Mains Q & A 13 February 2023
Q1. The GNCTD Amendment Act of 2021 gave the person chosen by the Centre broad control over an elected government. critically evaluate (250 words)
Paper & Topic: GS I Women Empowerment
The Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2021, was introduced in the Lok Sabha on March 15, 2021. The bill modifies the Delhi National Capital Territory Act of 1991.
The Act lays the groundwork for the National Capital Territory (NCT) government of Delhi as well as the Legislative Assembly. The Bill modifies the responsibilities of the Legislative Assembly and the Lieutenant Governor.
The New Amendment Includes:
Limitations on laws that the Assembly has approved: A statute passed by the Legislative Assembly must automatically refer to the Lieutenant Governor whenever the word “government” is used (LG).
The Act grants the Legislative Assembly the power to establish regulations governing its internal procedures and business dealings. Such Rules must abide by the Lok Sabha’s Rules of Procedure and Business Conduct, according to the Bill.
According to the Bill, neither the Legislative Assembly nor any of its Committees may: I consider the daily operations of the NCT of Delhi; nor (ii) conduct any research into administrative decisions. The Bill further declares that any regulations of this kind that are put in place before it takes effect are void.
Passage of Bills: According to the Act, the LG is required to hold back a number of bills that the Legislative Assembly has approved so that the President can review them. These bills include those that I the President may order to be reserved, (ii) deal with the pay and benefits of the Speaker, Deputy Speaker, members of the Assembly, and Ministers, (iii) deal with the official languages of the Assembly or the NCT of Delhi, (iv) deal with the Speaker and Deputy Speaker’s salaries and allowances, and (v) deal with the power of the Delhi High Court.
The Bill requires that any bills that incidentally address any subjects that are outside the purview of the Legislative Assembly’s power be reserved for the President.
LG believes that all governmental executive measures, whether taken on the advice of the Ministers or not, must be made in the name of the LG in accordance with the Act. The Bill further states that, in certain situations as determined by the LG, the Minister or Council of Ministers must obtain the LG’s consent before taking any action.
Concerns with the Bill:
The GNCTD Act’s modified provisions decrease the constitutionally protected rights and obligations of the elected Assembly. The authority of the Assembly is weakened by this.
By treating LG as the NCT’s “government,” the elected role of “default administering authority” is replaced with a nominated one.
The transfer of the elected government’s executive authority to the LG and the Secretaries violates the representational form of government envisioned under Article 239 AA of the Constitution.
Since he is not accountable to them, the LG, who will now be in command of the nation, is not required to implement any legislation passed by the assembly or the instructions of the house.
Cooperative Federalism is against the measures because they could lead to a concentration of authority, inappropriate LG participation in daily operations, and a delay in the implementation of policies. Cooperative federalism and the separation of powers would be hindered.
2018 contravention of a Supreme Court decision: The constitutional bench had decided in the 2018 case of Government of NCT of Delhi vs. UoI & ors. that the Centre’s authority was restricted to three areas, namely land, police, and public order, and that the LG’s approval was not always required.
Not adequately addressed Before the Act was hurriedly passed, the Select Committee was not contacted.
Basic structure is flawed: Executive responsibility is a defining feature of the parliamentary form of government, which is a part of the constitution’s core structure.
could result in policy paralysis Additionally, by forcing the government to consult the LG before taking executive action, the Bill goes against the constitutional bench’s understanding of the duty to inform but not to wait for a return of the LG’s opinion, something that could take days or never arrive.
Based on the democratic and balanced federalism principles, the Supreme Court decided to provide the elected government unrestricted authority to carry out its decisions. The aforementioned amendment Bill nullifies the Supreme Court’s decision but does not attempt to change the reasoning behind it. Contrarily, the Bill aims to explain the functions of the elected government and the LG in accordance with the NCT of Delhi’s constitutional system of government, as suggested by the declaration of goals and reasons.
Q2. The relationship between India and Bangladesh is based on strong people-to-people links and extends much beyond straightforward strategic considerations. Analyse. (250 words) (250 words)
Paper & Topic: GS I Women Empowerment
On December 16, 1971, when Indian forces forced Pakistani forces to submit, Bangladesh was liberated. Indian and Bangladeshi diplomats jointly commemorated the 50th anniversary this week, and Indian leaders lauded Bangladesh’s development since independence.
India and Bangladesh have a lot in common, including a similar history, lingo, and customs. Strong bilateral ties are a reflection of a holistic partnership built on sovereignty, equality, trust, and understanding that goes far beyond a strategic alliance.
