Updated on 7 October, 2019
In our Mains Answer Writing Initiative, we are daily posting 6 Questions i.e. 3 from static part and 3 from the current affairs part. On the next day, We provide answers to those questions.Here you can download the synopsis of answers for the daily Mains Answer Writing Initiative. Q1.Critically analyse the rationale behind Micro level planning in India SYNOPSIS Intro MICRO-LEVEL PLANNING Decentralised planning or micro level planning is a kind of percolation of planning activities. It is a process from the centre to the sub-state levels, i.e. district, sub-division, block and village level. It was emphasized in order to achieve active people’s participation in the planning process. The aim in ‘micro-planning’ is on planning from the lowest level i.e., from the functional community upward to a clearly defined region to fulfill the need of the local areas and ensuring the process of integration of the different areas with an objective to attain balanced regional development. Rationale of Micro-level Planning The rationale of micro-level planning is to be found in the following arguments:
Way Forward To sum up, micro-level planning is a useful component of national planning. It serves best the purpose of meeting regional aspirations, exploiting regional resources and capabilities, and promoting the implementation of national plans, if they are correctly fitted into them. Q2.Accountability of political parties is a long debated one .in light of this statement suggest why political parties should be brought under RTI act. Suggest alternatives mechanisms to bring accountability on them. SYNOPSIS Intro
- Special needs: There are special needs of a region which require separate treatment because they are not properly or fully dealt with in national plans. While national plans do meet some needs of regions, they do not necessarily fulfil all those needs which are peculiar to regions. In case such regional needs are important for people of a region, they have to be provided for in a separate micro-level plan.
- Special capabilities: Certain regions are endowed with special capabilities like the availability of certain types of Labourers, or skills, or certain natural factors like proximity to sea routes to other countries, etc. Development of these capabilities may be in the interest of national development, apart from the beneficial effect for the people of these regions.
- Regional differences: In countries with continental dimensions, regional variations in terms of levels of economic development, natural resources, culture, and language, etc., are so large that it becomes necessary to have micro-level plans to accommodate regional peculiarities and aspirations into the national plan
- Regional industries: Regions have industries which are dependent upon local resources for production and local demand for the marketing of goods. Obviously, such cases cannot be provided for in the national plans. Micro level plans are the devices to develop such resources and to cater to the regional market.
- Initiative and cooperation: Micro-level plans act as rallying points for encouraging local initiative and seeking the cooperation of the people for the execution of the national plans also. People of the region see in their plan the picture of their expectation and work hard for its realization. In the process, they also willingly give their best for the national plan.
- The Law Commission of India’s report of 1999 also had detailed observations on the need for regulatory oversight on the functioning of parties.
- The Indrajit Gupta committee on state funding of elections (1998) had also indirectly made reference to the regulation of parties.
- More recently, Justice J.S. Verma committee also had a chapter on electoral and party reforms.
- Earlier in 2015, The Central Information Commission (CIC) ruled that six national political parties of India will be deemed to be public authorities. means that these parties will now be subject to the Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005
- The thrust of the intended regulation is to bring greater transparency in party finances and greater spotlight on their inner functioning as well.
- Political parties get various concessions, such as Allocation of land, accommodation, bungalows in the national and State capitals.
- Tax exemption against income under Section 13A of the Income Tax Act. Section 13A has given 100% exemption to political parties on its income from house property, income from other sources, capital gains and voluntary contributions received from any person however, subject to conditions.
- Free air time on television and radio: The facility of use of Doordarshan (DD) and All Indian Radio (AIR) is available for canvassing in the elections to the House of People and Legislative Assemblies of certain states, to those seven National Parties and 52 State Parties, which are at present recognized as such National or State Parties,
Therefore, political parties so registered must furnish information to the public under the right of the information under Article 19(1) (a) of the Constitution of India.
- Under Section 29A (5) of the Representation of People Act, 1951, the Political Parties are required to bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of India as by law established.
Alternatives mechanisms to bring accountability
- The Political Parties give tickets to the candidates and the people vote on party symbols and, thus, the Political Parties are important instrumentalities of democratic governance.
