Month: September 2017

APSC Mains Answer Writing – Question for Week 25 Sept.- 2 Oct. 2017


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APSC Mains Questions – Set III [ 25 Sept – 02 Oct. 2017 ]

Write answers to these Questions, Review others’ Answer, Ask Doubts and Discuss


Q1. Recently Rajiv Mahrishi has been sworn in as CAG of India. Briefly discuss the constitutional provision of the post of CAG. Mention the major roles and functions of CAG.

Q2. What is RhODIS and what are it’a application.

Q3. Critically evaluate the achiements of Swachha Bharat Abhiya initiative.

 

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Brexit and it’s effect on India

brexit and it's effect on India Assam Exam

Brexit

The UK joined the European Communities on 1 January 1973, with membership confirmed by a referendum in 1975. In the 1970s and 1980s, withdrawal from the EC was advocated mainly by Labour Party and trade unions. From the 1990s, the main advocates of withdrawal were the newly founded UK Independence Party (UKIP) and an increasing number of Eurosceptic Conservatives.

 

European Union

European Union (EU) is an economic and political partnership involving 28 European countries. It began after World War Two to foster economic co-operation, with the idea that countries which trade together are more likely to avoid going to war with each other. Since then it has grown to become a “single market” allowing goods and people to move freely across the member states. It has its own currency, the euro, which is used by 19 of the member countries, its own parliament and it now set of laws in areas of environment, transport, consumer rights etc.

 

Why Britain leaving the European Union

The Leave Campaign argues that Britain is losing out a big deal by staying in the EU as it has to pay millions of pounds each week as a contribution to the European budget; the extremely bureaucratic nature of the European parliament is hurting British exporters; and finally, that unmitigated migration from the European Union into Britain is creating an imbalance in the welfare schemes of the UK government.
A referendum was held in Britain on 23rd June, 2016, to decide whether the UK should leave or remain in the European Union. 51.9% of the vote favoured to leave the union.

Brexit Process

For the UK to leave the EU it had to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty which gives the two sides two years to agree the terms of the split. Prime Minister Theresa May triggered this process on 29 March 2017, meaning the UK is scheduled to leave on Friday, 29 March 2019.

Article 50 is a plan for any country that wishes to exit the EU. It was created as part of the Treaty of Lisbon – an agreement signed up to by all EU states which became law in 2009. Before that treaty, there was no formal mechanism for a country to leave the EU.

Article 50 says that any EU member state may decide to quit the EU, that it must notify the European Council and negotiate its withdrawal with the EU, that there are two years to reach an agreement – unless everyone agrees to extend it – and that the exiting state cannot take part in EU internal discussions about its departure.

 

Impacts of Brexit

Most of the countries across the world will be impacted to various degrees if the event of Brexit do materialise.

Here are some ways in which India will be affected

1. The uncertainty following Brexit: Britain have not mapped out the future course of action if Brexit indeed happens. There is no sound plan regarding Britain’s future relationship with the EU or any other specific country within the EU. As of now, questions about their extent of access to the European markets, trade barriers or any trade agreement, are left unanswered. And these uncertainties will hurt global financial markets. The pound will depreciate and markets across the world will fall and India is also no exception.

2. Investment: India is presently the second biggest source of FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) for Great Britain. For Indian business, UK proved to be a gateway into the rest of Europe and the event of Brexit, this will cause short-term distress to Indian firms. Further, if Britain is leaving the EU due to the latter’s complex bureaucratic regulatory structure, Indian companies can expect a deregulated and freer market in Britain, which is definitely good for Indian business. Britain may try extra hard to woo Indian companies by providing much bigger incentives in terms of tax breaks, lesser regulation and other financial incentives.

3. New Trade relation with the rest of EU partner: This will force India to forge strong trade ties with other countries within the EU to access it’s large market. Many Indian companies would need to relocate or create new set-up in other places of EU nations.

4. Opportunity for Indian Business: Due to Brexit, European goods will not be free flow the market of Britain as is the case now due to EU economic union. Indian business has a good opportunity to capture the market with own products.

5. Opportunity for Indian Workforce: With Britain cutting off ties with the EU, it will be desperate to find new trading partners and a source of capital and labour. Britain will need a steady inflow of talented labour, and India’s large English-speaking workforce may find it as a great opportunity.