Bangladeshis are grateful to India for its support during the 1971 Liberation War and for its sacrifices.
cultural connections The 100th birthday of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the 50th anniversary of our diplomatic relations, and the golden anniversary of Bangladesh’s Liberation War are all momentous milestones. India and Bangladesh are also participating in the celebration.
Currently, Bangladesh is India’s main development partner. India has granted Bangladesh three lines of credit (LOC) totaling $8 billion during the past eight years for the development of different infrastructure projects, including ports, railroads, shipping lanes, and highways.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 witnessed a number of high-level political and official interactions, beginning with the New Year’s pleasantries exchanged on January 1 between Prime Ministers Modi and Sheikh Hasina.
Connectivity: To restore the train lines and other connectivity ties that existed between Bangladesh and India before 1965, both governments are taking various actions.
The railway line linking Chilahati, Bangladesh, and Haldibari, India, was reopened by the two prime ministers on December 17, 2020.
To enhance interpersonal contacts, the frequency of the Maitree Express and Bandhan Express passenger trains was increased from four to five days per week and from one to two days per week, respectively, beginning in February 2020.
Trade: India’s top South Asian trading partner is Bangladesh, and Bangladesh’s top trading partner is India.
India and Bangladesh have gradually increased their bilateral commerce over the previous ten years, and Bangladesh’s exports have treble, topping $1 billion in 2018–19.
Relationships nowadays are still relevant:
North East security: An ally like Bangladesh can ensure that there are no anti-Indian activities taking place on its territory. The Bangladeshi operation resulted in the detention of numerous important leaders of NE insurgent groups, notably the United Liberation Front of Assam and the National Democratic Front of Bodoland.
Connectivity of the North Eastern States: The states in the area are landlocked and have a shorter route to the sea through Bangladesh. The transit agreement with Bangladesh will help North-East India’s socioeconomic development and integration.
Bangladesh serves as both a gateway to Southeast Asia and a natural cornerstone of Act East policy. It can act as a “bridge” for connecting South East Asia with other regions on the political and economic fronts. Bangladesh makes a major contribution to the BIMSTEC and BBIN programmes.
Enhancing South Asia’s influence as a regional force: Bangladesh is essential to the expansion of SAARC, the encouragement of cooperation among its members for economic development, and the defence of strategic interests.
Securing communication sea lines: Bangladesh is ideally situated near important sea lanes. It might significantly affect efforts to suppress piracy in the Indian Ocean.
Fighting terrorism and deradicalization: India is helped by Bangladesh’s stability, openness, and tolerance in preventing the rise of extremists there as well as in cooperation with deradicalization operations, intelligence sharing, and other counterterrorism activities.
A neutral Bangladesh would help frustrate China’s string of pearls strategy and guarantee the containment of an assertive China in this region. Thus, China would be balanced.
Problems that affect bilateral interactions:
River disputes: There are 54 transboundary rivers that Bangladesh and India share. The most important disputes include those over the Ganga River, the Tipaimukh Hydro-Electric Power Project on the Barak River, and the Teesta River water sharing problem.
Illegal immigration: 1.9 million Assamese who migrated in Assam after 1971 were categorised as “illegal immigrants from Bangladesh” by the National Register of Citizens (NRC).
Bangladesh continues to adamantly maintain that no unauthorised immigrants entered Assam during the 1971 fight for independence and that the divisive NRC threatens to worsen relations.
Border management: The Indo-Bangladesh border’s porousness provides a pathway for smuggling, trafficking in weapons, drugs, people, and livestock.
Project execution was delayed as of 2017; three credit lines totaling about $7.4 billion had been issued by India. Less than 10% of the total pledges, though, have yet to be fulfilled.
Factor China: As a rival to India, China sees Bangladesh as a key crossroads for relations with South Asia.
The existence of groups like Harkat-al Jihad-al Islami (HUJI), Jamaat-e Islami, and HUJI-B is contributing to an increase in radicalization. Bangladeshi intolerance towards India. The boundary may be crossed by their messaging.
An increased level of interaction with Bangladesh is now necessary due to the changing geo-economic landscape. Bangladesh’s rising economic success and 8% growth rate make it an essential partner in the region. There is room for India-Bangladesh relations to develop to the next level through cooperation, coordination, and consolidation given that the Prime Minister has referred to the current period of relations between the two countries as “Sonali Adhyay.”
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