- Nearly two-thirds of political donations of registered political parties are from so-called ‘unknown’ sources. Electoral Bonds are not promoting transparency in political funding as donors remain anonymous to the public.
- Their sources of income are not known and income-tax filings are not made public. So keeping financing and donor’s secret can raise suspicions of quid pro quo
Political parties, unlike any other public or private institutions, are integral to the functioning of our democracy. They enjoy unique privileges. Despite their obvious crucial role in the past almost seven decades, lawmakers have not framed any regulation or law governing the functioning of political parties. In the absence of any regulation, more citizen scrutiny of parties and their inner working will check arbitrariness in their functioning. Q3. What are cooperative banks? Enumerate the challenges faced by them. Also suggest measures for their improvement. SYNOPSIS Intro Co-operative banks, which are distinct from commercial banks, were born out of the concept of co-operative credit societies where members from a community band together to extend loans to each other, at favourable terms. Credit co-operatives (or co-operative banks) are broadly classified into urban or rural co-operative banks based on their region of operation. Urban co-op banks are classified into scheduled and non-scheduled banks. They form an important source for financial inclusion. Body Part Challenges Tough competition from commercial banks: Cooperative are facing tough competition due to the expansion of scheduled commercial banks and payment banks, small finance banks, and NBFCs (non-banking finance companies). Due to this competition, finding related issues are also arising. Cross holding of accounts: Big cooperative banks used to provide liquidity to many other banks, so, a closure of that bank would have meant the closure of several other banks too.
- Public funding of elections in India: It reduces the dependence of parties on big private donations and makes them accountable for their spending.
- Institutionalising framework for internal democracy of parties to make their functioning accountable.
- Political parties should disclose the source of Electoral bonds. The Election Commission of India (ECI) has told the Supreme Court that electoral bonds are wrecking transparency in political funding
Dual regulation of RBI and State Registrars: Cooperative banks came directly under the RBI’s radar in 1966 but faced the problem of dual Regulation. Board of management: At present Directors are elected by members and very often the borrowers get to nominate their own persons, while depositors are not really represented as these banks accept deposits from nonmembers. An elected board of management can get away after fraud. Measures for their improvement Address lack of corporate governance while corporate governance is a serious issue in private banks, it often goes neglected in the cooperative banking sector.
- Example, PMC bank holds accounts of 1,754 cooperative credit societies, 216 urban cooperative banks and 15,000 cooperative housing societies and cooperative entities. That means any fraud in these banks will have a domino effect.
Hold on the cross-holding of accounts: It is time to review whether an urban cooperative bank should accept deposits of other urban cooperative banks. Because this means depositors of smaller banks may also suffer due to the domino effect. Implementing the recommendations of a high powered committee chaired by former Deputy Governor of the RBI, R. Gandhi. Like;
- For example former PMCB chairman Waryam Singh also held a stake of 1.9 per cent in HDIL till September 2017 and was a non-executive director of the real-estate company in 2005-15.
Q4.What are the salient features of The Draft Model Tenancy Act, 2019.Analyse its implication. SYNOPSIS Intro To balance the rights and interest of both landlords and tenants, and create adequate rental housing stock in the country, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has drafted the Model Tenancy Act, 2019. Need: current Rental Laws are archaic as they do not address the relationship between the Lessor and the Lessee realistically and fairly Body Part Salient features of The Draft Model Tenancy Act, 2019
- Creating an umbrella organization for cooperative banks. RBI has also allowed banks to create an umbrella organization promoted by the banks themselves to raise capital as a joint-stock company can from the markets.
- Instituting a board of management: A board of management, over and above the board of directors, would bring the bank under greater RBI control
- Amendment of the Banking Regulation Act to give more powers to the RBI over cooperative banks, empowering the RBI to wind up and liquidate banks independent of other regulators under the cooperative societies’ laws.
- Depositors as voting members: It was concluded that depositors ought to have a say on the Boards of UCBs. For this, a majority of the board seats be reserved for depositors by making suitable provisions in the bye-laws.
