Mains Questions from Today’s Hindu

Answer the following Questions in about 150 words.

GS Paper 2:- Regional and bilateral groupings that affect India’s Interests

  1. QUAD can be the desired alterntive for India to realize its goal of “Atma Nirbahar Bharat” . – Critically examine the statement highlighting avenues of co-operation between member nations in QUAD.

Introduction:

Atma Nirbhar Bharat denotes a self-reliant india and the term was used for the economic package announced to counter the slowdown caused by Covid -19.
QUAD or Quadrilateral security dialogue is a gradual convergence of India, US, Japan and Australia aiming at cooperation in security and defence.

Content:

  1. QUAD is seen as reaction of democracies towards the emergence of china economically and its geopolitical assertiveness in the Indo Pacific region. And Beijing had criticized the group as “anti – china frontline”
  2. QUAD had limited itself with meets and discussion related to defence cooperation. Malabar naval exercise of 2007 is one significant event participated by navy of 4 countries.
  3. Recently trade ties related topics also feature in the agenda of the QUAD summit
  4. Japan’s “Supply Chain Resilience initiative” to reduce dependence of Chinese manufacturing, India’s idea of “East-West” connectivity with ASEAN countries, US plan for “Blue Dot Network” to rate infrastructure projects funding are developments which may help India in pursuing its self-reliance goal.
  5. But the self-reliance must not be narrowed to the extent of antagonising China alone,
  6. Any group or country who are ready to support with funds, technology transfer, raw material, etc, without restrictions and dependency on them, needs to be partnered with.
  7. India also need to look internally – promotion of research and development, reviving industries and manufacturing, agriculture, infrastructure projects, etc.

Conclusion:
The QUAD in present form may play some role in India’s self-reliance goal in defence and related sectors.
The forum needs to mature into trade and economy related cooperation platform to address our aid in our goal comprehensively.

GS Paper 2:- Federalism & Issues – Challenges to federalism

2. ” List 3 of the 7th Schedule weakens the spirit of Federalism in India” – Comment.

Introduction:-  

The Constitution makers have taken due care to divide subjects into three lists so as to allow the Centre and the States to function within their domain of competence. Gradually various subjects such as labour, education and trade and commerce in certain goods have been brought into the Concurrent List by means of amendments to the Original Constitution.

Content:-

State Legislatures have the power to legislate on matters such as Trade and Commerce as specified in entry 26 of List 2 in the 7th Schedule.However the caveat is that the powers of the State legislatures to enact laws on these matters is subject to the provisions in Entry 33 of List 3 (ie. concurrent list). This overarching powers in the hands of the Parliament limits the authority of the state legislatures to enact laws without the fear of the Union trampeding upon the state law. The heated debates in the Parliament  when this entry 33 was introduced in the Concurrent list is a testimony to the apprehensions of the law makers about the threat to federal principle in the Constitution.

This issue has recently come to the limelight with the Parliament passing the Farm Bills that trampede upon the state APMC acts. Various state Governments including the State of Punjab have raised voices of protest against the passage of the Farm Bills in the Parliament.

In addition to this other aspects such as the Wide Scope in the hands of the Union to legislate on matters related to Education has become another contentious issue with respect to the National Education policy 2020 and the NEET Examination. Entry 25 in List 3 that deals with Education was added later to the Constitution by means of the 42nd Constitutional Amednment Act. This amednment had in reality armed the Union against the autonomy enjoyed by the State Legislatures in deciding the Educational Policy of the States.

On the same note, Labour laws are found at Entry Nos. 22-24 of List III of the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution of India. Article 254 of the Constitution lays down the scope of the Centre and states to legislate on subjects in the concurrent list.

Article 254(1) provides that when a law enacted by Parliament holds the field, then the law enacted by the state shall be void to the extent it is repugnant to Parliament law. This can be seen in the recent passage of the Labour Code Bill 2020 in the Parliament when the Opposition had staged a walk out.

Concluding remarks:-

These instances point out to the fact that inspite of the powers wielded by the states on matters falling within the List 3 of the 7th Schedule on paper, in reality it is the Centre that has the final say on such matters. With various SC Judgments that have concluded the existence of Federalism as a part of Basic Structure of the Constitution,it would be the federal responsibility of the centre to allow the spirit of Co-operative federalism to prevail by accomodating the interest of the States on matters that overlaps between the Union and the State Governments.

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