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9 PM for Main examination
- Unification of labor legislation
- Reforms in Indian Courts
- One nation one ration card
- How India can become self-reliant
9 PM for Preliminary examination
1.Unification of labor legislation
Syllabus – GS 2 – Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors
Context – The one-sided labor reforms carried out by states are being criticized, which underlines importance of set of principles to unify them
Principles on which unification of labor laws need to be promoted
|1. Labor laws under all ministries need unification.||· A large chunk of labor and employment laws are outside the purview of Ministry of labor. Thus, a comprehensive law can be promoted for better governance.|
|2. Holistic definition for employee||· An employee is an employee, regardless of whether s/he is formal, “part-time”, “work from home” or “migrant”, and must have all rights available to formal employee. There must be a system of registration of employees, and incentives for it.|
|3. Similar system of registration for employers, and the responsibilities placed on employers must also devolve on contractors||· Makes the process of registration less cumbersome and provide for shared responsibilities between employers and contractors.|
|4. Model labor law by center for a general framework to states||· Labor is in the Concurrent List of the Seventh Schedule – Different states, thus, have varying labor laws. A general framework will provide for common features in state laws.|
|5. Labor legislation should not be open-ended||· Providing a fixed time-frame – At the end of this time-period, unless a fresh review justifies continuation, a law would get repealed.|
|6. Employment contract needs to be a bilateral deal between an employer and employee||· Since, productivity is an individual matter, and at best an enterprise-level issue. A single law for same wouldn’t do justice for both employer and employee.|
|7. Safety and welfare provisions to be delivered by a cluster of establishments collectively (employers, dealers, importers etc) not only by employers.||· This provides for shared risk among all stakeholders and brings better management at all levels for employee’s safety.|
|8. Any employee association should be at the enterprise-level, with mandatory registration and an electronic register||· As employee rights are best served if everything is decentralized, right down to the enterprise level.|
Way Forward – Every policy action needs to be based on clear set of principles which takes in consideration interest of all the stakeholders. Such policies are heralded for their ethical basis and their ability to usher industry in decentralized models for development of all.
2.Reforms in Indian Courts
Source: The Hindu
Syllabus: GS-2- Structure, organisation and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary, Judicial Reforms
Context: It is high time that the courts move from oral hearing-based system to one based on written submission
How will a written submission-based system help?
|· Improper Case Listing and frequent adjournments: In subordinate courts and high courts a significant time of daily proceedings is wasted on cases where only adjournments are sought for procedural matters like filing of replies.||· There should be a system where cases are listed when all the documents are filed within strict timelines and every procedural requirement is fulfilled.|
· Listing before court should be done only in cases which require urgent intervention from the court.
|Special leave petitions (SLPs):|
· Article 136 of the Constitution empowers people to file a petition seeking leave to appeal a decision of any judicial or quasi-judicial authority.
· However, the SLPs have been misused and resulted in pendency of cases in the SC. According to reports, SLPs comprise about 60-70% of the Supreme Court’s cases. Out of this, only 10-20% raise important questions of law.
|· The Supreme Court Rules, 2013 should amend provisions pertaining to Special Leave Petitions (SLPs).|
· There should be a structure to provide for pre-hearing of SLPs. Each SLP should be accompanied by an application for oral hearing which must be decided first by the Court.
· Only such SLPs in which oral hearing is permitted should be listed for hearing.
The Law Commission of India in its 230th report provided measures to deal with the pendency of cases plaguing Indian Judiciary. These include:
- providing strict guidelines for the grant of adjournments,
- curtailing vacation time in the higher judiciary,
- reducing the time for oral arguments unless the case involves a complicated question of law
- framing clear and decisive judgements to avoid further litigation
- Digitization of courts
3.One nation one ration card
Source: The Indian Express
Syllabus: GS 3-Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices; Public Distribution System- objectives, functioning, limitations, revamping; issues of buffer stocks and food security; Technology missions; economics of animal-rearing.
Context: COVID-19 has focussed the country’s attention on inter-state migrants. It has highlighted their precarious socio-economic condition.
Previous steps taken by government to bridge the gap:
- Overall idea: Idea of portable welfare benefits, that is, a citizen should be able to access welfare benefits irrespective of where she is in the country.
- The idea was first mooted under the UPA government by a Nandan Nilekani-led task force in 2011 in case of food rations.
