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SYNOPSIS: IASbaba’s TLP GS Mains 2017 [17th July]: Day 6

  • July 18, 2017
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IASbaba's Think Learn and Perform 2017, UPSC Mains Answer Writing
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SYNOPSIS: IASbaba’s TLP GS Mains 2017 [17th July]: Day 6

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1. Discuss the emergency provisions enshrined in the Indian Constitution. Have they been the same since beginning? Examine.

Introduction:

The emergency provisions have been contained in Part XVIII of the Indian constitution, from Articles 352 to 360. The rationale was to enable the central government to deal with abnormal situations and thus help safeguard integrity and sovereignty of India.

Discussing emergency provisions:

The constitution stipulates three types of emergencies:

Article 352: An emergency due to war, external aggression or armed rebellion. Popularly known as National Emergency.

Article 356: Popularly known as President’s rule. An emergency arising out of failure of constitutional machinery in the states.

Article 360: Financial emergency. Arising due to threat to financial stability of the country.

2nd part of the answer:

The constitution is a living body and changes have been brought in it as per the need to maintain democratic stability. Same is the case with emergency provisions.

Significant changes have been brought through following amendments and Supreme Court cases:

42nd amendment, 1976:

  • Enabled the president to limit the operation of National Emergency to a specified part of India.

44th amendment,1978:

  • Originally the constitution mentioned ‘internal disturbance’ as ground for proclaiming emergency under srticle 352, this was replaced by the word ‘armed rebellion’.
  • Made it compulsory for the president to declare national emergency only after receiving a written recommendation from the cabinet.
  • National emergency could be extended to indefinite period after the initial six months only after an approval form the parliament every six months. Prior to this emergency once approved by the Parliament could remain effective as long as the cabinet desired.
  • It restricted the scope of Article 358 which deals with suspension of fundamental rights during national emergency. The six fundamental rights under article 19 could now be suspended only when the emergency is on the grounds of war or external aggression and not armed rebellion.

Minerva Mills, 1980:

Supreme Court held brought proclamation of national emergency under judicial review.

Bommai case, 1994:

  • SC in this case brought in significant changes to Article 356.
  • Proclamation of President’s rule was brought under judicial review.
  • Burden of proving existence of relevant material justifying proclamation of this emergency was put on Centre’s shoulder.
  • Powers under Article 356 should be used occasionally to meet the requirements of special situations.

(Most of the aspirants missed to mention the above two cases).

Conclusion:

Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, Father of Indian constitution assumed that the emergency provisions would be seldom called into practice and thus shall remain a “dead letter”. However frequent proclamation of State emergency(Article 356) shows how the constitutional provisions are misused from time to time. Thus its time the guidelines mentioned by the SC in Bommai case be followed strictly and if required be incorporated into the constitution through yet another amendment.

 

Best answer: Arjun

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2. Preamble is the philosophical key to the Constitution. Comment.

 

Introduction

The preamble to the constitution of india has been derived from the objective resolution placed before the constituent assembly in 1946. It sums the broad philosophical outline of the constitution of india, defines the nature of indian polity and the source of its power.

Main Body

N.N.palkhiwala termed  Preamble as the Identity card of constitution,.It is indeed so as it provides insights into vision of our constitutional forefathers in the following matters

Nature of state-

  1. Sovereign – India is sovereign and free to conduct its own affairs(internal and external).It can acquire foreign territory and cede also as per mentioned in the constitution(Article 1-4).
  2. Socialist –India has democratic socialism i.e. both public and private sector co-exist. This is evident in Directive principles of state policy(DPSP) socialist principle.
  3. Secular – All religion in India have the same status and support from the state.This is evident in Fundamental Rights(FR-Article 25-28) and DPSP.
  4. Democratic – The preamble has mentioned about Political, social and economic democracy. FR ensures political democracy while DPSP ensures socialist and economic democracy.
  5. Republic- The head of state is always elected directly or indirectly. Republic means political sovereignty lies in the hands of people and public offices are being opened to every citizen without any discrimination.

Each and every word of the preamble has been the guiding light of various constitutional provision which can be illustrated:

1.Justice: Social and economic which can be found in the provisions of directive principle (art 36 to 51), political justice( art 325, 326) and the provision of an independent judiciary.

2.Liberty: Thought and expression(Art 19), Faith and worship (art 25, 26)

3.Equality of status and opportunity under Art 14 to 18.

  1. Fraternity: From article 51A and fundamental duties.

Conclusion:

In the Berubari Union case of 1960, Supreme court held that the Preamble was the key to the minds of the makers of constitution and where the terms used in articles are ambiguous, assistance may be taken from the objectives enshrined in the preamble. It is also considered part of the constitution and it cannot be amended in a way that affects the basic features enshrined in it as said during Kesavananda Bharti case in 1973.

Best answer: Abhijit(ABG)

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Q.3) Examine the doctrine of basic structure, its evolution and significance.

