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SYNOPSIS: IASbaba’s TLP – 2017 : UPSC Mains General Studies Questions [19th July, 2017]- Day 8

  • July 20, 2017
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SYNOPSIS: IASbaba’s TLP – 2017 : UPSC Mains General Studies Questions [19th July, 2017]- Day 8

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1. Compare and contrast the federal characteristics of American, Canadian and Indian Constitutions.

Introduction:

A federation is a state having one central (federal) government acting for the whole country and several state governments existing side by side having control over their areas. The salient features of federalism include the existence of dual government at the central and state level, separation of powers, rigid and written constitution, supremacy of the constitution, independence of judiciary, etc.

By above definition America can be considered to be truly federal while India and Canada as quasi-federal. Article 1 of the Indian constitution describes India as a ‘Union of states’, while America is considered a federation.

Similarities between the federal system in three countries:

  • Written constitution- All three have a written constitution based on which the federal political structure has been set up.
  • Federal constitutional aspects such as independent judiciary, separation of powers, fundamental rights, universal adult franchise etc are there in all three constitutions.

Differences:

  • Nature of constitution – The constitution of the USA in on the rigid side of the spectrum as compared to India and Canada. Though the amendment to the constitution can be initiated by convention of states no 2/3 state legislature unlike the Indian and Canadian constitution, where provinces and states do not have power to initiate amendment.
  • Division of Power – Residuary power lies with the state in USA, while in India and Canada it lies with the Centre.
  • Unitary at times of emergency– Indian constitution has an exception of the provision of Emergency which disrupts the normal interaction between Union and state polity making India necessarily a unitary constitution.
  • Judiciary – India and Canada have largely integrated judiciary which adjudicates in the matter of central as well as state law, while USA have separate courts for the state and federal matters.
  • Citizenship – India and Canada have single citizenship with the exception of J&K and Quebec respectively while USA have dual citizenship one that of state and other of the Centre.
  • Head of the state– US and India has Republican governments where their President is elected by the people (directly in US, indirectly in India). President in the head of the state. But in Canada the head of the state is not elected, its a constitutional monarchy headed by the British Queen.
  • Separation of Power– The separation of power between different organs of the government is more strict in the American constitution compared to Indian. The three organs of the government are strictly independent in American constitution whereas in India, executive is part of the legislature.

Conclusion:
It can be observed that each country has a unique federal system based on local conditions and aspirations. Indian constitution adopted its federal features from both American and Canadian constitution, the federal structure has although in recent times is maturing into cooperative federalism

Best answer: Red fang

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https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/27d4ac39208a7886a494c0f669c998d58daadd770220ee0d5984441b9fab1ca1.jpg


2. The US Constitution prescribes for a Presidential form of government. Discuss the merits and limitations of Presidential form of government and its suitability in the Indian scenario.

Introduction

The United States and many other democracies follow Presidential system of government. In this system, the President is both head of state and government. Unlike the Parliamentary system of government, there is clear separation between legislature and executive.

Mains body

Merits:
Merits of Presidential form are:

1) Direct reflection of people’s choice. As the President is elected by the people, it is a direct choice rather than being elected by Member of Parliaments and Legislative assembly.

2) Ability to draft in talent into the government. President can appoint anyone as secretaries (minister equivalent) provided confirmation by US senate. In India minister has to be member of parliament (if already not then have to be elected in 6 months of appointment)

3) Stricter separation of powers in Presidential system. In Parliamentary system there is overlap in legislature and Executive, thus weakening the prospect of legislature holding executive accountable.
4) US President is more powerful, than India President domestically hence faster decision making is possible in the former.

5) Presidential system is more stable than parliamentary as coalition governments in latter can collapse as seen in Indian experience.

Demerits:
1)Frequent conflicts between the legislature and the executive may lead to deadlocks.

2)Autocratic tendencies-the president can assume dictatorial powers

5)Non-responsible government-executive is not responsible to the directly elected  legislature

3)Narrow representation

4)No collective responsibility

Suitability for India:

There have been demands made by experts suggesting that India shift to the Presidential system since:

  1. The trend of coalitions have made governments very fragile and heads of such governments end up devoting huge amount of time saving the coalitions.
  2. Fall of governments before the end of tenure of Lok Sabha results in more frequent elections. Moreover, the model code of conduct hampers decision making on important issues.

Still, India should stick to the current model of Parliamentary form of government as:

  1. A diverse country like India needs to have a diverse cabinet. The current system better ensures that.
  2. A shift will create legal issues as Parliamentary system is part of basic structure of Constitution. Moreover, transition may not be smooth and it may create chaos in the beginning and could prove detrimental for foreign investment.
  3. The lessons and experiences of past 70 years in managing Parliamentary system will go waste and we will have to start afresh with a new system.
  4. It avoids creation of deadlock and makes room for fresh elections in case Legislature and Executive are unable to resolve their differences.

