Category: Webinar



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)



 In recent times, the ongoing pandemic and the induced lockdown compounded the misery of rapid urbanization in India. Therefore, the NITI Aayog has started a process to manage urbanization and provides inputs for making India’s urbanization manageable, economically productive, environmentally appropriate, and equitable.


  • India is the second largest urban system in the world.
  • Around 11% of the global urban population living in India.
  • According to the 2011 Census, the Urban population is 29% of India’s population. At present, the population is in the range of 30-40%. As per the estimates of urban policymakers, it will become around 73% by 2036.
  • Presently, the urban areas are contributing around 50-60% of GDP and are estimated to reach 70% by 2030.
  • In 1947, the urban population was around 14% and in 2010, it has doubled to 30% as per the 2011 census. But now, the time required to increase the urbanization rate has drastically reduced; and the urban population would double within a decade or two.

Philosophical angle

  • Once Mahatma Gandhi said “India lives in its villages and not in towns; in huts not in palaces. He observed, “If the village perishes, India will perish too.
  • But the present situation highly speaks that India is living in its urban areas due to its massive opportunities for the growing aspirations of the population.








Push factors are those which motivate people to leave an area, especially the rural due to some reasons and shifts to urban areas.

Pull factors are the attractive factors by which an individual is attracted to change his place of living.

Social factors

·         Poverty

·         Patriarchal attitude

·         Wide gender disparity

·         Family faction and fends.

·         Prevalence of Caste system

Social factors

·         Better social environment

·         Women empowerment

·         Increased exposure

Economic factors

·         Lack of job opportunities.

·         Lack of security of life and property.

·         Absence of equal pay

·         Low living standard.



Economic factors

·         High standard of living.

·         Job opportunities.

·         Better security of life and property

·         Prevalence of Gig and platform

·         economy

Infrastructural deficits

·         Lack of transportation and communication.

·         Lack of health facilities.

·         Lack of educational facilities.

·         Lack of recreational facilities.

·         Worse sanitary conditions.

Better infrastructure

·         Health facilities.

·         High standard of education

·         Better recreational facilities

·         Better internet connectivity



  1. Unplanned urbanization
  • Major factors responsible for the process of urbanization include migration, better economic opportunities led to people settling down in already densely populated cities.
  • This rapid urbanization forces the government to build cities without proper planning and lacks proper infrastructure, public facilities, and employment opportunities.
  1. Pandemic-Induced Problems
  • The ongoing pandemic exacerbated the misery of urban poor or slum dwellers and severely affected the ability of slum dwellers to earn their living.
  1. Problem of Housing Creation of Slums
  • With large-scale migration to urban areas and lack of affordable housing leads many to stay as slum dwellers.
  • Slums are characterized by sub-standard housing, overcrowding, lack of electrification, ventilation, sanitation, roads, and drinking water facilities.
  1. Health
  • Slum areas have been the breeding ground of diseases, and the poor, unaffordable, and inaccessible health infrastructures are another major cause of concern.
  1. Over Crowding
  • Over-crowding encourages deviant behaviour, spreads diseases, and creates conditions for mental illness, alcoholism, etc.
  1. Drainage and Sanitation
  • Removing garbage, cleaning drains, and unclogging sewers are mostly done in an unplanned and unsystematic manner.
  • In most metropolitan areas, insufficient sewage infrastructure is observed concerning the rapid population growth.
  1. Pollution
  • Urban industry pollutes the atmosphere with smoke and toxic gases from its chimneys thereby increasing the chances of disease among the people living in the urban centers.
  1. Urban Crimes
  • Imbalance in resource availability that manifests itself in dearth of space, shelter, food, and basic amenities for the rising population leading to competition, rivalry, insecurity, and criminal mentality, especially among youths.
  1. Urban Heat Islands
  • Urban Heat Island is a major problem associated with rapid urbanization. It is due to rising warmer urban areas than their surrounding rural areas due to human activities.
  1. Urban Floods
  • The urban flooding is largely due to unplanned urbanization.
  • Many cities such as Hyderabad, Mumbai, and Chennai where urban floods have become a frequent phenomenon in recent years.
  • Overburdened drainage and unplanned construction with no regard to the natural topography and hydro-geomorphology are the growing reasons for urban floods.


