UPSC IAS The Hindu and Indian Express Current Affairs 04 Jan 2017

UPSC IAS The Hindu and Indian Express Current Affairs 04 Jan 2017 highlights are:

  • CivilsPrep – The Hindu Editorials Perspective Analysis

La excellence IAS

My notes 04 Jan 2017

Two takes on democracy

  1. What is section 123(3) of the representation of the act?
  2. What are the legal issues in interpretation of the act?
  3. How did supreme court settle the matter?
  4. What si the significance of this Judgement?

Secularising the election

  1. How can we see the recent judgement of SC from secularism perspective?

Anudge to borrowers

  1. What is marginal cost of funds based lending rate?
  2. What are the circumstances that made SBI to decrease interest rates?
  3. How decrease in interest rates will impact consumer demand and economic growth.

Death  of  a  naturalist

  1. Who is peter Jackson? What is his contribution to Indian wildlife?

Modi for scientific ‘connect’

  1. Think on these – what according to you is the meaning of these words?
  2. scientific social responsibility
  3. PPP model in establishing laboratories in India
  4. Hub and spoke model

Return of the cold war?

  1. Do you think cold war between Russia and USA is on a new start?
  2. What are the major issues of conflict between USA and Russia?



Two takes on democracy

Section 123(3) of Representation of people act – Section 123(3) of the Representation of people act ,defines a corrupt electoral practice as follows: “The appeal by a candidate or his agent or by any other person with the consent of acandidate or his election agent to vote or refrain from voting for any person on the ground of his religion, race, caste, community….”

SC has interpreted the word “his” in the act refers to both electoral candidate and the voter.

It mean a candidate can not ask for people to vote on the basis of his or their caste, religion, language, race and region. It amounts to corruption and can lead to disqualification of the candidate.


Reasons for the Judgement

1.An Individual shall be informed and reasoned in his public life. But religion and caste factors bring in irrationality. An election that is fought on these issues is a distortion of democracy.

  1. Democracy to survive there must be agreement on certain basic essentials that hold citizens together. Religion, caste, race are inherently divisive.
  2. Out constitution has explicitly stated for secularism as its goal.


Counter arguments

  1. Legal issues need to be seen in their social context. A section of society in India has suffered deprivation on the basis of caste, religion. Removing them from political debate can lead to removal of an individual from context he os living in.
  2. Caste, religion has become factors for social mobilization for weak and marginalized sections. Social mobilisation is a powerfulinstrument of bringing marginalised groupsinto the mainstream.

Anudge to borrowers

SBI has cut Marginal costs of funds based lending rate by 90 basis points. It will make the loans cheaper and can rise the consumer demand. Increased deposits with banks have given a room for SBI to decrease its lending rates.


Question of the day

Do you think caste and politics need to be removed from political discourse. Discuss in the light of recent supreme court judgements.






  • sushant ohdar

    Hi, very good answer, the Karl Marx quote provides USP. Keep writing. Thanks

  • sushant ohdar

    I like this approach of giving answer to the questionnaire. If some more points can be included then it will be very good.

  • sushant ohdar

    Good answer. Can be improved if we can provide one or two reference with current scenarios.

  • ST_grt

    Very well drafted..

  • Twinkle
  • Twinkle
  • chetan

    download link not showing todays notes detail. it is showing 31st dec details….please check it out

  • Rahul

    You are posting questions in notes.It is very useful in self improvement as i can not explain in word the importance of……..Thank You a lot.

  • Dhara
  • Prashant
  • Pavan
  • Chandu

    Q. Do you think CASTE and RELIGION need to be removed from POLITICAL DISCOURSE. Discuss in the light of recent SUPREME COURT JUDGEMENT.

    Caste and religion are deeply rooted in the Indian society. Often political parties misused these emotions to gain electoral advantage. In the light of this, SC made a wider interpretation of Sec.123(3) of RPA,1951. Accordingly, any appeal to vote or refrain from voting on ground of religion, caste, language would be a corrupt practise.

    Reference to caste and religion in political discourses had both positive and negative implications. It helps in creation of collective voice for the weaker sections. This could be used for their empowerment and fight against any arbitrary actions. Dr.B.R.Ambedkar founded Scheduled Castes Federation, a political party to fight for the rights of Dalits with this motive.

    On the other hand, such references are being misused to convert electorate into vote banks. Politicians are using caste and religion as emotional weapons and controlling people. Sometimes, such appeals are inciting violent protests either damaging public property or against other caste,religion. Paradoxically, such politicians if part of government, shall be entrusted to act according to Art.14 and Art.15

    It is clear that the motive behind the usage of caste and religion defines its moral validity. Appeal to caste and religion during election campaigning is mostly to gain mandate. So, SC judgement in this case is a welcome move for purifying electoral process. At the same time, Weaker sections must also be given a chance to stage their views politically. Hence, such blanket ban on using caste and religion in political discourse shall be limited to electoral campaigning.

