Category: Education



In the backdrop of Russia Ukraine war, the Government of India carried out a complex evacuation from the conflict hit Ukraine under the OPERATION GANGA to bring back thousands of stranded Indian nationals, particularly Indian students


The strategy deployed in lifting people from danger place to a safer place is what is known as the evacuation strategy.


  1. Partition

  • Partition is one of the turmoil that can put the people’s life in

For Example, during partition of India in the year 1947, it was a chaotic situation as some wanted to join with the Indian union while the others needed to join with the Pakistan.

  • This in turn necessitated the government of India to bring those who wanted to stay with the Indian union safely and provide them shelter and a livelihood
  • Dangerous circumstances may appear not only when one’s own country underwent a divisional

problem but also when any other nation too.

2.  Natural calamities

  • Natural calamities like earth quake, floods etc will create a sense of danger to the lives of the
  • In the year 2015, an earthquake had happened in India immediately went and rescued not only the Indian nationals but also the other foreign nationals stranded there.

3.  War or accession

  • When 2 countries indulge in a war or when one country tries to occupy the other, will create immense danger to the lives of people staying

4.    Civilian revolution

  • When people living in a particular territory revolt themselves against the existing ruler to bring a new regime, sometimes leading to a chaotic situation and will put the people’s life in danger
  1. Serious health crisis in the country like any pandemic or endemic g., Covid 19 pandemic


  • Approximately around 14 million Indian expatriate workers and students are residing around 200 countries and they contribute to 3% of our Around$87-89 billion remittances are being received by India. Hence their economic contribution toward the Indian economy is very high.
  • The political influence of these expatriates is high i.e.; these people influence the politics of some other countries
  • The Diaspora population is growing day by day as the people starts moving to the different geographical areas, there by urges the need for a proper evacuation strategy
  • The nature of conflicts also differs. some countries in the name of security wanted to expand their own sphere of influence, while on the other hand, civils revolts are happening in the name of democracy


  • Evacuation process is important as it will protect its own nationals
  • It is being considered as a real testing time for the government whether or not it is having a strong diplomatic skill
  • It shows the strength of our soft power
  • It shows India’s concerns about other nationals, e.g. During the Operation Rahat the Indian Armed Forces evacuated both Indian citizens as well as foreign nationals (including nationals from USA, Pakistan etc) from Yemen during the 2015 military intervention by Saudi Arabia and its allies in that country during the Yemeni Crisis which shows India’s concern about humanity



  • During 1947, whenIndia got partitioned into the Indian union and the Pakistan union, lot of apprehensions were created in the minds of the people about which side of the border would they
  • This in turn had created Unfortunately, the then India were not having a clear-cut mechanism to deal with that evacuation. The incident took lakhs of lives .



  • In one of the massive operations in Indian history, the Indian Air Force joined hands with Air India in airlifting stranded Indian nationals in Kuwait in August 1990. Nearly 170, 000 citizens were safely airlifted in this operation which was carried out just before the Persian Gulf war in


  • Operation Sukhoon was an operation launched by the Indian Navy to evacuate Indian, Sri Lankan and Nepalese nationals, as well as Lebanese nationals with Indian spouses, from the conflict zone during the 2006 Lebanon
  • This operation is being considered as one of the Indian navy’s biggest rescue operations since World War 2.


  • India launched ‘Operation Homecoming’ to bring back Indian citizens stranded in conflict-torn
  • Under the operation, India evacuated 15,400 Indian nationals.
  • The air-sea operation was conducted by the Indian Navy and Air



  • It is the joint relief and rescue operation by the Indian government and the Indian Armed forces in the aftershock of the 2015 Nepal
  • The joint Army-Air Force operation brought over 5,000 Indians back from Nepal by Air Force and civilian planes. The Indian army successfully evacuated 170 foreign nationals from the US, the UK, Russia and


  • In 2015, a conflict raged between the Yemeni government and Houthi rebels during which thousands of Indians were stranded and Yemen was not accessible by air due to a no-fly zone announced by Saudi
  • Under Operation Rahat, India evacuated nearly 5,600 people from


7.   VANDE BHARAT 2020

  • When the Covid-19 pandemic hit the world, the Centre launched the Vande Bharat Mission to bring back Indian citizens stranded in foreign
  • In the multiple phases of the operation, about 60 lakh Indians were brought back as on 30th April,
  • Special flights were operated across to globe in this mission to bring back the nationals who were left stranded in foreign countries due to the coronavirus pandemic


  • An evacuation operation by the Indian Armed Forces (IAF) was kicked off in August 2021 to safely bring back Indian nationals from Afghanistan after the collapse of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the fall of Kabul, the capital city of the Taliban


  • In a mission to evacuate stranded Indians from war-torn Ukraine, the Indian government kicked off Operation Ganga in February India has set up round the clock control centres in Poland,Romania, Hungary, Slovakia to assist in the evacuation of Indian nationals from Ukraine through border crossing points with these countries.


While India is not a newcomer to conducting evacuation operations, it has traditionally faced significant challenges in deploying its diplomatic and military assets abroad to protect its diaspora. The shortcomings of the government of India’s capacity have been further compounded by its nonaligned posture and consequent reluctance to get involved in conflict zones. However, as these operations become more frequent and complex, India will need to expand its operational capacity and prepare accordingly, including by adopting best practices from other states’ emergency plans. Evacuating citizens from abroad is an extremely complex mission in which distance, logistics, security, and coordination pose numerous obstacles.

1.      Distance

  • As the distance, where the intended evacuation to be done increases, more complex will be the evacuation

2.      Logistics

  • Pulling out thousands and lakhs of nationals from a foreign country in itself is a logistical nightmare because of the need to work out on the appropriate mode of transportation.
  • The maximum duration the evacuation process lasts is also unknown e.g., evacuation process took almost 2 months during the gulf crisis. hence needs of the stranded nationals should be addressed

3.  Coordination

  • As the evacuation process in itself involves various processes, no single ministry can deal the entire evacuation process. Hence coordination among different ministries is required and that in itself is a hurdle since it is not recognised as a regular

4.  Geographical spread of the people

  • Expatriates residing in a particular country may not be residing in a single location. They may be distributed across that particular country. Hence it is a big challenge in locating the nationals and establishing a contact link between them, particularly those who are residing in the

5. Communication network

  • Staying in constant touch with the stranded Indian nationals and ensuring their proper location is not an easy task. Hence embassy needs to maintain a list through which it can reach out to the Indians and thereby can stay in touch with them and can get updated about their
  • Establishing a proper communication channel is considered as an important preparatory task to be done in such a dangerous condition especially when an evacuation strategy is planned

6. Number of evacuees

  • As the number of evacuees increases, greater will be the evacuation challenge

7.  Coordination from other countries

  • Diplomatic contacts with neighbouring countries and theothers, keyleaders, institutions, rebel groups/terror outfits play a major during the evacuation missions to get the required permission as well as to ensure that a safe passage or humanitarian corridor is being created, so that the nationals can be pulled out.E.g.,during the Ukraine conflict, India didn’t lift the people directly from the Ukraine, instead relied on Poland,Hungary,Slovakia, Romania etc because of the difficulty in entering into the conflict zone
  • but at times, some countries refuse to cooperate which poses hurdles in the evacuation
  • Complex geopolitics of the complex zones should also be kept in mind in order to ensure that it

doesn’t offend any country or party unnecessarily which might hamper the evacuation activities

8. Attitude of the local government

  • Support of the local government is a necessity during every evacuation mission e.g., during the Ukrainian crisis, Russia had stopped the war for around 5-6 hours in order to create a humanitarian corridor
  • But at times, the local government might refuse to cooperate thereby will create a hindrance on the evacuation process


In spite of all the mentionedchallenges, India had undertaken around 30 evacuation processes till now. Government of India rise to the occasion to the best possible extentin order to bring back all our nationals. Despite all those successful evacuation missions, India must devise a proper strategy under its foreign policy in such a way that it must not only deal with trade, immigration and emigration but should also include a separate department and a separate budget for dealing with the evacuation and safety of the Indian diaspora. Hence a long-term evacuation strategy is very important –


1.  Learn From the Past

  • Support policy-oriented research on India’s vast experience in conducting evacuation operations
  • Document the institutional memory of senior diplomats and military and other government officials that have successfully conducted evacuation operations in recent years. Such efforts would help transmit their expertise and best practices to younger
  • Reach out to key stakeholders, associations, and activists in the diaspora that participated in past evacuation By listening to their grievances and suggestions, the government can build on best practices and correct shortcomings

2.  Develop Standard Operating Procedures

  • Establish a clear chain of command and division of labour among various ministries, overseas missions, and other organizations
  • Identify regional support bases, local assembling camps, and routes for
  • Adopt country-specific warden systems to communicate with
  • Sign standing service agreements with local companies providing emergency transportation and relief to avoid lack of supplies and inflated costs during
  • Develop criteria regulating priority lists of evacuation and embarkation


3.   Train, Prepare, and Collaborate

  • Offer security training for all incoming Indian Foreign Service probationers on how to operate in active conflict zones, with support from the Indian Police Service or Indian
  • Conduct evacuation operation simulations and periodic emergency
  • Create rapid reaction teams of Indian military, police, and other security personnel that can be deployed as advisory missions to protect diplomatic staff and installations in hostile
  • Encourage Indian diplomatic missions to intensify political and consular dialogue with their counterparts so as to exchange information and prepare joint emergency and evacuation


4.   Involve and Deploy Military Forces

  • Invest in specific training for military personnel to conduct out-of-area evacuation operations, including through joint exercises with other friendly military services that have greater experience in this domain.
  • Adapt military modernization, defence procurement, and production plans to focus on acquiring specific assets that increase India’s long-range military transportation, naval, aerial, and
  • Conclude bilateral defence agreements that guarantee the Indian Armed Forces continued access to military support bases in the Gulf and other critical regions to conduct evacuation

5.  Improve Coordination

  • Incentivize cross-posting of administrative and military officials dealing with diaspora affairs, including in the political and consular sections of diplomatic missions in countries with volatile security conditions.
  • Facilitate the creation of diaspora emergency cells and contingency plans by regional state governments, following guidelines set out by central
  1. Identify and Monitor the Diaspora

  • Utilize new communication technologies to provide both permanent expatriates and short-term travellers with real-time updates during crises and evacuation
  • Continue to crack down on agents and other intermediaries that facilitate the illegal migration of low- skilled and illiterate Indian workers, whose vulnerability during crises poses a significant security liability
  • Sustain investment in pre-departure training of low-skilled workers, informing them of basic rights and security procedures to follow in case of emergency and
  • Consider making the Aadhaar unique identification card compulsory for Indian citizens abroad to facilitate biometric identity verification and reduce identity



To protect its migrants and travellers more effectively, the Indian government needs to dedicate significant resources toward building on best practices from the past, developing standard operating procedures, expanding training and preparedness, institutionalizing emergency evacuation plans, and increasing coordination with other states. By enhancing its capacity to conduct evacuation operations and ensure the safety of its citizens abroad, the Indian government will not only be pursuing its immediate national interests but will also be able to credibly project power and assume a leading role beyond its sub continental shores.


India’s expatriates’ evacuation strategy requires a shift from adhocism to a permanent policy, critically comment in the context of growing global uncertainties. (250 words, 15 marks)



The Ukraine Russia war is presently leaving a marked impact on the Indian economy and financial system. Despite the neutral political stance maintained by India and the fact that trade with both Russia and Ukraine involves only a small portion of India’s overall cross-border trade, their conflict is affecting India’s GDP growth. India’s overall trade stands at more than $800 billion of which the trade with Russia and Ukraine constitutes nearly 1% and 0.2% respectively.



  • After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Russia inherited its close relationship with India which resulted in both the nations sharing a special relationship. Russia and India both term this relationship as a “special and privileged strategic partnership”. Both these nation shares common platform like BRICS, SCO etc and have close military relations.
  • India Russia bilateral trade stands at $9.4 billion in which Indian exports to Russia is around $2.55 billion and the imports from Russia accounts for $6.9 billion.

