Daily Mains Newsletter For UPSC
| RaghukulCS

07 July 2021 - Wednesday


Mains Value Addition

Mains Analysis

Topic No

Topic Name



Fresh stirrings on federalism as a new politics

The Hindu


China’s century of becoming

Indian Express

Mains Value Addition

Seeking a paradigm shift in mental health care

Syllabus–GS 2: Health

Analysis: –

  • Recently, a High Court suggested that homeless persons with health conditions be branded with a permanent tattoo, when vaccinated against COVID-19, since tracking a ‘floating population’ may be cumbersome.
  • Earlier judgments have also suggested ‘round ups’ of such persons to facilitate pathways into care.
  • These are possibly well-intentioned directives, but what follows is that bewildered persons are huddled in a vehicle and admitted into shelters or mental hospitals that are usually crowded, yet lonely.
  • Persons with mental health conditions need a responsive care system that inspires hope and participation without which their lives are empty.
  • In many countries, persons with severe mental health conditions live in shackles in their homes, in overcrowded hospitals, and even in prison. On the other hand, many persons with mental health issues live and even die alone on the streets.
  • Three losses dominate the mental health systems narrative: dignity, agency and personhood.
  • Far-sighted changes in policy and laws have often not taken root and many laws fail to meet international human rights standards.
  • Many also do not account for cultural, social and political contexts resulting in moral rhetoric that doesn’t change the scenario of inadequate care.
  • Society’s responses are often based on conditioning and perceptions, often verging on visceral forms of prejudice. This results in an “othering” of persons who seem different from dominant groups.
  • Hence, even well-intentioned judgments could set off unintended negative, even grave, consequences.
  • There is also the social legacy of the asylum, and of psychiatry and mental illness itself, that guides our imagination in how care is organised.

Rajasthan to develop corridor connecting 3 tiger reserves

Syllabus – GS 3: Conservation of Environment

Analysis: –

  • After the Centre’s nod for creation of the Ramgarh Vishdhari sanctuary, the Rajasthan government is hoping to develop a tiger corridor connecting three tiger reserves passing through districts including Sawai Madhopur, Kota and Bundi.
  • “Happy to sanction one more tiger Sanctuary, Ramgarh Vishdhari Sanctuary which will link Ranthambore Tiger Reserve in the Northeast & Mukundra Hills Tiger Reserve on the southern side.
  • Increasing numbers of Tigers and other apex predators certify our robust biodiversity,” Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Prakash Javadekar had tweeted on Monday.
  • Senior officials from the Rajasthan forest department say that in April this year, the state government had sent the proposal to develop the Ramgarh Vishdhari sanctuary for tigers.

Mains Analysis

Fresh stirrings on federalism as a new politics

Why in News?

There are factors, which if harnessed well, that can create a political moment for a principled politics of federalism.

Syllabus— GS 2 Federalism

Background: –

  • In India, federalism has always had political significance, although it has rarely been an axis of political mobilisation, with the exception of the States Reorganisation Act.
  • Even in the days of coalition politics, when state politics played a role in national electoral outcomes, this was true.
  • Despite nearly two decades of coalition governments, fiscal and administrative centralization has continued.
  • Ironically, rather than deepening federalism, electoral politics has posed enormous obstacles to reaching a political consensus for true federalism.


Federalism and Nationalism –

  • Following 2014, the BJP has couched its dissatisfaction with federalism in the language of development and nationalism, both of which have broad electoral appeal.
  • India must become “one nation, one market,” “one nation, one ration card,” and “one nation, one grid” in order to expedite progress.
  • Federalism, as a notion important for managing multiple political situations and identity demands, risks being conflated with regionalism and a limited parochialism that is anti-development and anti-national in this environment.
  • A deepening federalism politics would have to overcome nationalist rhetoric that sets federalism against nationalism and progress.
  • This is a tall order, especially given that most regional parties have failed to preserve decentralisation principles in their own area.
  • Federalist politics has remained conditional rather than principled.
  • Federal principles have been twisted in all kinds of ways to co-produce a political culture of flexible federalism, as Pratap Bhanu Mehta has pointed out over the decades — “federalism for me, but not for thee.”

Diversity between States –

  • Since liberalisation, economic growth paths have been marked by increasing regional divergence.
  • Southern (and western) India has outpaced most of northern and eastern India across all key indices, resulting in a bigger divergence rather than the expected convergence with growth.
  • The arguments around the 15th Finance Commission (FC), when the Government of India compelled the commission to utilise the 2011 Census rather than the longstanding practise of utilising the 1971 Census to estimate revenue allocation between States, revealed hints of these growing tensions.
  • At one level, the BJP’s ideological objective of cultural homogenization risks causing new forms of cultural alienation and regional tensions, similar to the Citizenship (Amendment) Act protests in Assam.
  • The creation of new types of regional sub-nationalism is a very real prospect, as evidenced by glimpses of it during the last Assembly elections, particularly in West Bengal.

