Expected Questions in Polity & Governance 2019 – IAS/NET (Part 4) (Set-3) (Download PDF)

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Please find below the most important expected topics for the upcoming UPSC Prelims exam 2019. Subscribe@Examrace YouTube Channel to get the complete series of expected questions. For practice and solutions visit - doorsteptutor. com. You can download the pdf by clicking the option “Download PDF”.

Mandatory pre-litigation mediation in commercial dispute

Mandatory pre-litigation mediation in commercial disputes is introduced by Commercial Courts, Commercial Division & Commercial Appellate Division of High Courts (Amendment) Ordinance, 2018, which amends Commercial Courts Act of 2015.

Mandatory pre-litigation mediation puts ball in court of parties involved, rather than looking at external agencies like courts & urges them to engage w/ & resolve disputes.

Meaning of mediation:

  • Law defines “commercial disputes” to include regular commercial & business contracts, construction contracts, shareholder agreements, licensing agreements.
  • Law makes changes for reduction of timelines, tightening processes & designating special commercial courts & commercial divisions to deal w/these disputes.

Mediation:

  • Process of resolution of disputes by parties to them. It involves discussion of conflicts, moving out of loop of allegations & counter-allegations & assessing where interests lie in resolving disputes.
  • Process is managed by a neutral person called mediator, who may evaluate disputes & weigh in on options for settlement (a variant called conciliation).

Controversy over Article 35A

Article 35A gives special status to J&K. It provides legislature of J&K w/freedom to decide who all are ‘permanent residents’ of State & confer on them special rights & privileges in public sector jobs, acquisition of property in State, scholarships & other public aid & welfare. Provision mandates that no act of legislature coming under it can be challenged for violating Constitution or any other law of land.

Controversy w/respect to article

  • Article 35A was incorporated into Constitution in 1954 by order of then President Rajendra Prasad on advice of Jawaharlal Nehru Cabinet.
  • Parliament was not consulted when President incorporated Article 35A into Indian Constitution thru Presidential Order issued under Article 370.
  • Presidential Order was issued under Article 370 (1) (d) of Constitution. This provision allows President to make certain “exceptions & modifications” to Constitution for benefit of ‘State subjects’ of J&K.

Lateral entry into civil services

  • Govt. has opened doors of bureaucracy to skilled people from private sector, inviting applications for 10 senior-level posts.
  • Post of joint secretary - crucial to policy making & implementation of govt. programmes -is filled by career bureaucrats, who usually join service after passing exams conducted by UPSC.
  • Those eligible includes “Individuals working at comparable levels in Private Sector Companies, Consultancy Organisations, International/Multinational Organisations” above age of 40 years & w/min. of 15 years’ experience.
  • Posts are open to officials of any state or UT govt. who are working at equivalent level & individuals working at comparable levels in public sector undertakings, autonomous bodies, universities & research institutes.
  • Recruitment will be done on contract basis for 3 to 5 years. Recruitment will be made for 10 departments – including Revenue, Financial Services, Economic Affairs, Commerce & Civil Aviation. Idea of lateral entry into bureaucracy is under discussion on & off for years.
  • Step would bring in much-needed field experts in governance, but critics have pointed out system can only work if method of selection is impartial, objective & transparent.

India’s 1st Sports University In Manipur

Cabinet approved ordinance to set up country’s 1st national sports university in Manipur. Ordinance will be on lines of bill introduced in Lok Sabha in August, 2017.

Highlights of Bill:

Establishment of University:

  1. Bill establishes National Sports University located in Manipur.
  2. It will promote sports education in areas of: Sports Sciences, Sports Technology, Sports Mgmt. & Sports Coaching.
  3. It will function as national training centre for select sports disciplines.
  4. It may establish campuses & study centres in other parts of country. University will be empowered to grant degrees, diplomas & certificates.

Objectives:

  1. Research, development & dissemination of knowledge in physical education & sports sciences
  2. Strengthening physical education & sports training programmes
  3. Generating knowledge capabilities, skills & competence at various levels
  4. Training talented athletes to help them to evolve into international level athletes.

′Samagra Shiksha’ Programme

Scheme aims at improving quality of education, enhancing learning outcomes & using technology to empower children & teachers.

Scheme subsumes 3 existing schemes: Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), Rashtriya Madhyamik Shikskha Abhiyan (RMSA) & Teacher Education (TE).

Samagra Shiksha scheme

Scheme aims at unifiying learning from pre-school to class 12 levels by treating education holistically as continuum from pre-school to class 12. It focuses on digital education by giving emphasis on integration of 2 Ts – Teacher & Technology.

