Mains Marathon

Answered: Mains Marathon – UPSC Mains Current Affairs Questions – April 12th

Following are the Suggested Answers for Mains Marathon, April 12:

  1. Do you think that the recent liquor ban ruling by SC is a judicial overreach? Also, discuss whether removal of liquor vends from highways is an effective way of curbing accidents due to drunken driving. (GS 2) 


  • The Supreme court modified its order on March 31 to give some relief; and has now prohibited the sale of liquor within 220 metres instead of 500 metres of national and state highways in towns with a population less than 20,000. Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Meghalaya have been exempted.
  • The essence of the judgment is based on statistics that alcohol-related accidents and deaths on highways are 3.3 per cent and 4.6 per cent.

No,it’s not a judicial overreach:-

  • The court was right in at least taking the first step in the direction of implementing Article 47. This Court while exercising its jurisdiction has neither formulated policy nor has it assumed a legislative function,”
  • It was the Centre’s idea
  • The court pointed to a model policy for alcoholic beverages and alcohol prepared by the Centre more than a decade, which includes in paragraph 92(2), a provision suggesting no licence for sale of liquor should be granted to shops within 100 metres from a state or national highway.
  • The expert body agreed:
  • The National Road Safety Council is an advisory body set up by the Centre to help guide policy on road safety. The council features representatives from state governments, various ministries and external experts.
  • According to the court, the NRSC unanimously agreed in 2004, that licences for liquor shops should not be given along national highways.

Yes,it’s a judicial overreach:-

  • All directive principles of state policy are ‘policy issues’ which should be left to the government. It is not the job of the court to force the government to implement them.
  • This was certainly not a fit case to invoke the extraordinary powers of the court to do ‘complete justice’ under Article 142.
  • Governmental intent in this matter is clear from the 2004 directive of the National Road Safety Council established under the Motor Vehicle Act,1988 in which states have been repeatedly advised ‘not only to remove liquor shops from the national highways but also to immediately stop issuance of fresh licences to liquor vendors along with national highways’.
  • The media has also criticised this order for the loss of jobs and revenue; and also on the ground that red wine is good for health.

It’s an effective step:-

  • Booze ban is intended to steer the safety wheel for night travellers

It’s not an effective step:-

  • The two orders of the Supreme Court have had catastrophic fiscal consequences for almost all states, with revenue losses estimated to be in excess of Rs 75,000 crore and a potential loss of one million jobs.
  • No country in the world, much less its courts, reduced deaths by drunken driving by closing liquor shops. Stringent punishment for those driving after drinking, being found with alcohol above a certain limit (through breath and/or blood tests) has a salutary effect.
  • The ban puts thousands of valid businesses employing lakhs of people at risk.
  • Such closures will lead to enormous losses to business and tourism, which will translate into jobs lost as well as huge revenue losses for state governments which could have been spent on people’s welfare.
  • The uncertainty of India’s business climate will deter investment from coming to India.
  • And given the number of livelihoods at stake it’s more than likely that illegal liquor vends will proliferate along highways, leading to bigger risks to public safety.
  • To avoid the ban, Punjab changed the National Highway status of its roads to state highway

Policing should improve on highways to tackle drunken driving. State governments should be directed to allocate more resources for this purpose. Only constant checking of drivers and punishment for offenders can deter those who drink and drive. Blanket bans and prohibition-like decrees, whether from judiciary or legislature, only make the problem worse.

  1. GST may widen the economic discrepancies within the states leading to rise in political fragmentation. Critically comment. (GS 3)

How GST can lead to political fragmentation:-

  • It is being rolled out in a political economy context characterized by skyrocketing economic disparity both between and within major states.may put pressure on the federal nature of India’s polity.
  • The centralization of economic policy, as epitomized by GST, is occurring in a political economy context in which regional parties are more important than ever.
  • GST aims to forge an economic union of India at a time when the economic disparity among the various states of India is at its peak.Such economic disparity combined with India’s unique political diversity renders the GST regime vulnerable to fractious demands.
  • It is then evident that the policy priorities and taxation structure need to be different for these two states, in line with their economic and demographic differences.
  • GST can potentially exacerbate regional inequality. What complicates this further in the Indian context is its unique nature of political diversity.

However the views of GST against political fragmentation are overhyped because of the following reasons :-

  • GST formation is based on political consensus , thus reducing possibility of fragmentation
  • GST council: It has one state one vote , thus giving equal voice to all states
  • One nation one market would improve interdependency and reduce fragmentation

How it will increase economic discrepancies:-

  • The richer states can lose out on revenue as inter state trade is strong in India .
  • Additional taxes cannot be levied by states under GST.
  • Investment situation in poorer states might not develop even after GST is implemented as they don’t have sufficient resources to provide tax incentives.
  • The states with high consumption would garner more state taxes vis-a-vis poor states that have low per capita income and poverty

Positive implications on economy:-

  • The implication is that uniform tax rates across all states of India will serve as a unifying force of efficiency.
  • Replacing several hundreds of different tax rates across the 29 states of India with just five tax slabs for all goods and services will reduce friction in the movement of goods and services across state borders.
  • This can boost economic activity and contribute substantially to gross domestic product (GDP) growth. For these reasons, the GST initiative has been justifiably acclaimed as a milestone economic reform in independent India.
  • Poorer states with get benefitted because of uniform taxation .
  • increase in revenue of all states especially poor ones like Bihar, UP that have highest corruption and lack state capacity
  • Tax base: Poor state have huge population ie demand especially for FMCG goods, thus they would collect higher taxes in destination based system.
  • Overall national economy would improve due to ease of doing business and higher foreign investments.
  • Tax evasion will decrease.

Therefore GST would significantly benefit Indian economy and there is need for mitigating the concerns in a amicable and friendly manner so that political consensus stays intact.

  1. “Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.” Analyze this statement. (GS 4)

How is leadership the capacity to translate vision into reality:-

  • Leadership is defined as “the process in which an individual influences the group of individuals to attain a common goal ”. The goal is attained by reciprocated cooperation and cohesive behaviour. A leader infuses a sense of positivity and directs others to reach the specified goal.
  • A leader has a dream, and the passion to pursue it. A leader also has analytical skills, decision-making ability, and a go-getter attitude. Leaders dream big and have the grit to bring those dreams into reality. They also possess virtues like integrity, dedication, fairness, openness of mind to greet new ideas, and innovativeness. A good leader is one who is influential enough to get others to follow him/her willingly.
    • For instance during Indian freedom struggle,masses followed Indian leaders like Gandhi,Bose,Bhagat Singh willingly and helped them achieve Indian independence.
  • Most great leaders have a noticeably superior skill at articulating, in very authentic manner, their vision for the enterprise and what it means for all of us in real, tangible and inclusive ways.
  • The truly extraordinary leaders also have the situational intelligence to help each team recognize their role in the success equation, feel the gravitas of their contribution and create the unity of focused, fast and flexible teams throughout the organization.

Some times even good leaders can’t translate their vision into reality in that era may be because of lack of resources and technology in that particular time but could be translated into reality but under the leadership of different individuals at a different age .

Thus, leadership is a potential ability to help team reach a goal. To ensure that vision is successfully translated into reality, leader shall align their personal vision with the greater vision of the organisation to bring motivation within the leader.


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