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

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India’s Civilisational Identity and the World Order

As the neo-liberal world order declines, non-Western powers are uniquely equipped to manage the power transition and contestations over the basic tenets of the emerging system. India’s civilisational ethos of reconciling different ideas will be of immense value in navigating the uncertainty and turmoil at a critical juncture of world history.

On Ethics of Legal Representation

Throughout his long and distinguished career, Ram Jethmalani was a hugely controversial figure, liked or disliked based on who he represented in court. This, however, is the wrong way to frame an understanding of his work as a lawyer. In focusing on “who” he represented, there is a risk that the fundamental right of representation for the accused is undermined, and it prevents us from also critiquing the “how” of representation.

Military Professionalism and Effectiveness

The military’s input to national security may be swayed by ideological winds if it loses its apolitical grounding. The government and military must thus maintain the status quo on civil–military relations.

Code on Wages and the Gig Economy

The Code on Wages, 2019 ostensibly seeks to harmonise four different laws governing the payment of wages and minimum wages in India, and “simplify and rationalise” the law. However, it is a missed opportunity to update the definition of “employee” in the context of the rise of the “gig economy,” a source of livelihood for a large number of workers who do not enjoy formal protection under the labour laws.

A Blinkered View of Humanities Education?

The draft National Education Policy, 2019 (DNEP) is an important document. It has had a fair share of criticism but that is to be expected given the diversity of opinions about education in our country. It is a sincere attempt to present a vision for the future of education in India. It is holistic in that it combines the vision of education from school to higher education within one document. It thus attempts a kind of unification of the aims and practices of education. Most importantly, as part of this vision, it strongly promotes a basic foundation of multidisciplinarity and liberal arts education at all levels. To say this in explicit terms and to say it with enough detail to make it seem as if it is workable is indeed commendable.

A Rate Cut That Failed to Please

The decision of the United States Federal Reserve to cut short its cycle of interest rate increases and reduce rates, while announcing a halt to its quantitative tightening programme, is likely to restore an environment of excess and cheap liquidity. While justified as a means to strengthen the US recovery, this move would in all probability deliver increased financial speculation rather than higher growth. If that triggers another financial boom–bust cycle, slow growth could be followed by another deep recession.

The True Dangers of the RTI (Amendment) Bill

The proposed amendment to the Right to Information Act, 2005 has caused controversy around the institution of the Central Information Commission being weakened and undermined by the proposed changes. While there is reason for the anxiety, it arises not purely because of the text of the law, but the absence of proper justification for the amendments.

Fourth Industrial Revolution

The technology-driven revolution is fundamentally affecting the relationship between capital and labour. This fundamental change is driving right-wing populism across the globe. The left, on the other hand, has remained a laggard, and will have no future if it continues to be opiated by liberalism. While, with liberalism as its political ally, the imperial “gentlemanly capitalism” has killed millions for resources and profits in the 20th century, the 21st-century “surveillance capitalism” with the far right as its political hitman is likely to be more lethal and ruthless.

A New Development Model for the New Economy

The new economy needs a development model that is people-centric, not production-driven. Emphasis, therefore, must be on the development of human capital. But, public education and health are not enough to break out of the middle-economy track. The world’s most pressing problems, from climate change to the future of work are all manifestations of inequality. The role of government is to not only be a more effective provider of learning and health, but also to be an agent for greater access to opportunity and changing patterns of ownership at all levels.

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