Major components of bilateral trade:

  1. Top import items in India from Russia includes:
    1. Mineral fuels, mineral oils and products of their distillation; bituminous substances; mineral waxes
    2. Defence equipment
  • Natural or cultured pearls, precious or semi-precious stones, precious metals
  1. Nuclear reactors, boilers, machinery and mechanical appliances; parts thereof
  2. Electrical machinery and equipment and parts thereof
  3. Fertilizers
  1. Top export items from India to Russia includes:
    1. Pharmaceutical products
    2. Electrical machinery and equipment and parts thereof
  • Nuclear reactors, boilers, machinery and mechanical appliances; parts thereof
  1. Organic chemicals
  2. Vehicles other than railway or tramway rolling-stock, and parts and accessories thereof
  3. Tea

India Ukraine

  • India has an extensive bilateral relationship with Ukraine, spanning all spheres of cooperation. India was one of the first countries to recognize Ukraine. Bilateral trade between the two countries has grown significantly in the last 25 years, and in 2018-19, was almost US$ 2.8 Billion.
  • India is Ukraine’s largest export destination in the Asia-Pacific and the fifth largest overall export destination.
  1. Main items of export from Ukraine to India are
  2. Agricultural products such as Sun Flower oil, Vegetable oil.
  3. metallurgical products,
  4. plastics and polymers
  5. phosphatic fertilizers
  6. major Indian exports to Ukraine
    1. pharmaceutical products
    2. machinery
    3. chemicals
    4. food products
  • A number of Indian companies like Ranbaxy, Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, Sun Group etc. have their representative offices in Ukraine. Representatives of major pharmaceutical companies have also set up an ‘Indian Pharmaceutical Manufacturers’ Association in Ukraine.


The economic impact of the war is being felt all around the world. But in particular, the concern is among the developing economies of Asia which includes India

  • Over the days of the war, price of the crude oil gets fluctuated which in turn added to the India’s challenge because, India had to import 80%of its total fuel needs.
  • It is being estimated that India buys around 2% of its total crude oil requirements from Russia (Though we are not importing much, it will impact)
  • Russia Ukraine conflict might have a potentially disastrous impact on other oils
  • In India, edible oil market depends heavily on Russia and Ukraine. Presently, the imports have been hit hard due to the Russia Ukraine conflict. India incidentally is the world’s largest exporter of edible oils. Its import, mainly form the war zone accounts for about 56% of its total demand.
  • Sunflower oil makes up 19% of all edible oil imports. Recent figure shows that about 81% of India’s sunflower oil has been imported from the Ukraine and 12 % from Russia.
  • Another area, which might get in India because of the present-day conflict is the pharmaceutical sector. Big Indian pharma companies are having production facilities and offices in Russia as well as in Ukraine which date back 3 decades. hence, duration of the war will decide the future of these facilities and the stocks
  • Another sector that might take a hit is the automobile sector, globally as well as in India.
  • Rise in the oil prices, continued shortage of semiconductors and chips and other rate earth metals is likely to add to the industries worse
  • Russia accounts for 35% of the global production of palladium and 10% of the platinum. Both are key input in the catalytic convertors and plays a major role in the automobile supply chain
  • Ukraine is also home to many companies which manufacture car components for the automakers .and some of them already have to shut factories there
  1. TEA
  • India’s Tea sector is one of the biggest losers due to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Russia alone imports almost 13% of India’s total tea exports
  • The aggression is going to impact our fertilizer supplies in a big way with regard to price and availability.Russia is the second-largest producer of ammonia, urea, potash and the fifth-largest producer of complex phosphates. The country accounts for 23% of the global ammonia export market, 14% of urea, 21% for potash and 10% of the complex phosphates. The war has already started disrupting global fertilizer market, as Russia is a leading supplier of fertilizer and related raw materials. It is also the largest exporter of urea, NPKs, ammonia, UAN and ammonium nitrate, and the third-largest potash exporter.
  • India depends heavily on imports for meeting its fertilizer raw materials (natural gas, sulphur and rock phosphate), intermediates (ammonia and sulphuric and phosphoric acids), and finished products (diammonium phosphate, potash and complex fertilizers) requirements. The self-sufficiency in urea production achieved by 2000 was lost due to unfriendly policies which discouraged further investments in the sector for two decades and also due to the privatization move and closure of a number of plants on account of low energy efficiency which paved the way for large scale imports.


  1. Rise in Inflation
  • The increase in the oil prices resulting from the Russia Ukraine war will have a direct impact on the freight movement because of which food items such as fruits, vegetables, oil, and pulses, among others are likely to be expensive.
  • If inflation rises in India, it will increase beyond the projected figures and India’s central bank which is the Reserve Bank of India will then be forced to increase the rates.
  1. Heavy selling by foreign investors in the Indian stock market
  • Markets have also been heavily impacted by the ongoing standoff between Russia and Ukraine as foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) pulled out over Rs 1 lakh crore from the Indian markets in the three months since the stalemate began, Rs 50,000 crore more than the combined withdrawal of previous nine months.
  1. Weakening of Indian rupee
  • Other cause for heavy selling by foreign investors in Indian markets are monetary tightening around the world due to inflation. foreign portfolio investments (FPI) pull-out has led to the depreciation of the Indian rupee versus the US dollar. Rupee depreciated by approximately 4 per cent from 77.53 against the US dollar on February 24, when the war began, to 77.7 against the dollar by May 31. Weak rupee has also impacted imports adversely, especially oil imports. The rise in crude oil prices will boost India’s oil import bills, and gold imports may rise again, putting pressure on the rupee.


  1. The withdrawal of the credit guarantee
  • The Export Credit Guarantee Corporation’s decision to withdraw cover for goods bound for the war-striken region has harmed Indian exports worth $500 million to Russia and the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States).Revising its underwriting policy on Russia, ECGC has now put that country in the Restricted Cover Category (RCC-I) from the earlier ‘Open Cover’ category.
  • Sanctions against Russian banks and the threat of disruptions at Baltic ports as a result of the Ukraine invasion compelled the ECGC to make this decision. However, this has displeased Indian exporters.




·         The ECGC Ltd is wholly owned by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

·         The Government of India had initially set up the Export Risks Insurance Corporation in 1957.It was changed to Export Credit & Guarantee Corporation Ltd in 1964 and ECGC Ltd in 2014.

·         ECGC was established to promote exports by providing credit insurance services to exporters against non-payment risks by the overseas buyers due to commercial and political reasons.

·         Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) form 97% of the client base of ECGC.



  1. SWIFT sanctions on Russia
  • Ban on the Russian banks accessing the SWIFT banking system is a concern for the Indian exporters. Incoming payments of about $500million from Russia are in limbo till the rupee-ruble trade arrangement can be worked out between the Indian and Russian government
  • Amid sanctions on Russia, India might face interruption and delay in arms import. Russia is also India’s biggest arms supplier. Almost 60-70% of its military supplies are from Russia.
  • India is procuring the S-400 air defence systems from Russia. It also recently signed a contract for AK-203 rifles with production slated to begin in India soon.
  • Sanction son Russia could jeopardize India’s recent $375 million BrahMos cruise missile export contract with the Philippines.
  • However, there is some relief for the country as India and Russia bilateral payments are made in Indian Rupee and sometimes in other currencies like Euro for both imports and exports. So, sanctions on Russia may not have an impact on the payments.
  1. Disruptions at the Baltic port amidst the Ukrainian war
  • Russia Ukraine conflict had led to the suspension of some activities in the Baltic port which in turn led to the supply chain disruptions thereby hampers the imports and exports.
  • Movement of the ships in Black Sea has been severely affected which will in turn hit hard on the India’s exports.


  1. Wheat export
  • The first silver lining for India out of this crisis is the exports. Indian rupee has devalued against the US dollar. This is said to give an incentive to the Indian exporters.
  • Ukraine and Russia are the major exporters of food grains. both these nations together accounts for 30% of global wheat exports. Disruption in the region has pushed the wheat prices up to almost 14-year level high.
  • India, being the 2nd largest exporter of wheat, in such a scenario stands to gain, as the US department of agriculture had estimated that India is likely to export around 10 million tonnes of wheat.
  • India is already in conversation for the export of wheat throughout the middle east. India can extend its export potential in the foodgrains to Lebanon, turkey etc.


  1. Metal and mining companies
  • Another category of company which also will gain in the near term because of the war induced inflation is the metal and mining companies
  • Russia and Ukraine together export about 10% of the global demand of aluminium and steel
  • India is also one of the major exporters of aluminium and steel. Going ahead, these exports will also increase especially to the European countries and to the USA in the near term.


  • In the long run, India should reduce its reliance on fossil fuels so that it is not caught in the crossfire between the West and Russia again. India could adopt a multi-pronged approach to achieve this goal. The states should consider offering one-time subsidies to its vulnerable populace to temper the crisis’ impact at present. Simultaneously, India could strengthen the Indian banking system by addressing asset quality concerns and strengthening banks’ balance sheets.
  • Finally, India could transition towards a greener circular economy by allocating Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to greener enterprises. The government could also incentivize the manufacturing community to capitalize on the opportunities afforded by the “lucrative Indian market.” Ideally, manufacturers would curate their products to suit the needs of the Indian consumer—in terms of price and quality


Russia – Ukraine war impact on Indian is a mixed bag of both opportunities and challenges, critically comment.

 (150 Words, 10 Marks)



India’s relation with Russia is being considered as an age-old relation and the relationship between both the nations started way back in the early 20th century. Russian influence was there on the India’s independence movement. Many Indian freedom fighters got influenced by the Russian socialist ideology and there was even a socialist group among the Indian National Congress. Russian Revolution 1905 had also inspired the India’s Independence movement.


  • Russia (the then USSR) had stopped anti Indian activities in Jammu and Kashmir and in Goa.
  • Repetitive raising of Jammu and Kashmir issue by Pakistan in UN had been obstructed by Russia.
  • India’s 5-year plan was based on erstwhile USSR lines.
  • Erst while USSR used to supply capital and technological assistance for the Capital goods industries in India.
  • In the 1962 Indo – China war, Russia remained as a neutral force while in 1965 into – Pakistan war, Russia worked as a peace broker.
  • Indo -soviet friendship treaty 1971, through which USSR supported India in the Bangladesh liberation war against Pakistan.
  • The Indo–Soviet Treaty of Peace, Friendship and Cooperation was a treaty signed between India and the Soviet Union in August 1971 that specified mutual strategic cooperation. This was a significant deviation from India’s previous position of non-alignment during the Cold War and was a factor in the 1971 Indo-Pakistani war.
  • The treaty was caused by increasing Pakistani ties with China and the United States and played an important role in the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War. The duration of the treaty was of 20 years and it was renewed for another 20 years on 8 August 1991. Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union it was replaced by a 20-year Treaty of Indo-Russian Friendship and Cooperation during President Yeltsin’s visit to New Delhi in January 1993.
  • Both the nations had signed 2 treaties-
  1. Indo-Russia strategic partnership Agreement 2000

On 3rd October, 2000, then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and President Vladimir Putin signed the Declaration on Strategic Partnership between the Russian Federation and India. Over the subsequent years, annual summits between the leaders have strengthened this partnership to ever greater heights and not a single annual Summit has been skipped. This demonstrates the level of significance they assign to each other.

  1. Indo – Russia special and privileged strategic agreement 2010.

During the visit of the then Russian president Dimitri Medvedev, to India in September 2010, the strategic partnership was elevated to the level of a special and privileged strategic partnership.


  • Both the countries are trying to increase the bilateral investment to US$50 billion and bilateral trade toUS$30 billion by 2025.
  • Russian investment in India is at $ 18 billion and the Indian investment in Russia stands at $13 billion.
  • Rupee-Rouble credit fund – A payment mechanism which can allow Indian exporters to be paid in Indian rupees for their exports to Russia instead of standard international currencies such as dollar or euro.
  • Government of India had also decided to provide $1 billion credit to Russia for developing its far east part.
  • Reciprocal Exchange of Logistic Agreement (RELOS).


