1.Parliamentary democracy calls for debate and discussions but not disruptions. However in the past few years, the trend has been to stall parliamentary proceedings in the name of countering the government on certain issues. What steps should be taken to address this disruptive tendency prevailing in the Parliament? Discuss.
Debate and discussion are the hallmark of democracy where parliament acts as the platform for various parties of different ideologies to come together and engage in deliberations as to what should be the progress path of the country
Disruption causes: loss of time, money and causes loss of faith in public and in international community
It also leads to situation where many issues of national importance are not being taken up
(Students can elaborate on them further)
Government should become more accommodative of opposition parties and should leave “my way or the highway “ approach and try to engage opposition parties
Need of ethics committee in loksabha and strengthening the ethics committee of rajyasabha
Pre-training of elected MPs in parliamentary decorum and mannerisms before the oath taking
The speaker or chairman must act strictly in cases of such unruly incidents, but also care must be taken that expelling all of opposition is also not a viable option
Productivity based salary for MPs based on productive work has to be done
Amending the Anti-defection law to make room for conscience voting even against the party stand
Salary cuts for every day of disruption plus fines
All party meeting can be made mandatory to help in active engagement
Using more joint committee platforms than select committees for better coordination between houses
Best answer: Vibhor Sharma
Democracy can be best described in words of C Rajgopalachari as ” govt by discussion’. Thus parliament remains the highest debating forum on matters concerning the nation.
However in recent past; protest and disruption by opposition due to various issues, such as – vyapam and involvement of govt, land bill, gst, ect has degenerated democracy into parliament by disruption.
For instance- monsoon session 2015 completely washed out with loksabha productivity (48%) and rajya sabha(9%)
Disruption continued in rajya sabha even in winter session with productivity of 45%. Clearly, as govt lacks majority in upper house.
Further, the ‘question hour’ which is most crucial to make govt answerable also suffered.
Thus, this disruptive tendency by opposition not only leads to wastage of public money but may also lead govt to slip to cabinet dictatorship.
Steps to check this tendency:
1-Providing consti outlet to opposition for protest and to display their concerns. For inst- fixed period per year to opposition, alike British parliament- where 20 days are dedicated to opposition, as currently business of the house is decided by govt ; which deprives opposition to raise specific concern.
2-Chairman is responsible to maintain decorum of thehouse. Thus strenghtening this insti- strict warning in cases of 1st instance. Suspension and elimination of MPs in subsequent and continued disruptive behaviour.
3-Active involvement by govt with various political parties to evolve political consensus, through concession and compromises.
4-Decriminalising of politics and sensitising public regarding importance of informed choices during election.
Thus, it is only through proactive and vigilant parliament that we can keep a check on excessive of executive and fulfil aspirations of our people.
2.The number of stalled projects and the stagnant flow of private investment have been real worries for the economy. What steps have been taken by the government to set things right in this direction? How far these steps have been successful? (Note: In this question, think of the strategy of encouraging private investment by first boosting public infrastructure. Last year’s Economic Survey can be referred as reference.)
India’s investment has been much below potential over the last few years. The rate of growth of gross fixed capital formation now languishes around zero. Stalling of “projects,” a term synonymous with large economic undertakings in infrastructure, manufacturing, mining, power, etc., is widely accepted to be a leading reason behind this decline.
Government Initiatives (1st Part of the question)
Government of India recognized that the high rate of stalling in private projects is consistent with the recent fall in private capital expenditure due to high indebtedness and weak corporate balance sheets.
INCREASED PUBLIC SPENDING à through initiatives such as Indradhanush mission for reforming banks (Bank recapitalization), MUDRA for MSME growth, NIIF to invest in infrastructure sector.
EASE OF DOING BUSINESS à progressive reforms in starting business with ‘START UP INDIA’ initiatives which includes financial and knowledge support, easy exit through Bankruptcy Law, simplified licensing procedures and tax payment processes, Digital clearance of licenses, easy one step registration processes (Shram suvidha portal for self-compliance and e-biz portal), continuous availability of fuel or raw materials (e-auctioning of coal blocks, UDAY).
BOOST PRIVATE INVESTMENT à National Investment Grid, Smart city mission, Start-up India (with no tax on angel investment), RURBAN mission, Make in India to boost private investment, Relaxation in FDI in multiple sectors.
TAX REFORMS à Waiving off MAT and the lowering of corporate tax.
DISINVESTMENT à Filling up of government’s coffers while also handing over diseased PSUs to private sector not only saves the PSU but also brings private players in the loop.
FAST DISPUTE REDRESSAL à Amendment to Arbitration and Conciliation Act and setting up of Lok-Adalats and NGT for speed clearances.
How far these are successful? (2nd Part of the question)
Establishment of NIIF has reinstated faith in private investors considering the hybrid PPP model of BOT with better returns
High morale and positive outlook about India as a safe investment destination in times of global slowdown
Our ranking has improved as per Ease of doing Business report by World bank(WB)
Relaxing FDI and Make in India has led to increase in foreign investments.
Energy sector has got boost with e-auctioning of coal blocks. Also dependency on import will reduce.
