DAILY MAINS NEWSLETTER FOR UPSC|07 JUN 2021|RaghukulCS

Daily Mains Newsletter For UPSC
| RaghukulCS

07 June 2021 - Monday

Index

Mains Value Addition

Mains Analysis

Topic No

Topic Name

Source

1

Embedded in Ambedkar’s historiography

The Hindu

2

Uncooperative federalism

Indian Express

Mains Value Addition

Govt. keen on implementing labour codes

Syllabus–GS 3:  Indian Economy – mobilization of resources and employment.

Analysis: –

  • The four labour codes are likely to see the light of day in a couple of months as the Centre is now keen on going ahead with the implementation of these laws, which, among others, will result in a reduction in the take-home pay of employees and a higher provident fund liability of companies.
  • Once the wages code comes into force, there will be significant changes in the way basic pay and the provident fund of employees are calculated.
  • The Labour Ministry had envisaged implementing the four codes on industrial relations, wages, social security and occupational health safety and working conditions from April 1, 2021.
  • These four labour codes will rationalise 44 Central labour laws.
  • The Ministry had even finalised the rules under the four codes. But these could not be implemented because many States were not in a position to notify rules under these codes in their jurisdiction.
  • Labour is on the Concurrent List of the Constitution and, therefore, both the Centre and the States have to notify rules under these four codes to make them the laws of the land in their respective jurisdictions.

National Population Register

Syllabus–GS 2: Government Policy

Analysis: –

  • The Centre will allow residents to fill columns in the National Population Register (NPR) forms on their own through online mode, a month before door-to-door enumeration by Census officials starts.
  • After filling the form online, residents will get a reference code that they could mention to the field enumerator at the time of her/his visit, according to a senior government official.
  • The details of the respondent would get displayed on a mobile application developed in-house for conducting the Census exercise but no “biometrics or documents” would be collected. These details would then be stored in the system for future use.
  • The first phase of the decennial Census exercise — the Houselisting and Housing Census along with updating the NPR was scheduled to be held from April 1, 2020.
  • It was postponed indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic and is unlikely to be held this year.
  • The second and main phase of Census — the population enumeration — was to be concluded by March 5 this year.

Mains Analysis

Embedded in Ambedkar’s historiography

Why in News?

An ardent Indophile’s poem on the life of Buddha stirred a rethink on conventional ideas of a philosophy

Syllabus— GS 4 – Human Values – lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators

  • Published in London in July 1879, The Light of Asia by Sir Edwin Arnold, a poem on the life and teachings of the Buddha, contributed greatly to the international community’s knowledge of Buddhism and also played an important role in India’s cultural awakening and social transformation. Jairam Ramesh highlights the influence it had on the subcontinent’s leaders from Swami Vivekananda, Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru to Dr. B.R. Ambedkar.

What India learnt?

  • It contributed greatly to the international community’s knowledge of Buddhism and also played an important role in India’s cultural awakening and social transformation.
  • The author highlights the influence it had on the subcontinent’s leaders from Swami Vivekananda, Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru to Dr. B.R. Ambedkar.
  • The Light of Asia or The Great Renunciation (Mahabhinishkramana) being the Life and Teaching of Gautama Prince of India and Founder of Buddhism (as told in verse by an Indian Buddhist).
  • Author brings to life the character and philosophy of Prince Gautama of India, the founder of Buddhism, are being depicted ‘by the medium of an imaginary Buddhist votary’.

Impact on Ambedkar

  • The biggest political event of 1956 and indeed amongst the biggest ever in twentieth-century Indian history was the conversion of Dr Ambedkar to Buddhism, with lakhs of his followers, on 14 October of that year.
  • Dr Ambedkar was very familiar with Arnold’s work is evident from the fact that he had two copies of it in his personal library, now at Siddharth College in Mumbai.
  • Akshay Singh Rathore, a noted scholar, says ” Ambedkarite Buddhism are the points of rupture (with the Buddhisms of his day) and the points of continuity with the classical literature, and primarily the Pali canon.
  • So coming then to indirect influence. Arnold awoke Kosambi and Kosambi had a huge impact on Ambedkar.”

