Q.1) With gradual increase in the longevity, social security is turning out to be a major concern in India. What are the steps taken by the government in this regard? What measures according to you can be taken by the government?
The Top Answer for this Question is written by – Indushree
Q.2) In a Presidential form of a government, one on one debates are seen between the presidential candidates. In India there has been a trend of image worship during elections where voters are seen to be voting on the name of a candidate rather than the party. In this scenario, do you think one on one debate should be allowed in India, so that voters can make an informed choice? Is India ready to adopt the Presidential form of government?
The Top Answer for this Question is written by – Shiuli
Ans) The concept of Presidential debates was propounded in Western democratic countries like USA and France. The objective was to reach out to large blocs of voters who were undecided upon their choice of candidate.
These debates are organized events which follow a methodical system regarding the format of questions, time limits for answering, opportunity for rebuttal etc. and are televised countrywide.
Conversely, in India debates between candidates are hardly on issues of policy or the ideologies of respective parties. Candidates resort to mud-slinging and attacks on personal character of rivals and the medium of choice is generally social networking sites.
In such a scenario, it will be pragmatic to organize formal debates between election candidates. This is not only in conformity with the dignity of elected members of the people but would also enable the electorate to reach a logical conclusion regarding the candidates’ viewpoint.
In India, the Parliamentary form of government was chosen keeping in mind the large-scale heterogeneity of the country, as this form was perceived to be more representative and more suited to check concentration of powers.
In such a scenario, a Presidential form of government will serve little purpose and may even stoke feeling of regionalism. The need of the hour is greater accountability from elected representatives, rather than an overhaul of the entire government machinery.
Q.3) The reluctance of the political class to come under the purview of the RTI Act has created a serious trust deficit among citizens which is not a healthy sign for the Indian democracy. Do you agree with this argument? Examine the issue in light of the recent CIC order and the response of the government.
The Top Answer for this Question is written by – Tom_dwan
Ans) Trying to set a new bench mark in transparency in politics, the Central Information Commission held political parties are answerable under the Right to Information Act.
Justification behind CIC’s move.
1. Indirect substantial financing by the central government
2. Performance of public duty.
3. Constitutional provisions vesting them with rights and liabilities.
Political parties opposed because
1. They maintained political rivals with malicious intentions could file RTI applications and adversely affect the parties’ political functioning.
2. There are too many NGOs with suspect motivations which will create hindrance in governance.
3. It was never the “intent” of the government to bring parties under the RTI.
Why should they be brought under RTI?
1. To stop all declare their sources of funding, and the extent of their assets and financial holdings.
2. Although parties have to declare to the Election Commission all donations in excess of Rs.20,000 they receive, they resort to under-reporting to evade this clause.
3. Donations to political parties are not always voluntary— big businesses and corporate houses — get favours in return when the parties they fund come to power.
4. The very spirit of RTI is trampled when more and more institutions get to opt out of it for absurd reasoning of being affected by malicious intentions.
5. As political parties’ operations are subsidised by the government it makes sense to restrict disclosure to the flow of money, not internal deliberations.
With the Supreme Court now asking six national parties why they should not be brought under the RTI, India is a step closer to making its political organisations accountable in their financial transactions.
High Order Thinking
Q.1) A whole new spectrum of movements has been witnessed recently wherein the otherwise socially affluent castes are demanding reservation in government jobs and education. Where are we heading as a society as far as the domain of reservation is concerned? Are we actually ushering into an era in which reservation will be de-stigmatized and it will rather follow economic backwardness as the sole criterion? Discuss.
The Top Answer for this Question is written by – Amit
Ans) Reservation was envisaged as a temporary mechanism for affirmative action and positive discrimination. It was meant for socially and economically backward section of the society to help them bring into mainstream. However,recent incidents like Gujjars in Rajasthan and Patels in Gujarats, although influential and affluent sections of society, etc demanding reservation does point to –
1. It is increasingly being seen as a tool to avail various benefits irrespective of criteria set by constitution and rather relying on petty politics and mass mobilization.
