Polity & Constitution: November 2020 Current Affairs Current Affairs Notes | EduRev

Current Affairs & Hindu Analysis: Daily, Weekly & Monthly

Current Affairs : Polity & Constitution: November 2020 Current Affairs Current Affairs Notes | EduRev

 Page 1


 
4                                                                               www.visionias.in                                                                        ©Vision IAS  
1. POLITY AND CONSTITUTION 
1.1. SIMULTANEOUS ELECTIONS  
Why in News? 
Recently, Prime Minister raised the pitch for Simultaneous 
Elections to the Lok Sabha and State Assemblies. 
About Simultaneous Elections (SE) 
• It means structuring the Indian election cycle in a 
manner that elections to Lok Sabha and State 
Assemblies are synchronized together under which 
voters in a particular constituency vote for both on the 
same day. 
• SE were the norm until 1967. But following dissolution 
of some Legislative Assemblies in 1968 and 1969 and 
that of Lok Sabha in 1970, elections to State Assemblies and Parliament have been held separately. 
• Later, SE idea was proposed by Election Commission in 1983. It was also referred by Law Commission and NITI 
Aayog.  
• SE does not mean that voting across the country for Lok Sabha and State Assemblies happen on a single day. 
It can be conducted in a phase-wise manner and voters in a particular constituency vote for both State 
Assembly and Lok Sabha the same day.  
Arguments in favor of Simultaneous Elections  
• Policy paralysis: Frequent elections lead to imposition of Model Code of Conduct (MCC) over prolonged 
periods of time which often leads to policy paralysis and governance deficit in the form of suspended 
development programs, welfare schemes, capital projects etc. 
• Huge expenditures: By various stakeholders like political parties, individual candidates, etc. The urge to spend 
more (than the set limit) to win elections is blamed as one of the key drivers for corruption and black-money 
in the country. 
• Engagement of security forces: Deployment of security forces is normally throughout the elections and 
frequent elections takes away a portion of such armed police force which could otherwise be better deployed 
for other internal security purposes. 
• Disrupting public life: Frequent elections lead to disruption of normal public life and impact the functioning 
of essential services. If SE are held, this period of disruption would be limited to a certain pre-determined 
period of time. 
• Impact on social fabric: Frequent elections perpetuate caste, religion and communal issues across the country 
as elections are polarizing events which have accentuated casteism, communalism and corruption. 
• Focus on populist measures: Frequent elections will impact the focus of governance and policy making as it 
forces the political class to typically think in terms of immediate electoral gains rather than focus on long-term 
programmes and policies.  
• Impact on voter turnout: According to law commission report simultaneous polls will boost voter turnout. 
Arguments against Simultaneous Elections  
• Operational feasibility such as how to synchronize cycle for the first time, what will be the procedure in case 
ruling party/coalition loses majority before 5 years, feasibility for the Election Commission to conduct elections 
at such a massive scale etc. 
• Constitutional issues: Holding SE will require certain requirements such as Curtailment and extension of terms 
of the House of the People/ State Legislative Assemblies, Amendment to the relevant provisions of the 
Constitution, Amendment to the Representation of People Act, 1951, ratification by the States to these 
Constitutional amendments. 
• National and state issues are different, and holding simultaneous elections may affect the judgment of voters 
and and he/she may vote for the same political party, which in most cases may be larger national parties. 
Constitutional provisions related to simultaneous 
Elections 
• Article 83 stipulates that Lok Sabha shall have a 
normal term of 5 years from the date appointed 
for its first meeting and no longer. 
• Article 85 states that President of India has the 
power to dissolve the Lok Sabha on the advice of 
the Union Cabinet. 
• Article 172 lays down the term for the Legislative 
Assemblies as five years.  
• Article 174 is states that Governor has the power 
to dissolve the state assembly on the advice of the 
state Cabinet. 
Page 2


 
4                                                                               www.visionias.in                                                                        ©Vision IAS  
1. POLITY AND CONSTITUTION 
1.1. SIMULTANEOUS ELECTIONS  
Why in News? 
Recently, Prime Minister raised the pitch for Simultaneous 
Elections to the Lok Sabha and State Assemblies. 
About Simultaneous Elections (SE) 
• It means structuring the Indian election cycle in a 
manner that elections to Lok Sabha and State 
Assemblies are synchronized together under which 
voters in a particular constituency vote for both on the 
same day. 
• SE were the norm until 1967. But following dissolution 
of some Legislative Assemblies in 1968 and 1969 and 
that of Lok Sabha in 1970, elections to State Assemblies and Parliament have been held separately. 
• Later, SE idea was proposed by Election Commission in 1983. It was also referred by Law Commission and NITI 
Aayog.  
• SE does not mean that voting across the country for Lok Sabha and State Assemblies happen on a single day. 
It can be conducted in a phase-wise manner and voters in a particular constituency vote for both State 
Assembly and Lok Sabha the same day.  
Arguments in favor of Simultaneous Elections  
• Policy paralysis: Frequent elections lead to imposition of Model Code of Conduct (MCC) over prolonged 
periods of time which often leads to policy paralysis and governance deficit in the form of suspended 
development programs, welfare schemes, capital projects etc. 
• Huge expenditures: By various stakeholders like political parties, individual candidates, etc. The urge to spend 
more (than the set limit) to win elections is blamed as one of the key drivers for corruption and black-money 
in the country. 
• Engagement of security forces: Deployment of security forces is normally throughout the elections and 
frequent elections takes away a portion of such armed police force which could otherwise be better deployed 
for other internal security purposes. 
• Disrupting public life: Frequent elections lead to disruption of normal public life and impact the functioning 
of essential services. If SE are held, this period of disruption would be limited to a certain pre-determined 
period of time. 
• Impact on social fabric: Frequent elections perpetuate caste, religion and communal issues across the country 
as elections are polarizing events which have accentuated casteism, communalism and corruption. 
• Focus on populist measures: Frequent elections will impact the focus of governance and policy making as it 
forces the political class to typically think in terms of immediate electoral gains rather than focus on long-term 
programmes and policies.  
• Impact on voter turnout: According to law commission report simultaneous polls will boost voter turnout. 
Arguments against Simultaneous Elections  
• Operational feasibility such as how to synchronize cycle for the first time, what will be the procedure in case 
ruling party/coalition loses majority before 5 years, feasibility for the Election Commission to conduct elections 
at such a massive scale etc. 
• Constitutional issues: Holding SE will require certain requirements such as Curtailment and extension of terms 
of the House of the People/ State Legislative Assemblies, Amendment to the relevant provisions of the 
Constitution, Amendment to the Representation of People Act, 1951, ratification by the States to these 
Constitutional amendments. 
• National and state issues are different, and holding simultaneous elections may affect the judgment of voters 
and and he/she may vote for the same political party, which in most cases may be larger national parties. 
Constitutional provisions related to simultaneous 
Elections 
• Article 83 stipulates that Lok Sabha shall have a 
normal term of 5 years from the date appointed 
for its first meeting and no longer. 
• Article 85 states that President of India has the 
power to dissolve the Lok Sabha on the advice of 
the Union Cabinet. 
• Article 172 lays down the term for the Legislative 
Assemblies as five years.  
• Article 174 is states that Governor has the power 
to dissolve the state assembly on the advice of the 
state Cabinet. 
 
