Daily Mains Newsletter For UPSC
| RaghukulCS

30 June 2021 - Wednesday


Mains Value Addition

Mains Analysis

Topic No

Topic Name



Flying terror

The Hindu


Teachers & Technology

Indian Express

Mains Value Addition

Apt judicial reminder in era of over-criminalisation

Syllabus–GS 2: Government Policy

Analysis: –

  • The criminal justice system is an instrument of state and a key index of the state of democracy.
  • Every punishment which does not arise from absolute necessity is tyrannical, said French jurist Montesquieu.
  • In fact criminal law should be used only as a ‘last resort’ (ultima ratio) and only for the ‘most reprehensible wrongs’.
  • Unfortunately, ‘crimes’ originate in government policy and, therefore, criminal law reflects the idea of ‘power’ rather than ‘justice’.


Example of misuse

  • In the period 2015-2019, as many as 7,840 persons were arrested under the draconian UAPA but only 155 were convicted by the trial courts.
  • Most would eventually be acquitted by the higher courts. Even Congress governments misused TADA (enacted in 1985 and amended in 1987).
  • Till 1994, though 67,000 people were detained, just 725 were convicted in spite of confessions made to police officers being made admissible.
  • In Kartar Singh (1994), the Supreme Court of India had observed that in many cases, the prosecution had unjustifiably invoked provisions of TADA ‘with an oblique motive of depriving the accused persons from getting bail’.
  • It added that such an invocation of TADA was ‘nothing but the sheer misuse and abuse of the Act by the police’.
  • UAPA’s experience has been worse than TADA. UAPA has also been equally used and abused.
  • The recent 133 page bail order of the Delhi High Court in Asif Iqbal Tanha (June 15, 2021), that led to the release of three student activists, has come as a bolt from the blue for the Delhi police.
  • At the heart of the controversy is the meaning of the term ‘terrorism’ and when UAPA can justifiably be invoked.

New layers of censorship are a threat to the existing space for public discourse

Syllabus – GS 2: Government policy

Analysis: –

  • Film-makers around the world have often made extraordinary efforts to keep cinema alive.
  • Under a repressive regime in Iran, directors such as Abbas Kiarostami, Mohsen Makhmalbaf and Majid Majidi fought for art as a basic social need with films like Where Is the Friend’s Home?, The Cyclist and Children of Heaven.
  • In India, during the Emergency when the government apparatus came down heavily on any criticism, the prints of Amrit Nahata’s political satire KissaKursi Ka, filmed in 1975, were destroyed. Even though a revised version was released in 1978, it invited several cuts from the Central Board of Film Certification.
  • For the past few years, the CBFC has objected to the content of several films, ordering cuts.
  • Now, a proposed amendment to the Cinematograph Act, 1952, will make it even more difficult for film-makers to work on thorny or controversial subjects.
  • The draft Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill 2021, which has been put out for public comments, has a provision that allows the Government to order re-certification of a film already certified by the CBFC.
  • Film-makers argue that the new provision adds one more layer of censorship to the existing process.
  • Already in April, the Government took the ordinance route to scrap the Film Certificate Appellate Tribunal (FCAT), a statutory body set up to hear appeals of film-makers against decisions of the CBFC.
  • In 2000, the Supreme Court had upheld the verdict of the Karnataka High Court in the K.M. Shankarappa vs Union of India case that the Union government cannot exercise revisional powers in respect of films that are already certified by the CBFC.
  • New restrictive laws have come into place for over-the-top (OTT) platforms as well. Giving the Government powers to vet content not only curbs freedom of expression but also quells democratic dissent.
  • Fresh barriers to content generation are a threat to the existing space for public discourse and are indicative of the current pressures on freedoms from authoritarian tendencies of the ruling establishment.

Mains Analysis

Flying terror

Why in News?

On June 27-28, drones were used to attack an Indian Air Force installation in Jammu, bringing to light a disturbing, but not unexpected, new form of terrorism for the country.

Syllabus— GS 3 Security

History of Drone Attacks –

  • States’ use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), autonomous weapons systems, and robotic soldiers in conflict and law enforcement has created moral and practical problems that have yet to be answered. Non-state actors have soon caught up.
  • In 2018, Syrian rebels used homemade drones to attack Russian military bases in Syria; later, the same year, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro had a narrow escape after a drone flying towards him exploded a short distance away.
  • In 2019, Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for bombing Saudi oil installations using drones.

Role of Technology:-

  • Technologically enabled new techniques of sabotage and violence minimise the expenses and risk of detection for terrorists while boosting their effectiveness.
  • Simultaneously, traditional counter-terrorism tools would be rendered obsolete by security authorities.
  • Terrorism may not even necessitate the employment of organisations, as individuals with sufficient drive and abilities can carry out such assaults while remaining undetected, much like the drones they employ.
  • The exponential proliferation of new technologies and Artificial Intelligence, vertically and horizontally, will make the task of combating terror even more challenging.

