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Mains Marathon

Answered: Mains Marathon – UPSC Mains Current Affairs Questions – March 23


Following are the Suggested Answers for Mains Marathon, March 23:


1.The Indian party system is passing through a phase of transition which looks to be full of contradictions and paradoxes.” Discuss. (GS 2)
“भारतीय राजनीतिक पार्टी प्रणाली परिवर्तन के ऐसे दौर से गुजर रही है , जो अंतरविरोधो और विरोधाभास से भरा प्रतीत होता है |”चर्चा कीजिए|

Source: UPSC Previous Year Question Paper


Background:

  • Prior to 1989, India’s party system produced single-party majority governments based on only a plurality of the vote. Since then, over the course of the past six to seven elections, it has produced hung parliaments and multi-party minority and/or coalition governments.

Changes seen are:

  • In order to win election, political parties compromise with values, ethics and morality which used to be associated with it. It has further consolidated primordial values. Criminalisation of politics is an example.
  • The party system is now said to be moving from a one party dominance system to a multi-party competition, from social cohesion to fragmentation, from a stable pattern to fluidity, from order to chaos as the principle of party competition.
  • It has led to the emergence of regional centers of power. Regional political parties are playing very crucial role in the national politics.
  • Coalition governments, which are generally associated with instability, inordinate delay are after initial hiccup running successfully. Change is imminent in party system and Indian democracy is no exception to this.

Positives are :

  • The number of state parties has increased and the number of registered parties doubled from eighty-five to 173 over the same period. The number of parties represented in the Lower House of parliament has steadily increased.
  • What has emerged is a party system characterized by a high degree of fragmentation and vigorous competition between parties.
  • The multiplicity of parties means that a broader range of regional and social group interests find representation and a share of power.

Contradictions and paradox are:

  • Party leaderships across the spectrum are limited to family dynasties.
  • Leader centred or individual personality centred parties.
  • Regional parties tend to be excessively centred towards local problems which may affect National interest.
  • Because of dominance of caste, region, religion à Identity Politics/Coalition Politics; Issue–based rather than ideology; misuse of Anti-defection (people are moving because of incentives; no more loyalty)
  • Might lead to factionalism and separatism.
  • Lack of internal democracy in parties – nepotism, no transparency
  • Electorates are mobilized according to their social identities.
  • Increase in pre-poll alliances between groupings with disparate ideologies and different priorities. E.g: The alliance between PDP and BJP in Jammu and Kashmir.

2.“In the Indian governance system, the role of non-state actors has been only marginal.” Critically examine this statement. (GS 2)
” भारतीय शासकीय तंत्र में, गैर-राजकीय कर्ताओं की भूमिका सीमित ही रही है |” इस कथन का समालोचनात्मक परीक्षण कीजिए|

Source: UPSC Previous Year Question Paper


Introduction:

  • Non state actors are a wide range of non-governmental development actors like civil society in all its diversity, economic and social partners, including trade union organisations and the private sector.
  • Non state actors has been widely recognized as an essential ‘third’ sector. Its strength can have a positive influence on the state and the market Non state actors is therefore seen as an increasingly important agent for promoting good governance like transparency, effectiveness, openness, responsiveness and accountability.

Why their role is not marginal:

  • Today, non-state actors are actively engaged in community mobilisation, economic development and societal transformation. They work at international, national and local levels and play different roles like capacity building, asset creation, representation, lobbying, advocacy, service delivery etc.
  • They are instruments of people’s action and the means of protecting and promoting vital rights of citizens.
  • The Non-state Actors can be divided into four levels: 
    • At the base level are grassroots or community based organizations which are generally informal groupings that develop coping strategies to address immediate
      problems affecting the community.
    • Formal or structured civil society organisations operating at local, state or national level compose the next level. Such organizations usually support
      community-based organizations in service delivery, research and advocacy.
    • Umbrella organizations and thematic networks such as national associations and federations exist at the next level. Such networks are often mandated to defend
      common interests, share information, enable strategic planning etc.
    • Finally, the fourth level is constituted by platforms or common dialogue for various umbrella networks and formal organizations.
  • Non-state actors aid the process of good governance in several ways such as:
    • Citizenship Development: For citizens to be active in public affairs and participate in efforts that promote good governance they need to be motivated, skilled and  informed.
    • Policy Formulation and Advocacy:Influencing the decisions of legislators, other elected representatives, and public administrators is a function that many non-state  actors undertake.
    • Watchdog role:Non-state actors can play a crucial role in evaluating the policies and actions of the Government
    • Welfare Service Delivery:Non-state actors can provide the necessary institutional basis for service delivery
    • Impact on Electoral Politics:Impact on the outcomes of the electoral process is a good governance function that is usually undertaken by many non-state actors.
    • Reform and Social Change:Non-state actors can also serve as an instrument for reform and social change.
    • Watchdog against violation of human rights and governing deficiencies.
    • Advocate of the weaker sections’ point of view.
    • .Service provider to areas and people not reached by official efforts or as government’s agent.
    • NGOs, RTI activists and others have played their role in Indian governance system – their role in formulating policies such as Chipko movement, Juvenile Justice Act, Nirbhaya rape case, etc.
    • Certain non state bodies such as FICCI and CII have played major role with regard to Make in India programme.
    • Mobiliser of public opinion for or against a programme or policy.
    • Social projects in rural and urban centres including supporting government schemes.
    • Various NGO’s along with the government play vital role in the implementation of various programs. related to the HIV, T.B control etc.