- The new draft Model Tenancy Act, 2019 aims to cap security deposits at two months’ rent for housing and one month’s rent for other properties. However, “although well-intentioned, this cap may hurt landlords in cities where much larger security deposits have been the norm.
- The Act seeks to penalize tenants for refusing to move out of their rental properties after the agreed-upon rental period expires. The landlord will be able to claim double of the monthly rent for two months and four times of the monthly rent after that as compensation.
- The Act stipulates that a landlord cannot refuse to provide essential utilities and access to common facilities. This has been a fair grievance expressed by tenants.
- The landlord will also not be able to increase the rent without giving at least three months’ notice to the tenant, and cannot increase rent in the middle of a rental term.
- Once this Model Act comes into force, no person will be able to let or take on rent any premises except by an agreement in writing
- Within 2 months of executing the rental agreement, it will be mandatory for both landlords and tenants to intimate to the Rent Authority about this tenancy agreement. The Rent Authority, within 7 days, will issue a unique identification number to both the parties.
- After the commencement of this Model Act, a tenant without the Prior consent in writing of the landowner won’t be able to sublet whole or part of the premises held by him, or transfer or assign his rights in the tenancy agreement or any part thereof.
- It should be noted that the existing tenancies will not get impacted as the Draft Model Tenancy Act will be applicable prospectively.
- When enforced in all states, it will lead to a better regulated rental house marketfor middle and high-income segments.
- Stipulated grievance redressal mechanism would generate in landlords the confidence to let out their units, which they otherwise shy away from, fearing squatting and other such unfavorable consequences.
- A cap on security deposits would make a correction in these markets, where housing is expensive and renting is not cheap either
- The 2011 census found that 1 crore houses are lying vacantwith 4.8 lakh units in Mumbai and 3 lakh each in Delhi and Bengaluru. Squatting by tenants is the key reason why landlords are wary of letting their unoccupied property. Since the policy sets monetary penalties for squatting, landlords will have greater confidence.
- Would work as an alternative to eliminate the problem of the housing shortage in view of the ever-increasing population in India
Q5.Critically analyse the developments that have taken place between India-Bangladesh relationships SYNOPSIS Intro India was the first country to recognize Bangladesh as a separate and independent state and established diplomatic relations with the country immediately after its independence in December 1971. The relationship between India and Bangladesh is anchored in history, culture, language and shared values of secularism, democracy, and countless other commonalities between the two countries. It is based on sovereignty, equality, trust, understanding and win-win partnership that goes far beyond a strategic partnership. In the last couple of years, the relationship has been further strengthened including through cooperation in new and high-technology areas Body Part Status of India-Bangladesh relationship and achievements in the recent past. Resolved Border issues
- NITI Aayogshould act as a platform for cooperative federalism and the model act should be made adopted by all the states.
- The act, when applied to slums which are government lands needs a whole different approach
- There should be publicly provided rental housing for the poor and migrantsas most of them try to dwell on footpaths and pavements due to the unaffordability of rental houses.
- The vacancy is higher in the upper segments of the housing market. Across urban India, vacancy rate 10.1% while in slums it is 7.3%. Implementation of the Act in the upper segments of the housing market will allow some of these vacant houses to enter the rental market
Buoyant Bilateral trade
- The signing of the Land Boundary Agreement in 2015was a milestone, where the two neighbours amicably resolved a long-outstanding issue.
- Border killings along the indo-Bangladesh border have decreased. India’s Border Security Force (BSF) claims that most of the firing is in self-defence in tackling cattle trafficking
- After coming to power, Sheikh Hasina’s Awami League government has uprooted security concern’s and acts of insurgency against Indiaalong the India-Bangladesh border
Developments in Travel, tourism and logistics
- Bilateral trade was a little over $9 billionin FY 2017-18 and Bangladeshi exports increased by 91%, reaching $1.25 billion in FY 2018-2019.
- In 2018, in addition to the 660 MW of power imported by Bangladesh, Indian export of electricity increased by another 500 MW. A 1,600 MW power station with a dedicated transmission systemis being developed to boost power trade.
