Q.1) In recent times, the kind of politics Indian democracy has inflicted upon, requires a debate on the need to explore a democratic form of government that delivers progress to the people. Comment (15 marks - 250 words)
Why this question? - The political mischievous incidents that the nation has witnessed, most recently in Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, and the horse-trading of MLAs to switch allegiances for power has once again pointed fingers towards parliamentary system.
Intro - A brief about Indian parliamentary system of governance.
- Cracks emerging in the Indian parliamentary democracy.
- Why there is the need to strengthen parliamentary democracy in India.
- The case of switching to the presidential system and its challenges.
Way ahead - Aswitchover to the presidential system is not possible under present constitutional scheme of India because of the ‘basic structure’ doctrine propounded by the Supreme Court in 1973, an introspection for reforming the system is the need of the hour.
Conclusion - Summarize your answer based on the above discussion.
Q.2) The current phase in India-Sri Lanka relations is one where New Delhi is “patching up with the Rajapaksas”. Elaborate.
Why this question?
The Reserve Bank of India has agreed to a $400 million currency swap facility for Sri Lanka till November 2022.
Introduction to the answer:
Recent developments in bilateral relations
- Currency swap: The Reserve Bank of India has agreed to a $400 million currency swap facility for Sri Lanka till November 2022.
- Line of credit: India announced a line of credit of $ 400 million to boost the island nation's development.
- Cooperation on counter-terrorism: As part common strategy, India announced a special Line of Credit of $50 million for strengthening Sri Lanka’s abilities to counter terror threats.
- Early frictions with Rajapaksa: The PLA-Navy’s submarine Changzheng-2 and the warship Chang Xing Dao arrival at Colombo on a five-day visit in 2014 put the Rajapaksa regime and the Modi government on collision course.
Shift in India’s policy:
- Patching up with Rajapakshas: The Rajapaksas are now back in power. Usually it was Sri Lanka’s newly elected President or Prime Minister who visited India first. In contrast, Minister of External Affairs S. Jaishankar’s Colombo visit in November 2019, to meet the newly-elected President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a $450 million line of credit to Sri Lanka during President Rajapaksa’s visit to New Delhi soon after “showed a proactive, relations-building” approach.
Conclusion: India’s attitude and relationship with her immediate neighbours depend on their appreciation of India’s regional security concerns; they would serve as buffer states in the event of an extra regional threat and not proxies of the outside powers. Colombo should never forget this guidance in dealing with India.
Q.3) The Anti Defection Law was formulated to ensure stability of government but is not free from drawbacks. Comment. 15 marks (250 words)
Why this question:
The Rajasthan High Court has deviated from a Supreme Court Ruling on Anti Defection Law.
The government added the 10th schedule by 52nd Constitutional Amendment in 1985.
Merits of Anti Defection law:
- Provides stability to the government by preventing shifts of party allegiance.
- Ensures loyalty of candidates elected with party support and on the basis of party manifestos to the party policies.
- Promotes party discipline.
- Facilitates democratic realignment of parties in the legislature by way of merger of parties.
- Reduces corruption at the political level as well as non-developmental expenditure incurred on irregular elections.
- Constitutional recognition of the existence of political parties has been given for the first time through anti-defection law.
- Reduces the accountability - By preventing parliamentarians from changing parties, it reduces the accountability of the government to the Parliament and the people.
- Curbs Dissent, Debate and Free exchange of Ideas - Interferes with the member’s freedom of speech and expression by curbing dissent against party policies.
- Undermines effectiveness of a legislator – As a legislator, it is his/her duty to discuss and deliberate on issues of national/regional importance; and participate in lawmaking.
- Renders lawmaking a non-inclusive process - A legislator piloting a proposal need not individually reach out to legislators and persuade them about the merits of a legislation or a policy move.
- Not much effective - Several defections and alleged misuse of anti defection law in the states of uttrakhand (2016), Goa, Uttarakhand, Arunachal Pradesh (2016), Manipur, Nagaland and Telangana in recent years have proved its ineffectiveness.
- Not Exhaustive - What happens in case the party joins a post-poll alliance with another party whose ideology the legislator is opposed to? Such questions remain unanswered.
- Based on wrong assumptions -
- Loyalty of a legislator must be towards his voter as opposed to his party.
- Party’s decisions are not always right.
Give reference to the recommendations of the Dinesh Goswami Committee and National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution (2002).