DAILY MAINS NEWSLETTER FOR UPSC | 26 APR 2021 | RaghukulCS

Daily Mains Newsletter For UPSC
| RaghukulCS

26 APRIL 2021

Index

Mains Value Addition

Mains Analysis

Topic No

Topic Name

Source

1

Arise and rejuvenate the third layer of governance

The Hindu

2

A Court in Crisis      

Indian Express

Mains Value Addition

No centralised list under cybercrime volunteer programme: Home Ministry

Syllabus– GS 3: Cyber Security

Analysis: –

  • The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has said it does not maintain a centralised list of volunteers enrolled under the cybercrime volunteer programme since police is a “State subject” under the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution.
  • The MHA, through its cybercrime grievance portal, cybercrime.gov.in, aims to raise a group of “cybercrime volunteers” to flag “unlawful content” on the Internet.
  • Digital rights group, the Internet Freedom Foundation (IFF), has said the programme enables a culture of surveillance and could create potential social distrust by encouraging civilians to report the online activities of other citizens.
  • In response to a Right to Information Act (RTI) application by The Hindu on the total number of volunteers who have applied under the Cyber Crime Volunteer Program of the National Cyber Crime Reporting Portal, the Ministry stated that the information can be sought directly from the respective States and Union Territories.
  • The Ministry said in the RTI reply that ‘police’ and ‘public order’ are State subjects as per the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution and States were primarily responsible for the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of crimes through their law enforcement agencies (LEAs).

Vaccine nationalism could derail global recovery

Syllabus– GS 2: Health, GS 3: Science

  • Vaccine nationalism by rich countries will be counterproductive in the long run.
  • The International Chamber of Commerce has predicted that if developing nations do not receive the required doses of the vaccine, the global economy will suffer losses of up to $9.2 trillion.
  • There can be no doubt that the most effective weapon against the Covid-19 pandemic is to vaccinate as many people as we can in the shortest possible time.
  • We cannot even begin to think that we have won half the battle until at least 70% of the world’s population is vaccinated. But this doesn’t seem possible as things stand now.
  • For India, the situation is particularly grim given the soaring number of cases and the United States (US) placing restrictions on raw materials for vaccine production.

NBFCs are key to reaching underserved segments

Syllabus—GS3- Economy- Banking

Analysis: –

  • Non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) are a significant contributor to credit growth, having captured over 20 per cent of the credit pie.
  • Given their reach in the underserved and underbanked sectors, they play a pivotal role in achieving the objective of financial inclusion.
  • Both the government and regulators have recognised their importance, and have been coming up with a number of measures to support credit flow.
  • When India’s non-bank lenders begin to detail their performance for the March quarter, investors are expecting a stronger end to a tumultuous FY21.
  • In all probability, key profitability metrics will show strength but the devil may lie in the details.
  • Most non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) may report healthy sequential growth in loan disbursements, continuing with the steady improvement since the weak first quarter.
  • Pent-up demand and the festival momentum in consumption may have helped lenders witness healthy growth.
  • Disbursement growth, along with the sharp fall in the cost of funds, may boost interest income for lenders.
  • Analysts are pencilling in high single-digit loan growth for large NBFCs such as Bajaj Finance, Mahindra and Mahindra Financial Services Ltd, Shriram Transport Finance Corp. Ltd and Sundaram Finance Ltd.

Mains Analysis

A case for judicial federalism

Why in News?

Pleas of various hospitals for oxygen supply were filed in different HC’s across country.

  • The Gujarat High Court issued a series of directions, including for laboratory testing and procurement of oxygen.
  • The Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court was constrained to hold night sittings to consider the issue of oxygen supply.
  • It directed immediate restoration of oxygen supply that had been reduced from the Bhilai steel plant in Chhattisgarh.
  • The Delhi High Court directed the Central government to ensure adequate measures for the supply of oxygen.

Syllabus– GS 2: Indian Judiciary

In the COVID-19-related cases, High Courts across the country have acted with an immense sense of judicial responsibility.

This is a legal landscape that deserves to be encouraged. To do this, the Supreme Court must simply stay away.

What is Judicial Federalism?

