1. Mock Question for UPSC Mains GS2
  2. Introduction (Origin of issue)
    1. Body#1: Arguments in Favour
    2. Body#2: Arguments against the Legalization
  3. Conclusion (Yes / No / Fence-sitter)
  4. Don’t be a fence-sitter in every question
  5. Mistakes and Self-Assessment Benchmarks (SAB)

Mock Question for UPSC Mains GS2

  • The Law Commission of India, in its 276th report, has recommended the legalisation of Sports-betting and gambling activities in India’. Discuss your stand on this issue.
  • भारत का विधि आयोगने अपने २७६वे रिपोर्टमें भारत में खेल सट्टेबाजी और जुआ गतिविधियों का वैधीकरण करने की सिफारिश की है. इस मुद्दे पर आप अपने पक्ष की चर्चा कीजिए.
  • Relevance to GSM2-Syllabus? Governance: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation

Introduction (Origin)

  • (Origin of the issue) Earlier, SC appointed Justice RM Lodha Committee on cleaning cricket and BCCI had recommended legalizing cricket betting. Subsequently, Supreme court had directed the Law commission headed Justice BS Chauhan to examine the issue. The commission has recommended legalization of sports-betting in India. <then, BODY: LISTICLE of Positive and Negative Implications> OR
  • (Origin in the Constitution) Under the 7th Schedule of our Constitution, State legislatures are empowered to enact laws on betting and gambling. While some of the states permit lottery and horse racing, but the betting on other sports is not allowed. However, in the light of IPL matchfixing and associated controversies, Law Commission has recommended legalization of sports-betting in India. <then, BODY: LISTICLE of Positive and Negative Implications> OR
  • (Origin of the Organization) The Law Commission of India is a non-statutory advisory body setup by the Union Government from time to time to recommend the legislative measures for the purpose of consolidation and codification of laws. However, its recommendations are not binding on the government. In its recent report Law commission favoured the legalization of sports-betting….THEN BODY

Body#1: Arguments in favour of legalizing Sports-Betting

  1. Lottery and betting on horse-racing is already permitted in some states.
  2. Intraday trading at sharemarket is also one type of gambling and speculation.
  3. Sports betting already happening through illegal apps and websites. If this activity is legalized, with mandatory PAN card linkage then government can earn additional revenue -> fiscal deficit curbed, welfare activities can be financed.
  4. Many developed nations have legalized Liquor, Marijuana and Prostitution because it removes mafia control and brings additional revenue to the government.
  5. Legalization will improve FDI, Jobs in the sports-sector.
  6. It’ll improve the viewership of non-cricket sports, if not out of genuine interest then atleast for gambling. Increased viewership will bring more sponsers to the sportsmen.
  7. Law commission recommended- BPL, Minors, those not paying income tax or receiving any Government scheme-entitlement will be prohibited from sports-betting. Thus there is no chance of poor families savings eroded through gambling.

Body#2: Arguments against legalizing Sports-Betting

  • BPL, minors, etc. may still bet through proxies. [किसी अन्य व्यक्ति के द्वारा अपने पैसे दाव पर लगवाना.]
  • Social evils- addiction to gambling, indebtedness, alcoholism, suicide. Repercussions on family -domestic violence, male-absenteeism from family responsibilities.
  • In the share-trading, it’s difficult to escape taxman because demat accounts are linked with PAN cards. Here cash-based transactions possible. People can still gamble illegally to dodge the 18%-28% GST on online gambling portals.
  • Betting harms the spirit of sports. We should be cheering the players for their physical and mental prowess instead of betting money on whether they’ll win or not?
  • Not a panacea to curb match-fixing.

Law commission of India legalisation of Sports-betting

Conclusion (Yes / No / Fence-sitter)

  • (AGREE) Thus, given the aforementioned benefits of additional revenue and removal of Mafia control, Government should legalize the betting on sports with strict regulations to prevent minors and poor people engaging in this activity.
  • (DISAGREE) The very basic of Idea of gambling is against the Gandhian principles in our Constitution. Disregarding the aforementioned merits of additional revenue and removal of Mafia control, it should not be allowed in India.
  • (FENCE-Sitter) Given the aforementioned merits and demerits, a larger public debate / further deliberation by sociologists and economists is required before legalizing the sports-betting in India.

Don’t be a fence-sitter in every question

  • In my latest full-length Mock GS2 paper, I observed that some students write fencesitter conclusion in every ‘opinion-based’ question. Example:
    • Critically Examine the need of removing “No-Detention Policy” from right to education act? Conclusion: larger public debate required on merits and demerits.
    • Write salient features of Muslim Triple Talaq bill. Conclusion: larger public debate required on the penal provisions.
    • Discuss your stand on legalizing sports betting in India. Conclusion: This issue requires further deliberation.
  • Writing balanced answer is good but writing ‘fencesitter’ conclusions for 3-4 question out of the 20 questions- it gives an impression to the evaluator that ‘candidate lacks officerlike-quality to take a decision on any matter. He’ll just forward the files given to him to his seniors to escape any risk of taking wrong decision.’

Mistakes and Self-Assessment Benchmarks (SAB)

Parameter Marks Benchmarks
Introduction 0-1-2
  • +2 marks if mentioned Constitutional scheme, horse racing, lottery, or Lodha Committee.
Conclusion 0-1-2
  • +1 for fence sitter.
  • +2 for agree or disagree type conclusion.
  • 0 if forcibly trying to link this with SDG.
Body 0 to 4 marks
  • Not more than 2 marks If only one sided agreements written (favour or against). You should write both sides of arguments before arriving at a ‘in favor’ or ‘against’ type conclusion.
Logical structure -1 to 0
  • (1) if directly mentioning that ‘legalizing can help reducing our fiscal deficit’, without linking terms such as ‘revenue’, ‘direct and indirect taxes’.
Concise expression -1 to 0
  • (1) if digressing on the IPL-Matchfixing problem.
Language -1 to 0
  • (1) if not adding the prefix “Justice” in front of Lodha or B.S.Chauhan’s name.
Total Marks out of 15 0 to 8
  • After adding / subtracting above parts, give yourself NOT less than zero and not more than eight marks.

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