Mains Q & A 02 JUNE 2023
Q1. The secret to bolstering their legitimacy and ensuring due diligence in investigations lies in an impartial umbrella organisation that unites the numerous investigative organisations under one roof. Analyse critically.
Paper & Topic: GS II – Statutory and Non-Statutory Organizations
The number of investigating agencies in India, including the CBI, ED, NIA, and SFIO, increases the complexity and delay in the administration of justice. In order to consolidate several government agencies like the CBI, Enforcement Directorate, and Serious Fraud Investigation Office under one roof, Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana has urged the immediate necessity for the development of an independent umbrella agency.
The necessity of such an umbrella organisation:
Lack of credibility: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the Enforcement Department (ED), and other central government investigating agencies were subject to intense public scrutiny. Its credibility has been called into question by both its actions and inactions.
The police and other investigative agencies preserve and strengthen democratic values on behalf of all institutions.
The Constitution requires that the police and investigation agencies operate within a democratic framework. Any erroneous behaviour will harm the institutions and erode our democracy.
Despite having de facto legitimacy, the police and investigative agencies nevertheless need to establish their social credibility as institutions.
To ensure parliamentary oversight: The umbrella organisation will make sure parliament upholds effective accountability of these institutions provided it is established under a legislation that clearly defines its powers, functions, and jurisdictions.
To stop multiple proceedings: When a single occurrence is looked into by several agencies, it frequently results in diluted evidence, contradictory depositions, and lengthy incarceration of innocent people.
Collaboration: Given that securing justice was the aim of all those bodies, the umbrella organisation will see to it that there is a cordial partnership between the State and Central authorities.
To guarantee that women are fairly represented in the criminal justice system.
Future directions for a private investigative institution:
Independent head: A committee analogous to the one that selected the CBI Director should designate an independent and unbiased authority to lead the proposed umbrella organisation. Its leader might receive assistance from deputies with different areas of expertise.
Legislative support: The organisation should be established by a legislation that outlines all of its responsibilities and authority.
After an incident is reported, the organisation must determine which specialised division will conduct the inquiry.
Separation of prosecution and investigation wings: To establish complete independence, prosecution and investigation were to have separate, independent wings.
A fair check and balance would be a clause in the proposed law requiring the appointment committee to conduct an annual audit of the institution’s performance.
Replication by states: State agencies must be prepared to handle escalating difficulties in the sphere of inquiry because the police and public order are on the State list. The States are able to copy the proposed Central statute for the umbrella investigating agency.
Justice delayed is justice denied, as the proverb says. As a result, an independent investigating institution will aid in overcoming inquiry delays and hasten the administration of justice. This will also assist in accomplishing our overarching objective of socioeconomic justice for Indian citizens.
Q2. BIMSTEC permits India's Act East and Neighbourhood Policies to converge. Talk about BIMSTEC's potential in the Indo-Pacific region, which is undergoing fast change. (250 words)
Paper & Topic: GS II à International Organizations
A regional alliance of seven nations, BIMSTEC stands for the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation. Thailand, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and other countries are located near the littoral of the Bay of Bengal. The Bangkok Declaration, which was adopted on June 6, 1997, gave birth to this sub-regional body. The major goal of BIMSTEC is to promote technological and economic cooperation between South Asian and Southeast Asian nations along the Bay of Bengal coast. The inaugural summit was held in 2004 and the secretariat was created in Dhaka in 2014.
The Fifth Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) Summit will be held in Sri Lanka.
In accordance with its Act East and Neighbourhood Policies, BIMSTEC permits the following:
India should use BIMSTEC as the ideal venue to pursue its Neighbourhood First, Act East, and regional connectivity objectives.
For a free trade agreement, poverty reduction, tourism, energy and climate change, as well as counterterrorism and disaster management, BIMSTEC is crucial.
India might be able to advance a beneficial agenda through BIMSTEC to oppose Chinese investments and adhere to best practises for connectivity projects based on acknowledged international criteria.
For India’s ambitious connectivity plans for the north-eastern area, Myanmar and Thailand play a significant role.
India only shares a land border with Myanmar in Southeast Asia.
One of the major projects that plays a significant role in the government’s Act East agenda is the India-Myanmar-Thailand motorway.
Potential of BIMSTEC in an Indo-Pacific region that is continuously changing:
India benefits from BIMSTEC in two ways: first, it makes it simpler for India to collaborate on a regional platform with its neighbours in South Asia (apart from Pakistan), and second, it creates a connection between South and Southeast Asia.
In light of China’s BRI and the compelling strategic threat presented by China’s forceful geo-economic and geo-political activities in Asia, particularly in India’s neighbourhood, it is urgent to promote regional and sub-regional cooperation through BIMSTEC and BBIN.
Another motivator for India is the development of the region’s northeast by opening it up to Bangladesh and Myanmar.
Regional collaboration: Because regional collaboration under the SAARC framework has become challenging, BIMSTEC has become more practical:
India was keen to collaborate and improve intra-regional connectivity by supporting the SAARC-Motor vehicle agreement, but Pakistan’s resistance caused the accord to stall.
Similar to this, Pakistan’s opposition in 2016 led India to withdraw its proposed SAARC satellite project.
SAARC has also had challenges when it comes to security cooperation. Since member nations disagree on the concept of threats, there has been a significant obstacle in this area due to the lack of agreement on threat perceptions. An example of this is international terrorism coming from Pakistan.
The member nations normally get along well with one another, which is obviously lacking among the SAARC nations.
The inclusion of Thailand and India, two significant regional nations, gives BIMSTEC its greatest competitive advantage. This lessens the fear of dominating by a single large power, which increases the comfort of lesser neighbours.
Economic perspectives: As a trade association, BIMSTEC offers a lot of possibilities.
The world’s fastest-growing economies are found in the region. The region’s total GDP is close to US$2 trillion and is expected to increase further.
In just ten years, trade between the BIMSTEC member nations reached six percent, while it has remained around five percent in the SAARC since the organization’s founding.
Additionally, BIMSTEC has more potential for trade than SAARC. India’s intra-BIMSTEC commerce accounts for about 3% of its total trade among the member nations.
Five countries of the BIMSTEC regional alliance are also members of SAARC. The motivation behind India’s intent on joining BIMSTEC is the region’s 6.5% annual growth rate and 1.5 billion-person population.
Steps to Take:
To create a peaceful, prosperous, and sustainable Bay of Bengal Region, the members must collaborate to make BIMSTEC a stronger, more effective, and result-oriented institution.
The BIMSTEC secretariat needs to be given much more staff and funding.
Economic connectivity will need to be given top priority by BIMSTEC because it is necessary for regional integration.
Improvements are required in disaster management, counterterrorism, marine security, and international crime.
It should become a disaster management development centre at the BIMSTEC weather and climate centre in Noida.
At its disaster management training facility in Nagpur, India can train members states.
India will need to assume a de facto leadership position within the BIMSTEC and allow its pledges serve as an example.
Now is the perfect time to act, not just think about it. It’s time to follow through on your promises.
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