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Deepening Crisis of Governance in University of Mumbai

The arbitrary decision and flawed implementation of the transition to the On-screen Marking System in the University of Mumbai has jeopardised the futures of lakhs of students due to inordinate delays and discrepancies in examination results. This is one in a series of instances where established norms and statutes have been set aside in the university to cultivate an undemocratic, non-transparent and unaccountable coterie culture under the garb of structural reforms.

Enabling the Great Goan Land Grab

The Goa Requisition and Acquisition of Property Bill, 2017 and the Goa Compensation to the Project Affected Persons and Vesting of Land in the Government Bill, 2017 are the latest additions to the state government’s arsenal of legal tools to facilitate acquisition and conversion of land within the state, while insulating itself from any consequence of “environmental justice.” This follows a national trend of deploying legal language and institutions to support an aggressive approach towards appropriation of land assets.

POSCO Exit

POSCO’s announcement of its withdrawal from Odisha is a major victory for the small farmers, forest dwellers and fisherfolk who have opposed the steel project since 2005. The victory celebrations of the local communities, however, have been muted because their struggle against corporate greed, and the destruction of land and habitats has left them with over 2,000 warrants for arrest, 400 police cases, lives lost, livelihoods disrupted, communities fractured, and the constant memory of violence and repression.

Options and the Commodity Market

The necessity of options in commodity markets in India has been discussed for a long time. It aids in improving market liquidity, information transmission, and acts as a risk transfer mechanism. However, given the nature of farm and non-farm commodity markets, fi nancial investors may be attracted more towards non-farm commodity options. This would eventually lead to illiquidity in farm commodities. The regulator and exchanges should therefore work in unison to launch options in a prudent manner, especially in farm commodities, to benefi t the concerned stakeholders, including producer groups and processors.

Air Quality Data Dissemination

Comprehensive air quality monitoring and its data dissemination remain the key factors that determine our ability to understand the quality of the environment in which we live. The Supreme Court’s dictum of the right to a clean environment and healthy living under Article 21 of the Constitution could also include in its ambit the right to have knowledge of the quality of air we breathe. The Central Pollution Control Board should also consider multiple policy and technological options, including adopting low-cost AQM towards better implementation of national air quality standards.

Five Years of Xi Jinping

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s five-year term (from 2012 to 2017) has been action-packed with new initiatives and ambitious plans. He has also received a lot of international media attention. This article looks at trends and issues in the light of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China that will be held in Beijing on 18 October.

Voiceless in Jharkhand

The Jharkhand Freedom of Religion Act, 2017 is the latest draconian act against tribes who are anyway battling dispossession of their land in the name of development. The Fifth Schedule of the Constitution provides for a number of measures to protect their interests . Yet, in the enactment of the law on freedom of religion in a number of states with sizeable tribal populations, their voice is missing.

What US Shale Oil Imports Mean for India

India has imported its first shipment of shale oil from the United States, the fastest-growing oil producer in recent years. This is a significant step for India as it will now be less dependent on oil from West Asia, opening access to more risk-free oil and better prices. Yet concerns remain. India is consuming oil at a fast rate, while domestic production is falling. It will continue to be dependent on oil imports for its energy security, and will have to further diversify its sources of oil imports.

Envisioning and Striving towards Gender Justice

The efforts of the secular women’s movement have ensured that the debates on family laws are no longer framed in terms of uniformity, but gender justice. Progressive and forward-looking laws addressing familial violence, a range of partnerships and living arrangements, property and inheritance, divorce and maintenance, guardianship and custody, and disenfranchisement within families, will serve as an impetus for social change.

Taking a Fresh Guard

The Supreme Court inK S Puttaswamy v Union of India has acknowledged the existence of a fundamental right to privacy. This judgment will have an impact on the protection of individual data, especially in the context of the constitutionality of the Aadhaar Act, currently under challenge before the apex court.A response is offered by conceptualising “data as property” and adopting a data protection law in line with international best practices. Also, its ramifications on cross-border data transfers and international diplomacy, a question of vital interest in an increasingly digitised world, are highlighted.

Adivasis and the Conversion Conundrum

The Adivasis of central India have been vied by various religious missions in history. Christian missions are, however, exceptionally blamed for duping Adivasis and subverting their society. The democratic ethos of propagating one’s faith and the sensibility of the adroit Adivasi psyche must not be undermined in the present age of missionary competition on the brink of communal conflagration.

Teachers’ Perspectives on Higher Education Policies

The faculty/teaching base that predominates the Indian higher education system should be tapped to enhance quality at affiliated colleges.

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