Mains Q & A 22 February 2023
Q1. Discuss the challenges the Indian judiciary has faced in “preserving and defending” the constitution across the country, which is its main objective. Do you think the establishment of a “All India Judicial Service” will help to tackle the issues facing the Indian judiciary? (250 Words)
Paper & Topic: GS II Judiciary related issues
“Strategy for New India @ 75,” the NITI Aayog’s vision statement, makes a number of recommendations for judicial reforms. The creation of an All India Judicial Service (AIJS), which would be akin to other central services like the IAS and the IPS, has received support from the think tank.
The 14th Report on Reform of Judicial Administration proposed a distinct all-India service for judicial officers. This research assisted an AIJS to ensure that judges of lower courts receive pay and perks that are on par with those provided to employees of the government. Others would be inspired to think about working in the state courts as a result.
Problems with the Indian judicial system:
The AIJS seeks to ensure the advancement of more junior judges to the SC and HCs. Recruits must serve at least ten years as subordinate justice magistrates under the current system before they are eligible to become district judges.
In order to attract the best talent to India’s legal sector, this is expected to ensure a transparent and efficient hiring procedure.
There are currently several issues with India’s legal system, particularly with the lower judiciary. Notwithstanding the Law Commission’s proposal of 50 judges per million residents based on the previous US ratio, India only has 13 judicial positions available per million citizens at the moment.
Around the nation, there are numerous court vacancies, and in some areas, judicial absence has made the problem worse. Hence, a quick method of choosing new judges is needed.
As a result, there are a large number of cases that are still open—about 2.8 crore in all.
The judiciary experiences similar infrastructure issues; for instance, freshly appointed judges lack the required courtrooms, necessitating a considerable investment.
Difficulties with AIJS:
Addressing vacancy issues:
The continuous problem of vacancies in the Indian subordinate judiciary is claimed to be resolved by the AIJS.
An all India service would offer a more streamlined and organised application process for the limited district judge jobs available in the country.
Fundamental structural theory is flawed:
An AIJS that would have entry-level civil judges, prosecutors, and legal advisers as members of the service was proposed by Niti Aayog (subordinate judges).
Significant constitutional changes would be required by a broad mandate, especially in relation to the selection process for the lower subordinate judges (that is, all ranks below that of a district judge).
Nominations to the lower judiciary are now made in accordance with Articles 233 and 234 of the Constitution under the supervision of the State High Court.
These modifications, which establish a centralised nomination process, might be deemed unconstitutional and subject to being struck down for flagrantly violating the idea of the basic structure and judicial federalism.
The AIJS concept has caused considerable controversy among the legal profession and other interested parties.
The present UPA administration first proposed the idea for AIJS in 2012, however the draughts law was once again tabled when Chief Justices of the High Court objected, claiming that this was an infringement on their rights.
Training judges to take into account regional variations in local laws, customs, and practises would be challenging.
The requirement of creating a reserve for people with local addresses and the central selection procedures would seriously cast doubt on their constitutionality and efficacy as the law evolved.
How to Proceed:
The UPSC conducts an all-India judicial services test in an effort to sustain “high standards” in the judiciary.
Instead of just advocating an AIJS as a remedy for judicial vacancies, it could be smarter to look into the causes and factors contributing to the large number of vacancies in the underperforming States.
Notwithstanding the Supreme Court’s twice-requested request for AIJS, there are still challenges due to the administrative block and High Courts.
Because of this, if AIJS is developed in a way that eliminates its shortcomings, the gap in the judiciary can be efficiently filled.
A sufficient number of judges can only be hired through AIJS, as we observe in the cases of IAS, IPS, IFS, and other public services. So, there shouldn’t be any more waiting.
A Judiciary Service agent could also complete the required training after being hired for the job. A competitive employment procedure makes a meritocratic judicial system, which is what the current circumstances demands, possible.
Q2. The research stated that instead of viewing the elderly as merely dependents who need to be taken care of, “care for the elderly in the nation needs to embrace a strategy that emphasises seeing them as assets in India’s prosperity.” Talk about (250 words)
Paper & Topic: GS II Social issues
In India, 88 million people over the age of 60 lived there in 2009. By 2050, this figure is anticipated to surpass 320 million. Between 2000 and 2050, the country’s population is anticipated to grow by 60% overall, while the population of people 60 and older is anticipated to grow by 360%. The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Older People (Amendment) Bill, 2019, was just approved by the Cabinet.
Senior population challenges in India:
Loneliness and isolation among older people are on the rise.
The majority of older people—about 50%—felt unhappy and abandoned, and 36% claimed their families were a burden.
Chronic conditions including heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and others will kill more people and worsen their health over the coming years than infectious or parasitic diseases.
In developed nations, this transformation has already occurred. The prevalence of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease is predicted to nearly double every 20 years as life expectancy increases.
Specific challenges faced by less developed countries include:
Less developed countries will bear the combined burden of treating elderly individuals with chronic illnesses and managing the persistently high frequency of infectious infections.
Long-term care is in greater demand:
It is anticipated that there would be an increase in the number of elderly persons who are frail and ill and need low-cost nursing homes or assisted living facilities.
Health care expenses are rising: Governments can be faced with costs that have never been seen before as more elderly stop working and their healthcare requirements increase.
Even if there may be cause for optimism in some countries about population ageing, the Pew study reveals that residents of countries like Japan, Italy, and Russia are the least hopeful about sustaining an adequate standard of living in old age.
Senior women’s safety concerns:
People experience gender-based bias all their lives. The gendered pattern of ageing results in women generally living longer than men.
In people who are 80 years or older, widowhood is more common in women than in men, with 71% of women and 29% of men having lost their spouse.
Women are less likely to get remarried due to societal norms, which increases the likelihood that they will live alone.
Strict moral obligations, rights, and liberties must all be forfeited in order for a widow to live a normal life.
Social bias frequently contributes to unequal resource distribution, abuse, exploitation, violence against women, inability to obtain basic services, and barriers to asset ownership.
Older women are more likely to be rejected from social security programmes due to their lower levels of literacy and education.
Older individuals are expected to need health care for a longer period of time than prior generations, but elderly care for a shorter period of time.
Being a signatory to the Madrid International Plan of Action on Aging, India has a responsibility to establish and implement public policy on population ageing (MIPAA).
The difficulties with poverty, migration, urbanisation, realisation, and feminization add to the complexity of this new issue. Public policy must address this expanding demand and incorporate action into growth planning.
In particular for older women, age-related social and gender issues must be considered while designing policy.
Senior citizens, especially women, should participate in decision-making.
With the WHO identifying the years 2020 to 2030 as the “Decade of Healthy Ageing,” organisations like AIIMS must take the initiative in promoting healthy ageing.
Increasing the social/widow pension and making it universal are necessary for enhancing the reach and accessibility of benefits.
With increased efforts, the National Old Age Pension and the Widow Pension Program should be made more widely known and available. Provisions for elderly women, disabled individuals, and widows should also be taken into account.
To combat non-communicable diseases, problems with vision and hearing, and to provide accessible health care through Ayushman Bharat, the government must take aggressive efforts.
The aged are a resource that humanity has access to but is underutilised for, among other things. Reintegrating the elderly into society could stop people from unconsciously transitioning into the “Industry 4.0” economy that futurists foresee, when robots make commodities for one another. Healthy seniors can contribute to their communities through volunteerism or paid employment, teach the new generation about their vast experience, and help with child care.
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