Polity & Governance: April 2021 Current Affair Notes | EduRev

Current Affairs & Hindu Analysis: Daily, Weekly & Monthly

Current Affairs : Polity & Governance: April 2021 Current Affair Notes | EduRev

 Page 1


	
1.	POLITY	&	GOVERNANCE	
1.1.	ONLINE	DISPUTE	RESOLUTION	
Why in news? 
Recently, NITI Aayog has planned to launch a new 
first-of-its-kind Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) 
handbook in India. 
What is Online Dispute Resolution (ODR)?  
• ODR is the resolution of disputes outside 
courts, particularly of small and medium-
value cases, using digital technology and 
techniques of alternate dispute resolution 
(ADR), such as negotiation, mediation, and 
arbitration.  
• ODR realizes the notion that ‘courts should be 
a service not a place’. 
• The developments in information and communication technology (ICT) and increased access to internet has 
played a key role in ODR. 
• ODR play a key role in achieving the ideal enshrined in Indian constitution of ‘access to justice’ for all. 
Page 2


	
1.	POLITY	&	GOVERNANCE	
1.1.	ONLINE	DISPUTE	RESOLUTION	
Why in news? 
Recently, NITI Aayog has planned to launch a new 
first-of-its-kind Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) 
handbook in India. 
What is Online Dispute Resolution (ODR)?  
• ODR is the resolution of disputes outside 
courts, particularly of small and medium-
value cases, using digital technology and 
techniques of alternate dispute resolution 
(ADR), such as negotiation, mediation, and 
arbitration.  
• ODR realizes the notion that ‘courts should be 
a service not a place’. 
• The developments in information and communication technology (ICT) and increased access to internet has 
played a key role in ODR. 
• ODR play a key role in achieving the ideal enshrined in Indian constitution of ‘access to justice’ for all. 
	
Present status of ODR in India 
• e-Courts Mission Mode Project: Under the leadership of the E-Committee for monitoring the use of 
Technology and Administrative Reforms in the Indian Judiciary, the project continues to advocate and work 
towards greater reliance on ICT tools in the justice delivery process. 
• Conducting e-Lok Adalats: The COVID-19 pandemic has provided an impetus to the authorities to use online 
mechanisms in their daily functioning. As a consequence, India saw the organisation of various e-Lok Adalats 
across States. The first e-Lok Adalat organised by the Chhattisgarh. 
• Virtual Courts: The Supreme Court has observed that some cases could partly or entirely be concluded ‘online’ 
and recommended the resolution of simple cases like those concerning traffic challans and cheque bouncing 
through online mechanisms.  
• RBI’s ODR Policy on Digital Payments: In 2019, the Nandan Nilekani led High level Committee on Deepening 
Digital Payments, established by Reserve Bank of India recommended the setting up of a two-tiered ODR 
system to handle complaints arising out of digital payments. 
• Draft National E-Commerce Policy: The policy suggests the use of an electronic grievance redressal system 
including dissemination of compensation electronically for disputes arising from e-commerce. 
Benefits of ODR 
• Cost effective: ODR 
offers a cost-effective 
mode of dispute 
resolution for the 
disputants as well as the 
neutrals. ODR has the 
potential to reduce legal 
costs by reducing time 
for resolution and by 
doing away with the need 
for legal advice. 
• Convenient and quick 
dispute resolution: ODR 
can address delays by 
providing a faster and 
more convenient 
process for resolution of disputes, also eliminates the need for travel and synchronization of schedules. 
• Increased access to justice: ODR tools such as online negotiation and mediation are premised on mutually 
arriving at an agreement and hence they make the dispute resolution process less adversarial and complicated 
for the parties which in turn increase access to justice.  
• Removes unconscious bias: ODR processes lessen the unconscious bias of the neutral while resolving 
disputes. ODR platforms detaches audio visual cues relating to the gender, social status, ethnicity, race, etc. 
and helps in resolving disputes based on the claims and information submitted by the disputing parties, 
rather than who these parties are. 
• Improved legal heath of the society: Greater access to dispute resolution processes will result in improved 
legal health of the society where individuals and businesses are aware of their rights and have the means to 
enforce them which will result in improved ‘Ease of Doing Business’ rankings for India especially on the 
‘enforcement of contracts’ parameter. 
• Complete transformation of the legal paradigm: The new paradigm provides an opportunity to accord dignity 
and respect to every citizen in an effective, efficient and expeditious manner and it allows for a comprehensive 
vision of justice, which is fair in its decisions and processes, transparent in its conduct, enforceable and 
legitimized by the State, and above all accessible to all advancing equity. 
Challenges faced in adoption of ODR: 
• Structural Challenges: 
o Digital literacy: In India, digital literacy often varies across age, ethnicity and geography. This digital 
divide needs to be addressed to ensure that ODR is adopted by the society at large and not remain limited 
to urban areas. 
Page 3


