ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Commentary

The regulation of states’ public debt raises important questions about federal fiscal relationships that are brought to the fore by the ongoing court battle between the union and the Kerala government. The use of extra-budgetary borrowings to finance fiscal deficits compromises the transparency of budget figures. A consensus rather than court intervention is needed to resolve this.

The politics of images becomes crucial in the 2024 elections because the narratives of democracy and governance became almost stereotypically fixed. In fact, the repetition of narratives turns into symbols and symbols contribute in the making of the image of leaders in politics. This may evolve as a war of images between the images of various political leaders who are contesting to acquire power in the coming elections.

While the multi-member Election Commission is unequivocal (since October 1993), the Chief Election Commissioner and Other Election Commissioners (Appointment, Conditions of Service and Term of Office) Act, 2023, rather than comprehending and strengthening plurality, tends to have focused on the prism of the single-member commission (as envisioned by Article 324). Thus, a host of dynamics in the multi-member commission—inter-commissioner relations and status—have been left in the lurch, and this is not likely to bolster the integrity and efficacy of the “guardian of Indian democracy.”

Daniel Kahneman’s pioneering work, such as prospect theory, heuristics, cognitive biases, loss aversion, and the dichotomy between intuitive and deliberative thinking, challenged the pillars of mainstream economics and laid the foundations for the emerging field of behavioural economics. Kahneman’s enduring legacy lies in reshaping our understanding of the complexities of human behaviour, decision-making processes, and the limits of rational-choice theory.

The people’s health manifesto released by the Jan Swasthya Abhiyan presents a comprehensive yet realistic agenda for health sys­tem change in India in the context of the Lok Sabha elections.

A recent discussion paper published by the Niti Aayog evidently claimed that the incidence of poverty in India has sharply declined. Using the Alkire–Foster methodology of calculating the multidimensional poverty index, it suggests that from 2013 to 2023, the proportion of people classified as poor in India declined from 29.2% to 11.3%. This translates into 24.82 crore (or 248 million) people lifted out of poverty. This article is a critical response to the methodology and findings from the discussion paper.

Through the case of the Chennai–Salem project—a national highway project which comes under the ambit of the union government’s “Bharatmala Pariyojana”—this article focuses on the exemptions provided to national highway projects from the social impact assessment mandated by the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013, highlighting its detrimental effects.

Estimates of infrastructure investment in India reveal that India is spending less than 5% of its gross domestic product on infrastructure. This is far below the country’s requirements. Recommendations to augment infrastructure investments are discussed to ensure that the lack of infrastructure does not become a binding constraint to economic growth.

The prevalence of anaemia is examined focusing on different demographic patterns, particularly for Odisha. Various national- and state-level programmes are examined to recommend the improvement of supply-chain management of supplementation, technology use for information flow among stakeholders, and community counselling to motivate and educate women to adopt healthier dietary practices.

In the transition from joint to nuclear families, Indian society saw the emergence of a third variation in family life—cohabitation relationships, popularly known as live-in relationships. The legislature either did not anticipate the surge in live-in relationships or simply failed to widen its legislative reach.

Section 69 of the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, 2023 focuses on the criminalisation of sexual intercourse by a false promise to marry, which may be through deceitful means with no genuine intention to be fulfilled. This provision has been discussed to have a contrary effect to its actual purpose by reinforcing patriarchal norms and curtailing women’s autonomy, threatening and restricting live-in relationships based on inter-caste and inter-religious lines, and lastly, creating ambiguity in defining the law and urging progressive judicial interpretation.

The newly notified Citizenship (Amendment) Rules, 2024 have not so far been subjected to a sufficient amount of immanent evaluation, a kind of scrutiny that will objectively assess CAR’s potential to fulfil the Citizenship (Amendment) Act’s declared objective, which is to resolve the citizenship woes of non-Muslim migrants from neighbouring Islamic countries. Such scrutiny reveals several shortcomings of the CAR.

Identification of the poorest section of people has always been important for any state or region to implement any focused policy. To identify the most vulnerable section of common people through the fractile classification technique, the article follows permanent income hypothesis, where the expenditure is corrected for transitory consumption and reporting/non-reporting effects by adopting a use-based approach.

The use of algorithms is fast becoming the status quo in tackling complex social issues. Machine-learning tools are also penetrating the social impact space. While these tools offer prospects for solving complex social issues, there are concerns pertaining to the development of biased algorithms, which in turn aggravate the already existing inequalities. This article delves into how these technologies may affect the pursuit of gender equality. It also attempts to identify potential solutions to address biases in historical data, human cognitive biases, and the under-representation of marginalised groups in teams developing the algorithms.

Patients incurred significant medical expenses when admitted to private hospitals under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana. Private hospitals charged patients and also claimed reimbursement under the insurance scheme. This practice of dual billing is a key cause of high medical expenses persisting under the PMJAY.