SYNOPSIS:

The basic structure doctrine, termed as Judicial Innovation evolved by the SC  is a Judicial principle that states that the core underlying features termed basic are not subjected to the amending power of the legislature under article 368.

Though the court did not explicitly define what are those principles few of them can be derived from various SC judgements over the years like supremacy of the COI, Rule of law, judicial review, federalism, secularism, Fundamental rights, article 32, balance between FR and DPSP etc. and are not static but dynamic and continuously evolving .

EVOLUTION:

Though the origin of basic structure is from the famous Kesavananda Bharati case the Genesis is in the long tussle of one up manship between Judiciary and Legislature which can be seen in the following cases

  1. a) Tussle between reformist ideals of COI to implement land reforms by Parliament and Right to property as a Fundamental right where SC upheld the superiority of Fundamental rights by following the constitution
  2. b) Shankari Prasad case(1951) where SC ruled that under Art.368 the amending power of Parliament is absolute and the same was reinforced by ruling in Sujjan Singh
  3. c) SC reversed its decision in the famous Golaknath case(1967) and said that Fundamental rights are not subject to amending power of Art.368
  4. d) It all culminated in the famous Kesavananda Bharati case (1973) where SC explicitly curtailed the amending power of the legislature and said that an amendment cannot remove the basic essence of the constitution and every law to pass judicial scrutiny so as to not breach this doctrine

SIGNIFICANCE:

  1. a) The basic structure doctrine is a testimony to the theory of Constitutionalism to prevent the damage to essence of COI by brute majority of the ruling majority.
  2. b) The basic doctrine saved the Indian democracy as it acts as a limitation of constituent power or else unlimited power of parliament might have turned India into a totalitarian
  3. c) It helps us to retain the basic tenets of our constitution so meticulously framed by the founding fathers of our Constitution.

The basic structure doctrine though subject to intense debate from the date of its inception and lack of textual basis of the same still continues to hold forte to hold up delicate constitutional balance of powers.

Best Answer: NAYAK K.

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Best Answer2: KRISHNA

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4. Censorship and democracy are incompatible. Critically comment.

Introduction

Democracy is rule of the people where people have right to freely express their opinion. On the other hand censorship trying to limit those when it is not appropriate in the public interest.

Though censorship are done because of some snag and for the greater good of the masses keeping utilitarianism in mind but it’s overuse lead to hegemonic tendencies and more authoritative state.

Main Body

When Censorship is is not compatible with democracy:


1) Constitutional right- It is against article 19 though limited restriction is attached but then state often misuses it. For eg-; Aseem Trivedi; Brij Bhushan vs State of Delhi & Romesh Thapar vs Union of India

2) Limited right to freedom of speech- often in name of defamation & denigration comments, burgeoning communal violence and hatred to be curbed state, suppress it. For e.g. right to reputation [KiranBedi and Inder Singh case]; section 499 and 500 for hatred, section 66A in case of Maharashtra band.

3) Suppress press-media being the 4th pillar of democracy is often restricted in the name of security, sovereignty, NDTV case.

4) Threat to religion or existence- killing of Dabholkar because he was against superstition, further Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment Act-over regulation by states in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu; Sri Sabanayagar temple case shows people are not yet logical and tolerant.

5) Right to view-censorship of movies even after the age bar is not right even according to Benegal committee. But govt still bans them shows that democracy and its people still need to mature.

6)Censorship is hallmark feature of non democratic regimes like former USSR, China etc. The government uses it control the narratiuve and information flow.

7)It affects the working of Pressure Groups ,NGOs etc and prevents dialogues on sensitive topics eg LGBT rights

When Censorship is compatible with democracy:

One should understand that they go hand in hand since excess of anything often lead to misuse.

1) Maintains harmony-often shiv sena and various religious group do demonstration impacting property and daily work. Speeches by Asaduddin Owaisi might insight communal violence and hatred killing thousands.

2) Trolling- If it is not curb then it might lead to trolling and abuses like the case with Gurmehar.

3) Fake news/ rumors- In the Post truth era people often misuse this and incite feelings which may have major impact for eg Pak and Israel incident might have escalated to nukes.

4)To stop Views/opinons that aim to create rift in the society can be harmful for country and democracy. Communal and casteist views and opinions have led to clashes.

5)Stop Seditious views such as those by Maoist which call for armed overthrow of state and none abidance to constitution can harm our democracy.

6)Judiciary is an important pillar of democracy. Efforts to undermine it with false criticism have to be tackled.

Conclusion

For preserving human values, ethics and to protect the real power of freedom, there should be a vigilant eye. In a perfect democracy, there should be a healthy relation between freedom and censorship. .

Best Answer: WicConman..!! 

George Bernard Shaw said the first condition of progress is removal of censorship. Democracy is vibrant when it’s people become sole authority making it more participative and hence a more liberal and tolerable & peaceful regime.

