Answers: Mains Marathon – UPSC Mains Current Affairs Questions – August 30th

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  1. Do you think labor reforms are necessary in India? Discuss the problems with Indian labour laws. What has the government been doing in this regard? (GS 1)

Link | TOI 

Labour reforms in India:-

  • The Second National Commission on Laboursuggested the formulation of labour codes similar to those in Russia, Germany, Poland, Hungary and Canada.
  • To gain the advantage of demographic dividend and protection for workers India needs to bring in labour reforms.


  • Centre’s initiatives:
    • The government has attempted to amend the apprentice act 1961
    • Shram Suvidha a unified labour portal scheme has been launched
    • Payment of wages (Amendment )Act ,2017 payment of Wages to employees by Cash or Cheque or crediting it to their bank account.
    • Child labour Amendment act 2016
      • provides for complete ban on employment of children below 14 years in any occupation or process
    • Maternity Benefit Amendment act 2017 increases the paid maternity leave from 12 weeks to 26 weeks.
    • The employee compensation amendment act seeks to rationalize penalties and strengthen the rights of the workers under the Act.
    • A category i.e. Fixed term Employmenthas been introduced under Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946 to impart flexibility to an establishment to employ people in case of Apparel Manufacturing Sector to meet the fluctuating demands of the sector due to its seasonal nature.
    • The Union Cabinet has approved the Labour Code on Wages Bill which will ensure a minimum wage across all sectors by integrating existing labour related laws.
      • The Labour Code on Wages Bill also marks the first major initiative of Union Government in amalgamating labour laws for improving the ease of doing business.
    • States examples:
      • Rajasthan-
        • It has relaxed the provisions of the Factories Act, Industrial Disputes Act, Apprentices Act and Contract Labour Act.
      • Madhya Pradesh has amended at least 20 labour laws, including 17 central ones, such as the Industrial Disputes Act, Factories Act and Shops and Establishments Act.
      • The Maharashtra law department, according  has amended the Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act to make it applicable only to establishments in which 50 or more workers are employed
      • Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat have swiftly moved in to usher in radical reforms as they aim to take a larger share of the FDI pie.


1.Archaic laws:-

  • Despite several decades of economic progress, these laws have not been amended or reformed in order to foster a friendlier climate for business

2.Labour productivity

  • India has low labour productivity in comparison with other developing nations


  • Labour is a subject in concurrent list of the Constitution of India. Thus both centre and states can enact laws on labour matters
  • There are about 45 central government laws and more than 100 state statutes, sometimes overlapping or contradicting
  1. Rigidity
  • India has one of the most rigid labour regulatory frameworks in the world
  • Example- Industrial Disputes Act of 1947 stipulates that a firm with 100 employees or more cannot close down without government permission
  • Such laws curtail the growth of a firm by forcing it to hire fewer workers and remain small
  1. Cost of compliance
  • There are also high costs involved in complying with several labour laws


  • In Kerala alone, for example, there were nearly 363 hartals between 2005 and 2012, causing loss of working days

7.Informal sector:

  • Only about 10% are in organized sector

8.Contract labour is a serious assault on labour rights

9.The IMF says that if changes to labour laws are to be carried out,there muts be offsetting fiscal expansion that helps raise demand of labour .India is in no position to meet this condition as it is still in the process of fiscal consolidation

Measures needed:-

  • MSMe’s should be subjected to less cumbersome labour laws to ensure easy compliance
  • The labour laws must be rationalized by defining minimum wage and linking it to inflation
  • Empowering women to enter the workplace and providing them additional support
  • Physically challenged- Ensuring that workplaces are disabled-friendly
  • Providing social security to workers in the informal sector would also pave the way for a more satisfied and productive workforce
  • Training and skilling-India has a demographic advantage but in order to utilize this dividend, India needs to invest heavily in training its talent
  • India’s supply of labour presently outnumbers industry’s demand for them. As a result, the government and manufacturing firms need to invest in training and skilling


The guiding principle for India’s labour policy reformers should not merely be ring fencing jobs but safeguarding workers through social assistance, re-employment support and skill building, and supporting employers in employee training and development.

2. Is there any relationship between emotional intelligence and effective governance? Discuss. (GS 4)


  • Governance is generally perceived as something which requires reasoning and systematic thinking. However, with the evolution of the concept of emotional intelligence,the use of emotions is believed to be effective and can be applicable to the realm of governance.

Yes, there is relationship between emotional intelligence and effective governance:-

