DAILY MAINS NEWSLETTER FOR UPSC |25 Feb 2021| RaghukulCS

Daily Mains Newsletter For UPSC
| RaghukulCS

25 FEB 2021

Index

Mains Value Addition

Mains Analysis

Topic No

Topic Name

Source

1

The structural fragility of Union Territories.

 The Hindu

2

Federalism and India’s human capital.

The Hindu

3

A Flawed Index

Indian Express

Mains Value Addition

Puducherry: Cabinet gives nod for President’s Rule

Syllabus – GS2-

Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure

Analysis: –

  • The Union Cabinet recently approved a proposal by the Home Ministry to dissolve the Puducherry Assembly and impose President’s Rule in the Union Territory.
  • The decision came days after the Congress-led government in the Union Territory lost power during a vote of confidence.
  • President’s rule is the suspension of state government and imposition of direct Union government rule in a state.
  • Under Article 356 of the Constitution of India, in the event that a state government is unable to function according to Constitutional provisions, the Union government can take direct control of the state machinery.
  • If the President receives a report from the state’s Governor or otherwise is convinced or satisfied that the state’s situation is such that the state government cannot carry on the governance according to the provisions of the Constitution.
  • President’s Rule can be imposed if any state fails to comply with all directions given by the Union.

‘Propose bilateral green deal to U.S.’

Syllabus – GS2

Bilateral agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests

Analysis: –

  • CEO of Council on Energy Environment and Water (CEEW) says India needs to proactively negotiate a bilateral climate agreement with the U.S.
  • CEO suggests that hill States such as Uttarakhand be given a concrete plan to transition from reliance on large hydropower plants for energy.
  • This is an opportunity for India to be proactive and propose a bilateral deal, where the U.S. and India can work more closely on climate change.
  • The focus should be on what can be achieved in the near-term. There will be pressure on India to give a plan on when it will achieve Net Zero (when a country’s carbon dioxide emissions are balanced by the amount locked back in).
  • However, India must have an agreement on say the use of hydrogen, and form a Green Hydrogen Alliance.
  • COP 26 will be a very significant event though probably not as much as the conference in Paris (in 2015). The reason for its importance is because it’s coming in a year after the pandemic began.
  • It will reveal if the world’s recovery has been a green one and [if] we are building a world that is better.

Rajasthan budgets for universal health; Right to Health soon

Syllabus – GS2-

Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health

Analysis: –

  • In the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic, Rajasthan Chief Minister recently announced a Universal Health Coverage with an allocation of Rs 3,500 crore in the upcoming financial year as part of measures to reinforce health infrastructure in the state as well as to ensure that healthcare is more accessible to its citizens.
  • CM also announced the ‘Rajasthan Model of Public Health’ (RMPH), wherein a Right to Health Bill will be brought, and that the state will take measures towards Preventive Care, Primary Care and Curative Care as envisioned by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
  • As part of the RMPH, and under the Universal Health Coverage plan, every family will get a Rs 5 lakh health cover.
  • Those covered under Ayushman Bharat – Mahatma Gandhi Rajasthan Swasthya Bima Yojana (AB-MGRSBY) as well as contract workers, and small and marginal farmers will be eligible for free, while others can avail this scheme through 50 percent cost of insurance premium at government and private hospitals for cashless treatment of up to Rs 5 lakh per year.

Former NCBC chief: Without caste census, OBC sub-categorisation not scientific

Syllabus – GS2-

  Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability

Analysis: –

  • Questioning the idea of sub-categorisation of the Other Backward Classes (OBCs), former chairman of the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) Justice Vangala Eswaraiah says without a caste census, this exercise could perpetuate injustice.
  • He terms the sub-categorisation, which is likely to be proposed by the Commission headed by Justice G Rohini, as “un-scientific, atrocious and illegal”.
  • Justice Eswaraiah says if the government wants to sub-categorise the OBCs in order to give them justice, it should either publicise the data of Socio Economic and Caste Census (SECC)-2011 or it should conduct a caste census.
  • This comes days after current NCBC Chairman said the panel was in favour of dividing the OBCs into four sub-categories, in line with what the Justice G Rohini Commission, which was constituted to examine the sub-categorisation of the OBCs, is likely to propose.

