1.The Home Rule movement created public opinion in favour of Home Rule through public meetings, discussions, reading rooms, propaganda, newspapers and pamphlets. Discuss. (GS Paper-1, World History) (250 words)
Structure of the Answer
· Brief introduction on Home Rule movement
· After that discuss Factors leading to the Movement
· In last discuss Achievement
The Home Rule Movement was the Indian response to the First World War in a less charged but a more effective way than the response of Indians living abroad which took the form of the romantic Ghadr adventure. The Indian Home Rule Leagues were organised on the lines of the Irish Home Rule Leagues and they represented the emergence of a new trend of aggressive politics. Annie Besant and Tilak were the pioneers of this new trend.
Factors leading to the Movement some of the factors were as follows:
- A section of nationalists felt that popular pressure was required to attain concessions from the Government.
- The Moderates were disillusioned with the Morley- Minto reforms.
- People were feeling the burden of wartime miseries caused by high taxation and a rise in prices, and were ready to participate in any aggressive movement of protest.
- The War, being fought among the major imperialist powers of the day and backed by naked propaganda against each other, exposed the myth of white superiority.
- Tilak was ready to assume leadership after his release in June 1914, and had made conciliatory gestures to reassure the Government of his loyalty and to the Moderates that he wanted, like the Irish Home Rulers, a reform of the administration and not an overthrow of the Government. He also said that the acts of violence had only served to retard the pace of political progress in India. He urged all Indians to assist the British Government in its hour of crisis.
- Annie Besant, the Irish theosophist based in India since 1896, had decided to enlarge the sphere of her activities to include the building of a movement for Home Rule on the lines of the Irish Home Rule Leagues.
- The movement shifted the emphasis from the educated elite to the masses and permanently deflected the movement from the course mapped by the Moderates.
- It created an organisational link between the town and the country, which was to prove crucial in later years when the movement entered its mass phase in a true sense.
- It created a generation of ardent nationalists.
- It prepared the masses for politics of the Gandhian style.
- The August 1917 declaration of Montagu and the Montford reforms were influenced by the Home Rule agitation.
- Tilak’s and Besant’s efforts in the Moderate-Extremist reunion at Lucknow (1916) revived the Congress as an effective instrument of Indian nationalism.
- It lent a new dimension and a sense of urgency to the national movement.
2.Money Bills (article 110) have special provisions to ensure financial independence and continuity to government functioning. But these provisions are sometimes misused to bypass the Rajya Sabha. Discuss. (GS Paper-2, Polity) (250 words)
Structure of the Answer
· Highlight the provisions of money bill
· Give example where money bill is allegedly misused to bypass Rajya Sabha
· Conclude with solutions
Reference– Laxmikanth/ Current Affairs
In a general sense, any Bill that relates to taxation powers of state, proposals relating to money matters, appropriation of funds etc. can be termed as Money Bill. A Money Bill is defined precisely in Article 110 of the constitution.
- Money Bills give primacy to Lok Sabha and limits the powers of Rajya Sabha.
- Money Bills can be introduced only in the Lok Sabha.
- Rajya Sabha cannot make amendments to such bills passed by the Lok Sabha. The Rajya Sabha can suggest amendments, but it is the Lok Sabha’s choice to accept or reject them.
- Money Bill is certified by the Speaker of the Lok Sabha and the decision of the Speaker is final. Once the Speaker has certified a Bill as a Money Bill, its nature cannot be questioned in a court of law.
These provisions are provided to ensure financial independence and continuity to government functioning. Here the problem is not the primacy of the Lok Sabha in money matters. But, problem arises when these provisions are misused to bypass the Rajya Sabha.
- Aadhar Bill: The main purpose of Aadhaar Bill is related to providing benefits, subsidies and services funded from the Consolidated Fund of India (CFI), but Aadhar Bill serves several other purposes. Aadhar can be used for other purposes like opening a bank account or as identity proof. It is also related to privacy of individuals.
- At state level, the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly passed a Bill to amend the Uttar Pradesh Lokayukta and Up-Lokayuktas Act as a Money Bill.
These bills thus do not strictly qualify to be a money bills under Article 110. Thus, concerns have been expressed about bypassing the upper house. Many constitutional experts also call such moves unconstitutional. Except in case of financial matters both houses have equal powers. In India (federal country), the upper house has special role to protect the interest of states. Thus, there is urgent need arrest such developments.