5                                                                               www.visionias.in                                                                        ©Vision IAS  
• Reduce government's accountability to the people as frequent elections bring the politicians back to the 
voters and enhance accountability of politicians to the public. 
• It can go against federalism as when an election in a State is postponed until the synchronized phase, 
President’s rule will have to be imposed in the interim period in that state. 
• Homogenization of the country, instead of bringing equity, sustaining plurality, and promoting local and 
regional leadership, as SE may promote national parties. 
Conclusion 
Analysis of financial implications, effect of MCC and law commission’s recommendations suggest that there is a 
feasibility to restore SE as it existed during the first two decades of India’s independence. 
However, SE cannot be the panacea. The issues related to frequent elections can be addressed by, re-looking at 
the duration of restrictions under MCC, curbing poll expenditures by electoral funding reforms, bringing political 
parties under RTI, etc. 
1.2. RIGHT TO RECALL 
Why in News? 
Recently, Haryana Assembly passed Haryana Panchayati Raj (Second Amendment) Bill, 2020, which provides the 
right to recall members of Panchayati Raj institutions. 
More on News 
• Right to Recall is a process whereby the electorate has the power to remove the elected officials before the 
expiry of their term. It is an example of instrument of direct democracy. 
• Bill allows the recall of village sarpanches and members of the block-level and district-level panchayats if 
they fail to perform.  
• To recall, 50% members of a ward or gram sabha have to give in writing that they want to initiate proceedings.  
• This will be followed by a secret ballot, in which their recall will require two-third members voting against 
them. 
Benefits of Right to Recall  
• Ensure greater accountability in the political system as the electorate retains control over those legislators 
who are underperforming or are misusing their office for their selfish gains. 
• Lack of competence and ethics in representatives call for a mechanism which vests in people the control over 
such unworthy representatives who have failed to secure the best interests of their electorates. 
• Check corruption as well as the criminalization of politics by deterring candidates from spending crores of 
money in campaigning for the elections because they will always have a fear of being recalled. 
• Logic and justice as it will provide an option to correct wrong decisions without having to wait for the next 
five years. 
Limitations of Recall  
• De-stabilise the government: It might lead to 
destabilization as wherever there is discontent, 
people will start recalling. 
• Election fatigue- by recalling/rejecting the 
candidates and having another election may cause 
election fatigue & lower voter turnout. 
• Political tool: It could be misused by special interest 
groups with money power and genuine politicians may become victims of this power. 
• Independence of representatives: It would inevitably discourage the representatives from using their own 
judgment and coming up with tough but unpopular stands rather than the populist ones. 
• Viability of the process: It would require a minimum percentage of the electorate to sign the petition for 
effectuating a recall, the verification of authenticity of those signatures, verification to see whether those 
signatures were given with free consent or under coercion etc. 
Direct Democracy 
• Direct democracy describes those rules, institutions 
and processes that enable the public to vote 
directly on a proposed constitutional amendment, 
law, treaty or policy decision. 
• Various instruments of direct democracy include:  
o Referendums 
o Citizens’ initiatives  
o Plebicite 
o Agenda initiatives 
Page 3


 
4                                                                               www.visionias.in                                                                        ©Vision IAS  
1. POLITY AND CONSTITUTION 
1.1. SIMULTANEOUS ELECTIONS  
Why in News? 
Recently, Prime Minister raised the pitch for Simultaneous 
Elections to the Lok Sabha and State Assemblies. 
About Simultaneous Elections (SE) 
• It means structuring the Indian election cycle in a 
manner that elections to Lok Sabha and State 
Assemblies are synchronized together under which 
voters in a particular constituency vote for both on the 
same day. 
• SE were the norm until 1967. But following dissolution 
of some Legislative Assemblies in 1968 and 1969 and 
that of Lok Sabha in 1970, elections to State Assemblies and Parliament have been held separately. 
• Later, SE idea was proposed by Election Commission in 1983. It was also referred by Law Commission and NITI 
Aayog.  
• SE does not mean that voting across the country for Lok Sabha and State Assemblies happen on a single day. 
It can be conducted in a phase-wise manner and voters in a particular constituency vote for both State 
Assembly and Lok Sabha the same day.  
Arguments in favor of Simultaneous Elections  
• Policy paralysis: Frequent elections lead to imposition of Model Code of Conduct (MCC) over prolonged 
periods of time which often leads to policy paralysis and governance deficit in the form of suspended 
development programs, welfare schemes, capital projects etc. 
• Huge expenditures: By various stakeholders like political parties, individual candidates, etc. The urge to spend 
more (than the set limit) to win elections is blamed as one of the key drivers for corruption and black-money 
in the country. 
• Engagement of security forces: Deployment of security forces is normally throughout the elections and 
frequent elections takes away a portion of such armed police force which could otherwise be better deployed 
for other internal security purposes. 
• Disrupting public life: Frequent elections lead to disruption of normal public life and impact the functioning 
of essential services. If SE are held, this period of disruption would be limited to a certain pre-determined 
period of time. 
• Impact on social fabric: Frequent elections perpetuate caste, religion and communal issues across the country 
as elections are polarizing events which have accentuated casteism, communalism and corruption. 
• Focus on populist measures: Frequent elections will impact the focus of governance and policy making as it 
forces the political class to typically think in terms of immediate electoral gains rather than focus on long-term 
programmes and policies.  
• Impact on voter turnout: According to law commission report simultaneous polls will boost voter turnout. 
Arguments against Simultaneous Elections  
• Operational feasibility such as how to synchronize cycle for the first time, what will be the procedure in case 
ruling party/coalition loses majority before 5 years, feasibility for the Election Commission to conduct elections 
at such a massive scale etc. 
• Constitutional issues: Holding SE will require certain requirements such as Curtailment and extension of terms 
of the House of the People/ State Legislative Assemblies, Amendment to the relevant provisions of the 
Constitution, Amendment to the Representation of People Act, 1951, ratification by the States to these 
Constitutional amendments. 
• National and state issues are different, and holding simultaneous elections may affect the judgment of voters 
and and he/she may vote for the same political party, which in most cases may be larger national parties. 
Constitutional provisions related to simultaneous 
Elections 
• Article 83 stipulates that Lok Sabha shall have a 
normal term of 5 years from the date appointed 
for its first meeting and no longer. 
• Article 85 states that President of India has the 
power to dissolve the Lok Sabha on the advice of 
the Union Cabinet. 
• Article 172 lays down the term for the Legislative 
Assemblies as five years.  
• Article 174 is states that Governor has the power 
to dissolve the state assembly on the advice of the 
state Cabinet. 
 
