IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


22nd May, 2020


A violation of right found, but no remedy given

Court Observation

1. Supreme court delivered the verdict on the case of 4G restoration in Jammu and Kashmir.

2. Court refrained from restoring the 4G services in J& K.

3. Court has ordered central government to set up a special committee to look more into the issue.

4. The special committee would be headed by the Union Home Secretary and comprising the Secretary of Department of Communications, Government of India and the Chief Secretary of the Union Territory (UT) of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) to examine the prevailing circumstances in the UT and determine whether the restrictions on internet services should continue.

5. Court has sought to balance national security and human rights.

Petitioner’s argument:

1. The restriction on 4G internet in the times of COVID-19 restricts the right to business, education, health, and speech and expression of the people of J&K.

2. The restriction makes it impossible for individuals in J&K to access information, government advisories and orders relating to COVID-19.

3. It makes it impossible for doctors to have video consultations and prevents the doctors in the UT from gaining access to the latest studies and treatments of COVID-19.

4. It violates rights to justice as court are functioning only through video conferencing.

5, Citizens are not able to comply with the work from home orders of MHA. It violates freedom to right to trade under article 19(1) (g).

6. The ban on 4G violates the verdict given in Anuradha Bhasin judgement. It doesn’t pass the test of proportionality and rationality.

7. Court has held that any shutdown of Internet services must be done with clear reasoning spelt out. But, it has not happened.

8. Court has also said that Internet should be shutdown where there is threat to law and order and not in the complete state but the services are banned in complete state.

Government argument:

1. It is not possible to provide 4G services in the region because of the prevailing security situation in J&K and the use of the internet by insurgents and terrorists to spread violence.

2. There is no restriction over broadband and fixed line internet.

3. Government is taking alternate measures to provide information relating to COVID-19 and for the education of students in the region.

Concern with Court ruling

1. It violated principle of natural justice by relegating the decision making authority to an executive committee.

2. Under article 32, enforcement of the fundamental rigthts cannot be transferred to executives. This is abdication of court’s responsibility.

3. Court himself has acknowledged that in this pandemic, there is need to have 4G services and better data speed in the whole Union Territory.

4. Court accepted that the government orders did not pass the conditions of internet shutdown laid in Anuradha Bhasin judgement.

5. Court did not go in detail that how could terrorist action take place when there is severe restriction on internet is already in place.

Anuradha Bhasin Judgement:

- The goal behind a restriction should be legitimate.

- The degree and scope of a restriction should be proportionate what was actually necessary to combat an emergency.

- The State should resort to the least restrictive measure while taking into consideration the facts and circumstances.

- The freedoms of speech, expression and conducting business on the Internet are fundamental rights, integral to Article 19 of the Constitution and subject to reasonable restrictions.

- State cannot restrict or deny free speech on the Internet because the medium can circulate information widely.

- The right to free speech and expression includes the right to disseminate information.

- Mandatory for the government to publish each and every one of its orders that crippled the fundamental freedoms of over seven million Kashmiris

Way Forward

- Principle over policy and consistency over randomness are the lodestar tenets of moral courage.

- Court must draw a clear line between rights and remedies.

- Many times court has given remedy without articulating the violated rights or didn’t give any remedy despite acknowledging violation of rights.

Reference: https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/a-violation-of-right-found-but-no-remedy-given/article31643824.ece


Problems farmers face are rooted in structural constraints, require regulatory intervention

Last week, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman signalled the Union government’s intention to enact a new central law that would override existing state regulations that restrict the farmer from legally selling to anyone other than a buyer licensed by the local Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC). The decision to push for a central law comes after dissatisfaction with two decades of partial and uneven reforms by different states.


Structural weakness in farming:

1. Dominant narratives is that farmers are forced to sell their produce only to licensed APMC traders. But, the reality is that even today the majority of Indian farmers, especially small and marginal cultivators, sell their produce to small-scale and largely unlicensed traders and intermediaries in the village.

2. 23,000 rural periodic markets (or haats) have suffered neglect.

3. Deregulation in Horticulture market didn’t lead to entry of private players. They are still sold to local traders.

4. Limitations of private players to procure selective crops at selective seasons in selective qualities revealed the mandi’s comparative advantage as a permanent multi-buyer, multi-commodity market for all local producers.

5. Small scale traders exist in Indian market because they provide loans, insurance to the multiple needs of farmers and firms across the interconnected domains of production, marketing, processing and consumption.

6. Farmers will not be in a position to exercise any newly granted regulatory freedom in the market if they cannot overcome these constraints.

Challenges in APMC:

1. Obtaining a licence for a new entrant — whether a regional trader, processor, national or multinational corporation, or farmer producer organisation — has most often proved to be a bureaucratic nightmare and a costly affair.

2. Mandi committees have restricted competition.


1. It requires location-specific policies, well-directed investment, and well-functioning agricultural institutions.

4. It requires a great deal of consensus, coordination and capacity among the states.

5. The 2017 Doubling Farmers Income Report estimates that in addition to the current 6,676 principal and sub-market yards under APMCs (also woefully limited in terms of infrastructure) India needs over 3,500 additional wholesale markets.

