IAS POLITICAL SCIENCE AND INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS Optional Paper 2 Solutions- Section B Question 5,6
5. (a) Analyse the workers' movement in India in the pre-Independence period.
Answer: The workers' movement in India during the pre-Independence period was a significant social and political force that played an instrumental role in shaping the country's labor laws, the trade union movement, and the nationalist struggle.
The workers' movement began to gain momentum in the early 20th century, with the establishment of textile mills and other industries in cities like Bombay, Ahmedabad, and Kanpur. The workers faced harsh working conditions, low wages, and long hours, and were often subjected to arbitrary treatment by their employers. As a result, they began to organize themselves into trade unions and demand better wages, working conditions, and job security.
In 1918, the first All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) was held in Bombay, which brought together various trade unions from across the country. The AITUC played a crucial role in advocating for workers' rights and pressurizing the British colonial government to introduce labor reforms. Some of the notable leaders of the workers' movement during this period were Lala Lajpat Rai, N.M. Joshi, and Muzaffar Ahmed.
The workers' movement also played a significant role in India's nationalist struggle for independence. The labor movement often worked in tandem with the Indian National Congress and other nationalist organizations, and strikes and protests were used as a means of challenging British authority. One of the most famous instances of this was the Bombay textile strike of 1928, which lasted for two weeks and involved around 250,000 workers.
The pre-Independence period also saw the introduction of several labor laws, such as the Trade Disputes Act of 1929 and the Indian Trade Union Act of 1926, which recognized the legal status of trade unions. The workers' movement continued to grow in strength and influence throughout the 1930s and 1940s and played a crucial role in India's transition to independence.
In conclusion, the workers' movement in India during the pre-Independence period was a crucial social and political force that fought for workers' rights, demanded labor reforms, and played an instrumental role in India's nationalist struggle for independence. The movement's legacy can be seen in the labor laws and trade union movement that exist in India today.
(b) The Preamble of the Indian Constitution reflects itself as a 'social contract'. Elucidate.
Answer: The Preamble of the Indian Constitution can indeed be viewed as reflecting a social contract, as it embodies the fundamental principles and values that were agreed upon by the people of India when they adopted the Constitution.
A social contract is a theoretical concept in political philosophy that describes an implicit agreement between individuals and their government, whereby the individuals give up some of their natural rights in exchange for the protection and benefits that the government provides. In the case of the Indian Constitution, the Preamble outlines the fundamental principles and values that the people of India agreed upon when they adopted the Constitution as their governing document.
The Preamble begins with the phrase "We, the people of India," which reflects the idea that the Constitution is a product of the collective will and consent of the people of India. It goes on to state that the Constitution seeks to establish a "sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic republic," which reflects the values and aspirations of the Indian people.
The idea of a "sovereign" nation implies that India is an independent and self-governing entity, free from external interference. The term "socialist" reflects the commitment of the Indian state to work towards creating a more equitable society, where wealth and resources are shared more equally. The term "secular" reflects the idea that the Indian state does not favor or promote any particular religion, and is committed to treating all religions equally. The term "democratic" reflects the idea that the Indian people have the right to participate in the governance of the country through free and fair elections, and that the government is accountable to the people.
Thus, the Preamble of the Indian Constitution can be seen as reflecting a social contract, as it embodies the values and principles that the people of India agreed upon when they adopted the Constitution as their governing document. It reflects the idea that the Indian state derives its legitimacy and authority from the consent of the governed, and that the government is responsible for protecting the rights and interests of its citizens.
(c) Legislative Council is a house without any effective powers. Comment.
Answer: The Legislative Council, also known as the Upper House or the Rajya Sabha in India, is a house of the bicameral legislature that is responsible for representing the states and territories of a country. In some countries, the Legislative Council is regarded as a house without any effective powers, while in others, it plays a critical role in the legislative process.
There are several reasons why some people may argue that the Legislative Council is a house without any effective powers. Firstly, in some countries, the Legislative Council is not directly elected by the people but rather appointed or indirectly elected, which may undermine its legitimacy and ability to represent the people effectively.
Secondly, in some countries, the Legislative Council does not have any real veto power over legislation passed by the Lower House or the Lok Sabha. While it may be able to delay or amend proposed legislation, its ability to block or reject bills is limited.