- The current government committed to a national rollout of ONORC: Initial Plan: by June 2020
- With pandemic: Changed to March 2021.
Barriers to one nation one ration:
- The fiscal implications: ON-ORC will affect how the financial burden is shared between states.
- The larger issues of federalism and inter-state coordination:Many states are not convinced about a “one size fits all” regime because they have customised the PDS through higher subsidies, higher entitlement limits and supply of additional items. For example- Tamil Nadu implements a universal PDS in which every household is entitled.
- The technology aspect: ON-ORC requires a complex technology backbone that brings over 750 million beneficiaries, 5,33,000 ration shops and 54 million tonnes of food-grain annually on a single platform.
Similar concerns which were dealt by GST can be helpful for ONOR:
1.Fiscal concerns in GST:
- States like Tamil Nadu and Gujarat that are “net exporters” were concerned they would lose out on tax revenues to “net consumer” states like UP and Bihar.
- Finally, the Centre had to step in and provide guaranteed compensation for lost tax revenues for the first five years.
- For ONORC:
- The Centre should provide a similar assurance to “net inbound migration” states such as Maharashtra and Kerala that any additional costs on account of migrants will be covered by it for the five years.
2.Broader issues of inter-state coordination:
- Keeping the spirit of cooperative federalism, the central government created a GST council consisting of the finance ministers of the central and state governments to address these issues.
- For ONORC:
- The government should setup a national council for ON-ORC which should meet regularly, have specific decision-making authority and should operate in a problem-solving mode based on consensus building.
- GST is supported by a sophisticated tech backbone, housed by the GST Network (GSTN), an entity jointly owned by the Centre and states.
- A similar system would be needed for ON-ORC.
- PDS Network: There should be setting up of a PDS network (PDSN) which should incorporate principles such as inclusion, privacy, security, transparency, and accountability.
Learning from challenges of GST:
- Delay in GST refunds led to cash-flow issues.
- Similar delays in receiving food rations could be catastrophic.
- ON-ORC should create, publish and adhere to time-bound processes like right to public services legislation that have been adopted by 15 states and rapid grievance redress mechanisms.
- It fell most on the MSMEs digitised overnight.
- PDS dealers would also face similar challenges of overnight digitalisation.
- Citizens will need to be shielded from the inevitable teething issues by keeping the system lenient at first, providing different ways of authenticating oneself and publicising a helpline widely.
ON-ORC is an opportunity to provide a reliable social protection backbone to migrants who are the backbone of our economy.
4.How India can become self-reliant
Source – The Hindu
Syllabus – GS 3 – Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment.
Context – Atma Nirbhar mission announced in wake of COVID associated economic slowdown aims for self-reliance
Features of self –reliance
|Challenges In becoming self-reliant||Suggested solution|
|1. Poor Performance of PSU – PSU’s are characterized by low productivity, poor quality and low technology and thus are globally uncompetitive.||· Privatization of PSU – Management and control by private sector will improve efficiency and quality of goods and services.|
|2. Missed “3rd Industrial Revolution” – Decade of 2008-2018 is considered as lost decade in India as we could not participate in ‘third industrial revolution’. It comprises of manufacture of electronic goods, micro-processors, personal computers, mobile phones and decentralized manufacturing and global value chains.||· Promoting make in India – India has largest consumer base in world, which necessitates the participation in 3rd industrial revolution and can be done via Make in India program.|
|3. Abysmally low R&D to GDP ratio – Unlike countries like South Korea, Taiwan invested in R&D in science and technology to promote manufacturing of high-end products domestically. India totally bypassed its manufacturing sector to give way to service sector.||· Increasing R&D to GDP ratio – State-funded R&D, by PSUs, research institutions and universities needs to be scaled-up significantly.|
|4. Lack of quality mass education – Investment in human resource is of utmost importance in order to become self-reliant especially for 3rd industrial revolution. However, Indian education system fails to offer quality education and skill-set to its youth.||· Promoting quality education – Investment in quality infrastructure, teachers and academia-industry relation is needed to reap the demographic dividend of nation.|
Way Forward – Self-reliance need development of capabilities at home as well as mobilizing resources domestically and internationally. This needs concentrated efforts by government, private sector as well as participation of citizens to embark on path of NEW INDIA which is Atma-Nirbhar.
9 PM for Preliminary examination
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