Medical Governance

Medical Governance

1 . Medical Council of India Issues

  • Medical Council of India (MCI) was established under Indian Medical Council Act-1933 and given responsibility for
    1. Maintaining standards of medical education
    2. Providing ethical oversight
    3. Maintaining the medical register
    4. Sanctioning medical colleges
  • MCI in recent times has been in the news for the wrong reasons
    1. In 2010, secretary of MCI , Ketan Desai, was arrested for accepting bribe in return for recognising a private college.
    2. March 2016Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health noted that MCI has repeatedly failed on all its mandates over  years.
    3. 2016 – Supreme Court has appointed at 3 member committee headed by former CJI R M Lodha to oversee MCI.

Weaknesses in MCI

  • Corruption : Eg : Ketan Desai Case
  • Too much power concentrated in a single body (i.e.  MCI)
  • Failure to create sufficient manpower : Doctor – Population ratio in India is 1:1700 as against the WHO norm of 1:1000. Need to produce more doctors
  • Conflict of Interest: MCI members are elected from the same medical fraternity that they have to control.
  • Failure to create a curriculum that produces doctors suited to working in Indian context especially in the rural health services and poor urban areas.
  • Devaluation of merit in admission due to prevalence of capitation fees
  • Heavy focus on nitty-gritty of infrastructure and human staff during inspections but no substantial evaluation of quality of teaching, training and imparting of skills.
  • Failure to instill respect for professional code of ethics in the medical professionals 

2. National Medical Commission Bill, 2019 (NMC)

Provisions of the act are

1 . Formation of NMC

  • It will replace MCI 
  • It will consist of 25 members, appointed by the central government

2. Functions of NMC

Functions of the NMC include:

  • Regulating medical institutions and medical professionals,
  • assessing the requirements of healthcare  human resources and infrastructure,
  • Ensuring compliance by the State Medical Councils (SMCs) of the regulations
  • framing guidelines for determination of fees for up to 50% of the seats in private medical institutions and deemed universities

3. State Medical Council

  • Each state will establish their respective State Medical Commission (SMC) having a role similar to the NMC, at the state level.

4. Four Autonomous Boards

Respecting Doctrine of Separation of Power

  • Under-Graduate Medical Education Board (UGMEB) and
  • Post-Graduate Medical Education Board
  • Medical Assessment and Rating Board (MARB) => For medical college regulation of fees, standards and permission to setup new colleges
  • Ethics and Medical Registration Board

5. Provisions regarding fees of medical students

  • Fees in private colleges can be regulated for maximum of 50% of seats

6. Community health providers

  • NMC may grant a limited license to certain mid-level practitioners connected with the modern medical profession to practice medicine.

7. NEET

  • Uniform National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) will be conducted for admission to under-graduate & post graduate medical education in all medical institutions regulated by the Bill.

8. NEXT

  • There will be a common final year undergraduate examination called the National Exit Test (NEXT) to obtain the license for practice and admission into post-graduate courses at medical institutions.

Concerns

  • Fee Capping Dilemma : Bill permits 50% of seats to be open for managements . NMC Bill will push the medical education completely away from the reach of deserving  people of lower socio economic class 
  • Two-thirds of the members in the NMC are medical practitioners.  Expert committees have recommended that the regulator should consist of more diverse stakeholders in order to reduce the influence of medical practitioners
  • Against federal setup: Previously, all the State governments had representation in MCI while in the NMC bill, only few States in rotation will have representation
  • Enforcing NEET might result in the mushrooming of expensive coaching centres . Southern states especially Tamil Nadu is against NEET

Lateral Entry in Civil Services

Lateral Entry in Civil Services

This topic remains in news . Eg : In 2019 , UPSC has selected 9 professionals to work in the capacity of joint secretaries in the Government of India.  

Lateral Entry means people from outside the organization are also considered for recruitment at middle & higher level.

Why Lateral Entry?

  • Specialized knowledge , new Ideas, fresh energy, good practices and Innovative work culture comes in from diverse fields to insular bureaucracy
  • Induce competitiveness – Now Civil Servants have to compete with others too to reach at the top.  Lethargic attitude will diminish. So the prospects of lateral entry will always propel overall efficiency.
  • International Examples : Australia, Belgium, New Zealand,  UK,  Netherlands and  US follow this system successfully.
  • There have been government commissions and reports advocating the lateral entry of specialists.  6th Pay Commission, 7th Pay Commission, Niti Ayog  and Second ARC & Hota Committee (2004)  were unanimous on lateral entry.
  • Deficit of Middle Level OfficersBaswan Committee (2016)  noticed overall 20% shortfall of IAS cadre officers and states are unwilling to send their officers on deputation to Central Government.  Lateral Entry can help in addressing this issue
  • Competitive federalism requires state and union to hire persons with specialized skills and knowledge for informed policy making
  • IAS officers get recruited at very young age when it is difficult to test potential administrative and judgement capabilities making it prone to both type I and type II errors ie some who are potentially good administrators fail to make it, and some who do make it, fall short of the requirements. Mid-career lateral entrants with proven capabilities will help bridge this deficiency.

With governance becoming increasingly complex, experts need to be at the forefront . Present Bureaucracy is seen as a monolith with no scope for improvement, self-serving & obstructionist license-quota Raj vestige. It is an argument well-known to students of public administration that Weberian bureaucracy is status-quoist, and is not fit to administer a chaotic, rapidly growing country . Hence, Lateral Entry can provide new lease of life to bureaucracy.

Current State Of Lateral Entry?

  • It  has been done but at a limited scale and at very high level.
  • Few examples are RBI  Governor & NITI Aayog Vice president
  • The idea of inducting exceptional talent from outside is not entirely new. K.R. Narayanan, India’s 10th President, joined the Indian Foreign Service at the behest of the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, apparently without appearing for the qualifying examinations. He was strongly recommended by the renowned political theorist Harold J. Laski. Some recent examples include the appointment of Nandan Nilekani (Chairman of UIDAI), Montek Ahluwalia (Planning Commission) , Raghuram Rajan (Governor of the Reserve Bank of India) and various other experts in the Niti Aayog and other government bodies. 

Challenges For Lateral Entry?

  • Dangers for creation of Spoil System (Politically motivated selection)
  • Opposition from Civil Servants whose chances of promotion are reduced.
  • Short term lateral entrants can misuse their office when they occupy that post and later can misuse the insider information putting national security at risk.
  • Best talent can be attracted in civil services only if there is reasonable assurance of reaching top level managerial positions
  • Width and depth of field experience which the civil services provide is simply not available with outside talent
  • Civil services administrative framework has integrated the diverse country into a coherent whole. Therefore, we should not tamper with the framework
  • Lateral entry does open the risk and prospect of powerful corporate groups placing their men in key positions of government.
  • Issue of reservation : There are no provisions regarding Reservation in 10 Joint Secy Level posts (2018)

How it should be handled?

  • Transparency and accountability are two important factors that should not be underplayed in hiring lateral entrants. Discretion on lateral entry may pave the way to charges of being “politically motivated”, which may degrade the system.
  • A credible agency like the UPSC should be entrusted with the responsibility of recruitment. This would help avoid many pitfalls associated with general lateral entry.
  • For this, the ARC recommended the establishment of a Central Civil Services Board to deal with issues concerning lateral entries. But the body, which would have ensured a robust and accountable system of lateral entry, is yet to come into existence.

