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Manual Scavenging: Women Face Double Discrimination as Caste and Gender Inequalities Converge

Of the 1.2 million manual scavengers in India, about 95% to 98% of them are women. Despite their overwhelming numbers, there is hardly any research or a governmental report shedding light on these women. In addition to caste-based solutions, a gender-sensitive approach is required to put an end to this abhorrent practice.

Investments for Social Sustainability in India

The Sustainable Development Goals make it imperative to link economic growth with social and environmental priorities. The current status of social development perspective and the role of government, corporate and social enterprises in delivering social sustainability in India are examined. Constraints such as fiscal procyclicality and vulnerability, lack of access to finance for social enterprises, and biases in corporate social responsibility activities lead to dismal performances in social development. There is a need to engage in non-concessional finances with public and private funds for financing social sustainability. Impact investment is an emerging asset class, which lies at the intersection of private finance and purpose-driven finance.

A Blasphemy Law is Antithetical to India's Secular Ethos

Section 295A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), which is an Indian variant of the blasphemy law, violates the secular character of Constitution.

Constitutional Rights of Atheists and Non-believers

Though atheism has been socially prevalent in India, it has remained a grey area in the legal context. There are no specific laws catering to atheists and they are considered as belonging to the religion of their birth. The Constitution provides for “freedom of conscience” under Article 25 since 1950, but constitutional rights of “non-believers” were never substantiated by courts until recently.
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