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

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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.

Engaging Rural Youth Gainfully

India has a high proportion of youth in its population, especially that of rural youth. Harnessing their potential to contribute to the country’s growth would require rural-centric policies that combine the development of appropriate technologies and innovations, skilling of youth, and the creation of an ecosystem for the establishment of own enterprises.

How Prepared Is India to Control the COVID-19 Pandemic?

The SARS-CoV-2 infection, COVID-19, has reached many places in India, from Kerala to Kashmir. With local spread occurring from infection seeded by importations, a nationwide epidemic of unprecedented seriousness is imminent. The Prime Minister should assume leadership immediately and a full-time war-room, run by a task force with the best national experts, must be set up, and immediate, medium- and long-term strategies designed and implemented. We have lost one month already.

Power Looms in Maharashtra

Power looms are the largest producers of cloth in India, but in recent years, some policy decisions seem to have affected its effective functioning. The current crisis of this sector in Maharashtra, the state which has the largest number of power looms in the country, is examined.

Davinder Singh’s Arrest

Vappala Balachandran ( vappala.balachandran@gmail.com ) is a former special secretary, Cabinet Secretariat. He was a member of the two-man High Level Committee appointed by the Government of Maharashtra to enquire into the police handling of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack.

Sounding the Battle Cry

The Supreme Court’s judgment of 17 February 2020, granting women permanent commission in the army, has opened the doors for women to seek benefits and status associated with seniority of rank. Even though the apex court’s ruling is restricted to non-combat or non-armoured corps, it still is a big win for women. However, the idea of women in the armed forces requires deeper engagement. There is a need to understand what should be envisioned and expected from opening the doors of a male bastion for women.

Fighting Polio, Courting Death

Vulnerabilities and risks faced by women health workers in polio eradication programmes are scarcely acknowledged, even as the global polio eradication initiative has unveiled a new gender strategy. Instead of reinforcing cultural stereotypes regarding the distrust about vaccination campaigns, it is essential to address systemic drawbacks. The deaths of women health workers cannot be reduced to being a mere obstacle for the success of the campaign.

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