ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Making the Punishment Fit the Crime

In the absence of clear and organised sentencing guidelines, contemporary penal policy in India is marred by unguided judicial discretion. While this may be a matter of independent inquiry, it is an inevitable consequence of flawed legislative prescriptions regarding sentences under criminal law. The arbitrariness in prescribing maximum sentences in criminal laws is an issue that has received inadequate attention.

Empowerment of the Disabled

In the Jeeja Ghosh & Anr v Union of India & Ors (2012) case, which involved a passenger with cerebral palsy who was offloaded from the SpiceJet flight, the Supreme Court has highlighted two important rights of disabled travellers—accessibility and reasonable accommodation. As every country has a statutory as well as international obligation to ensure the right of disabled people to access in transport services, these rights have to be realised prior to the realisation of all other rights.

Confronting Gender Discrimination in Punjab

The 2011 Census revealed the welcome fact that both the child sex ratio and the overall sex ratio in Punjab had improved considerably over the previous census data. However, subsequent rounds of National Family Health Survey data show that gender bias against the girl child in terms of health coverage and nutrition is not only higher than in the developed states but also the poorer ones. The central and state governments need to take note of this aspect in policymaking.

What Next for Globalisation?

Globalisation has lost legitimacy in its homelands. The emerging economies of Asia need to carry extra weight in favour of global prosperity and away from xenophobia and autarky.

A Take on Solar Power in India

Rising focus on the increasing awareness of existing solar systems, ambitious plans announced on the amount of solar power generation over the next few years, cancellation of subsidies over a considerable period and their reintroduction, and of course, the “solar scam” are some of the issues at the forefront of green energy in India.

A ‘New’ Recipe for Trade

With other mega regional trade agreements like the Trans–Pacific Partnership in uncertainty, trade treaties like the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership will acquire greater significance beyond their original ASEAN-centred grouping. The RCEP needs to be tracked for its implications for both the global trading system and the livelihoods of people.

Sexual Violence in Conflict Zones

Sexual and gender-based violence in conflict zones is largely regarded as an inevitable by-product of war, random acts of a few renegades, or mere collateral damage. Though a process for concerted action against SGBV during armed conflicts has taken shape in the wake of the United Nations Security Council resolutions as well as incorporation of crimes of sexual violence in the statutes of International Criminal Court and international criminal tribunals, more needs to be done to squarely address this menace.

Boycotting Schools in Nicobar for Education

The Andaman and Nicobar administration, vide its Extraordinary Gazette notification on 7 September 2015, lowered the minimum percentage of marks required for the Scheduled Tribe candidates for admission to the MBBS course and admitted eight Nicobarese students at the Andaman and Nicobar Islands Institute of Medical Sciences. In March 2016, the Medical Council of India argued these admissions as illegal and discharged the concerned students, which has stirred resistance among the Nicobarese.

Injectable Contraceptives

The campaign against Depo-Provera and the questions raised by the women’s groups still remain relevant. Reproductive rights, when reduced to “choice of contraceptives” without considering the overall health and well-being of women, result only in the control and “unfreedom” of women.

Is the Government’s Overly Aggressive Solar Thrust in Public Interest?

The government wants to raise solar power generation capacity from the current 8 GW to 100 GW by 2022. How will such an aggressive solar programme impact India’s electricity distribution companies? How will it affect the cost, availability and quality of electricity for consumers? Does the pace of solar adoption being pushed by the government serve the public interest?

Politics of Jallikattu

The protest of Tamils against the ban on Jallikattu is a trigger. The pent-up anger against the successive policies of the central government and corporate encroachment of resources is the main cause of massive turnout in the protests. The protests displayed the limits of the Hindu right’s attempts to make inroads into the state’s politics by valorising Tamil language and culture. The protests indicate a continuity of Tamil politics with renewed strength through social media activism.

Can Conditional Transfers Eradicate Child Marriage?

Child marriage is associated with a range of negative social consequences—lower schooling, early pregnancy, decreased agency within the marital household, and adverse reproductive and sexual health. With respect to the eradication of child marriages, will conditional cash transfers for delaying marriage have the same logic as the more widely investigated conditional transfer programmes for children’s schooling? Will such transfers enable adolescents to make decisions or exercise choices regarding marriage, beyond simply delaying the event?

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