Role of civil services in a democracy

Role of civil services in a democracy

1 . Civil Servants as Agents of Economic Development

  • They look after planning, resource allocation and resource mobilisation by managing taxation , subsidies and grants
  • They are behind formulation & implementation of strategies and programmes for  development & modernisation of  nation.
  • Civil servants manage government owned business, industrial enterprises and public utility services.
  • NITI Aayog CEO to District Magistrate are all IAS which ensures balanced development of all states and tehsils

2 . Agents of National Integration

  • They ensure equal development of all regions of the nation and thus help in national integration. If some areas are more developed and others are less developed , then problems like Naxalism can develop.
  • When nation is newly formed, nationalism bond between people of different regions is very weak . In such situations , Civil Servants act as Steel Frame so as to keep the nation together. Vallabhbhai Patel knew this and as a result he didn’t dismantled ICS Officers and just changed its nomenclature to IAS
  • In All India Services , officers from one region are send to serve in some other region . In these situations, these officers can work well because they are free from any  bondage

3. Welfare State

  • Since we want to make India a welfare state. Hence, we have to keep care of minorities, workers, child , women , youth. Hence, we require large number of generalist & specialist officers who will work according to needs of these groups
  • Anti argument – This bureaucracy becomes self perpetuating . Instead of being sensitive to their needs and being the facilitators, they become main impediment to development of people. This is seen in India now when bureaucracy has lost its touch with general public.

4. Execution of Program

  • All the programmes are executed on the ground by these Civil Servants. Eg : Right to Education is made by Parliament but to make that work, it is the Civil Servants who do hard work to implement it in schools.
  • Anti Arguments : But we have seen now a days, most of the schemes are implemented on papers with almost no work visible on the ground. Execution of work cant be solely left on them because they aren’t accountable to people and aren’t elected representatives.

5. Channel of Communication to / for the State

  • In democracy, each section has aspiration , needs and problems.
  • Bureaucracy is the only mechanism to convert demand of these people into policy
  • Eg Farmer needs water, he will report to District Collector and then District Collector will place that information in front of Irrigation Department

6. Serve as knowledge bank for good policy formation

  • These Civil Servants are transferred from one place to other . They serve in all type of areas and as a result becomes repository of huge practical knowledge . This knowledge helps in formation of better policies 
  • Along with that, Secret Information like Foreign Affairs and database of secret agents working abroad can’t be left in hands of elected representatives. Such information is handled by Civil Servants only .

7. Provides Continuity

  • Civil Servants carry on the governance when governments change due to elections etc.
  • Ramsay Muir has remarked that while governments may come and go, ministers may rise and fall, the administration of a country goes on forever.

8. Crisis Managers

  • In the event of occurrence of  natural calamities, it is the Civil Servants that comes first to help  & act quickly and undertake rescue operations in order to prevent loss of life and property of the affected people.
  • They act as moral boosters and life savers in times of calamity .

Problems with Civil Services 

  • Top Down Approach  of Decision Making and given the elitist composition of the IAS cadre, the administrators are  unfamiliar with  complex ground realities=> IAS hierarchy is insensitive to the needs, constraints and aspirations of local populations.
  • Lack of accountability because of proliferation of departments with conflicting jurisdictions . It is easy to evade responsibility. 
  • Incompatibility with Changing Political Scenario (after 73 & 74 Amendment): In the political sphere, although Panchayati Raj (elected local governance) has been instituted but District Collector and  rest of  local bureaucracy continue to be accountable to the governments in the state capitals. Elected representatives find their initiatives thwarted 
  • Insecurity of Tenure:  IAS officers are not protected from persecution by their political bosses. They have to kow-tow to the dictates of these masters even if that means working against the interests of the people. 
  • More concerned with Processes than Results due to Weberian Model of Bureaucracy
  • Not able to change : Rapid and fundamental changes are taking place in the country in terms of rapid economic growth,  urbanization, environmental degradation  & technological changes .  The response time to adapt to these changes is much shorter than it used to be. But our Civil Services haven’t changed at same pace  with the changing situations

Suggestions to improve Civil Services

  • Training should be revamped – Currently much of the focus of the training programme for civil servants are on imparting them -administrative and technical skill. What is required is that maximum focus should be on imparting democratic and ethical values so that they could show empathy and compassion towards the weaker sections during their tenure as civil servant. Technical skills could be learned during the service.
  • Break insulation in  Labour Market : bureaucratic structure in India is  an insulated labour market . There should be lateral-entry in contractual jobs with a well-defined career progression. 
  • Performance based promotion-instead of seniority based promotion 
  • Fixed tenure–  so that committed officers  are protected from persecution by their political bosses.
  • Increasing accountability and transparency – For this
    • Lokpal should be strengthened.
    • Right of Citizens for Time Bound Delivery of Goods and Services Bill, 2011 should be passed at the earliest.
    • Provisions of RTI should be implemented in letter and spirit 
  • Restructure Bureaucracy keeping in view 73rd & 74th Amendment

Recommendations wrt Civil Service Reforms by Various Commissions & Committees

1 . About Recruitment

  • Professor Yoginder K. Alagh Committee recommended testing the candidates in a common subject rather than on optional subjects.

2. Training

  • Yugandhar Committee, 2003 recommended need for three mid-career training programmes in 12th, 20th & 28th years of service. There is a “major shift” in the nature of work of the officer, at these stages  of their career.

3. Weeding out

  • Hota Committee (2004) recommended to weed out unsuitable candidates via  performance review after 15 years of service 

4. Efficiency

  • Hota Committee, 2004 recommended use of ICT to transform Government by making it more accessible, effective and accountable.

5. Accountability

  • Committee on Prevention of Corruption (Santhanam Committee) suggested constitution of the Central Vigilance Commission
  • First ARC recommended  establishment of Lok Pal & Lok Ayuktas  to deal with complaints against Ministers & Secretaries at Centre & State level
  •  Hota Committee recommended formulation of Code of Ethics   for civil servants 

6. Performance Appraisal

  • Surinder Nath Committee, 2003  recommended that performance appraisal should be done and only those who can demonstrate a credible record of actual performance and possess the necessary knowledge and skills required for higher responsibilities should be promoted.

Self Help Groups (SHGs)

Self Help Groups (SHGs)

This article deals with ‘Self Help Groups (SHGs).’ This is part of our series on ‘Governance’ which is important pillar of GS-2 syllabus . For more articles , you can click here

What are SHGs

SHG are  association of people( 20-30 persons and generally woman) who choose to come together (either on own or organised by outside Institutions like NGOs)  to find ways to improve their living conditions . They help to build up social capital among poor, especially woman .

To have a good feeling of the works of SHGs and how they work, you can refer to following videos as well.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-3cJ5_rMuIU&feature=youtu.be

Functions of SHGs

Main functions of SHGs are

  • To encourage and motivate members to save .
  • To persuade them to make a collective plan for generation of additional income .
  • To act as a conduit for formal banking services to reach to them  (how – explained below)

How are groups formed??

  • Most of the SHGs have come through the help of mentor body (either government or NGO) which provided initial information and guidance to them
  • Many  SHGs have been initiated by local communities themselves

How NGOs help them

  • First of all NGOs help in organising them and mentor them how they should work
  • Sometimes they also give them skill so that they can start some work and earn their life
  • They act as facilitator in linking them with banks so that they can get credit at affordable rates
  • Training people on how to manage their bank accounts & spreading financial literacy among poor

Evolution of SHGs in India

1954 First initiative came from Gujarat . Textile Labour Association (TLA) of Ahmedabad formed its women’s wing to organise & train the women belonging to households of mill workers  in primary skills like sewing, knitting embroidery, typesetting and stenography etc  
1972 SEWA (Self Employed Women’s Association ) formed as a trade union under Ela Bhatt . She organised women workers such as hawkers, vendors, home based operators like weavers, potters etc

Objectives of SEWA
1. Increasing their income & assets
2. Enhancing the food & nutritional standards
3. Increase their organisational & leadership strength

Overall intention was to organise woman for full employment .