Tribals seek forest rights, officials cite core are a rule

Syllabus – GS2-

mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections

Analysis: –

  • Thousands Of tribals living in villages located in the core areas of Sitanadi Udanti Tiger Reserve are demanding that their Community Forest Resource rights be recognised.
  • Despite the Congress-led Chhattisgarh government’s promise of recognition of community resource rights, these villagers are facing bureaucratic hurdles, largely based on interpretation of law.
  • Recently, residents of one of the villages, Bahigaon asked for a special gram sabha to facilitate the recognition of Community Forest Resource rights provided under the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006.
  • Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006, has been enacted to recognize and vest the miner forest product rights and occupation of forest land in forest dwelling Scheduled Tribes and other traditional forest dwellers.

Mains Analysis

The structural fragility of Union Territories.

Why in News: –

Four Ruling MLAs have resigned from the Puducherry government led by CM Narayanasamy, throwing the government in the Union Territory in a fresh crisis.

Syllabus: -GS-2:

 Parliament and State legislatures—structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.

Recent Incidents: –

  1. Four Ruling MLAs have resigned from the Puducherry government led by CM Narayanasamy, throwing the government in the Union Territory in a fresh crisis.
  2. The sudden and inexplicable resignations of ruling MLAs from the Puducherry Assembly have turned out to be an ingenious move to overbalance the government. It’s as done like Karnataka in 2019.

The Constitutional concerns:

  1. In both cases, the governments lost majority and went out of office. 
  2. Resigning from the membership of the House is every member’s right.
  3.  According to Article 190 of the Constitution, the resignation should be voluntary or genuine.
  4. If the Speaker has information to the contrary, he or she is not obliged to accept the resignation.

 Article 190 (3) of the Indian Constitution:

  1. Article 190 (3)(a) If a member of a House of the Legislature of a State becomes subject to any of the disqualifications mentioned in clause ( 1 ), vacation  or clause ( 2 ), member of the legislatures of two or more States of Article 191; or
  2. 190 (3)(b) MLA resigns his seat by writing under his hand addressed to the Speaker or the Chairman, as the case may be, and his resignation is accepted by the Speaker or the Chairman, as the case may be, his seat shall thereupon become vacant:

   

  1. Every Union territory shall be administered by the President acting, to such extent as he thinks fit, through an administrator to be appointed by him with such designation as he may specify under parliamentary made by laws.
  2. The Article 239A was originally brought in, in 1962, to enable Parliament to create legislatures for the UTs.

Composition of the legislature:

  1. The first question that arises in the context of these UTs is why the Constitution-makers/ Parliament thought it fit to provide a legislature and Council of Ministers to some of the UTs.
  2. The ostensible reason is to fulfil the democratic aspirations of the people of these territories.
  3. There was a realization that the administration of these territories directly by the President through the administrators under Article 239 does not meet the democratic aspirations of the people.
  4.  Therefore, the creation of a legislature and a Council of Ministers is logical and in consonance with the policy of the state to promote democracy.
  5. The Constitution reveals that this professed aim has often been sought to be defeated by the Union.

 An innovative method:

  1.  The resignations of MLA lead to the fall of the government and resignations take place only from the ruling parties in the States which are opposed to the ruling party at the Centre.
  2.   In most cases, the resignations are quite unanticipated and reduce the party’s majority in the House abruptly.
  3. Resignations are done with such precision that the exact number of MLAs required to reduce the majority resign, not more.
  4. This mode of toppling a government has an odd attractiveness about it because of its sheer novelty.
  5. The beauty of this scheme is that no MLA has to defect and face disqualification and get a bad name.
  6. It is a wonderful way to end defection and save the honour of the legislators.