  • India’s engagement with Russia in space relationships dated back to 1975, when the erstwhile Soviet Union helped in the launch of Aryabhata (India’s first satellite), from the Soyuz Launch Vehicle.
  • Even the second satellite Bhaskara was launched from Soviet Union in 1979.
  • Just under a decade later in 1984, the Soviets gave a big morale booster to India by accommodating Sq. Ldr Rakesh Sharma to fly on the Soyuz T-11 spaceship, launched from Baikanur cosmodrome in Soviet Union, as part of the Interkosmos programme.
  • In 2007, India and Russia signed a framework agreement on cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space, including satellite launches, GLONASS navigation, remote sensing and other societal applications of outer space.
  • ISRO-ROSCOSMOS joint agreement for India’s Human spaceflight programme named “Gaganyan”.

ü  Gaganyaan is the human space flight programme under which Indian astronauts will go into space by 2022.and this will be done by using its own capabilities.


ü  A GSLV-Mk III launch vehicle will lift them to their orbit, which has the necessary payload capability to launch a three-member crew module in low earth orbit.

ü  If successful, India would become the fourth nation to conduct a human space flight programme after USSR/Russia, USA and China. It is a ₹10,000-crore Indian human space flight scheduled for 2022.

ü  India had signed agreements with Russia and France for cooperation on the Gaganyaan mission.



  • Gaganyaan is the human space flight programme under which Indian astronauts will go into space by 2022.and this will be done by using its own capabilities.
  • A GSLV-Mk III launch vehicle will lift them to their orbit, which has the necessary payload capability to launch a three-member crew module in low earth orbit.
  • If successful, India would become the fourth nation to conduct a human space flight programme after USSR/Russia, USA and China. It is a ₹10,000-crore Indian human space flight scheduled for 2022.
  • India had signed agreements with Russia and France for cooperation on the Gaganyaan mission.


Defense cooperation is one of the key pillars of the India-Russia relationship. In recent years, there has been an overall decline in Indian arms imports, which has hit Russia the hardest. Despite this, Russia accounted for about 58% of Indian arms imports between 2014 and 2018. Historically, Russia has been India’s largest defense partner, and this continues to be the case. About 86% of equipment, platforms, and weapons of the Indian Armed Forces currently in military service are of Russian origin.

  • Defence deal since 2018 has crossed $15 billion mark which itself is a huge amount.
  • Both the nations have collaborated in the field of Missile Technology for the joint development of Brahmos missile.
  • BRAHMOS is a joint venture between the Defence Research and Development Organisation of India (DRDO) and the NPOM of Russia(a rocket design bureau based in Reutov, Russia), named on the rivers Brahmaputra and Moskva.
  • It is a two-stage (solid propellant engine in the first stage and liquid ramjet in second) air to surface missile with a flight range of around 300 km. However, India’s entry into the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) has extended the range of the BRAHMOS missile to reach 450 km-600km, a shade above its current MTCR capped range of 300 km.
  • In spite of the fear of US CAATSA sanctions, India moved ahead with its S 400 Missile purchase agreement with Russia.

ü  CAATSA is a US law that came into effect in the year 2017, and was meant to punish those countries having deep engagements with Russia, North Korea, and Iran using economic sanctions.



  • CAATSA is a US law that came into effect in the year 2017, and was meant to punish those countries having deep engagements with Russia, North Korea, and Iran using economic sanctions.
  • S-400

ü  It is an air defence missile system that can take down enemies’ aircraft in the sky from the surface itself.


ü  The S-400 is known as Russia’s most advanced long-range surface to air missile defence system, capable of destroying hostile strategic bombers, jets, missiles and drones at a range of 380 KM.


ü  India, in order to be well equipped against its neighbours needed S-400 air defence missile system as it would be like a “booster shot” for the Indian Air Force.



  • It is an air defence missile system that can take down enemies’ aircraft in the sky from the surface itself.
  • The S-400 is known as Russia’s most advanced long-range surface to air missile defence system, capable of destroying hostile strategic bombers, jets, missiles and drones at a range of 380 KM.
  • India, in order to be well equipped against its neighbours needed S-400 air defence missile system as it would be like a “booster shot” for the Indian Air Force.
  • India-Russia military technical cooperation agreement has evolved from a buyer seller framework to one involving Joint venture and technical cooperation i.e.; from transactional to collaborative partners.
  • g. – Brahmos Missile System as well as the licensed production in India of SU-30 aircraft and T 90 tanks are examples of such flagship cooperation.
  • There are deals to manufacture KMAV 226T helicopters, AK-203 rifles, and Krivak III frigates in India either through licensing or joint manufacturing. They are also involved in the research and development of a fifth-generation fighter jet.
  • Both the countries have decided to jointly invest in the Research and Development field.

e.g. – AK 203 assault rifle manufacturing in a shared basis of 50.5(India): 49.5 (Russia).

AK-203 is an assault rifle designed by Russia which is considered to be the latest and most advanced version of the AK-47 rifle. They will be replacing the Indian Small Arms System (INSAS) rifles.The AK-203 rifle is reliable, durable and easy to maintain. It also has better ergonomics, accuracy and density of fire. They are also considered lighter, shorter and deadlier than the INSAS rifle. As per the contract, over 6.1 lakh AK-203 riffles costing over Rs 5000cr will be manufactured by a joint venture, Indo-Russian Riffles Private Ltd (IRRPL), at Korwa, Amethi in Uttar Pradesh.

  • Reciprocal Exchange of Logistic Agreement (RELOS) –
  • India is all set to conclude the bilateral logistics agreement with Russia (the Reciprocal Exchange of Logistics Agreement (RELOS).
  • Bilateral logistics agreements are administrative arrangements facilitating access to military facilities of both the countries to each other for the logistics and maintenance between the armed forces and increasing operational turnaround of the military when operating away from India. For e.g., India has signed a number of logistics agreements with all Quad countries, France, Singapore and South Korea beginning with the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) with the U.S. in 2016.
  • RELOS would grant access to Russian naval port facilities in the Arctic, thus enhancing Indian Navy’s reach and operational experience in Polar waters.


  • Russia is so far India’s largest oil and gas investment destination.

e.g. – in the year 2016 -> Indian companies spend 5.4 billion $ in acquiring oil and gas assets   Russia.

  • Russia had also transferred Reprocessing Technology to India.
  • The technology which is used in the chemical procedure for separating plutonium or fissionable uranium from spent nuclear fuel is called Reprocessing technology.
  • Russia also helped India in developing its nuclear technology e.g. – Kudamkulam power plant, Tamil Nadu.
  • Russia is going to supply 20 new nuclear reactors to India in the next 20 years.
  • India has invested nearly USD 8 billion in various companies and projects such as Imperial Energy (Tomsk), Sakhalin-1 oilfield, Volzhsky Abrasive Works (Volgograd) and a few other companies.
  • Both India and Russia have collaborated for Joint projects in 3rd countries to counter China.

e.g. – In Bangladesh India is developing Rooppur Nuclear project with the assistance of Russia.

Rooppur nuclear power plant is a 2.4 GW nuclear power plant that is being developed in Bangladesh, which will be the country’s first nuclear power plant and is being built on the bank of River Padma. Russia and India are also involved in this project. It is expected to commence operations in 2023.


  • Both the nation Shares common platforms like SCO, BRICS, G20, Russia-India-China trilateral.
  • Both had reaffirmed the need to reform the UNSC (United Nations Security Council) to make it more effective in dealing with emerging global challenges.
  • Russia is a firm supporter to India’s demand for a permanent membership in an expanded UNSC.

There is widespread support, including by four of the five permanent members of the Security Council – US, UK, France and Russia – for a permanent seat for India at the Council.

  • But, China, part of the permanent five (P5) of the UNSC with veto power is blocking India’s efforts to become a member of the UN’s powerful body for years, citing a lack of consensus even though the other four members have supported New Delhi’s membership.
  • Recently, India decided to have 2+2 summits with Russia as well.


  • 2+2 ministerial dialogue is a format of meeting where the defense and foreign ministers or secretaries meet with their counterparts from another country. India holds such talks with Japan and Australia, at the foreign secretary and defence secretary level.
  • In the year 2021, the Russian President Vladimir Putin visited India during which, India signed many agreements with Russia. The meeting is significant as it was the first 2+2 meeting between the foreign and defense ministers of the two countries.
  • As part of the “Act far East” policy, India had extended 1 billion US $ LoC to Russia for the development of Chennai – Vladivostok Route as part of India’s Act East Policy.
  • Act Far East’ is said to be an extension to India’s Act East policy. In general, the Far East as a geographical term refers to East Asia (including Northeast Asia), the Russian far east (part of north Asia) and south east Asia.
  • An ocean liner travelling from Vladivostok to Chennai would sail Southward on the Sea of Japan past the Korean peninsula, Taiwan and the Philippines in the South China Sea, past Singapore and through the Strait of Malacca, to emerge into the Bay of Bengal and then cut across through the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago to Chennai.
  • Both India and Russia are looking at the feasibility of Chennai-Vladivostok Sea route that would allow India access to Russia’s Far East in 24 days, compared to the 40 days taken by the current route via Suez Canal and Europe. This sea route covers a distance of approximately 5,600 nautical miles, or about 10,300 km and would potentially add the required balance to peace and prosperity in South China Sea and could open new avenues for India, like the India-Russia-Vietnam trilateral cooperation.


  • Both India and Russia annually hold exchanges and training exercises between their armed forces.
  • The first-ever Tri-Services exercise (Army, Navy, & Air Force) – ‘INDRA 2017’ took place in Vladivostok from October 19 to 29, 2017.
  • The bilateral Russian-Indian naval exercise Indra Navy-2018 was held in the Bay of Bengal. Joint Tri-Services Exercise ‘INDRA 2019’ between India and Russia was carried out simultaneously in Babina, Pune, and Goa from 8 10th -19th December 2019.
  • Representatives from the Armed Forces of the Republic of India and the Eastern Command of the Russian Federation participated in the exercises, to strengthen field, marine and flight skills as well as improve cooperation between Russia and India’s armed forces.
  • Both the countries are looking at expanding the format of exercises to make them more complex and more sophisticated.


  • Teaching Hindi -> In about 20 Russian institutions.
  • Russia is having a high viewership of Indian films historically.
  • As part of Reciprocal agreement, regular cultural exchanges are taking place between both the countries for the past 6 years.


  1. Strategic concerns
  • India did not get any assurances from Russia regarding the issue of Afghanistan.
  • Russia being neutral about the Chinese attack on India in its northern borders.
  • In order to contain western forces in the name of QUAD, AUKUS, Russia is joining closely with China.
  • India is unable to seek Russian cooperation in our extended neighbourhood because it is being overshadowed by the US-China relation.


• The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue is an informal strategic forum by four countries namely Australia, India, Japan and USA. It was conceptualized in 2007 by the then-Japanese PM Shinzo Abe, with the support of former US Vice President Dick Cheney along with former Australian PM John Howard and India’s former PM Manmohan Singh.


• The AUKUS is a military alliance and trilateral security deal between Australia, the UK and the US in which the three nations have committed to protect the Indo-Pacific from China’s dominance and built a class of nuclear-propelled submarines.




  • The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue is an informal strategic forum by four countries namely Australia, India, Japan and USA. It was conceptualized in 2007 by the then-Japanese PM Shinzo Abe, with the support of former US Vice President Dick Cheney along with former Australian PM John Howard and India’s former PM Manmohan Singh.


  • The AUKUS is a military alliance and trilateral security deal between Australia, the UK and the US in which the three nations have committed to protect the Indo-Pacific from China’s dominance and built a class of nuclear-propelled submarines.
  1. Economic /Trade concerns
  • Bilateral trade is only as low as 10 billion $ which needs to be improved.
  • India had already extended 1 bn $ credit for the development of far east part of Russia, but no progress in it as such.
  • No progress as far as INSTC is concerned.


