29 May RAS Mains Answer Writing

Ras mains answer writing practice

Click here to download the schedule – English Medium | Hindi Medium

SUBJECT – Indian Political System

TOPIC -Federalism, Centre-State relations, Supreme Court, High Courts, Judicial Review, Judicial Activism

For Hindi medium – Click here

Indian Polity PYQs – Click Here

Click on the question to see the model answer. Submit your answers below and complete the 90-day challenge for RAS Mains answer writing

Q1 What role does Article 142 play in delivering justice in India? 2M


Article 142 provides a unique power to the Supreme Court, to do “complete justice” between the parties,where, at times, the law or statute may not provide a remedy.

Utility of Article 142 in providing complete Justice:

  • Prem Chand Garg case 1967-  Art. 142(1) confers upon the Court powers which can contravene the provisions of Article 32 (right to constitutional remedies) in order to provide complete justice.
  •  Laxmi Devi v. Satya Narayan– The accused to award compensation to the victim with whom he had sexual intercourse with a promise to marry and had later retracted his promise
  • Bhopal gas tragedy case 1991– UCC to pay $470 million in compensation for the victims of the tragedy and highlighted the wide scope of Article 142 (1)
  • Siddiq v. Mahant Suresh Das– (Ayodhya dispute), the Supreme Court had exercised the powers mentioned under Article 142 of the Constitution.
  • Five-judge constitution bench 2023– A court can directly grant divorce under Article 142 of the Constitution, in cases where the marriage has irretrievably broken down, without referring the parties to a family court first, where they must wait for 6-18 months for a decree of divorce by mutual consent.

Q2  Punchhi Commission report can pave the way for strengthening cooperative federalism. Discuss. 5M


The Punchhi Commission, chaired by former Chief Justice of India Madan Mohan Punchhi, was constituted by the Union Government in April 2007 to review and examine the functioning of existing arrangements between the Union and States.

Major recommendation to strengthen Cooperative federalism 

  • Regarding Office of Governor : 
    1. Appointment : adopt the following strict guidelines (i) He/she should be eminent in some walk of life (ii) a person from outside the state (iii)a detached figure etc
    2. A committee for appointment of governors → it may comprise thePrime Minister, the Home Minister, the Lok Sabha’s speaker and the concerned Chief Minister of the State.
    3. fixed tenure of 5 years , Removal → impeachment procedure like President
    4. Discretionary powers should be used sparingly, and must be a choice dictated by reason activated by good faith and tempered by caution
    5. Make decision on a Bill within 6 months
    6. provided clear guidelines on the order of precedence for the appointment of chief ministers, thereby limiting the governor’s discretionary powers in this regard.
  • Cooperation
    1. Amend article 263 : make the Inter-State Council a credible, powerful and fair mechanism for management of inter-state and Centre-state differences.
    2. Zonal Councils → Meet at least twice a year
    3. New All India Service → Health, Education, Judiciary 
    4. The Seventh Schedule should be amended to include ‘Environment, Ecology and Climate Change’ under the Union list.
  • Political Federalism
    1. Concurrent list : Some broad agreement should be reached before introducing Bills on Concurrent Subjects by institutionalizing a mechanism under the ISC.
    2. Emergency : Article 356 should be amended to incorporate guidelines set forth by the SC in S.R. Bommai case (1994) ; Provide a framework for  ‘localized emergency’ (Art. 352, 356 → last resort)
    3. Rajyasabha : Factors inhibiting the functioning of the Rajya Sabha as a representative forum of States should be removed;  States should be given equal representation; requirement of domicile status for election to Rajya Sabha should be restored 
  • Economic Federalism
    1. All future Central legislation involving States’ involvement should provide for cost sharing.
    2. Consultation with states in finalizing the Terms of Reference of the Finance Commission.
    3. Review of all transfers to States to minimize discretionary transfers (like CSSs)

The MHA’s recent initiative to seek states’ comments on the Punchhi Commission reflects a commitment to Cooperative Federalism, fostering collaboration to propel India forward in the era of Amrit Kaal.

Q3 Examine the significance of the intrinsic asymmetry in Indian federalism as a cornerstone for fostering cooperative federalism. 10M


Asymmetric Federalism: It is based on unequal powers and relationships in political, administrative, and fiscal arrangement spheres among the constituent units (States). In India, asymmetry exists both vertically (between Centre and States) and horizontally (among the States).

Existing intrinsic asymmetry : 

Role of Asymmetry in Cooperative Federalism:

  • Based on weighted and differentiated equality : Equal treatment of all States while recognizing varying capacities.
  • Balancing national unity with regional autonomy :  States like Nagaland and Mizoram enjoy negotiated autonomy as a political compromise. Parliament is prohibited from interfering with religious, social practices, land, and natural resources in these states.
  • Allows Self-Rule within Shared Rule: Creation of Autonomous District Councils acknowledges historical rights and facilitates self-rule within the shared rule framework.
  • Protecting Diversity: Addresses India’s linguistic, cultural and religious diversity by allowing differentiated treatment for states.
  • Grants concessions to certain conflict- ridden regions to prevent secessionism and address autonomy demands.
  • Special provisions facilitate inclusive decision-making and resource distribution.

However, Concerns have also been  raised against asymmetric federalism citing potential for regionalism and separatism.

The recent abrogation of Article 370 also highlights the importance of ensuring that the principles of asymmetric federalism are not misused, emphasizing the ongoing need to balance regional autonomy with national unity.

Despite challenges, asymmetrical federalism remains relevant for accommodating diverse groups and promoting cooperative federalism.It is crucial for sharing governance responsibilities and ensuring inclusive governance in a multicultural society like India.

Q4 Make a precis of the following passage in about one-third of its length.             [RAS Mains 2021]
It is never easy to see why one hobby should be more popular than another: as the old writer said, there is no disputing about tastes. One of the most mysterious illustrations of this saying is surely to be found in the love of maps. Mankind may be roughly divided into those who find a fascinating world within the covers of an atlas and those to whom an atlas is no more than a book of reference. What is it that decides which category a particular person may belong ? 
                It is not, for example, a matter of travel. There are those whose work or recreation has sent them journeying around the world from one exciting country to another but who seldom consult a map unless forced to do so by the sheer necessity of discovering how to get most quickly from one place to another. On the other hand there are those who have never travelled outside their own immediate neighbourhood and yet find great amusement in studying maps of all kinds. 
          Perhaps it is mainly a matter of imagination. The genuine map-lover, merely by looking at his maps, is transported beyond the walls of his room. If his map is of some familiar territory, he is in his imagination admiring this view. If it is some distant unvisited land, he is paring it with creatures he has read about or admiring the charming scenery. Whatever tricks his imagination is up to him, it is the map which has set him dreaming. It has furnished him with means of recreation and delight. [265 words]

Answer writing: Precise

‘The hobby of map reading


 “The Enigmatic Fascination of Maps

The popularity of hobbies is a subjective matter, and the love of maps remains an intriguing example. People are divided into those who find fascination within an atlas and those who see it merely as a reference book. Travel experiences do not solely determine this preference, as some well-travelled individuals hardly consult maps, while others who rarely leave their vicinity take great pleasure in map study. This affinity for maps seems to be a matter of imagination, as genuine map enthusiasts are transported to distant places or landscapes through their maps, providing a source of recreation and delight. (88 words)

error: Content is protected !!