UPSC Mains 2023 GS2 Model Answer

Q. ‘Sea is an important Component of the Cosmos’ Discuss in the light of the above statement the role of the IMO (International Maritime Organisation) in protecting environment and enhancing maritime safety and security.

Q. ‘Sea is an important Component of the Cosmos’ Discuss in the light of the above statement the role of the IMO (International Maritime Organisation) in protecting environment and enhancing maritime safety and security.

Question from UPSC Mains 2023 GS2 Paper

Model Answer: 

Sea’s Importance

The sea, covering over 70% of the Earth’s surface, plays a vital role in the balance of the Earth’s ecosystems. It is a crucial component of the cosmos, not just as a habitat for marine life, but also in terms of climate regulation, carbon sequestration, and supporting human activities such as transportation, fishing, and recreation.

Role of IMO in Protecting the Environment

The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) plays a pivotal role in ensuring that the sea’s importance is recognised and safeguarded through various measures aimed at protecting the environment and enhancing maritime safety and security.

Emission Control: The IMO has implemented regulations to control air pollution from ships, such as the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL). For instance, it has set limits on sulphur and nitrogen oxide emissions from ship exhausts to reduce their environmental impact.

Ballast Water Management: The IMO’s Ballast Water Management Convention aims to prevent the spread of harmful aquatic organisms from one region to another, thereby protecting marine ecosystems.

Anti-Fouling Systems: The IMO has also set regulations on the use of harmful anti-fouling systems on ships, which can have detrimental effects on marine life.

Marine Litter: The IMO works to prevent, reduce and control pollution of the marine environment from ships, including regulations to prohibit the disposal of plastics and other forms of litter at sea.

Role of IMO in Enhancing Maritime Safety and Security

The IMO plays a crucial role in enhancing maritime safety and security through various measures.

Safety of Life at Sea: The IMO’s International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) is the most important treaty addressing maritime safety, including the safety of merchant ships, passenger ships, and cargo ships.

Maritime Security: The IMO has established measures to prevent and suppress acts of terrorism against shipping. The International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code, for example, provides a framework for assessing maritime security risks and developing security plans.

Training and Certification: The IMO sets standards for the training and certification of seafarers to ensure that ships are operated safely, efficiently, and environmentally responsibly.

Marine Casualty Investigation: The IMO provides guidelines for conducting marine casualty investigations, with the aim of preventing future marine accidents.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the IMO plays a vital role in preserving the sea as an important component of the cosmos. Through its various conventions and codes, it works tirelessly to protect the marine environment from pollution, enhance maritime safety, and ensure maritime security. However, the effectiveness of the IMO’s measures relies heavily on the cooperation and compliance of its member states and the shipping industry. Therefore, continuous efforts are needed to promote and enforce these measures to ensure the sustainable use of our seas.

Q. ‘Sea is an important Component of the Cosmos’ Discuss in the light of the above statement the role of the IMO (International Maritime Organisation) in protecting environment and enhancing maritime safety and security. Read More »

Q. The expansion and strengthening of NATO and a stronger US-Europe strategic partnership works well for India.’ What is your opinion about this statement? Give reasons and examples to support your answer.

Q. The expansion and strengthening of NATO and a stronger US-Europe strategic partnership works well for India.’ What is your opinion about this statement? Give reasons and examples to support your answer.

Question from UPSC Mains 2023 GS2 Paper

Model Answer: 

Benefits of NATO Expansion and a Stronger US-Europe Partnership for India

The statement asserts that the expansion and strengthening of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) and a more robust US-Europe strategic partnership is beneficial for India. In the current geopolitical climate, this statement holds true for several reasons. The expansion of NATO and a stronger US-Europe partnership can provide India with opportunities to deepen its strategic ties, enhance its security, and increase its global influence.

1. Countering China’s Assertiveness

China’s growing assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific region is a significant concern for India. A stronger NATO and US-Europe partnership could help India counter China’s aggressive posture. Recently, NATO has started to focus more on China’s military expansion, which aligns with India’s strategic interests. For example, the NATO 2030 agenda acknowledges China’s assertiveness as a systemic challenge to global security.

2. Access to Advanced Technology

A stronger US-Europe partnership could provide India with greater access to advanced technology. The US and Europe are leaders in technology and defense equipment, and a closer partnership with them could boost India’s military modernization efforts. For instance, India has already signed several defense deals with the US, such as the procurement of Apache and Chinook helicopters.

