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Below are the suggested answers of UPSC Mains Marathon Current Affairs Questions – August 17.

Note: The suggested answers are indicative only, and not exhaustive.


1. Can the proposal to create an All-India Judicial Service (AIJS) along the lines of the All India Services (AIS) address the multiple problems in the judiciary? The problems of the Indian judiciary at all levels have reached catastrophic levels. Do you agree with this statement? Discuss critically. (GS 2)

The Hindu | Link

Introduction:-

  • The All India judicial service creation has been on demand since the Swaran Singh committee recommendations along with various reports published by law commission of India.

Yes all India judicial service addresses the multiple problems in judiciary:-

  • will ensure a transparent and efficient method of recruitment to attract the best talent in India’s legal profession.
  • It will reduce pendency of cases,adjudicatory delays and also reduce appeals.
  • Efficiency of courts at all levels will increase.
  • It will help eliminate the ills of the current collegium system.
  • the system will lead to greater transparency and openness.

No:-

  • This idea does not diagnose the problem which is that the Bar Council of India has mismanaged legal education.
    • Barring a few islands of excellence, almost no effort has gone into improving the standard of legal education across the country.
  • problem of disproportionately low pay
    • Although Supreme Court to ensure uniformity in pay scales across States through its orders in the All India Judges’ Association case, it is still abysmally low when compared to that in the private sector.
  • lack of career advancement:
    • While trial court judges face much the same problem in the case of transfers and such issues as civil services officers, they have fewer avenues for growth and promotion.
  • It risks shutting out those from less privileged backgrounds from being able to enter the judicial services.
  • It may also end up not taking into account local laws, practices and customs which vary widely across States, vastly increasing the costs of training for judges selected through the mechanism.
  • This debate on the AIJS only takes up time and energy instead of focussing attention on implementing more direct solutions to address the problems of the Indian judiciary.
  • Most importantly, the current status of the Indian judiciary has been more due to lack of implementation of justified norms, and not due to the existence of an unified all-India service.

Yes,it has reached catastrophic levels:-

  • The public is losing confidence in the judiciary despite the latter’s assertions.
    • Data show that they are acting on this belief by filing fewer cases year on year.
  • It is likely to be a combination of delays, cost, uncertainty, inefficiency and corruption.
  • Not one of these problems is solved to any degree by centralising the manner of recruitment of judges

No,measures are being taken :-

  • Measures like fast track courts,Lok adalats ,nyaya Panchayats are being encouraged to reduce the burden in judiciary.

Measures needed:-

  • There is a need for increment in pay structure for judges to attract the best talent .
  • The reform in legal education, a greater use of technology, and modification and repeal of archaic rules and procedures, coupled with awareness drives among the legal fraternity, can go along way in reforming the current inefficiencies within the judiciary.

The requirement of an all-India service might bring short-term benefits, but in the long run, systemic flaws need to be corrected sooner, rather than later.


2. Border management is a complex task due to difficult terrain and hostile relations with some countries. Elucidate the challenges and strategies for effective border management. (GS 3)

–  Previous Year UPSC Mains Question

PIB | MHA Link

Introduction:-

  • Border Management is an integral approach towards borders in which along with security enhancement, infrastructure & human development is undertaken.
  • The challenge of coping with long-standing territorial and boundary disputes with China and Pakistan, combined with porous borders along some of the most difficult terrain in the world, has made effective and efficient border management a national priority.

Challenges for effective border management are:-

  • India’s rate of growth has far outpaced that of most of its neighbours and this has generated peculiar problems like mass migrations into India.
  • Current fence:
    • The present one has a high rate of degradation due to snow and has to be repaired after every season which costs about Rs. 50-60 crore every year
    • Over time infiltrators have devised ways to cross it
  • India’s internal security challenges are inextricably linked with border management. This is so because Indian insurgent groups have for long been provided shelter across the nation’s borders by inimical neighbours.
  • No real coordination:
    • Due to the lack of understanding of military issues among the decision-making elite, India’s borders continue to be manned by a large number of military, para-military and police forces
    • Each of which has its own ethos and each of which reports to a different central ministry at New Delhi, with almost no real coordination in managing the borders.
  • Border management is designed for a ‘fire fighting’ approach rather than a ‘fire prevention’ or pro-active approach
    • It is based on a strategy of ‘reaction and retaliation’ rather than on a holistic response to the prevailing environment, resulting in stress and decision making problems at the functional level.
  • Due to the non-permanent presence of the Myanmarese army in that region, the reason primarily being the hostile terrain, ousting the Indian militants remains a challenge.
    • Similarly, ethnic rebels from Myanmar have found bases within states like Mizoram. Thus, the 1,643 kilometre long Indo-Myanmar border remains a challenge.
  • The border security scenario is marked by
    • increased cross-border terrorism
    • infiltration and ex-filtration of armed militants
    • emergence of non-state actors
    • nexus between narcotics traffickers and arms smugglers
    • left-wing extremism
    • separatist movements aided and abetted by external powers
    • the establishment of madrasas, some of which are potential security hazards.
  • Ethnic Continuity & clan loyalties esp along North-East border provide support & shelter to insurgents.
  • Mountainous & Hilly terrain especially in North Indian borders which are snow clad & inhabitable during winter season.
  • Perennial & Seasonal Rivers via which terrorists can infiltrate.

