1. The Constitution of India derives its inspiration from the law books of many other countries. Yet it is unique in character. Do you agree? Substantiate.
Since the question mentions about inspiration from other Law books, in the introduction a stray mention can be there about what we have adopted from other constitutions. Like Federal Structure with Unitary tilt (Canada), Fundamental Rights (America), Emergency Provisions (Weimar German Constitution), DPSPs etc.
The mains focus has to be on the Uniqueness of the Indian Constitution. Many of you have covered good points.
The first and most unique thing about Indian Constitution(IC) is that, that even though most of the aspects were taken from other constitutions, it is written keeping Indian society in mind.
It is the bulkiest Constitution including even the smallest aspect of governance is included in it.
It is rigid as well as flexible for amendments, making it a living document.
Universal Adult Franchise given by our constitution without any discrimination on the basis of sex, religion, education etc. was never seen before in the world.
The idea of secularism enshrined in our constitution is very different from European Secularism. Here state can interfere in the religious practices. All religions are given equal respect and state has no religion.
There is no absolute separation of powers and checks and balances are present to make all pillars of democracy accountable.
Special category areas are specified to avoid one size fit for all approach to see the. specific needs of different people
More points can be mentioned according to the world limit.
2. Critically examine the evolution of the ‘basic structure’ doctrine and the role of judiciary in it.
Note: The following content should be definitely present in your answer for scoring better marks.
Article 368 of the Constitution (Amendment to Constitution) versus Art 13 (Fundamental Rights)
The question whether fundamental rights can be amended under article 368 came for consideration in the Supreme Court in Shankari Prasad case.
In this case validity of constitution (1st amendment) act, 1951 which inserted inter alia, articles 31-A and 31-B of the constitution was challenged. The amendment was challenged on the ground that it abridges the rights conferred by part III and hence was void.
The Supreme Court however rejected the above argument and held that power to amend including the fundamental rights is contained in Article 368 and the same view was taken by court in Sajjan Singh case.
Issue with Acts added in Ninth Schedule: In Golak Nath case, the validity of 17th Amendment which inserted certain acts in Ninth Schedule was again challenged. The Supreme Court ruled the parliament had no power to amend Part III of the constitution and overruled its earlier decision in Shankari Prasad and Sajjan Singh case. In order to remove difficulties created by the decision of SC in Golak Nath case parliament enacted the 24th Amendment act.
Kesavananda Bharati vs. The State of Kerala – The Supreme Court recognized BASIC STRUCTURE concept for the first time in the historic Kesavananda Bharati case in 1973.
The court propounded what has come to be known as “the basic structure” doctrine. Any part of the Constitution may be amended by following the procedure prescribed in Article 368. But no part may be so amended as to “alter the basic structure” of the Constitution. It is unamendable.
Role of judiciary:
Ever since the Supreme Court has been the interpreter of the Constitution and the arbiter of all amendments made by parliament.
The court by majority overruled the Golak Nath case which denied parliament the power to amend fundamental rights of the citizens.
The Supreme Court declared that Article 368 did not enable Parliament to alter the basic structure or framework of the Constitution and parliament could not use its amending powers under Article368 to ‘damage’, ’emasculate’, ‘destroy’, ‘abrogate’, ‘change’ or ‘alter’ the ‘basic structure’ or framework of the constitution. This decision is not just a landmark in the evolution of constitutional law, but a turning point in constitutional history.
Through the concept of basic structure the Supreme Court has upheld:
Supremacy of the Constitution
Republican and democratic form of government
Secular character of the Constitution
Separation of powers between the legislature, executive and the judiciary
Federal character of the Constitution
So for the protection of welfare state, fundamental rights, Unity and integrity of the nation, Sovereign democratic republic and for Liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship, interpretation of judiciary is mandatory. We can say none is above constitution even parliament and judiciary.
3. The provisions of amendment in the Constitution make it a living and responsive entity rather than a rigid and inflexible book of law. Do you agree? Critically examine.
Your introduction should highlight that how and why our constitution makers opted for a living constitution and also mention the drawbacks of rigid constitution in brief.
you should briefly mention the process of amending the Indian constitution
Article 368 – Simple majority, special majority etc.
Amendment outside 368.
Mention the areas which cannot be amended
Basic structure – federalism, secularism, judicial independence etc.
Mention the hurdles/ obstacles in amending the constitution
Hung parliament – multi party coalition
No joint sitting – Rajya sabha can stop/ delay – as happened in GST.