	
1.	POLITY	&	GOVERNANCE	
1.1.	ONLINE	DISPUTE	RESOLUTION	
Why in news? 
Recently, NITI Aayog has planned to launch a new 
first-of-its-kind Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) 
handbook in India. 
What is Online Dispute Resolution (ODR)?  
• ODR is the resolution of disputes outside 
courts, particularly of small and medium-
value cases, using digital technology and 
techniques of alternate dispute resolution 
(ADR), such as negotiation, mediation, and 
arbitration.  
• ODR realizes the notion that ‘courts should be 
a service not a place’. 
• The developments in information and communication technology (ICT) and increased access to internet has 
played a key role in ODR. 
• ODR play a key role in achieving the ideal enshrined in Indian constitution of ‘access to justice’ for all. 
	
Present status of ODR in India 
• e-Courts Mission Mode Project: Under the leadership of the E-Committee for monitoring the use of 
Technology and Administrative Reforms in the Indian Judiciary, the project continues to advocate and work 
towards greater reliance on ICT tools in the justice delivery process. 
• Conducting e-Lok Adalats: The COVID-19 pandemic has provided an impetus to the authorities to use online 
mechanisms in their daily functioning. As a consequence, India saw the organisation of various e-Lok Adalats 
across States. The first e-Lok Adalat organised by the Chhattisgarh. 
• Virtual Courts: The Supreme Court has observed that some cases could partly or entirely be concluded ‘online’ 
and recommended the resolution of simple cases like those concerning traffic challans and cheque bouncing 
through online mechanisms.  
• RBI’s ODR Policy on Digital Payments: In 2019, the Nandan Nilekani led High level Committee on Deepening 
Digital Payments, established by Reserve Bank of India recommended the setting up of a two-tiered ODR 
system to handle complaints arising out of digital payments. 
• Draft National E-Commerce Policy: The policy suggests the use of an electronic grievance redressal system 
including dissemination of compensation electronically for disputes arising from e-commerce. 
Benefits of ODR 
• Cost effective: ODR 
offers a cost-effective 
mode of dispute 
resolution for the 
disputants as well as the 
neutrals. ODR has the 
potential to reduce legal 
costs by reducing time 
for resolution and by 
doing away with the need 
for legal advice. 
• Convenient and quick 
dispute resolution: ODR 
can address delays by 
providing a faster and 
more convenient 
process for resolution of disputes, also eliminates the need for travel and synchronization of schedules. 
• Increased access to justice: ODR tools such as online negotiation and mediation are premised on mutually 
arriving at an agreement and hence they make the dispute resolution process less adversarial and complicated 
for the parties which in turn increase access to justice.  
• Removes unconscious bias: ODR processes lessen the unconscious bias of the neutral while resolving 
disputes. ODR platforms detaches audio visual cues relating to the gender, social status, ethnicity, race, etc. 
and helps in resolving disputes based on the claims and information submitted by the disputing parties, 
rather than who these parties are. 
• Improved legal heath of the society: Greater access to dispute resolution processes will result in improved 
legal health of the society where individuals and businesses are aware of their rights and have the means to 
enforce them which will result in improved ‘Ease of Doing Business’ rankings for India especially on the 
‘enforcement of contracts’ parameter. 
• Complete transformation of the legal paradigm: The new paradigm provides an opportunity to accord dignity 
and respect to every citizen in an effective, efficient and expeditious manner and it allows for a comprehensive 
vision of justice, which is fair in its decisions and processes, transparent in its conduct, enforceable and 
legitimized by the State, and above all accessible to all advancing equity. 
Challenges faced in adoption of ODR: 
• Structural Challenges: 
o Digital literacy: In India, digital literacy often varies across age, ethnicity and geography. This digital 
divide needs to be addressed to ensure that ODR is adopted by the society at large and not remain limited 
to urban areas. 
	
