Q1. Is Commonwealth group relevant today? Comment on Britain’s renewed interest in the Commonwealth amidst its impending separation from the European Union.
The Commonwealth of Nations (formerly the British Commonwealth), also known as simply the Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of 52 member states that are mostly former territories of the British Empire. The Commonwealth operates by intergovernmental consensus of the member states, organised through the Commonwealth Secretariat and non-governmental organisations, organised through the Commonwealth Foundation.
Relevance of Commonwealth :-
The Commonwealth encompasses almost a third of the world’s population, bringing together people of many faiths, races, languages and incomes.
By voting to leave the EU, Britain’s future relationship with its fellow Commonwealth members has assumed both a greater significance and a greater degree of uncertainty.
Britain’s renewed interest in Commonwealth with exit From EU :-
Britain’s trade with its fellow Commonwealth members has been a relatively steady 10% of the UK’s GDP for the past decade, with five Commonwealth countries representing the bulk of that trade statistic: India, Australia, Canada, Singapore and South Africa.
British governments have been cautious about taking a lead in the Commonwealth as they risked being accused of a post-imperial plot.
But despite what some politicians might hope, the Commonwealth does not offer a platform for the overt pursuit of British national interests. As many as 31 nations out of 53 are small island nations which could not make significant difference in Britain’s presence in world.
These are uncertain times in intra-Commonwealth relations. It’s possible that as well as threatening the future of the UK and the cohesion of the EU, the Brexit vote also threatens the socio-economic development and therefore the political stability of a number of Commonwealth countries.
Q2.Setting up fast-track courts to deal with criminals in politics would do little to break the symbiotic relationship between politicians and criminals. Comment.
Introduction :- Criminalization of politics means rising participation of criminals in the electoral process and selection of the same as elected representatives of the people.
Reasons for criminalization of politics :-
Criminalization of politics ensures protection for those who break the law based on: Political, Group, Class ,Caste, Communal considerations
It also results from partisan interfering in crime investigation and poor prosecution of cases.
Massive delays over the years and high costs in judicial process would be another reason for this phenomenon.
Mass withdrawal of court cases and unwarranted grant of parole have also spurred criminalization in politics.
To do away with the problem of slow process of justice delivery system the Parliament of India introduced Fast Track Courts for Elected Representatives Bill, 2014 in the House of People to establish Fast Track Courts for trial of cases involving criminal charges against elected representatives.
Criminalization of politics needs to be prevented and reduced to a certain extent. The roots of the problem lie in the political system of the country. There is lack of political will to curb the menace. The political parties bypass the ethical and democratic norms. Setting up of special courts is the way to prevent and control criminalisation of politics. To maintain sanctity and purity of elections, it would be more beneficial to the society to try all cases of politicians by special courts.
However it bore less impactful results owing to the fact that criminalisation is increasing day by day. The data shows that out of a total of 62, 847 candidates analysed, 11, 063 (18%) have declared criminal cases against themselves
The reform needs to change the incentives for both politicians and voters.
Bringing greater transparency in campaign financing is going to make it less attractive for political parties to involve gangsters. Thus, either the Election Commission of India (ECI) should have the power to audit the financial accounts of political parties, or political parties’ finances should be brought under the right to information (RTI) law.
Broader governance will have to improve for voters to reduce the reliance on criminal politicians. That requires a rationalization of bureaucratic procedures and an increase in state capacity to deliver essential public goods like security of life and contracts, and access to public utilities.
Other innovative options like exploring possibilities of right to recall, simultaneous conducting of elections, adding art to RPA in order to empower election commission to cancel polls for use of money power etc can be implemented.
Standing alone, fast-track courts for politicians will be ineffective in cleansing Indian politics.Eradication of three Cs – Cash Corruption and criminality could lead our country towards vibrant polity and democracy.
“Democracy disciplined and enlightened is the finest thing in the world. A democracy prejudiced, ignorant, superstitions, will land itself in choos.” – M.K. Gandhi
Q3. How will you apply emotional intelligence in administrative practices?
Introduction :- According to Peter Salovey and John Mayer Emotional intelligence is a synergy of four components
Application of emotional intelligence in administration :-
It is the base for other civil services values like empathy, compassion, trustworthiness, honesty, integrity, non partisanship etc. It will be helpful in imparting sensitive understanding to civil servant about the societal issues.
Emotional intelligence is required in team building, in maintaining interpersonal relationship with the subordinates, creating positive environment in workplace and inculcating work culture in true sense in organisation.
It is highly useful in decision making, consensus building, improving transparency, accountability, imparting service orientation in public servants.
In leadership, conflict resolution, being professional, increasing productivity, moral etc it has huge role owing to it’s inherent simplicity in orienting an individual on right path of behaviour.
To summarize, Emotional intelligence is the ability to identify and understand emotions and their impact on behaviour and attitudes. Those who have a high degree of emotional intelligence are in tune with both their own emotions and the emotions of other people with whom they come in contact. Recently, focus on understanding emotions in organizations has resulted in increased attention to the role of Emotional Intelligence.
Q4.Indoctrination of trainees in ethical behaviour will not be successful unless the very recruitment process is overhauled to select ethical individuals into civil services. Comment.
Introduction :- Public service is a ‘vocation’ and only on this foundation upon which a moral and responsible government can be based. The civil servants need to be people of absolute integrity, ethics and morality because only then they can take the civil service as a ‘vocation’.
It strengthens the sense of mission which a civil servant is supposed to undertake to serve the public; perform duties and fulfill obligations. A similar doctrine of vocation was enunciated several thousand years ago by Lord Krishna in Bhagwad Gita. It has been mentioned there, that ”Securing” universal welfare by one’s action is the ultimate measure of a human being but more so of those who hold the public office”.
Hence it becomes important to indoctrinate trainees in ethical behaviour however it’s useless if the selection is of an unethical individuals.
Ways to select ethical individuals in civil services :-
Go beyond testing the theoretical knowledge of candidates and take measures to test real ethical sense like psychiatric test for interview, more weightage to candidates real tilt and personal interests like if he/she is involved in some social activities, any remarkable work done in own profession etc,
Testing individuals on spot questions and ethical dilemmas rather than rotten theories in Ethics paper. Posing candidates to questions which need critical decision making.
UPSC civil services interviews can be reformed to be more elaborate on line of SSB interview to gauge the real potential of candidates.
Putting more importance to individual behaviour, views, stands in training period and option of cancellation of permanent recruitment in civil services if trainee fails to show ethical approach in training.
It’s important to place right persons in system in order to be hopeful for fixation of it’s deteriorating state today. As it is said “Your best efforts will never be enough when your best efforts are being wasted on wrong person”