Marginal because:

  • State has been effective in countering maoists and insurgents groups who are hindrance to development
  • Strict rules and regulations; many NGOs are facing harassment by state authorities; issues with fund etc has hampered their participation.
  • power of GOI through FCRA norms and other laws restricts their functioning in the hands of the government (eg- Sec 126, 126A of RP Act, Cinematography Act, Media Regulations etc)
  • Reach- of these bodies is minuscule due to the vast size of India. Government led media like AIR claim 90%+ coverage only.

As the third sector of the state non state actors can play  a significant role in engaging the quality of life   in the society and making the system transparent.Therefore their role can be furthered through legislating policies which give these actors freedom at the same time make them transparent ,integrate their role with government activities etc.


3.“Traditional bureaucratic structure and culture have hampered the process of socio-economic development in India.” Comment. (GS 2)
“पारंपरिक अधिकारीतंत्रीय संरचना और संस्कृति ने भारत में सामाजिक-आर्थिक विकास की प्रक्रिया में बाधा डाली है | ” टिप्पणी कीजिए|

Source: UPSC Previous Year Question Paper


Background:

  • Independent India inherited the best administrative machinery among all developing nations, along with a highly moral and dedicated public service. However, bureaucratic immorality soon engulfed the political and administrative apparatus of the country.

Some of the characteristics of traditional bureaucratic structure and culture are :-

  • In 2012 Hong Kong-based Political & Economic Risk Consultancy Ltd described India as a “bureaucratic nightmare” among 12 Asian countries it covered. Indian bureaucracy was, in fact, ranked 9.21 on a scale of 10, with 10 being the worst. It went on to cite inertia and corruption as some of the principal factors that ail Indian bureaucracy.
  • ‘Ivory tower life style’ which alienates the bureaucrats from common man.
  • Trend of bureaucrat politician’s nexus:
    • Some bureaucrats admit that political patronage, and corruption have tainted their image.
    • They have the absurd task of training their bosses, and going along with their politics. The authority granted to the politicians makes patronage, not performance, their fastest path to advancement. With no scrutiny from any other branch of government, the two become cohorts in corruption.
  • Inter-services rivalry
  • Playing safe attitude culture of upright bureaucrats
  • Politics of Reservations.
  • Indian bureaucracy is notorious for its inefficiency.
  • India’s system fuses legislative and executive powers in the guise of providing “efficiency”. But this only leads to bureaucrats’ proficiency in flattery and servility to manage their transient political masters.
  • The truth is India’s bureaucracy is affected, like everything else, by India’s poor political system. This system has fundamental weaknesses :-fusion of powers, sole appointing authority, making ministers out of politicians, no legislative oversight, vote bank politics, reservations  that hurt  officials’ performance.

How does this hamper the socio economic development:-

  • Hierarchy:-
    • Lead to disconnect between policy formation and implementation thus leading to ineffective and inefficient program formation and implementation
  • Coordination:
    • Myriad of department and lack of coordination mechanism leads to poor program implementation
  • Grievance redressal mechanism are usually lacking for people to highlight lacunae
  • NGO involvement:
    • It is low as policy forming and implementation is done by bureaucracy without the help of NGO which could have helped in effective formation and implementation
  • Ivory tower attitude of civil servant with disconnect form ground reality
  • Work culture in department is not focussed towards proactive and effective implementation and is generally laid back
  • Lack of bottom up communication needed for reform in policy

With the initiatives like compulsory retirement of non performing officials,CPGRAMS, an initiative for grievance redressal the government is moving in the right direction.


 

 

 

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