India world’s 3rd largest economy since 2011, beats Japan, with just US, China ahead in terms of PPP

India is now the world’s third largest economy in terms of purchasing power parity, ahead of Japan and behind the US and China which hold the top two spots. This was revealed by the 2011 round of the World Bank’s International Comparison Program (ICP) released on Tuesday.
“The United States remained the world’s largest economy, but it was closely followed by China when measured using PPPs. India was now the world’s third largest economy, moving ahead of Japan,” the report said.(Read report)
It highlighted the fact that the largest economies were not the richest, as shown in the ranking of GDP per capita. The middle-income economies with large economies also had large populations, setting the stage for continued growth, it added.
The report says India “went from the 10th largest economy in 2005 to the third largest in 2011.
Incidentally, the economies of Japan and the United Kingdom became smaller relative to the United States, while
Germany increased slightly and France and Italy remained the same.
The relative rankings of the three Asian economies—China, India, and Indonesia—to the United States doubled, while Brazil, Mexico, and Russia increased by one-third or more.
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Table: Twelve largest economies by share of World GDP, ICP 2011

Causes, Outbreak, Failure, and Impact of the 1857 Mutiny

The Revolt of 1857, Causes, Outbreak, Failure, and Impact
Causes of the Revolt:
Political Causes:
  • The policy of Doctrine of Lapse.
    • Nana Sahib was refused pension, as he was the adopted son of Peshwa Baji Rao II
    • Rani Laxmi Bai’s adopted son was not recognized by the East India Company as the hier to Jhansi
    • Bahadur Shah’s successor was denied the right to live at the red fort 
    • The British did not obey the treaties sometimes and they were broken according to the need of the British and the nawabs at that time could not trust any treaty at all.
Economic Causes: 
Heavy taxation, evictions, discriminatory tariff policy against Indian products and destruction of traditional handicrafts that hit peasants, artisans and small zamindars, large scale unemployment and economic distress caused due to annexation of Indian states.
Military Discrimination:
  • Discrimination between the Indian and the British soldiers. Indian soldiers were paid low salaries compared to his British counterpart; they could not rise above the rank of subedar and were racially insulted.
  • They were also grieved because of the refusal of British to pay Foreign Service allowance (batta) while fighting in remote regions such as Punjab and Sindh.
Religious Discrimination:
  • British social reforms (widow remarriage, abolition of Sati, education for girls, Christian missionaries).
  • The introduction of Enfield rifle, the cartridge of which was greased with animal fat, provided the spark.
  • Inventions like railway and telegraphs spread of Western education also promoted the cause.
  • The British looked down upon Indians and followed a policy of racial discrimination and separated themselves as ‘superiors’ from the Indian society.
  • On Mar 29, 1857, a soldier named Mangal Pandey attacked and fired at his senior at Barrackpur in Bengal (in 19th and 34th Native infantry).
  • On May 10, there was a mutiny of sepoys’ at Meerut (3rd native cavalry).
  • Mutiny spread throughout UP along with some other parts of the country.
  • ‘Mar to Delhi’ became the battle cry of the rebels. At Delhi, the Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah II was proclaimed the Emperor of India.
  • Where the rulers were loyal to the British, the soldiers revolted as in Gwalior and Indore. In some places, the people revolted before the sepoys did.
  • In the beginning, the rebels were successful. Europeans were killed, law courts and police stations were attacked and revenue records were destroyed. But reverses soon began to occur.
Causes of Failure of the Revolt:
Lack of planning, organization and leadership.
  • Unfortunately, some Indians supported the British in suppressing the revolt. Scindia of Gwalior, the Holkar of Indore, the Nizam of Hyderabad, the Raja of Jodhpur, the Nawab of Bhopal, the rulers of Patiala, Sindh and Kashmir and the Rana of Nepal provided active support to the British.
  • The modern intelligent Indians also didn’t support the cause.
  • The military equipment of the rebels was inferior.
Impact of the revolt:
  • The revolt was mainly feudal in character carrying with it some nationalist elements.
  • The control of Indian administration was passed on to the British crown by the Government, of India Act, 1858. The army was carefully reorganized to prevent the recurrence of such an event.

