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

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A Decade of Decay

Between 2010 and 2019, the Supreme Court of India has suffered a credibility crisis not seen since the 1970s, with its reputation for independence and institutional strength lying in tatters. Deep systemic failings have come to the fore as the Court enters a new decade in the midst of an existential battle for relevance.

Revisiting the NBFC Crisis

Even while the effort to resolve the crisis resulting from non-performing assets in the banking sector was underway, India’s financial sector was overwhelmed by failures of large non-banking financial companies. In the discussion that followed the collapse of these NBFCs, the emphasis has been on the absence of due diligence, poor financial management and downright fraud. The environment these firms found themselves in did encourage such tendencies, but there were structural reasons as to why these institutions accumulated bad assets, and these reasons are often ignored.

A Shoddy Judgment

In holding that state governments could not pass laws to allow for direct appeals to the Supreme Court, the constitution bench of the Supreme Court in Rajendra Diwan v Pradeep Kumar Ranibala in 2019 was concerned less about upholding constitutional provisions and more by a disagreement over policy. In as much as states allowing for appeals directly to the Supreme Court is bad policy, it is not necessarily unconstitutional and is entirely within the framework of federalism under India’s Constitution.

Reining in Bankers’ Pay

The Reserve Bank of India’s guidelines on compensation for top management of banks are more generous in respect of variable pay than those of the European Union. However, they are a step forward in that they address an important lacuna in the existing guidelines: the non-inclusion of stock options in variable pay. The guidelines should serve to set a cap on the total compensation payable to bankers. As important are the disclosures in respect of top management compensation that the guidelines mandate.

Approaching Kashmir through Theoretical Lenses

The National Democratic Alliance government’s Kashmir policy can be analysed through the lenses of security studies and peace studies. Insights from these disciplinary fields could help gauge the implications of recent actions and suggest a possible different course.

Perils of Relying on American Support

The contemporary wars in the Indian subcontinent have seen an increasing involvement, or at least, mediation, by the United States. The subcontinental elite have relied far too much on the US to bring them victory in war. India learnt the lesson in 1962 when the US failed to provide India the much needed bomber support to win the war. For Pakistan, the moment arrived in 1971, when despite overt US support, it failed to preserve East Pakistan. Once again India seems to be relying on American support to achieve its objectives in Kashmir, imagining that personal relations with American leadership is enough to win wars.

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