Thirdly, in some cases, the Legislative Council may lack the authority to initiate or introduce legislation on its own, further reducing its influence in the legislative process.
However, it's worth noting that the role and powers of the Legislative Council can vary significantly from country to country. In some countries, such as the United States, the Senate plays a critical role in shaping legislation and checking the power of the Lower House or the House of Representatives. In other countries, such as Australia and Canada, the Senate has the power to veto or block legislation passed by the Lower House.
Therefore, whether or not the Legislative Council is a house without any effective powers depends on the specific country and its constitutional framework.
(d) How far is the National Commission for Backward Classes an empowered body? Assess its role in the context of the rising demand for backwardness among dominant communities.
Answer: The National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) was established as a constitutional body under the National Commission for Backward Classes Act, of 1993, with the mandate to examine requests for inclusion and exclusion of communities in the central list of backward classes and to advise the government on measures to be taken for the advancement of socially and educationally backward classes.
In terms of its legal powers, the NCBC is empowered to summon and enforce the attendance of witnesses, production of documents, and requisition of any public record from any court or office, and has the powers of a civil court in respect of certain matters. However, the recommendations made by the NCBC are not binding on the government, and it is ultimately up to the government to decide whether or not to accept the NCBC's recommendations.
In the context of the rising demand for backwardness among dominant communities, the NCBC has been under pressure to include these communities in the list of backward classes. However, the NCBC has maintained that its mandate is to identify and recommend measures for the advancement of socially and educationally backward classes, and that dominant communities do not fall under this category.
The NCBC's role in this context is to carefully evaluate each case based on objective criteria and determine whether a particular community meets the criteria for inclusion in the list of backward classes. The NCBC has emphasized the need for objective criteria and has resisted pressures to include communities based on political considerations.
In conclusion, while the NCBC is empowered to some extent, its role in the context of the rising demand for backwardness among dominant communities is primarily to carefully evaluate each case based on objective criteria and to make recommendations accordingly. The NCBC should not be used as a political tool and should remain committed to its mandate of identifying and recommending measures for the advancement of socially and educationally backward classes.
(e) High concentration of economic activities and consumption patterns in the post-liberalization period has led to the failure of environmental movements in India. Elucidate.
Answer: India underwent a process of economic liberalization in the early 1990s, which resulted in a significant increase in economic activities and consumption patterns. However, this rapid growth has also led to negative impacts on the environment, including pollution, deforestation, and loss of biodiversity. Environmental movements have been present in India for several decades, but their effectiveness has been limited in recent years due to the concentration of economic activities and consumption patterns.
One reason for the failure of environmental movements in India is the political and economic power of corporations and industries. Many industries have significant influence over government policies and regulations, allowing them to continue with practices that harm the environment without adequate regulation. The economic growth resulting from liberalization has also led to a focus on development at the cost of the environment, with policymakers prioritizing short-term gains over long-term sustainability.
Another factor contributing to the failure of environmental movements is the lack of public awareness and engagement. Many Indians are not aware of the impact of their consumption patterns on the environment and do not prioritize environmental issues in their daily lives. This lack of awareness makes it difficult for environmental movements to mobilize support and create pressure for change.
Additionally, environmental movements in India often face challenges such as limited resources, lack of access to legal remedies, and harassment and intimidation by the government and corporate entities. This makes it difficult for them to effectively challenge the status quo and bring about change.
In conclusion, the high concentration of economic activities and consumption patterns in post-liberalization India has contributed to the failure of environmental movements. The political and economic power of corporations and industries, lack of public awareness and engagement, and challenges faced by environmental movements make it difficult to address the negative impacts of economic growth on the environment.
6. (a) Electoral behavior of voters is governed more by social and economic factors than political factors. Explain.
Answer: There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question as electoral behavior can be influenced by a wide range of factors, including social, economic, and political factors. However, it is generally accepted that social and economic factors play a significant role in determining how individuals vote in elections.
Social factors such as race, religion, ethnicity, gender, and social class can all influence how individuals vote. For example, people from similar social backgrounds often share common values and beliefs, which can lead them to vote for the same political party or candidate. Similarly, individuals who feel marginalized or discriminated against may vote for parties that they believe will address their concerns.
