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

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The Mental Health Imbroglio

The question that needs to be asked is, how many of those being treated for mental illness are recovering? Does the current treatment regimen help people with recovery, or is it only a “treatment” option with an entry and no exit point? Psychiatric professionals need to focus on recovery.

Public Health Systems and Privatised Agendas

Examining how health policy has fared in India during the last five years shows the constriction of finances for major programmes like the National Health Mission and Reproductive and Child Health Programme that has led to under-resourced public systems. The Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana health insurance scheme would only end up diverting public resources towards commercial insurance companies and private hospitals, while having doubtful benefits for community health.

Gender Equalisation through Feminist Finance

The onslaught on the rights of women, both as economic agents and as citizens, is based on the interlocking of macroeconomic policies with prevailing patriarchal structures, the foundations of which need to be unravelled, visibilised, and visualised with the primary purpose of combatting the ongoing process of gendered de-equalisation. It is in this context that the concept of “feminist finance” is articulated, especially in relation to the emergent non-enabler role of the state.

General Elections in Assam

In the 2019 election, Assam will see a direct fight between the Congress and the Asom Gana Parishad–Bharatiya Janata Party alliance in almost all its constituencies. This election witnessed realignments and alleged adjustments amongst the key political players. It also saw new entrants like the National People’s Party. Every constituency will respond to these varied factors. The outcome of Assam’s 14 constituencies is crucial as it will decide which way the region swings.

‘Development’ and the Mahagathbandhan in UP

With 80 Lok Sabha seats, Uttar Pradesh is easily the focus of political speculation and observation. This article looks at how the dynamics between various stakeholders are playing out in the campaigning and polls in the state.

Disaster Relief Financing

Over the years, finance commissions have provided guidelines to the central government on assisting the state governments in providing relief to disaster-affected communities. It began with the margin money prescription by the Second Finance Commission, which was modified into the Calamity Relief Fund by the Ninth Finance Commission, and further evolved into the current State Disaster Response Fund. However, the mode of computing the quantum of allocation to SDRFs, which has led to some states receiving less than their deserved allocations, needs to be reviewed in the wake of the constitution of the Fifteenth Finance Commission.

Unburdening the Child

The deletion of three chapters of the history textbook of Class 9 has been carried out in the name of reducing the burden on children. Quantifying burden in this manner and equating it with “bulk” alone reflects a myopic view of the problem of academic load and its relationship with textbooks, and is an attempt to invisiblise interconnections between time, place and ideas/events, intersectionalities between caste, class, andgender, and issues of conflict and social injustice.

Challenges in Water Governance

Seriously water-stressed and facing an unprecedented crisis, India is confronted with many challenges in the water sector, including the lack of reliable information on water, absence of any initiative to restructure the water institutions, a distressed groundwater lifeline, push for large dams, increasing footprint of the urban water sector, and the sorry state of its rivers. Yet, these fail to be taken up as electoral issues.

Facilitation and Whistle-blower Protection by Indian Firms

The policies related to whistle-blowing among the BSE 30 companies in India are analysed. In the facilitative aspect, 80% of the firms explicitly mention the reporting authority. Similarly, 80% of the firms have elaborated on how the reporting should happen, whereas only 10% of the firms allow complaints to be registered over phone. The findings indicate an urgent need to develop and enforce corporate policies to protect the whistle-blowers.

Investigating the Hunger Index

The Global Hunger Index has directed attention to several methodological issues in understanding hunger. An attempt is made to formulate a Karnataka District Hunger Index using a modified version of GHI’s methodology, developed by the International Food Policy Research Institute. The findings show that backward pockets in the state have a higher hunger index, which also holds for socially and economically backward populations. The database at the subregional level should be strengthened for a better understanding of hunger-related issues.

Nashik–Bhusawal Acquittal and Beyond

The acquittal of 11 Muslim men after 25 years by a special Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) court in Nashik raises questions about the enabling conditions for such victimisation. Along with scrutinising the role of anti-terror laws, media, and the judiciary, the issue of compensation needs to be foregrounded.

Dilution of the Right to Education Act

The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 is a long way off from becoming a social reality due to the reluctance to enforce many of its provisions. What has suffered the most is the autonomy and dignity of teachers, which form the core of this law’s approach.

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