  • The INSTC is a 7,200 km-long multimodal transportation network encompassing sea, road, and rail routes to offer the shortest route of connectivity which was established on 12th September 2000 in St. Petersburg, by Iran, Russia and India for the purpose of promoting transportation cooperation among the Member States.
  • It links the Indian Ocean to the Caspian Sea via the Persian Gulf onwards into Russia and Northern Europe and will move freight between India, Iran, Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Russia, Central Asia and Europe.
  • Relations between both India and Russia is not elevating beyond government – government interaction to business-business cooperation.
  • India failed to sign an agreement on Reciprocal Exchange of Logistic Agreement (RELOS).
  1. Defense/security

  • Several experts have opined that India’s heavy dependence on Russia for its defense needs is strategically not desirable.
  • India’s decision to diversify its defense imports becomes a competition for the Russian Defense exporters.
  • India’s growing closeness with USA for its defense deal raised alarms on the policy makers of Russia.
  • There occur several incidences of delayed supply form the Russian side, which lead to the cost escalation and the brunt is being faced by India.


In order to improve its bilateral relations with Russia further, India must diversify its trade and investment, building on the two key sectors of oil and gas, as it cannot flourish on those two alone, and hence should also expand their fields of cooperation and research further in the field of science and technology in order to strike a balance of its alignment with USA.


Indo- Russian relations are transformed from transactional to partnership. Critically examine the statement in the context of Indo-Russian defence and scientific cooperation.(250 Words, 15 Marks)



According to National Crime Record Bureau, there has been a huge increase in cases registered under both Hate speech and Blasphemy.


Freedom of Speech and Expression

Article 19

  • It is protected as a fundamental right in the Constitution of India under Article 19(1) (a) which states that all citizens shall have the right to freedom of speech and expression.
  • The freedom of speech under Article 19(1) (a) includes the right to express one’s views and opinions on any issue through any medium, e.g., by words of mouth, writing, printing, picture, film, movie, etc.

Article 19(2)

  • This right “Freedom of Speech and Expression” is, however, not absolute.
  • It allows Government to frame laws to impose reasonable restrictions in the interest of sovereignty and integrity of India, security of the state, friendly relations with foreign states, public order, decency, and morality, and contempt of court, defamation, and incitement to an offense.
  • A reasonable restriction has been put forth by the Indian constitution where the word reasonable should strike a balance between the use and misuse of this freedom.


  • The Constitution nor statutes has not defined the term “hate speech”.
  • Some sections of the Indian Penal Code(IPC) deal with hate speech and blasphemy indirectly without specifying the terms.
  • Hate speeches are often characterized by their potential effects – “speeches that promote fear, incite violence, articulate, identify as divisive, indoctrinate prejudice and promote discrimination”.
  • Thus, there is no unanimously agreed definition of hate speech at this point.
  • As per the 267th Report of the Law Commission of India- Hate Speech is stated as an incitement to hatred primarily against a group of persons defined in terms of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or religious belief. It must lead to an incitement of violence or cause fear or alarm.
  • Hate speech is any word spoken, writings, signs, or representations with the intention to cause fear or alarm, instigates violence, spread disharmony between the communities on the basis of speech, signs, writings, or actions, and the like.


  • Sections 153A IPC

The section penalizes ‘promotion of enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to the maintenance of harmony. 

  • Section 153B IPC

This section penalizes actions, speeches, ‘imputations, or assertions prejudicial to national integration. 

  • Sections 505(1) of IPC

Under this section, when someone publishes or circulates any statement, rumour, or report, —

  1. With the intent to cause, or is likely to cause, any officer, soldier, in the Army, Navy, or Air Force of India to mutiny or otherwise disregard or fail in his duty as such shall be punished under this section.
  2. With the intent to cause, or is likely to cause, fear or alarm to the public, or to any section of the public where any person may be induced to commit an offense against the State or against the public tranquillity.
  • With the intent to incite, or is likely to incite, any class or community of persons to commit any offense against any other class or community, shall be punished under this section.
  • Section 505(2) of IPC

This section deals with statements encouraging enmity, animosity, or ill-will between the classes.

  • Section 505(3) of IPC

Under this section, whoever commits an offense or makes the publication and circulation of content encouraging enmity or animosity in any place of worship or in an assembly engaged in the performance of religious worship or religious ceremonies, shall be punished.

            However, there is no explicit mention of “hate speech” under these provisions.

  • Sections 123(3A) and 125 of the RPA – The section bars the promotion of animosity on the grounds of race, religion, community, caste, or language in reference to elections and includes it under corrupt electoral practices.


  • Vague interpretation- The misinterpretation of terms under the statute often curbs free speech and expression. For instance, the provisions under 153 and 505 regarding enmity, animosity, inciting hatred, or violence are limited and subject to vague and subjective interpretation.
  • Right to dissent-The right to dissent or to have and express a contrarian view with respect to current affairs or historical events is the essence of a vibrant democracy.
  • Clarity- Proper definition of hate speech is necessary to regulate and punish the vocals of hate speech.


  • Explicit Legislative Provisions – Formulate new laws that will make “hate speech” a separate offense.
  • Adopt recommendations of committees:
  1. K. Visvanathan Committee 2019
  • It proposed inserting Sections 153 C (b) and Section 505 A in the IPC for incitement to commit an offense on grounds of religion, race, caste or community, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, place of birth, residence, language, disability or tribe.
  1. Mezbaruah Committee 2014
  • It proposed an amendment to Section 153 C of IPC –Promoting or attempting to promote acts prejudicial to human dignity, punishable by five years and fine or both and Section 509 A IPC (word, gesture or act intended to insult a member of a particular race), punishable by three years or fine or both.
  1. Law Commission
  • Recommended to include section 153 C of IPC- If words, expressions, or actions gravely threatening, incitement to violence, fear or alarm should be considered as hate speech and severe penalty to be charged.


  • Blasphemy, as defined in some religions or religion-based laws, is an insult that shows contempt, disrespect, or lack of reverence concerning a deity, an object considered sacred, or something considered inviolable.
  • In short, “Blasphemy” includes those actions that sacrilege the God or Religion or any Sacred objects or Events.
  • Section 295 of IPC

According to section 295 of the Indian Penal Code, whoever destroys, damages, or defiles any place of worship, or any object held sacred by any class of persons with the intention of thereby insulting the religion of any class of persons or with the knowledge that any class of persons is likely to consider such destruction, damage or defilement as an insult to their religion or the religious beliefs of that class, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.

  • International practice

Around 79 countries in the world punish blasphemy. The punishment of blasphemy varies between countries. Some countries charge even the death penalty for blasphemy such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Mauritania, Iran, etc.


  • Different interpretations
  • HATE SPEECH- If actions, words, signs, or representations led to incitement of violence, or fear or alarm will be punishable under Section 153 of IPC.
  • BLASPHEMY-If actions led to a deliberate attempt to insult a religion or religious offense under Section 295 of IPC.

Can the mere expressions of an individual be curbed in a democratic society?

  • Freedom of speech and expression is considered the symbol of civilization in a democratic nation subject to limitations.


  • If the criticism or expressions include ridicule, offending a religion, prejudice, or aggravating a particular religion subsequently inciting gross violence, it should be considered as a threat against peaceful existence and should be curbed or otherwise, it should be promoted.

Does Hate speech covers Blasphemy?

The scope of Section 295 of IPC is not leading to any gross violence, fear, animosity, and hatred in society. Therefore, it does not cover hate speeches. i.e., Blasphemy under Section 295 of IPC is not comprehensively covered.


  • Define hate speech- Hate speech covers speeches leading to the incitement of gross violence, hatred, and fear, or alarm in the society. Therefore, proper definition of hate speech is to be drafted which eliminates the scope for ambiguity and the perpetrators of violence should be punished under this law.
  • Remove Section 295 of IPC- Mere criticism or expression of thoughts cannot be muzzled at the cost of arising sentiments among some sections unless it causes incitement to hatred or violence.


  • In 1927, during the colonial period, a case under Lahore high court – Rajpal vs Emperor or Rangeela Rasool case.
  • “Rangeela Rasool” was a short pamphlet, a satirical take on the domestic life of Mohammed Prophet by a close friend of Mahashay Rajpal.
  • Consequently, the Muslim community filed a criminal case against Mahashay Rajpal under Sec 153A -promoting enmity between groups.
  • The judge contended that Sec. 153A does not prohibit historical analysis of ‘prophets’ of different religions and if it were to be so applied, works of serious historians could also be subject to it.
  • It is because although section 153 covers religion, the “Rangeela Rasool” was criticizing the religious personality which is not included under section 153.
  • Therefore, the then British government introduced 295 (A), criminalizing future speech deemed insulting to religious groups, which passed easily in parliament with widespread support.
  • Ramji Lal Modi v state of Uttar Pradesh Case,1957
  • The constitutionality of Section 295A was questioned before the Supreme Court in the case of Ramji Lal Modi v state of Uttar Pradesh in 1957.
  • The SC upheld its validity on the ground that the restriction imposed on freedom of expression by the section was reasonable and was covered under the head of “public order”.
  • The reasoning of the court was that the section did not penalize any and every act of insult to religion or the religious belief of a class of citizens, but was directed to acts perpetrated with the deliberate and malicious intention of outraging the religious feeling of a class of citizen.
  • Baba Ali Khan vs Uttar Pradesh case,1960

The supreme court upheld Section 295 and stated that the link between the speech and any public disorder or the damage caused in society caused as a result of it should have a close relationship for retrieving Section 295(A) of IPC.

  • Sri BaragurRamachandrappa&Ors vs the State of Karnataka case, 2007

A book published aroused the sentiments of a particular religion and the Supreme court upheld the Karnataka High Court’s verdict which banned the book.

  • Shreya Singhal v. Union of India case, 2016
  • The Supreme court struck down Section 66A of the Information Technology Act, 2000.
  • The Court held that Section 66-A was vague and over-broad, wording to contain the freedom of Individuals as unconstitutional on grounds of violating the freedom of speech guaranteed under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India.


  • Misuse – It is unable to distinguish clearly whether the intention of a person is to constructive criticism or ridicule the religion.
  • For example, recently some politicians made some derogatory remarks about a religious personality which incited tensions among a particular religious’ community.


  • Bring new statute – Devising comprehensive legislation covering wide definitions of hate speech.
  • Remove blasphemy – Does hate speech covers Blasphemy?
  • Existing Blasphemy laws under section 295 of IPC do not cover hate speech. Thus, there is a need to change the existing dilemma.   
  • Moreover, the laws that prohibit mere religious criticism, in general, are incompatible with the principles of a democratic society.


Therefore, the failure to articulate the distinctions between criticism and hate speech diminishes fair use of section 295(A) of IPC and makes it more difficult to define and penalize the actual crime of hate speech. As per Shreya Singhal v. Union of India case, a law affecting fundamental rights cannot be vague and over broad. So, it is high time to clearly codify the “Hate speech”.


What do you understand by Hate Speech? Examine the various judgements relating to Free speech and hate speech that are complementing and in contrast.(250 Words, 15 Marks)


Why in news?

Recently a joint conference was conducted between the Chief Justices and Chief Ministers of the states at New Delhi to discuss the various aspects of Judiciary. Also, the Vice President commented that the inordinate delay, cost of legal process, inaccessibility is impending the effective delivery of justice to the common man.


Judiciary plays a vital role in making sure that the fundamental principles of the Constitution are in check. It is the guardian of the Indian Constitution, a watch dog of rule of law and a protector of rights.

Citizens of India have immense trust and confidence in the Judiciary. In order to uphold the faith of people and to discharge its duties especially in an accessible and affordable manner a major reform is needed.

Challenges faced by Judiciary

  • Case Pendency and delay in

In 2010, Justice VB Rao of Andhra Pradesh High Court said that at least 320 years are required to clear the pending cases which account to about 31.28 million. In such a scenario, it takes time to give justice.