Thus the Presidential system is no guarantee that our political system will become better. Instead we can work on perfecting the current system:

  1. The anti- defection law has been passed to put a check on frequent defections threatening the stability of governments.
  2. The proposal of simultaneous elections at centre and state level should be discussed to reduce the frequency of elections.
  3. The duration of model code of conduct can be reduced while the Election Commission can keep a check on the populism of decisions taken around election time.

Conclusion:

In India context given the vast number of parties and maturing stage of democracy it is preferable to continue with Parliamentary form due to its stability and other advantages. But India can explore option of having direct election of Chief ministers at state level to experiment with Presidential form of government.

Best Answer: Rsp

https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/501913c91016af7f491f10e8d85eda2c13ea7e7affe44371ed2c5d17846668de.jpg

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Q.3 What is magnacarta? Discuss its role in Constitutional history of UK.

SYNOPSIS:

Magnacarta is a Charter agreed and signed by king John in 1215 for making peace between him and rebel Barons, drafted by Archbishop of Canterbury. It promised Protection of church rights and illegal imprisonment of barons etc. Though it was a compromise it established the Rule of law is greater than Rule of monarchs.

SIGNIFICANCE OF MAGNACARTA:

Magnacarta laid the foundation for Modern Constitutionalism and provided the core principles on which Governments should be based and ensured some fundamental freedoms.

ROLE IN CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT OF UK:

Though the Magnacarta was a product of its time it established the principle of due process that the king was subject to customary laws as common man permeated British law across centuries.

Magnacarta played a pivotal role in the Constitutional conflicts of 17th century in the famous Proclamations case (1610) judge ruled that king has no other prerogative than what the law of the land provides.

In 1628 The petition of rights relied on the magnacarta for freedom from arbitrary arrest, parliamentary consent for taxation etc.

It also established balance between crown, parliament and Judiciary called the Bill of Rights (1689) made parliament the supreme lawmaker.

Royal consent for taxation, parliamentary approval for line of succession of crown and Independence of Judiciary was ensured was secured by act of settlement 1701.

Though the acts were Pivotal UK still did not have a written constitution and relies of acts, laws and matters of convention many of which were enacted between 1911-1949 providing for Bicameralism, Universal Adult suffrage etc.

Thus it has been said that whole constitutional history of the UK is an extended commentary of the Magnacarta as Judge Lord Denning has commented that the Magnacarta is the greatest constitutional document of all times.

The influence of Magnacarta is also seen in many judgements of the Indian Judiciary such as extension of Article 21 scope in the Maneka Gandhi case.

 The origin of Fundamental Rights lies in the Magnacarta like the Articles 14, 20,21 etc.

In the famous Kesavananda Bharati case SC declared rule of law as basic part of COI and cannot be altered by an amendment.

Thus the Magnacarta continues to inspire, invoke and instill a sense of balance and justice across generations.

BEST ANSWER: MASH

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4. Lateral entry into the civil services is a step in the right direction. However the rigid bureaucratic superstructure of India needs overhauling before such entry is allowed. Comment.

Introduction

Lateral entry into the civil services is a much needed bureaucratic reform in India, though it is not entirely a new concept, people like Manmohan Singh, Raghuram Rajan, Montek Aluvahalia have proved this proposition right. Certain learned people from the business fraternity along with professors who have a grip on their subject can provide more expertise in the field.

Main Body

Benefits of lateral entry:

  1. It infuses fresh energy and enthusiasm into bureaucracy which is already overworked, uncreative and archaic.
  2. It brings in the best practices of the private sector into the government administration.
  3. It spurs competition and improves the public service delivery in the process.
  4. It brings in domain experts and specialists more suited to specific tasks. For e.g. Ministry of Finance has been hiring Senior Advisers in field of economics, finance etc.

Despite all the benefits it might reap, a supportive policy, recruitment, operational and functional overhaul is imperative to achieve the same given the complex socio political landscape of our country, rampant nepotism, politicization etc.

Overhauling Bureaucratic structure:

 Following reforms might make lateral entry a success:-

  1. An open and transparent recruitment system which makes sure that such recruitment doesn’t turn into ‘spoils’ system prevalent in several Indian states.
  2. The tenure of such employment needs to be regulated as any short term employment would entail more corruption, less accountability. Also, an after-employment regulation needs to be put in place.
  3. A holistic review of incentives is needed as lower incentives might bring in average quality talent and higher incentives might hurt the morale of civil servants.
  4. A pyramid of hierarchy based on competition and merit like that in military is needed to ensure smooth functioning.
  5. Restructuring of empanelment and appointments at higher posts like being done by Bank Boards bureau, through open competition might bring in best of the talent.
  6. The limit of such entry only to certain sectors may be expanded slowly to attract

However much caution is needed before such system is put in place; following can be done in this regard,

1) Article 312 which deal with the job security of the bureaucrat which needs to be made flexible for achieving best standards.