Major Events in Revolt of 1857

Summarized View of Major Events in the Revolt of 1857
Major Events
22 Jan, 1857
 New cartridges cause concern amongst sepoys at Dum Dum
Jan- Mar, 1857
 Greased cartridges cause unrest. Berhampore and Barrackpore see outbreaks. Chapaties and lotus passed from village to village as a symbollic message.
11 May, 1857
 Rebels reach Delhi and proclaim Bahadur Shah Zafar as Emperor and their leader.
31 May, 1857
 Khan Bahadur Khan, a government pensioner takes the lead, and is proclaimed ruler under the King of Delhi. Moradabad and Shahjahanpur see a revolt and rebels attack Christians at the latter. The native regiments are disarmed in Agra
3 Jun, 1857
 Abbas Ali proclaims himself the ruler in Moradabad.
6 Jun, 1857
 Nana Sahib joins the rebels and is proclaimed Peshwa. Revolt at Jhansi, Europeans massacred. Revolt in Azamgarh.
8 Jun, 1857
 Battle of Badle ki serai in Delhi.
11 Jun, 1857
 Brigadier General James Neill arrives at Allahabad. Jhansi rebels leave for Delhi.
12 Jun, 1857
 Nana Sahib massacres over Europeans fugitives from Fatehgarh at Bithur.
15 Jun, 1857
 Wajid Ali Shah of Awadh imprisoned in Fort William, Calcutta.
16 Jun, 1857
 Maulvi Liaqat Ali flees Allahabad. Nawab’s rule proclaimed at Fatehgarh.
27 Jun, 1857
 Massacre at Satichaura Ghat, Kanpur. 
30 Jun, 1857
 British defeated at Chinhat ; Bulandshahr captured by Walidad Khan.
2 Jul, 1857
 Bakht Khan arrives in Delhi with the Bareilly brigade
4 Jul, 1857
 European fugitives from Fatehgarh and Farrukhabad masacred at Rampore. Sir Henry Lawrence dies in the Lucknow Residency.
7 Jul – 31 Jul, 1857
 Fatehpur occupied by Havelock.
 Bibighar massacre at Kanpur.
 Nana Sahib defeated by Havelock at Fatehpur, and First Battle of Kanpur.
 Havelock enters Kanpur and Nana Sahib retreats to Bithur.
 Siege of Arrah House.
 Parade Ground Massacre at Farruckhabad (Fatehpur).
 Havelock defeats rebels at Unnao.
  A large rebel force from Mhow and Indore arrives at Gwalior
5 Aug, 1857
 Havelock defeats the rebels at Bashiratganj. Kunwar Singh proclaims himself as King of Shahbad.
17 Aug, 1857
 Sir Colin Campbell becomes British Commander-in- Chief.
14 Sept, 1857
 British assaults on Delhi start
20 Sept, 1857
 Delhi conqured by British
21 Sept, 1857
 Bahadur Shah Zafar captured at Humayun’s Tomb by Captain Hodson.
22 Sept, 1857
 Hodson murders Mughal Princes.
17 Nov, 1857
 Lucknow Residency releived by Campbell. Outram at the Alambagh; rebels see his withdrawal from Awadh as a great victory.
24 Nov, 1857
 Havelock dies of dysentery
27 Nov, 1857
 Gwalior Contingent attacks Nawabganj (Unnao). British retreat
3 Dec, 1857
 Campbell sends rescued women and sick from Lucknow Residency to Allahabad.
6 Dec, 1857
 Tatya Tope defeated in the third battle of Kanpur by Campbell
6 Jan – 14 Jan, 1858
 Fatehgarh reclaimed by British. Sir Hugh Rose launches the operation in Central India.
 Bahadur Shah Zafar is tried at The Red Fort in Delhi.
  Laxmi Bai issues a proclamation against the British
17 Mar, 1858
 Brigadier Stuart attacks Chanderi. Kunwar Singh wins Battle of Atraulia.
21 Mar, 1858
 Rose reaches Jhansi.
1 Apr, 1858
 Tatya Tope loses Battle of Betwa
3 Apr, 1858
 Jhansi captured by British
5 Apr, 1858
 Jhansi fort taken by the British. Rani, with her step-son, reaches Kunch.
17 Apr, 1858
 British forces attack Kunwar Singh near Azamgarh.
18 Apr, 1858
 Battle of Banda.
26 Apr, 1858
 Kunwar Singh dies
6 May, 1858
 Battle of Bareilly, included the famous change of the Ghazis of whom 133 were bayonettled. Bareilly taken but rebel leaders escaped.
8 May, 1858
 Tatya Tope defeated in Battle of Kunch by Rose
11 May, 1858
 Amar Singh defeated but manages to escape. Battle of Shahjahpur.
22 May, 1858
 Battle of Kalpi, armory captured by British under Rose
25 May, 1858
 Hamirpur falls to the British
1 Jun, 1858
 Rani of Jhansi, Rao Sahib and Tatya Tope capture Gwalior, occupy Lushkar and Gwalior fort. Madho Singh captured by Rose.
12 Jun, 1858
 Battle of Nawabganj; Sir Hope Grant wins Awadh. Amar Singh returns to Buxar. Khan Bahadur Khan attacks Shahjanpur.
15 Jun, 1858
 Maulvi Ahmadullah Shah is killed while attacking
16 Jun, 1858
 Battle of Morar
17 Jun, 1858
 Battle of Kota-Ki- Serai; Rani of Jhansi dies in the battle-field
19 Jun, 1858
 Gwalior falls to British
20 Jun, 1858
 Gwalior fort captured by Rose. Battle of Jaora. Scindia returns to Gwalior.
5 Jul, 1858
 Banpur Raja surrenders
1 Nov, 1858
 Queen Victoria’s abolishes the rule of the East India Company in India.
25 Nov, 1858
 Raja of Gonda defeated by Sir Patrick Grant, Gonda occupied.
Dec, 1858
 Bihar rebels finally dispersed.
7 Jan, 1859
 Awadh rebellion ends
7 Apr, 1859
 Khan Bahadur Khan, Begum of Awadh, Nana Sahib and Birjis Qadr flee to fort of Niacote in Nepal.
8 Apr, 1859
 Tatya Tope captured by British.
18 Apr, 1859
 Tatya Tope hanged.
20 Apr, 1859
 Nana Sahib sends ‘Ishtiharnama’ to Queen Victoria
8 Jul, 1859
 British declare State of peace.
24 Sept, 1859
 Nana Sahib dies
Dec, 1859
 Amar Singh captured in the Terai by Jung Bahadur’s troops.
9 Dec, 1859
 Khan Bahadur Khan captured
24 Feb, 1860
 Khan Bahadur Khan hanged.
3 May, 1860
 Jwala Prasad hanged at Satichaura Ghat, the massacre site.

