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

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  • October 1, 2016
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SYNOPSIS- IASbaba’s TLP 2016 [20th Sep] – UPSC Mains GS Questions [HOT]


1. Devolution of powers and finances up to local level remains an unfinished agenda. Do you agree? How does it hinder the realization of economic democracy? Examine.

Note: Provide your opinion by giving few reasons which substantiates the statement in the question. In second part of the question, one should highlight what is economic democracy and how the problems hinder the realization of economic democracy. Provide a good conclusion.


Establishment of self-governance at the local level or addressing of democratic deficit and realization of economic democracy can only be achieved by meaningful and effective devolution of functions, funds and functionaries (3Fs) to the local level bodies.

However, Constitutional provisions such as 73rd and 74th Amendments inserting Schedules 11 and 12; Part IX Article 243 (A to O) and Article 243 P to ZG; local governance in the State List – specifying matters such as the constitution, elections and the functions to be devolved for local level bodies have not been an effective trigger and devolution of powers and finances up to local level still remains an unfinished agenda.

Provide 2-3 reasons –

  1. Failure of State Governments and lack of will in devolving powers: Constitution assigns decentralisation including funding entirely to the discretion of State governments. It does not clearly assign the functions or sources of finance, but leaves it entirely to the discretion of the States.
  2. No mandatory provisions: Constitutional amendments didn’t make it mandatory for the states to devolve definite funds at local levels
  3. On Financial side: Local bodies do not have any independent revenues. There is no separate list of tax bases assigned to them in the Constitution and they have to depend on the State governments to levy the taxes that the States choose to devolve. There is also the problem of administrative capacity and interest groups resisting payment of taxes and user charges.
  4. State’s record of appointing the State Finance Commissions and actions on their reports shows complete violations of Article 243.
  5. You can also explain on lack of institutional structures and policies.

Economic democracy is described as an integral component of an inclusive democracy.

Explain that how the above problems/reasons hinder the realization of economic democracy as –

  • It does not lead to “a system of checks and balances on economic power and does not support for the right of citizens to actively participate in the economy regardless of social status, race, gender, etc.”
  • Redistribution of the economic pie in terms of both income and capital assets is arguably another aspect of economic democracy.
  • Since development and success of any public policy depends on its grassroots level implementation, local govt in India can play an important role in this direction.

The system of allocation proposed by the Economic Democracy aims to satisfy the twofold aim of

  • meeting the basic needs of all citizens ?which requires that basic macro-economic decisions are taken democratically and
  • securing freedom of choice ?which requires the individual to take important decisions affecting his/her own life (what work to do, what to consume etc.)

Top down approach of governance undermines Constitutional ideals (DPSPs) and Gandhian vision as both mandates an empowered third tier of administration which is the most relevant in present time.

Best answer: Simplex

  1. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1c4901b6ddc28315f257d5a61f10b5f4bcd4cac2aff1669b3ebf4fefc68ba192.jpg
  2. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3bb8fae66842827badd1183cd0b3ab465d95e92e6f1d633fe3ada70801998be9.jpg

2. The doctrines of ‘separation of power’ and ‘checks and balances’ enshrined in the Indian Constitution are dotted by contradictions. Do you agree? Substantiate by taking suitable examples.


Your introduction should include the brief discussion about the origin of separation of power OR it can be started by discussing the evolution of separation of power in Indian constitution.


  • Discuss the principle of separation of power and checks and balances in Indian constitution in brief.
  • Separation of power: – (just for knowledge)


  • Mention the contradictions using examples.
  • Judicial Activism
  • NJAC, collegium
  • Ordinance – Executive bypassing legislation.
  • Inter water state dispute – Cauvery case.
  • Aadhar bill, GST bill etc.
  • Parliament secretaries

Conclusion: –

You should conclude by saying that even though there are some contradictions in principles yet Indian democracy is successful in maintaining a healthy balance between different organs. If each organ start working properly then the encroachment over one’s power will automatically reduce.


Best answer 1: Deep

The doctrines of ‘separation of power’ and ‘checks and balances’ are aligned with ‘trias politica’ principle. Originated in ancient Greece, this governance model was developed by Aristotle, Montesquieu etc.

