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Here are the topics covered for 6th December 2023:
GS-2:Exit Polls , All India Judicial Service (AIJS) Proposal, The Gujral Doctrine and India\’s Foreign Policy
GS-3: World Bank\’s Initiative to Combat Methane Emissions
Fact for Prelims:Global Warming Potential (GWP), Tele-MANAS Cell
- Exit polls, surveys conducted with voters as they leave polling stations, have become a prominent feature in election coverage, providing early insights into possible outcomes.
- Recently, exit polls for states like Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Telangana, and Mizoram were released, yet their reliability has been questioned due to inconsistencies in recent elections.
Origin and Purpose:
- Exit polls originated in India during the 1957 Lok Sabha elections by the Indian Institute of Public Opinion.
- They aim to gather information on voting patterns and demographics, offering preliminary indications of election results.
- Sampling Methods: The reliability of exit polls hinges on robust sampling methods, emphasizing the need for large and diverse samples.
- Structured Questionnaire: A well-constructed questionnaire is vital for coherent data collection and systematic analysis, is crucial for arriving at accurate vote share estimates.
- Demographic Representation: Ensuring surveyed populations mirror the overall voting demographics is essential for accurate predictions.
Criticisms and Concerns:
- Bias and Influence: Exit polls can face criticism if perceived as biased, with concerns about the choice, wording, and timing of questions potentially influencing results.
- Sponsorship and Motivation: Critics argue that polls, especially during prolonged elections, may be motivated or sponsored by rivals, impacting voter choices.
Regulation in India:
- Legal Framework: Section 126A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, prohibits exit poll conduct and result dissemination during specific periods.
- Election Commission Guidelines: The Election Commission (EC) regulates exit polls, allowing them only after polling booth closure and mandating disclosure of sample size, polling methodology, margin of error, and agency background.
- Transparency and Rigor: Emphasizing transparency in methodology, polling agencies should disclose details such as sampling methods and questionnaire structure.
- Regulatory Reforms: Collaborative efforts between election authorities, media, and polling agencies can refine guidelines for fairness and accuracy in reporting exit poll results.
- Collaboration with Election Authorities: Closer collaboration between polling agencies and election authorities can enhance understanding of the electoral process, share voter demographic data, and minimize disruptions caused by exit polls.
- Exit polls, while providing initial insights, face challenges in maintaining accuracy and avoiding biases.
- Strengthening transparency, regulatory frameworks, and collaboration between stakeholders are crucial for enhancing the reliability and impact of exit polls on election outcomes.
All India Judicial Service (AIJS) Proposal
- The recent endorsement by the President of India for the All India Judicial Service (AIJS) has reignited discussions surrounding the establishment of a centralized recruitment system for judges.
- The proposed AIJS aims to address systemic issues in the judiciary and enhance diversity.
- AIJS, drawing inspiration from the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) model, seeks to streamline the recruitment of judges at the additional district and district levels across all states.
- Proposed in 1958 and revisited in 2006, its constitutional basis lies in Article 312, necessitating a resolution by the Rajya Sabha.
- Despite its potential benefits, the AIJS proposal faces significant hurdles. Concerns range from infringing on the federal structure to creating dual controls over judges and disregarding local laws and customs.
- The current recruitment system, governed by Articles 233 and 234, grants states the authority over the appointment of district judges.
To address concerns and move forward with AIJS:
- Dialogues and Consultations: Engage in extensive consultations with states, high courts, and legal experts to garner support and address apprehensions.
- Pilot Implementation: Introduce AIJS on a pilot basis in select states to assess its impact and gradually address concerns.
- Flexible Design: Ensure AIJS is designed with flexibility, adapting to local laws, languages, and customs, and respecting regional nuances.
- Transition Period: Propose a well-defined transition period for existing judicial officers to adapt seamlessly, minimizing disruptions.
- Periodic Review: Establish a periodic review mechanism to assess the impact on federal structure, autonomy, and effective functioning of the judiciary, making necessary adjustments.
- The AIJS proposal, though endorsed by the President, faces a complex landscape of concerns. Balancing the need for a centralized recruitment system with respect to state autonomy is crucial.
- A thoughtful, consultative approach that addresses the nuances of the Indian judicial system is imperative for the successful implementation of AIJS.
The Gujral Doctrine and India\’s Foreign Policy
- The 11th death anniversary of Inder Kumar Gujral, the 12th Prime Minister of India and architect of the Gujral Doctrine, was marked on November 30. This doctrine, a cornerstone of India\’s foreign policy, continues to shape diplomatic relations in the region.
About the Gujral Doctrine:
- I.K. Gujral served as the Prime Minister from April 1997 to May 1998 and made significant contributions to Indian foreign policy. The Gujral Doctrine, outlined in 1996, is a set of principles guiding India\’s approach to its neighbours, emphasizing goodwill, trust, and non-reciprocity.
- Lenient Approach Toward Pakistan: The Gujral Doctrine faced criticism for being perceived as too soft on Pakistan, potentially leaving India vulnerable to future threats, including terror attacks.