Revisionist account

  • Kosambi’s ( Buddhist monk and the first modern Indian scholar of Pali) late-life rejection of the conventional wisdom on the motives for Prince Siddhartha’s renunciation was fully shared by Dr Ambedkar.
  • There is absolutely no doubt that Dr Ambedkar challenged the mainstream historiographies of Indic civilization through a revisionist account of the social and political role of Buddha and Buddhism in India’s past.

Question: –

The Light of Asia was embedded in that historiography. This set him apart from others in India who were also great admirers of Buddha, like Tagore, Gandhi and Nehru. Discuss.

Uncooperative federalism

Why in News?

At a time when most nations have suspended regular safeguards to expedite responding to Covid-19, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council in India is still engaged in a “discussion” on whether life-saving and hard-to-come-by products should be taxed.

Syllabus—GS2: Issues related to Federalism

Background: –

  • In these tough times, when most of the nations have suspended regular safeguards to expedite COVID-19 response, But in India GST council still engaged in the discussion of whether or not life-saving products taxed.
  • A consensus on a 0% GST rate on products essential to fight COVID-19 remained elusive at the Council meeting.
  • Because some members/states argued for a continued tax on such products which explains distorted design & incentive GST structure that results in lack of compassion.

Issues with GST:

  • The council has 31 States’ representation.
  • The taxes under GST are accumulated by the Union govt from states & a portion is transferred back to each state under a formula.
  • The union govt transfers (includes a share of tax collected & union grants)
  • There is a large imbalance in the collection & distribution of taxes between states under GST.
  • Four states- Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka & Gujarat contribute 45% while the remaining 27 states contribute rest.
  • Only 30% of the overall revenue of these 4 states comes from the union govt, while for the remaining 27 states nearly 60% of their revenues are obtained through union govt transfers.
  • For Northeastern states, the share is 80-90% of their total revenues.
  • This showcases that states that contribute the most to the GST pool are the least dependent on Union govt transfers while the least contributed states are the most dependent.
  • Though the revenue share imbalance is characteristic of most federal govts but in India there are two unique problems.
  • The long-standing problem is that such net transfers have become increasingly one-sided.
  • Generally, net transfers work to reduce the developmental differences between states over time
  • That means, as the states become more equal, the quantum of net transfers diminishes.
  • The above problem has been greatly exacerbated in the last 7 years problem through two actions:

 

Union govt has reconstructed the composition of taxation away from the fair & progressive channel of direct taxation towards the inherently regressive & unfair channel of indirect taxes.

  • It got further aggravated when Union shifted a large proportion of taxation into cesses that remained outside the GST pool.

Which do not have to be shared with the states.

  • Since 2014, the cess revenues grew 21% every year leading to a doubling in terms of its share of GDP.
  • The combined effect of the problems resulted in a lower share of overall revenues to states & an ever-increasing disparity in the net transfers by the Union.
  • In this scenario, the one state one vote model regardless of the state’s size or its GST contribution causes further grave injustice.
  • This model that has been established to incentivize states has been proven to be distortionary.
  • The states the more dependent on Union transfers want to maximize GST collections while others want to be more sensitive to the citizen.
  • The issue of COVID products taxes shows the starkest instances of differences.
  • Where most states large states are ready to forego this tax revenue for humanitarian considerations, while others seem to continue to levy GST on COVID products.

 

 

 

 

WayForward

  • The issue is not about a small state’s rights issue but it is about people needs & aspirations in a democracy.
  • When the direct tax policy decisions are legislated by parliament that has proportional representation from states, there is a need for similar proportional representation under the GST structure rather than one state one vote.
  • The proportional representation of voting in the GST council is the need of the hour, because in this situations that would have been made COVID products tax free.

Question: –

Like other federal states, In India, the Union should play the role of the fair arbiter. Comment

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