3. Enhancing India’s Global Influence

India’s strategic alignment with NATO and the US-Europe partnership could enhance its global influence. It could provide India with a platform to voice its concerns and interests on global issues, such as terrorism, climate change, and nuclear proliferation.

4. Strengthening Democratic Alliances

India, the US, and Europe share common democratic values. A stronger US-Europe partnership, coupled with NATO’s expansion, could help India strengthen its democratic alliances around the world. This could serve as a counterweight to authoritarian regimes like China and Russia.

5. Economic Opportunities

A stronger US-Europe strategic partnership could lead to increased trade and investment opportunities for India. The US and Europe are among India’s largest trading partners, and a closer strategic partnership could boost economic ties.

6. Enhancing Security Cooperation

The expansion of NATO could enhance security cooperation between India and NATO member states. This would be crucial in tackling global security challenges like terrorism and cybercrime.

7. Promoting Peace and Stability

A stronger NATO and US-Europe partnership could promote peace and stability in regions critical to India’s interests, such as the Indo-Pacific and Afghanistan.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the expansion and strengthening of NATO and a stronger US-Europe strategic partnership could indeed work well for India. It could help India counter China’s assertiveness, gain access to advanced technology, enhance its global influence, strengthen democratic alliances, boost economic ties, enhance security cooperation, and promote peace and stability. However, India needs to tread carefully to ensure that its strategic autonomy is not compromised.

Q. The expansion and strengthening of NATO and a stronger US-Europe strategic partnership works well for India.’ What is your opinion about this statement? Give reasons and examples to support your answer. Read More »

Q. Skill development programmes have succeeded in increasing human resources supply to various sectors. In the context of the statement analyse the linkages between education, skill and employment.

Q. Skill development programmes have succeeded in increasing human resources supply to various sectors. In the context of the statement analyse the linkages between education, skill and employment.

Question from UPSC Mains 2023 GS2 Paper

Model Answer: 

Skill Development Programmes and their Impact on Human Resources Supply

Skill development programmes are a significant part of the growth strategy in any economy, especially in a country like India where the youth population is vast. These programmes aim to equip individuals with the necessary skills and knowledge to contribute effectively to the economy. The linkages between education, skill, and employment are critical to understanding the impact of skill development programmes on human resources supply.

1. Education as a Foundation:

Education forms the base of any skill development programme. It is through education that individuals acquire basic knowledge and cognitive skills. For instance, reading, writing, and arithmetic are foundational skills that are necessary for almost all jobs. In India, the Right to Education Act has made education accessible to all, thereby laying the groundwork for skill development.

2. Skill Development:

Skill Development Once the foundation of education is laid, skill development programmes come into play. These programmes offer specialised training in various sectors such as technology, healthcare, hospitality, etc. For instance, the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) in India aims to provide industry-relevant skill training to millions of young Indians.

3. Bridging the Skill Gap:

Skill Development Programmes help bridge the skill gap in the industry. Many industries face a shortage of skilled labour, and these programmes provide the necessary training to meet this demand. For instance, the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) in India has partnered with various industries to provide training in specific skills.

4. Enhancing Employability:

Skilled individuals have a higher chance of getting employed as they possess the necessary skills required by the industry. The National Career Service (NCS) in India provides a platform for job seekers and employers, where skilled individuals can find suitable job opportunities.

5. Promoting Entrepreneurship:

Skill development programmes not only enhance employability but also promote entrepreneurship. Individuals with specific skills can start their own business, thereby creating more job opportunities. For instance, the Stand-Up India scheme supports entrepreneurship among women and SC/ST communities.

6. Economic Growth:

An increase in skilled labour contributes to economic growth. Skilled individuals are more productive, leading to an increase in output and income. This, in turn, leads to economic growth.

7. Social Inclusion:

Skill development programmes promote social inclusion by providing equal opportunities to all, irrespective of their social and economic background. For instance, the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana (DDU-GKY) in India aims at skilling rural youth who are poor and provides them with jobs with regular monthly wages.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, the linkages between education, skill, and employment are evident in the success of skill development programmes in increasing human resources supply. Education forms the base, skill development enhances employability, and employment leads to economic growth. However, the success of these programmes depends on their quality and relevance to industry needs. Therefore, continuous monitoring and updating of these programmes are necessary to meet the changing demands of the industry.