It conceptualized a state where the executive, the legislative and the judiciary has separate and independent powers, and no one can be supreme over other.

India follows a parliamentary system of government and independent judiciary. There is clear separation of power between judiciary and other organs, but not so between executive and legislative. There is also separation of power between union and state level. There is ample constitutional ‘checks and balances’ to maintain independence of each organ.

Despite this there are many examples of interferences and contradictions such as:

#Recent dispute regarding Collegium, NJAC and judicial vacancies expresses the distrust between executive and judiciary.
#President’s rule in Uttaranchal and Arunachal Pradesh originates from power struggle and lack of coordination between union-state.
#The substantial delay in passing GST bill shows the bitter squabble between legislative and executive.
#The Aadhar bill controversy and passing it as a money bill also expresses distrust between legislative and executive.
#Recent Cauvery row between Karnataka & Tamilnadu or Mandovi dispute between Goa & Karnataka demonstrate the same, but between two states.

Barring these examples, independence and coordination between organs of government is illustrated through basic structure doctrine, fiscal federalism by NITI Aayog or 14th finance commission, Inter-state council as recommended by Sarkaria commission etc.

India thus always maintains this principle of trias politica. Separation of power prevents concentration of authority, thus is the bedrock of democracy, secularity and sovereignty.

Best Answer2: TheCredibleHulk 

India is a parliamentary democracy where division of powers between Executive, Legislature and Judiciary enable a smooth functioning. But there have been conspicuous contradictions in the scheme of things:
– Legislature, if dominated by a majoritarian Executive, doesn’t distinguishes from the latter for all practical purposes.
– Constant power struggles between the Executive and the Judiciary, the most recent being the NJAC fiasco.
– Judicial overreach over Legislative mandate. Eg: SC directive to ban diesel cars in Delhi.

There have been several checks and balances so that each of these division keep a check on each other without overstepping their own boundaries. But those have proved less than effective as well:
– Coalition politics has converted the Parliament into an adversarial arena where disruptions rule more than debate.
– Independent agencies like CAG, CVC, Lokayukta, etc. have been highly politicised.
– Judiciary has often exploited its power as ‘the final interpreter of the constitution’ to its own advantage. Eg: Establishment of a non-transparent and unaccountable collegium.
– Criminalisation of politics and politicisation of criminals have consistently eroded the power of the electorate to keep a check on the representatives.

But everything isn’t all gloomy. People like T. N. Sheshan, Justice H.R. Khanna, etc. have worked towards restoring the dignity of their respective institutions and Indian polity, overall. An active civil society also helps in sustaining the balance. (225 Words)

Best Answer3: – Abyss

Indian polity stands on 3 pillars namely the legislature, executive and the judiciary. Article 53 and 154 separate powers of legislature and executive through President and Governor while separation from judiciary is enforced through Article 50 from DPSP.

There has been a fine balance through various checks like independent appointment of judges, discretionary powers of the Governor for reserving bills for President, various parliamentary committees and many more. Yet there are contradictions:

  1. Judicial activism vs judicial over reach: There are instances like Lodha committee on BCCI where the mis-functioning of executive was highlighted. Yet ordering ban on diesel vehicles in Delhi is an over reach by judiciary
  2. Ordinance promulgation: Case of DC Wadhva on ordinance promulgation in Bihar, completely sidelining the role of legislature by executive.
  3. Judicial appointments: Encroachment by legislature in judicial appointments through NJAC
  4. Parliamentary secretaries: Placement of MLAs by states like Delhi, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal as parliamentary secretaries, circumventing office of profit and encroaching on executive

There is numerous such instance where the bodies clash and cross over their roles yet the fundamentals of a democracy have been salvaged through the same instruments like judicial activism, media acting as the conscience keeper and the 4th pillar.

3. Do you think the piling up of millions of cases at various levels in the judiciary makes the ‘right to legal aid’ a dead letter? Examine. Also discuss the significance of alternate dispute resolution mechanism in this regard.


