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General Studies Paper 2 – Keywords

GOVERNANCE, CONSTITUTION, POLITY, SOCIAL JUSTICE AND INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS.

Topic 1: Indian Constitution—historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.

Key concepts: Historical Background – Govt of India Act 1919 – GoI Act 1935 – Constituent Assembly – Criticisms – Making of Constitution – Preamble – Part of Constitution or Not –Amenability – Objective Resolution – Salient Features – Sovereign – Secular Socialist – Democratic – republic – Meaning & Significance – A K Gopalana Case – Golaknath Case – Citizenship – Amendment Act – Fundamental Rights – Right to Life – Directive Principles of State Policy – DPSP vs FR – Fundamental Duties – Emergency Provisions – Political Parties – Federal Feature – Union vs Federation – Fiscal federalism – Parliamentary Features – Parliamentary vs Presidential System – Unitary Features – Unique features – Amendments to Constitution – Constitutional Provisions –Amenability of Fundamental Rights – Criticism of Amendment procedure – Significant Amendment to constitution – 1st, 7th, 24th, 25th, 42nd, 44th, 52nd, 61st, 65th, 69th, 73rd, 74th, 77th, 84th, 86th, 87th, 89th, 90th- 99- 100th – 101-102 -103th etc. Significant Provisions – Article 370 – repeal, Article 371 and 371A, Special Provision for SC/ST (and now OBCs too) – Administration of UTs – Article 239, 239A, 239AA and 239AB – Basic Structure Doctrine – Keshvananda Bharathi – Doctrine of Constitutional Morality – Uniform Civil Code

Topic 2: Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein.

Key concepts: Union and the States – Functions of Union – Functions of the States –
Responsibilities of the Union – Responsibilities of the States – Article 356 – Article – 131 – Article 256 – Article 365 – Schedule 7 Issues – Schedule 5 & 6 Issues – Fiscal Federalism – GST – Finance Commission – American Federalism vs Canadian Federalism – Evolution of Indian Federalism – Features of Indian Federalism, Issues of Centre – State Relations, Doctrine of Harmonious Construction & Federal Supremacy – Issues of Inter State Relations – Inter State River Water Disputes – Devolution of Power and finances – Provisions of 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendment Acts, Devolution of Powers to PRI, Devolution of Finances to PRI, Devolution of Powers to ULB, Devolution of Finances to ULB – Challenges – State
Finance Commission.

Topic 3: Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions.

Key concepts: Evolution of Doctrine of separation of Power – Different Approaches
Separation of Power vs Division of Power – -Constitutional provisions – Union List –
Concurrent List – Judicial Pronouncement – Article 131- Judicial Activism – Dispute redressal Mechanism – Administrative Tribunals- fast track Courts – Lok Adalats – 5th Schedule – Tribal Administration Related Provisions

Topic 4: Comparison of the Indian constitutional scheme with that of other countries.

Key concepts: Provision of Constitution & Its Sources – Is it an original document – Comparison of Indian Constitution with other countries – American – British – Canada – Parliamentary vs Prime Ministerial System – Executive presidency System of Sri Lanka – New Constitution of Nepal – Challenges of presidential “type” elections in Parliamentary System

Topic 5: Parliament and State legislatures—structure, functioning – conduct of business – powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.

Key concepts: Parliament – Organization – Role of Speaker – Question of Neutrality – Parliamentary Disruption Index – Devices of parliamentary proceedings – Budget in Parliament – Joint sitting of two houses – Committees of Parliament – Public Accounts Committee – Ethics Committee – Parliamentary Privileges – Anti Defection Law – Issue of Disqualification – Office of Profit – Anti Defection – Politicization of Governor – State vs UT – UT with Legislative Assembly – LG vs CM’s role in UTs – Relevance of Rajya Sabha, State Legislative Council – Article 1-4 .

Topic 6: Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary— Ministries and Departments of the Government; pressure groups and formal/informal associations and their role in the Polity.

Key concepts: Cabinet Committee System – NJAC – Removal of Judges – Challenges – Judicial Accountability – Judicial Independence – “From noisy journalists and independent judges to noisy judges and independent journalists” – Judicial Pendency – Reforms – Virtual Courts – Gram Nyayalaya – Judicial Review -Judicial Activism – Judicial Appointments – Collegium System – Judicial Accountability – e-courts – Regional Benches – National Court of Appeal – Constitutional Courts – Political Parties – Pressure Groups – Khap Panchayats – Farmer Organizations – Role of FICCI – CII etc.

Topic 7: Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act.

Key concepts: Representation of People’s Act 1950 and 1951 – Disqualification – Lily Thomas Case – Jan Chowkidar Case – Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR ) Case – State Funding of Elections – Simultaneous Elections – Political Funding – Electoral Bonds – Criminalization of Politics – EVM – Electoral Reforms by Election Commission – First Past the Post vs Proportional Representation System.

Topic 8: Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.

Key concepts: Constitutional Bodies – Election Commission – Disqualification of MP /MLAs – UPSC, SPSC, CAG – Article 149 – Criticisms – Political Fallouts of Audit Reports – Finance Commission – Article 280 – Mandate – Issues arising out of it – National Commission for Schedule Castes/ Schedule Tribe / Backward Classes.

Topic 9: Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.