With reference to the National Judicial Data Grid, the states with more case pendency are Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Bihar and Gujarat.

  • Less number of Judges v/s Appointment issues.

According to a 2012 ‘National Court Management’ report by the Supreme Court, it was found that the cases are

increasing by 12 folds while judges are appointed only by 6-fold thus creating a wide gap.

The Executive that is the President is the appointment authority of Judges. But the names to be appointed are suggested by the collegiums. If the President does not approve the name suggested by the collegiums, how can the judge be appointed?

  • Lack of Transparency in

Indian Judiciary lacks transparency in the appointment of judges. This also will lead to the delay in filling the vacancies.

  • Less number of working

Frequent adjournments and strikes by the lawyers can lead to procedural delays which ultimately leads case pendency.

  • Lack of Funds.

Only 0.09% of the GDP is spent for judicial infrastructure. The judicial expenditure is charged on the Consolidated Fund of India. Only 0.1% of the Union Budget goes to Ministry of Law and Justice since 2003. The 127th Law Commission in its report ‘Resource Allocation for Infrastructural Services’ in Judicial Administration’ made an important observation that most of the governments did not view administration of justice as an important activity which is why less funds were allocated for the same.

  • Lack of proper

As a result of fund deficiency, the judicial infrastructure remains below the standards.

For 24,280 judicial officers, there are only 20,143 court halls with 620courts working in rented halls.

  • Only 32% of the courts have separate record
  • Only 5% of the courts have emergency medical
  • Only 54% of the courts have purified drinking water
  • Only 26% of the courts have sanitation facility for women in the court
  • Only 60% of the courts have Gent’s toilet in the vicinity of the
  • Lack of use of IT and Artificial

With only 20% of the courts having computer in usable form, our judiciary has a serious lack of use of technology.

  • Complex Court

The complex court process and one Supreme Court at the capital make it difficult for the poor and illiterate to the access justice.

  • Ineffectiveness of

The ineffectiveness of Judiciary is a reason to some extent for the increasing cases of rape, robbery, murder and so on.

  • Corruption

Corruption need not be always in financial terms. Misuse of power by those in a responsible position owing to various influences and personal benefits is also corruption.

  • Costly Justice

The cost of various judicial procedures will pull back the poor people from approaching the courts. For instance, to avail a bail, a sum of Forty thousand along with a personal bond of Fifty Thousand is to be paid.

  • Increasing awareness of Rights

In the current scenario, citizens are more aware of their rights and a case or Public Interest Litigation (PIL) is filed more frequently. A combination of more cases in the absence of enough judges will worsen the case pendency issue.

What can be done to combat these issues?

  • Strengthening of Lower Courts

The Courts at the lower level can be strengthened through appropriate funding and redressal mechanism.

  • Alternate dispute Resolution mechanism

The constitution of Lok Adalats can make justice accessible to all there by guaranteeing Article 14 and 39A of the Indian Constitution.

  • Improving Gram Nyayalayas

In 2009 Gram Nyayalayas were set up to reduce the burden on courts which can deal with both petty criminal cases as well as civil cases. The working of the lower-level courts can be improved by providing the needed support by the government.

  • Article 312 provides for the creation of All India Judicial

All India judicial Services can be created and judicial officers who come into service can provide for the effective resolution of case pendency.

  • Formation of National Judicial Infrastructure Authority (NJIA) of India

One of the crucial issues that Indian Judiciary faces is lack of basic infrastructure. The creation of NJAI can effectively solve this issue. NJAI can also look into the allocation and use of fund for bettering the infrastructural standards.

Adequate land must also be allocated by the state governments to establish enough courts and vertical construction can be considered in case of space constraints.

  • Keeping a time frame rule

A particular specific time frame such as a maximum of 60 days can be allocated to resolve and dispose a case.

Improving the pace of justice delivery will also significantly improve India’s position in ease of doing business.

  • Setting up of National Court of Appeal

The Attorney General of India proposed for the setting up of National Court of Appeal. The Supreme Court deals with all issues relating to the Constitution, Fundamental Rights and original Jurisdiction. The remaining appeals can be addressed at appeal courts like Supreme Court which can be set up in the 4 parts of India and 60 more judges can be appointed extra to reduce the burden.

  • Issuance of Fast Track Courts

The recommendations by the 11th Finance Commission suggests for the creation of 1734 fast track courts. These courts can be an effective tool in clearing the back log of pending cases.

  • Simplification of Court Processes

Regional languages instead of English alone can be promoted thus making the courts more people friendly and accessible.

  • Effective use of Information Technology (IT)

IT can be used to effectively conduct forensic investigation thereby providing enough evidence to the courts to give the most appropriate judgement.

Use of IT can deliver justice on a faster rate. It is found that even in the medical field, Artificial Intelligence is used to assist the doctors. The same can be used for assisting judicial officers as well. More e- Courts can also be promoted which will help in resolving the issue of need for litigants and also facilitate the adjudication of cases online. E- Courts are guided by the e- committee under the Supreme Court of India and was conceptualized by the ICT (Information and Communication Technology).

  • Improving the effectiveness of the Judiciary

A Performance Committee can be constituted to look into the issue of effectiveness and performance with appropriate powers to take action.

  • Making it more Affordable

The fee structure needs to be modified in order to make the judicial system affordable to everyone.


“A rule that cannot be bent will certainly be broken”-Robert Brault.

A continuous assessment of the judiciary is necessary for bringing in more appropriate reforms to make it more accessible, affordable and accountable because, ‘justice delayed is justice denied’ which stands against the true essence of our constitution, especially the Judiciary being the Guardian of Indian constitution. Ease of access being the prime concern and if it is addressed appropriately with smart digitization, the current issues in the judiciary can be solved to an extent.

Practice Question

Judicial infrastructure is critical in ease of doing justice. Critically examine the role of lower judiciary in this context.

(150 Words, 10 Marks)



Russia Ukraine conflict is being considered as one of the most important events happening in the present-day world affairs. On Feb 24, 2022, Russia launched a full-fledged invasion of Ukraine whereby it had destroyed 74 Ukrainian military facilities, including 11 airbases. During the two countries military confrontation, Russian shelling has killed 40 Ukrainian soldiers and ten civilians. Meanwhile, Ukraine claimed to have killed approximately 50 Russian occupiers but provided no details.


  • Both Russia and Ukraine are having an age-old relation, which can be dated back to 9th century AD, during which there lies no clearcut demarcation of boundary between both Russia as well as Ukraine.
  • Countries such as Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus, shared the same culture which can be termed as Slavic culture and Belarus was the centre of culture for those countries.
  • Over a period of time, following several fragmentations, devastations created by the Mongolian invasion, the territorial unity got collapsed and the states got divided into different countries. In the case of Ukraine, some territory came under the control of Poland and some under the control of Russia.
  • But Russia felt that since they all were having a same lineage from the Slavic culture, they all are culturally one and except on few parts in the modern history, the entire Ukraine was with Russia.


  • 1917 Russian revolution was being followed by the formation of USSR (The Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics) and there, the 2nd largest power after Russia was Ukraine.
  • Ukraine sailed with Russia from 1917 till 1991 where the Ukraine was so prosperous, industrially developed and an important centre of all industry.
  • Russia always saw Ukraine as a buffer state between the west and Russia in order to have protection from the adversary forces.
  • In the year 1954, Crimea was given to Ukraine by the then president of USSR Nikita Khrushchev, though the former has had its own autonomy.
  • By the year 1991 –USSR collapsed as a result of Gorbachev’s policy and Ukraine thereby becomes an independent state.
  • Ukraine gave all its important arsenal which they had with them earlier to Russia and in return the latter assured former its security and sovereignty, thereby lead to the signing of Budapest memorandum on security assurances.
  • Later Ukraine amended its constitution and stated that the entire Crimea is within their purview but Russians felt that Crimea shouldn’t have been given to the Ukraine.


  • Population of Ukraine consists of 2 major ethnic groups in which 77.8 % of the population are Ukrainians (western part of Ukraine) and 17.3 % of the population are Russians (eastern part of Ukraine)
  • Eastern part of Ukraine is closely related to the Russians (Donbas region of Ukraine) as a result of russianizing the entire eastern European part by some of the Russian rulers in its history.
  • Donetsk and Luhansk are the 2 important regions in Donbas, which are ethnically belonging to Russia and the people living in this region speaks Russian language.


  • In the year 2013, European union wanted to conclude a trade deal with respect to Ukraine to provide some financial assistance of $828 million to the state of Ukraine for the development of Ukraine.
  • But the then president of Ukraine, Victor Yanukovych decided not to accept European union trade deal and instead went ahead with the bailout package of $15 billion proposed by Russia.
  • This led to an immediate protest in the state of Ukraine by the majoritarian people which brings out a revolution in the year 2014 known by the name of Ukraine revolution / revolution of dignity/maiden revolution/orange revolution.
  • This led to the removal of the then president of Ukraine Victor Yanukovych and he then fled to Russia and seek asylum. Hence new government came to power in Ukraine.
  • Russia became unhappy with the revolution and strongly suspects USA behind such protest.
  • In response to the Ukrainian Revolution, the minorities started fighting against Ukraine and immediately Ukraine armies started suppressing them.
  • Russia came in support of the minorities, which led to a conflict between Ukraine and Russian army.
  • Russia occupied entire Crimea and the liberation of Crimea thus happened in the aftermath of the dismissal of Victor Yanukovych.
  • Russia then conducted plebiscite in which 97% of Crimean people were interested with Russia rather than being with Ukraine.
  • But at the same time western countries were not agreed with such a plebiscite.
  • After the liberation of Crimea, the western countries came together and signed a peace agreement which came to be known by the name MINSK AGREEMENT (MINSK AGREEMENT 1 AND MINSK AGREEMENT 2).
  • Front runners of this peace agreement – Ukraine, Russia, Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) where, France and Germany were the initiators of this agreement.
  • Unfortunately, both Russia and Ukraine didn’t accept the Minsk agreement because Ukraine didn’t agree to Russia’s proposal of power devolution to the Donbas region.


·         There must be a bilateral cease fire between both Russia as well as Ukraine

·         To immediately release all the hostage and illegally detained people on both the sides

·         To take some of the measures in improving the humanitarian condition in the Donbas region

·         To withdraw illegal armed groupings and military equipment’s and fighters etc

·         To adopt a programme for the reconstruction of Donbas region

·         There must be a democratic process in the Donbas region through the conduct of elections and fulfil the legitimate right of Luhansk and Donetsk people


  • Ukraine, even after its independence in 1991 repeatedly stated its intention to become a NATO member state as the membership with NATO would significantly increase Ukraine’s international military backing.
  • In the year 2008, NATO leaders promised Ukraine that they will accommodate Ukraine into the NATO.
  • After 2014, new president of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko came into power and who himself was a pro-western president and wanted Ukraine to join the NATO grouping.
  • Russia says that NATO had earlier made a promise in post 1991 period that they will not spread their presence to the eastern side.
  • Despite such promise, many states after the disintegration of USSR like Hungary, Czech Republic, Bulgaria etc had joined the NATO.



·         The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance between 30 member states(military grouping of the western countries) – 28 European and two North American.

·         Established in the aftermath of World War II, the organization implements the North Atlantic Treaty, which was signed in Washington, D.C., on 4 April 1949. 

·         NATO is a system of collective security: its independent member states agree to defend each other against attacks by third parties. During the Cold War, NATO operated as a check on the perceived threat posed by the Soviet Union.


·         In response to NATO, the Soviets developed an alliance system in 1955 as part of their own containment policy, which came to be known as the Warsaw Pact. 

·         This alliance included the Soviet Union, Poland, East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, and Albania.

·          Not every country joined the new alliances, however. India, for example, chose to remain unallied with either side.

·         China, the world’s largest communist country, came to distrust the Soviet Union and remain unallied same like that of India.