6. Indian’s Foreign education Destination: Britain is one of the most important destinations for Indians who want to study abroad. With Brexit, Britain’s universities will be at will to accommodate more Indian students and provide scholarships for studying there. The depreciation of pound will also reduce travelling cost to the UK and will make it a economical travel destination.

7. As an important partner to European Union: Europe needs to counterbalance United States and China geopolitically and would also need to hedge against a slowing China for its economic interests. Europe would be looking at the fastest-growing major economy in the world and would need to quickly resolve the pending trade issues with India in order to develop a lasting relationship.

7. Automobile, Pharma and IT Sectors will be the most affected. Leading Indian IT firms have not commented on it as since there is a possibility of renegotiations for all the ongoing projects because of the devaluation in the value of pound. In the automobile industry, Brexit may lead to reduction in sales and companies that derive good revenues of profits from Britain could get hurt majorly.

India with the vast young workforce and it’s economy is growing fast, should use the current turmoil as an opportunity. At this point of time, it seems as if India will not loose much and may even gain more from the Brexit event.

 

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Demonetization: A Critical Evaluation

demonatisation analysis - Assam Exam

On November 8, 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the 50-day long decision of demonetizing the Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 notes in an attempt to curb black money, fake notes and to move toward cash-less or less-cash economy.

Demonetisation had a wide impact as it has affected the withdrawal of nearly 86% of the currency in circulation in India’s high currency using economy.  It has provided the invaluable service of giving mass awareness campaign against black money. Reduction of the informal economy was another achievement as cash transactions have to be made recorded.

It also helped to launch some related measures like Benami Transaction Prohibition Amendment Act, Aadhaar-PAN linkage, bank account opening, banning of high value physical transaction etc. Though a little bit of growth was sacrificed and a immediate damage to loss of the unorganized sector was occurred; it has helped to clean up the system.

The decision has become the talk of the nation in no time and the timing, motive and wisdom of the move became very much debatable. Irrespective of it’s success or failure, demonetisation have definitely leave a huge mark on the Indian economy and affects the Indian markets for in the recent times.

 

Intended Objectives

  • Curbing Black Money
  • Taking out fake currencies from circulation.
  • To get back the huge stock of currency in circulation
  • Promoting digital financial transactions
  • Reduce cash component in the economy
  • A check on funding to terrorist outfit, Naxalites and other disturbing elements of the society.
  • Few other ancillary and incidental objectives.

Actually achieved objectives

  • About 90% of old currency was deposited into the banks immediately after the demonatisation declaration. The government will directly earn a net profit of roughly 1.4 Lakh Crores.
  • The government now also has a track of money deposited by each individual into their respective bank accounts and thus, there can be substantial increase in the tax revenues earned by the government in the coming financial year as the people are expected to reveal an increased income to match their deposited amounts.
  • Huge amount of funds have been deposited into the bank. It means, these funds can be used at the discretion of banks to provide loans and credit facilities to business houses at cheaper rates.
  • The Income Tax Department is informed about suspicious deposition of huge amount money. It will be a huge source of revenue for the government and a huge blow to the black money hoarders.
  • Naxalites, terrorism activites slowed down. Hawala operations have taken a huge hit.
  • Demonetization has given a massive boost to the idea of cashless economy. More number of people have started making cashless transactions post demonetization.
  • Track of hitherto unaccounted cash
  • Stop illegal activities , at least for the time being
  • Increase Tax Revenue, lead to more govt expenditure cabapility

 

Negative effects of Demonetization

  • Most of the money has been deposited back into the banks which is a failure of the policy on it’ own.

  • Several cases of corruption from banking system came into light. It is believed that most of the big targets that were to be targeted might have exchanged the money by finding other means.
  • It is assumed that black money horded in cash is pretty low. Most of the black money has been converted into property, jewellery and other means. Therefore. Targeting only cash won’t suffice the main objective of fighting black money in any way.

  • The foreign as well as Indian Investors lacked faith in the Indian Market after demonetization. The Indian Stock markets saw a free fall, though temporary, after the event’s announcement.

  • Demonetization has largely affected the small scale industries and manual labour sector, which rely mostly on cash basis.
  • Due to huge cash crunch in the country due to limit on cash withdrawals, it has deeply impacted all the cash based businesses. The middle class businessmen are the most affected people.
  • Loss of man hours due to demonetization was immense since a lot of working days were skipped by many to deposit cash.


