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MAINS Q/A 14-06-2018

 

 

Q1.Corporate social responsibility makes companies more profitable and sustainable. Analyse.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is referred as a corporate initiative to assess and take responsibility for the company’s effects on the environment and impact on social welfare and to promote positive social and environmental change.

Companies has to spend at least 2% of last 3 years average net profits on CSR activities. This may sound costing companies on their profit but in reality it can make companies more profitable and sustainable :-

  • It enhances the “social quotient” of the company hence help in getting appeal for it’s product from people. Ex Lifeboy soap success story
  • It impart an ethical, responsible character to company’s profile, helps it to justify it’s product, growth and create a distinct aura of company in public sphere. Ex Nanhi Kali project of Godrej group.
  • Competitive advantage – Businesses that show how they are more socially responsible than their competitors tend to stand out. TATA group enjoys much social appeal when compared with fellow competitors. The Classmate notebooks which contributed Rs. 1 towards social welfare gained appeal over other brands.
  • Boosts employee morale -CSR practices have a significant impact on employee morale, as it reinforces his confidence on Company’s empathy.
  • Presence and involvement of company in CSR activity will provide a soft corner to it in governments approval, preferences. It’s active involvement to implement government flagship program like Swaccha Bharat Mission enhances company’s credibility in government’s eyes.

Socially beneficial activities involves an element of welfare, charity and providing maximum good to maximum number of people. While doing them the donator will definitely get benefitted in terms of positive wishes, economic gains or prestige enhancement. Hence Corporate Social Responsibility makes companies more profitable and sustainable.

 

Q2. China has, for years, adopted a low profile in the Middle East. Recently, however, it has upped the ante with a slew of ideologically agnostic initiatives. Should India be worried about this? Critically comment.

China consumes approximately 13 million barrels of oil a day (mbd). Of that, 60 per cent is imported of which 50 per cent (approximately 4 mbd) is sourced from the Middle East — mainly Iraq, Iran and Saudi Arabia. Though it maintained a low profile relationship with middle east it is increasingly getting involved into it now.

  • China has recently engaged with many middle east countries like  naval exercise with the Iranian Navy in the Straits of Hormuz., it welcomed Iran’s arch enemy, King Salman of Saudi Arabia, to Beijing. There has also been speculation that China is interested in picking up a stake in the Saudi national oil company, Aramco.

Why it’s a cause to worry for India :-

  • Increased presence of China in middle east will increase competition. In this competition, Chinese companies have so far proven to be more efficient than Indian ones, who lost several contracts against their Chinese competitors. For ex e Iranian oil field of Yadavaran
  • Saudi Arabia has replaced Iran as China’s major supplier in 2009, and is also India’s most important supplier.
  • The role of external players such as Pakistan or the United States play a very important role as it places either India or China in a privileged situation in middle east. Hence such aggressive stance taken by China to enhance it’s engagement further put India at disadvantageous position.
  • The Indian Ocean Region, through which most of the oil passes, is considered by the Indians as their natural zone of influence, and by the Chinese as a strategic zone that needs to be controlled. Thus, a fierce competition is taking place between the Chinese and Indians.
  • While Indians have engaged themselves in a modernization of their navy, in which they have been supported by the United States in the framework of the Indo-US defense cooperation agreement signed in 2005, the Chinese have been leading a policy called by the US and India “The String of Pearls Strategy”.

Why it’s not a cause to worry for India :-

  • India and China cooperates in many areas in middle east including oil exploration. The case in Syria where Chinese and Indian oil companies jointly purchased shares of 36 Syrian fields.
  • Sino-Indian partnership for peace and prosperity is blooming and have since then conducted several joint military exercises in the Indian Ocean.
  • India enjoys unique and distinct relationship between it and countries of middle east since historic times like Iran.

China is showing increasing interest in the Middle East. India has major strategic interests in the Middle East. Aside from its dependence on the region for oil, it has eight million citizens who remit approximately $70 billion annually. A convulsion in the region would give India a massive logistic and financial headache. India must track its moves.