Q. Skill development programmes have succeeded in increasing human resources supply to various sectors. In the context of the statement analyse the linkages between education, skill and employment. Read More »

Q. “Development and welfare schemes for the vulnerable, by its nature, are discriminatory in approach.” Do you agree? Give reasons for your answer.

Q. “Development and welfare schemes for the vulnerable, by its nature, are discriminatory in approach.” Do you agree? Give reasons for your answer.

Question from UPSC Mains 2023 GS2 Paper

Model Answer: 

Development and Welfare Schemes for the Vulnerable

Development and welfare schemes for the vulnerable sections of society are essentially designed to uplift those who are socially, economically, or physically disadvantaged. These schemes are often viewed as discriminatory because they specifically target certain groups and not the entire population. However, this discrimination is not negative but rather a form of positive discrimination or affirmative action, aimed at reducing inequality and promoting social justice.

Addressing Historical Injustices

In India, certain communities such as Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs), and Other Backward Classes (OBCs) have historically been marginalized and discriminated against. Welfare schemes like reservation in education and jobs are a form of positive discrimination intended to rectify these historical injustices.

Economic Disparities

Welfare schemes such as the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, which aims to provide access to financial services to the poor, are discriminatory as they specifically target the economically disadvantaged. However, this discrimination is necessary to bridge the economic gap and promote financial inclusion.

Gender Discrimination

Schemes like Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao are discriminatory as they specifically target the girl child. This is necessary to address the deep-rooted gender bias in Indian society and promote gender equality.

Rural-Urban Divide

Schemes like the Pradhan Mantri Gramin Awaas Yojana, which aims to provide housing for the rural poor, are discriminatory as they do not cover urban areas. However, this discrimination is necessary to address the rural-urban divide and promote balanced development.

Disability Discrimination

Schemes like the Unique Disability ID (UDID) project, which aims to create a national database for persons with disabilities, are discriminatory as they specifically target this group. However, this discrimination is necessary to ensure that persons with disabilities have access to all the benefits and rights they are entitled to.

Age Discrimination

Schemes like the Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana, which provides an assured return to senior citizens, are discriminatory as they specifically target this age group. However, this discrimination is necessary to ensure the financial security of the elderly.

Health Discrimination

Schemes like the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY), which provides free health insurance to poor and vulnerable families, are discriminatory as they do not cover everyone. However, this discrimination is necessary to ensure that health care is affordable and accessible to all.

Conclusion

While development and welfare schemes for the vulnerable may seem discriminatory, it is important to understand that this discrimination is not arbitrary but rather a necessary measure to address existing inequalities and promote social justice. These schemes are a reflection of the state’s commitment to the principles of equality and social justice enshrined in the Constitution of India. They are an attempt to level the playing field and provide equal opportunities to all citizens, irrespective of their social, economic, or physical status.

Q. “Development and welfare schemes for the vulnerable, by its nature, are discriminatory in approach.” Do you agree? Give reasons for your answer. Read More »

Q. Explain the structure of the Parliamentary Committee system. How far have the financial committees helped in the institutionalisation of Indian Parliament?

Q. Explain the structure of the Parliamentary Committee system. How far have the financial committees helped in the institutionalisation of Indian Parliament?

Question from UPSC Mains 2023 GS2 Paper

Model Answer: 

Parliamentary Committee system in India

Parliamentary Committee system in India is an integral part of the legislative process. It is designed to provide a forum for detailed scrutiny and discussion of various issues, bills, and policies. The committees are constituted by the presiding officers of both houses of Parliament, and they play a crucial role in maintaining the oversight of the executive’s actions and ensuring accountability. The financial committees, in particular, have been instrumental in the institutionalisation of Indian Parliament, enhancing its effectiveness and efficiency.

Structure of the Parliamentary Committee system:

1. Types of Committees: There are two types of committees – Standing and Ad Hoc. Standing committees are permanent, with their existence and terms of reference laid down in the Rules of Procedure. On the other hand, Ad Hoc committees are temporary, formed for a specific purpose and disbanded after their task is completed.

2. Composition: The composition of the committees is roughly proportional to the strength of the political parties in Parliament. The members are nominated by the Speaker or the Chairman, and they usually serve for a term of one year.

