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SYNOPSIS- IASbaba’s TLP 2016 [20th May] – UPSC Mains GS Questions [HOT]

  • IASbaba
  • May 25, 2016
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SYNOPSIS- IASbaba’s TLP 2016 [20th May] – UPSC Mains GS Questions [HOT]

 


1. The recently concluded assembly elections portrayed a sorry picture of democracy where cash and kind dominated the electoral narrative. Critically comment.

 

Introduction:

Elections are the most crucial part of democracy through which the fate of the country is decided. Elections in India are the world’s largest democratic exercise hailed for its effectiveness across the world in many occasions. However, political parties are gaining so much power that they often belittle the efficacy of the Election Commission, whose autonomy is constitutionally protected, and indulge in corrupt practices. The projected malpractices in the recently concluded assembly elections are the blot on democracy.

Body:

Increasingly money hungry elections leading to unethical, illegal and even mafia provided electoral funding.  The terribly high cost of elections in turn, has led to increased corruption, criminalisation and black money generation in various forms.

Elections in India are considered democratic because of the following reasons:

  • Every citizen has been given a right to vote i.e. to choose their representative, without discrimination and their vote being considered equal.
  • It offers the citizens and parties to content elections freely and fairly.
  • It also provides the citizens a variety of choices to choose their representatives.
  • It presents the citizens with a choice to choose their leader at regular intervals.

(Provide some recent reports/incidents highlighting how cash and kind lured voters, and how rampant money and muscle power hurting the above visions of democracy – free and fair elections)

These practices not only deny the fair opportunity for the contestants but also make people to loose faith on democratic practices as a whole.

(Provide some impacts/ills of money and muscle power driven politics – corruption, crony capitalism, nepotism, red tape, etc)

(In few sentences comment why there is rampant cash and kind dominated elections in India)

Conclusion

(In conclusion write few advantages of freebies) – how it is socio-economic right and how it increases participation of people, SC’s recent rulings etc.

The Election Commission of India evolved the model code of conduct in 1968 restricting governments in power from announcing populist schemes ahead of elections. But it did not restrict distribution of freebies or announcing populist schemes in election manifestos. Though the issue of bribing of voters with freebies has been raised before the Supreme Court, it was not possible to prohibit such practices legally. SC held that freebies offered by them in manifestos would not come under “corrupt practices” and “electoral offences” under the Representation of the People Act and distributing largesse in the form of TVs, laptops and mixer-grinders to deserving persons was directly related to the Directive Principles.

Best answer: SVSR

Elections are the most crucial part of democracy through which the fate of the country is decided. Elections in India are the world’s largest democratic exercise hailed for its effectiveness across the world in many occasions. However, political parties are gaining so much power that they often belittle the efficacy of the Election Commission, whose autonomy is constitutionally protected, and indulge in corrupt practices. The projected malpractices in the recently concluded assembly elections are the blot on democracy.

Many reports and numerous incidents highlighted the rampancy of money and muscle power in elections. Spending millions of rupees beyond expenditure, influencing masses through liquor, spilling freebies, rigging so on and so forth. These practices not only deny the fair opportunity for the contestants but also make people to lose faith on democratic practices as a whole. All the ills, the country is facing now, like crony capitalism, red tape, nepotism, gambling governance, corruption etc., are the direct results for electing irresponsible leaders into the system.

All these practices are happening before naked eyes of the public and media, yet the efficiency to curb such practices are riddling down gradually. The main reasons for this habituation are lack of effective grievance redressal and whistle blowing mechanisms to break the obnoxious nexus among officials and political leaders; no efficient expenditure monitoring system; less protection for honest officials etc. Once these are corrected, system will become robust and develop immunity and gradually repair itself.


2. What do you understand by the term ‘ombudsman’? Give examples from India. How their functions are different from other law enforcement agencies? Analyze.

Definition:

Ombudsman is an executive body which addresses grievance complaints against the State, any of its departments or private bodies and investigates the charges of maladministration or corruption against it with an authority of a quasi judicial body.

Examples:

  1. Banking ombudsman setup by the RBI.
  2. Insurance ombudsman setup under IRDA.
  3. Recent ombudsman setup under BCCI as per Lodha Committee recommendations.

Difference:

  1. Law enforcement agencies are statutory whereas ombudsman is a quasi judicial executive body.
  2. LEA takes cognizance of violation of the law under which it is made, that is, the constitution. Whereas Ombudsman can take cognizance of any complaint of poor service delivery.
  3. LEA can formulate a case that is submitted before judiciary whereas ombudsman can act as quasi-judicial body to give its verdict.
  4. Ombudsman can investigate cases and give a verdict whereas a LEA doesn’t have the power to give a verdict.
  5. LEA cannot give any relief to the aggrieved but Ombudsman can give a compensation or relief to the aggrieved.
  6. Ombudsman being an independent body can initiate an enquiry on its own. LEA on the other hand, can act only after an act of wrongdoing has been received.