2) The entries must not be allowed to become the spoils system which can make the administration redundant.

3) An impartial and an autonomous commission should be enabled to deal the recruitment and promotions.

4) Proper incentives must be provided in line with the private sector to attract the best talents.

Conclusion

Such steps will help in smooth assimilation of people from walks of life being included in the bureaucratic framework, with their professional integrity assured and no unnecessary political pressure to favor a particular community or cause. This step can also help in filling the shortage of bureaucrats at top posts and help in reducing the red tape mechanism of the country’s administrative system.

Best Answer: Sullivan 

The debate regarding lateral entry into the civil services is not new and the government has associated many private sector experts in policy making or implementation. For e.g.- Montek Singh Ahluwalia in Planning Commission, Nandan Nilekani in UIDAI etc. It is a step in the right direction because:-

  1. It infuses fresh energy and enthusiasm into bureaucracy which is already overworked, uncreative and archaic.
  2. It brings in the best practices of the private sector into the government administration.
  3. It spurs competition and improves the public service delivery in the process.
  4. It brings in domain experts and specialists more suited to specific tasks. For e.g. Ministry of Finance has been hiring Senior Advisers in field of economics, finance etc.

Despite all the benefits it might reap, a supportive policy, recruitment, operational and functional overhaul is imperative to achieve the same given the complex socio political landscape of our country, rampant nepotism, politicisation etc. Following reforms might make lateral entry a success:-

  1. An open and transparent recruitment system which makes sure that such recruitment doesn’t turn into ‘spoils’ system prevalent in several Indian states.
  2. The tenure of such employment needs to be regulated as any short term employment would entail more corruption, less accountability. Also, an after-employment regulation needs to be put in place.
  3. A holistic review of incentives is needed as lower incentives might bring in average quality talent and higher incentives might hurt the morale of civil servants.
  4. A pyramid of hierarchy based on competition and merit like that in military is needed to ensure smooth functioning.
  5. Restructuring of empanelment and appointments at higher posts like being done by Bank Boards bureau, through open competition might bring in best of the talent.
  6. The limit of such entry only to certain sectors may be expanded slowly to attract academics and experts in all fields.

Besides the above mentioned measures, movement of government personnel from government to private and voluntary undertakings in the social sectors for a fixed tenure might expose them to the dynamism needed in their functioning.


5. Discuss the prevailing political crisis in Maldives. Also examine its consequences for India.

  • Origin of Crisis:
  1. In 2008, Nasheed, then 40, became the first democratically elected leader of the Maldives, defeating Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, who had been dictator for 30 years.
  2. Nasheed was forced to resign in a mutiny by the army and police, after he ordered the arrest of a Criminal Court Judge.
  3. After he lost the presidential election to Abdulla Yameen in 2013, he was booked under the Anti-terror law.
  4. In 2015 Nasheed was arrested and imprisoned for allegedly ordering the arrest of a judge in 2012. The move sparked mass protests from his supporters after a dramatic and widely criticised trial in which several of the judges reportedly also served as witnesses.
  5. Currently Naheed has been given asylum by the United Kingdom.
  • Current situation:
  1. Maldives is to go to polls in 2018, The opposition parties are trying to undermine the legitimacy of President Yameen, the opposition parties tried to seize control of parliament but were evicted later.
  2. They are trying to bring No-Confidence motion in the parliament, but the government has now changed the rules to bring a no-confidence motion.
  3. The government has become more repressive and intolerant towards the opposition parties,
  4. New changes have been made to the constitution which debars Convicted persons and those above 65, ineligible to contest to parliament. This had led to protests as most of the opposition leaders allege that they have been framed under numerous false cases.
  • Implications for India:
  1. Trade: India is one of the largest exporter to Maldives, any unfavorable situation will be harmful to trade as it will try to increase trade with china instead of India
  2. Strategic importance: Maldives occupies strategic position in Indian ocean, close ties with Maldives will stretch the marine frontiers of India and any strain will lead to tussles and diplomatic stand offs.
  3. China angle: If Maldives gets closer to china than India, then China can use Maldives as an extended Naval base which will undermine India’s naval power and put immense pressure on the trade routes.
  4. International Support: India had granted asylum to Nasheed in its High Commission in Male, this had angered the current government. International pressure about the treatment of opposition parties has pushed Maldives closer towards China.
  5. Rise of extremism: exploiting the unstable political situation extremist and terror groups such as the ISIS can gain foothold in Maldives, which can then be used either as training camp or as safe haven against India.

Best Answer: Palash Luthra

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