Timeline of Indian Freedom Struggle

Indian Freedom Struggle: Important Events
Mutiny against the British
Indian National Congress is founded by A.O. Hume
Partition of Bengal announced
Muslim League was founded at Decca on 31st December.
Khudiram Bose was executed on 30th April.
Tilak was sentenced to six years on charges of sedition on 22nd July.
Minto-Morley Reforms of Indian Councils Act – 21st May.
Delhi durbar held. Partition of Bengal is cancelled.
New Delhi established as the new capital of India
A Bomb was thrown on Lord Hardinge on his state entry into Delhi on 23rd December.
The Ghadar Party was formed at San Francisco on 1st November
Tilak was released from jail on 16th June.
Outbreak of the 1st World War 4th August
Komagatamaru ship reaches Budge Budge (Calcutta port) on 29the September.
Mahatma Gandhi arrived in India on 9th Jan
Gopal Krishna Gokhale died on 19th February.
Tilak founded Indian Home Rule League with its headquarters at Poona on 28th April.
Annie Besant started another Home Rule League on 25th September.
Mahatma Gandhi launches the Champaran campaign in Bihar to focus attention on the grievances of indigo planters in April
The Secretary of State for India, Montague, declares that the goal of the British government in India is introduction of Responsible Government on 20th August.
Beginning of trade union movement in India.
Rowlatt Bill introduced on Feb 16, 1919.
The Jallianwala Bagh tragedy took place on 13th April in Amritsar.
The House of Commons passes the Montague Chelmsford Reforms or the Government of India Act, 1919 on 5th December. The new reforms under this Act came into operation in 1921.
First meeting of the All India Trade Union Congress, (under Narain Malhar Joshi).
The Indian National Congress (INC) adopts the Non-Co-operation Resolution in December.
Mahatma Gandhi suspends Non-Co-operation Movement on Feb 12 after the violent incidents at Chauri Chaura.
Moplah rebellion on the Malabar coast in August.
Swaraj Party was formed by Motilal Nehru and others on 1st January.
The Communist Party of India starts its activities at Kanpur.
The Kakori Train Conspiracy case in August
The British Prime Minister appoints Simon Commission to suggest future constitutional reforms in India.
Simon Commission arrives in Bombay on Feb 3. An all-India hartal is called. Lala Lajpat Rai assaulted by police at Lahore.
Nehru Report recommends principles for the new Constitution of India. All parties conference considers the Nehru Report, Aug 28-31, 1928.
Lala Lajpat Rai died on 17th November due to injuries.
Sarda Act passed: prohibs marriage of girls below 14 and boys below 18 years of age.
All Parties Muslim Conference formulates the ‘Fourteen Points’ under the leadership of Jinnah on 9th March.
Bhagat Singh and Batukeshwari Dutt throw a bomb in the Central Legislative Assen on 8th April.
Lord Irwin’s announced that the goal of British policy in India was the grant of the Dominion status on 31st October.
The Lahore session of the INC adopts the goal of complete independence (poorna swarajya) for India; Jawaharlal Nehru hoists the tricolour on the banks of the Ravi at Lahore on 31st December.
First Independence Day observed on 26th January.
The Working Committee of the INC meets at Sabarmati and passes the Civil Disobedience resolution on 14th February.
Mahatma Gandhi launches the Civil Disobedience movement with his epic Dandi Mar (Mar 12 to Apr 6). First phase of the Civil Disobedience movement: Mar 12, 1930 to Mar 5, 1931.
First Round Table Conference begins in London to consider the report of the Simon Commission on 30th November.
On 5th March, the Gandhi lrwin pact was signed and the Civil Disobedience movement was suspended.
Bhagat Singh, Sukh Dev and Rajguru were executed on 23rd March.
Second Round Table Conference took place on 7th September.
Gandhiji returns from London after the deadlock in llnd RTC on 28th December. Launches Civil Disobedience Movement. The INC declared illegal.
Gandhiji was arrested and imprisoned without trial on 4th January.
British Prime Minister Ramsay Macdonald announced the infamous “Communal Award” on 16th August.
Gandhiji in jail, begins his epic “fast unto death” against the Communal Award on 20th September and ends the fast on 26th of the same month after the Poona Pact.
The Third Round Table Conference begins in London (Nov 17 to Dec 24)
Gandhiji released from prison as he begins fast for self-purification on 9th May. INC suspends Civil Disobedience movement but authorizes Satyagraha by individuals.
Gandhiji withdraws from active politics and devotes himself to constructive programmes (1934-39).
The Government of India Act 1935 was passed on 4th August
Elections held in India under the Act of 1935 (Feb 1937). The INC contests election and forms ministries in several provinces (Jul 1937).
Haripura session of INC was held on 19th February. Subhash Chandra Boss was elected Congress president on the 20th of February.
Tripuri session of the INC was conducted from the 10th to the 12th of March.
Subhash Chandra Bose resigns as the president of the INC in April.
Second World War (Sep 1). Great Britain declares war on Germany on 3rd September; the Viceroy declares that India too is at war.
Between 27th October to 5th November, the Congress ministries in the provinces resign in protest against the war policy of the British government.
The Muslim League observes the resignation of the Congress ministries as ‘Deliverance Day’ on 22nd December.
Lahore session of ihe Muslim League passes the Pakistan Resolution in March
Viceroy Linlithgow announces-August Offer on 10th of August.
Congress Working Committee rejects the ‘August Offer’ between 18th to the 22nd of August.
Congress launches Individual Satyagraha movement on 17th October.
Subhash Chandra Bose escapes from India on 17 January; arrives in Berlin (Mar 28).
Churchill announces the Cripps Mission on 11th of March
The INC meets in Bombay; adopts ‘Quit India’ resolution on 7th & 8th August.
Gandhiji and other Congress leaders were arrested on 9th August
Quit India movement begins on 11th of August; the Great Aug Uprising.
Subhash Chandra Bose established the Indian National Army ‘Azad Hind Fauj’ on 1st September.
Subhash Chandra Bose proclaims the formation of the Provisonal Government of Free India on 21st October.
Karachi session of the Muslim League adopts the slogan Divide arc in December.
Wavell calls Simla Conference in a bid to form the Executive Council at Indian political leaders on 25th January.
Mutiny of the Indian naval ratings in Bombay.
Cabinet Mission arrives in New Delhi (Mar 14);British Prime Minister Attlee announces Cabinet Mission ro propose new solution to the Indian deadlock on 15th March; ; issues proposal (May 16).
Jawaharlal Nehru takes over as Congress president on 6th July.
Wavell invites Nehru to form an interim government on 6th August; Interim Government takes office (Sep 2).
First session of the Constituent Assembly of India starts on 9th December. Muslim League boycotts it.
On 20th February, British Prime Minister Attlee declares that the British government would leave India not later than Jun 1948.
Lord Mountbatten, the last British Viceroy and Governor General of India, sworn in on 24th March
Mountbatten Plan was made on 3rd June for the partition of India and the announcement was made on June 4th that transfer to power will take place on August 15th