Demonetization was a good-willed move but collateral damages has been there and even now the GDP growth rate has plummeted to a record low. The good result of Demonetization will be felt gradually in near future.

 

APSC Mains Test Series 2017 GS Paper - Assam Exam

APSC Mains Answer Writing – Question for Week 18-24 Sept. 2017

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APSC Mains Questions – Set II [ 18-24 Sept. 2017 ]

Write answers to these Questions, Review others’ Answer, Ask Doubts and Discuss


Q1. India’s Forex reserves cross $400 billion for first time. What are the advantages and disadvantages of having such large foreign currency reserves.

Q2. Recently Assam for first time extends AFSPA orders on its own. Critically evaluate the provisions of Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA).

Q3. What is QR code? Discuss its possible applications.

 

NOTE: Learners please write the answers and review others’ answer , which will ultimately improve the answer writer, reviewer and most importantly the answer itself.

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APSC Mains Answer Writing – Question for Week 11-17 Sept. 2017

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APSC Mains Questions – Set I [ 11-17 Sept. 2017 ]

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Q1. Govt of Assam is planning to organise ‘Namami Barak’ in line of the ‘Namami Bharmaputra’. Mention some usefulness of such events.

Q2. High Speed Railway in India, is it wasteful use of scarce resources or necessary futuristic advancement in public transport. Discuss.

Q3. Recent deaths from the Blue Whale game just proves how dangerous the internet ca be, without proper regulations. Suggest measures to avoid such instances in future.

 

NOTE: Learners please write the answers and review others’ answer , which will ultimately improve the answer writer, reviewer and most importantly the answer itself.

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Right to Privacy : Basic Understanding

Right to Privacy Assam Exam

 

This Right to Privacy issue came to the fore mainly due to the Aadhar enrolment drive, which requires citizens personal information including bio-metric data like iris scanning and finger prints, which resulted in controversy regarding its potential to be mis-used. As Cyber space is a vulnerable space and very prone to theft and threat, so the cyber security issue is inbuilt. Aadhar lacks any statutory back up and is executed on an executive order, which also raises many doubts and the right of privacy is being sought to relieve people from this state-run initiative.

 

Right to Privacy

It refers to respecting and ensuring the privacy of the individual but it is not explicitly mentioned in the Constitution. The nine-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court in a landmark unanimous decision has declared right to privacy a fundamental right will be protected as intrinsic part of Right to life and personal liberty under Article 21 of the constitution of India.

 

Importance of Right to Privacy
  • The right to personal liberty of human is unsubstantial without adequate protection for right to privacy.
  • The right to dignity of each individual as a human being is incomplete without the right to privacy and reputation.
  • The ability to make choices and decisions autonomously in society free of surrounding social pressure, including the right to vote, freedom of religion — all of these depend on the preservation of the “private sphere”.
  • The advent of modern tech tools has made the invasion of privacy easier and made cyber data more vulnerable to theft and misuse.

The present status of Right to Privacy

Right to Privacy does not find any mention in the Constitution. This right has been picked from Article 19 and 21 which deals with right to life and liberty. In the absence of clarity, it has been defined only by a string of judgements. As early as 1954, the apex court observed in a ruling that right to privacy is not a recognised right listed under Article 19 of the Constitution.

 
Some important judgements in regard to Right to Privacy
  • Kharak Singh vs. State of UP – Extending the dimension of ‘personal liberty,’ the apex court for the first time declared right to privacy to fall under the purview of Article 21 and defined the right of personal liberty in Art. 21 as a right of an individual to be free from restrictions or encroachments on his person.
  • Govind vs. State of MP – The SC held that right to privacy cannot be made an absolute right. Subject to reasonable restrictions, the right to privacy could be made valid.
  • Rajagopal vs. State of T.N – The court defined privacy as part of Article 21 and as a right to be let alone. A citizen has a right to safeguard the privacy of his own, his family, marriage, procreation, motherhood, childbearing and education among other matters. None can publish anything concerning the above matters without his consent whether truthful or otherwise and whether laudatory or critical.
  • Naz Foundation vs. Govt. of NCT Delhi – The top court cited Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 17 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which define privacy as no arbitrary interference with home, family or honour and reputation.