  1. Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT)
  • Objective is to provide hard infrastructure for universal coverage of piped drinking water, sewerage, and green spaces and parks.
  1. National Heritage City Development & Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY) Mission
  • The aim is to rejuvenate the heritage cities, with special attention to others issues such as sanitation, tourism, and livelihood.
  1. Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana Housing for All (HFA) (Urban Mission)
  • It was launched to provide housing to all in urban areas by 2022.
  1. DeenDayalAntodaya Yojana– National Urban Livelihood Mission (DAY – NULM)
  • It aims at creating opportunities for skill development leading to market-based employment and helping the poor to set up self-employment ventures.
  1. Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban)
  • It is a key mission driving the campaign to make our cities clean.
  • It also proposes to eradicate manual scavenging, introduce modern and scientific solid waste management, induce behavioural change with respect to healthy sanitation practices and generate awareness for sanitation and its link to public health, augment the capacity of ULBs and create an enabling environment for the private sector in waste management.
  1. Developing Smart Cities
  • Smart Cities Mission aims at driving economic growth and improving the quality of life through area-based development and city-level smart solutions.
  • The mission would convert 100 existing cities into smart cities


  • The mission is a laboratory building “model cities”.
  • The development of a city is the joint responsibility of the central government, state government, and local government, and the “Model cities” are acting as skeletons for the development.
  • Model cities are based on three formulas
  1. People-centric approach
  2. Bottom-up up approach
  3. Not one size fit for all
  • A people-centric approach- By focussing on the basic necessities of the people and resolving these issues individually by developing basic infrastructures is the essence of the smart city mission
  • Prioritisation-The urban-centric development by prioritizing the areas and providing infrastructural facilities considering the local and spatial differences.
  • Based on master plans-The cities under this mission are selected on the basis of proposals from the concerned urban areas of the particular state. The proposal must include the master plan including the problems and measures for addressing the issues, the ability to mobilize resources, etc.
  • The central government has identified 100 cities based the efficient and viable plans.


  • Prioritize the selection- Based on the availability of resources, it is necessary to prioritize and expand the developments to Tier2 and Tier 3 cities along with Tier 1 cities.
  • Inter-coordination of Ministries-
  • Though smart cities are under the department of the Ministry of Urban Affairs, coordination among different ministries is needed for the holistic development of cities.
  • Engaging with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, State Governments as well as local governments on various issues, policies, and schemes are also required.
  • Indigenous Model-Choose an indigenous model of development by considering the unique characteristics of Indian society.
  • For example- Street vendors are a common phenomenon in Indian culture. Rather than simply adapting the foreign models, customizing the plans by incorporating them and building a separate street vending platform would safeguard their livelihoods and brings an Indianized culture.
  • Another example, is the city of Bhopal, under the smart city mission where they developed a busy business area for trade by addressing the necessity of the people and thereby Indianized the model.
  • Affordable Housing- Construction of a Rented housing system by builders and subsidies granted by the government for allocating the constructed house and rooms on a rental basis is a guiding approach.
  • It would ensure affordable housing conditions for urban migrants.
  • Resilience and sustainability –The model adopted for the development of urban areas must be sustainable and resilient.
  • Participation- Sustainable development of urban areas is possible only through the participation of people.
  • Develop Climate-smart cities-
  • Assessment of cities based on climate friendliness. Four components of climate-smart cities
  1. Water reuse
  2. Green cover
  3. Urban biodiversity
  4. Renewable energy
  • For example, the growing importance of urban biodiversity especially in the Delhi region due to its alarming air pollution and inhalation of toxic gases
  • Inculcate Indian value system-
  • Create a liveable city -Critical factors for liveable communities are: residents feeling safe, socially connected and included, and environmental sustainability
  • Connected neighbourhood- The positive action that can be taken to deal with the malaise of social fragmentation, isolation, loneliness, and anxiety.
  • Developing Green infrastructure and Equal access to all for availing public services.
  • Data Technology-
  • Use data management effectively and devise data-based policies for effective implementation.
  • For e.g.: Data warehousing
  • GIS model- Design the urban areas based on the Global Positioning System (GIS) /Geographic Information System (GIS) model.
  • Need for a master plan- According to NitiAayog, more than 60% of urban cities lack a master plan. Therefore, huge socio-economic losses due to unplanned construction of buildings and submergence of the same necessitate the need to have a master plan.


The need of the hour is the better formulation and implementation of new approaches to urban planning and effective governance for urban areas. Moreover, necessary actions should be taken to build sustainable, robust, and inclusive infrastructure. All these measures guide the country to achieve SDG 11 which promotes urban planning as a means for achieving sustainable development.