3. Functioning: The committees function in a non-partisan manner, with their meetings being ‘in-camera’. The reports of the committees are usually exhaustive and provide a detailed analysis of the issue at hand.

Role of Financial Committees:

1. Public Accounts Committee (PAC): The PAC scrutinizes the appropriation and finance accounts of the government and reports of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG). It ensures that public money is spent in accordance with the Parliament’s decision and brings to light cases of waste, extravagance, or corruption.

2. Estimates Committee: This committee examines the estimates included in the budget and suggests economies in public expenditure. It ensures that funds allocated are used efficiently.

3. Committee on Public Undertakings (COPU): COPU examines the reports and accounts of public undertakings and assesses their efficiency, performance, and profit or loss.

Institutionalisation of Indian Parliament:

The financial committees have greatly contributed to the institutionalisation of the Indian Parliament. They have enhanced the Parliament’s control over public expenditure and ensured financial accountability of the executive. They have also brought about greater transparency and efficiency in the functioning of public undertakings.

For instance, the PAC’s scrutiny of the 2G spectrum allocation highlighted the irregularities in the process, leading to significant policy changes. Similarly, the Estimates Committee’s recommendations have often led to savings in public expenditure.

Conclusion:

The Parliamentary Committee system is a vital aspect of India’s democratic framework, ensuring a detailed, thorough, and expert scrutiny of legislative and policy matters. The financial committees, in particular, have played a pivotal role in strengthening the financial accountability of the executive, thereby contributing to the institutionalisation of the Indian Parliament. However, for these committees to function optimally, it is essential to ensure their independence, enhance their research support, and improve the follow-up mechanism on their recommendations.

Q. Explain the structure of the Parliamentary Committee system. How far have the financial committees helped in the institutionalisation of Indian Parliament? Read More »

Q. Explain the significance of the 101st Constitutional Amendment Act. To what extent does it reflect the accommodative spirit of federalism?

Q. Explain the significance of the 101st Constitutional Amendment Act. To what extent does it reflect the accommodative spirit of federalism?

Question from UPSC Mains 2023 GS2 Paper

Model Answer: 

101st Constitutional Amendment Act

101st Constitutional Amendment Act, passed by the Indian Parliament in 2016, is a landmark legislation that introduced the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in India. GST is a comprehensive indirect tax levied on the manufacture, sale and consumption of goods and services at the national level. This amendment replaced a multitude of indirect taxes with a unified tax regime, aiming to create a single market, enhance the ease of doing business, and significantly boost the economy. It reflects the accommodative spirit of federalism by ensuring a cooperative relationship between the Centre and the States.

1. One Nation, One Tax:

The 101st Constitutional Amendment Act brought about the concept of ‘One Nation, One Tax’, thereby integrating the Indian market. Before the amendment, there were several indirect taxes levied by the Centre and the States separately, leading to a complex tax structure. The amendment simplified this by introducing a single tax regime, thereby reducing the cascading effect of tax, enhancing competitiveness and improving ease of doing business.

2. Revenue Sharing between Centre and States:

The amendment provides for a mechanism of GST Council to make recommendations to the Union and the States on issues related to GST. The GST Council is a federal body where both the Centre and the States get representation. It decides the revenue sharing between the Centre and the States. This ensures a cooperative federalism where the Centre and the States jointly decide on the matters related to indirect taxation.

3. Dispute Resolution Mechanism:

The amendment also provides for a mechanism to resolve disputes arising out of its recommendations. Any dispute between the Centre and the States, or among the States themselves, can be referred to the GST Council. This reflects the accommodative spirit of federalism by providing a platform for the Centre and the States to resolve their differences amicably.

4. Compensation to States:

The amendment provides for compensation to the States for any loss of revenue for a period which may extend to five years. This provision ensures that the States are not at a disadvantageous position due to the implementation of GST, thereby reflecting the accommodative spirit of federalism.

5. Enhancing Fiscal Autonomy of States:

The amendment enhances the fiscal autonomy of the States by allowing them to levy and collect the GST. This empowers the States to mobilize their own resources and reduces their dependence on the Centre for financial resources.