Article 39-A directs the State to ensure that the operation of the legal system promotes justice on a basis of equal opportunity and shall, in particular, provide free legal aid by suitable legislation or schemes or in any other way, to ensure that opportunities for securing justice are not denied to any citizen by reason of economic or other disabilities.

Right to free legal aid or free legal service is an essential fundamental right guaranteed by the Constitution. It forms the basis of reasonable, fair and just liberty under Article 21 of the Constitution of India, which says, “No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law”.

  1. Large number of vacancies at every levels-Absence of judges leads to reduced solutions. Extent of problem can be evidenced by fact that even SC doesn’t have full attendance and the problem gets multifold at the lower levels i.e. 70,000 judges are required at the lower levels.
  2. Infrastructural constraints-Lack of support staff and proper court infrastructure leads to highly disturbed coordination.
  3. Behavioral constraints-Lawyers are generally seen to be favoring for longer duration of case due to selfish deeds or gain an advantage over opponent party.
  • Significance of alternate dispute resolution mechanism:
  1. Forms: Arbitration, Mediation and Conciliation.
  2. Lot of cases are of civil nature which can be solved with basic legal knowledge.
  3. ADRM helps in reducing the delays and the costs of the adjudication thereby making it effective, speedy and cost effective
  4. Gram-nyayalayas have been given powers to adjudicate on minor crimainal cases, if properly utilized this platform can reduce dependency to a significant extent.
  5. Lok adalats that hear cases frequently help in citizen grievance redressal in terms of batches of same types which can help in disposing of cases of similar nature speedily.
  • Conclusion:

Write a short conclusion.

Best answer: Simran

Constitution enshrined with the provision of JUSTICE economic political and social to all citizens and with article 39A it make sure that it is not denied due to economic and other disabilities.

Upon looking at the cases pending with judiciary at each level with 52% at subordinate courts and 68% in higher courts and coupled with the vacancies of judges(2 in SC and more than 400 in HC) making it a illicit dream of getting justice within appropriate time.BUTthe Legal aid has not become dead letter as it is fulfilling its mandate of providing access and affordability of justice. The justice is only delayed not denied that too because of internal and external structural defects.

The delay is multifaceted problem that include vacancies, unclear and inconsistent laws and lack of transparency in judicial appointment. The ADR can help in reducing delay as :
1. Provide for alternative method like arbitration, reconciliation to reduce burden on judiciary.
2. Promote quality of justice and satisfaction as it reduced the re-appeals in higher judiciary.
3. Cost effective as it less formal and free from technicalities. Lok adalt represent the true potential of ADR.

Along with promoting the ADR laws should be made consistent so as to avoid overlapping of provisions. Moreover various other methods like SANGAT DARSHAN(in Punjab), NAYAYA Panchayat and special courts

4. Social norms deny the possibilities of economic freedom to women provided by the Constitution. Comment.

In this question you need to mention what you understand by economic freedom, in a line or two, Freedom provided by the Indian constitution to women and how the social norms are denying this freedom to them.

Economic Freedom: In literal sense, Economic freedom or economic liberty is the ability of members of a society to undertake economic actions. The key ingredients of economic freedom are personal choice, voluntary exchange, freedom to compete in markets, and protection of person and property.

All these freedoms are provided to women by the Indian constitution through-

  • Right to equality in terms of education and employment opportunity without the discrimination on the basis of Gender (Since it is a women oriented question, gender is being highlighted). (Art-15 and 16)
  • Right to freedom to profess any occupation or profession (Art 19(f))
  • Right to education (Art 21A), which is a precursor to economic freedom.
  • Article 41 and 42 also speaks that state shall make effective provisions for securing right to work and education, and to provide just and humane conditions for work and maternity relief.

But Social norms have denied the possibilities of economic freedom to women:

  • Division of labour: labour has been divided as such that man is considered the bread earner of the family and women have been assigned the task to do the house hold work.
  • Male child is still given importance and considered as father’s heir. So there are many areas in which sons are given better treatment, healthcare and education while girls are pushed into household chores.
  • The patriarchal mindset still thinks that there are certain jobs which are not fit for women and they are stereotyped with occupations like teaching, hospitality industry etc.
  • Physical assaults have also increased on women as a backlash by male fraternity(sited by many sociologists). This is to discourage women to come out in the open competition.
  • Because of social customs like dowry, a girl child is perceived as a burden on parents
  • There are many problems from female feticide, to skewed sex ratio and literacy rate which have proved to be a hindrance for economic freedom of women.

