DAILY MAINS NEWSLETTER FOR UPSC | 06 APR 2021 | RaghukulCS

Daily Mains Newsletter For UPSC
| RaghukulCS

06 APRIL 2021

Index

Mains Value Addition

Mains Analysis

Topic No

Topic Name

Source

1

Free and unhindered justice

The Hindu

2

The pillars of an equitable post-COVID India

The Hindu

3

Why India must not say ‘NO’ to NATO

Indian Express

4

Fighting LWE in Chhattisgarh, elsewhere

Indian Express

Mains Value Addition

Farm unions protest FCI’s direct payment, tenancy documentation orders

Syllabus-

GS 3: PDS – objectives, functioning, limitations, revamping; issues of buffer stocks and food security;

Analysis: –

  • Recent orders from the Food Corporation of India (FCI) have led to a new flashpoint in the ongoing farmers protests, with farm unions warning that the Centre’s insistence on direct payment and tenancy documentation could derail the crop procurement process.
  • In addition to being unresponsive to protesting farmers’ legitimate demands, the Government of India’s Food Corporation of India has brought in new quality specifications and procurement norms in a direct attack on the procurement regime and the ongoing protests.
  • According to reports, the FCI is deliberating strong quality controls and is proposing revision of specifications for food grains procurement.

Farm unions protest FCI’s direct payment, tenancy documentation orders

Syllabus-

-GS 3: PDS – objectives, functioning, limitations, revamping; issues of buffer stocks and food security;

Analysis: –

  • Recent orders from the Food Corporation of India (FCI) have led to a new flashpoint in the ongoing farmers protests, with farm unions warning that the Centre’s insistence on direct payment and tenancy documentation could derail the crop procurement process.
  • In addition to being unresponsive to protesting farmers’ legitimate demands, the Government of India’s Food Corporation of India has brought in new quality specifications and procurement norms in a direct attack on the procurement regime and the ongoing protests.
  • According to reports, the FCI is deliberating strong quality controls and is proposing revision of specifications for food grains procurement.

Ordinance to usher in tribunal reforms issued

Syllabus- GS 2: Governance

Analysis: –

  • The Centre has replaced Appellate authorities under as many as nine laws with High Courts.
  • This has been done through the Tribunal Reforms (Rationalisation and Conditions of Service) Ordinance 2021, which was promulgated on Sunday.
  • Through this Ordinance, appellate authorities under nine Acts have been done away with and the right to hear appeals under the statue has been conferred on High Courts.
  • In as many as nine laws, the Centre has replaced the existing appellate authorities and vested those powers in the High Courts through an ordinance, the Tribunal Reforms (Rationalisation and Conditions of Service) Ordinance 2021, promulgated on Sunday.

Mains Analysis

Free and unhindered justice

Why in News: –

SC e-Committee Proposes Live-Streaming And Sharing Of Digital Transcript of Court Proceedings Immediately With The Order.

Syllabus: -GS 2: Social Justice, Indian Judiciary

  • Last Year, in the wake of Coronavirus Pandemic, the Supreme Court (SC) has passed directions for all courts across the country to extensively use video-conferencing for judicial proceedings.
  • The Supreme Court exercised its plenary power under Article 142 to direct all high courts to frame a mechanism for use of technology during the pandemic.

 

What is e-Courts Project ?

  • The e-Courts project was conceptualized by e-Committee, Supreme Court of India with a vision to transform the Indian Judiciary by ICT enablement of Courts on the basis of the “National Policy and Action Plan for Implementation of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the Indian Judiciary – 2005” submitted.
  • The e-Courts Mission Mode Project, is a pan-India Project, monitored and funded by the Department of Justice, Ministry of Law and Justice, for the District Courts across the country.

Background: –

  • Even at the time the Constitution was being debated by the Constituent Assembly, geographical access to the Supreme Court was flagged as a concern.
  • The B.R. Ambedkar-led Drafting Committee was nevertheless of the view that the Court must have a specified place of sitting and that litigants should “know where to go and whom to approach”.
  • Accordingly, in recognition of the same, the Constitution empowered the Chief Justice to hold sittings of the Supreme Court through Circuit Benches in places other than Delhi as well.
  • However, despite an increasing caseload and repeated pleas by litigants and governments, successive Chief Justices have refused to invoke this constitutional power for reasons best known to them.
  • In India, given the unified, single-pyramidal structure of the judicial system, all types of cases can potentially make their way to the Supreme Court, irrespective of the place or forum of the original institution.
  • It is the effective exercise of that right, however, that is curtailed by the court assembling exclusively in Delhi.

