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The Unfinished Agenda of Social Justice

The proposed National Commission for Socially and Educationally Backward Classes armed with constitutional status has been touted as a move to appease disgruntled dominant peasant castes in various states and in lieu of the 2019 polls. This article looks at the potential implications.

Right to Safe Abortion

The case of the 10-year-old victim of rape who is pregnant and awaiting delivery after being denied permission to abort by the courts is an urgent indication that all stakeholders must come together and find a solution for unwanted pregnancies of more than 20 weeks.

From ‘Uprising’ to ‘Movement’

Populist radicalism with the demand for land is one register. Caste-based social antagonism is the other register. Following the Una uprising, the criss-crossing of these two registers defines the essence of the Dalit resistance in Gujarat today. Uprising/movement, Samiti/Manch are terms clarifying the nature of this criss-crossing.

Inception of Aviation Routes between India and China

Chinese National Aviation Corporation initiated the diplomatic relations for air connectivity between China and British India in the 1930s. The proposal included extending the CNAC’s service from Chungking in South-west China with Dinjan (in upper Assam). This was the context for the development of an air route between China and India. This commercial venture (which was threatened by World War II) played an active part in the wartime operation, especially after the fall of Rangoon and the consequent capture of the Burma Road by the Japanese forces.

Can India Be Considered an Emerging Great Power?

As India strives to make its way to the top of the global power structure, this article investigates what kind of a “great power” India ought to be. A range of debates on the parameters that define great power status to understand India’s current position in the international order are examined.

Sharif’s Dismissal

Examination of the accountability process in Pakistan reveals that it falls into the trap of repeating inter-elite rivalries from the past, rather than marking a point of departure. The investigation’s sole focus on elected officials does little to alter the almost-complete impunity for the country’s armed forces and the judiciary. This dialectic of accountability for parliamentarians and impunity for the military continues to structure political dynamics in Pakistan.

Big Data, Big Deal

Massive data sets are transforming everything, from our understanding of the universe, to things as everyday and mundane as recommending personalised products online. The data, in a digital form, comes in a much larger size than ever. With such large data sets, it is all too easy to find rare statistical anomalies and to confuse them with real phenomena. Questions arise of privacy when one is a row on a database in an increasingly “dataficated” world.

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.

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