Timeline in Ancient Indian History – 400B.C. to 450A.D.

Year Event
c.400 BC Gautama ‘Buddha’ founds Buddhism
333 BC  Persian rule in the northwest ends after Darius III is defeated by Alexander the Great. Alexander had established the Macedonian Empire after inheriting the Persian Achaemenid Empire.
326 BC  Ambhi, king of Taxila surrenders to Alexander. Porus who ruled parts of the Punjab, fought Alexander at the Battle of the Hydaspes River.
321 BC  Mauryan Empire is founded by Chandragupta Maurya in Magadha after he defeats the Nanda dynasty and Macedonian Seleucid Empire. Mauryan capital city is Patliputra (Modern Patna in Bihar)
305 BC  Chandragupta Maurya defeats Seleucus Nicator of the Seleucid Empire.
304 BC  Seleucus gives up his territories in the subcontinent (Afghanistan/Baluchistan) to Chandragupta in exchange for 500 elephants. Seleucus offers to marry his daughter to Chandragupta to seal their friendship.
273 BC  Ashoka the Great, grandson of Chandragupta Maurya, ascends as emperor of the Mauryan Empire.
266 BC  Ashoka conquers and unifies most of South Asia, along with Afghanistan and eastern Iran.
265 BC  Kalinga War takes place. After conquering Kalinga, Ashoka regrets the killings in the war, leading him to adopt Buddhism, which then became the quasi-official state religion of the Mauryan Empire.
260s  Ashoka begins displaying religious tolerance, grants animal rights, builds hospitals for people and animals, treats his subjects as equals regardless of caste or creed, and promotes non-violence and republicanism. Ashoka inscribes the Edicts of Ashoka, written down using Brahmi script.
232 BC  Ashoka dies and is succeeded by Kunala.
230 BC Simuka declares independence from Mauryan rule and establishes the Satavahana Empire.
200 BC  Kuninda Kingdom established.
200-100 BC  Tholkappiyam describes the grammar and morphology of Tamil; it is the oldest existing Tamil grammar (dates vary between 200 BCE and 100 CE).
184 BC  The Mauryan Empire, which shrunk considerably, collapsed after its emperor Brihadrata was assassinated by his general Pusyamitra Sunga who then established the Sunga dynasty.
180 BC Establishment of the Indo-Greek kingdom.
80 BC Establishment of the Indo-Scythian kingdom.
65 BC The Pandyan king sends ambassadors to the Greek and Roman lands.
57 BC Beginning of Vikram Era
10 AD Establishment of the Indo-Parthian kingdom.
68 AD Establishment of the Kushan empire by Kujula Kadphises.
78 AD Gautamiputra Satkarni becomes Satavahana emperor and starts Shalivahana era calendar after defeating Scythian king Vikramaditya.
35 AD  Western Satraps formed.
240 AD Sri-Gupta starts the Gupta Empire in Magadha, with its capital in Patliputra
320 AD Chandragupta I ascends to the Gupta throne.
335 AD Samudragupta ascends the Gupta throne and expands the empire.
380 AD Chandragupta II, Samudragupta’s son becomes the Gupta Emperor.
450 AD Invasions by the Huna.