It is not the urbanisation but the urban development system that is posing new challenges, elucidate. Explain how Smart Cities Mission is addressing these challenges?(250 Words, 15 Marks)



The Sri Lankan economy has been facing a serious economic crisis owing to its Balance of Payments (BoP) problem. The country is struggling to pay for essential imports after its foreign exchange reserves saw a 70 percent drop in two years.


 The ongoing pandemic has influenced all nations across the world like Sri Lanka. But there are some specific reasons for the current economic crisis in Sri Lanka.


  1. Downfall of GDP growth rate
  • Sri Lanka is experiencing a long-term recession due to a continuous negative GDP growth The negative GDP rate worsened the economic health of the country.
  • It is because of the exorbitant prices for the essential commodities which resulted in the poor consumption of goods and services. It further reduced the overall production in the Sri Lankan
  1. External debt
  • The total amount of debt taken by the Government of Sri Lanka is about 115% of its GDP. Before the pandemic, it was around 90-95% of the
  • The entire GDP of Sri Lanka was around 85 billion
  • They procured loans beyond their tolerant
  1. Shortage of foreign exchange reserves
  • The foreign exchange reserves of Sri Lanka have fallen from around 7.5 billion dollars to just $2 billion at the end of February i.e., falling by 70% in two years, which can barely cover two months of
  1. Fiscal deficit
  • The fiscal deficit is the difference between the revenue and expenses in the economy. If an economy spends 100 rupees with a revenue of 80 rupees, the rest of 20 rupees is taken as a loan and it can be termed a fiscal
  • In Sri Lanka, the fiscal deficit is around 10% of the GDP, i.e., they are taking about 8 billion dollars as debt each
  1. Current Account Balance
  • The country is resorting to more imports as compared to Since the GDP growth is negative and there is not much production taking place to raise its exports.
  • It has a negative current account balance in the range of 3-5 % indicating it is a net
  1. Inflation
  • The country is experiencing inflation of around 15
  • The unplanned pumping of money into the economy and reduced production of goods and services fueled the inflationary trends in the
  • Even the availability of goods in the market cannot be increased through imports due to a shortage in foreign exchange


  1. Influence of Covid-19 pandemic
  • The tourism industry which accounts for about 10% of Sri Lanka’s GDP and the country’s third

largest foreign exchange earner has been hardly affected by the covid-19 pandemic.

  • The remittances from their diaspora were stopped due to Covid-19 lockdowns and the further downfall of the global economy. It has negatively affected the foreign exchange reserves of the
  • Covid-19 lockdown also negatively impacted the informal sector which accounts for nearly 60% of

the country’s workforce.

  1. Poor Fiscal policy
    • The government’s ban on the use of chemical fertilizers in farming to make Sri Lanka the first

country to fully adopt organic farming, led to a drastic drop in domestic food production, pushing up food prices.

  • It led to a reduction in tea exports, spices, and a shortage of food grains in the
  • It subsequently resulted in long queues of people in the


  1. Shortage of foreign direct investment
  • The country is not able to attract viable FDI from foreign
  • Beyond tourism and dependence on remittances, the country has not devised better policies for improving its economic stability.
  • The country is mostly depending on imports for their basic essential items and not even concentrated on improving its production
  • The country attracted limited investments and that too mostly from China as part of Chinese checkbook diplomacy. The inability to repay Chinese loans finally led to the 99-year leasing of the Hambantota port to China by Sri
  • Sri Lanka invited investments only in a few sectors such as real estate, tourism, Telecommunication, and ports which shrank their foreign currency reserves within the
  1. Poor monetary policy
  • There is a wide mismatch between goods produced and the amount of money available in the economy to procure these goods.

Money available in the market

Products available in the market

Rupees per product

10 rupees

10 numbers

1 rupee per product

100 rupees

10 numbers

10 rupees per product

10 rupees

1 number

10 rupees per product


Fig: Table shows poor equilibrium between the money available in economy and products available in the market.

  • In this scenario, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka pumped more currency despite the limited availability of the products in the
  • This step worsens the economic situation and inflated the prices of even essential commodities. Because there is more money chasing few available goods which spiked the prices of the
  • It further depreciated the value of the Sri Lankan currency and now, One Sri Lankan Rupee is equal to 355.36 (as of date 27th July 2022).
  • They have even canceled the student’s examination on account of the inability to procure enough

pens, papers, and pens.


