8 Feb 2024 : Indian Express Editorial Analysis

Indian Express Editorial Analysis

8-February-2024

1. State is in the room

Topic: GS2 – Polity – Indian constitution – Significant provisions

This topic is relevant for both Prelims and Mains in the context of understanding the nuances of the proposed UCC and its alignment with Article 44 of the Indian Constitution.
Context:
  • The Uniform Civil Code (UCC) proposed in Uttarakhand in 2024 marks a contemporary effort to enact legislation that aligns with the principles outlined in Article 44 of the Indian Constitution, which advocates for a uniform civil code throughout India.
  • This legislative endeavor aims to address various aspects of personal law, including marriage, divorce, inheritance, and succession.
  • However, the discussions surrounding the UCC have been complex, especially concerning modifications to personal laws and the potential influence of majoritarian politics.

More about the news:
Debates Surrounding the UCC:

  • The debates surrounding the UCC have been multifaceted, particularly concerning the modifications to personal laws.
  • Issues such as marriage, divorce, inheritance, and succession have been subject to intense discussion, often entangled with concerns about majoritarian politics.
  • Notably, there is apprehension regarding the potential infringement of fundamental rights, particularly when governmental definitions of “morality” are invoked.

Inclusivity and Rights Considerations:

  • While the proposed legislation acknowledges “live-in relationships” and accommodates certain customs or usages governing such arrangements, it falls short of a fully inclusive rights-based approach.
  • By defining these relationships strictly as those between a man and a woman, the legislation excludes individuals irrespective of sexual orientation.
  • This exclusionary stance reflects a broader societal reluctance towards recognizing diverse forms of intimate partnerships.

Legal Precedents and Societal Norms:

  • The proposed UCC draws from legal precedents, such as the recognition of relationships “in the nature of marriage” in case law.
  • However, it diverges from progressive judicial rulings, such as those affirming consensual adult relationships and recognizing diverse family structures.
  • The legislation’s failure to provide clarity on issues such as next-of-kin status and property rights reflects a reluctance to fully acknowledge the complexities of modern relationships.

Global Perspectives and Surveillance Concerns:

  • Comparisons with global legislative frameworks, such as civil unions in France, highlight differing approaches to recognizing non-traditional relationships.
  • Unlike these models, the Uttarakhand UCC appears to position the state as a stakeholder in intimate relationships, raising concerns about surveillance and intrusion into personal matters.
  • Provisions granting authorities the power to investigate and recommend police action raise questions about privacy and individual autonomy.

Implications for Individual Rights and Privacy:

  • The UCC’s provisions for punishment, including imprisonment and fines, coupled with requirements to inform parents or guardians, pose significant threats to individual rights and privacy.
  • These measures, particularly concerning adults in live-in relationships, risk perpetuating moral policing and infringing upon the rights of citizens, especially those in interfaith or inter-caste relationships.

Conclusion:

  • In a diverse and pluralistic society, legislation must uphold the principles of non-discrimination, recognition, and protection for all citizens, regardless of their chosen relationships.
  • The Uttarakhand UCC, while attempting to address contemporary challenges, falls short of these ideals by perpetuating exclusionary norms and potentially infringing upon individual rights and privacy.
  • As such, there is a pressing need for legislative frameworks that promote inclusivity, respect autonomy, and safeguard individual liberties in India’s evolving social landscape.

What is Uniform Civil Code?
  • Article 44 of the Indian Constitution, which is a part of the Directive Principles of State Policy, makes reference to the Uniform Civil Code.
  • These guidelines are intended to direct the state in formulating policies, although they are not legally binding.
  • Some have backed it as a means of advancing gender justice and national integration, while others have condemned it as a danger to religious pluralism and freedom.
  • Goa, which was freed from Portuguese dominion in 1961, kept its common family law, known as the Goa Civil Code, and is the only state in India with a UCC.
  • Depending on their religious or communal identification, the people of the rest of India adhere to distinct personal laws.
PYQ: Discuss the possible factors that inhibit India from enacting for its citizens a uniform civil code as provided for in the Directive Principles of State Policy. (200 words/12.5m) (UPSC CSE (M) GS-2 2015)
Practice Question:  Discuss the relevance of the UCC in fostering social cohesion and addressing diversity in India’s pluralistic society. (150 words/15 m)

