Q.1) To achieve the Self-reliance in the foreign policy India needs to recalibrate the time-tested axiom of ‘strategic autonomy’. Elaborate (15M, 250 Words)
Why this question?
Self-reliance is the theme of India’s 74th Independence Day.
Mention the vision of Atma Nirbhar Bharat
- Relevance of self-reliance in foreign policy
- Background of India’s strategic autonomy
- No dependence on the contemporary world order
- Flexibility in maintaining autonomy
- China war,1962: Then Indian PM Jawaharlal Nehru, had to appeal to the U.S. for emergency military aid to stave off the Chinese from “taking over the whole of Eastern India.
- Build-up to the 1971 war with Pakistan: Then Indian PM Indira Gandhi had to enter a Treaty of Peace, Friendship and Cooperation with the Soviet Union to ward off both China and the U.S.
- Kargil war,1999: India had welcomed a direct intervention by the U.S. to force Pakistan to back down.
- Need of maintaining strategic autonomy in the current situation
- Changed geopolitical equations(Probability of a new Cold War)
- The situation related to Non-alignment 2.0 with China and the U.S.
- Suggestions for maintaining strategic autonomy
- Careful assessment of relations with US
- Diversification is the essence of self-reliance
Mention that it is time to maximize the potential of ‘multi-vector’ foreign policy.
Q.2) Online Dispute resolution (ODR) could well be what binds instant adaptability with India’s larger goal of finding technology-driven solutions that help the common man secure timely, affordable and efficient justice delivery. Critically analyses (15M, 250 Words)
Why the question?
- The pandemic has led to the closure of courts unless it is ‘urgent matter’. The judiciary could fall behind the times, especially in the time of Covid when every sector is trying to transition to a contactless platform.
- Introduction to the answer: Mention the impact of Covid on judicial pendency of cases and need for online dispute resolution.
- Body: Discuss the following points:
- Online Initiatives taken by the judiciary
- Benefits of ODR
- Challenges like
- Mindset issues: The normal style of advocacy, where lawyers take time to warm up and build their case, would have to undergo a change.
- There are concerns of the marginalised and those who are barely educated, and who cannot access technology.
- Conclusion: Provide a way forward for developing a hybrid model involving virtual and in-court hearings for dispute resolution.
Q.3) The launch of the platform for “ Transparent Taxation – Honoring the Honest “ will further carry forward the journey of direct tax reforms. Discuss the significance of direct tax reforms. (10M, 150 words)
Why this question?
Prime Minister launched the platform for 'Transparent Taxation – Honoring the Honest' aimed at easing compliance and expediting refunds, benefiting honest taxpayers.
- Mention in brief about platform for 'Transparent Taxation – Honoring the Honest'
Body: Discuss the following points
Major tax reforms in direct taxes: The focus of the tax reforms has been on reduction in tax rates and on simplification of direct tax laws.
- The Corporate Tax rates were reduced from 30 percent to 22 percent and for new manufacturing units the rates were reduced to 15 percent.
- Dividend distribution Tax was also abolished.
- Increasing transparency in official communication: Document Identification Number (DIN) wherein every communication of the Department would carry a computer generated unique document identification number.
- Prefilling of income tax returns to make compliance more convenient for individual taxpayers. Compliance norms for startups have also been simplified.
- Direct Tax “Vivad se Vishwas Act, 2020” for resolution of pending tax disputes.
- The focus of the tax reforms has been on reduction in tax rates and on simplification of direct tax laws.
- Four factors for changes in the taxation system are due to policy-driven governance, belief in people's honesty, the use of advanced technology and efficiency in bureaucracy
Conclusion: Direct tax reforms put in place a transparent efficient and accountable tax system.