  1. Illegal nexus between politics and business
  • Sri Lanka after its independence from the British in 1948 gave importance to the public
  • The country is having constitutional multi-party socialistic republic policy. The government itself started the business with public sector
  • Conflict of interest arises among people holding the positions and their personal interests which made the situation
  • By 1971, there was political instability leading to a communist revolution 1971-1972.
  • The civil war on account of the Tamil crisis between Sinhalese and Sri Lankan Tamils from 1971 to 2009 exacerbated the financial
  • However, hidden political agenda led to backdoor postings to top positions with no meritocracy resulting in poor policy formulation and
  • The vested interest never allowed private participation in its
  • Consequently, the country developed the habit of depending on external loans for meeting their day-to-day operations such as providing subsidies and paying salaries to the people.
  • Moreover, this external debt has not been utilized for creating capital infrastructure in the
  • The World Bank recommended the nation to utilize the debt for the creation of long-term assets in the
  • Education sector- The education in the country is also more confined to Arts and general education and very less technical education is given to the students. It may negatively affect the skill sets available in the market and incur low technical upgradation in the long
  • In addition to this, around 80 percent of lands were under the control of the Sri Lankan
  • The country has not even fully connected with the global supply chain
  • The parochial interest of the Gotabaya Rajapaksa government after the Civil war in 2009 led to corrupted leaders in governance finally resulting in financial
  • All these elements together come into the picture after the global pandemic and its sudden influence on the


  • The Sri Lankan government is blaming the present condition of the country due to hoarding by the The practice of hoarding led to artificial scarcity in the economy which is responsible for the entire crisis.
  • However, the government fails to address the reason behind the scarcity or why the people resorted to hoarding for meeting their essential
  • The Sri Lankan government finally requested India and China to grant credits for meeting their essential
  • India provided Sri Lanka with a USD 1 billion line of credit (LoC) for procuring food, medicines, and, other essential
  • Sri Lanka has signed a Currency swap agreement with India and the Reserve Bank of India had announced a USD 400 million currency swap to help Sri
  • Currency swap agreements are agreed for trading in their own local currencies, where both countries pay for import and export trade, at the pre-determined rates of exchange, without bringing in a third country currency like the US Dollar.
  • Finally, Sri Lanka has reached IMF support despite their initial reluctance. However, IMF loans always come with conditionality which is very necessary for achieving economic stability for Sri


  1. Fiscal consolidation
  • Spend money on creating capital infrastructures rather than spending on unwanted revenue
  • Abide by the conditionality of IMF for better financial discipline in the long
  • Develop forex reserves by reorienting its structural
  • Maintain financial prudency in the overall functioning of the
  • Monetary policy
    • Improved autonomy in the performance of the Central Bank is the need of the
    • Expert advice should be sought before adopting monetary measures since the untimely supply of

currency aggravated the financial status of the country.

  1. Banking sector
  • Independence to be provided for the banking sector to take decisions in granting loans, especially to corporates.
  • Earlier, the banking sector which was completely under government control has to abide by the decisions of government authority and grant loans to those companies which are insisted by the government despite their poor financial
  • It resulted in the burgeoning of Non-Performing Assets (NPA) within the
  1. External sector
  • Design domestic policies to attract more FDIs in various
  • Devise better policies to improve corporate
  • Initiate structural frameworks to start production within the country to meet the country’s needs

rather than depending on imports.

  • Use the demographic potential and available skill sets in the
  1. Diversification of the export policy to raise foreign reserves of the
  2. Develop a virtuous cycle- Promote domestic savings and raise investments from these savings and further promote savings in the country and then further investments.
  3. Always learn from the past experiences and trends of other countries to not repeat the failures and

adopt successful measures.

  1. Gradual introduction of new policies to avoid economic shocks in the

For example: if the policy is better to eliminate chemical fertilizers, organic farming has to be introduced gradually as natural farming tends to give results much later. Moreover, it will not affect the food security of the country too.


  1. Crisis as an Opportunity
  • India, the largest democratic country, needs to be extremely patient and engage with Sri Lanka more regularly and
  • There is also a need to step up our people-centric developmental activities while staying away

from any interference in Sri Lanka’s domestic affairs.

  • The crisis should be used as an opportunity to negotiate with Sri Lanka to abandon their swinging attitude between China and India according to the
  • For example- Still Sri Lanka is confused with their oil infrastructure policy at Trincomalee with the Indian
  • The strategic position of Sri Lanka in the mid of the Indian Ocean make the country more vital to
  1. Geo-political significance
  • The IMF loans with conditions will necessarily improve the Sri Lankan financial
  • However, the western favored IMF tends to devise policies that might result in the Dominance of western nations in Sri
  • It will negatively impact India’s strategic interest by occupying the region by another power

instead of China in the region.