Economic factors such as income, employment, and economic inequality can also play a significant role in determining electoral behavior. Individuals who are financially secure may be more likely to vote for parties that they believe will maintain or enhance their economic position, while those who are struggling financially may be more likely to vote for parties that promise economic reforms or social welfare policies.
Political factors such as the policy platforms of political parties, the charisma of political leaders, and the performance of incumbent governments can also influence electoral behavior, but these factors are often shaped by social and economic factors. For example, political parties that appeal to the economic interests of voters may be more successful in winning their support, while political leaders who are seen as trustworthy and relatable may be more likely to attract voters from diverse backgrounds.
In conclusion, social and economic factors are likely to be key determinants of electoral behavior, although the relative importance of these factors may vary depending on the specific context and circumstances of each election.
(b) The Doctrine of Basic Structure of the Constitution has enhanced the power of judicial review of the Supreme Court. Examine.
Answer: The Doctrine of Basic Structure is a legal principle that emerged from the landmark Indian Supreme Court case of Kesavananda Bharati v. State of Kerala in 1973. This principle holds that certain fundamental features or essential elements of the Constitution cannot be altered or abrogated even by the constituent power of the Parliament. The Supreme Court asserted that the power of Parliament to amend the Constitution was not absolute and that the Constitution had a basic structure that could not be violated.
The Doctrine of Basic Structure has significantly enhanced the power of judicial review of the Supreme Court of India. Before this doctrine, the power of Parliament to amend the Constitution was almost unfettered. Parliament had the power to amend any provision of the Constitution, including the fundamental rights of citizens. However, after the Kesavananda Bharati case, the Supreme Court ruled that the power of Parliament to amend the Constitution was subject to the basic structure of the Constitution.
This has empowered the Supreme Court to act as a check on the Parliament's power and protect the fundamental features of the Constitution. The Supreme Court can declare any constitutional amendment that violates the basic structure of the Constitution as unconstitutional and void. The Doctrine of Basic Structure has given the Supreme Court the authority to review the constitutional validity of any law passed by the Parliament and strike down any law that violates the Constitution's basic structure.
Furthermore, the Doctrine of Basic Structure has also given the Supreme Court the power to interpret the Constitution in a manner that upholds its fundamental values and principles. It has enabled the Supreme Court to safeguard the Constitution's democratic and secular character, the separation of powers, and the protection of individual rights.
In conclusion, the Doctrine of Basic Structure has enhanced the power of judicial review of the Supreme Court of India by providing a check on the power of Parliament to amend the Constitution. It has given the Supreme Court the authority to protect the fundamental features of the Constitution and ensure that the Constitution's basic structure is not violated. The Doctrine has enabled the Supreme Court to interpret the Constitution in a manner that upholds its fundamental values and principles, thereby safeguarding India's democratic and secular character.
(c) Discuss the composition and functions of the Inter-State Council. To what extent has this body been successful in achieving its objectives?
Answer: The Inter-State Council is a constitutional body that was established in India under Article 263 of the Constitution. It is a permanent body that was created to foster cooperation between the Centre and the States on matters of common interest.
The Inter-State Council comprises the Prime Minister, Chief Ministers of all States, Chief Ministers of Union Territories with Legislatures, Governors of States and Administrators of Union Territories not having a Legislature. The Council is headed by the Prime Minister and meets at least twice a year.
The main function of the Inter-State Council is to discuss and resolve issues of common interest between the Centre and the States. This includes matters such as devolution of powers, Centre-State financial relations, sharing of resources, and coordination between States. The Council also plays a role in resolving disputes between States.
The Council also has the power to set up Standing Committees on specific issues. These committees comprise representatives from the Centre and the States and are tasked with making recommendations on how to resolve specific issues.
The Inter-State Council has had a mixed record in terms of achieving its objectives. On the positive side, the Council has played an important role in promoting coordination and cooperation between the Centre and the States. It has also helped in resolving a number of inter-State disputes.
However, the Council has been criticized for being ineffective in addressing some of the most pressing issues facing the country. For example, the issue of Centre-State financial relations has remained contentious, with States often feeling that they are not receiving a fair share of resources. Some critics have argued that the Council has not done enough to address this issue.
Overall, the Inter-State Council has been an important forum for dialogue and cooperation between the Centre and the States. While it has not always been successful in achieving its objectives, it remains an important platform for addressing issues of common interest and resolving disputes between States.