Q.1) In order to consolidate the achievements of the Blue Revolution and pave the way from NeeliKranti to ArthaKranti, the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana(PMMSY) has been launched. Examine (15 marks - 250 marks)
Why this question? - July 10th is celebrated every year as the National Fish Farmers Day.
Intro - Start with defining BR and tell that PMMSY is an initiative to achieve the objectives of BR.
- Write about PMMSY and its salient features.
- Highlight the challenges within PMMSY and in achieving the objectives of BR.
Way forward - Tell how to overcome the above mentioned challenges.
Conclusion - Based on above discussion establish that the success of BR depends on the successful implementation of PMMSY.
Q.2) The pledge of making India Aatma Nirbhar is immensely felt in the solar sector. Comment. 10 marks (150 words)
Why this question:
Recently the Prime Minister inaugurated the 750 megawatt (MW) solar project at Rewa, Madhya Pradesh and made the nation cautious towards decreasing the chinese dependence on the solar sector.
Lockdown due to pandemic has made our country realise the importance of self reliance.
Need to be Aatma Nirbhar in Solar sector:
- India is highly dependent on import of Solar photovoltaic cells, panels and modules from China owing to their cheap price.
- In 2018-19 the country imported $2.16 billion worth of solar equipment from China.
- The call for cutting the imports has been strengthened since the killing of 20 jawans at LAC by chinese forces.
Measures to be Aatma Nirbhar:
- The government is planning to instruct all departments and ministries to buy only locally manufactured solar modules and equipment by releasing a list of approved manufacturers.
- Further Tariff and Non tariff barriers must be increased on Chinese products so as to discourage the imports.
- The local manufactures must be given access to finance and technology so that they can initiate and sustain their production.
- The proposed One Sun One World One Grid’ (OSOWOG) initiative should be materialised which aims at building a global ecosystem of interconnected renewable energy resources that can be seamlessly shared.
- Through this initiative, the country plans to build global consensus about sharing solar resources among more than 140 countries of West Asia and SouthEast Asia.
- The idea is to utilise solar power when the sun is not shining in other parts of the world by building a common transmission system with India at its fulcrum.
India is a tropical country receiving good sunshine and above steps can help in leveraging it without being reliant on others.
Q.3) The current pandemic situation calls for a cooperative governance in the country. Commnet. 10 marks (150 words) .
Why this question:
The states are urging the Central Government to work in the spirit of cooperative federalism.
Explain Cooperative Federalism
Hurdles faced by states:
- Delayed payments: The 14th FC recommended 42% share of taxes of the centre to states, up from earlier 32% but tax devolution has been quite low.
- The economic slowdown coupled with a shortfall in GST collections are primary reasons behind this.
- The Centre owed States about Rs. 35,000 crore as GST compensation for December 2019 and January 2020, which was only paid in June 2020 after a delay of more than five months.
- Cess Approach: The centre is resorting to cess route as the same is not to be shared with states, thereby decreasing the amount to be transferred from Central pool of taxes.
- More Burden of Social Development: As per a study by the Centre for Policy Research, there is a Rs. 6.84 lakh crore gap between what the 14 FC promised to States and what they have received.
- Still in 2014-2015 the states undertook programmes and projects spending 46% more than the Central Government; today the figure is 64%.
- Lack of Centre’s Support: The states are not receiving adequate financial support considering the nature and magnitude of liability.
- For instance in West Bengal the State government had spent Rs.1,200 crore in fighting COVID-19 while the Centre has given Rs. 400 crore under the National Health Mission and to the State Disaster Response Mitigation Fund, but specifically for the pandemic.
- Directives to Cut the Expenditure: The Ministry of Finance has instructed other ministries to cut expenditure due to which crucial programmes in the states has come to standstill
- The rural development ministry has not transferred the promised 4900 crores to west bengal which has impeded the local area development in the state.
- FRBM Act provisions: As per provisions of the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Act, the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) can actually accommodate a fiscal deficit of 3%.
- This would be difficult to achieve amidst the pandemic.