  • In 2021 the new president ofUkraine, Volodymyr Zelensky stated their intention to speed up the proposal of joining Ukraine with NATO.
  • Ukraine considers its eastern part as a separatist force and fears that they might take the entire Ukraine to Russia.
  • Membership would draw Ukraine more firmly toward Europe, making it more likely that Ukraine could join the European Union — another policy goalfor Ukraine.
  • Membership would also help the country build a closer relationship with the U.S. Joining the alliance would also pull Ukraine further away from Russia’s sphere of influence.


  • Russia does notsupport with the decision of Ukraine to join NATO as the latter serves as a buffer state between Russia and the west in containing the adversaries.
  • Russia needed to get an assurance from USA that the Ukraine will not be accepted as a member of NATO forces and also wanted NATO not to get expanded even to Georgia as well.
  • The argument of USA was that NATO policy is an ‘open-door policy’ and the interested countries can join the group, therefore NATO is not in a position to give such an assurance to Russia that it will not expand to Georgia.


  • Russia concluded a bilateral exercise with Belarus and then amassed huge number of forces in both north Ukraine and eastern Ukraine and it then moved forward and attacked Ukraine from the Donbas region. Russia even recognises both Donetsk and Luhansk as independent regions.


Russia considers Ukrainian people as their cultural brothers since they share the same lineage. Apart from the similarity of belonging to the same shared culture, Ukraine commands a lot of geostrategic significance as well.

  • Ukraineis the second most important country after Russia during the USSR years. Ukrainian port cities are important in both economic and military sense, for example – The Ukrainian coastal city of Sevastopol located in the Crimean Peninsula serves as a major naval base for the Russian navy.
  • Economically Ukraine is a major manufacturer of ballistic missiles, large transport planes and launch pads for space carriers. In this sense it is a major player in the field of weapons systems.
  • Ukraine is also a major producer and exporter of steel, a product vital to the global economy particularly for ship building and the auto industry.
  • Ukraine is a major transit point for oil and gas coming from Russia and Central Asia to the EU. Most of the gas and oil pipelines carrying hydrocarbon products to the EU from Russia pass through the country.
  • Ukraine is a major agricultural hub. Its flat plains, plateaus and fertile black soil (considered the best in Europe) are good for food production and animal husbandry
  • Security threat – The intention of Ukraine to become part of NATO poses serious security threat for Russia as its adversary forces such as the USA will advance further east.


  • At present, not all the western countries support NATO’s decision to include Ukraine. Some NATO members like France and Germany were of the opinion that it is not the right time to accommodate Ukraine into NATO rather, should consider Russian concerns because Russia is having good trade relations with some of the western countries.


  • India’s response in 2014 when Russia annexed Crimea was that it didn’t stand against Russia and abstained from voting at the UNSC.
  • In the present scenario also, India is not supporting either Russia or the USA and instead remaining as a neutral power because, India wants to maintain a balance in relation between both Russia as well as with USA.
  • Russia is a close ally of India as the former is –
  • The Largest defence supplier to India
  • The Balancing force between India and China
  • Having an age-old relation both in terms of trade and in defence
  • Hence India needs to persuade its ally Russia –
  • To Settle the dispute in a way of negotiable peaceful settlement
  • To Respect the security aspects on both sides
  • To utilise all possible diplomatic channels for settling the dispute
  • To Implement the Minsk agreement at the earliest.


Some political scholars believe this conflict as the ‘conspiracy of USA ‘as it is in a dire need to sell its arms While others were of the opinion that Russia can’t claim its historical legacy to substantiate the present-day expansion. The best course of action for all the stakeholders is to step back and hold discussions and deliberations, rather than divide the world and return it to the days of the Cold War era.


The security alliances create more security threats rather than protection. Critically examine the above statement in the context of Russia- Ukraine Conflict.(150 Words, 10 Marks)

OBC Caste Census


Recently there was a rising demand from especially the regional parties in North as well as South India to release the Caste Census Data which was collected in 2011 under the Socio Economic and Caste Census (SECC). Also states such as Maharashtra, Odisha and Bihar have demanded to include Caste Census in the upcoming Census collection.


  • An Overview

A population Census is a decadal process(once in ten years) where various information such as family details, economic status, religion, etc are collected, calculated and analyzed for various policy implementation and to understand the population pattern.

  • Who conducts the Census?

The Census is conducted by the Registrar General and Census Commissioner under the Ministry of Home Affairs which will split it among two Ministries which are Ministry of Rural Development and Ministry of Urban Housing and Poverty Alleviation. However, the raw caste data was handed over to Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment by the Ministry of Home Affairs for categorizing and classifying various castes.

Fig: Ministries involved in Census.

  • History of Census

When we consider the history of population data collection, we find that it was prescribed way back in 500 AD in Kautilya’sArthashastra and also during the Mughal period in Akbar’s Ain- i Akbari. However, a modern way census was started only by late 1860s.

A Population Census as now happening every 10 years was conducted first in 1872.


The first Caste Census was conducted by the British in 1931 and it was found that there are over 4,147 castes in India. After that, in the post independent India it was conducted in 2011 where it was found that more than 46 lakhs of caste exist today in India. In 2010 both houses of the Parliament passed a special resolution to conduct the Caste Census of India, namely Socio- Economic Caste Census. The Census was conducted and the raw caste data was handed over to the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment for categorization and classification of caste.

While classifying the caste various errors were detected where one particular caste itself was misspelled or mispronounced making it duplicate and thus adding it into a new caste category.For instance, the caste Ezhava if misspelled as Ezhva, Ezava or Ezheva will be made into individual caste categories thus multiplying the number of existing castes in India. The errors implicated in the Caste Census are the reason why the government does not want to release it yet. A further division of the castes into sub castes make it even more cumbersome in a diverse country like India.

The SECC was released in 2015 exempting the Caste census from it.

The Maharashtra Government appealed to the Supreme Court and demanded that the Caste data to be released and also to consider the caste of every citizen to be considered because as of now only the SC/ST is considered as per the President Order under the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order 1950 and the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order 1950.

The states of Odisha and Bihar are also demanding that the Caste data be considered from the next census onwards.


The Economic Census is conducted by the Ministry of Statistics and Program Implementation. It is conducted every 5 years and is crucial in analyzing the economic activities, geographical pattern, agriculture, ownership of land, entrepreneurship and other associated economic activities. It was first conducted in 1992. The 2011 census was the 4th Economic Census and second Caste Census in the country.

Fig: Economic Census timeline.


Indian society is a caste-ridden society. As per the President Order under the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order 1950 and the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order 1950, only the castes of SC and ST are collected while taking the census. While the OBCs also constitute a major part of the population which is more than 52%, the caste information of the OBCs are not collected which is crucial for framing policies.

Thus, two commissions were set up to look into the issues of OBCs.

1) Kaka Kalelkar Commission, 1953

Being one of India’s first Commissions for the Backward Castes, it was set up to identify the backward castes. It made some important recommendations such as,

  • Devising caste wise enumeration.
  • Considering women as backward.
  • Understanding the concept of ‘backwardness in a traditional Hindu hierarchy.
  • 70% reservation for qualified students from Backward communities in technical and educational institutions.
  • Bringing in extensive land reform programs such as Bhoodan Movement and other framing other economic measures to uplift the OBCs.
  • Minimum vacancies for OBCs based on various classes within the OBC.

However, the recommendations were rejected due to lack of objective test for the identification of Backward Class.

2) BP Mandal Commission, 1979

It was set up to identify the socially and educationally backward classes by collecting various necessary data and evidence. The backwardness was calculated based on three criterias such as social, educational and economic factors. It was found that 52% of the Indian population constituted of               OBC and thus the commission prescribed reservation of 27% of jobs under various Government and public sector undertaking exclusively for the OBC.

However, the decisions were challenged under Indra Swahney Judgement which said that the recommendations violated the Right to Equal opportunity. It also argued that caste cannot be an indicator of backwardness and cited that the efficiency of public institutions will be at risk upon implementing the recommendations. But the Supreme Court upheld that caste was an acceptable indicator of backwardness and the commission recommendations were finally implemented in 1992.

3) Justice Rohini Committee

This committee was appointed for the sub categorization of the OBC castes but in the absence of a reliable and error proof caste data, it was not possible.


The Indian society is a caste ridden society. The Constitution was framed in such a manner where a positive discrimination or affirmation was show cased in Articles 15 and 16 to promote the welfare of socially and educationally backward classes.

Under the Constitution, SC/ST Reservation is allotted according to the quota ie; Reservation is always directly proportional to the population of SC/ST.

But, as an exception, in some states such as North Eastern states reservation is given up to 80%.

Meanwhile we also have another Supreme Court Judgement which states that Reservation should not cross above 50%. But in an extraordinary instance where the tribal population is exceeding, reservation can be given up to 80%. Reservation of SC/ST in Lok Sabha and State Assembly is in proportion with their population and their reservation to Rajya Sabha is not mentioned. When the same implies for the OBC, no reservation is mentioned at Lok Sabha and in case of State Assembly, it is done in a non- synchronous manner.

The 73rd and 74th Amendment says provides for the reservation of the SC/ST but it does not mention the reservation regarding the OBC.

Article 340 empowers the President to create a committee to look into the socio-economic matters of the OBC. For looking into the affairs of the SC and ST also the President can appoint a Committee under Article 338 and 339 respectively.

In Indra Swahney Judgement, it was clearly mentioned that the reservations are not proportional but for an adequate representation. Based on this adequate representation formula, we have given 27% of reservation for the OBC when we find a 52% of population belongs to OBC according to the 1931 Caste Census data.


  • For an affirmative action:

When we have the right data in hand, the right policies and actions can be put into place thus bringing in more productive decisions.

  • Reservation Extension:

For extending any reservation, a quantifiable data is to be presented before the Supreme Court.

Example: Nagaraj Case, 1997.

In 1997, an amendment was made to the Constitution to provide promotions in reservations which was struck down by the Mandal Judgement. Later, to bring in such a reservation, an amendment was made again which was challenged by Nagaraj Case.

  • Policy Making Benefit.

Having the Caste data will help in understanding if the resources from the government are going to the targeted group or community of people for whom it is meant for.

  • Understanding the size of OBC population.

Understanding the size of OBC population will help in making crucial decisions like reservation policy and better implementation of socio –economic welfare programs.

  • Understanding income disparity among the population. Oxfam Report 2020 projects that 10% of the population owns 74.3% of wealth while 40% owns 22.9% and 50% of the population owns only 2.8% of wealth.


  • Not feasible and the process is cumbersome.

For example, in the state of Maharashtra alone, when the caste data was collected, it was found that there are over 1 lakh castes. In such a scenario

  • Reservation is not an upliftment program, it is a social justice instrument.

Initially the policy of reservation was extended only to the SCs and STs and with time it was extended to the OBCs as well who constitute the major part of the Indian population. Despite having a Supreme Court rule that states reservation should not exceed 50%, how will it be possible to reach the stage of fair share amongst various castes and sub castes who demand their upliftment? Moreover, rather than considering reservation as an instrument of social justice, it is considered as an economic benefit which takes away the true essence of reservation.

  • Increases caste consciousness rather than castelessness.

Increasing number of caste organizations and groups create more caste consciousness rather than caste annihilation.

  • Source of conflict and uprise.

In most cases it is found that rather than using the caste data to provide benefit to the people, caste is used as tool for politics and is misused in such a manner that it more vertical divisions in the society.


When a crucial exercise like Caste Census is conducted, one should make sure that it does not create more caste deviations and problems rather benefit the people for whom it is meant and in being an instrument in framing better policies and better implementation of those policies. Will this Caste Census provide benefit to the targeted group? Are we really going for more equality or inequality through this whole process? The ultimate goal of Caste Census is to create a society that would provide equal educational and employment opportunity. It will also help us to put in the right socio- economic measures and in making it reach the people who actually deserve it and thus strive for a more egalitarian society.