- Reforming the office of Speaker: The decision of speaker with respect to money bills is final. But, in India office of speaker is not neutral like in Britain. Either we can adopt system in Britain of ‘Once a speaker, always a speaker’ or decisions with respect to money bills can be given to a committee.
- Better Parliamentary conventions: The government adopts this route because the government do not enjoy majority in upper house and disruptions in parliament have increased. Opposition parties prefer walkouts over discussion in parliament. Thus, there is need to adopt better parliamentary conventions. Ruling party has to device methods to build conventions. Committee system in parliament should be strengthened so that there is greater scrutiny by parliament
3.Urban floodingis a major problem in many parts of the worldand is one of the most natural disastrous event which takes place every year, especially in the coastal cities. Discuss the causes and impacts of urban flooding. (GS Paper-3, Disaster Management) (250 words)
Structure of the Answer
· Discuss the cause of urban floods like planning issues, climatic reasons etc.
· Point out the impacts of urban floods
Urbanisation is posing numerous challenges for city administrators, planners and policy makers, of which urban floods are increasingly becoming an important challenge. Urban floods are a result of inadequate or poor maintenance of storm water drains, improper planning, encroachment on drains and water bodies, occupation of low lying areas, modification of catchments, and climate change.
With climate change, urban floods are expected to be more frequent (particularly in tropical regions), there is likely to be longer flooding season and newer areas would experience flooding. Urban flooding has been observed worldwide and it is becoming a regular event in Indian cities too.
Urban floods are caused by natural events and anthropogenic activities. In Indian cities flooding is becoming frequent due to both human factors and meteorological/hydrological factors, with the former factor being more predominant. Some of the issues contributing to urban floods are listed below:
- Planning issues: Increasing population, habitations coming up in low-lying areas, encroachment on drainage channels and immediate upper catchment of hilly urban areas.
- Technical issues: Increased imperviousness leading to increased runoff as compared to drainage capacity, improper waste disposal resulting in clogged drains, high intensity – high load of runoff.
- Meteorological issues: Exacerbated by changing climate, resulting in extreme events, NASA studies indicate that the urban heat island effect also results in increased rainfall over urban areas.
- Policy issues: Lack of integrated flood control implementing agency.
Flooding in urban areas affects many sectors like:
- Traffic jams
- Damage to public and private property
- Mixing of solid waste in flood waters causing further choking of drains
- Vector and water borne disease
- In coastal cities, increased inundation of low lying areas during high tide, reduced capacity of drains to discharge storm water
- Disruption of power supply and telecommunication
- Mixing of faecal matter in the flood water due to open defecation
- Excessive economic losses (in the form of damage to property and loss of productivity).
Attention should be given at all levels of government to ensure that efforts to mitigate urban flooding reach areas that have the highest risk of flooding and cross all economic and social levels and that locally supported steps are taken to incentivize individual homeowner mitigation efforts.
4.Discuss the hedonistic calculus of Bentham. What is the function of ‘calculus of felicity’ in the ethical theory of Bentham? (GS Paper-4, Ethics) (150 words)
Structure of the Answer
· Brief introduction of Bentham’s ethical theory
· Explain hedonistic calculus
· Discuss ‘calculus of felicity’ and its function
Reference: Lexicon’s Ethics
Utility is something measurable, thus quantitative, scientific and objective. In examining the consequences of our actions, we can determine the quantity of pain and pleasure produced by them and thereby determine which of the options open to us would bring about the greatest balance of pleasure over pain.
What distinguishes Bentham’s moral outlook is precisely its insistence on testing every act and every institution by the principle of utility, and its assurance that a quantitatively based answer to any moral question can always be attained. He tried to put the happiness theory on a quantitative or mathematical basis.
According to Bentham, all people hope to achieve pleasure and avoid pain. Pleasure and pain, however, differ from each other and therefore have independent values. We have to estimate the amount of pleasure and the amount of pain to which the action seems to give rise and to weigh the one against the other, while deciding whether a given action is right or wrong. Bentham provides a hedonistic calculus for this purpose. His hedonistic calculus has seven categories of pleasure.
- Intensity. How strong is the pleasure?
- Duration. How long will the pleasure last?
- Certainty. How sure are we that the pleasure will occur?
- Propinquity. How soon will the pleasure occur?
- Fecundity. How likely is it that this pleasure will produce another pleasure?
- Purity. How free from pain is the pleasure?
- Extent. How many people will experience the pleasure?
Bentham called the seven categories the calculus of felicity (pleasure). Through these categories, he believed we could calculate which course of action would produce the greatest amount of happiness, and therefore which one we ought morally to take.
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