April 25th 2017, Editorial

GS II: Important aspects of governance

The Best Laid Plans

NITI Aayog’s shift from away from 5 year plans requires more substance.

  • Narendra Modi is not the first CM to have gone on to become PM.

NOTE: List of CM’s who have gone on to become PM

  1. Morarji Desai
    • CM: Bombay State
    • PM Tenure: March, 1977 – July, 1979
  2. Charan Singh
    • CM: Uttar Pradesh
    • PM Tenure: July, 1979 – Jan, 1980
  3. V.P. Singh
    • CM: Uttar Pradesh
    • PM Tenure: Dec, 1980 to Nov, 1990
  4. P.V. Narasimha Rao
    • CM: Andhra Pradesh
    • PM: June, 1991 to May, 1996
  5. H.D. Deve Gowda
    • CM: Karnataka
    • PM: June, 1996 to April, 1997
  6. Narendra Modi
    • CM: Gujarat
    • PM: May, 2014 to Present
  • The last 5 year plan was relegated to history on March 31st.
  • It is now replaced with a 3 year action plan till 2019-20, 7 year action plan and a 15 year action plan.
  • It was hoped that a detailed plan was designed.
  • However only draft action agenda was prepared with 300 specific action points.
  • Outcomes envisioned by 2031-32.
  • Will ensure
    • Housing for all
    • Toilets
    • LPG
    • Power
    • Digital Connections
    • Access to a personal vehicle
    • Air conditioner & other white goods
    • Fully literate population
    • Universal health care
  • Aayog estimates India’s GDP to grow by Rs. 332 Lakh Crores in the next 15 years.
  • Data loosely put for 3 year plan. Barely any knowledge on the 7 year plan.
  • Yet to be ratified by the Council. Will cause delay which was similarly experienced with the Planning Commission. As of now there is vacuum in India’s policy framework.
  • What makes the current government distinct from previous governments is the stress it lays on “cooperative federalism”. It’s primary focus is to work along with States. This is evident from the PM urging the States to boost capital expenditure and infrastructure development.
  • However for cooperative federalism to work, the Union Govt and Sate Govt’s must meet more often failing which they will experience a communication breakdown and all the plans will be rendered futile.

Words to be noted:

  1. Relegate:
    • to send into exile
    • to assign to a place of insignificance or of oblivion
    • put out of sight or mind
    • eg: courtiers and generals who incurred the emperor’s disfavor were soon relegated to the farther reaches of the empire.
  2. White Goods:

    : large pieces of household equipment (such as refrigerators and washing machines).

  3. Ratify:

    • to approve and sanction formally
    • Eg: A number of countries have refused to ratify the treaty.

Source: The Hindu, merriam-webster.com, pmindia.gov.in

GS I: Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism & secualrism

The appeasement of none.

We must move beyond the minority-majority binary.

  • Communal politics that ironically passes for secularism in the country is the bane of Indian politics.
  • Can be traced back to British policy of “Divide & Rule”.
  • The Constitution of India rejected the idea for a separate electorate for minorities and proportional representation.
  • Minority rights are guaranteed by Article 29 and 30 of the Constitution.
  • However no definition or identification of minorities – religious or linguistic prevails in the constitution.
  • Finally, in TMA Pai foundation v/s State of Karnataka, the decision of who will perform the task of defining minorities was finally left to the States i.e. the State has decision making power in defining minorities for their respective states.
  • The Minorities Commission was set up in 1978 and a statutory recognition was granted to it by passing the National Commission for Minorities Act, 1992.
  • Through this act, the Centre notified Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Zoroastrians (Parsis) as minorities at a national level. Jains joined in later.
  • According to 2011 census, Hindus are a minority in 7 states –
    • Arunachal Pradesh
    • Jammu and Kashmir
    • Manipur
    • Meghalaya
    • Mizoram
    • Nagaland,
    • Punjab and in
    • one UT (Lakshadweep)
  • The Act does not make it mandatory for States to have Minorities Commission and yet 18 States do.
  • Furtherence of Vote Bank Politics:
    • Despite this, a state like Punjab where Hindus are a minority with 38.4% population do not enjoy a minority status by the government.
    • Discrimination prevails, where, for the purpose of vote bank politics, political parties insist on special dispensation for minorities and deny Hindus minority status where they are entitled to it.
    • the SC in Bal Patil v. Union of India had said the National and State Minorities Commissions should direct their activities to maintain the unity and integrity of India by gradually eliminating the minority and majority classes.
  • A government must be committed to the philosophy of ‘Antyodaya’, i.e.working for the benefit of the last person in the queue. It does not want to look at citizens through the prism of caste, religion,language, or sect.

Source: The Hindu

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