5                                                                               www.visionias.in                                                                        ©Vision IAS  
• Reduce government's accountability to the people as frequent elections bring the politicians back to the 
voters and enhance accountability of politicians to the public. 
• It can go against federalism as when an election in a State is postponed until the synchronized phase, 
President’s rule will have to be imposed in the interim period in that state. 
• Homogenization of the country, instead of bringing equity, sustaining plurality, and promoting local and 
regional leadership, as SE may promote national parties. 
Conclusion 
Analysis of financial implications, effect of MCC and law commission’s recommendations suggest that there is a 
feasibility to restore SE as it existed during the first two decades of India’s independence. 
However, SE cannot be the panacea. The issues related to frequent elections can be addressed by, re-looking at 
the duration of restrictions under MCC, curbing poll expenditures by electoral funding reforms, bringing political 
parties under RTI, etc. 
1.2. RIGHT TO RECALL 
Why in News? 
Recently, Haryana Assembly passed Haryana Panchayati Raj (Second Amendment) Bill, 2020, which provides the 
right to recall members of Panchayati Raj institutions. 
More on News 
• Right to Recall is a process whereby the electorate has the power to remove the elected officials before the 
expiry of their term. It is an example of instrument of direct democracy. 
• Bill allows the recall of village sarpanches and members of the block-level and district-level panchayats if 
they fail to perform.  
• To recall, 50% members of a ward or gram sabha have to give in writing that they want to initiate proceedings.  
• This will be followed by a secret ballot, in which their recall will require two-third members voting against 
them. 
Benefits of Right to Recall  
• Ensure greater accountability in the political system as the electorate retains control over those legislators 
who are underperforming or are misusing their office for their selfish gains. 
• Lack of competence and ethics in representatives call for a mechanism which vests in people the control over 
such unworthy representatives who have failed to secure the best interests of their electorates. 
• Check corruption as well as the criminalization of politics by deterring candidates from spending crores of 
money in campaigning for the elections because they will always have a fear of being recalled. 
• Logic and justice as it will provide an option to correct wrong decisions without having to wait for the next 
five years. 
Limitations of Recall  
• De-stabilise the government: It might lead to 
destabilization as wherever there is discontent, 
people will start recalling. 
• Election fatigue- by recalling/rejecting the 
candidates and having another election may cause 
election fatigue & lower voter turnout. 
• Political tool: It could be misused by special interest 
groups with money power and genuine politicians may become victims of this power. 
• Independence of representatives: It would inevitably discourage the representatives from using their own 
judgment and coming up with tough but unpopular stands rather than the populist ones. 
• Viability of the process: It would require a minimum percentage of the electorate to sign the petition for 
effectuating a recall, the verification of authenticity of those signatures, verification to see whether those 
signatures were given with free consent or under coercion etc. 
Direct Democracy 
• Direct democracy describes those rules, institutions 
and processes that enable the public to vote 
directly on a proposed constitutional amendment, 
law, treaty or policy decision. 
• Various instruments of direct democracy include:  
o Referendums 
o Citizens’ initiatives  
o Plebicite 
o Agenda initiatives 
 
6                                                                               www.visionias.in                                                                        ©Vision IAS  
• Increased expenditure:  The conduct of a by-election would further require a lot of resources including 
financial resources, man-power, time etc. 
Way forward 
• Enhancing political awareness: main focus should be on enhancing the political awareness of masses by 
various means possible and on ensuring a better turn-out of voters in the elections respectively. 
• Proper scrutiny: A recall should be carried only after conducting proper judicial scrutiny on certain specific 
grounds and not on vague or ambiguous grounds. 
• Strong deterrence: Recalled representative must be debarred from contesting the by-election held thereafter. 
Otherwise all the money, man-power, time etc. in conducting the recall would go in vain. 
• Strengthening existing mechanisms: There are already in existence various neglected ‘pre-election’ measures 
which aim to ensure accountability such as provisions relating to disqualification and expulsion of members 
and the existing vigilance bodies to check corruption etc. 
1.3. REGULATING OVER-THE-TOP (OTT) PLATFORMS 
Why in news? 
The Union government has recently brought Over the 
Top (OTT) platforms, such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and 
others, under the ambit of the Ministry of Information 
and Broadcasting (I&B ministry). 
More on the news 
• The Films and Audio-Visual programmes made 
available by online content providers have been 
brought under the jurisdiction of I&B ministry 
through a notification that amends the Government 
of India (Allocation of Business) Rules, 1961 using 
the clause (3) of Article 77 of the Constitution. 
o Article 77 (3) allows the President to make rules 
for the more convenient transaction of the 
business of the Government of India, and for the 
allocation among Ministers of the said business. 
• The notification also brought news and current 
affairs content on online platforms under the 
purview. 
• Earlier the digital media platforms were under the 
jurisdiction of the Ministry of Electronics and 
Information Technology (MeitY) while other media 
such as print, television and radio were under the 
I&B ministry. 
o The user-generated content, such as what is 
streamed on YouTube or Facebook, will continue 
to remain under MeitY. 
Background 
• The Centre has been mulling the idea of a regulatory board for OTT platforms since 2019 and has asked the 
major online-streaming players several times to firm up a self-regulatory model as well. 
• In January 2019, the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) had put out a code called the ‘Code of 
Best Practices for Online Curated Content Providers’. 
• In February, 2020, IAMAI released a ‘Code for Self-Regulation of Online Curated Content Providers’ which 
was signed by around 15 several digital platforms by September.  
o The code had guidelines regarding Classification of Content, Parental and/or Access Control, Age 
Classification/Maturity Ratings etc. and set up a two-tier Complaint Redressal mechanism-  
About OTT Platforms 
• These are online platforms that curate a range of 
content and present it on a singular platform. 
Examples of these platforms include Netflix, 
Amazon Prime, Hotstar, AltBalaji amongst others. 
They are also known as Online Content Curated 
Platforms (OCCPs). 
• The OCC industry is distinguished from others (such 
as, intermediaries and user generated content 
(UGC) providers like Youtube, Facebook, Instagram 
etc.) inter-alia by the following features:   
o A fully curated content catalogue which is 
licensed or owned by the individual provider 
o A 'pull' model of consumption where 
consumers choose the content they wish to 
watch and access it on device(s), time or place 
of their choice; and 
o Technology-enabled solutions for content 
filtering and access controls. 
Present regulatory framework:  
• Information Technology Act, 2000 has provisions 
relating to content on websites, and information/ 
websites / URLs can be blocked under Section 69A 
of that Act, on matters relating to sovereignty and 
integrity of India, defence of India, security of the 
state, friendly relations with foreign states or public 
order etc. 
• Indian Penal Code, 1860- prohibits content against 
national integration. 
• Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act 
2012 - prevents child pornography. 
Page 4