- Land routes have gained popularity over air travel, and are preferred by 85.6%of Bangladeshis visiting India.
- 5 additional bus services were launched in 2018
Extending Line of credit –India’s soft power
- Train services on the Dhaka-Kolkataand Kolkata-Khulnaare faring well. And the third route between Agartala-Akhaura route is under construction.
- In March 2019, the first-ever Dhaka-Kolkata cruise shipwas launched.
- Bangladeshi tourists accounted for 21.6%of the total percentage of tourists visiting India in 2018 (7% tourists and 10.28% medical patients). Today, Bangladesh contributes 50% of India’s health tourism revenue.
Major irritants in India-Bangladesh bilateral relationship National register of citizens (NRC)
- India has approved three lines of credit to Bangladesh of $7.4 billion to finance development projects.
- During Sheikh Hasina’s visit to Delhi in 2017, two defence pacts were signed; in 2018, India extended a credit line of $500 million to purchase armaments; two memoranda of understanding were also signed for cooperation between the naval forces
- The National Register of Citizens (NRC) has left out 1.9 million Assamese from the list with a group labelled as “illegal immigrants from Bangladesh” living in Assam post-1971.
- However, Bangladesh has stated firmly that no migrants travelled to Assam illegally during the 1971 war of independence
- The Indian prime minister has promised Bangladesh that NRC won’t have an implication on Bangladesh. However, the controversial NRCcan tend to have “unintended consequences” on the relations.
Teesta Water Sharing Agreement
- Bangladesh which has been facing the challenge of providing shelter to more than a million Rohingya refugees fleeing persecution in their home country Myanmar. India had previously declined to share the burden.
- India given its, geographical proximity ideally positioned to play a positive role in regional leadership. However, currently, China is mediating.
- West Bengal state government’s refusal to endorse water-sharing terms agreed upon in 2015 has resulted in the current impasse.
- A lack of water has affected 100,000 hectares of land, with contamination affecting the soil; the increased cost of pesticides and irrigation has made farming less profitable.
- Removal of non-tariff barrierswill help Bangladeshi exports and also harmonizing the standards for goods accepted by India.
- Prompt disbursements cutting bureaucratic red-tapismof the existing
Q6. Mention core strategies for the transformation of aspirational districts in India and explain the nature of convergence, collaboration and competition for its success? SYNOPSIS Intro The ‘Transformation of Aspirational Districts’ Programme aims to expeditiously improve the socio-economic status of 117 districts from across 28 states. The programme focusses on 5 main themes - Health & Nutrition, Education, Agriculture & Water Resources, Financial Inclusion & Skill Development, and Basic Infrastructure, which have direct bearing on the quality of life and economic productivity of citizens Body Part The broad contours of the programme are
- commitments and sanction of an additional line of creditto finance infrastructure projects in the pipeline.
- Indian companiescan help in early implementation of ongoing and new infrastructure projects in Bangladesh.
- Early resolutionof Rohingya issue and working on the agreement that safe, the speedy and sustainable return of displaced persons (Rohingyas) is in the national interest of all three countries – Bangladesh, Myanmar, and India.
Core Strategy of the programme may be summarized as follows
- Convergence (of Central & State Schemes),
- Collaboration (of Central, State level ‘Prabhari’ Officers & District Collectors), and
- Competition among districts driven by a Mass Movement or a Jan Andolan.
Way forward The Government is committed to raising the living standards of its citizens and ensuring inclusive growth for all – SabkaSaath, SabkaVikas. To enable optimum utilization of their potential, this program focuses closely on improving people’s ability to participate fully in the burgeoning
- States as main drivers
- Work on the strength of each district.
- Make development as a mass movement in these districts.
- Identify low hanging fruits and the strength of each district, to act as a catalyst for development.
- Measure progress and rank districts to spur a sense of competition.
- Districts shall aspire to become State’s best to Nation’s best.
- Real-time monitoring & ranking 49 Key performance indicators (81 data points) have been identified across 5 themes, in consultation with Ministries.
- One of the core strategies of the programme is to ensure that District teams have the benefit of current data so that they can fine tune their response and improve impact of their eff