Q.1) India has legitimate reasons to develop deterrence for the security of its space-based assets in the absence of global regulatory regime to address the growing militarization in space. Discuss.
There is no global regulatory regime to address the growing militarisation in space.
Challenges in space:
- Growing militarisation of space
- Increasing space debris
- More and more satellites are used for various development purposes of the countries
- Given the prohibitively expensive nature of space projects, India and other countries must utilise the space to legitimately advance the well-being of their people
- Countries like China, USA, Russia already possess the capability
- Hostile countries may use the space for forcing India to gain concessions
India must communicate its peaceful intentions just as it showcases its capabilities, so as to contribute to a better understanding among countries it hopes to deter.
Q.2) The Supreme Court struck down Reserve Bank of India’s February 12 circular and ruled it as unconstitutional. What is February 12 circular of RBI? Why the SC court called it unconstitutional? What would be its impact?
The Supreme Court passed the order quashing a circular issued by the RBI on the resolution of bad loans.
Problems with the order:
- The circular had forced banks to recognise defaults by large borrowers with dues of over ₹2,000 crore within a day after an instalment fell due.
- It suggests a one-size-fits-all approach to bad loans problem without considering sector specific problems
- not all borrowers were deliberate defaulters, and sectors such as power were laid low by externalities beyond the control of borrowers
- a reference under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) has to be on a case-to-case basis and with the authorisation of the central government
Impact of judgement:
- It encourages the distressed assets in power sector to find an alternative resolution
- It creates a moral hazard where credit discipline is not strictly encouraged
- The bond market does not allow any leeway to borrowers in repayment, and there is no reason why bank loans should be any different
Q.3) Do you think that social media has an influence on electoral outcomes in India? Substantiate with examples. Also, suggest measures to reduce the negative impact of social media on elections.
With almost 300mn users on Facebook alone, India claimed the first place.
Several political parties are using this increasing social media presence and penetration of smartphones to propagate political content. Thus, the advertisements and poll campaigns on the internet are bound to influence voter outcomes as seen by the Cambridge Analytica findings in the US presidential election.
Ways of impact:
- Several parties are spreading distorted and false news on their political opponents
- The advertisements which are masked as news can be easily propagated
- Profiling of the users on social media could lead to the parties using this data to manipulate voters’ opinions
Measures to reduce the impact:
- Voter awareness campaigns
- Arresting fake news
- Creating accountability and transparency mechanisms to disclose financial spendings and vested interests
- Strong data protection law
Q.4) Public Interest Litigation (PIL) is a powerful instrument for the enforcement of public interest or general interest. With the help of examples analyse how PIL has impacted Indian Democracy.
Public Interest Litigation (PIL), means a legal action initiated in a court of law for the enforcement of public interest or general interest in which the public or class of the community have pecuniary interest or some interest by which their legal rights or liabilities are affected.
PIL is a powerful instrument to preserve the rule of law and to ensure the accountability of and transparency within structures of governance. An essential aspect of a genuine PIL petition is that the person who moves the court has no personal interest in the outcome of the proceedings, apart from a general standing as a citizen before the court.
Impact of PIL:
- A PIL against Ganga water pollution led to the implementation of Ganga Action Plan
- Supreme Court held in a PIL to give medical aid to every injured citizen as soon as possible without waiting for any procedural formalities
- The court held that there cannot be any classification of convicts on the basis of their social status, education or habit of living
- The court declared Section 66A of the IT Act,2006, null and void thus protecting right to freedom of speech
- In Vishaka v State of Rajasthan a PIL was filed concerning sexual harassment of women at workplace.