Answered: Mains Marathon – UPSC Mains Current Affairs Questions – July 7

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1. Can India play a leading role within the G20 community to address key global challenges? Discuss.(GS 3)

Live Mint


  • India has emerged as an important member of G20 to be able to contribute and influence the reshaping of the world economic and financial order
  • India always have raised voice for equity, equality, fair treatment for the treaty, rules and protocol set up at all major platform like UN, WTO, IMF etc.

Key global challenges right now :-

  • There are many global challenges the world is facing like the rise of geopolitical issues,economic slowdown,rising protectionism,terrorism,climate change etc

What role can India play in G20 :-

  • Rising protectionism in some developed countries is a cause of concern for India.
    • India is pushing for bilateral agreements with many countries the most recent being south Korea.
    • They felt the urgent need  to increase efforts to stimulate investment flows, support for infrastructure development, and bilateral trade among others.
  • Economically India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world according to IMF.By bringing in reforms like GST,trying to attract more investment India is becoming a great market.
  • To counter black money,corruption and money laundering which are one of the sources for terrorism as well India is taking many steps like dometisation and some high points in the agreements with Switzerland recently .
    • Automatic exchange of information among countries to check black money is also a top-priority item on its agenda.
  • With respect to climate change India is committed to Paris agreement and is trying to reduce the burden of non renewable energies and shift towards renewable energy.International solar alliance and national policies towards clean energy support this point.
  • India has always strived to make the world a better place to live on. It has introduced UN convention on terrorism and wants support from all the countries to fight this menace.
  • It will push for cooperation in clean energy to end fossil fuel subsidies in the medium term as demanded by developed countries including the US.

India is slowly rising it’s Wings and G20 offers considerable opportunities to raise its stature and assume leadership role and address global challenges.

2. Do you think that the selection of  Election Commissioners (ECs) is transparent and fair? Examine.(GS 2)

 The Hindu

Selection of election Commissioners :-

  • Right now the appointment is done by the president of India based on a recommendation from the Government of India appoints the Election Commissioners.
  • Presently, the government appoints election commissioners without consulting other political parties.
  • Article 324 of the Constitution provided that the appointments of CEC and the election commissioners be made as per the enabling law.

Transparent and fair:-

  • So far the Election commissioners (ECs) appointed have been outstanding people, very fair and politically neutral.
  • None other than the Prime Minister is involved in the selection of the election commissioners. Besides it is for Parliament to decide whether there should be a law or not.
  • At present the Prime Minister with the aid and advice of the council of ministers makes the appointment. It is done as per the transaction of business rules.

No :-

  • They should be selected through the “most transparent and just process” formalised in a law enacted by Parliament, the Supreme Court advised the Centre.
  • There is nothing to show the procedure followed in selecting them.
  • Even the President who makes the appointments is subject to the law.
  • The rules only assign responsibility to start the process but are silent on what should be the qualification of a candidate. No criterion to make the appointment is spelt out.
  • According to the Supreme Court, at present due to lack of a parliamentary law, there is no transparency in the eligibility, criteria required for a person to be appointed as an election commissioner. The court has observed that even the selection procedure of the CBI Director is formalised by a written law.


  • A committee with Prime minister , Leader of opposition , Chief justice of India needs to be there so that the election becomes transparent and fair.
  • A parliamentary law with clear procedure can contain nepotism in appointments.
  • Criteria for selection, background of ECs and people participation should also be encouraged so that
  • ECs selected have trust of people which will also ensure that more people will come up for voting.

Despite the efficiency of election commission there is no harm in formalising the rules of the appointment for one of the most important institutions in India.

3. Discuss the need for prison reforms in India. Should the reforms address the prisoner’s right to life as well?(GS 2)

The Hindu

 Need for prison reforms in india :-

  • Overcrowding
    • To illustrate, in Tihar Jail as against the housing capacity of 2,500 persons in 1994-95, there were 8,500 prisoners.
    • Prisons in India are overcrowded to the extent of 129% and 67% of all the prisoners in jails are under trial prisoners and the number of such prisoners is said to be about 2,78,000.
  • Majority of the Prisoners are Under-Trials
    • According to stats 65% of the prisoners are under-trials
    • There are 3470 under-trial prisoners in different jails due to their inability to furnish bail bonds.
    • Even though bail is granted, prisoners are not released.
  • The prisons in India suffer from unhygienic conditions, lack of proper medical care and constant danger of exploitation and torture.
  • Delay in trials:-
    • A person proceeded against criminal law has to undergo mental agony, expense and strain. This when coupled with delay results in impairing the capability of the accused to defend himself.
  • Problems related to women prisoners as they are more vulnerable to abuses with less focus on female health care and other complications.
  • Deficiency in communication:
    • The prisoners are not provided the knowledge of what is going on around the world and also, they are kept uninformed about their families and relatives.
  • Callous and insensitive attitude of jail authorities
    • Punishment carried out by jail authorities not coherent with punishment given by court.
  • Harsh mental and physical torture
  • Lack of proper legal aid
    • The free legal aid as mentioned in article 39 A has been short in addressing previous needs.
  • Prisons are under the state list so there is no uniformity of prisons act 1984.

What can be done?

  • Bringing more transparency in the Prison System. The more opaque it is the worse it gets.
  • Increasing the number of Prisons so as to remove the problem of Overcrowding.
  • Improving the sanitary measures(building and betterment of Infrastructure).
  • A serious thought on the Fundamental rights of Prisoners should be given.
  • Under trial prisoners (UTPs):
    • Proper mechanism to ensure that no under trial prisoner is unnecessary detained.
    • This shall be achieved speeding up trials, simplification of bail procedures and periodic review of cases of under trial prisoners.
    • A separate prison cell for Under-Trials.
    • Applying 436 A of criminal procedure code where undertrials who have served atleast half the time of their sentence in jails should be released immediately needs to be implemented.

Yes they should address prisoner’s right to life :-

  • According to Supreme court a prisoner is entitled to be treated with dignity and sympathy,and directed the Centre and state governments to provide all basic facilities to jail inmates commensurate with human dignity.
  • The Indian Supreme Court has been active in responding to human right violations in Indian jails and has, in the process, recognized a number of rights of prisoners by interpreting Articles 21, 19, 22, 32, 37 and 39-A of the Constitution in a positive and humane way.
  • India is also a member of UN convention of civil and political rights and UN convention against torture.


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