Mains Marathon

Answered: Mains Marathon – UPSC Mains Current Affairs Questions – April 18


  1. Democracy must be built through open societies that share information. Comment.(GS 4)

Yes,democracy must be built through open societies that share information :-

  • Open societies sharing information is the prerogative of any mature democracy.It’s the main way of removing people away from ignorance thus contributing to their and in turn development of the society.
  • The vision of democracy is welfare of people, and sharing of information is also one of them hence a society open to information and experimentation is a good sign of healthy democracy.
  • Open societies lead to building of strong, peaceful and sustainable democracies by ensuring participation of all sections.
  • Open societies encourages discussions and debates which is a cornerstone of democracy
  • Tolerance:
    • It does not curtail even the most radical ideas instead provide them freedom of speech
  • Reform:
    • Society evaluates all possible solution from all section and accept the reforms and move forward.
  • Transparency:
    • People fearlessly convey their concern to the immediate problem, participate freely in discussion without the fear of repurcussion all essential in democracy.
  • It helps in smooth running of democratic polity via people’s initiative and public participation.

An open society with information sharing provides a smooth platform and process to counter any challenge faced in the society that has political repurcussions.

  1. Discuss the systemic glitches that impede attempts to the government to rid economy of black money.(GS 3)

Indian Express

Systemic glitches:-

  • Weak institutions such as banking system, enforcement mechanism etc. which are opaque and to some extent, corrupt and this is exploited to fullest by evaders and criminals alike.
    • People exploited the loopholes in the system to foil moves to demonetise the economy. People allegedly took the help of bankers and also used others’ bank accounts to deposit their unaccounted money. Banks did not make proper arrangements to detect counterfeit currency.
  • Government measures will discourage further:-
    • The stringent provisions of the foreign assets declaration scheme will discourage people from parking unaccounted money in overseas assets and investments.
    • Also, stringent provisions under other laws and the Income Tax Act will discourage people from generating more unaccounted money.
    • Government lacks access to data to detect evasion probably due to use of cash for payments
  • Tax system is very arbitrary. Income tax laws have failed to impose criminal punishments on tax evaders.
  • Lack of adequate manpower and capacity building in different government departments.
  • In small towns and villages, there is a big difference between market value and stamp duty value of properties, particularly land.
  • Lack of coordination among different governmental institutions:-
    • Various agencies like State vigilance, CBI, CVC, Enforcement directorate, DRI etc have over-lapping function, hindering coordination and sharing information.
  • Agencies have not taken to use of Bigdata which is essential to mine useful information
  • Cash to GDP ratio of 12%, Indian economy is excessively dependent on cash transactions which is difficult to trace.

Way forward:-

  • Improve inter-agency coordination by appointing liasoning officers, use of technology
  • Develop an intelligence grid similar to NATGRID with access to all agencies
  • Capacity building of agencies by establishing dedicated cadre for ED, DRI etc
  • Big data application for transactions and analysing the transactions.
  • Increase the strength of personnel in tax administration.
  • Restricting cash transactions over a certain value.
  • Keeping in check the foreign transactions and putting pressure on tax havens for information

With the recent steps taken by the government like Project insight of IT department to gather data from various source, promotion of cashless economy. They would go long way in checking black money.

  1. Politics and ethics belong to different worlds. Critically comment.(GS 4)

No they are not :-

  • Ethics and politics are intimately related. Both are normative sciences.
    • Ethics aims at the supreme good of the individual whereas Politics aims at public good. Public good can be attained through individual good; therefore politics aims at the establishment of an ideal welfare state where more perfection of the citizens can be realized.
  • Similarly individual good can be achieved through public good. Politics is a practical science but ethics is not. However, the influence of ethics on the practical life can not be ignored.
  • Gandhi for example, advocates that a happy marriage should be instituted between politics and morality. High politics must have a moral base.
  • Politicians in their turn have played an important role in changing the moral out look of the state.
  • The concepts like justice, liberty, right duties etc. are located in the border areas of ethics and politics.

Yes they are different:-

  • Politics has no connection with ethics. The will of the sovereign is law. The power must be exercised on the people at any cost of their own protection.Hence, it need not have any connection with morality.
  • Both ethics and politics are concerned with the ideas of duty, responsibility etc. The moral thinker makes a theoretical and analytical study in order to consider what responsibility is and what is not.
    • The politician also does the same job but the extra work that he does is to fix up responsibility and recommend the quantum of penalty on the wrong door..
  • Politics is basically a descriptive and factual science as it studies functioning of government at the time of peace and war. Ethics studies the human conduct with reference to a particular norm. Thus it is a normative science. It studies what ought to be, not what actually occurs or what is the case

In spite of these differences of opinion one thing is certain that there is a mutual dependence of ethics and politics Moral philosophers have tried to influence state politics.




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