Topicwise booklist and study-plan for CSAT 2015 General studies Paper and Mains

General Studies (GS) Manual

GS manual E Click Here to buy From Flipkart
GS Manual a very thick book containing almost every topic of General Studies (Geography History, Polity, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, etc.)
Many publication houses (TMH, Unique,Spectrum,Pearson) release their Manuals.
You should buy atleast one of them. Because after each topic, they provide hundreds of mock questions, you must solve them to gain confidence and command over the topic.
If you have not purchased a GS manual, I recommend you get TMH (TataMacgrawhill’s) [***buy the latest Edition***]
Crux of this whole plan is : First read NCERT, then read GS Manual and at last solve the Mock-questions given at the end of GS Manual.

Science and Technology

  • NCERTs 7 to 10 (science): Can be downloaded for Free. For English medium scroll down to the bottom of this article you’ll get the download links
  • for  Hindi Medium click me
  • For Arts and Commerce grads, the 11-12th science NCERT may appear very tiresome, so leave them.
  • GS Manual’s Science and Technology section (the explanations and principles of various things are important, “Why” this or that?) + the mock tests given in it. If you’ve purchased any Manual, well and good- just stick to it. But if you’re yet to purchase a GS manual, I suggest you get TataMacgrawhill’s GS Manual.
  • Not much point in mugging up inventors, radius of Saturn’s moons, chem.formulas, Latin names of various plant and animal kingdoms and families etc in the manual.
  • The Hindu’s S&T section (can be read online).
  • Liberal use of websites such as Howstuffworks and Kids’ Encyclopedia Britannica for time pass.


E $
  • NCERT (10, 11, 12). If you can’t grasp formulas, leave them. Just try to understand the basics only. Download Links @Bottom.
  • Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh (TMH Publication) = best “student friendly” book on Economy topics.
  • Any one GS Manual’s Economy section + the mock tests given in it.
  • Any one Magazine’s Economy section, to be upated with currents (Pratiyogita, CST, Wizard or Chronicle)
  • Regular reading of Economy section of newspaper (The Hindu or Indianexpress, whichever you can get.)
  • Consult  wikipedia and google whenever you encounter any difficult terminology but donot try to do Ph.D on Economy. You just need to understand the basic concepts.




  • NCERT 7 to 10 Social Science. Then NCERT Class 11,12 History.
  • GS Manual’s History Section + Mock tests.
  • Focus on History of Modern India (1857 and freedom struggle) as it is important topic in Mains GS too.
  • If you’ve time, you can use Bipin Chandra
  • and Spectrum’s Brief History of Modern India.
  • This Spectrum book is also available in Hindi, under the title “Adhunik Bharat kaa Itihas


  • NCERT 7 to 10 (Social Science) then NCERT 11,12 (Geography).
  • GS Manual (instead of trying to mug up place-names, concentrate on clearing concepts and ‘why’ this or that). + Practice mock questions given in it.
  • In Newspapers and Magazines issues, in the National/ International current affairs: note down the place names and check their location on Atlas.

Environment and Biodiversity (E&B)

  • Again NCERT 7 to 10 (Both Geography and Science): 
  • GS Manual’s science portion
  • The Hindu S&T (can be read online).
  • Magz : current affairs related to Environment. (without getting into fact-bombing)
  • Wikipedia for anything that requires elaboration.

The level of difficulty shown in last years’ paper for E&B, ain’t no point in doing Ph.D.
So I don’t think it is necessary to buy any separate ‘special’ book.


  • NCERT sociology books: Can be downloaded for Free in English Medium OR Hindi Medium
  • Magazine current affairs sections to know about various Social sector initiatives.
  • (if you’ve time) Yojana, Kurukshetra etc. (but then again no need to get into ‘village/NGO case-studies’) just get the basics.

Mock Tests Practice

No amount of preparation is complete, unless you practice some mock questions.Practice the mock questions given at the end of each topic in your General Studies Manual.
Download NCERT books HERE

