Mains Marathon

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

  1. What is a quasi-judicial body? Explain with the help of concrete examples.(GS 2)

UPSC Previous Year Question Paper

Quasi judicial body:-

  • A quasi judicial body is an organisation or body which has powers similar to that of the law imposing bodies but it is not a court.
  • These mainly govern the administrative areas.
  • The courts (judiciary) has the power to preside over all kinds of disputes but the quasi judicial bodies are the ones with the powers of imposing laws on administrarive agencies.
  • These bodies help in reducing the burden of the courts.

Explanation with examples:-

  • These are created for specific purpose. For example, National Human Rights Commission is quasi judicial body which looks into cases of specifically Human Rights violation, if fundamental rights are violated, courts intervene in that.
  • They can be statutory, regulatory or constitutional in nature. For example,National Human Rights Commission is a statutory body, while Finance Commission is a constitutional body created under Article 280, whereas SEBI is a regulatory body which performs Judicial functions too.
  • They can be created for a specific period for special purposes. Central Vigilance Commission is a permanent body while Finance Commission is constituted every five years.
  • These bodies need not be headed by a judge rather experts too can be included having sectoral knowledge like Finance, Economics, Law etc.
  • Verdict of these bodies can be challenged in a court of law which is the final authority.

These bodies improve administrative efficiency and help in Good Governance.

  1. Exercise of CAG’s powers in relation to the accounts of the Union and the States is derived from Article 149 of the Indian Constitution. Discuss whether audit of the Government’s Policy implementation could amount to overstepping its own (CAG) jurisdiction.(GS 2)

UPSC Previous Year Question Paper


  • Under article 149The Comptroller and Auditor-General shall perform such duties and exercise such powers in relation to the accounts of the Union and of the States and of any other authority or body as may be prescribed by or under any law made by Parliament.However in the recent years there have been questions about its jurisdiction.

Yes it overstepped:-

  • CAG in the past has limited to account audit and has not taken to auditing outcomes. Thus, sidestepping establised conventions
  • Sensationalisation:
    • It has in 2G case quantified the amount of loss based on its own subjective methodology that was seen by critics as over-reach.

No it has not:-

  • CAG can audit the accounts if expenditure pertains to the competent authority, has legislature’s approval etc. Thus, such audit not amount to overreach
  • As parliament cannot look into daily executive orders CAG needs to take action .
  • Even SC judgement acknowledged that policy audit is inbuilt in CAG functions
  • Audit of the efficiency of expenditure is its discretion and what is deems fit, thus doesnot amount to overstepping.
    • Such audit will inturn lead to improve resource use efficiency, improved outcomes etc.
  • Under the constitution,CAG can audit the spending not just quantitatively but also qualitatively.

Thus CAG role has to definitely see that the government resources are not misused and necessary check is available but it should not be so that the representatives are questioned for work they did in genuine public interest.

  1. Evaluate the economic and strategic dimensions of India’s Look East Policy in the context of the post-Cold War international scenario.(GS 2)

UPSC Previous Year Question Paper


  • The leaders of independent India, particularly Nehru, took the lead in launching the third wave by focussing on East Asia as an important part of India’s policy of Asian resurgence.
  • However, the imperatives of the Cold War, intra-Asian conflict and rivalries, and India’s weaknesses on economic and military fronts did not let its Asia policy blossom.
  • What is identified as India’s LEP since the early 1990s constitutes the fourth wave of India’s eastward (re)engagement.

Economic and strategic dimensions of India’s Look east policy :-


  • Under the strategic thrust of this policy, India has also firmed up strategic relations with them through extensive consultations on regional and global security issues and consistent cooperation in defence sectors involving military supplies and naval exercises.
    • India is having various maritime exercises and trade with BIMSTEC countries( south and south east asian countries) for safe passage in the waters and protecting from pirates.
    • India also has maritime exercises with Australian navy on part of its act east policy to strengthen ties between two countries.
  • India’s strategic vision for the East extends to the whole of Asia-Pacific region as India has manifested both its willingness and capability to play a critical role in the emerging strategic dynamics and architecture for this region.
  • As a Strategic Partner of ASEAN, India is actively associated with various ASEAN-led fora dealing with defence and strategic issues.
    • These include the East Asia Summit, the ASEAN Regional Forum, ADDM+ (ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting Plus) and the Expanded ASEAN Maritime Forum.
    • defence ties with the region has expanded significantly like bilateral defence cooperation activities with ASEAN and other regional countries.
  • Besides, organisations involving ASEAN as a whole, India has taken a leading role in other regional fora.
    • These include the Mekong-Ganga Cooperation (MGC, in which Cambodia, India, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam are members), the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC involving Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand) and other organisations.
  • China factor: India has been successful in countering china and maintaining Balance of power in vietnam, myanmar etc
  • Maritime security: India under BIMSTEC and IORA conduct maritime security exercises
    c)Defence relations: India has sold Radar, Offshore patrol vehicles to the region ; held joint exercises eg Malabar with japan

Economic :-

  • It has helped India garner support for a permanent seat at UN Security Council from many countries.
  • It has helped India form South-South co-operation at many International fora such as WTO and climate change talks.
  • Helped India increase trade with many of these countries.India has also signed an FTA with ASEAN.
  • Helped India to have reliable partners on important Sea lanes of communication such as Malacca Straits.
  • Has given boost to Indian trade and economy along with creation of jobs and encouraging people to people contacts.
  • India is developing road corridor through BBIN( Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal) for carrying out trade and easy movement of vehicles and also Bangladesh, China, India, Myanmar road corridor for carrying out trade among those countries
  • ASEAN has become important trade partner in volume and amount of trade.
  • Huge investment flows esp FDI and FPI originate from Hongkong, Japan etc
  • Japan has started to invest in Indian infrastructure under Overseas Development assistance ODA
  • Connectivity:india has committed to BCIM corridor, Kaladan multimodal transport
  • Tourism has seen upgrowth esp in Buddhist circuit.
  • d)UNSC, MTCR: India has evinced support of these nations for UNSC, MTCR


  • Weaknesses in given dimesions:
    Problem with the earlier concept:Earlier Look east policy had limited geographic focus as it didnot extend to pacific , japan but was later extended
  • China: It has made quite inroads in Myanmar, Laos and cambodia, Malaysia
  • Trade: India has huge trade deficit with china, ASEAN nations
  • FTA with South korea has impacted our local manufacturing due to cheap duty free imports
  • Financial assistance under line of credit has not been commesurate with our intentions and policy goals , thus letting china to displace us in Myanmar in previous decade
  • The connectivity with ASEAN has not taken up in big way
  • Lack of success of RCEP
  • India doesnot have FTA with china esp in services
  • Bilateral Investment treaties with these nation have ended due to model BIT

Way forward :-

With the focus now on Asia from developed countries as well India’s strong relation with ASEAN countries plays even more important role.


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