  1. Devise better policies to help neighboring countries of
  • For Instance, the non-reciprocal assistance to other countries under the “Gujral doctrine” of India bridges the trust deficit and can overtake China’s Chequebook
  1. Mass exodus of Sri Lankans raises the refugee problems in
  2. Chances of rising anti-social elements and terrorism can happen mostly in poorly governed
  • For instance- The Easter attack in 2019 in
  1. Indian investors who are doing business and projects on Sri Lankan soil are at
  2. Moreover, the bilateral trade and exports of around 4 billion dollars might affect
  3. Cultural interest- India is having its cultural connections with Sri Lankan India often demanded more political representation for them and active implementation of 13 th Amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution. In this situation, the Sri Lankan Tamils would also face a lot of struggles due to the current economic crisis is a major concern for India.


The need of the hour is to undertake structural reorientation of its economic policies. The expert advice in the policy formulation and the subsequent implementation can act as a roadmap for Sri Lanka’s economic development. Moreover, India should use the current situational opportunity strategically along with preparing for the challenges also.

Practice Question

The strength of an economy depends on both internal and external strengths. Critically examine the lessons that India must learn from the recent Sri Lankan economic crisis and explain its implications on India.

(250 Words, 15 Marks)



 Recently, Dam Safety Act was passed by both houses of Parliament. The act provides for the surveillance, inspection, operation, and maintenance of all specified dams across the country.


  • In 1979, the Machu dam collapsed in Gujarat made a huge loss of lives. Consequently, the dam owners set up their own respective dam safety organizations and devised protocols for ensuring the dam’s safety.
  • Dam owners can be
  • State government.
  • Two or more state governments if the dam is present in a state, but operated by a different state. It is because the dam might be constructedbefore the reorganization of state borders to meet the needs of people.
  • For instance, the Mullaperiyar dam in Kerala state is operated by the Tamil Nadu government. Therefore, the responsibility lies with the two states.
  • Public sector enterprises- multi-purpose projects constructed by public sector enterprises like Damodar valley corporation.


  • Hydro-Power generation- Dams artificial barriers on rivers that store water, power generation, and water supply.
  • Socio-economic Development- Harnessing the river water for agricultural purposes and other basic human needs.
  • Mitigate the calamities- Dams help in moderating the disasters like floods and droughts faced by a large population of the world.
  • Other benefits- Dams and Reservoirs also provide advantages for Industrial use, Inland Navigation, etc.


  • Failure of dams-Since 1979, there were 42 instances of dam failure exposing a shame on the nation.
  • Huge number- India is the third largest dam-owning country after China and US in the world.
  • Ageing of dams- India is having around 5745 large dams where over 80% of these dams are more than 25 years old and about 227 dams are more than 100 years old. Most of these large dams are in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, and Gujarat.
  • Unwarranted dam failures- It means the huge flow of sudden floods may cause the entire failure of dams due to their poor maintenance.

Recently, The Annamayya project on the Cheyyeru river has turned out to be sorrowful in the Kadapa district of Andhra Pradesh after a flash flood in the region.

  • Devastating impact- As a large amount of water may be stored in a dam’s reservoir, its failure can cause large-scale damage to life and property. Therefore, monitoring dam safety is essential. 


  • The act provides for the surveillance, inspection, operation, and maintenance of all larger dams across the country.
  • Larger dams- Dams with heights more than 15 meters, or heights between 10 metersto 15 meters with certain design and structural conditions would also be included.
  • Constitution of new institutional structures at the National level and state level.
  • Two national level bodies:
  • National Committee on Dam Safety- It is a supervisory body and its functions include evolving uniform dam safety policies, protocols, and procedures and recommending regulations regarding dam safety standards.
  • National Dam Safety Authority- A regulatory body for ensuring nationwide implementation of the dam safety policies and standards. It acts as an executory body.
  • Two state-level bodies:
  • State Committee on Dam Safety, and State Dam Safety Organization- These bodies will be responsible for the surveillance, inspection, and monitoring of the operation and maintenance of dams within their jurisdiction.
  • The supervision of two state-level bodies lies with National level bodies.
  • National-level bodies also provide technical assistance to State Dam Safety Organizations (SDSOs) of different states and resolve matters between SDSOs of states or between an SDSO and any dam owner in that state.
  • Compulsion on dam Owners-
  • Dam owners will be responsible for the safe construction, operation, maintenance, and supervision of a dam.
  • They must provide a dam safety unit in each dam. This unit will inspect the dams:
  • Before and after the monsoon season
  • During and after every earthquake, flood, calamity, or any sign of distress.
  • Functions of dam owners include:
  • Preparing an emergency action plan
  • Carrying out risk assessment studies at specified regular intervals
  • Preparing a comprehensive dam safety evaluation through a panel of experts.
  • Dam owners are required to provide resources for timely repair and maintenance of dam structures and types of machinery.
  • Penal provisions- If the dam owner is not abiding by the rules, standards, and guidelines set up by National level authorities, then they are liable for penalty or imprisonment or both for the same.


