Answered: Mains Marathon – UPSC Mains Current Affairs Questions – June 1

1. What is preventive detention? Why was preventive detention included in the Indian constitution? (GS 2)

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Introduction:

  • INDIA IS one of the few countries in the world where laws allowing preventive detention enjoy constitutional validity even during peacetime

Preventive detention:-

  • Preventive detention on the other hand is action taken beforehand toprevent possible commitment of crime. Preventive detention thus is action taken on grounds of suspicion that some wrong actions may be done by the person concerned.
  • An anticipatory measure and does not relate to an offence while criminal proceedings are to punish a person for an offence committed by him
  • The object of Preventive Detention is not to Punish but to intercept to prevent the Detenu from doing something prejudicial to the State. The satisfaction of the concerned authority is a subjective satisfaction in such a manner.
  • Preventive detention can however be made only on four grounds.
  • security of state,
  • maintenance of public order,
  • maintenance of supplies and essential services and defence,
  • foreign affairs or security of India.
  • A person may be detained without trial only on any or some of the above grounds. A detainee under preventive detention can have no right of personal liberty guaranteed by Article 19 or Article 21.

Why was preventive detention included in the Indian constitution :-

  • India is a country having multi-ethnic, mutli-religious and multilingual society. Caste and communal violence is very common in India. Apart from that the circumstances at the time , when Indian constitution came in force demanded such provisions.
  • Perhaps as the Republic of India had its birth amidst the ravages of civil commotion involving huge loss of lives and property, the framers of our Constitution decided to retain preventive detention as a means to curb anti-national activity. Thus, the Preventive Detention Act was passed by Parliament in 1950.
  • Article 22 was in fact a measure to protect, rather than curtail, the right to life and personal liberty.
  • There is still no compelling wisdom in allowing these laws to continue particularly when the circumstances identified in the aforementioned Entries do not exist today.
  • Moreover, in the absence of proper safeguards, preventive detention has been grossly misused, particularly against the Dalits and the minorities.
  • As the existing laws are more than sufficient to deal with any offence, the government must seriously consider abolishing all preventive detention laws which have consistently exposed not only the shabby investigative skills of the sponsoring authority, but also their illogical and mechanical application by the detaining authority.

    2. What are the major obstacles impeding the flow of capital into manufacturing and clean technology? (GS 3)

Major obstacles:-

  • The inadequacy and poor quality of essential infrastructure .This adds to the costs of production and erodes competitiveness
  • The lacunae regarding intellectual property rights, fiscal stability and contract sanctity. This deters investors from investing in R&D and setting up technology centres
    • Return on investment is low as there is no ready-made market for clean technology.
  • There is also constraint of credit and presently there is no special purpose vehicle for developing clean technology.
  • Land acquisition is a big hurdle for manufacturing sector. Imprecisely land record and legal entanglement aggravate the situation.
    • This is because land records are imprecisely recorded and this embroils prospective investors in a tangle of agents, petty bureaucrats, lawyers and politicians.
  • Lack of strong intellectual property rights and contract sanctity restricts R&D for clean energy and manufacturing in India. This hinders flow of capital.
  • Essential infrastructure like water supply, electricity, roads, ports etc are not up to the mark. This adds to the costs of production and erodes competitiveness.
  • Lack of skilled labour. Only 2% of labors in India have skill certification.
  • Doing business in India is unquestionably difficult
  • Banking crisis

However situation is changing gradually. India has already become the favorite FDI destination. With “Make-in-India”; National solar mission; offshore wind energy policy; New Defence Procurement Policy; Skill India mission and Start-up-India investment in manufacturing and clean energy is expected to rise.

What can be done?

  • To increase the inflow of capital into labour-intensive manufacturing and/or energy-related technologies, the government should track an index that is influenced by progress on matters related to
    • The digitisation of land records
    • The availability of water
    • The travel time from point of production to port of export.
    • The availability of skilled labour
    • The rules relating to taxation, IPR and so forth.
  • This index should be developed by third party, non-partisan, non-government technocrats; Its details should be in the public domain; the data should be published periodically and the government should be monitored and evaluated against the progress made along the scale of this index

    3. What is conservation agriculture (CA)? Also, Discuss the problems faced due to burning of Agri waste. (GS 3)

FAO

Conservation agriculture:-

  • Conservation Agriculture (CA) is an approach to managing agro-ecosystems for improved and sustained productivity, increased profits and food security while preserving and enhancing the resource base and the environment. CA is characterized by three linked principles, namely:
    • Continuous minimum mechanical soil disturbance.
    • Permanent organic soil cover.
    • Diversification of crop species grown in sequences and/or associations.
  • It provides a truly sustainable production system, not only conserving but also enhancing the natural resources and increasing the variety of soil biota, fauna and flora (including wild life) in agricultural production systems without sacrificing yields on high production levels.
  • No till fields act as a sink for CO2and conservation farming applied on a global scale could provide a major contribution to control air pollution in general and global warming in particular. Farmers applying this practice could eventually be rewarded with carbon credits.
  • Soils under CA have very high water infiltration capacities reducing surface runoff and thus soil erosion significantly.
  • For the farmer, conservation farming is mostly attractive because it allows a reduction of the production costs, reduction of time and labour.
  • Disadvantages in the short term might be the high initial costs of specialized planting equipment and the completely new dynamics of a conservation farming system, requiring high management skills and a learning process by the farmer.

Problems faced due to burning of agricultural waste:-

  • Environment:
    • Crop residue burning is one among the many sources of air pollution.
      • Straw carbon, nitrogen and sulphur are completely burnt and lost to the atmosphere in the process of burning. It results in the emission of smoke which if added to the gases present in the air like methane, nitrogen oxide and ammonia, can cause severe atmospheric pollution.
    • Burning of crop residue also contributes indirectly to the increased ozone pollution.
    • Burning of farm waste causes severe pollution of land and water on local as well as regional scale.
    • Contribution of waste burning to PM2.5 pollution in Delhi stands at 31%, as against 25% from the transport sector.
    • Toxic fumes:
      • The burning of empty pesticide containers results in the evaporation of residual material left in the container, which are toxic when burned.Dioxins and furans are emitted.
      • These are highly toxic substances that are carcinogenic, even at low concentrations.
    • Carbon dioxide: CO2– the product of any combustion process – is a greenhouse gas that causes ckimate change and global warming.
  • Health:
    • These gaseous emissions can result in health risk, aggravating asthma, chronic bronchitis and decrease lung function
  • Economic:
    • The economy would be hurt when most of the resources need to be spent to mitigate the effects of agricultural waste.
  • Soil:
    • This also adversely affects the nutrient budget in the soil.
      • It has adverse consequences on the quality of soil. When the crop residue is burnt the existing minerals present in the soil get destroyed which adversely hampers the cultivation of the next crop.
    • The on field impact of burning includes removal of a large portion of the organic material.
    • The black soot generated during burning also results in poor visibility which could lead to increased road side incidences of accident.

What can be done?

  • Dedicated programme for promoting resource conservation technologies, such as zero tillage, deep ploughing, raised bed planting, laser land leveling etc., should be promoted.
  • An eco friendly technology will be beneficial to the farmer community and the state by providing them a tool for improving soil health and environment for sustainable agriculture.

 

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