Objectives

  • Provision of quality education
  • Enhancing learning outcomes of students
  • Bridging social & gender gaps in school education
  • Promoting vocationalisation of education
  • Strengthening teacher education institutions like SCERTs & Diets to improve quality of teachers
  • Providing annual grant of Rs. 5,000 to Rs. 20,000 per school for strengthening of libraries

Food Safety: New norms for labelling food

  • FSSAI has drafted following regulations –
  • All packaged food w/at least 5 % content from genetically engineered sources need to be labelled so.
  • Foods that exceed norms of sugar & fat will need to carry ‘red’ & ‘green’ labels specifying extent to which they do so.
  • Current laws prohibit any GM food - unless cleared by Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee, Union Environment Ministry body - from being sold in India.
  • There was dispute b/w FSSAI, Union Health Ministry body & Environment Ministry on who checks if a particular food had a GE provenance.
  • FSSAI launched ‘Project Dhoop’ in April 2018 – an initiative aimed at shifting school assembly time to noon to ensure max. absorption of Vitamin D in students thru natural sunlight.

About FSSAI

  • Established under FSS Act, 2006
  • Statutory body for laying down science based standards for articles of food & regulating manufacturing, processing, distribution, sale & import of food so as to ensure safe & wholesome food for human consumption.

Minimum Wages Act, 1948

  • It is Act of Parliament concerning Indian labour law that sets min. wages that must be paid to skilled & unskilled labours.
  • Act binds employers to pay their workers min. wages fixed under Act from time to time.
  • In Minimum Wages Act, 1948 min. wages are fixed or revised via 2 methods as follows:
  1. Committee Method: A committee or a Sub-Committee is set up to give advice or make enquiry.
  2. Notification Method: Govt. body responsible for it publishes proposal & official date in Official Gazette.
  • Revision of Min. Wages is made on basis of ‘Cost of Living Index’.
  • Cost of living index compares cost of living in a major city as compared to corresponding metropolitan area. Index incorporates expense of various components that comprise basic human needs, creating aggregate measure to which new entrants into workforce may refer.
  • Geetam Singh case: much known case of Geetam Singh (Central Secretariat Club vs Geetam Singh) exemplifies “Payment of wages below min. wage rate amounts to forced labor & attracts criminal liability”.

Speaker Pro Tem

Speaker of Lok Sabha/legislative assembly vacates office immediately before 1st meeting of newly elected house. President/governor appoints pro-tem speaker to preside over sittings of the house.

Pro-tem Speaker: Selection & Functions

  • Usually senior most member is elected as pro-tem speaker.
  • President/governor will administer oath of office for pro-tem speaker.
  • Main duty of pro-tem speaker is to administer oath to newly elected members.
  • Pro-tem enables house to elect new speaker.
  • When house elects new speaker office of pro-tem speaker ceases to exist.
  • Office of pro-tem speaker is temporary one which will be in existence for few days.
  • ØPro-tem speaker has same powers, privileges as that of Speaker. Experts say that there is a need to bring greater clarity w/respect to selection of pro-tem speaker so that credentials of democracy are not dented.

SC approves Draft Cauvery water management scheme

SC has approved Centre’s draft Cauvery Management Scheme for smooth distribution of water among 4 southern riparian states/UT - Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala & Puducherry. It ordered Central Govt. to notify scheme before monsoons.

SC Order

  • Apex court modified Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT) award 2007 & made it clear that it will not be extending time for its implementation on any ground.
  • It raised Karnataka’s share of Cauvery water by 14.75 tmcft saying that issue of drinking water of Southern Karnataka region has to be placed on higher pedestal.
  • It reduced Tamil Nadu’s share, while compensating it by allowing extraction of 10 tmcft groundwater from river basin.

Cauvery Management Scheme

  • Scheme deals w/release of water from Karnataka to Tamil Nadu, Kerala & Puducherry.
  • It will be implemented by Cauvery Management Authority (CMA). CMA will be sole body to implement CWDT award as modified by SC.
  • Central Govt. will have no say in implementing of scheme except for issuing administrative advisories to it.

Justice B. N. Srikrishna Committee recommendations on Personal Data Protection

2017 SC’s ‘Right to Privacy’ judgment (K. Puttaswamy v Union of India case) clarified that we have fundamental right to privacy & that state has obligation to protect this right by enacting appropriate legislation.

Union govt. tasked a committee headed by Justice B. N. Srikrishna to formulate such law.

