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Indian Statistical Service Indian Economic Service (ISS IES) 2021 General Studies-1, Question-4







(a) "The Indian Constitution is a living document." Discuss.


Answer- The Indian Constitution is often referred to as a "living document" because it has been able to adapt and evolve over time to meet the changing needs and demands of the country. The Constitution of India was adopted on 26th January 1950, and it has undergone several amendments since then to ensure that it remains relevant and effective.


One of the primary reasons why the Indian Constitution is considered a living document is because it has a flexible framework. The Constitution provides for a process of amendment, which allows for changes to be made to the document as the need arises. This has allowed for the inclusion of new provisions and the modification of existing ones to meet the changing requirements of the society.

Furthermore, the Indian Constitution has been interpreted and applied in various ways by the judiciary, leading to the evolution of the Constitution's understanding over time. The Supreme Court of India has played a crucial role in interpreting the Constitution, particularly in cases where there are conflicting interpretations of its provisions. The Court has also recognized that the Constitution must be interpreted in the light of the changing times and social conditions.




In addition to this, the Constitution has also been amended to accommodate new challenges and emerging issues. For instance, the Constitution was amended to include provisions related to the protection of the environment, the rights of children, and the rights of women. The Constitution has also been amended to introduce new policies and programs such as the Right to Education, the Right to Information, and the Goods and Services Tax.


In conclusion, the Indian Constitution is a living document because it has been able to adapt and evolve over time to meet the changing needs and demands of the country. The Constitution's flexible framework, the role of the judiciary in interpreting and applying its provisions, and the amendments made to address emerging issues have all contributed to its continued relevance and effectiveness.



(b) Critically examine the financial emergency powers of the President and their effects.


Answer- The financial emergency powers of the President are an important tool that can be used to address economic crises and maintain financial stability. However, these powers can also have significant impacts on the economy and may lead to unintended consequences.


Under the Constitution of many countries, including the United States, the President may declare a national emergency and use emergency powers to address financial crises. These powers may include the authority to freeze assets, impose price controls, and allocate resources as necessary to address the emergency.


While these powers can be useful in preventing economic collapse and stabilizing financial markets, they can also have negative consequences. For example, freezing assets may lead to panic among investors and cause a further downturn in the economy. Price controls may lead to shortages of goods and services, and allocation of resources may lead to inefficiencies and corruption.


Moreover, the use of financial emergency powers by the President can raise concerns about the concentration of power and the potential abuse of authority. The use of these powers can also have long-lasting effects on the economy and society, such as increased government control and reduced economic freedom.


In conclusion, while the financial emergency powers of the President can be a necessary tool in times of crisis, their use should be carefully considered and balanced against the potential negative consequences. Any decision to use these powers should be made with transparency and accountability to ensure that they are used appropriately and for the benefit of the economy and society as a whole.





(c) "The Rajya Sabha has certain special powers vis-à-vis the Lok Sabha that adds to its prestige." Comment.


Answer- The Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha are the two houses of the Indian parliament, with the former being the upper house and the latter being the lower house. While both houses have their unique roles and responsibilities, the Rajya Sabha enjoys certain special powers that add to its prestige.


Firstly, the Rajya Sabha has the power to initiate bills related to any matter, except for money bills, which can only be introduced in the Lok Sabha. This power gives the Rajya Sabha the ability to shape legislation that affects the entire country, rather than just its own state or region.


Secondly, the Rajya Sabha plays a crucial role in the process of amending the Indian Constitution. Any constitutional amendment bill must be passed by both houses of parliament, but if it pertains to certain matters such as the powers of the states or the composition of the Rajya Sabha itself, it must be approved by a two-thirds majority in the upper house. This gives the Rajya Sabha significant power to block or shape constitutional amendments, and reinforces its role as a defender of federalism and minority interests.


Finally, the Rajya Sabha has the power to remove the Vice President and other high-ranking officials through impeachment proceedings. This power gives the upper house a unique responsibility in ensuring accountability and integrity in government, and adds to its prestige as a serious and influential institution.


Overall, the special powers of the Rajya Sabha give it a unique role in Indian politics and contribute to its prestige as an important institution of governance. Its ability to shape legislation, influence constitutional amendments, and ensure accountability adds to its status as a significant voice in Indian democracy.




(d) Compare the writ jurisdictions of the Supreme Court and the High Court.


Answer- The writ jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and the High Court in India are similar in some ways but have significant differences as well.


1. Types of Writs: Both the Supreme Court and High Court have the power to issue writs, including Habeas Corpus, Mandamus, Prohibition, Certiorari, and Quo Warranto.


2. Territorial Jurisdiction: The territorial jurisdiction of the Supreme Court extends throughout India, while that of High Court is limited to a particular state or Union Territory.


3. Appellate Jurisdiction: The Supreme Court is the highest appellate court in India and can hear appeals against the judgments of High Courts, while the High Court hears appeals from lower courts within its territorial jurisdiction.


4. Original Jurisdiction: The Supreme Court has the power to hear certain types of cases directly under its original jurisdiction, such as disputes between the Union and States, while the High Court does not have such powers.


5. Constitutional Interpretation: The Supreme Court has the power of judicial review and can interpret the Constitution of India, while the High Court does not have this power to the same extent.


6. Power of Enforcement: The Supreme Court has the power to enforce fundamental rights guaranteed under the Constitution, while the High Court has the power to enforce fundamental rights as well as other legal rights.


In summary, while both the Supreme Court and High Court have the power to issue writs, the Supreme Court has wider jurisdiction, both in terms of territorial reach and types of cases it can hear, as well as a more significant role in interpreting the Constitution of India and enforcing fundamental rights.




(e) "The Indian Government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic has shifted the federal balance in its favour." Illustrate with suitable examples.


The Indian Government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic has indeed shifted the federal balance in its favour, as it has taken the lead in coordinating efforts to combat the virus.


One example of this is the imposition of a nationwide lockdown in March 2020, which was implemented by the central government and enforced by state governments. This demonstrated the central government's ability to take decisive action in the face of a crisis and assert its authority over state governments.


Additionally, the central government has taken a lead role in the distribution of vaccines, with the majority of doses being procured by the central government and then distributed to the states. This has given the central government a significant degree of control over the vaccination program, which is a key component of the pandemic response.


Furthermore, the central government has played a key role in setting national policy on issues such as travel restrictions, testing protocols, and quarantine requirements, which has again demonstrated its authority over state governments in matters related to the pandemic.


Overall, the Indian Government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic has strengthened its position relative to state governments, as it has taken the lead in coordinating the national response and asserting its authority over key policy areas.




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