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

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National Medical Commission Act

The National Medical Commission Act, passed by Parliament in July 2019, has been billed by the government as the “biggest reform” in the medical profession and a “pro-poor legislation” that shall make quality medical care more accessible to the people. Paradoxically enough, the act ran into severe resistance from the very profession whose lot it was supposed to improve. An examination of some of the provisions of the act in light of these developments makes us think that the act may well be a case of the cure being worse than the malady itself. There is a need for the resistance against this act to be revived.

India’s ‘Three Pest Campaign’

Over the last few years, the central government has declared certain species of wild animals as “vermin” in some states, thus allowing uncontrolled hunting of these animals. This removal of protection raises serious concerns with respect to its legality, constitutionality, and ethics. An analysis of notifications declaring species as vermin shows that this was done in an arbitrary manner without any scientific assessments. There is thus a clear need to review the manner in which wild animals were declared as vermin.

Sabka Vishwas Scheme

Sabka Vishwas Scheme is a dispute resolution-cum-amnesty scheme, with an objective of generating revenue in the short term, by inclusion into the tax net of delinquent taxpayers and those with pending disputes. Such measures renegotiate the contract between the state and its citizens, hurting equity in the tax system. Adherence to such measures reduces the taxable capacity of the state in the long run, by adversely affecting motivation towards compliance.

Human Sacrifice, Sentencing and the Death Penalty

In the judicial discourse on the relationship between human sacrifice and punishment in criminal law, there are glaring errors. Looking closely at the Supreme Court’s judgment in Ishwari Lal Yadav v State of Chhattisgarh , the deviation from the principle of individualised sentencing and the consequences of ignoring evidence on the complex anthropological and psychological dimensions of human sacrifice are reflected upon.

Between Adhyatmik and Political Hindutva

In order to counter the Bharatiya Janata Party’s agenda of communal polarisation, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi, led by K Chandrasekhar Rao, articulated what it called “ Adhyatmik Hindutva.” Notwithstanding the inclusive character of this conception, its electoral feasibility and social desirability remain questionable.

Rainwater Harvesting Benchmarks to Address South Asia’s Urban Water Crisis

Carefully designed rainwater harvesting systems can reduce water stress and help in the management of water crises in major South Asian cities, home to about a quarter of a billion people. A straightforward formula is provided here for calculating rainwater harvesting targets in major South Asian cities. Modest achievements in rainwater harvesting can dramatically mitigate the water crisis for urban inhabitants of this region, requiring fairly inexpensive modes if relevant projects are meticulously planned and implemented.

Curbing Stubble Burning

The root cause of stubble burning a nd the lapses on the part of the central and state governments in control ling it are examined. The injustice done to farmers in the past is analysed, and possible policy interventions are suggested.

Chhapaak: Of Corrosive Mindsets and the Undying Will of the Survivors

The newly released film Chhapaak is analysed and used as a vehicle to comment on acid attacks as a heinous act and how the survivors brave the brutalities meted out to them.

Can Maharashtra’s New Government Prioritise Gender Responsive Budgets?

Major gender-related policies in Maharashtra are analysed, and the expectations from the new government in the state regarding provisions for women are outlined.

Addressing Primary Healthcare Deficiencies

The National Medical Commission Bill 2019 has delineated the role of community health workers in primary healthcare. However, the bill has neither given an unambiguous definition of these workers nor spelt out as to how they could be effectively utilised to expand the reach of primary healthcare in rural settings, where there is an acute shortage of doctors. Training and skilling of these workers are short-term arrangements to address deficiencies in primary healthcare. What is required in the long term is regular monitoring of primary healthcare services and incentivisation of rural health service.

The Politics of Inner Line Permit Extension to Manipur

The extension to Manipur of the Inner Line Permit by the Bharatiya Janata Party government at the centre is an attempt to weaken the anticipated strong protests in the state against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019. It comes across as a ploy to weaken the forces that stand in the way of achieving the Hindutva agenda, and also, possibly a means to negotiate the Meiteis’ opposition to the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah)’s intricate demand for Greater Nagalim.

Recent Shenanigans in Indian Statistics

The instances of data suppression and leaks, in recent times, inadvertently reaffirm the integrity and professionalism of the official statisticians, but categorically indicate towards ministerial obtrusion in data dissemination.

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