2. Measuring Vikas

Topic: GS3 – Indian Economy – Issues relating to growth
This topic is relevant for both Prelims and Mains in the context of understanding the nuances of economic terminology, such as development classifications and metrics.
Context:
  • The analysis delves into the linguistic ambiguity and economic complexities surrounding the expression “Viksit Bharat” and the notion of “developed” in the Indian context.
  • It highlights the challenges of transcribing Sanskrit into English and the diverse metrics used to assess development.
  • The article underscores the importance of selecting appropriate indicators to accurately gauge India’s progress towards its aspirational goal for 2047.

More about the news:
Understanding “Developed”:

  • To comprehend the term “developed,” it becomes essential to establish a metric for evaluation as different criteria can lead to varied interpretations.
  • Plausible metrics include per capita GDP, level of industrialization, significance of the service sector, and the Human Development Index (HDI).
  • However, these diverse criteria may not necessarily converge, leading to disparate identifications of development.
  • Each criterion may capture a partial truth, but collectively, they may not provide a comprehensive understanding.

Complexities in Global Economic Classification:

  • Historically, the world economy was categorized into developed, developing, and least developed countries, reflecting relatively straightforward notions of development.
  • However, with over 190 countries exhibiting diverse economic structures, fitting them into these broad categories becomes increasingly challenging.
  • While the concept of least developed countries persists due to special treatment considerations, the developed versus developing dichotomy has weakened.
  • The United Nations Statistical Division (UNSD) maintains distinctions based on geography, but this approach lacks objectivity, particularly when sovereignty dictates classification.

Evolving Terminology and Metrics:

  • The traditional dichotomy of developed and developing economies is no longer prevalent within the United Nations system, reflecting changing perspectives on economic classification.
  • Instead, terms like low-income, lower-middle income, upper-middle income, and high income are employed, based on per capita income thresholds.
  • For cross-country comparisons, conversions to a common numeraire, typically the US dollar, are necessary.
  • The World Bank’s categorization relies on official exchange rates, placing India in the lower-middle income category presently.

Options for India’s Development in 2047:

  • Considering India’s trajectory towards 2047, several options emerge to characterize its development status.
  • These include achieving an HDI above 0.800, transitioning to the high-income category in constant or current US dollars.
  • While each option presents its challenges, aiming for high-income status in current US dollars appears more attainable, given India’s economic growth trajectory and policy objectives.

Conclusion:

  • Interpreting “Viksit Bharat” and defining “developed” necessitates careful consideration of linguistic nuances, economic metrics, and global classification systems.
  • As India charts its course towards 2047, selecting appropriate development indicators becomes paramount to evaluate progress accurately.
What are the Aspects of Viksit Bharat?
  • Structural transformation: This refers to the shift of resources from low-productivity sectors (such as agriculture) to high-productivity sectors (such as manufacturing and services). This can boost economic growth, create jobs, and reduce poverty.
  • Organising labour markets: This involves improving the quality and quantity of labour supply, enhancing the skills and employability of workers, and ensuring fair and efficient labour regulations. This can increase labour productivity, reduce informality, and promote social protection.
  • Increasing competitiveness: This entails enhancing the efficiency and innovation of firms, improving the quality and diversity of products and services, and expanding the domestic and international markets. This can foster economic dynamism, increase exports, and attract investments.
  • Improving financial and social inclusion: This implies expanding the access and affordability of financial services and social welfare schemes for the poor and marginalised groups. This can improve their income, savings, and consumption, as well as their health, education, and empowerment.
  • Governance reforms: This involves strengthening the institutions and processes of governance, such as the rule of law, accountability, transparency, and participation. This can improve the delivery of public goods and services, reduce corruption, and enhance trust and legitimacy.
  • Seizing opportunities in the Green Revolution: This refers to adopting and promoting green technologies and practices, such as renewable energy, energy efficiency, and climate resilience. This can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, mitigate environmental degradation, and create new opportunities for growth and development.
Practice Question:  Considering India’s trajectory towards 2047, analyze the options available to characterize its development status, and propose strategies to accurately measure progress. (150 words/10 m)

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