 

Best answer: Gaut1609

Ombudsman is a quasi judicial authority created by government or private bodies to listen to the grievances of the customers against the service providers for speedy redress of the complaint.
The verdict of the ombudsman is binding on the service provider but is not binding on the compliant and he is free to either accept the verdict or reject it.

There are various examples of ombudsman from India such as banking, insurance, taxation ombudsman who provide necessary relief to the aggrieved person in a time and cost effective manner.

Difference between law enforcement agency and ombudsman

  1. Ombudsman is a quasi judicial body whereas LEA is statutory body without any judicial capacity.
    2. Ombudsman can hear complaints and can deliver verdicts whereas LWE can only register complaint and can investigate the matter.
    3. Ombudsman is an executive body appointed by rules and regulation of concerned sector whereas LWE is a statutory body deriving authority directly from constitution or some acts of parliament.

With the increasing delay in getting justice by the official judicial system and heavy backlog of cases ombudsman is a simple and cost effective mechanism to obtain relief by the customers which creates faith among consumers that they would not be cheated by the service provider and improves the accountability of the service provider.


3. What significance do energy ratings on electrical appliances hold? Which parameters are assessed to award energy ratings? What is the institutional mechanism for these ratings in India? Discuss.

Introduction:

Growing environmental concerns and increased dependency on electricity due to its inextricable linkage with development & needs has mandated to choose an efficient path of conservation. Energy ratings on electrical appliances indicate the amount of energy that would be consumed. Higher the rating, greater will be savings of money, energy & importantly reduced ill-effect on environment. The ratings are done in range of 1-100 and to make it easier to comprehend are denoted in form of energy stars (for points >75).This star rating is directly proportional to efficiency.

Significance:

  1. The STAR rating system on electrical appliances informs the consumers about the electricity consumption for the load on the device.
  2. It helps to compare devices of various brands in terms of running cost, electricity consumption etc.
  3. Creates competition in the market for production of energy efficient devices that ultimately reduces power demand.
  4. With such efficient devices, the power demand goes down. The saved power can be used to lighten up non-electrified villages. Thus leading to “power justice”.

 

Parameters:

  1. Power consumption/intake.
  2. Life time of the device.
  3. Release of environment harming gases. E.g.: CFC from Fridge and ACs.
  4. Maintenance cost with respect to electricity bill.

Institutional mechanisms:

  1. Bureau of Energy Efficiency (body formed as per energy conservation act 2001) is responsible for energy ratings.
  2. Efficiency of energy meters and other constituent appliances are tested in Central power and research institute (CPRI).
  3. BEE is also mandated with work of consumer awareness, promotion and financing innovative ideas.

Conclusion:

With growing urbanization the demand of energy is increasing but using an energy efficient device may result in power saving which can be used to provide power to additional household without creating new infrastructure this saves huge cost to government and also fulfils INDC commitment of the country.

Best answer: El Nino

The Energy Rating Label shows the energy performance of particular appliances and equipment compared to similar models with the same size or capacity. Following are its significance:

  1. Running cost – It allows consumers to understand how much a particular model will cost to run.
  2. Incentive to produce energy efficient model – Due to higher demand.
  3. Savings for farmers – Through schemes like National Programs for Smart Pumps for Farmers and Energy Efficient Fans.
  4. Protection of environment- as most of the electricity is produced by nonrenewable source.
  5. Better technology – gets recognition.

Parameters assessed to award energy ratings are:

  1. Physical parameters – like volume of refrigerator, size of TV screen etc
  2. Standby duration – E.g.: TV is assumed to be in use for 6 hrs a day and in standby mode for 10 hrs.
  3. Mode of operation – e.g.: each TV will be tested in the home viewing mode; fans will be tested at same speed etc
  4. Energy consumption
  5. Year of manufacture – because of continuous technical up gradation.

There are different parameters for different type of appliance. Hence energy rating must only be used to compare like products.

Institutional mechanism

The Indian Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) runs the Standards and Labeling (S&L) program for giving ratings to household appliances.

Efficiency of energy meters and other constituent appliances are tested in Central power and research institute (CPRI).

For substantial reduction in energy consumption and fulfillment of the purpose of energy rating more awareness in among people, subsiding expensive high rating appliances, and accountability of BEE to generate public trust is required.

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