current-affairs-based-mains-drill-3-february-2021

*Click on each question to Post/upload your answer in the comment section & get it EVALUATED.

Q.1)The Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act, 2019 was enacted in order to make the arbitration process user-friendly, cost-effective and ensure speedy disposal and neutrality of arbitrators. Discuss.

Why this question:

Important topic of GS Paper II.

Key demand of the question:

Explain the importance of the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act, 2019.

Directive:

Discuss- back up the answer by carefully selected evidence to make a case for and against an argument, or point out the advantages and disadvantages of the given context and finally arrive at a conclusion.

Introduction:

Give a brief introduction about the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act, 2019.

Body:

In the first part, highlight the key provision of the Act and the amendments made. 

In the next part, mention the significance of the act in making the arbitration process user-friendly, cost-effective and ensuring speedy disposal and neutrality of arbitrators. Also mention certain lacuna of the Act and ways to resolve them.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward.

Model Answer

The Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act, 2019 amends the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996. The Act contains provisions to deal with domestic and international arbitration, and defines the law for conducting conciliation proceedings. Arbitration and dispute resolution are two mechanisms for alternative dispute resolution.

Key Features of the Act

  1. Arbitration Council of India: It establishes an independent body called the Arbitration Council of India (ACI) for the promotion of arbitration, mediation, conciliation and other alternative dispute redressal mechanisms.
  2. Mandate of ACI: to frame rules on (a) how institutions would be graded (b) norms to be followed and (c) monitoring of quality and performance.
  3. Composition of the ACI: a Chairperson who is either: (i) a Judge of the Supreme Court; or (ii) a Judge of a High Court; or (iii) Chief Justice of a High Court; or (iv) an eminent person with expert knowledge in conduct of arbitration.
  4. Relaxation of time limits: it removes this time restriction of 12 months for tribunals to make their award for arbitration proceedings, which was prescribed by the original Act, for international commercial arbitrations.
  5. Completion of written submissions: The written claim and the defence to the claim in an arbitration proceeding should be completed within six months of the appointment of the arbitrators.
  6. Confidentiality of proceedings: It provides that the arbitrator, the arbitral institutions and the parties shall maintain confidentiality of information relating to arbitral proceedings

The above amendments will help to make India an international arbitration hub, will share the burden of the courts and even facilitate speedy appointment of arbitrators, give choice to parties to choose their own arbitrator and above all speed up the arbitration process.

The above Act will give a boost to institutional arbitration vis-a-vis ad hoc arbitration and to remove some practical difficulties in applicability of the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act, 2015. It will facilitate achieving the goal of improving institutional arbitration by establishing an independent body to lay down standards, make the arbitration process more party friendly, cost-effective and ensure timely disposal of arbitration cases.

 

Q.2)The issues related to privacy in social media have been a major concern. Critically analyze how the Personal Data Protection Bill can help in addressing the issue.

Why this question:

Recent change by WhatsApp in its privacy policy has made the Personal Data Protection Bill a need.

Key demand of the question:

Importance of the Personal Data Protection Bill.

Directive:

Critically analyze- The key to tackling this question is providing ample evidence to support the claims. Ensure that the analysis is balanced by shedding light on, and presenting a critique of, and alternative perspectives. Present extensive evidence taken from a varying range of sources.

Introduction:

Give a brief introduction about the current laws governing the data privacy currently in India.

Body:

In the first part, mention the need for data privacy laws highlighting examples like the Whatsapp privacy policy.

In the next part, mention how the Personal Data Protection Bill addresses the key issues of data privacy highlighting the core provisions of the Bill.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward.

Model Answer

The Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 seeks to provide for protection of personal data of individuals, and establishes a Data Protection Authority for the same. It will safeguard the rights of Indians and data will not be taken without their consent. It derives its inspiration from a previous draft version prepared by a committee headed by retired Justice B N Srikrishna. Currently, there are no express legislations in India w.r.t. data protection and the Personal Data Protection Bill is the first attempt to do so.

Salient features of the Bill

  1. The bill classifies data as 3 types:
  • Personal Data- from which an individual can be identified like name, address etc.
  • Sensitive Personal Data- personal data like as financial, health, sexual orientation, biometric, genetic, transgender status, caste, religious belief, and more
  • Critical Personal Data- Anything that the government at any time can deem critical, such as military or national security data. It must be stored and processed in India.
  1. It removes the requirement of data mirroring (in case of personal data). Only individual consent for data transfer abroad is required.
  2. It requires sensitive personal data to be stored only in India. It can be processed abroad only under certain conditions including approval of a Data Protection Agency (DPA).
  3. It requires social media companies, which are deemed significant data fiduciaries based on factors such as volume and sensitivity of data, to develop their own user verification mechanism.
  4. It includes exemptions for processing data without an individual’s consent for “reasonable purposes”, like security of the state, whistleblowing, medical emergencies, etc.
  5. Creation of an independent regulator Data Protection Authority, which will oversee assessments and audits and definition making.
  6. It grants individuals the right to data portability and the ability to access and transfer one’s own data.
  7. It legislates on the right to be forgotten i.e. allows an individual to remove consent for data collection and disclosure.

Recently, we have seen cases of violation of data privacy increasing all over the world. A very good example in this context is the latest update by Whatsapp in its privacy policy. Such situations highlight the need of a firm and clear law on personal data protection.

The above Bill is in line with the 2017 Puttaswamy Judgement of the Supreme Court that declared Right to Privacy as a fundamental right of citizens  of India which has a population of over a billion and more than 500 active internet users.

 

Q.3)The National Faceless Income Tax Appellate Tribunal Centre will reduce the cost of compliance for taxpayers, and increase transparency in the disposal of appeals. Critically evaluate.

