CAA will cause Muslims to face exclusion: U.S panel

GS Paper II

Topic: Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, significant provisions and basic structure.

Mains: Legal rights of the states

What’s the News?

The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) released a fact sheet on the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) which said there are serious concerns that the CAA serves as a protective measure for non-Muslims in case of exclusion from a nationwide National Register of Citizens (NRC).

The Citizenship (Amendment) Act:

  • With this, the government plans to change the definition of illegal migrants.
  • It seeks to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955 to provide citizenship to illegal migrants, from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, who are of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi or Christian extraction. However, the Act doesn’t have a provision for Muslim sects like Shias and Ahmediyas who also face persecution in Pakistan.
  • It also seeks to reduce the requirement of 11 years of continuous stay in the country to six years to obtain citizenship by naturalisation.

The factsheet:

  • A wide variety of political parties, non-governmental organisations, and religious groups also submitted petitions to the Supreme Court challenging the CAA’s constitutionality, arguing that it, in particular, violates Section 14 (equality before the law) of the Indian Constitution.
  • Hindutva political rhetoric questions the legitimacy of Muslims’ Indian citizenship and perpetuates the further marginalisation of this faith community.
  • The document also cited extensively from concerns expressed by the UN reports and observations that have described the controversial CAA as biased against the minority Muslim community of India.
  • It raised serious concerns about comments from various BJP leaders about the party’s intention to create a new, exclusively Hindu country in India.

Its criticism:

India’s secular structure faces a profound crisis. The Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019, must be rejected for three reasons.

  • First, it is against the letter and spirit of our Constitution.
  • Second, it is divisive, deeply discriminatory and violative of human rights.
  • Third, it seeks to impose the politics and philosophy of Hindutva, with its vision of a “Hindu nation”, on our entire people and on the basic structure of our polity.
  • Our constitutional values are in peril, and no person who has faith in our democracy can afford to be silent and uninvolved in what is happening around us.
  • India has several other refugees that include Tamils from Sri Lanka and Hindu Rohingya from Myanmar. They are not covered under the Act.
  • Despite exemption granted to some regions in the Northeastern states, the prospect of citizenship for massive numbers of illegal Bangladeshi migrants has triggered deep anxieties in the states.
  • It will be difficult for the government to differentiate between illegal migrants and those persecuted.

Objections:

  • Many Opposition members had raised objection on how it will be proved if an applicant indeed was persecuted on religious grounds in the neighbouring countries.
  • States would have no role in implementation of the CAA, as citizenship was the domain of the Centre.
  • The only problem will come during the verification stage when the role of local police comes into play even that can be conducted by central agencies.
  • Rather than treat it as a controversy over the question whether a State Assembly is competent to question the law on a matter under the Union government’s domain, the Centre should reflect on the core issue: that the CAA may be in violation of the equality norm and secular principles enshrined in the Constitution.

Legal Rights of the States:

  • Unlike individuals, State governments cannot complain of fundamental rights being violated.
  • Therefore, the Constitution provides that whenever a State feels that its legal rights are under threat or have been violated, it can take the “dispute” to the Supreme Court.
  • States have filed such cases under Article 131 against neighbouring States in respect of river water sharing and boundary disputes.
  • There have been instances of such cases being filed against the Centre too.

Article 131 states that “subject to the provisions of this Constitution, the Supreme Court shall, to the exclusion of any other court, have original jurisdiction in any dispute

(1) Between the Government of India and one or more States; or

(2) Between the Government of India and any State or States on one side and one or more other States on the other; or

(3) Between two or more States, if and in so far as the dispute involves any question (whether of law or fact) on which the existence or extent of a legal right depends.

Provided that the said jurisdiction shall not extend to a dispute arising out of any treaty, agreement, covenant, engagements, and or other similar instrument which, having been entered into or executed before the commencement of this Constitution, continues in operation after such commencement, or which provides that the said jurisdiction shall not extend to such a dispute.

Importance of Article 131:

Art 32 on enforcement of rights has been cited in other CAA petitions. Only Art 131 gives SC original and exclusive jurisdiction to resolve disputes between the Centre and one or more States; between Centre and any State or States on one side and one or more other States on the other; between two or more States.

Conclusion:

  • The chief opposition to the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill is that it discriminates on the basis of religion by identifying only non-Muslims refugees as those who would be eligible for Indian citizenship.
  • While any foreigner can still apply for Indian citizenship, he/she has to follow the normal process of naturalisation – which takes 11 or more years.
  • The CAB is seen by many as a quick move to change the demographics and voters-profile in favour of the ruling party by selective admission of illegal migrants.
  • As per the critics, Citizenship (Amendment) Bill violates Article 14 of the Indian Constitution – the fundamental right which guarantees equality to all persons. This is part of the basic structure of the Constitution and hence cannot be reshaped by any Parliament laws.
  • It is yet to be seen if the Supreme Court allows the selective fast-tracking for Indian Citizenship. The apex court has power even to declare the bill as unconstitutional.
  • The policy towards illegal migrants and refugees needs wider debates and deliberation. However, religion can never be the basis of Indian Citizenship.

Measure mental illness through IQ levels, says CBSE

GS Paper IV

Topic: Emotional intelligence-concepts, and their utilities and application in administration and governance.

Mains: Importance of emotional intelligence in administration

What’s the News?

Central Board of Secondary Education has asked students with mental illnesses to provide medical certificates using their IQ scores to measure their disability level, in order to avail concessions in the examinations.