 The Constitutional Obligation related to the legislature:

  • Legislature is a body that is elected, or partly elected and partly nominated.
  • There can be a Council of Ministers without a legislature, or there can be a legislature as well as a Council of Ministers.
  •  A legislature without a Council of Ministers or a Council of Ministers without a legislature is a conceptual absurdity.
  • A legislature is the law-making body and a legislative proposal is initiated by the government, which is responsible to the legislature.
  •  Neither can the legislature exist without a Council of Ministers nor can the Council of Ministers exist without a legislature.
  • Similarly, a legislature that is partly elected and partly nominated is another absurdity.
  • A simple amendment in the Government of Union Territories Act, 1963 can create a legislature with more than 50% nominated members.

 How the nomination works in Indian legislature:

  1.  There is provision for nomination of members to the Rajya Sabha under Article 80 (i) (a). 
  2. But clause (3) of the Article specifies the fields from which they will be nominated.
  3. The purpose of this nomination is to enable the House to draw on the expertise of those eminent members who are nominated and thus enrich the debate in the House.
  4.  But in the case of nomination to the Puducherry Assembly, no such qualification is laid down either in Article 239A or the Government of Union Territories Act.
  5.  If a different party runs the government in the UT, this provision will be used by the Union government with a vengeance, which is what happened in Puducherry.

 Union Territory and the Administrator’s power:

  • Section 44 of the Government of Union Territories Act and Article 239 AA(4) (proviso) of the Constitution vests the power in the administrator to express his or her disagreement and refer the matter to the President and then take all actions he or she deems fit in the matter in total disregard of the elected government.
  • The power vested in the administrator, who is known as the Lieutenant Governor in the UTs having a legislature, bear this out.
  •  The administrator has the right to disagree with the decisions of the Council of Ministers and then refer them to the President for a final decision.
  • The President decides on the advice of the Union government.
  • So, in effect, it is the Union government which finally determines the disputed issue.
  • The administrator can, in fact, disagree with all crucial decisions taken by the State government when the territory is ruled by a different political party.

Administration in Puducherry Vs NCR:

  1.  In Puducherry, the conflicts between the Lt. Governor and the Chief Minister were perennial. A frustrated Chief Minister at last had to knock on the door of Rashtrapati Bhavan seeking the removal of the Lt. Governor.
  2. Similarly, in the National Capital Territory of Delhi, one often hears of complaints against the Lt. Governor from the ministers about the non-cooperative federalism being practised by him.
  3. No Union government really likes the idea of a free and autonomous government in the UTs and therefore tries to control it through the administrator.
  4. The weaponization of the constitutional provision is done in full measure when the UT is ruled by a different political party.

 Conclusion:

  • The Puducherry development has tremendous political significance.
  • The structural fragility of Union Territories (UTs) as units of the Indian federation which perhaps makes it easier for powerful operators in the political system to de-stabilize them.
  •  The redemption for the harried governments of these territories lies in the removal of the legal and constitutional provisions which enable the administrator to breathe down the neck of the elected government.
  • So far as the conspiratorial resignation by legislators to bring down their own government is concerned, the political class will have to rack its brains on how to get the better of the predatory instincts of political parties through constitutional or other means.
  • The UTs were never given a fully democratic set-up with necessary autonomy.
  • The UTs having legislatures with ultimate control vested in the central administrator are not workable.

Value Addition: –

The Supreme Court Verdict:

  1. The NCT of Delhi v. Union of India (2019), the Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court had said that the administrator should not misuse this power to frustrate the functioning of the elected government in the territory and use it after all methods have failed to reconcile the differences between him/her and the Council of Ministers, experience tells us a different story.
  2. The Supreme Court (K. Lakshminarayanan v. Union of India, 2019) held that the Union government is not required to consult the State government The nominated members have the same right to vote as the elected members.

Difference between State and Union Territory:

Question: –

“The conflicts between the administrator, who is the nominee of the President, and the elected government are inherent in the constitutional arrangement created for the UTs.” Explain.

Federalism and India’s human capital.

Why in News: –

India has been ranked at the 116th position in the latest edition of the World Bank’s annual Human Capital Index that benchmarks highlight key concern of human capital across countries.