Statistics: –

  • According to a report by the Centre for Policy Research, a disproportionately high number of cases filed in the Supreme Court originated in High Courts closer to Delhi.
  • For instance, cases from States like West Bengal, Bihar and Andhra Pradesh, which collectively account for around a fifth of India’s total population, contribute to less than 10% of the court’s docket.
  • On the other hand, almost 18% of all cases in the Supreme Court originate from Punjab and Haryana, with less than 5% of the total population share.
  • Geographical constraints have also meant that appearing before the Supreme Court has inescapably become the domain of a select few lawyers in and around Delhi.

Need for virtual courts: –

  • The pandemic, although for different reasons, has compelled the Supreme Court to attempt to overcome physical constraints in an effort to increase access, albeit virtually.
  • Over the past year, with virtual hearings, what was seen as the exclusive domain of a limited number of lawyers in Delhi has opened up to advocates from all over India, most of whom could only ever have dreamt of addressing the Supreme Court in their lifetimes.
  • Litigants now have the option to engage a local lawyer of their own choice and convenience, including the same lawyer who argued their case before the lower court.

Way Forward:

  • Indeed, virtual hearings may not be the perfect alternative, but such imperfections must be preferred over a denial of the right to access justice itself.
  • It is only when each person in India is provided unhindered access to its corridors can the Supreme Court be said to have fulfilled its constitutional promise.
  • More than one Law Commission and Parliamentary Committee have recommended Circuit Benches of the Supreme Court to be set up around the country.
  • Nonetheless, till the judiciary acts on such proposals, virtual hearings should be allowed to continue, if not as a matter of right, then at least as a matter of just and equitable policy.

Question: –

Critically examine the need of e-courts in India. Discuss the merits and demerits of virtual courts.

The pillars of an equitable post-COVID India

Why in News: –

A recent Pew Research Report shows that India’s middle class may have shrunk by a third due to the novel coronavirus pandemic while the number of poor people earning less than ?150 per day more than doubled.

Syllabus: – GS 2: Social Justice, Indian Judiciary

What is Pew Research Report?

  • The report is based on an analysis of World Bank data and itself mentions that there are multiple assumptions in the report. This includes the assumption on-base years for income/consumption also. In India, the base year was 2011.
  • Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world.
  • The Pew report also warned that the situation may actually be worse than estimated because of worsening inequalities.

What led to Inequalities in India?

  • The economic shock due to the pandemic has been much more severe for the country for two reasons.
  • First, pre-COVID-19, the economy was already slowing down, compounding existing problems of unemployment, low incomes, rural distress, malnutrition, and widespread inequality.
  • Second, India’s large informal sector is particularly vulnerable. Inequalities were increasing earlier also but the pandemic has widened them further.
  • But the informal sector and workers have suffered a lot with loss of incomes and employment in the last one year.

Recovery In Economy:

  • The economy recovered in the third quarter of FY21 with a positive GDP growth of 0.4% as compared to minus 24.4% in the first quarter and minus 7.3% in the second quarter.
  • For the year FY21, the economy would contract by 8%. GDP growth is likely to increase by 10%-11% in FY22. But the levels of GDP show that it will grow only around 1.1% in FY22 as compared to FY20 levels.
  • According to the Centre For Monitoring Indian Economy, the employment rate is still 2.5 percentage points lower now as compared to the level before the lockdown last year.
  • Women lost more jobs and many are out of the workforce. Inequalities have increased in health care and education.
  • Investment in infrastructure including construction can create employment.
  • In the recent Budget, the central government has rightly focused on capital expenditure for infrastructure.
  • Seven challenges in employment:
  • creating productive jobs for seven to eight million per year
  • correcting the mismatch between demand and supply of labour (only 2.3% of India’s workforce has formal skill training as compared to 96% in South Korea, 80% in Japan, and 52% in the United States
  • Structural change challenge (manufacturing should be the engine of growth. Here, labor-intensive exports are important and manufacturing and services are complementary)
  • Focusing on micro, small & medium enterprises and informal sectors including rights of migrants
  • Getting ready for the automation and technology revolution
  • Social security and decent working conditions for all
  • Raising real wages of rural and urban workers and guaranteeing minimum wages.

2) Raising Human Development:

  • Increasing public expenditure on health and education is another form of redistributive measure. Public expenditure on health is only 1.5% of GDP.
  • Education and health achievements are essential for reducing inequality of opportunities.
  • We also have the experience of a digital gap in education during the pandemic. One has to fix this dichotomy in health and education.