It was created to deal w/judicial concerns triggered by Union govt. ‘s arguments against fundamental right to privacy in SC’s Aadhaar hearings & concerns about lack of effective regulation of pvt. sector use, transfer, abuse of data that arose in SC hearings on challenge to transfer of Indian user data from WhatsApp to Facebook, following its acquisition.

Justice B. N. Srikrishna Committee

  • Srikrishna panel submitted draft “The Personal Data Protection Bill, 2018”
  • Recommended that critical personal data of Indian citizens be processed in centres located w/I country.
  • Govt. should notify categories of personal data that will be considered critical.
  • Draft bill provides for penalties for data processor & compensation to data principal to be imposed for violations of data protection law.

Another Step in battle against leprosy

Over 110 Central & State laws discriminate against leprosy patients. These laws stigmatise & isolate leprosy patients & coupled w/age-old beliefs about leprosy, cause patients untold suffering.

About proposed (amendment) bill:

  • Personal Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2018, seeks to make a start in amending stigmatising statutes.
  • It attempts to end discrimination against leprosy persons in various central laws: Divorce Act, 1869; Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act, 1939; Special Marriage Act, 1954; Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 & Hindu Adoptions & Maintenance Act of 1956.
  • Bill eliminates leprosy as a ground for dissolution of marriage or divorce.
  • Condition under Section 18 (2) (c) of Hindu Adoptions & Maintenance Act, that Hindu wife is entitled to live separately from her husband w/o forfeiting her claim to maintenance if latter is “suffering from a virulent form of leprosy”, is omitted.
  • Amendments introduced in Bill omit provisions which stigmatise & discriminate against leprosy-affected persons.
  • Bill is meant to provide for integration of leprosy patients into mainstream.

Right to retire

  • SC ruled that - State can stop govt. doctors from taking voluntary retirement in public interest.
  • Fundamental right to retire is not above right to save lives in a country where govt. hospitals cater to poorest.
  • Qualified doctors did not join public service & even if they did so, they chose voluntary retirement & went into lucrative private practice.

Related Constitutional provisions

SC held that -

  • State govt. have obligation “to make endeavour under Article 47 to look after provisions for health & nutrition. “
  • Doctors, as citizens, have certain fundamental duties under Article 51 (A) towards their fellow citizens.
  • Right to practice a profession under Article 19 (1) (g) is subject to interest of general public.

Economic Survey 2016 - 17 on Misallocation of centrally sponsored schemes (CSS)

  • Universal basic income (UBI) is from 2016 - 17 Economic survey. UBI is enhanced because of weakness of existing welfare schemes.
  • Scheme will analyse resource allocation of CSS & check if indeed there is misallocation of govt. ‘s resources.
  • Before study of misallocation, study should be done in CSS, which accounts for more than 50 % of total CSS spending. These schemes are:
  1. Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS).
  2. Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA)
  3. Mid Day Meal Scheme (MDM)
  4. Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY)
  5. Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY)
  6. Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM)
  7. Bihar & Jharkhand have often represented that they have limited resources & are not able to provide state’s share to enable them to access required funds under CSS.

Supreme Court allows Passive Euthanasia

SC allowed passive euthanasia & right to give advance medical directives or ‘Living Wills’, stating that human beings have right to die w/dignity as part of fundamental right, but made sure to set out strict guidelines that will govern when it is permitted.

SC Ruling

  • Fundamental right to life & dignity under Article 21 of Constitution includes right to die w/dignity. Dignity is lost if man is allowed or forced to undergo pain & suffering because of unwarranted medical support.
  • It distinguished passive euthanasia from suicide & active euthanasia. It called passive euthanasia as mere acceleration of inevitable conclusion. It concluded that Active euthanasia is unlawful. It held that suicide involves overt acts which culminate in unnatural death.
  • Valid ‘Living Will’ facilitates passive euthanasia & failure to legally recognize advance medical directive inconveniences right to smoothen dying process. In cases of terminally ill or permanently vegetative state patients, where there is no hope for revival, priority should be given to Living Wills & right of self-determination.
  • It laid down principles for execution of advance directives & spelt out guidelines & safeguards to give effect to passive euthanasia. Directive & guidelines shall remain in force till Parliament brings a legislation in field.

- Published/Last Modified on: May 31, 2019

Policy/Governance

Monthy-updated, fully-solved, large current affairs-2019 question bank(more than 2000 problems): Quickly cover most-important current-affairs questions with pointwise explanations especially designed for IAS, NTA-NET, Bank-PO and other competetive exams.