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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.

Failing Kashmiris on Their Article of Faith

The people of Kashmir are convinced that the public interest litigation in the Supreme Court appealing for the abrogation of Article 35A is simply a judicial route through which the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government at the centre is seeking to repeal Article 370.

The Case of Improved Samba Mahsuri

The Samba Mahsuri rice variety, though popular among farmers, millers and consumers, faces the threat of bacterial leaf blight in certain conditions. Based on feedback from farmers and others, this article assesses the Improved Samba Mahsuri variety in comparison, focusing on its capacity to cope with BLB, adoption of the improved variety by farmers, and the value it generates. It recommends a strong institutionalised supplyof seeds, and permitting additional private players in the production and distributionof the ISM variety.

Where Is the Husband?

Despite global efforts towards creating awareness and involving men in maternal and reproductive health of women, their participation remains low, particularly among the tribal population.

Student Elections in Mumbai

The announcement of the revival of student elections in the University of Mumbai has generated interest. However, the ground reality indicates that the future discourse of the university itself depends on the efforts taken by the upcoming student representatives. It is essential that they hit the ground running.

Stagnant Employment Growth

Employment growth in India slowed down drastically during the period 2012 to 2016, after a marginal improvement between March 2010 and March 2012, according to the latest available employment data collected by the Labour Bureau. There was an absolute decline in employment during the period 2013–14 to 2015–16, perhaps happening for the first time in independent India. The construction, manufacturing and information technology/business process outsourcing sectors fared the worst over this period.

Small Businesses in the GST Regime

Reforms must bring simplicity and not disruption. Goods and services tax was an opportunity for India to reform its cobweb like indirect taxation structure and reboot the system afresh. Unfortunately, the ground realities suggest otherwise. The way GST has been introduced is too onerous for small businesses. This may further thwart their growth.

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