- Security Concerns: Some critics argued that the doctrine was idealistic and did not adequately address India\’s security concerns, especially in the context of historical conflicts and geopolitical issues.
- Failure to Address Bilateral Issues: Long-standing bilateral issues, including territorial disputes and cross-border terrorism, were not effectively addressed, according to critics.
- Domestic Opposition: Emphasizing goodwill and non-reciprocity could be perceived as weakness, potentially leading to exploitation by adversaries.
- Balancing Idealism and Realism: Future foreign policies should strike a balance between idealistic principles and realistic assessments of security challenges. Ensuring national security should be a paramount consideration.
- Comprehensive Conflict Resolution: Addressing unresolved bilateral issues requires a proactive approach. Dialogue must encompass territorial disputes and security concerns.
- Adapting to Evolving Threats: Recognizing the evolving nature of security threats, future doctrines should incorporate strategies to counter terrorism and ensure the nation\’s safety.
- Strengthening Regional Alliances: Building on the positive aspects of the Gujral Doctrine, India should continue strengthening regional alliances and cooperation for mutual benefit.
- Public Diplomacy and Domestic Consensus: In crafting foreign policies, fostering domestic consensus is crucial. Public diplomacy efforts can help in conveying the rationale behind diplomatic decisions, mitigating potential domestic opposition.
- The Gujral Doctrine, despite facing criticisms, played a significant role in strengthening trust and cooperation in India\’s neighbourhood.
- As India navigates evolving geopolitical dynamics, future foreign policies should learn from both the successes and shortcomings of the Gujral Doctrine.
- Balancing pragmatism, comprehensive conflict resolution, and robust regional alliances will be essential in crafting an effective foreign policy that safeguards national interests.
World Bank\’s Initiative to Combat Methane Emissions
- The World Bank has unveiled a comprehensive plan to address the growing threat of methane emissions, targeting up to 10 million tons reduction over the investment lifespans of country-led programs. This initiative aims to curb environmental degradation, enhance resilience, and empower livelihoods.
About the World Bank\’s Plan:
- Methane contributes to approximately 19% of global greenhouse gas emissions, significantly impacting climate change.
- Key sources of human-driven methane emissions include rice production (8%), livestock (32%), and waste (18%).
- Despite its higher global warming potential (GWP) compared to carbon dioxide, methane has received less attention and funding.
World Bank\’s Approach:
- The World Bank plans to implement a minimum of 15 country-led programs within the next 18 months.
- This initiative addresses the urgent need to combat rising global temperatures and support vulnerable communities affected by climate change.
- Strategic interventions will specifically target methane emissions from rice production, livestock operations, and waste management.
- The ambitious programs emphasize a triple-win approach: reducing emissions, enhancing resilience, and empowering livelihoods.
- Focus areas include strategic reduction of methane emissions in agriculture, waste management, and livestock operations.
- Currently, methane abatement constitutes less than 2% of global climate finance.
- The World Bank envisions a significant increase in financing for methane reduction through both public and private sector channels between 2024 and 2030.
- Collaborations with Germany, Norway, the United States, the UAE, and the private sector are planned to implement effective solutions across the entire energy value chain.
The World Bank is launching two partnership platforms:
- Global Methane Reduction Platform for Development (CH4D): Focused on methane abatement in agriculture and waste.
- Global Flaring and Methane Reduction Partnership (GFMR): Concentrating on reducing methane leaks in the oil and gas sector.
- The World Bank\’s initiative is a significant step towards addressing methane emissions and mitigating climate change.
- By focusing on targeted interventions, financing mechanisms, and collaboration with key stakeholders, this initiative aims to achieve meaningful reductions in methane emissions, contributing to global efforts for environmental sustainability.
Fact for Prelims:
Global Warming Potential (GWP)
- Global Warming Potential (GWP) is a metric that quantifies the amount of heat a greenhouse gas can trap in the atmosphere over a specified timeframe, commonly 100 years, in comparison to carbon dioxide (CO2).
- It serves as a tool to assess the potential impact of various greenhouse gases on global warming by allowing a comparison of their warming effects based on their capacity to absorb and retain heat in the atmosphere.
- Carbon dioxide is the reference gas, assigned a GWP of 1.
- Greenhouse gases like methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) exhibit higher GWPs due to their increased effectiveness in trapping heat.
- The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) provides GWP values for different gases, emphasizing that these values can vary based on the chosen time horizon for the comparison.
- A dedicated Tele-MANAS Cell has been inaugurated at the Armed Forces Medical College in Pune.
- This cell serves as an extension of the Tele-Mental Health Assistance and Networking Across States (Tele MANAS) initiative led by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
- Operating as a central psychological helpline, it caters to the mental health needs of Armed Forces beneficiaries nationwide.
- Recognizing the unique stressors faced by military personnel, Tele-MANAS provides free and comprehensive mental health care services as part of the government\’s initiative to enhance accessibility to mental health services.
- Since its inception, Tele MANAS has received over 4,60,000 calls nationwide, offering support in 20 languages through 51 active cells.