(You can add more points here)
You should conclude it by saying that any modern democratic nation need to have a flexible constitution which can sustain the democratic ethos/values while also accommodating the aspirations of its people
The makers of the Constitution tried to add all those provisions which they thought would satisfy the pressing needs of the population. However, there were certain provisions which required a mature democracy to be implemented eg. a 3 tier government would devolve powers to the masses however considering the conditions prevailing in rural villages like discrimination, poverty, illiteracy, it was preferable not to give them powers without making them capable of handling it efficiently. Therefore the makers added a provision of Constitutional Amendment under article 368 which enabled the parliament to make suitable changes to the constitution in accordance to the needs of the changing times and as the situation demands ,with the approval of the states. Thus when the rural and urban local bodies was considered suitable for handling the powers ,73rd and 74th amendment were made to devolve the powers to local bodies
However there are some issues and challenges being faced
With the rise of coalition gov at center and regional pol parties at state level it is difficult to bring everyone on the samepage. egLand Boundary agreement took 3 years and change of gov before it was approved
Basic structure doctrine–>It has creating tussle between the judiciary and legislature giving SC supremacy as seen with NJAC case
However these challenges are providing the necessary safeguards to the constitution which is a living and responsive entity
4. Frequent terrorist attacks on civilians and army establishments have exposed the weakness of India’s intelligence gathering apparatus. Examine. Also suggest the measures to develop a robust intelligence framework in India.
The recent attack on an Army Base camp in Uri, which led to the death of 18 soldiers of the Indian Army, exposes the weakness and lapses of India’s intelligence gathering agencies.
Earlier incidents like the Pathankot, Boudh gaya, even kargil war could have been averted if we had strong intelligence inputs.
Major causes the lapses:
Lack of co-ordination between different intelligence agencies which leads to not only delay in intelligence gathering but also in taking action on that intelligence
Much needed institutions like the NATGRID and NCTC have not been taking shape at the required speed which causes scattering and isolation of valuable data.
The state police forces have been slow on taking action on the intelligence input, this is because of shortage of manpower and sometimes due to pure apathy.
Measures to be taken:
Giving statutory status to IB and creating a unified intelligence agency to oversee and coordinate all the intelligence operations at the same time making it accountable to the parliament.
Increasing the manpower of intelligence agencies, so that they can more relevant field information, for this proper training is necessary.
International cooperation must be sought to curb international movement of the terrorists and to also pre-empt any attack, collaboration in the form of intelligence sharing, training, joint exercises can be undertaken.
NATGRID should be made operational very soon, so that all the scattered intelligence can be collected and analyzed.
Government should setup NCTC as early as possible, any concerns and differences with the states must be ironed out.
Intelligence agencies should not be playing turf war but should be actively sharing the information with other agencies too, so that national interests are not compromised.
High end technology such as drones, satellites and listening devices must be utilized for effective information gathering
Write a brief conclusion
Best answer: Vengeance
Gurdaspur, Pathankot, and recently Uri became targets of terrorist attacks killing Indian soldiers & disrupting Indian intelligence strategies.
Fault lines have come up to surface as:
Lack of inter-departmental coordination: with Army, State Police, Paramilitary forces not aptly aligning together.
Lack of intra-departmental coordination: defense intelligence units like IB, NSA, NSC have been creating lacunae within.
No National Security Doctrine: which has been hue & cry for decades after consistent attacks.
Hierarchical confusions: with office of PMO, NSA, Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Home Affairs all in loop creating slipups.
Measures to develop robust intelligence framework:
Operationalized NATGRID: this will integrate various information from different security agencies.
National Security Doctrine: to be drafted which should be inclusive.
Military, Economy, Internal, External security: to be comprehensively planned & work out with all stake-holders.
Intelligence sharing agreements: with different countries, and International forums.
Indian Intelligence has been vulnerable, from various dimensions including cyberspace to territorial integrity. July, 2016 finally saw appointment of NATGRID chief after years of delay which is an active step in strengthening intelligence infrastructure
5. Having the infrastructure and systems in place is no guarantee of public policy success. Do you agree? Substantiate by taking at least two examples, one from financial inclusion schemes and other from the health sector.
Your introduction should outline the ingredients of a good public policy. Also mention how and why focusing on only one or two aspects out of them cannot lead to successful policy.
Mention the factors apart from infrastructure and systems, which are needed for public policy success.
monitoring and feedback systems
You should give examples substantiating your argument.
Give example – Here you should mention about the infrastructure and systems which are already in place while focusing on limitations or need of other factors to make it successful.
Financial inclusion – Jhan dhan yojana; payment banks etc.
Health sector example- Tb control, Schemes related to IMR, MMR etc.
Your conclusion should say that a successful policy need participation from all the stakeholders and it should be designed to include all. Mere focus on Infrastructure or/ and system will not lead to successful implementation always.
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