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Title: An abhorrent and unjust device

Issue: Polity

Syllabus: General Studies-I - Modern Indian History - Early Gandhian Movements

Context Notes

Supreme court of India reversed death penalty in Digambar Vaishnava vs State of Chhattisgarh, Ankush Maruti Shinde vs State of Maharashtra.

1. The rarest of rare doctrine has its origins in Bachan Singh v. State of Punjab (1980). Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code, which prescribes the death penalty for murder, as constitutionally valid, but can only be prescribed in the rarest of rare cases.
2. Supreme court has repeatedly cautioned that capital punishment ought to only be decreed when the state can clearly establish that a convict is incapable of being reformed and rehabilitated.

Arguments against death penalty
1. Lack of precision: There is no common understanding among courts on rarest of the rare doctrine. Capital punishment is awarded with varied standards.
2. Delay: Mercy Petition with president, Review petition with courts while pending, accused remains in perpetual fear of death. Supreme court already adjudged that delays in disposing of mercy petitions can be
aground for commutation.
3. Life cannot be brought back: Capital punishment is irreversible. 
4. Marginalised sections are worst affected: The Death Penalty India Report (DPIR), released on May 6, 2016, by Project 39A of the National Law University, Delhi, for example, shows that 74% of prisoners on death row, at the time of the study, were economically vulnerable, and 63% were either the primary or sole earners in their families. More than 60% of those sentenced to death had not completed their secondary school education, and 23% had never attended school, a factor which, as the report states, “points to the alienation that they would experience from the legal process, in terms of the extent to which they are able to understand the case against them and engage with the criminal justice system.”
5. Morally wrong: many of the countries across the world are going against it. India shall have challenges of extradition of criminals from other countries.
6. No Deterrence effect: In India or abroad there is no empirical evidence showing that, capital Punishment can deter crime.

My Opinion
Abolish capital punishment

Take Home Points
Capital Punishment closes down distinction between justice and vengeance.


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Currently there are no previous questions available.

Title: From revolutions to roses

Issue: International women’s day

Syllabus: General Studies-I - Society - Role of women and women's organisations


March 9th is celebrated as International Women’s Day. Author highlights socialistic origins of the movement.


  1. International women’s day has its origins in socialism. German socialist and feminist Clara Zetkin was a socialist. According to her, Bourgeoisie feminism and movement of working women are fundamentally different. She sees capitalism as a common oppressor for women and working class at large. 
  2. She emphasised on women suffrage way back in 1910. On March 8, 1917 with the collapse of Tsarist Russia, new regime gave women right to vote. It means that International women’s day is a day of resistance and demand. 
  3. In India, constitution provided for dignity, equality and Justice for women. It came in to conflict with Patriarchy. After emergency, there is a profound rise in women organisations and demand for reform. Legal reforms against dowry, domestic violence, Sexual abuse came in to existence. 
  4. Other issues like Gender pay parity, gender diversity at workplace are still not addressed. 
  5. In India, female participation in the workforce fell from 42.7% in 2004-05 to 23.3% in 2017-18. 
  6. Capitalism reduced International women’s day to consumerism centred around women.
My Opinion

Better balance, better the world

Take Home Points

Gender Justice and gender Equality can serve the world better.

# Previous UPSC Question Marks Year
1 ‘Women’s movement in India has not addressed the issues of women of lower social strata.’ Substantiate your view. (15) 15 2018
2 The women’s questions arose in modern India as a part of the 19th century social reform movement. What are the major issues and debates concerning women in that period? (250 words) 15 2017
3 “Male membership needs to be encouraged in order to make women’s organization free from gender bias.” Comment. (200 words) 10 marks 10 2013
4 What efforts have been made for the upliftment of women in Ninetenth Century till the present day 1985
5 In recent times bride burning has increased. Women are tortured for not bringing sufficient dowry. Why such cases are rare amongst Muslims? What measures are being taken by the government to end this pernicious system of dowry and bride burning? What further steps can be taken in your opinion. 1983
6 The most striking change in our social life today is the improved statures of women. Who and what organisations helped their cause enabling them to attain that present status? What important safeguards have been provided in the Constitution and the laws of the land for protection of women's interests? In what directions are further legal measures for their protection called for (Not more than 200 words)? 1980

Currently there are no previous questions available.