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Mains Answer Writing

One of the key components of these exams is the written test, which consists of a number of essay and comprehension questions. Candidates are expected to write clear and well-structured answers that demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the topics being tested.

25-August-2023

Q1. Citizenship concepts reveal a country’s character. Describe. Also, examine the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019.

 Citizenship creates a bond between a person and their country. A state provides various privileges and rights to its residents, including defences against socio-economic injustice, equal access to opportunities, freedom of speech, and trade, among others. These characteristics reveal the nature of the country. In exchange, residents are required to perform specific tasks, such as paying taxes, upholding the law, defending national principles, and respecting national symbols, among others.

The following ideas represent the concept of citizenship:

  • Full Membership in a political community, such as a nation-state, is provided by citizenship.
  • All of the civil and Political rights guaranteed by the state constitution are enjoyed by citizens; however, some of these rights may not apply to foreigners or other non-citizens. For instance, India’s freedom of expression and right to vote.
  • The methods for acquiring Citizenship are influenced by concepts like “jus soli” (citizenship by birthright), “jus sanguinis” (citizenship based on ancestry), and “jus matrimonii” (citizenship based on marriage).
  • In a well-functioning democracy, the privileges of a citizen are decided by the citizens. For example, through elected representatives.

The Citizenship (Bangladesh) Act, 209 (CAA) amended the Citizenship Act, 1955, to provide fast-track citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis, and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bangladesh, and Pakistan who entered India on or before December 31, 2014, through reduced time for naturalization. 2

The enactment of the CAA has created the following advancements:

  • Protection to Minorities: It provides protection to persecuted religious minorities in three neighbouring countries with a history of persecution of mentioned groups.
  • Humanitarian Grounds: CAA provides expedited citizenship to certain categories of illegal immigrants based on humanitarian grounds.
  • The Practice of the Past: The Act is in line with India’s history of sheltering persecuted people like Parsis, Jews, Tibetans etc

However, there are also concerns related to CAA 2019, as listed below:

  • Violation of Article 14: Critics argue that a distinction among refugees based on religion is violative of Article 14 which guarantees equal protection of law even to non-citizens.
  • Confrontism to Secularism: The ideal of Secularism, which is a fundamental component of the Constitution, is violated by citizenship requirements based on religion.
  • The Issue with Assam Accord: Citizenship determined by the CAA may strain the 1985 Assam Accord’s agreement and encourage Assamese insurrection.
  • Refugee Issue: The act does not cover refugees like Tamils from Sri Lanka or Rohingyas from Myanmar.

Road Ahead:

  • Uphold the principle of non-discrimination: Ensure that the implementation of the CAA 2019 respects Article 14 of the Constitution, which guarantees equal protection of law to all individuals, irrespective of their religion or citizenship status.
  • Strengthen secularism: Reassess the citizenship requirements outlined in the CAA to align them with the principle of secularism enshrined in the Constitution, ensuring that religion is not a basis for granting or denying citizenship.
  • Address the concerns of Assam Accord: Engage in a comprehensive dialogue with stakeholders in Assam to find a mutually agreeable solution that considers the implications of the CAA on the 1985 Assam Accord and mitigates potential tensions, thereby avoiding any disruption or insurgency.
  • Extend inclusivity to other refugee groups: Broaden the scope of the CAA to include other vulnerable refugee communities, such as Tamils from Sri Lanka or Rohingyas from Myanmar, by reviewing the criteria for granting citizenship to ensure fairness and protection for all deserving individuals.
  • Ensure transparency and accountability: Establish mechanisms to monitor the implementation of the CAA, including an independent oversight body, to ensure that decisions regarding citizenship are made impartially, without discrimination, and in accordance with the principles of the Constitution.
  • Foster international cooperation: Collaborate with international organizations and neighboring countries to address the larger issue of refugees and displaced populations, seeking sustainable solutions that respect human rights and uphold the principle of non-refoulement, while also addressing security concerns.

CAA 2019 is valid in its goal but constrained in its approach because it does not adequately reflect India’s civilizational identity in defending the persecuted. A comprehensive refugee strategy is the most appropriate course of action.

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Q2. Discuss the significance of the Northern Sea Route (NSR) for India and its implications for India’s Arctic policy.

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Q3. Discuss the environmental challenges posed by coal mining in India and examine potential strategies to mitigate its adverse impacts.

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Q4. Discuss the advantages and challenges of implementing digital healthcare in India’s healthcare system. How can the government ensure equitable access and data security while maximizing the benefits of digital healthcare?

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Q5. Examine the concept of ‘jobless growth’ in the context of India. Highlight the factors contributing to this phenomenon and suggest strategies to address the challenge of inadequate employment generation.

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