Currently, SEWA has a membership strength of 9,59,000 which is predominantly urban.  
1980s  – MYRADA – a Karnataka based NGO
– Promoted several locally formed groups to enable the members to secure credit collectively and use it along with their own savings  for activities which could provide them economically gainful employment.  

SHG-Bank linkage Program

SHG Movement was mainly started in 1980s with help of NGOs which wanted to provide alternate models of providing Financial Services to poor. What they were doing was, all the people were saving  and anybody in the group which wanted the money can take out money from that collective saving at interest rate of 24% (ie 2% per month. In villages, Moneylenders lend at 10% per month) . Hence , it was a great help .

Still main problem was there. These Groups were of poor women. Their savings were not that high & hence, members cant get large loans. As a result, linking SHGs with banks was necessary which could provide credit in multiple of savings of the SHG.

Timeline of SHG-Bank linkage program

1989 Started as a test project when NABARD sanctioned 10 lakh ₹ to MYRADA as a seed money assistance for forming credit management groups (just a Pilot Project)
1989 Ministry of  Rural Development provided financial support to PRADAN to establish SHGs in some rural pockets of Rajasthan
1992 A full-fledged project involving a partnership among SHGs, Banks and NGOs was launched by NABARD This marks beginning of SHG – Banking Linkage Program. 

Main features of SHG-Bank linkage program

  • Main feature of the loans under SHG – Bank Linkage Program Loans are
    • Lending is to the group as a whole
    • Group  decides how to use loan without outside interference
    • Lending is without any collateral
  • Loan is in Multiple of the Saving . For groups having good credit history this can be upto 1:4 wrt their savings . Hence, they can get loans as large as 4 times their savings without collateral. This was the major turning point in whole movement.
  • NABARD refinances the banks for this project. It is the money of NABARD that these banks give to SHGs .
  • Forming small groups and linking them to bank branches for credit delivery has been the most important feature of the growth of the SHG movement in our country. Efforts have been made almost in all parts of the country to adopt this model as a necessary component of the poverty alleviation programmes

Models of SHG-Banking Linkage

Financing Model adapted by Banks in Microfinance Industry
  • In first model, Banks give loan to NGOs or some Microfinance Institution and these NGOs and Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs) in turn lend this money to SHGs. Banks give loans to MFIs at commercial rates and these MFIs / NGO charge 24%  so that they can make out their administrative costs out of the difference
  • In second model, NGOs act as facilitator between SHGs and Banks and charge 6% of the loans given by Banks to SHGs as their commission (to make up their administrative charges)

How making groups help??

  • Commercial banks and other institutions which otherwise are not receptive to demands of marginalised individuals start considering such groups as their potential customers . They provide Banking facilities to people which are previously considered unbankable . Individually, these persons are considered unbankable by the banks but collectively, they become potential customer .
  • SHG work as collective guarantee system for members who propose to borrow from organised sources . These have emerged as  most effective mechanism for delivery of Micro finance services to the poor

Note – Loan is issued on name of SHG & not on particular person. Hence, it is the collective responsibility of the group to repay that loan.

This is the main reason that repayment rate is very high in case of SHG loans. If person is not paying, extreme peer pressure works in that situation 

SHGs & their role in empowerment of Woman

In rural India, where winds of  development is yet to reach, farm labour is main employment for woman but this doesn’t fulfill all their needs . Hence, participation in SHG helps them in saving some money out of their daily household expenses & can also avail loan with lower interest which has potential to  change situation

1 . Social Empowerment

  • Members of SHG are mainly woman. They can save money & invest in SHG & can use it at time of need . With money in hand , they get status in their family & this increases their  self confidence  & esteem
  • SHGs discuss women centered issues which help them in gaining social security

2. Political Empowerment

  • SHGs gave women taste of leadership which they never experienced earlier and give them aspiration to become leaders of society .
  • Along with that SHGs organised women and they started to act as local pressure groups for and against particular candidate

3. Social Justice

  • SHGs are seen to have taken up issues like domestic violence, bigamy, dowry deaths, prevention of child marriage, support for separated woman to remarry etc

4. Financial Inclusion

  • SHG program has contributed to reduced dependency on informal money lenders & other non institutional sources
  • This financial inclusion has led to increased spending on education of children, lower drop rate , reduce in child mortality, improved maternal health & ability of poor to combat diseases through proper nutrition
  • Due to loans , they have managed to come out of poverty. With these loans women started small businesses or bought dairy animals or helped their husbands to start some work. It is argued that this program has played most important and effective role in reducing poverty.

Fodder to be used in answers : NGOs involved in this

SEWA Ahmedabad
MYRADA (main mind behind SHG-Bank Linkage program) Karnataka
PRADHAN Rajasthan
ADITHI Bihar
DHAN foundation , Janodaya,  Cohesion Foundation , Jan Chetna Sansthan Other prominent NGOs in this field

Key Issues today  about SHG & SHG-Bank Linkage Program

Although in short span , a lot has been done but a lot need to be done to make SHGs success story

1 . Changing nature of SHGs today

  • After SHG program’s success was shown to the world , government decided to use it as policy tool 
  • But this changed the whole scenario. Now it has become top down approach . Banks are given targets to give loans to SHGs and these targets need to be met each financial year. Hence, Banks don’t check quality of SHGs work and give loans to untrained groups who don’t have any training how SHGs work. As a result, these SHGs don’t able to pay back loans .
  • Hence, due to the mistake of Banks and Authorities , questions are raised on the viability of project now a days

2. Moral Hazards

  • Bankers have always warned that giving low interest loan to people living in areas where getting loan is difficult and rate is higher can set in moral hazards where people who get loan at lower can start giving that loan to others at even higher rate.
  • Now since, credit available is large and banks don’t bother to go and check whether loan is used in constructive way, people has indulged in this practice.

3. Giving credit is mean and not end in itself

  • Banks and officials think that giving easy loans is end in itself . But it is just a mean to help these people come out of poverty and empower them
  • Only  a  minority  of  the  Self-Help  Groups  are  able  to  raise  themselves  from  a  level  of  micro-finance to  that  of  micro-entrepreneurship.
  • Hence, along with loans, government should merge these schemes with skill development and entrepreneurship programmes. Time has come to take this program to higher level.

