Public Administration Civil Services Paper 2 Section- B, Questions 3,4_ Solutions
3. (a) The New Economic Reforms during the past three decades have not only reduced the scope of industrial licensing and areas reserved exclusively for the Public Sector but also infringed the autonomy of existing public sector undertakings". Examine. Answer: The New Economic Reforms implemented in India since the 1990s have significantly reduced the scope of industrial licensing and dismantled the system of reservation of certain industries exclusively for the public sector. This was done to encourage private investment and competition in the economy and to reduce the burden on the government in managing and financing public sector undertakings (PSUs). However, the reforms have also had the effect of infringing upon the autonomy of existing PSUs. Earlier, the PSUs enjoyed a large degree of autonomy in their functioning, but with the reforms, their autonomy has been curtailed to some extent. One of the main reasons for this is the increased emphasis on performance and accountability in the functioning of PSUs. With the government reducing its financial support to these enterprises, the PSUs have been forced to become more self-reliant and generate their own resources. In order to ensure that they meet their targets, the government has introduced greater monitoring and control mechanisms over the functioning of these enterprises. Another reason is the increased competition from private sector enterprises. With the opening up of several sectors to private investment, the PSUs have had to compete with private enterprises on a level playing field. This has led to greater pressure on the PSUs to perform and become more efficient in their operations. However, this increased control and monitoring by the government has also led to a decline in the autonomy of the PSUs. The government has started to interfere in the day-to-day operations of the PSUs, leading to delays in decision-making and an overall lack of agility in the functioning of these enterprises. In conclusion, while the New Economic Reforms have reduced the scope of industrial licensing and encouraged private investment in the economy, they have also had the unintended effect of infringing upon the autonomy of existing PSUs. The government must strike a balance between accountability and autonomy in the functioning of PSUs, in order to ensure their efficient and effective functioning in a competitive economic environment. 3(b) "National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Ayog has become super cabinet in formulating the development agenda of our country". Examine the statement by giving suitable examples. Answer: The National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog was formed in 2015 to replace the Planning Commission of India. It is a policy think-tank that serves as a platform for the central government and the state governments to engage in policy formulation and implementation. While it doesn't have any legal authority, it plays a critical role in shaping the development agenda of the country. However, it is not accurate to describe NITI Aayog as a "super cabinet." Firstly, NITI Aayog does not have the power to make executive decisions or override the decisions made by the Cabinet or Parliament. Its role is advisory in nature, and it works closely with the government to identify key policy priorities and suggest measures for their implementation. Secondly, NITI Aayog's mandate is focused on promoting cooperative federalism and ensuring the participation of states in the development process. It works closely with state governments and provides them with the necessary resources and support to achieve their development goals. For example, NITI Aayog has launched various initiatives like the Aspirational Districts Programme to improve the social and economic indicators of the underdeveloped districts in the country. The Ayushman Bharat scheme, which aims to provide health insurance to millions of Indians, was also formulated with the help of NITI Aayog. NITI Aayog also plays an essential role in promoting sustainable development and environmental conservation. It has launched initiatives like the National Energy Policy, which aims to promote the use of clean and renewable sources of energy, and the Clean Ganga Mission, which aims to rejuvenate the river Ganga and improve its water quality. In conclusion, NITI Aayog is a critical institution in shaping the development agenda of India. While it works closely with the government, it does not have the power to make executive decisions, and its mandate is focused on promoting cooperative federalism and ensuring the participation of states in the development process.
3. (c) Despite the constitutional status, the District planning committees remained a non-entity in the preparation and implementation of plans. Discuss.
Answer: The District Planning Committees (DPCs) were established under the 73rd Constitutional Amendment Act of 1992 to ensure decentralized planning and participatory decision-making at the district level in India. The primary objective of the DPCs was to ensure that the planning process is more democratic, inclusive, and responsive to the local needs and aspirations of the people.