Financial Federalism –

  • Weak fiscal management has pushed the Union government to the brink of a “hidden fiscal disaster,” according to economist Rathin Roy.
  • The Union’s answer has been to increase cesses on states in order to wring more revenue from them.
  • Its insistence on offering states GST compensation in the form of loans (after lengthy delays) and increasing state participation in government initiatives.
  • This has only been exacerbated by the pandemic-induced economic crisis.

Way Forward –

  • As Suhas Palshikar has observed, regional identity politics is inherently isolationist.
  • This risk will have to be overcome if a collective political action for federalism based on identity issues is to succeed.
  • Richer states must find a means to share the economic burden with poorer states.
  • If states are to negotiate existing tensions and win the collective war with the Union, they will need to display political maturity and make essential sacrifices.
  • An inter-State platform that brings States together on a regular basis to discuss fiscal federalism issues could be a good place to start developing trust and a shared agenda.
  • The seeds of this were sown during the 15th Finance Commission and GST debates.
  • Finally, beyond ideas, a reinvigorated federalism politics is a political need. Without a glue that holds it together, no coalition has ever succeeded in the long run.

Question: –

In this version, federalism is reduced to a game of political chess and is confined to a partisan squabble rather than a genuine desire for accommodation on the side of the regions. Discuss.

China’s century of becoming

Why in News?

Prabhat Patnaik writes: Its development strategy since the 1980s has not been oriented towards building socialism, but towards turning China into a big power.

Syllabus—GS2: India & its Neighbourhood relations

  • The context within which the Chinese Communist Party(CCP) was formed a century  ago & the context within which it operates today, have fear of imperialist encirclement it’s a desire to lead China out of such a predicament is, common
  • Even after 100 years, the threat of encirclement has not lifted.
  • Though there was an actual imperialist presence on Chinese soil a century ago but today there is no actual occupation but the threat persists.

Birth of Communist Party in China:

  • The Bolshevik Revolution had an electrifying effect on Asian countries suffering from the dehumanizing impact of imperialism.
  • For the first time, its project of the world revolution addressed their needs.
  • Immediately after the Bolshevik Revolution, Communist parties were formed all over Asia :
    • Indonesia (1920), India & China (1921).
  • On July 1, 1921, 13 Chinese delegates meet to found the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) that had a vision of the world for a century that is vastly different from what the world is today.
  • Their vision would have been of world capitalism, imperialism, unemployment, poverty, exploitation & an egalitarian China with a sense of community ensconced within a universe of socialism.

100 years of Progress:

  • China had made enormous strides over these hundred years under the CCP leadership.
  • A nation that imperialist powers sought to convert into opium addicts through the Opium Wars of the 19th century & Japanese imperialism into colonial appendage has now become today as world’s 2nd largest economic power.
  • Its technological prowess has been impressive.
  • Additionally, its recent ambitious space program further manifested its tech power.
  • Most importantly, it is the only third-world country of significance that appears to have climbed out of its state of underdevelopment.

The Issues in the Chinese Progress:

  • Income inequality is quite pronounced but not as great as in other undeveloped nations.
  • The official claim of zero poverty is untenable because it is arrived at by taking a very low poverty line of 9 yuan per day in early 2020 which is insufficient for meeting all one’s basic needs.
  • The persistence of poverty is not surprising because China still has large unutilized labour reserves with which poverty is usually correlated.
  • China’s unemployment & poverty are proportionately much lower than in countries like India but they are not disappeared.

Chinese Path to Progress:

  • China’s experience is very different from that of the Soviet Union & other socialist nations which had used their labour reserves & achieved full employment, a feat unparalleled in the contemporary world.
  • Most criticize China & communist nations for being one-party states & for imposing restrictions on individual freedom,
    • But at the same time, they also agree China has eliminated unemployment & absolute poverty.
    • This is considered as the chief hallmark of actually-existing socialism &,
    •  Also, economist Janos kornai remarked that classical capitalism is demand constrained while classical socialism is resource-constrained.
  • China’s development trajectory since the 1980s has not been oriented towards building socialism in the sense of creating a community with which the individual can lead an unalienated life.
  • It has not even been oriented towards achieving full employment & eliminating poverty.
  • Rather its orientation has been towards making China into a big power.
  • Its project has been essentially nationalist rather than socialist which has been caused by the ever-present threat of imperialism.

Way forward: –

  • There is a lot of debate on the economic trajectory followed in China because China has become more powerful through the pursuit of a strategy that also harnesses the private capital resources of both domestic & foreign.
  • The CCP has followed this strategy over the last four decades, though it has made several course corrections to ensure that popular anger in its economic policies does not reach a flashpoint.
  • Likewise at different stages along the reforms path the CCP has used different props to keep its high growth rate going.

Question: –

Though China with its own modified socialism has been performing well but it is a mistake to think that a socialist strategy based on the development of the communes would have been less effective in thwarting the imperialist encirclement of China. Comment.

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