Though censorship are done because of some snag and for the greater good of the masses keeping utilitarianism in mind but it’s overuse lead to hegemonic tendencies and more authoritative state.

It is not compatible-
1) Constitutional right- It is against article 19 though limited restriction is attached but then state often misuses it. For eg-; Aseem Trivedi; Brij Bhushan vs State of Delhi & Romesh Thapar vs Union of India
2) Limited right to freedom of speech- often in name of defamation & denigration comments, burgeoning communal violence and hatred to be curbed state, suppress it. For e.g. right to reputation [KiranBedi and Inder Singh case]; section 499 and 500 for hatred, section 66A in case of Maharashtra band.
3) Suppress press-media being the 4th pillar of democracy is often restricted in the name of security, sovereignty, NDTV case.
4) Threat to religion or existence- killing of Dabholkar because he was against superstition, further Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment Act-over regulation by states in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu; Sri Sabanayagar temple case shows people are not yet logical and tolerant.
5) Right to view-censorship of movies even after the age bar is not right even according to Benegal committee. But govt still bans them shows that democracy and its people still need to mature.

But one should understand that they go hand in hand since excess of anything often lead to misuse.
1) Maintains harmony-often shiv sena and various religious group do demonstration impacting property and daily work. Speeches by Asaduddin Owaisi might insight communal violence and hatred killing thousands.
2) Trolling- If it is not curb then it might lead to trolling and abuses like the case with Gurmehar.
3) Fake news/ rumors- In the Post truth era people often misuse this and incite feelings which may have major impact for eg Pak and Israel incident might have escalated to nukes.

One should understand that reasonable restrictions is what also mentioned in art 19 should be there but at the same time state should scrutinize barbaric obsolete colonial laws and repealed them according to the need of the hour like UK itself did.


5. What is disinvestment? Discuss its utility as a fiscal tool.

  • Disinvestment:

Disinvestment can be defined as the action of an organization (or government) selling or liquidating an asset or subsidiary. It is also referred to as ‘divestment’ or ‘divestiture.’ In most contexts, disinvestment typically refers to sale from the government, partly or fully, of a government-owned enterprise.

  • Why was disinvestment of Indian PSU’s undertaken?
  1. While evaluating the performances, it was noted that PSUs had shown a very negative rate of return on capital employed.
  2. Inefficient PSUs had become and were continuing to be a drag on the Government’s resources turning to be more of liabilities to the Government than being assets.
  3. The national gross domestic product and gross national savings were also getting adversely affected by low returns from PSUs. About 10 to 15 % of the total gross domestic savings were getting reduced on account of low savings from PSUs.
  • Advantages and use of disinvestment proceeds:
  1. For financing the increasing fiscal deficit, Government can use the proceeds from disinvestments to bring down fiscal deficit to more manageable levels.
  2. Resource mobilization, the proceeds can be used to invest in other growth sectors which can induce economic activity and generate better returns for the government
  3. Financing large scale infrastructure through disinvestment. This creates positive externality as it will facilitate more production and trade.
  4. Improve efficiency of the PSEs (Public Sector Enterprises), the inefficient PSU’s will now be force to make better missions, achievable targets and strategies to achieve them, this will increase the overall efficiency.
  5. For social programmes like health and education, as government is finding is difficult to meet the increasing demand from traditional tax revenues alone.
  • Concerns about using disinvestment as a policy tool.
  1. The financing of fiscal deficit is not sustainable in the long term.
  2. Given the past trends and the recent year 2016-17, govt. could divest Rs. 27,917 crore against the target of Rs. 45,500 crore. Hence resource mobilization could not take place as per the expectations of the government.
  3. Efficiency gains needed will materialize only if disinvestment is accompanied by extensive industrial restructuring.
  4. There is also a concern of reduction in employment as the privatization of PSEs could make skills of the employees redundant.
  5. Setting targets could lead to distress selling of PSEs.

Best Answer: Bhawana

Disinvestment is a financial tool by which government pulls out its shareholding in a public enterprise and creates space for private investment. Disinvestment is a process which started after initiation of structural reforms in the country during and after LPG era. In it government can pull out share or managerial role or both.

Disinvestment has many fiscal benefits like-
1. Sell of non-violable PSUs releases government’s fiscal burden and increases its spending on core areas of socio-economic development.
2. Introduction of new technology and business strategy by private entities leads to increased productivity, efficiency and employmentability.
3. It develops a competitive culture in the market with increased presence of private sector that works for the profit.
4. It is good for better resource management and reduces burden of NPA of banks due to repayment of loans.

Though disinvestment has proved beneficials but it has some repercussions too, like-
1. Loss to government revenue as PSUs make the largest contribution to government revenue.
2. Many workers are laid off and job space reduces as private enterprises work on mechanization.
3. Sometimes distress selling costs huge stress on government finances.
4. profit motive of private actors is not much good for low cost availability of resources.

Disinvestment over and all is a promising measure to improve the economy both in short and long term but it should be very well contemplated before carrying out.

 

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