1. The Jan Dhan scheme isn’t merely a tool of financial inclusion but also a way of ensuring social empowerment and self-respect for the poor. Comment.
Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) is national mission for financial inclusion to ensure access to financial services, namely banking/savings and deposit accounts, Remittances, credit, insurance, pension in an affordable manner
Accidental Insurance cover of Rs.1 lac on every account along with life cover of Rs.30,000 payable on death of the beneficiary. This will take care of the immediate needs of the family
Beneficiaries of Government scheme would be identified accurately and get Direct benefit Transfer on these accounts, helping to reduce leakages, exploitation and corruption.
Taking a step further to transact the wage payments under MGNREGA to jan dhan accounts has also helped in time bound wage payments. The subsidies and proper wage payments has helped poor to avail certain basic services with considerable quality and has also created other economic options to invest the money for good purpose.
It has an over-draft facility on successful completion of account, helping poor section of society in time of exigencies (Debt trap/Crop failure/Health issue etc.)
This scheme for financial inclusion has increased the rural savings. Women are benefited much as subsidies PM Ujwala scheme could be directly transacted to her account. This will bring economic independence for women and empowering her socially.
Access to formal credit will prevent the instances of exploitation by private moneylenders, who charge usurious interest rates. This will not only prevent excess interest outflow, but can help in greater savings, and consumption which will increase their standard of living.
2. Vulnerability isn’t intrinsic but stems from structural deficiencies in the system. Substantiate by taking suitable examples.
Write a short introduction.
Vulnerability refer to the state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally. Individuals, societal groups, commercial entities, political organisations, infrastructure, investment etc. can be at various level of vulnerability.
Vulnerabity of social groups is primarily structural, as it is a result of things beyond their control
Examples: due to leakages and corruption in the PDS system the beneficiaries are not getting legally entitled ration, this pushes the poor families towards malnourishment and starvation.
The ill fed groups do not have the physical and mental strength to carry out meaningful economic activities and are force to work in manual, labour intensive unorganized sector which do not provide enough wages, this creates a vicious cycle of low-income and malnourishment.
Since their wages are low, these groups are more prone to social insecurities and crime, their houses are burgled often, their women are not safe and they live in slums.
Their health is the most ignored aspect, even though the government provides free medical facilities they are of curative nature and not preventive.
They often have to bear high out of pocket expenses in medicines, education and commute which further aggravates their vulnerability.
When Structural Vulnerability strikes the household poor children are more likely than their affluent peers to encounter a lengthy list of health problems. Potential health Issues include inadequate prenatal care, Low birth weight, iron deficiency, and a high risk exposure to toxic metals like lead.
Hunger and Malnutrition can lead to more health issues concerning low income families.
3. Welfare schemes for the vulnerable female population have the potential to not only transform the lives of women but also have multiplier effect for the society as a whole. Elucidate.
After reading your answer we realize and even you must have realized that all of you have very good points to write, but you are unable to stick to what has been asked in the question. You just catch one key word from the question and start writing without paying attention to what exactly has been asked.
Here for example most of you have written about the welfare schemes for women, but totally missed the wider social impact of those schemes.
Whenever such question is asked, make a rough structure in your mind –
What are the different dimensions of these schemes like heath, economy, education, finance, sociology etc.
Health – To have a healthy workforce in a country, maternal health is of utmost importance. Hence maternity benefits are important.
Education – Mother is the first teacher of a child. An informed mother can help build the future of her children. Education more importantly helps women to realize their rights and true place in the society. They are more economically and politically aware.
Economy – a country cannot progress excluding half of its workforce (Women). Women are an asset to the economy.
Finance – Women are economically empowered and get a chance to become a part of the decision making process.
Social impact – A women is transformed from ‘Abla’ to ‘Sabla’ and fight against different sorts of discriminations. They can sensitise the new generation about these issues and can bring a remarkable transformation in society.
(Note: Many other dimensions can be included with relevant examples.)
4. What is the technology behind EVMs. What precautionary measures are taken by the Election Commission to ensure smooth and accurate functioning of EVMs before they are rolled out for elections. Discuss.
An Electronic Voting Machine consists of two Units – a Control Unit and a Balloting Unit – joined by a five-meter cable. The Control Unit is with the Presiding Officer or a Polling Officer and the Balloting Unit is placed inside the voting compartment. Instead of issuing a ballot paper, the Polling Officer in-charge of the Control Unit will press the Ballot Button. This will enable the voter to cast his vote by pressing the blue button on the Balloting Unit against the candidate and symbol of his choice.
