Answers: Mains Marathon – UPSC Mains Current Affairs Questions – April 17, 2019

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Q.1) Growth of the economy requires better coordination between fiscal and monetary policies. Explain.

Answer:

After the 2008 economic crisis, monetary policies and fiscal policies were tested to their brink. They failed to spur growth and now, the world is facing another economic slowdown. These policies need to work together to keep economic growth sustainable.

If the two policies diverge:

  1. Excessive fiscal deficits will fail to attract investments despite attractive interest rates
  2. Monetary policy has to accommodate the needs of economy and be an enabler of growth through competitive interest rates
  3. As growth continues to slow and inflation stays below the target, interest rates may keep falling, but likely not fast enough to revive growth quickly
  4. excessive borrowing by public sector enterprises will crowd out investments how much ever RBI manages interest rates

Despite coordination between the two policies, lack of administrative and comprehensive economic reforms will affect growth in the economy in the long term.

 

Q.2) Model code of conduct is more of moral code of conduct in absence of statutory backing. Elucidate. Should model code of conduct be made legally binding? Give your opinion.

Answer:

The MCC is a set of norms for conduct and behavior of the political parties and candidates during elections. It aims to provide a level playing field for all political parties.

MCC does not a have a statutory backing and it is more a consensus driven code by political parties. Thus, we often see violations of MCC and no effective action against such deviations.

Need for statutory backing:

  1. since most of its provisions are enforceable, the remaining stipulations in the MCC should also be accorded statutory backing
  2. Parliamentary Standing Committee on Law and Justice recommended in its 2013 report that statutory status be accorded to the MCC
  3. absence of an immediate appeal mechanism against the decision of the returning officer to cancel the nomination of a candidate. The decision can only be challenged in the High Court after the announcements of election results
  4. The bar on the ruling party from the use of its position for electioneering to combine official work with campaign activity, the exercise of monopoly over public places and transport facilities are important non-statutory stipulations in the code

However, the Election Commission has argued against making the MCC legally binding. EC observe that elections must be completed within a relatively short time, and judicial proceedings typically take longer, therefore it is not feasible to make it enforceable by law.

 

Q.3) What do you mean by social empowerment? Do you think social empowerment is more important than economic empowerment? Discuss with example.

Answer:

It is the process of developing a sense of autonomy and self-confidence and changing discourses that exclude poor people and keep them in poverty.

Importance of social empowerment:

  1. Taking the example of empowerment of women, despite high economic empowerment, women continue to face social discrimination.

a) Many women even in powerful positions are facing problem of glass ceiling and sexual harassment. Recent instances of MeToo point to this problem.

b) Women working in other jobs face sexual harassment and discriminatory wages.

2. The other example is of SC, ST and minority communities.

a) Despite reservations that economically empowered the communities, they continue to face social discrimination.

b) Also, many socially discriminating practises continue to exist within the community despite their economic progress. Eg., Triple Talaq

Therefore, social empowerment is essential to complete economic empowerment of a community or an individual.

 

Q.4) What do you mean by integral humanism? Discuss the relevance of integral humanism in modern times?

Answer:

Integral Humanism was a set of concepts drafted by Deendayal Upadhyaya as political program and adopted in 1965 as the official doctrine of the Jan Sangh.

It was developed as an indigenous economic model with human being at center stage. This approach made this concept different from Socialism and Capitalism.

Philosophy:

  1. Humankind had four hierarchically organized attributes of body, mind, intellect and soul which corresponded to the four universal objectives of dharma(moral duties), artha (wealth), kama (desire or satisfaction), and moksha (total liberation or ‘salvation’)
  2. While none could be ignored, dharma is the ‘basic’, and moksha the ‘ultimate’ objective of humankind and society
  3. The problem with both capitalist and socialist ideologies is that they only consider the needs of body and mind, and were hence based on the materialist objectives of desire and wealth
  4. It rejected social systems in which individualism ‘reigned supreme’. It also rejected communism in which individualism was ‘crushed’ as part of a ‘large heartless machine

Relevance:

  1. It places the welfare of human as the primary motto of any society
  2. A large population of our world lives in poverty. After having tried various development models with mixed results, the world is in search of model of development which is integrated and sustainable
  3. He believed that every individual, family and our society has a role to play in the development of our nation
  4. the purpose of politics is to bring about social and economic changes
  5. Policies and principles that can balance the use the labour, natural resources and capital so that we can provide a life of dignity to every human being
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