Key concepts: Statutory Bodies – National Human Rights Commission – Analysis –
Criticisms – Criteria of Appointment of Chairman – Retirement Home for Pliable Judges – State Human Rights Commission, Central Information Commission – Amendments to RTI Act – State Information Commission, Central Vigilance Officer – Need for Constitutional Status – Lokpal and Lokayuktas – Issues and Challenges – National Commission for Minorities, National Commission for Women, National Commission for protection of Children Rights – Political Bias & Neutrality Issue – Weapon against opposition ruled states – IRDA – SEBI – Competition Commission of India – Challenges in Working –Article 323-A / 323 B – need for
separation of regulatory function and participation – National Green Tribunal – Criticisms – Tribunalisation of Justice – Issue of Competition Appellate Tribunal, CAT – Issues in functioning – Airport Authority Appellate Tribunal, – Telecom Dispute Settlement and Appellate Tribunal – Consumer Protection Act

Topic 10: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Key concepts: – Development of critical Infrastructure – rural roads, sanitation – availability of safe drinking water – skill development – Social security – Urban Infrastructure – People’s participation in Governance – Reasons for failure – Neo Liberal Paradigm of Development – Multilevel Development Planning – Jal Shakti Abhiyan – WASH – Water Sanitation and Hygiene.

Topic 11: Development processes and the development industry —the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders.

Key concepts: Stakeholders in Development process – Role of NGOs, Civil Society, Self Help Groups – Microfinance – Role in Development & Skill Development –Kudumbashree model – NGO Funding – FCRA & NGOs – DAV College Trust Case – NGO under RTI Ambit – Charitable Organizations – Need for cooperation among various service sectors.

Topic 12: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

Key concepts: Critical Performance of Govt schemes – Design & Implementation –
Commissions for Vulnerable Sections – Protection of interest of vulnerable sections through – constitutional provisions, legislation, executive and Judiciary
Welfare schemes for Vulnerable sections – children, Women, Old Age, Divyang people, Schedule Caste, Scheduled Tribe, Poor migrants, tribals – Transgender – Surrogacy – Refugees – Constitutional provisions for the same

Topic 13: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

Key concepts: Issues related with Health – Public Health – Pubic vs Private Healthcare – Ayushman Bharat – PMJAY – Privatization of healthcare – Insurance based Healthcare – Out of pocket expenditure – Amartya Sen on Health & Education – Doctor Population ratio – Use of digital technology in providing health services – Education – Primary , Secondary , Higher Education – National Education Policy – National Medical Commission – Foreign Investment in Education – Food Budget Squeezing – Issues related in learning outcomes, Mid-Day Meal Scheme, Elementary Education, Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan – SSA – Skill Development – Challenges – Education and employability – Demographic Dividend vs Demographic Disaster

Topic 14: Issues relating to poverty and hunger.

Key concepts: Poverty – Causes – Political – Social – Economic – Geographical – Cultural – International – Role of Neo Liberal Policies – Marxist Perspective – Poverty Alleviation – Employment generation – Access to education and Health Services – Evolution of Poverty Line Measurement, Relation between Poverty, Hunger, Malnutrition – Government Measures for Eradication of Poverty and Hunger, Issues in them, Possible Solutions – Food Nutrition – Nutrition Security – M S Swaminathan’s Views.

Topic 15: Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, egovernance applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizen charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.

Key concepts: Governance – Concept-Evolution in India, Important aspects –Transparency –Accountability – Current Scenario -Measures by Central and State Government – Good Governance – E-governance – Steps taken by Government for e-governance penetration – limitation of e-governance- Direct Benefit Transfer – Lokpal – Ease of Doing Business – Corruption perception – Citizen Charter – Social Audit – Corporate Governance – Whistleblower Protection Act – Media – Independence – Corporate Ownership of Media – Paid News – Yellow Journalism – Fake News – Challenge to Good Governance – Prevention of Corruption in Civil Service

Topic 16: Role of civil services in a democracy.

Key concepts: Civil Service – Historical Background – Colonial Hangover – Role in Development – Failure at Poverty Alleviation – Committed Bureaucracy – Reforms – Corruption in Civil Service – Article 311

Topic 17: India and its neighborhood- relations.

Key concepts: Prevention of Corruption in Civil Service – Nehru’s Foreign policy – Non Aligned Movement – Panchsheel – Idealism – Indira Gandhi [1966 – 1984] – Era of Realism – India’s Monroe Doctrine – Policy of Coalition Era[ 1985-2003] – Gujaral Doctrine – Neighbourhood first policy, Look East to Act East policy, Connect Central Asia policy – Look West Policy – SAGAR – India’s Relationship with its neighboring countries – Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bhutan, Nepal, China, Sri-Lanka, Maldives, Myanmar, Bangladesh – Afghan Peace Process – Increasing Role of Foreign Policy in Domestic Politics – India’s Soft and Hard Power – India West Asia Relations – Indian Ocean Region – Challenges and Opportunities

Topic 18: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

Key concepts: SAARC vs BIMSTEC, BRICS, Afro-India Relations, SCO, ASEAN, Resurgence of Non-Aligned Movement – Connectivity Initiatives – Ashgabat Agreement – Chabahar –Peace Pipeline –Arctic Council – Non Proliferation Policy – Wassenar Agreement, Australian Group, MTCR, NSG, NPT – FIPIC Countries – CMLV Countries and India – Arctic Council

Topic 19: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

Key concepts – USA – China Trade War, RCEP – FTA negotiations, Impact of Free Trade – Indian diaspora – old diaspora – new diaspora – oil diaspora – Contribution & Challenges – String of Pearls – South China Sea – Energy Diplomacy – South East Asian Diaspora – Belt and Road Initiative – CPEC – Indo Pacific Region – Quad – USA India Relations – Defense – Trade – Diplomatic Relations – Brexit and India – India – Japan – Hikaku San Gensoku Policy – South -South Cooperation – Global South

Topic 20: Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate

Key concepts – UN – UNSC Reforms – International Aid & Funding Agencies – Bretton Woods Institutions and India – WTO – Role & Relevance – World bank – Criticisms – IMF, AIIB, Indian Ocean Rim Association –- UNESCO – WTO – Challenges, Role – Funding Issues.

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