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The Hindu Editorial

23-September-2023

Daily Current Affairs For UPSC ,The Hindu Editorial Summary

1. A clear message to industry on dispute resolution

Topic: GS2 – Indian polity.

Introduction:

The Indian legal landscape has witnessed a significant transformation in recent years with the growing prominence of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanisms. ADR offers an effective means for resolving disputes without the lengthy and costly processes often associated with litigation.

The Mediation Act, 2023: A Watershed Moment

  • In the recent monsoon session of Parliament, a significant legislative development occurred with the passage of The Mediation Act, 2023.
  • This legislation mandates pre-litigation mediation, obligating disputing parties to explore amicable resolutions before resorting to the courts.
  • The Act also introduces safeguards to ensure the effectiveness of this process, including the involvement of empanelled mediators and a strict timeline for mediation completion.

Benefits of Mandatory Pre-Litigation Mediation

The benefits of this approach are multifaceted.

  • First and foremost, mandatory pre-litigation mediation is expected to reduce the filing of frivolous claims in Indian courts.
  • By compelling parties to engage in mediation, the Act aims to prevent the misuse of the legal system for disputes that could be resolved through negotiation.
  • This will not only save valuable time for the courts but also reduce the burden on the judicial system.

Balancing Act: Safeguards in the Mediation Process

  • Confidentiality is another crucial aspect of mediation. Unlike court proceedings, mediation is conducted in a private and confidential setting.
  • This confidentiality reduces the risk of further damaging the relationship between the parties involved in a dispute.
  • It allows them to have open and candid discussions, leading to more effective and enduring solutions.

Concerns about mandatory mediation:

  • However, concerns have been raised about the effectiveness of mandatory mediation compared to situations where parties genuinely desire an amicable resolution.
  • Critics worry that an obligation to mediate may empower a recalcitrant party to delay a valid claim.
  • To address these concerns, the Act includes safeguards, such as empanelled mediators who must be neutral and experienced.

Mediation and Commercial Arbitration: Parallel Paths

  • Importantly, the Act does not eliminate access to Indian courts entirely. In exceptional circumstances, parties may seek urgent interim relief from a court before or during mediation.
  • This provision ensures that the obligation of pre-litigation mediation is not weaponized but rather used as a tool to encourage parties to focus more on their commercial dealings and less on their disputes.
  • The Act’s positioning of mediation alongside commercial arbitration further strengthens the message from India’s Parliament. It encourages businesses to prioritize ADR mechanisms over litigation, reducing the burden on the court system.
  • This alignment also underscores India’s commitment to becoming a global hub for efficient and effective dispute resolution.

Institutional Mediation Emphasis

  • Institutional mediation is another vital aspect highlighted in the Act.
  • It introduces “mediation service providers” who offer not only mediator services but also the necessary infrastructure for efficient mediation.

Conclusion

In conclusion, India’s embrace of ADR, particularly mediation, is a transformative step in its legal journey. The Mediation Act, 2023, represents a significant shift towards amicable dispute resolution and underscores India’s commitment to fostering a culture of efficient and effective dispute resolution.

Mains question: Discuss the significance of the Mediation Act, 2023, in reshaping dispute resolution mechanisms in India. Analyze its potential benefits, the safeguards it offers.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/a-clear-message-to-industry-on-dispute-resolution/article67335564.ece

2. The Census is too important to be delayed for political reasons.

Topic: GS2 – governance.

Context:

  • The decennial Census in India, crucial for planning and development, was postponed to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Despite pandemic-related restrictions being lifted, the BJP government has not provided political clearance for the Census to commence.
  • Home Minister Amit Shah announced that the Census will take place after the 2024 general election, without specifying a date, leading to speculation about the government’s intentions.

Importance of census data:

  • Resource Allocation: Census data helps allocate resources like government funding and infrastructure development based on population needs and demographics.
  • Policy Formulation: Governments use census data to formulate policies related to education, healthcare, and social welfare to address specific population segments.
  • Political Representation: It determines the number of parliamentary seats, helping maintain equitable political representation.
  • Economic Planning: Census data aids economic planning by identifying areas for investment and development.
  • Demographic Trends: Census data tracks demographic trends like aging populations, urbanization, and migration patterns.
  • Social Programs: It aids in the design and implementation of social programs targeting specific demographics.
  • International Comparisons: Census data allows for international comparisons and benchmarking of development indicators.
  • Socioeconomic Studies: Researchers use census data for various socioeconomic studies and academic research.
  • Gender Equality: Census data is used to address gender disparities and promote gender equality.

Mains question: Discuss the significance of census data in policy formulation and and other governance matters.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/editorial/people-count-the-hindu-editorial-on-the-census-and-the-shadow-of-politics/article67335187.ece

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