Strategies for effective border management are:-

  • Infrastructure along with border has to be improved
    • Rail connectivity along with road connectivity has to be provided for quick mobilization.
  • Laser walls ,smart fencehave been made operational along the India-Pakistan international border in Punjab to plug the porous riverine and treacherous terrain need to be experimented in other borders as well.
  • Madhav Godbole task force recommendations on border management  need to be implemented.
    • It had recommended that the CRPF should be designated as the primary national level counter-insurgency force. This would enable the other central para-military forces like the BSF and Indo-Tibetan Border Police to return to their primary role of better border management.
    • It had also recommended that all para-military forces managing unsettled borders should operate directly under the control of the army and that there should be lateral induction from the army to the para-military forces so as to enhance their operational effectiveness.
  • The principle of ‘single point control’ must be followed if the borders are to be effectively managed.
  • The advances in surveillance technology, particularly satellite and aerial imagery, can help to maintain a constant vigil along the LAC and make it possible to reduce physical deployment.
  • Building of additional checkpoints & Border posts along major & minor trade routes connected with borders
  • Taking up of joint Border management with Countries like Myanmar, Bhutan & Nepal.
  • Improving healthcare, physical infrastructure & digital connectivity in villages around borders thus making them stakeholder in Border Management.

3. Discuss the salient features of Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY). Also, mention the key objectives of Per Drop More Crop (Micro Irrigation).(GS 3)

PMKSY The Hindu BussinessLine

Pradhan Mantri Krishi sinchayee Yojana and its features:-

  • The objective is to achieve convergence of investments in irrigation sector at field level.
  • The scheme aims at providing end-to-end solutions in irrigation supply chain, viz. water sources, distribution network and farm level
  • PMKSY not only focuses on creating water sources for assured irrigation, but it is also creating protective irrigation by harnessing rain water at micro level through „Jal Sanchay‟ and „Jal Sinchan‟.
  • Micro irrigation is an integral component of the scheme to maximise water use efficiency at farm level.
  • PMKSY adopts state level planning and projectised execution that allows states to draw up their own irrigation development based on District irrigationPlans and State Irrigation Plan.
  • Financial outlay- 50,000 crore over a period of five years (2015-16 to 2019-20).
  • Watershed managementis an integral componenet of PMKSY and Neeranchalproject is launched as the watershed component of the PMKSY.
  • Geotagging
    • All structures created under the schemes will be geotagged.
  • Government will also provide a Soil Health Card for farmers to assess production capability of the soil and its value for numerous crops.
  • Krishi Vigyan Kendras/agriculture science centres will be established in the districts of the nation to help the farmers.
  • It promises better water management, financial management and greater productivity in agriculture.

Concerns:-

  • The PMKSY contradicts the National Water Policy-2012, formulated by the government itself.
    • While NWP-2012 aims at management of water from the perspective of hydrological unit, that is, river basin or sub-basin or watershed, PMKSY envisages water management at the level of the district.
  • Principal causes of the failure of the AIBP was its inability to take land acquisition into account. PMKSY pays little attention to this.Therefore, two of its sub-components, namely AIBP and ‘Har Khet Ko Pani’ could be adversely affected and can fall short of the target.
  • It neglects the fact that the command area is not under the control of the government.
    • “Per Drop More Crop” requires higher investment to introduce costly sprinklers and drip irrigation which small landowning farmers cannot afford.
  • The extent of government contribution in the investment of micro-irrigation on behalf of farmers, or incentives for farmers who adopt such micro-irrigation, finds no mention in PMKSY.
  • Groundwater specialists have little say, while water managers have been relegated to a supporting role even in the examination of the technical feasibility of irrigation projects.
  • While specialists are the pillars of innovation and manufacturing in advanced countries, the PMKSY is loaded with generalists in the bureaucracy.
  • There is also no reference to accountability when there is a failure to meet targets or to formulate any district plans.
  • Arecanut is out of the purview of the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY) and this has caused some concerns for the cultivators.

Facts:

  • Today, an estimated 3,000-5,000 litres of water is used to produce 1 kg of rice in India. This makes for a very unbalanced sustainability equation: pitting the need for food security against the requirements of water.
  • Agriculture consumes 83 per cent of India’s water resources, leaving only 17 per cent for domestic and industrial use.

Per drop more crop:

  • India at present uses more drop per crop than most other countries, an inverse of our avowed national objective of “more crop per drop”
  • Therefore this scheme needs to be implemented effectively.

Objectives of per drop more crop :-

  • Increase the area under micro irrigation technologies to enhance water use efficiency in the country.
  • Increase productivity of crops and income of farmers through precision water
  • Promote micro irrigation technologies in water intensive/consuming crops and also in water stressed areas
  • Make potential use of micro irrigation systems for promoting fertigation.
  • Link tube-well / river-lift irrigation projects with micro irrigation technologies for best use of energy both for lifting and pressurised irrigation as far as possible.
  • Establish convergence and synergy with activities of on-going programmes
    and schemes, particularly with created water source for its potential use, integration of solar energy for pressurised irrigation etc.
  • Promote, develop and disseminate micro irrigation technology for agriculture  and horticulture development with modern scientific knowledge.
  • Create employment opportunities for skilled and unskilled persons, especially unemployed youth for installation and maintenance of micro irrigation systems.

Through a combination of research and development to develop higher yielding varieties, better agronomic practices, and improved agriculture extension services, use of biotechnology, microirrigation,direct seeding of rice the excessive use of water in agriculture can be reduced.


 

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