Syllabus: -GS2-

Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

  • India’s human capital indicators remain low despite of Investing in human capital through interventions in nutrition, health, and education is critical for sustainable growth.
  • A corruption free decentralized approach and strong local governments can enhance the Human Capital Index and developmental outcomes.

 National Family Health Survey-5 for 201920

  • The National Family Health Survey-5 for 2019-20 shows that malnutrition indicators stagnated or declined in most States. The Child nutrition indicators show a mixed pattern across states.
  • While the malnutrition situation improved in many States/UTs, there has been minor deterioration in others. 
  • Drastic changes in respect of stunting and wasting are unlikely in a short period.
  • The National Achievement Survey 2017 and the Annual Status of Education Report 2018 show poor learning outcomes.
  • This is a cause of concern as these statistics could worsen due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Constitutional obligation for human capital:

  • Three tiers of government In India are envisaged, with the Constitution dividing powers between the first two tiers the Centre and the States, as per the three lists under the Seventh Schedule.
  • The public health is in the State List, the broader subject of economic and social planning is in the Concurrent List.
  • In 1976, education was shifted from the State List to the Concurrent List through the 42nd Amendment.
  • The placement of a subject in the Concurrent List, in effect, indicates the presence of overarching considerations that warrant the Centre’s involvement.
  • Fiscally, the Constitution assigns the bulk of expenditure responsibilities to States; the Centre has major revenue sources.
  • To address this vertical imbalance, the Constitution provides for fiscal transfers through tax devolution and grants-in-aid.
  • The Centre can make ‘grants for any public purpose’ under Article 282 of the Constitution.
  • While fiscal transfers that are part of tax devolution are unconditional, transfers under grants-in-aid or Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSSs) can be conditional.
  •  Therefore, the increase in the States’ share of tax devolution represents more meaningful decentralization.
  • Article 282 of the Constitution is listed as a ‘Miscellaneous Financial Provision’, unlike Articles 270 and 275, which fall under ‘Distribution of Revenues between the Union and the States’.

 The Several imbalances:

  1. The 73rd and 74th Amendments bolstered decentralisation by constitutionally recognising panchayats and municipalities as the third tier and listing their functions in the Eleventh and Twelfth schedules, respectively.
  2.  These include education, health and sanitation, and social welfare for panchayats, and public health and socio-economic development planning for municipalities.
  3.  The Constitution lets States determine how they are empowered, resulting in vast disparities in the roles played by third-tier governments.
  4. Despite some shifts towards greater State autonomy in many spheres, the centralised nature of India’s fiscal architecture has persisted.
  5. The Supreme Court in Bhim Singh vs Union of India had observed that “Article 282(grants-in-aid) is normally meant for special, temporary or ad hoc schemes”.

 Issues in Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSSs):

  1. Centrally Sponsored Schemes have formed a sizeable chunk of intergovernmental fiscal transfers over the years, comprising almost 23% of transfers to States in 2021-22.
  2. There are issues in the design of CSSs as well, with the conditions being overly prescriptive and, typically, input-based.  
  3. Against this, international experience reveals that schemes with output-based conditions are more effective. Moreover, CSSs typically have a cost-sharing model, thereby pre-empting the States’ fiscal space.
  4. This is incongruous, given that many CSSs cover subjects in the State and Concurrent Lists, such as health and education.
  5.  The collection of property tax, a major source of revenue for third-tier governments, is very low in India under 0.2% of GDP, compared to 3% of GDP in some other nations.
  6. The Constitution envisages State Finance Commissions (SFCs) to make recommendations for matters such as tax devolution and grants-in-aid to the third tier.

 Decentralization as a key to improve human capital:

  • International experience suggests that one reason why these interventions are not leading to better outcomes may be India’s record with decentralisation.
  • Globally, there trends are backed by studies demonstrating a positive correlation between decentralization and human capital.
  • India has taken some steps towards decentralization.
  • The Fourteenth Finance Commission increased the States’ share in tax devolution from 32% to 42%, which was effectively retained by the Fifteenth Finance Commission.

