Mains Q & A 11 March 2023

Mains Q & A 11 March 2023

Q1. It is critically necessary to implement holistic urbanisation in order to build resilient cities that can resist the devastation caused by pandemics, raise the standard of living for all residents, and aid in the fight against poverty. Discuss. (250 words)


Paper & Topic: GS I Urbanization related issues

Model Answer:


Urbanization is the process of settling in cities, moving from rural to urban regions, switching from agriculture to other industries such as trade, manufacture, industry, and management, as well as associated changes in behavioural patterns. According to the 2011 Census, more than 30% of Indians resided in urban areas, and by 2030, that percentage is expected to increase to 41%.


Effects of the pandemic on the country’s urbanisation:

Housing, transportation, water, and sanitation-related issues have all been treated in India thus far as distinct, fragmented issues.

Their interconnectivity was brought into further focus by the pandemic. During the initial wave, the virus spread noticeably more swiftly in crowded slums with limited access to hygienic facilities and water.

As a result, we must approach urbanisation planning from a holistic standpoint and view a city as “a living whole.”

The epidemic provided as a timely reminder that various urban dweller groups inhabit very distinct environments. While many of us transitioned to remote employment fairly easily, the urban poor lost their means of support, were left stranded, and continued to live in dangerously congested neighbourhoods.

Women were primarily affected by the socioeconomic repercussions of the epidemic.

Moving forward, urban planning must prioritise the most vulnerable and marginalised people, especially those who make up the bottom 60% of our income distribution.

Over the past year, “city resilience’s” importance has been emphasised. Threats from the environment and the changing climate, such as flooding in Kerala or water shortages in Chennai, are continually increasing.

Furthermore, it is unlikely that this epidemic will be the last. As a result, throughout urban development, medium- to long-term risks must be actively taken into account.

What must be done:

Increasing per-capita floor area consumption by significantly reducing regulatory barriers to construction is one strategy to address overcrowding. One of the more immediate policy strategies that will benefit India greatly is this one.

In terms of administration, the crisis has shown us that a pandemic response requires a decentralised, localised, and accountable approach and cannot be forced from the top down. For this to be possible, city officials must be granted more authority.

Social protection services need to be changed to safeguard the poor and vulnerable in metropolitan areas in addition to the current focus on rural communities.

For countries like India with high out-of-pocket expenses for private health care, restoring the balance between health care and robust public health that focuses on improving health outcomes for all is essential. The latter can only be offered by an effective State.

A comprehensive plan for city investment: As we have learnt from the epidemic, investing in four essential areas is necessary to create truly connected, inclusive, and resilient communities. Data, technology, community involvement, and innovation are a few of them.


COVID-19, the public health calamity that has hit cities, is neither the first nor the last of its kind. From the Black Death to the bubonic plague to the Spanish flu, not to mention by global wars and terrorist attacks, cities have historically been decimated. Every time, people thought that major cities would vanish just to return resurrected and more vibrant. This time, nothing will alter.

Q2. A strong democracy needs dissenting and critical voices. To prevent hate speech that is harmful to public order, vigilance is necessary. Examine the laws that govern how hate speech is handled. Are they sufficient? (250 words)


Paper & Topic: GS II Constitution related issues

Model Answer:


The right to express one’s thoughts must include the freedom to disagree with the majority. Practitioners and people will be better able to stand up for their rights and participate in the democratic project. Disagreement amongst people is a basic aspect of human nature. Nobody in the world does not continually dispute with someone or something. According to the highest court, dissent serves as a safety valve for democracy. If you don’t let this safety valve operate, the pressure cooker will burst.


In India, there is no established definition of hate speech. Fake news is information that has been intentionally misrepresented or that contains just a partial truth in order to damage or mislead a particular group of people. The deliberate spread of false information or hoaxes by conventional print, broadcast, or internet social media constitutes a type of “yellow journalism.”

Threats posed by hate speech include:

Inciting hatred toward a certain group of individuals who are marginalised because of their religion, sexual orientation, gender, or other qualities is known as hate speech.

According to the Law Commission’s 267th report on hate speech, such utterances have the power to inspire people and society to commit acts of terrorism, genocide, and ethnic cleansing.

Protections from the law against hate speech:

Activities that stir up hatred and hostility between two communities are punishable under Sections 153A and 153B of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Under Section 295A of the IPC, acts that purposefully or deliberately hurt someone else’s religious sensibilities are illegal.

It is forbidden to publish or distribute materials that can encourage hostility or hatred among different populations under Sections 505(1) and 505(2).

The following is stated in Section 8 of the 1951 Representation of People’s Act (RPA):

restricts the ability to run for office for someone who has been convicted of misusing their right to free expression.

Sections 123(3A) and 125 of the RPA prohibit the promotion of animosity on the basis of race, religion, community, caste, or language in relation to elections and classify such activity as corrupt electoral practises.

How comprehensive are legal safeguards?

In a country with a huge population and a diverse range of backgrounds and cultures like India, it might be difficult to tell the difference between free speech and hate speech.

Speech limits should consider a variety of factors, such as the prevalence of deeply held opinions, potential offence to particular communities, and potential effects on the ideals of equality, liberty, and dignity.

Although there are laws that forbid such crimes, more remains to be done.

Moving ahead:

Clarity and technological improvement are crucial to deal with this and a mechanism to capture such content, which is likely to upend society’s established order.

raising the threshold for training legal and police organisations on equality and non-discrimination, encouraging the publication of such information, and advancing research.

To combat abusive comments in real time, the Indian government has encouraged internet service providers to deploy their servers there.

promoting opposing viewpoints on social media and raising public awareness through initiatives to combat extremism.

An internationally recognised rule that requires social media companies like Facebook to take down clearly illegal content within 24 hours upon request from the government of a specific jurisdiction may exist.

Social media platforms must assume responsibility for ensuring openness, accountability, and a set of standards that users can recognise as guidelines, which, when regularly enforced, can start to set precedents. Thus, users, police and civil society actors will have a clear understanding of what kind of material is likely to be taken down.

Giving hate speech a clear definition would be the first step in addressing the issue; additional steps, such as increasing public awareness, are also urgently required.

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