For a fair and open system

The procedure of selection of High Court judges by inviting applications through notifications which is followed in the United Kingdom may well be adopted in India so that transparency in the appointment is achieved, eliminating the charge of discrimination The election manifesto of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has promised to “accord high priority to judicial reforms to address the issue of appointment of judges …” It also proposes “to set up a National Judicial Commission for the appointment of judges to the higher judiciary.” The Indian National Congress has promised that a Judicial Appointments Bill it introduced in Parliament will be enacted “after consultation and consensus building over the mechanism proposed in the Bill.” The Constitution (One Hundred And Twentieth Amendment) Bill 2013 was passed by the Rajya Sabha on September 5, 2013. It seeks to replace the collegium model of judicial appointments with a Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC). For a Constitution amendment to become law when it seeks to make any change in the “Union Judiciary,” it has to undergo these three steps: the Bill has to be passed in each House by a majority of total membership of that House and also by a majority of not less than two-thirds of the members of that House present and voting; the amendment also requires to be ratified by the Legislature of not less than one half of the States by a resolution to that effect; and assent by the President. The Bill gives JAC the powers to appoint judges to the Supreme Court and the High Court. The said Bill introduced a new Article 124-A to constitute a JAC to make recommendations with respect to the appointment of judges of the higher judiciary. The Constitution Amendment Bill does not define who the members of the JAC are but leaves this for Parliament to determine in an ordinary Statute. This accompanying Bill, known as the JAC Bill 2013, provides that JAC will comprise six members, i.e. the Chief Justice of India, two most senior judges of the Supreme Court, the Law Minister and “two eminent persons.” The two eminent persons are supposed to be appointed by a collegium comprising the Prime Minister, the leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha and the Chief Justice of India. However, before the Constitution Amendment Bill was passed by the Rajya Sabha, the BJP staged a walkout since the demand for the Bill being referred to the Standing Committee was not conceded. The Standing Committee Report was only on the JAC Bill and not the Constitution Amendment Bill. The report recommended that the structure, functions or the composition of the JAC should be reflected in the Constitution itself and not in ordinary legislation so that the composition of JAC cannot be altered without a constitutional amendment. As the Bill stands today, the composition of JAC is in the hands of Parliament. To change the composition of JAC, a Parliamentary Statute is enough which is more flexible than an amendment of the Constitution. Mr. Ram Jethmalani, a member of the Standing Committee, also argued that the composition of JAC by an ordinary legislation would give scope for substitution with a Judicial Commission which will consist of only the Law Minister. However, to implement this recommendation of the Standing Committee on the JAC Bill, it may require an amendment to the Constitution (One Hundred and Twentieth Amendment) Bill 2013. For a representational judiciary Thus, even though at the instance of the UPA government led by the Congress Party, the Constitution (One Hundred and Twentieth Amendment) Bill 2013 was passed by the Rajya Sabha, in order to become law, the said amendment has to be passed by the 16th Lok Sabha by a majority of the total membership of the House and also by a majority of not less than two-thirds of the members of the Lok Sabha present in voting. It also requires ratification by the legislature of not less than one half of the States in India. It is therefore a million dollar question as to whether the Constitution (One Hundred and Twentieth Amendment) Bill 2013 would become law after the 16th Lok Sabha is constituted subsequent to the general election as the subject of appointing judges through a Judicial Commission requires more consultation and consensus-building over the mechanism proposed in the Bill. The U.K. example It is in this context and also in view of the recent decision of the collegium of the Supreme Court withdrawing the 12 names recommended for Judgeship at the Madras High Court based on “unprecedented opposition” that the 16th Lok Sabha as well as the new Union Government accord the highest priority to the proposal for the setting up of a National Judicial Commission and decide whether the composition of JAC be reflected in the Constitution itself. Suitable measures to make the judiciary representative of the diversity of our society with respect to gender, region, religion and caste may have to be initiated. Public interest demands a quick decision in this regard. They may also consider putting into practice, the procedure whereby members of the Bar who are eligible for being appointed as a Judge of the High Court apply for Judgeship through a “Public Notification.” Such a practice is in vogue in the United Kingdom. In the U.K., the candidates for Judicial Office in courts up to and including High Court level, Tribunals in England and Wales are selected by JAC. The JAC is an executive non-departmental public body sponsored by the Ministry of Justice. Membership is drawn from the judiciary, the legal profession, non-legally qualified judicial office-holders and the public. (JAC does not select judges to the U.K. Supreme Court. The U.K. Supreme Court was established on October 1, 2009 and assumed the formal judicial functions of the House of Lords which were removed by the Constitutional Reform Act 2005. Judges of the Supreme Court of U.K. are appointed by the Queen by the issue of Letters Patent on the advice of the Prime Minister to whom a name is recommended by a Special Selection Commission. The Prime Minister is required by the Constitutional Reform Act, 2005 to recommend this name to the Queen and not permitted to nominate anyone else.) The Selection by JAC for High Courts, Tribunals is based on merit through fair and open competition from among the widest range of eligible candidates possible. The appointment process is not only clearer but more accountable. The selection process starts when JAC receives a vacancy request from Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service or the Ministry of Justice. Thereafter, it advertises all selection exercises on its website and in the email newsletter. JAC also tailors the application form for each selection exercise and prepares an information pack and the applications are submitted to JAC electronically. Thereafter, the process of shortlisting commences. Candidates are required to identify referees they know personally and professionally. Shortlisted candidates are invited for a selection day for a panel interview, role play interview and presentation, etc. (Role play usually simulates a court or tribunal environment. Candidates are asked to take on the role of judge and respond to a simulated situation.) The technique of situational questioning is also adopted which involves questions concerning a hypothetical situation based on challenging, real-life, job-related occurrences and asks the candidate how they would handle the problem. JAC also carries out consultation as part of each selection exercise as required by the Constitutional Reform Act 2005. For High Court selection, the Lord Chief Justice and one other person are consulted. Financial, criminal and professional background checks are carried out. After this exercise, the Commissioners make the final decision on which candidates to recommend to the appropriate authority (Lord Chancellor, Lord Chief Justice or Senior President of Tribunals) for appointment. Thus, the process of appointment of judicial officers in the U.K. is clear, open, fair and accountable. However, in the present system of appointments to High Court Judges in India, unless the Chief Justice of the High Court concerned or any other senior judge of the High Court recommends the name of a particular practising lawyer, there is no way to get included in the list of prospective candidates. This system is perceived to be discriminatory because it is inherently impossible for the collegium judges to personally know everything about all the eligible practising members of the Bar. Thus, the procedure of selection by inviting applications through notifications which is followed in the U.K. may well be adopted in India also so that transparency in the appointment of High Court Judges is achieved, eliminating the charge of discrimination.