The Policy of Reservations will be meaningful only if it reaches the targeted sections.Critically examine the necessity of sub-categorization of OBCs and SC/STs. (15 marks, 250 words)



Recently in the state of Telangana’s Khammam, online voting or e-voting was tested for the first time by the Telangana Election Commission. It was one of India’s first e-voting dry run which emerged a success with 60% of the people able to cast their vote in their first attempt except the rest of them having technical glitches at the time of registration.


After India attained independence in 1947, when the need arose to conduct the general elections to truly represent a democratic nation, an Election Commission was set up in 1949 as provided by the Article 324 by the Constitution of India and it was formally constituted in 1950. A legislation was passed by the Parliament in 1950 in consultation with the Election Commission of India to give a legal framework for the General Elections which is named as Representation of People’s Act, 1950 and RPA, 1951.

Representation of People’s Act, 1951 monitors the entire process of Election and the Act itself gives power to the Election Commission of India.

In the beginning times Ballot system was followed to cast the vote where the people will cast their vote by dropping a paper that marks their vote inside the box that reads the name of the desired party. Ballot system will work well for Panchayat and local elections. But, in a vast country like India, is it possible to conduct General Elections by counting the papers manually without any error? With increasing population, it is a task similar to boiling the ocean to still continue with the ballot system and hence Electronic Voting Machines were brought into the election scenes.


The process to implement EVMs was conceived in 1977. It is manufactured by the Electronics. Corporation of India in collaboration with Bharat Electronics Limited.

The Representation of People’s Act, 1951 was amended to facilitate the use of Electronic Voting Machines. EVMs were used for the first time in Paravur Constituency in Kerala for 50 polling stations in 1982 General Elections.

Advantages of using EVM

  • Time saving to cast the vote and as a result the election results can be declared at the earliest.
  • Bogus Voting and Booth capturing can be reduced.
  • As EVMs are stand-alone machines, it cannot be connected to any other device via Bluetooth, Wifi or any other cable connections.
  • Easier to transport.
  • Invalid and doubtful votes can be eliminated.
  • It’s simple calculating technology makes easy to be operated by the polling personnel and also for the voters who are even illiterate.
  • Sturdy enough to withstand bad climatic conditions.
  • Eco friendly and reduced cost of printing.
  • Date and Time stamping facility.

Concerns posed by EVMs

There was an argument that the Representation of People’s Act, 1951 did not provide for the use of any electronic devices or machines in the conduct of elections. So why should we use it? Moreover, security issues were raised by the politicians and some political parties in 2015 citing that the EVMs can be tampered.

To address this issue, the Election Commission of India conducted a demonstration with all representatives of the parties present and explained the working of an EVM which consist of a chip. The ECI (Election Commission of India) also asked them to tamper the EVM without touching it which is not possible at any cost.  The whole program that controls the function of an EVM is a chip on a “one-time programmable basis”. Changing the chip can tamper the EVM but it is not possible and the EVMs are sealed in front of the candidates. An attempt to burn any particular code on the chip will render the whole chip unusable. Once the chip is burned, it cannot be read, copied or altered. A dynamic coding is used by the EVMs to enhance the security of the data transmitted from ballot unit to a control unit. The doubts regarding the tampering of the EVMs will only raise mistrust in the election system.

VVPAT (Voter Verified Paper Audit Trial)

VVPAT is a verifiable machine that allows the voter to understand if their vote was casted or not and also renders the information such as the date and time of the moment their vote was casted. The receipts from the VVPAT will be collected by the Election officer or the Returning officer which can be used to verify in case of any fraud. The votes will be counted randomly with the receipts to check if there is any disparity in the number of votes casted. Vast disparity if found will brought to the notice of Election Commission and necessary action will be taken.

Counter checking the slips or receipts will also increase and build the confidence of the people. Ballots and EVMs have indeed made the whole administration process simpler in Election. But what has been done to allow more people to participate in voting?


Democratization can happen only when every citizen of the country participates in voting. E- Voting allows those people who are far away from the designated polling stations to cast their vote from the comfort of their places. There will be a double layer protection and security as the biometric information such as face recognition or finger print should match with the information encoded in the Aadhar. Only one vote can be casted using one aadhaar. This will indeed attract more voters to participate. India is in a testing phase to bring in this technology while countries like USA, Argentina have already implemented this procedure.


  • Exercise of Article 326:

It will enable any citizen of India across any geographical position to exercise their adult suffrage.

  • Incorporation of all voters:

It will enable all type of voters such as General Voters and Service Voters to cast their vote.

  • Convenience to Vote:

Even if the voter is in an emergency situation, he/she can cast the vote without needing to be physically present.

For instance, Armed Forces Personnel, Police Officers, Diplomats on a mission who are the service voters can avail this facility.

NRI Voters who are citizens of India temporarily residing outside India can also cast their vote through E-Voting. NRIs implication is completely a different sphere which requires a deeper discussion.

  • Decrease in error:

The impersonification of Voter can be eliminated to its whole extent as biometric data is mandatory and fake vote cannot be casted.


  • Lack of trust and reliability:

In a digital world today, there is a cyber risk involved in almost everything so does is in the case of E- Voting.

  • Use of Block chain technology:

Along with increased security comes the increased chance to be hacked.

  • Privacy Concern:

The fragile data such as biometrics are used and stored in e- voting process which if hacked can turn disastrous and also turn in contrast with the right to privacy which is already a controversial topic.

  • Lack of Digital Literacy

The citizens need to be made understood of the whole process before putting such an initiative into effect.

  • Internet Accessibility and Digital Infrastructure

There are remote areas in India where e- voting is a giant leap but the digital infrastructure needs to be improved by enabling internet access and other facilities.


The right use of technology along with strict security and ethical values can bring in effective and efficient voting system in India and also make the essence of adult suffrage to be practiced at its best by providing a secure platform for every citizen above the age of 18 to cast their vote. The E Voting will bring in a better inclusion in voting sphere by allowing the ones living in remote rural areas, the disabled and the NRIs cast their vote.


Do you think that difficulties in physical access to polling stations is a main cause for less voter turnout in the elections? Discuss the role of technological intervention in solving this problem.(250 Words, 15 Marks)



The Election Laws (Amendment) Act, 2021 amended the Representation of the People Act, 1950 and the Representation of the People Act, 1951 and it received the assent of the President on the 29th of December 2021.


  • Constitution has not mentioned any specific provisions regarding the manner of conducting elections.
  • The Constitution has delegated the power to Parliament to devise legislations for conducting free and fair elections.
  • Consequently, Parliament has passed the legal frameworks called the Representation of the People Act, 1950, and the Representation of the People Act, 1951.

Representation of the People Act, 1950

The legislation has the following provisions:

  1. The act provides for the allocation of seats in the House of the People and in the Legislative Assemblies and Legislative Councils of States.
  2. It lays down procedures for the delimitation of constituencies.
  3. The act lays down the qualification of voters.
  4. It lays the procedure for the preparation of electoral rolls and the manner of filling seats.

Representation of the People Act, 1951

The legislation has the following provisions:

  1. This act deals with provisions like qualification and disqualification of members of both houses of Parliament and the state legislatures.
  2. It has provisions for the actual conduct of elections and by-elections.
  3. It also provides provisions to curb corrupt practices and other offenses.
  4. It provides the procedure for settling doubts and disputes arising out of elections.
  5. It provides administrative machinery for conducting elections.


  1. Curb Bogus votes
  • In order to eliminate the menace of multiple enrolments of the same individual at different places for casting electoral votes.
  1. Free and fair electoral system
  • To ensure that the electoral is free from malpractices and to conduct free and fair elections from local levels to Parliamentary elections.
  1. Constitutional Right
  • Under Article 326 and 61 st Constitutional Amendment, provides the Right to vote once a person attains the age of 18 years.
  • The electoral Laws amendment act 2021 was made to ensure enrolment of those who attain 18 years without delay and thereby enjoying their Constitutional Rights.
  1. Gender parity
  • The recent amendment introduced changes to make the legislation gender neutral.


  1. Linking electoral roll data with Aadhaar

Existing provision

  • The RPA 1950 Act provides that a person may apply to the electoral registration officer for the inclusion of their name in the electoral roll of a constituency.
  • For that, the applicant has to submit an authenticated ID proof for verifying the age and address of the same.
  • After verification, if the officer is satisfied that the applicant is entitled to registration, he will direct the applicant’s name to be included in the electoral roll.  


  • The new amendment made a provision that the Electoral Registration Officer may require a person to furnish their Aadhaar number for establishing their identity. The main purpose of furnishing Aadhaar in this case is for identification.
  • If that person is already existing in the electoral roll, then the Aadhaar number may be required for authentication of entries in the roll. Thus, the purpose of furnishing Aadhaar, in this case, is for authentication.
  • However, persons will not be denied inclusion in the electoral roll or have their names deleted from the roll if they are unable to furnish Aadhaar Proof.
  • So, the provision provides a choice for the applicant or it can be said that submitting Aadhaar is not mandatory.
  • But there must be a sufficient cause as prescribed by the Union government for not furnishing the Aadhaar proof.
  • Such persons may be permitted to furnish alternate documents prescribed by the central government.

Why is Aadhaar to be furnished?

  • The Aadhaar proof is unique in nature. It has the details of the iris and fingerprints of that particular person.
  • By using such proof, the government can eliminate unscrupulous activities to an extent.
  1. Qualifying date for enrolment in the electoral roll

Existing provisions

  • Under the 1950 Act, the qualifying date for enrolment in the electoral roll is January 1 of the year in which such roll is being prepared or revised.
  • This will result in a situation where a person who turns 18 after January can enroll in the electoral roll only when the roll is prepared/ revised the next year.
  • Thus, a person getting 18 years in the month of March has to wait 9 months to avail their Constitutional Rights under Article 326- Right to vote.


  • The new amendment provides four qualifying dates in a calendar year, which will be January 1, April 1, July 1, and October 1.
  • This will give an opportunity for all individuals who are turning 18 years for enrolment qualification without much delay.
  1. Gender-neutral provisions

Existing provisions

  • Under RPA 1950 Act, certain persons who are ordinarily resident in a constituency can register on electoral rolls.
  • Such persons include those holding a service qualification, such as members of the armed forces or central government employees posted outside India.
  • The wife or wives of such persons are also deemed to be ordinarily residing in the same constituency if they reside with them.
  • Thus, this act enables the wife of a person holding a service qualification to vote either in person or by postal ballot.


  • The new amendment replaces the term ‘wife’ with ‘spouse’ in both Acts.
  • This particular amendment provision ensures greater gender parity at the electoral level.


  1. Lack of reliable statistics- The union government is not having clear-cut data on bogus and fraudulent votes taking place.
  2. Against Privacy
  • The recent amendment of linking the electoral roll with Aadhaar would lead to infringement of the privacy of citizens.
  • The Supreme Court stated under K.S. Puttaswamy v/s Union of India in 2017 that the Right to Privacy is protected as an intrinsic part under Article 21-Right to Life and Personal liberty
  • In 2018, Supreme Court mandated that Aadhaar enrolment be used only for receiving government welfare benefits. It is basically to curb the leakages of subsidies provided to the needy ones.
  1. Absence of Data Protection Legislation
  • The long pending Data Protection Bill in the parliament is a major cause of concern.
  • Since Aadhaar contains crucial information related to a person such as iris and biometric information, the mere use of Aadhaar data cannot be allowed.
  • There might be high chances of misuse of personal information without proper legislative frameworks.
  1. Absence of real choice
  • Although linking Aadhaar is not mandatory, the reasons for not linking have to be aligned with the prescribed causes of the Union government.
  1. Against the Voting right.
  • If a person is not interested in linking the enrolment data with Aadhaar, there might be some roadblocks and procedural constraints in case their reason was not aligned with prescribed causes.
  1. Previous rulings of the Supreme Court
  • In 2015, the Election Commission of India started a pilot project of linking electoral rolls with Aadhaar. However, the Supreme Court has stopped the process on account of doubt about the credibility of Aadhaar. Moreover, there were no Privacy related measures since the Puttaswamy case has not been passed during the said period.
  • In 2017, a nine bench of the Supreme court in justice ‘K.S. Puttaswamy vs Union of India’ held that privacy is a natural right and it is an intrinsic part of the Right to life and liberty under Article 21. Therefore, linking the electoral roll with Aadhaar tend to violate the fundamental right “Right to Privacy”.


