Mains Q & A 24 May 2023
Q1. Urban regions confront substantial difficulties with solid waste management (SWM) due to issues with waste collection, transportation, treatment, and disposal. Analyse. Provide solutions to address these problems. (250 words)
Paper & Topic: GS I – Urbanization related issues
SWM stands for solid waste management and describes the procedure for gathering and handling solid wastes. It also provides suggestions for recycling objects that don’t belong in the trash or rubbish. The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (SBA) has included the prevalence of plastic litter and water logging in villages as indicators of cleanliness in its 2019 rural survey as part of an emerging effort to look beyond toilets and begin its ODF+ phase, or Open Defecation Free Plus, focusing on solid and liquid waste management.
SWM’s current state in India:
According to the SBM 2.0 recommendations, India’s metropolitan areas produce an average of 32 lakh tonnes of garbage every day. This totals 4.8 crore tonnes annually.
Only approximately 25% of this is being handled; the remainder is regularly dumped in landfills.
More than 72 crore tonnes of trash need to be handled because the waste dumpsites have been in use since the early 2000s.
The majority of communities limit their operations to the collection and transportation of solid garbage. Only a small number of cases involve attempts at processing and proper disposal.
According to the CPCB data, only 68% of the MSW produced in the nation is collected, of which 28% is handled by local authorities. Thus, only 19% of the total trash produced is processed at this time.
A UN assessment predicts that India’s e-waste from outdated PCs alone will increase by 500% by 2020 compared to 2007.
Construction and demolition trash dumped illegally in urban areas is to blame for the disappearance of wetlands and urban waterbodies.
Among the most significant problems with solid waste management are:
Lack of waste separation at the source.
Lack of funding for ULBs’ trash management.
ULBs’ unwillingness to implement suitable systems for collection, segregation, transportation, and treatment/disposal.
Lack of technical knowledge and proper institutional setup.
lack of technology and infrastructure
absence of participation by businesses and non-governmental organisations
Citizens’ lack of awareness and lack of interest in trash management
Lack of community involvement in trash management and maintaining hygienic conditions.
No sewage management strategy.
Approximately 70% of plastic packaging products are quickly converted to plastic garbage.
Other problems affecting MSWM include the existence of slum regions, unorganised marketplaces, and corruption.
Under various initiatives and programmes, state governments should give ULBs financial assistance so they can strengthen their waste management system.
Infrastructure for civic services should be improved with support from programmes like the Smart Cities Mission and AMRUT.
According to the 2016 Solid Waste Management Rules, the key to effective waste management is to ensure correct waste segregation at the source and that the garbage travels through several streams of recycling and resource recovery.
SWM’s main element is waste to energy. Waste-to-compost and bio-methanation plant installation would lessen the burden on landfill sites.
In order to reimagine India’s waste management system, research and development should be encouraged.
Recycling and resource recovery from garbage should be prioritised over landfilling. Additionally, it’s critical to promote e-waste recycling so that the e-waste problem can be solved.
Waste management public-private partnership solutions should be promoted.
According to the Construction and Demolition trash Management Rules, 2016, construction and demolition trash shall be stored and disposed of separately.
It is now the responsibility of generators to separate waste into three streams: wet (biodegradable), dry (plastic, paper, metal, wood, etc.), and domestic hazardous wastes (diapers, napkins, empty cleaning agent containers, insect repellents, etc.). Authorised rag-pickers, waste collectors, or local authorities will then receive the segregated waste.
Sensitization of both individuals and government officials, participation of the community, and involvement of NGOs. Littering need to be outlawed.
It is advisable to imitate global best practises. One of the few nations that separates and recycles food waste is South Korea. Additionally, it has started landfill recovery initiatives, including the Nanjido recovery project, that have successfully turned hazardous waste dumps into long-term ecological attractions.
One of India’s biggest environmental issues is the management of municipal solid waste (MSWM). Scientific, environmentally friendly, and sustainable waste management is urgently required.
Q2. Due to the fact that it nurtures and promotes more judicial independence and increases public confidence, judicial transparency is particularly crucial in judicial institutions. Elaborate. (250 words)
Paper & Topic: GS II – Judiciary related issues
The judiciary in India is becoming more and more crucial to the functioning and leadership of this nation. However, the Indian judiciary has struggled with the question of transparency. It is strongly advised against and deprecated to utilise documentation created in a “sealed cover” as an adjudication assistance. But in recent years, it has grown significantly in respectability, with the judges the only ones who can read the contents, which are hidden from government-opposing solicitors.
Transparency in the judiciary is important:
Transparency is crucial in judicial systems because it encourages accountability, fights corruption, and lessens arbitrariness.
In this sense, it promotes greater judicial independence and builds public trust.
A policy of openness and open access to information can increase the level of public trust and legitimacy in judges and other justice system personnel by allowing the general public to better understand the system’s operation, difficulties, and constraints.
Transparency so serves to substantially reassure society that justice is carried out.
Justice system transparency issues:
Judges’ Appointment and Transfer, and the Collegium System’s Operation:
System of roster:
The Indian Chief Justice has the authority to determine the caseload.
Members of the highest judicial body themselves have indicated their discontent in this regard.
According to the rumour, certain cases are chosen and assigned to judges on favourable benches.
Use of the sealed envelope:
When information is provided under a sealed cover, only the court and the party who filed it have access to it.
There are numerous instances where the court requested a thorough report in a sealed cover envelope, including the cases of the former CBI chief Alok Verma, the Assam National Register of Citizens, the 2G spectrum, and the Board for Control of Cricket in India, among others.
In a recent ruling in the case of Chief Information Commissioner v. High Court of Gujarat (2020), the Supreme Court prohibited the public from gaining access to court records through the RTI Act.
According to the Court, access to these records is only permitted in accordance with rules set forth by each High Court in accordance with Article 225 of the Constitution.
This decision effectively closes the door to accessing the millions of court records that were filed on the judicial side of the court under the RTI Act, even while it does not prevent the RTI Act from being used on the administrative side of the court.
Independence for the courts:
Judicial independence is used to cover up any issues and shield people from responsibility for the issues that have emerged.
The operation of the court system is not transparent.
Adopting the principles of transparency and fairness in every democratic institution’s operation is vital to win the public’s confidence and trust.
Judges are protected from improper outside influences, such as those used by other parts of government or interest groups, by the employment of open and transparent processes in the appointment of judges.
The gathering, analysis, and dissemination of statistical data is an important technique for enhancing judicial transparency. Such information enables performance analysis, accomplishment recognition, problem detection, and the creation of problem-solving plans.
To increase public awareness of the judiciary’s operations, it is essential to grant access to the courts to the public, especially through the media. One example of such access is the transcription or videotaping of court proceedings.
Since Supreme Court rulings impact not only the cases at hand but also government institutions and actions in general, access to these rulings is very crucial. Such decisions can affect both individual rights and governmental obligations, which has a big effect on how individuals’ rights are perceived and protected.
The Supreme Court should establish and specify the conditions under which courts may rely on secret government documents, particularly those withheld from the opposing party, in making decisions.
Through a well documented system, the allocation of cases must be obvious, just, and reasonable.
In a democracy, where citizens have the access to information and the ability to develop educated opinions about their government or the nation they live in, transparency is also essential to the smooth operation of the government. It is crucial to ensure that Article 19(1)(a) of the Indian Constitution, which implicitly protects the right to information, does not have an impact on the people’s right to receive information since the Supreme Court must also act as the guardian of each citizen’s fundamental rights in the nation. If we take a few steps towards a more open judiciary, we can soon have a responsible, effective, and rule of law-based judicial system.
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