 3) Quasi Universal Basic Income and other Social Safety Nets:

  • For example, C. Rangarajan had suggested three proposals on minimum income for the poor and the vulnerable in the post-pandemic period. These are:
  • Cash transfers to all women above the age of 20 years
  • Expanding the number of days provided under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act
  • A national employment guarantee scheme for urban areas.

Increasing Farmers’ Income:

  • Especially for small and marginal farmers is needed to reduce inequalities and create demand.
  • Farmer producer organisations should be strengthened.
  • States have to be given a bigger role in Agri-marketing reforms.

Tax base, budgets

  • Enhancing tax and non-tax revenues of the government is needed to spend on the above priorities.
  • The tax/GDP ratio has to be raised, with a wider tax base. Richer sections have to pay more taxes.
  • Similarly, the inequalities between the Centre and States in finances should be reduced.
  • State budgets must be strengthened to improve capital expenditures on physical infrastructure and spending on health, education and social safety nets.

Way Forward: –

  • Apart from economic factors, non-economic factors such as deepening democracy and decentralisation can help in reducing inequalities.
  • Unequal distribution of development is rooted in the inequalities of political, social, and economic power.
  • We have to find opportunities and spaces where the power can be challenged and redistributed.
  • In the post-COVID-19 world, addressing inequality is important for higher and sustainable economic growth and the well-being of the population.

Question: –

International organisations like the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the International Labour Organization have also warned about rising inequalities in several countries including India due to the pandemic. Discuss.

Why India must not say ‘NO’ to NATO

Why in News: –

When the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) leaders meet later this year, will discuss on group of experts recommendation of extending a formal partnership offer to India.

Syllabus:

 – GS 2: Bilateral, Regional, and Global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

  • North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is a 30 member military alliance established by the North Atlantic Treaty (also known as Washington Treaty) of April 4th 1949, by US, Canada & several Western European nations to provide collective security against the Soviet Union.
  • Among others, Article 5 is the key provision that states “if any member of the alliance is attacked in Europe or North America, it is to be considered an attack on all members”.

 

Significance of NATO

  • China’s meteoric rise & its acceleration of military capabilities has dramatically heightened India’s need for closer security relationships with reliable like-minded states like NATO grouping.
  • In short term, India would derive strategic-signaling value, from the mere fact of opening partnership talks with NATO, which send the message that India will redouble coalition-building efforts to counter Chinese aggression.
  • In the longer term, India would derive military-strategic benefits from NATO partnership such as in times of conflict India would benefit from having prior planning & arrangements.
  • Though US-non-NATO ally status gave India benefits of technology-sharing &cost-sharing for purposes of the Arms Export Control Act,
  • But NATO partnership status further elevates India’s position benefiting from future low barrier programmes for cooperation in emerging technologies between NATO & ITS Asia-Pacific partners.
  • This partnership could also help to offset the growing concerns & negative scrutiny India is increasingly attracting in US congress for its reliance on Russian military equipment.
  • For Europe (mainly NATO), partnership with India provides an effective role to play in Indo-pacific.
  • As it is evident that no single power can produce stability & security in Indo-Pacific.

Challenges: –

  • During Colonial rule, the British’s quest for hegemony in Great Game written suspicion of Europe into the Indian establishment’s DNA.
  • During the cold war, India’s refusal to join NATO based on the non-alignment principle created a barrier in moving close to NATO once the cold war ended.
  • India’s main problem is its lack of Concrete strategic orientation towards Europe.
  • During colonial times, it used the British framework for Europe.
  • After independence, it used the Russian lens for it.
  • In the 21st century, though India began Indianized European framework but needs more effort to consolidate it.
  • With the fall of the soviet union, India failed to utilize the opportunity to develop strategic engagement with re-emerging Europe due to
  • Over-bureaucratization of the engagement between India & NATO.
  • Lack of high-level political interest.
  • From the NATO side, in the past, some allies have effectively blocked partnership offer discussion to India.

Way forward:

  • In this emerging competition, India should be treated as a vital player in the region by NATO, at the same time India should come out of the illusions of having truly non-aligned as a viable option & start developing a new workable strategic partnership with NATO.
  • India needs to deepen the ties with other NATO members on the lines of Indo-Franco engagements.
  • India needs to develop a pragmatic engagement with NATO as a part of India’s new European orientation.
  • NATO leaders should start talks on effective engagement with India that would send a serious signals to its adversaries.
  • Strengthening ties with NATO now could pay India dividends in dissuading aggression of China’s assertion towards both South Asia & Europe.