However, despite being constitutionally mandated, the DPCs have remained largely ineffective in the preparation and implementation of plans in India. There are several reasons for this:
Lack of Adequate Powers: Although the DPCs are constitutionally mandated, they do not have adequate powers to carry out their functions effectively. The state governments often retain most of the powers, and the DPCs do not have any financial or administrative autonomy. This limits their ability to take decisions and implement plans.
Lack of Resources: The DPCs do not have sufficient resources to carry out their functions effectively. They often have to rely on the state government for funding, which is often inadequate or delayed. This limits their ability to implement plans and execute programs effectively.
Lack of Capacity: The DPCs often lack the technical and administrative capacity to carry out their functions effectively. The members of the DPCs are often not adequately trained or equipped to handle the complex planning process. This limits their ability to prepare and implement plans effectively.
Political Interference: The DPCs often face political interference from the state governments. The members of the DPCs are often appointed based on political affiliations, and they are not always independent in their decision-making. This leads to biased and non-transparent decision-making, which is not in the interest of the people.
Lack of Awareness: The people often lack awareness about the existence and functions of the DPCs. This limits their ability to participate in the planning process and hold the DPC accountable for their decisions.
In conclusion, despite being constitutionally mandated, the DPCs have remained largely ineffective in the preparation and implementation of plans in India. There is a need to strengthen the DPCs by providing them with adequate powers, resources, capacity building, and ensuring their independence from political interference. Additionally, efforts should be made to raise awareness among the people about the existence and functions of the DPCs, and their role in participatory planning and decision-making.
4. (a) "The Indian judicial system has failed to deliver justice expeditiously". Examine the challenges faced by the judiciary and suggest measures to overcome them.
Answer: The Indian judicial system has been grappling with a backlog of cases, delays, and inefficiencies for a long time. The lack of expeditious delivery of justice is a major issue in the Indian judicial system. There are several challenges that have contributed to this problem, some of which are discussed below:
High Number of Pending Cases: The Indian judicial system is overburdened with a large number of pending cases. According to the National Judicial Data Grid, as of February 2021, there were over 4.5 crore cases pending across all courts in India. This huge backlog of cases is one of the primary reasons for the delay in delivering justice.
Inadequate Number of Judges: India has one of the lowest judge-to-population ratios in the world. The Law Commission of India has recommended that India needs to increase the number of judges to at least 50 judges per million population. However, the current ratio is only about 20 judges per million population. This shortage of judges has led to overburdening of the existing judges, resulting in delays in delivering justice.
Outdated Laws and Procedures: Another challenge faced by the Indian judicial system is outdated laws and procedures. Many of the laws and procedures are archaic and complex, leading to delays in the judicial process. There is a need to simplify and modernize the legal framework to ensure expeditious delivery of justice.
Lack of Infrastructure: The Indian judicial system also suffers from a lack of adequate infrastructure, such as courtrooms, support staff, and technology. This leads to delays in the judicial process and affects the quality of justice delivered.
Measures to overcome these challenges and improve the efficiency of the judicial system are:
Increase the Number of Judges: The government needs to increase the number of judges in the Indian judicial system. This will help in reducing the backlog of cases and ensuring faster disposal of cases.
Modernize Laws and Procedures: There is a need to modernize the legal framework by simplifying laws and procedures. This will help in reducing the time taken for judicial proceedings.
Strengthen the Infrastructure: The government needs to invest in strengthening the infrastructure of the judicial system. This includes increasing the number of courtrooms, and support staff, and using technology to make the process more efficient.
Alternative Dispute Resolution: Encouraging and promoting alternative dispute resolution mechanisms like mediation, arbitration, and negotiation can help in reducing the burden on the courts and thus expedite justice delivery.
Judicial Reforms: The government needs to introduce judicial reforms that streamline the judicial process and make it more efficient. These reforms should focus on reducing the number of adjournments, promoting digitization, and other measures to reduce delays.