6. Promoting Cooperative Federalism:

The 101st Constitutional Amendment Act promotes cooperative federalism by fostering a harmonious relationship between the Centre and the States. It ensures that both the Centre and the States work together in the spirit of partnership and cooperation for the common goal of economic growth and development.

7. Facilitating Economic Integration:

The amendment facilitates economic integration by creating a single market across the country. It removes the barriers to trade and commerce between the States, thereby promoting inter-state trade and commerce.

Conclusion

The 101st Constitutional Amendment Act is a significant legislation that has transformed the indirect tax regime in India. It reflects the accommodative spirit of federalism by ensuring a cooperative relationship between the Centre and the States. It promotes the principles of cooperative federalism, enhances the fiscal autonomy of the States, and facilitates economic integration. It is a testament to the spirit of federalism in India, where the Centre and the States work together in the spirit of partnership and cooperation for the common goal of economic growth and development.

Q. Explain the significance of the 101st Constitutional Amendment Act. To what extent does it reflect the accommodative spirit of federalism? Read More »

Q. Discuss the contribution of civil society groups for women’s effective and meaningful participation and representation in state legislatures in India.

Q. Discuss the contribution of civil society groups for women’s effective and meaningful participation and representation in state legislatures in India.

Question from UPSC Mains 2023 GS2 Paper

Model Answer: 

Civil society groups and women’s participation in state legislatures in India

Civil society groups play a critical role in promoting women’s participation and representation in state legislatives in India. They work to empower women, educate them about their rights, and help them overcome the barriers that prevent them from participating in political processes. Civil society groups have made significant contributions to increasing women’s representation in state legislatures, although much work remains to be done.

Advocacy and Lobbying

Civil society groups in India have been instrumental in advocating for women’s rights and lobbying for legal reforms that promote gender equality in politics. For instance, groups like the National Alliance of Women’s Organizations have been advocating for the passage of the Women’s Reservation Bill, which seeks to reserve 33% of seats in state legislatures for women.

Capacity Building

Civil society groups often conduct workshops, training programs, and seminars to equip women with the necessary skills and knowledge to participate effectively in political processes. They provide training on leadership skills, public speaking, campaigning, and understanding the legislative process.

Awareness Raising

These groups also work to raise awareness about the importance of women’s political participation among the general public. They use various platforms, including social media, radio, television, and community meetings, to educate people about the need for gender equality in politics.

Providing Platforms for Women

Civil society groups provide platforms for women to voice their concerns, share their experiences, and network with other women leaders. For example, organizations like the Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) have created platforms for women to discuss their issues and formulate strategies for political participation.

Encouraging Women to Run for Office

Many civil society groups actively encourage women to run for political office. They provide support in terms of campaign management, fundraising, and navigating the political landscape. For example, the Political Shakti campaign aims to encourage more women to participate in politics by providing them with necessary resources and support.

Research and Documentation

Civil society groups conduct research and document cases of women’s political participation. This helps in understanding the challenges faced by women in politics and formulating strategies to overcome these challenges.

Legal Support

Some civil society groups provide legal support to women who face discrimination or violence in their political journey. They help women understand their legal rights and provide assistance in filing cases.

Building Alliances

Civil society groups often build alliances with other like-minded organizations, both nationally and internationally, to strengthen their advocacy efforts. They collaborate with other organizations to amplify their voice and influence policy decisions.

Conclusion

Civil society groups have played a significant role in promoting women’s participation and representation in state legislatures in India. They have been instrumental in advocating for women’s rights, building their capacities, raising awareness, and providing necessary support. However, despite these efforts, women’s representation in Indian politics remains low. Therefore, there is a need for continued efforts from civil society groups, in collaboration with the government and other stakeholders, to ensure that women are adequately represented in political processes.

Q. Discuss the contribution of civil society groups for women’s effective and meaningful participation and representation in state legislatures in India. Read More »

Q. Account for the legal and political factors responsible for the reduced frequency of using Article 356 by the Union Governments since mid 1990s.

Q. Account for the legal and political factors responsible for the reduced frequency of using Article 356 by the Union Governments since mid 1990s.

Question from UPSC Mains 2023 GS2 Paper

Model Answer: 

Article 356 of the Constitution of India

gives the President of India the power to impose President’s Rule in a state if the state government is unable to function according to constitutional provisions. However, the use of this article has been reduced significantly since the mid-1990s. The reasons for this reduction are multifaceted, and they encompass both legal and political factors.