Question: –

Explain why India needs to develop a pragmatic engagement with NATO. Critically evaluate the significance of NATO for India.

Fighting LWE in Chhattisgarh, elsewhere

Why in News: –

Recent deadly ambush of Maoists on Security forces in Bijapurdist of Chhattisgarh where 22 security personnel were martyred.

Syllabus: –

 GS3: Linkages between Development and Spread of Left Wing Extremism.
  • Over the years, most states affected by Left Wing Extremism have largely tackled the Maoist problem, with state police rather than central forces playing a key role. In Chhattisgarh, various factors make it a challenge.
  • Left-wing extremisms also known by Naxalism in India that originated in Naxal Bari village of West Bengal, now spread across 11 states infamously known as “Red Corridor”
  • After the consolidation in 2004 of all fringe groups associated with left wing, a single all-India wide outfit known as Communist Party of India(Maoist) emerged.
  • It is the major, left wing outfit that is responsible for majority of violent incidents involving killing of civilians & security forces.
  • The objective is to wage an armed revolution and overthrow existing democratic state structure with violence as their main weapon inorder to usher formation of their own government.

Current state of Left Wing Extremism in India:

  • According to Min of Home Affairs, in India 90 districts across 11 states are affected by LWE.
  • But the geographical spread of LWE violence has also shrunk considerably to 60 dist in 2018
  • At the same time, the arc of violence has been restricted to just 30 districts accounting for 89% of LWE violence.
  • Where the majority of incidents are hovering around Gadchirowli, Dantewada, Sukma&Bijapurdists.
  • In the last decades number of persons has been killed more than 1500 but there has been a gradual decrease in intensity of deaths.

Causes of LWE:

  • Economic development under the fiver plan led to the formation of the growth poles restricted only to some urban areas that led to unequal development.
  • Alienation of Forest Land because the failure of land reforms and harassment of govt servants.
  • Agrarian development policies focused on improving output without reducing economic and social disparity.
  • Industrial development policies helped the capitalists to exploit tribal of their rights & resources.
  • Lack of basic infrastructure required for the developments to connect these remote areas with dist headquarters, helped extremisms to thrive.
  • The skilled human resource deficit such as doctors, teachers, etc led to further deprivation of these areas.
  • Inaccessibility of government schemes & the presence of parallel governments in the remote region hindered state-led development

Security Led Measures:

  • Specialized anti-Naxal forces like a Black panther, Greyhounds etc have been established with multi-disciplinary groups of officers from various agencies.
  • Central govt under Security Related Expenditure (SRE) scheme, reimburses security related expenditure relating to various state requirements.
  • To LWE affected states center is providing CAPFs, UAVs, funds for modernization of state police forces, intelligence sharing etc

Development Related Measures:

  • Implementation of Infrastructural Development schemes such a Road Connectivity Project, Universal Service Obligation Fund(USOF) to provide connectivity & mobile services in LWE affected areas.
  • Skill development measures such as ROSHINI under DDU Grameen Kaushal Yojana for training & placement of rural poor youth.
  • Increasing thrust for financial inclusion & opening up of Livelihood centers in the region

Confidence Building Measures:

  • Since 2011 to bridge gaps between security forces & local people Civil Action Programmee has been implemented.
  • Surrender & rehabilitation policies such as imparting vocational training to eligible surrenderer.

Way forward:

  • Consensus based approach needs to be arrived that can serve as force-multiplier for the security forces. With the effective implementation of SAMADHAN approach left wing extremism will be contended.
  • A permanent institutional mechanism in the form of a coordination center can be established to even out the differences between center& state.
  • Augmenting the capacities of the police force against Maoist violence will be key to neutralize.
  • Govt need to focus on development tools that redistributes the resources without disparity.
  • Development must operate in tandem with the security forces. Such as resumption of administrative activity should immediately follow the clearing of an area by the forces.
  • Holding elections for institutions of local self-government in the affected areas followed by the strengthening of these institutions with additional financial and decision-making powers is a necessity.
  • Success of security force operations need to be based on the concept of just war that strives to do the maximum to avoid collateral damage.
  • Government needs to stay away from propagandist claims about winning the war in quick time.

Question: –

To prevent spread of Naxalism, the best strategic response would be to work with civil society actors to counter the Naxal narrative & ideology, which requires re-conceptualization of the counter strategy. Explain.

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