  1. The recent amendments are made to ensure a free and fair election in letter and spirit.
  2. To curb bogus votes and to make representative democracy without any fraudulent activities.
  3. There is no need to misinterpret Supreme Court’s judgment.
  4. There is a voluntary choice for the citizens in linking electoral roll data with Aadhaar. It is not a mandatory provision.


  1. Case of multiple Aadhaar
  • As per the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), the chances of multiple Aadhaar cards are not possible. But there is a clause of prosecution if a person holds multiple Aadhaar cards.
  • It is because of the disruptive technologies, that there are chances that it can be tampered with and can have multiple Aadhaar cards.
  • In 2020, the Gujarat High Court ordered in a case to find the original card where a person holding two Aadhaar cards at the same time.
  1. Multiple votes
  • There are chances that a person can have votes at different places if the election is not conducted simultaneously.
  • For example, a person registered in the Urban area often comes to cast vote in the rural election. It is because the political parties are practicing politics without ethics and register the name of people in urban areas under the rural electoral list. Since the election is taking place not on the same date, the original urban folks would again register their names under the urban electoral list.
  • The same incident happens in the case of council elections also.
  • So, the question here is does the Aadhaar linking solve this problem?
  • Manipulation can happen since elections are taking place with some gaps between the localities. For this concern, the need is to invest in infrastructural facilities to conduct elections simultaneously or with reduced gaps.
  1. Address mismatch
  • Due to globalization, urbanization, and technological growth, people are changing their workplace, so the address also.
  • The frequent changing of the address will make an issue while linking the electoral roll data with Aadhaar.
  1. Vote by another person on behalf of a voter
  • Aadhaar linking cannot solve if a person votes on behalf of the real voter.
  • Booth capturing and illegal voting can be eliminated only when the Electoral officer is not manipulated.
  1. Deleting data of the deceased person
  • Municipalities or Gram panchayats while issuing the death certificate must send the information to the Electoral Registration Officer to remove the names of deceased ones.
  • Linking of Aadhaar is not having any particular advantage in this case.
  1. Other menaces- many issues are still existing. The recent amendments cannot clean the process completely.
  • Criminalisation of politics
  • Communalisation of Electoral rolls.
  • Money, Muscle, and Mafia power
  • Political corruption
  • Caste-based politics
  • Vote bank politics


  1. Regular facility
  • Create a facility to regularly verify electoral rolls to identify if there are missing names of voters.
  • Verifying electoral rolls prior to one week may not be able to change or add names to electoral rolls. Updating with a regular interval of time ensures no missing of votes.
  1. Infrastructural developments
  • Infrastructure in terms of human capital such as working staff, electronic voting machines, buildings, etc. needs to be improved.
  • It may help in conducting elections simultaneously. Thus, it helps in eliminating multiple votes for the same person at different places.
  1. Data Protection Act
  • Proper measures to be taken to enact the Data Protection Act so as to bring the confidence of the public.


It is necessary to make comprehensive legislation to make the election system more credible. The recent amendments are made with good intentions but are not sufficient to clean the entire electoral process. The Constitutional validity of the amendment itself is questioned and it is the honourable Supreme Court to decide the Constitutionality of the same.


Do you think that bogus voters are a serious challenge to the Indian electoral system? Critically explain how the recent amendment to the law to link voter ID with Aadhar solves the problem.(250 Words,15 Marks)



 Recently, the Union government proposed to amend the cadre rules of All India Services. Initially proposed only for Indian Administrative services, later Indian Police Services and Indian Forest services were also included to amend cadre rules.


  • All India services are one of the novel features of the Indian constitution.
  • The All-India Services (AIS) comprises three civil services:
  • The Indian Administrative Service
  • The Indian Police Service
  • The Indian Forest Service
  • A unique feature of the AIS is that the members of these services are recruited by the Union government, but their services are placed under various State cadres.
  • The allocation to different states after the personnel undergoes training under the union government is called Cadre allocation.
  • Though recruited by the union, the service is provided for the states. Salaries and allowances are paid by the state government. For this, the Union government would prescribe the rules for the same to ensure uniformity across the nation.
  • The Union government is having regulatory power over All India Services and disciplinary actions are taken by it.
  • However, temporary actions such as suspensions can be done by the state government.
  • Thus, officers under All India Service are accountable to serve both the Centre and the states.


  1. Federal principle

India is a quasi-federal polity combining both unitary and federal features. The responsibilities of both Center and State were codified under the Concurrent list under the 7th schedule of the Indian Constitution.

  1. Maintain Uniformity

The Union government recruits and allocates personnel to different states and enforces unity in diversity.

  1. Better policy formulation

Temporary deputation of All India Services to work under the Union government is beneficial. Because the direct recruitment of officers at the union level may not have ground-level knowledge. Deputation of officers after having field-level exposure would lead the officers to devise better policies.


  • Presently, the cadre allocation of Indian Administrative Services and Indian Police service under Cadre rules 1954 and Indian Forest Service under Cadre rules 1966.
  • These cadre rules would act as the basis for deciding the deputation of All India Services.
  • Here the amendments proposed are made to change the cadre rules and not the concerned acts themselves. Therefore, parliamentary approval is not needed.


  1. Allocation of officers to various cadres
  • The allocation of cadre officers to the various cadres shall be made by the Central Government in consultation with the concerned State Government.
  • The Central Government may, with the concurrence of the concerned State Government depute an officer from one cadre to another cadre.
  1. Deputation of cadre officers
  • A cadre officer may, with the concurrence of the State Governments concerned and the Central Government, be deputed for service under the Central Government or another State Government or under a company, association, or body of individuals, whether incorporated or not, which is wholly or substantially owned or controlled by the Central Government or by another State Government.
  • The deputation cannot be more than 40% of the cadre strength of concerned state government.
    1. Procedure for deputation
  • The state would have to obtain the list of interested officers who are willing to work under deputation and transfer the list to the union government.
  • Those officers who are selected from the pool have to obtain a No objection certificate from the state government.
  • The selected workers can work both at the union level and in other states as well for a limited period of time.
  • Provided that in case of any disagreement, the matter shall be decided by the Central Government and the concerned State Government shall give effect to it.
  • However, when the state government is not agreeing to the chosen list of officers, the entire procedure gets delayed and the Union government cannot take any decision under the cadre rules 1954.

For instance, the Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government refused to send three IPS officers on central deputation citing a shortage of IPS officers displayed thesame echo of a similar refusal by then Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa in 2001.Consequntly, the Central government has dropped the decision.

  • Though the whole procedure implies an overriding power for the union government, once the state government delayed the whole process, the Union government give away its plans of particular deputation.
  • Provision regarding maximum period for being out of the cadre and cooling off: –
  • Absence from the cadre shall not exceed more than 7 years and out of that seven, an officer can render service for five years continuously.
  • There shall be a mandatory “Cooling Off requirement of 3 years after the five years of central deputation.
  • After the completion of the regular 30 years of service, the officer can serve under central deputation until their superannuation. If the Union government intends to hold that person for any extra post, the officer can serve further.
  • The deputation process is undertaken by the Department of Personnel and Training for IAS officers, the Ministry of Home Affairs for IPS officers, and the Ministry of Environment and climate change for IFS officers.


  • Low number – Roughly the country has around 6000 IAS officers, but the officers under central deputation are around 450 officers only. The current estimates were less than 10 % as against 40% under cadre rules in 1954.
  • Delayed Procedure-The Union government is claiming that even though officers were interested to undergo central deputation, the state government is not relieving these officers. Therefore, there is a serious shortage of IAS officers at the Union level.


The amendments are proposed to Rule 6 of the (Cadre) Rules,1954

  1. Each state government shall make the list of available officers for central deputation. Every year, each state shall make the availability of central deputation reserve to the Union government.
  • Under the existing rules, only some states were sending their officers for central deputation.
  • The state cannot abdicate the responsibility and provide a central deputation reserve to the central government after seeking the consent of concerned officers.
  1. The Centre will decide the actual number of officers to be deputed to the Central government in consultation with the State and the latter should make eligible the names of such officers.

However, the central government has not made any recommendations about 40 % of cadre strength till now.

  1. In case of any disagreement between the Centre and the State, the matter shall be decided by the Central government and the State shall give effect to the decision of the Centre.
  2. if the State government delays posting a State cadre officer to the Centre within the specified time, “the officer shall stand relieved automatically from cadre from the date as may be specified by the Central government.”
  • For example: Without state government’s consent, an IPS officer from Tamil Nadu joined the central deputation. Consequently, the Tamil Nadu government suspended the officer as his cadre is Tamil Nadu.
  • But now the proposed amendment is giving a specified time period for the state government and the officer gets automatically relieved if the state government fails to act within the required time period.
  1. In specific situations where services of cadre officers are required by the Central government in “public interest,” the State shall give effect to its decisions within a specified time.
  • The union can choose any officer in a special case and the union government have the overriding power if the state government fails to approve the same.
  • If the officer is not interested, the Union government might take disciplinary actions against them.


  1. Against the federal principles- The proposed amendments were against the spirit of cooperative federalism.
  2. Interferes the administrative functioning- Sudden removal of officers from state government disrupts the continuum of policy in the pipeline.
  3. Arbitrary removal- Central government arbitrarily removes public servants who are biased toward the political executives of the state government.
  • For instance: The resignation of the chief secretary of West Bengal when he was called for central deputation.
  1. Consent of Officers not considered- The proposed amendment compels a state government to offer IAS officers for central deputation even when these officers themselves may not wish to go on central deputation.If the officers are not given consent, the central government might take disciplinary actions against theconcerned officer.


  • The central deputation is mostly a win-win situation for both central government and state government. The state governments are interested in deputing their own officers to be at the central level because the acquired expertise can be utilized for the development of the state as the officer has well-defined knowledge about the state requirements. The central government is getting experienced officers for better policymaking and the state government is getting required expertise that can be implemented in the state.
  • However, the politicization of the deputation process made many officers not abide by the rules and regulations. Finally, it led the central government to propose some amendments to deal with the shortage of personnel at the central level.
  • Moreover, the lack of conducive work culture at the central level also demotivates the officer to opt deputation.


  1. Recruitment- Union government should focus on increasing the number of vacancies and timely recruitment of officers to an optimal level.
  2. Better work culture- It is necessary to design the system to attract officers to the union level. The officers undergoing deputation are already experienced and the mere top-down approach might not attract the officers at the Union level.
  3. Proper cadre review- Prioritize the strategic positions and allocate the resources according to the importance of departments during the cadre review process.
  4. Downsizing of central departments- When the same subject is dealt with by both central and state governments such as concurrent lists subjects, subjects under the state list such as Agriculture are also dealt with by the union. So, it is advisable to downsize the departments at the union level. It will also help in avoiding the duplication and wastage of resources.
  5. Prudent hierarchical postings- It is better to utilize the existing government officers such as Group B officers for at least the lower levels like branches, divisions can reduce the demand for Union level officers.
  6. Conferred officers- Utilize the service of pooled conferred officers at least to the lower positions can achieve the demand-supply equilibrium of officers.
  7. Relax the stringent rules – Devise policies and flexible eligibility conditions to serve under the additional secretary/director-like posts. Strict conditions like serving two years under central deputation in between 9 -16 years of the service period may demotivate the concerned officers due to rigid policies.


The tussle between Union and state is to be solved through proper deliberations and discussions in the spirit of cooperative federalism by keeping the larger national interest in mind. The state government have to allocate an adequate number of officers for deputation and the union government has to change the work culture to attract the officers at the Union level.


Officers of All India Services are the steel frame of the Indian Administrative System. How do we address the challenges induced as a result of lowering the number of officers at the union level?  (150 Words, 10 Marks)