A virus to watch out for

In September 2012, an alert Egyptian doctor working in a Saudi Arabian hospital isolated a new human virus in samples taken from a man who had died of pneumonia and kidney failure. The virus came to be known as the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). By late last month, 200 laboratory-confirmed cases of people infected by the virus were reported to the World Health Organisation, with 85 deaths. Since then, however, there has been a spurt in infections, with 53 more cases and eight additional deaths being reported to the WHO. The vast majority of all MERS-CoV cases have occurred in the Middle East, with Saudi Arabia accounting for a large proportion of them. The United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Yemen have also reported cases. France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, Tunisia and Greece reported instances where people had been infected in the Middle East or came into contact with such infected individuals. Asia recently reported its first cases — and the first death from the virus. A 54-year-old Malaysian man appears to have caught the virus while on a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia; he developed pneumonia on his return and died days later. A male nurse from the Philippines, who had been working in the UAE, was found to be carrying the virus though he did not fall sick. India — especially States like Kerala — needs to be watchful. “Countries that have large numbers of travellers to the region, including workers, are reminded of the need for vigilance in the form of surveillance, and the importance of good infection control practices in managing patients with acute respiratory infections,” the WHO cautioned in an update last month. Unlike the swine-origin flu virus that caused the 2009 pandemic, the MERS virus does not easily spread from one person to another. But it has a high case fatality rate and its appearance here could well fuel public anxiety. That can be avoided if the Central and State governments put in place well thought-out plans for testing and surveillance as well as for dealing with any cases that turn up. Likewise, hospitals, both government-run ones and those in the private sector, need to be ready to handle patients who have the virus. In the Middle East, many infections have occurred in hospitals, and their staff members have been among those affected. Healthcare facilities dealing with MERS-CoV infections should take appropriate measures to reduce the risk of the virus passing to other patients, staff and visitors, warns the WHO. Now that the virus has reached Asia, India’s Central and State governments would do well to review their preparedness.

Why Mulayam is right

On April 4, 2014, the sessions court, ruling on the Mumbai Shakti Mills gangrape case, sentenced three boys, aged 18, 20 and 27, to death. They had been convicted for gangraping a 19-year-old telephone operator in July 2013 and then a 23-year-old photojournalist in August 2013. For the first time in India, a death sentence has been imposed for rape even when the victim was not killed.

The legal basis for the death penalty in this case was Section 376E, introduced in the Indian Penal Code in April 2013. This section states: “Whoever has been previously convicted of an offence punishable under Section 376 or Section 376A or Section 376D and is subsequently convicted of an offence punishable under any of the said sections shall be punished with imprisonment for life, which shall mean imprisonment for the remainder of that person’s natural life, or with death”. The judge in the Shakti Mills case opted for the death penalty instead of life imprisonment.
Section 376E and other amendments to the IPC relating to the offence of rape were introduced after the public outrage that followed the December 16 gangrape in Delhi. While the public reaction to the brutality of the crime is understandable, the subsequent changes to rape laws were disproportionate and bizarre. In no country is there a provision like Section 376E, which inflicts the extreme penalty of death on a rapist simply because he has been previously convicted of rape. In the Shakti Mills case, the three boys were convicted of two offences of rape on the same day, which makes the applicability of Section 376E itself doubtful.
The death penalty is widely denounced as inhumane and cruel. More than 118 countries have abolished the death penalty; India is among the 50-odd countries that retain it. The Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights mandates the abolition of the death penalty. Unfortunately, India has not even signed this covenant. Recently, Nobel laureate Amartya Sen and other intellectuals in India signed a statement opposing the death penalty as cruel and barbaric, with no deterrent value. In 2004, the European Union expressed dismay at the execution of the rapist and murderer Dhananjoy Chatterjee, and urged Indian authorities not to use the death penalty any further.
In India, we reconcile ourselves to the cruelty of the death penalty by adopting the Supreme Court formula put forward in the Bachan Singh case of 1982, where it was held that the death penalty would be imposed only in “the rarest of rare case”. But this subjects the accused to the personal opinion of the judge, there being no objective standard for imposing the death penalty. The vagaries of this formula have been illustrated many times. In a memorable case, Justice P.N. Bhagwati pointed out how subjective and unpredictable it was, when one Supreme Court bench sentenced the convict in a murder case to death while a different bench did not impose the death penalty on another convict in the same case. The Bachan Singh case will have to be reviewed by the Supreme Court some day, in the interests of keeping up with the evolving norms on capital punishment in the rest of the world.
Those who want to retain the death penalty do not realise the pain inflicted by hanging. Execution by hanging often fails at the first attempt and has to be repeated. The cruelty is not merely towards the convict but also his near and dear ones.
This writer believes Section 376E is unconstitutional as it imposes the death penalty on a rapist merely because he has previously been convicted of the same offence. It clearly violates the fundamental right enshrined in Article 21 of the Constitution, which guards against the deprivation of human life by an unreasonable law. Indian constitutional jurisprudence, which prides itself on extrapolating a liberal meaning of the fundamental right to life, cannot hold Section 376E to be legal. Mulayam Singh Yadav was not wrong to condemn the death sentences awarded to the three young boys in the Shakti Mills case, and in saying that this provision of the IPC should be repealed at the earliest.
The writer is a senior advocate of the Supreme Court, former solicitor general of India and advocate-general of Maharashtra

