GS-3: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilisation of resources, growth, development and employment.
Question 1: India needs to push for formalisation because Policy efforts to formalise the economy are not enough in the case of India. Examine.
Approach: Introduction - Informal Sector in India - Reason - Way forward.
● Since 2016, the Government has made several efforts to formalise the economy. Currency demonetisation, introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), digitalisation of financial transactions and enrolment of informal sector workers on numerous government Internet portals are all meant to encourage the formalisation of the economy.
Informal Sector in India:
● Despite witnessing rapid economic growth over the last two decades, 90% of workers in India have remained informally employed, producing about half of GDP.
● Combining the International Labour Organisation’s widely agreed upon template of definitions with India’s official definition, the share of formal workers in India stood at 9.7% (47.5 million).
● Official PLFS data shows that 75% of informal workers are self-employed and casual wage workers with average earnings lower than regular salaried workers.
● The fiscal perspective has a long lineage in India going back to tax reforms initiated in the mid-1980s.
● Early on, in an attempt to promote employment, India protected small enterprises engaged in labour intensive manufacturing by providing them with fiscal concessions and regulating large-scale industry by licensing.
● Industries thriving without paying taxes are only the tip of the informal sector’s iceberg.
● Due to inefficiency, such measures led to many labour-intensive industries getting diffused into the informal/unorganised sectors.
● Further, they led to the formation of dense output and labour market inter-linkages between the informal and formal sectors via subcontracting and outsourcing arrangements.
● In the textile industry, the rise of the power looms at the expense of composite mills in the organised sector and handlooms in the unorganised sector best illustrates the policy outcome.
● While such policy initiatives may have encouraged employment, bringing the enterprises into the tax net has been a challenge.
● Industries thriving without paying taxes are only the tip of the informal sector’s iceberg. What remains hidden is the large number of low productivity informal establishments working as household and self-employment units which represent “petty production”.
● Survival is perhaps the biggest challenge for most informal workers (and their enterprises), and precarity defines their existence.
● Political and economic reasons operating at the regional/local level in a competitive electoral democracy are responsible for this phenomenon, too.
● Policy efforts directed at bringing in the tip of the informal sector’s iceberg into the fold of formality by alleviating legal and regulatory hurdles are laudable.
● The economy will get formalised when informal enterprises become more productive through greater capital investment and increased education and skills are imparted to its workers.
● A mere registration under numerous official portals will not ensure access to social security, considering the poor record of implementation of labour laws.
GS-2: Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions; Structure, organisation and functioning of the Judiciary
Question 2: Corruption is as old as society. Corruption has become an acceptable way of life and judges don’t fall from heaven. In this context, what are the reasons behind Corruption in the Indian Judiciary System? Suggests for reducing corruption in judiciary.
Corruption in the judiciary shakes the foundation of democracy and the Rule of Law and also a threat to constitutional governance. To detect corruption has always been a big problem.
According to the Transparency International, judicial corruption in India is attributable to factors like delays in the disposal of cases, shortage of judges and complex judicial procedures.
● The judicial system is costly, and it's difficult for the common man to afford it. Normally people find it tough to seek relief, as litigation is time consuming, which is beyond the limits of common people.
Difficult Impeachment process:
● The Supreme Court of India has ruled that no first information reports (FIR) are often registered against a judge, nor, a criminal investigation initiated without an approval of the judge of the Supreme Court.
Slow and long process:
● India's system has the most important backlog of pending cases within the world with as many as 30 million pending cases.
● Of them, over four million are supreme court cases, 65,000 Supreme lawsuits. This number is continuously increasing and this itself shows the inadequacy of the system.
Illiterate and poor people:
● The poor and illiterate mens in India with the judiciary results in his reaction that the court-room is an alien-land where procedures and technicalities, instead of truth and morality, rule
Contempt of court act:
● On top of all this protection to the judiciary is the power of contempt of Court, which has become a potent weapon to suppress public criticism or maybe honest assessment of the judiciary.
Lack of transparency
● The large problem facing the Indian judiciary is the lack of transparency. The Right to Information (RTI) Act is completely out of the ambit of the Indian system. Thus, within the functioning of the judiciary, the many issues just like the quality of justice and accountability aren't known properly.
Suggestions for reducing corruption in judiciary
● Use of technology- A review of how court records are handled and therefore the introduction of recent tracking methods can eliminate much of petty corruption existing in lower courts.
● Reduce the gap Provide alternative methods of dispute redressal to lighten burden on courts.Increase number of judicial officers and number of means courts. Create a vigilance cell for redressal of public grievances.
● Making the judiciary accountable Judges must be subject to review. Judges must follow a code of conduct. Bar associations must act against corrupt members. A public body must keep an eye fixed on the judiciary.
● An Indian judicial service must be created. The proposed National Judicial Commission should have powers to fireside judges. Judges should declare their assets and people of their family.
● Introduce Judicial Inquiry and Audit Research Department to enquire into how, thanks to corrupt practises, cases are multiplied or delayed.
● Contempt of Court Act should be removed or it should be strictly implemented in letter and spirit against corrupt Magistrates, Judges who want only to abuse the facility.
● Bangalore Principles of Judicial Conduct identify six core values of the judiciary – Independence, Impartiality, Integrity, Propriety, Equality, Competence and Diligence
● The SC in Swapnil Tripathi v Supreme Court of India (2018) has ruled in favour of opening up the apex court through live-streaming
● Supreme Court Portal For Assistance in Court's Efficiency (SUPACE) is an AI portal aimed at data mining, tracking progress of cases, legal research and other uses to ensure timely delivery of justice by judges
The Court has held that in such a situation, it must act on its own without waiting for the Attorney General or any person to move the Court. If not done, citizens’ faith in the integrity of the institution will be seriously eroded.