4. Need to Expand (to urban areas & excluded states)

  • Need to extend small  group  organisations  (SHGs)  to  peri-urban  and  urban  areas:
    • As  per  the  existing  statutory  provisions,  NABARD’s  mandate  is  to  provide  micro-finance facilities  only  to  rural  and  semi-urban  areas.   Need to expand to these areas .
  • 45% SHGs in Andhra Pradesh and negligible presence in Bihar,UP and North East .  This imbalance need to be corrected

5. Financial Assistance to SHPI

  • SHPI = Self Help Promoting Institution
  • 45% of woman SHGs are situated in AP  because of initiative shown by promoter NGOs called SHPI . If we want SHG to spread throughout India , SHPI model need to be replicated in whole India
  • But Problem is major financial support to SHPI come from Microfinance Development & Equity Fund of NABARD & it is limited to ₹1500per SHG formed & activated. This need to be revised

Viability of SHG – Corporate Linkage Model

  • Rural Markets = untapped market + Tremendous potential of growth for corporations .
  • Integration of SHGs with corporations as part of their company policy in tackling the issue of reach & market awareness is win win situation for both
  • RBI working committee report has recommended that Corporates can integrate SHGs into various functions such as
    • Marketing,
    • Distribution ,
    • Procurement of various raw material ,
    • production and processing of indigenous products etc
  • Example : TAJ group has adopted a SHG for procurement of sea food and meet 60% of their demands through the SHG.

NGOs

NGOs

This article deals with ‘NGOs.’ This is part of our series on ‘Governance’ which is important pillar of GS-2 syllabus . For more articles , you can click here

What are NGOs ?

  • According to UN ,NGOs are  Organisations that are not part of government & are not conventional profit businesses. In case NGOs are funded totally or partially by governments , NGO maintains its non governmental status by excluding government representatives from membership in organisation

Other Names

  • Third Sector Organisations(TSO)
  • Non Profit Organisations(NPO)
  • Voluntary Organisations(VO)
  • Civil Society Organisations(CSO)
  • Self help Organisation (SHO)
  • Non State Actors

Types of NGOs

Can be classified in two ways

  • By level of orientation
  • By level of operation

1 . By Level of Orientation

Charitable NGOs with activities directed towards meeting needs of poor
Service NGOs with activities such as provision of health, family planning or education
Empowering Aims to help poor develop a clearer understanding of the social, political & economic factors affecting their lives and to strengthen their awareness about their own potential to control their life

2. By level of operation

National Eg YMCA , YWCA
International Eg Save The Children Org, CARE, Ford Foundation , Rockefeller Foundation

Funding of NGOs

  • Major source of funding are membership dues, sale of goods and services , grants from international institutions, national governments & private donations
  • Even-though term NGO implies independence from governments , many NGOs depend heavily on governments for their funds
  • Some NGOs such as Greenpeace don’t accept funding from Government or intergovernmental organisations

Theoretical explanation for growth of NGOs

Two explanations of  why NGOs emerged

Market Failure Theory NGOs emerged to provide services that the public sector can’t or will not provide & services for which businesses can’t get sufficient return on their investments
Contract failure Theory NGOs are created to provide services where the parties who want them offered were not in a position to provide these services. These parties are donors or well wishers of client’s receiving services

Strength of NGO sector

  • Strong grassroot links
  • Ability to innovate and adapt
  • Process oriented approach to development
  • Cost effectiveness
  • Long term commitment & emphasis on sustainability

Weaknesses of NGOs

  • Limited financial & management expertise
  • Limited institutional capacity
  • Low levels of self sustainability
  • Capable of small scale interventions only
  • Lack of inter organisational coordination & communication

Relationship between NGOs and Indian state

State policies have significantly influenced formation of NGOs eg government sponsored and aided programs & provided financial assistance to NGOs . Number of government committees have acknowledged the need to involve NGOs in social development processes

Initial years After independence, some attention was given toward NGO sector by central government mainly because NGOs were Gandhian in nature and Balwant Rai Mehta Committee constituted to look into work of Integrated Community Development  (ICD) program( which was gandhian in spirit) recommended more emphasis to be laid on it but after that next initiatives came in 1980s  
From 6th Five Year Plan Government has increasingly recognised the NGO sector’s vital role & provided increasing levels of funding . In past two decades , government has increased engagement with NGO at all levels  
GO- NGO Interface Launched in March 2000
– Planning commission made nodal agency of this
Message was clear ,  government will work with NGO for development of India
Main reason for this was State Minimalism after LPG reforms. NGOs became mediators and managers of development processes.

Government – NGO collaborations

  • Although social development has emerged as very important sector in 21st century & NGOs are vital part of it but there is no institutionalised mechanism of collaboration between Government & NGOs . Evolving long term & sustainable collaboration between Government & NGOs is need of the hour
  • Andhra Pradesh Model for this : Government of  Andhra Pradesh formed State Level Coordination Committee consisting of NGOs & Governmental officials headed by CM for promoting coordination between Government and NGOs.  All states must learn from this
  • CAPART (Council for Advancement of Peoples Action & Rural Technology) & various Ministries have evolved their schemes to be implemented by funding NGOs . Swatch Bharat Abhiyaan, Ajeevika and Watershed Development under Ministry of Rural Development involves NGOs in its implementation

NITI Aayog wants to involve leading Civil Society Organisations & NGOs in taking forward social sector initiatives of the government.

Role played by NGOs  in India

At international level , these NGOs have proved their mettle and NGOs like Red Cross & Amnesty International are even awarded Nobel Peace Prize for that. UN too has accepted their constructive role and some of the NGOs are allowed to participate in UN Agencies for their ability to reach people and spread awareness. In India too, they are playing important role.

1 . Poverty Alleviation

  • 275 million poor people in India (NSSO)
  • Many NGOs involved in implementing poverty alleviation schemes (IRDP (in 1980s & 90s) & Ajeevika(presently) )

2. Woman’s Movement

  • SEWA ie Self Employed Women’s Association played important role in women’s economic independence
  • Most important policy development that these NGOs were able to achieve was 33% reservation for woman in  Panchayati Raj Institutions

3. Environment Conservation

  • Greenpeace International is the most important NGO working in environment conservation
  • Their success forced government to create new policies on environment conservation, big dams , resettlement & rehabilitation

4. AIDS prevention & Health 

  • Realising the critical need for these NGOs & their services ,  government invited them to participate in developing health policies related to HIV
  • Uday Foundation – India’s largest volunteer based NGO working on child healthcare, health rights advocacy & took active role in Uttarakhand disaster

5 . Disaster Management

  • NGOs have always been on forefront in providing recovery, relief & rehabilitation after natural calamities
  • Government has also acknowledged NGOs role in these situations
  • Goonj –  important NGO working from 14 years in disaster rehabilitation processes

6. Fight against corruption

  • NGOs like India against Corruption has played important role in passage of many laws most important being Right to Information + forced Election commission to increase transparency in election processes and include option like NOTA

7. Giving voice to the voiceless

  • Downtrodden people like Prostitutes, Bonded Workers, displaced due to project , LGBT, Under-trials etc don’t have such a power that they can make political parties to hear their voices.
  • NGOs take up their causes and give voice to the voiceless 
  • Important NGOs working in this sector are Bachpan Bachao Andolan & Bandua Mukti Morcha

8. NGO as pressure groups

  • Working as pressure groups NGOs have forced governments to act on juvenile Justice, ending corporal punishment in schools, anti trafficking , forest, environment & wildlife protection , resettlement of displaced people to name a few

9. Their role in various Schemes

  • Swatch Bharat Abhiyaan, Ajeevika , Watershed Development under Ministry of Rural Development involves NGOs in its implementation

Civil Servants too work as agent of Economic and Social Development but they don’t have reach to the ground-level in way these NGOs have. If these NGOs & Bureaucracy work together, they can end all the problems like Naxalism , Poverty etc that India is facing.

