UPSC Mains Daily Answer Writing (31-08-2022)

UPSC Mains Daily Answer Writing

GS 2 - Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International Relations (Farmer organisations, UN security council - UNSC)


Questions

  1. What are the methods used by farmer’s organisations to influence policy makers in India? How effective are these methods? (10 marks)
  2. “The present structure of the UN Security Council represents outdated cold-war realities and is in dire need of reform.” Discuss. (15 marks)


Model Solutions

1. What are the methods used by farmer’s organisations to influence policy makers in India? How effective are these methods? (10 marks)

Introduction

  • Farmers organisations refer to a group of farmers who are organised to protect their own interests related to issues like minimum support price, subsidies, welfare schemes for farmers etc. For example, Bharathiya kisan Sabha, shetkari sanghatana, etc.

Main Body

  • Methods used by the farmers organisations to influence the policy-makers
    • Awareness generation: They try to gain public support and sympathy for their goals and their activities by carrying out information campaigns, organising meetings, filing petitions, etc. Most of these groups try to influence the media into giving more attention to these issues.
    • Lobbying: Powerful farmers groups like sugarcane farmers of Maharashtra and UP try to influence policy making in their favour like getting favourable MSP and payment of arrears.
    • Protest: They often organise protest activities like strikes or disrupting general administration. These protests of late have centred around issues like loan waiver, higher MSP, free electricity, etc. The recent farmers’ march to Delhi under the Bharatiya Kisan Sangh banner was such an example.
    • Activism: This method includes publicising important issues, petitioning courts, preparing draft legislation and gaining public attention in matters related to farmers like issues pertaining to GM crops.
    • Fast unto death protests: Farmers normally resort to these protests when their moderate protests didn’t satisfy their demands. For example protests by Tamil Nadu farmers in the national capital last year.
    • Other methods: Sometimes they resort to other types of protests like throwing their crops on the road in case of low prices, blocking railways etc.
    • Recent trends: Farmers organisations recently have also employed innovative ways like spilling milk and vegetables on highways or appearing to consume dead rats, soil and urine at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar etc.
  • Effectiveness of these methods: The above methods have been partially successful
    Positive outcomes-
  • Farmers’ associations have been able to get concessional benefits like loan waivers and higher MSPs in the past.
  • Pressure from farmers organisations has led the government to take initiative for farmer welfare like PM KISAN.
  • It has led to awareness in general about the plight of farmers and has helped them to garner wide support for them in the society.
  • These methods have helped in exposing the poor state of farmers in India and has led to reforms like better credit facilities, Jan Dhan Yojana etc.
  • In some cases, farmers’ demands were met very quickly.
    • For example, protests by farmers in Punjab against a case filed by PEPSICO on patent related issues was quickly withdrawn by the company.
      Although there has been limited success, such methods have not led to removal of structural issues.
      Failures:
  • Recent farm protests for more than a year against farm laws have not led to any action from the government.
  • The interplay of language, caste factor, weak financial positions, etc. have been greatly responsible for non-emergence of national-level pressure groups.
  • In a situation of impending unrest the government often takes to populist measures instead of employing a solution which is good for the nation and the farmers in the longer run.
  • The government often takes short term respite such as farm loan waiver, higher MSP, cash transfers in farmers’ accounts, etc.

Conclusion

  • Despite their some shortcomings, farmers' pressure groups are now considered as an indispensable and helpful element of the democratic process.

2. “The present structure of the UN Security Council represents outdated cold-war realities and is in dire need of reform.” Discuss. (15 marks)

Model Structure
Introduction

  • The United Nations (UN) was set up, 75 years ago, with the principal aim of maintaining world peace and security.

Main Body

  • Need of UNSC reforms
    • Changing geopolitical situation: The Security Council’s membership and working methods reflect a bygone era. Though geopolitics have changed drastically, the UNSC has changed relatively little since 1945, when wartime victors crafted a Charter in their interest and awarded “permanent” veto-wielding Council seats for the Allied victors.
    • Reforms Long Overdue: The UNSC was expanded only once in 1963 to add 4 non-permanent members to the Council. Although the overall membership of the UN has increased from 113 to 193, there has been no change in the composition of the UNSC.
    • Inequitable economic and geographical representation: While Europe is over-represented, Asia is underrepresented. Africa and South America have no representation at all.
    • Crisis of legitimacy and credibility: Stalled reform agenda and various issues including its interventions in Libya and Syria in the name of responsibility have put questions on the credibility of the institution.
    • North-South Divide: The permanent UNSC membership portrays the big North-South divide in the decision making of security measures. For instance, there is no permanent member from Africa, despite the fact that 75% of its work is focused on that continent.
    • Emerging issues: Issues such as deepening economic interdependence, worsening environmental degradation, transnational threats also call for effective multilateral negotiations among the countries based on consensus. Yet, all critical decisions of the UNSC are still being taken by the permanent members of the Security Council.
  • The UN has been unable to respond effectively to the once-in-a-century global crisis triggered by the coronavirus.
  • Suggested Reforms
    • Expansion of UNSC permanent membership to make it more inclusive
    • Replacing veto power with consensus based decision making
    • There is a pressing need to enforce greater accountability, coherence and transparency in the Council's activities by making it accountable to UNGA.

Conclusion

  • Therefore the demand for reforms in the council has become a necessity to restore its credibility and effectiveness in maintaining international peace and security.

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