 
4                                                                               www.visionias.in                                                                        ©Vision IAS  
1. POLITY AND CONSTITUTION 
1.1. SIMULTANEOUS ELECTIONS  
Why in News? 
Recently, Prime Minister raised the pitch for Simultaneous 
Elections to the Lok Sabha and State Assemblies. 
About Simultaneous Elections (SE) 
• It means structuring the Indian election cycle in a 
manner that elections to Lok Sabha and State 
Assemblies are synchronized together under which 
voters in a particular constituency vote for both on the 
same day. 
• SE were the norm until 1967. But following dissolution 
of some Legislative Assemblies in 1968 and 1969 and 
that of Lok Sabha in 1970, elections to State Assemblies and Parliament have been held separately. 
• Later, SE idea was proposed by Election Commission in 1983. It was also referred by Law Commission and NITI 
Aayog.  
• SE does not mean that voting across the country for Lok Sabha and State Assemblies happen on a single day. 
It can be conducted in a phase-wise manner and voters in a particular constituency vote for both State 
Assembly and Lok Sabha the same day.  
Arguments in favor of Simultaneous Elections  
• Policy paralysis: Frequent elections lead to imposition of Model Code of Conduct (MCC) over prolonged 
periods of time which often leads to policy paralysis and governance deficit in the form of suspended 
development programs, welfare schemes, capital projects etc. 
• Huge expenditures: By various stakeholders like political parties, individual candidates, etc. The urge to spend 
more (than the set limit) to win elections is blamed as one of the key drivers for corruption and black-money 
in the country. 
• Engagement of security forces: Deployment of security forces is normally throughout the elections and 
frequent elections takes away a portion of such armed police force which could otherwise be better deployed 
for other internal security purposes. 
• Disrupting public life: Frequent elections lead to disruption of normal public life and impact the functioning 
of essential services. If SE are held, this period of disruption would be limited to a certain pre-determined 
period of time. 
• Impact on social fabric: Frequent elections perpetuate caste, religion and communal issues across the country 
as elections are polarizing events which have accentuated casteism, communalism and corruption. 
• Focus on populist measures: Frequent elections will impact the focus of governance and policy making as it 
forces the political class to typically think in terms of immediate electoral gains rather than focus on long-term 
programmes and policies.  
• Impact on voter turnout: According to law commission report simultaneous polls will boost voter turnout. 
Arguments against Simultaneous Elections  
• Operational feasibility such as how to synchronize cycle for the first time, what will be the procedure in case 
ruling party/coalition loses majority before 5 years, feasibility for the Election Commission to conduct elections 
at such a massive scale etc. 
• Constitutional issues: Holding SE will require certain requirements such as Curtailment and extension of terms 
of the House of the People/ State Legislative Assemblies, Amendment to the relevant provisions of the 
Constitution, Amendment to the Representation of People Act, 1951, ratification by the States to these 
Constitutional amendments. 
• National and state issues are different, and holding simultaneous elections may affect the judgment of voters 
and and he/she may vote for the same political party, which in most cases may be larger national parties. 
Constitutional provisions related to simultaneous 
Elections 
• Article 83 stipulates that Lok Sabha shall have a 
normal term of 5 years from the date appointed 
for its first meeting and no longer. 
• Article 85 states that President of India has the 
power to dissolve the Lok Sabha on the advice of 
the Union Cabinet. 
• Article 172 lays down the term for the Legislative 
Assemblies as five years.  
• Article 174 is states that Governor has the power 
to dissolve the state assembly on the advice of the 
state Cabinet. 
 
5                                                                               www.visionias.in                                                                        ©Vision IAS  
• Reduce government's accountability to the people as frequent elections bring the politicians back to the 
voters and enhance accountability of politicians to the public. 
• It can go against federalism as when an election in a State is postponed until the synchronized phase, 
President’s rule will have to be imposed in the interim period in that state. 
• Homogenization of the country, instead of bringing equity, sustaining plurality, and promoting local and 
regional leadership, as SE may promote national parties. 
Conclusion 
Analysis of financial implications, effect of MCC and law commission’s recommendations suggest that there is a 
feasibility to restore SE as it existed during the first two decades of India’s independence. 
However, SE cannot be the panacea. The issues related to frequent elections can be addressed by, re-looking at 
the duration of restrictions under MCC, curbing poll expenditures by electoral funding reforms, bringing political 
parties under RTI, etc. 
1.2. RIGHT TO RECALL 
Why in News? 
Recently, Haryana Assembly passed Haryana Panchayati Raj (Second Amendment) Bill, 2020, which provides the 
right to recall members of Panchayati Raj institutions. 
More on News 
• Right to Recall is a process whereby the electorate has the power to remove the elected officials before the 
expiry of their term. It is an example of instrument of direct democracy. 
• Bill allows the recall of village sarpanches and members of the block-level and district-level panchayats if 
they fail to perform.  
• To recall, 50% members of a ward or gram sabha have to give in writing that they want to initiate proceedings.  
• This will be followed by a secret ballot, in which their recall will require two-third members voting against 
them. 
Benefits of Right to Recall  
• Ensure greater accountability in the political system as the electorate retains control over those legislators 
who are underperforming or are misusing their office for their selfish gains. 
• Lack of competence and ethics in representatives call for a mechanism which vests in people the control over 
such unworthy representatives who have failed to secure the best interests of their electorates. 
• Check corruption as well as the criminalization of politics by deterring candidates from spending crores of 
money in campaigning for the elections because they will always have a fear of being recalled. 
• Logic and justice as it will provide an option to correct wrong decisions without having to wait for the next 
five years. 
Limitations of Recall  
• De-stabilise the government: It might lead to 
destabilization as wherever there is discontent, 
people will start recalling. 
• Election fatigue- by recalling/rejecting the 
candidates and having another election may cause 
election fatigue & lower voter turnout. 
• Political tool: It could be misused by special interest 
groups with money power and genuine politicians may become victims of this power. 
• Independence of representatives: It would inevitably discourage the representatives from using their own 
judgment and coming up with tough but unpopular stands rather than the populist ones. 
• Viability of the process: It would require a minimum percentage of the electorate to sign the petition for 
effectuating a recall, the verification of authenticity of those signatures, verification to see whether those 
signatures were given with free consent or under coercion etc. 
Direct Democracy 
• Direct democracy describes those rules, institutions 
and processes that enable the public to vote 
directly on a proposed constitutional amendment, 
law, treaty or policy decision. 
• Various instruments of direct democracy include:  
o Referendums 
o Citizens’ initiatives  
o Plebicite 
o Agenda initiatives 
 