Some Issues with NGOs in India

1 . NGO & Legitimacy Issue

  • NGOs are known as independent voice  but in recent years NGOs have increased in number & range of activities but number of donors haven’t increased with that pace . Hence, there is large competition for funding
    • This adds risk of donors adding conditions which can threaten independence of NGOs
    • over dependence on official aid has potential to dilute stand of NGOs to speak on public issues critically
  • Other criticism – NGOs are used by western nations as extension of their normal foreign policy
  • Allegations of use of foreign funds for religious conversions have also been made

2. Unaccountability & Non-transparency of NGOs

  • India has 2 Million (20 lakh)  registered NGOs but there is accountability & transparency  problem
  • Their credibility is questioned because there is lack of transparency about their finances  & absence of performance benchmarks
  • Main Problem : NGOs are registered under multiple acts in India like Societies Registration Act,1860 ; Indian  Trust Act ,1882; Bombay Public Charitable Trust Act,1950 & Companies Act . Accountability  requirement of all acts differ with some of them not requiring any form of annual filling
    • NGOs are required to register annual returns with Income tax department but annual returns filed by NGOs are not subject to public disclosure .
    • While receiving Foreign funding , NGOs only need to inform Government of India and file annual report to Home ministry under FCRA and no public disclosure is required

Hence, statutory framework doesn’t require NGOs to be accountable directly to Public

  • NGOs should try to build and regain lost public trust by better transparency in functioning . They can adopt following
    • External auditing
    • Increased Information disclosure

3. NGOs running PIL Industry

  • They are tutoring victims to seek larger compensation when some development project  run on their land
  • They file bogus affidavits & PILs

4. Harming Internal Security

  • They have soft glove and apologist attitude towards Naxalites , Insurgents & Terrorists
  • They force government to repeal some acts like AFSPA which can prove dangerous in some situations
  • IB Report (2014) also brought to forefront the obstructionist role played by Foreign Funded NGOs and loss of GDP to tune of 2% happening due to their protests .

5. Try to put Animal Rights above Human Rights

  • Resulting in Street dog/monkey menace
  • Animal Right Activists NGOs vs Inconvenience to Public issue .

6. NGOs Cherry Pick Causes on Donor Priorities

  • Initially Chipko Movement was success but NGOs failed during Bhopal Gas Tragedy because foreign donors didn’t want to raise voice against those companies
  • There is particular scene which emerge when we see funding pattern from particular nation and issues raised by NGOs who receive this fund. French Funded NGOs are soft on Maoists, German funded are Anti GM , US funded are Anti Coal (so that government go for US Nuclear Firms) 

Foreign Contribution(Regulation) Act ,2010 (FCRA)

  • Act  seeks to regulate flow of foreign funds to voluntary organisations with the objective of preventing any possible diversion of these funds towards activities detrimental to national interest
  • NGO has to register under FCRA to accept foreign contribution & central government can deny certification under certain conditions.
  • Organisation must renew FCRA certification every 5 years   . Using this, dormant accounts can be weeded out
  • Such contributions can only be accepted through designated banks.
  • Further, the NGO has to report to the central government any foreign contribution within 30 days of its receipt, in addition to filing annual reports with the home ministry
  • Time limit for processing application of registration is 90 days (earlier there wasn’t any time limit)
  • If any organisation receive foreign contribution of over ₹10 lakh in an instance , bank concerned would immediately inform govt so that source of such fund can be tracked
  • Section 8(1)(B) – NGOs cant spend beyond 50% of its foreign funding on Administrative expenses.

Since NGOs work independently and are not accountable to government , MHA is encouraging them to be transparent & accountable + Ministry has warned that NGO sector is vulnerable to risk of money laundering & terrorist financing 

Fodder for answers : Important Indian NGOs and their works

Pratham – Largest NGO in India
Works toward provision of quality education to underprivileged children in India
Prepares Annual Survey of Education Report (ASER)
 
HelpAge India Setup in 1978
Work for the cause of & care of disadvantaged older persons
One of the founding members of HelpAge International  
Bachpan Bachao Andolan Setup in 1990 by Kailash Satyarthi (Nobel prize winner)
Centred on ending bonded labour , child labour & trafficking 
Akshay Patra Foundation – Run school lunch programme across India
Distributes freshly cooked , healthy meals to 1.3 Lakh underprivileged children in 9,000 government schools
 
Samman Foundation Works toward organising rickshaw pulling class of people by providing them with opportunity to earn livelihood  
LEPRA Society Promotes quality health care through various initiatives
Aims to support various healthcare programmes in prevention and control of diseases like AIDS , Leprosy & TB

Quasi-Judicial Bodies

Quasi-Judicial Bodies

This article deals with ‘Quasi-Judicial Bodies.’ This is part of our series on ‘Governance’ which is important pillar of GS-2 syllabus . For more articles , you can click here

What is Quasi Judicial Body

  • Quasi-judicial body is an organization or individual on which powers resembling a court of law have been conferred but is not a tribunal within the judicial branch of the government and is not a court exercising judicial power in the constitutional sense.
  • Hence , such a body can adjudicate and decide upon a situation and impose penalty upon the guilty or regulate the conduct of an individual or entity but is not part of judiciary .

Emergence of Quasi Judicial Bodies

  • As the welfare state has grown up in size and functions, more and more litigations are pending in the judiciary, making it over-burdened. It requires having an alternative justice system. As a result , Ordinary judiciary has become dilatory and costly. Quasi Judicial bodies are part of such alternative justice system
  • With scientific and economic development, laws have become more complex, demanding more technical knowledge about specific sectors. Tribunals have such expert members too.
  • Conventional judiciary is suffering from procedural rigidity, which delays the justice which these bodies don’t

Quasi Judicial Action vs Administrative Action

  • Distinction between quasi-judicial and administrative action has become blurred . But it does not mean that there is no distinction between the two. Supreme Court has dealt this question in A.K. Kraipak vs. Union of India,
    • In order to determine whether the action of the administrative authority is quasi-judicial or administrative, one has to see  whether it is done with ‘subjective satisfaction’ or ‘objective satisfaction’ . 
Acts done with Subjective Satisfaction Are Administrative Acts
Acts done with Objective Satisfaction Are Quasi-Judicial Acts
  • In case of administrative decision there is no legal obligation, upon the person charged with the duty of reaching the decision, to consider and weigh submissions and arguments or to collate any evidence. The grounds upon which he acts, and the means which he takes to inform himself before acting are left entirely to his discretion.

Examples of Quasi Judicial Bodies

Some examples of Quasi judicial bodies in India are

  • National and State Human Rights Commissions
  • Lok Adalats
  • Central and State Information Commissions
  • Central Vigilance Commission
  • Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission
  • Central Administrative Tribunals
  • Competition Commission Of India
  • Income Tax Appellate Tribunal
  • Intellectual Property Appellate Tribunal

More about specific Quasi-Judicial Bodies

1 .National Human Rights Commissions

We have already covered this topic in detail in other article. To read about working of National Human Rights Commission, click on the link below

2 . Lok Adalats

We have already covered this topic in detail in other article. To read about working of Lok Adalats, click on the link below

3. Central Information Commissions

We have already covered this topic in detail in other article. To read about working of Central Information Commission, click on the link below

4. Central Vigilance Commission

We have already covered this topic in detail in other article. To read about working of Central Vigilance Commission, click on the link below

5. Central Administrative Tribunals

We have already covered this topic in detail in other article. To read about working of Central Administrative Tribunals, click on the link below

Regulatory Bodies

Regulatory Bodies

This article deals with ‘Regulatory Bodies.’ This is part of our series on ‘Governance’ which is important pillar of GS-2 syllabus . For more articles , you can click here

Introduction

  • Regulatory body is an organization set up by the Government to monitor, guide and control a particular sector such as banking, insurance, education or healthcare.
  • It is in contrast to laissez faire which demand complete unregulation/free economy. But since we know the perils of completely free market economy, regulation upto certain extend is very much desirable.
  • After Liberalisation and Privatisation, role of the state changed to rule-maker and regulator. With this, we saw emergence of special category of regulatory systems Independent Statutory Regulating Agencies.