o Digital infrastructure: A broad base adoption of ODR will require essential technology infrastructure 
across the country which includes access to computers, smart phones and medium to high bandwidth 
internet connection for atleast the length of time it takes to conduct meaningful hearings. 
o Gender divide in access to technology: As per Internet India Report 2019, women constitute only 1/3rd 
of internet users in India and 28 percent in rural areas. Such gender divide in accessing the internet might 
result in uneven access to ODR services, thereby exacerbating the gender divide that already exists in 
terms of access to justice through traditional courts. 
• Behavioural Challenges: 
o Lack of awareness regarding ODR: The lack of awareness regarding ODR translates into litigants and 
businesses having low confidence in ODR processes and restricted application of ODR in sectors with huge 
potential for such as MSME, consumer disputes etc. 
o Role of the government and the PSUs: According to the Ministry of Law and Justice, government 
departments are a party to around ‘46 percent’ of court cases. Adoptions of ODR to resolve inter and intra 
Governmental disputes would be a key step in boosting confidence in the process. 
• Operational Challenges: 
o Privacy and confidentiality concerns: Greater integration of technology and reduced face to face 
interactions 
create new 
challenges for 
privacy and 
confidentiality 
which include 
online 
impersonation, 
breach of 
confidentiality 
by circulation 
of documents 
and data 
shared during 
ODR processes, 
tampering of 
digital evidence or digitally delivered awards/ agreements. 
o Archaic Legal Processes: The archaic process does not work well with the end-to-end online process of 
dispute resolution and create barriers for ODR. Further, in India there is no provision for online 
notarization of documents. As per the Notaries Rule 1956, notarization of documents can only be done 
in person. 
Way forward 
• Increase physical access to infrastructure and technology: It can only be achieved by the combined efforts of 
two key stakeholders namely, the Government and Judiciary.  
• Increase digital literacy: To unlock the true potential of ICT, users of such technology should be digitally 
literate. 
• Capacity building: It is important that various actors undertake collaborative efforts to introduce training and 
certification programmes for enhancing capacity of mediators to scale up mediation in the country. 
• Adopt ODR for Government litigation: The Government can mandate certain categories of disputes be 
resolved through ODR before approaching courts. 
• Regulation of ODR: With new players entering the field of ODR, it is necessary that the regulatory model 
protects the rights of the end users while ensuring that over-regulation does not stifle innovation. 
1.2.	PARLIAMENTARY	FUNCTIONING	
Why in news? 
Recently, many high impact Bills were introduced and passed in the Parliament in a haste which has raised multiple 
questions regarding fading business inside the Parliament.  
Page 4


	
1.	POLITY	&	GOVERNANCE	
1.1.	ONLINE	DISPUTE	RESOLUTION	
Why in news? 
Recently, NITI Aayog has planned to launch a new 
first-of-its-kind Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) 
handbook in India. 
What is Online Dispute Resolution (ODR)?  
• ODR is the resolution of disputes outside 
courts, particularly of small and medium-
value cases, using digital technology and 
techniques of alternate dispute resolution 
(ADR), such as negotiation, mediation, and 
arbitration.  
• ODR realizes the notion that ‘courts should be 
a service not a place’. 
• The developments in information and communication technology (ICT) and increased access to internet has 
played a key role in ODR. 
• ODR play a key role in achieving the ideal enshrined in Indian constitution of ‘access to justice’ for all. 
	
