Q.1) Can the GDP of a country be taken as an index of the welfare of that country? Justify your answer by giving reasons. Also discuss the controversy around GDP estimates in India. (15 marks - 250 words)
Why this question? - The provisional figure, released by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI), states that the Indian economy grew by 4.2% in 2019-20. This is the lowest annual growth rate of GDP registered under the new GDP data series which uses 2011-12 as the base year.
Intro - One can start with defining GDP and different methods of GDP estimates in India.
Body - Now answer the question...Can?...If No, highlight the reasons - Distribution of GDP not uniform etc.
Then, come to the 2nd part of the question...Mention the recent changes in the GDP estimates in India, eg, base year etc. Tell how these changes are leading to wide variations in GDP calculations in India and its impact on the economy.
Way forward - Development in the form of new job creation etc, should be the criteria for evaluating the health of the economy.
Q.2) Analyse the constitutionality of the Ordinance of the AP Government to cut short the period of State Election Commissioner. Also discuss the constitutional provisions related to the State Election Commissioner.
(15 marks - 250 words)
Keywords for answer
- Briefly introduce the issue related to removal and reinstatement of AP State Election Commissioner.
- To analyse the constitutionality, bring in the safeguards to the SEC like Article 243K, security of tenure, Removal process.
- As the provisions of Article 243K, prohibits the variation of any condition of service to the detriment of any incumbent.
- Article 243-K also states that a SEC could not be removed except in the same manner as provided for a judge of a High Court.
- Also bring in the argument that the power conferred under Article 213 of the Constitution to promulgate ordinances was not an absolute entrustment but conditional upon the satisfaction that the circumstances exist for such an action.
- It is a well-settled principle in law that what cannot be done directly cannot be done indirectly.
- Therefore, the removal of an incumbent SEC through the subterfuge of changing the eligibility norms for appointment is bound to succumb to judicial scrutiny.
- Also If courts uphold this means of dislodging the head of an independent election body, it would mark the end of free and fair elections that is a part of Basic structure of the Constitution.
Q.3) Migrants possess a lot of significance for the migrating region however amidst the lockdown they are unable to retain the same. Commnet. 10 marks ( 150 words)
Why this question
Lockdown has induced migrants to return to their homes.
According to Census 2011, there were 454 million migrants in India — doubling over the 1991-2011 period.
- Contribution to our national GDP: Migrants perform labor in industries ranging from construction, brick manufacturing, mining and quarrying, hotels and restaurants etc. which enhances a country's GDP.
- Essential Services and Menial Jobs: Urban migrants perform essential labour and provide services that many people want but are unwilling to provide themselves like Domestic Care, Car Cleaning, Sweeping etc.
- Creates Demand for Products: Even though migrants predominantly are a part of a low income group but collectively they create a robust demand for products thereby boosting economic activity.
- Cultural Integration: They bring their unique food habits and festivities to their migration place. Eg - The Chhath Puja is now celebrated in Delhi owing to the presence of significant migrants from Bihar and U.P.
Lockdown has impacted them negatively due to which they are unable to retain their significance and are induced to return to their homes.
Impact of Lockdown on Migrants:
- The suspension of interstate transportation and inter-district transportation was a big blow to the migrant population as they got struck in their places of work.
- Financial issues entangled them owing to low savings and little support from their employers.
- Health Stress was yet another negative fallout on them as they had to search for food, water, housing and clothing.
- Moreover in extreme situations they decided to walk to their hometowns on foot only, which deteriorated their health.
- Further the necessity for creating a Bus/Train pass in order to reach home induced them to gather in huge numbers on depots/platforms, thereby violating social distancing protocols and making them more vulnerable to Covid infection.
- Psychological Hardships were faced by them as it's been more than 2 months since they have seen their families and moreover the future potential of their work also seems bleak.
States and Centre must take proactive steps for supporting them - Link with Atma Nirbhar Bharat measures.
Q.4) The thresholds in the Industrial disputes Act has encouraged short-term employment, low skills, and zero security. Comment (250 words)
Why this question?
The lockdown and joblessness has exposed the vulnerability of the system related to thresholds in the Industrial disputes act.
Mention Unprecedented threat of COVID-19 and workers facing the brunt
- About IDA and its objectives
- Three Thresholds in IDA
The IDA thresholds must go and not be merely fiddled with, as some states have done.
Q.5) India’s attempts towards balancing its relations with China against its own interests have restricted its interactions with Australia to some extent.But Australia is expecting India to play a bigger role in the Indo-Pacific region. Discuss.
Why this question?
- The Prime Ministers of India and Australia, Narendra Modi and Scott Morrison, are scheduled to address each other at India-Australia virtual summit to be held soon.
Introduction to the answer:
- Brief info about current state of India-Australia bilateral relations
Significance of Indo-Australia bilateral relations
- (Im)balance of trade
- No coherent Indo pacific strategy:
- For Australia a ‘free and open Indo-Pacific’ means establishing a regional architecture with fellow democratic countries to help maintain the ‘rules-based order’ as China becomes the most powerful actor in the region.
- India’s preferred formulation of a ‘free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific’ refers to a multipolar regional order within which Delhi can maintain its strategic autonomy
- Fate Of Quad: India’s unwillingness to invite Australia to participate in the Malabar naval exercise, despite Australian lobbying, has also sparked speculation over the fate of the Quadrilateral Consultative Dialogue (the ‘Quad) involving India, Australia, Japan and the United States.
- Provide a way forward through the management of cooperation in areas that matter to the lives of the people of the two nations: health, food, digital revolution and education.