 The government initiatives:

  1. The National Health Policy of 2017 highlighted the need for interventions to address malnutrition.
  2. On the basis of NITI Aayog’s National Nutrition Strategy, the Poshan Abhiyaan was launched, as part of the Umbrella Integrated Child Development Scheme.
  3. The latest Union Budget has announced a ‘Mission Poshan 2.0’ and the Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan has been the Centre’s flagship education scheme since 2018.
  4. India spends just 4% of its GDP as public expenditure on human capital, around 1% and 3% on health and education respectively one of the lowest among its equivalent nation.
  5. The Fifteenth Finance Commission has recommended no grants after March 2024 to any State that does not comply with the constitutional provisions pertaining Constitution envisages on State Finance Commissions (SFCs).

Way Forward

  • The Centre needs to rethink the nature of its actions.
  • It should play an enabling role, for instance, encouraging knowledge-sharing between States.
  •  For States to play a bigger role in human capital interventions, they need adequate fiscal resources.
  • The States should rationalise their priorities to focus on human capital development.
  • The Centre should refrain from offsetting tax devolution by altering cost-sharing ratios of CSSs and increasing cesses.
  • The unconditional nature of these vertical transfers should be effectuated in spirit.
  • Concomitantly, the heavy reliance on CSSs should be reduced, and tax devolution and grants-in-aid should be the primary sources of vertical fiscal transfers.
  •  The Panchayats and municipalities need to be vested with the functions listed in the Eleventh and Twelfth Schedules.
  •  The States, too, have been responsible for centralization, and leveraging the true potential of our multi-level federal system represents the best way forward towards developing human capital.

Value Addition: –

Human Capital Index2020

  • The 2020 Human Capital Index update includes health and education data for 174 countries which covers 98% of the world’s population.
  • World Bank released the report titled “The Human Capital Index 2020 Update: Human Capital in the Time of COVID-19”.
  • India has been ranked at the 116th position among 174 countries in the Human Capital Index 2020.

Question: –

“A functionally and fiscally empowered third tier would not only keep the constitutional spirit, but also lead to better outcomes of human capital across countries.” Critically analyse.

A flawed index.

Why in News: –

Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index falls short of nudging governments to undertake reforms.

 

Syllabus: -GS 2:

 Governance

 

Background

  1. Measurement of corruption has remained a perennial problem.
  2. Transparency International’s (TI) first Corruption Perception Index (CPI) released in 1995 was a bold initiative.
  3. Until then, corruption was a taboo topic. International financial institutions regarded corruption as an internal policy matter of the respective countries.

 What is Corruption Perception Index?

  • CPI 2020 paints a grim picture of the state of corruption worldwide.
  • While most countries have made little to no progress in tackling corruption in nearly a decade, more than two-thirds of countries score below 50, with an average score of just 43.
  • The index ranks 180 countries and territories by the perceived level of public sector corruption according to experts and business people.
  • It uses a scale of zero (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean).
  • Moreover, corruption not only undermines the global health response to Cover-19but contributes to a continuing crisis of democracy.