Present status of ODR in India 
• e-Courts Mission Mode Project: Under the leadership of the E-Committee for monitoring the use of 
Technology and Administrative Reforms in the Indian Judiciary, the project continues to advocate and work 
towards greater reliance on ICT tools in the justice delivery process. 
• Conducting e-Lok Adalats: The COVID-19 pandemic has provided an impetus to the authorities to use online 
mechanisms in their daily functioning. As a consequence, India saw the organisation of various e-Lok Adalats 
across States. The first e-Lok Adalat organised by the Chhattisgarh. 
• Virtual Courts: The Supreme Court has observed that some cases could partly or entirely be concluded ‘online’ 
and recommended the resolution of simple cases like those concerning traffic challans and cheque bouncing 
through online mechanisms.  
• RBI’s ODR Policy on Digital Payments: In 2019, the Nandan Nilekani led High level Committee on Deepening 
Digital Payments, established by Reserve Bank of India recommended the setting up of a two-tiered ODR 
system to handle complaints arising out of digital payments. 
• Draft National E-Commerce Policy: The policy suggests the use of an electronic grievance redressal system 
including dissemination of compensation electronically for disputes arising from e-commerce. 
Benefits of ODR 
• Cost effective: ODR 
offers a cost-effective 
mode of dispute 
resolution for the 
disputants as well as the 
neutrals. ODR has the 
potential to reduce legal 
costs by reducing time 
for resolution and by 
doing away with the need 
for legal advice. 
• Convenient and quick 
dispute resolution: ODR 
can address delays by 
providing a faster and 
more convenient 
process for resolution of disputes, also eliminates the need for travel and synchronization of schedules. 
• Increased access to justice: ODR tools such as online negotiation and mediation are premised on mutually 
arriving at an agreement and hence they make the dispute resolution process less adversarial and complicated 
for the parties which in turn increase access to justice.  
• Removes unconscious bias: ODR processes lessen the unconscious bias of the neutral while resolving 
disputes. ODR platforms detaches audio visual cues relating to the gender, social status, ethnicity, race, etc. 
and helps in resolving disputes based on the claims and information submitted by the disputing parties, 
rather than who these parties are. 
• Improved legal heath of the society: Greater access to dispute resolution processes will result in improved 
legal health of the society where individuals and businesses are aware of their rights and have the means to 
enforce them which will result in improved ‘Ease of Doing Business’ rankings for India especially on the 
‘enforcement of contracts’ parameter. 
• Complete transformation of the legal paradigm: The new paradigm provides an opportunity to accord dignity 
and respect to every citizen in an effective, efficient and expeditious manner and it allows for a comprehensive 
vision of justice, which is fair in its decisions and processes, transparent in its conduct, enforceable and 
legitimized by the State, and above all accessible to all advancing equity. 
Challenges faced in adoption of ODR: 
• Structural Challenges: 
o Digital literacy: In India, digital literacy often varies across age, ethnicity and geography. This digital 
divide needs to be addressed to ensure that ODR is adopted by the society at large and not remain limited 
to urban areas. 
	