Legal Factors:

1. Supreme Court’s Intervention: The landmark judgment in the S.R. Bommai vs Union of India case in 1994 by the Supreme Court of India played a significant role in restricting the misuse of Article 356. The court held that the power of the President to dissolve a State Legislative Assembly is not absolute, and it can be subjected to judicial review.

2. Constitutional Safeguards: The Constitution (44th Amendment) Act, 1978, added several safeguards to prevent the misuse of Article 356. It stipulated that the President’s Rule can only be imposed after receiving a report from the Governor of the State or otherwise.

3. Judicial Review: The Supreme Court, in its various judgments, has made it clear that the imposition of President’s Rule is subject to judicial review. This has acted as a deterrent to the arbitrary use of Article 356 by the Union Government.

Political Factors:

4. Coalition Politics: The advent of coalition politics at the national level since the mid-1990s has made it difficult for the Union Government to impose President’s Rule in states ruled by its allies, thus reducing the frequency of the use of Article 356.

5. Regionalism: The rise of regional parties and the decline of single-party dominance have also contributed to the decreased use of Article 356. The Union Government often requires the support of regional parties and hence, avoids invoking Article 356 in their ruled states.

6. Federalism: There is a growing recognition of the importance of federalism and respecting the autonomy of states. This change in political culture has also contributed to the reduced use of Article 356.

7. Political Will: The political will of the ruling party at the Centre also plays a role. Governments that respect democratic norms and principles are less likely to misuse Article 356.

8. Public Opinion: The increased awareness and sensitivity of public opinion towards democratic norms and values have also acted as a deterrent to the misuse of Article 356.

Conclusion:

The reduced frequency of the use of Article 356 since the mid-1990s is a positive development for Indian democracy. It reflects the maturing of Indian democracy and the strengthening of federalism. However, it is essential to remain vigilant to prevent any potential misuse of this provision in the future. The judiciary, civil society, and the media have a crucial role to play in this regard.

Q. Account for the legal and political factors responsible for the reduced frequency of using Article 356 by the Union Governments since mid 1990s. Read More »

Q. Explain the constitutional perspectives of Gender Justice with the help of relevant Constitutional Provisions and case laws.

Q. Explain the constitutional perspectives of Gender Justice with the help of relevant Constitutional Provisions and case laws.

Question from UPSC Mains 2023 GS2 Paper

Model Answer: 

Gender Justice

Gender justice refers to the protection of human rights and ensuring equality between men and women. It is a fundamental principle of human dignity and democracy, recognized under international law and national constitutions. The Constitution of India, through its various provisions, seeks to uphold the principle of gender justice, ensuring equality, non-discrimination, and protection of women’s rights.

1. Article 14: Equality before Law

The Article 14 of the Indian Constitution guarantees equality before the law and equal protection of laws to all persons. It ensures that there is no gender-based discrimination. The case of ‘Air India vs. Nargesh Meerza‘ is a landmark judgement where the Supreme Court struck down the regulation that terminated the services of air hostesses upon marriage or pregnancy as it violated Article 14.

2. Article 15: Prohibition of Discrimination

Article 15 prohibits discrimination on the grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, or place of birth. It also empowers the State to make special provisions for women and children. In the case of ‘Anuj Garg vs. Hotel Association of India‘, the Supreme Court held that any law that treats women as weak and denies them equal job opportunities would be unconstitutional.

3. Article 16: Equality of Opportunity in Public Employment

Article 16 ensures equality of opportunity for all citizens in matters relating to employment or appointment to any office under the State. It prohibits discrimination in employment on grounds of sex. In the case of ‘D.K. Yadav vs. J.M.A. Industries Ltd.‘, the Supreme Court held that termination of a woman’s service because she refused to submit to the lust of her superior was a clear violation of Article 16.

4. Article 21: Right to Life and Personal Liberty

Article 21 guarantees the right to life and personal liberty. It has been interpreted broadly to include the right to live with dignity, which encompasses gender justice. In the landmark case of ‘Vishaka vs. State of Rajasthan‘, the Supreme Court laid down guidelines to prevent sexual harassment of women at the workplace, thereby upholding their right to work with dignity under Article 21.