Criticism of the Index

  • The CPI is an Index of Indices and lacks representativeness.
  • From 2002, TI uses only expert assessments and surveys of business people, excluding surveys of the public.
  • This generates a sample bias, as business elites are less negative about forms of corruption that favour their own group.
  • Effectively, this means that it ignores the experiences and perspectives of the poor.
  • It also means that the interests of “unofficial businesses”, which employ the overwhelming majority of the population in poor countries, are ignored.
  • The cultural nuances of corruption within the business community further muddy the waters.
  • Foreign businesspersons may regard Diwali gifts as acts of corruption that are customary for local businesspersons, without a corresponding quid pro quo.
  • The CPI narrows the definition of corruption to bribe taking and is therefore unhelpful for granular reform.
  • It does not distinguish between a wider catalogue of corrupt acts, such as nepotism, extortion, patronage, facilitation payments, collusive networks, administrative and political corruption, or state capture by major private interests.
  • The CPI makes reducing corruption that is inimical to foreign investors the dominant paradigm for reform.
  • Another blind spot is that while CPI spotlights the major bribe takers of the world, it lets the major bribe givers and safe havens of looted funds, off the hook.
    • As a result, a significant number of countries cannot be included in the CPI. In 2003, the CPI scored 133 countries.
  • Based on UN membership alone, this meant that 58 countries were missing from the Index.
  • The failing of irregularity (countries drop in and out) makes the ranking order irrelevant. India’s highest rank was in 1995 when it stood 35.
  • However, at that time only 41 nations were included in the CPI.
  • India was ranked 95th, the lowest ever, in 2011, when CPI had included 182 countries (highest number).
  • Apart from the overall rank, there is the second figure in CPI — the integrity score (out of 10).
  • Ten stands for a highly clean country, while zero is for a country where kickbacks and bribery dominate business transactions. Ideally, one should base comparisons with the earlier score of the country.
  • A higher score indicates that respondents provided better ratings, while a lower score suggests that they revised their perception downwards.
  • Another problem with the collection of perceptions arises when respondents do not report their personal experiences but rely on media coverage.
  • Anti-corruption drives may bring corruption into the open precisely during a period of genuine reforms.
  • India’s scores on the CPI plummeted in 2011, the year of the unearthing of major corruption frauds.
  • The assessment of a country might then reflect the quality of the press in uncovering scandals, and particularly its freedom to do so. Countries that suppress a free press may escape a bad reputation.
  • The CPI measures perceptions and not actual incidences of corruption. 

India-specific example from TI’s Global Corruption Barometer (GCB):

  • In the 2020 GCB, 89 per cent of Indians thought that government corruption was a big problem, whereas 39 per cent of Indians had actually paid a bribe in the preceding 12 months.
  • The comparable figures of the 2017 GCB highlight this dichotomy between perception and practice.
  • In 2017 GCB, 41 per cent of Indians thought that corruption had increased whereas 63 per cent actually paid a bribe in the preceding 12 months.

 The Indian Concerns with Index:

  1. In TI’s own words, year-to-year changes in a country’s score result not only from a changing perception of a country’s performance but also from changing samples and methodology.
  2. The CPI admittedly excludes un-updated sources and includes new, reliable ones.
  3. The TI compares this to the problem of designing a price index for a basket of goods.
  4. It is not possible to compare the price index for one period to that of the next as the ingredients of the initial basket itself have changed.
  5. Additionally, within the CPI’s methodology, an implicit data “lag” exists.
  6. This is not to denigrate the CPI.
  7. The TI, being an NGO, establishes the reliability of the CPI in the field of corruption assessments. Its standalone use may not be result-yielding.
  8. Nonetheless, if one excludes a reliance on rankings, the CPI can be a useful tool for a broad longitudinal assessment of a country.
  9. This may not be useful where the changes in the scores are not drastic.
  10. From 1995-2020, India scores have moved at a snail’s pace from 2.63 to 4.1 (out of 10). Another alternative could be that a national governmental agency conducts corruption assessments.
  11. This could suffer from a perception that the governmental assessment is biased.
  12. The use of proxy data can help overcome this.

 Way forward:

  • The CPI will be meaningful when understood in the national context and alongside other indices such as Global Corruption Barometer, Press Freedom Index, and Rule of Law Index etc.
  • To conclude, the CPI generates short-lived hype/hysteria but rarely prompts a Pygmalion effect.

Question: –

“CorruptionPerception Index is not a reflection of the corruption environment of a country and it cannot be a blueprint for sustained reforms sequencing because it fails to highlight the pressure points.” Discuss.

Sunday Sale Offer News

Share With Your Friends

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on whatsapp
WhatsApp
Share on print
Print

Share With Your Friends

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on whatsapp
WhatsApp
Share on print
Print

Buy This Magazine at Just @29 Rs.

Click On Magazine Image  to Buy.

Buy This Magazine at Just @59 Rs.

Click On Magazine Image  to Buy.

Buy This Magazine at Just @49 Rs.

Click On Magazine Image  to Buy.

0 0 vote
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x