o Digital infrastructure: A broad base adoption of ODR will require essential technology infrastructure 
across the country which includes access to computers, smart phones and medium to high bandwidth 
internet connection for atleast the length of time it takes to conduct meaningful hearings. 
o Gender divide in access to technology: As per Internet India Report 2019, women constitute only 1/3rd 
of internet users in India and 28 percent in rural areas. Such gender divide in accessing the internet might 
result in uneven access to ODR services, thereby exacerbating the gender divide that already exists in 
terms of access to justice through traditional courts. 
• Behavioural Challenges: 
o Lack of awareness regarding ODR: The lack of awareness regarding ODR translates into litigants and 
businesses having low confidence in ODR processes and restricted application of ODR in sectors with huge 
potential for such as MSME, consumer disputes etc. 
o Role of the government and the PSUs: According to the Ministry of Law and Justice, government 
departments are a party to around ‘46 percent’ of court cases. Adoptions of ODR to resolve inter and intra 
Governmental disputes would be a key step in boosting confidence in the process. 
• Operational Challenges: 
o Privacy and confidentiality concerns: Greater integration of technology and reduced face to face 
interactions 
create new 
challenges for 
privacy and 
confidentiality 
which include 
online 
impersonation, 
breach of 
confidentiality 
by circulation 
of documents 
and data 
shared during 
ODR processes, 
tampering of 
digital evidence or digitally delivered awards/ agreements. 
o Archaic Legal Processes: The archaic process does not work well with the end-to-end online process of 
dispute resolution and create barriers for ODR. Further, in India there is no provision for online 
notarization of documents. As per the Notaries Rule 1956, notarization of documents can only be done 
in person. 
Way forward 
• Increase physical access to infrastructure and technology: It can only be achieved by the combined efforts of 
two key stakeholders namely, the Government and Judiciary.  
• Increase digital literacy: To unlock the true potential of ICT, users of such technology should be digitally 
literate. 
• Capacity building: It is important that various actors undertake collaborative efforts to introduce training and 
certification programmes for enhancing capacity of mediators to scale up mediation in the country. 
• Adopt ODR for Government litigation: The Government can mandate certain categories of disputes be 
resolved through ODR before approaching courts. 
• Regulation of ODR: With new players entering the field of ODR, it is necessary that the regulatory model 
protects the rights of the end users while ensuring that over-regulation does not stifle innovation. 
1.2.	PARLIAMENTARY	FUNCTIONING	
Why in news? 
Recently, many high impact Bills were introduced and passed in the Parliament in a haste which has raised multiple 
questions regarding fading business inside the Parliament.  
	
Recent instances of reduced Parliament Functioning 
• No Bill scrutiny in Budget session: There has been the absence of careful scrutiny of Bills. During the budget 
session 2021, 13 Bills were introduced, and not even one of them was referred to a parliamentary committee 
for examination.  
o For example, 
hasty passage of 
Government of 
National Capital 
Territory of Delhi 
(Amendment) 
Bill, 2021, the 
Mines and 
Minerals 
(Development 
and Regulation) 
Amendment Bill, 
2021, etc, 
indicates a sign of 
renunciation by 
the Parliament of 
its duty to 
scrutinise Bills, 
rather than as a 
sign of efficiency. 
• Decreasing trend of 
bills referred: The 
14th and 15th Lok Sabha saw 60% and 71% of bills referred to committees. This number has dipped sharply to 
just 27% in the 16th Lok Sabha and just 11% in the 17th Lok Sabha (2019-present).  
• Reducing attendances: Average attendance in the Lok Sabha dipped to 71% and in the Rajya Sabha to 74%. 
• Use of Money Bill route: The last few years have seen the dubious practice of marking Bills as ‘Money Bills’ 
and getting them past the Rajya Sabha.  
o The Finance Bills, over the last few years, have contained several unconnected items such as restructuring 
of tribunals, introduction of electoral bonds, amendments to the foreign contribution act as well as 
labelling of Aadhaar Act as money bill. 
• Lack of discussion of Union Budget: The Constitution empowers the Lok Sabha to approve the expenditure 
Budget of each department and Ministry. The Lok Sabha, in recent budget session, had listed the budget of 
just five Ministries for detailed discussion and discussed only three of these. 
o 76% of the total Budget was approved without any discussion. 
• Absence of Deputy Speaker: Article 93 of the Constitution states that the House of the People shall choose 
two members of the House to be respectively Speaker and Deputy Speaker. However in the current Lok Sabha 
there has been lot of absence of a Deputy Speaker. 
Why it is important to ensure proper functioning of the parliament? 
• Central role in Democracy: Parliament has the central role in our democracy as the representative body that 
checks and balances the work of the government. 
• Examine Legislative 
proposals: Parliament is 
expected to examine all 
legislative proposals in 
detail, understand their 
nuances and implications 
of the provisions, and 
decide on the appropriate 
way forward. 
Page 5