Crux of the matter : When government goes out of particular sector => Make Independent Statutory Regulator for that sector

Need of Regulation

Regulation is needed due to following reasons :-

In case of Natural Monopoly Natural monopoly = when an entire market is more efficiently served by one firm than by two or more firms .
– In such cases, regulation may be necessary to protect consumer interests. 
In India, the transmission and distribution of electricity is still natural monopolies. 
 
To remove Asymmetric Information When one party to a transaction knows more about the product than another.
Eg: health  sector.  
Presence of Externalities Eg : an industrial plant discharging waste into a river . 

 
Check Anti Competitive practices    – Firms may resort to anti competitive practices
– Regulatory bodies check this
Promote Public Interest Regulation promotes the public interest.

Categories of Regulation in India

Regulation in India can be mapped under three broad categories: economic regulation, regulation in the public interest and environmental regulation. 

Economic Regulation Aims at preventing market failure.
By punishing market distorting behavior.
– Eg :  Electricity Act of 2003, which allows State regulators to fix tariffs for power consumption
 
Regulation in Public Interest Eg : Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) => setting quality and safety standards for various products 
 
Environmental Regulation Protect the environment from harm.   

Reasons for Proliferation of Regulatory Bodies post 1991

  • Market economy demands the competition. Regulatory Bodies were made to ensure level playing field 
  • To attract Foreign Investment : Regulatory Bodies were made to ensure Foreign Investors that decisions will not be guided by Populistic considerations .
  • After LPG, Capacity of states to answer various business problems was limited . Bureaucracy failed to answer many questions related to emerging sectors. Hence, government decided to rope in Technocrats via Technocratic Regulators 

Important Regulatory Bodies (Prelims Point of view)

IRDA Regulator of Insurance Sector  
SEBI SEBI = Securities and Exchange Board of India
– Regulator of Equity Market
 
CCI CCI = Competition Commission of India
To check monopolistic tendencies in the market
 
TRAI TRAI = Telecom Regulatory Authority of India
Regulator of  telecom sector
 
CERC – CERC = Central Electricity Regulatory Commission
– Constituted under electricity act of 2003 Statutory body
 
FMC – FMC = Forward Market Commission
– It was  Regulator of Commodity Market Dissolved in budget(2015) .  Now Commodity market to be regulated by SEBI  
AERB Atomic Energy Regulatory Board  
 
FSSAI Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) 
Established under Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 
Created for laying down science based standards for articles of food   

Issues related to Regulatory bodies in India

Based on Damodran Committee (formed in 2012 when World Bank ranked India 132 on Ease of Doing Business) and 2nd Administrative Reforms Commission.

1 . Independence

  • Functional independence is  curbed by dependence of regulators on concerned line ministries for
    • budgetary allocations
    • sanctioning of staff appointments 

2. Over-regulation

  • India  is  an  over regulated  country,  but  many  of  the  regulations  are  not  implemented  in  right earnest of complex procedure & outdated regulations

3. Regulatory Gaps

  • Justice BN Srikrishna Committee on Financial Sector Legislative Reforms Commission noted this . Eg : Ponzi Schemes don’t come under any regulation inspite of many regulators in Financial Sector like SEBI, IRDA etc.

4. Accountability

  • US = Regulators are accountable to Congress (legislature)
  • India = Regulators are accountable to Ministries

Parliamentary supervision is ideal form of political accountability because vested interest groups  find it easier to  pressurise the regulator through  ministry 

5. Regulator vs Executive

  • Executive tries to encroach space given to regulators to enforce populistic agendas 
  • Eg : Electricity Sector – State Governments tries to keep charges low in order to keep consumers and farmers lobby happy

6. Overlapping functions

  • Regulatory overlap between different Regulators. Eg : SEBI and Competition Commission of India etc.

7. Lack of Transparency

  •  Regulatory bodies suffer from lack of  transparency.

Future  Course  of  Action

  1. Regulate where it is necessary. Don’t over-regulate the sector because it chokes development (2nd ARC Recommendation)
  2. 2nd ARC has given 5 Principles on which Regulatory Mechanism should be based upon
    • Simplicity
    • Objectivity
    • Transparency
    • Convergence
    • Speedy Disposals
  3. Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) of every proposed regulation  
  4. Ensure  independence  of  regulatory  bodies
  5. Self Regulation is the best form of regulation. Eg : Broadcasting Standards Authority of India
  6. Still large number of sectors are under the regulation of State Departments . Eg : Director General of Civil Aviation under Civil Aviation Ministry etc. Government should move towards Independent Statutory Regulators for all non-strategic sectors.
  7. There should be constant interaction between Regulators and Policy makers and Regulators and other stakeholders so that regulator must be aware of the concerns of stakeholders and also regulator  can explain  the  rationale  of  various  regulatory  decisions.
  8. Reducing  the  overlap  of  jurisdiction  between  the  CCI (Competition Commission)  and  regulators
  9. Introducing  multi-sector  regulators:  To eliminate  proliferation  of  regulatory  commissions , government  is  contemplating  the establishment  of  multi-sector  regulators  for 
    • communications ; 
    • transport;  and 
    • electricity,  fuels  and  gas. 
  10. Constituting  appellate  tribunals  on  the  lines  of  telecom  and  electricity  appellate tribunals

Example : Good Regulator vs Bad Regulators

For regulator to work independently, it must be independent from Executive, Pressure Groups, Industrial Lobbies etc which can pressurise them to get favourable outcomes .

1 . Example of Bad Regulators

  • Forward Market Commission (FMC) : Was regulating Commodity Markets but wasn’t able to stop NSEL Scam .
  • MCI (Medical Council of India) : It’s Chairman Ketan Desai  took bribes to grant clearance to  medical colleges 
  • CERC (Central Electricity Regulatory Commission ) : Explained below.
  • Nuclear Safety Regulatory Authority (NSRA)  : It falls under Department of Atomic Energy (Promoter of any sector cant be its Regulator) Done in Nuclear Energy.
  • FSSAI : Maggi issue

2. Examples of Good Regulators

  • TRAI : Protected Mobile Customers against Mobile Companies
  • CCI : Broke Cartelisation of Cement Companies
  • SEBI : Managed Security Market well (in stark contrast to FMC)

In question such as Independence of Regulators is necessary to regulate sector effectively=> Give example of both good and bad regulators. Don’t just stick to bad ones.

Side Topic : SEBI and how it presents an example of good regulator?

  • Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) works independent in 
    • hiring of professionals
    • Deciding salaries
    • generate finances to run via fee
    • crack down on companies without government pressure.

Side Topic : How CERC lead to downfall of whole electricity sector?

  • CERC = Central Electricity Regulatory Commission
  • CERC has a strength of 55, against sanctioned strength of 80. 
  • CERC has no independent fund and comes under public accounts.
  • There is  ceiling on the salaries of permanent staff

Due to this , although CERC is supposed to pass orders in 90 days of hearing but there are cases awaiting decision for years now. This leads to projects getting stalled, companies coming under financial stress and the subsequent increase in the cost of power.