 

The recent Supreme Court verdict

The apex court on August 28, 2017, ruled that right to privacy is an intrinsic part of Right to Life and Personal Liberty under Article 21 and entire Part III of the constitution. The court also had voiced concern over the possible misuse of personal information in the public domain.

It held that privacy is a natural & inherent right available to all humans and the constitutional recognition is only to make it explicit. But the court also clarified that it is not an absolute right.

Reasonable Restrictions – It is pertinent at this juncture to note that the judges have referred to the reasonable restrictions and limitations that privacy would be subject to. The verdict also elaborated that such restriction should be based on compelling state interest and on a fair procedure that is free from arbitrariness, selective targeting or profiling.

The judgement finally reconcile Indian laws with the spirit of Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) and Article 17 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), 1966, which legally protects persons against the arbitrary interference with one’s privacy, honour and reputation, family, home and correspondence.

 

Possible Positives of the verdict
  • This will ensure the dignity of the citizens.
  • It will impose restrictions on the government’s approach to encroach upon the private data of citizens.
  • It gives impetus to the Right to personal liberty, under Article 21 of the Constitution.

Possible Negative of the Court verdict
  • It can hinder the implementation of welfare schemes like Aadhar and Direct Benefits Transfer, which requires personal data of citizens, for better identification of marginalised sections and effective implementation by preventing leakages.
  • Right to Privacy will also restrict police and intelligence agencies to collect private information about accused and criminals.
 
Future Implications of the Supreme Court Judgement
  • Future of Aadhar – The judgment’s immediate impact will also be felt the most in the Aadhar project. This will significantly limits the stand that the union government will be able to take in support of the validity of the Aadhaar Act.
  • Homosexuality – The judgment also implicitly overrules the 2013 judgment of the Supreme Court that upheld the validity of IPC Section 377, which criminalises homosexuality. The verdict held that the sexual identity of the LGBT community is inherent in the right to life.
  • Right to Die – As an individual’s rights to refuse life prolonging medical treatment is another aspect that falls within the zone of the right of privacy, this revives the question of passive-euthanasia.
  • Data Protection – As India has no statute regarding privacy or data protection, concerns were raised by the court. It expressed hope that the government would undertake this exercise after a careful balancing of privacy concerns and legitimate state interests.
  • Beef & Alcohol consumption – the Supreme Court in the current judgment has held that the right to food of one’s choice is part of the right to privacy. It is therefore clear that the ‘privacy judgment’ will have a bearing on matters like consumption of beef and alcohol.
 
Issues with Aadhar card
  • Services Denied: Many instances occurred in which government and its agencies have been found insisting on producing Aadhar number as a precondition to avail public services.
  • Consent: No well- informed consent about the uses of the huge amount of private data of citizens being collected.
  • Exit Option: The absence of an exit option to get out of the UIDAI data base.
  • No Statutory backing: The UIDAI and the Aadhar project are still functioning on the basis of an executive action since it was set up. Any action of the government should be backed by a formal statute or legislation.
  • Lack of accountability: The UIDAI also lacks accountability to Parliament if there is a failure in the system and in cases of unfortunate consequence.
  • Private Players: There are many private players involved in the whole chain of registering for and generation of Aadhaar numbers before the database finally goes to the government-controlled Central Identities Data Repository (CIDR), which also raises doubts about the safety of citizen’s data.

 

Way Forward
  • Government should Strengthening cyber security system of the Aadhar and other programme dealing with large amount of citizens’ data.
  • It is imperative that the Union Government enact a privacy legislation that clearly defines the rights of citizens consistent with the promise of the Constitution. And also bringing out appropriate law against violation of right to privacy.
  • The government should factor in privacy risks and include procedures and systems to protect citizen information in any system of data collection.
  • It should create institutional mechanism such as Privacy Commissioner to prevent unauthorised disclosure of or access to such data.
  • Our national cyber cell should be strengthen to deal with any kind of cyber attack
 
Conclusion

In the name of Right to Privacy outright stalling of Aadhar doesn’t fare well for social security programs of the government and also in its zeal to aggregate data in electronic form and target subsidies better, the government cannot ignore its responsibility to protect citizens from the perils of the cyber era. So, government initiative to use data for improving governance should be continued in tandem with protection of privacy of the citizens.

APSC Mains Test Series 2017 GS Paper - Assam Exam