	
1.	POLITY	&	GOVERNANCE	
1.1.	ONLINE	DISPUTE	RESOLUTION	
Why in news? 
Recently, NITI Aayog has planned to launch a new 
first-of-its-kind Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) 
handbook in India. 
What is Online Dispute Resolution (ODR)?  
• ODR is the resolution of disputes outside 
courts, particularly of small and medium-
value cases, using digital technology and 
techniques of alternate dispute resolution 
(ADR), such as negotiation, mediation, and 
arbitration.  
• ODR realizes the notion that ‘courts should be 
a service not a place’. 
• The developments in information and communication technology (ICT) and increased access to internet has 
played a key role in ODR. 
• ODR play a key role in achieving the ideal enshrined in Indian constitution of ‘access to justice’ for all. 
	
Present status of ODR in India 
• e-Courts Mission Mode Project: Under the leadership of the E-Committee for monitoring the use of 
Technology and Administrative Reforms in the Indian Judiciary, the project continues to advocate and work 
towards greater reliance on ICT tools in the justice delivery process. 
• Conducting e-Lok Adalats: The COVID-19 pandemic has provided an impetus to the authorities to use online 
mechanisms in their daily functioning. As a consequence, India saw the organisation of various e-Lok Adalats 
across States. The first e-Lok Adalat organised by the Chhattisgarh. 
• Virtual Courts: The Supreme Court has observed that some cases could partly or entirely be concluded ‘online’ 
and recommended the resolution of simple cases like those concerning traffic challans and cheque bouncing 
through online mechanisms.  
• RBI’s ODR Policy on Digital Payments: In 2019, the Nandan Nilekani led High level Committee on Deepening 
Digital Payments, established by Reserve Bank of India recommended the setting up of a two-tiered ODR 
system to handle complaints arising out of digital payments. 
• Draft National E-Commerce Policy: The policy suggests the use of an electronic grievance redressal system 
including dissemination of compensation electronically for disputes arising from e-commerce. 
Benefits of ODR 
• Cost effective: ODR 
offers a cost-effective 
mode of dispute 
resolution for the 
disputants as well as the 
neutrals. ODR has the 
potential to reduce legal 
costs by reducing time 
for resolution and by 
doing away with the need 
for legal advice. 
• Convenient and quick 
dispute resolution: ODR 
can address delays by 
providing a faster and 
more convenient 
process for resolution of disputes, also eliminates the need for travel and synchronization of schedules. 
• Increased access to justice: ODR tools such as online negotiation and mediation are premised on mutually 
arriving at an agreement and hence they make the dispute resolution process less adversarial and complicated 
for the parties which in turn increase access to justice.  
• Removes unconscious bias: ODR processes lessen the unconscious bias of the neutral while resolving 
disputes. ODR platforms detaches audio visual cues relating to the gender, social status, ethnicity, race, etc. 
and helps in resolving disputes based on the claims and information submitted by the disputing parties, 
rather than who these parties are. 
• Improved legal heath of the society: Greater access to dispute resolution processes will result in improved 
legal health of the society where individuals and businesses are aware of their rights and have the means to 
enforce them which will result in improved ‘Ease of Doing Business’ rankings for India especially on the 
‘enforcement of contracts’ parameter. 
• Complete transformation of the legal paradigm: The new paradigm provides an opportunity to accord dignity 
and respect to every citizen in an effective, efficient and expeditious manner and it allows for a comprehensive 
vision of justice, which is fair in its decisions and processes, transparent in its conduct, enforceable and 
legitimized by the State, and above all accessible to all advancing equity. 
Challenges faced in adoption of ODR: 
• Structural Challenges: 
o Digital literacy: In India, digital literacy often varies across age, ethnicity and geography. This digital 
divide needs to be addressed to ensure that ODR is adopted by the society at large and not remain limited 
to urban areas. 
	