6                                                                               www.visionias.in                                                                        ©Vision IAS  
• Increased expenditure:  The conduct of a by-election would further require a lot of resources including 
financial resources, man-power, time etc. 
Way forward 
• Enhancing political awareness: main focus should be on enhancing the political awareness of masses by 
various means possible and on ensuring a better turn-out of voters in the elections respectively. 
• Proper scrutiny: A recall should be carried only after conducting proper judicial scrutiny on certain specific 
grounds and not on vague or ambiguous grounds. 
• Strong deterrence: Recalled representative must be debarred from contesting the by-election held thereafter. 
Otherwise all the money, man-power, time etc. in conducting the recall would go in vain. 
• Strengthening existing mechanisms: There are already in existence various neglected ‘pre-election’ measures 
which aim to ensure accountability such as provisions relating to disqualification and expulsion of members 
and the existing vigilance bodies to check corruption etc. 
1.3. REGULATING OVER-THE-TOP (OTT) PLATFORMS 
Why in news? 
The Union government has recently brought Over the 
Top (OTT) platforms, such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and 
others, under the ambit of the Ministry of Information 
and Broadcasting (I&B ministry). 
More on the news 
• The Films and Audio-Visual programmes made 
available by online content providers have been 
brought under the jurisdiction of I&B ministry 
through a notification that amends the Government 
of India (Allocation of Business) Rules, 1961 using 
the clause (3) of Article 77 of the Constitution. 
o Article 77 (3) allows the President to make rules 
for the more convenient transaction of the 
business of the Government of India, and for the 
allocation among Ministers of the said business. 
• The notification also brought news and current 
affairs content on online platforms under the 
purview. 
• Earlier the digital media platforms were under the 
jurisdiction of the Ministry of Electronics and 
Information Technology (MeitY) while other media 
such as print, television and radio were under the 
I&B ministry. 
o The user-generated content, such as what is 
streamed on YouTube or Facebook, will continue 
to remain under MeitY. 
Background 
• The Centre has been mulling the idea of a regulatory board for OTT platforms since 2019 and has asked the 
major online-streaming players several times to firm up a self-regulatory model as well. 
• In January 2019, the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) had put out a code called the ‘Code of 
Best Practices for Online Curated Content Providers’. 
• In February, 2020, IAMAI released a ‘Code for Self-Regulation of Online Curated Content Providers’ which 
was signed by around 15 several digital platforms by September.  
o The code had guidelines regarding Classification of Content, Parental and/or Access Control, Age 
Classification/Maturity Ratings etc. and set up a two-tier Complaint Redressal mechanism-  
About OTT Platforms 
• These are online platforms that curate a range of 
content and present it on a singular platform. 
Examples of these platforms include Netflix, 
Amazon Prime, Hotstar, AltBalaji amongst others. 
They are also known as Online Content Curated 
Platforms (OCCPs). 
• The OCC industry is distinguished from others (such 
as, intermediaries and user generated content 
(UGC) providers like Youtube, Facebook, Instagram 
etc.) inter-alia by the following features:   
o A fully curated content catalogue which is 
licensed or owned by the individual provider 
o A 'pull' model of consumption where 
consumers choose the content they wish to 
watch and access it on device(s), time or place 
of their choice; and 
o Technology-enabled solutions for content 
filtering and access controls. 
Present regulatory framework:  
• Information Technology Act, 2000 has provisions 
relating to content on websites, and information/ 
websites / URLs can be blocked under Section 69A 
of that Act, on matters relating to sovereignty and 
integrity of India, defence of India, security of the 
state, friendly relations with foreign states or public 
order etc. 
• Indian Penal Code, 1860- prohibits content against 
national integration. 
• Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act 
2012 - prevents child pornography. 
 
7                                                                               www.visionias.in                                                                        ©Vision IAS  
? Tier-I at the OCCP level- a Digital Content 
Complaint Forum (“DCCF”) created internally 
by the OTT platform; and  
? Tier-II at the industry level- a body under the 
IAMAI set up by the signatories known as the 
Online Curated Content Providers Governing 
Council. 
o It prohibited five types of content – including 
those that deliberately and maliciously disrespect 
the national emblem or national flag, any visual or 
story line promoting child pornography, any 
content that maliciously intends to outrage 
religious sentiments and content that deliberately 
and maliciously promotes or encourages terrorism. 
• However, the proposed self-regulatory mechanism 
was rejected by the I&B Ministry stating that it lacks 
independent third-party monitoring, does not have a 
well-defined Code of Ethics, does not clearly enunciate 
prohibited content, and at the second and third-tier 
level there is an issue of conflict of interest.  
• In October, 2020 a Supreme Court bench issued 
notices to the central government, I&B Ministry and 
IAMAI on a petition to regulate OTT platforms such as 
Netflix, Amazon Prime etc through an autonomous 
body. 
Need of regulating OTT platforms 
• Rapid growth in OTT industry: India is currently the 
world’s fastest growing OTT market, and is all set to 
emerge as the world’s sixth-largest by 2024. The Indian 
OTT market is set to reach Rs 237.86 billion by 
FY25, from Rs 42.50 billion in FY19. 
• Lack of oversight: While the Press Council of 
India (PCI) looks after the print media, the 
television news channels come under News 
Broadcasters Association (NBA) and Central 
Board of Film Certification (CBFC) monitors 
films, there is at present no law or 
autonomous body governing digital content 
or OTT platforms. 
o Also, there is no specific law for content 
regulation on online services. 
• Receipt of several complaints from the 
public: Several PILs have been filed in courts 
across the country underlining the concern 
and need to regulate online content. 
• Concerns regarding objectionable content: 
Without appropriate regulation, online 
platforms can be potentially used for spreading fake news and hate speech and can publish obscene or violent 
content. Such content can damage social fabric and has potential to reach and affect children due to increasing 
accessibility of mobiles and computers. 
• Parity in treatment of content: The film industry in India has voiced concern that while their industry requires 
a Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), digital content on OTT platforms is made available to the public 
at large without any filter or screening. 
Arguments against Regulation of OTT platforms 
• Fears of a censorship regime. 
• No need of additional regulations: existence of statutory 
provisions, such as IT Act etc. already present. 
• Freedom to consume content: OCCP is pull content and 
hence users exercise substantial choice in the content they 
want to view. Moreover, major platforms classify and mark 
programmes according to age and provide a brief 
description of the content before it is played.  
• Growth in Indian film industry: The rapid growth of OTT 
industry is benefiting small-scale content producers and 
these platforms are making regional films available around 
the country as well as globally. Excessive regulation might 
put Indian content creators at a disadvantage when they are 
competing on world stage. 
• Vast amount of content: The content on OTT platforms is 
originating from all across the world thus it is technologically 
not feasible to censor/block the content. 
Self Regulation of media platforms in India 
In Indian television broadcasting, there is the inter-
ministerial committee and the content is guided by 
self-regulating bodies such as the Broadcasting 
Content Complaints Council and the News 
Broadcasting Standards Authority. 
Benefits of Self Regulation 
• Promotes standards that advance media’s 
credibility with the public, particularly in a 
country like ours which still needs to evolve to get 
an independent press; 
• Develops confidence in the public that free 
media is not irresponsible while protecting the 
rights of journalists/producers to be independent; 
• Inculcates a professional culture to be judged for 
mistakes not by those in power but by colleagues.  
• Lessens pressure on the judiciary if violations of 
personal rights by the press are corrected with 
satisfaction by self-regulatory bodies. 
Issues in self regulation:  
• Difficult to arrive at a regulatory consensus that 
is acceptable to all stakeholders.  
• Toothless in nature: due to absence of an 
independent enforcement mechanism.  
• Open to interpretations: Self regulatory codes 
can be interpreted differently by different 
platforms. 
• Self censorship: A self-regulatory code might not 
factor in the diversity of content on the internet 
and can lead to self censorship internally among 
platforms to avoid scrutiny. 
Page 5