  • The constitutional law consists both of legal in the strict sense and of usages , commonly called as conventions, which without being enacted are accepted as binding by all who are concerned in government.
  • Many rules and practices are not part of the law in the sense that there violation may lead to proceeding in a court of law.
  • The Indian Supreme Court can review federal statutes as well as statutes of the states.
  • Unlike the US states, the Indian states, -with the exception of Jammu and Kashmir – do not have their own constitution.
  • From a comparative perspective, the Indian Supreme Court stands out because the input of the President, national executive and legislature in the nomination of its justices is rather limited.
  • In terms of regional representation, the Supreme Court draws for its composition from justices from state high courts, and within that, quite substantially from high courts from states which are further removed from the centre in a political sense.
  • For instance, in India, regional sentiments are higher in the non-Hindi belt states, given their often linguistically and religiously distinctive nature. Adeney has drawn our attention to the majoritarian character of India’s central executive and legislature, despite an informal but limited practice of incorporating members of distinctive castes, religious groups or regions in cabinet.

Legislature Vs Executive

  • In comparison to the legislature and the executive, what the judiciary can deliver in the realm of socio-economic rights is limited.
  • Courts cannot build better health infrastructure or directly supply oxygen; neither are they functionally bound to.
  • Functions: –
    • To ask tough questions to the executive,
    • Implement existing laws and regulations, and
    • Hold the executive accountable in various aspects of healthcare allocation.

Supreme Court’s Role: –

  • In Parmanand Katara v. Union of India (1989), the Supreme Court underlined the value of human lives and said that the right to emergency medical treatment is part of the citizen’s fundamental rights.
  • In Chandra Kumar v. Union of India (1997), the Supreme Court itself said that the High Courts are “institutions endowed with glorious judicial traditions” since they “had been in existence since the 19th century and were possessed of a hoary past enabling them to win the confidence of the people”.
  • The power of the High Court under Article 226 is wider than the Supreme Court’s under Article 32, for in the former, a writ can be issued not only in cases of violation of fundamental rights but also “for any other purpose”.
  • This position was reiterated by the court soon after its inception in State of Orissa v. Madan Gopal Rungta (1951).

Issue of Transfer of cases

  • On April 22, the Supreme Court took suo motu cognisance of the issue in ‘Re: Distribution of Essential Supplies and Services During Pandemic’.
  • It said, “Prima facie, we are inclined to take the view that the distribution of these essential services and supplies must be done in an even-handed manner according to the advice of the health authorities” and asked the Central government to present a national plan.
  • In addition, it issued an order asking the State governments and the Union Territories to “show cause why uniform orders” should not be passed by the Supreme Court.
  • Under Article 139A of the Constitution, the Supreme Court does have the power to transfer cases from the High Courts to itself if cases involve the same questions of law.
  • However, what make the court’s usurpation disturbing are two well-founded observations regarding its contemporary conduct.
  • One, the court has been indifferent to the actions and inactions of the executive even in cases where interference was warranted, such as the Internet ban in Kashmir.
  • Two, where effective remedies were sought, when activists and journalists were arrested and detained, the court categorically stayed aloof. It acted as if its hands were tied.
  • This deficit occurs not only in the formally pronounced judgments and orders; dissenting judges on the Bench are rare, and the hearing on the COVID-19 case was no exception.

Other Challenges: –

  • According to the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution, public health and hospitals come under the State List as Item No. 6.
  • There could be related subjects coming under the Union List or Concurrent List.
  • Also, there may be areas of inter-State conflicts.
  • But as of now, the respective High Courts have been dealing with specific challenges at the regional level, the resolution of which does not warrant the top court’s interference.
  • In addition to the geographical reasons, the constitutional scheme of the Indian judiciary is pertinent.

Way Forward

Judicial federalism has intrinsic and instrumental benefits which are essentially political.

The United States is an illustrative case. Scholar G. Alan Tarr of Rutgers University hinted, “Despite the existence of some endemic and periodical problems, the American system of judicial federalism has largely succeeded in promoting national uniformity and subnational diversity in the administration of justice”.

Justice Sandra Day O’Connor rightly said in a 1984 paper that the U.S. Supreme Court reviews “only a relative handful of cases from state courts” which ensures “a large measure of autonomy in the application of federal law” for the State courts.