(Note: Always conclude these types of questions on a positive note. Something like this.)

However, the situation is not as grim as it seems. There has been a drastic change in last 1-2 decades where a large number of women have pursued technical and professional courses, their number in top administrative positions have increased, more women are participating in private sector as top executives. Not only this have the participation of women in physically challenging fields like armed forces also increased.

Best Answer: Simplex



5. Weak government procurement combined with export restrictions and continued stockpiling have led to worsening condition of farmers. Discuss.

Introduction: –

Your introduction should start with a fact/ figure or present status of Indian Agriculture. OR you can start with arguing about the reasons of present status.

Body: –

  • Mention the issues related to government procurement.
  • MSP for limited crops
  • Failures of FCI
  • Lack of storages
  • Mention the issues related to export restrictions.
  • Sugar export
  • Pulses etc.
  • Mention the issues related to stockpiling.
  • Hoarding
  • Black marketing
  • Lack of regulation
  • corruption
  • Other issues
  • Weak Supply chain
  • No to GM/ technology
  • Crop failures – dependence on climate etc.
  • Way forward
  • Shanta kumar recommendation
  • Food processing industry
  • Rationalization of prices

 (you can add more points here.)

Conclusion: – Your conclusion should state that by putting efforts in right directions (using way forward) we can overcome these artificially created problems.


Best answer: DS27



Best Answer: Madster

The blame for poor condition of Indian farmers cannot be entirely put on bad weather conditions and poor rain .Gov has to be blamed equally because of poor policy making and implementation.Some of the loopholes are
Weak Gov Procurement–>Gov procures crop at MSP which is limited to 25 crops only.There is no proper planning while issuing prices which leads to high generation of particular crop eg onions and shortage of others eg pulses .Farmers don’t get fair price for their products.
Export Restrictions–>They are gov controlled and are applied not only on crops but also their products .Sugar export restrictions have negative effect on the sugar prices which affects the manufactures and the burden is transferred on sugarcane producers in the form of unpaid dues
Continued Stockpiling–>Crops are pilled and not sent to Kirana stores. Also the storage facilities and collection centers are not upto the mark which leads to spoilage of crops during storage itself which leads to unwanted inflation. Continued stockpiling leads to lesser procurement needs of gov and inturn lower MSP which affects the farmers.
Recent steps like NAM which would take care of collection, storage, proper transparent market ,inclusion of other crops under MSP ,removal of export restrictions will ensure that the wastage is reduced and the farmers are paid true value of their crops

Best Answer3: -Yogesh bhatt

Agriculture sector is farming multiple challenges and one among them is poor procurement facility and irregularity in government policy on agriculture export. It is hurting farmers interest by following ways-
1- Surplus food- because of surplus food stock and limited export food grains are rotten and same time it is distorting the internal food market so imbalance in demand and supply.
2- Biased procurement policy- government supported FCI is more concern on procurement of selected food items and do not fours on other products which cause market distortion and rise prices like in case of pulses and onions in recent time. NAFED not able to perform the procurement task as expected for pulse and oil seeds.
3- Impact on production- because of procurement policy, farmers assured to get minimum price for grains so they do not take risk to go for other crops so shortage of crops like pulses.
4- Inconsistent export policy- it demoralize food processing units also as government frequently change its policy ex- sugar and vegetable policy.
5- Impact on commercial farming- under Producer Company or cooperative farming even small and marginal farmers’ wants to go for commercial cash crops but because of poor export policy do not motivate to do so. Ex- Maharastra farmers grew mango for export but could not sale are right time in international market because policy failure.
To counter these challenges, there is need for reform in both aspects and Shanta Kumar committee points need to take in consideration on this regard. With that some consistency India need on its export policy especially for export food products


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