 
4                                                                               www.visionias.in                                                                        ©Vision IAS  
1. POLITY AND CONSTITUTION 
1.1. SIMULTANEOUS ELECTIONS  
Why in News? 
Recently, Prime Minister raised the pitch for Simultaneous 
Elections to the Lok Sabha and State Assemblies. 
About Simultaneous Elections (SE) 
• It means structuring the Indian election cycle in a 
manner that elections to Lok Sabha and State 
Assemblies are synchronized together under which 
voters in a particular constituency vote for both on the 
same day. 
• SE were the norm until 1967. But following dissolution 
of some Legislative Assemblies in 1968 and 1969 and 
that of Lok Sabha in 1970, elections to State Assemblies and Parliament have been held separately. 
• Later, SE idea was proposed by Election Commission in 1983. It was also referred by Law Commission and NITI 
Aayog.  
• SE does not mean that voting across the country for Lok Sabha and State Assemblies happen on a single day. 
It can be conducted in a phase-wise manner and voters in a particular constituency vote for both State 
Assembly and Lok Sabha the same day.  
Arguments in favor of Simultaneous Elections  
• Policy paralysis: Frequent elections lead to imposition of Model Code of Conduct (MCC) over prolonged 
periods of time which often leads to policy paralysis and governance deficit in the form of suspended 
development programs, welfare schemes, capital projects etc. 
• Huge expenditures: By various stakeholders like political parties, individual candidates, etc. The urge to spend 
more (than the set limit) to win elections is blamed as one of the key drivers for corruption and black-money 
in the country. 
• Engagement of security forces: Deployment of security forces is normally throughout the elections and 
frequent elections takes away a portion of such armed police force which could otherwise be better deployed 
for other internal security purposes. 
• Disrupting public life: Frequent elections lead to disruption of normal public life and impact the functioning 
of essential services. If SE are held, this period of disruption would be limited to a certain pre-determined 
period of time. 
• Impact on social fabric: Frequent elections perpetuate caste, religion and communal issues across the country 
as elections are polarizing events which have accentuated casteism, communalism and corruption. 
• Focus on populist measures: Frequent elections will impact the focus of governance and policy making as it 
forces the political class to typically think in terms of immediate electoral gains rather than focus on long-term 
programmes and policies.  
• Impact on voter turnout: According to law commission report simultaneous polls will boost voter turnout. 
Arguments against Simultaneous Elections  
• Operational feasibility such as how to synchronize cycle for the first time, what will be the procedure in case 
ruling party/coalition loses majority before 5 years, feasibility for the Election Commission to conduct elections 
at such a massive scale etc. 
• Constitutional issues: Holding SE will require certain requirements such as Curtailment and extension of terms 
of the House of the People/ State Legislative Assemblies, Amendment to the relevant provisions of the 
Constitution, Amendment to the Representation of People Act, 1951, ratification by the States to these 
Constitutional amendments. 
• National and state issues are different, and holding simultaneous elections may affect the judgment of voters 
and and he/she may vote for the same political party, which in most cases may be larger national parties. 
Constitutional provisions related to simultaneous 
Elections 
• Article 83 stipulates that Lok Sabha shall have a 
normal term of 5 years from the date appointed 
for its first meeting and no longer. 
• Article 85 states that President of India has the 
power to dissolve the Lok Sabha on the advice of 
the Union Cabinet. 
• Article 172 lays down the term for the Legislative 
Assemblies as five years.  
• Article 174 is states that Governor has the power 
to dissolve the state assembly on the advice of the 
state Cabinet. 
 