  • Since the period of Rajiv Gandhi in 1987 onwards, the dam safety bill is in the process of pipeline.
  • The Central Dam Safety Organization, under the Central Water Commission (CWC), provides technical assistance to dam owners and maintains data on dams during the period.
  • The earlier composition of the National committee on dam Safety includes the Chairman of the Central Water Commission, Members from the Central government (10 numbers), and members from the State government 7 numbers).
  • Lack of proper coordination between center and state.

Earlier, the CWC monitored and issued guidelines for the state government. However, there were no specific regulations and compulsions to follow these guidelines given by the center to the states.

  • The state’s respective organization reports to the Central Water Commission during pre-monsoon and post-monsoon.
  • CWC advises the state-level bodies to maintain their proper functioning during times of natural disasters such as flash floods, urban floods, torrential rainfall, etc.


  1. Regular Inspections-Earlier, the states were not allowing outside inspection due to their vested interests. But now, the constituted bodies could conduct inspections and surveillance.

For e.g.: The Mulla Periyar dam issue between Tamil Nadu and Kerala state.

  1. Classification of Dams-Dams are classified on the basis of the level of hazards.
  1. Emergency action plan- The act helps the committees in devising an emergency action plan that is to be followed without any dilemmas.
  1. Addressing climate change issues- The bodies would study the climate change aspects such as torrential rainfall, and flash floods and devise protocols according to the same.


  • The Centre has brought the legislation under Article 246 of the Constitution with Entry 56 and Entry 97 of the Union list.
  • Article 246 empowers the parliament to legislate on any matter enumerated in the Union List in the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution.
  • Union list.
  • Entry 56 of the Union List allows Parliament to make laws on the regulation of inter-state rivers and river valleys if it declares such regulation to be expedient in the public interest.
  • The act declares it expedient in the public interest for the Union to regulate a uniform dam safety procedure for all specified dams in the country.
  • Entry 97 Residuary powers- If the subject is not clearly mentioned in any three lists, those subjects are placed under the residuary list and the parliament is authorized to legislate on that subject.
  • Central government categorizes the construction and maintenance of dams under the residuary list.
  • How the central government arbitrarily considers the construction and maintenance of dams under the residuary list?
  • Rising apprehensions – The central government’s intervention raises various apprehensions among state governments. However, the central government is arguing that the allocation and release of water matters are still under the purview of tribunal awards.


  1. Against federalism
  • Water being the state subject under Entry 17, of the seventh schedule of the constitution. As per Entry 17 of the State List, states can make laws on water supply, irrigation and canals, drainage and embankments, water storage, and water power.
  • However, it is unclear how Parliament would have the jurisdiction to frame a law for dams on rivers where the river and its valley are entirely within a state.
  • So, the apprehensions from state governments whether the central government would manage the larger dams by highlighting the safety concerns.
  1. Trust deficit
  • Arbitrarily considering the construction and maintenance of dams under the residuary list create a lack of substantiation and it infringes on the rights of the states.
  1. Centralized tendency
  • The functions of the National Committee on Dam Safety, the National Dam Safety Authority, and the State Committee on Dam Safety are listed in the schedules and can be amended by the Union government through a notification.
  • The question is whether the core functions of authorities should be amended by the government through a notification or such amendments should be passed by law.
  • This provision allows the central government to control all the specified dams, their operations, and maintenance in the name of safety.


  1. Stakeholder consultation- Holistic approach by considering the experts from all the concerned areas should be involved.
  1. Environmental safety- Ecological sensitivity should be taken into consideration.
  1. Local factors- While ensuring uniformity, local factors such as geographical and climatic differences should also be considered.


The need of the hour is to bridge the trust deficit by proper deliberations and discussions with the state governments and strengthen the principles of cooperative federalism enshrined in the constitution in both letter and spirit.


Discuss the pros and cons of Dam safety Act 2021.Do you think it will promote co-operative Federalism?

(150 Words,10 Marks)