Why this question:

The National Faceless Income Tax Appellate Tribunal Centre has been proposed in the Union Budget 2021-22.

Key demand of the question:

The importance of the National Faceless Income Tax Appellate Tribunal Centre.

Directive:

Critically evaluate - Give your verdict as to what extent a statement or findings within a piece of research are true, or to what extent you agree with them. Provide evidence taken from a wide range of sources which both agree with and contradict an argument. Come to a final conclusion, basing your decision on what you judge to be the most important factors and justify how you have made your choice.

Introduction:

Briefly introduce what the National Faceless Income Tax Appellate Tribunal Centre will do.

Body:

In the first part, mention the importance of importance of the move proposed in the Budget

In the next part, highlight the challenges associated in setting up the tribunal, the issues that the tribunals face and how it is important to address them.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward.

Model Answer

Income Tax Appellate Tribunal, also known as ITAT, is an important statutory body in the field of direct taxes and its orders are accepted as final, on findings of fact. The Union Budget 2021-22 proposes to make this tribunal faceless by the establishment of a National Faceless Income Tax Appellate Tribunal.

Advantages of a faceless tribunal

  1. It will make all communication between the Tribunal and the appellant electronic.
  2. It will extensively speed up the rate at which disputes are resolved.
  3. It will help in extensive saving of time and costs of the parties involved.
  4. It would bring more transparency and reliability in the Indian taxation system.
  5. It will help in optimizing utilization of the resources through economies of scale and functional specialization.

However, there are certain challenges in the implementation of this proposal like appellants may find it difficult to justify claims, argue and counter argue their cases merely by way of written submissions made electronically, autonomy and independence of the tribunal, etc. these need to be resolved before setting up of the tribunal.

 

Q.4)Enumerate the key points of the National Health Mission.

Why this Question:

It is an important policy of the Government in the health sector.

Key demand of the Question:

Key provisions of the National Health Mission

Directive:

Enumerate - Specifically asking you to provide details in a pointwise format.

Introduction:

Give an introduction about the National Health Mission.

Body:

In the first part, categorically mention the features of the National Health Mission- its objectives, its components and the goals it aspires to achieve

In the next part, mention a few initiatives taken by the Government under the Mission like the Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY), National Mobile Medical Units, etc. Highlight the importance of the mission. 

Conclusion:

Conclude by giving a way forward.

Model Answer

The National Health Mission (NHM) was launched by the government of India in 2013. It encompasses its two Sub-Missions, the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) and the newly launched National Urban Health Mission (NUHM). It was further extended in March 2018, to continue till March 2020.

Components of NHM:

The main programmatic components include Health System Strengthening in rural and urban areas- Reproductive-Maternal- Neonatal-Child and Adolescent Health (RMNCH+A), and Communicable and Non-Communicable Diseases.

Goals of NHM:

  • Reduce MMR to 1/1000 live births
  • Reduce IMR to 25/1000 live births
  • Reduce TFR to 2.1
  • Prevention and reduction of anemia in women aged 15–49 years
  • Prevent and reduce mortality & morbidity from communicable, non- communicable; injuries and emerging diseases
  • Reduce household out-of-pocket expenditure on total health care expenditure
  • Reduce annual incidence and mortality from Tuberculosis by half
  • Reduce prevalence of Leprosy to <1/10000 population and incidence to zero in all districts
  • Annual Malaria Incidence to be <1/1000
  • Less than 1 per cent microfilaria prevalence in all districts
  • Kala-azar elimination by 2015 <1 case per 10000 population in all blocks

Major initiatives taken by the government under the NHM include Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA), Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY), National Mobile Medical Units, etc. Over the years the NHM has seen some successes like the Mission Indradhanush that increased the immunization cover by 5% in just one year and the Kayakalp initiative that was launched with the plan to inculcate hygiene, sanitation, effective waste management, and infection control in public health facilities.

 

Q.5)The proposal to launch a Hydrogen Energy Mission in 2021-22 will boost India’s goal of “energy diversification”. Critically examine.

Why this question:

Recently, India has proposed the Hydrogen Energy Mission in the Union Budget 2021-22.

Key demand of the Question: 

Importance of the Hydrogen Energy Mission and the benefits associated with it.

Directive:

Critically examine- Look in close detail and establish the key facts and important issues surrounding the topic. Try and offer reasons as to why the facts and issues identified are most important, as well as explain the different ways they could be construed.

Introduction:

Give a brief introduction about hydrogen Energy and its uses.

Body:

In the first part, mention the significance of the Hydrogen Energy Mission giving various benefits associated with it – diversification of energy basket, reduction in imports, cleaner fuel and energy, environmental benefits.

In the next part, mention the challenges associated while implementing the mission on grounds of technology, skills, finance required.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward

Model Answer

Hydrogen energy involves the use of hydrogen and/or hydrogen-containing compounds to generate energy to be supplied to all practical uses needed with high energy efficiency, overwhelming environmental and social benefits, as well as economic competitiveness. The Union Budget 2021-22 proposes to launch a comprehensive National Hydrogen Energy Mission for 2021-22 for generating hydrogen from green power sources.

Using hydrogen as a source of energy has a series of benefits:

  1. It is a cleaner source of energy compared to traditional sources.
  2. It is a renewable source of energy and bountiful in supply.
  3. It has an abundance of sources for production.
  4. It will help in reduction of import dependence of India on other countries for traditional sources of energy.
  5. It will help in diversification of energy sources.
  6. It is vital for India to meet its Nationally Determined Contributions and ensure regional and national energy security, access and availability.

However, development of hydrogen energy and implementation of the National Hydrogen Energy Mission has a series of challenges like lack of critical technology, adequate financial support, storage complications, etc. Therefore the National Hydrogen Energy Mission requires a series of concerted efforts and commitment by the government.