5                                                                               www.visionias.in                                                                        ©Vision IAS  
• Reduce government's accountability to the people as frequent elections bring the politicians back to the 
voters and enhance accountability of politicians to the public. 
• It can go against federalism as when an election in a State is postponed until the synchronized phase, 
President’s rule will have to be imposed in the interim period in that state. 
• Homogenization of the country, instead of bringing equity, sustaining plurality, and promoting local and 
regional leadership, as SE may promote national parties. 
Conclusion 
Analysis of financial implications, effect of MCC and law commission’s recommendations suggest that there is a 
feasibility to restore SE as it existed during the first two decades of India’s independence. 
However, SE cannot be the panacea. The issues related to frequent elections can be addressed by, re-looking at 
the duration of restrictions under MCC, curbing poll expenditures by electoral funding reforms, bringing political 
parties under RTI, etc. 
1.2. RIGHT TO RECALL 
Why in News? 
Recently, Haryana Assembly passed Haryana Panchayati Raj (Second Amendment) Bill, 2020, which provides the 
right to recall members of Panchayati Raj institutions. 
More on News 
• Right to Recall is a process whereby the electorate has the power to remove the elected officials before the 
expiry of their term. It is an example of instrument of direct democracy. 
• Bill allows the recall of village sarpanches and members of the block-level and district-level panchayats if 
they fail to perform.  
• To recall, 50% members of a ward or gram sabha have to give in writing that they want to initiate proceedings.  
• This will be followed by a secret ballot, in which their recall will require two-third members voting against 
them. 
Benefits of Right to Recall  
• Ensure greater accountability in the political system as the electorate retains control over those legislators 
who are underperforming or are misusing their office for their selfish gains. 
• Lack of competence and ethics in representatives call for a mechanism which vests in people the control over 
such unworthy representatives who have failed to secure the best interests of their electorates. 
• Check corruption as well as the criminalization of politics by deterring candidates from spending crores of 
money in campaigning for the elections because they will always have a fear of being recalled. 
• Logic and justice as it will provide an option to correct wrong decisions without having to wait for the next 
five years. 
Limitations of Recall  
• De-stabilise the government: It might lead to 
destabilization as wherever there is discontent, 
people will start recalling. 
• Election fatigue- by recalling/rejecting the 
candidates and having another election may cause 
election fatigue & lower voter turnout. 
• Political tool: It could be misused by special interest 
groups with money power and genuine politicians may become victims of this power. 
• Independence of representatives: It would inevitably discourage the representatives from using their own 
judgment and coming up with tough but unpopular stands rather than the populist ones. 
• Viability of the process: It would require a minimum percentage of the electorate to sign the petition for 
effectuating a recall, the verification of authenticity of those signatures, verification to see whether those 
signatures were given with free consent or under coercion etc. 
Direct Democracy 
• Direct democracy describes those rules, institutions 
and processes that enable the public to vote 
directly on a proposed constitutional amendment, 
law, treaty or policy decision. 
• Various instruments of direct democracy include:  
o Referendums 
o Citizens’ initiatives  
o Plebicite 
o Agenda initiatives 
 
6                                                                               www.visionias.in                                                                        ©Vision IAS  
• Increased expenditure:  The conduct of a by-election would further require a lot of resources including 
financial resources, man-power, time etc. 
Way forward 
• Enhancing political awareness: main focus should be on enhancing the political awareness of masses by 
various means possible and on ensuring a better turn-out of voters in the elections respectively. 
• Proper scrutiny: A recall should be carried only after conducting proper judicial scrutiny on certain specific 
grounds and not on vague or ambiguous grounds. 
• Strong deterrence: Recalled representative must be debarred from contesting the by-election held thereafter. 
Otherwise all the money, man-power, time etc. in conducting the recall would go in vain. 
• Strengthening existing mechanisms: There are already in existence various neglected ‘pre-election’ measures 
which aim to ensure accountability such as provisions relating to disqualification and expulsion of members 
and the existing vigilance bodies to check corruption etc. 
1.3. REGULATING OVER-THE-TOP (OTT) PLATFORMS 
Why in news? 
The Union government has recently brought Over the 
Top (OTT) platforms, such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and 
others, under the ambit of the Ministry of Information 
and Broadcasting (I&B ministry). 
More on the news 
• The Films and Audio-Visual programmes made 
available by online content providers have been 
brought under the jurisdiction of I&B ministry 
through a notification that amends the Government 
of India (Allocation of Business) Rules, 1961 using 
the clause (3) of Article 77 of the Constitution. 
o Article 77 (3) allows the President to make rules 
for the more convenient transaction of the 
business of the Government of India, and for the 
allocation among Ministers of the said business. 
• The notification also brought news and current 
affairs content on online platforms under the 
purview. 
• Earlier the digital media platforms were under the 
jurisdiction of the Ministry of Electronics and 
Information Technology (MeitY) while other media 
such as print, television and radio were under the 
I&B ministry. 
o The user-generated content, such as what is 
streamed on YouTube or Facebook, will continue 
to remain under MeitY. 
Background 
• The Centre has been mulling the idea of a regulatory board for OTT platforms since 2019 and has asked the 
major online-streaming players several times to firm up a self-regulatory model as well. 
• In January 2019, the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) had put out a code called the ‘Code of 
Best Practices for Online Curated Content Providers’. 
• In February, 2020, IAMAI released a ‘Code for Self-Regulation of Online Curated Content Providers’ which 
was signed by around 15 several digital platforms by September.  
o The code had guidelines regarding Classification of Content, Parental and/or Access Control, Age 
Classification/Maturity Ratings etc. and set up a two-tier Complaint Redressal mechanism-  
About OTT Platforms 
• These are online platforms that curate a range of 
content and present it on a singular platform. 
Examples of these platforms include Netflix, 
Amazon Prime, Hotstar, AltBalaji amongst others. 
They are also known as Online Content Curated 
Platforms (OCCPs). 
• The OCC industry is distinguished from others (such 
as, intermediaries and user generated content 
(UGC) providers like Youtube, Facebook, Instagram 
etc.) inter-alia by the following features:   
o A fully curated content catalogue which is 
licensed or owned by the individual provider 
o A 'pull' model of consumption where 
consumers choose the content they wish to 
watch and access it on device(s), time or place 
of their choice; and 
o Technology-enabled solutions for content 
filtering and access controls. 
Present regulatory framework:  
• Information Technology Act, 2000 has provisions 
relating to content on websites, and information/ 
websites / URLs can be blocked under Section 69A 
of that Act, on matters relating to sovereignty and 
integrity of India, defence of India, security of the 
state, friendly relations with foreign states or public 
order etc. 
• Indian Penal Code, 1860- prohibits content against 
national integration. 
• Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act 
2012 - prevents child pornography. 
 