5. Article 42: Provision for Just and Humane Conditions of Work

Article 42 directs the State to make provision for securing just and humane conditions of work. It has been used to uphold the rights of women workers, including maternity benefits.

6. Article 51A (e): Fundamental Duty to Renounce Practices Derogatory to Women

Article 51A (e) imposes a fundamental duty on every citizen of India to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women. This provision underscores the constitutional commitment towards achieving gender justice.

7. Legal Provisions for Women Empowerment

The Constitution has also enabled the enactment of several laws for the protection and empowerment of women, such as the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013, and the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006.

8. Constitutional Amendments for Women Representation

The 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendments mandated 33% reservation for women in local self-government institutions, promoting their participation in politics and decision-making processes.

Conclusion:

The Indian Constitution, through its various provisions, aims to achieve gender justice by ensuring equality, non-discrimination, and protection of women’s rights. However, the gap between constitutional promises and societal realities is significant. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure effective implementation of laws, promote awareness about women’s rights, and work towards changing societal attitudes to achieve true gender justice.

Q. Explain the constitutional perspectives of Gender Justice with the help of relevant Constitutional Provisions and case laws. Read More »

Q. “The Constitution of India is a living instrument with capabilities of enormous dynamism. It is a constitution made for a progressive society.” Illustrate with special reference to the expanding horizons of the right to life and personal liberty.

Q. “The Constitution of India is a living instrument with capabilities of enormous dynamism. It is a constitution made for a progressive society.” Illustrate with special reference to the expanding horizons of the right to life and personal liberty.

Question from UPSC Mains 2023 GS2 Paper

Model Answer: 

Constitution of India

Constitution of India, adopted on 26th November 1949, is the supreme law of the land. It is not a static document but a living instrument, capable of adapting to the changing needs and demands of a progressive society. It has been designed to shape India’s political, social, and economic structure and to ensure justice, equality, and liberty for all its citizens. The right to life and personal liberty, enshrined in Article 21, is one of the most important rights protected by the Constitution. Over the years, the interpretation of this right has evolved and expanded, reflecting the dynamism of the Constitution.

Broad Interpretation of Article 21

The Supreme Court of India has played a significant role in expanding the scope of Article 21. It has interpreted the right to life and personal liberty in a broad and liberal manner, including within its ambit a range of rights that are essential for leading a dignified life.

Right to Health

In the case of Parmanand Katara v. Union of India, the Supreme Court held that the right to health and medical aid is a fundamental right under Article 21. The Court stated that every citizen has the right to receive medical treatment to preserve human life.

Right to Clean Environment

In the case of Subhash Kumar v. State of Bihar, the Supreme Court held that the right to live in a clean and healthy environment is a part of the right to life under Article 21.

Right to Livelihood

In the case of Olga Tellis v. Bombay Municipal Corporation, the Supreme Court held that the right to livelihood is a part of the right to life. The Court stated that no person can live without the means of livelihood.

Right to Privacy

In the landmark case of Justice K.S. Puttaswamy (Retd.) v. Union of India, the Supreme Court declared that the right to privacy is a fundamental right protected under Article 21. The Court held that privacy is intrinsic to the right to life and personal liberty.

Right to Education

In the case of Mohini Jain v. State of Karnataka, the Supreme Court held that the right to education is a part of the right to life. The Court stated that every child has the right to receive education for the full development of his personality.

Right against Sexual Harassment

In the case of Vishaka v. State of Rajasthan, the Supreme Court held that the right against sexual harassment at the workplace is a part of the right to life. The Court laid down guidelines to prevent sexual harassment, known as the Vishaka Guidelines.

Right to Die with Dignity

In the case of Common Cause v. Union of India, the Supreme Court held that the right to die with dignity is a part of the right to life. The Court recognized passive euthanasia and living will as legally valid.

Conclusion

The Constitution of India, through its dynamic interpretation, has expanded the horizons of the right to life and personal liberty. It has evolved to meet the changing needs and aspirations of a progressive society. The right to life and personal liberty is no longer confined to mere existence or survival. It encompasses a wide range of rights that are essential for leading a dignified and meaningful life. This illustrates the living nature of the Constitution and its capacity for enormous dynamism.

Q. “The Constitution of India is a living instrument with capabilities of enormous dynamism. It is a constitution made for a progressive society.” Illustrate with special reference to the expanding horizons of the right to life and personal liberty. Read More »