?(Points mentioned below are descriptive in Nature and it’s for reference purpose only)
Technical Security of EVMs used by ECI
(a) The machine is electronically protected to prevent any tampering/manipulation. The programme (software) used in these machines is burnt into a One Time Programmable (OTP)/Masked chip so that it cannot be altered or tampered with. Further these machines are not networked either by wire or by wireless to any other machine or system. Therefore, there is no possibility of its data corruption.
(b) The software of EVMs is developed in-house by a selected group of Engineers in BEL (Defense Ministry PSU) and ECIL (Atomic Energy Ministry’s PSU) independently from each other. A select software development group of 2-3 engineers designs the source code and this work is not sub-contracted.
(c) After completion of software design, testing and evaluation of the software is carried out by an independent testing group as per the software requirements specifications (SRS). This ensures that the software has really been written as per the requirements laid down for its intended use only.
(d) After successful completion of such evaluation, machine code of the source programme code is given to the micro controller manufacturer for writing in the micro controllers. From this machine code, the source code cannot be read. Source code is never handed over to anyone outside the software group of PSUs.
(e) Micro controller manufacturer initially provides engineering samples to PSUs for evaluation. These samples are assembled into the EVM, evaluated and verified for functionality at great length. Bulk production clearance by PSU is given to micro controller manufacturer only after successful completion of this verification.
(f) The source code for the EVM is stored under controlled conditions at all times. Checks and balances are in place to ensure that it is accessible to authorized personnel only.
(g) During production in the factory, functional testing is done by production group as per the laid down Quality plan and performance test procedures.
(h) The software is so designed that it allows a voter to cast the vote only once. The vote can be recorded by an elector from the ballot unit only after the Presiding Officer enables the ballot on the Control Unit. The machine does not receive any signal from outside at any time. The next vote can be recorded only after the Presiding Officer enables the ballot on the Control Unit. In between, the machine becomes dead to any signal from outside (except from the Control Unit).
(i) Samples of EVMs from production batches are regularly checked for functionality by Quality Assurance Group, which is an independent unit within the PSUs.
(j) Certain additional features were introduced in 2006 in ECI-EVMs such as dynamic coding between Ballot Unit (BU) and Control Unit (CU), installation of real time clock, installation of full display system and date and time stamping of every key-pressing in EVM.
(k) Technical Evaluation Committee in 2006 has concluded that any tempering of CU by coded signals by wireless or outside or Bluetooth or WiFi is ruled out as CU does not have high frequency receiver and data decoder. CU accepts only specially encrypted and dynamically coded data from BU. Data from any outside source cannot be accepted by CU.
Procedural and Administrative Securities
The Commission has put in place an elaborate administrative system of security measures and procedural checks-and-balances aimed at prevention of any possible misuse or procedural lapses. These safeguards are implemented by ECI transparently with the active and documented involvement of political parties, candidates and their representatives at every stage to build their confidence on efficacy and reliability of EVMs. These safeguards are:
(a) Before every election, a first level checking (FLC) is done for every EVM to be used in the election by the engineers of the manufacturers in the presence of political parties’ representatives. Any malfunctioning EVM is kept separately and is not used in the election.
(b) Manufacturers certify at the time of FLC that all components in the EVM are original. After this, the plastic cabinet of Control Unit of the EVM is sealed using a “Pink Paper Seal”, which is signed by representatives of political parties and stored in strong rooms. After this stage, the plastic cabinet of control unit of the EVMs cannot be opened. There is no access to any component of inside of EVMs.
(c) Additionally, at the time of FLC, at least 1000 votes are cast by the representatives of political parties on 5%of EVMs randomly selected by them. A printout of the results of this mock poll as well as a sequential print out of every vote polled during the mock poll at the time of First Level Checking of EVMs are taken out for at least 5% of EVMs and shown to the representatives of political parties. Representatives of political parties are allowed to pick machines randomly for this purpose. In rest of the machines, numbers of votes polled during the mock poll are to the satisfaction of the representatives of political parties. Representatives of political parties are allowed to do mock poll themselves. It is all documented by DEOs/ROs.
