Answers: Mains Marathon – UPSC Mains Current Affairs Questions – April 16, 2019

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Q.1) India’s success rate in extraditing fugitives is abysmally low. what are the obstacles to extradition treaties that India has with various countries? Also, give some recommendations to improve India’s extradition process.

Answer:

Extradition is the formal process of one state surrendering an individual to another state for prosecution or punishment for crimes committed in the requesting country’s jurisdiction.

Challenges facing India:

  1. Less number of bilateral extradition treaties: India has a fewer number of bilateral extradition treaties compared to other countries. The US and the UK, for example, have extradition treaties with over 100 countries each.
  2. No extradition treaty with Neighbouring countries: India does not have extradition treaties with several neighbouring states, such as China, Pakistan, Myanmar and Afghanistan.
  3. Irregularity in Investigation: At present, multiple extradition cases is handled by CBI which in understaffed. Irregularities arise at investigation stage often delays extradition
  4. Dual criminality: Extradition is possible only in cases that are seen as crimes in both the countries in question. In past many offenders took help of dual criminality to avoid extradition.
  5. Double jeopardy: The “double jeopardy” clause, which debars punishment for the same crime twice, is the primary reason why India, for example, has been unable to extradite David Headley from the US.
  6. Concerns of human rights violation: Primacy given to human rights concerns have developed as a result of the strong individual rights movements in European nations. In 2017, British courts rejected the extradition of alleged bookie Sanjeev Kumar Chawla, stating that his human rights may be violated over severe conditions in Delhi’s Tihar jail.
  7. Poor prison conditions: Many European country consider poor prison conditions as a form of human rights violation. Fugitives often raise this as a challenge during extradition hearings.
  8. Documentary requirements: Extradition procedures often face unreasonable delays because of improper or fabricated documents, and incorrect format of affidavits and certificates that is required by foreign countries.
  9. Bilateral relations and Domestic politics: It is often argued that extradition is as much a political process as it is a judicial one. The expeditious processing of requests and the commitment to prepare for and defend the case before Courts, depends on bilateral relations and the opportune use of diplomacy and negotiations to push for the process by the requested country.

Recommendations:

  1. Leveraging diplomacy and bilateral negotiations to persuade countries to process requests expeditiously
  2. Indian government must conclude extradition treaties with as many countries as possible, and make efforts to enter into more bilateral extradition relations
  3. India also needs to take steps to dispel concerns regarding poor prison conditions and potential human rights violations. India could consider signing international instruments, such as the UN Convention Against Torture (1984) to establish India’s zero tolerance towards torture and custodial violence.
  4. For addressing investigational delays, it is imperative to improve the capacity and organisational efficiencies of law enforcement agencies so that they may conduct speedy investigation. Government should establish a central agency to take up larger cases involving extradition as CBI is understaffed.

 

Q.2) Critically examine government policy of appointment of specialists from private sector in government organisations?

Answer:

Lateral entry allows private individuals for appointment in the ranks of deputy secretary, directors and joint secretary.

Benefits:

  1. assurance of a secure career path has been held to be the career-based system’s biggest lacuna
  2. The difficulty in measuring performance in government is another obstacle to be reckoned with. It is not easy to assess the performance of a secretary to the government, given the sheer complexity and amorphous nature of the job
  3. It will inject new ideas, new energy, new competition and new performance standards in the services
  4. contemporary developmental models mandate special skills for effective delivery of services

Challenges:

  1. Existing bureaucracy will not willingly cooperate with the new entrants as they fear that their opportunities for career advancement and promotions will get hit
  2. lateral entrants with the right ‘connections’ may join just to enjoy the perks and privileges by cherry-picking the post
  3. the lateral entrants may join permanently or temporarily to simply promote vested interests of their organization
  4. Civil service reforms will curtail the inordinate control that the political masters have at present

 

Q.3) The massacre at Jallianwala Bagh was a turning point in India’s struggle for Independence. Elucidate

Answer:

On 13th April, 1919 people gathered at Jallianwala Bagh to protest against the arrest of the two nationalist leaders, Satya Pal and Dr Saifuddin Kitchlew. Suddenly, the British military officer, General Dyer, ordered his troops to fire at the unarmed crowd without even giving a warning to the people.

What went before:

Rowlatt Act was passed and it led to massive protests across the country. This act authorised the British government to arrest anybody suspected of terrorist activities. It also authorised the government to detain such people arrested for up to 2 years without trial.

Even Gandhi organised Rowlatt Satyagraha to protest against the unilateral powers, the act confers on British administration.

What followed:

  1. This massacre exposed the inhuman approach of the British when the British troop cold-bloodedly open fire into an unarmed crowd.
  2. The massacre aroused the fury of the Indian people and the government replied with further brutalities. People in Punjab were made to crawl on the streets. They were put in open cages and flogged. Newspapers were banned and their editors put behind the bars or deported.
  3. Rabindranath Tagore, who had been knighted by the British, renounced his knighthood.
  4. Mahatma Gandhi felt the need to launch a broad based movement so as to avenge the wrong done in Punjab.
  5. Hunter commission was established on this massacre but it was just an eye wash for the Indians as House of Lords appraised the act of General Dyer and Morning post allowed to collect a reward of 30000 dollars on his behalf

 

Q.4) What are Fixed Maturity Plans? what is the issue that fund houses are facing?

Answer:

Fixed Maturity Plans (FMPs) are fixed-tenure mutual fund schemes that invest in debt instruments. These include government securities, commercial papers (CPs), non-convertible debentures (NCDs) and certificates of deposits (CDs) among others. FMPs, thereby, generate interest income for investors.

Issues:

  1. If the fund house has invested in debt securities of a company that is not financially strong and facing liquidity pressure, it risks the investment.
  2. If the investment is in debt securities of a company that is not financially strong and facing liquidity pressure, it risks the investment.
  3. Investors in the affected FMPs have no legal grounds for complaint because such defaults are part of the market risks they signed up for while investing in mutual funds.
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