o Digital infrastructure: A broad base adoption of ODR will require essential technology infrastructure 
across the country which includes access to computers, smart phones and medium to high bandwidth 
internet connection for atleast the length of time it takes to conduct meaningful hearings. 
o Gender divide in access to technology: As per Internet India Report 2019, women constitute only 1/3rd 
of internet users in India and 28 percent in rural areas. Such gender divide in accessing the internet might 
result in uneven access to ODR services, thereby exacerbating the gender divide that already exists in 
terms of access to justice through traditional courts. 
• Behavioural Challenges: 
o Lack of awareness regarding ODR: The lack of awareness regarding ODR translates into litigants and 
businesses having low confidence in ODR processes and restricted application of ODR in sectors with huge 
potential for such as MSME, consumer disputes etc. 
o Role of the government and the PSUs: According to the Ministry of Law and Justice, government 
departments are a party to around ‘46 percent’ of court cases. Adoptions of ODR to resolve inter and intra 
Governmental disputes would be a key step in boosting confidence in the process. 
• Operational Challenges: 
o Privacy and confidentiality concerns: Greater integration of technology and reduced face to face 
interactions 
create new 
challenges for 
privacy and 
confidentiality 
which include 
online 
impersonation, 
breach of 
confidentiality 
by circulation 
of documents 
and data 
shared during 
ODR processes, 
tampering of 
digital evidence or digitally delivered awards/ agreements. 
o Archaic Legal Processes: The archaic process does not work well with the end-to-end online process of 
dispute resolution and create barriers for ODR. Further, in India there is no provision for online 
notarization of documents. As per the Notaries Rule 1956, notarization of documents can only be done 
in person. 
Way forward 
• Increase physical access to infrastructure and technology: It can only be achieved by the combined efforts of 
two key stakeholders namely, the Government and Judiciary.  
• Increase digital literacy: To unlock the true potential of ICT, users of such technology should be digitally 
literate. 
• Capacity building: It is important that various actors undertake collaborative efforts to introduce training and 
certification programmes for enhancing capacity of mediators to scale up mediation in the country. 
• Adopt ODR for Government litigation: The Government can mandate certain categories of disputes be 
resolved through ODR before approaching courts. 
• Regulation of ODR: With new players entering the field of ODR, it is necessary that the regulatory model 
protects the rights of the end users while ensuring that over-regulation does not stifle innovation. 
1.2.	PARLIAMENTARY	FUNCTIONING	
Why in news? 
Recently, many high impact Bills were introduced and passed in the Parliament in a haste which has raised multiple 
questions regarding fading business inside the Parliament.  
	
Recent instances of reduced Parliament Functioning 
• No Bill scrutiny in Budget session: There has been the absence of careful scrutiny of Bills. During the budget 
session 2021, 13 Bills were introduced, and not even one of them was referred to a parliamentary committee 
for examination.  
o For example, 
hasty passage of 
Government of 
National Capital 
Territory of Delhi 
(Amendment) 
Bill, 2021, the 
Mines and 
Minerals 
(Development 
and Regulation) 
Amendment Bill, 
2021, etc, 
indicates a sign of 
renunciation by 
the Parliament of 
its duty to 
scrutinise Bills, 
rather than as a 
sign of efficiency. 
• Decreasing trend of 
bills referred: The 
14th and 15th Lok Sabha saw 60% and 71% of bills referred to committees. This number has dipped sharply to 
just 27% in the 16th Lok Sabha and just 11% in the 17th Lok Sabha (2019-present).  
• Reducing attendances: Average attendance in the Lok Sabha dipped to 71% and in the Rajya Sabha to 74%. 
• Use of Money Bill route: The last few years have seen the dubious practice of marking Bills as ‘Money Bills’ 
and getting them past the Rajya Sabha.  
o The Finance Bills, over the last few years, have contained several unconnected items such as restructuring 
of tribunals, introduction of electoral bonds, amendments to the foreign contribution act as well as 
labelling of Aadhaar Act as money bill. 
• Lack of discussion of Union Budget: The Constitution empowers the Lok Sabha to approve the expenditure 
Budget of each department and Ministry. The Lok Sabha, in recent budget session, had listed the budget of 
just five Ministries for detailed discussion and discussed only three of these. 
o 76% of the total Budget was approved without any discussion. 
• Absence of Deputy Speaker: Article 93 of the Constitution states that the House of the People shall choose 
two members of the House to be respectively Speaker and Deputy Speaker. However in the current Lok Sabha 
there has been lot of absence of a Deputy Speaker. 
Why it is important to ensure proper functioning of the parliament? 
• Central role in Democracy: Parliament has the central role in our democracy as the representative body that 
checks and balances the work of the government. 
• Examine Legislative 
proposals: Parliament is 
expected to examine all 
legislative proposals in 
detail, understand their 
nuances and implications 
of the provisions, and 
decide on the appropriate 
way forward. 
	