6. The new allocation towards market infrastructure must be fully utilised to build up an appropriately designed physical marketing ecosystem, especially in remote regions.

7. This process should engage deeply with farmers and traders in each location to avoid misdirected and misplaced infrastructure and assets.

8. This is where regulatory reform to remove conflicts of interests, enable the entry of new buyers, and facilitate the flow of trade both within and outside the mandi system is absolutely crucial.

9. There is a need for a regulatory architecture that enables both new and existing systems to respond, adapt, and compete.

10. New technologically advanced solution will respond if they manage to address the real constraints that farmers face on the ground, especially access to credit, inputs, storage, transport, and timely payments.

Case Study of Bihar:

1. Bihar’s repeal of its APMC Act in 2006, does not necessarily transform agricultural markets and spur competition.

2. There was little uptake in direct procurement by formal players in the state.

3. When corporations entered the maize market in a big way, they chose to buy from larger traders and aggregators and not from farmers.

4. Most farmers have seen little change in marketing practice and continue to sell to village traders as they had done before the repeal.

Case Study of MP and Karnataka:

1. In the early 2000s, when MP granted ITC a licence to set up procurement hubs outside mandi yards, farmers not only gained from price competition, but also from electronic weighing and quick payments, as mandis upgraded in response.

2. They chose to bring regulatory reforms rather than repeal.

3. But ITC’s procurement channel was understandably restricted to select commodities (and qualities), seasons and farms within its own commercial strategy.


Regulatory reform to increase competition must not degenerate into re-regulation that unduly favours large-scale consolidation and channel control by erecting new barriers to entry and operation for agro-commercial MSMEs.

We must recognise and strengthen the diversity, dynamism, enterprise, and resilience of India’s agricultural markets.

Reference: https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/apmc-reform-law-nirmala-sitharaman-coronavirus-package-farmers-6421502/



Bois Locker Room, a reflection of an existing mindset’


Leaked lewd chats from ‘Bois Locker Room’, an Instagram group run by some teenagers, have raised serious questions about the mindset of youngsters, their use of social media and the way forward.

Reasons behind it:

1. While girls are imparted with some amount of sex education when they start their menstrual cycle, for boy’s sex is often a “forbidden topic”.

2. At teenage boys, are curious and they have not been given healthy sensitisation about sex, women and things related to sexual health.

3. Rampant misogyny: People like to sexually objectify women and laugh on sexist jokes.

4. Children are observing adults at home and accordingly developing their attitudes and patterns of behaviour (Role of Family: GS4 Very good point).

5. There is greater role of Bollywood in shaping the attitude of men.

6. We don’t take consent in our homes. We just order. It’s how we communicate to our children also. (Role of Family: GS4 Very good point)

Reference: https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-miscellaneous/tp-others/bois-locker-room-a-reflection-of-an-existing-mindset/article31646184.ece



COVID-19 impact: Odisha promotes contract farming system

About Odisha Ordinance:

- No title, rights, ownership or possession of land or premises or other such property will be transferred in the sponsor.

- Both the loans and advances given by the sponsor to the producer can be recovered from the sale proceeds of the produce and in no case be realised by way of sale or mortgage or lease of the land.

- The government will constitute a “Contract Farming and Services (Promotion and Facilitation) Committee” to review the performance of the contract farming and to make suggestions to the government for its promotion and efficient performance.

About Contract Farming:

- Contract farming involves agricultural production being carried out on the basis of an agreement between the buyer and farm producers.

- Sometimes, it involves the buyer specifying the quality required and the price, with the farmer agreeing to deliver at a future date.

- Contract farming is allowed in most states like Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal under the amended APMC Act, and companies and agencies have to seek permission or license in each state separately.

Advantages of contract farming:

- It will enhance the income of farmers as they will directly sell it to the companies thus eliminating all the middlemen.

- It will help in encouraging agro processing industries as it will help in alleviating concern of raw material and quality.

- It will increase participation of private industries thus creating employment in rural India.

- It will make farming a less risky endeavours as crops of the farmers would already be secured by the contractor.

- It will lead to more scientific farming leading to higher yield.

Reference: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/covid-19-impact-odisha-promotes-contract-farming-system/article31644389.ece

Prelims bits:

Gram Sabha:


- Residents of Gurugram’s Nayagaon held a gram Sabha meeting through a video-conferencing app to discuss their issues of cremation ground, post office and women security.


- The term Gram Sabha is defined in the Constitution of India under Article 243(b).

- Gram Sabha is the primary body of the Panchayati Raj system and by far the largest.

- It is a permanent body.

- Gram Sabha is the Sabha of the electorate. All other institutions of the Panchayati Raj like the Gram Panchayat, Block Panchayat and Zilla Parishad are constituted by elected representatives.

- The decisions taken by the Gram Sabha cannot be annulled by any other body. The power to annul a decision of the Gram Sabha rests with the Gram Sabha only.

- It approves the plans, programmes and projects for social and economic development of a village before the Panchayat takes it up for implementation.

Who are the members of Gram Sabha

- Persons, those who are above 18 years of age and living in the village and

- Whose names are included in the electoral rolls for the Panchayat at the village level.