In conclusion, the Indian judicial system is facing several challenges that are hindering the expeditious delivery of justice. However, with the implementation of measures like increasing the number of judges, modernizing laws and procedures, strengthening infrastructure, promoting alternative dispute resolution, and introducing judicial reforms, the Indian judicial system can overcome these challenges and deliver justice expeditiously.
4. (b) Analyse the specific areas of controversies with regard to Union-State financial relations, particularly in the context of one nation — one tax policy.
Answer: The Union-State financial relations in India have been a subject of controversy for several decades. One of the most recent areas of controversy in this regard is the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) under the "one nation, one tax" policy. Here are some of the specific areas of controversy:
GST Compensation: The implementation of GST has caused a revenue loss for some states. To compensate for this loss, the central government had promised to provide GST compensation to the states for five years. However, the Covid-19 pandemic has severely impacted the economy, and the central government has struggled to meet its GST compensation commitments to the states. This has led to a conflict between the center and the states over the issue of GST compensation.
Dual Control: Another area of controversy in the implementation of GST is the issue of dual control. The GST Council, which is a body consisting of representatives from the center and the states, is responsible for deciding the GST rates and other policy matters. However, the states have been demanding more control over the administration of GST. This has led to a conflict between the center and the states over the issue of dual control.
GST Rates: GST rates have been a subject of controversy since the implementation of GST. While some items have seen a reduction in tax rates, others have seen an increase. There have been demands from various sectors to reduce the GST rates, and the center and the states have been negotiating on this issue.
Compensation Cess: To compensate for the revenue loss due to GST, the government introduced the Compensation Cess. However, the use of this cess has been a subject of controversy. The states have been demanding that the cess be extended beyond the five-year period to compensate for their revenue losses.
GST on Petroleum Products: Another area of controversy is the inclusion of petroleum products under GST. The central government has been reluctant to bring petrol and diesel under the ambit of GST as it would lead to a significant loss of revenue. However, the states have been demanding that petrol and diesel be brought under GST to reduce their prices.
In conclusion, the implementation of GST under the "one nation, one tax" policy has led to several areas of controversy between the center and the states. These controversies revolve around issues such as GST compensation, dual control, GST rates, compensation cess, and GST on petroleum products. It is important for the central and state governments to work together to resolve these issues and ensure a smooth implementation of GST.
4(c) Examine the role of the central government in the adjudication of disputes relating to the water of interstate rivers.
Answer: The central government plays a crucial role in the adjudication of disputes related to the water of interstate rivers in India.
India has a federal system of government, where the central government and the state governments have specific powers and responsibilities. Water is a state subject, each state has its own laws, policies, and regulations related to water resources management. However, when disputes arise between states over the use and sharing of water from interstate rivers, the central government has a constitutional obligation to resolve them.
The central government's role in the adjudication of disputes related to water of interstate rivers is primarily governed by two Acts: the Inter-State River Water Disputes (ISRWD) Act, 1956, and the National Water Policy, 2012.
The ISRWD Act provides for the establishment of river water tribunals to resolve disputes between states. The central government, upon receiving a request from any state, can set up a tribunal to adjudicate the dispute. The tribunal comprises a chairman, two or more members nominated by the central government, and representatives of each state party to the dispute. The tribunal has the power to determine the sharing of water, the manner of its distribution, and any other matter incidental to the dispute. The decision of the tribunal is binding on all the parties involved, and there is no appeal against its decision.
The National Water Policy, 2012, outlines the central government's policy and approach to water resources management, including the resolution of inter-state water disputes. It emphasizes the need for a participatory approach, involving all stakeholders, and the use of the latest scientific and technical knowledge in resolving disputes.
In conclusion, the central government has a critical role in the adjudication of disputes related to the water of interstate rivers. It ensures that disputes are resolved in a fair and just manner and that the interests of all stakeholders are considered. The establishment of river water tribunals and the implementation of the National Water Policy, 2012, are crucial steps in managing and resolving inter-state water disputes in India.