The need for a uniform judicial order across India is warranted only when it is unavoidable — for example, in cases of an apparent conflict of laws or judgments on legal interpretation.

  • Otherwise, autonomy, not uniformity, is the rule.
  • Decentralisation, not centrism, is the principle.

 

Questions: –

A characteristic feature of the apex court in the recent years is general lack of dissent in issues that have serious political ramifications. Discuss.

In defence of bureaucracy

Why in News?

In a recent address to Lok Sabha, PM while making a strong case for the privatization of PSUs, came sharply against Civil Servants.

Syllabus– GS2: Role of Civil Services in Democracy. 

  • After Independence, there were heated debates in the Constituent Assembly regarding its continuation. Most of the members strongly opposed it.
  • It was Sardar Vallabhai Patel, the then Home Minister, who was very impressed by the work of ICS officers and insisted on the continuation of the Civil Services. It was then renamed Indian Administrative Service (IAS).
  • Apart from performing regulatory functions, the IAS was given additional responsibilities in the form of welfare and developmental functions.
  • The IAS officers were given the responsibility of running public sector enterprises, implementing welfare schemes, bringing about socio-economic transformation.
  • Unfortunately, they have failed to live up to the expectations of people in general and the political executive in particular. Right from Jawahar Lal Nehru to Narendra Modi, all the Prime Ministers have expressed their disappointment with the bureaucracy’s performance.
  • It is high time that the country implements Civil Services reforms rather than blaming bureaucracy for all the ills facing the nation. It should start from recruitment.
  • Civil Servants (IAS) do not possess the necessary knowledge or skills to perform specific functions. We must encourage a lateral entry into the Services.

Role of Bureaucracy in Developmental Agenda:

  • In the 1950s & 60s, when the private sector had neither the capability to raise capital to build plants nor the ability to manage them, then the state had to take the role of industrializing the country by establishing PSUs.
  • In that scenario, Civil Services became the natural choice for the operation, where they delivered sustainably.
  • Even after privatization, the bureaucracy would be required for the transition of PSUs from public to the private sector & providing the needed state support to make privatization a success.
  • Only a competent bureaucracy can provide an essential complementarity of state structures & market exchanges to the private sector.
  • Sardar Patel said that a state cannot exist without a bureaucracy.

Concerns with bureaucracy:

  • Delays in operations.
  • The action centered on opaque standards.
  • Excessive requests for documentation
  • Unreachable nature of officers.

Challenges in Developmental Agendas:

  • The challenge to the present regime is to end the conundrum of a spree of grabbing public resources.
  • Since independence, the political survival of the Indian regime has required a pleasing land-owning class & a highly concentrated set of industrial capitalists that has no share in the developmental agenda but confronted the state for their advantages.
  • The second challenge is to implement the developmental agenda that is an outcome of political choices which goes in line with the market mechanisms.
  • The challenge to industrial transformation is to provide a culture of understanding & facilitative policies.
  • Due to the result of electoral politics where incumbents directly distribute resources & subsidies to the supporters lead to the lowering of the capacity of the state to deliver.
  • The pressure on officials to behave contrary to the ostensible purpose of the department undermines to a great extent the ability of the state to promote development.

Probable Solutions: –

  • The Political & permanent executives had to work as a team through mutual respect for each other’s roles as defined in the constitution.
  • If privatization is to work, then the corruption-transfer mechanism & its effect on the bureaucracy has to go.
  • To implement developmental agenda effectively, Civil servants must have stake & independence.
  • There is a need for corporate coherence within the bureaucracy & a buy-in to the transformative agenda of the government.

Way Forward: –

  • The goal of making India a $ 5-trillion economy needs a coherent structural transformation agenda & extraordinary implementation capacity.
  • The need of the hour is to provide the ability to fight the increasing tendency to grab resources & replace it with a shared developmental agenda acceptable to both business & landed elites & restoring to the bureaucracy its autonomy of action as envisaged in the Constitution by de-weaponizing transfers.

Value addition: –

Question: –

TheCrony capitalism has undermined the impartiality of the bureaucracy in implementing rules & providing desirable results. Do you agree with the statement? Supplement your answer with proper arguments.

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