  • Fighter
  • ST_grt

    Supreme Court in its recent judgement with regard to Section 123(3) of Representation of People Act held that caste, religion, race etc. of candidate , his agents or of voters can not be grounds of appeal to elector either to vote or refrain from voting for a candidate.
    Though the judgement was based on the argument that appeals based on caste , religion , race etc, may be used by the candidate as instruments of divisive politics to garner votes for himself but at the same time the fact that these traits are inherent in Indian society can not be denied. Moreover our constitution has safeguarded the rights of minorities and various communities who have been discriminated for centuries due to in-built caste structure of the society. These people need representation in positions of power to raise the issues of injustice done to them, which can only be possible after speaking and deliberating about those issues. However there are some political parties who use these considerations as a part of their agenda to mobilize the masses for their vested interest which often results in social disharmony.
    Considering both arguments, it can be concluded that caste and politics can not be removed completely but the use of these considerations in political discourse should be regulated. There should be principled distance between them.

  • rock1 ias
  • Gargi

    The Supreme Court in recent verdict on section 123(3) of the Representation of People Act upheld that seeking votes in the name of caste, religion, race, language and race is a corrupt practice and can lead to disqualification.
    Arguments in favour
    • It will maintain the purity of the election process and ensure that it is not vitiated by communist and separatist tendencies.
    • Caste based politics leads to voting based on emotions rather than on rational interests.
    • Focus of the politicians will be more on developmental activities rather than seeking votes based on caste
    Counter argument
    • Historically various section of society in India have faced caste based discrimination. Removing them from political discussion will hamper their mobilization into the mainstream.
    • It will diminish the opportunities for the minority section to acquire the political power.
    • The RPA and many other provisions of penal law already regulate hate speech or speech that produces enmity.
    • It will undermine the right to free speech.
    The expanded definition under Article (123) of the RPA might threaten the democratic politics. Caste is not just an ideology rather a way of life in India. The courts should provide with guidance on of what kinds of appeals will count as corrupt practices rather than completely separating caste and politics.

  • Arvind Kumar

    Recently the SC widely interpreted the pronoun “his” in the Section 123(3) of the RP Act,1951 and held that seeking votes on the basis of caste,religion, race,etc. of the electoral candidates or voters would amount to “corrupt practices”.

    Why Caste should be separated from politics?
    A)Caste gives birth to vote bank-based politics thus neglecting the interests of minorities in the democracy.
    B)The constitution seeks to achieve political equality(Art.14) and caste-based politics is contrary to this.
    C)the removal of caste from politics would result in casting votes on regional and developmental issues.
    Why castes should not be separated from politics?
    A)The caste-system in Indian society has been one of the major factors for social discrimination of the weaker sections of society,which must be expressed in politics to root out their
    B)Politics is a means to bring equality and inclusive development in a democratic society.For example – reservation system to uplift weaker sections of the society.

    Thus,there is a need to reform the electoral process but it should not be done without realising the ground realities of society. Marginalised groups should be given opportunities to root out their problems.

  • Rhythm 2017

    Caste based discrimination is a Vedic age legacy of India. In its recent verdict SC with a 4-3 majority declared that the word “his” in the section 123(3) of RPA Act, refers to both electoral candidate and the voter. With this decision a candidate can not ask for people to vote on the basis of his or their caste, religion, language, race and region as now it will amount to corruption and may lead to disqualification.
    This move is seen as a positive step because:
    1. The elections were entirely driven on the basis of religion and caste, sidelining the progressive and developmental agenda
    2. Improper methods to mobilize certain caste or religious minority to win votes. for e.g. threat of majority religious communities.
    3. Such religious propaganda was in conflict with the secular nature of our country.
    But this move is also criticized by some group because:
    1. Religious and caste mobilization during election is the only chance to win representation of minorities.
    2. caste and religious identity is in the very fabric of Indian society and it must not be taken away from them.
    B. R. Ambedkar’s was also in favour of giving caste political representation. Caste based representation is desirable until the society comes at equal stands with respect to minorities. Such verdicts is a positive move only when the legislature is unbiased in making laws without sidelining the minorities.

  • BAT

    Recently constitution bench of Supreme Court held that appeals on the basis of religion, caste etc of ‘ candidate’ as well as ‘voter’ to garner votes comes under corrupt practices defined under Section 123(3) of RPA. It again opened the public discourse on whether religion and caste should be refrained from political discourse or not.
    Arguments in favour of inclusion-
    1) Any law of the land should reflect its social context. Religion and caste has been in the roots of Indian society. Barring the discourse can dilute the identities of people especially marginalised sections.
    2) Political mobilization of different castes, religions lead to social mobilization which is very important for providing opportunities to marginalised sections and their upliftment.
    Arguments against-
    1) In public life individuals is expected to be rational, reasoned but religious appeals provide for the emotive component which is against this principle.
    2) For democracy to be sustainable elements causing social fragmentation need to be avoided. Religion and caste causes separatist tendencies by causing hatred.
    3) Secularism is a constitutional value which need to be protected.
    According to BR Ambedkar Fraternity arises from Civil liberties and rights which need to be protected. In order to protect it any societal fragmentation need to be avoided. SC along with legislature should clarify the laws pertaining to religious and caste issues and should also clarify the practicality of these laws rather than just purposive interpretation.

  • shaikshah valli

    thank u sir

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