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

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The Idea of a University in India

In colonial times, universities were established in India to produce graduates who would serve the interests of a colonial ruling elite. Fast-forwarding to the present times, India is witnessing a massification of higher education, with the establishment of more universities and an increase in enrolment. Under such circumstances, what merits examination is whether universities are producing knowledge for knowledge’s sake, or training individuals to fall in line with a neo-liberal nationalist agenda of economic development.

Politics of Scheduled Tribe Status in Assam

The trajectory of six communities of Assam in demanding a Scheduled Tribe status is traced. The history of these tribes is elaborated upon and the struggles they have faced in claiming the ST status are adescribed along with detailing the operations of the various government committees that were formed to look into the matter.

Reducing the Spread of COVID-19

The unprecedented crisis emerging due to the spread of COVID-19 demands immediate as well as long-term measures. To address this crisis, the government should promote social solidarity and unity as well as citizens’ networks working for the vulnerable. However, long-term measures are needed to reduce the possibility of the disastrous spread of more such diseases and to enhance the ability of communities to deal with such eventualities.

Fighting Fires: Migrant Workers in Mumbai

Migrant workers in one of Mumbai’s most industrially dense areas with 3,500 small manufacturing and recycling units face a number of hazards, with fires being among the common ones. This article looks closely at the causes and aftermaths of these fires and notes how the workers cope with them even as their skills and knowledge prevent even bigger accidents.

Impact of Covid-19 and What Needs to Be Done

Tackling the Covid-19 outbreak will require political will and decisive actions from the government in terms of ramping up the healthcare infrastructure, ensuring public distribution of essentials to fulfil basic needs, and income transfers to the poor, among others. The government should not constrain such expenditures in view of maintaining the permissible limit of fiscal deficit. A higher fiscal deficit may not be inflationary now, since demand is drastically down.

Waiting for Citizenship

Social groups that are forced to live in precarious and vulnerable conditions are effectively reduced to being non-citizens, despite being recognised as formal citizens. Th promise of the idea of citizenship as a social ideal cannot be realised as long as that this disjunct is not addressed.

Majoritarian Politics and the Ayodhya Verdict

The Ayodhya verdict favours politics over history. It bypasses the settled principles of legal scrutiny in adjudicating land conflicts. Such a verdict has detrimental ramifications for democracy and constitutional values.

Excluded in Rehabilitation

The experience of disability is explored within the growing impact of neo-liberal globalisation utilising an ethnographic approach. Findings indicate how its implicit “commodifying” impact on persons with disabilities aggravates their physical and psychological wounds by amplifying their identity as the “unproductive” or “less productive” other. A need for dialogical partnership, where the marginalised voices are acknowledged and listened to, is accentuated for meaningful participatory rehabilitation.

National Medical Commission Act, 2019

The relevance, provisions and the implications of the National Medical Commission Act, 2019 for the future of medical education and health practice in the country are examined here. This act is a step towards improving governance and introducing reforms with the potential to create an enabling environment, and facilitate standardisation in processes and transparency in the functioning of the health sector.

Finance Commission Report for 2020–21

The action taken by the union on some of the recommendations of the Fifteenth Finance Commission for 2020–21 is indicative of a major departure from the established practices followed so far. Asking the Finance Commission to review its recommendations on special grants to three states, and grants for nutrition to all the states is totally unprecedented and undermines the stature of the institution of the Finance Commission.

Citizenship (Amendment) Act

The recently enacted Citizenship (Amendment) Act has generated a political churn in the country. Tagging the updating of the National Population Register, a base document to identify “citizens,” to the forthcoming 2021 population and housing census has raised strong objections from several corners, including some state governments, necessitating the home minister to make a statement in Parliament on 14 March 2020. Linking the census and theNPR raises many questions—technical and operational. It is important to go beyond politics to address these concerns.

Assessing the US–ChinaEconomic and Trade Agreement

The United States and China had signed Phase One of the Economic and Trade Agreement, the process to end the nearly two-year-old trade war between the world’s two largest economies. The agreement reads like a charter of demands that the US has made on China in several key areas. A critical analysis of the agreement and the implications for the two countries are presented.

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