 

Q3. Discuss briefly nature and significance of various observations and judgments delivered by the Supreme Court on the issues dealing with electoral reform during last few years.

The Supreme Court till today continued with trend that started 40 years ago and strove for electoral reforms through it’s various judgements.

  • Mohinder Singh Gill :- Judicial decisions ushering in electoral reforms started in 1978, when the SC interpreted Article 324 of the Constitution to empower the Election Commission (EC) with unbridled powers in conducting and supervising elections.
  • Common Cause case :- In 1996, the court had ordered the political parties to submit details of expenses it incurred for each candidate and otherwise in an election.
  • In 2002, the apex court in Association for Democratic Reforms judgment returned its focus on the little man in the voter who alone slapped accountability on the political system in a democracy.
  • In 2002, the court ruled that voters’ right to information was fundamental. To enable a voter make an informed choice, the court ordered every candidate to submit an affidavit with nomination papers giving correct information about h/his educational qualification, details of h/his and family assets, and importantly, h/his criminal background.
  • 2004 judgment of the Patna High Courtin Jan Chaukidari v Union of India— upheld by the Supreme Court on 10 July 2013— all those in lawful police or judicial custody, other than those held in preventive detention, will forfeit their right to stand for election.
  • In Lily Thomas v. the Union of India, the Supreme Court declared Section 8 (4) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, (RPA) which allowed legislators a three-month window to appeal against their conviction — effectively delaying their disqualification until such appeals were exhausted — as unconstitutional.
  • The SC in 2013 ruled that if a candidate left columns blank, then the returning officer could reject the nomination papers.
  • In 2013 SC delivered two important lessons. One allowed a voter to cast a negative vote ‘none of the above’ (NOTA) to tell political parties that candidates fielded by them were not worthy of his vote. In the second judgement Supreme Court (SC), in the case of Subramanian Swamy vs Election Commission of India (ECI), has held that VVPAT (Vote Verifiable Paper Audit Trial) is “indispensable for free and fair elections”.
  • The Allahabad high court stayed caste-based rallies in Uttar Pradesh, a move that will block off a key avenue that the major political parties use to expand their support base, especially before elections.

All these judgements and rulings have increased the transparency, accountability, non partisanship in elections. They have also helped to create a level playing field for candidates, more awareness in voters, deterrence for malpractices and corrupt elements in election etc.

 

Q4.In its ambition and enthusiasm to actively engage in “Quadrilateral” grouping, India should not neglect its neighbors. Comment.

By accepting an invitation to join the Japan-proposed, U.S.-endorsed plan for a “Quadrilateral” grouping including Australia to provide alternative debt financing for countries in the Indo-Pacific, India has taken a significant turn in its policy for the subcontinent.

  • The coming together of India, the US, Japan and Australia is being seen as building a strategic partnership to deal with China’s rise and its implications.
  • On the other hand the logic of expanding membership in a security-focused group is not very obvious. Security collaboration among a larger group is a challenging task as success depends on the credibility and commitment of each participant. Moreover, the greater the number of people at the table, the narrower the agenda on which a consensus can be achieved.

However irrespective of it’s advantages or disadvantages it is necessary that India analyse the impact of this admission on all our relations.

  • India has already conceded it requires “other parties” in the neighbourhood, even as it seeks to counter the influence of China and its Belt and Road Initiative.
  • As a growing economy with ambitious domestic targets, India’s own needs often clash with those of its neighbors. Participating in such initiatives may sound neglecting regional partners and trying to cling to big ones.
  • India while pursuing aspirations in global alliances falls short of it’s regional commitments like Over the past decade, since the defeat of the LTTE, India passed up offers to build the port in Hambantota, Colombo, and Kankesanthurai, despite Sri Lanka’s pressing need for infrastructure. ew Delhi has changed its position on Hambantota several times. India has also been ambivalent on tackling political issues in its region like Nepal constitution, Maldives crisis, Myanmar Rohingya issue etc.

Owing to India’s presence and impact in South Asia the neighbourhood first policy should not take backseat. It is important to keep the track with neighbors first and grow regionally in order to grow globally.

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