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Maharashtra’s Law on Social Boycott

The social boycott act passed by the Government of Maharashtra is an important step in arresting the abuse of power by in-group elites. However, the possibility of legal challenge; absence of victim and witness protection, compensation and rehabilitation; and lack of a mechanism to deal with inter-caste and outlier community cases may limit the realisation of the desired goals. Further, by pegging the role of caste panchayats only to social boycott it conveniently excludes the “evolved” upper caste panchayats.

Not Everything That Can Be Counted Is Counted

There is, at present, little discourse and theory in academia about how to tackle the quick and dirty research needs of the development sector, which includes localised decision-making for programmes. There is a need to recognise qualitative approaches and move towards subjective interpretations of research results.

Judicial Delays, Mounting Arrears and Lawyers’ Strikes

Report No 266 of the Law Commission of India, published on 17 March 2017, touches upon several aspects and issues regarding the state of the legal profession in India. The problem of lawyers’ strikes and consequent wastage of judicial time is discussed vis-à-vis the report. Lawyers’ strikes in India contribute to the problem of judicial inefficiency and the Law Commission recommends taking strong institutional actions to end these.

After Nanavati

The famous Nanavati case of 1959 gave birth to two myths: that it was the last jury trial in India and that it was the prurient sensationalism of the new tabloid press, Blitz in particular, that corrupted the jury system and made its abolition necessary. It was actually the refusal of the government and the legal profession to confront class and caste differences in the courtroom, and not the popular press, that led to the abolition of the Indian jury.

A Teacher for a Generation

The 1960s and 1970s had produced an exceptional group of economists in Kolkata who never really wanted great fame or fortune. They were the quintessential academics and scholars for whom learning was something to be enjoyed. Arup Mallik was outstanding even within this select group of stars.

Barriers to Antiretroviral Therapy Adherence

Strict adherence to treatment is critical for the effective management of HIV. Research suggests that adherence to treatment should be greater than 95% for maximum benefit from antiretroviral therapy. However, observation at one of India’s 355 ART centres identified several barriers to adherence, including shortage of drugs and CD4 test kits.

The Indian Public

The Indian popular psyche is suffering from a malarial fever, the germs of which were bred in the stinking sociopolitical swamp that had been created by the country’s political leaders over the last several decades. What one finds is a despondent people, without any fire in their innards to rouse them to protest, caught between seductive promises by a fascist demagogue on the one side, and false hopes of change assured by a discredited and divided opposition on the other.

Gujarat Operation and the Bharatiya Janata Party

The impending election to three Rajya Sabha seats in Gujarat has laid bare the Bharatiya Janata Party’s strategy to use each opportunity to win electoral battles at every level and, at the same time, demolish the opposition.

Revival of Agriculture Sector and Increasing Tenancy in India

The revival of the agrarian economy from the mid-2000s coincides with a significant revival of the foodgrain economy and to a lesser extent, by the non-foodgrain economy. There is a corresponding increase in the share of land under tenancy, specifically pure tenants. While there is a need to move on to high-value crops, the “land hunger” of agricultural labour through the tenancy market is constraining the shift to high value and highly uncertain horticultural crops.

Majuli and the Tragedy of Hazard Identification

Since the 1950 earthquake in Assam and Tibet, the island of Majuli on the Brahmaputra River in Assam has been facing soil erosion at an alarming rate. Thousands of islanders have lost their homes as well as agricultural lands, and many of them have become migrants in their own land. There have been no compensations from the National Disaster Response Fund or the State Disaster Response Fund as the guidelines of the NDRF and SDRF do not consider riverbank erosion as a natural disaster. This article argues for a more rational classification of hazards based on their causation factors.

Right to Education

Despite a few glaring shortcomings, the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 proved to be a landmark. It provided a justiciable legal framework that entitled all children (6–14 years) to education and established basic parameters for quality education. Several provisions are, however, still not in place, which brings the efficacy of its features and implementation into question. This article considers the progress and shortcomings of the implementation of the act.

Need to Redo the Draft National Energy Policy

NITI Aayog’s Draft National Energy Policy has numerous suggestions to make but has not underlined those of critical importance. In recent years, the cost of solar and wind energy has fallen dramatically. The focus on peak oil supply has been replaced by peak oil demand. The end of the coal era has already begun. DNEP’s energy mix does not reflect these developments. Hence, NITI Aayog should redo its draft energy policy with a well-developed road map.

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