2. Increasing competition due to population increase with no commensurate increase in opportunities has further complicated the issue.
3. It reflects that reservation is no longer seen as stigma and being seen as convenient tool to avail benefits in employment and educational opportunities.
4. This is further dividing already heterogeneous society ,a threat to the cohesiveness of society.
There is no doubt that India still requires ‘reservation’ due to wide spread poverty,inequality present in society and those sections need state’s support for their upliftment. However,one can not ignore the fact that on one hand, we have well-off sections of society who continue to avail reservation benefits due to their caste status,on the other hand,poor sections from higher/forward castes do not.Such discrepancies will lead to more such demands from different sections.
Thus, what is required is to re-orient the reservation policy and make it on economic criterion irrespective of caste/community status.However,it would require both strong political will and efficient and effective implementation to succeed.
Q.2) Volatility has become a typical feature of the global economy. The way the Chinese stock market crashed in August this year and it’s ripple effects were felt in India and other parts of the world bear testimony to this. This may eventually lead to a trend what economic analysts call as counter globalization. What do understand by this? Analyse.
The Top Answer for this Question is written by – Adityaka
Ans) The creation pf the World Trade Organisation (WTO) began the process of merging domestic markets into various international markets. This led to the integration of highly developed financial and commodities markets of the rich countries with the vulnerable markets of the poor countries.
Recent move by Brazil and India, against the wishes of the US, to continue the moratorium on ‘non-violation complaints and situations’ shows the inner contradictions of engaging in an international trading forum between rich and poor countries. This has led to increasing protectionist measures.
Protectionist measures leads to counter globalization and may be applied in many ways;
Currency and capital: Japan, EU, China and Russia have recently entered into the currency wars by lowering interest rates, making their exports more competitive. This results in volatility in financial markets and current accounts of developing countries such as China and the tiger economies.
Subsidies: Poor countries such as India offer subsidies to crucial sectors such as Agriculture.
Labour: The US visa policy has been protectionist with respect to foreign economic immigration. Same goes with EU.
Fiat: India sets a maximum export price to control domestic inflation.
Such protectionist measures act as non-tariff trade barriers, undoing what the WTO has set out to do. Implementation of the Basel 3 norms and creation of a stable financial system should be the current priority.
Q.3) The acts of atrocity against the Dalit community point towards the prevalence of pervasive intolerance in the society. They also bear testimony to the blatant ignorance of the constitutional ideals that stood for social, economic and political justice. How do you view this issue. Elucidate.
The Top Answer for this Question is written by – Vardan Maheshwari
Ans) The recent acts of atrocities against the Dalit community clearly shows the fact that the effect of thousand year old caste system has not diminished and the dream of our constitution makers to create a egalitarian society is still a dream only.
The constitution aimed to provide social, economic and political justice to the Dalit community and the governments have enacted various acts and bodies for the Dalit Welfare like:
a)Social Justice-Article 17(Untouchability),Protection of Civil Rights Act 1955, SC AND ST Prevention of Atrocities Act 1989
b)Political Justice-Reservation of seats for SCs.
c)Economic Justice-NSCFDC, various schemes like Venture Capital Fund and Green Business Scheme.
In spite of the presence of such safeguards and schemes, Dalits have not got their due justice because:
a)Frequency of attacks in recent times on Dalits show us that the State has not been able to prevent atrocities on Dalits.
b)A recent study done on 100 Dalit enterpreneurs who have turn-over from 10 lakh to 1000 crore show that not even 1 enterpreneur took help from the government which clearly shows the small reach of Dalit welfare organizations.
c)Illiteracy still high among Dalits
d)Dalit children still do menial jobs.
Thus it is clear from the above facts that despite the constitutional safeguards the state has not been able to bring Dalits into the mainstream.So apart from doing strict implementation of the current provisions, the societal mindset needs to be changed to maintain tolerance in the society.