Remodeling of PPP has given boost to highway projects.
Still halfway to success
Increasing NPA’s and higher value of loans further aggravate the situation. Still private investment is low due to stressed banking system, high interest rate, and global slowdown and Yuan devaluation.
Delay in environment clearances related to mining, coal and road construction
Though there is some success in clearing stalled investment projects, pace of new projects getting cleared are very slow
With the passage of GST, Bankruptcy code and land acquisition bills further impetus will be provided for public sector investment which can eventually lead to high morale of private players.
The need of the hour is to encourage public investment so that by spillover effect private investment could pick up in long term.
Best answer OLIVER QUEEN
With a number of stalled projects proliferating and diminished private investment we need to inject our economy with expeditious curative measures to spur growth.
INITIATIVES TO BOOST GROWTH:
EASE OF DOING BUSINESS- progressive reforms in starting business with ‘START UP INDIA’ initiatives which includes financial and knowledge support, easy exit, ‘STAND UP INDIA’ empowering women, the marginalized in entrepreneurship skills, simplified licensing procedures and tax payment processes, deregulation of caps of FDI in most of the sectors including defense, easy one step registration processes, continuous power supply.
MAKE IN INDIA- bolstering investment, innovation, RnD, skill development and reforming IPR regulations to instill faith in foreign and private players.
DIGITAL INDIA- incorporating online web portals to each scheme and programme launched with all details required as a one stop destination with more reach to the public.
SKILL INDIA- imparting professional and vocational skill set customized to respective industrial requirement encapsulating numerous skill training institutes for generating adequate workforce needed for ‘make in India’
MUDRA- consolidating MSME growth with appropriate support in financing.
PPP model given impetus with BOT, reforming labour laws, better dispute resolution procedures, with renegotiable contracts n better enforcement for roads, railways, ports. power and aviation sectors
ENVIRONMENTAL clearances for lackadaisical bureaucracy with online submission of forms and coastal regulation zones
Establishment of NIIF has reinstated faith in private investors considering the hybrid PPP model of BOT with better returns
High morale and positive outlook about India as a safe investment destination in times of global slowdown (china, falling crude oil prices)
Better scope of opportunities for harnessing the untapped entrepreneurial skills. transformation of job seekers to job providers
Re-infusion of PSBs and clearance of balance sheets with NPAs
With the passage of gst, bankruptcy code and land acquisition bills further impetus will be provided for public sector investment which can eventually lead to high morale of private players.
3. In a democracy, we can afford a media with low ethics but never a coward one.In fact, more than anything, the recent attacks on media persons in the premise of a court in Delhi are threat to the common people. Do you agree? Critically examine.
Media is the 4th pillar of democracy.
It is the voice of the masses and a link between the people and the government.
Representation of article 19(1) of the constitution- right to freedom.
Media with low ethics:
Corporate and media nexus.
Politicization of the media.
Sensationalization of news.
Media pronounced judgements instead of staying neutral.
Doctored news, sting operations, paid news.
Media should be regulated by implying recommendations of Stevenson Report on media ethics, constant vigilance of the masses and monitoring by PCI to maintain self-regulation norms.
Media with cowardice:
Low ethics becomes a norm.
Will engage in fear politics and therefore hesitate to bring the truth.
Biased reporting often condemning right to freedom of thought, speech and action based on the whims of the powerful.
A coward media soon leads to despotism.
Erosion of faith on media from the masses.
Democracy’s backbone is a strong and vibrant media which is neutral and behaves like a watchdog for the masses.
Impacts of recent events on common man:
Breach of personal liberty may create fear of reporting in the media persons.
Restriction to free flow of thoughts in society.
Breaching constitutional rights.
Questions the basis of democracy of the country as it instils fear in the minds of the citizens to question authority and those in power.
Raises doubts to practice the freedom of speech and thought.
State your stand on the above issue by supporting or not supporting the statement.
Best answer: akshay kumar
Media or more aptly “Free Press” is inseparable in a democratic setup which popularly is regarded as 4th pillar of democracy. It gives voice to the vast consensus makes it audible on a macro level by asking the asking the right questions to 3 other pillars by making them accountable & transparent.
Issues with low ethical media:
Sensationalization of issues to an extent of causing unrest among the masses which misdirects or gives biased & unilateral opinions.
Media trial of the accused even before being presented before the court hears the plea.
Spotlighting of elite & wealthy while alienating the poor & underprivileged.
Issues with coward media:
Zero coverage of actual facts or news with over emphasis on the propaganda.
Makes the citizens vulnerable & overtly scared by restricting their thought process.
Makes the govt. more prone to pursuits of autocracy.
Backlash of attack on media as a threat to common people because:
The poor, marginalized, and weaker sections get crushed under the jackboot of authoritarian regime.
Citizens will be vulnerable & fear to voice their opinion or criticize the govt.
Unilateral growth of the society.
Rich & mighty will get away with gravest of crimes.
Increase in dissent among the consensus.
The state & its people will further be distanced & no ideal means to abridge them.
Free press with adequate checks & balances will give democracy its real character & meaning and provide the fodder of thinking which will curb the anarchy in society.