  • There are actions in the realm of governance which remains spontaneous, intuitive or experience based. A person with emotional intelligence will respond better in such situations.
  • Responsiveness to citizens must carry with it sensitivity and sympathy to public needs and demands and this means being aware of feelings and emotions. It also helps in managing emotional responses of the citizens..
  • Responsiveness to citizens as clients, must carry with it
    sensitivity and sympathy to public needs and demands and this means being aware of feelings and emotions.
  • During a conflict situation, the ability to manage emotions may be the only way out.
  • Identifying emotions in faces, voices, postures, and other content during public management activities can help in giving a better response.
  • Emotions could be evoked to motivate others to get the task done.
  • EI helps administrators deal with complex situations. It allows constructive dispute resolution and grievance redressal.
    • They serve the function of providing appraisals about  whether what is happening is harmful, threatening or beneficial to our well being under certain conditions
    • In many cases, emotions rather than deliberate intellectual calculations, supply the most reliable information about the situations and ourselves
    • Being self-aware in administrator or leadership position also means having a clear picture of their strengths and weaknesses
    • Administrators and leaders who regulate themselves successfully hardly verbally attack others, make rushed or emotional decisions, stereotype people, or compromise their values.
    • Self-regulation is all about staying in control. This element of emotional intelligence also covers an administrators and leader’s flexibility and commitment to personal accountability.
  • Identifying emotions can also allow us to better evaluate the repercussions of our actions. Administrators and leaders with empathy have the ability to put themselves in someone else’s situation. They support and develop the people on their team, challenge others who are acting unfairly, give constructive feedback, and listen to those who need it.
    • For example,Rahul Kumar district collector of Gopalganji District(M.P) ate food cooked by a widow dalit to show that it was not a bad omen.When the villagers are protesting to remove her.
    • He understood the emotions of the people and set an symbolic example,thus saving the woman’s job
  • Emotional unintelligence is a disruptive force and can negatively affect optimal decision-making. Decisions should be made based on the integration of systematic understanding of feelings and emotions with rational thinking.
  • Therefore having emotional intelligence is a precursor for effective governance and welfare of the people.Social skills:
    • Administrators and leaders must develop social skills. People who do well in this element of emotional intelligence are great communicators.
    • Administrators who have good social skills are also good at managing change and resolving conflicts tactfully.

3. How will the Supreme Court’s landmark verdict making individual privacy a fundamental right impact daily lives of the citizens? Discuss.(GS 2)

Indian Express


  • The Supreme court recently ruled that the right to privacy was “an intrinsic part of Article 21 that protects life and liberty”.
  • The verdict overturns two previous rulings by the top court which said that privacy was not a fundamental right.



  • It is a huge setback for the government which has insisted that privacy is not an inalienable fundamental right guaranteed under the constitution
  • The Supreme Court also criticised a previous ruling by the top court that reinstituted a law criminalising homosexuality, saying that discrimination against an individual on the basis of sexual orientation is deeply offensive to the dignity and self-worth of the individual.
    • So this provides a huge boost to petitioners for LGBT rights in India.
    • The validity of the provision will raise further questions as homosexual relationship between consenting adults will be seen under the purview of privacy
    • criminalisation of homosexuality under Section 377 will also become a matter of contention following the verdict.
  • Aadhar:
    • It will have a bearing on the challenge to the validity of the Aadhaar scheme on the grounds of its being violative of the right to privacy.
  • Biometrics:-
    • Activists say such a large repository of biometric information can be used as a tool of mass surveillance.
  • Consent of choice:-
    • According to the judges nobody would like to be told by the State as to what they should eat or how they should dress or whom they should be associated with either in their personal, social or political life.
  • Data mining:-
    • In the era where data is considered the oil privacy is a very keen issue and the judgement uphelds this right of the citizens.
    • Companies such as Google, Facebook, Uber, Airbnb, Amazon, etc. probably have more data on users than the governments of their countries. The privacy of citizens needs protection from these non-state players, too.
    • According to judges Informational privacy is a facet of the right to privacy.The dangers to privacy in an age of information can originate not only from the state but from non-state actors as well
    • will also challenge the validity of WhatsApp’s new privacy policy.
  • On Euthanasia and Abortion:
    • An individual’s rights to refuse life prolonging medical treatment or terminate his life is another freedom which falls within the zone of the right of privacy.
    • A woman’s freedom of choice whether to bear a child or abort her pregnancy are areas which fall in the realm of privacy.
      • Also a dimension of “personal liberty” as understood under Article 21. also included the right to “abstain from procreating
    • Section 66a of the IT act:
      • with to Right to Privacy verdict, an individual breaching privacy by on social networking sites could be held accountable.
    • DNA Profiling Bill 2017
      • The bill has not clarified on privacy and security safeguards, which could be questioned now about Right to privacy has been declared a fundamental right by the Supreme Court.
    • Juvenile justice :- 
      • Judgment reinforces the right of each child to have his details kept private even if he or she is charged for a crime.
    • KYC norms:-
      • The privacy judgment is likely to put a degree of check against unauthorised ‘commodity-fication’ of private profiles taken off the Web.
    • The SC’s privacy ruling may force mobile phone companies to tweak data privacy and protection settings.
    • NATGRID:-
      • The implementation of the programme could require amendments in several laws to allow sharing and transferring of data on items such as property and bank transaction details.
    • E-commerce companies will have to remain cautious about sharing data aimed at targeted advertising.
    • Terror:-
      • The judgment underscored the “legitimate interest” of the state to monitor the Internet against terrorists, subject to just, fair and reasonable restrictions against encroachment into privacy.
    • Unauthorized taps:-
      • The privacy ruling has further reinforced protections against unauthorised surveillance.
    • Violence:-
      • Privacy must not be utilised as a cover to conceal and assert patriarchal mindsets.
    • Judges assured that every individual in society irrespective of social class or economic status is entitled to the intimacy and autonomy which privacy protects.
    • Along with the evolution of new age technologies artificial intelligence, virtual reality, augmented reality etc. will come new challenges to the protection of privacy. The judgment indicates that it is alive to future developments as well.
    • It could potentially affect the judicial view of the popular, possibly-cultural understanding of communal concerns superseding those of the individual


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