(d) Subsequently, stored EVMs are randomized by computer software twice once for allocation of machines to assembly constituencies and second to polling stations in the presence of candidates or their representatives before they are distributed for use in individual polling stations. Such lists of EVM containing serial number of EVM allocated to particular polling station are provided to the political parties/candidates.
(e) Candidates and their representatives are allowed to conduct mock polls on EVMs at the time of candidate setting and also before the actual poll on the poll day to satisfy themselves about the satisfactory functioning of EVMs being used.
(f) Once the candidate setting is done, the Ballot Unit of the EVM is also sealed with thread/Pink Paper seals so that nobody has access to the inside of the Ballot Unit too. These Pink seals also bear signatures of representatives of political parties/candidate.
(g) A printout of the results of mock poll as well as a sequential print out of every vote polled during the mock poll at the time of Preparation of EVMs and candidate setting are also taken out for at least 5% of EVMs and shown to the representatives of political parties. Representatives of political parties are allowed to pick machines randomly for this purpose.
(h) On the poll day, a mock poll by casting at least 50 votes is conducted at every polling station in the presence of the representatives of the candidates/polling agents with their signature and a mock-poll certificate to that effect is obtained from every Presiding Officer.
(i) After the mock poll is over, another thread seal and green paper seals are put on the EVM to block access to all buttons on the EVM, except those, which are used for the conduct of poll. These paper seals and thread seals are allowed to be signed by the polling agents. After the poll is over, the Presiding officer presses the “Close” button on the EVM in the presence of polling agents. Thereafter, no votes can be polled in the EVM.
(j) After this, the entire EVM is sealed. Candidates and their agents are allowed to put their signatures on the seals, which they can check for the intactness of the seal before counting. Candidates/representatives travel behind vehicles carrying EVMs from polling stations to counting storage rooms.
(k) In addition to this, the strong rooms where EVMs are stored, for counting are also sealed and watched round the clock. The candidates and their representatives are allowed to put their own seals on the strong rooms. They are also allowed to keep a watch round the clock on the strong room. Security forces are deployed in multiple layers around storage rooms.
(l) The representatives of candidates of all political parties are given opportunity to participate in FLC, Preparation of EVMs before poll, mock poll, etc.
VOTER VERIFIABLE PAPER AUDIT TRAIL (VVPAT)
ECI based on consultation with political parties in 2010 considered to explore use of Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) with a view to enhance transparency. Introduction of VVPAT implied that a paper slip is generated bearing name and symbol of the candidate along with recording of vote in Control Unit, so that in case of any dispute, paper slip could be counted to verify the result being shown on the EVM. Under VVPAT, a printer is attached to the balloting Unit and kept in the voting compartment. The paper slip remains visible on VVPAT for 07 seconds through a transparent window. Design of VVPAT made by BEL/ECIL was approved by ECI in 2013 and shown to persons who were pursuing matters in the Supreme Court. Rules were amended. ECI used VVPAT in Nagaland bye election in 2013 which proved great success. SC ordered introduction of VVPAT in phases and asked Government to sanction funds for procurement.
5. Discuss the recommendations of the Punchhi Commission on the convention to be followed by the Governor while calling a political party or coalition for forming the government in a state.
?(Straight forward Question)
In Introduction, Mention the recent Incidents which led to the need of discussing Governor’s role (TN, Manipur and Goa etc.)
Mention the role of Governor (in brief) regarding the formation of new government in state. (Ex. The Governor appoints Chief Minister and other Ministers. (Article 164)) and misuse of the power with examples.
Discuss the guidelines provided by the M. Punchhi Commission regarding Appointment of the Chief Minister:
Punchhi Commission laid down significant guidelines for the appointment of Chief Ministers. And uphold the view that a pre-poll alliance should be treated as one political party; it lays down the order of precedence that ought to be followed by the Governor in case of a hung House:
Call the group with the largest pre-poll alliance commanding the largest number;
The single largest party with support of others;
The post-electoral coalition with all parties joining the government; and last
The post-electoral alliance with some parties joining the government and remaining including Independents supporting from outside.
You should conclude it by saying the Position of Governor have been under severe criticism from time to time. Various SC judgement and commissions have suggested and mandated responses to make it free from partisan biases. To maintain the true structure of federalism and faith in democracy, Political parties should come under one roof and restore the ideals and position of the Governor as thought by the constitution makers.