mobilization of people. The mobilization of people during Nirbhaya campaign, and the support to political parties like AAP during Delhi elections are shining examples of potency of social media.
On the other hand social media, has also been prone to be misused for spreading rumours and hate speeches. Violence against north east people in Bangalore in 2012, muzaffarnagar riots in 2013 are some of the cases triggered by rumour spreading through social media. A boy in hyderabad was found duping many girls on Facebook.
Recently some religious ideologues were found recruiting youths for organizations like ISIS over internet. There are also increase instances of cyber crimes like identity theft, data theft etc .
Thus, there is a need for a regulatory mechanism to make social media a safe method of communication. But, government should not try to circumvent freedom of speech and expression and violation of citizens privacy. The ill drafted encryption law has to be withdrawn due to public opposition. Singularly, section 66 of IT act was scrapped by judiciary due to its infringement on free speech.
Therefore, rather than having reactionary attitude, government should hold wide consultations with experts, technologists and civil society, so than an independent regulator could be established ensuring both freedom and security for netizens of India. Framing of a sound privacy law would be a good start.
High Order Thinking
Q.1) The issue of reaching out to the citizens through the unique identity database i.e. the Aadhar versus infringement of right to privacy of an individual needs to be resolved through legislative action. Do you agree? Examine the issue in light of the recent verdict of the Supreme Court.
The Top Answer for this Question is written by – Jimboomba
Ans) Aadhar envisages the convergence of the existing multiple databases for identity verification to a single platform.It is unprecedented with regard to the quantam of data generated and stored .In the absence of adequate safeguards ,this process has serious ramifications on the privacy of individuals.Access to confidential information gets much simplified and easier.
It facilitates surveillance of citizens by state.It can be viewed in the light of recent controversies regarding global surveillance programs.The integrity and credentials of private companies involved in the project needs to be judged.When viewed against this backdrop ,there is a grave threat to the right to privacy of citizens.
As gleaned from various SC judgements Right to Privacy is an integral aspect of the Right to Life and Liberty.It cannot be taken away except in accordance with law.Such an authorization by law is lacking in case of Aadhar,which runs under an executive decision.Collection of biometric details of individuals without backing of a statute amounts to a violation of the right to privacy.
On the other hand , Aadhar has a tremendous potential in redrawing the service delivery mechanism. It brings with it a host of benefits including better targeting, plugging leakages etc. Aadhar is the central plank of a plethora of ambitious projects mooted by government like Digi locker, e sign, Jeevan praman etc.
The need of the hour is to address the privacy concerns of citizens by incorporating adequate and necessary safeguards. Without parliamentary sanction and legislative backing , the process is legally untenable and unacceptable.
Q.2) What importance does Germany hold for India in terms of India’s economic, strategic and security imperatives? Also discuss the role that Germany can play in the expansion of India’s renewable energy share in the total energy mix.
The Top Answer for this Question is written by – Vidhu
Ans) Germany is one of the biggest trade partners of India in the European Union. It is among the largest developed countries of the world. The potential gains from Germany for India are immense in the following fields:
1. it is the largest trading partner of India in EU
2. It has huge capital which can be invested in the Indian industrial sector for Make in India program
3. The demographic deficit of Germany can be compensated by the growing young labour force of India
4. Remittances from Indians in Germany are still very large
5. Germany has emerged as one of the most attractive destination for Indian students
1. India along with Germany, Japan, Brazil forms the G4 for the permanent membership in the UNSC
2. Germany supports India’s admission to NSG group
1. Germany can invest in developing defence sector through make in India.
2. The sophisticated german manufacturing sector will enhance the technology in Indian defence sector
1. Germany is the largest wind energy producer in the world. India could benefit greatly from Germany in developing wind energy in India
2. A pact has been signed for 2 billion euros for developing clean energy corridor and solar projects
3. Germany has been investing in the CDM projects in India also
Hence it can be said that friendship and cooperation with Germany will definitely help India attain better growth and prestige in the world.
Q.3) What are the issues surrounding the one rank one pension (OROP) scheme? What importance does this issue hold in the consciousness of a common citizen of India? Do you think that bureaucratic emotional disconnect is responsible for the prevailing state of affairs. Critically examine.
The Top Answer for this Question is written by – Annapurna Garg
Ans) One rank one pension scheme is the pension scheme for armed forces in which those retiring at same rank would get same pension, irrespective of the year in which they retire. It has got approval after lot of debated and delays.
Following are certain issues concerning OROP:
1. Demand for OROP arose due to the massive difference in the pay of retired armed personnel in different years which is because of the early retirement. Some retiring at the highest post get lower pension than those who retire at much lower post.
2. OROP presents several challenges for the government-
– huge burden on the exchequer, especially when fiscal management is a priority.
– probable demands from paramilitary forces.
– there is still lack of clarity on its implementation.
Consciousness of a common citizen has been very much in favour of the veterans’ case. Soldiers dedicate their whole lives for the cause of nation, for which citizens are highly grateful to them. They are dignified and held in high esteem by society.
Bureaucratic disconnect can be said to be a reason for the present state of affairs. Administrative loopholes are responsible for retired armed personnel to have waited for so long. Generally also, bureaucracy and armed forces have a distanced relation. However, bureaucracy is not only to be blamed. Political will could have expedited the process. It’s a welcome step now and would boost morale of armed forces.