Reasons behind:

  • The Board had received a number of last minute requests from parents and students claiming learning disabilities, and demanding concessions.
  • To avoid misuse of the concessions, the board wanted to ensure that they give us certificates with the specific levels of disabilities, as stipulated by the Gazette notification issued by the Social Justice Ministry.
  • Otherwise, there is a rush of people coming last minute with incomplete certificates claiming their child has dyslexia and demanding extra time.

Mental illness:

The guidelines define mental illness as a substantial disorder of thinking, mood, perception, orientation or memory that grossly impairs judgment, behaviour, capacity to recognise reality or ability to meet the ordinary demands of life, but does not include retardation which is a condition of arrested or incomplete development of mind of a person, specially characterised by subnormality of intelligence.

Calculating mental illness only through IQ Levels:

  • Disability activists and psychologists have pointed out that this is an inaccurate way to evaluate mental illness.
  • It also does not comply with the guidelines of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016.
  • Many people with mental illness don’t have intellectual disabilities at all. You can have high IQ levels and still have serious psychosocial disabilities.
  • Clinical depression, personality disorders, specific learning disorders, autism — many of these will not show low IQ score, but children may still require examination support of various kinds.
  • Emotional and social skills and adaptive behaviour also needed to be taken into account.

Ashi Sachin, mother of a 15-year old with dysgraphia and needs extra time to write the examination, as well as concessions with regards to internal marking for class notes and record books. His IQ score fluctuates around 100, but he still needs help.

Emotional intelligence:

  • Emotional intelligence is defined as the ability to understand and manage your own emotions, as well as recognize and influence the emotions of those around you.
  • The term was first coined in 1990 by researchers John Mayer and Peter Salovey, but was later popularized by psychologist Daniel Goleman.

Four components of Emotional Intelligence:

Emotional intelligence is typically broken down into four core competencies:

  • Self-awareness: It describes your ability to not only understand your strengths and weaknesses, but to recognize your emotions and the effect they have on you and your team’s performance.
  • Self-management: Self-management refers to the ability to manage your emotions, particularly in stressful situations, and maintain a positive outlook despite setbacks. Leaders who lack self-management tend to react and have a harder time keeping their impulses in check.
  • Social awareness: Social awareness describes your ability to recognize others’ emotions and the dynamics in play within your organization.
  • Relationship management: Relationship management refers to your ability to influence, coach, and mentor others, and resolve conflict effectively.

Emotional intelligence and Intelligence Quotient:

  • Researchers have shown that our success at work or in life depends on Emotional Intelligence 80% and only20% of intellect. While our intellect help us to resolve problems, to make the calculations or to process information Emotional intelligence (EQ) allows us to be more creative and use our emotions to resolve our problems.
  • Unlike logical-mathematical intelligence, which suffers insignificant modifications once the end of adolescence, emotional intelligence can be developed over time, free of age limit, with the condition that it is provided the necessary attention and effort to it.

Importance of Emotional Intelligence:

  • A person with emotional intelligence will respond better in such situations especially in the realm of governance.
  • Responsiveness to citizens must carry with it sensitivity and sympathy to public needs and demands and this means being aware of feelings and emotions. It also helps in managing emotional responses of the citizens.
  • During a conflict situation, the ability to manage emotions may be the only way out
  • Identifying emotions in faces, voices, postures, and other content during public management activities can help in giving a better response.
  • Emotions could be evoked to motivate others to get the task done.
  • Identifying emotions can also allow us to better evaluate the repercussions of our actions.                 

Mains question:

Raghav was a hard working policeman. He had a beautiful wife. Raghav’s boss, Sub-Inspector Rahul was an arrogant and flirtatious officer. He had an eye on Raghav’s wife. Unlike other superior officers, Rahul often invited Raghav to visit his home with his wife for dinner and to other get together parties. Raghav had noticed that Rahul was trying to get closer to his wife by making jokes and giving unsolicited advises.

Rahul always denied Raghav any holidays. Rahul wanted Raghav and his wife to stay at the quarters all the time. Once Raghav wanted leaves for his only sister’s wedding in his native place. But as expected Rahul kept refusing him any leave. Upon repeated requests by Raghav, Rahul said that he would grant him leave provided he went alone to the marriage leaving behind his wife in the quarters.

Raghav, agitated, took his loaded rifle and shot the inspector dead. He then surrendered to the police.

What various possible behaviours can you think of, had the above characters possessed high Emotional Intelligence? (10 Marks)

Answer:

The role of Emotional intelligence in administration is critical. It is must for police officers to work in a stressful and provocative environment.

On one hand, Rahul clearly lacked self-assessment and self-control. Poor self-control has created his image of a flirtiest officer in mind of his subordinates. The situation could have been avoided in case he has delayed his gratification. His insensitive remark further incited Raghav to take such an unfortunate step.

On the other hand, Raghav lacked self-control. While it was natural for him to get angry on being verbally abused by the Rahul, he definitely had better options to react to such abuses. If he had high self-control under higher Emotional intelligence, he would have not let his anger built up to that level that he had to kill Rahul on provocation.

Options available:

  • He could have taken proactive measures to avoid this through Self-confidence under emotional intelligence.
  • He should have discussed his concerns with his wife and together reached out on a consensus to avoid all social contacts with Rahul, outside office.
  • Raghav or/and his wife should have informed the situation to Rahul’s wife.
  • Raghav should have shown presence of mind and should have sent his wife to his native in advance to help the family in preparations.
  • Even at the provocating statement he should have kept calm and complained to disciplinary department/Senior. Such behaviour is never tolerated and there were all chances that the problem could have been solved once in for all by the disciplinary bodies.