- Further the “escape clause” that allows for a one-time relaxation of the fiscal deficit threshold upto 0.5% in a time of exigency has already been utilised by the Centre but it has proven woefully insufficient in addressing the current crisis.
- In such difficult times the Central and State governments must keep their political gains aside and work together in the spirit of cooperative federalism.
- It is a concept of federalism in which federal, state, and local governments interact cooperatively and collectively to solve common problems, rather than making policies separately .
- The rigidity of the FRBM has to be revisited.
- It should allow for greater flexibility and consultation as to when and how the “escape clause” can be applied.
- In theory, the Centre has raised the fiscal deficit limit for States, under the FRBM, from 3% to 5%.
- But only 0.5% of this rise is unconditional.
- The remaining 1.5% is dependent on fulfilling certain difficult conditions — including privatisation of power distribution,and enhancing revenues of urban local bodies.
Q) Creation of a fiscal council would be a solution to fiscal imbalances. Critically comment (15 marks- 250 words)
Why this question?
The government can signal its virtue by establishing some new institutional mechanism for enforcing fiscal discipline, for example, a fiscal council.
Mention threat of COVID-19
- About Fiscal Council and its mandate
- Background of Non Efficient working of current system of fiscal responsibility
- FRBM act,2003
- Fiscal Policy Strategy Statement’ (FPSS) etc
- Background of Finance Commission related to Fiscal council
- Arguments against creating a fiscal council
- Diluting credibility of the Finance Ministry and other institutions
- Duplication of auditing work etc
- Starting in a small scale on experimental basis
- Before the scheduled budget presentation the CAG could also appoint a three member committee for a five week duration etc
Bureaucratic expansion is a one-way street. It is wise to cross the river by feeling the stones.
Q.5) The killing of Vikas Dubey and the chain of events leading up to it throw a spotlight on extrajudicial killings. Critically analyse the issue of “encounter” killings which have been a contested and divisive police procedure for decades. (250 Words, 15M)
Why this question?
- A day after the dreaded gangster, on the run since the killing of eight policemen in an ambush in Kanpur last Friday, was arrested in a temple in Ujjain, he was shot by the police as he purportedly tried to escape from custody.
Introduction to the answer:
- An extrajudicial killing is the killing of a person by governmental authorities or individuals without the sanction of any judicial proceeding or legal process.
- The Supreme Court framed guidelines in “encounter” cases in People’s Union for Civil Liberties v State of Maharashtra, (2014)
- NHRC guidelines in encounter cases: The only two circumstances in which such killing would not constitute an offence were:
- If death is caused in the exercise of the right of private defence”, and
- under Section 46 of the CrPC, which “authorises the police to use force, extending upto the causing of death, as may be necessary to arrest the person accused of an offence punishable with death or imprisonment for life”.
Concerns with procedures:
- Issues with judicial and NHRC interventions:
- The Supreme Court framed guidelines to be followed in “encounter” cases in People’s Union for Civil Liberties v State of Maharashtra, (2014). But ambiguity in wording, and a hard-to-get requirement of government sanction to prosecute police officers have made it ineffective.
- The National Human Rights Commission’s guidelines in such cases have not been taken seriously because of NHRC’s inadequate infrastructure, and partly institutional listlessness.
- Low chargesheeting rate
- Unleashing strong arm tactics by the state stands in for creating law and order. No one wants police reform
- Police is seens as an instrument of political power to channelise patronage. No government or opposition wants to give that up, so there is no incentive to reform.
- Poor working conditions: Contrary to global trends, more than twice as many policemen were killed on duty as the number of civilians killed by police due to neglect and poor working conditions.
- Police reforms:
- The Second Administrative Reforms Commission has recommended that political control be limited to promoting professional efficiency and ensuring that police is acting in accordance with law.
- The National Police Commission (1977-81) suggested that superintendence be defined in the law to exclude instructions that interfere with due process of law.
- Directions of the Supreme Court in Prakash Singh vs Union of India should be followed.
The entire train of events in this episode will lead to demands for police reform: Protect police from political interference, invest in police training, shore up the judicial system.