- Crime and politics
- Abolition Of Legislative Council
- A case of wholehearted biotechnology adoption
- Heightened fiscal deficit in Budget can help increase spending and rejuvenate markets
- Cultural rights in India
CRIME AND POLITICS
Why in news?
The Supreme Court has taken a timely decision by agreeing to hear a plea from the Election Commission of India (ECI) to direct political parties to not field candidates with criminal antecedents.
Data on criminalization in politics
- 46% of Members of Parliament have criminal records
- The Supreme Court has come up with a series of landmark judgments on addressing this issue
- It removed the statutory protection of convicted legislators from immediate disqualification in 2013, and in 2014, directed the completion of trials involving elected representatives within a year.
- Judicial pronouncements on making it difficult for criminal candidates to contest are necessary, only enhanced awareness and increased democratic participation could create the right conditions for the decriminalization of politics.
- Discouraging political parties from fielding criminals as candidates
- Adequate security measures during elections
- Role of money in election should be lowered
ABOLITION OF LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL
Why in news?
Andhra Pradesh is the latest State to favor the alteration of the status quo regarding the Upper House, in an Assembly resolution for its Legislative Council’s abolition.
Why was it abolished ?
The allegations were raised that Council is working with a political agenda to block Legislative assembly’s proposal.
While the need for a bicameral legislature in the States has often been questioned, few would support the idea that the potential difficulty in getting the Council’s approval should be a reason for its abolition
Role of parliament in abolishing council
A.P.’s proposal will bear fruit only if Parliament passes a law to that effect, based on the State’s request
- Centre should evolve a national policy on having an Upper House in the States.
- The larger question is whether the Councils are serving their intended purpose to take a considered view on matters without being influenced by electoral considerations.
- If the Upper Houses are used only for accommodating leaders who have lost general elections, there may not be much meaning in their existence
A CASE OF WHOLEHEARTED BIOTECHNOLOGY ADOPTION
GM cotton covers 95% of the area under cotton and that there are very limited choices for farmers
The fact: Indian farmers have voted for choice of seeds with biotechnologies by planting hybrid cotton biotech seeds on over 90% of the country’s cotton acreage.
- Several key studies by
third-party economists and sociologists have established that 85% of
hybrid Bt cotton seed farmers and farm laborers invested in better
education for children
- 77% reported better intake of nutritious food
- 75% reported better health of their family members
- 64% invested on the health of livestock
- Female workers on Bt cotton fields earned an average 55% higher income
- 42.4 crore additional days of rural employment have been generated, thereby doubling cotton production.
- Biotechnology in cotton, post its introduction in 2002, has led to transformational changes in India’s cotton cultivation.
- These have helped increase cotton yields by over 1.8 times and resulted in substantial reduction in the use of pesticides.
- Biotechnology as lead India to become 2nd largest cotton producing and exporting nation in the world.
HEIGHTENED FISCAL DEFICIT IN BUDGET CAN HELP INCREASE SPENDING AND REJUVENATE MARKETS
Amid the slowdown in Indian Economic growth
- In the last six years, the government of India has taken many bold and positive decisions.
- There have been a slew of initiatives including demonetization, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC).
- These measures had a revolutionary purpose: To kickstart India’s journey from an informal, state-driven, physical economy to a formal, one-nation market and a digital economy.
- Over the medium to long-term, these ideas will play out for sure and get our GDP growth rate back to its historic highs.
- However, the immediate impact
of these changes has disrupted the Indian economy in following ways
- supply of money to small and medium business enterprises
- consumption has slowed down
- inevitable impact on job creation
- IL&FS issue has added to the crisis of confidence
- Sectors with high capital needs like real estate, infrastructure and renewables are seeing interim stoppage of work amid a worsening demand environment.
- Demand-side issues have consequently led to a fall in direct and indirect tax revenues.
- A tepid capital market has prevented privatization at a pace the government would have desired
How to monetize the Indian consumer again?
- Simplifying individual tax rates further – money in the hands of the urban middle class, which will help get consumption back on track
- An exemption of interest only for the purchase of first house will keep speculators away and ensure effective cost of borrowing dips to as low as 5 per cent to 5.5 per cent for genuine home buyers – thus increasing real estate sector
- Startups could be the next big catalyst for the country. Currently, taxation of long-term gains on sale of shares of unlisted companies are effectively at the highest level; being taxed at 20 per cent plus surcharge- startups at par in terms of tax with listed companies will go a long way in unlocking the potential of the entrepreneurial engine of India.
- The government must free up its resources to fund infrastructure. This can be anti-inflationary as better infrastructure typically leads to downward price revisions of real estate and transportation costs as the distance between cities effectively comes down
- Replace the current Provident Fund (PF) scheme with the National Pension Scheme
CULTURAL RIGHTS IN INDIA
Why in news?
Don’t Allow People from Other Faiths to Question Muslim Law: AIMPLB to SC
The Scope of Article 29 and 30 of the Constitution confer four distinct rights.
- The Right of citizens to conserve its language, script or culture [Art.29(1)]1– “Any section of the citizens residing in the territory of India or any part thereof having a distinct language, script or culture of its own shall have the right to conserve the same”
- The Right of a citizen not to be denied admission into state maintained and state-aided institution on the ground only of religion, race, caste, or language [Art.29(2)2]- “No citizen shall be denied admission into any educational institution maintained by the State or receiving aid out of State funds on grounds only of religion, race, caste, language or any of them”
- The Right of all the religious or linguistic minorities to establish and administer educational institutions of their own choice [Art.30(1)3]-“All minorities, whether based on religion or language, shall have the right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice.”
- The Right of an educational institution not to be discriminated against in the matter of State aid on the ground that it is under the management of a minority [Art.30(2)4]-“The state shall not, in granting aid to educational institutions, discriminate against any educational institution on the ground that it is under the management of a minority, whether based on religion or language.”
To preserve language, script, and culture
Article 29(1) extends to all the citizens irrespective of the fact whether they are in majority or minority, the only condition being that such section must have a distinct language, script or culture of its own.
It is an absolute right for the minorities to preserve its language and culture through educational institutions and cannot be subject to reasonable restrictions in the interest of the general public.
Restrictions on the ground of religion, race, caste or language
Article 29(2) is an individual right given to citizen and not to any community. The present clause gives an aggrieved person, who has been denied admission on the ground of his religion. If a person has the academic qualifications but is refused admission only on the grounds of religion, race, caste, language or any of them, then there is a clear breach of the fundamental right under this section.