7                                                                               www.visionias.in                                                                        ©Vision IAS  
? Tier-I at the OCCP level- a Digital Content 
Complaint Forum (“DCCF”) created internally 
by the OTT platform; and  
? Tier-II at the industry level- a body under the 
IAMAI set up by the signatories known as the 
Online Curated Content Providers Governing 
Council. 
o It prohibited five types of content – including 
those that deliberately and maliciously disrespect 
the national emblem or national flag, any visual or 
story line promoting child pornography, any 
content that maliciously intends to outrage 
religious sentiments and content that deliberately 
and maliciously promotes or encourages terrorism. 
• However, the proposed self-regulatory mechanism 
was rejected by the I&B Ministry stating that it lacks 
independent third-party monitoring, does not have a 
well-defined Code of Ethics, does not clearly enunciate 
prohibited content, and at the second and third-tier 
level there is an issue of conflict of interest.  
• In October, 2020 a Supreme Court bench issued 
notices to the central government, I&B Ministry and 
IAMAI on a petition to regulate OTT platforms such as 
Netflix, Amazon Prime etc through an autonomous 
body. 
Need of regulating OTT platforms 
• Rapid growth in OTT industry: India is currently the 
world’s fastest growing OTT market, and is all set to 
emerge as the world’s sixth-largest by 2024. The Indian 
OTT market is set to reach Rs 237.86 billion by 
FY25, from Rs 42.50 billion in FY19. 
• Lack of oversight: While the Press Council of 
India (PCI) looks after the print media, the 
television news channels come under News 
Broadcasters Association (NBA) and Central 
Board of Film Certification (CBFC) monitors 
films, there is at present no law or 
autonomous body governing digital content 
or OTT platforms. 
o Also, there is no specific law for content 
regulation on online services. 
• Receipt of several complaints from the 
public: Several PILs have been filed in courts 
across the country underlining the concern 
and need to regulate online content. 
• Concerns regarding objectionable content: 
Without appropriate regulation, online 
platforms can be potentially used for spreading fake news and hate speech and can publish obscene or violent 
content. Such content can damage social fabric and has potential to reach and affect children due to increasing 
accessibility of mobiles and computers. 
• Parity in treatment of content: The film industry in India has voiced concern that while their industry requires 
a Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), digital content on OTT platforms is made available to the public 
at large without any filter or screening. 
Arguments against Regulation of OTT platforms 
• Fears of a censorship regime. 
• No need of additional regulations: existence of statutory 
provisions, such as IT Act etc. already present. 
• Freedom to consume content: OCCP is pull content and 
hence users exercise substantial choice in the content they 
want to view. Moreover, major platforms classify and mark 
programmes according to age and provide a brief 
description of the content before it is played.  
• Growth in Indian film industry: The rapid growth of OTT 
industry is benefiting small-scale content producers and 
these platforms are making regional films available around 
the country as well as globally. Excessive regulation might 
put Indian content creators at a disadvantage when they are 
competing on world stage. 
• Vast amount of content: The content on OTT platforms is 
originating from all across the world thus it is technologically 
not feasible to censor/block the content. 
Self Regulation of media platforms in India 
In Indian television broadcasting, there is the inter-
ministerial committee and the content is guided by 
self-regulating bodies such as the Broadcasting 
Content Complaints Council and the News 
Broadcasting Standards Authority. 
Benefits of Self Regulation 
• Promotes standards that advance media’s 
credibility with the public, particularly in a 
country like ours which still needs to evolve to get 
an independent press; 
• Develops confidence in the public that free 
media is not irresponsible while protecting the 
rights of journalists/producers to be independent; 
• Inculcates a professional culture to be judged for 
mistakes not by those in power but by colleagues.  
• Lessens pressure on the judiciary if violations of 
personal rights by the press are corrected with 
satisfaction by self-regulatory bodies. 
Issues in self regulation:  
• Difficult to arrive at a regulatory consensus that 
is acceptable to all stakeholders.  
• Toothless in nature: due to absence of an 
independent enforcement mechanism.  
• Open to interpretations: Self regulatory codes 
can be interpreted differently by different 
platforms. 
• Self censorship: A self-regulatory code might not 
factor in the diversity of content on the internet 
and can lead to self censorship internally among 
platforms to avoid scrutiny. 
 
8                                                                               www.visionias.in                                                                        ©Vision IAS  
Way Forward 
• Model combining state censorship and self regulation: A multi-stakeholder approach to self-regulation can 
be adopted, that safeguards the creative freedom of content creators and artists, and protects the interests 
of consumers in choosing and accessing the content. 
• Establishing global ratings system: A standard rating system for content and quotas for indigenous content 
on OTT platforms can be created. 
• Independent mechanism for complaints redressal: An autonomous organization can be created to look into 
citizen complaints in relation to content made available by respective OCCPs.  
• Formulating broad guidelines: The Government can frame guidelines that cover principles laid out in statutes 
like The Information Technology Act, 2000, Indian Penal Code, 1860, Indecent Representation of Women 
(Prohibition) Act, 1986, Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012, Copyright Act, 1957 etc., to aid 
OTT platforms in self regulating its content. 
1.4. LEGALISING BETTING IN INDIA 
Why in News? 
Minister of State for Finance has pitched for legalizing betting in India. 
About betting 
• Betting is defined as the action of gambling money on the outcome of a race, game, or other unpredictable 
event.  
• Public Gambling Act, 1867 is the general law governing gambling in India. However, the state legislatures have 
been entrusted with significant regulatory leeway to form state specific gambling law. 
• There are no specific central laws governing online gambling in India. Most of the Gambling Legislations have 
been enacted prior to the advent of virtual 
or online gambling and hence these 
primarily refer to gaming/gambling 
activities at the physical premises. 
• Countries like Australia, United Kingdom, 
South Africa, Sri Lanka and New Zealand 
have taken a step in this direction, 
legalizing and regulating betting in sports. 
Arguments in favor of legalizing betting 
• Revenue source: Legalising betting will be 
helpful in the generating income for the 
government by reducing the illegal spot-
fixing, betting practices etc. in India. 
According to a KPMG study (in 2010), 
Indian gambling market is estimated at 
around $60 Billion, while recent studies 
peg the value at a higher number. 
• Recommended by Supreme Court 
mandated committee: Justice Lodha 
committee recommended the legalisation 
of betting in Cricket. It opined that a regulatory framework would enable the government in differentiating 
betting from match fixing. 
• Will augment other sports infrastructure: The money earned from betting can be used to augment 
infrastructure for other sports and tourist facilities. Globally sports betting and gambling are utilised to 
generate funds for good causes and promotion of sports. 
• Check on illegal activities: This will help in curbing growth of illegal trade and commerce, and corrupt practices 
such as spot-fixing and match-fixing being employed in sports, particularly cricket. It could ensure detection 
of fraud and money laundering and would create transparency. 
About Gambling legislations in India 
• Betting is a term that validates the activity of gambling. 
Gambling is a generic term, while betting is a structured 
agreement. 
• Gambling and betting are State subjects. However, Gambling' 
is not defined under the Gambling Legislations of states. 
• The Indian law distinguishes each game to be a “game of skill” 
and “game of chance”. This differentiates fantasy sports from 
traditional betting.  
• The gambling under the Gambling Legislations does not 
include: 
o Betting on a horse race (subject to the legal regulations);  
o Games of skill (excluded under the Gambling Act and by 
the court's judgments);  
o  Lotteries (regulated by lottery laws of India). 
• Thus, Fantasy sports betting is legal because it is a game of 
skill. And, in fantasy sports, your opponents are other human 
players, rather than bookmakers like in traditional betting. 
• Sikkim and Nagaland expressly permit online gambling. 
However, there are also states such as Telangana which follow 
a policy of zero-tolerance towards gambling, both online and 
offline. 
Read More
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