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Learning Women Safety

A look at the measures taken by colleges to protect female students from harassment
With the issue of women’s safety becoming a hotly debated topic, the importance of providing a safe environment for female students also gains prominence. The University Grants Commission (UGC) task force’s report on the
security measures in educational institutions, ‘Saksham’, was released in February and it suggests basic infrastructure requirements to be included such as lighting and public transport, while also recommending counselling services and gender sensitisation. It also talks about an essential gender audit component as a part of the evaluation process.

But have the safety measures been set up at educational institutions in the State?

“We do not impose any strict or specific rules on the students. Only if there is a cause of action will there be a reaction from our side,” says the Principal of BMS College of Engineering, Mallikharjuna Babu K. “We do, however, have an Anti-Sexual Harassment Committee that is lead by the seniormost woman teacher of our college. They set the guidelines for preventing cases like sexual harassment and ragging. We try our best not to abet such cases, for example, by making sure that there are no night shifts and even ensuring that students do not have a chance of interacting privately in closed rooms.”

No dress code

M.S. Suresh, Principal of BNM Institute of Technology, feels the same. “Even though the number of women is much greater than the number of men in our college, we have not imposed any strict rules for preventing sexual harassment. There is also no strict dress code as such. We only tell the students to come formally dressed and in case they do not abide by this rule, we simply send them back at the gate itself.” The college also has a complaint forum called the Committee for Prevention of Sexual Harassment.

Both college managements claimed there have been no reports of sexual harassment till date.

Some colleges, however, feel that prevention is better than cure. “We have a separate class for educating the students about topics like prevention of sexual harassment. We also have an Anti-Sexual Harassment Committee and a Grievance Redressal Council that deals with such issues and meets every six months whether or not we have a case. We also have an ombudsman, a neutral third party who is no less than the rank of a High Court Judge, to deal with such issues,” says the Registrar of PES Institute of Technology, V. Krishnamurthy.

The college has also imposed a rule wherein the girls are not supposed to stay on campus after six in the evening. There is a strict prohibition on any form of physical contact, apart from handshakes, between boys and girls. “There have been a few cases till now, but thankfully none of them have been so serious that it had to be taken to a higher authority; it was dealt with by the lower authorities itself,” he says.

Leelavathi, Principal of National Degree College, strongly opposes the concept of a dress code. “I really do not see the need for it. There are hundreds of cases where women are appropriately dressed or are sometimes covered from head to toe. But that hasn’t stopped men from raping them. I think it is all in the mindset of the people. We have a Women’s Grievance Cell in our college that consists of five women lecturers and they deal with the various problems faced by the female students of our college. We also organise special lectures where we talk about gender equality and overcoming gender discrimination. Both boys and girls attend this class. Sometimes, I take some time off to take these classes myself because I feel it is important for students to understand and implement these concepts.”

Some colleges have specifically appointed psychologists to help the students. Jain College, Jayanagar, for example, has a programme called JU Vishwas wherein a Women’s Cell is set up and is headed by a professional psychologist who helps deal with various problems of the girl students like trauma, abuse or eve-teasing.

Regular meetings

“We have regular parent-teacher meetings and duly inform the parents about the unruly behaviour of their wards. This is especially important for students who are not from the State. In case we cannot meet the parents immediately, we send them messages regarding this. We have installed cameras to make sure that there is no physical contact between the students and we do not have any dress code; we just advise the girls not to wear dresses that are revealing,” says Easwaran Iyer, Dean and Director of the college.

KIMS College has a separate psychiatry department to deal with such issues. “In addition, we have a Gender Harassment Committee, which is a complaint forum and also follow the guidelines imposed by the National Committee. The hostel timings are the same for both girls and boys; we do not give any special preference to any gender,” says H.H. Sudhakar, Professor & HOD, Department of Physiology, and Student Welfare Officer.

Students’ perspective

When questioned about the effectiveness of such rules, Ashwin S., a student from University Law College, said, “We don’t have any strict rules to prevent sexual harassment, but the guidelines and sanctions that are imposed for ragging prevent such cases from taking place. I agree with these rules only to the extent that they are utilised properly. I have personally come across many cases where the girl has taken full advantage of such rules and the boy has been found guilty.”

“I don’t agree with the concept of closing down girls’ hostels earlier than the boys’ hostels. Who says boys can’t be ragged or sexually harassed? This special preference that is given to them in highly unfair and I feel the system has to be changed,” says Nikita K. from Jain College, Jayanagar.

A student of Dayanand Sagar College, who did not wish to be named, said, “We do have a dress code like no sleeveless tops or no wearing shorts and I personally feel this is essential. These rules are simple and practical; for example, all girls have to be in their hostels by 8 p.m. It’s practical because with the recent cases, it is obviously a proof that girls are more vulnerable to sexual harassment and these rules are made based on the cases; they are made with a good intention — to protect us women.”