Hence, inefficient working of regulator has stalled the development of sector .

Administration of Tribal Areas

Administration of  Tribal  Areas

Areas under Schedule 6

Assam 1. North Cachar Hills
2. Karbi Anglong
3. Bodoland
Meghalaya 1. Khasi Hills
2. Jaintia Hills
3. Garo Hills
Tripura Tripura Tribal Areas District
Mizoram 1. Chakma
2. Mara
3. Lai

Need of 6th Schedule

  • Tribes of other states have more or less assimilated with culture of majority of people where they live but Tribes in these states still have their roots in their own culture .
  • Needs to be treated differently . As a result,  sizable autonomy given to them in Governance

Features of 6th Schedule

  • Tribal Areas in these areas to be called Autonomous Districts but fall inside authority of State concerned
  • If more Tribes in Autonomous District ,then Governor can divide district to various Autonomous Regions
  • Each A.D has District Council consisting of 30 members
26 Elected by Universal Adult Franchise . Tenure of 5 years
4 Nominated by Governor and hold office till pleasure of Governor
  • Each Autonomous Region has separate Regional Council
  • Legislative power – District and Regional Councils administers area under them and can make laws on specified matters like land , forest, canal water, shifting agriculture, money lending etc . But  these laws require assent of Governor
  • Councils empowered to collect revenue and impose tax on specified things
  • Acts of Parliament and State assembly don’t apply to these areas or apply with certain modifications

Jan 2019 : Union cabinet approved  constitutional amendment stating that Finance Commission will now “recommend the devolution of financial resources” to the district councils in the Sixth Schedule areas.

Analysis of working of 6th Schedule

  • Representation Issues
    • Demography has changed a lot over last six decades but changes are not effectively represented in the structure of Autonomous District Councils (ADCs)
    • Women need to be represented in them . Unlike in Panchayati Raj Institutions , there isn’t any provision of reservation wrt women
  • Governance Issue
    • Poor quality of governance . Many of them have not codified even the customary laws
    • Corruption and illegal activities –  Some members of autonomous council are helping the extremist group factions. North Cachar autonomous council is under scrutiny of CBI and NIA
  • Financial Issues
    • Financial dependence on the state and centre for funds
    • No provisions regarding Audit of accounts 
    • State Finance Commission is not constitutionally bound to include Terms of References wrt Schedule 6 Areas . They don’t get any grants like PRIs and hence are always under Financial Crunch
  • Issues wrt Elections
    • No  express  provision  for  holding  election  within 6 months  of  the  date  of  dissolution  of  a  District Councils.
    • In elections , no Model Code of Conduct and no expenditure ceiling.  
    • Anti Defection Laws are not applicable.
  • No further decentralisation – ADCs have not gone for further decentralisation and not formed Autonomous Regions and Regional Councils in case there are more tribes  .  For example in Bodo Territorial Area districts, there is only district council although there are other Tribes in that region too.
  • Concept  of  Sixth  Schedule   has  encouraged ethnic  divisions. 

Measures to improve working of 6th Schedule

  • Training and capacity building of Autonomous District Council Members for healthy governance.
  • Regular elections should be conducted by State Election Commissions
  • Create a permanent watchdog with powers to order inquiry and initiate actions when irregularities are discovered
  • Many activities are undertaken by State Government as well as District Councils. This duplication is a major source of confusion and obfuscates responsibility. Clarity of functions and roles is needed.
  • Venkatachaliah  Commission,  2002 (recommendations)
    • Audit of accounts  by  the  Comptroller and  Auditor-General  of  India.
    • Make  the  Anti-Defection  Law   applicable  to  the  Sixth  Schedule areas.
  • Ramachandran  Committee, 2007 (recommendations)
    • Remove overlaps  in  functional  responsibilities  between  the States  and District  Councils.
    • Need to constitute State Finance Commission for recommending ways to devolve  funds to District Councils & Regional Councils
  • 14th Finance Commission (recommendations)
    • Finances of 6th Schedule Areas should also be looked at par with Panchayati Raj Institutions

125th Constitutional Amendment Bill

Bill Following are the issues the bill seeks to address:

  • Bill proposes that Finance Commission will now recommend the financial devolution to the Autonomous District council.
  • Bill increases the number of members in some council  (more than 30) considering demands  that some councils were not able to represent major and minor tribes
  • Reserves at least one-third of the seats for women in the village and municipal councils.

Scheduled Areas

Scheduled Areas

Constitutional Debate

  • There  was  fierce  debate  regarding  the  provisions  of  the  5th  &  6th  Schedule  in  the  Constitutional Assembly. 
    • Advocates of Assimilation argued – Creation of Autonomous  Districts  and  Regional  Councils  will lead  to  their disassociation  from  the  rest of  the country & centre-state relationship  should  not  be  altered  for  the  Tribal  and  Scheduled  Areas. 
    • Some were also  in  the  favour  of  complete  isolation  of  the  tribals.
  • However,  the  provisions  of  the  fifth  and  sixth schedule aim  at  gradual  integration  of the tribal  into  the mainstream  with their own  pace  and  wish.  This  was further stamped when Nehru laid down the Policy of Panchsheel for Tribals. 
Schedule 5 Administration and Control of Scheduled Areas and Scheduled Tribes in any  states except four states –Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, Mizoram(AMTM)
Schedule 6 Administrations of Tribal Areas in four states of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, Mizoram
(we will discuss about 6th Schedule in next article. For more, Click here)

Introduction

  • Interests of Schedule Tribes outside the North East are protected by Fifth Schedule
  • 5th Schedule is concerned with administration of Scheduled Areas and Scheduled Tribes in any  states except four states –Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, Mizoram (AMTM) Scheduled area has more than 50 percent tribal population.

Why this category was created?

  • Scheduled Areas need to be treated differently from other areas in country because they are inhabited by aboriginal who are socially and economically backward and special efforts are needed to  improve their condition.

Features of Schedule 5

  • President is empowered to declare an area to be Scheduled Area 
  • Executive Power of state extend to Scheduled Area but Governor has special responsibility 
  • Each State having Scheduled Area has to establish Tribal Advisory Council (TAC) to advise on welfare and advancement of Scheduled Tribes consisting of not more than 20 members,  3/4 of whom must be Tribal Representatives in State  Legislative assembly (Prelims  : TAC is constitutional body)
  • State having ST population but not SA can also constitute TAC if President so desire
  • Governor can direct that particular act of Parliament or State Legislature is not applicable there or applicable with certain modifications and exceptions + Can make regulations for peace and good governance in consultation with TAC  after getting assent of President which include transfer of land among members, regulate business of money lending etc
  • Central Government also give Special Financial Assistance to States under Article  275 for implementation of schemes for development of STs
  • President  should appoint a Commission to Report on Administration of these areas at any time but compulsorily after 10 years. Two commissions till date
1960 UN Dhebar Commission
2002 Dilip Singh Bhuria Commission
  • Amendment of Schedule 5 : Parliament may from time to time by law (ie Simple Majority) amend by way of addition, variation or repeal any of provision of this schedule . No such law shall be deemed to be Amendment under Article 368

Analysis – Demand of the areas under 5th Schedule to Transfer to 6th Schedule

  1. Fifth  Schedule  applies  to  an  overwhelming  majority  of  India’s  tribes  in  9  States.  But,  Fifth Schedule  has  failed  to  create desired  impact  because  it  has  never  been  applied  the way  it should have been. 
  2. 5th Schedule has limited  autonomy provisions  compared to 6th  Schedule.
  3. Issues with TAC:
    • In fifth schedule, tribal advisory council have only advisory powers . Unlike  the autonomous district councils (ADCs), which have legislative and financial powers .
    • No clarity on the composition of TAC, especially the remaining one-fourth of the membership
    • Sometimes cabinet ministers from tribal communities are also appointed as members, which is a conflict of interest because the person heading the state cabinet also chairs the TAC.
  4. ADCs have considerable autonomy
    • They receive funds from consolidated fund of  India to finance schemes for development, health, education, roads
    • Have real powers to make laws

Otherwise  the  implementation  of  PESA  needs  to  be  done  earnestly.  It  has  been  suffering  from  severely  poor implementation,  with  states  showing  disdain  towards  the  Act.  