• Fulfilling constitutional mandate: In order to fulfil its constitutional mandate, it is imperative that Parliament 
functions effectively. 
o Articles 75 of the Constitution provides that the Council of Ministers shall be collectively responsible to 
the House of the People.  
• Representative body: Being a diverse country, a well functioned Parliamentary system in India must uphold 
the grounds of representativeness, responsiveness and accountability. 
How Parliamentary Functioning can be improved? 
• Increase the number of sittings: Parliament should have more sitting dates and a clear plan of those dates. 
The National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution has recommended the minimum 
number of sittings for Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha be fixed at 120 and 100 respectively. 
• Research support to Members of Parliament: Institutional research support will allow committees to examine 
issues that are technical in nature and serve as expert bodies to examine complex policy issues. 
• Committee referrals: Requiring that all bills and budgets are examined by committees and extend the tenure 
of committee members so as to fully utilise their technical expertise on a particular subject in legislative work. 
• Regular Monitoring: There is a need to formulate mechanism for a regular assessment of the performance of 
the committee. 
• Responsible Opposition: Members must question, object and suggest alternative courses of action, but they 
must do so through reasoned and persuasive argument. 
o Shadow Cabinet allows for detailed tracking and scrutiny of ministries and assists MPs in making 
constructive suggestions. 
• Public feedback: A widespread debate, over Parliamentary functioning in the country, must be undertaken by 
the government, which would encourage people’s participation in the long run. 
Conclusion 
There is need to examine all legislative proposals in detail, understand their nuances and implications of the 
provisions, and decide on the appropriate way forward. In order to fulfil its constitutional mandate, it is imperative 
that Parliament functions effectively by imbibing the spirit of 3Ds i.e., Debate, Discussion and Deliberation.  
1.3.	STATE	AND	REGULATION	OF	TEMPLES	
Why in News? 
In the midst of the recent electoral campaign in Tamil Nadu, a movement to free Hindu temples from state control 
under Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) laws gained some traction.  
Background 
• The practice of State control over religious institutions began during the colonial rule in the Bengal and Madras 
Presidency in 1817. 
o Madras Hindu Religious Endowments Act of 1925 which was the first enactment that related purely to 
Hindu religious endowments. 
• Since then several States, like Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Kerala, Maharashtra, 
Odisha, Himachal Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, among others, have put in place some 
form of legislation for the management of Hindu Religious Institutions.  
• These laws mostly involve setting up of administrative bodies such as HR&CE departments with functions 
involving overseeing the functioning & administration of temples, appointment of non-hereditary trustees, 
approval of budgets, etc.  
o In some cases, they are also empowered to appoint Executive Officers, or government officers to directly 
oversee and manage temple administration. 
• However, in recent times several questions have been raised on the efficacy, need and constitutional validity 
of State control over religious institutions, specifically temples.  
Read More
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