International Framework –

  • The existing international frameworks for limiting the proliferation of weaponized technology, such as the Wassenaar Arrangement and the Missile Technology Control Regime, are completely ineffective in the new environment.
  • States such as India have attempted to combat terrorism by enacting strict legislation, invasive surveillance, tougher enforcement, and offensives against countries that assist terrorist groups but with limited success.
  • The introduction of drones necessitates a more nuanced response to terrorism. Terrorist groups certainly benefit from governmental support, but technology is allowing them to be more autonomous than ever before.

Way Forward

  • Terrorism has come a long way since converting passenger planes into missiles in 2001, and no one knows where it will go next.
  • To meet the challenge, increased international cooperation and consensus on technology development and deployment are required. India has the ability to and must play an active role in the process.

Question: –

The use of drones to attack an Indian Air Force base in Jammu on June 27-28 brought to the fore a troubling, though not unanticipated, new mode of terrorism for the country. Explain how enhanced international cooperation and consensus on the development and deployment of technologies are required to deal with the challenge. Discuss how India can and must take an active role in the process.

Teachers & Technology

Why in News?

Amitabh Kant writes: The pandemic-induced learning crisis and the Fourth Industrial Revolution have made it necessary to reimagine education and align it with the unprecedented technological transformation.

Syllabus—GS2: Issues related to education

Background: –

  • The country was reeling under an acute learning crisis, even before the Covid-19 pandemic, with one in two children lacking basic reading proficiency at the age of 10.

India’s Edu-Tech market: –

  • The Indian ed-tech ecosystem has a lot of potential for innovation.
  • With over 4,500 start-ups and a current valuation of around $700 million, the market is geared for exponential growth — estimates project an astounding market size of $30 billion in the next 10 years.

Challenges: –

  • The pandemic threatens to exacerbate this crisis, especially because of the physical closure of 15.5 lakh schools that has affected more than 248 million students for over a year.
  • Further to aid this learning crisis, the 4th industrial revolution makes the situation more critical.
  • Because current imperative is to reimagine education & align it with the unprecedented technological transformation.
  • The pandemic-induced disruption of traditional delivery models offers a critical reminder of the impending need to weave tech into education.

India & 4th Industrial Revolution in Education:

  • The new NEP 2020 is a response to the clarion call to integrate tech at every level of instruction.
  • It envisions the establishment of the National Education Technology Forum (NETF) to spearhead efforts towards providing strategic thrust to the deployment & use of tech.
  • India is well-poised to take this leap forward
    • with increasing access to tech-based infra & affordable internet connectivity
    • which is fueled by flagship programmes such as Digital India, DIKSHA & UDISE+(largest education management systems).

India needs a comprehensive Ed-tech policy architecture that must focus on 4 key elements:

    • Providing access to learning mainly to disadvantaged sections,
    • Enabling processes of teaching, learning & evaluation,
    • Facilitating teacher training & continuous professional development.
    • Improving Governance system.

Learning’s from India’s experiences in this regard:

    • Technology is a tool & not a panacea,
    • Technology must be in service of the learning model but there is a danger in providing digital infra without a plan.
    • Technology cannot substitute schools or replace teachers.
  • It’s not teachers versus tech, the solution is in teachers & tech.
  • Tech solutions are impactful only when embraced & effectively leveraged by teachers.

Best Practices/Case Studies across India in Edu-tech innovations:

  • HamaraVidhyalaya of Arunachal Pradesh: Fostering tech-based performance assessments
  • Assam’s online career guidance portal
  • Samarth of Gujarat: Facilitating the online professional development of teachers
  • Jharkhand’s DigiSATH: Establishing stronger parent-teacher-student linkages.
  • Himachal Pradesh’s HarGharPathshala: Providing Digi-education for special needs children.
  • Uttarkhand’s Community Radio: Promoting early reading through byte-size broadcasts.
  • Madhya Pradesh’s DigiLEP: Delivering content for learning enhancement through WhatsApp groups,
  • Kerala’s Aksharavriksham : Focus on digital edutainment to support learning & skill development.

Way Forward: –

  • India’s journey from a holistic strategy to its successful application is daunting & longer. It needs careful planning, sustained implementation & calculated course corrections.
  • To craft a cohesive strategy, action needs to be taken on multiple fronts.
  • In the immediate term, there must be a mechanism to thoroughly map the ed-tech landscape, especially their scale, reach, and impact.
  • The focus should be on access, equity, infrastructure, governance, and quality-related outcomes and challenges for teachers and students.
  • In the short to medium-term, the policy formulation and planning process must strive to enable convergence across schemes (education, skills, digital governance, and finance), foster integration of solutions through public-private partnerships, factor in voices of all stakeholders, and bolster cooperative federalism across all levels of government.
  • As policy translates to practice at local levels & tech-based solutions become ubiquitous, then good practices & lessons from successful implementation must be curated.

Question: –

Explain the challenges faced by India’s school education landscape.India with NEP 2020 having set the ball rolling, the need of hour is a transformative Ed-tech policy architecture to effectively maximize student learning. Illustrate

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