States with Schedule 5 Areas

Rajasthan Andhra Pradesh
Gujarat Odisha
Madhya Pradesh Jharkhand
Maharashtra Himachal Pradesh
Chhattisgarh  

2018 : Area under Schedule 5 has been extended in Rajasthan.  Scheduled Tribes residing in Banswara, Dungarpur, Pratapgarh, and partial areas of Udaipur, Rajsamand, Chittorgarh, Pali and Sirohi districts of Rajasthan will get benefits of protective measures available under the Fifth Schedule

Special case of Delhi

Special case of Delhi

Present  Status Autonomy  of  Delhi

  • Constitutionally,  Delhi  is  a  Union  Territory (UT) (since  1991) with  a legislature.    
  • Generally all the budgets of UT’s without Legislature is a part of Home Ministry Budget . Hence,  their financial powers are limited . But,  Delhi  has  unlimited Financial  Powers  as  long as  it  is  generating  its  own resources.     

69th Constitutional Amendment , 1991

69th Constitutional Amendment Act, 1991 provided following provisions

  • Administrator was designated as Lt. Governor
  • Strength of Legislative Assembly Fixed at 70 & Strength of council of Ministers to 7 (10%)
  • Chief Minister is to be appointed by President(not Lt. Governor) & other ministers by President on advice of Chief Minister
  • Lt. Governor   can promulgate ordinance during recess of Assembly but with prior permission of President

Restrictions  on  power  and  authority

  • At  present, Delhi  Assembly,  like  other  State  Assemblies,  has  power  to make  laws on all subjects  except  on  3 (PPL) ie:
    1. Public  order
    2. Police  
    3. Land  
  • Legislations  on  matters  related  to  Municipal  Governance  require the  consent  of  Lt Governor,  Union government  and  President  .  So,  the  Municipal  Corporation  is  not  under  the  full  control  of the  Delhi  government.  

Debate – Statehood for Delhi

2020 During Delhi elections, this was the major issue raised by Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)  
June 2018 Delhi Legislature passed resolution to make Delhi a Full State  
2016 Proposal was to make Delhi a state with certain safeguards
1. Keep NDMC (Lutyens and Embassies) under Union Government
2. Appoint Governor instead of Lt Governor
3. Special Cadre of Officers for Delhi

Arguments for  statehood to Delhi

  1. Due to present status , Delhi  Development  Authority  (DDA),  Police  and  Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) are not under Delhi Government
  2. Multiplicity of Governance leading to lack of accountability : With such an overlap of responsibilities, Citizens cant hold governments accountable
    • Union Government : Lt Governor, Police, DDA
    • State Government : Water, Electricity, Transport, Health, Education etc
    • Local Government (MCD) : Birth Death Registration, Sanitation etc
  3. Delhi  has population of  2 crore  (more  than  10  full-fledged states), but democratic aspirations of the people of Delhi cant be met without being granted Statehood
  4. To update infrastructure, Delhi   needs  to  take  recourse  to  market  borrowing  but,  not  being  a state,  cannot  do  so.  
  5. Evolution Process must reach conclusion : Union Territories were created with the idea  to provide a transitional status to become states. With time, Goa, Manipur, Himachal Pradesh and Tripura have been granted statehood.

Arguments against  full  statehood (with  way forward)

  1. The capital region has diplomatic areas and other institutions of national interests. 
  2. It  is  not possible  for  the  central  government  to  come  under  a  state  government’s administrative  jurisdiction.
  3. Constituent Assembly Debates : This issue was raised for the first time by Pattabhi Sitaramayya in 1947 in the Constituent Assembly. But B.R. Ambedkar, Jawaharlal Nehru and others opposed it.
  4. To  ensure  police  accountability  to  Delhi,  statehood  may  not  be  necessary.  An Oversight  Committee  consisting  of  Delhi  CM and Union Minister  can  address  local  specific  problems.  
  5. Macro Planning  for  the  National  Capital  requires  long-term  thinking  and  sound technical  advice,  which  the Ministry  of  Urban  Development  is  far  better equipped  to  provide.  

International Practices

Washington DC In  America,  a  district  (capital)  was  created  that  the  federal  government  could administer  itself  for  its  convenience
– At  the  same  time,   local issues  were   relegated  to  its  local  mayoral  government. But Police in Washington is under Mayor . 
 
Canberra Canberra doesn’t have a same legislative INDEPENDENCE as other Australian States and Australian Governor General is the head of Australia’s capital territory
 
Beijing In China , Central Government exercises more control not only over the city of Beijing ,the capital but also over important cities of Shanghai , Tianjin and  Chongqing. 

Given the global experience & other reasons sited above,  it would not be prudent to give full statehood to Delhi. Nevertheless, it is important to recognize the genuine rights of the citizens and balance them against the equally legitimate concerns of national nature.

Supreme Court Judgement : Is Lt. Governor bound by advise of Chief Minister?

Issue that Governor is bound to act on the aid & advice of Council of Ministers is settled fact by Supreme Court Judgements . But whether   extends to Union Territory of Delhi as well , is matter of debate due to unique position of Delhi (& Pondicherry as well) under Constitution. 

Issue

  • 2015: AAP Government vs LG Najeeb Jung. Conflict over bureaucratic appointments, including who should be promoted as the chief Secretary of Delhi.
  • AAP government blaming the LG of not clearing the schemes/initiatives/files related to health, education, PDS, transport, etc. and routinely referring every matter to President.

2018 Supreme Court Judgement

  • Supreme Court judgement in the Government of NCT Delhi vs Union of India case, overturned the August 2016 judgment 
  • Resolving the dispute over the demarcation of powers between the Union Government and the Government of Delhi, the Supreme Court laid down a few key principles:
    • Lt Governor is bound by the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers in all areas except 3 exempted subjects
    • Lt Governor will be advised by Union government on the matters of public order, police and land.
    • When difference of opinion arises on “any matter”, the Lt Governor can’t take a decision on its own or force a decision on the cabinet. He has to refer such matter to the President of India. But, LG should not act in a mechanical manner without applying mind and forward every decision of the Council of Ministers to the President of India.

Analysis

  • In a democracy , it is the will of democratically elected government that prevails. LG can only act as check on the abuse of power and cant become power into itself. 

Feb 2019 : 2 Judge Supreme Court Bench ruling

After July 2018 Judgement, it was thought that tussles between Union and State has been resolved .

  • In a setback to Delhi Government, Supreme Court has ruled that Anti – Corruption Bureau is under the control of Lieutenant Governor which by extension means the center .
  • On the question of who has the powers of transfers and postings of officers , both judges differed and hence matter has been referred to a larger bench.