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Mains Marathon

Answered: Mains Marathon – UPSC Mains Current Affairs Questions – April 20


  1. 1. What is anti-defection law? Do you think that anti-defection law in India is weak? (GS 2)

The Hindu

Anti defection law:-

  • The Tenth Schedule popularly known as the Anti-Defection Act was included in the Constitution in 1985
  • The 52nd amendment to the Constitution added the Tenth Schedule which laid down the process by which legislators may be disqualified on grounds of defection.
    • A member of parliament or state legislature was deemed to have defected if he either voluntarily resigned from his party or disobeyed the directives of the party leadership on a vote. That is, they may not vote on any issue in contravention to the party’s whip.
    • Independent members would be disqualified if they joined a political party.
    • Nominated members who were not members of a party could choose to join a party within six months; after that period, they were treated as a party member or independent member.

Anti defection law in India is weak :-

  • Loss of membership is hardly a penalty in cases ahead of the scheduled time of general elections as seen last year. It also loses significance if the House is likely to be dissolved.
  • On the other hand, the voting behaviour may be affected even on issues not related to the stability of the government. A member may be unable to express his actual belief or the interests of his constituents. Therefore, a case may be made for restricting the law to confidence and no-confidence motions.
  • The Dinesh Goswami Committee on electoral reforms (1990) recommended this change, while the Law Commission (170th report, 1999) suggested that political parties issue whips only when the government was in danger. it was met with severe oppositions on logic that it impinged on right to free speech of legislators.
  • The curtailing to a certain extent the role of the MP or member of state legislature.
    • It is culminated into absence of constructive debates on critical policy issues. The whip has become all the more powerful and has to be followed in all circumstances.
  • The anti-defection law has enabled the political parties to have stronger grip on their members which many times has resulted into preventing them to vote for the lure of money of ministerial birth.

It’s not that weak :-

  • Supreme court stated that “the anti-defection law seeks to recognise the practical need to place the proprieties of political and personal conduct above certain theoretical assumptions.” It held that the law does not violate any rights or freedoms, or the basic structure of parliamentary democracy.
  • Supreme Court also made some observations on Section 2(1) (b) of the Tenth schedule. Section 2(1) (b) reads that a member shall be disqualified if he votes or abstains from voting contrary to any direction issued by the political party.
  • The judgement highlighted the need to limit disqualifications to votes crucial to the existence of the government and to matters integral to the electoral programme of the party, so as not to ‘unduly impinge’ on the freedom of speech of members.
  • It also provides stability to the government by preventing shifts of party allegiance and ensures that candidates elected with party support and on the basis of party manifestoes remain loyal to the party.

Way forward:-

  • The Venkatachaliah Commission recommended that defectors should be barred from holding any ministerial or remunerative political office for the remaining term of the House. It also said that the vote of any defector should not be counted in a confidence or no-confidence motion.
  • The decision making power of speaker / chairman needs review
  • The phrase “voluntarily giving up membership” is too vague and needs comprehensive revision.
  • Political parties should limit issuance of whips to instances only when the government is in danger
  • The Election Commission had recommended that the decisions under the Tenth Schedule should be made by the President/ Governor on the binding advice of the Election Commission

  1. What is the need of setting up a Computer Emergency Response Team for the Financial Sector (CERT-Fin) in India? Discuss. (GS 3)

The Hindu

Need for setting up CERT-Fin in India:-

  • It is a move to set up an emergency response team comes in the backdrop of growing cyberattacks in the financial system.
  • RBI had already created a specialised cell (C-SITE) within its supervision department to conduct detailed IT examination of banks’ cybersecurity preparedness, to identify the gaps and to monitor the progress of remedial measures.Last year, more than 32 lakh debit cards of various public and private sector banks were compromised.
  • This entity will work in close coordination with all financial sector regulators and other stakeholders
  • Post demonetisation, promotion of a digital economy is an integral part of government’s strategy to clean the system and weed out corruption and black money.
  • The CERT-Fin will lead to collaboration between the technology companies and the banking system in the country.
  • The synergy created by these announcements, along with the efforts of cyber security solutions, is going to further inspire new users to come online, aiding India’s transition to a digital economy.
  • It would certainly bring in higher protection to boost the confidence of consumers as the nation moves to broad digitization and an increasingly cashless economy.
  • Given the government’s mission to set a target of 2500 crores worth of digital transactions for FY 2017-18 through modes such as Unified Payment Interface, Unstructured Supplementary Service Data-USSD, Aadhar Pay, IMPS and debit cards, CERT-Fin has a big role to play in securing transactions through stringent security controls.

Concerns:-

  • Cyber experts said much more is needed to be done in order to safeguard our computer networks and payment gateways as India aims to go digital.
  • Big challenge is to however, is to work out a realistic framework for CERT-Fin’s activities and carefully define its role in ensuring higher security for the financial sector.
  • The banking industry faces the challenge of helping to define the exact role of CERT-Fin, considering that the RBI recently formed its new IT arm to prescribe cybersecurity policies for the sector.

What needs to be done?

  • Need far more focus to safeguard computer networks and payment gateways targeted by state and non-state actors.
  • Need to strengthen our cyber law so that online fraudsters can be nailed fast.
  • It’s essential for CERT-Fin to enable financial firms to develop an even stronger community defense model. The new organization should provide an important resource to deliver deeper analysis, mitigate risks and encourage greater collaboration.
  • The key focus should be to bolster the quality and timeliness of cyber threat intelligence received by financial institutions, strengthen cybersecurity risk management and response, as well as champion cybersecurity programs and initiatives in the sector.
  • Together with the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, a resolution mechanism for financial firms will ensure comprehensiveness of the resolution system in the country.


  1. Ethics are pre-determined and a matter of discovery, and not a evolved concept. Discuss.
    (GS 4)

Ethics are a set of principles that govern human behavior and regulate human activities. Ethics have been both predetermined as well as evolutionary.

Predetermined ethics:

  • Value for life which gradually gave way to opposing murder or even killing of animals except when done foe a better purpose
  • Harmony with nature as man discover his life was very much dependent on nature and could become better by conserving rather than destroying environment
  • Love and Respect for others which was discovered in the form of equality, charity, empathy etc
  • Ethics like non-violence and peace are innate to human being as written in Buddhist values which require meditation to discover
  • Ethical values like Truth, Brotherhood have been in place since the birth of man and societies

Evolutionary ethics:-

  • Cooperation among individuals has evolved with society as survival needed competition.
  • Professional ethics have evolved with the development of formal profession for example Medical ethics
  • Ethics of a particular society evolves with the society itself. Thus, child marriage which was acceptable part of indian society few centuries back is condemned presently.
  • Accepting and respecting differences; this was a part of Jain and Buddhist philosophy earlier. In modern this has been recognized in ways such as LGTB rights, Women equality rights.
  • Objectivity and Impartiality is the hallmark of ethical administration in current times. It has been derived from the ethical principle of Equality

Therefore ethics is both predetermined and evolutionary .


 

 

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